Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 01.10.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

The first spiritual desire, if we really want to accomplish the chance of this human life, is to find our real identity. And our identity is composed of so many different elements: karmic background, nationality, culture, gender – so many things. But this will all change. Next time we shall have a different setup. The previous time we had a different setup. This will all change. So if we want to find our real identity, then we should give up this false identification and we have to develop our real identity.

But what is my real identity? Is it enough if I say: ‘I am a self-effulgent spark’? It’s too general. It’s like a generic answer. ‘Who are you?’ ‘I am a spark’. No, we need a specific answer. And who will build our character? Who will form our identity? It is a master sculptor. A real disciple will feel: Whatever I am is a creation of my master. Whatever I have – my friends, my japa, my spiritual ideals, my brothers, my life, my prasadam, my daily bread – is given by my master. I am a creation of my master. I’m not myself. I’m him – in one sense. I’m a part of him.

This is one way to develop a spiritual identity. This is a way to grab the chance of this human form of life – to realize this spiritual identity. This is a very good spiritual goal, a very good spiritual ambition in the beginning – to find ourselves. Do you agree?

Once a devotee told me that: “Well, I’ve been searching for myself for the last twenty-five years and I didn’t really find anything. Where to find myself?” It shows that this duty, to find yourself, is much beyond the average capacities that we have. But if we identify ourselves as servants of our masters, as particles of the structure of divine service, I think that gives satisfaction. That is the shelter, the hut that you can find in the grand Himalayas. And then, when you are at home, you can develop your real spiritual identity more and more; it’s a question of cultivation. And we can also say that whatever is important for our masters, for our superiors – that will also be important for us. So this is another way to grow and to acquire spiritual goals, spiritual ambitions. If we have this initial spiritual goal – to find our spiritual identity, and we have the next step – to integrate and identify with spiritual examples, then we can start to examine this question: how to achieve my spiritual goals. Because ‘I have a spiritual goal, I have a practice, I have a process’; and then we need to inquire further how to cultivate properly the spiritual life.

Because actually the question ‘How to achieve my spiritual goals?’ means ‘How to properly practice divine love?’ Of course, can I practice divine love?! I cannot. But maybe the wave can come and wash me away. Because Bhakti is independent on anything else, depends only on itself. You cannot influence it. The second feature of Bhakti is that it’s very powerful. So whenever we let ourselves be exposed to spiritual practice, it will work on us very powerfully. The third feature is that we can never understand how it works. It’s a mystic process, somehow it works. Just like most of the people don’t understand how  washing powder works, but it works. In the same manner, if you apply the process of bhakti-yoga, it will work on you. It’s mystic! You never know how it happens, but it happens. And the fourth is: it’s irresistible – fortunately. Because we are experts in resistance. But fortunately this divine wave is irresistible.

So this is one way to achieve our spiritual goals – that we let ourselves be exposed to this invitation. We have to use our common sense; and beyond. Because common sense will bring you to common sense. It’s not enough; something more is necessary and that is beyond human capacities. That is the spiritual capacity. So actually the young man in the beginning was correct: it’s not enough! It’s not enough simply to become a nice human being. We need to develop this consciousness that human beings are the shelter of God, the residence of God. This is the beginning. Then you start to be a real human being. And then you can further refine more your identity, your role in this divine reality.


(to be continued)

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