Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




(excerpts from a seminar of Swami Tirtha on the holy name, Ludashto, July 2013) 

(continues from the previous Monday) 

So the next question is, if we understood that the glorification of the holy names pervades all the different cultures and centuries, then what is the specific feeling for us? In order to try to understand that deeper, I’d like to quote some of our acharyas about the holy name. We’ve discussed that we should live according to the dharma principles and we should feel according to the rasa principles. And strange enough, this double-level thinking is present in the explanations of our teachers. For example Bhakti Promod Puri Goswami Maharaj gives double explanation to the holy name – one in sadhana-bhakti and other in raga-bhakti. As far as my knowledge is, Shrila Raghunath das Goswami has given one purport to the holy name – not on the sadhana platform, not on the raganuga platform, but on the ragatmika platform. Therefore it is better not to touch that explanation.

But who is the philosopher from among the Goswamis? Jiva Goswami. Jiva Goswami has written a lot about the different tattvas, he was supporting all the different points of our philosophy with solid background. And he also glorified the holy name in different ways.

Here we have three different explanations from Jiva Goswami on the maha-mantra. The mantra is the same. The first explanation is in aishvarya-gyana – in the knowledge of the greatness of God. The second one is a purport full of sweet spiritual mellows. And the third one is remembering the Divine Couple. So let’s see what he says about this.

The purport of the maha-mantra in the majestic mood: “As He snatches the triple sufferings and the different sins coming from previous births for all those who remember Him, He is called Hari. The meaning of krish is existence and na means the happiness of peace. Therefore these two combined suggest the name of the Supreme – Krishna. The mystics find their happiness in eternal life, in conscious and blissful soul. Therefore they call the Supreme Brahman Rama.”

These are the meanings of the three words of the maha-mantra – Hare, Krishna, Rama – according to the majestic feelings of the devotee. Hari will finish the sufferings and the sins; Krishna is peaceful existence; and the soul is the happiness of the mystics – therefore Rama. Is that enough? Or shall we try to find the sweet rasas, the sweet tastes in the interpretation?

“He is called Hari, because He reveals the supreme truth, the blissful form of the Supreme and in this way He removes the ignorance and its consequences. Radha steals (harati) the heart of Krishna, She is the personification of His bliss – therefore Krishna calls Her Hara. The dark master of exclusive happiness and bliss, the lotus-eyed little son of Nanda Baba and the happiness of Gokula is called Krishna. The absolute complete fullness of beauty and wit and the predominating deity of loving affairs, who always makes Radharani happy, is called Rama.”

This was the rasic explanation of the names; and now finally in the remembrance of the Divine Couple. “The personification of the bliss of Krishna, Radhika, snatches Krishna’s mind. Therefore She is called snatcher and Her name is Hare. Who attracts the girls of Vraja with His flute, removing their chastity, merits, soberness and pride is called Krishna. He makes the young ladies of Vraja so happy in heart and in senses by His extreme beauty – therefore He is called Rama.”

So, here we have three different explanations, three different visions. The first is in this majestic mood – Hari is the Supreme Lord who liberates us, removes the obstacles. Here Hari is male. In the second, rasic explanation He is Hari in such a way that He reveals the beauty form and by this removes the ignorance. And also here the second part of this explanation is that it is not Krishna who removes the obstacles, but it is Radharani, who catches Krishna’s attention – therefore Krishna calls Her Hare. While remembering the Divine Couple, She is called Hara, the snatcher, because She catches the mind of Krishna and She is the personification of this blissful energy.

Who is Krishna in the majestic approach? The peaceful existence. In the rasic explanation He is the dark Lord of bliss. And finally He is the attractor of the young ladies of Vraja with the flute.

While who is Rama in the first, majestic approach? Rama is the Supreme in whom the mystics find their happiness. In the second, rasic explanation He is the presiding deity of the loving affairs who makes Radharani happy. And finally in the remembrance Rama is who makes the gopis happy by heart and by senses.

So if you say ‘Hare Krishna’ then what is your conception?


(to be continued)


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