Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question: I would like to ask about the breath of Brahma: how the universes are being created and annihilated in a series of explosions?

Tirtha Maharaj: Brahma’s breath, no doubt is long enough. But compared to Vishnu, Brahma is breathing very heavily, very quickly, just like running a hundred meter competition. Because actually this is Vishnu’s breath that gives the pulse to the material energy. It is described that from Maha Vishnu’s body all the different universes, all the different structures of the material sphere are just emanating. While He exhales this emanation is just going on; and when He breaths in this emanation goes back into His body. This gives the original pulse to matter. Western science also identifies this movement – this is called the “expansion of the universe”. It will go until a limit and then it will move backwards, concentrate again. What physical science describes very dry, understanding facts, the same topic our scriptures describe in a very poetic way: that Lord Vishnu is laying on the ocean of creation and the snake of infinity is His bed. Sometimes He falls asleep. And when you are asleep you breathe very slowly, very nicely. So He starts to exhale and in this way universes emanate from His body; and all of a sudden He starts to dream. From this we can understand that this material life is a dream. But it is the dream of God, it is not our nightmare. It is the dream of God! Even this reflected, distorted, material this and that world belongs to Him – ultimately. Although this is a land of illusion, ultimately it belongs to Him. So, after this emanation, there will be some concentration again.

Therefore we should not be embarrassed to see that things are coming and going. People take birth and they die. Happiness is coming and passing. Fortunately the same happens with distress also. Coming and going. What is it that remains? Krishna, jiva and bhakti.

How can you formulate this? If we try to put it into a picture – it is complicated. If we want to explain it, we must have a long philosophical and complicated explanations. But the great art is to put a long story into a very short form. In Indiathey have this very short formula. It is called om. It describes everything that is permanent. Because om is actually consisted of three sounds, three letters. A, akara; U and M. What is A? Akara is Krishna, Krishna says in “Bhagavad-gita”: “From the letters I am A.” Aham. Who is the M at the end? M at the end – this is jiva. So, the beginning of om – this is Krishna; the end of om – this is jiva. Who is between the two? This is Radha. God Supreme is in the beginning, the one extreme; the other extreme is you. What will connect you? Shrimati Radharani, divine love, the personification of divine love. This will create the connection between the living entities and God Supreme. And this is contained in one word, one sound – om! So whenever you will say: om agyana-timirandhasya gyanangyana-shalakaya chakshur unmilitam yena tasmai shri-gurave namaha[1] – remember, om, God is the first. “I am here! He is there, I am here. Who will connect us? Shrimati Radharani will connect!” And we shall serve this truth up until our last breath. This is our holy trinity. Om.

[1] “I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him.” – a prayer to the spiritual master by Shrila Narottam das Thakur

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