Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Krishna gives very important message in the following verse:

“O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.”[1]

This chapter talks about the supreme knowledge of the Absolute. But from this verse we can understand that there is nothing higher than Him. He is the supreme truth. Can you give a definition of God?

Kripadham: From Himself for Himself.

Bhakti Shakti: The supreme absolute truth, as it was said.

Ramvijay: Rasaraja (The king of sweetness ).

Tirtha Maharaja: Yes… and finally we can say – a naughty boy. All these explanations and visions about the Supreme are there: Creator, Maintainer, Lord, Punisher – so many different conceptions. But bhakti brings God very close. Or maybe we can say bhakti takes us very close to God, gives a very intimate picture about Him: what is His liking, what is His taste, what does He likes, what He does not like – and so many other details about His character. But the goal of bhakti is such, that you never lose Him from your vision. God sometimes is hiding. But again, it is said that everything is dressed in the robes of God. So behind everything you can find the same divine existence. “I am like the thread behind the pearls.” What makes the necklace – the pearls or the string? Yes, both, but the essence is the string. The interesting and obvious thing is the pearls. But the real stuff is the thread, which keeps the whole thing together. Otherwise you can have pearls here and there all over, but it is not really nice. When there is order – that is beautiful. In the same way, when we speak about creation, that is cosmos; when we speak about destruction, that is chaos. Chaos means when you have lost the chord. Pearls are just all around, without the basic principle.

But Krishna says here “I am the thread and everything rests upon Me as pearls on a string.” Therefore we practice this Bhakti-yoga. Not only to be charmed by the pearls, but to always see the thread behind. And if our vision is purified enough, we shall never miss Him, we shall always be able to see Him.

As I told you, God sometimes is hiding. Just like the thread is hiding behind the pearls, the Supreme is hiding behind the creation, Krishna is hiding behind the devotees or the tamala trees. Because Krishna is black; tamala trees are also black – these are special trees in Vrindavana – and when Krishna wants to hide, He just stays there, in the wood, between the trees. Then you miss! Ah, this is one tree, this is another tree, and where is this Krishna?! So sometimes He is hiding. But you must have that sharp vision, never to lose Him.

And the devotees have this power of vision. For example when Mahaprabhu was visiting one place, not far from Jagannath Puri – this is a very famous pilgrimage place, and next to it is a little village, Alalanath. There Vishnu is worshiped in the four-armed feature; this shows the beauty and the superior power of God, in non-human but superhuman form. But when Mahaprabhu visited this temple, He told Vishnu, to this deity: “Hey! Why do you want to hide? You come with this four-armed form – what is this?! I know that You are just two-armed guy, just show me, come!” And then Vishnu submitted: “I cannot hide Myself!” and dropped two hands. In this way He became the dark-complexioned, two-armed Gopal, Govinda.

We should have the same sharp vision, so that when God wants to hide from you, He should not be able to do that. This is the goal of Bhakti-yoga – to be always connected.


[1]  “Bhagavad-gita” 7.7

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