Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha

the best ointment

Question of Yadunath: Gurudev, can you tell us some more about the worship of Tulasi Devi? Because often we accept Tulasi Devi as a little tree to be worshiped and we take that as something separate from us and rarely we realize that it is a part of us, like for example our kanti-mala and that her service to us is much bigger than our service to her. She is giving her devoted service while giving her body to us so that we can do our service better. Can you please tell us some more on our proper treating her and worship her?

Tirtha Maharaj: How to worship Tulasi? Am I correct, you said that Tulasi becomes part of our body, part of our existence?

Yadunath: She stays always with us and is not separate from us. When we are inclined to worship something that is separate, we put on the altar or near the altar, but we don’t appreciate her when she is with us. I mean we neglect her, not treat her nice.

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, there are some patterns in our thinking, in the way we think. Usually we think that we are the subjects and everything else is an object. Here is me as the subject and there is Tulasi as an object. But we should change this vision so that, as you mentioned, Tulasi is ready to approach us. So it is not that I put a tulasi necklace on my neck, but Tulasi is encircling, or creating a neck to encircle.

So change the vision. And how to change the vision? By service. Service of Tulasi – Tulasi is a sacred plant for Krishna – and she is a pure devotee. By serving a pure devotee, you will achieve pure devotion. Sometimes we worship her in an alive form, so to say, as a plant. But when the Tulasi is manifesting as a mala, then we should have the same mentality.

Worship of our mala means that you never let it fast. That means we always count the mantras on it. Especially in the beginning it is recommended that one should anoint the japa-mala with ghee. But you cannot anoint your japa-mala everyday with ghee. Although the ghee is the best grease, the best oily substance, there is one even more special greasy substance. Ghee comes from the cow and this special one comes from humans. And it is manifested on a very specific parts of the body – on the hands and on the fingers, especially on the thumb and the middle finger. So this is the best anointment for the mala. If you want to anoint your mala every day with ghee or with the best greasy substance, just chant your mantras. And the more you put on your japa-mala, the more will be created on your fingers.

Many devotees chant in order to be purified. But this is horrible. “Please, God, save me, serve me!” This is: “Give me, give me!” But: “What can I give to You? Please, engage me in Your service. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare!

The real chanting must be glorification. This much about the practice. And in this way you can achieve your goals. This much about the goals.

Krishna Priya: Can I ask something about the chanting? After the initiation chanting was very intense, but after that I got some problem with it. Then I spoke with many devotees and somehow for sure they have helped me, because the process started.

Tirtha Maharaj: Hm! Whom you were consulted? I want to consult them also!… All right, go ahead.

Krishna Priya: And exactly when the things started happening, some electrical device exploded in my right hand!

Tirtha Maharaj: My God!

Krishna Priya: That was very painful and exactly the fingers which I need for chanting were damaged. So my question is: can you give me some purport of the event?

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, the first conclusion is that you are a great saint! If you have influence over energies like blowing out, you are very powerful. The second is that irrespective of your fingers broken or damaged, you should go on chanting. Because whatever grease you have given to the japa, that will return to your fingers. It has got a healing effect.

So what is the explanation of such things happening? Mantras are powerful. I always tell you – God exists!

Yadunath: So this chanting could be our massaging the lotus feet of the Lord, like putting some oil on His feet as Tulasi Devi is always in the feet of the Lord?

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, that’s a nice type of meditation, but we should not forget that the japa-mala is round. And sometimes the beads are running in between the fingers, reminding us of the rasa-dance. And with oily feet it’s quite difficult to dance.

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