Be Empty

The Teachings of Sri Tirtha Lal Mahanandhar

Teachings of TL    Part Five

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This page:        Suicide - Sin?         A small gap         Success means losing         Dharma         Letter 11 - It is up to you         Imagination and Concentration         Shiva     

                              Give up the habit of self-proving         Alone is He        Right and wrong         Concentration         The 3 Gunas        Letter 12 - To err is human

The Teachings of Sri Tirtha Lal Mahanandhar

Part five

Suicide - Sin?

What is suicide? What is sin? That which touches your conscience - which pricks you whenever you think it might be known. This destroys will-power and self. This is sin. This is real suicide.

One should not blame others. If they have done no wrong, we will be developing sin. If they are clear and free, our insult is to the Supreme with the consequent results to ourselves. In this line especially, it is always right to blame oneself, not others.

A Small gap

A small gap changes the whole size and shape of you. You look upon this drastic change and start feeling you are the same as that. Fill up the gap and realise your real shape, understanding which you will mock at your own ignorance. This is a totally different shape than you have imagined with your previous determination. Pity to have such a beautiful veil of ignorance in this wonderful life. The life that can understand Truth.”

I won’t stay where you are. You should not be there, where I am. I am there where you are not, and vice versa to this."

"I cannot tolerate your existence, neither do you tolerate mine."

"Now tell me what you want - your existence or mine?  The one that leads to hell or heaven? This is the riddle. Stick up in one for good and forever.”

I know you well, but only in your absence can you see me.”

To know something with the intellect is not real understanding - but to go beyond this, in other words to admit that one has not realised with the help of intellect, is the real understanding.

Therefore the sage always acts as if he knows nothing.

Where there lies nothing to him, there lies everything for us.

If this is the case, how can you say there is no god? – Tell me where He is not.”

O Master of the world! If you really want to be master over this mastery of yours, you should be more practical than leaning on theories.”

Success means losing

When one says “I am having a stronger feeling of the Supreme,” then one is separating oneself and building up the ego, i.e. The opposite!

What is maturity? In the sphere of your life, whatever virtue you collect is the blessing of the Supreme. In any activity, its successful or unsuccessful development is due to blessing alone, whether the action is good or bad. The consequences of these actions must be faced however, due to the impressions they create.

Success to whom? To you? If to you, then who are you? To this there is no reply. So success is not for you. If you go to the real point of what you are, there is no success and no failure. You are beyond these two activities - to this ‘You’ nothing can be applied. Therefore success and failure are only aspects of ignorance which help to promote your ego - the ego which has no existence in this phenomenon. Therefore don’t give your ego the chance to develop by being intoned by such activities in your life. Nevertheless, even the idea of progress in your spiritual life should be given up. 

Thus the vacancy of your mind will help to destroy your rootless ego permanently and you will remain in balance, in Reality, the real Truth.

The more you seek, the more you lose. The more you lose, the more you are to your point. The more you lose, the more you are”.

None has ever gained without losing. Therefore, if you want to gain, learn losing. If this is so, why is one afraid to die? When at every step we get life after death - inside nothing, everything existing - if you possess something you are nothing. The lock has no use without the key. You are the master of all the locks if you are a fit key. Thus, the vastness of a river or ocean is nothing but a drop of water. A small seed turns into a huge Peepul tree. Therefore get this magnifying quality out of you forever - thus you will understand Self. No horn or tail or any hooks are its significant marks. 

Self is that which can never be caught by any means. If it is under something, that is not the real Self, but ego alone. The framework is just for the picture which has its own death and birth as time comes and goes.

If you think the Self to be objective like this, you are without Self - still missing. If objective is wrong, then one may take the Self to be subjective, but this is also not correct. The subject without any trace of subjectivity, without any shape or form, That you are – which can be realised but cannot be expressed, yet all-pervading.

Being all-pervading, He is alone, but this is not loneliness as most people understand it. This is that solitude which is permanent and without any change whether you are alone or in a crowd. You can find that everywhere. It has got no strict rules or regulations. To be realised, no time factor, place or object can cause any hindrance. He who has realised this is really ignorant. Being ignorant, he is the master of all.


Man is the origin of Dharma. Dharma has not created man. What is Dharma? Our duty is Dharma, and its nickname is ‘Sadachar’ (good conduct). 

