Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Question: Would you please explain to us the meaning of those completely material things that we have to do in order to follow the path of devotion? I mean the hygiene of the body, washing our teeth, maintaining order in our home – those most simple material things and what is their meaning? Because may be some people think: “Okay. I am sitting and chanting, connecting with God, pouring water on my plant of devotion, but I am leaving the other things behind.” Is this an obstacle on the way?

Tirtha Maharaj: If you have an obedient wife – no. I chant and the others work – this is a good distribution. I agree, your spiritual development is somehow shown in your activities, reflected in your circumstances. If you have order inside you will have order outside also. But only for the sake of those who has no other measurement than material we follow and we accept some material standards also. Because most of the people can understand that if this is a nice book then this must be a good religion. It is very simple combining one experience with some opinions.

At the same time it is said in the tradition that with black nails you cannot go back to Vaikuntha. Even the shastras, even the acharyas and the high gurus have to educate people on the very simple basic platform also. But if the spiritual teacher discusses the topic how to keep the order in the temple it doesn’t mean that this is his level. Or if you cook together with your spiritual master you should not think that you have the same capacity to stir the dahl. Try it, his dahl will be different. Why? Because of the stirring capacity? Or due to the cleansed fingers? No, I am sure, due to the cleansed heart. So if we keep our fingers very clean, but we cannot purify our hearts, then you knock at the door of Vaikuntha: “I have come. Look at my fingers! Good?” They will say: “Sorry. Go back! Few more rounds down there.”

Yet somehow we have to start a general war against illusion, so that no illusion could enter our fingers, no illusion could enter our hearts, no illusion could enter our consciousness. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Because if there is disorder outside it will be very difficult to keep order inside. First you will have dirt in the corners and then everywhere; and then the worms will also come. So we have to come to the sattvic platform as much as possible.

The body works on the energy input system. If we put bad, or distorted, or improper energy into our system on any level – it will have some effect. Therefore peaceful environment can help our spiritual development. In the shastras there are recommendations what kind of environment you should have: isolated nice place with the chirping of birds and the swans swimming in the nearby lake. And the surface is even, no pebbles, no thorns, no disturbing elements. No people. No noise. And no 20 cm of snow. It is strictly forbidden! And there you can enter deep into your meditation. What do we have? Sofia. Noise. People. No swans – big problem! No chirping of beautiful birds, but only the shouting of crows.

So sometimes we cannot provide all the necessary ingredients, but still we have to provide one main ingredient and that is dedication. By dedication even the mistakes become ornaments.

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