November 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 24.07.2016 morning, Sofia)

Life means correct your mistakes. And according to the definition of Shrila Shridhara Maharaja, religion means proper adjustment. Proper adjustment – is that some welfare activities? Or is it some material adjustment – how to make our life comfortable? Or something else? Well, on the practical platform proper adjustment, especially considering the material realities of life, means survival. We take our birth and we try to survive – with less success. Because one thing is sure: if you start this journey on the planet Earth, it will finish. In that sense, if we accept that the material side of life is a kind of survival, then we need to examine the purpose of this survival. Life is not simply a biological affair, life is a mystery. And it’s not enough to discuss or to think about this mystery; we have to experience it. So life is an experience. It’s a mystic experience, depending on the quality of your life. We can waste it or we can make it. But what makes it worthwhile to live, to survive, even on the material platform? It is this mystic experience, the divine encounter. To meet divinity in our life.

But as I told you, however hard we try to fully survive this life experience, we shall fail. Life on this planet Earth is in three words – live, love, leave. The middle part – this is our try of survival. This is how the human being fights with this basic fear of annihilation. This is our demonstration against death. Yet we fail, because we shall leave also. Come and go. So, in a material sense it’s only a few years, right. Still sometimes you feel this short time is a never-ending game.

But a spiritual survival means you die for the body and you are reborn for the soul. You die for the limited time and you are born again for eternity. You die for the insignificant and you are born for the real. That is the real survival. And there again what will you experience? Life. That is real life. Spiritual life is the real life. Eternal life. Of course if we project our experience of this limited lifestyle to eternity, I am not sure that we want to enter in eternal life. Because you say that life is a misery. Shall I have this misery for eternity? I’m not ready for that. Don’t give me that. Just to quote one very positive and optimistic person – Shopenhauer, he said: “Life is a misery. Therefore I decided to think about it.” Are you satisfied with that? Do you want to project that for eternity? No! Although we know that this limited lifestyle is a kind of misery, naturally if we think about eternal life, we want to have it like full enjoyment. Then you start your sadhana; what is it you will experience? You think: first of all peace, second – ecstasy, third – super ecstasy. So, you start and what is your experience? Misery, again! ‘How is that? I made the shift, I wanted to change! And I am still walking in the same shoes.’ But I tell you, this is only the beginning. More is waiting for you. You think of more misery, ah? No, no.

According to our previous conditioning we have to go through a period of purification, no doubt. Which brings sometimes some bitter, other times very happy experience. As it is said, if you overcome others, you are strong. If you overcome yourself you are powerful. And we all have smaller or bigger victories.

Once it happened in this temple room, a dear devotee asked: “We all know that spiritual progress means crushing the false ego, but cannot we have it in a mild, in a soft way?” Therefore we have to go through a period of realizations. One step closer to the truth. This is the first step – live. If we live for ourselves – that’s useless. If we live for God, we live for everybody. So, in spiritual life again the first principle is ‘live’. We have to live it, we have to try it, we have to do it. With all the struggle, with all the difficulties – we have to go through it. And we have to be convinced that at the end of our path, somebody is waiting for us. This basic trust must be there in our heart, that ‘however I have to struggle and whatever I have to go through, somebody is waiting for me at the end’. 

(to be continued)


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