Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

If people would have a statue of Lord Buddha in their rooms, everybody would understand that ”O, this is very nice, it makes you remember Lord Buddha.” People have no problem with that, usually. Or if they have icons on the wall, or the cross with Jesus – no problem with them. This is not idolatry for them. Because they are not worshiping the form, but they are worshiping the essence, that is manifested through the form. But in most of the cases this is a limitation of the mind of people. They very easily digest one explanation, and very difficult for them to digest the same thing in a different costume.


I was thinking – why? And I thought that may be Krishna demands more! Lord Buddha is satisfied if you don’t worship him. It’s the same for him – whether you worship me or not, I’m fully satisfied. But Krishna is not satisfied by not being worshiped. So the altar is just like an invitation: come to Me! And you know, when you want to dance and your partner does not want to dance – it’s impossible! So Krishna is inviting everybody: “Come, dance with Me!” But if you don’t want to dance, it will not happen. So we have to respond to the invitation.


The altar is the focus of the ashram. Just like the temple is the center of the village. Because this is the focus of the attention of the people living in the village. If we have a home, there should be one focus of attention. And this should be the altar – the crossing point of the material sphere and the divine sphere. This is just like ford crossing a river. Once I heard a definition that the deity is just like a map about the spirituality. Then somehow I was not really satisfied. Because a map you can close and put it into your pocket. But Krishna should be living. A living connection must be manifested there.

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