Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from lecture of B.K.Tirtha Maharaj, 26.11.2006, Sofia)

The demand is high. Krishna is not satisfied with little. He wants the whole thing. But still He is tolerant enough to help us to understand these points. Remember, first He only invites you to sacrifice for Him a little water, flower, fruit… This is the economical religion. Cheap. “O, this I can afford. Little water to God – fine! It is not a big job. This is for me, not an expensive religion.” But then in the next verse, you remember, He says: “And everything else…” I heard that your boss here,Todor Zhivkov, had a very special signal with the hand, right? He has learnt it from Krishna. First He says: “little water”; then “and everything else – whatever you do, whatever you sacrifice, whatever you give, whatever you have – just give it to Me!” He is this type, He helps you to give. He is called Hari – who takes away. He will take away all our… not really the possessions, but the attachments.
And in this respect Krishna has a good help, he is called guru. Once there was a devotional company – actually my brothers. They were living in a farm, and you know, as young men, they were attached to cars. Finally they bought a “Volga” – an old one, which was of course a garbage bin, it was impossible to move. So, most of the time, the puja was around the car, everybody was worshiping – may be it will move some time. Next week Gurudev* came and he understood that they had bought a car. Immediately he said: “What?! A car in a farm?! Sell it immediately!” Later on he came after some time and then again, you know, time goes and they had to work so they have a car again – another “Volga”, but that was working already. Then again Gurudev  came and said: “What?! A “Volga”?! Why don’t you buy a better one?” Why? Because first there was the attachment: “O, we need a car!” Second time there was a fake humility: “Volga” will be enough.” So guru comes and cuts all the false ideas – either your attachments, or your false humility. Just like Krishna: first He treats you nice and then He qualifies you.
It is easy if this giving mood, this distributing mood, is manifested from the beginning out of a devotee. And it is not necessary to physically give. If you are ready to do – then the game is over, you have learnt the lesson. Just like Vasudeva – when Krishna was born what did he do? He donated cows by the millions – in his mind. Because when a boy is born, usually the parents distribute wealth. They donate to the brahmins, to the needy, because this is an auspicious moment. But they were living in a prison house, so he did not really have access to his cows, so what did he do? He was donating in the mind.
We can say: “Wow, again this is very economic! This is it! It is enough to donate in the mind. It has the same value. So I can keep, I can preserve my cows. But in my mind I am very generous.” And how degraded the situation is right now, I understood! You know, to donate – Indian people know it very well :”It is my duty. It is not for his benefit, it is my benefit.” And once I met a husband and wife – the husband was Indian and the wife was Hungarian. They came to the temple and before they started, they were collecting some little rice and this and that for a present, for a donation – later on the lady told me. I was talking with the husband – we had a very nice discussion – and finally they had to go. And you know, when the husband came out of the room, the wife told him: “Here is the gift that you wanted to give.” And the man said: “Well, better we do not give. This guy does not need anything!” I was amazed! Such a tricky mind! I was amazed! No words!
Do not be that tricky mind! If you had said something – that this is for you – then do it! Keep your words. If you had said: “My home, my house, my body, my mind is for You” – then do it! Do not cheat!
It is good to get, it is sweet to get. But it is more sweet to give. To make somebody happy – this is real happiness. And if with the little sacrifice, the little dedication that we give we can make Krishna happy, then the whole universe becomes happy.
So, step by step. First we have to come to the position to give. But it is suggested that if you are so poor, that you do nоt have anything, at least you give some ashes. Ashes everybody can give. Give something! Give your time. Give your attention. Krishna Bhakti is not a question of money! Givesomething to Him. In this way we should understand that I do not want to preserve for myself. If this is a nice process ultimately we can give everything that we have. And the vaishnavas, the scriptures, the guru teach us to do this. Just imagine if Gurudev comes and says: “Now you sacrifice everything and dedicate your life fully, give up all your material attachments!” He comes and tells you this immediately – can you do that? Most probably we cannot do that. Well, I do nоt know your qualities, but I could not do that. Therefore they follow a gradual process. Guru comes and tells you: “Chant these rounds.” Or he says: “Wipe the floor, chop the wood, bring the water.” This we can do! This is the training process: when the guru says something, we should say: “Yes!” However difficult it is – we should say: “Yes!” Because if finally he will say: “And now give up all your attachments”, we shall say: “Yes!” Right, because we are trained to say “Yes” and do the job! So the guru is a good trainer, always pushing you to do it better. Because the Olympic game is approaching, so you have to perform in your top ability.
Giving is joy. Sacrifice is joy, says Shrila Shridhara Maharaj. Beautiful sentence! Sacrifice is joy!

*  B.A. Narayan Maharaj

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