Radhanath Swami Video http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com Watch Radhanath Swami's Popular Video's Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:17:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 81654626 Bob Dylan’s Moment of Detachment http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/bob-dylans-moment-of-detachment http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/bob-dylans-moment-of-detachment#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:17:48 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2918 Those pleasures springing from sensual contacts are indeed nothing but sources of misery; moreover, they have a beginning and an end; as such the enlightened do not rejoice in them. (Bhagavad Gita 5.22)

Bob Dylan’s famous song of the 1960’s “Like a Rolling stone” was rated as the top of “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” by the Rolling Stone magazine in 2010. Bob Dylan was interviewed on this momentous occasion, “How do you feel about it?” In response, he expressed a truth that concurs with the teachings of the Gita. (Watch the video for Dylan’s response)

Whatever experiences appear to be pleasurable in this world, pain is deeply seated at the core of those experiences. When we accomplish something great – a world record, an award or academic achievement – we may experience the pleasure of grabbing people’s attention and impressing their minds for the time being. But usually such people either just become envious of us or do not care anymore when we lose that status; and that envy, that neglect, is a source of pain.

Human intelligence is to look into the future to understand deeper and higher principles. It is not to just attain temporary accomplishments and derive pleasure from them. Great accomplishments, though maybe important for the welfare of the world, are not as satisfying as cultivating great virtues in our personal lives. People are addicted and passionate about acquiring more and more – money, prestige, and accomplishments. But what will help the world all the more is when people try to be selfless. If we are willing to be unselfish and live a life of character for the greater good of everyone, people honor us and love us from their hearts. Accomplishments are appreciable, but the quality of the consciousness in which we achieve them is utterly important. That’s what the world will remember and God will see. Ultimately, it is character that makes a person great, not his or her accomplishments.

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How to deal with struggles? http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/how-to-deal-with-struggles http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/how-to-deal-with-struggles#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2016 10:08:33 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2916 Whatever one’s past may be, when one is situated in the boat of transcendental knowledge, one will be able to cross over the ocean of miseries. (Bhagavad Gita 4.36)

We all face struggles – that’s life. Do we see them as curses or do we try to turn them into blessings? Are we discouraged, or are we gaining internal strength through such experiences? Are we learning from athletes, who use resistance to gain physical strength?

The wisdom of the scriptures gives us the eyes to see opportunities even in testing times. Here are some Gita sutras that will infuse our minds with such timeless wisdom:

See every situation as temporary

Our struggles may seem endless, but is anything endless in this world? “All things must pass,” sang George Harrison of the rock band Beatles. Know that there’s always a sunrise even after the darkest night. Bhagavad Gita says that misery and happiness come and go like changing seasons. One has to simply tolerate them and remain undisturbed.

How to remain undisturbed? Consider the analogy of a puddle and an ocean. A puddle overflows in the monsoons and dries up in the summer. The ocean, however, remains undisturbed irrespective of the season. Why? Because the ocean has depth. Similarly, a person who is in touch with the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita develops spiritual depth. She seeks fulfillment within – not from without. And therefore she is neither elated in good times nor devastated in bad times.

See failures as a learning experience

Successful people learn from their mistakes. They never give up. Thomas Edison failed 9000 times in trying to invent the light bulb. But he never got depressed. He persisted. Whenever he failed in an attempt, he thought, “I now know one another way an electric bulb does not work.” That was the attitude that eventually led him to success.

See suffering as results of your own karma

As we sow, so shall we reap. Acts of kindness attract good karma; malicious actions attract bad karma. It is nature’s law, similar to the law of gravity – it’s a law that acts irrespective of whether we believe in it or not.

Now, the million-dollar question: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Consider a silo, a tall tower on a farm, used to store grain. After harvest, the farmer stores the fresh grains by putting them through the top of the silo and thus, keeps filling the silo. Whenever required, the farmer retrieves the old storage from the bottom of the silo. Now, if the farmer stored spoiled grains at some time in the past, he may receive them now.

All actions have corresponding reactions, and all reactions are fulfilled in time. A seed may lie in the ground for some time, but when conditions are right, it will sprout and grow. We can’t always predict when this will happen. The principle of karma is simple, but the details of how it operates are complex. We may not be able to trace the specific reason of our suffering, but we can ascertain that our present condition is the sprouting of the seed of an action sowed at some time – may be in this life or another. It doesn’t really matter.We always have the free will to make new choices at every step of our life and thus, sow the seeds of a more beneficial future.

The philosophy of karma is not a harsh insensitive response to our struggles and is not meant to induce further depression or an unhealthy guilt. It is provided to help us grow in whatever situation we are by taking responsibility for our choices and overcome the feeling of being a victim. However, to make right choices – good over evil – especially in testing times requires faith in something sublime.

Have faith in the Supreme and rise above fear

When tragedy strikes us, we become confused. It can deeply shake us both emotionally and spiritually. The world may seem cruel and meaningless, and we can lose faith in the grace of God.

Radhanath Swami writes in his book The Journey Within, “Faith isn’t about being ‘religious’ or having ‘belief’ in something (beliefs are changeable). Faith is about having unflinching trust with our intelligence, our intuition and our heart. It’s really a change of consciousness by which we become linked with God and with each other as children of God. Faith allows us to see that both happiness and suffering are not random but helpful to our progressive spiritual development.” Bhagavad Gita teaches that one who has faith in the Supreme will never perish, will quickly become righteous and attains lasting peace.

“Life is ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent how we respond to it,” said Lou Holtz. Instead of blaming other people or even God for our pain, we need to develop the eyes to see with love and forgiveness. We, then, become empowered by faith and attract a higher power to help us overcome the obstacles. Every time we make this choice to exercise our divine nature, our faith grows stronger. As we make a deeper spiritual connection, we begin to recognize the loving hand of the Supreme Friend that is there to protect, empower and shelter us, and ultimately, to offer us freedom. Trusting such benevolence can lift us above fear and help us make the right choices even in the face of a tragedy.

Take-home message

The above four sutras will help us maintain a positive attitude, provided, we aspire for growth in quality rather than simply quantity. Most people measure growth mainly in terms of quantity – money, power, and influence. Quantity, however, fluctuates. Sometimes, we experience the highs and other times, the lows. But quality – cultivating a strong character – acts like a foundation of the building of our life. Such an aspiration of growth in quality is the key to turn even an apparent curse into a blessing.

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The Flower Festival http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/the-flower-festival http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/the-flower-festival#comments Tue, 08 Nov 2016 10:02:00 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2914 When one offers me in devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, I accept that loving offering, as it is rendered out of a pure heart. (Bhagavad Gita 9.26)

Flowers are a beautiful creation of God. Why not offer them back to the creator with love and gratitude? The annual flower festival at the Radha Gopinath Temple in Mumbai, India, embodies this idea through an exciting event that has been touching the very souls of the participants since the inception. The festival begins in the morning with hundreds of volunteers plucking flower petals from over a ton of wide variety of flowers brought from all over India. During the sevaRadhanath Swami inspires all the participants with a talk on the principles of bhakti and the spirit of this festival.

“It is not the thing that counts, but the purpose with which we offer,” says Radhanath Swami.  When a child offers a cookie – prepared by his mother – back to his mother, there is an exchange of affection. Similarly, God does not want our things-in-themselves. Bhagavad Gita explains, “If one offers with love even a flower, fruit, leaf or water, God accepts it because he is hungry for our love – though he is self-satisfied.” God is full in himself, but still yearns to love. The Vedic literatures are filled with such stories of God’s reciprocation. In the Srimad Bhagavatam comes the narration of Sudama, a childhood friend of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Sudama, being very poor, went to meet Krishna, who was then the king of the Dwaraka city, with a small pouch of cheap chipped rice as a gift. But Krishna was so pleased with his offering of love that he reciprocated with deep friendship and presented Sudama with great riches. Similarly, in the Ramayana comes the tale of the Supreme Lord Rama constructing the bridge across the ocean with the help of his soldiers. The Lord instructed the mighty warrior Hanuman, “Your herculean effort in building the bridge with huge boulders and the apparently tiny effort of a spider (also assisting in building the bridge) are the same in my eyes.”

The festival also exemplifies the spirit of unity in diversity. Bhakti unites everyone with the common purpose of serving and pleasing God. People from distant countries with a variety of socio-economic backgrounds – rich industrialists, simple monks, farmers, housewives, intellectuals, old and young people, parents, children – everyone sit on the same floor to do the simple act of plucking flower petals. “We all feel that we have plucked these flowers as one big family,” says Radhanath Swami. “Diversity is really beautiful if we understand the unity. Instead of fighting over the differences, we become one in purpose to make this offering of our love to God.”

In the evening, the forms of Radha and Krishna (Radha Gopinath) are bathed with fragrant colourful petals – orange marigolds, pink and red roses, white jasmine and so on. The event reaches the crescendo with the showering of these same petals onto the participants of the festival. Amidst chanting and dancing in the rousing kirtan, everyone throws flower petals on each other with great joy and happiness.  “Showered by flower petals in Mumbai – experience I will never forget,” tweeted Valentina Zelyaeva, one of the top 10 models in the world, who attended the festival in 2015.

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Conscious Leadership by Radhanath Swanmi at BSE Event http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/conscious-leadership-by-radhanath-swanmi-at-bse-event http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/conscious-leadership-by-radhanath-swanmi-at-bse-event#comments Sat, 18 Jun 2016 08:30:46 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2902 It is my very great honor and pleasure to be with all of you this evening. Special gratitude to our esteemed guests, organizers, and to all of you.

One time my beloved guru Srila Prabhupada while in London was challenged by a journalist, “Why have you come to our country?” and Srila Prabhupada responded that, “Your country England ruled over India for many generations, and in the span of that time you took so much of our wealth to London, but you forgot to take our greatest wealth, our spiritual culture. I have come to give you freely what you forgot to take from us.”

 

Radhanath Swami describes the essence of all scriptures

I was born and raised in the United States, and I saw all around me so much wealth, so much luxury, such nice telephone system and road systems, and televisions and everything else, and I saw so much power, but to myself and so many people of my generation it was so hollow, it was so shallow, because you see greed could never satisfy the heart. Bhagavad-Gita tells that greed is like fire, the more you feed it, the hungrier and more it needs. When people are trampling on each other, exploiting each other due to greed, ‘Do I want to be a part of this?’

And then I heard of verse, that in many ways is the essence of the Bible, it was spoken by a great personality of Jewish descent who founded Christianity, Jesus Christ, and to me this statement is what a Christian is, what is Jew is, with what a religious person is. And I just saw that it was so rare all around me. The verse is – what profit of a man who gains the whole world but loses his eternal soul? That’s what I saw happening, and it’s happening today more than ever, even in the name of God. I was seeking my soul. I was seeking a meaning and purpose in life that would make whatever I did of actual value. Children in so many parts of the world, if we don’t give them a meaning, a spiritual purpose to live for, then they are so vulnerable to greed, to arrogance, to exploitation.

In my calling, I read literatures from India, and I really wanted to find something. I studied Judaism and Christianity and Islam, and I studied many other traditions, Buddhism, as I hitchhiked from London to India. And here I found my soul. I found a meaning in life.

 

Radhanath Swami shares stories of great leaders of past

Mr. Kumar was describing the story of Dadichi, how he sacrificed everything for a higher purpose. He was a sadhu. But one of the beautiful things of the great Vedic literature is, it really shows what leadership is, and most of the prominent examples are not sadhus, they are people with families, who have immense material responsibilities, but what was their character. Why did they have such loyalty from the people that they lead, because they genuinely felt compassion for them? Yudhishtir Maharaj, he had wife, he had children, he was a king, but it describes in Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagvatam, he considered every single one of his citizens as his own praja, his own children. He didn’t see that, ‘I’m the ruler and you are the ruled.’ He saw that, ‘On behalf of God, I’ve been given the responsibility to serve you as a ruler,’ and he was a servant of everyone, and therefore people loved him and followed him. Lord Ramachandra, in Ramayana, when he came back from exile, as Yudhishtir also came back from exile before he was a king, they had their difficulties and they learned good lessons. Ramachandra, every day, as the king of Ayodhya would open his court to meet any citizen, from the street sweeper to the ministers, to discuss their problems and solve them, because he saw everyone equally. This is the substance of Indian culture, this type of example of leaders.

Maharaj Shibi, why was he such a leader that people followed him with love, because he loved. He was willing to give up his life for the least person of his kingdom, a pigeon and because his citizens saw, ‘He is willing to die for the welfare of the pigeon in his kingdom, what is our importance?’ and they followed his role model. Rantidev, whether one was a Brahmin, or whether one was an outcast, or whether one was a dog, he was willing to give up his life for them and his whole kingdom, because they saw such a leader, everyone was God conscious, everyone was charitable.

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates on meaning of compassion

There cannot be poverty where there is compassion. Poverty is simply an extension of inner heart of human poverty. When there is a poverty of compassion, everything else manifests. – Radhanath Swami

And when there is wealth within the hearts and leaders, a mother and father is a leader, having managerial roles in business is leadership, government leaders educators are leaders, when there is inner wealth, when there is a connection to the soul, when there is compassion, and there is prosperity, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The Bhagavad-Gita teaches us,

bhoktāraḿ yajña-tapasāḿ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram
suhṛdaḿ sarva-bhūtānāḿ
jñātvā māḿ śāntim ṛcchati
[BG 5.29]

People are looking for peace. Real peace can only be when we accept that there is one God, who is the source of everyone, the essence of all the great spiritual paths and religions of the world, when we understand that one God, and we understand everything is the property of that one God, ‘Nothing is mine, we are caretakers, we are caretakers of whatever abilities we have, whatever intelligence we have, whatever fame and influence we have, whatever money or property we have.’ And what does it mean to be a caretaker? Every living things a child of God. When we connect to our own soul, it’s no longer a matter of getting some tax relief or getting some fame for giving charity, it’s a matter of genuine care, ‘These are my family members.’

That’s the nature of a spiritual connection, when we see all living beings is God’s children, we care. We cannot be happy unless they are happy, para-dukha-dukhi. – Radhanath Swami

Human evolution is going from the obsessive need, to get things to the joy of giving, that’s the nature of the soul. The environment is God’s property that everyone, whether we are simple farmers or whether we are corporate heads or government leaders, we all depend on the environment equally.

To be conscious, to enrich the environment, not to pollute is a spiritual principle, and it’s a social responsibility. It’s simply a natural expression of compassion. – Radhanath Swami

The Bhagavata Purana tells, if you water the root of a tree it naturally extends to every part of the tree. Similarly when we actually come in contact with our own true self, the atma, the soul that is seeing through the eyes, and hearing through the ears, the source of life within us, we understand that our real wealth and our only true happiness is in feeling God’s love and sharing that love in everything we do, with everyone we come in contact with, according to our capacity.

Things can give some amount of pleasure to the body and mind, but things can give no satisfaction to the heart, only to love and to be loved can give fulfillment to the heart, and real happiness is a thing of the heart. – Radhanath Swami.

What do we want to give our children? Do we want to give them happiness or do we just want to give them external implications and complications? A mother doesn’t want to just see her child dressed pretty with jewelry, a mother wants to see her child happy. You can give her all the jewels in the world, but if you have time to give her love, she will look pretty but live in misery, and that applies to everyone. The more we have, the more we love, the more that is expressed, and in our Sanatana dharma principles, if you have compassion in your business, or you are in politics, or you are in investment, then you will be motivated millions of times more than somebody who is doing it for greed or prestige because you have a mission, the more you have the more you could help.

To earn with integrity to spend with compassion, that is dharma and that is something that each and every one of us need to take responsibility for, it’s not a theory, it’s the substance of life, it’s the substance of culture. – Radhanath Swami

It’s what our children and the world need to learn by our examples.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Joe Torre

A few years ago I was invited to speak at a conference in Beverly Hills, it’s called the Mike Milken Global Conference. And there was a panel discussion with several thousand people there, and I was invited to be present. And perhaps the top person with hotels in the world was there, a person who is CEO of the greatest food chain in the world, grocery stores, investors, bankers, a scientist who has more patents for cancer than anyone else, and then there was a baseball player’s name is Joe Torre. He was one of the three most successful baseball managers in history. Do any of you know what baseball is? How can I explain it? It’s kind of a Western offshoot of Indian cricket. But it’s the most popular sport in America, and it’s a huge business. The greatest team in the history is the New York Yankees.

The New York’s Joe Torre was introduced with this kind of life story, for fifteen years the New York Yankees did not get into a single World Series. And they kept firing managers and hiring new ones. They hired Joe Torre, who happened to be, before he was a manager, he was a Hall of Fame player, he was a most valuable player, he had all awards. And all the press of country were blasting him, “This is the worst mistake the Yankees can make, such a useless person being the manager? This is crazy.” And he was getting nothing but bad press. But he didn’t care what the press said. He was in charge of the team for the next 12 years, they were in the playoffs all 12 years. They won four World Series, most successful time in the Yankees history.

So he got up to speak and he said, “Yes, I’m in the Hall of Fame, and I was one of the greatest players of baseball that ever lived, and I was one of the three greatest managers that ever managed, and I made hundreds of millions dollars for the team.” He said, “But none of those things are really important,” he said, “The most important thing that has given me the most fulfillment in my life is not that stuff.” He said, “Would you like to know what was really meaningful to me?” He said, “When I was a child, I was in a very abusive household.” I think his father was an alcoholic and he was very abusive. He said, “There was so much stress and misery in my heart. As a child I would just go out and play baseball and just take out all my stress and my anxiety and my anguish and just hitting balls and playing, and that’s how I became so great. But after I retired,” he said, “I started within the inner-city ghetto schools, counseling programs for children from abusive homes, and when I see those children who went through what I went through, lost, confused, and alone, now I see them smile and I see that they feel loved,” he said, “that is meaningful, not the money, not the awards.” and he was very humble. He said, “And I have to admit to you. The greatest achievement of my life, which is this foundation was actually my wife’s idea.”

 

Radhanath Swami illustrates on applying the principle of yukta-vairagya

What is meaningful? I was just at a medical conference in American, one doctor from India said, “In my tradition, at the crematorium a person wears a white garment and there is no pockets that means you can’t take anything with you.” Arvind Mafatlal, our Rishikesh Mafatlal’s beloved father, he gave his life so much, he was a corporate person but he inspired his stockholders, his company, so much to invest in helping millions and millions of people in so many ways. And he was inspired by his Guru, spiritual inspiration. And after he passed away from the world, no one really cared about how much money he made, nobody really cared about how many awards he got, people loved him because of his love because of what he had given away.

You see, in this world, I’ve been around for 65 years now, I have never ever seen anyone love anyone for what they have, no one will love you for your money, they may give you some superficial respect or they may envy you, no one will love you for your skills, no one will love you for your fame or prestige, people will love you for your compassion, people will actually respect you from their hearts only for what you give, for your character, for your values, for your humility and compassion, this is leadership.

When we really understand that there is nothing more valuable than connecting with our true self, in our tradition we chant God’s names to make that interconnection, because you see unless there’s a spiritual connection, our compassion and our values could be very unsustainable, unless we have a deep inner reason, ‘Why I will have integrity, that means I will maintain my values even if I risk losing so much, I will maintain my values even if I can gain so much by putting them aside.’ Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, she explained what Jesus said, “The greatest disqualification for spiritual enlightenment is wealth, too much beauty, too much education, and too much fame, because they have a tendency of separating us and making us arrogant, and exciting our greed, akinchana-gocharan.” But then it goes on the principle of yukta-vairagya, if we understand that, ‘Our welfare, our beauty, our fame, our influence is God’s property and I’m a caretaker, and we use it in the principle of seva, then they are the greatest gifts that help us toward spiritual enlightenment.’ And what I have experienced is at the very core of Indian culture, there is such deep philosophical, cultural, presence of these divine principles, and I see so many of you living by these principles. It’s the leadership the world needs. Thank you very much.

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Protect Environment Rather Than Combating Crisis (NEXUS Conference) http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/protect-environment-rather-than-combating-crisis-nexus-conference http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/protect-environment-rather-than-combating-crisis-nexus-conference#comments Wed, 18 May 2016 04:24:05 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2885  

My special gratitude to you, Srimati Kiran Bediji for your incredibly transforming words, and my sincerest gratitude to the very sincere dedicated speakers throughout yesterday’s sessions, who were really sharing their realizations, their knowledge, their skills, and my special gratitude to each and every one of you who have come to our Govardhan Eco Village for this event.

 

Radhanath Swami points out the root cause of problems in world

We are especially focused on discussing, making changes, and finding solutions to the crisis in the environment. As we said yesterday, it is from a deeper perspective, we are not facing a crisis of the environment, rather it is a crisis of the human spirit, because whatever we see in the ecology of the world very much corresponds with the ecology of the human heart. A simple analogy, because in Mumbai we have our Bhaktivedanta hospital, so I always talk with doctors, any disease we treat the symptoms but it’s not going to solve the problem unless we go to the root cause of the symptoms. If a person is having boil due to a disease in the blood, we could put ointment and various treatments for the boil itself but they will recur again and again and again, unless we go to the root cause, toxins in the blood. The toxin of greed, arrogance, lust, envy, illusion, is plaguing the human heart. Bhagavad-Gita compares agreed to fire. The more you try to satisfy it, the more you feed it, the stronger and hungrier it becomes. Material resources, whether its prestige, fame, acquisition of property, expansion of our bank account, can never ever satisfy the heart; the more we become obsessed with these things the more the fire blazes for more.

Spiritual life, true religion, true yoga is the science of cleansing the heart from these toxins, and actually learning to live in harmony, the body, the mind with our own atma, with our own soul. – Radhanath Swami

And as we learn to live in harmony with our true self, we naturally learn and understand the importance of living in harmony with God, with all other living beings, and with nature, the environment.

 

Radhanath Swami on understanding meaning of compassion

In Sanskrit the word karuna is sometimes translated as compassion. In the English dictionary compassion is defined as having feelings for the welfare of other living beings. In Sanskrit there is a word para-dukha-dukhi, that an actual enlightened person is not just one who can quote a lot of scriptures, not just one who could perform some supernatural powers, an actual enlightened person is one who thinks, ‘Other people’s suffering becomes my suffering, and other people’s happiness becomes my happiness.’ And as our heart becomes cleansed, as we come in contact with Krishna or God and our own soul, naturally that spirit of compassion expands. As Srimati Kiranji was saying, we should have compassion for our own self, our own body because it is a temple of God, it is not mine, it is in my care; compassion to my own family members because they are not mine but they are children of God placed in my care; to all my possessions to my well and it gradually expands to the community, to our nation, to humanity, and to all living beings.

To the degree the spirit of compassion, the spirit of karuna expands, our life becomes meaningful and fulfilling. – Radhanath Swami

karuna does not just mean a theoretical conception of compassion, it means active, intelligent, and directed compassion, with commitment and care. It is that spirit of karuna that is most urgently needed in the world, and every other type of poverty and shortage is very much because of the poverty of compassion.

It is impossible to make sustainable environmental changes unless there are changes in people’s behavior, values, and philosophy of life. Outward change is directly corresponding with inward change. They go together. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates the meaning of logo of Nexus Conference

In the Nexus conference sign that is in front of us, I don’t know if you call this a logo or a picture, but whatever it is there are different colored, different shape, different size hands all holding each other, and that is the principle. That holding of hands is based on actually caring for each other. Compassion is not just an idea; environmentalism is not just a concept. If we believe in it, if we care for it, we will commit ourselves for the action and the example that will actually make those changes. The more we see problems in the world, the more we want to go deeper to be empowered by a higher power than our own, the power of God’s grace, so that we can actually make a difference.

Technology can be extremely useful or extremely harmful depending on who is using it. Similarly education, yesterday we heard from one of our speakers that most of the real big problems in this world are being created and perpetuated by people who really have a tremendous amount of material intellect and scientific technological training, but a polluted ecology of heart. Here at our Eco-Village, it’s a very humble and small attempt, not just to create a nice community for we who live in it, but trying to create an example, that could somehow give some enlightenment, some direction, and some hope for the world.

We were speaking yesterday that the biggest things in the history of this world began with just a few people committing themselves. If we are expecting, ‘Let’s have something big and then we will really get excited about it!’ then we may wait birth after birth after birth after birth; we have to begin with what we have and commit ourselves to it. Many of the brahmacharis and the monks that are living here are graduates from many of the world’s leading universities and colleges, many from IIT in India. They are engineers, in fact one of our devotees got his PhD at Penn State University, in Pennsylvania USA, and he really wanted to do something that was really meaningful and useful from with his PhD. So he came here and explored village technologies and made a tank that transforms cow dung into gas for cooking, and it’s so simple, there’s no electricity, it’s just a way of treating the cow dung picked up with our with the villagers. The brahmacharis, the engineers, are together with the village ladies picking up the cow dung and putting it in. People with some of the highest credentials of science and technology in their youth are hand-in-hand with farmers, with villagers, exploring what many of them have forgotten.

When Srila Prabhupada went to England, this is in 1969, one reporter asked him, “Swamiji, why have you come to our country, we have our own religion?” Srila Prabhupada smiled. He said, “You British people, you ruled over India for over a century and you took from Indiana and brought to London all of its treasures, but you forgot the most valued treasure of its culture, its philosophy, its spiritual lifestyle. I have come to freely bring to London what you forgot to take.” So we find here at the eco-village, we have some of the most influential industrialists, business people, engineers, who are coming together. I just went to one semester of a junior college.

So, the secret to real progress is when we learn to appreciate the potential within others. – Radhanath Swami

When we are selfishly centered, when there’s arrogance, we are thinking, ‘I’m doing better than you,’ or we become envious because we can’t do as good as someone else; but an actual enlightened person is one who can deeply appreciate the value of what others can do, in the service of God for the good of others. Whether we are Hanuman carrying mountains or a little spider lifting one grain of sand at a time, in Ram’s estimation they are equal, because they are sincerely doing what they can. So with this spirit, we are trying to address various issues that we see are really really important, built on the foundational principle of devotion to Krishna or God and compassion for others, with the help of Vishwanathji and several others we are developing water harvesting. The water is there. Are we grateful for God for every drop of water he is giving us, if we are, we will see its value and cherish it, not waste it. Sewage refining – they don’t even call it sewage here, they call it a symbiotic biotechnology. As I was speaking to Nimai Lila yesterday, I said translate it for people can understand, it is treating sewage but they don’t see it that way. Just like yesterday, one of our esteemed speakers was teaching us that we should not waste waste, because it’s not waste.

Everything within this universe has great value, oḿ pūrṇam adaḥ pūrṇam idaḿ pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate, everything is perfect and complete if we understand its relationship with Bhagwan, with Krishna, with God. – Radhanath Swami

But what does that mean? That doesn’t mean just a theoretical idea. If we really understand its connection, then we will live in seva, we will use it in a spirit of service. Yes, human sewage is priceless if only we understand its potential value and use it accordingly, because that’s the way the universe was created. With the help of Chitra ji, who I believe is still here, she has taught us, according to Srila Prabhupada, our own guru’s idea, how to make bricks from our local soil, compress them, and dry them in the sun. The villagers, the industrialists, the monk engineers, together they’ve made over 250,000 bricks and the building we are sitting in is made out of it. And they really beautiful, aesthetic, and they last. It’s really incredible. We are walking on the land all the time, do we see the potential that we could build buildings and houses and temples out of this brick, if we just realize it’s potential. We have that potential within ourselves, if only by the association of people who see it, we can understand it.

Composting, taking organic trash and making it into incredibly valuable compost for growing crops, natural growing food without chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers. We have our PhD’s studying the technologies that hundreds of years ago simple farmers used in realizing this is superior to everything that modern science has ever created, and it’s right here in India. Electricity – the experiments of solar power, wind power, and as I said practically all the cooking is done with the gas produced by the dung of the cow. There is no reason to kill a cow or a bull. They are our brothers and our sisters and I have seen people from all around India and all over the world, when they come here and they actually come in contact with a cow that has been loved by humans, and that cow loves humans, they have a complete transformation, they could no longer ever eat meat again, because they make the connection that every animal ultimately wants to be loved and want to love; that is the universal principle of life itself.

 

Radhanath Swami shares the story of Redwood trees

I will end with a little analogy that I like to give. How nature teaches us so many things, like this illustration. In California, the redwood trees are the largest trees on planet earth, and I heard a Park Ranger explaining how these trees that we were looking at, there are on loose soil, their roots cannot grow very deep in that soil, over the centuries they have been subjected to massive earthquakes, blizzards, storms, how do they keep growing higher and higher and bigger and bigger. The underground secret! Because the roots of the redwood trees reach out for the roots of another tree and as soon as they come in contact, they intertwine with each other and make a permanent embrace. In this way every tree in the forest is directly or indirectly supporting every other tree; unity is the strength. In their own way they are not only holding hands, but the root of the tree is like the heart of the tree, their hearts are connected, this is karuna.

Compassion is when we actually connect our hearts with real love and concern for other living beings, and this is the real fruit of self-realization, enlightenment. – Radhanath Swami

And in this way even in the face of inevitable storms and earthquakes that come in so many ways to all of us individually and collectively, if we are connected, with karuna, with God’s grace between us, we will continue to grow and grow and grow. I thank you very much.

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Narada Muni Engaged All Capabilities For Krishna’s Service http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/narada-muni-engaged-all-capabilities-for-krishnas-service http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/narada-muni-engaged-all-capabilities-for-krishnas-service#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 03:55:21 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2882 SB 10.70.4-5

brāhme muhūrta utthāya
vāry upaspṛśya mādhavaḥ
dadhyau prasanna-karaṇa
ātmānaṁ tamasaḥ param 

ekaṁ svayaṁ-jyotir ananyam avyayaṁ
sva-saṁsthayā nitya-nirasta-kalmaṣam
brahmākhyam asyodbhava-nāśa-hetubhiḥ
sva-śaktibhir lakṣita-bhāva-nirvṛtim 

Word for word: 

brāhme muhūrte — during the most suitable period of the day for spiritual activity, before sunrise; utthāya — rising; vāri — water; upaspṛśya — touching; mādhavaḥ — Lord Kṛṣṇa; dadhyau — meditated; prasanna — clear;karaṇaḥ — His mind; ātmānam — upon Himself; tamasaḥ — ignorance; param — beyond; ekam — exclusive;svayamjyotiḥ — self-luminous; ananyam — without another; avyayam — infallible; svasaṁsthayā — by His own nature; nitya — perpetually; nirasta — dispelling; kalmaṣam — contamination; brahmaākhyam — known as Brahman, the Absolute Truth; asya — of this (universe); udbhava — of creation; nāśa — and destruction; hetubhiḥ— by the causes; sva — His own; śaktibhiḥ — energies; lakṣita — manifest; bhāva — existence; nirvṛtim — joy.

 

Translation: 

Lord Mādhava would rise during the brāhma-muhūrta period and touch water. With a clear mind He would then meditate upon Himself, the single, self-luminous, unequaled and infallible Supreme Truth, known as Brahman, who by His very nature ever dispels all contamination, and who through His personal energies, which cause the creation and destruction of this universe, manifests His own pure and blissful existence.

Purport: 

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura points out that the word bhāva in this verse indicates the created beings. Thus the compound word lakṣita-bhāva-nirvṛtim means that Lord Kṛṣṇa gives pleasure to the created beings through His various energies. Of course, the soul is never created, but our material, conditioned existence is created by the interaction of the Lord’s energies.

One who is favoured by the Lord’s internal potency can understand the nature of the Absolute Truth; this understanding is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa explains that His energies are divided into inferior and superior, or material and spiritual, potencies. The Brahma-saṁhitā further explains that the material potency acts like a shadow, following the movements of the spiritual reality, which is the Lord Himself and His spiritual potency. When one is favored by Lord Kṛṣṇa, He reveals Himself to the surrendered soul, and thus the same creation that formerly covered the soul becomes an impetus for spiritual enlightenment.

We are reading today from Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 10 chapter 70 entitled “Lord Krishna’s daily activities” texts four and five. Sukadev Goswami is sharing a particle of Lord Sri Krishna’s daily life. In Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita it is said that even Ananta Sesha with his limitless mouths cannot explain the activities that the supreme personality of Godhead Lord Chaitanya, cannot explain all the activities of the Lord that he performs even in a minute, even if he had the entire span of the entire life of the universe to do so. So we understand Krishna is achintya, he is inconceivable, a part of the inconceivable power of the absolute truth is to make himself conceivable while still being inconceivable

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on how Narada Muni visits all the palaces of Krishna

In the previous chapter Sukadev Goswami explained, Narada Muni coming to Dwarka because Narada Muni heard of how Krishna liberated Narkasura and Bhaumasura . Then after over 16,000 queen took shelter of him, gave their hearts to him. He married all of them and brought them all to his home Dwarka an Island in the sea and there he had Vishva karma create wonderful palaces for each one of them. Now Narada Muni is a very, very perfect genuine brahmachari and still he was so interested in this incredible pastimes. Narada Muni this great brahmachari is very interested to hear about Krishna’s household life, so he came to Dwarka. What he saw, was extraordinary, astonishing, incredible. When Narada Muni came into Dwarka to seeing the beauty of that place it is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Vishva karma himself was the architectural, engineer, designer of all the demigods. He personally made the architectural design for each one of Krishna’s palace 16,108 and it’s not that he used the same design for all of them, each was unique by Krishna’s arrangement. He was seeing the beautiful ponds, wonderful trees, listening to the birds singing.

He came into the palace where Krishna was with Rukamani Devi, there he saw Rukamani the principle of all the queens of Lord Krishna Goddess of fortune herself, the internal potency, pleasure potency of Krishna, the source of Durga, Kali and Bhumi. Rukamani was surrounded by so many maidservants, they were very beautiful and highly qualified and yet Rukamani herself was fanning Krishna with the chamra, very simple menial service. But she was doing, she is the goddess of fortune. So many people here in India worship her Lakshmi puja, Durga puja because they want success, they want healthy family, they want money, they want victory. And here is Lakshmi herself who bestows all of these things, who has everything. She is showing that there is no greater wealth than devotional service, samsiddhir hari tosanam, devotional service means, to speak, think and act in such a way that Krishna is pleased. Sometimes we think Krishna is pleased by very extraordinary accomplishments according to the worldly perspective. Lakshmi could’ve just started creating universes, but she was doing with every single one of us could do, even a little child. I’ve seen even two three-year-old children with the little chamra doing this, they don’t even know the alphabet yet, but they can fan Krishna with the chamra, the chamras are very lightweight, it has little tale. But she was showing us and she was personally experiencing, what is the greatest of all fortune, the goddess of fortune, loving devotional service. She had so many maidservants, who were willing to do that she could have been sitting next to Krishna and had people fanning, but she was doing it herself and to seeing this Narada Muni was extremely astonished.

 

Radhanath Swami describes how Krishna welcomes and serve Narada Muni, in his palace  

Krishna was so comfortable and then Krishna got up from his bed and put his own helmet or head on Narada Muni’s lotus feet. then he offered Narada Muni his own very personal sitting place and he washed Narada Muni’s feet. And began to glorify Narada Muni, that you are so kind, you are a liberated soul, who is always absorbed in meditation on the Lord and you go to even very poor fallen householders like me, just to show by your example and enlighten us in the real purpose of life. Krishna offered gifts to Narada Muni, offered wonderful prasada to Narada Muni, render very menial humble services. Just as Rukamani was offering very simple services to Krishna, Krishna was offerings even more menial services to Narada. After seeing this Narada Muni knew that Krishna is the absolute truth, the cause of all causes, the creator of everything, the ultimate object of all worship. But because it was Krishna’s will to worship him just to please Krishna he was willing to accept that worship, that in itself is an incredible act of surrender and humility. He could’ve started having a fight with Krishna no, I am going to wash your feet and Krishna said no I will wash your feet. But he just sat on Krishna’s throne and allowed Krishna to wash his feet and allowed Krishna to have his queens transfer their service to him to service to Narada because that’s what pleases Krishna, Narada Muni was willing to perform that austerity. You water the root of the tree, every part of the tree is happy, when you please Krishna, everyone becomes on the spiritual level happy and that’s where our greatest happiness. Then Krishna told Narada Muni please tell me how I may serve you? Now that Krishna asked how can I serve you, he said you are the supreme Brahman, the absolute truth the object of everyone’s souls love please give me the blessing that I will always remember you and in every situation I will never forget you.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on how Krishna performed different activities in each of his palaces when Narada Muni visits

Narada Muni left that palace because he wanted to go to some of the other palaces As he entered into the second palace, there was Krishna, the same one Krishna and he was playing chess with one of his queens and Udhava, they were laughing together and joking together and playing together As soon as Krishna saw Narada Muni, it was as if he haven’t seen him for such a long time. He jumped up from his seat “O Narada Muni you are so kind, you have come to my house” I am so grateful you have come what a good surprise this is. He put Narada Muni on his throne and washed his feet and asked “how can I’s serve you”? Narada Muni was so much overwhelmed, he was silent, he left then went to the next palace. There Krishna was giving some cows to Brahmins and he saw Narada Muni and got up and said “O Narada Muni how can I serve you”? and he honored Narada Muni and Narada Muni went to another palace and another palace and each placed it was as if Krishna was just seeing him for the first time after such a long time.

