Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 02.10.2017, morning, Sofia)

Today I will ask. Is it good like this? Because I thought that for today we shall have a question and answer session, but usually when I offer this you have no questions. And there are two reasons why you don’t have questions; either you know everything or you don’t know anything. But because I’d like to inquire on a very important topic from you, therefore let me ask you questions. How many times do we live?

Somebody: In this life I believe we feel it’s the only life we have.

Krishna Priya: There might be two answers in my opinion. One is that we live many-many times because of the reincarnation; and the other is that we live only here and now, and if we don’t grab this chance, it’s useless.

Damodar: We live as many times as we need to reach immortality.

Yashoda: I believe that we live when we are with the devotees. So we are living when we are gasping for our breath.

Baladev: Theoretically I understand that we all come from God and it doesn’t matter how many times we live, finally we shall return to Him. But the problem is that even in this life we don’t live all the time.

Swami Tirtha: Correct. To live – it’s a quality.

Gopal Shakti: We live as many times as we need to go back to our real home.

Swami Tirtha: Very nice, very nice… I say, we live only once. But that is for eternity. And all these different lifetimes are like chapters of the same story. This we have to understand very firmly, very deeply as a conviction. Not only as a belief, not only as something that we don’t know, but something that is a profound reality for us.

This is one way to get rid of the fears in life. Because if you feel limited, or like you will lose something, or time is not enough, you cannot accomplish, you cannot reach, you will die… it’s a big trouble. We easily frustrate ourselves with this limited way of thinking. Therefore in spiritual life we have to understand, and also beyond understanding to realize, that we are eternal souls. That we have only one conception of time, and that is eternity. If somebody asks you: ‘What is time?’ ‘Well, I don’t know, something that is running away…’ No! ‘Time? Eternity.’

Time is another power, another face, another energy of our Supreme Lord Krishna. In the Gita, for example, He says: “I am time that will finish everything.”[1] – this is for people in general, for those who have the limited conception. But other times He says: “I exist as time eternal”[2] – and this aspect of time and God Supreme is for those who are in harmony with Him.

Eternity has two poles, so to say. One side of the scale is no beginning and the other side is no end. So, anadi and ananta – no beginning, no end – this is eternity. So if we come to that platform of understanding and hope and prayer and conviction, then half of the trouble of life is resolved.

Of course sometimes we experience that life is so problematic and so horrible that if we have to believe that life is eternal we say: ‘Ah, sorry! To expand this experience? No!’ But we are not born for that. We are not born for dying. We are born for accomplishing our spiritual journey. Don’t let this chance to evaporate.

So, half of the problems of life as an experience are resolved if you understand that time has only one feature and that is eternity. And the other half of the problems will be resolved if we refine our experience in this life.

(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 11.32

[2] Bhagavad Gita 10.33

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