Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

Krishna says:“I am the penances of all ascetics.”[1] This principle is very much unpopular these days. Nobody is ready to do some ascetics practices. But life comes and helps us to perform some tapasya. Because from the renunciation spiritual growth is coming. The “Shrimad Bhagavatam” says that from tapas the spiritual strength will come. If you can control yourself that helps you to be connected to the central source and then you will have more power to perform your activities. Again this is a signal to overcome the limitations of nature and body. If you do some penance you can overcome the human limitations. This is what Rishabhadev suggested to his sons: he said that human life is not for enjoying the senses, because this enjoyment is available even for the hogs and dogs; but human existence is for tapas. That means – sacrifice yourself for some higher goal.

Again we come back to the idea that existence on the biological platform is limited. How can you overcome these limitations? By tapas, higher kind of sacrifice. Then you can come in connection with the higher principle. Therefore you should also become ascetics. But ascetism is not something sour. If the face of an ascetic is sour, nobody wants to follow his example. Or it is also said that with a sour face you cannot enter heaven.  Because the soul naturally is happy. But tapas helps us to perceive that higher happiness. So actually this word “renunciation” is not really appropriate. Because what can we renounce? Maybe we should use better “dedication”. We can dedicate our energies, all that we have. This is real ascetism.

There was one very sweet story. Once we had a birthday celebration of one brahmachari in the ashram. And you know ladies are very much ready to make some nice cakes and he got such a high cake! One friend came also and we were taking the sweets at the end of prasadam. And while he was taking the cake he said that this bhakti-yoga is not really good because it is not ascetic enough. I did not want to ask: “Hey, my boy, then why do you take the sweets? If you want to make some more tapasya, why do you take the sweets?” So, I think bhakti-yoga is very good, because there is sweet cake and there is tapasya also. Both is there. When you are too much frustrated by your tapasya, then comes the next birthday… Because Krishna is merciful finally. He does not want you to be with sour face.


[1] „Bhagavad-gita” 7.9

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