Sometimes he saw Krishna doing some fire Yajna, sometimes he saw him doing Shradha for forefathers, sometimes he saw him discussing different political situations in Dwarka. Other times he was sitting with Balaram and discussing some other subject and another time he was with Satyaki speaking another subject, different places he was with queens. Sometimes he was giving a daughter away in marriage. Sometime he comes to the next house and he is receiving a daughter-in-law who just got married one of his sons. Sometimes he is discussing economic development for Dwarka. Narada Muni went to every single one of the 16,108 palaces and in each place Krishna was uniquely performing different activities with different devotees. Each place he was so blissfully surprised to see Narada Muni coming. Now for some of us we would get tired of just going palace after palace. But it’s like hearing about Krishna, the more you if we actually have some love for Krishna in our heart even if we hear the same mantra.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

Even if we hears hundreds and millions of times, even if it’s the same melody, it will only get sweeter and sweeter. We hear Krishna’s pastimes, whether its new pastimes the past times we’ve heard since the first day we met devotee. If there’s love in our heart, it becomes more and more enchanting. We have a deeper experience that’s the symptom of our sincerity, is our eagerness not for just something new but for Krishna, because Krishna is nav-yovanam ca he’s ever new.

When Lord Chaitanya would go to visit Lord Jagannath in Puri every day was his such a special, unique divine experience and all the devotees with him, because Krishna reciprocates according to our devotion Narada Muni is himself one of the greatest of all mystics in the history of the universe he is personally the son of Brahma and he has the power simply by chanting Krishna’s holy names to travel anywhere, he so desires.

 

Radhanath Swami describes the glories of Narada Muni

Bhakti Vinoda Thakura composed that beautiful poem Narada Muni bhaje he radhika raman namhe he is always chanting these names of Sri Radha Raman, playing on his veena which was given to him by Krishna. If he wants he goes to Vaikuntha and he doesn’t have to take a long flight, Narada Muni can go to London, New York City, or Moscow. He could go to Swargaloka to Janaloka to Tapaloka to Brahmaloka to Shiva loka, he can go to Vaikuntha loka, he never gets jet leg how is that possible!. Can you imagine the difference in time zones between here and the heavenly planets and the upper planets of the rishis and the sages. He can be there just within minutes, within seconds that his siddhi, that’s his power and he lives long time. Throughout the histories of Vedic literature so many places Narada Muni is the guru of Mrgahri, the guru of Prahlad, and the guru of Druva. What was the devotional qualities of his disciples! he was the guru of the sons of Daksha, he is the guru of Valmiki Muni, the author of Ramayana, revealed a beautiful pastime of Ram the all of eternity.

Previously in the 10th Canto we find Narada Muni was there in Vrindavana to visit Krishna so many times. When he went to see Kamsa, even Kamsa bow down to him, worshiped and honored him, such an incredible personality!. Narada Muni is the guru of the Vyasa Deva, who was the compiler of all the Vedic literature’s, his incredible powers!. We read in the story of Mrgahri how he was very, very cruel envious killer of animals, Narada Muni gave him a vision of his future, to actually see the future. He gave this most degraded cruel person a vision of what his future would be. Not just like people do today they just kind of tell you what your futures can be and you don’t really know if it’s going to happen or not, but they make you really superstitious so you become afraid, so you pay him whatever they want to some pujas for you. But Narada Muni actually gave him a vision of his future he could see it. Narada Muni is truly a great mystic yogi who could perform such supernatural incredible, inconceivable things that we can’t even comprehend. And yet he’s totally humbled to see Krishna and Krishna is not doing it like some great yogi he’s just living his life, sitting on the couch.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates pastime of Krishna’s different activities and enchanting beauty of brahma-muhurat time in Dwarka

Narada Muni goes to one palace and Krishna has little children and he is patting their heads. giving them nice encouragement, goes to another palace is discussing with the general of Dwarka protection forces what they have to do different strategies. So inconceivable variegatedness and Krishna is doing it all simultaneous. Narada Muni could feel, it wasn’t that Krishna was just making a show. Every time Narada Muni came to a different palace even though one after another after another, he is seeing the exact same Krishna. Krishna is uniquely surprised and ecstatic to see him after a long time, and that’s the way Krishna is feeling. Because Krishna is feeling that he’s giving Narada Muni such incredibly new happiness in every palace he comes to.

Sukadev Goswami describes if we even hear these pastimes, we become liberated from all the confusions, the ignorance and the sufferings of this world. So in today’s verse we find in this chapter, a description of Krishna’s daily activities. It begins during the brahma-muhrata very early morning several hours before the sun even rises. Krishna’s laying in bed 16,108 beds and each queen is thinking Krishna is only with me even though she actually knows Krishna is with everyone, but still thinking Krishna is only with me That’s the power of Krishna’s love, what to speak of 16,108!. In the spiritual world there are limitless living beings, beyond any ability to count even the most advanced technologically efficient computer if you gave it a entire millennium to just come up with a big number, it could never create a number that can even begin to explain how many living beings are living in the spiritual world, countless living beings!, inconceivable! Who can count how many rays in the sun, who could count how many rays since the time sun was created at the beginning of this universe how many rays have emanated from the sun. Multiply that by crores of times, tens of millions of times and we cannot even approach how many beings there are, that are emanating from Krishna. mamaivamso jiva-loke,jiva-bhutah sanatnah BG( 15.7) All living beings are coming from Krishna, they are all part and parcel of Krishna and yet every living entity countless living infinitesimal just as Krishna is infinite, the living entities are infinitesimal, they are tiny little infinite being.

That time little infinite being, what is the power of any one of them in a liberated state, it is absolutely incredible. And yet in the spiritual world every living being, and whatever particular form that person may be or whatever relationship with Krishna each is feeling personally at all times Krishna’s love, that is Rasbihari. When we come before Gopinath the Lord of Gopi’s, Giridhari the lifter of Govardhan, Vrindavanbihari we should understand at least in principle the inconceivable nature of Krishna’s capacity to love, intimately. When Krishna danced with Gopis, Very soon we are going to be celebrating Sharad Poornima during Rasa-lila each Gopi is thinking Krishna is only with me, when Krishna’s with his Gopas friends on bank of Yamuna taking prasada each cowherd boy is feeling Krishna is only looking at me. Meanwhile every flower, every bee every peacock, every tree is feeling such a personal attention of Krishna intimate that’s Krishna’s power to love. Narada Muni is seeing and awakening such divine ecstasy in his heart. This is Krishna’s power to love, he just wants to share with everyone. So in today’s chapter Krishna is sleeping with his Queens and before the sunrise during brahma-muhurata, we read that a rooster begins to crow and when the queens of Dwarka hear the rooster crow they’re very angry at the rooster. Even though brahma-muhurata is the most auspicious time of the day they are considering it the most inauspicious because they know that Krishna is going to leave bed that he’s going to go and begin his day. It describes in Dwarka how at that time all of these different living beings, all these different fortunate people in different forms of life are all so harmonious and integrated with each other for Krishna’s pleasure. another words Krishna’s in the center. Everyone has a very different kind of service and in this case many of them have very different types of bodies  and purposes. but they’re all in harmony.

It describes how the parijat flower is blossomed during the brahma-mururata and for Krishna’s pleasure creates a most intoxicating fragrance, that fragrance is carried by the air and not only it is been carried for Krishna to enjoy but as it is being carried everybody gets to enjoy it. Sukadev Goswami explains this way that parijata flowers fragrance is so sweet that when the bees the bumblebees smell it they become intoxicated and begin to buzz and they’re so enthusiastic they are buzzing really loud. and how many bumblebees there are in Dwarka. doesn’t say but they’re all buzzing, it’s their kirtana. Because you see what’s happening, it’s not that they’re simply buzzing because of the fragrance of parijata because the fragrance of the Parijata is the expression of the Parijata’s love for Krishna and that’s why this the fragrance has such an effect on the soul of all of these other living beings. Therefore the bees are intoxicated by experiencing the prema, the ecstatic love of the flowers and they’re becoming intoxicated by that, they are buzzing. then it describes the buzzing of the bees along with the fragrance of the parijata mesmerize the birds and they become so much influenced by the prema of the bees and the prema of the flowers they sings to express that. How all the different birds are singing, different types of birds have different types of bodies and different types of voices and they sing very different song. but they’re all united and they are doing it for Krishna You see in Dwarka, in Vrindavana Radha Gopinath temple wherever devotees in whatever form they may be are together. What pleases Krishna most is when we are all with Krishna in the center which means our own selfish egos are taken out of the center. Then we share our enthusiasm, our devotion, we share our service for Krishna’s pleasure by inspiring and enlightening everyone else to do their best for Krishna’s service, this is Satsang

We are all trying to be the very, very best we can be by opening our hearts with a humble spirit to be inspired by other, so we could be better for Krishna But by doing the best we can whatever it may be in our speaking, acting or thinking and our intentions so that we can infuse other people with that energy that we are receiving to inspire their devotion. In this way Krishna is most pleased”- Radhanath Swami

kathayantas ca mam nityam tusyanti ca ramanti ca (BG 10.9) Krishna tells in Bhagavad-Gita “My devotee’s derive great satisfaction and bliss remembering me and discussing me among each other, chanting my glories”.

So this was happening every morning in Dwarka. sometimes we may think, “oh I have to get up in the morning”. But in the spiritual world this is what everybody’s up in the morning, bees and the birds the flowers everyone is just receiving and sharing the enthusiasm with everyone else. The bees are so indebted to the flowers and the flowers are so indebted to the rooster and the birds are so indebted to the bees and everyone’s indebted to each other, because everyone’s getting inspired and inspiring this is devotional service. This is the idea, the concept of sankirtana. Krishna’s non-different than his name, Krishna is his name, Sri Radha appears as her name.

When we chant together without envy as genuine well-wishers, then we are actually putting Krishna in the center, as long as there is envy, selfishness and arrogance then really Krishna is not in the center.-Radhanath Swami

but that’s the way many of us are that we are trying to put Krishna in the center we are trying to overcome these anarthas.

If we really sincerely and honestly try to put Krishna in the center by being the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant then by Krishna’s grace when he sees we are sincere, then through his holy name with the association of his devotees he purifies us of these anarthas -Radhanath Swami

Then Krishna wakes up and his Queens are doing everything they can to keep him with them, but Krishna very lovingly leaves them. He is performing so many activities just to show us how we should act. Krishna is a householder in this lila and he is teaching householders how they should be. However comfortable you may be there are higher principles we must follow. We should rise early in the morning to become purify he touches water very clean water describes he touches auspicious things and he looks at auspicious things. And then he meditates, he’s teaching us how important our sadhana is, we may think I’m very advanced so I don’t have to do my sadhana but Krishna is doing sadhana. He’s meditating, but who is Krishna can meditate on, He meditates on himself that was being described here.

 

Radhanath Swami describes “Krishna is the source of all incarnation and source of everything that exists and he is cause of all causes

Srimad-Bhagavatam describes Krishna is the cause of all causes sarva karana karanam He is the source of everything that exists aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate (10.8) BG He simultaneously for ever is manifesting as the supreme Brahman as the Brahmajyoti the all pervading infinite omniscient spiritual existence, Parmatma the localize feature of the absolute truth was all-knowing was seated with in the heart of every living being within creation. And Bhagawan the supreme all loving, all attractive personality who possesses all six opulences in full beauty, strength, knowledge, wealth renunciation, fame that is Krishna. Srimad-Bhagavatam explains that there are limitless incarnations and expansions and plenary portions of Krishna so many avatars sometimes Krishna appears as Nrsimha Deva, Varaha deva, Matsya Kurma, Ram, Parsuram, sometimes for the purpose of creation is Maha Vishnu Karnodaksayi Vishnu, Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, Ksirodakasayi Vishnu he oversees the creation and maintenance, and destruction of every universes Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva. All of these limitless incarnations of so many different varieties, are always simultaneously existing within Krishna who is svayam Bhagawan who is avatari, who is the source of all incarnations.

In India sometimes people worship various demigods, Srimad-Bhagavatam explains if you worship Krishna worship like watering the root of the tree automatically you satisfy all parts of the tree. So every demigod is fully worshiped when we worship Krishna. Why? because if you worship the demigod you are worshiping that particular demigod but when you worship Krishna every demigod is within Krishna is fully satisfying all the demigod not just the one we happen to like.

There are different incarnations of God that appear in different religions or even in different historical texts of the Vedas. If we worship Krishna, if we please Krishna all the incarnations, all the avatars throughout eternal histories are all within Krishna we satisfy all others. Ram, Nrsimha, Varaha, they’re all ecstatically pleased when Krishna’s happy. because they’re non-different than Krishna they are within Krishna and Krishna is the source of all.

Srila Prabhupada explains how for us every part of the body has its own unique features. It’s like right now, we are hearing with our ears, we are seeing with our eyes, walking with our feet. But Krishna can eat with his eyes, he could see with his ears Brahma-samhita tells that every limb of Krishna is absolute and he could perform the functions of every other limb. Because Srila Prabhupada is explaining the various opulences of various avatars and then he tells that Krishna is simply Sac-cid-ananda vigraha he simply the form of eternal knowledge and bliss his body is completely spiritual.

Srila Prabhupada quotes that some philosophers say that the absolute truth was beyond material existence when comes into this material world takes the material body or form. But Srila Prabhupada explains that the absolute truth that Krishna is the source of all energies and he’s the controller of all energies, material energy, the spiritual energy that jiva Shakti, the energy of the eternal soul of part and parcel of him. So Prabhupada says even if you want to believe that Krishna’s body when he comes this material still that material he is the controller, he is the source and he’s the ultimate spiritual object and goal of everything and everyone. So even if you want believe his body is material it’s non-different than him. Therefore it’s completely totally spiritualized, so it spiritual. Because for Krishna there is no difference between material and spiritual that is our perception. In this way Krishna’s source of everything that exists and Krishna is meditating on himself because there’s nothing outside of him.

Previous to this event in Dwarka where Krishna is the great prince of all of Dwarka, he is Dwarkadhish. when he was just a little boy in Vrindavana at Brahmand Ghat he ate some dirt he was just a little child hardly two or three years old. And his friends complained to his mother Yashoda Krishna ate dirt. Yashoda mai asked Krishna, “Why did you eat dirt”,? Now in Dwarka nobody’s chastising Krishna like this. He has already exhibited much prowess of course he did in Vrindavana too. He already had liberated Putana Trenavarta, Saktasura but still the sweetness of his childlike love for his devotees covered their ability to recognize his supreme greatness. they were experiencing an even higher supreme greatness of his capacity to exchange loving relationships with his devotees in such a sweet and Intimate way.

Yashoda mai said, “if you didn’t eat dirt open your mouth” Krishna said, no, no I didn’t eat dirt, but I’ll open my mouth. She saw the whole universe in his mouth. She saw all the oceans and the planets, the demigods and all living beings she saw Vrindavana Gokula she saw herself looking at Krishna’s mouth. As we says many times his mouth didn’t grow, it wasn’t like the Viratarupa, he showed to Arjuna, his mouth was still just a little child’s mouth. But yet the entire universe and he didn’t condensed it, he didn’t do like microchip it .It was actually the whole universe in its full-fledged size is within his tiny little mouth, how is that possible? that’s not possible but that is Krishna. He is yogeshvara.

Srila Prabhupada says in very Simple way, Krishna taught us through Bhagavad-Gita, teaches us through the words of his devotees how we should live our lives.

And here Krishna is personally teaching us, how we should live our lives, we should meditate on Krishna that’s the lesson we must follow in the footsteps. He simultaneously taking our position as human beings and teaching us how we should live and at the same time manifesting his unexcelled inconceivable supreme opulences as the absolute truth. -Radhanath Swami.

Krishna lifts Govardhan hill and then he dances with Gopis and even while he is  lifting Govardhan hill, his mother is chastising him, so this is Krishna. On one level he’s teaching us by example, he is exchanging very personal loving relationships and he’s exhibiting his supremacy.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was at his very special feature. He is Krishna himself. Krishna teaches us the conclusion of Bhagavad-Gita is to surrender. The culmination of Srimad-Bhagavatam is to chant the holy names to become purified of all of our ignorance’s. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu plays the role of his own devotee, to teach us how to do that. That’s why Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita so important to us. Lord Chaitanya by his example similar to this experience, he serving his devotees, he is washing their clothes, he is cleaning for them. When he’s Grahstha, he’s taking such a nice care of his wife and his mother. And sages and rishis and great persons come to his house, he serving them prasada, he’s cleaning for them, pleasing them in every way. When he meets his guru Isvara Puri, he is praising him, he’s massaging him, he is taking initiation from him. He said if you bless me by giving me the mantra then only will Krishna bestow his mercy on me. Lord Chaitanya saying this and Isvara Puri is giving him mantra. Because he knows, what is Lord Chaitanya’s plan, he showing by his example my service is to help him to do so. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu personally by his words, action and by his lila taught us the importance of the association of devotees, the importance of being the servant of the servant of the servant, the importance of gaining a great eagerness to hear about Krishna with each other, speak about Krishna and chant his holy name

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

Thank you very much

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Radhanath Swami speaks at Srila Prabhupada Kathamrita Jaladuta Festival, Kolkata http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaks-at-srila-prabhupada-kathamrita-jaladuta-festival-kolkata http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaks-at-srila-prabhupada-kathamrita-jaladuta-festival-kolkata#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 09:32:57 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2880 ]]> http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaks-at-srila-prabhupada-kathamrita-jaladuta-festival-kolkata/feed 15 2880 The Elephant Gajendra’s Crisis Kumbh Mela, Nashik http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/the-elephant-gajendras-crisis-kumbh-mela-nashik http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/the-elephant-gajendras-crisis-kumbh-mela-nashik#comments Thu, 14 Apr 2016 12:31:18 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2876 The other elephants who are my friends and relatives, could not rescue me from this danger, what then to speak of my wives, they cannot do anything. It is by the will of providence that I have been attacked by this crocodile and therefore I shall seek shelter of the supreme personality of Godhead, who was always the shelter of everyone, even of great personalities.

I am most honored and grateful for having been given this opportunity to serve all of you at this most auspicious event of the Kumbha Mela., Throughout the entire world the Kumbha Mela is known as the largest, most enthusiastic spiritual festival. In this holy tirtha of Sri Nasik we are gathered together at this most auspicious time of the Kumbha Mela Srimad-Bhagavatam tells us that the greatest blessing of coming to a holy place is to be in the company of holy people, to hear from them, follow the teachings that they give, and to render service. By this path of sadhu sangam Narottam Das Thakur explains that it is like millions of baths in the holy river. Hearing Krishna katha in the association of pure hearted devotees of the Lord not only liberates us from our sin, but it purifies our hearts, and eventually awakens fully our inherent original consciousness which is prema bhakti love for God. Srimad-Bhagavatam is considered by the great paramhamsa’s the self realized souls to be the crest jewel of all the Vedic literatures. Because from the very beginning it puts aside all the sub religious principles that most religious scriptures emphasize. People approach the absolute truth or various powerful energies of the Lord for economic development, for sense gratification of various forms, for piety, religion, or for liberation from suffering. In Kaliyuga anyone of these four are actually great things. Because they help one to recognize that there is the supreme power of themselves. In order to achieve their material desires or to free themselves from material anxieties, they’re willing to follow regulative principles and discipline their lives. This is the reason why all the great scriptures of the world and including the Vedic literatures put so much time and energy into teaching approaching God for arth, kama, dharma, moksha, to somehow or other elevate people’s consciousness.

Krishna tells in Gita that the Vedas mainly deal with the three modes of material nature. but one should rise above them and be transcendental. Srimad-Bhagavatam begins from that principle, is based on the supreme dharma, is loving devotional service to the supreme truth to Krishna, such service must be unmotivated by any selfishness, any arrogance, any material tinges, uninterrupted by any circumstance to truly satisfy the self. What satisfies Krishna is what satisfies our eternal self. Therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam the Amalam Puranam Chaitanya Mahaprabhu called pure Purana the nectarine pure Purana ,it exclusively teaches unalloyed devotional service. And teaches us by historical examples the spirit and the consciousness we should acquire in order to receive the grace of Sri Radha, wherein pure devotional service awakens.

We are reading today from Canto eight chapter 2 entitled the elephant Gajendra crisis. text number 32,

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on utter humility of Sanatana Goswami

Last night at Radha Madan Gopal’s beautiful temple, with the eloquent translation of his grace, Shiksha Astakam Prabhu we were discussing Srila Rupa Goswami, he was a Saraswat Brahmin by birth, he was the greatest of scholars. always absorbed and remembering Krishna. But even he and his brother Sanatana Goswami even with all of their power and influence and knowledge still they were put in many difficult situations. SrilaSanatana Goswami was dragged out of his beautiful palace and put in chains and shackles and thrown in a filthy dangerous snake infested underground prison. With the help of Rupa Goswami and his own incredible intelligence he escaped. Then he became the most wanted man, he was wearing the rags of a prisoner and he was running and running he was going through the jungles because of he went on any main road he would be captured and beaten and brought back to prison. so many difficulties.   Somehow or other he met Lord Chaitanya in Varanasi and went to Vrindavana Lord Chaitanya said come and meet me in Puri. After spending some short time in Vrindavana in his journey to Puri with the great anticipation of seeing Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Just as innocent and ordinary thing is what we do every day he just drank some water. But somehow or other that water caused him the most terrible painful disease. His entire body was covered with boils and rashes and there was blood and pus coming from all of these open sores, he smelled miserable. It was painful. and it was itching incredibly, he was so weak. And it just kept getting worse and worse. He was thinking what is the use of this body. If I’m near any devotee I’ll make aparadh offences to them because of smell and I can’t touch them and they can’t touch me and I don’t even want to come before the Lord

As Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing with his associates in the presence of Lord Jagannath during the Rathyatra, I will cast this body under the wheel of Jagannath’s chariot and then perhaps in my next life I will get a better birth. Please understand how terrible this disease must’ve been for such an incredibly transcendental divine person as Sanatana Goswami to actually have made up his mind to take his life. When he arrived in Puri he went to Thakura Haridasa’s bhajan kutir, he asked Haridasa where is Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Haridasa Thakura said he’s here, he’s just come. Sanatana Goswami did his dandvat pranam Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “who is this”? Haridasa Thakura said “This is Sanatana Goswami” when Sanatana began to stand up, Lord Chaitanya stretched out his long arms to embrace him Sanatana said “no, no, don’t touch me I’m full of pus and blood and it’s infectious and contagious”. Lord Chaitanya embraced him very hard. As Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu very lovingly squeezed and embrace Sanatana in his arm   infections, blood and pus was just oozed out on his body. Lord Chaitanya was very happy but Sanatana Goswami was very sad, look what I’ve done to my worshipable deity, in his mind he didn’t say anything to anyone, but he was meditating on his goal. Lord Chaitanya is the Parmatma in everyone’s heart, he said Sanatana you are a thief. Sanatana didn’t know what he was supposed to say. He said “you think you have the right to destroy another person’s property that is a thief, you have surrender to me that means your body is my property, now you want to throw it under the chariot wheel of Jagannath and kill yourself you cannot do this, your body belongs to me. Lord Chaitanya turned to Haridasa Thakura he said, “what is this, don’t you see what a thief he is, he wants to destroy my property”. Sanatana didn’t say anything, but in his heart he was thinking Lord Chaitanya doesn’t like my plan, so he renounced his own idea.

He lived with Haridasa Thakhura for about eight months. Every day Lord Chaitanya would come there and embraced Sanatana Goswami. one day Sanatana Goswami described to Lord Chaitanya that I’m planning to go to Vrindavana Jaganand Pandit gave me this idea. Why? because I’ve come here to get purified and I’m only making aparadh I’m always putting blood and pus and infectious things on your body when you embrace me by force every day. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, oh for me it smells like nectar. When I embrace you and those substances come on me I become purified. that is the nature of love. he said when a loving mother cleans the urine and stool of her baby it smells like nectar. Because of my love for you and your love for me it is like nectar and I am embracing you for my own purification, then he reached out to embrace him again. Every time he tried to embrace him for all these months Sanatana Goswami always tried to run away. Lord Chaitanya never allowed him to run away. So on this day again he lovingly embraced and instantly Sanatana Goswami’s body became very beautiful and full of good health. Haridasa Thakura when he saw this he was so happy. He said “My Lord this is your pastime, you are the one who gave him that infectious disease and you are the one who made him suffer with it for so many months and now you cured him and made him so beautiful and effulgent. Lord Chaitanya after sometime sent him to Vrindavana to spend the rest of his life performing Lord Chaitanya Seva there.

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Jatau’s sacrifice and surrender

We also discussed last night, the great Jatau in the service of Lord Sri Ram in out of deep love for Sita even though he was very old he attacked Ravana and fought with him, he didn’t have to do that, In fact even Sita said please Jatau do not fight with Ravana you’re too old and he’s too strong. just tell Ram who has taken me in which direction we’ve gone, that would have been the intelligent thing to do. But bhakti is the deepest intelligence, to love of his heart could not tolerate doing nothing while Sita was being dragged away and crying in desperation. We explained last night that Jatau used every single drop of his energy and his life to serve Sita. He was actually winning the fight, he was trying his best with all sincerity, and they fought for long time. But he became very tired because he was just very aged. Ravana was such a Rakshasha. when he saw Jatau was so tired he could not even hardly move. Instead of giving him some rest he drew his sword and cut off his wings. When he was in a helpless state and could not fight, Ravana took the advantage and cut off his huge wings. Jatau fell like a mountain to the ground and blood was profusely gushing out of his body. Sita ran to Jatau and embraced his bloody body and cried, there is no devotee as greatest as you Jatau. you have sacrificed your life only for me in the service of Ram From her supreme precious heart Sita was showering limitless blessings of gratitude and grace on the dying body of Jatau. Out of pure limitless love for him, her heart was broken to see him in this condition and it was because of her she said because of me look at you. On a material level Ravana conquered Jatau but on the spiritual level Jatau conquered the heart of Sita. Ravana dragged her away. Soon after Rama came and place Jatau’s head on his own lap, hearing Jatau tells the story, blood coming out of his mouth. chanting the name of Ram, looking at the beautiful face of Lord Rama who was gazing upon Jatau. Ram was crying he was so indebted with love. Jatau conquered the heart of Lord Sri Ram Chandra, Ram considered him the greatest of devotee. He gave him a promise on this very day your soul will attain my eternal spiritual abode. Jatau looking at Ram’s beautiful like loving face with Ram names on his beak, he gave up his life and went back home back to Godhead. the ultimate victory!.

Srila Prabhupada explains that this story teaches us that we should never be discouraged by apparent failures in our service we should never be disappointed that we can’t get the results that we are striving for, our true victory, our true success is the sincerity of the intent and the actions of our devotional service. Jatau here in the land of Panchavati he revealed to the world this principle. We are never discouraged by success or failure honor or dishonor because these things always coming and going in this world it is our surrender that is all important and our surrender is expressed to the sincerity of our devotional service. Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Gajendra elephant How he surrender to God

Today we are reading of Gajendra he was an elephant not a human but he was a very powerful elephant. he lived in Trikuta .beautiful mountain surrounded by heavenly forests He was like a king of the animals he was so powerful. All the other animals in the forest, they either served him or they were very afraid of him. He protected all the other animals from dangers. He had a wonderful family. One day was just such a beautiful day he decided to have pleasurable holiday with his family, with his wives and children and friends they were roaming through the forest. The sweetest birds were singing there were fragrant flowers, blossoming giving good fragrances. They came to a lake, this lake of water was so crystal clear and pure. The temperature was so cool and refreshing. There were so many fully Blossom Celestial lotus flowers growing to make it so beautiful. The pollen of those lotus flowers was so sweet in fragrance and flavor. So much of those lotus pollen were falling into the water and merging. It was incredibly, intoxicatingly sweet fragrance and flavor of that water Gajendra began to drink the water, so cool, so refreshing, so incredibly delicious. He bathed in the water he was so filled with pleasure, he invited his children and his wives and his friends to all take their baths in this nectar. To show his love for all of his loved ones, he sucked in this sweet lotus water with his trunk and then he sprayed it on his loved one’s he was doing abhishekam for them. They were so happy, not only was it sweetest most lotus like fragrant the delicious water but Gajendra who was their father, who was their husband who was their Lord who was their protector, was so lovingly serving them by spraying this water on them. Can you imagine what kind of a shower that was coming from Gajendra’s trunk. They were so happy, it was the limits of happiness in material world could possibly imagine. The nature of love or affection is our greatest happiness is making our loved ones happy -Radhanath Swami so they were so happy and Gajendra was offering the services seeing their happiness he was the happiest possible he could of been in this material world. At this the most enjoyable perfect moment of happiness suddenly a crocodile bit his leg. I’m sorry that was not rehearsed this crocodile was so envious he wouldn’t tolerate Gajendra enjoying so much because he is underwater and is not beautiful like an elephant, he was very envious. crocodile teeth are very sharp it was right in the Gajendra’s leg. it was shocking, Gajendra with all of his strength because there was no one in the forest that could compete with him in strength and fighting. With all his powers he fought against this crocodile. But the crocodile wouldn’t let go of his leg no matter what he did. and they were fighting. they were fighting for a long time. Gajendra’s wives and his children and all his friends and subjects were horrified and they all tried to help him. Even the strongest elephants were pulling Gajendra from the back to get them out of the water, but the crocodile kept going up back on him, they fought from long time. Like Jatau, Gajendra got really, really tired and he lost all his strength, because crocodiles they get strengthened in water but elephants can’t stay in water so long, so he had no food or anything. He realized he was defeated, no one could help him, he was about to die.

And then something, his devotional service from a previous life that he had completely forgotten awakened in his heart. He was a king named Indradumna, he was a great devotee and he learned so many beautiful prayers of devotion and surrender to the Lord. But as strange it may sound due to the nature of this world, he made some mistakes and took his next birth is an elephant. He totally forgot about Krishna, forgot about bhakti, forgot about spirituality. He was just enjoying like no one can imagine his position as the king of the elephant in Trikuta. But this shocking helpless event caused him to remember the beautiful prayers that he learned in his past life.

In today’s verse he is saying the other elephants who are my friends and relatives could not rescue me from this danger, what to speak of my wives, they cannot do anything when I need them the most. They wanted to do something, his wives, his friends his children doing everything they could, but nothing helped they couldn’t do anything to actually help him. It is by the will of providence that I have been attacked by this crocodile. And therefore I shall seek shelter of the supreme personality of Godhead, who is always the shelter of everyone, even the great personalities. This truth is so emphasized within our holy Scriptures, the glory of Draupadi’s life was when she was in such a helpless condition even the Pandvas headed by Yudhishtir, Arjuna and Bhima could not help her. Her logic, intelligence, physical strength or beauty nothing could help her. all of her wealth nothing. She realized sarnagati, she lifted her arms and cried out Hey Krishna Hey Govinda. Similarly Gajendra lifted his trunk, and from his heart of hearts he realized only Krishna only Lord Vishnu can save me. This crocodile has been sent by the Lord to remind me of the most sacred purpose of life. As soon as he understood this principle and began to take shelter, he became fearless. bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana abhaya-caranarvinda re. My friends, my ministers, my wives, my children, no one can help me with all my strength empowers I cannot help myself, Krishna sent this crocodile to awaken my consciousness.

Gajendra didn’t pray please save my life Krishna you’re the only one who could do that. He just gave his life to Krishna. I am yours forever unconditionally marobi rakhobi-jo iccha tohara nitya-dasa prati tuwa adhikara Thakura Bhaktivinoda prays like this, ”My Lord, if you like, you can protect me, if you like you can kill me you can do anything you like with me because I am your servant unconditionally. aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu concludes Shikshastakam with this prayer my lord, if you like, you can embrace me or if it makes you pleased, you can trample on me or make me brokenhearted by neglect me you are free to do anything and everything you like because I am your servant, unconditionally. One level of saranagati is, Krishna save me, no one else can save me, higher or a deeper level of saranagati is, “Krishna I am yours, my body, mind, words, life, and my soul, everything is yours that was the mood of Gajendra’s surrender.

So even though he lost the fight with the crocodile materially speaking it was not only of physical defeat, it was a total wholesale experience of humiliation, right in front of everybody who respected him, and honored him, and worshiped him he was being defeated. he had lost all his prestige he had lost all of his self-esteem he lost every drop of pleasure and happiness, his ego was just devastated, his body was in devastating pain, his mind with complete anguish, he was about to die. At that moment he was victorious, because of that moment “Krishna I am yours”, offered prayers of love and gratitude to surrender. Lord Vishnu came down on Garuda. Gajendra plucked one of those sweet, fragrant lotus flowers with his trunk, with ecstatic tears filling his eyes and his heart in ecstasy, he offered that lotus flower to Lord Vishnu. As he prayed the pain of the crocodile was still there, but he transcended everything. He had no fear, he had no pain, because he had given everything to Krishna. Krishna took his Sudarshan chakra and cut the mouth of the crocodile, then he brought Gajendra back home back to Godhead. Where it took place Trikuta, is very similar to what happened here in Tarket Jatau was defeated and went back to Godhead, Gajendra was defeated went back to Godhead.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of a devotee Ragni Devi’s pain and surrender

While driving here Pankajangri Prabhu Shikshaastakam Prabhu, myself were discussing on a recent story. It’s a painful but blissful story. if you hear with an open heart it will break your heart and it will make a joyful. it is happening right now it’s not from the puranas. but I will not tell you the story, because it’s very late I’ll just tell you one little part of it, you have to hear the details to get your heart broken and understand the happiness of it. but I will just give you a lesson from it.

One on my own god sisters a disciple of Srila Prabhupada her name is Ragini devi I did not ever know her actually but I got a letter from her. It was an email letter, it was in April I was in south India. She told me her story She was from France, her mother when she was 14 years old, was arrested by the antsy headed by Hitler. They were a Jewish family, everything was taken away from them and they were sent to the most horrible death camp called Auschwitz. As soon as they arrived right in front of her eyes she saw her mother, her father, her brothers and sisters murdered. But because she looked a little strong, so they kept her alive to work and to abuse and to exploit. she lived in that situation for two years from 14 to 16, seeing abuse and torture and death everywhere all day every day. living in total depression and fear. The concentration camp was liberated but it’s very difficult for people to be liberated from back trauma and experiences of spending two years of your childhood in that state. Ragini devi wrote that she brought up day and night experiencing deep, deep depression of her mother and therefore she was deeply depressed. She used to ask why do I have to live? Why do I have to be in this world? who am I ? She met devotees when she was 16, and the philosophy made sense to her and the concept of Krishna the all loving supreme personality of godhead and Srila Prabhupada’s compassion she found great hope and faith and purpose in her life for the first time. She was translating Prabhupada’s books into France and she became full-time devotee lived in the temple, and did incredibly wonderful, wonderful service for many years.

It’s a long story and I’m not going to tell you. She had two children, her husband left her. She was Prabhupada’s initiated disciple and after Srila Prabhupada left the world, things happened in France that shattered her heart. Somehow or other, she fell, she just had to take care of her two little children, and the depression of her youth came back so strongly. Just for material survival for her and her children, she didn’t meet a single devotee in about 29 years. Devotion just wasn’t a part of her life anymore, but then she got cancer, the crocodile of cancer, bitter and it was incurable. She was in such a state now she had nothing, One of her god sisters Mandakini devi, somehow heard about this and reached out to be with her. Because of that loving care of somebody, she hadn’t seen in 30 years, her devotion awakened. She completely surrendered, day and night she’s listening to tapes and lectures of Srila Prabhupada and another senior devotees. One of her god sisters gave her the deity of Gopal, she worships the deity of Gopal, she chants the holy names, she listens to Hari katha throughout the day.

I met her for the first time in the month of May. she is a completely surrendered soul and she’s grateful totally grateful and blissful as she surrendering to Krishna, Prabhupada and the Vaishnavas. Like Gajendra, she’s from the core of her heart with such love and gratitude she is thinking Krishna for the cancer. Because in that desperation when she was totally helpless, all of her past devotion, all of her past prayers everything came back in a fully self realize form to surrender her heart. So much in the mood of Draupadi and Gajendra. We see Srimad-Bhagavatam is a living philosophy, whether we are in the jaws of the crocodile, our whether we are in the very nice comfortable situation, every situation is a perfect opportunity for sarnagati. “:Krishna I am yours with my actions, thoughts, words and with my heart and life, I am the servant of the servant of your servants, Krishna I am yours” -Radhanath Swami.

