Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Tirtha Maharaj: What is our sacrifice, the daily sacrifice that we perform?

Krishna Priya: Chanting of the holy names.

Tirtha Maharaj: This is called sankirtan-yagya, correct. So this is the sacrifice for this age – chanting the holy names together. What are the results of chanting the holy names, Damodar?

Damodar: Achieving love of God.

Tirtha Maharaj: Correct. Yes. Simple love or ecstatic love?

Damodar: First one then the other.

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes. So the ultimate result of chanting the holy names is not simply rectifying your karmic burden, or to achieve liberation, what to speak of providing a better life for yourself here on planet Earth. But the goal is divine love. So by this sacrifice – if you perform it nicely – you can achieve this goal. But we have to apply all the qualifications to our yagya, to our sacrifice – to be selfless, to be dedicated, without material ambitions, to follow the rules, to follow the scriptures. And to do it with faith. Because you can go on chanting for millions of years; if there is no faith, it will not reach the destination.

So this much about sacrifice. Sacrifice is easy and sweet – if you add these little spices.

Question of Yamuna: Can you speak about Arjuna’s sacrifice in “Gita”? Because he does not want to fight and Krishna asks him to fight, so it is sacrifice for him to follow this instruction. Can we say that fighting was his yagya?

Tirtha Maharaj: That’s a very good point. Krishna invited Arjuna to perform his duty. He started on sattvic platform: “Perform your duty and don’t be attached to the results.” The two qualifications of sattvic sacrifice. But when Krishna saw that Arjuna is not very much moved by this sattvic invitation, then He stepped back a little bit and he tried to trigger Arjuna’s passionate feelings: “You are a great hero. If you escape, this is a scandal! People will call you names and you cannot tolerate that.” So if the sattvic does not work, you can use the passionate instincts. And when even that was not fully moving Arjuna, then Krishna was using so to say, in brackets, “tamasic” invitation also, showing some miracles to convince someone: “Here are My four hands. Here is My universal form.“

Yamuna: So miracle is plan C?

Tirtha Maharaj: Yes. So if one way does not work, try to use other ways. But I mean it! To see signs – it is very primitive. If you are driven by your instincts – it is very passionate. If you follow your duty – that is sattvic. And if you act from loving dedication – it’s called bhakti.

But Arjuna was a lost case anyway. Even from the beginning he has lost with Krishna. And meanwhile this whole conversation is like a dance: Krishna is inviting and Arjuna is resisting… But when finally Krishna could take Arjuna to the dance, when he was so much ready to jump, when Krishna finally destroyed all the opposition of Arjuna, then as a final trick He said: “Now you can act as you like.” When there is no escape, no opposition, nothing, when Arjuna said: “I will do whatever You say,” then Krishna said: “But practically you can act as you like. I give you the freedom.” What kind of freedom is that?

This is like in the Communist times: you had the right to agree. This was our freedom – to say “Yes!” So this is the spiritual communism, you see? We have the right to say “Yes!” But our “Yes!” should mean “Yes!” Not a hidden “No”. Not a “Yes, but…” – “Yes!” means “Yes!” It is very simple.

But if you see the beauty of this dance!

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