Love and pure character are Dharma. The aim and object of Dharma is to develop Atma (soul), and thus that which doesn’t help to develop the individual soul cannot be called Dharma.

Most people think that Dharma can only be found in the forest and that Truth is only available to those wearing the saffron robes (sannyasin or monk). If we believe this then we are mistaken. With the help of Truth, performing our normal duty, we can dwell in this world. The real meaning of Dharma for the human being is to remain with all, yet to keep oneself aloof from all.

However, in the name of Dharma, individuals and masses, society and states are fighting each other. That is why we have failed to achieve ‘humanity’ as yet. Look! All are trying to climb up in the world, yet we are climbing down. Why? Jealousy, hatred, pride etc. have frozen our wisdom so much that we cannot understand even ordinary matters. This is the symptom of egoism. The egoistic life never gives us a chance to judge ourselves. This Dharma of Hinduism which we are living with great faith, has spoiled many like us and continues to do so. Swami Vivekananda said that this sort of narrow-minded Dharma is not dwelling in the Veda, Purana (scriptures), Bhakti (devotion) or Mukti (liberation). It dwells in the kitchen-pot and the ‘touch-me-not’. Those who cannot even give a small piece of bread to the hungry - how can they get salvation through their Dharma? It will not be possible for us to understand the real Dharma until we embrace its true elements, and kicking aside all ‘-ism’, rise above it.

How beautiful, pure and simple is this world! It is ever-green and fragrant from all to all, but the present so-called leaders of Dharma are dancing naked inside the mind of the pure-hearted masses in the name of Dharma and trying to prove themselves by shouting, “Dharma is our father’s property so none has the right to judge or speak about it except us”. There is no doubt that our religious leadership has been under the black claws of such people. So they cannot remain, at the present time, the leaders of Dharma in our brains. The more they trumpet their own names in the name of Dharma, the more they will be understood for what they are, and people will lose faith in them. It can be seen that all dharmas have changed their bangles over time as they use their more attractive and effective new designs, changing for the age.

Humanity is the real Dharma.

Lord Krishna has said: “One should lift oneself up by one’s own efforts and should not degrade oneself; for one’s own self is one’s friend, and one’s own self is one’s enemy”.

We have lost our spiritual power - that is why we are stretching out our hands in front of others for a piece of bread. We are crying for help and struggling daily at home in the name of Dharma. Instead of entering within ourselves we are coming out day by day just for show. Only because of this, we are losing our power.

The action of this world is not the play of any magician, has not been produced by any religious or political leaders - it has been created by man’s spiritual power, as the twinkling stars guide the night traveller. Spiritualised brains are also pointing us to the correct path through their spiritual light, whereby people are getting peace and making progress on their way.

Thus, you are the real man. O man of the world! There should be no rebirth and death. You are not to get any rest over here. You must get freedom from worldliness and then give MUKTI to others. Death will grumble, roaring like a hungry jackal, but you will smile and feel pity on such pride. You will walk on your path like a lion, not trembling at noises - like the wind not caught in a net, and like the Lotus, not stained by the water.

The day is not far for us when the Dharmas of Shankaracharya, Christ, Mohammed, Guru Nanak, Kabir and Buddha etc will embrace each other and will come out as one, for one world, and for one Truth. Therefore I tell you, do not forget your path for Truth - success is knocking on your door - do not be disgusted - at least fill yourself with spiritual light and keeping your limbs strong, walk ahead and be bold enough to open the door.

To take up chewing tobacco in order to give up smoking cigarettes is no improvement. Likewise in the mind, no other way of thinking or thought can be a substitute for thinking of the Supreme alone.

Thinking “I am this body (ego) is going against nature. The culmination of all scriptures is: give up this body idea. Why then can one not get rid of this ‘I”? One can - by giving up the body-idea through practice. The only question remaining is why this “I” is there in the first place. That is the game.

When a thorn (ego) is embedded in the skin, one wants to take it out. With some people the thorn is so deeply embedded that its soreness has developed as a part of the body and can no longer be distinguished. Thus, the pain of the thorn is not even noticed, nor is any attempt made to remove it.

The mind thinks it understands everything, but when it comes into contact with the Supreme it acts like a newly-wedded wife (and in the Indian context) full of shame.