In this spirit, we chant the holy name. in the mood of Gajendra louder please

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare

This is the nectar that we are seeking when we come to Kumbha Mela, the nectar of surrender, because in that nectar Krishna gives himself to us. when we give our hearts to Krishna, Krishna gives himself to us. -Radhanath Swami we want to share this wonderful news this beautiful message with the world. Srila Prabhupada gave us this chance, on behalf of Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu and our beloved acharyas

Thank you very much

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Srila Prabhupada Kathamrita (Jaladuta Festival, Kolkata) http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/srila-prabhupada-kathamrita-jaladuta-festival-kolkata http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/srila-prabhupada-kathamrita-jaladuta-festival-kolkata#comments Fri, 18 Mar 2016 06:13:44 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2872 I am very grateful to be with all of you on this very special and holy day. 50 years ago, Friday, 13 August 1965 His divine grace A.C Bhaktivedanta swami Prabhupada boarded the cargo ship Jaladuta at the King George dockyards here in Calcutta. There were only four people to see him off. No one thought it was possible for him to do what he could do. Today 50 years later to honor that event, Srila Prabhupada, 50 years before he had no money, he didn’t know anyone where he was going and today in Calcutta the largest indoor stadium is filled with people to celebrate. Calcutta is a very holy place for all of us. On September 1st 1896 Srila Prabhupada appeared in this place. In 1922 Srila Prabhupada first met his guru Maharaj Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur here in Calcutta. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada established his mission in Sri Mayapur and began his preaching here in Calcutta. At the very first Gaudya Math that he established outside of Mayapur.

 

Radhanath Swami describes how Srila Prabhupada took the order of his Guru as his life and soul

Srila Prabhupada who was just a young man recently married with a child, received the order from his spiritual master to take the message of Lord Chaitanya all over the world in the English language. Srila Prabhupada took that order as his life and soul. In 1933 Srila Prabhupada was initiated with Hari Naam and Gayatri diksha by his guru Maharaj at Prayag. The very place that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Srila Rupa Goswami, it was at Prayag the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati rivers. Lord Chaitanya gave the teachings to Rupa Goswami which were to be spread throughout the world. Wherein from the very most beginning stages of faith one can gradually be elevated to the pastimes of Vrindavana the highest revelation of spiritual life.

In 1944 Srila Prabhupada began the publication of back to Godhead in a very simple way in English Journal teaching the message of Lord Chaitanya. It is said that the Lord teaches the world through his most intimate loving devotees.

It is impossible to describe the dedication, the love and compassion in which Srila Prabhupada taught us how to overcome every possible obstacle that could come on the path to pure devotional service. -Radhanath Swami

But Srila Prabhupada did it all in the spirit of compassion for us. It was around 1954 that Srila Prabhupada retired from his family life to fully take up the mission of spreading pure bhakti all over the world. He established his mission in Jhansi, after so much work everything was taken away from him. But he was not discouraged. He went to Vrindavana and eventually he began writing the translations and commentaries of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The struggle he went through to publish those books is beautifully described by Sat Swarup Goswami Maharaj in Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita. When the first canto was complete, he decided now I must go to the West. He requested many different people from God brothers to business people to politicians to help him to go to the West to spread Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s pure message. But no one took him serious.

 

Radhanath Swami speaking on Prabhupada’s determination to fulfill the mission of his Guru

Srila Prabhupada himself describe how once he was from Vrindavana in Agra and the person he was staying with the Mr. Agarwal was telling him about how his son, he went to America to study and he got trapped by American culture and got married there and would not return home. Srila Prabhupada was always looking for an opportunity. Oh! He is in America? Can he sponsor a visa for me? Mr. Agarwal didn’t say anything. But about four months later Srila Prabhupada got a letter that he was being sponsored for a visa for America! Then he had to get his passport and he had to get the P form, permission to leave by the State Bank of India. When he went to the office he was refused. But Srila Prabhupada persisted and ultimately he said I want to see the highest officer of this government department. And ultimately by his determination he met the highest officer and convinced him to give him permission.

In Mumbai he was staying in a guesthouse of Sumati Murarji. He pleaded with her, “You are devotee of Bal Gopal Krishna. I want to spread the message of pure Krishna consciousness all over the world. Just give me passage on one of your cargo ships.” Sumati Murarji strongly refused. You are very old man, sixty nine years old. It is very rough journey and no one will listen to you in America certainly you will die, thirty eighth days its sea it is a very difficult journey. Sumati Murarji explained, “I don’t have any passenger ships, they are cargo ships.” She couldn’t take the responsibility that he may die on the journey. But Srila Prabhupada insisted, he persisted. Sumati Murarji said, “All my secretaries are against you’re going because you’re too old. What you want to do is impossible.” Srila Prabhupada convinced her. She gave him the only little room that there was on the ship; she gave him passage! He took a very slow train, it’s meant to carry mail and passengers from Mumbai to Kolkata.

In Calcutta he stayed with the person he only met once .Once when Srila Prabhupada was in Lucknow he was invited with some other Sadhus to the governor’s home and there was a professional kirtan performance. One of the singers Mr. Bhattacharya was young, he met Prabhupada there and Srila Prabhupada told him that he wanted to go to the West to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. The person later said Srila Prabhupada was such a simple and poor materially person that he didn’t think it was at all possible.

Srila Prabhupada had complete faith in the order of his guru Maharaj. He had complete faith in the power of the holy name of Krishna. And he had complete faith in the prediction of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda. -Radhanath Swami

He had 200 sets of his books in five crates, an umbrella, little suitcase and the bag of cereal. From this boy’s house he took a taxi to the King George dockyards. Only four people saw him off, this most historic monumental event. The only living person in the world, who witnessed Srila Prabhupada boarding Jaladuta, has so graciously agreed to be with us today. I would like to invite him to come on stage and share with us his memories. This is a very rare opportunity for all of us. Let us welcome with great enthusiasm Srila Prabhupada’s only loved youngest son Vrindavan Chandra De. Thank you very Much.

 

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Import Of The Word Nishkinchanah http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/import-of-the-word-nishkinchanah http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/import-of-the-word-nishkinchanah#comments Sat, 05 Mar 2016 14:42:34 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2868

 

nikiñcano nanu bhavān na yato sti kiñcid
yasmai bali
bali-bhujo pi haranty ajādyāḥ
na tv
ā vidanty asu-tpo ntakam āḍhyatāndhāḥ
pre
ṣṭho bhavān bali-bhujām api te pi tubhyam

Word for word: 

niṣkiñcanaḥ — without possessions; nanu — indeed; bhavān — You; na — not; yataḥ — beyond whom; asti — there is; kiñcit — anything; yasmai — to whom; balim — tribute; bali — of tribute; bhujaḥ — the enjoyers; api — even; haranti — carry; ajaādyāḥ — headed by Brahmā; na — not; tvā — You; vidanti — know; asutṛpaḥ — persons satisfied in the body; antakam — as death; āḍhyatā — by their status of wealth; andhāḥ — blinded;preṣṭhaḥ — the most dear; bhavān — You; balibhujām — for the great enjoyers of tribute; api — even; te — they; api — also; tubhyam — (are dear) to You.

Translation:

You possess nothing because there is nothing beyond You. Even the great enjoyers of tribute — Brahmā and other demigods — pay tribute to You. Those who are blinded by their wealth and absorbed in gratifying their senses do not recognize You in the form of death. But to the gods, the enjoyers of tribute, You are the most dear, as they are to You.

Purport: 

Here Śrīmatī Rukmiṇī-devī replies to Lord Kṛṣṇa’s statement in text 14:

nikiñcanā vaya śaśvan
ni
kiñcana-jana-priyāḥ
tasm
āt prāyea na hy āḍhyā
m
āṁ bhajanti su-madhyame

“We have no material possessions, and We are dear to those who similarly have nothing. Therefore, O slender one, the wealthy hardly ever worship Me.”

Queen Rukmiṇī begins her statement by saying nikiñcano nanu, “You are indeed nikiñcana.” The word kiñcanameans “something,” and the prefix nir — or, as it appears here, ni — indicates negation. Thus in the ordinary sense nikiñcana means “one who does not have something,” or, in other words, “one who has nothing.”

But in the present verse Queen Rukmiṇī states that Lord Kṛṣṇa “possesses nothing” not because He is a pauper but because He Himself is everything. In other words, since Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth, all that exists is within Him. There is no second thing, something outside the Lord’s existence, for Him to possess. For example, a man may possess a house or a car or a child or money, but these things do not become the man: they exist outside of him. We say he possesses them merely in the sense that he has control over them. But the Lord does not merely control His creation: His creation actually exists within Him. Thus there is nothing outside of Him that He can possess in the way that we possess external objects.

The ācāryas explain nikiñcana in the following way: To state that a person possesses something implies that he does not possess everything.

In other words, if we say that a man owns some property, we imply that he does not own all property but rather some specific property. A standard American dictionary defines the word some as “a certain indefinite or unspecified number, quantity, etc., as distinguished from the rest.” The Sanskrit word kiñcana conveys this sense of a partial amount of the total. Thus Lord Kṛṣṇa is called nikiñcana to refute the idea that He possesses merely a certain amount of beauty, fame, wealth, intelligence and other opulences. Rather, He possesses infinite beauty, infinite intelligence, infinite wealth and so on. This is so because He is the Absolute Truth.

Śrīla Prabhupāda begins his introduction to the First Canto, Volume One, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam with the following statement, which is quite relevant to our present discussion: “The conception of God and the conception of the Absolute Truth are not on the same level. The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam hits on the target of the Absolute Truth. The conception of God indicates the controller, whereas the conception of the Absolute Truth indicates thesummum bonum, or the ultimate source of all energies.” Here Śrīla Prabhupāda touches upon a fundamental philosophical point. God is commonly defined as “the supreme being,” and the dictionary defines supreme as (1) highest in rank, power, authority, etc; (2) highest in quality, achievement, performance, etc; (3) highest in degree; and (4) final, ultimate. None of these definitions adequately indicates absolute existence.

For example, we may say that a particular American is supremely wealthy in the sense that he is wealthier than any other American, or we may speak of the Supreme Court as the highest court in the land, although it certainly does not have absolute authority in all political and social matters, since it shares authority in these fields with the legislature and the president. In other words, the word supreme indicates the best in a hierarchy, and thus the supreme being may merely be understood as the best or greatest of all beings but not as the very source of all other beings and, indeed, of everything that exists. Thus Śrīla Prabhupāda specifically points out that the concept of the Absolute Truth, Kṛṣṇa, is higher than the concept of a supreme being, and this point is essential to a clear understanding of Vaiṣṇava philosophy.

Lord Kṛṣṇa is not merely a supreme being: He is the absolute being, and that is exactly the point His wife is making. Thus the word nikiñcana indicates not that Kṛṣṇa possesses no opulence but rather all opulence. In that sense she accepts His definition of Himself as nikiñcana.

In text 14 Lord Kṛṣṇa also stated, nikiñcana-jana-priyāḥ: “I am dear to those who have nothing.” Here, however, Queen Rukmiṇī points out that the demigods, the wealthiest souls in the universe, regularly make offerings to the Supreme Lord. We may assume that the demigods, being the Lord’s appointed representatives, know that everything belongs to Him in the sense that everything is part of Him, as explained above. Therefore the statementnikiñcana-jana-priyāḥ is correct in the sense that since nothing exists except the Lord and His potencies, no matter how wealthy the Lord’s worshipers appear to be they are in fact offering Him nothing but His own energy as a loving act. The same idea is exemplified when one worships the Ganges River by offering Ganges water, or when a child gets money from his father on the father’s birthday and buys him a gift. The father is paying for his own present, but what he is really interested in is his child’s love. Similarly, the Supreme Lord manifests the cosmos, and then the conditioned souls collect various items of the Lord’s creation. Pious souls offer some of the best items from their collection back to the Lord as a sacrifice and thus purify themselves. Since the whole cosmos and everything in it is simply the Lord’s energy, we may say that those who worship the Lord possess nothing.

In more conventional terms, people who are proud of their great wealth do not bow down to God. Queen Rukmiṇī also mentions these fools. Satisfied with their temporary bodies, they do not understand the divine power of death, which stalks them. The demigods, however, who are by far the wealthiest living beings, regularly offer sacrifice to the Supreme Lord, and thus the Lord is most dear to them, as stated here.

 

Today we are reading from Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 10 chapter 60 entitled

“Krishna Teases Rukmini” text 37.

 

Radhanath swami illustrates through the example of Sanatana Goswami on how to reconnect our relationship with Krishna

Krishna, who is Raasabihari in the spiritual world and His original most complete absolute identity is forever enjoying Rasa. Intimate ever-increasing limitlessly variegated loving exchange .In the spiritual world the whole purpose of existence is simply these loving exchanges .In this material world for people who have by our own free will chosen to seek happiness outside of our constitutional nature as loving servants of the Lord one may want to be the enjoyer, one may want to be the proprietor. There are limitless excuses, justifications and facilities to exercise that free will but they could never satisfy the self because jivera svaroop hoya krishnera nitya dasa is our nature to love Krishna, to serve Krishna.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on this most elaborate on philosophical explanations was in the holy city of Varanasi on the bank of the river Ganga to Srila Sanatana Goswami. Sanatana Goswami is Sambandha guru. He is the guru for our whole Sampradaya. In the sense that through his example, through his teachings to his empowered divine grace, teaching us how to reconnect and reestablish our relationship with Krishna. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught through him, his example. He was a prime minister of the whole kingdom. He was extremely wealthy. He was like the very son of the king, who had given him vast property, magnificent palaces, servants, Jewels and tremendous amount of independence to help him rule. He was also most learned scholar most pious person. While most people are seeking wealth even compromising their own well-being for the purpose of wealth because those who understand how material nature works.

There is the law of karma, forever action there’s an equal corresponding reaction. If you cause harm to another that harm will come to you, if you do good to some that goodness will come to you. It is all temporary. When we engage in immoral activity for the purpose of happiness a person who is quite ignorant of how the world works. They only see something very immediate. I’m getting some really enjoyable physical or emotional pleasure. I’m becoming powerful, I am getting more money, I am getting more land these things are fleeting they don’t last and some sense of happiness. But a person who understands the science of how nature works does verify cause harm to another about getting this then I am going to suffer miserably. The amount of temporary physical and emotional benefits that I’m getting to enjoy now are just a very insignificant in compared to the suffering I’m going to have to endure in the future.

In Sanskrit shreyas and preyas, preyas means a person who is simply concerned with immediate results and shreyas means a person who is intelligent this is what intelligence really means, a person who sees into the future. If you know something is poison, but it tastes really good you may have a few hours of really nice taste. You go blind and you go deaf you suffer the rest of your life .Is that intelligence? By modern materialistic rationalization it is intelligence, but that’s what everybody’s doing .Nobody cares about, what it is going to do , how it is going to react in the future and there are so many philosophies that we should live in the moment, we should be here in our love from a spiritual perspective that’s a very good thing. Be here now, but it should be based on truth not let me just enjoy it doesn’t matter what’s can happen in the future rather every moment is a precious reality in which we could love Krishna serve Krishna and become Krishna conscious.

 

Radhanath Swami describes how Krishna exerts his supreme power by trying to make Rukmini angry

So here we find Krishna is in this very philosophical discussion with Rukmini although that wasn’t intended to be that way. Krishna never saw Rukmini angry. Whatever He did she just accepted it and just served him and pleased him and now He wanted to exert His Supreme power by making her angry. But in the sense Krishna is conquered by the love of His devotee. He is saying so many things against Himself just to prove that He’s not worthy to have a queen like Rukmini and therefore by pointing out all of his various disqualifications He’s telling Rukmini you should leave me and go somewhere else. He wanted to see her get angry, but she didn’t get angry rather she was in such intense bhava or ecstasy of love thinking Krishna is going to leave me, her whole body began to tremble.

She looked down, tears poured from her eyes and ultimately she fell to the ground unconscious that was a very different experience and then Krishna jumped out him from his bed Rukmini’s bed and picked her up. Describes in Srimad-Bhagavatam just to serve Her thoroughly He manifested four arms so he could simultaneously pick her up and wipe her tears and her body doing these sevas for Rukmini simultaneously. And he then said actually, I didn’t mean that I just wanted to make you angry and he explained and then she was happy. And now she is responding to everything He said. Whatever He was saying was His disqualification. She’s reinterpreting it from a higher level than even Krishna spoke it to explain how it is everything He said is glorifying Him. His idea was to say you are so qualified I am so unqualified But She is interpreting every word of it is you are so qualified and I am so unqualified.

 

Radhanath Swami defines Krishna as inconceivable (acintya) and Supreme controller

Janmādy asya yato: this is the beginning of true understanding of the spiritual science is the absolute truth is from whom everything emanates sarva karana karanam the cause of all causes. Krishna tells in Gita 10th chapter:

BG 10.8

aha sarvasya prabhavo
matta
sarva pravartate
iti matv
ā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ

“I am the source of all spiritual and material world. Everything emanates from me.” The Lord has many energies multifarious energies and the Lord is simultaneously one with those energies and at the same time stands apart from those energies .The example often given as the sun planet. The sun is the sunshine. The sun is not different than the sunshine but still the sunshine is never the source of the sun. The sun is always the source of the sunshine and the sunray is non-different than the sun, but the sunray does not include all sunrays, but the sun includes every sun ray.

BG 15.7

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke
jīva-bhūta sanātana

Every living being is part and parcel of me. Krishna tells in Gita that when you know the truth. You understand all beings are in me and mine. So in this beautiful purport describing how Krishna nothing is apart from him because everything is within him. Everything is His energy and everything is expanding from Him. So there’s a different ways of perceiving the same thing and if we try to see it from the whole picture we understand that there is no contradiction. But if we only to see specifics this and that without seeing the relationship with each other and we see apparent contradictions. For instance, in Bhagavad-Gita Krishna says, as the peace formula in the fifth chapter:

BG 5.29
bhoktāraṁ yajña-tapasāṁ
sarva-loka-maheśvaram

It is translated that Krishna is the proprietor of everything that exists. He’s the enjoyer of everything .He is the best intimate loving well-wishing friend of all. He is the proprietor of everything that exists and here we find Krishna is not the proprietor of anything because He is beyond the proprietor. He simultaneously is the proprietor and He is not the proprietor. How is that possible? He is the proprietor because He is the ultimate controller of everything, but this is just in a way that we can understand and perceive, but the concept of acintya to inconceivable we have to really broaden our spectrum of intelligence beyond human intelligence, which is impossible. But still we have to do and how is it possible? How it is possible to do what is impossible? You have to be humble to let Krishna do it for you.

We can only understand Krishna when Krishna makes himself understood to us. We can only truly understand what philosophy is when God reveals the truth of that philosophy. – Radhanath Swami

Otherwise it’s just semantics and it’s just words, it’s just concepts and is just jugglery of our intelligence to comprehend to explain but to really understand and grasp it is only by Krishna’s grace. We have to humble ourselves to Krishna’s grace .In this sense proprietor, Krishna is the proprietor of everything because he is “Ishvarah paramah Krishna
sac-cid-ananda-vigrahaha” He is the supreme controller of all controllers. Krishna is sarva sareveshvara, He is the controller of all controllers who think they are controllers and everybody else is a controller.

Everyone has some control. Even though baby that just comes out of mother’s womb has a little bit of control and the mother has much more control. But then the mother is also controlled and the father is controlled, everybody is controlled. Ultimately worldwide all of humanity and all the species of life on this little earth planet are very much under the control of the Devas and the Devas are all totally under control ultimately of Krishna. So He is the supreme controller of all controllers. So to be a proprietor means you have control over something, but at the same time He is the absolute truth. Everything is His energy, everything is non-different than Him but still for the sake of Rasa for the sake of loving exchanges He is separate.

 

Radhanath Swami explains ‘niskincana’ means everything used for the service of Krishna

So in this particular verse, she is beginning by saying that Krishna is niskincana. Krishna said I’m niskincana. I have nothing and He said the people who are inclined to worship me are the people who have nothing and if you do worship you may end up with nothing. If someone is trying to arrange a marriage and this is what you’re potential spouse would say and actually I have nothing and the only people who like me are the people who have nothing and if you marry me you will have nothing. You will have to quiet detached to very such a person could just Svayambhuva Manu he was the King. He was the most wealthy person on the planet and when he decided to marry his daughter Devahuti he gave her marriage to Kardama Muni who actually had nothing. He was living in the forest didn’t have any house or any bank account and any servants, just lived but he had bhakti. He had dharma. He had love for God and Svayambhuva Manu understood that this is real wealth niskincana.

This niskincana in the sense of spirituality it means the wealthiest person. One who doesn’t need the things of this world because when He is so atmarama self-satisfied? And we find even king Prataparudra, the Maharaj Ambarisha they were niskincana. Maharaj Yudhishtir when he was came to his attention to because they claim nothing to be their own. They understood everything is Krishna’s and they used whatever they had their abilities, their intelligence, their knowledge, their wealth, their influence everything was in the mood of the servant of the servant of the servant. This is the niskincana.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on renunciation of Sanatana Goswami

Sanatana Goswami gave up all the wealth and pleasures of the world to just go to Vrindavan. When he went to Varanasi on the way to Vrindavana he went from the Prime Minister and he could’ve easily just practice Krishna consciousness in that state for the rest of his life which he was doing but he wanted. He understood the Lord’s will, he wanted to give his whole heart his whole life on another in another type of service. So he voluntarily became a prisoner. He was put in an underground dungeon prison cell. All he have to do is tell the king okay I’m with you, but he said I’m no longer with you. So he was put in prison.

Then he had to bribe the keeper of the jail, which is completely not his style of doing things. He was a man of highest integrity, he didn’t buy people, but he had to, it was the only way out, and he escaped and he was a convict. Obviously, when the king found out he was going to send people looking for him, he couldn’t go any by any main road. He had to be going to the forests he was in the clothes of a prisoner and finally he came to one place .His brother-in-law saw him in that state and gave him a nice blanket because Northern India it gets cold and he didn’t wanted, but just to make his relative happy he accepted the blanket. He has only a blanket pretty nice blanket. When he went to Varanasi and met Lord Chaitanya. Lord Chaitanya didn’t say anything about it. Just for a moment Lord Chaitanya glanced at the blanket. He was really happy to see Sanatana Goswami. Sanatana Goswami’s hair was all disheveled, he didn’t shave because he was running out of prison and he was in rags and just had blanket on and he was sitting in the courtyard of Chandrasekhar’s house.
Lord Chaitanya said, “I think there’s a great saintly person who is sitting out there.”
Chandrashekar saw and he looked around came back and said, “There’s no saintly people out there, no mahatmas are there.”
Lord Chaitanya said, “But there is a mahatma.”
“No, no,” he said, he went and looked again. He said, “There is not any mahatma!”
He said, “Out there is a one beggar.”
Lord Chaitanya said, “That is him!”
He came out and embrace Sanatana Goswami and he was praising Sanatana Goswami and he was glorifying Sanatana Goswami. He was so happy to see him embracing him, they were both in tears. Can you imagine being greeted by the Supreme personality of Godhead and that’s when you’re in that condition of running for your life. But in the midst of this incredible loving exchange Lord Chaitanya’s glance touched the blanket and immediately Sanatana Goswami thought, ‘He doesn’t like my blanket.’

Sanatana Goswami went to ghat of Ganga and there is a very, very simple beggar he was not like mahatma beggar he was just a simple poor person and he has really old torn up quilt and he was washing it in the Ganga. Sanatana Goswami said, “I will give you this very nice blanket if you give me your old quilt,” and the person thought he was being insulted, nobody in creation does at you give something valuable for something were nothing and it wasn’t like mahaprasada, from spiritual perspective mahaprasada.

I’ve seen, you know, people give everything they have for a little piece of an orange peel the Prabhupada bit from. So, from the material calculations the orange peel is worth nothing and they are giving so much for it because the value is it was connected to Prabhupada, it was mahaprasada. But this quilt wasn’t the prasad it was just some old person but he wore that’s all it was.

It was insult, “Why are you insulting me just because you are rich and I am poor. Why are you saying these things against me?”

Sanatana said, “No I really want to give you this. Give me that!”

He said, “Really?”

He said, “Yes!”

So he took the old cloth. He came back to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wearing the old quilt. Lord Chaitanya said, “Where is that nice blanket?” Sanatana Goswami explained and Lord Chaitanya said, “This is very good. Now the last tinge of material attractions that you have is gone.”
Sanatana Goswami presented himself in such a humble way really niskincana. Because opulence’s there are six opulence’s wealth is one of them: beauty, knowledge, strength, fame and also detachment is an opulence. People are attracted to renunciation certain people. So Sanatana Goswami was a scholar. He was just a few days before a billionaire and he gave it up on his own. He was from the highest family Saraswati Brahmans from Karnataka. He had such fame and everything but he presented himself to Lord Chaitanya that I am a fool. I don’t know anything people say I’m scholarly because I know so much scriptures and everything like that but actually I really don’t know why I am suffering, but I am suffering. I really don’t know who I am? Who is God? What is the true purpose of life?

And he wasn’t speaking artificially or superficially he was really speaking from his heart. Because Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu sees from outside in, from inside out from the place in the middle, between inside and he sees from above us, below us on all sides of us, another words he really knows what we mean. He sees our intention, bhava grahi janardhana, in the sense he understands the true heart of Sanatana Goswami. He really felt what he was saying and therefore Lord Chaitanya considered you are a fit person to hear the truth. Actually Lord Chaitanya said you are fit to be my guru. You know everything, but just for the sake of being strict and exemplary you’re speaking in this way. Sanatana Goswami said no please I am taking shelter of you and then Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began his teachings with this principle jivera svarrop hoya krishnera nitya dasa, every living being is by our nature eternally the servant of Krishna and then he developed the entire siddhanta and science of bhakti explained Isvara, jiva, prakarti, kala, karma then he went to through all of these material aspects of creation into the concept of Brahman, Vaikuntha, Goloka, brahma-loka, and the concept of loving exchanges of bhakti raas.

 

Radhanath Swami defines nirguna means Krishna has no material qualities

So when Krishna says, “I’m niskincana I don’t have anything. Why do you want me?” Rukmini is telling Krishna what you said is very true and this is the concept which is very fundamental to the difference between the understanding of the Vaishnava school and the impersonal school. Because the concept of nirguna is there in the scriptures .It’s a name of Krishna nirguna guna which means quality, nir means no, negation, with no qualities. So one interpretation of this is if Krishna has no qualities, no gunas which is there in Vedas that means He can’t have a form, He can’t have a personality, He can’t have relationships ultimately because this is all qualities. So therefore He must be impersonal and formless .It’s the logical conclusion to Nirguna no qualities.

But Vyasadev himself the compiler of the greatest Vedas explains Nirguna means no material qualities .Because there are gunas in the spiritual world and there are gunas in this world, Satva guna, Rajo guna and tamo guna. Krishna tells in Gita that

trai-guya-viayā vedā
nistrai-gu
yo bhavārjuna
nirdvandvo nitya-sattva-stho
niryoga-k
ema ātmavān

[BG 2.45]

People in this world they study the Vedas because they want to elevate themselves and get higher experiences of happiness within the three modes of nature daivi asi guna mayi mama maya durtaya  one who is bound by these three modes of nature, it’s very difficult to get one who take shelter of Me can cross as I am beyond the modes of nature. So “Ishvarah paramah Krishna sac-cid-ananda-vigrahaha” if we balance the two ideas we understand what Nirguna means. Krishna has a body vigraha, which is eternal full of knowledge and full of bliss. It is completely spiritual. The gunas operate under the influence of time. Yes this is how the description is. The gunas in themselves are just latent they are ideal, (50:37) time interacts with the gunas .It energizes them to start on creating limitless varieties within this material world. Krishna tells I am time.

As Mahavishnu by his own will the gunas are created and by the time factor of His glance, He activates everything. So in the sense Krishna’s form is beyond the gunas. It’s not material, it’s not subject to birth, old age, disease, death. Everything within material creation under the influence of the three modes is limited and temporary, but Krishna is unlimited and eternal. His form, His qualities, His personality. So therefore it’s the most obvious thing to a devotee that Nirguna means no material qualities. “janma karma ca me divyam” Krishna says my birth in appearance in this world is Divyam, it’s transcendental to all material conceptions.

When Krishna was just a little child living in Gokul His friends complained to Yashoda mai that Krishna has eaten dirt in a secluded place. Yashoda mai is His mother. By His yoga maya potency He is covering her understanding of His Supremacy or according to this particular definition that is given in the purport He’s covering not only His supremacy but His absoluteness and she’s thinking He is my son, and I must feed Him. And now He is eating dirt, He is going to get sick. Why are you eating dirt, Krishna said no, I never ate dirt, but actually he did eat dirt, so how is it that the absolute truth is telling a lie? If we understand the absolute truth and He cannot tell a lie. He is not lying, on the material level it seems that way but actually He is only seen it to increase the ecstasy of His mother and to increase the ecstasy of all of His devotees for the rest of time because this is one of the favorite stories. So whatever Krishna does is for the ultimate welfare and benefit of everyone.

So Yashoda mai looks in his mouth and in His mouth she sees not only dirt, but she the dirt was there but Krishna created such a situation that she wouldn’t pay attention to just the dirt that He ate. She saw the earth planet not just the earth that he ate she saw earth planet. She saw them all the mountains on earth and all the oceans and all the planets and all the living entities and she saw herself in His mouth and that was actually her. It was like some mirror reflection of her it is quite inconceivable. She’s outside of his mouth looking in His little mouth is only this big? She is seeing the universal creation in the size of the mouth is big. She is seeing herself and the cows and everything that because she is in motherly love.

She’s thinking, ‘What is this I am seeing? Am I sick? No I am quite well. Am I dreaming? No, I’m awake. Am I having some mental disorder? No, my mind is very nice. May be Gargamuni what he said is true that my son is God, he is Narayana.’ She said, “No. How is that possible Narayana is the supreme controller of all controllers and when there is lightning that comes in the sky Krishna cries and runs to me and cries give protection and until I embrace him. He’s very much afraid and he steals from Gopis house, butter and yogurt all of these things this is not Narayana and when I chastise him He becomes very afraid if I don’t feed Him He cries for food. Let Gargamuni say whatever He wants. But Krishna knows who he is and I know who He is, we know what our relationship is and we don’t care what anybody else says.”

So she is thinking all these things while her seeing the universe within His mouth. This is her love. So she saw it nothing since then everything is inside of Krishna. Nothing is outside of Krishna. The whole existence but still soon she closed her mouth. She was thinking if I don’t feed Krishna He will be hungry and she gave Krishna her milk. This is really incredible philosophy. She just saw herself the creation, all the cows everything inside of Krishna and she’s thinking if I don’t put little milk inside of Krishna He will be hungry. This is Bhakti.

The example given here that Srila Prabhupada often gave if you take water from Ganga and offered to Ganga you should not be proud thinking, Ganga just see how generous I am. Let the world know that I have given water to mother Ganga. Ganga is not concerned with the quantity of water you give her .She is concerned with the sincerity of our devotion because she’s our mother the examples given here of are father and mother. Father gives us money and we go and give him by him a gift with that money. Now. The father could be very honest and intellectual and says son. The son runs up to father it’s your birthday I buy this gift please take this gift and the father said you are just a fool buying from my money you are taking my money to buy that gift How could you think that your giving me the gift you just took the money I gave you bought this gift so what is the use of your gift? I couldn’t care less about your gift I could’ve bought something I like better with that money father could say that. And actually materially it’s true completely true. The father is not concerned with them. His concern with that my son could’ve used that money for anything else, but he used it to show his love for me and even if it’s something that the father if anybody else would’ve given it to him. He would probably just given it away or thrown away because this is a useless thing. What do I need this that because it was given for the by the love of the son the father keeps it in a safe place. And 60 years later the father shows it to the great-grandchildren. This is what he gave me very important. Because love is most important. So in a similar way when we offer to Ganga, she’s our mother. She doesn’t need our water it’s her water, but when it’s offered with love. She really accepts it. She becomes overwhelmed with joy. So Krishna is showing Yashoda mai that actually everything is within me but still if you offer me something I’ll be so happy.

 

Radhanath Swami illustrates that Krishna is the property of those who understand they have nothing, and completely dependent on him

Ram told Hanuman and Krishna told gopis that, “There is no possibility that I could repay you for what you have given me.” He told gopis, “In the lifetime of Brahma I can never repay you for what you’ve given me.” That is the power of devotion. So here is Rukmini. She is fanning Krishna with chamara. But in Bhagavad-Gita Krishna tells that these eight material elements earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence, ego they are all my separated external material energy. They are Krishna’s energy. They are coming from Krishna they are within Krishna .Air is wind, all the wind, in the entire existence is coming from Krishna is within Krishna and, and she just see how much air is there, this morning pujari in managala aarti with the chamara going how much air is there compared to the mass total of all air and all the planets in all universes. Krishna is so pleased with a little bit of air is going on. And he see the air is going on Radharani is getting such nice air and Radharani is thinking Gopinath is getting such nice air. They are so happy not because of the air because it’s in exchange of devotion.

So Rukmini is the supreme goddess of fortune so simple. Rukmini, what can she give Krishna? Lakshmi is an expansion of Rukmini, but yet she is just fanning Him little air and actually the maidservant was fanning her first because anyone could go like that we see so many of our little children they had their little chamaras they run up to Prabhupada and go like this run to the deities any Little child fanning is a simple thing, you don’t need a PhD and you don’t need the bhakti Shastri or bhakti vaibhav certificate. I see little babies can’t even walk mother puts the chamara. So Rukmini took what the maidservant was doing and was fanning with such love that air. That air was nectar to Krishna. So this beautiful verse today, she is where Krishna is speaking from the perspective of material evaluation He’s analyzing Himself and He is showing so many disqualifications. And Rukmini Devi is taking it from the absolute pure spiritual consideration and using the same words to glorify Him niskincana.

Kunti Devi, when she was the mother queen after the battle of Kurukshetra Yudhishtir Maharaj was coroneted is the Emperor of the world, and others, and Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadev they were all in the highest position of influence and power and wealth and she’s their mother. After so many years of living in trauma and tragedy and loss even one time, her and her sons were hiding together at Ekachakra after the kuru’s headed by Duryodhana and Shakuni when they try to burn Kunti and her children alive house of lack. They were hiding actually had nothing materially and now she’s the queen mother have everything and she’s offering her prayers to Krishna and she’s telling Krishna, You are the property of those who have nothing akincena gocaram, because people who have a lot of wealth and a lot of beauty fame, strength, high birth, very good education and knowledge they become proud they can’t take shelter of you. They can’t cry out to holy name even if they become religious it’s so superficial when external. You are the property of those who deeply understand that they have nothing. That they are absolutely completely dependent on you and this is the theme of so many of the stories Shukadev Goswami narrates to Parikshit Maharaj in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Gajendra’s surrender

Gajendra was the king of the forest. He was such a powerful elephant even the Lions and the Tigers and everyone did their pranams to him. He was so powerful. With such beautiful wives by elephant calculate and he has nice children and he was just living the highest life you could imagine as far as he was the king, he was the controller, such a family with so much affection everything was there. And he brought his family to a really nice pond of water and beautiful area was actually heavenly and he went into the water and it was such a nice water and the water was so cooling and refreshing and clean and sweet he wanted was throwing it on his family and they were so happy not only the water was so nice, but it was thrown on them by the love of their father and their husband. So in this way was such a nice, it was like the summit of material enjoyment he was having with him. But the problem with the water is you can’t see what’s under the water.

Similarly, the with the this world who ever we are whatever we have even in the summit of everything that we always wanted to work in the midst of enjoying that we don’t know what’s under the water. Suddenly something grabs onto his leg, really painful. It’s a crocodile, and Gajendra is fighting with the crocodile fighting with all of his might and he said some of tries to drag the crocodile he knows if he can get the crocodile out of the water, then he has more strength but if the crocodile keeps him in the water he doesn’t have anything to eat the crocodiles eating all he needs is water. The crocodile is fighting and fighting and Gajendra fighting and fighting and Gajendra looks to his children and his wives and his friends and everybody and nobody could do anything to help them they’re all just standing on the banks of the pond crying what is happening to our loved one. They can’t help me and as the hours and hours and hours go by he’s getting weaker and weaker and the crocodiles getting stronger and stronger and he realized, ‘I have no power to protect myself and there is no one in this world that can help me in my condition.’ This crocodile represents every type of challenge that we have in our life.

Some people are bitten by the crocodile of some disease no matter what they have. Crocodile doesn’t want to go it’s killing them. Sometimes it’s just a mental condition somebody says something or somebody does something or something happens… Like a crocodile biting us in our subtle body and we just can’t get rid of that crocodile and is dragging us down .How many of you have crocodiles in your life? May be flying in an airplane and its goes down to crash like a crocodile. What did you do? May be driving in the car there is a traffic jam in Mumbai you have to it’s your daughter’s marriage and the muhurat is at this time, it has to be at this time. Otherwise everything becomes inauspicious if you caught in traffic jam. And you tell the driver just fly over all the cars and the driver says, “I don’t know how to do that.”

