Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


There are many different methods, many different ways to work for perfection. Tell me some methods how to do that? What people do usually for their spiritual progress? What you had done twenty years before?

Lilavatar: With my spiritual progress? Twenty years ago I was thinking that in two years I’ll be the most spiritual person ever been born on the planet. And since then I was postponing in time…

Swami Tirtha: My dear, somebody will come and teach you the six processes of dedication and then you will become the best. But last time you mentioned that twenty years back you made your sadhana in order to achieve perfection, right? Because in the beginning we think that by force we can achieve anything. And most devotees started like this – they sleep on a bare floor under an open window during the winter. I even have a friend who had a bed of nails that was covered by a blanket, but the mother didn’t know. So, she wanted to remove a book from the shelf above the bed…

But later on as our understanding is polished a little bit more then we should find more appropriate or more practical methods. In the beginning such a hard training might be good because it shows you the strength that you can derive from following certain rules and regulations. But as we do some little progress, our understanding about perfection should also change, come closer to some essential points. It’s not enough to tame the wild animal, yourself, but you have to cultivate the higher goals. This is the path of perfection. And first by these forceful methods we might think that: ‘Oh, I had achieved something!’ But later on you will see that what you had achieved through your power is just insignificant. Or another method to achieve some goals is your intellectual powers, your knowledge. And knowledge is power, no doubt. But in some other song Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura describes that: “Oh, in the beginning I thought that knowledge will make me a wise person, but finally it turned out that this big knowledge made me only an ass. So, when it’s necessary I’m just here empty handed.”

So far we have two different levels, or two different identities of a human being. One is the bodily – to tame ourselves, to overcome the bodily impulses. And the second is our intellectual enemy. If you just imagine the chakra system, where do you identify these levels – bodily and intellectual? You know the chakra system, how many chakras are there? Seven chakras, all right. How many chakras belong to the bodily and how many to the so to say intellectual or higher level?

Lilavatar: I wouldn’t say that heart chakra is intellectual.

Swami Tirtha: Of course, I wouldn’t say that either. So, we can say the three basic chakras, or the three down chakras, the first three, belong to the bodily platform – like maintaining yourself, maintaining your race and providing you health. And the three top chakras belong to the, so to say, intellectual platform – tell the truth, have a vision and have some perfection. In between the two threes there is only one chakra left, and this is the third identity of a human being – this is your emotional ego. So, in the beginning you start with the down chakras – to tame the wild animal. Then you start with your top chakras – investigate, search, understand. You let yourself lose in the labyrinth of knowledge, while your heart is just thirsty for some drops of nectar and feels neglected there: ‘No body, no mind! Please, pay attention on me also!’

As time passes we shall understand which the most important identity of a human being is. We are emotional beings. Although humans are called homo sapiens, conscious entities. But we can also say that human beings are homo emotionalis, we are emotional beings. Therefore the practice of sharanagati, the practice of dedication concerns your real identity, your heart chakra. And therefore purification of the heart is very important. All strong, mystical classic yoga practitioners also agree that purification of the heart is crucial. Because your energies start to move up and down and whichever of your energies on whichever level is activated, your energy has to cross through this central field of your emotional identity – the heart.

The best method for purification of this very important level of our identity is by chanting the Holy Name. I think in all religions they do have some knowledge about the power of the names of God. In the Old Testament they respect the name of God so much that they don’t even pronounced it. It’s forbidden. The followers of the New Testament they know that it is very important therefore in the Lord’s Prayer it is said: “Hallowed be Thy name”. In Islam how many names are there?

Pepi: Ninety nine names!

Swami Tirtha: Correct, ninety nine Names are there, plus one. So, the hundredth is also there but that is reserved for the Paradise, to be chanted there. In our process, in our tradition the Holy Name is also very highly esteemed. And we know that God has unlimited names. Because if He is unlimited, there is no end to His names, qualities, features and wealth. But there are some primary names and there are some secondary names. And what is the result of the secondary names?

Answer: Secondary.

Swami Tirtha: All right, it’s truth, simple liberation. But what is the result of the primary names? This is the highest type of ecstasy – prema, or divine love, ecstatic divine love. This is the result of the primary names. And while we chant the names of God, slowly, slowly the mirror of our heart will be also cleansed. Therefore we chant this Hare Krishna mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And if you do it sincerely enough and your prayer reaches its goal, then your heart will be purified.



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