Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


In order to achieve some good results we have to be obedient. We have to be under control. Again such an expression that we do not like. “Control? Somebody is controlling me, ah my God?! I want freedom!” But control is very beneficial for spiritual practices. And here we shall understand three different types of control:

“Deva-dvija-guru-prājña-pūjanaḿ śaucam ārjavam brahmacaryam ahiḿsā ca śārīraḿ tapa ucyate – Austerity of the body consists in worship of the Supreme Lord, the brāhmanas, the spiritual master, and superiors like the father and mother, and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and nonviolence.”[1]

Strong! So how to control the body? This is the way to control the body. We might think at the beginning that control of the body means certain strict rules. But the first principle in controlling the body is: worship God. All other rules and regulations will come after that. First worship the Supreme Lord – deva; then dvija, the twice-born, the bramins. So, worship God and worship His servants, representatives – guru, also, worship the spiritual master. How to worship the bramins? How do we worship the bramins, the priests?

Yashoda: By listening and following their instructions.

Tirtha Maharaj: That is very nice, but they have to eat something also. They speak, they instruct and we listen very nicely. But they also have to get something to eat, right?

Yamuna: Donations.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes. According to the Vedic classical tradition, we shall donate cows to the priests, by the millions. Very nice! So if you donate a cow here, to the temple, devotees will be fascinated. If you will donate some piece of land and some villages and some gold and some grains and some food for animals also, then they will be satisfied. Otherwise this is a little headache. So we have to be clever enough how to serve our superiors, our priests.

But if you mentioned donations… Well, sometimes we were trying to supply Gurudev with donations. As I was a brahmachari I was not engaged too much in making money, but others were trying to take care of that part of the service. And once I heard that they were discussing: “Don’t give too much to Gurudev.” But why? Because if he gets a big amount, he will save it for the mission, he will not use it for his own purposes. So, little by little. Then maybe he will buy some – I don’t know – peanuts also for himself and try it. Someone has to take care of the basic necessities of the saintly people also.

For example once Gurudev was hungry. It happens to spiritual masters also! So he was telling to the matajis: “Can you prepare something?” of course they were jumping and all the utensils in the kitchen were jingling. And Gurudev went into the room to chant. He was chanting, he was chanting, he was chanting. And after one hour he was very humbly opening the door: “Anything happened in the kitchen?” They said: “Yes, yes, we are ready in half an hour.” And then he said: “Why didn’t you tell me?” “Ah, Gurudev, we did not want to disturb your chanting.” “Ha! Very nice…”

So, sometimes serve the basic necessities also. Don’t think that Krishna, Mahaprabhu and Gurudev are so transcendental that they don’t need anything.

So, the service of superiors: God, first of all, the representatives of God and spiritual master, and the parents. They are considered superiors. They are our spiritual authorities and whatever they need we shall supply. Patram pushpam phalam toyam[2] to God – little water, leaf and flowers; food and donation to the bramins, obedience to the spiritual master and practical service to the parents. These are the basic prime important factors of controlling the body. Because if you serve God, if you serve the bramins, if you serve your parents, naturally you engage your body in their service.


(to be continued)

[1] Bhagavad Gita 17.14

[2] Bhagavad Gita 9.26

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