Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


We were discussing the Seventeenth Chapter of “Bhagavad Gita”, describing the division of faith. According to the basic influences of material nature, people develop their faith. These influences are the mass, the energy and the light.

“Yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah – Men in the mode of goodness worship the demigods; those in the mode of passion worship the demons; and those in the mode of ignorance worship ghosts and spirits.”[1]

We see the different targets of the different types of faiths. These three different categories are like the low level, the medium and the top quality. Those, who are influenced by the lower energies, they will go down; those who are under the medium control will stay on the same platform; and those who are under control of the top part, they will elevate. According to these influences, you will find the object of your faith.

The first is sattvika – those, who belong to the sattva influence – they will worship the devas. What does it mean deva? The original meaning is coming from “div” and it means “shining”. So deva is a person who shines. Those who belong to the light will worship those who belong to the light – same nature. Those who are energetic, they will worship the medium class.

Yamuna: The demons?

Tirtha Maharaj: Demons, yes – these yakshas and rakshasas are a certain type of human beings, but playing a specific role. Yaksha is like a magician and rakshasas are kind of man-devouring ogres. But they are human types. And those who are under the control of the lower energies, they worship some ghosts and some lower beings.

How to find our object of faith? First of all, if you have an object of your faith, then you start to worship – this is obvious in the verse. So this is the general approach. And usually we worship and approach something that is higher than us. That means, if you are under the influence of the lower energies, you will approach the ghost, but the higher than you. Usually we do not consider a ghost to be a very elevated being, but if you worship the ghost, that means you put yourself lower than them. If you worship the demigods, you put the demigods above yourself also. And if you worship the human beings, you pick certain objects on the same level as you. This cult of the star is rajasic in type. Here in “Gita” it is called “worship of the giants”. But today it is called “politics” or “Hollywood” or “Bollywood” – the same is practiced, they worship human beings. Only the crude manifestation is changing, essence is the same. But the method is the same: worship. Worship on a lower platform, worship on a medium platform, worship on a higher platform. The same instrument is used for different purposes.

So we should use our brain to select the object of our faith. If we dedicate our faith to some nonsense, we can be very much convicted on that, but if we put our faith into something real, into something divine, then the divine qualities will be transmitted to us. The qualities of the object of worship will be transferred to the worshipper. So if you worship demons, you will become demoniac in your mentality. If you worship humans, then you remain on the same platform. And when you worship God, then divine qualities will be transferred to you.

Let’s pick some examples. I am sure that you have seen people who love their dogs very much. Who is the worshipper? This is the owner. And who is the object of the worship? This is the dog. And you can see that the qualities of the dog are transferred to the owner. Even sometimes the physical form of the face resembles the object of worship.

One of our devotee friends met a person in a train and he thought: “Hey, this person looks like a hen!” And after some time the person started to read some newspaper, specialized on treating these small little animals – how to raise them and how to sell them. So, your mentality, your worship does have an influence on you.

Or, if you worship the movie stars – you will not become a movie star, but you can pay millions of dollars for a glove of the star. You can make all the nonsense that they are doing. Because all those qualities will be transferred to the worshipper.

But if we worship the Supreme Lord, the divine qualities will be transferred to the worshipper. So choose yourself what is the object of your worship – lower species, some human beings or divinity. Because the result will be according to that.

Have you seen that the divine qualities are manifest in someone? Very rarely. The reason might be double. Maybe the object was not divine. Or maybe the process was incorrect. Therefore we should be very selective in this respect – to identify the object, the target and to specify the method.

[1] Bhagavad Gita 17.4

Leave a Reply