Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Krishna running

If we analyze the three starting topics of the “Gita” – living entity, world and God – then we have to come to a progressive understanding of all three. What is the first that we have to understand about ourselves – let’s start with this point. The first that we have to understand is that we are spiritual souls. We have heard it hundreds and millions of times, but let’s put it into practice. So we are eternal souls, this is the first level of understanding. And the second step is: if I am an eternal soul, then I belong to the Supreme. This is sambandha. And if I belong to the Supreme, if I belong to my Lord, then the relationship between us is affectionate. So, you can say that this is sambandha, abhideya, prayojana – I belong there, I have a practice to accomplish and I have a perspective to achieve. This is the progressive understanding about ourselves.

What is the progressive understanding about the world? Many times we think that the world is like a prison house, it’s something bad, only a limitation. That is true that the world is maya, illusion, but if we try to understand it in a more profound manner, then we shall see that although this is illusion, it really exists. There is a kind of reality to the material circumstances. Not the ultimate reality, as it is dependent, but it has got some reality. But the ultimate understanding of even this relative material universe is that it serves the divine purpose in many different ways. Ultimately it provides an environment for the divine lilas also to manifest. When Krishna comes to this planet Earth, this, so to say, material environment is surcharged by the divine presence.

And then what about a progressive understanding about God? Well, according to the “Gita” we should understand Krishna in three main features. Like purna, purnatara and purnattama – perfect, more perfect and absolutely most perfect. These are the three aspects that we have to see and perceive about Him. And if we want to be a little more realistic theoretically, then these three levels are Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan aspects of the Supreme.

If we approach the ultimate, this is an ultimate process, endless. And also it is said that one main feature or characteristic of Krishna is that He is merciful. And it is said in “Krishna Book” that He exercises His unlimited mercy in an unlimited way with the devotees. So if we approach this ultimate source of everything, this approach is also an ultimate, a never-ending approach. If we establish a very beginner’s approach to Krishna, you can always come one step closer, you can always come one step closer. So we should have a progressive conception of God!

Once I discussed this topic with another practitioner of some other religion. And I said: “Ah, it’s so nice that our Lord is growing in capacities, in qualities, He is growing!” And my friend was totally in fright, he said: “No, no, it’s impossible! God does not change!” But try to think how beautiful this concept is! It is said that Krishna is running after Himself, so to say. His beauty and His qualities are always growing. And there is only one person who can keep up with this growth and this is Himself. So this is a very progressive understanding of the ultimate source of everything! And here change is not a shortcoming. It’s an advantage, it’s a sign of life! Our conception of God is not a piece of ice, a stone. It’s a living understanding, showing more and more of His beauty.

So growth cannot be missing from the complete perfection. Usually on the material plane we understand that change is something from bad to worse. Or from one stage to another stage, yet still incomplete. But this is a limited conception of change or growth. The absolute conception of growth is that it’s beyond human understanding. And a living manifestation should show more and more of its own beauty. That means change! But it’s not a shortcoming here. It’s a permanent revelation of more and more beauty and opulence. Or we can say more and more love. Love as emotion on material platform deteriorates. In the beginning we have more and at the end we have less, or even zero. „Before I thought that he is my blond hero and then I ended up with a fat guy around.” Or “I thought that this lady is a princess and she turned out to be a dragon.” So change on material plane is usually deterioration. But can you think of Krishna as a fat, old, disabled person? No, He is forever young, in the most charming period of His beauty and power. Always showing more and more of His divine capacities.

Therefore if you chant the maha-mantra, for example, in the beginning it is sweet. If you chant it after 50 years, it will be sweeter. The taste should not diminish. The more you do it, the more you should feel. In the same manner our conception of Krishna is that He is growing, His beauty is growing – beyond any limit.


(to be continued)

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