May 2021
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 09.01.2016 morning, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday) 

“Lord Krishna explains in the Gita that out of these four types of neophytes – the distressed, those in need of money, the inquisitive and the wise – the one who is wise is very dear to Him. Because a wise man, if he is attached to Krishna, is not seeking an exchange of material benefits. A wise man who becomes attached to Krishna does not want any return from Him, neither in the form of relieving distress, nor in gaining money. This means that from the very beginning his basic principle of attachment to Krishna is, more or less, love.”[1]

So, loving attachment is selfless. Otherwise we call any attachment business. ‘I like you in order that you like me. I serve you in order that you serve me.” It’s very common. But let’s try to be unique! Why should we follow the common path, the general path of people in this business mentality? Why shouldn’t we start a new chapter in the history of life? Let’s try to be selfless. This is a very well-known secret that the more you want to preserve, the more you will lose it; while the more you are ready to share, the more you will receive. Of course you don’t need to believe it blindly. Test it, try it for yourself – whether it works in your life or not.

Shall I tell you a private story about this? One day we had a celebration of Govardhan-puja. It was a day that the devotees could not come together, so we were postponing the celebration for the weekend, but this was the date of the anniversary. All the day I was engaged with different other services – doing this and translating that – so I could not pay too much attention to the celebration itself. But strange enough late in the afternoon I felt that Giriraj wants something from me. I had the inspiration that today I have to donate in the donation box of the temple. You know, it’s very nice when you visit a temple and you bring some donation. But when you live in a temple? I said: ‘All right, if this is what You expect from me, I’m very happy to give. It doesn’t matter whether You keep Your money in the donation box or in my pocket – it’s Your money anyway.’ Anyway, I decided the first banknote that I will find, I will give. You see, this is not a calculation: ‘all right, the smallest I will give’ or ‘the second I will give’. No, you give the first. And what happened? After two days some unexpected guests appeared and they also brought a big donation to Giriraj. So, if you give, you receive. But this is not a financial advice – let’s be clear about it.

Baladev: But why not, Gurudev?

Swami Tirtha: Because we don’t make business out of divine things. We want to be selflessly dedicated, even if He doesn’t return the money that you give twenty times more. Even then we want to give. We have to be non-calculative in our dedication.

Shall I give you a calculative example? One of our friends said: “I was very fortunate last week. I found two hundred-dollar bills on the street. And I decided that I will give one to the temple. But you know, I have a very naughty son, so he stole one of these hundred-dollar bills. And which one he stole? The one that I wanted to give to the temple.” It’s a real story, it’s not an invention. I was amazed to hear that. Incredible! This is our condition, we are like this – a little calculative. We have to be careful about our calculative mind.

In general we can say we never lose with dedication. But there is know-how in this type of services like donations. Once you have given, don’t think of it. It’s not your business anymore. As it is said in the Bible: the left hand shouldn’t know what the right hand is doing. Once you have given, it’s done. Given to God – it’s His business.

Same with any type of service – don’t calculate after that. Once we were engaged with any type of service, it’s for our benefit. We need very strongly this conviction – don’t calculate afterwards. Of course we have to be clever, I mean we have to understand first where the Supreme needs our service, in which way; then do it accordingly. But after that is accomplished, don’t think twice.

Once a disciple wanted to give a donation to Gurudev. And he said: “This donation is for this and this purpose.” Gurudev was furious: “How do you think that you can decide how to use this?”

So there is know-how, of course, of any type of spiritual or pious activities. Because we have to act minimum in the goodness; and donation in the mode of goodness means in a proper place, to a proper person, with a proper mentality, etc. The same with any other types of sacrifice that we make – some efforts, some studies, some help – anything should be done in a proper manner. Because then there is less dust on your mirror, then there is less smoke on your fire, then there are less layers over the spiritual spark.

(to be continued)

[1] Nectar of devotion, Chapter 3


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