Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question: What would you say about the emotions coming from the small pleasures in life?

Swami Tirtha: They are very important, because they reflect the original and complete satisfaction of the soul. Many times we wait for some great illumination or some extreme enlightenment, although God sends you so many small little details to find the way back home, back to Him. So, of course, all these little signals are there for a good reason. They should remind us of that person who provides them. But ultimately we should also see their limitations. With a half solution we cannot be satisfied. We need a complete solution.

Question of Yamuna: Maharaj, please don’t take this question as a funny one, it is very serious. I heard it before coming here among the people. It was: “Why yoga teachers are ill sometimes?”

Swami Tirtha: To show compassion. Because these small little microbes and bacteria they also need a shelter. Life is service. We have to serve them also. And also to show other people that we are brothers and sisters.

Yamuna: By sharing the microbes?

Swami Tirtha: By sharing the troubles. But what to speak of little suffering due to sickness, don’t forget that the great ones are tested heavily. Before Lord Jesus resurrected, he had died on the cross. Everybody likes the resurrection, but nobody is ready to go on the cross. Without sacrifice, without dedicating yourself you will not reach your goals. And the greater ambition you have the more difficult tests you have to face.

Once I was sick when I visited India. So I went to a clinic of doctor Sharma in Vrindavan. Of course he was not there and people were sitting there and telling me: “Take it easy, he will come soon.” Finally the doctor came and he was very happy to see a partner for discussion. So he said: “Ah, have you read this very important article that the power of the body does not depend on the food intake, suggesting that you can exist on prana?” You know, I could hardly sit on the chair. And finally I said: “Ah, this is very nice, doctor, but you know, I am a patient here.” Then he said: “Ah, very nice!” and he started his treatment. And then he said: “Ah, now you perform the lila of being sick.”

So sometimes even yoga teachers enter this field. The question is not why we are diseased sometimes, but what kind of reflection we have on our sickness. Because what is a disease? This is a pay of your karma. Suffering equals decreasing your karma. So practically this is good. It’s a way of purification.

But according to the philosophical theory of Ayurveda any disease comes from one certain source. Sickness as a principle comes from one source and that cause is moral degradation. In the Golden Age people had no sickness, because they had no sins, no mistakes at all. Later on as degradation started to progress disease also appeared. And as now we live in Kali Yuga, which is the dark Iron Age, people are suffering due to the four different types of suffering. Birth, death, disease, old age – these are the sufferings of life. So we have to share these, as we are human beings. Therefore disease is there. It’s a general principle, we cannot avoid it. Of course if your karma is a little decreased or purified, less reactions will come. Yet another practical side of our practice of yoga.

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