Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, 07.01.2017 evening, Sofia)

(continues from the previous Monday)

 Before I mentioned the furious aspect of Mother Ganga; now let’s discuss a little bit of the merciful aspect of Mother Ganga. For example, she is very much ready to accept any service. In certain places in India they worship this holy sacred river every day. There are very beautiful offerings of singing and fire, and flower garlands, praying together – very beautiful ceremonies at different places. But do you know what is the dearmost offering to Mother Ganga? It’s the most simple and at the same time the dearest offering to her – they worship Mother Ganga with her own water. They take a little water from the current, pray, and offer it back to the waves. Because we know that this holy water is a sacred object, and the best object of offering is something sanctified, so let’s take – from her, that’s true, but let’s offer this back to her again. And what happens? If we take some water from the very strong current of the Ganges, does it diminish her? No, the Ganges is not smaller due to the few drops that you take; no, it doesn’t diminish. And what happens if you offer this little water back to the river? Does it become bigger? No, it doesn’t become bigger. Nevertheless something happened meanwhile. We have changed. Due to this service, due to this function, due to this offering – we have changed. Mother Ganga doesn’t change. But we have changed.

Do you see the purifying power of the Ganges water? Therefore due to this purifying effect and this connection to the Supreme, Mother Ganga is also considered very-very merciful. She is like an exemplar, she is like an ideal for us. And actually who will connect us back to God? Who is this connection? This is the master. The guru will connect us to Krishna, and therefore Mother Ganga is like a spiritual master – a spiritual mistress, let’s say. They say, if somebody hasn’t found his or her spiritual master in a human form, they can pray to Mother Ganga to get the blessings. You see how important this function is – connecting people to God!

So, if we serve the Ganga, if we serve the spiritual master, the purification effect will come. Therefore this journey to Ganges is very beneficial. Indians love so much their sacred river! Every evening they come together for the celebration. Especially in the upper parts of the Ganges, let’s say in Haridwar for example, during these ceremonies – usually this is in the evening time – they offer special plates made of leafs where they put some flowers and some ghee lamp and also some incense and then they offer these on the waters of the Ganges. This is one way to offer the ashes of our ancestors, of our friends on their last journey. It is said, if the ashes are offered to the Ganges, then a direct connection to heaven is provided. And this is a very beautiful farewell ceremony, to help the soul reach its final destination. Because we who are still alive, in this way, can help those who have departed already to have an easy and spiritual journey.

Mother Ganga teaches us how to serve God, how to reach God. Therefore she is like a mistress. And you know, it’s good to have a protector. It’s good to have a spiritual guide. Guru works on a very subtle platform. He is like a guide on our spiritual journey. Maybe in the first times we want some material guidance from him, but later on we shall understand that the spiritual guidance is much more important. Mahaprabhu said: “You all should become like gurus.” But it doesn’t mean you should collect disciples. No, you should meet the standards. Because guru is such an illuminated person who can help others to enlighten. And if somebody helps us to engage in this purifying process and connects us back home back to Godhead, like the Ganga, we can appreciate that person like our spiritual guide.


(to be continued)

Leave a Reply