So what can you do you are helpless it’s the crocodile of a situation. It’s beyond your control so many things like this Adhyatmika, adi-devika, adi-bhotika miseries caused by our own mind and body miseries is caused by other beings, especially humans or mosquitoes or other beings or miseries caused by natural disturbances. It’s all like crocodiles, and so many times some things we can actually resolve by our own intelligence or our influence or our own powers, but other things are beyond. Crocodile was tracking Gajendra down and at a certain point he realized there’s nothing myself or anyone can do to save me and it was then that he remembered his previous life of being a great devotee and the prayers he learnt. As long as it was absorbed in material ways of life and he was quite successful in doing it. Those spiritual assets he had just remained so much in the background but now was all he had left, he was Niskincana.

He realized, ‘I have nothing.’ Actually he was still the king he still had his wives and his children all around him. He still had everything you used to have, but by the grace of the crocodile he realized that actually none of it’s really mine, it all can be taken away from me in a moment’s so he was niskincana. In that state he plucked a single lotus flower and in that pond there were so many lotus flower and he offered it to Lord Narayana and offered beautiful prayers and in his prayers Krishna, “I am yours, I give my heart, my body, my mind, my words, my life everything I offer to you. I take shelter of you. Kill me if you want to, protect me doesn’t matter anymore. I am yours.” Sharanagati.

But you cannot actually surrender unless you niskincana unless you realize that everything ultimately belongs to the Lord, I’m yours. Lord Vishnu came down on Garuda and within a moment He cut off the crocodile’s mouth. The crocodile without a mouth this doesn’t have influence on anyone. Because that is his strength and their teeth in mouth and all of a sudden his mouth gets cut off. Then Lord Vishnu restores the crocodile to a demigod and then he tells Gajendra you come with me back to Godhead. He took Gajendra back to Godhead. Hare Krishna! Ultimate liberation that moment because of his surrender Krishna I am yours. So from the perspective of the bhakti philosophy Vaishnavism the surrender is Krishna I’m yours and when Krishna reciprocates and gives us the understanding that Krishna you are mine.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Ambarisha Maharaja being niskincana

This is revealed in the story of Ambarish Maharaj. He was also a great king, he had palaces armies, family and wealth. He performed this fast in Madhuban for one year he did the Ekadashi and Dwadashi fast for one full year. The culmination just three days of no food and no water. But he was doing it for the pleasure of Krishna. He was doing it for the welfare of all of his citizens every living being in his kingdom. He was doing it for their welfare by setting such an example and by offering the benefits were coming spiritual blessings, he was offering it to everyone. After he completed a year of fasting and three days of no food or water before breaking the fast he gave millions of cows to the Brahmanas and tens of millions every cow he gave had full milk bag, at least one or more baby calves along with the cow. Every cow had gold not like India Bollywood type of gold, pure gold plated horns and pure silver plated huffs can you imagine, such wealth he had. Who can give a gift like that today?

Even if the marriage of your daughter you cannot give, whoever you are, tens of millions of cows with full bags and calves, what to speak of just giving them just transporting them and gave them all away with gold one cow the amount of gold and silver one, was more than what most people’s entire bank balances and is giving them all and it was just the beginning of his gifts and he was giving more and he was feeding everyone, big, nice feasts. And he was about to eat himself, to break his fast, just at that moment Durvasa Muni appeared on the scene .Durvasa Muni by all material calculation is niskincana.

You never hear about Durvasa Muni sleeping in a nice bed in some house he slept in caves he slept in forest and riverbanks, under trees he had no possessions, just wear a simplest clothes of mystic yogi, never combed his hair, and matted hair. He is really among yogis. A renowned sage just traveling around meditating. So he appears and Ambarish jumps up to receive him and offers him such nice sitting place and washing his feet and offers him prayers and says please eat I have such a nice feasts for you Durvasa Muni said yes I will. But first I must take my bath in Yamuna. As he was a very strict Brahman. So he had to perform his ritual before he eat.

So he went to Yamuna and then when he went into Yamuna he started meditating and entered into a state where he was meditating on Brahman. It appeared he was in samadhi. So what is Ambarisha is going to do, he was told by the Brahmins you have to immediately break your fast. Now in Kaliyuga you are supposed to try to be as strict as possible but if somehow or other, there’s a technical problem somehow or other will get through it, but this is in the previous yoga, if Ambarisha doesn’t break his fast during the scheduled Parana. Then what happens then the whole year of fasting all the benefits are negated not only that, but it’s an aparadh. Instead of benefits to yourself and pleasing Krishna and benefits to everyone else it becomes like a curse. So this is a serious thing he has to break his fast on this moment, but at the same time it’s an offensive he doesn’t break his fast and its offensive he eats before his guest Durvasa Muni.

So the Srimad-Bhagavatam describes it was a very dangerous situation. He was really in the situations that we all get into sometimes. Why this is happening whatever you do, it seems is going to be a problem. So he asked the Brahmins, this is the way they usually get out of such things put the responsibility on others. He is the King, he supposed to follow the spiritual advice of the Brahmins so he tells Brahmins what do I do? And Brahmins are Brahmins. They didn’t have that much time to discuss when they were discussing so many different opinions and they couldn’t come to a conclusion. So now Ambarisha has the Brahmins they have so many different opinions they couldn’t come to a conclusion that the yet I don’t know how much they were arguing with each other you should do this you know you do that no, no you should do this but according to the Shastra you should do this according to that Shastra you should do this, according to my Shastra you should do this. They are all bona fide Brahmins.

So now Ambarish had to make up his own decision because the Brahmanas were helping him and at the same time it’s not the you go up to do Durvasa muni samadhi and said you come out of your some samadhi immediately because you have to eat now it’s not like you can do that. So Durvasa Muni is in the water and he could have been there for many days they don’t know. So it’s really a difficult situation so Ambarish has to pray to Krishna please help the Brahmins are not giving me anything concrete to do. So then he comes to his own conclusion, and what was that that if you drink water it’s considered a fast but if you drink water is also considered breaking the fast. Drinking water is considered not eating, drinking water is considered eating and in this regard and the purport to this verses, Srila Prabhupada quotes that some political leaders of India were doing fasting what is the word is removed. This way the it is .still like this. Prabhupada said they would only drink water. This is considered fasting.

So Ambarish came with his conclusion and presented it to all the Brahmans that if I drink a little water and breaking the fast, but if I drink little water on breaking the fast so should I drink a little water and they said yes very good, drink water .So he just drank tiny film water .Durvasa Muni was such a Sage that he’s in the Yamuna so much water and in those days and was really even the most materialistic person wanted to drink water from the Yamuna that he cleaned and very pure Madhuban, and he’s immediately recognizes through his mystic sensitivity Ambarish drank water. He was so angry. His eyes were red like coals, his body was trembling with anger and he insulted Ambarish the worst way. Vaishnava what he was saying to Ambarish was just opposite everything he was trying to be. He said that Ambarish you are a cruel.

A Vaishnava wants to be compassionate, he said you are cruel. He is saying you are a hypocrite. Your so-called devotion to Vishnu is simply bogus. You have no true devotion you just cheating everyone with your hypocrisy and therefore I must destroy you. Now he was so angry. He pulled a bunch of hair from his head. You have to really be hungry to do that and sometime our brahmachari’s because they have shaved head they can’t do that, he was so angry he pulled his hair and said a mantra and threw the hair on the floor. Instantly this personality whose body was made out of blazing fire who had eyes and a mouth and was holding a trident, he was gigantic He look like devastation. Now Durvasa Muni was born in Chitrakut, son of Atri Muni and Anasuya, Soma was the avatar of Brahma, Datatreya is the avatar of Vishnu and the avatar of Shiva was Durvasa, if he wants to destroy he is the destroyer and with all of his potency he created this monster of fire to destroy Ambarish and this firing monster roared. Can you imagine the sound of that roar? Fire roaring and he’s only inches away from Ambarish and he jumps toward Ambarish to devour him.

Ambarish did not move a single foot he didn’t move, he didn’t run away, didn’t call his armies to protect him. He just stood with folded palms completely fearless “bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana abhaya-caranaravinda re” We pray to our mind please worship Krishna because when you really absorb your mind, yourself, and worshiping Krishna you become fearless because you’ve taken shelter of him “sri-nanda-nandana.” So Ambarish was in that mood. It wasn’t just the theoretical practice here death personified was inches away from devouring him. His families is there his friends, ministers everything is about to lose everything Ambarish is fearless. Krishna I am yours because he gave his heart fully to Krishna, Krishna gave his heart fully to him and Krishna is acintya sakti he has a Sudarshan Chakra. Now with this fiery demon right upon Ambarish he only had not even second’s moments to live.

Narayana is in Vaikuntha it’s a long way, so to send Sudarshan and chakra he only had a moment, but for Vishnu everything is possible. If Krishna wants to protect his devotee, doesn’t matter what the situation is. Within that one moment that Sudarshan Chakra come from Vaikuntha just came right down and destroyed liberated that personality created by Durvasa. Just immediately fire was extinguished the person was gone. Then the Sudarshan chakra redirected himself to Durvasa Muni. Now who is niskincana? Ambarisha was living in a beautiful palace, he has wives and his children. That means he was having sex, he was having children, having so many duties is wearing nice clothes when he is in his palace. Durvasa muni is just wearing some tree bark he is completely celibate sadhu.

So who’s niskincana? when the fiery personification of devastation was about to devour Ambarish he was fearless, he didn’t move just chant God’s name and gave his heart to Krishna with a prayer .When Sudarshan chakra came towards Durvasa muni as fast as he could ran away desperately fearful really fearful. He is running and Krishna’s so expert, whether he was running slow or fast, whether he was going two kilometers an hour or 10 million km an hour, Sudarshan was always the same distance inches behind him. He went to Brahma because when he couldn’t get away by running, he started flying and how could he fly, he didn’t need an aircraft.

How long would it take for any airplane to go to Brahmaloka? By the speed of our airplanes we would take hundreds of millions of years for any of our airplanes to reach Brahmaloka and still they can’t reach. But Durvasa Muni went in Brahmaloka by chanting mantras such a powerful yogi, he falls at the feet of Brahma save me, Brahma said myself and Lord Shiva and all the demigods we are all under the control of Vishnu. This is Vishnu’s weapon there’s nothing we can do to you. Then he want to Kailash, the planet of Lord Shiva fell at Shiva’s feet Shankar bhagavan please save me. Shiva said same thing we are all under the control of Lord Narayana.

We are all the servants of the servants of Narayan, whatever powers we have just given to us by Narayana, only he can save you. – Radhanath Swami

Durvasa was really determined to save his life. He flew all the way to Vaikuntha that’s determination and felt the feet of Lord Vishnu and said you are the supreme personality of Godhead “I have made an offense to your devotee. I beg forgiveness please save me, I take shelter of you”. Lord Narayana said that I am completely under the control of my devotee even though I am supremely independent. I have given up my independence to be controlled by the love of my devotee. The devotee is so absorbed in loving service to that the devotee always keeps me through his remembrance or her remembrance in the very core of his heart and therefore the devotee is always in the core of my heart. The devotee has giving up everything for me and I give up everything for my devotee, and this is very personal. This is a very unique, individual personal relationship that Krishna has with every pure devotee.

Durvasa Muni you are asking me to help you, but I’ve given up my own free will. I’m living in the heart of Ambarish Maharaj. So therefore immediately at this moment you should go to Ambarish. So Durvasa muni understood what is niskincana and what was Ambarisha role he was still standing there for one year just waiting for he didn’t eat he was still waiting for his guest. When Durvasa Muni came back to Madhuban, Ambarisha was still waiting. Sudarshan was still the exact distance behind him, he was always feeling the heat and Ambarish prayed, he prayed Sudarshan Chakra you are glorified you are the divine servant of Lord Narayana. He said if ever I have done any dharma, any bhakti ,anything I’ve ever done in the service of the Lord or for the good of others, let all those credits go toward saving Durvasa Muni, please bless him. And the Sudarshan the power of the prayers of Ambarisha left Durvasa muni and Durvasa Muni started glorifying Ambarish, you are a true devotee ,you are truly renounced, detached you are truly niskincana not me. And Ambarisha no, no, you eat just prasad he fed him Prasad.

 

Radhanath Swami describes Krishna as niskincana because he is the source of everything

So Rukmini Devi is the goddess of devotion. She’s the source, she is an expansion of shri Radha in Vrindavan. The source of all prema all love. So she is speaking these beautiful words that Krishna you are truly niskincana you don’t have anything why because you have everything because everything was within you and everything is of you, you are the source of everything that exists. The six opulences beauty, knowledge, strength, fame, wealth and detachment, renunciation these opulences are what makes a person attractive in this world. Even another species, other species see beauty in each other they see strength in each other they see territorial property that they control what to speak of humans, some was very beautiful very strong athletic how much how much are athletes attractive to people so relative. In India your cricket stars are really attractive but in the West nobody could care anything for a crickets star, they don’t even know what cricket is it’s an insect. But in India cricket stars very attractive because of the strength and their speed and People who are extremely wealthy, extremely charitable are very well attractive people who have very extraordinary physical beauty, people who have great knowledge, wealth of information like encyclopedias they could sight anything any time and they can solve problems me know so much. People attracted to fame.

These opulences make a person attractive and therefore people are so passionate to somehow or other acquire these opulences or be attracted to these opulences. But Krishna is Bhagavan means one who is the source of all these opulences, is not just the proprietor of the opulences he’s the source of all the opulences he’s the complete hold of all the opulences incredible. Because whatever beauty your knowledge or strength or wealth or fame or renunciation anyone has it’s actually just a little spark of what belongs to Krishna. Krishna tells in Gita all the incredible things in this world are just the spark of my splendor. So Krishna is niskincana because he is the source of everything and nothing is ever outside of him. Therefore from a material perspective is not just the proprietor of something like we could be, our conception of proprietorship of anything is limited and temporary but Krishna everything is forever within him, so in the sense that it’s a completely different conception he is Nirguna. He has nothing to do with our sense of proprietorship. It has nothing to do with our sense of renunciation. So Rukmini is taking Krishna’s words to give the ultimate glorification of him and to give all of us and entrance into this understanding and ultimately Rukmini conquers Krishna with Her love with her appreciation.

Thank you very much.

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Serve Others In A Way You Expect Others To Serve You http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/serve-others-in-a-way-you-expect-others-to-serve-you http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/serve-others-in-a-way-you-expect-others-to-serve-you#comments Fri, 29 Jan 2016 06:43:48 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2864 It is my great honor and pleasure to be with all of you today, thank you. I truly learned so much from all those who have offered presentations, and I don’t know so much of what I could add: such brilliance, such insight, such experience, and such a practical and caring way and I truly thank all of our presenters coming, and giving your invaluable presence to this event.

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates on leading a purposeful and happy life

I am a very simple person. I went to one semester of a junior-college and decided to take a summer break and visit Europe; and ended up getting my higher education in the cave and the Himalayan in jungles. So I see things in very simple ways, and from what I heard from all of our esteemed speakers today, I came to a simple conclusion: we know the golden rule – do unto others as you wish them to do to you.

A true doctor in spirit is one who, from the core of their hearts, will treat each and every one of their patients, as they would want a doctor to treat them if they were in the patient’s situation; that’s quality of life. – Radhanath Swami

In the world we live in today, people have been so distracted from a meaningful, purposeful and happy life, because there is so much propaganda that success comes from the quantity of what you have: your money, your power, your fame, or your knowledge in regard to intellectualization; and in the pursuit of quantity, people forget that there cannot be happiness in ourselves nor can we give happiness to others unless we have a quality life. Essentially, everyone is looking for pleasure. The Brahma Sutra tells ananda mayo bhashyat, it is something every living thing has in common: the insects, the birds, the beast, every category of human beings, is looking for pleasure; and part of this pursuit of pleasure is to avoid pain, because pain disturbs pleasure.

I once saw a little girl, about seven or eight years old, she was from an extraordinarily wealthy family. Her parents provided a beautiful home, every type of toy and play-thing, beautiful clothes, beautiful ornaments, but they didn’t have time, nor did they see the need to give her the care, the affection, and the appreciation that the heart needs. She looked very pretty, but she lived in misery; her heart was crying for affection and she was given everything else. As far as I could see that is a serious disease in human society for people from all ages.

What is real suffering? What is real happiness? It is very much a thing of the heart. Give a person $1 billion or $1 trillion or rupees, if they don’t have somebody to love and they don’t know how to love others, it is all superficial. It is like an empty shell.

In every profession our true success is in how we are experiencing a meaningful, purposeful life that brings happiness to ourselves, and which empowers us to give happiness to others. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami shares a story from Barsana Eye Camp

I’ll share a simple story that really affected me. Every year Bhaktivedanta hospital has a cataract eye camp in a simple village in Uttar Pradesh near Vrindavana; Barsana is the name of the village. Thousands of people from other villages, which are quite distant, come because they have problems. We have a dental camp and eye camp, none of them speak English, but I go there and I speak to them through translators, and for most of them have never been to a dentist or seen a doctor in their life; simple people. Some volunteer doctors, nurses, and so many other devotees and people come to help.

One particular doctor – ophthalmologists, highly educated, quite wealthy, quite famous came from Mumbai, from his comfortable home came to live in this little village. There is no heat, it is the winter, it is muddy all over the place, and he is treating these simple villagers, who are mostly really old, uneducated, and in just very raggedy clothes; they are all in poverty. He removed the cataract from a lady, she was probably in her late 80’s, couldn’t spell her name, and probably never went to school. She just was wearing a really old faded torn-up sari, had only a couple of teeth in her mouth.

He took the bandage off her eye and she could see; she was so happy. She was so happy, and in her own very simple village way, she thanked the doctor by beating him on the head with her hand; she was beating him. And as she was beating she was saying, “May Radharani bless you with love for Krishna!” She is beating him, “May Radharani bless you with love for Krishna.” He never felt so happy in his life. It wasn’t just what she said, she was blessing him because he made a difference in a person’s life in such a way, and he started coming to this eye camp with his family every year; it is a highlight of his year.

He experienced something very special that everybody hears and knows but doesn’t really understand that when we get stuff we could make a living, but it’s only when we really deeply appreciate the joy of giving that we make a life. This holds true for people in every profession. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami on being grateful and honest

In the Bhagavad-Gita –

bhoktaram yajna tapasam sarva loka mahesvaram

One explanation of this verse is, we are not the proprietors of anything, and this is a universal spiritual principle that whatever we have ultimately we are completely dependent on higher powers to receive it. We may think we are great but we need the sun for its light and heat, we need the air to breathe, we need mother Earth to provide seeds, we need rain for anything to grow. If our mother and father didn’t selflessly take care of us, we could have never survived.

We are all at all times, whoever we are, totally dependent on gifts that are beyond our control. That’s just being honest. – Radhanath Swami

Sometimes when people asked me, “What does it mean to be humble because there is so much arrogance in the world today?” One explanation of humility is just to be honest, “I am completely dependent on so many gifts that are coming from God, and from so many gifts of that are coming from God through so many people, and so many wonderful gifts of nature and to be grateful.”

An arrogant heart cannot be grateful. An arrogant heart always feels, ‘I deserve something else, I deserve to be more.’ And we can have a pretense gratitude, but it’s not real. In gratitude there is joy. If you think you deserve something great and then you get it, are you grateful for it? If you really don’t think you deserve it and somebody gives it, you are very grateful.

In the Gita tells us that real integrity, real evolution of consciousness is when we are grateful to serve, to reciprocate – For one whom much is given, much is expected. We are caretakers. It was said by one of our speakers and which really moved my heart that we should actually see the presence of God in our patients. This is a universal principle. In the Bible, Jesus tells, “You treat me the way you treat the least of all people.” In the Bhagavad-Gita, in the Fourth chapter Krishna gives the definition of knowledge, this is the type of knowledge that transforms our hearts our lives, it gives us the power to transform other people’s hearts and lives. “True knowledge,” Krishna tells, “is to see every living being as part of me, as in me, and as mine.”

To the degree we actually connect with God within our own hearts, to that degree, aham bija pratapita, we will appreciate that whoever is coming is a child of God. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami highlights Indian culture of spiritual care and hope

This is the Vedic culture. This is the heritage of India. The heritage of India is not exporting software engineers to Silicon Valley; that’s nice, but we shouldn’t lose the substance of foundation of this culture.

When my guru Srila Prabhupada was in London, he was challenged by a journalist, “Why did you come to our country?” Because he was a swami teaching Bhagavad-Gita he said, “You British people you ruled over India for over a century, and you took the best wealth you could find to bring to London, so many jewels, so much of our economic prosperity, whatever treasures you found you try to bring it to London. But you forgot the most important treasure, India’s culture, India’s spiritual heritage. I have come to give you freely what you forgot to take.” So we shouldn’t forget this; this is Bharat Varsha, Dhrama Bhumi. The very foundational principle of the heritage of India is in this understanding.

The Vedas tell that when a guest comes to your home, you have to see that God has sent them. Our guru says that anybody who comes to our temple we should know how we treat them is how we treat Krishna. If you are truly making a connection with the Lord who is on the altar, then you will see his presence, his intimate child in the heart of all beings. Bhagavad-Gita tells, wisdom, realized knowledge

vidya-vinaya-sampanne
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah
[BG 5.18]

These are standards that we should put in our life. Real wisdom is when we see all living beings with equal vision that means we care, we want to make a difference. And the holistic approach in whatever our profession may be, and particularly today in medical practice, is our body, mind and soul to actually appreciate and recognize how we can uplift the health of a person’s body, mind and soul, through medicines, through therapies whatever it may be, we can give relief and health to the physical body.

But to actually make a difference in a person’s life that is only a little peace of it. If a person’s mind is terribly disturbed, he is going to be miserable whatever his state the bodies. To care, to give respect, to give appreciation to a person, to give compassion, to give a sense of love to that person gives fulfillment and health to their mind, and to be an instrument of a higher power than ourselves, to give them a connection to that higher power that were all dependent on, gives fulfillment to the soul, to the living force that seen through the eyes and hearing through the ears, that is the very source of life within us.

Some of our doctors from Bhaktivedanta hospital were telling me, when there was an earthquake in Gujarat some years ago, there was a lot of requirements for orthopedic surgeons and others; people were suffering. Homes of so many people were destroyed, their relatives were killed, and their shops were demolished. How much happiness do they get when you put a cast on their arm to heal their broken bones, we need to do that. But, spiritual care, they need hope, they need reason to live, to give them an understanding of the eternal soul beyond birth and beyond death, to teach them how they could commune to God with even their lost loved ones, to give them tools in which they could make that spiritual connection, and find that emotional peace through it. And of all the services we performed, we were giving food, we were rebuilding houses, we were giving medicines, we are fixing broken limbs, what was appreciated the most, what was most needed, and that was giving that inner connection and hope to their life.

A doctor in whatever situation of a patient should give that patient hope. – Radhanath Swami

If they have a terminal disease and they are going to die, we should give them some tools to go beyond this lifetime and give hope. If the person doesn’t really feel trust and faith and hope from the doctor, it is going to create a very very negative mental situation, and that is going to seriously impede their physical, mental and spiritual growth. I think we’ve all experienced it.

When I was a little boy, growing up north of Chicago, if I was sick and my mother really needed some medical help, she would call the doctor and within a half hour he would be at our house, and anybody could afford whoever we were. Even when I was nine years old, my father went into total bankruptcy, but there was never a worry about medical help, he is called, and he comes.

Now in America my father is 92, I see he is in a suffering condition, he doesn’t know he is going to live or die. He calls the doctor, and they give an appointment in three weeks, and there is nothing available until then. If you want something more then you talk to the secretary on the phone, and she’ll tell you what to do. If you really need something else then you just go to a local hospital to the emergency part. And I saw, in some many situations like these, him and many others become really hopeless and depressed.

Now I challenge that doctor, “If you were in the position of this patient, is this the way you would like your doctor to treat you?”

“Absolutely NO!”

That means no integrity; it’s just about money. From a human point of view that’s a worthless life. Humanity is to care. Share your care is what some of our doctors have created; that’s what it means to care is to share. Seva, a sacred word in Sanskrit means to serve with compassion, to serve with love; this is the greatest need in the world. If business people, industrialists, doctors, nurses, what to speak of religious people Swami’s and priests – we have our issues too, not much difference – if we don’t clean our hearts, if we don’t understand the true value of giving, if we don’t understand that devotion and love is the foundational principle of what makes life worthy of living, then we are part of the problem not part of the solution.

 

Radhanath Swami sketches out the qualities of leaders of society

In our medical schools, in all of our schools, if we don’t teach our children the value of character, the value of compassion, what are we really giving them? There is a saying – if you lose your wealth, you lose nothing, if you lose your health, you lose something, if you lose your character, you have lost everything. But, how do we teach this to the next generation? Through our example. Krishna tells in Bhagavad-Gita – what leaders do, the common people follow. And people in medical profession, doctors, lawyers, are really leaders in society, people are coming to you when they are desperate, they are looking for hope, they are looking for relief, they are looking for liberation from their leaders and the young people see this. We have to lead by our example.

If there is a strong foundation in the building, even the most powerful storms cannot move it; but if there is a weak foundation, when the storm comes the building crumbles. It is that spiritual connection. That connection to something within ourselves to the soul and God’s grace, humility, gratitude. When we have that we find peace, we find meaning, we find love and then whatever storms come in this world, it cannot move the integrity or the fulfillment of our life. – Radhanath Swami

Through the way we perform our work, to exemplify these principles is the greatest contribution we can make to humanity. And I see in this wonderful conference today, this is the theme that is like the thread that is going through all the different flowers of everyone’s explanations and appreciations. Satsanga means we empower and inspire each other because we need that. There is too many powerful storms of distraction; weapons of mass distraction are constantly bombarding us. But conferences like what I’m seeing today is beautiful, people with real values, people with real experience and wisdom are coming together to share; and as we share we grow. The people in this room today, if we share our care and have these values, we can truly make a very significant difference in changing the world. If we don’t think that’s possible, then we miss the greatest opportunity in life; but we can make a great difference in the world. Thank you very much.

 

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Gratitude Attracts Krishna’s Mercy http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2858 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2858#comments Mon, 18 Jan 2016 08:07:26 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2858

Tathaiva sātyakiḥ pārthaiḥ
pūjitaś cābhivanditaḥ

niṣasādāsane ’nye ca
 
pūjitāḥ paryupāsata

Sātyaki also accepted a seat of honour after receiving worship and welcome from the Pandavas, and the Lord’s other companions, being duly honoured, sat down in various places.

pṛthām samāgatya kṛtābhivādanas
tayāti-hārdārdra-dṛśābhirambhitaḥ

āpṛṣṭavāṁs tāṁ kuśalaṁ saha-snuṣāṁ
pitṛ-ṣvasāram paripṛṣṭa-bāndhavaḥ

The Lord then went to see His aunt, Queen Kunti. He bowed down to her and she embraced Him, her eyes moist with great affection. Lord Karna inquired from her and her daughter-in-law, Draupadi, about their welfare, and they in turn questioned Him at length about His relatives [in Dvārakā].

Purport:

Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura envisions that as Lord Kṛṣṇa was sitting on His seat, He saw His aunt Kuntī approaching in great eagerness to see Him. He then rose at once, quickly went up to her and offered His obeisances. Her eyes moistened with extreme love, she embraced Him and smelled His head.
**************#*****************
We are reading today from the Srimad Bhagvatam Canto 10 chapter 58 entitled Krishna Marries Five Princesses, Text six and seven.

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Queen Kunti and birth of 5 Pandavas

The Pandavas were great devotees of Krishna. The eldest brother Yudhishtir was truly a well-wishers for everyone, but yet so many injustices were committed to them. This is explained in great detail in Mahabharata. Kunti was the sister of Vasudev, who became the father of Krishna and Balaram. Surasena, their father, promised Kuntibhoja, who was his relative who have no children that if he ever had a daughter he would place her under his care. Vasudev’s sister, whose name was Pritha was there by given in the care of Kuntibhoja, and thus she was called by the name Kunti. Here we know the story how she was so beautiful in her character, in her actions, in her words and her physical appearance in every way.

Durvasa Muni came to visit King Kuntibhoja, and as we were speaking last night, Durvasa Muni, son of Anasuya and Atri Muni was an expansion of Rudra and he was easily pleased and easily angered. When he was angry, it was devastating, and when he was pleased, it was very nice. So generally when he came to a place, it was a very fearful situation. It’s like when important guest comes, there is usually some fear because you don’t want to displease them. And when there is Durvasa Muni, it’s a very serious subject matter.

So Kuntibhoja had his lovely daughter Kunti take care of him, and by her graciousness, her kindness, and her absolute genuineness – she just had nothing but good inside and out. Sometimes great sages like Durvasa, if they detect any anartha or unwanted quality in you, they know exactly how to make it explode. But Kunti had no qualities except her goodness. So she served him so pleasingly with so much effort and care that he gave her this benediction, a mantra with which she could call any demigod, any of the Devas, she just meditates and chants the mantra they will immediately appear. She was just a young girl, very small.

After Durvasa muni left with this blessing, she was just curious, as a young girl to be given a mantra like this naturally you want to try it. So, one morning she saw the sun rising, such a beautiful sun rise, and she meditated on Surya and chanted the mantra and Surya came. She didn’t know what to do actually because Surya is a very powerful deva. She is a little girl, so she served him nicely and offered prayers to him, and he said, “If I come I must give you a child that is my rule.” 
She said, “How can you give a child, I am just a little girl?” 
He said, “By my deva like powers you will remain a virgin!” 
And then a child was put in her womb and was born really quickly, because devas don’t have to go through all these months of labour like earthly people. The child was born from ear and therefore the child was given the name Karna. But she did know how to explain this to her relatives.

Now think of yourself being a little girl and all of a suddenly there is this little baby, who has golden earrings and a chest plate. So she was confused. She made a little basket and very lovingly put the baby in the basket and prayed to Surya, “Please protect your child,” and she put him in Ganga, and he flowed away. And the charioteer named Adiratha discovered little baby floating in the river, and he and his wife, Radha, were childless. They considered this to be a great blessing and they loved this child as their own child and raised him with such affection.

Meanwhile later on, the great King Pandu was born of the Vyasadev with his two brothers Dhritarashtra and Vidura. But of the three, Pandu was the most heroic and powerful. Vidura was the most saintly and but he was disqualified from the throne. Dhritarashtra was the eldest but because he was blind, he was not qualified. Meanwhile Pandu was so powerful and he literally took his armies and conquered the entire earth, but he was fair, he was a man of dharma, he didn’t exploit, he didn’t unnecessarily plunder, he actually brought real justice in places where there was so much injustice, and he came to the swayamvara and their kunti gave her heart to him. They were married.

He also married another lady name Madri. You know the story, but somehow or other Pandu made a serious mistake. After he conquered the world he went with his two wives into a forest just to live peacefully.

The way this world works is whoever we are, we sometimes make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes can create such reversals. – Radhanath Swami

Somehow or other he was cursed that if he ever touches a woman, he would die. So they wanted children and Kunti Devi explained the blessings she had. Now it could can actually be used for really good purpose and Pandu said, “Call Dharmaraj, he is the most pure sinless Mahajan, the upholder of the highest religious principles.” And from Yamaraj, Yudhishtir was born. “Most powerful of the Devas is Vayu, the lord of the wind!” So on Pandu’s recommendation Kunti called Vayu and Bhīma was born, and from Indra, Arjuna. Kunti gave the mantra to Madri and she meditated on the Aashwini-kumars two brothers and from them Nakula Sahadev. And Pandu made another mistake and he died. This is the Mahabharata.

Radhanath Swami describes the birth and character of Duryodhana

So, Madri went with her husband. Kunti also wanted to but the rishis and sages in the forest told her that somebody has to take care of his five children, so she brought them back to Hastinapur. But during that time Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra was the centre of everyone’s attention. Gandhari was pregnant – Gandhari was the wife of Dhritarashtra – at the same time that Kunti was pregnant. What happened was, Kunti gave birth to Yudhishtir first, and Gandhari later became disturbed and out of anger, she hit her womb and her hard lump came out. She didn’t know what to do; she was about to throw it away and then Vyasadev said, “I already gave you a benediction ‘You will have hundred sons,’” so he made hundred pots and puts ghee in it and then by his mystical powers that lump was divided into 100 parts, and each one was put in pot.

The firstborn was Duryodhana and as soon as he was born, everything possible inauspicious start happening everywhere around. This little child, the baby, you know how babies cry, when Duryodhana was born he didn’t cry, he shrieked, it was horrible. He was evil, just total evil coming out of him, people were shocked and all these terrible things were happening everywhere around. Vidura and others told Dhritarashtra, “You should get rid of this son, you already have 99 others, but get rid of this; because he is going to do nothing but cause horrible horrible consequences to his life.” Dhritarashtra was attached to his firstborn. And soon from the other pots children started getting borned and they were the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra.

Now while Panda was in the forest with Kunti and his five children, they were there for many years. Pandu actually was the very much loved by Dhritarashtra, because after all he is the one who created the Kuru kingdom in the way it was, and he entrusted it all to Dhritarashtra until his eldest son Yudhishtir was old enough to take the throne. So that was the agreement, Dhritarashtra would rule the kingdom until the rightful king was of the age. While the Pandu was gone Duryodhana was so wicked, even as a little boy, and so envious, but at the same time he was incredibly skilful, he had brilliant intelligence, he was great at fighting weapons, he was very very managerially inclined, he could get almost anything done. So it was very impressive and because he was like the eldest of the Princess, in the absence of the Pandavas he was getting so much attention.

In this world, its human nature that the more we get, the more we become attached what we have. – Radhanath Swami

prakrteh kriyamanani

gunaih karmani sarvasah

ahankara-vimudhatma

kartaham iti manyate


[BG 3.27]

That detachment is to understand, whatever I have is God’s property: whatever intelligence, whatever abilities, whatever influence that I have over others, this all is given to me by a higher power of God’s grace. Nothing is mine.

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam

sarva-loka-mahesvaram

suhrdam sarva-bhutanam

jnatva mam santim rcchati


[BG 5.29]

Krishna tells in Gita what the acharyas declared to be the peace formula, because people in this world want peace, there is so much war, there is so much conflict, so much unhealthy descriptive envious competition in this world, and there so many organizations and campaigns to bring about peace, and many of them are very helpful. But, according to the Bhagavad-Gita they are only dealing with the symptoms of the problem. However much you treat symptoms, if the core disease is still present, then another symptom will come, and then another and another, and sometimes there are just so many symptoms that you cannot even deal with them anymore.

So, Krishna tells the peace formula. He goes right to the very core of the heart of the diseased that disturbs people’s peace. And he explains, one can attain true everlasting peace if they just lived by three principles that

  • Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the proprietor of everything that exists: sarva-loka-maheshwaram, sarva-loka means every planet in every creation is the property of God. He is the creator, He is the maintainer and ultimately he withdraws it according to his will. Nothing is mine.
  • And ultimately the Lord is the supreme enjoyer of everything: samsiddhir hari toshanam, that means if everything is God’s property, everything should be used in harmony with God’s will and surrendered
  • suhradam sarvabhutanam: that one supreme Lord who was the father and the mother of every living being is the most intimate ever well-wishing best friend of all beings. This is very important. We can be happy in any situation if we just have realization of this, that Krishna is our ever well-wishing friend, not only to us but to everyone. Krishna loves everyone infinitely forever. He is not partial to anyone, but he reciprocates according to how we live.

So Krishna has revealed this secret to us. So simple! But Duryodhana was so much intoxicated and infatuated by the respect and the power he was getting because he had no rival – his father was blinded old and disqualified in so many ways and there he was, the next ruler. Among all the children he was the greatest in everything. And after Pandu passed away, Kunti couldn’t take care of those children in the forest anymore without her husband, so she brought them back to the kingdom.

Radhanath Swami elaborates on envious plans of Duryodhana

When Dhritarashtra heard his brother Pandu had died, he was actually very grief stricken. But now Yudhishtir was completely different than Duryodhana, he had brilliant intelligence, like Duryodhana he was expert in everything what he did, but he was humble, and he was respectful to everyone, and he was everyone’s well-wisher. He was never thinking about himself, he was always thinking of everyone else and so everyone in Hastinapur fell in love with Yudhishtir.

And Bhima, who was actually born the same day as Duryodhana; they were equals. Yudhishtir was older. Bhima so strong. He used to play with the Kurus and he would say, “All hundreds of you, lets wrestle!” And these Kurus were really arrogant little kids, they were spoiled like anything, they were expecting to be the kings, the rulers, and the everything. Bhima would just throw them around like toys and this really insulted them, ‘Not only just everyone loves Yudhishtir, but Bhima always defeats us.’ Bhima would defeat them and he had no animosity, he had no envy, for him it was just play, he would just beat them up; that’s what little Kshatriya kids do. But it was just play for him, there was no ill feelings.

But for Duryodhana and his brothers it was intolerable. Duryodhana was completely conquered by envy, because he wanted to be in the centre, and for a while he was in this centre and he was enjoying it, and now someone else was coming and taking his position. And not only that, but Yudhishtir was the rightful heir to the throne that Duryodhana craved to have. He couldn’t tolerate being anyone’s servant; He wanted to be the master, the controller, the enjoyer.