It is up to you

Letter 11, 19 March 1973

DEVOTION – Constant practice alone will help to develop pure devotion. Continuous devotion will get knowledge and renunciation, and finally liberation from the round of births and deaths.

As long as there is the feeling that ATMA is different from the body, one has to carry on doing one’s duties for the development of practice. In the course of time, when realization comes, you will see that you are not this body at all and it can never get rid of MAYA. Only the constant practice that has been asked of you will destroy MAYA, after which there is no fear of its return.

To come to this end you will have to face many enemies, ie. desire, anger, greed and delusion etc. Of these, anger is the most fearful foe that will try to put all sorts of obstacles in one’s struggle to attain devotion.

This is how the pure devotional man will follow the path of salvation. To gain salvation, be always calm and sinless and meditate on the deity. Timely doing of good actions and obeying the laws are especially necessary for MUKTI (salvation). The cycle of birth and death only binds you if any work with a particular motive is not given up.

Ego is the cause that creates various illusions in the mind, thus grief in a terrible form arises like frost for the lotus. One is bound to suffer as long as one is a man of ego. Therefore, to get rid of suffering one should be free from ego. Ego is the only cause of attachment – that must be destroyed forever. When egoism is eschewed, all the mental pain will vanish automatically.

Duties allotted to you are only a SADHANA (practice) to bring an end to one’s ego and to gain salvation. Hence always meditate on your deity. Let your mind and character be pure. Whatever work you do, whether there is happiness or misery, bear all the PRARABDAS (residual karma) that are allotted to you.

In the eyes of ISWARA (the Supreme Deity) everyone is equal. No particular person is very dear or hated by me also. Magic is utterly false, why then does our mind always create misery in this conscious land of dream? The only answer is ego. One is not in a position to achieve salvation until ego is given up.

As our lifetime is getting shorter and shorter along with the sun that comes and goes every day - as ripe fruit must inevitably fall from the branch - so must a man, once he sticks to regular practice, achieve MUKTI.

The mind cherishing worldly ambition remains always empty, just like a pot that leaks. One who is out of track (practice) finds rest nowhere, because MUKTI is the only resting place for all at all times. Whatever He does is definitely for our betterment. When we are clear about this our mind will not think of anything except Him.

Today is the day. Definitely today is the wonderful day, for it is the morn of salvation.

Therefore, it is up to you

Thy own Atman, True Love.

Imagination and concentration

13 November 1973 – Tapescript

The idea of ‘I am existing’ is your imagination, so to understand this imagination, you have to rise above it. Anything you want to see, that can be seen clearly only when you will rise above that. Isn’t that so?

So when you will understand clearly about this Self in reality, you will see there is no existence of anything. Nothing is existing there - you alone are existing. Then you will see the mind is never at all there, or this body, whatever you say - never it was, before, neither is it now, nor it will remain in future - never. So I alone is existing - that is the truth.

This is all imagination. That I am existing – this is all imagination. Just to clean this imagination, to clear up this imagination, we are applying another imagination - of practice, of yoga, dhyana (meditation), japa, - all sorts of things whatever we are using, it is just to clear up the idea of the strong imagination what we have about the self – that I am existing - this ignorance.

That is why this practice takes you to the point where you will be concentrated. When you will concentrate yourself to that extent, you will see you are not existing. Because the Supreme is so concentrated form, in comparison to that nothing is there. If you will come to that point of concentration you will see nothing is existing. The whole imagination what we are having, it is within that concentration. We are concentrating on this body or mind, or ego, so we think oh, we are really existing. Once you go to the fact and try to understand that real form of concentration – then you will know, oh, this is just imagination.

Real in reality is there, because there is no change in that Real Self. He is as He is, whereas these things are changeable. The changeable things are not the Truth, are not the Real. So when you compare both of these, then automatically you will understand, oh, I am this Real Self, not this body, or ego, or mind - isn’t it so – whatever you say.

So where does it (imagination) lie then? It has got no existence. So when this has got no existence, then it has got no value. So why are you afraid of death? When you have no existence – what for you are afraid? Don’t be afraid of death or life. So whether this life exists or it doesn’t, it doesn’t make any difference in you the Real, because the existence is also your imagination as well as death also is your imagination. This you will know clearly when you realise Self.

