August 2022


Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

очи в очи

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 04.01.2017, morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

Let’s try to enter into the different moods and levels of the mystery of relationships to the Supreme. We can also say that this is the gradation of faith – different levels of faith. What should be the measurement of our faith? What do you think?

Baladev: The motivation.

Yashoda: Our actions.

Swami Tirtha: Yes. So first we have a motivation, then we have some action and then what happens?

Sanatana: Changes.

Swami Tirtha: Correct. There will be some results of these activities. And ultimately we shall touch the intensity of the feelings. When meeting the Supreme is not an official function, but an explosion – God experience.

In other times other people tried to measure their faith according to some other methods. For example in old times when people of different faith were fighting each other, if one side has taken the advantage, they said: “Our God is stronger!” But what happens if next time the other party wins? Their God is stronger? So it’s not very clever. Or we can say if one religion is victorious all over the world, if it’s got the most practitioners – then this is the best. There are so many different conceptions of what is good, what is best. But I think that real religion and real faith doesn’t depend on the numbers. If we should judge according to the numbers, then illusion wins, because it has the most practitioners. So this is not a question of numbers. This is a question of intensity of the feelings.

I think we can agree that beyond all these different approaches to God Supreme, the affectionate approach is the most essential. We can say that the real, the ultimate religious approach is the loving approach – bhakti – irrespective of the other formalities. Because this is something essential – the loving relationship between God and human.

Yet we can say that bhakti, affection, is a very general term. What kind of affection? Therefore we say krishna-bhakti. Because this process, according to the previous measurement, aims at the enthusiastic God experience. Its goal is prema, ecstatic divine love. And what is the nature of our bhakti process? It’s beauty and love. You know the definition of religion – meeting of beauty and love in the heart of a human being. It’s Radha-Govinda residing in the heart.

And if we discuss this meeting, this union of divine beauty and love, then we need some way to express, to understand this. Therefore we need to focus on the human relationships, because by these we can understand something about the divine relationships.

You know that there are basically five relationships to the Supreme. What are the five rasas, or relationships?

Krishna Priya: Neutrality, servitude, fraternity, parenthood and intimate love.

Swami Tirtha: Ah! Then we know everything about it! Shall we stop here? We know the list, so it’s enough, ha? Or shall we enter a little into detail? Well, on neutrality we can enter into some details. But I don’t know if we can enter into details of the intimate relationship.


(to be continued)

Leave a Reply