Usually in this world you are not envious of somebody could do something that you don’t know how to do. You are usually envious of somebody who does the same thing you do, but better. Just like, if you are very proud of being a good dancer and somebody else is a good scientist, you are not envious of that, you can tolerate them being good scientist. But if somebody dances better than you and gets louder applause, and more people looking and affectionate, it is like fire going in your heart, can’t tolerate it. And similarly, if you are really good scientist and getting all kinds of grants and people are praising you and everything like that, you can easily tolerate could dancer. But not with another scientist, that’s human tendency. Where we are getting our enjoyment of certain types of adoration distinction profit, it is very very difficult to tolerate somebody who is actually getting more attention and getting more profit and being more successful. – Radhanath Swami

I read a couple years ago one musician he got an award of the number one best song that he wrote and sang to of all time for a particular form of music, and there were hundreds of thousands of songs by some of the greatest artists, but his was voted to be number one song, the greatest song of all time. So he was interviewed. This is the most prestigious award a musician can get in one sense. He wrote in song, greatest song of all time. 
They asked him, “What is your feeling for getting this award?” 
He said, “Nothing! In a couple years some other song will be voted better than mine. It’s true; records are broken.

Krishna tells us in the Gita, that our real happiness should not be in the results of what we do, but in the quality of the consciousness in which we to it. Krishna tells Arjuna, “Do not be attached to victory or defeat, success or failure, pleasure or pain, honour and dishonour; be attached to do Dharma. The highest dharma is bhakti.”

yat karosi yad asnasi

yaj juhosi dadasi yat

yat tapasyasi kaunteya

tat kurusva mad-arpanam

[BG 9.27]

“Whatever you to, do it for my pleasure!” Krishna says. It is our devotion that pleases Krishna. There are so many examples of this, Duryodhana himself. I’m skipping way ahead and from the story, but when the Pandavas and the Kurus, when it was inevitable that there was going to be a war, Duryodhana wanted to get Krishna on his side; he was so expert, he was really brilliant. Sometimes we just think of Duryodhana as being just of a mad crazy envious person, he was but he was also in order to get his way, he could be the most refined charitable and intelligent person. He knew how to win people over, he would treat them with such respect, and give them so many gifts that they were obliged to be on his side. So he invited Krishna to his palace, and he had the best dancers, and the best cooks, and the best interior decorators, and he had the most wonderful gifts, everything just to show Krishna, how much he is going so far, out of his way to give Krishna happiness so that when he asked Krishna favour, after doing all Krishna is to be obliged to be on his side.

But Krishna doesn’t care anything for the things. He is concerned with love and devotion. All the preparations were made. Krishna knows just how to teach good lessons. He walked right by Duryodhana’s house; all receptions were waiting and he just walked by, he didn’t even look. Now that’s an insult. And then he went to Vidura’s house. Vidura wasn’t even expecting him. Kunti Devi was living with Vidura while the Pandavas were in exile and Vidura didn’t have anything prepared for him. And according to the story, they just gave Krishna a banana. And according to how some people tell that story, Vidura and his wife were so nervous that Krishna just showed up at their house, they peeled the banana and threw the banana out and gave Krishna the peel, and Krishna ate it. He was completely satisfied! He was happier with this little offering of love than all of the things, the crowns, the jewels, and the sumptuous food that Duryodhana had prepared for him, because Krishna sees the intent.

The only thing that satisfies the heart is to love and be loved. And value of any gift is only in the love in which it is given and received. That’s the only value to the heart. The material worth of something can give some fleeting attachment to the mind and senses, but it can’t touch the heart. – Radhanath Swami

So Duryodhana and his brothers were so envious that they wanted everything: they wanted the affection, they wanted the respect, they wanted the attention of everyone in any way from all the citizens, and they were getting it. They loved it and they were attached to it, and here comes the Pandavas, and they didn’t even want it, it just came to them anyway because they were so good. Even though the Pandavas were there well-wishers, Duryodhana started making plots to murder them, their brothers. In those days cousins were called brothers. So they took help of Shakuni. Shakuni was the brother of Gandhari and he was really angry person too, because Bhishma brought Gandhari and Shakuni wanted her to marry Pandu, but instead she got married to Dhritarashtra and so he was really angry. He was really intelligent, but he used it all and the wrong ways. So Shakuni and Duryodhana were always making these plots of how to destroy the Pandavas. And they were intelligent.

Usually what you are most attached to, becomes either strength or weakness. That’s how Maya works. If Maya sees that you have a weakness of a particular type of attachment, she will try to exploit that and use that to destroy you. – Radhanath Swami

param drstva nivartate

Bhakti is to experience a higher taste so we can actually tolerate and overcome these weaknesses. So Bhima was really strong, he didn’t have any physical weaknesses at all, but he would love to eat. Srila Prabhupada explains one name of Bhima is Vrikodhara. Vrikodhara means one who can eat like a hungry wolf, he can eat massive sums of food. But the difference between Bhima and us is, he can eat so much and then with the power and strength he gets from that food, he could do supernatural activities. If we tried to eat like Bhima, we will get sick and fall asleep. So Bhima likes to eat a lot.

So they took him on an excursion to play in the banks of the Ganga and they made these delicious cakes and filled them with poison, poison that could kill hundreds of grown men. Bhima was just a boy and he ate it all, and he still played all day. And then at the end of the day he kind of felt sleepy because of the poison and laid down. They thought he was dead and they threw them in the Ganga. Krishna says –

kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhaktah pranasyati

Krishna is always there for his devotees and whatever happens to a devotee it is always for the good, whether they live or whether they die, because ultimately there’s no death. Sometimes people get confused, how is it that a devotee can die in a way that appears to be before their time; sometimes even suffering. From our perspective, we can calculate in terms of years, in terms of pleasure and pain, but if Krishna wants to protect us, nothing can harm us. And even if something does harm us, if we have taken shelter of Krishna then he will give the soul the highest rewards. Everyone has to die. What is history? History is just always narrations about people who are now dead, 100 years may be. In England if you get to be 100 years the Queen personally gives you a gift, something to live for. It is a good thing but how long you will be able to enjoy that gift?

Srimad Bhagvatam tells us better one moment of full consciousness than long long life wasted in material consciousness. Some of the greatest people throughout history live very short lives, but they changed the whole world by the qualities of their life. – Radhanath Swami

So Krishna had a purpose for Bhima. So all while he was underwater, the snake started biting him. Now for most of us we don’t want to get bitten by snakes, but the snakes neutralized the poison that was in Bhima and he was empowered. He came out of the water more powerful than ever before. So Duryodhana kept secret what they tried to do. It made them even more determined.

Radhanath Swami speaks on the Lakshagraha pastime which happened at Varnavrata

Duryodhana was telling his father Dhritarashtra, “They must be killed! They have to be killed otherwise they are going to be kings, what about me?” 
Dhritarashtra said, “So what about you, Yudhishtir is a good older brother!” 
“No! No! I’ll commit suicide if he becomes King and you will be responsible!” 
Dhritarashtra was in Maya, he was under the influence of his son and he was attached to his son, and by associating with his son he was becoming like that. Meanwhile Bhishma and Vidura were watching this whole thing happening and they were broken-hearted by it.

Vidura was always giving Dhritarashtra good advice; Vidura was the younger brother. He was the most qualified, but just because of some technicality in his birth he was he was not given certain rights, but he was the most qualified. He was completely the well-wishers of everyone. He had no animosity, no enmity in his heart. He loved Krishna. Krishna was his nephew kind of. He loved everyone. He was always giving Dhritarashtra good advice, and Dhritarashtra would hear it and Dhritarashtra new that, ‘Vidura is my best friend, he is my well-wisher and everything he says is right,’ but then he would hear from Duryodhana and due to his attachment to Duryodhana he would always go along with him; what a troubled life he had.

Even though he was sitting on the throne, he was the king, Dhritarashtra was nothing but miserable; Duryodhana was nothing but miserable. So they made another plot. Varnavrata, a beautiful place and there was a big festival to celebrate Lord Shiva that was coming up. It was like a vacation place. I guess, what is that place, Mahabaleshwaram where wealthy people from Mumbai like to go there and they have their homes there to kind of go on holidays. Varnavrata was like that, was a very very nice place. ‘So let’s send the Pandavas there and promise them a nice vacation and they can celebrate this beautiful festival for Lord Shiva and everyone will be so happy that they are there. Dhritarashtra was inviting them there, it was all a plot.

Yudhishtir Maharaj was so respectful to his uncle, but in his mind he was thinking ‘Why Dhritarashtra is sending us but not his own children? And why is he all of a sudden so nice to me, and he is offering us so beautiful vacation and holiday? And he says his going to build a brand-new palace for us to live there, just for a vacation for some time?’ He was mysteriously nice. So Yudhishtir respectfully understood that something is going happen.
What happened was Duryodhana and Shakuni called a man named Purochana, he was like an architect and a builder. And they told him to build a beautiful palace out of totally flammable materials, the types of materials that if you put a single little flame, just a tiny little flame and it will immediately going to fire within seconds.

So Purochana went Varnavrata and he started building this palace; he built it really fast. And every particle that was being put in this building was soaked in flammable oils like lak; it was called the house of lak. He soaked the bricks in lak, they were just saturated and he built the house like that and he painted over it. And he put lak in the paint too, whatever type of paint they used. It was probably organic, was definitely organic because they did not use chemicals in those days, it was organic paint but the lak was organic too. That house was just built to burn, and then he puts pots of ghee all over the place to make it look auspicious. And then he got some sort of natural fragrance to cover and to make it really sweet smelling. And it was built.

Meanwhile as Yudhishtir and the Pandavas with Kunti were leaving Hastinapur to go on their vacation, Dhritarashtra said, “Please enjoy!” 
And Duryodhana said, “You will have so much fun there and it is such a nice place!” 
Vidura spoke in a language that nobody could understand. He spoke a very simple tribal language, but Yudhishtir understood so many languages, but more than that Yudhishtir could understand people’s hearts. Vidura said some little poetic line that was really confusing to people who heard it. He said something like, “Beware of weapons that are meant for your distraction that are not made out of steel or any hard material.” What is that mean? “And beware of that which can consume and even a straw and wood, but cannot harm a person who is in the hole in the ground!” Something like that. Then he said, “One who controls the mind and senses can never be conquered!” 
And Kunti asked Yudhishtir, “What does that mean?” 
Yudhishtir later told that Vidura has told us that, “They are going to try to burn us live.” And Vidura sent some of his messengers to the Pandavas. Should I continue the story? Hari Bol!

Meanwhile as they were leaving the house was being completed. When they arrived at Varnavrata all the people there were celebrating because everyone loves the Pandavas, and this is what was really embroiling the envy of Duryodhana that everybody loves them. Wherever Duryodhana would go people would say, “Yes master!” “Yes master!” But wherever Yudhishtir would go, “We will do anything for you!” “We will give anything to you!” Duryodhana wanted what Yudhishtir had, he had the love of the people, he wasn’t just respected he was loved. Duryodhana was feared and by his manipulations, by his incredibly intelligent organization and engineering he had control, he had fear of the people, they couldn’t get their love and the respect of their hearts.

That’s what greatness is, to actually beloved and not feared. And if we fear somebody with love that’s all right too. But when our love goes beyond fear, that goes higher, that goes deeper. – Radhanath Swami

So when Yudhishtir was leaving Hastinapur everyone was saying good bye with such love and Duryodhana was burnt alive by envy. And when Yudhishtir Maharaj came to Varnavrata, all the citizens, every single citizen came and celebrated his arrival. Eventually the house was built. 
Yudhishtir Maharaj told the Pandavas, “What happened?” 
Bhima said, “Why should we go there, they want to burn is alive.” 
And Yudhishtir Maharaj said, “No No, we should live there. We will escape! Let them think we are dead.” Vidura kept sending them messages and help, and they dung an underground tunnel. And on amavasya, on new moon night, that was the time destined for the house to be put on fire and they got that message and they escape from the fire and the house blazed. Everyone thought that Kunti and her sons were dead. When the news came, Dhritarashtra started crying and Duryodhana started crying and everyone was crying and they were giving all these tributes of honour to the Pandavas, just to make it sound like they were compassionate, well-wishing, loving.

They were grieving but actually in their hearts they were really really celebrating, ‘They are dead! Now everything is ours!’ How is that such envy? And it’s interesting because Duryodhana is the grandson of Vyasadev, who is the literary incarnation of Bhagawan Sri Krishna. How could he be in such a state? Duryodhana was being brought up in the presence of Bhishma (a Mahajan), and Vidura (a paramhamsa), but still he made these choices. He was so duplicitous! But Vidura could see it all and Bhishma could see it all, but Vidura was happy that and the Pandavas were safe and they went into hiding for some time. And because times up, I can’t say too much more, but many incredible things happen at that time. They went to Ekachakra, and there they were living incognito. All the Kurus thought they were dead but Vidura knew what was going on, ‘They were safe.’ There was funerals and everything for them at Hastinapur.

Radhanath Swami shares the story at Ekachakra and Pandavas returning to Hastinapur

In Ekachakra is the story of Bakasura. Baka was a really powerful person. Baka was such a demon that he demanded on a regular basis, that the people of Ekachakra brought him a huge wagon load of food. And as the desert, he would eat the charioteer who drove it. So he would eat entire wagon load food and then eat the driver. He was like one of these Mafia kind of people, “Either you give me this or I’m going to terrorize your entire village!” So it was like they were paying him off. So rather than every one of the children being subjected to be killed by him, they would just send one on intervals with the wagon.

So, the place where the Pandavas were staying with Kunti, the mother was crying and Kunti said, “Was happening?” 
They said, “It’s chosen that our son has to drive the wagon to Bakasura so that means that he can be eaten alive.” 
And Kunti said, “No problem. I’ll send my son instead. I have Bhima.” 
And the lady said, “No! No! No! I can’t let you to sacrifice your son for my son. I only have one son!” 
Kunti said, “I have five, no problem!” So Kunti convinced her and Bhima drove the whole chariot, big giant huge amount of food. Bhima was really really expert, and he went right up to where Bakasura waiting and right in front of Bakasura Bhima ate everything. This really made him angry and Bakasura attacked Bhima while he was eating. Bhima couldn’t care less about this Bakasura and with his right hand he was eating with his left hand he was pushing him away, until he finished everything. Then after he finished everything he washed his hands and he finished baka. Kunti understood her son. And it was in the same Ekachakra that Lord Nityananda prabhu, about 4500 years later took his birth there, the place where the Pandavas resided.

And soon after that there was the wonderful pastime where Draupadi chose Arjuna to be her husband at swayamvara. Arjuna came back and told Kunti Devi, “I brought a wonderful gift!” 
And Kunti Devi said, “Whatever valuable thing you have you must always share with your brothers.” 
Arjuna said, “It’s a wife.” Whatever Kunti said couldn’t go in vain. So under these extraordinary circumstances Draupadi married all the five Pandavas, and there was no envy among them, because they loved each other so much, they loved her so much, and she love them so much even though they were in exile, they were under persecution, they were being dishonoured, they were being blasphemed. For the Pandavas it was painful, especially when it is your own family doing this to you in your own house. It’s one thing when enemies from the outside camp are attacking you but from your own family is very painful. And out of everyone Kunti suffered the most.

And later on in this great tournament, when Arjuna was winning everything Dronacharya had the special tournament like the graduation ceremony from his school with the Kurus and Pandavas, and Arjuna was just mesmerizing everyone with the skills, and suddenly an unknown person enters the arena and he excels Arjuna in everything. Who is this person? Nobody knew who he was except Kunti. She saw the earrings and the chest plate of gold that he had; she understood this was her firstborn son Karna, and instantly he became worst enemies with Arjuna. Instantly Duryodhana saw that here somebody more powerful than my rival and he won over Karna, and started giving him gifts and made him the king of a province; everything Karna could possibly want Duryodhana was giving him. He lavished him so much that Karna was totally obliged to him. And Kunti couldn’t tell anyone but as soon as she saw him she fainted, and Vidura immediately understood this must be her son. He was so intelligent!

So after the Pandavas and Kunti Devi returned to Hastinapur, the word got out that they were actually still alive. The Kurus headed by Duryodhana, Dhritarashtra grieved when they were performing the last rites, the funeral for the Pandavas; at least they pretended to although in their hearts they were jubilant. When the Pandavas came back, externally they were celebrating, “The Pandavas are still live! They are all alive!” but in their hearts they were grieving, they were immediately thinking of other methods to destroy them. When they returned, Krishna, who was in Dwarka heard about the Pandavas return and he came there to meet them.

Radhanath Swami portrays how Krishna reciprocates with his devotees

In this particular verse were reading today, Satyaki comes with Krishna – he is a very senior elder person – and the Pandavas are receiving them with such honour and respect. Krishna is reciprocating with each person according to their particular relationship with them because Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and higher than the infinite peace of brahman realization is the infinite intimacy of love of prema. Krishna is conquered by the love of his devotees. Yudhishtir is older than Krishna and so is Bhima, so Krishna is bowing down to Yudhishtir and touching his feet. Yudhishtir Maharaj knows that Krishna is his beloved Lord, the cause of all causes, the absolute truth, the controller of all controllers, the king of kings, the father of Brahma, the source of mahavishnu. Yudhishtir knows all this, but Krishna wants to exchange love with him in this way, so Yudhishtir Maharaj is blessing Krishna and Krishna is touching his feet; but it’s all with such intimate love. Then Arjuna who was of Krishna’s same age, out of etiquette they are embracing as friends. And Nakula and Sahadev were younger and so touching Krishna’s feet, and Krishna is blessing them. And Krishna is bowing down to the Vidura and the elders, and they are blessing him, in this way there’s this intimate exchange of love that Krishna was facilitating according to a particular person’s relationship with him.

As Krishna was sitting on a beautiful seat, he sees queen Kunti coming –

sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati

‘The Lord is within the heart of everyone and he knows our every thought, he knows our every feeling, intimately he hears our every word, he sees our every action.’ So Krishna knows Kunti’s heart, what she has been going through. She is Krishna’s aunt, Krishna touches her feet and Kunti embraces him as her own nephew. Kunti is asking Krishna about all the people of the yadu dynasty in Dwarka. This is Kunti’s nature, what she’s going through but she so concerned with Krishna, and so concerned with others.

It is described in this beautiful verse today, the Lord then went to see his aunt Queen Kunti and he bowed down to her and she embraced him, her eyes were moist with great affection. Lord Krishna inquired from her and her daughter-in-law Draupadi about their welfare, and they in turn questioned him at length about his relatives in Dwarka. Kunti worshiped Krishna and Krishna worshiped Kunti. Krishna knows past, present and future. In the First Canto of the Srimad Bhagvatam we read ‘The Prayers of Queen Kunti,’ and we will end our class today with a reflection on her state of consciousness.

It is said, Srila Prabhupada explained a proverb from Bengal that the mother-in-law will teach the daughter-in-law through instructing the daughter. Does that make sense to you? Because the daughter-in-law is kind of strange in the house, because in India traditionally there are joint families. So the mother-in-law does want to disturb the daughter-in-law, because the daughter-in-law doesn’t know how to do anything in that house. So she just correcting her, the daughter-in-law can feel really depressed, thinking she is doing everything wrong. A loving mother-in-law will never do that to the daughter-in-law. I’m instructing you mother-in-laws in this. There is sensitivity there is affection. So the mother-in-law will affectionately instruct the daughter, and the daughter is used to living in the house, she knows, ‘My mother loves me,’ by instructing the daughter the daughter-in-law learns everything, without hurting her, without making her feel inferior. This is a science of respect and affection within the household.

So in the same way Krishna teaches the world through his loving devotees; and Kunti was his loving devotee. Krishna would touch her feet and bowed down to her. Yet Kunti went through so many tragedies in her life: what happened to Karna, what happened to her children, what happened to her beloved daughter-in-law Draupadi when she was being stripped by Dushasana, all these situations Kunti had to bear and tolerate. But in the end she prayed to Krishna –

vipadah santu tah sasvat tatra tatra jagad guro

“Let these calamities come again and again, because when they come I remember you. I have no one else to turn to except you. And in remembering you I am beyond birth and death.”

tatenu kampam susumikshu manu,

bhunjana evatma krtan vibhagam

Lord Brahma offer this prayer to Krishna that when to that devotee, who even in the most difficult trying situations returns to you with a humble and grateful heart, that person alone is fit for the highest liberation. It’s not a matter of how little we can eat or how little we can sleep, although we shouldn’t waste our time eating too much or sleeping too much.

The reason we don’t eat a lot or sleep a lot is not because we want to show everybody how renounced we are, it’s because we want to extend our gratitude to Krishna by utilizing every moment of our time in serving him and remembering him and loving him. It’s for that purpose. – Radhanath Swami

Brahmacharis living in ashram don’t renounce the opportunity for families and everything and property, so that people will see that the great ascetics. They come here so that they can utilize their full energy and their full minds in the loving devotional service. Grihasthas don’t give in great charity to help elevate people’s consciousness so that they will be honoured and esteemed. They are doing it because they understand everything they have belongs to God and let me use it for that purpose. This is bhakti. But if in the end whatever spiritual activities we do, what actually makes us fit for the highest liberation is through our association, through our sadhana, through our seva; we come to the state of consciousness where even when great challenges and setbacks come in our lives – and they wheel whoever we are – we can turn to God with gratitude and give our hearts to him. That was Kunti Devi’s example, and that is why Krishna is touching her feet, not just because of the formality that she’s his aunt, but Krishna wants to show the world how he worships those devotees who always remember him in love in any situation. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu taught us this. Kunti herself she prayed to Krishna in her prayers –

janmaiśvarya-śruta-śrībhir

edhamāna-madaḥ pumān

naivārhaty abhidhātuṁ vai

tvām akiñcana-gocaram

That a person who is too much attached to wealth, high birth, and physical beauty or very high education cannot feelingly call out your holy name because they become proud. Akinchana Gocaram that means even if you have high wealth, even if you have high birth, wealth education and all of this, if we understand nothing is mine, then we can call out Krishna’s names with feelings. So God has appeared within his name –

namnam akari bahudha nijsarva shakti

Krishna has appeared in his name and he has many names, and within these divine names he has invested all of his powers, all of this potencies.

tranadapi sunichena

If you have a humble heart and we call out these names in any situation with gratitude, Krishna will reciprocate and give us himself. Krishna is showing us here, he worships the devotee who worships him with such a humble and grateful heart. Lord Chaitanya, Lord Nityananda gave great scholars and simple simple uneducated people the holy names of the Lord; it didn’t matter whoever they were. And if they saw that they were chanting with humble hearts Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda would touch their feet, embrace them, give them garlands and say, “I am your property!”

In this spirit Srimad Bhagvatam is teaching us to chant the holy –

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE

HARE RAM HARE RAM RAM RAM HARE HARE

I would like to introduce two very dear friends who have come from long distance of Woodstock, New York. They are two of the most empowered yoga teachers in the world and they have found the yoga studio which has teachers and branches all over the world. And they are wonderful devotees and beautiful people who really try to give something with very deep substance. They are very powerful animal rights activists and human rights activists also. Sometimes people are animal-rights activists but they are not nice to human people. When we actually understand animals are people and humans are also people, then we actually extend as instruments of God’s grace or compassion to all, and this is the very heart of their mission. Their mission is to teach these values of devotion along with very incredible system of yoga as well. And they were very dear friends of our dear brother Shyam dasji, who you remember stayed with us a few years ago at Radha Gopinath Temple. They regularly would visit him at Govardhan and in Vrindavan, Gokul, Nathdwara, and at this time about 80 students will visit Govardhan eco-village for a teachers training, they are here for one month. And Mahatma Devi and David Life are the leaders of this wonderful Jiva mukti society and very very dear friends. And it was always my dream that they would be here with us in Mumbai; I am so grateful that both of you are here. Please be part of our family here forever and everyone would like them to be a part of our family forever very lovingly and loudly chant Hari Bol! Hari Bol! Hari Bol! 10 million times louder please, Hari Bol! Hari Bol! Hari Bol!

So any questions? As sure as the sun rises every morning, and the sun sets every evening Aananda Vrindavan will always have a question left.

Question – Maharaj taking about the Pandavas, we know that they are pure devotees and they have gone through so many difficulties and hardships in their life. But when the difficulties came to Yudhishtir Maharaj, a stage came in Yudhishtir Maharaj’s life also when he complained to Krishna, “Why you are putting so much difficultly only on us?” yashaha manighrinani he spoke that thing, so that thing we feel as conditioned souls we take shelter of that thing in our life; that when Yudhishtir Maharaj also complains to Krishna, when difficulty comes in our life is very natural that we will also complain to Krishna. And in that circumstance our commitment and our dedication goes down in Krishna consciousness because we are taking shelter of that thing. So what to do when these difficulties come in our life, we don’t take that shelter and we just take it as Krishna’s mercy and don’t do complain but take this as a Krishna’s mercy and go ahead? It is always that we take shelter of that thing we go away. How to give our 100% commitment to Krishna consciousness and not taking shelter of that thing in our life?

Answer: Thank you. Thank You. That’s a problem when we take one little piece and we don’t see the whole picture. So we want to do what Yudhishtir did as far as asking a serious question to Krishna, which sounds like complaining; but what about the rest of it, “Yes Krishna, why is all this happening?” yasyaham anughrina mi harishet tadanam shanay – Krishna said to Yudhishtir Maharaj, “When I show my favor to my devotee, I give whatever he wants. But when I give my complete favour, I take away everything so that that devotee has nowhere else to turn to except me.” Now what does that mean, take away everything? It doesn’t. It may mean that Krishna takes away everything materially or may mean he doesn’t take away anything material, eventually time does, Krishna says, “Time I am!”

What Krishna is explaining is, “When there is impediments in the heart of my devotee, I’m actually offering myself.” And as long as we are dependent on material conditions we never really take shelter of Krishna. Just like if you are in an airplane and all of a sudden alarms, I have been in airplanes like this where they say, “We are about to crash! Emergency landing!” What are you going to do? You are in the aeroplane, and the engines and the control system of the aeroplane breaks down, and you are about 30,000 feet above sea level, it is not that you can call your fire department or your Police Department or your life coach or teacher. Plane is going down, there is nothing and your totally helpless. In such a state, what you do. The first thing you may do is say, “Krishna why are you doing this to me?” It is natural, that is what Yudhishtir did, “Why you are doing this to me?” But then, they realize if Krishna is doing it to me that means Krishna must be there for me, and then with all your heart all, all your life, all your soul, you just give your body, mind, heart and soul to Krishna in that state and you cry, it is not that your chanting while following asleep. Usually in airplanes everyone is falling asleep. In that helpless state you are actually take shelter –

HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA 
HARE HARE
HARE RAM HARE RAM RAM RAM HARE HARE

And if the plane crashes, you attain life’s perfection and you go back to Krishna’s eternal abode, HARI BOL! That is ‘Journey Home’ in the fast lane, and if somehow or other the plane lands safely, you will never forget it; you will definitely think for the rest of your life, ‘That was the most spiritual I’ve ever been in the aeroplane. This is best flight of my life. I never want it to happen ever again, but it was the best. Never felt so close to God!”

So Yudhishtir took shelter. So he is asking the question to be like us, but then he is also responding to show us what we are supposed to do. So it is not a problem when we say, “God why are you doing this.” Even Jesus, when he was on the cross he cried, “Why have you forsaken me my father?” But that was in the ecstasy of separation, it wasn’t in bewilderment. Similarly Yudhishtir Maharaj had complete faith in Krishna, it was just his human nature speaking that; but the lessons he is giving us is how he spoke it and how he lived when he received Krishna’s message. Similarly with Arjuna, in the battle of Kurukshetra Arjuna was bewildered. He was instructing Krishna, “Krishna I’m not going to fight!” and then he was giving all the reasons. And then he became so completely overcome by the circumstance that he started crying, he dropped his bow Gandiva and said –

karpanya-dosho-pahat-swabhaavah

“Krishna, I don’t know anything; please instruct me!” So Arjuna is playing the role of us and in certain cases, Duryodhana playing the role of us. The dark parts within our own life are envy and everything, we can see them, we can picture what they are in Duryodhana, and when we read about Duryodhana we are disgusted with him. And at the same time way we see what the end result is, and those same qualities are within us, we can see that Duryodhana propensity, and therefore we don’t trust them, we don’t give into them. We take shelter of our Yudhishtir propensities. Does that answer your question?

Question: Maharaj sometimes that phase is little bit more extended, and that extension phase is making our spiritual life more disturbing and not getting that full commitment to take shelter of Krishna. So when that phase which is getting to much prolonged, we have a fear that we might reduce that attachment to Krishna, we might lose this charm of Krishna consciousness. So what to do in that phase so that it should not be so big in our life, we get it and we immediately take shelter of Krishna that is not coming?

Answer: It is not such a long time, what is a lifetime, two lifetime, ten lifetimes, the soul is eternal. But, at the same time what is important is we know what we want to do, ‘We want to take shelter!” and if it is taking more time, which it usually does, that’s the way the world works, it means that we need that much purification and we were aware of that. It humbles us. It is like a little child. Parents gives the child medicine which is good for them, but the children don’t like it. If the parent gives you medicine due to a disease which is for several weeks, ‘when will it end when?’ but the important thing is you take the medicine. Satsang-Sadhana-Seva, that is the medicine, really doesn’t matter how long. If we have faith which comes by hearing in the association of people with faith, then we will continue to take that medicine, we will continue to take shelter. However long it takes. That is our sincerity. Krishna knows just what we need.

Hare Krishna!

Thank You Very Much

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Radhanath Swami on “Krishna Cares For His Devotees” http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-krishna-cares-for-his-devotees http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-krishna-cares-for-his-devotees#comments Sat, 19 Dec 2015 12:59:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2852  

In the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, we find the scene after the battle of Kurukshetra, after the Pandavas were victorious – Yudhishtir Maharaj was coroneted as king and everything seems very peaceful. And then Queen Kunti is offering her prayers because Krishna is about to leave, and she is praying to let these calamities happen again and again.

When we read these stories we should read or hear not only with our ears and our minds attention, but with our hearts also. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the situations Kunti Maharani had to go through and her prayers to Lord Krishna

Sometimes we think we are in difficult situations but really what were Kunti’s calamities that she was talking about? We just heard how her own relatives, her own nephews were trying to kill her children, trying to literally burn them to death in the house of Lack. She was with them at the time, but somehow or other Vidura helped them and they escaped. Vidura was her brother-in-law in that sense.

Then we find that they were exiled, and she saw Draupadi being insulted. During the battlefield of Kurukshetra, her eldest son Karna, who she loved as much as her other children, she saw her eldest son and Arjuna, her another son, were worst enemies and who wanted to destroy each other, and then she saw one of her children kill her other child – Arjuna killed Karna. Now those who view over mothers what kind of distress would that have in your heart?

Abhimanyu was her grandchild and she saw him slaughtered by unfair means, and she witnessed the pain of Subhadra and Arjuna, the mother and father. She saw five of her other grandchildren, a child from each of her sons to Draupadi, they were slaughtered while they were sleeping by Ashvathama; killed! I am a Swami, I don’t know so much about direct experience of these things, but I see grandparents usually love children as much or more than the parents themselves. She saw her son die at the hands of another son. She saw six of her grandchildren die in a most ennoble way, not chivalrously. These are serious calamities!

They were not just things that happened to her, they were things that she was seeing happen to those who she loved most, and yet she is praying to Krishna, “Let those calamities happen again and again because in these situations, I remember you, I have nowhere else to turn except you, I have no other shelter. And by remembering you, I see you, and by seeing you I don’t have to experience birth or death anymore. So the calamities of the death of loved ones, the calamities of being cheated, the calamities of physical pains watching her five children and their wife living in the exile of the forest and being hunted.

And it was very difficult! If she could’ve been there with them, it would’ve been much easier, but she wasn’t allowed to go with them. She was at Vidura’s house in Hastinapur and she would just have to hear about these things. And she would hear the nasty terrible rumors being spread around Hastinapur by Duryodhana about her own children. This is the exalted status of Kunti. Now if she was just some sort of hard-hearted, detached, yogini, it wouldn’t have been the same type of prayer; but devotees have soft hearts. She was a mother, she was a grandmother, and she was a wife and husband died. Practically everything possible we could think that could happen to a person, happened to her and it’s not that she didn’t suffer.

But, in that suffering she was experiencing the eternal joy of remembering Krishna and the more desperate the suffering, the more desperately she took shelter of Krishna. That’s the meaning of this prayer. Srila Prabhupada said, “Whether we pray for calamities or not they will come. We really don’t have to pray like Kunti for calamities, it’s gonna come anyway. Everyone is going to die anyway. The setbacks of this world, the reversals, the unfairness of envious people, it is always going to come upon us.” The real prayer is, “Under all circumstances to always remember you, O Krishna.”

And her own daughter-in-law Draupadi. What is the most famous inspiring story of Draupadi? How many times do we hear in lectures about how happy she was when she got to marry Arjuna? or how happy she was when Bhīma would prepare nice feasts for her? Now, when she was being stripped naked by Dusshasena and there was no one who was protecting her, she felt utterly betrayed by everyone she trusted in this world, and in that state she understood only Krishna is my real friend who can save me. She helplessly lifted her arms and cried out “Hey Krishna! Hey Govinda!” In the intensity of her surrender saranagati, Krishna appeared before her. That is the glory of her life that this incident inspires people five millenniums later more than any other. Queen Kunti was watching all these things happening. His Holiness Niranjan Maharaj was speaking about the daydreams and the night dreams.

 

Radhanath Swami explains how a devotee understands and helps others to wake up from material dream

Srila Prabhupada would write to us, all of his devotees, and he would say, “I hope this meets with good health.” So what is this health? Of course spiritual health. But he was also talking about emotional health and physical health too. If it’s all a dream who cares? If the body is just a dream and the miseries were going through are just a dream then who cares. Why we try to liberate people? Because whatever suffering you are going through is just a dream anyway. The soul is eternal. The soul is full of bliss.

A devotee, although he understands and she understands the nature of these good dreams and bad dreams, day dreams and night dreams, still it is the atma that devotee identifies with, and the devotee feels compassion. – Radhanath Swami

What does Prabhupada mean when he says “para dukha dukhi?” The devotee suffers when he sees other suffering and he is happy when he sees others happy. If all suffering is just a dream, why should we suffer when? We see somebody suffering a dream because it is the eternal soul, that part of Krishna that is loved so much by Krishna. If Krishna loves us, therefore devotee loves us. Identifying with this dream is what causes suffering, and devotees feel suffering when they see others suffer. But there is a difference because one ordinary materially oriented person suffers to see another suffer as he just tries to make a makeshift change the dream from suffering dream to more a happy dream, that’s all a material person can do. But, a devotee wants to wake, wake us up.

In Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was really suffering and he was speaking to Haridas Thakur. He said, “My heart is feeling such pain to see all the people sufferings in this world in forgetfulness of Krishna.”

Then Haridas Thakur said, “But you came here to wake them up from the dream of the suffering, from the bad and good sufferings. Because you have come to this world and you have personally chanted the Holy names.”

jīv jāgo, jīv jāgo, gauracānda bole
kota nidrā jāo māyā-piśācīra kole

The day dream is because we are sleeping in the lap of maya, of illusion. And yes, we feel for people who are dreaming in this way, good dream, bad dream. It is all bad because it is all distracting us from our true natural, wakeful state.

jivere swarup haya krsnera nitya das

We are all eternal servants of Krishna and love for Krishna is our true nature. But to actually understand this, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah, we must follow in the footsteps of great souls. And the great souls come to this world and pass through situations that are very similar to us, but they show us how to deal with them and that is Kunti! She didn’t select the sufferings. She didn’t place an order on the Internet, “Let my five grandchildren die and let Abhimanyu die and let my eldest son be killed by my younger son.” These were things that she was trying to avoid like anything because she is a mother and a grandmother. Whatever could pain her heart the most, it all happened. But she never felt, ‘Krishna why?’ She understood that Krishna is my only shelter and she understood that by taking shelter of Krishna, Krishna would give his highest mercy to all of her loved ones and to everyone.

 

Radhanath Swami elaborates on how Krishna cares for his devotees

Now, in today’s verse, which is from the 10th Canto, Kunti is in a very different situation because in the First Canto we read that the war is over, all the problems had already happened. Now Yudhishtir Maharaj is king and she is offering her prayers to Krishna. “This is the most difficult moment of my life now because you are leaving us. When the calamities were here, you were always together; you were always with us. But now that everything is all right, I may forget you,” that was her prayer. But in today’s verses, it is right in the middle of everything. While she is speaking to Krishna, Duryodhana is in the palace, Karna is in the palace, Shakuni, Dusshasena, and they were all there. What’s gonna happen next? They just tried to murder and burn alive the Pandavas, the Pandavas were hiding and coming back, and she knows the envy and the hatred of her nephews is worse than ever. Kunti, in her gracious divine motherly nature has simply given her heart to Krishna. His Holiness Niranjan Swami Maharaj has so eloquently told how Krishna gave his heart to Ambrisha Maharaj. So when Durvasa muni is saying to Lord Vishnu, “Please have a heart, protect me, I’m taking shelter of you.” So beautifully he explained, “I don’t have my heart, Ambrisha has my heart. You have to go to him.”

