Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

shiva drinking poison

“Even the food each person prefers is of three kinds, according to the three modes of material nature. The same is true of sacrifices, austerities and charity. Now hear of the distinctions between them.”[1]

So not only faith is determined by the gunas, but so many factors in our life. Let’s speak of food first.

“Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.”[2]

So, if you follow such a diet, you will become such a person – healthy, wealthy and wise. Because whatever energy you provide to your body, it will have some effect on you. If you have a diesel car, you don’t put petrol, because it will not work. This is quite obvious usually for some. But once, you know, sometimes devotees are so much absorbed in their meditation, that some little mistakes they make. So, once a devotee stopped at a petrol station to fill up the tank. And so it happened that he put antifreeze into the engine. The result was obvious – two days in the workshop.

What is more complicated – your body or the engine of the car? Well, the engine is complicated, no doubt. But I think that the human body is a little bit more complicated and sensitive. So, if you put antifreeze into your body system, don’t try that, because it is called poison. Shiva can drink the poison and keep everything in the neck, but don’t try to imitate. So, be selective on food also.

“Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease. Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.”[3]

So this type of diet will increase the lower type of influence over human beings. You can see that “Bhagavad Gita” is a divine song, at the same time so very practical – giving you guidance what kind of diet you follow. And this is only the foodstuffs. What kind of mental foodstuffs do we take? It will also have influence over you. So it is not only that we should select the food, but we should select the thoughts that we acquire. If we let negative thoughts enter our mental system, they will stay there. What to speak of if you start to focus on the mistakes of others! Because the human belly is devouring everything. But the human mind is even worse. It is ready to eat up all the garbage that is around. So take care – what thoughts, what feelings you let enter your mind. And sometimes it also happens that you focus on the mistakes of others, and according to your meditation, the qualities will be transferred. So you acquire the mistakes of others. And then where are those mistakes? It’s not with the other person, it’s with you. Beware, the mind is devouring everything.

So, according to the powers of nature you will develop your faith. Take care of the energy input into your system, be it food or thought, and always see the divine arrangement behind the very simple everyday activities. Because in this way the miracle will start to happen.


[1] Bhagavad Gita 17.7

[2] Bhagavad Gita 17.8

[3] Bhagavad Gita 17.9-10

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