March 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 7.09.2015 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

“The idea of renouncing the world and taking karma-sannyas is compared to silver. Even higher is if you renounce all material activities.”[1]

This is when you don’t give only part of the fruits of your activities, but you engage yourself totally in devotional service, you dedicate everything to devotional service. This is the silver. Shall we stop in a silver age? You are not satisfied with a simple silver age. You want something more. What is beyond the silver?

“The idea of devotional service mixed with empiric speculative knowledge, gyana-mishra-bhakti, is compared to gold”.

So, if your connection to the Supreme is tinged with some knowledge that is even higher than simple renunciation. But when we try to understand Krishna or we try to analyze the Supreme – it’s illusion. It’s not possible to understand. Therefore even gold doesn’t satisfy fully the heart. But if you are knowledgeable, if you have this gyana-mishra-bhakti, if some speculative knowledge is also included in you devotion, then you become wise. Here this knowledge type of devotion is called the gold. And silence is golden. So, if you are wise, you keep silent. But to speak is silver. If you have less, you want to speak. And this is very much true in spiritual knowledge. In another way spiritual knowledge is compared to the butter. What happens if you have enough butter? You cut some slices and you put it over your sandwich. But what happens if you have less? You don’t cut so thick, you cut very thin slices. Your knowledge is like the butter, because the less you have it, the more you spread it. The less butter you have, you have to spread it so nicely that it covers the whole slice of bread. Therefore silence is golden; and to speak is only butter-like silver.

Yet even gold will not satisfy our heart, our inner hankering. Because finally devotional service, unmixed with any empirical knowledge, gyana-shunya-bhakti, is compared to touchstone.

So, if somebody approaches you with a copper ring, you are happy. If somebody comes to you with a silver ring, you are happier. If somebody comes to you with a golden ring, then you are even more satisfied. But if finally you get a ring of touchstone, yоu are completely satisfied.

The main question is where is our priority? Simply to become a nice person – that’s the copper ring. If we are ready to give up the fruits – this is the bell metal. If we are ready to renounce the world – this is like the silver. If you become knowledgeable – that’s golden. From the material point of view we can say that this is the top – like a golden ring, with a nice cut brilliant. Hopefully more than two carats. But what goes beyond this empirical knowledge? This is the mystical knowledge, mystical realization – and this is a touchstone. This level has got the power of transformation. On the previous platforms all our achievements were on their respective platforms. But if you reach this pure devotional service, pure love of Godhead, it’s got a great transforming power. And by simply touching the touchstone will turn the iron into gold. So, it’s got power over all previous stages. In the same way this pure devotion has got power over all other previous stages of our existence.

(to be continued)

[1] In Search of the Ultimate Goal of Life, by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


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