Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from lecture of B. K. Tirtha Maharaj, 2 of September 2006, Sofia)
If we are here in Sofia, definitely we should speak about philosophy, as “sofia” means “wisdom”
There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge means information. Wisdom means complete vision of existence. And we can say that real wisdom is the practical ability to love. This is a great secret of life.
And the reason why we practice the tradition of India is that we have respect for this ancient culture. Because in the form of this Indian tradition, something eternal and universal is preserved for us. Indian tradition is very ancient, thousands of years past it has. This tradition has survived so many difficulties, that we in the west didn’t even meet so far. And if we learn from the wisdom of the East and the wisdom of India, then we can enhance our life, make our life more perfect.
If we consider, India had given quite few valuable things to the whole world. These days for example “meditation” or “yoga” – these are common words all over the world. But of course, sometimes there is a misunderstanding of the words, because they speak of fashion gurus, of firm theories and philosophies of companies – but this is not the real thing. Guru should be a spiritual person; philosophy should deal with the ultimate questions of life.
But in order to understand and trying to illustrate what is a practical wisdom, I’d like to tell you a story. Once Confucius, Lao Dze and Lord Buddha were meeting together. May be the story is not quite exact in every respect, but still for the sake of understanding, this is very good one. So these three great personalities were meeting and they were observing one object – it was a jar full of vinegar. And you know, Confucius is a very realistic person, his philosophy is very realistic. So he put his finger into the vinegar, tasted it and said: “This is sour.” Then came Lord Buddha, who is a little pessimistic about realities of life. So he also put his finger into the vinegar, tasted it and said: “This is not sour, this is bitter.” But then came Lao Dze, also put his finger into the vinegar and tasted it. And then he said: “No, this not sour, but this is not bitter – this is sweet!”
So this is the practical wisdom. We are tasting life, we are tasting the vinegar of life. Sometimes feel like this, like that… but if you are wise enough this will be sweet for you.
Be proud to be citizens of Sofia, of wisdom; and practice this wisdom to the better goal, ultimate goal of your life. Because we can find our happiness and we can make the life sweet by the connection of the Supreme Lord – Lord Krishna.

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