Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




We don’t like the word sacrifice: “Ah, should I sacrifice something? No, then I cannot enjoy it!” But try to make friends with this word “sacrifice”. Because sacrifice is a very sweet thing. If you cannot dedicate your heart and soul, this is very burdensome. If you give yourself, it is also difficult, but it is sweet. Right, mothers, do you have any ideas about sacrifice? Naturally dedicating your days and nights to taking care of the children? If there is dedication, love included, then that is not a heavy duty but this is a sweet offering.

Therefore sacrifice was the main instrument in the vedic times to perform the service to God. They were collecting different materials, different assets and they were using it for the offerings and for the rituals. In the 70s they reconstructed a grand vedic sacrifice. Every day the priests and the participants got a new set of kurta and dhoti. They used I don’t know how many kilograms of rice. Plus gold for the sacrifice, plus ghee. So it was a huge, huge event. It was done in a small village somewhere in South India. It was a seven day sacrifice and the priest was doing everything remembering all the details by heart. And there were some western participants and they made two huge books about the sacrifice – which the bramins have in the mind. Anyway, this is a very complicated system. And they were making a hall outside of the village with bamboo and palm leaves to make the whole sacrifice there. And finally when this week passed, they burned up everything. As a sacrifice. Not for our enjoyment, but to dedicate it to the Supreme.

When you have a fire, the fire is purifying. And what do you say when you throw your offerings into the fire? Swaha. Who is Swaha? Swaha is the wife of Agni. Agni is the fire, the god of fire; Swaha is the goddess that takes away everything. But actually this is not only “swaha” that you should say, but you should say: “swaha namaha”. What does it mean “namaha”?

Somebody: To bow down.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, yes, but more precisely?

Hari Lila: May be: “please, accept”?

Tirtha Maharaj: Very close! Very close! You got the essence!

Kamen: Dissolve, disappear?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes, something should disappear, very good!

Hari Lila: I don’t know Sanskrit, but maybe “nama” is offering the mind?

Tirtha Maharaj: Very good! You should learn Sanskrit! Because if you have this mood and you add some knowledge also, then it will be very complete. Namaha. what is the meaning of “na”? “Na” means “no”, it is very simple. And “maha” is reversed “aham”. So “namaha” means “not for me”. “Swaha – I give to You! You burn it up, You take!” And “Namaha – it is not for me.”

Hari Lila: How good it sounds and how precise.

Tirtha Maharaj: So you were very correct when trying to dedicate something and it should be disappearing and like this – “It is not for me, it is for You!”

Vancha-kalpatarubhyash cha kripa-sindhubhya eva cha patitanam pavanebhyo
vaishnavebhyo namo namaha
” – Namaha, this prayer is not for me, it’s for you and I have to bow down. So this is our sacrifice. Wherever you say “namaha” that means that it is not for me, it is dedicated to you.

So, to put it very simply, this is sacrifice – something that is not for me, something that is for you.

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