Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

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

(continues from the previous Friday)

“The materialistic mind covering the living entity’s soul carries it to different species of life. This is called continued material existence. Due to the mind, the living entity suffers or enjoys material distress and happiness. Being thus illusioned, the mind further creates pious and impious activities and their karma, and thus the soul becomes conditioned.”[1]

Yesterday we discussed something very serious – this was suffering. We tried to find where the suffering is. How is it possible that suffering exists? It’s not in the matter, not in the spirit – then where? Then we concluded that the imprint of suffering, like a distortion of the divine harmony, is manifested in the mind platform. The mind is like a screen and certain impressions are projected on that screen. This is your interactive movie – your life, your experience of life, is your interactive movie. Although the movie is going on, nevertheless you actively interfere into your own life with new activities etc. So actually this interactive movie is not an invention of the information age. It’s been going on forever.

And I was very happy that we could laugh about suffering yesterday. It was just like a victory of happiness over this suffering. But if we examine that more profoundly, then we can understand that, first of all, suffering is good for burning up our karma. So whenever you have any kind of suffering – physical, mental, anything – then in the core of your heart you can be grateful for that. Because your balance is cleared a little bit. There is less to pay in the future. So, it’s important; and in this way it’s easier to tolerate all these different sufferings. Second: of course we should identify whether this is real or not. In most of the cases it’s not real, because it’s only a reflection in the mind. Something happens that you don’t like – but it’s not a real issue. In that sense, this is good for a kind of analysis and to come to some conclusions. It helps you to think more profoundly. And yet another way to deal with suffering is: now you come in harmony with creation. It sounds a little unusual, how come? What was the first word that Brahma heard in this universe? Tapaha. So, what do you expect, my dear ones? It was not ananda, enjoyment – no, tapaha. Sorry, this world works under this principle. Difficulties. Therefore I say: if you suffer, actually you become cosmic.

But if we appreciate tapaha properly, this is not a kind of mental suffering. It’s a self control, it’s a discipline. So, in case we perceive some kind of suffering, if we accept it as a discipline: ‘All right, this is my tapasya that I have to go through,’ then it becomes a spiritual practice. And in the beginning of creation tapaha meant a source of energy. Because it means ‘to heat something’. Tap – it means to heat something, just like to cherish, to heat something, to protect and heat, to make it grow. So, that also means to give energy to something. Tapaha means that you can reach more energy, you can generate energy. Therefore it is said tapas is the voluntarily taken inconvenience in the hope of spiritual progress. This is a way to generate more energy, a discipline. So, whenever you feel that you need more energy for your spiritual practices, to achieve something – do some tapas.

(to be continued)

[1] Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5.11.6

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