Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

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If you give charity without proper attention and respect that is tamasic, that is ignorant. So – avoid a bad place, avoid a bad time, avoid a bad person and do it with nice feelings – then it is not ignorant.

Generally we can conclude that to help people in some bad practice – this is ignorant. These homeless people usually beg for money, but they use it for drink in most of the cases. In this way if you give, you are involved in a kind of not perfect activity because you will help a bad practice. Therefore what is best to do? Always have some maha-prasadam in your pocket, because then you can give some food for survival. And then it will turn this whole atmosphere into something much better, much purer. So this is one very simple example, but maybe it helps you as guidance. Yet if somebody asks help don’t hesitate to do it.

Question: Usually charity is understood as giving money. But a person can give much money, yet if he is not giving his feelings to the cause then what is the point?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes! Very good what you’ve mentioned. “Without proper attention and respect” – if we miss the proper attention and respect, this is also ignorant. Real sharing is not simply giving but to give and to add something. Add your well wishes, good wishes. And how much people in India know this principle is shocking! Once Gurudev was walking on the bank of the Ganges and one small boy came up to him and – those who will go to India, be prepared – “Ek rupee, ek rupee” he was asking: “Give me one rupee, give me one rupee!” And one rupee for a kid – it’s a sum! So many sweets you can buy for one rupee! So he went to Gurudev: “Ek rupee, ek rupee!” And Gurudev wanted to test him. He said: “You know, I am a sannyasi. Usually people don’t ask from me, but they give to me.” And what did the boy do? Searching in a pocket immediately and trying to give some money. Gurudev said: “Ah, forget it! I see that you know the dharma, I don’t need your money.” But then the boy said: “No, no, no! Definitely I want to give this to you!” Gurudev said: “Not for me. But if you really want to get rid of your rupee, to give up all your attachment to your one rupee, then give it to Mother Ganga.” And the boy, without a second thought, threw the rupee into the Ganga.

So people in the proper place know what is proper.

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