October 2022


Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
(continues from the previous Friday)
“Sri Jiva Goswami says, “First listen to the Holy Name and cultivate that sound divine. Then gradually, if we do it properly, we can find that next there is a color and figure – not drawn from this mundane world, but that sound has got its own figure and color and it will show itself. Although we are presently far away from our original consciousness, when our mind is purified and we are free from worldly, mundane thinking, then like lightning that divine name will reveal itself to us, producing some color and figure within us, within our conception – and that form will be of another type, not like the color and figure of this world. From the relativity of that sound will first come the color and figure, and next the quality. In this way, one will spring from the other: such sound must have such color and figure, and such figure automatically must have such quality. It will come forth from within.”[1]
In order to understand it a little better: in the material sphere there are five gross levels of experience. They are called the basic elements of creation. The most condensed, the  thickest element is the earth element because this is solid. The next one is the water element which is liquid. The next one is even more subtle – this is the fire, which is not liquid, but it is like dancing. Then the next one is even more subtle – this is the air. You cannot catch the air. You can hold the earth; it’s more difficult to hold the water, but it is possible. You cannot hold the fire, but you can touch it. You cannot hold and you cannot touch the air, although the air touches you all over. And ultimately the fifth element is the ether, which is so subtle that we practically don’t perceive it, although it provides the space. So, these are the five gross elements of the created nature.
Bhumir apo ‘nalo vayuh kham mano buddhir eva ca/ahankara itiyam me bhinna prakrtir astadha[2] – prakriti, the material nature, is made up of five gross elements and three subtle elements. The finer elements are the mind, the intellect and the egotism. But if you come with this idea:  that the whole world is made of these five elements, people will think: “This is some legend, some mythological explanation of the ancient past. It’s got nothing to do with reality. Come on, be realistic! We are based on the Mendeleev periodic system.” 
How many elements are there in the Mendeleev periodic system? Basically there are hundred and twenty five. Sometimes they try to bomb with some atomic particles this and that structure and they try to create something. But it doesn’t really last long. So, practically hundred and twenty five. Do we have a mathematician here? What is the factorial of five? One multiplied by two by three by four by five… So, one multiplied by two – we can solve this. This is two, right. Two multiplied by three is six. Six multiplied by four? Twenty four. And twenty four multiplied by five? Hundred and twenty. So, the elements in the Mendeleev periodic system are around hundred and twenty – maybe a little more, a little less. And if we take the combination and the permutation of the five basic, primordial or mythological elements, we come to the same number. So, it’s got some good evidence. You see, the Mendeleev periodic system is one description of reality; that is another description of reality. And the ancient one is not weaker than the present one. Rather it provides a different vision that everything is connected nicely. 
(to be continued)
1.  The Golden staircase, Ch. 1 Shadow, substance and sound, by Shrila Shridhar Maharaj
2.  Bhagavad Gita 7.4


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