August 2022


Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)
Question: How should we see, perceive the others. You have mentioned on a lecture that we typically perceive others based on our false conception and the different load that we carry with us. But sometimes we also see people in a very idealistic way, we have a highly idealized vision for them. What’s the proper way to perceive, to view the other people?
Swami Tirtha: It depends on your power. Because if your vision is weak, if your power is weak, then although you try to see more good in others than what they have, they cannot develop those qualities. While if somebody is strong enough, he will see intentionally better the person than he is, and he will be able to qualify himself. Let’s take an example. The small boy is very weak, very stupid, very insignificant, very naughty. But the father will see: “Oh, here is the scientist of the next century!” Is it realistic? Presently not, but if the father is strong and committed enough to help that manifest, it will come. So, if this distorted vision serves our benefit, our romantic understanding – it will fail, because you want to serve yourself. But if this powerful vision tries to serve the other party, then it will not fail. 
Question of Manjari: Isn’t it mixed usually? Even the father serves himself a little by being proud of his son.
Swami Tirtha: A little, all right. Because ‘Whatever I couldn’t accomplish, he should do it.’ But the real father is happy if the son grows more than him. A real guru is happy if the disciple grows more. So, where is reality? You asked: where is reality? Decide your dream.) Neuro-lingustic programming – do you know that? That means: lie a better world for yourself. This is their technique, they try to apply that. It’s something like this. Where is reality? Where is the reality of the other person? It’s very difficult to find. But where is my reality of observing him or her? Actually we have to come to the atman platform in that respect also – to see the soul in the other person. Not simply the body-mind complex, but the spirit soul. And that is the reality, not my imagination. 
Question of Giridhari: In your answer you perfectly describe the situation: a weak person will just misbehave, while a strong person can transform the other. It is similar to the situation with Mahaprabhu and the two misbehaviors, Jagay and Madhay. However this is a rare situation. More often it happens that both the torturer and the victim, so to say, are equally strong or equally weak. Then what is the escape from that? I have many suggestions. 
Swami Tirtha: My suggestion is to chant more, because then our fighting power will diminish, and our power of affection and appreciation will rise. This is a very important point that you mentioned. Because once I asked an acharya: “What about fighting? What can I do if some intrigue comes?” And he said: “Against fight you can use fight, against politics you can use politics, but unfortunately it brings down your consciousness. Immediately.” And then he added: “If there is fight, there is no gopi-bhava”. 
So, if we have some disagreement on the material platform – because basically it comes from there, the fight of the egos – where is the spirituality there? Therefore better to do some spiritual practice – chant more, do more purification, try to see the real qualities of others. Because atman is not your enemy, atman is your brother. Yet if my brother beats me up every now and then, then maybe I don’t embrace him, but I respect him from a little distance; still I don’t fight. So, the internal mood should be harmonious and maybe do some precaution not to agitate the situation. But actually everything is a question of rasa. If Krishna tolerates all the different approaches of the devotees – of course He is God, so He is great in tolerance also – we should also be able, sooner or later, to tolerate different influences. We should take it as a spiritual practice. 

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