April 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 08.01.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

Question: If a pure devotee is protected by the Lord, what kind of protection receives one who is an impersonalist? He is neither accepting the material nature, nor does he accept the personal aspect of God.

Swami Tirtha: They are brothers. All the transcendentalists are brothers. Whether mayavadi, brahmavadi, this vadi, that vadi – we are all brothers, because we want to go beyond the material limitations. And as we all have some spiritual goal to realize, we shall reach that – them also.

But sometimes this question is answered in a funny way. If you don’t mind, may I give a funny explanation? There are basically three different achievements in spiritual life. One is sat aspect – eternity; the other is chit – consciousness, as an achievement of spiritual ambitions; and the third one is ananda, bliss – divine, spiritual happiness. Sat-chit-anandam – we all know this. So all the different practitioners of spiritual life have a goal; they have a spiritual ideal to aspire for. Those who practice yoga realize the transitory nature of the human life in this bodily existence. So they want to achieve eternal life. Therefore they are very intent in their meditation. And when they reach perfection and come to the spiritual world, they take one part of this offering – sat. They will take the eternal part of this big cake of sat-chit-anandam. Then we have our friends who are very wise – the philosophers, the gyanis. They know perfect Sanskrit. They are aware of all the different scriptures. They are very good at arguments, refutations and logic. And they are also very intent in spiritual practice. So when they reach the spiritual realm, they will see that one part of the cake is already taken, because the yogis have taken sat, eternity. ‘What is left for us?’ Chit – the perfect state of consciousness – because they are always very punctual, very intent in their practices. And the third type of spiritual practitioners – these are the devotees. And you know the devotees are always very busy with some service – to make the garland to the altar, to cook some prasadam or to preach to somebody… So, they are usually late. When you agree with a person to meet at, let’s say, 4 pm., you have to inquire: “Is it German 4 pm, or Indian 4 pm, or devotional 4 pm?” Because German 4 pm is 4 pm. – exact. Indian 4 pm means ‘same day’. And devotional 4 pm is ‘maybe in this kalpa’. So, you know, devotees are usually late a little bit. The yogis were on time – they had taken sat, eternity, from the cake. The gyanis also came on time, they took their share – chit, perfect consciousness. Devotees came too late. What is left for them from this cake? Anandam! What can we do?! Only bliss remains for the devotees.

So, everybody will get their share. And we can say that devotees will receive the most fulfilling part – spiritual bliss. Our other brothers will take other parts of spiritual perfection. Because we can say that from the general, impersonal concept of the Supreme, there is perfection. There is a kind of spiritual bliss contained there. But from the exchange – to associate personally with God Supreme – it is more bliss you can derive, more satisfaction we can feel. Still all other pure-hearted and really committed practitioners will achieve their perfection and Krishna will satisfy them according to their taste.

The same question is mentioned in the Gita: Arjuna asks: “Please tell me, what is better – if someone worships You in general, impersonal matter or those who worship You as a person?”[1] And Krishna says: “Both are welcome. But those who worship Me with pure dedication, pure love – they are very dear to Me.” Therefore we can say that this is a nice process. We can come very close to the Supreme. Because the impersonal concept of God is like the smell of the cake. It’s also nice, who can deny? But when the cake melts on your tongue – that’s a different experience. It’s sweeter, more fulfilling. In the similar way, to have any conception of the Supreme is good. But there are certain ways to come closer by more essential, more fulfilling concepts.

Yadrishi yadrishi shraddha suddhir bhavati tadrishi [2]– according to your faith you will achieve your perfection. So, if we have this loving type of faith, we shall achieve a loving type of answer from the Supreme. This is our hope.


[1] Bhagavad Gita 12.1

[2] Brahma Samhita 5.61


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