That is actually that principle of how devotee gives his or her full heart to Krishna, and Krishna reciprocates by giving his full heart to his devotee; that is the ultimate combination of all the knowledge of all the scriptures. That is truly the essence. – Radhanath Swami

Whatever rules, whatever regulations, whatever philosophical explanations may be there, this pastime of the Lord being subordinate to the devotee’s love, and the devotee being subordinate to Lord’s love, is the essence of all truths. That is what Srila Prabhupada came to give us. Who are we to understand the essence of all truths, but if we have a simple heart, with faith to receive it, and as Maharaj said, “If we actually take great happiness in hearing about the great devotees of the Lord, what is their love for the Lord and what is the Lord’s love for the devotees, just by developing that taste to appreciate another Vaishnava’s love, that opens the doors to our hearts to receive that love ourself.” It’s most important.

Duryodhana was living with the Pandavas. They loved Krishna, but he didn’t appreciate their love. He was envious of the blessings they were receiving. Srila Prabhupada explains that if we are just not envious, if we just have a simple heart, then we can appreciate the devotion of others, and then appreciate the blessings that Krishna is giving others, and appreciate how Krishna is conquered by the love of a devotee, and a devotee is conquered by the love of Krishna, and that mainly comes through hearing. Then we become qualified also.

Queen Kunti’s prayer –

vipadah santu tah sasvat
tatra tatra jagad-guro

“Let calamities come again and again so that I can remember you.” You will never be able to understand that prayer just to philosophy; it’s too much beyond philosophy.

We can understand that prayer when we see receive Krishna’s grace, and Krishna will give us that grace when we learn to love and appreciate those who he has given his heart to. This is really what it means to be the servant of the servant. – Radhanath Swami

Thank you.

 

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Radhanath Swami on Great Heritage Of India http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-great-heritage-of-india http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-great-heritage-of-india#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2015 09:22:01 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2812 I am very honored to have this opportunity to be with all of you today. My special gratitude to Vivek, Dr. Mishra, Mitra, Mitya, Loretta, Michelle, and to each and every one of you.

For how many of you is it your first trip to India?

How many have been here before?

May I tell you about my first trip to India? I actually wrote a book about it.

 

Radhanath Swami shares his story from his early years of life

I was born in Chicago, in the United States in1950. When I was a teenager it was the 1960’s, and for those of you who have studied something about the sociological history of America, that was a very turbulent time because our parents, many of them, were brought up in the great depression, where practically the American economy totally collapsed and there was massive poverty. My father had to leave school when he was about 14 to work full time, just to help his parents to give the simplest food to the family. But then in the 1940s there was World War II and after that America’s economy really started to flourish, and people many became very wealthy. My father was working very hard and he got some nice wealth, so it was a booming time.

But the youth at that time formed what was called the ‘counterculture,’ which means millions of young people in their teens and 20’s rejected the whole society, the whole establishment that their parents stood for. They left home to search for something with more meaning and many were looking for it in drugs, in music, in sex and some in spirituality too.

My father went bankrupt when I was about nine. So when I was about 14-15, I got a job while going to school and everyone I worked with were African-Americans. They were a minority and in those days, if you are an African-American, 98% you would be born in a ghetto, would live and would die in the ghetto. Constitutionally there were civil rights for everyone, but socially there were practically none. It didn’t make sense to me. So I joined the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King.

At the same time, there was a war in Vietnam and many of the young people really didn’t believe that we should be there. We felt we had no real business there. It wasn’t based on truths; it was based on political manipulations. So there were demonstrations against the Vietnam War and I joined that too. I got tear gassed by the police and I was chased with clubs. Some of my friends were put in prison. It was a turbulent time and at that time we were thinking, ‘Yes, people may have a lot of money and people may have hell of a lot of power and prestige, but there must be something deeper and more in life than that.’ So people like me started questioning everything.

So myself and one of my friends decided to take a summer trip between college semesters to Europe, just to see other people from other countries, from other religions, to see how they view the values of life, what is their conception of America and of God. So we went. It’s a long story but we had no money. We were meeting people and as my life progressed more and more, I really felt, ‘Whatever I do in my life, whether it’s helping my father’s business or going into science or going into engineering or art, unless I found the spiritual foundation within myself, I didn’t really see that I can be meaningful to the world,’ but at the same time I saw so much hatred and violence and prejudice in the name of religion. It’s been there throughout history. So, do I just reject religion altogether? I often thought of that. But then my heart just wouldn’t allow me to do it; nor would my intellect. I believed that there must be essential values, essential common principles and goals that are the core of every religion and the fighting is about superficial external things. If we don’t understand the core essence, then we think those external superficial things are the essence. So, I wanted to find that unity within the diversity that I was searching in spirituality, sociology, and in the world altogether.

So I went on the spiritual search. I studied my own religion deeper. I was born into Judaism and I was going to Christian monasteries and studying there. On a mountaintop in Greece, while I was praying for direction, I heard a voice in my own heart. It was a loud voice that couldn’t be heard anywhere outside of me and it said ‘GO TO INDIA’. So I hitchhiked from Greece to India through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It took about six months. I studied Islam from a scholar of the Koran in Iran, and observed the people. I found so much beauty in all these traditions and at the same time so much possibility of extremism everywhere. Finally I reached India.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on why is India so special

Why was India so special for me and why so many millions of people from all parts of the world come to India for spiritual enlightenment? Because many people are looking for a very universal principle of spirituality and the heritage of India has a very deep legacy in that spirit. From a spiritual perspective this country, with all of its problems, has a very unique and special quality within this world.

  • The largest population of Hindus in the world is in India. Krishna was born in Mathura and spoke Bhagavad-Gita in Kurukshetra. Ram was born in Ayodhaya, and Valmiki Muni wrote his legacy, ‘The Ramayana,’ living here in India.
  • Also, it has, even today, the largest population of Sikhs, and Guru Nanak was the founder of the Sikh religion in India.
  • India has the largest population of Jains. Mahavir, the founder of this religion was also from Bihar in India.
  • Buddhism, one of the fastest-growing religions of the world today, has its holiest of all holy places in India. Buddha was born in Lumbini and attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya.
  • I believe, outside of Iran, India has the largest population of Parsis or Zoroastrians; they found refuge here when they were being persecuted.
  • India has one of the oldest Jewish communities on the entire planet earth
  • It also has one of the oldest Christian communities. In Christianity, one of the direct disciples of Jesus was St. Thomas and just after Jesus Christ departed from this mortal world, St. Thomas came to India to Kerala to what is now Chennai and established Christianity, and it’s been thriving ever since 2000 years.
  • India also has the second largest Muslim population in the whole world.

So it’s interesting how many various religions from all over this planet has found refuge and flourished in this land of India because of the foundational universal principles of the spirituality of this nation. It is called sanatana Dharma, spiritual principles that help us to understand: who we truly are, what is our true relationship with each other, with the environment, with God, with the world. These universal principles when understood deeply actually include all other true religions. In one sense, all are part of Sanatana Dharma and there is no need for sectarianism. There is actually not just a respect to live and let live – not just for mutual respect of making an alliance so that we don’t kill each other, which is usually what we have to do – but at the core of the teachings in the heritage is an understanding that we are ultimately all coming to the same spiritual path. It is like different rooms in the same house and we should actually respect, honor, and appreciate each other. Because this principle has been found in the teachings of the great spiritual masters of India, people from all over the world have come here to look for that, to find that.

 

Radhanath Swami shares wisdom from a verse of Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad-Gita is one of the foundational scriptures that have been here for millenniums in India. When I found one particular teaching there, one verse out of 700, in my own life I thought, ‘This is really what I’m looking for.’ May I tell you the verse –

vidya-vinaya-sampanne

brahmane gavi hastini

suni caiva sva-pake ca

panditah sama-darsinah

The English translation is, “In an enlightened person, the quality is that they see every living being with equal vision, whether one is a high priest, or whether one is living in the streets or whether one is an elephant or a cow dog. Wherever there’s life, it is sacred.”

aham bija prajapita

In the Gita we believe, “There is the one God of all living beings who has come to this world many times, in many ways, with many names.” He spoke the Gita as Krishna and he explained, “Every living being is a child of the same source, the same God. We are all brothers and sisters.”

In the beginning of actually realizing this, beyond just the theoretical conception, is to ask the simple question, “Who am I?” because unless we understand who I am, I can never understand who anybody else really is. The Gita tells that the living force within us is spiritual, it is sat-chit-ananda: it is eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss. That living force is one who is seeing through the eyes, hearing through the ears, tasting through the tongue, thinking through the brain, and loving through the heart.

The body and mind are like an automobile, but the atma or the soul or the self is like the driver. When we understand who we truly are, as an eternal beautiful godly being, then we can also recognize how wherever there’s life, there is that spirit, and all beings are our brothers and sisters. We understand that whatever wealth we have, whatever knowledge we have, whatever strength we have, whatever influence we have, we are not the proprietors, we are the caretakers. All these are gifts, after all, without the air we cannot breathe, without the sunshine we cannot see, and without the rains we have no nourishment. – Radhanath Swami

There are higher powers that are providing for us in every way. According to theistic traditions that higher power is Bhagawan or God or Krishna or many names, and all these are gifts. The knowledge that we all acquire in our universities through our studies, the wealth we may obtain through our hard work or inheritance, the influence we have over other people due to our positions, if we think this is mine, the tendency is to become very arrogant, ‘I am better than you,’ or if somebody else has more than us, the tendency is to become envious or depressed. We have to understand this concept that I am the caretaker and whatever gifts we have, we are grateful to have them. We should try to understand the true nature of our heart, our soul and we know that sharing what we have whatever, it may be for the welfare of others, social, spiritual, physical, emotional, that is where my real happiness is, that is where my real pleasure is. There is no higher pleasure to the heart than to love and be loved.

When we connect to the love that’s within us, which is our true potential, then in whatever we do we become instruments of compassion. That is the greatest need of the world. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami explains the spirit of compassion

To live in a spirit of compassion is the only thing that can actually satisfy the heart. An elevated society is where people love people and use things to express their love. But if we forget that principle, then what often happens is, we love things and we use people to get those things and keep those things.

I heard a very beautiful statement that you can tell how wealthy you are by counting how many things you have that money cannot buy. When we hear this, we have to question, what is real wealth?

Real wealth is the fulfillment and happiness that is within us. – Radhanath Swami

Once I saw little girl, her parents were extremely wealthy and they both worked really hard all day but they had no time for their daughter. So when I saw her, she was dressed really pretty but she lived in misery, because a beautiful dress wasn’t going to make her happy. She wanted the love of her parents, but they didn’t have time for her because they were too busy.

The heart is yearning to love and be loved and real wealth is to have that love, to find that peace, to find that meaningfulness in our life, whether we are billionaires or millionaires or upper-class or middle-class, or whether we are penniless little Swami’s like me. – Radhanath Swami

Those are all details, but our real wealth is the satisfaction that we find within ourself. Gita teaches that true intelligence is to find one’s enlightenment and satisfaction within ourselves. Some people, throughout the ages have said, “If you become spiritually content then you’re not going to be able to be active and competitive within the world around us,” but that’s actually not necessarily true, because love is the most powerful motivator, and compassion is even greater motivator, whether we have families or whether we are monks. The Bhagavad-Gita was spoken on the battlefield. A mother, because of her love for her baby, is not complacent. She will serve her child 24 hours a day without expecting anything in return because she loves. So similarly, we need to develop that love within ourselves which comes through associating with people who inspire us in this way, inspire us in these values. We need to have a spiritual practice to actually make that connection and sustain that connection. We need to live in the spirit of seva. Here in Mumbai, we have people, who work as CEOs of major international corporations, who work extremely hard, but the foundation is their love and compassion, not the arrogance or their greed. They excel over so many others because their motivating reason is very deep and beautiful. So, these are basically the foundational principles that are visible when we study the spiritual heritage of India. It is these principles that have attracted people from all over the world to come to make that connection.

 

Radhanath Swami on religion and yoga

Some people don’t like religion, but they want a spiritual connection. So they come to study yoga. But interestingly, as I was kind of like that, I learned what yoga means.

Yoga is the Sanskrit word which means to re-unite, to reunite our consciousness with our soul, and when we make that connection we reunite with God. – Radhanath Swami

We learn to reunite with the sacred principle of life within all beings and within the nature around. This reunion and all the different aspects of yoga are meant to gradually bring us to that enlightened state. Then I learned that the Latin word, religio is where word religion comes from, and the meaning of that word is ‘to bring one back,’ ‘to bind one back.’ Religion and Yoga exactly mean the same thing. Neither one of them indicate anything sectarian in their origin. It means to reconnect with our true essence, and in doing so to reconnect with the environment and the people and all beings and God and to live with that principle.

Sometimes I go to Rishikesh and it’s really interesting. I first went to Rishikesh in 1970, when I arrived in India and I was 19 years old then. I was living in a cave in the jungles and I was kind of all alone. But now, when I come to Rishikesh, my God, so many people from everywhere, in fact I see menus and restaurants in Hindi, in Chinese, in Hebrew, in German, in Italian; people are coming from everywhere.

Vrindavan is a holy place. I was just in Vrindavan and Mayapur and there were people from almost every country, seeking enlightenment, seeking that universal essential spiritual principle. Now, India is becoming very prominent economically within the world. It’s something really important for the people of India and the people of the world to understand the beautiful wealth of the inherent culture of this land.

 

Radhanath Swami urges all to understand underlying spiritual values in India

I’m so grateful that you have all come. I need to tell one more little story. My father is 91 years old now. I just talked to him a few days ago on telephone. He said that he watches the news on television. He said, “So much bad news.” He went in detail in which I don’t have to share with you, because you know, so much bad news in America, in the Middle East, in different European countries, in Africa, in Russia, in Ukraine, in Southeast Asia, and so many places. But he said, “The only good news is India. Its first time in my life, I’m seeing that the brightest place in the world now is India.” I have been here more or less since 1970, that’s around 45 years. He said, “For the first time, I really am happy that you’re there and I feel you are safe.” So the reason I’m telling you this is, on all levels people are really recognizing the potential of India in so many ways. There are people like Vivek, who is an investor, a banker, and an educator, with such deep beautiful universal spiritual values. And there are so many people here that I see that really are like that, and that’s something really the true beauty of India. It’s my sincere hope and my prayer that along with understanding the politics of India, the economic possibilities in India, how things work and how people think here in India, let us try to actually understand and bring home with you an appreciation for the underlying spiritual values that are here in India. There is a saying, “If you lose your wealth, you lose nothing. If you lose your health, you lose something. If you lose your character, you lose everything.”

Thank you.

 

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Radhanath Swami on Principle Of Celebrating Pushya Abhishek http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-principle-of-celebrating-pushya-abhishek http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-principle-of-celebrating-pushya-abhishek#comments Fri, 18 Sep 2015 08:35:50 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2802 SB 10.81.40

evaṁ sa vipro bhagavat-suhṛt tadā

 dṛṣṭvā sva-bhṛtyair ajitaṁ parājitam

tad-dhyāna-vegodgrathitātma-bandhanas

 tad-dhāma lebhe ’cirataḥ satāṁ gatim

Word for word:

evam — thus; saḥ — he; vipraḥ — the brāhmaṇa; bhagavat — of the Supreme Lord; suhṛt — the friend; tadā — then; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; sva — His own; bhṛtyaiḥ — by the servants; ajitam — unconquerable; parājitam — conquered; tat — upon Him; dhyāna — of his meditation; vega — by the momentum; udgrathita — untied; ātma — of the self; bandhanaḥ — his bondage; tat — His; dhāma — abode; lebhe — he attained; acirataḥ — in a short time; satām — of great saints; gatim — the destination.

Translation:

Thus seeing how the unconquerable Supreme Lord is nonetheless conquered by His own servants, the Lord’s dear brāhmaṇa friend felt the remaining knots of material attachment within his heart being cut by the force of his constant meditation on the Lord. In a short time he attained Lord Kṛṣṇa’s supreme abode, the destination of great saints.

Purport:

Sudāmā’s earthly fortune has been described, and now Śukadeva Gosvāmī describes the treasure the brāhmaṇa enjoyed in the next world. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī mentions that Sudāmā’s last trace of illusion lay in the subtle pride of being a renounced brāhmaṇa. This trace was also destroyed by his contemplating the Supreme Lord’s submission to His devotees.

 

Radhanath Swami explains how Lord is conquered by love

Welcome to Sri Sri Radhagopinath temple. Today we are celebrating Pushya-abhishek, our flower festival. Why should there be a flower festival? That is one question. The next question is why should there not be a flower festival? On the path of bhakti, we will devise our creative imagination to figure out any excuse for a festival. But, the principal, the very essence of all the philosophy, of spirituality, is discussed in this particular chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam. In this chapter we find an identical verse that Krishna speaks in Bhagavad-Gita –

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

BG 9.26

“Even if one offers me a simple leaf, a little water, or fruit, or a flower, if it is offered with love and devotion,” the Supreme Lord says, “I will accept!” And beyond that the Srimad Bhagavatam tells that how not only does the Lord accept, but the unconquerable becomes conquered by that love. Anyone, in whatever particular status of society we are in, one can offer a leaf, leaves are more or less for free, a little water or fruit or a flower. He doesn’t specify what type of flower, doesn’t say a gardenia or a marigold or lotus flower, any flower. Because Krishna does not accept the thing that is offered but accepts the love and devotion in which it is offered.

Sarva loka maheshwaram, everything is already God’s property; he does not need anything from us. He doesn’t need our wisdom; he doesn’t need our strength. He doesn’t need our donations, because Krishna tells in the Gita, “I am the strength of the strong. I am the intelligence of the intelligent. I am the abilities in everyone.” There is a beautiful example of how to worship the Ganges River. We take water from Mother Ganga in our palms and with the loving prayer we offer that water back into the river. Does Mother Ganga need that palm-full of water? There are limitless, trillion of palms-full of water in the current of Ganga, which begins from Gangotri in the peaks of the Himalayas and comes down to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal, traveling 1000 miles. In some places Mother Ganga is several miles wide. What is a palm full of water? Whether we are little tiny children with small little palms away or whether we are big rustlers with gigantic palms does it make any difference to the river Ganga? It is all insignificant. Not only that, we are taking it from her and say, “By my greatness, I’m offering you water.” But, if we offer with humility and devotion, Mother Ganga considers that handful of water more precious more full than all the rest of the water she has in the river. That is the power of love and in the same way although whatever we have is coming from Krishna, when we offer at with humility, with gratitude, and with devotion, Krishna accepts it. It is a simple thing we can all understand.

 

Radhanath Swami explains by his personal example ‘how love behind the thing counts’

In my own life, I remember an incident when I was a little boy and it was my mother’s birthday. Now, because I am a boy, we always forget the details that girls usually are quite attentive to. And for my mother, remembering her on her birthday was very much an expression that we cared about her. But, as a boy she should already know that we cared about her; it doesn’t really matter. So I forgot it was her birthday. I came home after a long day and I remembered it was her birthday and I didn’t get her anything. So I ran back in our little backyard; it was a tiny backyard where my mother grew roses. Because it was a small yard, she only had about five or six rose plants and there was only one rose on it. She grew it, it was hers. I didn’t have time to run to a store because I was too lazy. So I just broke a rose off her bush with all the thorns on it. And I ran and I said, “Happy birthday mother,” and I gave it. She started to cry in happiness and she put the rose on her forehand and she smelled the rose. She pressed the rose to her heart and she said, “It’s not the thing that counts, it is the thought, the love that counts because you remember me with love.” To her that rose was more valuable than if I would have given her a pearl or a diamond necklace. So that’s the nature. For any gift, it’s value to the heart is the sincerity of the devotion and gratitude with which we offer it; its monetary value is meaningless in terms of the heart. So Krishna, who is unconquerable, proclaims that he is conquered by such love. Now, how could the unconquerable be conquerable? By the will of the unconquerable!

 

Radhanath Swami extols the glories of King Parikshit

So this particular story we are reading is a wonderful narration which brings to light this truth. I would like to relate it to you today. It is from Srimad Bhagvatam Canto 10 chapter 81 text 40. In this chapter, we find Parikshit Maharaj was a great king with a magnificent palace and a wonderful family. He had huge kingdom, and everyone loved him. Can you imagine a political leader that everyone loves? Why did everyone love him? Because he was a genuinely saintly person, he loved God, and therefore he saw every living being as the children of God. He didn’t see it as this is my kingdom, this is my palace, this is my power, this is all Krishna’s and I am being entrusted with this as a caretaker. How I treat even the least among my citizens is how I am actually showing my love for Krishna, for God. Therefore he treated everyone with respect, he protected and he gave the real rights not only of the body, of the mind, but of the soul. He provided for the physical needs through his encouragement, through his equal mindedness. He totally inspired the minds and through his own example of complete devotion sharanagati, surrender to the Supreme Lord. He nourished everyone spiritually and therefore everyone loved him. It’s a common principle. Sometimes people think, ‘Why nobody loves me?’ But a higher question is, ‘How could I love others?’ Unless we give love, we really can’t recognize love even when it comes to us in the true sense. So, he was simply giving and therefore everyone was reciprocating. But it’s a long story.

He got a message that he was going to die in seven days. He was still young, at the peak of his career. Now what would you do if you were to receive this news, where with absolute certainty you would die in seven days? Some people would go on a vacation and really enjoy like never before. There was a television show in the 1960s, it was a very popular show about doctor who was extremely wealthy and he got the message that he was going to die in one year; he had a disease or something. So he decided, ‘I want to make this year the most enjoyable year of my life!’ And it was a weekly show. One week he was skiing in the Swiss Alps, another week he was scuba diving in the Caribbean, another week he was skydiving in Colorado, he was just always doing everything. He had some very beautiful Hollywood actress with him. So the people were thinking, ‘This person is so intelligent. He really knows how to enjoy!’ The show was so popular and ads and commercials were selling so many products because so many people were watching that they had to extend his life another year so that the show could play another season, and then they extended his life another year. Until the ratings went down they didn’t let them die. So if our standard is just material enjoyment then the television show makes a lot of sense. But if we have a spiritual perspective, it doesn’t.

Real happiness is not what is perishable. Real happiness is what is eternally within us. – Radhanath Swami

So when Parikshit could’ve enjoyed like nobody could imagine with his wealth and power, he just put on a little loincloth and decided that he would fast until his death; and he went to the banks of the river Ganges. That place is still there today, it is called Sukataal, there is a Banyan tree, and there on the bank of the Ganges he wanted: to associate with sadhus, with saintly persons, and to just hear about Krishna, to hear about the Supreme Lord in his various incarnations, and to surrender his heart. This was such big news, “The king is coming just to hear from the sages,” and he wasn’t angry but he was grateful. He wasn’t thinking, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ He was thinking, ‘How fortunate I am because we all have to die sometime and I know when. So I can really prepare myself, and I’m so much involved with so many distractive activities. Now I can totally focus myself on my bhakti, on my yoga, and completely absorb myself in the highest perfection by hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord.’

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the entry of Sukadev Goswami in the assembly

So thousands of yogis and sages and rishis came together just to be there, to help the king in his last days to remember God. They were wondering who was most qualified to speak, because King Parikshit asked some simple questions which are very relevant to everyone. “There are many religions, many scriptures, many philosophies, and I don’t have time to study them all. I only have seven days. What is the essence of all of them? What is the prime duty for all human beings? What is the most important duty for a person who was about to die?”

So they came together to discuss who is most suitable to speak. There were people like Vyasdev, the author of Vedic literatures, the compiler, Narada Muni was there, Bharadraj Muni was there, Gautam Rishi was there, Vishvamitra Muni, Vashistha Muni, the greatest sages of history were all there, and then a 16-year-old boy named Sukadev came. Sukadev was just wandering through the forest. He was so oblivious to materialistic life that people thought he was kind of crazy. He didn’t care because he was in another world although his body was in this world. He was compassionate and respectful and kind to all. But he wasn’t concerned so much with material conventions.

People were harassing him and he was just smiling. Then these people were following him, saying things against him, and throwing things at him, and he was a smiling pranams, and then he walks into this clearing on the bank of the Ganges, and they see all the greatest sages and rishis and the king of the world all stand up to receive him. So, all these people went away. Everyone unanimously accepted that Sukadev should speak because although he was so young, he had a pure heart and he had heard from his Guru with such attention. So in this particular chapter Parikshit Maharaj is already at the end of the 10th Canto and so he has probably only about one day to live when this is being spoken, maybe 1 and 1/2 days.

And he is asking Sukadev Goswami, “I’m fasting for about six days. I’m not even drinking water but I’m feeling so complete strength, spiritually and emotionally strong, because I’m drinking the sweetness of hearing this divine lilas, the teachings of the Lord, and the pastimes of the Lord. It is food for the soul.”

 

Radhanath Swami describes the talk between Sudama brahman and his wife

And he was asking about this principle of devotion and Sukadev Goswami wanted to tell a special story, about a brahman named Sudama. If you go to the Gujarat province of India, there is a town called Porbandar, it is still there today, and there is a temple where Sudama lived. It is still there, very historical! I’m going to tell the history of that place. In fact, you know who was born in that same town that Sudama was living? Mahatma Gandhi! Sudama was so materially in poverty, but he just didn’t care because he was just satisfied in his devotion, in his seva. His body was so emaciated that all over you could see his veins bulging out. Even though he washed his clothes in muddy little pond, they always look kind of dirty even though they were freshly washed. His clothes were all torn up and tattered. The walls of his house were crumbling. The roof was caved in and it was like just a thatched hut, which was in terrible condition. He lived there with his wife. His wife, who was a completely pure hearted lady, didn’t mind the poverty herself, but it broke her heart to see her husband in such poverty.

So one day she approached him, and said, “When you were young, you went to the gurukul, the school of the guru along with Krishna. You see Krishna lived in the forest of Vrindavan as a cowherd boy for the first approximately 12 years of his life. And then to fulfill his purpose of his incarnation in this world, he later moved to Mathura and then to Dwarka. And in Dwarka, it was a kingdom with the most magnificent palaces.” She said, “Krishna is your friend and he is the husband of the goddess of fortune, Lakshmi. Why don’t you go there because Krishna is the friend of the poor, and is the friend of the brahmins and you are a brahmin. Just ask him for our basic needs. I hate to see you suffer in this way.” But she understood that he didn’t really care about his own suffering, and she didn’t actually care about her suffering, she cared about him. So, she said, “Do to it for me.” She knew that if he was going to do it for her he would do it, but he wouldn’t do it for himself. But she wasn’t doing it for herself, she was doing it for him, so she said, “Do it for me,” only so that he could do it for himself. Does that make sense? I don’t think it makes sense. She said, “I know you’re a devotee, and you want nothing for yourself. But why should we be living in such extreme poverty. Krishna will be happy to give us. So please go. You haven’t seen them in a long time. It’s been so many years. Go to Dwarka!”

This is the beauty of their love for each other, their respect. He was willing to go only for her sake, and she was asking him to go only for his sake. So Sudama was thinking, ‘It’s not my position to ask God for anything, except how can I serve you!” Srila Prabhupada would tell us the highest prayer is, “How can I serve you with love? How can I please you?”

na dhana na jana na sundarīṁ
kavit
āṁ vā jagad-īśa kāmaye
mama janmani janman
īśvare
bhavat
ād bhaktir ahaitukī tvayi

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered this prayer which is really the essence of bhakti. He is praying to Krishna, “I do not want wealth, I do not want fame, I do not want great scholarship, I do not want the most pleasurable experiences of the senses, I don’t even want liberation mukti. My only prayer is that I want to serve you unconditionally, for your pleasure in any situation you put me, even if it’s birth after birth after birth.” That was the mood of Sudama. So he was thinking, ‘On the pretext of going on my wife’s purpose, I will get to see Krishna after so long.’ He told his wife, “How can I go without offering him a gift. Can you give me a gift that I can present it?”

She looked around and there was literally nothing in the house. So, she went out door to door to beg. How many of you have been beggars in India any time in your life? I used to be one sadhu and the way I was taught, it is a very honorable activity if you are doing it in the spirit of renunciation for our spiritual upliftment. But when you beg, especially in the villages near the Himalayas, people usually don’t give you anything. Usually they just say “Get out of here. We have enough beggars around. Out from here,” and then they abuse you and it’s really nice thing because it helps our ego to understand that not everyone recognizes me as a great sadhu coming to bestow blessings upon them. And when somebody does give you something, they always give you the cheapest, most worthless thing they have and what is that, flat rice. Flat rice is the cheapest food. It’s basically flat, it’s dry and it doesn’t cost anything and they won’t usually give you from the top of the barrel, they go to the bottom and they give you this kind of dirty flat rice. So that’s what she got, and it was stale. She got four palmfuls of stale dry flat rice and she didn’t have a bag, she just took it in a torn up little cloth and wrapped it around the rice and gave it to her husband. He didn’t have any pockets. So, he just kind of tied it around his waist and walked to Dwarka, the most beautiful kingdom of the world.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the loving exchanges between Krishna and Sudama in Dwarka

As he came to Dwarka he saw these magnificent palaces and being a humble brahman who was used to being abused, he was thinking, ‘Are they going let me in?’ But as soon as the guards and every one saw a simple brahmana, they escorted him through these beautiful gardens to Krishna’s principle palace, and they brought him right into the inner sanctum of the palace where Krishna was sitting on the bed of Rukmini, the goddess of fortune. As soon as Krishna saw him from a distance, he jumped up from the bed, he ran across the room into the courtyard, and embraced Sudama with tears of love. He said, “I’m so grateful that you came to bless my house!” that was Krishna speaking. Then he brought Sudama on his own bed and then Krishna got on the floor and washed Sudama’s feet, offered him a very nice seat. Rukmini, the Hladini sakti, the feminine divine energy of the supreme was lovingly fanning Sudama with the little chamara fan. As Rukmini and Krishna were offering him wonderful food and gifts, they were speaking to him.

Krishna told Sudama, “Do you remember long ago, many years ago, when we were children, we were living at our guru’s ashram together, Sandipani Muni’s ashram. And one time our guru Mata, our mother, the wife of our guru, she told us “Go get some firewood from the forest.” So we went into the forest to collect wood. While we were there, unseasonable storm came about. Everything became dark, there were high winds, torrential rains and we were trembling and shivering, and we couldn’t really even walk and then the night came. But very carefully we protected the wood that we were going to bring for our guru Mata and we were lost.”

How is it that God becomes lost? By his own will! These are past times. Krishna appears within this world to perform these past times to reveal to us, the deepest philosophical social lessons through his own example. And the highest of all lessons is how he reciprocates with the love of his devotee. So the next morning Sandipani muni came to the forest looking for Sudama and Krishna and they found him. And in this way Krishna was showing the world how to be humble before one’s teacher or guru, and Krishna presented him the wood and Sandipani muni was so very deeply moved by this, even though he knew he was God. He was playing the past time and he knew that it would please Krishna by being his guru, to teach the world. Sandipani Muni blessed them, “All the knowledge in the scriptures that I have taught you, I bless, it will forever be fresh in your mind. All your desires will be fulfilled.”

So Krishna and Sudama were remembering the good old days in that sense and they spent the whole night just talking together, laughing together, and relishing each other’s company.

Krishna knows everything, he is within everyone’s heart, and he knows our intentions. Then the next morning, he asked Sudama, “Did you bring a gift for me?” Krishna just fed Sudama the most luxurious food, and he was sitting on a beautiful throne in a beautiful palace. Sudama thought, ‘How can I give Krishna four palmful of stale dry dirty chipped rice wrapped up in an old cloth?’ He felt so ashamed that he didn’t answer Krishna’s question, which kind of meant, “No, I didn’t bring you anything.” But Krishna knew and Krishna reached over exactly to where that cloth of chipped rice was around his waist, and Krishna grabbed it. He opened it and there he saw this dirty stale dry rice. With tears of gratitude Krishna took a handful of it and ate it. He went to take another handful and Rukmini stopped him and said, “That’s enough. Don’t take anymore.” She said, “By accepting this one handful of rice, you’ve already made him the wealthiest man in the entire creation.”

What is real wealth? When Krishna is pleased with our offerings, that’s our real wealth! That’s what gives satisfaction to the heart. So that’s what she was thinking in terms of Sudama and Krishna. She was also indicating to all of the others around who were really surprised, ‘How is this that this person who’s completely ragged and completely disheveled and skinny and emaciated and wearing the most worthless clothes, Krishna is embracing him and talking to him all night. He’s eating his rice.’ So Rukmini stopped him. Her real intention was that she knew Krishna was about to eat all of it and she wanted some of it, also she wanted to distribute it to all the other very opulently living people of Dwarka, because they should also taste the sweetness of the love of this devotee.

As Sudama was leaving, Krishna walked with him quite a long distance along the roadside outside of the kingdom before he bade him farewell. And Sudama is walking home now and he was very happy. He was thinking in his heart, ‘Who am I? I am just a very lowly friend, a Brahman, so unqualified with nothing. And who is Krishna? The absolute truth, the source of everything that exists, the God of all Gods, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune and yet with his own arms he embraced me with love.’ Sudama was emotional with tears of ecstasy as he was remembering the every word that he spoke with Krishna. The ecstasy in his heart is the real wealth. ‘Krishna accepted that flat rice from me and he loved it.’ And then it was Sudama who cited this verse,

patram pushpam phalam toyam

yo me bhaktya pranaschati

Sukadev Goswami was saying the same verse that Krishna was to speak. Krishna is bhava grahi janardhana, he doesn’t see the thing that is offered to us, he sees the devotion in which it is offered, the intention. And even if one offers a little water, a leaf, a flower or a twig, if it is offered with love and devotion to Krishna, it is more valuable than all the wealth of creation. So he was thinking like that. Krishna was pleased with my little offering, but then he was thinking, ‘But my wife wanted me to ask him for something for us, but how can I ask him for anything?’ Prahlad Maharaj was in this mood too. He told, “Narsimha dev, oh Lord, my life is devoted to you. If I ask you for anything material in return, then I’m not devotee, I’m just doing business with you, giving and taking.”

 

Radhanath Swami explains what happens when Sudama returns to his home

So Sudama was thinking like this, ‘I’m coming home and I actually am bringing nothing back with me. But I’m sure my wife will understand.’ He was just too embarrassed to ask something. So he came to where his home was and he was extremely confused, because he saw beautiful palaces more magnificent than the palaces in Dwarka were Krishna lived. He saw wonderful lakes with lotus flowers and swans and beautiful parks with gardens and auspicious trees, peacocks and nightingales and cuckoos, all singing beautiful songs. He saw all smiling the most wonderful people and effulgent wearing nice clothes and they were all looking at him and he was thinking, ‘Where am I? This is where my little thatched hut used to be.’ He thought that, ‘Am I going the wrong direction? I’ve been here. What’s happening?’

Then the people came up to him and they welcomed him home. At that moment his wife got the news that he returned, and she came out of the palace. Now she wasn’t skinny and poverty-stricken anymore, she was effulgent and she was wearing nice garments and she approached her husband. And he didn’t recognize her, he never saw her like this before, and one of the people close by said, “Sudama, this is your wife.” And the wife was just looking down at the ground weeping tears thinking, ‘Just see how kind Krishna is!’

Vishwanath Chakravarti Thakur Acharya tells that what happened is, in that really simple home with crumbling walls and dilapidated roof caving in, which was just a tiny one room little hut with no doors or windows, just holes, simple place, no beds, just a clay floor, she went to sleep at night and when she woke up, she was living in the most beautiful palace in the whole universe. When she went outside she saw these gardens, where there were just dry fields. She understood immediately that this is the grace of Krishna. So as soon as Sudama saw the happiness of his wife, immediately his body transformed into a very healthy body. Now all of a sudden it was nice clothes on him and they couldn’t even speak a word together, they were just so much immersed in emotion, because ultimately he only went for her and she only wanted him to go for him; they wanted nothing for themselves. Servant of the servant of the servant and it is described, and this is the most important part of the whole story, they lived in that environment for the rest of their lives, but they had the exact same spirit as they did, when they were living in total poverty, ‘Nothing is mine, everything is for Krishna, everything for others.’ Whether they had nothing, except some flat rice and a little hut or whether they had more wealth than Indra, their mood was simply to serve, ‘Nothing is mine.’ This is bhakti.

Whether we are living in a cave or whether we are multibillionaires, if our happiness comes through pleasing God, in serving others in the spirit of devotion. That’s our true wealth. – Radhanath Swami

So Krishna wanted to show through this devotee, that true bhakti is unconditional by circumstances. The real wealth is the love of our heart, because it’s the only thing Krishna will accept. It described that Sudama and his wife lived together simply giving and giving and giving and serving with no anxiety. And at the end of their lives they attained spiritual perfection. Sudama appeared again in this world. I’d like to tell you this story.

