If you simply go to the holy places and take bath in the water and finish your business... No. That is not recommended. Tirtha, going to tirtha means to find out a learned saintly person and take knowledge from him. That is tirtha

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Expressions researched:
"if you simply go to the holy places and take bath in the water and finish your business... No. That is not recommended. Tirtha, going to tirtha means to find out a learned saintly person and take knowledge from him. That is tirtha"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Just like somebody goes to Haridwar, Vṛndāvana. They finish their tīrtha, going, taking so much trouble. Just like in Calcutta there is Ganges, but people will go to Haridwar for taking bath in the Ganges there. Why it is prescribed? Not for the Ganges. The Ganges is there already in Calcutta. But if you go to a holy place, you'll find saintly person. That is required. But if you simply go to the holy places and take bath in the water and finish your business... No. That is not recommended. Tīrtha, going to tīrtha means to find out a learned saintly person and take knowledge from him. That is tīrtha.
Lecture on BG 13.6-7 -- Bombay, September 29, 1973:

Icchā-dveṣa... This is the icchā-dveṣa, action of the mind, willing, feeling. Icchā-dveṣa. Sometimes we like something, sometimes we do not like. This is called icchā-dveṣa. Iccha dveṣa-samutthena sarge yānti parantapa (BG 7.27). We take birth within this material world according to icchā and dveṣa. These two things are there. Something we like, something we do not like.

icchā-dveṣaḥ sukhaṁ duḥkhaṁ
saṅghāṭaś cetanā dhṛtiḥ
etat kṣetraṁ samāsena
sa-vikāram udāhṛtam

This is the combination of all these things. That has made this body. So the composition is very subtle.

Good chemists, they can understand how by combining different elements they can produce something. So these chemical products of this body is described by Kṛṣṇa very nicely, gross chemical and subtle chemical. But I am different from this. That is knowledge. I am different from this combination. But that we do not know. That is ignorance. I am thinking that "I am this combination," and I am thinking, "Wherefrom this combination has come into being, that is my place." That is described in the śāstras, yasyātmā-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ (SB 10.84.13). The chemicals comes from the earth. So everything in my body, they have come from these material elements and I'm identifying, "This place is mine because this body is born out of these elements." That is going on as nationalism. Bhauma iḍya-dhīḥ. Bhauma iḍya-dhīḥ. They'll not prefer worshiping Kṛṣṇa. They'll prefer worshiping that land from which this body has emanated. Bhauma idya-dhiḥ.

So śāstra says, "Anyone who identifies this body as self," yasyātmā-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke... This body is made of three dhātus, kapha, pitta, vāyu, according to Ayurveda system. Kapha, mucus, and bile. Kapha pitta vāyu. Yasyātmā-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu (SB 10.84.13). And kinsmen, my own persons, sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu, wife and production from the wife, children. Or dynasty, family, community. Sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu. Yasyātmā-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke sva-dhīḥ kalatrādiṣu bhauma ijya-dhīḥ (SB 10.84.13). And that land, "This is my birthplace. This is worshipable." Yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij. And they go to the places, holy places of pilgrimage, tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile.

Just like somebody goes to Haridwar, Vṛndāvana. They finish their tīrtha, going, taking so much trouble. Just like in Calcutta there is Ganges, but people will go to Haridwar for taking bath in the Ganges there. Why it is prescribed? Not for the Ganges. The Ganges is there already in Calcutta. But if you go to a holy place, you'll find saintly person. That is required. But if you simply go to the holy places and take bath in the water and finish your business... No. That is not recommended. Tīrtha, going to tīrtha means to find out a learned saintly person and take knowledge from him. That is tīrtha.

Therefore it is said, yat-tīrtha-buddhiḥ salile na karhicij janeṣv abhijñeṣu. Those who are expert in giving knowledge, we should associate. Satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya-samvido bhavanti hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanaḥ kathāḥ (SB 3.25.25). If we associate with saintly persons and hear from them Bhagavad-gītā and other Vedic literatures, then hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanaḥ kathāḥ, it becomes appealing to the heart, hṛt, and pleasing to the ear. Hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanaḥ kathāḥ taj-joṣaṇād. And if you bring them into practical purposes, apply in your life, then śraddhā bhaktir ratir anukramiṣyati. Then gradually you'll become faithful to the Supreme. Śraddhā bhaktir. You'll develop your natural instincts of devotional service. Śraddhā bhaktir ratir, attachment. Anukramiṣyati, one after another. This is the process.

Unfortunately, we are not taking advantage of these prerogatives of human life. We are simply engaged like cats and dogs for utilizing our life: eating, sleeping, sex life and defense. Āhāra-nidrā-bhayaṁ maithunaṁ ca samānyam etat paśubhir narāṇām. These demands of the body, eating, sleeping, sex life and defense, that is there in the animal life. Then where is the difference between the animal life and human life? Unless you become inquisitive to know, athāto brahma jijñāsā.

Therefore Vedānta-sūtra says that this life is meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth, tattva-jijñāsā. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā. In the Bhāgavata also says. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is awakening the dormant inquiry of the human society to inquire "What I am? What is God? What is my relationship with God? Why I have come here in this material world? What is the reason? Why I am suffering? I don't want to die, but why death is forced upon me?" These are the questions to be solved in human life. Not the economic development. There is no question of economic development. Everyone is taken care by the mercy of God. Just like we are human beings. We are only four hundred thousand species, forms. But out of eight million four hundred thousand species, the eight millions forms of life, birds, beasts, they are taking (taken) care. There is no economic development program. They are eating very nicely. In Africa there are millions of elephants. They are eating very nicely. There is no question of scarcity of food. So why don't you think like that? Tasyaiva hetoḥ prayeteta kovido na labhyate yad bhramatām upary adhaḥ (1.5.18).

Therefore human life is simply meant for inquiring about the Absolute Truth, not for engaging oneself for this so-called economic development. That is already there by God's arrangement. Actually, I am wandering all over the world. There are immense space in this planet also. In Africa, in Australia, ten times of the population can be accommodated, and they can produce their food. But the īśāvāsya... We have forgotten that everything belongs to God. We are thinking "It is my land. You cannot come here. It is my land. You cannot come here." This mismanagement of the human society is the cause of all troubles, all problems. Therefore the human society must have Kṛṣṇa consciousness to solve all the problems of life. Thank you very much. (end)