Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

In deity worship there are so many elements and so many mantras and mudras and this and that – this is a very complicated system. But what is the point – dedicate yourself to God. This is the point with all the complicated requirements. If you know all the tricks of puja and you chant all the mantras and you show all the mudras, but you forget to dedicate yourself, then it is useless practice. But even though you don’t know the mantras or some requirements, but nicely, with real sincere emotions you can do something, you will feel the result. And not only you, He will also feel the result, He will also accept.

And what is the best item that you like to offer? Flowers, food, light, incense, some bhajan. Well, I have a very sweet devotee friend, who was offering, making the puja with a big ghee lamp, big like this, burning big flames in the front. And you know, when he was offering the burning flame to Krishna, the picture starts to become little hazy and like dancing and things like that – so he was very much captivated by that. And as many devotees – they are attracted to offer different things. But my favourite offering is – beyond the sixty four elements of puja – this is what you like, this you should also offer. What is your private, personal, favourite thing – you should also give this to Krishna. I think this makes it very personal. Because the official list is (you) know – like ringing the bell before entering the door of the temple – this is also an offering to the deities, right? Or when you enter you pay your obeisances – this is another offering. Or to make a feast – this is another offering. Or to make dramas – like Krishna-lila, Rama-lila – another type; to make ekadashi – also. But what is your preference, what is your beloved thing? If you give this also, in my understanding this makes this whole puja seem very, very intimate. This is my favourite thing, so I give this to You. It is natural; if you love someone, you want to give what you like. The only problem is when he does not like it. You like bananas, therefore you give bananas, but he hates, he cannot tolerate bananas. But what is love? “Ah, bananas, so nice! Thank you, thank you! This is my favourite!” Many times it happens. But fortunately Krishna likes practically everything. It is His, but the pinch of devotion, the little salt of devotion makes it very sweet.

You know, in material life everybody likes these personalized things. Like you have to give your private code to your mobile, you have to enter the password on your computer, so it is personalized on you, just for you. Or your names engraved in your pen, or whatever – this is my ego, personalized! Personalize your spiritual practices also. And it does not mean that on your japa bag you will have your own picture: “This is my japa!” Not in that way. But dedicate, give something, sincerely. And in most of the cases this is a very private thing.

So try to personalize your service, because then it will be even more precious for you and for Krishna also.

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