Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


If somebody needs help, it’s very painful to say ‘no’. Therefore if you can somehow nicely organize distribution of food, that would be so nice – a little help, a little practical help. Not only nice words that we love God so much, but some practical help. If somebody is hungry words are not enough.

We have only one chance to show our capacities – if we do something practical. For that purpose we can use our talents: one can cook, the other can organize, the third can distribute, the next one can raise the funds – to make it happen. So I have the feeling that we can invite people for that service: ‘Please, come and help those who are in need.’ This is not really a question of money. It’s a question of willingness. And if we work together, united, we are very powerful. If I eat, another person can eat also. If I have my lunch, I can share it with somebody. If we, twenty people can eat, another twenty can eat also, minimum.

Of course we can say that this is only sattvic platform, this is not the transcendental platform – which is true. Because feeding people, this is a sattvic, pious activity. But if you distribute maha-prasadam, then this is transcendental.

Anyway, I would be happy if somebody can do that. And not for the reason that it is well accepted in society, that it’s a good image to help, that this is useful to build our image. Not for that reason. But this is a nice service. And I tell you, it will work as a very useful principle to invite people to join our mission – not those who eat, but those who come and help in this service. Because they will understand what we are doing.

Question: In the case of distribution of food for poor people, this will happen let’s say once a week. I see that is helping people. But I cannot deal with all the suffering that is surrounding me. You can help one, you can help another, but you cannot help all.

Tirtha Maharaj: At least do something. Half service is better than no service.

Question: You can help one, you can help another, but what happens with all others, to whom you cannot give anything?

Tirtha Maharaj: How do you know? I appreciate your eagerness and your scale, but start with a little and you will see the end. “Small beginnings, greater ends.”

Question: My question is about the suffering. If you can help me calm down, if you help me realize that whatever suffering is coming to a certain living being, it is good for this soul, it is redemption, something like catharsis.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, that’s true. On the intermediate platform everything is guided by karma. But to say that ‘This is your karma’ is not enough, it’s not approved as an answer or a remark. Although it is the result of his karma, but our vision should be different.

If we give a little help, then we minimize people’s suffering. If we provide information on the philosophy, then we can give the key into their hands. Some people cannot handle the key, they are so weak, so stupid. They need direct help – give food. Because their level is so difficult, that they cannot change, they need a survival. And of course I am not talking simply about food, but this very, very basic information.

Those who are more ready to change themselves, to work on themselves – because the majority of the people is not ready to work on themselves, they want the benefits without any efforts, this is human nature – so for those, who are ready to work on themselves, we can give the key: ‘This is the philosophy, this is the solution for all the problems of your life – study and apply it!’ So, we work on different levels.

The more you purify yourself, the more pain you will see and feel, because you are more prone to all these emotional influences. Still in one sense you have to immunize yourself. Because the definition of sentimentalism is when you want to give more help and compassion to people than God gives. Think twice what does it mean. Even if you want to help, you just interfere with the karmic network of the person. And for example if you protect this person from one type of suffering, that is postponed for the next lifetime. Maybe he has to take the bitter pill right now and he is just finished with that. If you postpone one suffering for the next lifetime, did you make good or bad?

So this is difficult, very complicated. Therefore if we distribute prasadam, that’s a divine vaccination. And the karmic flow will go on, karma will expire, but they have a surplus.

And also we should see our competence, what is our competence. If you are on the level of Lord Jesus, you can save the whole humanity. But in order to do that you have to go on the cross. So don’t forget about that. Big compassion, big heart – but what is the level of dedication, what is the level of sacrifice?

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