Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Uddhava said: „My dear Krishna, the wise men of the Vedas teach about many different paths and processes that lead to final liberation. I wonder whether we can choose from these different paths or there is only one, which is most appropriate from among all these different paths?”[1] Actually this chapter and many, many chapters are a discussion between Krishna and Uddhava. Therefore this part is called “Uddhava-gita”. There are many Gitas, not only “Bhagavad-gita” like Krishna telling to Arjuna, but for example, here is this “Uddhava-gita”. Uddhava is a very intimate friend and servant of Krishna. He combines different attitudes, different rasas in connection with the Supreme and from time to time Uddhava comes with different questions, different topics that were mentioned before in different other parts in the scriptures. And here again he discusses the differences and the multiplicity of the processes of self-realization. So, whether we can choose with the same result or there is only one that is most appropriate?

The Black Lord said: “My message, known as the Vedas, which contains the dedication towards Me and the religion, at pralaya, destruction of the world, was extinct. But at the beginning of the next creation I again declared this to Brahma. Brahma taught the same message to his son, Svayambhuva Manu, and at the beginning of the creation from him the seven sages received the Veda knowledge, like Bhrigu and others, who take part of the beginning of creation. From the sages the forefathers, their descendants, the demigods, the danavas, the guhyakas, the human beings, the siddhas, the gandharvas and others have received this knowledge, just like the kinnaras, the nagas, the rakshasas, the kimpurushas and others.” So all the different grades of living entities received somehow this divine knowledge. “These mentioned here are different according to their natural inclinations as their birth and their life is under the control of the different proportions of the gunas like goodness, passion and ignorance. Therefore their nature and their thought are also different. According to this, their explanations to the Vedas are also different.” So, according to the influence of the gunas, your nature, your thought, your mind structure is different and your explanations will be also different. The same message is given, but it is received according to your capacity, right? And according to your capacity you will give some answers. Spiritual progress means that more and more appropriate answers we give to the challenges of the everyday life and to the understanding of the shastras.

“According to the inclinations of different people their vision and their understanding, their paradigm, their vision about the world is also different. And as the knowledge or the spiritual science was transmitted through tradition, some visions have been distorted, others have become heretics.” Heresy. Heresy is possible where there are dogmas, right? Heresy means you leave the trodden path and start something new – so you give up something and you start to stick to something new. But if there are no dogmas, then you cannot go astray. Because if something is not there, you cannot leave that. The Hindu structure of spiritual science is practically very undogmatic. Practically there are very, very few basic dogmas, like; the soul is there – but even that is compromised in certain schools that say: “Soul does not really exist” Of course we call it a heresy, but if we see the whole structure then this is part of the game, teachings of one school. Therefore this picture of the Indian way of thinking is very diverse – so many extreme schools you can find, really extreme! Therefore it is very difficult to find, so to say, golden middle path. Therefore Uddhava is inquiring what the proper path is.


(continues the next Monday)

[1] “Uddhava-gita”, “Shrimad-bhagavatam”, Eleventh Canto

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