Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


What is maha-mantra? Maha-mantra actually depends on your level of realization. You might think that “This is a, so to say, Vedic mantra to achieve my perfection.” Or “To liberate me from my karmic bondage.” Later on if you see, for example, a nice vaishnava chanting, you will understand: “Hey, wait a minute, there is something more in this process, it is not only me.” He is a little trembling and some ecstasy is manifested on him. So we have to understand that there is some inner meaning of the maha-mantra also.

Then, if you enter into some esoteric explanations of the maha-mantra, you will understand that it is very much similar to the eight verses of Mahaprabhu, where He says: “Cheto darpana marjanam – purify the heart.”[1] The different pairs of the holy name are just step-by-step following these verses of Mahaprabhu.

But this is not the end of the secret explanations. Because if you study the vision of other acharyas like Bhaktivinoda Thakura, then you will understand that these eight pairs of the holy name, this is the step-by-step process of the ashta-kalya-lila or the eightfold pastimes per day. That means, if you chant your rounds, then you permanently engage yourself in the daily activities of Radha and Krishna, day and night.

But if you examine Gopal Guru Goswami’s explanation, then you will understand more secrets. And definitely you should not touch the explanation of Shrila Raghunath das Goswami, because that is too high.

I cannot go on explaining the maha-mantra, because it is not only a search, this is also a find.

And why our japa-mala is in a round shape? Why it is not in one line? This is the rasa-dance actually. So… what else can I say about chanting?! If you touch your mala, this is just like a lightning strikes through your fingers! But if you meet a lightning, it’s a little powerful experience. So if enlightenment comes with such a speed and power, maybe we shall burn ourselves a little bit. Therefore we need a protection, right? And what is the protection?

Paramananda: Maha-mantra!

Tirtha Maharaj: No, maha-mantra is the lightning. So how to defend ourselves from the power of the maha-mantra?

Somebody: Spiritual master, Gurudev.

Tirtha Maharaj: Mahaprabhu, let’s start with Mahaprabhu.

Somebody: Jay shri krishna chaitanya prabhu nityananda…

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, protective mantra before entering the storehouse of energy. But this protective mantra is also very strong, so therefore we need a pro-protection. And that is the spiritual master practically. But unfortunately, the guru is also very heavy. So how to protect ourselves from our spiritual masters? Ultimately you go to the vaishnava principle, as usually these vaishnavas are soft enough to tolerate us.

I hope you understand: entering the inner core of chanting – this is a gradual process. If we want to skip the vaishnavas, if we want to skip the spiritual master, if we want to skip the divine principles and the divine personalities, we shall not reach the inner core of chanting.

So, don’t be surprised if some little electric trembling is happening when you touch your japa. And also Krishna says: “From the different types of meditation I am japa.”[2] So it’s Him! It’s Him…

[1] Shikshashtaka 1

[2] Bhagavad Gita 10.25

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