 

Radhanath Swami on story of Sukhlambar Brahmachari and Lord Chaitanya

Krishna appeared in the Dvapara yuga, which is about 5000 years ago and according to the scriptures which are written over 5000 years ago, that same supreme Godhead Krishna would appear as Lord Chaitanya in the role of his own devotee. And he is the one who really established this Hari-Naam Kirtan movement. So Lord Chaitanya was living in Navadwipa. One day he was having Kirtan with his most loving, intimate devotees at the house of Shrivas. Now, these kirtans were very special because these with the topmost yogis of prema, ecstatic love, and when they would chant it wasn’t just singing, it was an expression of the ecstasies of the love of their heart. They were chanting together and Lord Chaitanya, on very rare occasions, would actually reveal himself as Krishna to his devotees. So on one day, he sat in the altar and all the devotees were chanting, dancing and offering their love. And Lord Chaitanya saw a very simple brahman whose name was Sukhlambar. He had a little torn up cloth bag around his shoulder.

It describes the background of Suklambar: he had such love of God, he had such deep profound compassion, he was the happiest person because of that inner wealth, but externally he appeared really poor. He had a little straw hut that he lived in near the banks of the Ganges River. ASuklambar was a beggar, he would go to at least 10 houses every day and some people don’t give you anything, and other people just give you a handful of flat rice. That’s what beggars get to this day. So he had this dirty’s stale dry flat rice in his bag that he would beg. After he would go to all these houses in the morning, it describes, he was constantly chanting Krishna’s names. He was always in ananda, ecstasy, remembering Krishna. He would take that rice and he would clean it, he would make an offering to Krishna with love and devotion and he would eat some. That was Suklambar brahmachari.

So on this one day, he just finished his begging and the little bit of rice was in his bag, he was dancing in front of Lord Chaitanya with jubilation. Lord Chaitanya called him, “Suklambar come here, come here!” And Suklambar came. He was so totally liberated and free in the way he was dancing, so sweet, everybody was looking at him and Lord Chaitanya said, “Come closer!” As he was dancing and dancing and smiling, his bag was swinging to and fro. Lord Chaitanya thrust his hand in his bag and took a handful of rice and ate it and with tears of happiness. Lord Chaitanya thrust his hand in the bag again and again and kept eating handful after handful of that rice, and Suklambar fell to the ground, he said, “Its stale, it’s unclean, there are stones in it, how are you eating this my lord?” and Lord Chaitanya said to Suklumbar, “You may not remember but I remember. You are my poverty-stricken beggar birth after birth. In your last life you were Sudama. In your last life you wouldn’t offer me rice. I had to grab it. I had to steal it from you and similarly I am doing so today, tasting the sweetness of the love that is within this rice and it is my greatest happiness.” You see, usually when we offer food to the Lord, there are certain rituals performed. We offer yantras, tantras, mantras, we do puja, mudras. Suklumbar didn’t offer any of these but because of the love, the devotion of his heart, the Supreme Lord himself was so hungry for that love that he stole it. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told Suklambar brahmachari, “Because I have accepted your rice which was infused with your devotion I am so grateful, I am conquered by you. I have no power to repay you.”

When Krishna ate that rice of Sudama he was thinking, ‘With all that I possess of all existence, I have nothing valuable enough to pay back Sudama for this rice, because his love is beyond the limits of wealth.’ So as a token of Krishna’s gratitude, he gave him the most beautiful home of anyone in the universe. But Krishna felt himself, ‘This is insufficient. This is the best I could do on a material level.’

But what he did give them is the happiness of that love and on that day Lord Chaitanya told Suklumbar, “Because I have accepted this rice from you, I bestow upon you the highest spiritual perfection of prema bhakti. All the rules, all the philosophies, all the regulations, all the rituals of all religions are all servants of one principle – pure love and devotion. It is the root of all spiritual processes, the unmotivated love, beyond all the physical perishing wealth of this world, beyond the eight mystical powers of the yogis.” The Vedas described even Mukti, liberation from all suffering in the supreme peace of Brahman, even Mukti stands with folded palms to worship prema, ecstatic love. It is the only true experience that could give the highest ananda to the soul, to the atma, which is to feel the limitless love of Krishna and to express our love for Krishna. The highest truth of all scriptures, of all knowledge, of all yoga, the Srimad Bhagavatam explains is that, the devotee is completely conquered by the infinite sweetness of Krishna’s love, and Krishna is forever conquered by the sweetness of the devotee’s love.

We see in this material world that everyone wants to be the conqueror, but when we actually conquer our restless polluted mind and senses, then our ultimate aspiration is to be conquered by Krishna’s love, and Krishna’s ultimate aspiration is to be conquered by his devotee’s love. Sri Radha is conquered by Krishna and Krishna is conquered by Sri Radha. – Radhanath Swami

And that lila is what we are all meant to participate in. So Lord Chaitanya gave Suklumbar brahmachari prema forever, because Krishna tasted his simple dry flat stale rice, patram pushpam phalam toyam. Should I tell one more story? Because we have nothing else to do while you are busy. There is another connection to this.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the pastime of Lord Chaitanya with Kurma Brahman and Vasudev the leper

When Lord Chaitanya was going on the South Indian tour, he came to the house of Kurma. Actually there is a temple of Kurma Dev, one of the avatars of Vishnu and Lord Chaitanya was dancing and inspiring all the villagers and towns-people in the area to take this name of Krishna Kirtan and dance and chant together. And as they were doing so he was bestowing such intimate love upon them that soon there were thousands and thousands of people, and everyone wanted to see the beautiful form of the Lord dancing and chanting and they were all being filled with devotion. After hours and hours of this kirtan, Kurma invited him to his home. After receiving the Lord, Kurma said to him, “I have a family and I have an occupation and the waves from the ocean of material existence are causing me so much frustration, I can’t tolerate them anymore. I want to go with you wherever you.” Now most people would think, ‘Lord Chaitanya would be very happy, he wanted to renounce everything and just go with the Lord and serve the Lord.’

Lord Chaitanya was a sanyassi and he was just a traveling swami at the time. Lord Chaitanya said, “Never speak like that again. You remain with your family, you remain with your occupation, but if you always chanting Krishna’s name and live in the spirit of seva, of service, and hear from the devotees, and speak, share this message, share this wealth of devotion with others, I will always be with you. There’s no need for you to go anywhere.” And this was his message wherever he went, “Whatever position we may be in society, whatever our status, the real change is a change of heart that is required.” Actually Kurma Brahma was a wealthy man. So, Lord Chaitanya left.

And hours after he left, there was a simple man named Vasudev, who somehow or other understood that Lord Chaitanya is Krishna himself, even though he never saw him he could feel it within his heart, and he wanted so much to see him and to serve him. But, Vasudev was totally rejected by the whole of society because he had, what was in those days in curable, leprosy. It was an advanced stage of leprosy that there was constantly puss and blood and infections osing from his sours and he smelled abominable, his flesh was decaying and there were so many worms eating his body away. If a single worm fell from his body, Vasudev would respectfully, gently pick up that worm and place it back in his body, thinking, ‘I’m living in this body and the worm is living in the body, so we are neighbors.’ He was feeling such respect and love and compassion that he didn’t want the worm to be homeless, so he would place the word back in his own body. Now we cannot imitate him but the principle is important, para-dukha-dukhi, that as love of Krishna, love of God awakens we become deeply compassionate for all other living beings, we see the soul the atma as our true brothers and sisters, and we feel for them. That is bhakti.

So somehow or other with great effort Vasudev came all the way to this house, and when he arrived he found out that almost a day ago Lord Chaitanya had already left. He felt so sad, ‘The opportunity of my life I missed.’ But Sri Chaitanya who is within the heart of everyone, who is Krishna, understood the feelings. He turned around and came all the way, walked so many hours and hours, back to that house, and there he saw Vasudev. He reached as long beautiful golden arms to embrace Vasudev and Vasudev was saying, “No! No! You can’t embrace me. On my body there is puss and there is blood and it smells terrible and it’s infectious.”

He tried to run away, but he couldn’t escape. Sri Chaitanya embraced him and squeezed into his body. Vasudev repeated the same words of Saddam Vipra from this chapter that we are reading today. He said, “Who am I? Just a simple fallen friend, a Brahman, who has no qualifications whatsoever. Who are you? You are the all merciful, all beautiful Supreme Lord, and yet you embrace me with your arms despite all my diseases.” And as soon as the Lord embraced Vasudev he was totally cured, his body became beautiful, effulgent, full of health. And he was thinking, Vasudev was thinking in his mind, he didn’t say anything that, ‘Previously I had nothing to be proud about because everyone rejected me and condemned me. But now when people see me, they will understand that I am the object of God’s miracle, so I may become arrogant, I may become proud that I more spiritually fortunate than all of you, and if that pride that arrogance enters the heart then one cannot really serve you with feeling.’ He thought he was better off as a leper than with the possibility of becoming arrogant. These were his thoughts. And Lord Chaitanya spoke to him, he said, “Vasudev, if you always chant Krishna’s names that will keep you up pure. Always be in the mood of the servant of the servant and share this gift with others, and then arrogance, pride, will never enter your heart.”

 

Radhanath Swami brings out the principle of unity in diversity

So today we have people from Ukraine. There are 40 devotees from Ukraine, and they are all very much affected by what’s going on there, there is almost a civil war. Some devotee’s houses have been bombed, set on fire, hundreds and hundreds of these devotees are refugees, bringing nothing with them to Western Ukraine, to Russia, to other places. They are all trying to help each other.

We have people of the Ukraine, we have people from all the various sectors of society of India, we have people from America, we have PhD’s here, probably about 20 or 30 PhD’s are sitting here. But the little people like me who only had one semester of junior college, and I didn’t even get good grades and I’m speaking. We have great yoga masters like Raghunath, Hari Kirtan, Gopi Manjari, we have babies like Tarun, we have grandparents like Mahaprabhu who are almost in their 80s, men and women, people with brown complexion and white complexion and black complexion, all kinds. But it’s this is a special feature of this festival, everyone’s just doing the same thing, plucking the same flowers, yes? The unity, Jules is here, exalted world-famous yogis, and we are all just together, one family, with a common purpose, the simple as possible thing. Who cannot pluck a flower and yet the unity of all these flower petals together is our united offering of love. Tonight all these flowers will be offered to Lord Krishna and Sri Radha. There will be over 1 ton of flowers. People stand in line to donate the flowers because it’s so special. In bhakti, there is no high or low on the basis of material qualification or disqualification. One little flower petal offer with devotion is more valuable than jewels, diamonds, and rubies, offered without such humility, love, and devotion. This is the principle of our flowers festival. May I thank you very much for participating. Hare Krishna! And now with your permission I will get off the seat and pluck flowers.

Srila Prabhupada ki Jai!!!

Sri Radhagopinath ki Jai!!!

 

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Radhanath Swami on “Bhakti An Intent Of Our Heart” http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-bhakti-an-intent-of-our-heart http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-bhakti-an-intent-of-our-heart#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 13:04:36 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2798  

I am very grateful and honored by the presence of all of you. I would like to try to explain something that is somewhat unexplainable – the origin of this particular festival.

 

Radhanath Swami explains how to tune in to Bhakti

There is a beautiful verse in Sri Bhagavad-Gita where Krishna tells –

patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya prayacchati

This is in the ninth chapter. “Anyone who offers me even a leaf, a little water, a fruit or a flower with love and devotion, I will accept it.”

When the Lord accepts our offering, Lord reciprocates with his love and grace. So this is the essence of the path of bhakti, to tune in to God’s grace, which is actually all pervading. It is the sweetest but most gentle and powerful thing in all of creation, the personal love that God has for all of us. – Radhanath Swami

How to tune in? By offering our will to love God and anyone can do it. How much does it cost to pick up a leaf? Do need a college education to offer a little water? It is available for everyone; it is not the thing that counts. Our Guru, Srila Prabhupada explains that the Supreme Lord is bhavagrahi janardhana, he only accepts our love because that Supreme Personality, that Supreme Absolute Truth who is the cause of everything, doesn’t need anything but love which is something that is beyond relative logic.

I will give an example. When I was a little boy I was quite mischievous, and I didn’t get such good grades because nothing really interested me so much in the schools. I was too busy thinking of the civil rights movement and you know the counterculture, and trying to change the world compared to study science and mathematics and that stuff. So my parents were not happy with me. Our next-door neighbors were getting straight A’s and they were well behaved. Yet, my parents loved me more. That doesn’t make sense because love is not something that always makes sense; it is based on something very deep, very spontaneous.

So, Krishna who is the controller of all controllers doesn’t need anything from anyone and wants to love. If we open our hearts to love God, God fills us with unlimited love and that is the principal of bhakti. How to cultivate and express that love? Anyone and everyone could do it, just by offering even a little flower with the intent to please, with the intent of devotion.

In that sense bhakti is not determined by our material qualifications or disqualifications. It is simply determined by our sincerity. – Radhanath Swami

My Guru, Srila Prabhupada defines sincerity as: to be without ulterior motives, to be without selfishness, to actually serve with the will for the well-being, for the pleasure of the object of our love.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Krishna visiting Bahulasva and Shrutadev in Mithila

There is a beautiful story in the Srimad Bhagavatam, one of our scriptures which is considered to be the conclusion of all Vedic knowledge. It is Krishna, who is God himself, who appeared in this world in a way to reciprocate love in a very personal way. Krishna went to a kingdom which is called Mithila. Sita, the feminine potency, the Hladini Shakti of the Lord was born near Mithila and she lived there. In his previous incarnation as Lord Ram, he married her in Mithila. If you read Ramayana, it is a very holy place. So Krishna went to Mithila with some sages and rishis; and people especially came to greet him at the border of the kingdom. One was the king with name Bahulasva and the other was a very simple poor Brahman named Shrutadev. They both invited Krishna to their house. They wanted to have a reception.

Just recently I was in Delhi and the President of India had a reception for Michelle Obama and Barack Obama. So receptions are quite standard when an important person comes. So here is the king, he has his entire palace prepared to welcome Krishna, and here is this Shrutadev who just lived in a little straw hut with his wife. Both asked Krishna with the same sincerity. For Krishna this is not a problem. He just expanded himself into two forms. But the interesting thing is, neither King Bahulasva nor Shrutadev knew this; each one thought, ‘He is only with me.’ Krishna is so kind, can you imagine? Shrutadeva thinks that, ‘King is inviting Krishna to his house and he chooses to be with me,’ and the king was very humble, ‘Shrutadev is a very pure hearted person, I am not pure hearted. He invited Krishna and Krishna came to be with me!’ Both were very humble and grateful.

When Krishna came into the palace of Bahulasva, there were marching bands and the military reception. King offered him his own jeweled thrown. He had cooks cook hundreds and hundreds of the most delicious preparations out of the most luxurious ingredients. King offered him them, fanning him with golden handled yak tail fans. They were offering Krishna jewels, necklaces and crowns. King had the entertainers of the kingdom dancing, singing and performing dramas. Krishna was enjoying it very nicely.

Meanwhile Shrutadeva brings other Krishna in thatched hut. He never had a throne; he just gave Krishna a little straw mat, just like what you’re sitting on, but small. The only food he had was some rice. After Krishna agreed, he went out to beg as he didn’t have any food. To fan Krishna, he just took his own cloth that was going like this (hand action). As far as entertainment, Shrutadeva himself was just an old Brahman, an old guy, he just started dancing for Krishna; he wasn’t trained as a dancer, he just wanted to make Krishna happy.

So it explains, they both served Krishna according to their capacity, with sincere devotion. Krishna explained how he was equally pleased and gave the same supreme spiritual perfection to both of them because Krishna sees the purpose, the intent, the love in which we speak, we think, we interact with each other, and we perform our seva or our service.

There is a similar story. Hanuman was building a bridge across the Indian Ocean and little spider was kicking single grains of sand with his legs. Now Hanuman’s arms were really strong and spider’s arms aren’t so strong, that’s why they need eight of them just to walk. So, Hanuman was taking mountains and putting it to float in the ocean and the little spider was just kicking one grain of sand. He was standing in front of Hanuman while Hanuman was with the mountain. Hanuman said, very respectfully to the spider, “Out! Get out of my way. I’m holding the mountain!” Ram said to Hanumanji, “He’s doing as much service as you are. You are trying to please me according to your capacity and the spider is trying to serve me according to his capacity.” Hanuman was very happy because he is the very personification of bhakti.

Bhakti is the intent of our heart, the spirit of our heart. Bhakti is the process of awakening the love within our heart. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami on practical application of unity in diversity

So today many of you are helping to pluck flowers. Now I am going to speak from the philosophical side to the cultural side, with a philosophical message behind it. The idea is, as you are plucking the flower, it is an offering of devotion to the Lord. Now, in our temple we do not recognize everyone who was here: there were billionaires, there were multi-millionaires, there were simple farmers, there were people from the middle-class, there were multi PhD’s, there were people who couldn’t write their name, and everything in the middle, there were people from all the various countries, from Ukraine, from Russia, from China, from India, males and females, people who have black complexion, white complexion, yellow complexion, brown complexion, people from the backgrounds of agnostics and atheists, from backgrounds of Jews and Christians and Parsis and Jains and Sikhs and Hindus and Muslims. It is not that anyone was in a superior position to anyone else, everyone was sitting in the same straw mat and everyone was plucking the same flowers, whether it was a rose or a marigold or whatever those other flowers are. They are all put in baskets and when they are being offered to Krishna, all its one offering from everyone. This is the teaching of Lord Chaitanya, unity in diversity.

Lord Chaitanya was Krishna himself who came to this world but he came to crash through the sectarian caste system, which made people according to their birth or their material qualifications: either superior or inferior. He wanted to teach us that everyone has the opportunity for the same perfection.

In this age of Kali the most powerful and simple way of awakening our love of God is to tune into the grace of God by chanting these beautiful mantras, the names of God. – Radhanath Swami

Lord Chaitanya made the supreme teacher for all time of the chanting of the holy names, Thakur Haridas, who happened to be born in an untouchable family and he was completely rejected by orthodoxy because Lord Chaitanya wanted to teach very strongly, because Krishna wanted to teach, it is not about our material situation. The ego wants whatever our particular role is to prove ourselves superior to others.

The principle of bhakti is to actually feel satisfaction, fulfillment in being the servant of the servant of the servant, to be a well-wisher of others, to be an instrument of God’s compassion to others. – Radhanath Swami

So as we were plucking the flowers and they are going into the baskets, it is an offering that we have all made to gather. Just like us, the flowers have different shapes, the petals of different colors and different fragrances and different names, and they are coming from different places but they are all being offered together with devotion. So it is a festival of unity and diversity.

If we understand the oneness of our spiritual essence, then we can really appreciate that rather than being fearful of or arrogant toward the differences, diversity is really beautiful if we understand the unity. You will see during this festival, when Krishna and Radha are offered different flower, the more the different colors being offered, this makes it that much more exciting and wonderful. As we are chanting with one voice, chanting these beautiful holy names, you will see what Kirtan is: each of us is chanting individually but for Krishna all the voices become one voice. Unity in diversity! Similarly these flowers are the flowers of our love. It’s a celebration of unity in diversity and it’s a very appropriate festival especially for the world today.

All of these flowers are organic and environmentally friendly flowers, at least I think so. There are a lot of them. Mother Earth is providing so many wonderful gifts and even the simplest of those gifts have unlimited value. When Krishna was a little boy in Vrindavan, the gopis were simple cowherd ladies and they would make butter, and Krishna would come to steal their butter. There are so many stories, and they would tell Krishna’s mother that Krishna is coming to steal our butter. They would tell so many stories of what he would do and how he would do it and they, and they just couldn’t stop talking about it. Yashoda Mai would say, “I’ll try to keep Krishna at home,” and they would say, “No! No! We only make our butter with the hope that Krishna will steal it. It’s the perfection of all our desires when Krishna comes to accept our butter. The greater joy than seeing Krishna stealing butter is describing to you how he’s doing. We can’t stop talking about it, it’s so beautiful, and it’s so sweet because this butter is the expression of our love.”

When our heart becomes very soft with humility and devotion, then Krishna, God will steal our hearts and there’s no greater pleasure than that. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami shares the reason for celebrating the flower festival

Years ago, I saw in our calendar, we have a particular calendar with the holidays according to our tradition. Many of them have been celebrated for thousands of years and there’s one festival in the month of January called Pushya Abhishek. Now in those days and still today, I’m not so good with Sanskrit which is the language of the scriptures. I was thinking, ‘Krishna says patram pushpam, puspa by means flower, and this is pushya abhishek, so this abhishek means to bathe Krishna with flowers. On Krishna’s appearance day or Radha’s appearance day we have abhishek where we offer, we bathe Krishna with so many wonderful bathing ingredients.’ So I was thinking, ‘Pushya abhishek means you’re supposed to bathe Krishna with flowers and Sri Radha with flowers so let’s celebrate.’ I don’t know why nobody else is doing like this, but we should do it because this is what the calendar says.

So we started showering Krishna with flowers and it became such a popular festival. People love to come to see it, thousands of people are coming for the pushya abhishek and soon other places were hearing about it and coming and seeing how beautiful it was. There are temples all over the world that has pushya abhishek. Then I found out that according to the calendar January is the month of Paush and pushya abhishek means you’re supposed to bathe Krishna with water and stuff in the month of January. But because I didn’t understand, I thought it was a flower festival. But when I discovered what it really meant, it was already such a popular festival and so many people in so many places wanted to celebrate it, so we just keep doing it. So in this sense, ignorance is bliss.

But actually there are so many beautiful stories in the scriptures. When Ram returned to Ayodhaya, everyone showered him with flowers. When Krishna came into Mathura, Dwarka, Vrindavan, everyone shower him with flowers. So it is tradition. But as far as the festival, it was revealed in a very mystical way. But my prayer to all of you is that this is a meditation, it’s a meditation on the beauty of God’s love for us and the beauty of our inherent love for God. If you water the root of the tree then that water naturally extends to every part of the tree. When we connect to that love within ourselves, that love for Krishna, it naturally extends as love and compassion for all beings. That is what bhakti is meant to awaken from within us. As we are seeing Krishna being showered with flowers with Sri Radha, as we are chanting with grateful humble attentive hearts and minds, the meditation is, ‘We are celebrating, celebrating the unity of our combined efforts to enlighten each other and enlighten the world.’ We recognize that, in every basket – because it’s all mixed up – there are some of your petals, and when it is offered to Krishna it becomes prasad, becomes his mercy, and at the end all the 1 ton of flower petals that are offered on the altar will be showered upon us, receiving grace.

Thank you very much.

 

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Radhanath Swami on “Power of Sound” http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-power-of-sound http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-power-of-sound#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2015 12:01:25 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2795 We should come to our senses and take the holy name

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur is one of the great compassionate servants of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In fact he is an eternal associate of the Lord. He personally descended to this world of birth and death to teach all of us how we could overcome the toils and the sufferings of this material world. And here in this most wonderful song Bhaktivinoda Thakur is appealing to everyone to just take the names of Krishna. Whether you are a grihasta or whether you are a sannyasi, you can become free from all the happiness and sorrows of this world only by this process of Hari Nama, the chanting of Krishna’s holy Names. He is explaining that we are all bound up in this ocean of maya and we are forced to toil ruthlessly.

 

The pursiut of material pleasure is insane

As Krishna explains in the Gita: all people are helplessly forced to do work. Just to survive, just to avoid starvation, terrible disease, too much cold, too much heat, people have to work. And therefore the whole society is like a rat race. Everyone is putting so much of their valuable human energy simply for survival. And beyond survival, for sense gratification. But Bhaktivinoda is explaining that we should come to our senses because this whole pursuit for material pleasure is actually insane. This morning, some very, very wealthy men visited with me; Internationally very wealthy. And they were explaining their studies of the wealthiest people in their world. They are the most paranoid, fearful, suffering people they ever met. And many of them actually die of paranoia. Paranoia means fear and anxiety. Many names we could explain, but what for? It is a truth. Because the proposal of trying to be happy through sense gratification is actually insanity. It simply does not work. Anyone who uses their human intelligence could see that as we attach ourselves to something we are just preparing for a terrible, miserable condition when we have to lose it. And it is inevitable. And the more we have, the more we have to work and strive and offend others just to protect it. The more we have the more people become envious of us. And the more we become envious of others. And yet still we are trying to be happy in this world through material arrangements.

 

By watering the root of the tree all parts of the tree get satisfied

So Bhaktivinoda Thakur explains that we should come to our senses. And understand that the only refuge is in Krishna’s name. Because Krishna’s name has the power to lift us out of this limited, crippled-minded state of thinking that I am the enjoyer when I am this body. Because Krishna is the Lord of the senses. When we water the root of the tree the whole tree is satisfied. When we engage our senses in the service of the Lord of the senses then automatically we come alive. Otherwise, Bhaktivinoda says, we are as good as dead people; Most unfortunate situation. But the Holy Name of the Lord is the Lord’s manifestation of supreme mercy to bring life again into our hearts. So this is the sum and substance of religion. This is the very purpose of this Hare Krishna movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: to distribute the yuga dharma.

harer näma harer näma

harer nämaiva kevalam

kalau nästy eva nästy eva

nästy eva gatir anyathä

To induce people to somehow chant Krishna’s Holy Names. But sometimes devotees become discouraged because although they are chanting, sometimes for many years, still the mind is wandering to so many of the unspeakable dimensions of perverted consciousness. Sometimes the mind, like a untrained child, wants to run everywhere and anywhere away from Krishna’s name. And still pride and envy, sensual desires, remain within our heart. Even after chanting, for so many months and so many years. So sometimes devotees think that if I am not experiencing ecstatic love of God, how could I convince others that the holy name will give them ecstatic love of God. And in this way, devotees lose their enthusiasm to preach. And they start to again take shelter of material enjoyment to find some purpose and meaning to life. But despite all their attempts, they become more and more miserable. Because there is nothing more pitiable than a devotee who has tasted the nectar of Krishna, who tries again to enjoy material sense gratification. Because he simply cannot. It’s so hollow, so superficial, so meaningless.

Materialistic people, they are leading a meaningless life, but because of lack of Intelligence, a lack of purity of the heart, or lack of receiving the mercy of the Lord, they think that this is all in all. So however meaningless it is, they are always trying to somehow or other invent some meaning to what they are doing, and just be content with the hard struggle for existence. But a devotee’s intelligence has already tasted the sweetness of the higher purpose of life and Krishna’s mercy. So a devotee can never enjoy material life again; Simply impossible. He can try and try and try. But it’s all just an empty, foolish show. And they know it. But at the same time, because their faith has weakened, they are in a situation that is very lamentable. But when this situation comes upon us, where we are not tasting the ecstasy of prema-bhakti in our sadhana, we have to take shelter of the knowledge which the previous acrayas have given us: that Krishna’s name is non-different than Krishna. And that if we can once chant the Holy Name of the Lord offencelessly we could actually be liberated from all the sufferings of this world, and gradually as we chant the Holy Name purely, we can experience Krishna within our heart. Devotion, bhakti awakens within us. So Krishna tests us. How does He test us? This life is very short. The soul is eternal and it is wandering through so many species of life.

brahmäëòa bhramite kona bhägyavän jéva

guru-kåñëa-prasäde päya bhakti-latä-béja

And after so many millions and millions and millions of births, by the grace of Krishna, one comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master. And he plants the seed of devotion within our hearts. And that seed may take time to grow. But it will grow if we are simply care for it according to the direction of the scriptures. Srila Prabhupada used the example that if a woman marries a man, she cannot expect to have a child the next day after marriage. Sometimes women very much want to have children. But it doesn’t happen like that. First they have to get to know each other. Then they have to serve each other, respect each other, they have to have a certain amount of confidence in each other, then the act of procreation may take place. And then the mother has to very carefully take care of that child within the womb, for perhaps nine months. And then the baby is born. It’s a very long and difficult process; While you are in the process. Nine months is not very long. But from what I have heard from ladies who have had children, it seems very long. Those nine months seem like centuries. But actually, so the sannyasis and brahmacharis will just see they conceive one day, and the next day they have babies. It’s not very long for us. But for the mother it is very long. Because of what they have to go through in the process.

In a similar way, the spiritual master plants the seed of devotion in our heart, and it takes time through the watering process of hearing and chanting and rendering service to Vaishnavas, to very carefully protecting that seed by following the regulating principles and avoiding the offences to devotees. Gradually it begins to develop. But as it develops, so many weeds will also be coming up, and we have to be very careful to neglect those weeds. Neglect them in the sense that we should not nourish them. Or rather we have to cut them down. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us this process. So as we are hearing and chanting and practicing the principles of Krishna Consciousness, so many anarthas, so many unwanted things will come up from within our hearts. Because they are there. They must come out. Lifetimes and lifetimes and lifetimes of our cultivation of pride, lust and anger and greed, they will all start coming out like weeds in our minds. And even when we are chanting the Holy Names they will be coming out. But we must not act upon them. We must not follow the dictation that these weeds are trying to present to us to allure us away from the Holy Name. We simply keep coming back to the shelter of Krishna’s name. And gradually that spiritual seed, which initially is very tender and very fragile, begins to grow. And then it becomes strong like a tree, immovable.

adho sraddha tato sadhu sangha… As all of our unwanted impurities from our heart are removed, we develop nishtha, firm faith, immovable faith. And then the higher taste of spontaneous devotion to Krishna naturally awakens within our heart. So devotees of the Lord must understand the science of Krishna Consciousness, in order to continue with faith and determination even while we are gradually developing, we want to see quick results. But we are not seeing. Initially we see but after some time sometimes it appears that we are getting nowhere. But actually we have to know that if we are simply following the principles sincerely, in the mood of service, we are making great progress, whether we can see with our own mind or senses, or not. And this we can analytically understand only when we comprehend the science of Krishna Consciousness. This is very important. Srila Prabhupada told us we must read his books, we must understand the philosophy. Otherwise the tendency is to go away. If we are ignorant of how the purification of the heart takes place, how the development of our spiritual attributes is coming about, how the anarthas are being removed, the unwanted desires of our hearts, then we can know with great faith, we can have great determination to understand exactly what is taking place and why. Srila Prabhupada said we must strengthen our intelligence by hearing every day the message of Godhead,

nañöa-präyeñv abhadreñu

nityaà bhägavata-sevayä

bhagavaty uttama-çloke

bhaktir bhavati naiñöhiké.

By regular attendance in classes on the Bhägavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact

 

The tricky mind can be conquered only by the krishna consciousness

Every day we must hear Srimad Bhagvatam. We must hear Bhagavad Gita. We must hear from the devotees of the Lord; Regularly. Because this keeps our intelligence scientifically fixed on the reality of how Krishna Consciousness works. If the intelligence does not control the mind, the mind will find so many faults, will take shelter of so many doubts, because that is its conditioned nature. Therefore we must conquer the mind with Krishna Conscious intelligence. Practically moment after moment within our life. And unless our intelligence is well nourished, the mind will conquer our intelligence. And all of these doubts and all of these illusions will overcome our lives. Srila Prabhupada said faith comes by hearing in the association of devotees. Krishna das Kaviraj Goswami explained how hearing the glories of the Lord and chanting His Holy Names is like food to give strength to our spiritual intelligence. And just like in war, if you do not have food and water, you cannot fight, however big and powerful you are. At one time, the German army was the most powerful army in all the planet earth. They were just this marching forward to conquer the world. And practically no one could stop them. But Krishna; Krishna stopped them.

When the sages in the forests would be having Hari Katha big tigers would come. (Laughter) and no one cared. Everyone would just go on. “Krishna wants the tiger to eat me? Very good. I’ll die hearing the Hari Katha.” But these days in Bombay, even a little kitty-cat comes, and we become disturbed. But anyways, everyone cried out for Krishna.

 

If you have no nourishment, you cannot fight

So the armies were marching into England, and somehow or the other due to some craziness. Ultimately, it was Krishna in the heart. They decided: England is fininshed. Let’s send half our army to Russia and conquer Russia. So half the army went to Russia. And they were marching and marching and marching… and the Russian army was nothing compared to them. But unfortunately for them, but fortunately for others – it started to snow, and they had no warm clothes. And they were getting food sent to them regularly from Germany, and this snow made all their tanks stop, and their hands could not shoot guns and they were just simply cold, and they were hungry. And because of the snow blocking the roads, noone could get food to them. So they were so hungry – they were literally starving. They had no strength. So then other army came and just shot. They had no strength. If you have no food you cannot fight.

 

Hearing and chanting is our nourishment otherwise we die spiritually

On the battlefield of Kurukshetra Arjuna became thirsty, he could not fight. So he shot an arrow in the ground and water came out. And thus he was given the nourishment and the strength to fight. So trying to become a devotee of the Lord is a battle against maya, and maya is the strongest. Not in the form of what we see through our senses, but maya is most deadly within our own minds. And in order to conquer the mind, we have to be very spiritually strong. And that comes by getting proper nourishment. And that nourishment is every day, to sufficiently digest, within our intelligence, which is situated within our hearts, the teachings and the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and chanting His Holy Names. shravanam kirtanam vishnu has the power and the strength we have to develop our spiritual intelligence. And then when all these doubts and all of these distractions come, we can see them for what they are. And we can deal with them, and remove them. And go on with our sadhana. Go on with our seva. And this is how we advance in Krishna Consciousness.

 

Two things to drive maya away – Strong sadhana and avoid vaishnava offence

Srila Prabhupada said, “I have written these books for my followers. Because if they do not need them and do not learn them, they will go away. They cannot survive. And we see that those who succumb to the temptations of maya in the form of doubt, in the form of the feeling that we just can’t do it, we just don’t have the strength, in the form of material temptations, it is generally for one of two reasons. One, they become lazy in hearing and chanting or two; they are making offences to Vaishnavas. I have not seen in all my years a person who has been strong in his sadhana of hearing and chanting regularly and a person who is humbly trying to avoid offences to the Vaishnavas – I have never seen such a person who has done these two things only – lose his spiritual intelligence. But when we become slack and inattentive, then Krishna withdraws His mercy and when Krishna withdraws his mercy we cannot protect ourselves. Maya will conquer us. From within our own minds.

 

Krishna consciousness is an everlasting unending festival

The science of Krishna Consciousness, as you give Krishna Consciousness to others, Krishna will give you. But we have to be constantly replenishing our own faith, and our own conviction, and our own understanding so that we can give others the right thing. And this process gives us enthusiasm. It gives us a higher taste. It makes Krishna Consciousness dynamic and exciting. Actually Krishna Consciousness is the most wonderful experience in life, moment after moment throughout our life. As Shyamananda Prabhu was explaining in the car on the way here, that Krishna Consciousness is an everlasting, unending festival. It is true. Simply a festival. We rise early in the morning, and then within minutes after we rise, we are dancing. (Laughter) Who else does like this? Most People – they rise in the morning, drinking coffee and tea, they try to somehow or other wake up. And then they read the newspaper. This person died. And this terrorist act took place. And this politician has been caught cheating all of you. So this is how they start their day. And then they either sit in their car. Through the traffic, reading newspapers or listening to news, or they go into a train, where everyone is crushing them. This is how people start their day. They eat something.

 

Who else does rise in the morning and dance?

Where else do people rise at 4:30 in the morning and the first thing they do is that they start dancing and singing? Krishna Consciousness is ecstatic. You can’t deny it. If you just look at our life, from just completely an unbiased point of view, it is an ecstatic festival every day. We are singing and we are dancing. And then we are running around tulsi. (Laughter) in the American countries, people come into temple… sometimes neighbours, they hear this loud crashling, and then, “What is this? What is this?” and they come in the temple and they see people running around a plant, making all loud music and they think…some people think that “I should also do this. What am I doing? These people are happy.” Other people – they simply cannot understand. And then after that we sit and we bathe our consciousness in the hearing the wonderful, wonderful philosophy of Srimad Bhagvatam. And the association of our families, in the temple, devotees, we are all chanting the Holy Names together. Hari nama japa, then there is greeting the deities, wonderful Guru puja, simply a festival, then Prasad, and then whatever we are doing, we are doing it to spread this wonderful, wonderful mercy of the Lord to others. That in itself is a festival. What more joyful, meaningful, purposeful way can there be?

And even if we are grihastas living outside with all kinds of jobs, just the fact that we have a purpose in life, that we start our day in Krishna Consciousness, we know we are going to end our day in Krishna Consciousness, and whatever we get from this world of hard labour, we are going to offer to Krishna. It’s a festival. Krishna Consciousness is simply wonderful. But maya, through our mind, is constantly trying to take that reality out, and give us entrance again into the land of illusion. We see that the most successful people in this world.

