August 2019
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Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2013, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Friday) 

Some devotees have preferences in the different objects that they offer. What is your preference? There are 64 elements of offerings. Just to mention a few types: When you enter the temple and you ring the bell – this is one service, one offering. Then when you enter and you bow down – this is another way to express our service mood to Him. Or to sing the prayers, the mantras, the bhajans – this is another service. Then to offer the 16 articles of worship – like foodstuffs, clothes, ornaments, aromatic elements and fire, water – this is also part of this service. If you put a few pennies into the donation box – this is another type of offering. Or if you bring flowers – all this is like a loving expression.

So, what is your preference among these 64 elements?

Answer: Dedication.

Manjari: Flowers.

Swami Tirtha: It’s so beautiful! Such a simple expression!

Giridhari: I can’t understand the question. If a parent has five kids, this is to ask him which one is the dearest to him.

Swami Tirtha: Good point! But I don’t ask the Supreme father: “What is your preference, my father?” I ask myself what is my preference. Because even the most insignificant offering given with heart and soul is very much appreciated by Him. And you are correct, we shouldn’t make any difference. Whatever He likes we should do it. Actually all this is His preference. Krishna very clearly explains in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, 12 Canto what His taste is. But beware, because He gives a long list! One is very beautiful: that generally every day, but at least on Ekadasi days we should organize theatre plays and music dramas for Him. It’s a long list, I tell you.

Yet some devotees say they have a preference. Some like the ghee lamps. Because you know, if you offer the ghee lamp and then this dance of the lights is there and Krishna is behind – it’s marvelous! This is a way to approach and to see the real reality.

But may I be personal with you? I also have a preference from this long list. There is one thing mentioned on this list; Krishna says: “Give Me this, give Me that . And you should offer Me also what you like most!” This is my preference, because this makes it so personal. If I like something, I should share it with my beloved friend. But unfortunately ‘I also have a long list. I like so many things! Therefore we have to have big temples and ashrams to preserve all the things that I like, so that I can be able to give them to Him. Life is so complicated!’

But apart from jokes, this is an essential thing. Give Him what you like! And usually what do we like? We like flowers – all right, we can give to Him. We like food – all right, we can give to Him also! We like our children – you can offer them to Him! You like your wives and husbands – but don’t offer your partners to God when you have a quarrel with them, when you don’t like them. “Go to your God! I don’t like you here, go to the temple!” Offer them when you like them. “Oh my dear, I like you so much! Please, satisfy your Lord”. And there is one more thing that we like more than honey! What is that?

Ramvijay: Money.

Swami Tirtha: Money is sweeter than honey! So, if you like it, the best use of your money is for Him. Because if you give today one coin, in this lifetime you will receive ten, what to speak of the next life? So, I tell you, this is the best investment. Give to the proper purpose, to the best purpose and then it multiplies.

And just like you mentioned, we cannot decide between the children which one we like most, because we like all of them. Once a person asked a mother with three sons – plus the fourth was the husband: “How can you divide your love between all these people?” And she said: “You know, it works in a different way – it’s not divided, it’s multiplied!” In the same way: if you divide your wealth between yourself and God, it doesn’t diminish, it will grow. Whatever kind of wealth you have.

But beyond our sons and daughters, beyond our partners, beyond our bank account, there is something that we like even more. What is that?

Ramvijay: Myself!

Swami Tirtha: Yes! We all like ourselves! So, if you like yourself – offer! Krishna says: “Give Me what you like!” And this is a way to approach the Supreme reality. This is not a speck of dust. It’s not a cloud of illusion. No, this is a way to reality.

(to be continued)


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