Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
(continues from the previous Friday)
Question of Mahabhava: I would like to ask you to explain a little bit about the quote by Buddha – that the art kills the perfection. I couldn’t get it. Thank you! 
Swami Tirtha: The actual quote was that art is a sure way to forget about the perfection. Yesterday you mentioned the Facebook maya, right? It’s captivating and many people are on the hook of this field of communication. And actually art, if it is not properly or not divinely arranged, this is also very attractive. There might be an artistic maya, or we can say a cultural maya also. So, people give full attention to that and if it is not connected to divinity, then you forgot about the main point. And you know Lord Buddha was little an ascetic type, especially in the beginning. So, maybe he had this opinion at that time. 
But nevertheless, this also shows that in the old times art was a way of meditation. Definitely it was deeply connected with the divine principles and divine beauty. And what about today’s art? It is full of human principles. Basically, art is a piece of passion born in alcohol and LSD. This is reality, this is what happens. Nobel Prize is distributed for very low class of taste, very low rasa. Anyway, please try to understand, Krishna is the best artist, best dancer. Radharani is the best metallurgist. We have a positive opinion about art and sciences. 
Question of Gandarvika: I wanted to come in with the question on the art of perfection. At least in English the word art has also another dimension to it, which is more like ‘artistry’. The way that I understand this saying is that it’s more artistry – in the sense that it is our own arrangement of things, the way that we want to influence things. And that kills perfection created by God. I don’t know if you agree with this interpretation?
Swami Tirtha: Yes. Martial arts can also kill nature. And also, one more point: art is not only artistic, but artificial also. So, it’s not natural. I am very happy that this remark invites so much response. 
Yamuna: The devotees are concerned about art.
Mahabhava: It’s again connected to this subject: there is a verse in Bhagavad Gita where Krishna says: “I am the talent in man”.[1]
Swami Tirtha: What is the Sanskrit there? Please, find the verse. It says: “I am the ability in men”. Pauruṣhaṁ nṛiṣhu. Nri-, nrishu. In the humans I am paurusham, I am the purusha principle. So, this is not exactly artistic talent, but this is like ‘I am what makes a human human’. And in one sense this is the brain, so intellect is also given by God. Not by the devil. Artistic talents are also there. Ability like being able to do is also given by God. Therefore whatever engagement we accept, we should reflect this divine source in our activities. Be it art, be it word, be it thinking – whatever. This is the way of linking back, connecting back to divinity. Then the artificial art becomes a natural way of expression. 
(to be continued)
1.  Bhagavad Gita 7.8


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