Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 10.05.2017 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday)

“The mind makes the living entity within this material world wander through different species of life, and thus the living entity experiences mundane affairs in different forms as a human being, demigod, fat person, skinny person and so forth. Learned scholars say that bodily appearance, bondage and liberation are caused by the mind.”[1]

So it’s according to the mind that the body is formed. Have you ever perceived that the painters always paint themselves? Like a self portrait. How come? Leonardo Da Vinci has something to say about this. He also noticed this – that the artists practically always describe themselves. And he came up with, I think, a very good explanation for that. Because he said: the first sculptor of the body is the mind, the soul. So, the soul is enamored with one form and therefore it will form the body, make it appear as the imprint. And the soul is so satisfied with this form – ‘Finally this is my creation,’ – that when in the body it needs to make another form, it will repeat the same. So, if you paint, you will paint yourself, because the soul has painted your face and you will repeat this painting. And here it is supported. It is according to the mind that you will get the body. It’s very interesting how you repeat this more and more and more times.

Therefore we need to supply a good imprint to our mind. We all need examples, or heroes. And then you immediately, automatically will act like your hero. They say that education means only to give example, nothing else. So, words are practically not really necessary. Kids will take your example. You say: “Behave nicely, don’t smoke!” and then you go out and take your cigarette. Come on, that will not work! It will not work, only an example will. Why? Because you are the hero to your kid.

But we also need heroes and automatically you will first imitate the example. ‘If my hero likes bananas, I will also like bananas, although I hate them!’ Because you want to identify with them. But if we take spiritual heroes, then we start to follow a good example. Then we start to give a good imprint to our mind. And ultimately if we use this willingness to identify with them in our spiritual meditations, then it becomes a tool for your spiritual liberation. For example, if you take or you receive a spiritual ideal like a person, like let’s say Nanda Baba. And you take him as an archetype and then you start to meditate over his activities, his relationship to Krishna, you might develop something similar. Due to the willingness of identification with a good example.

Therefore Shrila Prabhupada said: “Just as the mind is the cause of bondage, it is also the cause of liberation.” Because the mind will necessarily need an object, a topic. It will attach to something. If you give it something spiritual, it will attach to the spiritual.

“When the living entity’s mind becomes absorbed in the sense gratification of the material world, it brings about his conditioned life and suffering within the material situation. However, when the mind becomes unattached to material enjoyment, it becomes the cause of liberation. When the flame in a lamp burns the wick improperly, the lamp is blackened, but when the lamp is filled with ghee and is burning properly, there is bright illumination. Similarly, when the mind is absorbed in material sense gratification, it causes suffering, and when detached from material sense gratification it brings about the original brightness of Krishna consciousness.”[2]

I think this is a very good example here. If our faculties – what is provided by this birth, by the material components that we have for this time – if they are used properly, they will give us benefit. If they are used improperly, they will give trouble.


[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.7

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.8

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