December 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 08.01.2016 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

The soul – it’s not the body, it’s not the mind, it’s not the thoughts, it’s not the cultural identity that we develop. It’s not even the personality that we think we are; it is something beyond. We have to find the essence in this body-mind structure. The essence is the atman. And the atman is me, it’s me. I am the atman. Ultimately the atman inquires, the atman asks the question “Who am I?” Sometimes the atman might be afraid: ‘Ah, I have put on this false identity – what will happen if I lose it?’ Just imagine, all the conditions that helped us to come to our present state are just a part of that identification that we have – more or less false. But we are not this, not that. We are the spiritual spark beyond all these conceptions. So, if we are strong enough in our self-reflection, we might be able to come to that essential point of atman.

Material life is complicated. We might think that spiritual truth or theology is also very complicated. But we can break it down into only three principles. You are a soul – this is the spiritual spark; you belong to God; and there is a living and loving connection between the two. Is that complicated? No, it’s not! I’m not the dying body, I’m an eternal soul. I belong to the Supreme – to the Great Fire, God. And our connection is based on affection.

So, don’t think it’s very complicated – it’s very simple. The ultimate truth is always very simple. Once I met a lawyer. We discussed some spiritual topics and all of a sudden by chance I said that “Well, God is good.” And he said: “I have a problem with that: If somebody could prove me that God is good!” Then I said: “You will have a hard time. If it is not obvious, who can prove that?” God by nature is good. If He is bad, He cannot be God, what to speak of good! Ultimate truths are very simple – based on acceptance, faith, realization. So that spiritual theory becomes a reality for us. This is what we need. Therefore we associate with those for whom divine reality is already a realized reality. If we associate with people with weak faith, we also become with weak faith. If we associate with people with strong faith, we might also become faithful. Because this is contagious. Love, divine love is very contagious! It’s highly contagious – beware! Don’t touch those who have this disease, because you will also catch it. For all the other types of disease there is a remedy, there is a solution, you can regain your previous condition; but not from this. You cannot recover from divine love. But this is the sweet-most disease, the sweet-most state of mind, state of life that we can ever imagine.

So, returning to your original question[1]: always try to examine who is asking, who is inquiring, who has the doubts. If we can penetrate deeply enough, finally we shall reach ourselves, the real one, beyond all the false concepts that we might have.

And if we feel that we might lose something – that is not the real self. Because we have to find our real self, not to lose it! This is our hope – that finally we shall meet ourselves. Therefore in the Gita Shrila Prabhupad declares that self-realization goes hand in hand with realization of God. One cannot happen without the other. If I understand that I am atman, soul, it’s much easier to understand the Supreme Soul. Only a spiritual spark can search for the spiritual fire. A material spark cannot find the spiritual fire, because they are incompatible. Only entities of the same stuff can associate with each other. Birds of the same feather flock together. People with the same spiritual inclination need each other’s association. Therefore we need to keep together with those, who share the same mood and the same feelings.

This is something very important, because we might think that there are different instruments to approach God. You might think that maybe this is my mind or this is my intellect – that I will understand. Or I might think that my body is the instrument to understand God. Or through the penance I will reach God. But actually I have to tell you, we have no other instrument than ourselves. Therefore it is stressed in the Shrimad Bhagavatam: atmanam atmana[2] – by the atman, by the soul, you can approach the Supersoul. Very beautiful! The soul can find the Supreme Soul – beautiful! It’s not the body, it’s not the mind – it’s your self! You are born from there and you are destined to reach there. Atmanam atmana – by our essential part we can understand the Supreme Lord. We all have that instrument. So, let’s apply it. Through our soul, let’s find our original connection to the Supreme.

(to be continued)

[1] The question from the previous issue: “What is the soul? Because as I am materially conditioned, I’m thinking that my individuality is inside the mind. And if the mind is not working, then I lose myself. What part of my self is in the soul?”

[2] Shrimad Bhagavatam 2.2.31

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