So this entire creation is nothing but imagination. Likewise, you know, this whole universe, this creation whatever you see here, is nothing but your imagination. So how strong you are! You can imagine and create so many things. With the help of that imagination you can create and enjoy. What a strong power you have! What not you can do with your strong imagination. Look, this is how creation is going on. But in fact these all things are nothing but you alone. This is the game. And this is what we say, the mystery of the Self. In fact He is as He is. He is not doing anything, yet it looks that He is doing something.

So come to that level, which is beyond everything, beyond your imagination, because that is what you are, and that is the Truth. Stay there. You are everything. Being everything, you are nothing. That Self alone you are. The Truth alone you are. This is what we have to understand. This is the right way of understanding.

Look at this flower. The leaves – see the life of this flower – so many things are there - leaves are there, branches are there, flowers are there, buds are there, different colours are there - where does it end? Everything, whatever you see in this form, it is within the seed. And that seed alone is yourself. That seed alone is the flower, isn’t it so? If you will try to understand with the help of analysing it, where is the flower within that seed? Nothing is there – you cannot see anything there. Only what it is it is there. That alone is there. Likewise if you will go to that height and try to understand what this creation is, nothing is there. That Supreme in the form of seed, as you see, that Supreme alone is existing - nothing is there, nothing. From that it sprouts out, so many things are coming out, isn’t it so - which is beyond your imagination. How it comes out, you don’t know that, but it comes out.

What you call this – petal – different colours – you see how soft it is. The thing which has to be hard is hard, the thing which has to be green is green, which has to be yellow is yellow, which has to be red is red – in different places different thing is there – in a perfect way. Isn’t it so? How has it been produced? Where has it been produced? Who has produced it? The seed, isn’t it so? Nobody can disagree that it is not from the seed - it is definitely from the seed. Similarly this whole universe, this whole creation what we see, it is from the Supreme. But these things are nothing but the Supreme alone. This whole flower is nothing but the seed alone. This is how it is.


My blissful right hand is

always with those aspirants

who want to join Me,

for they are Me alone.

Those who enjoy sound,

for their amusement

I play drum with My left hand,

differently with the change of time.

I hand over the beads of My right hand

to those intellectuals

who are satisfied in counting

times from age to age.

And My miraculous left hand

is always with My own creation

to produce an interesting movement,

to show My omnipresence in all

and with all, forever.

T.L. – 5 May 1974

I pray to Thee who is endless,

He is my form, no other doubt.

Immortal OM, Self changeless,

Omnipotent, is His blessing sought.

My aim of life, He is gateless,

Within ye and far from crowd.

Let’s worship form, He formless.

Enjoy eternal Truth, never proud.

Give up the habit of self-proving

4 June 1974 - 1

Give up the habit of self-proving

boasting and exalting.

Otherwise ye will suffer with

incurable mental cancer.

Look at spiritual line that glows

hidden in everyone’s heart that blows.

Shining, wonderful, just like a rainbow

as it brings down the high and raises the low.

Don’t blame others, blame yourself.

You are a fool to charge another.

The cause of creation is ye,

thereby feeling pain and pleasure.

Ye are not this creature,

O real Universal Master,

Rise above unreal to the real

yet miniature – nature.

Everything in you merges

and comes out in form – within.

All with your support

that is here, and then leaving.

He that begs claims his demand,

One that helps and fights.

The robbed and the robber,

Else none – except Thee.

Ever formless, yet with form,

Look within – there’s no such form.

In real you are beyond I and ye.

That’s why we pay respect and regards to Thee.

Look at this visible face,

strange to behold and unspeakable.

All that’s visible and invisible

Is alone Thee, inexpressible.

It is higher than the sun

lower than the earth.

What remains here in rest

lives in all - and beyond pervades.

Doubtful yet no doubt ye are doubtless,

Appearing full of colour, yet colourless.

Inexpressible and nameless,

Ye are in all – oneness.

O! Soundless speech in sound,

boundless area with bound,

countless number in count,

designer of all, ye are alone.

The tree that roots deeply

survives and lasts long.

So long one is conscious of body

Truth will remain afar.

The right way of existence

As one is uprooted in Truth,

immortality opens this mazda door,

realising SELF, he is no more poor.

Alone is He

4 June 1974 – 2

Ye have ever heard from time unknown

a feast to the eyes of all who saw Him,

But to others, it is very difficult

to get within – who have not seen.

