Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha



Sannyas as a principle should be practiced by all steps and orders of life. May be not everybody will use the cloths, the robes, but the spirit we should practice: depend on Krishna, dedicate yourself fully… This part of sannyas life is for everyone. It’s not limited to the order.

But sannyas life in the West is little problematic. Because in the East it’s very natural that people enter into this life and it’s not a big deal. But here if you become a sannyasi everybody thinks that you are… demigod! Everybody starts to worship you and to be afraid of you. “O, he has renounced!” So here if you enter sannyas you have to be a leader. In India you can be a very simple ascetic, nobody recognizes you. It’s very good for sannyasis if they are not recognized. Because the main problem in sannyas is respect, prestige. And usually for those, who cannot become humble servants – this is a mercy of Krishna – they can become swamis.

But renunciation as a principle is not that fearful. If we have some good examples, we can go for it. Most of the people are grihastha types. We need that type of association, we need the warmth of the family – and you can cultivate that, no problem. But later on you should enlarge your vision, change your direction.

A sannyasi should not collect, preserve something for tomorrow. Actually the classical sannyas system is that you go with your bow to beg. And whatever you get, you just go out of the village at the bank of a river or a pond and eat everything, not preserve anything for tomorrow. That was the requirement from a sannyasi: don’t keep anything for tomorrow.

Once Saint Francis… although he was not an orthodox saint, but I think his example is quite charming… their small ashram got some money donation and he showed a very good example. He took the money into his teeth, went to the toilet and drop there. To get rid of these. Because their standard was also: collect every day the eatables and don’t preserve anything for tomorrow. According to the original standard they had to look, search everything in the ashram – if there was anything to eat, they had to distribute before evening. Isn’t that nice? I think that’s beautiful. Depend on divine mercy; if tomorrow is coming something – good, if not – it’s also good.

But if you are a house-holder you should be ready to give when the sannyasis will come. If the sannyasi comes: “Hey, you have some little milk” and you say: “No” – what kind of house-holder you are? You must have some stock – but in order to distribute, to be able to share.

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