Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

“O best among men (Arjuna), the person who is not disturbed by happiness and distress and is steady in both is certainly eligible for liberation.”[1]

Simple verse, serious message. The goal, according to this verse, is liberation – to find the way out from the material labyrinth. This is not the highest goal, we know. Anything beyond liberation? What is that? Bhakti is beyond liberation. Divine Love is beyond liberation. But here we go through a gradual process.Krishnais instructing Arjuna and first of all He discusses this very elementary, very simple goal – liberation. Of course, this is a very high goal! But first we have to identify, we have to learn how to achieve liberation, and then we can go further.

So actually this verse teaches us how to become free from entanglement. And to meet certain formal standards is not enough. Full perfection means that we can dedicate our soul, our heart. Have you ever tried to do a job as a duty or to do the same job as a loving offering? First will not give any inner satisfaction; the second will have a special taste. You feel the wings growing on your back. This is the way how we should cry if somebody wants to take us out from the temple. Sometimes our duties kick us out from our temples, from our spiritual practices, but cry! Cry for your rights. Because we want to find the way out not from the temple, but from the entanglement of material illusion.

But without a certain sacrifice it will not happen. With one ass you cannot ride two horses. Either we serve God, or we serve dog.

Therefore, in order to achieve this liberation thing, which is not the highest goal, even for that we have to be peaceful. So we should search for our inner peace. And the best way to find our inner piece is our inner connection, deep inner connection.

I think all of us know these states – happiness and distress. Which one you know better? Which is your more permanent friend? Happiness or distress? Usually when I ask, under a certain age people say: “Happiness!” After a certain age they say: “Distress.” So, our understanding also changes by age. What we think in the beginning a great happiness, later on you will understand: “Ah, that was a failure, a problem.” And what we think it was distressful situation for us, sooner or later we should understand that this was a process of liberation – shaking up people’s minds, shaking up people’s connections. And although this is difficult, still it is very beneficial. Because if something has to be separated, it is separated. But if something has to stay together, it is very strongly and surely staying together.

So, from that point of view there is no happiness and no distress. There is nothing good and nothing bad. If we have the capacity, we shall see that ultimately everything helps our clear vision. And it would be very easy to use this trigger – that life is suffering. And to give some easy promises: “After liberation… Next life… In heaven… In the spiritual sky… it will be better!” But we should be intelligent. We should be happy and satisfied right now.

To be satisfied, to have this inner peace, not to be affected by happiness or distress, means that we have a different vision, a higher vision. If we are deeply connected to Divinity, where is the distress? Where is the illusory happiness? We are deeply rooted in eternity, in truth, in consciousness, in ananda. If we are eternal souls, what does it mean if somebody is coming or somebody is going?!

Of course, easy words. Yet, take the time to realize these words. But life is a transition period. If we want to sum up life in three words, it is very simple: live, love and leave. Human life on earth means: live, love and leave. Very simple, it is not a big deal. And therefore it is suggested that life is just like a bridge. Do not build your house on a bridge! Bridge is for crossing the turbulent water.

Still I think that it would be a self-cheating if we would say that neither happiness nor distress has any effect on us. Once I met a person, who said: “Well, even self-realized soul, he can lose control sometimes.” But what is the difference? He gains control quickly. Maybe he loses himself, gives himself to happiness or distress, to some influences that will come; but he is able to compose himself quickly. So, do not expect from some so to say a perfected being to be like a piece of wood – no reaction. Or like a stone image. Тo achieve that balanced state of consciousness is beyond our expectation. But miracles do happen. Be connected and you will feel that. And even if some great happiness comes to you, you will remember; and even if great distress is coming to you, you will remember.

Just like the Persian shah. He was disturbed by this… well, maybe not by this verse of the “Gita”, but by the same situation which is described here: sometimes happiness is coming and sometimes distress is coming. What to do? So he declared: “Someone who is bringing a magic ring to me, which will save me from suffering and save me from this euphoria – half of my kingdom belongs to him.” First came the ministers. They were bringing the most precious rings ever on earth. The maharaja was examining the rings and throwing them away: “It is not the magic ring!” Then the magicians came with all the spells and incantations over special stones on the rings they were bringing. The king was observing and throwing them away: “It is not that!” Everybody tried his fortune – no success. Until a shepherd came, young man with a very simple ring. No stone, no magic spell, very simple, very cheep. So, he offered this to the king. First the king was a little shocked: “Who are you and what is this insignificant ring that you are bringing?” But then he put on his glasses and was watching carefully the ring. Then all of a sudden he started to smile and put the ring on the finger. And he declared: “Half of the kingdom belongs to this shepherd.” The ministers and the magicians were amazed. They were afraid to ask, but finally someone asked: “Tell me, why is this the magic ring?” And then the king said: “Well, it is very simple on the outside, but check out carefully what is on the inside.” He gave the ring to the other person and he was reading, there was one little sentence carved into the ring: “This will also pass.”

Have this magic ring on your finger and then it will be very easy to be peaceful in mind.

[1] “Bhagavad-gita” 2.15

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