Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


“Regulated knowledge involves a gradual raising of the living entity to the spiritual platform, and the highest spiritual realization is knowledge that the Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of all spiritual tastes, or rasas. Every living entity, beginning from Brahmā, the first-born living being within the material world, down to the insignificant ant, desires to relish some sort of taste derived from sense perceptions. These sensual pleasures are technically called rasas. Such rasas are of different varieties. In the revealed scriptures the following twelve varieties of rasas are enumerated: (1) raudra (anger), (2) adbhuta (wonder), (3) shringara (conjugal love), (4) hasya (comedy), (5) vira (chivalry), (6) daya (mercy), (7) dasya (servitorship), (8) sakhya (fraternity), (9) bhayanaka (horror), (10) bibhatsa (shock), (11) shanta (neutrality), (12) vatsalya (parenthood).”[1]

Conjugal like husband and wife? Conjugal is different. Conjugal is beyond rules and regulations. Shringara is when you have a lover. When you don’t have a lover, then you are a faithful wife. That is not shringara. Shringara is when you have extra. You have normal condition and you have something extra. Conjugal actually does mean beyond rules and regulations. This is svakiya and parakiya. Anyway, we are at the beginning, so we can stay at svakiya, no problem, we can stay at official relationship between God and His servitors, no problem. Shringara is definitely the ecstatic mood; it is not the everyday mood.

So this book[2] is essentially discussing rasa or the connection with God Supreme: how you can be attached, how you can be connected. And here Shrila Prabhupada says: “The sum total of all these rasas is called affection or love.” So simple! Scientifically there are twelve rasas, but actually there is only one rasa and this is the affectionate rasa. Here it is called “love” and this is too much used expression – love, love, love. Better we practice, not only speak about this.

This loving capacity is the natural tendency of the soul. But if we waste this energy on a very basic level, then we shall not get the fruit. Do you remember what was the general definition of sin?

Bhakti Shakti: Action against God.

Tirtha Maharaj: That is also true, definitely.

Manohari: When you repeat one mistake again and again.

Tirtha Maharaj: A permanent mistake is called a sin. But here another definition is necessary: when you use a higher type of energy for some lower goal. Do you agree? If you think, it is not only a mistake, it is not a mistake, it is a sin. Because you use, and this is by intention, this is not by chance. So if you use something higher for a lower purpose, it is called sin. And what is the highest type of energy that you have? What is that? This is the loving capacity. So don’t waste that energy on nonsense! You should use this for the best purpose. Therefore we practice bhakti-yoga, connection through love. This is the best use of your loving capacity – if you love Krishna, Radha-Krishna. Don’t waste your energy on lower levels.

So, rasa is for the soul, it is not for the body. Cultivate your loving capacity for the best purpose, best goal. And here Shrila Prabhupada very nicely explains: “Primarily, such signs of love are manifested in adoration, service, friendship, paternal affection, and conjugal love.” So, whatever is here can only exist because it exists in the original form. Like here like there. The only problem with the material world is that it is a distorted reflection. Therefore we should come to the original: not only vastu, but vastava-vastu – the original original, the real reality. Don’t be satisfied with anything lower.

[1] From the purport by Shrila Prabhupada on “Shrimad Bhagavatam” 1.1.3

[2] “Shrimad Bhagavatam”

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