Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Usually sacrifice has a kind of bitter meaning. Yet devotional sacrifice is sweet.  And it is said that in this Kali-yuga those, who are fortunate and intelligent, they will join this sankirtan yagya[1]; other types of sacrifice are forbidden actually in this age. Yet this very merciful method is provided for men. Always chant the names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. This is a very simple method. This is real sacrifice. And the result will be that you are pacified in your heart, you will get your spiritual prospects, direction, a way to go.

Sacrifice means: from the average, everyday use we take out and devote to God. Usually what do people sacrifice? Incense, flowers, candle, prayers – like this. And you know, Krishna is satisfied with small offerings. “Patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me BHAKTYA prayachhati… – if you offer Me one flower, a little water, one leaf WITH DEVOTION, I accept.”[2]  So, we might think: ah, this is the best religion. It is a cheap thing. Little flowers… You know, here in Sofia, on this “Tzar Boris” boulevard for kilometers long there are roses. It is very easy to find a little flower to offer to God. Water I also have. Cheap religion! Little sacrifice – whole gain!

But beware! This Krishna is a tricky guy. Do not be satisfied with reading only this verse from “Gita”. Check out the next verse also. You know the next verse? Because there He says: “And whatever else you have – all your words, all your activities, all your sacrifices, all your tapasya – give EVERYTHING to Me.” So, first He makes the propaganda: “Ah, I am satisfied with little water” And then you think: “O this is my way! I give a little water to Krishna and He is satisfied.” Then you start to do this practice. And then come His requirements: “All right, give me something more, give me something more – all your words, all your activities, all that you have – give it to Me.” So beware! If you are not ready to give everything, do not start giving water to Krishna. Because you will be accustomed to give Him something and when He comes with his requirements, you cannot say no. You have to be very deeply connected to say “no” to Krishna.

The goswamis were very famous for their renunciation. They did not have permanent ashrams or houses to stay. They were sleeping under different tree every night. But you know, they were so much dedicated to Krishna. Once Sanatana Goswami was offering food to the Lord. He was an ascetic, he was keeping a very simple kitchen and his offering was chapatti, nothing else. And always the same. Chapatti today, chapatti tomorrow, chapatti always. In the beginning Krishna was satisfied: “Ah, My dear devotee is giving Me this nice chapatti!” But you know, a little salt is very good for the chapatti. Yet our goswami was very poor, he did not have salt. So one day Krishna made a remark: “Ah, this chapatti is heavenly! But… do you have a little salt?” Then our goswami said: “Salt? No! Today salt, tomorrow sugar! I’m an ascetic! What do You want from me?!” So, to say “no” to Krishna, you have to be very deeply connected. If He tells you now: “Have you got a little bit more salt?” better you bring the salt.

And that opposition is not the neophyte level! This is the rasa level: when you can even fight, but your quarrel with God makes Him very happy! This is the dynamic conception of Krishna Consciousness. It is mind-blowing that you can come in such an intimate connection with Absolute God, Absolute Truth, that you can quarrel with Him! This is all based on divine emotion.

[1] sacrifice of chanting of the holy name

[2] „Bhagavad-gita”9.26

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