Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


“Those who undergo severe austerities and penances not recommended in the scriptures, performing them out of pride and egoism, who are impelled by lust and attachment, who are foolish and who torture the material elements of the body as well as the Supersoul dwelling within, are to be known as demons.”[1]

Here we have one very important word “demon”, which we do not use. What is the Sanskrit? – this is asura. Asura is a negation of a positive expression, because a-sura is such a person who does not possess sura. And sura is like a saintly person. Those who don’t posses saintly or holy qualities, they are called non-saintly, a-sura.

What is the quality of a sura? He always sees the lotus feet of God above his head. So those who don’t see this, they are called asuras. It does not mean that they are man-devouring ogres, but it means they miss, they lack something. And those who belong to this category, those who miss something, usually they have a special, specific spiritual practice. It was mentioned here – that they torture the body or the other qualities that were mentioned. They are driven by pride and egoism, lust and attachment, they are foolish – that means they do not calculate the consequences. The intention is not proper. Maybe you are very busy to apply the method, but the result will be insecure. These type of practices belong to the tamasic nature.

So: up – same – or down. According to your faith you will achieve your destination. Whatever is your practice now, you will achieve that in perfection. So if our faith and our practice is of lower type, then we shall achieve lower results. I think it is very practical, it makes some sense.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 17.5-6

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