Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

We know that there are three phases to realize the absolute – Brahman, Paramatma and Bhagavan. Brahman is a great secret. Paramatma is an even higher secret. But the secret of secrets is Bhagavan, the personal God. Just a little reflection back to the previous verse: inKrishna’s existence – I was before, I am now and I will be after – everything is included, not only His personality, but His entourage also.

And this verse tells about realization – what will you achieve if you understand, that God always exists. This verse describes the intuitive wisdom, wisdom of intuition, which will come after certain realizations and which will bring further realizations. If we want to condense this verse it says: “everything is insignificant without Me”. Because “if something seems to be valuable without My connection, you should know – that is illusion.” That means, with Krishna everything is very precious, withoutKrishna everything is fake. By the way, tell me anything that exists without Him?

Premananda: If I have got correctly what is said in one point of “Shrimad-bhagavatam”, the free will of men is manifested mainly in their thoughts. So if one is unfortunate enough not to think of Krishna, it will be his thoughts existing withoutKrishna.

Tirtha Maharaj: In one sense this is true, but who has given you the brain to have thoughts?

Yamuna: Illusory vision about reality exists withoutKrishna.

Tirtha Maharaj: Does it?

Yamuna: Yes. Our illusion is without Him. Because we do not see everything as connected to Him.

Tirtha Maharaj: But if something is illusion, that means it does not exist, right? Because this is just an illusion.

Yamuna: But our illusion is reality.

Tirtha Maharaj: Actually this is a very tricky question. Ultimately we can trace back everything to the original cause. Ishvaraḥ paramaḥ krishṇaḥ/ sac-cid-ananda-vigrahaḥ/ anadir adir govindaḥ/ sarva-karaṇa-karaṇam[1] – “I am the ultimate cause of all causes.” How can we trace back illusion to God?! We say illusion is illusion, because it does not really exists, it is not true – how can we trace back untruth to the ultimate truth? Or, if you want to put it in a more religious context, how can we trace back sin to God? Because if everything is created by God, then sin is also created by God – then how is it that He is creating sin?!

Yamuna: Or more generally: how can we trace back evil to good?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, correct. This is a very complicated question of theology. They are breaking their heads from two thousand years to resolve that question – with less result. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was a bhakta, big dancer, but He was a good philosopher also. According to His teachings we can understand that sin is not a creation of God, but this is a transformation of His energy. This is very important, please, pay attention. Evil does not come from God, but this is a distorted transformation of one of His energies. So the evil is distorted reflection of a divine energy, and this energy – maya-shakti – is a reflection of para-shakti, or the divine superior energy. Clear? There is God, there is His divine energy, there is a reflection of this divine energy, expansion so to say, and then there is a distorted reflection of this energy.

So, maya-shakti or illusory potency is an expansion of chit-shakti or the conscious energy of the Supreme. It is described by the acharyas in different ways that God has unlimited different potencies. In the Puranas it is also mentioned that practically innumerable different potencies are there – like knowledge, power, existence – many, many – and hladini, divine happiness energy is also there in the Supreme. Chit-shakti, the divine knowledge potency, is something very close to the source – because God is omniscient, He knows everything. Some little things He does not know, but that is a rasic topic. Basically we should understand that He knows everything, because He is full of His chit-shakti, of His, so to say, intellectual capacities. Yet sometimes our Lord wants to disguise. Therefore He uses His potencies to cover Himself – He uses the reflection or the expansion of this chit-shakti to cover Himself. Because through knowledge, through intellect you could understand Him, but if He curbs your understanding, you will not know that He is God. And just like you use different energies to cover yourself – like your clothes, or your thoughts or your PR, we try to hide behind these energies – in the same way Krishna uses His energies to hide. The brutal hiding is maha-maya – when He gives you such a distorted vision that you will think that you are God ultimately. This is the topmost illusion, when you think “I am the greatest.” This is the bottom of the whirlpool of material illusion – when humans think themselves to be God. Small or big – it does not matter. This is maha-maya; maha-maya separates. And the origin, the archetype of maha-maya is yoga-maya – the connecting potency. Yoga-maya also distorts the vision, but it connects you back. How to understand this?


(to be continued)

[1] “Brahma-samhita”5.1

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