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)

May I read from Dante? To see in other traditions how the glory of God is described, why is chanting important. I’d like to read from non-vaishnava sources, not to prove that they are not devotees, on the contrary – to see that they are also followers of this idea, no matter that they belong to a different religion.

Dante says: “Now I have no doubt that it is obvious to a man of a sound mind that the first thing, the voice of the first speaker (Adam) uttered was the equivalent of God, namely El (the name of God from the Old Testament), whether in the way of a question or in the way of an answer. It seems absurd and repugnant to think that anything should have been named by man before God, since man had been made by Him and for Him. Since the transgression of the human race everyone begins his first attempt at speech with a cry of woe, it is reasonable that he, who existed before that transgression, should begin with joy. And since there is no joy without God, but all joy is in Him and God Himself is holy joy, it follows that the first speaker says before anything else ‘God’.” That means that the essence of God is joy. (Around year 1200.)

What does Mohammad say? “It is in pronouncing Thy name that I must die and live.”

Now a very famous yogi, Shivananda: “What does Lord Krishna teach in holding a flute in His hand? What is the symbolic meaning of the flute? It is the symbol of om. It says: “Empty thyself of all egoism and I will play on the flute of thy body. Let thy will become one with My will. Taking refuge in om, thou will enter into My being, listen to the moving interior music of the soul and rest in eternal peace.”

The next author is Angelus Silesius. He was living in the 17th century in Germany, a follower of Boehme, a Christian mystic. “The name of Jesus is an ointment poured forth. It nourishes and illuminates and steals the anguish of the soul.”

Saint-Augustin – what did he say? “Our meditation in this present life should be in the praise of God. For the eternal exaltation of our life hereafter will be the praise of God. And none can become fit for the future life who has not practiced himself for it now.” Correct! According to your sadhana you will reach your goal; if you don’t practice now, you will not reach.

Now we are jumping back few centuries to Pythagoras – 5th or 6th century before Christ. “Despise all those things, which when liberated from the body you will not want; and exercising yourself in those things of which when liberated from the body you will be in want, invoke the gods to become your helpers.”

The 54th psalm in the Old Testaments says: “Save me, O God, by Thy name!”

Let’s read a story about Mohammad. “Ali once asked the Prophet: “Ah, messenger of God, show me the shortest road which leads to paradise – the one most pleasing to the Lord and the one best suited to His worshipers.” The Prophet said: “Ah, Ali, this way is to repeat without cease the name of God in seclusion. So meritorious is this practice that the world will not come to an end until at least one person performs this.”

Again Boehme, the German mystic, says: “In the sweet name Jesus Christ the whole process is contained.” It’s a real mystic vision – that nama, rupa, guna, lila[1], everything is there.


(to be continued)

[1] Name, form, qualities and pastimes



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