Yet once gone to Him

one expresses his wish

to become one with him,

in the great garden of peace.

Arjuna, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed and Rama

all live here

in this city of peace,

as melted ice in the form of sea.

It is a long, long list

to mention his names heroic –

Whatever you feel and see

nothing else – alone is HE.

Right and wrong

What is right and what is wrong? Everyone tries to do the right, but the result is wrong - tries to do good, but the result is bad.  Why? Because it is the mind that is functioning. You cannot say that your right hand alone is yours - the left hand is also yours. Likewise you cannot accept the good only, and not the bad, because they both exist in the mind – whose nature is to distinguish between the two.

When both right and wrong are accepted, the mind will be destroyed and there will be no more right and wrong. This is what you are in your real nature. This is how liking and disliking ends, thus the world along with the worldly things which belong to the creation of yourself (ego) will be freed forever. Its own chapter will end, thus the never-ending nature of Self will be revealed, which is as it is, beyond time, space and objects etc.

Any intoxication will have its natural effect on him who enjoys it, and by seeing a person one can easily say with which alkaloid he is affected. Thus Self-intoxication will also have its effect and this will be noticed by those who recognize it by its signs and symptoms. But this does not refer to acting like an actor in a drama - it means the real nature of the right person, which is self-realisation. This is the only point at which right and wrong will have an end forever.

So the solution is to stick to the point alone. Don’t think what is right or wrong. Sticking to your point alone is the right, and when one is to the point, the consequences, whatever they are, whether they appear as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, are also right.


“Ego cannot be removed without blessing. Blessing doesn’t come while ego is there.”

What is the solution to this? As long as there is one who prays, practises etc. the ego is there. But in reality there is no such thing as ego. Like blueness in the water, the further away from the water one is, the bluer it appears. When a hair is put in the fire it is burnt up completely with no residue. Likewise in concentrating on the point, so that only that exists, the ego does not exist. In a charcoal fire, the more the charcoal is visible, the cooler the fire - but when only fire can be seen, there is maximum heat.

The 3 Gunas

Firstly, there are the 3 gross GUNAS:

Those belonging to TAMAS are given to violence and suchlike emotions, those of RAJAS  to the enjoyment of worldly pleasures, and those of SATTWA to being interested to know about the Supreme. Therefore, SATTWA should be cultivated and developed more and more.

Passing then beyond the gross world, there also exist the 3 GUNAS in a finer state: here the tamasic man searches after occult powers in order to possess and use them for his own interests. The rajasic man of this finer nature is intent on worship of the outward forms, glories and pastimes of the Supreme in various incarnations such as Krishna and Rama etc. The sattwic man however, passing on beyond all these, merges himself completely in the ultimate, real, absolute Supreme itself.

To err is human

Letter 12,  14 November 1975

Dear Alex, my Atman,

To err is human. If there were no mistake there would be no correction.

Passing through all the zig-zag ways, we should keep going on our own path to achieve final success and our aim of life. Why have we come down to this earth? – Not to sink in the dilemma of this dream like the leaky boat that sinks in the river. There should be no holes at all – protect your boat at any cost so that it will remain floating at all times on the water, whereby one can cross the river to reach the goal.

The path on which we have decided to walk is not a one-day, month or year’s walk. It may take lives together. One should be alert all the time. You don’t know what sea-animal will oppose you on your way. Being ever ready to walk ahead with full effort and patience, one should move entirely depending on the Deity with full faith - this is what is called surrender.

Gain and loss is not in your hand. Pain and pleasure are not your property; neither are you the master of life and death. When you know these are not in your hands, rather that you are helpless - then why don’t you depend on Him? Suppose you are dead, and thus dive within Himself. You are not this life, neither is this life our goal. If this is so, why do you think, “I am surviving”? Before coming to this world, you were dead; after a certain period, you will die; the present life is not in our hands, therefore you are dead.

When die you must, why don’t you die for the sake of God, the aim of life, rather than die for the dreamy worldly objects?

My good Atman, you are the fountain of peace; thou art the Real in Reality; believe ye are immortal – Myself. Have practical knowledge. Through practice you can understand Me, the Unity.

That’s all for this time, O man of practice.

“The moment there is body-consciousness, - delusion is there”.

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