Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 29.09.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

Actually what is mentioned in Yoga Sutras – these are the basic practices of yoga in general. But what is the specific feature of bhakti as a practice? All the great saints and prophets of bhakti gave their explanation. Some say that the specific feature of bhakti is trying to see the divine essence everywhere. Others say that it is to be committed in your services to God. Or follow these rules, pros and cons, in a very profound manner. While Narada Muni says that bhakti is divine nectar. And to feel separated from our beloved Lord is the greatest pain – this is bhakti. So we have to fine-tune our understanding about yoga in general and bhakti-yoga in a more specific manner.

Actually in our practices all the different limbs and other spiritual practices are included. Yogis in general practice asana; what is our asana? To sit in a lecture for two hours – such great self-control! What is our prana-yama? When you sing so much that your voice chokes up. What is our control of the mind? If you remember your beloved ones.

And finally if I may share something personal that happened with our Gurudev. Once we were driving home to his main ashram. He returned from a world tour where he had met his brothers and seniors, and he had collected so much – not only information, but impressions. And he shared his impressions – good ones and not so happy also. He was in a very serious mood. He shared and also inquired about other things. So we started to give a report. 6-7 hours drive and mostly he was keeping silent, it was smashing silence. Sometimes he would say something that crushes your heart. Other times he would say something that will make your soul fly. For example, we had to visit one place where one devotee was serving, but he had already left that ashram to join the celebration in Nanda-falva. So when we informed Gurudev that this devotee was gone, to instruct us he said: “Impossible! In Prabhupad’s times it was out of the question that you move from one place to another without the permission of your spiritual master – impossible!” This was something that squeezed your heart a little bit. To make us think: ‘Whether I move with the blessings of my master or without that?’ Then another silence for half an hour. Time to ponder. But when we started to give the report, at that time one of our brothers was really in full ecstasy. He was rising first, going to bed last and he was ready to all the services and really his company at that time was a real shot of ecstatic devotional service. So we hardly had found words to express our feelings about him. And then Gurudev changed. He was chanting and he raised his arms to the air and said: “This is life – glorification of devotees! This is real life!” This was something to make your soul fly, but definitely followed by another half an hour of deep silence.

So all the practices of other schools of yoga are included in our line. But to control our mind it is the best to glorify others.

Now we know how to be real candidates for this maha-vrata, for this great vow of perfection. When you are on the hook, when you cannot do anything, when you cannot escape, then our vrata, then our tapa, then our mantra and our japa – your vows, renunciation, meditation and chanting – are more provided.

(to be continued)

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