Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

We should be very careful about the quality of the holy name. Because the holy name is not a material vibration, but it is surcharged with something – surcharged with devotion, dedication. Just like it was said: “Dadami buddhi yogam tam[1]– buddhi yoga but with priti-purvakam” – the loving surcharge is there in your consciousness. In the same way the characters or the sound form must be surcharged with your dedication.

The best example is Gaura Kishora Das Babaji Maharaj. I think nobody can question his chanting. But many times he was just jumping into theGanges, ready to drawn himself, because he felt that the holy name is not coming, not descending on his lips. So much so that the devotees on the bank were really afraid and praying: “Ah, Babaji Maharaj, come out, come out of theGanges! Don’t let yourself to be drowned!”

What is our quality of chanting? Where is theGangesto drown ourselves fully?

Other times I heard one story in South India. You know, in South Indiapeople are mostly either Rama worshipers or Vishnu worshipers, and Shiva also. So one ashram started to function there and one boy, one brahmachari was taking the pots to the river to wash them. And all of a sudden he was bitten by snake. And you know, snake bite is quite dangerous. You have got a few minutes left, not so much. This boy was practically fainted already. But when the others recognized what was happening, they run up to him and started to chant the mahamantra into his ears. He regained the consciousness and he was saved. Immediately the villagers started to pay some attention: “Ah! This mantra is very good against snake bite! It is working.”

We are searching for our private goals, benefits: protection against snake bites, solution to my financial problems… Never mind, it works! But if you are searching for the real result, you have to pay some more time. Because chanting the holy name with dedication will bring chanting in pure form. There is nama, and there is shuddha-nama. And the shuddha-nama will bring bhakti, prema. And prema is very strong, even stronger than God. He becomes a slave of those, who has this devotion, dedication. Therefore He is a little reserved to give it freely. He is ready to distribute material benefits, a little moksha here and there, some mystic powers, just to buy your attention, to divert your attention. Many people are ready to exchange divinity for material things. But for a devotee this is very painful. Therefore we try to invite people to this purification process and by the divine touch of the holy name from materialistic persons we can become dedicated servants of God.

The quality is very important.

Question of Yashoda: I am searching all the time and thinking about what is real meditation in connection with the holy name? Because I have certain misunderstanding due to my previous attempts to meditate when all the time I was falling asleep.

Tirtha Maharaj: As we made this experiment, there is a vibrational effect on the body. From one state of consciousness you come to another one while doing any type of spiritual practice. As the words have these four aspects –the sound, the meaning, the feeling and the transcendental one – in the same way human consciousness also has four phases. The first is the wake consciousness when your senses are turned outwards. But this is very active and very disturbed state of mind. The dream state is when your senses are turned inwards. The third – when the senses are turned neither inward nor outward, this is the dreamless state, state of inspiration, so to say. And the fourth is again the transcendental state, spiritual. So, when we are awake our mind is very active, but everything is going out. If you start to meditate, if you start to stop this outgoing functioning of your senses, then they will turn inward, and, as we are conditioned, when the senses turn inward we fall asleep, then we are in a dream. Therefore in the beginning you might have this result – you stop the functioning and then you start dreaming, so to say, fall asleep. But later on you will be able to control these urges. And then we can maintain a very alert state, although there is no outer functioning.

The same happens if somebody starts to chant. Sometimes all your bodily functions are very calm, come down to a very smooth platform. Until you try it mechanically, you will fall asleep. But when you start emotionally, then you will dance and sing in ecstasy. If the holy name is dancing on your lips how can you fall asleep? But if the holy name is dancing on your lips, even if you fall asleep, that is a divine sleep.

Once we were invited to give a lecture in a university club. This was full program – bhajan, lecture, slideshow, prasadam, talking and everything. It started at six or something; and after midnight somebody from the audience said: “Can we sing a little bit more?” We were really exhausted, but how can you resist such an invitation! And that person, who asked for more bhajan, of course became a devotee, a very nice devotee. And later on she told me her story – she also attended yoga courses and practiced. And she said: “Before these yogis were always telling: samadhi, trance, ecstasy… I never understood what is this! But after the bhajan I immediately understood what it is. So, that is a good sign. Just have your eyes open. If on a public lecture somebody says: “bhajan!” – this is a prospective devotee. Because bhajan always touches the heart.

[1] “Bhagavad-gita”10.10

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