Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 06.01.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

In the heart we have some capacity – of thinking, of willing and of feeling. So your innermost heart is the hidden temple for the best of your thoughts, the best of your willpower and the best of your affection. Therefore please, my Lord, accept the mandir[1] of my heart and soul as Your residence! Mama mana mandire[2]. This is our program for this lifetime – to build the inner temple and to bring the best object of worship.

Isn’t it beautiful: “I will bring the best flowers to You!” The existence of flowers directly proves that there is God. Otherwise it’s impossible! Without a creative creator it’s impossible. Beautiful shape, color and smell together – and with a lot of meanings. If you give a flower to somebody, it’s a very direct message. So “The best flowers I will bring to You!”

Plus “I will worship You with the most delicate scent if sandalwood.” Sandalwood is a very precious tree. Actually in South India they have a register for the sandal trees; each tree has a number and they are under care, you cannot cut them. Because you have to wait at least 15 or 20 years for the sandalwood tree to produce the aroma. So it takes a long time until it will produce the essence.

In the Ramayana one very instructive story is mentioned concerning the sandalwood. Sandalwood naturally emanates its aroma, irrespective of your treatment. If you treat the tree nice, if you treat the tree wrong – it will give the same aroma. Even what happens if you come with an axe to a sandalwood tree? If you start to cut down the tree with an axe, it will embrace and embalm the axe with this aroma. So even if a very violent attack comes to that tree, it emanates the same fragrant harmony. Therefore the great, realized saints are compared to sandalwood. However violently you treat them, they will respond in a same manner – they will only be your well-wishers. So, “Love your enemies” – the sandalwood is a very obedient disciple of Lord Jesus. It will give its essence even to the enemies. I think we’ve got a lot to learn.

Therefore the aroma, the scent of the sandalwood is very precious. You have to cut the tree into very small particles and then boil it and distill the essential oil. The real sandalwood oil is at the price of gold. Therefore we can consider this tree and its oil as the essence of the flora of the planet Earth – this is something very-very precious. And this “I will use in Your worship.”

But there are some more requirements for worship. Not only the beautiful flowers and not only the essential oil of the very precious sandalwood tree, but “You deserve the best of water and You deserve the best of fire.” Our affection is shown in our eyes. Therefore “I come to worship You with the flame of my eyes and the water of my tears. This is the essential thing that I can extract from myself. The light of my eyes – this is what I offer to You! And the never-ending water of my tears – this is what I offer.”

These are the best-best objects of worship. Therefore “Whether I live or die, I’m your unconditional servant. Jivane-marane gati[3] – whether I live or die I’m eternally connected to You.” So, if you construct the inner place of worship in your heart, you can use only the best elements for that worship.

(to be continued)

[1] temple

[2] A song by Bhaktivinod Thakur

[3] A line from the song Sakhī-vṛnde vijñapti by Narottam Das Thakur

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