 

The reality of famous people and the nectar of devotion

Recently Shyam Sundar Prabhu – he was with us. Just a few days before he came to Bombay he was in Vrindavan with one of the Beatles, the lead guitar player from the beatles. He was one of the foremost famous people in the entire world in the 1960’s and early 70’s. They were young men in their early 20’s, they made tens and millions, and millions and millions of dollars. They were famous. They were just adored by everyone. But he was explaining to Shyam Sundar, “Those were the most miserable years of my life. I have been trying to forget that ever happened. The only good thing about the whole thing was that somehow or the other I met with Srila Prabhupada and got to do a little service for the devotees. Otherwise it was all a nightmare. I want to forget it.” And this is what everyone in the material world is striving to achieve. But he is trying to forget. That is material life. Cheaters and the cheated. False promises of maya…she takes your life and then she cheats you.

Therefore we must keep our faith, our conviction in and our determination very, very strong in Krishna Consciousness. and being enthusiastic taking Hari Nama every day and to be humble before the devotees of the Lord every day. Then you will experience bhakti rasamrit sindhu, the nectar of devotion.Hare Krishna!

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Radhanath Swami explains “Essential Components Of Bhakti” http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-essential-components-of-bhakti http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-essential-components-of-bhakti#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 11:05:52 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2785 I am very grateful to be with all of you this evening. Thank you very much. With all the multitudes of alternatives offered on a Friday night in Mumbai, you have all chosen to be here, for this we are very grateful.

 

Radhanath Swami explains that spiritual progress is realized by putting Krishna in the centre

Spiritual progress is not something that we decided to do and then everything happens automatically.

Spiritual progress comes with our moment to moment choices, our sadhana, and our satsang. Satsang is associating with inspiring and enlightening people who strengthen our faith, who open our minds to higher levels of whole, deeper connections to God. Sadhana is where we cultivate those treasures to actually gain realization, and that gives us a foundation which we can build our life upon through our sadachar or through our activities. – Radhanath Swami

True peace, true happiness, according to our Vedic scriptures is realized to the extent we put our selfish interests outside of the center of the purpose of our life, and we put Krishna or God in the center. What does it mean to put Krishna in the center of our life?

ahaṁ sarvasya prabhavo
mattaḥ sarvaṁ pravartate
iti matvā bhajante māṁ
budhā bhāva-samanvitāḥ
[BG 10.8]

Krishna tells in Gita that he is the source of all material and spiritual worlds. When we speak of Krishna, we are speaking of the One Absolute Truth. The one God has many religions that have appeared within this creation many times, at many places, and with many names. That one truth is the source of everything and everyone that exists. This is the beginning statement of the Brahma sutra.

The Vedic literatures are vast. There are the four Vedas, 108 primary Upanishads, 18 primary Puranas, Samhitas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, and practically every important subject and every level of life is discussed in various literatures of the Vedas. The compiler of the Vedanta is Vyasa Deva. He wrote the Brahma Sutra, to bring the essence of all this knowledge in one place, which has short quotes or the Sutras. He begins with janmādy asya yata that the supreme truth is the source of everything that exists, and from whom everything emanates. The Srimad-Bhagavatam is declared to be the commentary of the Vedanta Sutras by Vyasadeva himself and he writes that, “When you water the root of the tree, naturally that water extends to every part of the tree: the branches, the leaves, the twigs and the flowers. Similarly, when you put food in the stomach, the nourishment goes to every part of the body.” So, in the same way, when we put Bhagavan in the center of our life, that means we he actually put everyone and everything in the center of our life.

 

Radhanath Swami reveals the nature and effects of compassion

Sri Chaitanya explained it in this way, “When we actually put God in the center of our life, realistically, practically the happiness that we discover is through seva, through service.” Para-dukh-dukhi and true service is with the intention that other people’s happiness is my happiness, and other people’s suffering is my sufferings. This is compassion.

Compassion is the nature of love of God. Compassion is the nature of a true spiritual connection. Amanina-manadena is when we are actually accessing God’s grace, not just by talk or imagination, but with realization, then we will learn how to respect all others and how to truly be a well wisher of others. On one level, compassion is not to cause unnecessary harm to any living being, but on another level, compassion is to serve and to live in such a way that we inspire the highest opportunities for happiness in other living beings. – Radhanath Swami

All living beings within this world have a body, a mind; also the source of life is the atma, the living force for the soul and have many emotions.

Just as Vedanta Sutra begins with janmady asya yatha, when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was teaching Sanatana Goswami, he spoke such a vast treasure of knowledge and wisdom from the very beginning stages of spirituality to the highest ultimate revelations of divine love. He built his whole philosophical explanation on one small sutra jivare svaroop hoye krishnera nitya dasa – that we are all eternally the servants of Bhagavan, of Krishna, or of God. We are not meant to strive to be the proprietors, the enjoyers or the controllers, because it’s an illusion. The nature of the soul is beyond those fantasies.

We want to be controllers but we are constantly under control: we are under the control of time (we have to grow old), we are under the control of government leaders (whether we like it or not), we are under the control of powers (sometimes of envious people, sometimes there are very kind and compassionate people), we are under the control of the elements (the cold and the wind of the earthquakes and tsunamis), and so many of us are under the control of our own minds (we want to be the happy and we are not happy, we want to be peaceful but there’s not peace, and ultimately we have to grow old and get disease and die.) So, to try to be the controller in this world is a miserable situation essentially. We want to be the proprietor but to be a proprietor means you have control over what you own and ultimately everything is taken away from us. We want to be the enjoyer and so often this propensity for enjoyment is at the cost of other people’s well-being.

The true nature of our heart is to serve, to serve with love. – Radhanath Swami

So, to show kindness through our words, through our actions, to be an instrument of mercy to others, is the mode of goodness. That is sattva guna. And the transcendental state is when that sattva guna become shuddha sattva, when it includes kindness to the atma, to the souls of others, because it is everyone’s deepest propensity to be happy. Bhagavad-Gita tells that, “When we find happiness within ourselves, we can be happy in any situation. When we do not find happiness within ourselves, we are always trying to adjust material energy for the purpose of happiness which never lasts and is always thoroughly incomplete. The atma is seeking love to connect with the infinite eternal love of God and to love God, which extends to all living beings.”

We are part of God and that is our propensity. So, the highest compassion is actually facilitating people, not in a sectarian way, but in a deep and powerful spiritual way to actually realize their propensity. – Radhanath Swami

On an external level to feed somebody is a form of compassion, to hospitalize somebody is also a form of compassion, to educate a person so that they can actually do something and meet a higher potential is even a deeper form of compassion. What is the potential of the soul due to a lack of this type of education? Due to amount of this type of direction and inspiration there is such a disconnection between people’s lives and their own hearts. Yoga is to reconnect our words, our thoughts, and our action every aspect of our life with the propensity of the heart or the soul, and that is to serve with love.

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
[BG 4.7]

Krishna tells in Gita, “Time and again, I come to this world to establish true spiritual principles.” In every great and true religion in the world throughout history in all different countries, the same one God is coming to remind us of what we have forgotten. When my guru Srila Prabhupada came to New York City he was asked, “Swamiji, we already have our own religions in this country. Why have you come?” And Srila Prabhupada said, “I have not come to convert. I have come to enlighten, I have come simply to remind you what you have forgotten, that God’s message.” When he comes just to teach us what we have forgotten: what is our real need, what is our true propensity, seva or to serve with compassion, that is love for God.

 

Radhanath Swami points out basics of spiritual life

‘The Journey Home’ for everyone is to find that truth, that realization within ourselves and bhakti or true spirituality. It is completely practical. Due to certain types of propaganda or distractions, people think that there is a practical side of my life and then there is the spiritual or religious side of our life. Bhagavad-Gita is a scripture that integrates our spirituality with every aspect of our life. It is completely practical. It is practical to be happy. When we are looking for that happiness for physical and emotional comforts through things, our expectations become high and our frustrations rise usually always above our expectations, because the world doesn’t work that way. Brahma, who is the secondary creator of this world, he has spoken in the Bhagavat Purana that the whole purpose of how this world operates is to give people an opportunity, that there is something more, and unless we seek that there is something more that is within ourselves in our love of God, we will inevitably be frustrated in whatever arrangements we tried to make. So, when we take to spiritual life, the same challenges, the same potential frustrations, the same setbacks are going to be there for us. It is not that when we become spiritual, the world becomes favorable toward all of our worldly desires. We still get sick, we still have relatives that die, we still get be betrayed by people, we will still be dishonored from time to time, sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail, spiritual life is not just to make our external experience better.

Spiritual life is to give us such a strong internal spiritual foundation that the external circumstances do not distract us from our integrity or from the real joy that we have spiritual life is finding something so valuable, so rich, and so precious, something that is beyond time, something that is beyond all that inevitable changes the of worldly life. Spiritual life is about discovering that and sharing it with others. The basic principle of true spirituality is simplicity. Practical simplicity means to live without duplicity. It also means to be happy with very simple things. – Radhanath Swami

A little baby is really happy with simple things. They don’t need computers, they just want to be loved and they just want love and show their love. That is the most innate basic human principle. Even if we are scientists, even if are the great philosophers, even if we are leaders of political movements, when our happiness, when our values are based in these simple principles, then nothing can disturb our joy, and then we are really empowered to make a difference within other people’s lives in a deep profound and lasting way.

When our heart is not simple, as a well wisher of everyone, there’s no envy. If there is one quality that destroys the beauty of simplicity, it is envy. Because we put our own ego so much in the center of our lives that we can’t tolerate when other people are doing better than us. We become arrogant in our success; we become envious in our shortcomings.

Why there is cruelty: cruelty to other living beings, to other humans, to other races or sexes, or religions of humans, cruelty to other living animals, the birds, and the fish? That cruelty is actually based on a deep seated envy and envy where we put ourselves so much in the center we don’t see that our true well-being is in giving happiness and quality to the lives of others.

Our guru, Srila Prabhupada asked us to have programs for protecting cows. When he came to America, he saw almost everybody was eating all kinds of different meat. Where I was born in Chicago, at that time in the 1950s, Chicago had the largest slaughterhouse on planet Earth; it was called the union stockyards. Sometimes, in the south side of Chicago, sometimes he would go to this concert arena called ‘The International Amphitheater’ and we have to drive by that neighborhood. Whenever we would drive by, my father would always say, “Roll up the window!” because it smelled like dead; it was horrible. The entire area, for miles, smelled like dead and I remember asking myself, “Why you are eating that stuff? We can’t stand to smell and we are eating it?”

Srila Prabhupada established cow protection, but he said, “Protection of the cows is not just not killing them. It’s actually respecting their rights as God’s children and living beings: by giving them love, by giving them happiness, protecting their natural propensity to be happy, and by giving them an environment where the holy name of the Lord is being chanted and seva is being performed. Even their souls, their atma are being inspired and protected.” In the world we live, the concept of cow protection in this way is because cows are completely dependent on human compassion. When we understand that principle, it naturally extends to all other animals and birds and all other living beings.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates his experiences in India

I would like to share one little story with you. When I first arrived in India in 1970, I was stopped at the border because I only had about $26 and they demanded that I must have $200 to come into India. The border guard told me, “We have enough beggars, we don’t want another one. You are rejected!” I pleaded, I begged. I argued, I cried, but the guard was more and more angry. I tried to persuade her each time, until they put guns in my face and made me go back. But I had nowhere to go back. I was in the no man’s land between Pakistan and India and I sat there. I kept trying for six hours and finally the guard changed. I begged the new guard, “Please give me a chance. I risk everything. Six months I’ve been hitchhiking from London just to find the treasures of your culture and your people. Please just give me a chance.” And ultimately he gave me a chance.

On January 26, Republic day, I was invited to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. It is the palace of the President of India. It is very beautiful place. It is not that too many people were invited for this event. We went through security and I went into the back gardens and it was a reception for the President of the United States and his wife, Michelle and Barak Obama and all the leaders of India’s politics. Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh were all sitting together and I was there. As I was looking, there was military bands playing the songs and then there was national anthem.

I happened to look up and there was a bird flying overhead. I must say this is the highlight of my whole experience there, because I was honored to be there and everything like that, and I was thinking, ‘45 years ago, I came knowing no one and I was rejected, and now I’m being invited to the President’s mansion to receive the President of the United States.’ So, I was amused with how things change in life and then I looked up at this bird and it looked like the bird was looking at me too, because I kind of stood out as I was the only spiritual person in this crowd like this and everyone else was in tuxedos and every very nicely dressed. So as I was looking at the bird, I was thinking, ‘The atma in the bird, and the atma of the Prime Minister and the President and all of these competing political parties that are sitting before me, is of the same quality. They’re all a part of God, they are all the children of Krishna, and each has their own excellence. That bird definitely cannot rule a nation, but then the rulers of the nation cannot fly in the sky. They came on board Air Force One in your airplane, but they can’t fly on their own.’

So each living being is gifted by God with certain special qualities. Little insects crawl up the wall; none of us can crawl up walls. They can fly; we can’t fly.

Every living being has certain very special gifts of God and the nature to the big gift that a human being has, athato brahma jnjasa; we have the opportunity to actually be instruments of God’s love and God’s grace to all other living beings. We have the power within this human life to actually understand who we are and once we understand who we are, we naturally can perceive who everyone else is, not just on the physical and emotional level, but on the spiritual level. – Radhanath Swami

So this was such a special gift to see the bird and the leaders of several nations with this appreciation. The true potential within all of us is that we are immortal children of the same God. That God is all attractive, all beautiful, all loving and all merciful, and that makes we have those same qualities within ourselves, maima vamso jiva loke, as parts of Krishna.

 

Radhanath Swami recounts the story of King Ambrisha and Durvasa Muni

Seva means to be an instrument of that grace in whatever we do; disconnected from that propensity within ourselves is the cause of so much suffering and so many problems. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is a beautiful story of a king whose name was Ambrisha. Ambrisha, even though he was such a wealthy powerful person, he was such a great devotee of the Lord. He had a wife and children and he had such a high level occupation. He was the king of an empire with high responsibility. Yet he always saw that everything was God’s property and everyone was God’s child. He was not the master, he was the caretaker on behalf of God, and he saw every living being like his own children.

So he fasted, he performed tapasya for the purpose of purifying his own heart so that he could render deeper loving service to Krishna and all beings. He also performed his tapasya to try to set an example for others, because what leaders do, common people are very influenced by it. Yad yad acarati sresthas – what leaders do, common people follow; mahajano ye na katha sapanta – what great people do, common people will naturally follow. We all have a choice of who were going to consider great and who were going to take example and inspiration from. Sometimes our children go into the company of games and people, who do things that are very detrimental to their health and to society, because somehow or other they see someone as their leader, or as they say in certain parts of Mumbai, “They see somebody is being very cool,” so they want to emulate that and that becomes their standard. Human evolution is when human society starts seeing people who are actually beyond egoism and greed, and who are actually compassionate beings and God loving beings, as great and inspiring. Otherwise, whoever could cut through processes and make the most of the money, get the most amount of power, and have the most amount of physical pleasures, are considered great.

So, Ambrisha was a king and was fasting and performing tapasya as an example for the world. The Rishi named Durvasa came with 60,000 disciples to Ambrisha’s house. Ambrisha said, “I want to feed you prasada, please sit for prasada.”

Durvasa Muni said, “I must first take my bath.” This took place in Madhuvana, which is a part of Vrajbhumi. So, Durvasa went to the Yamuna to take his bath and then he went into a state of samadhi. It was taking a long time and for Ambrisha, his fast had to be broken by a certain parana time. Some brahmans came to him and said, “You have to break your fast now!” He said, “But I don’t want to eat before my guest. What should I do?” So he remembered the word from the scripture that by drinking a little water, carnamrita, it is simultaneously fasting and not fasting. So he took a drop of water that was offered to Krishna, carnamrita. Durvasa Muni understood what happened and he was furious, ‘You invited me, and ate before me.’ Ambrisha said, “I am just trying to do what’s best for everyone.”

Durvasa Muni pulled the hair out of his head and threw it on the ground, and through a mantra a fiery monster was created. This monster was a devastating being; he was vicious and he came to destroy Ambrisha. He was only inches away but Ambrisha didn’t call his armies. He folded his hands and he just prayed to Lord Narayana, to Bhagavan, “My lord, if you want to protect me I have nothing to fear. If you want to kill me, if you want me to die, then I want to die because my soul is immortal. Nothing can kill my soul. All that matters is I’m remembering you.” With such gratitude and love he just remembered Krishna in this most desperate situation. He was fearless and he was peaceful.

Vishnu sent his Sudarshan Chakra, his weapon and he eliminated that fiery monster and then the chakra went to Durvasa. Now, Durvasa is sannyasi, he is swami like I am. Swamis are supposed to be renounced.

Renunciation really means you have nothing to fear, because you renounced the illusory conceptions. – Radhanath Swami

You renounce the separateness of egos between ourselves and all other living beings, and Krishna, God. But as soon as the Sudarshan Cakra came toward Durvasa, he ran away. He ran really fast. He was a mystic. He ran as fast as he could run, and when he could not run fast he started to fly, and he flew from planet to planet. Chakra was right behind him. Ultimately he came to Brahmaloka, to Shiva loka, to Indra loka, and then he went to Vaikuntha, to the abode of Narayana. He said, “I’m surrendering to you. Please take your weapon away,” because Krishna promises, ‘If you surrender to me I give you all protection.’ What Vishnu spoke was beautiful, “Because I’m always within the heart of Ambrisha Maharaj, and Ambrisha Maharaj is always in my heart, when you attack one who loves me, you are attacking me. I have no power to protect you, because I’ve given my heart to my devotee who loves me. If he forgives you, then I have no power to punish you. If he doesn’t forgive you, I have no power to protect you.” That is the reciprocation between Lord and devotee.

So, Durvasa Muni went back and Ambrisha was waiting for him; he still hadn’t honored his prasada. When Ambrisha saw the chakra behind Durvasa, he prayed with all his heart, ‘If I’ve ever done anything to please you my lord, please take all my credits just to forgive him and make him happy.’ When Durvasa Muni saw this, Durvasa understood, ‘This is a yogi. One who can forgive even in such difficult situations and one who is eager to serve even in the most challenging conditions is a yogi. This is real renunciation. I’m living in caves and he is living in palaces. I’m just doing sadhna all day, and he is ruling over armies, he is ruling over nations, taxing citizens and is doing all of these things, and he has a wife and he has children. I am a celibate but he’s a better yogi than me because he’s peaceful in any situation, he just wants to serve with love, he has the power to forgive, he is the power of compassion and he is humble. Durvasa fell at Ambrisha’s feet and Ambrisha fell at Durvasa’s feet. Durvasa started to praise him and Ambrisha said, “No! No! No! You are a great saint. I am nothing. I just want to give you prasada. Please take your prasada.”

 

Radhanath Swami speaks on the practical applications in day-to-day life

So what is really valuable in life –

grhe thako vane thako sada hari bole dako

sukhe dukhe bhulo nako vadane hari nam koro re

gay gora madhur sware

“Whether we are grihastha with families, husbands, wives, children, or whether we are living in the jungle as yogi’s or swami’s, those are external responsibilities, but if we are connected to that divine source within ourselves, we can be beyond all the apparent happiness and distress of this world, because we experience something higher – param drstavani vartate.

harer nama harer nama harer nama he kevalam

kalau nastv nastv nastv gatir anyatha

In this age and time that we are living now, the most powerful, the most direct and simplest way of making that connection and finding that inner transformation is chanting these beautiful names of God.

enechi ausadhi maya nasibaro lagi

hari nama maha-mantra lao tumi magi

It is the medicine that cures us of this envy, arrogance, greed, anger, and selfishness. It is the medicine that restores our original natural health. And when we make that choice to make this as the foundational value and purpose of our life, then we build everything upon that. We make our home a temple of God, we make our family a community of God’s people, and we make our own body as a temple of God, just by recognizing the truth. And in this way in a very practical way, at every moment of our life, when we live with this spiritual direction and this integrity of seva, every day we are coming closer and closer in our journey home.

In the book ‘The Journey Home,’ I write about how I traveled to so many places and studied so many religions and studied under so many people. And when I find my guru, Srila Prabhupada and the path of bhakti to Krishna, which is so beautiful, it is enriched me and I felt it included everything else I had ever learned. I visited my parents when I was a teenager in the 1960s. Like most American young people in the counterculture, we just wanted to get out of our homes and do something special. Here I was back at their home and I was thinking, ‘Whether I’m in Vrindavan or the Himalayas or my parent’s home? If I’m remembering Krishna and I am trying to live in the spirit of seva for Krishna, I’m actually at home everywhere and anywhere.’ When we find our home within ourselves, in our own connection to God, then we see every living being as our family and that’s home. So, I wish and I pray that together we can all make progress in our ‘journey home,’ and inspire everyone we come in contact with.

Thank you very much.

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Radhanath Swami speaks on ‘Recognising The Divinity In Everyone’ http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaks-on-recognising-the-divinity-in-everyone http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaks-on-recognising-the-divinity-in-everyone#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:02:50 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2777 I am very grateful, honored, and happy to be with all of you this evening. Thank you to Vivek and family for opening the doors of your beautiful home for all of us. Could everyone here?
I asked, “What I should speak about this evening?” and Vivek gave me a topic- recognizing the divinity in everyone and how to bring out the best in others. I just got this topic on the way in the car.

Radhanath Swami shares his experience of 1960’s and his search to find something deeper

There is a beautiful verse in Bhagavad-Gita in the fifth chapter,

vidya-vinaya sampanne
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah
(BG 5.18)

I remember, when I was young growing up as a teenager, in the 1960s in America, it was a time of a lot of social conflict. I was really searching for answers. On the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, there is a verse from the Old Testament inscribed, which essentially says that in this land all beings are given equal liberty. But, I saw people of African-American descent living as prisoners in the ghettos, and I remember reading that after America got its independence from Britain, 1/6th of the population was African descent, and they were all slaves. I even read this, this summer at the Liberty Bell where there is an exhibition, that there was a law in America; the Constitution says, “All men are created equal; liberty and justice for all.” But at that time there was a law- it was a crime to murder another person’s slave. That means if you murder your own slave, it was not a crime because they were your property.

In the 1960s, we were sensitive to these things, because we saw that really there was no freedom. Freedom was selective: according to one’s religion, according to what the color of one’s skin, and according to one’s particular social status. Many of my uncles and aunts were killed by the Nazis in Europe because of the religion. So, I became very active in the civil rights movement.

Why is there so much hate and discrimination on the basis of these external differences between people? I was demonstrating. I became a member of the counterculture which is a sophisticated name for the hippie movement. I was marching, I was getting teargased by the police, and I thought it was for such a high noble cause. But, I heard the words of Gandhi that, ‘We should be the change we want to see in the world,’ and I was more and more beginning to believe that.

I went for summer vacation, as described in this book I wrote, ‘The Journey Home,’ to Europe with a friend, between semesters of college. I was supposed to come back in August, but I never came back. In England, I was at a rock festival called the Isle of Wight, and there was a musician named Jimi Hendrix who played. A few days later, I was just outside London, and I saw in the newspaper that he was dead from an overdose of drugs. I was thinking, ‘This man was a millionaire. He had so much popularity, and so much talent and. Any pleasure he wanted was at his disposal. But he wasn’t happy. So really what am I looking for?’

I understood more and more that unless we find something deeper and rich, in values, in purpose, and in meaning within ourselves, we can’t really contribute so much of good to the world. Then, while I was traveling through India, I found this verse from the Bhagavad Gita, which I recited at the beginning. The translation is, “True wisdom is to see all beings with equal vision, whether one is the high priest, or a simple householder, or whether one is black or white or red or yellow or brown. Whatever one’s religion, whatever one social status, whether one is a human or an elephant or cow or a dog or a cat, wherever there is life, it is sacred.” When we understand the sacredness within our self, we can recognize that sacredness in others. If we cannot see it in another being, it is because we haven’t found within ourselves.

From my study of various religions, philosophies, and spiritual paths, the essence is that, they actually uncover the true nature of oneself, the living force, the atma, the soul, which is defined as a part of God and is godly by nature. Like a cloud that covers the beautiful light of the sun, due to the ahankara, or the false ego, our true nature is covered, and we become so complicated and implicated by constant bombardments of weapons of mass distraction.-Radhanath Swami

It is said that in an evolved human society, people love people and use things, but unfortunately in the world we live, so often people love things and they use people to get them or to keep them. This can give some very temporary, superficial, shallow, sense of satisfaction to the mind and senses, but it can give no satisfaction to the heart, because the heart is seeking only one thing, to love and to be loved. But, when we don’t have that, no matter what else we have, it is not going to give us lasting pleasure.

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of boy playing with pumpkin

I will tell a story about Kansas. Just this last September, I was in Denver, Colorado. I was staying at someone’s house, and some of my very dear friends came from Kansas. They lived near Lawrence, Kansas and they have a farm. This lady brought her children and she brought some pumpkins. It was a big squash which was about this big, and it was shaped like a club. She brought these pumpkins to this family to cook dinner, I guess, for me.

They have this little boy and he saw that pumpkin, and just started playing with the pumpkin. He was having so many creative games. He was playing all day with that pumpkin. He was really enjoying. Sometimes he was riding it like a horse, other times he was using it as a club to beat up the invisible people, sometimes he was rolling on it, and sometimes he was using like a typewriter. He was doing so many things with that pumpkin, and he was completely fascinated by it. I was there for three days and whenever we went out doing something with the child, he was just with this pumpkin.

Now a few months before that, I was at the home of the daughter of one of my dear friends, in Illinois. She and her husband are extremely wealthy, but in order to make the wealth and sustain the wealth, they both work a lot. They have a son who is about the same age and he took me down to his basement. It is a big house and he had every kind of toy you can imagine, some of them were really high-tech, they were computerized toys, pinball, machines, games, and weapons. There was probably thousands and thousands, if not, tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of play things. The reason they said for many toys is, he would play with it for a while, then he would get tired of it, and he would just be really obnoxious, “I want something else. I want something else.” Then they would have to get him something else and he would play with that, get tired, and again “I want something else.” Because his parents gave him all things but did not have time to give him attention and affection of love that he wanted, he could not be satisfied with anything. But this other little boy, because he was given the affection he needed, he was completely blissful with the pumpkin which did not cost anything. According to true spiritual tradition, the origin of that propensity, to love and be loved, that is within our heart; it is to love God and to feel God’s love.

God has many names as he has appeared throughout history. The Srimad Bhagavatam, one great scripture of India, describes that when you water the root of a tree, the water naturally extends to every part of the tree: the root, the flowers, the twigs, the leaves, and the branches. Similarly, when you put food in the stomach, the nutrients and the energy go to every organ, and every cell of your body. So, similarly, we need to learn to love God, because everything is connected to God, who is the root of all existence, janmadasya yatha, the cause of everything that exists, and the mother and the father of all living things. We cannot love God, and not love everyone. We may not love what people do, but we see that the person is beyond that cloud of whatever distractions may be there. Life is sacred; to recognize that is evolved consciousness.

 

Radhanath Swami shares his experience at Rashtrapati Bhavan

Just recently, I was invited on 26th January, the republic day in India, by the President of India, Pranav Mukherjee. I was invited to his palace, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and he was doing a reception for Michelle Obama and Barack Obama and Narendra Modi. Everyone was there. That was just a couple hundred people, and it was in the back garden. So I was like about this far away from all the people. There was Soniya Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, and all the ministers of the government, Barak Obama, Narendra Modi, and all of the other people like that. We all stood as military bands played the national anthem.

People were receiving each other and a bird flew overhead. I looked up at that bird and it looked like the bird was looking at me. I was little touched by that. I am just thinking, ‘that bird is a person looking through the eyes of that bird, looking down, and there is a person in my body, look through my eyes, looking up. The living force, the atma, the soul, in that bird is a child of God, just like me, and just like the prime minister, the president, and all these other people; some of them were in power, some of them were not in power. That bird can’t rule over a country, but these people ruling over the country, can’t fly in the sky either; so God has given everyone a certain place. The sacredness of life is there in both.’

It was not that this realization was bringing down the distinction of the prime ministers, or the president, it was actually bringing up, and bringing up the bird, because life is sacred. The potential of that divinity of life itself is so important to understand; if we can’t see it within ourselves, we cannot see it anywhere, and if we don’t see it anywhere, it means we don’t see it within ourselves. In the Bible Lord Jesus spoke, “Of what profit is a man that gains the whole world and loses his immortal soul?”

That is a universal truth- to understand God’s love for us and to be an instrument of that love, through whatever we do. Whether we are mothers or fathers or teachers or bankers or politicians or farmers or software engineers or Swamis, whatever our role may be in society, the true happiness that we can feel and give is in being an instrument of that grace, that love, which is within us. It is not our love; it is God’s love and that is something so beautiful. – Radhanath Swami

When my guru, Srila Prabhupada, came to the West, he came in 1965. This year is the 50th anniversary of when he left from King George dockyard, in Calcutta, on a cargo ship, and sailed 38 days to New York City. He had 40 Rupees which was then equal to seven dollars, but he couldn’t exchange it because no one wanted Rupees in those days. He was living in New York and he didn’t know anyone, but he wanted to give something very special to people. He wanted to give the love that he had discovered within himself. He started little storefront and made it into a temple in the lower East side.

Then in 1967, some of his students brought him to Haight-Ashbury, in San Francisco, and he started little storefront there. He lived there and there was a journalist who came to interview him. At one point he said, “Swamiji, why have you come here?”
And he said, “I have come to remind you what you have forgotten, that you are child of God that there is happiness, there is love within yourself. It needs to be uncovered and that is the purpose of all religions, of all spiritual paths- to be an instrument of that love in whatever we do.”

And the journalist said, “But there are so many hippies here. Swamiji, what is a hippie?”
This is an American journalist and Srila Prabhupada was at that time, a 73-year-old sadhu from Vrindavan, a holy place in India. Prabhupad said, “You know better than me!”
He said, “You are from India, you are a yogi, can you show me a miracle?”
Then Prabhupada said something extraordinary. Prabhupad said, “My miracle is I have made hippies into happies!”
And how did he make hippies into happies? He saw something in them that they did not know existed. Many of these people were coming, and they were addicted to drugs, they were in the whole culture of free sex, and they were in a culture of revolting against practically any moralities or values. Prabhupada said most of them didn’t even bathe. He was seeing that there is something very beautiful and divine within.
“You are the child of God that makes you divine; you have the potential to do such beautiful, wonderful things within this world, if you just tap into your own potential.” He saw in them people who were just looking everywhere for everything, and revolting against everything. He just saw so much hypocrisy among people who had everything, and everybody was trying to get through the time of revolution and anarchy. But he was seeing something so good within them. “You are child of God. Love for God is within you, peace is within you, and compassion is within you.” The true testament of an enlightened state, as we heard from that verse, is compassion toward all things. Equal vision means compassion. The golden rule in the Bible is, ‘to do unto others as you want them to do to you.’

In the Sanskrit literatures of India, it is para dukkha dukkhi, an enlightened person is one who feels other people’s suffering as my suffering, and other people’s happiness as my happiness. When we are not obsessed, when we are actually feeling satisfied, when we are actually feeling certain liberation, then we are not looking for happiness, we are seeking ways to share happiness to make others happy. That is compassion. – Radhanath Swami

So Prabhupada was seeing in these people something so beautiful. And they could feel it, ‘Yes, he sees that I am something very special and something very valuable.’ By his compassion to them, he actually gave them faith that they could find it within themselves, and take to a spiritual process by which it can be uncovered, not in a sectarian way, but in a very genuine way.

So, when I saw that little bird flying overhead, I was so enlightened by just seeing the equality, of course not equality as far as our capacity of what we could do in the world, but the equality of our life. I was wondering if that bird drops something, as they do sometimes. I was thinking, ‘It would really be a traumatic conclusion to the story if the bird left its mark on one of these people.’ But it didn’t. I can’t make that part up.

 

Radhanath Swami on ‘Leadership is about bringing the good out in others’

Leadership is about bringing the good out in others. But, we cannot bring it out unless we see it. I think, last time I was here, I was telling about my favorite teacher when I went to high school. When I went to high school, it was a really a conservative kind of school, where the popular person was the best football player, and I was kind of like that. But then it did not make sense to me. So I grew my hair long and became kind of radical, and none of my teachers liked that. The subjects they were trying to teach really did not interest me very much, because I had so many idealistic thoughts of how to change the world.

But I had one teacher, who just saw so much good in me, and actually took me by surprise. He really liked me and he really encouraged me; others would chastise me, whereas he would encourage me. That was 1968, when he was my teacher and I was a senior in high school. Actually, he changed me a lot and to this day, I thank him, because he saw something good and brought it out. And this is so much the beauty of parenthood, and of leadership, and on every level.

There are so many stories of saintly people, who saw the good in others, even crooks and thieves and somehow or other, by seeing that and reminding them, and giving value to that person, it transformed them. Of course, justice is required in the world, but prevention is the best justice. The best way to prevent is to actually educate people in values, in universal values, and to remind people that those values are inherent within themselves.

I think that’s the topic you wanted me to speak about. The first time, I met Vivek, within five minutes we were lifelong friends because somehow he read this book, ‘The Journey Home.’ Book is about all different religious people and sadhus that I met in 1970-73, because I was traveling through the Himalayas, and through the different holy places of India. Almost everyone I met, Vivek has lived with and he was telling me that they would all come to meet his father. Some of these people, nobody knew anything about, but he knew. It is a very special connection. Thank you. I am so grateful. Your friends are always such beautiful special people.
Thank you.

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Radhanath Swami explains ‘Qualities of a Real Yogi’ http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-qualities-of-real-yogi-iyf-rishikesh http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-qualities-of-real-yogi-iyf-rishikesh#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 06:00:33 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2770 Thank you very much. It is my great honor and pleasure to be with all of you this evening.It is especially a historical, timeless, tradition for people who are seeking to spiritual enlightenment, to gather together on the banks of the sacred River Ganga. The great sage Vidura sat on the bank of the Ganga, just close by in Haridwar and inquired from the Mahatma Maitreya Rishi. From that discussion, within our Puranas are many chapters with philosophy and stories, which have inspired people’s hearts for thousands and thousands of years.

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the glory of King Parikshit

There is a beautiful story of the King with name Parikshit. He was very pious in every way. He was the type of king that everyone loved, and in those days, they did not have to run for elections every few years. It was something for life, because he did not see anything as his own. He considered his body, his family, all of the citizens, all of his property, everything in creation, to be the property of Bhagavan or God, and he considered himself a humble caretaker, and a servant of all. The power and the wealth of being a king did not make him arrogant; rather it only increased his humility, because he understood that every living being is a child of God. Aham-bija-praja-pita, in the Bhagavad-Gita, Lord Krishna tells, “I am the father and mother of all living beings.” Therefore, Parikshit Maharaj considered everyone as his praja. That means he treated every citizen, whatever social or spiritual status in society they may have been, whatever their race or color, even whatever their species may be, wherever there was life, he considered it a sacred part of God. He treated everyone like a father or a mother, which would treat the child: to protect, to inspire, to educate, to nourish, and to forgive.

 

Radhanath Swami points out the blessing in the curse

But somehow or other, it is a long story, he made a mistake, a little mistake, because however great, intelligent, and powerful you are in this world, somehow we always make mistakes. By this mistake, he was cursed to die in seven days. Now, in those days curses actually worked. But today, if somebody curses you to die, you would say, “So what? What’s next?” Curses don’t work so good these days, and if they do, you can easily get around. It was a child that cursed, because he was very angry based on miscommunication. Now, king Parikshit he could have, if he wanted to, he could have counteracted. He was in charge of all the greatest military and also he was a great yogi, he had tremendous cities and powers, and he could have counteracted it if he wanted to. He could have declared a war, he could have punished his offender, but he was a higher yogi than that. He sought it as God’s blessing.

The purpose of life is self-realization, athato brahma jignasa. Everything has a beginning and end in this world. Time is so powerful, you cannot see time, you cannot feel it, touch it, taste it, hear it, smell it, it is so subtle, subtler than the senses, subtler than the mind, subtler than the intelligence, it is subtler than the ego, and it is subtlest thing. Yet, it is so powerful that it is in the process of burning out the sun, drying up every ocean, and making every planet into powder. The Himalayan Mountains will turn to dust in course of time, what to speak of our little bodies. If we live 100 years old, and if you are from England, the Queen of England will give you a special award, personally, and it is worth living for some people. But what is 100 years when you consider the span of eternity, which is actually the only reality.

Human form of life has a special blessing. Not necessarily that our success is how many years we live, but the quality in which we utilize every moment. One moment of full consciousness of our true nature, our true purpose, and our true love, is a more valuable life than living thousands of years without that; and just struggling through all the various dualities: of pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness, honor and dishonor, health and disease, and birth and death. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami reveals the qualities of a real yogi like King Parikshit

So Parikshit Maharaj was such an enlightened yogi, even though he was king, when he was informed that, “You have been cursed, unconditionally, to die in seven days by being bit by a serpent, takshaka,” King Parikshit bowed his head, ‘What a blessing! I
know, I have seven days, so what will I do with each moment of the seven days.” He was happy. Not that he did not like his life; he loved his life; but he understood that his life is more than just what is in this little shell called the human body.

na jayate mriyate va kadacin

The Bhagavad-Gita tells that, “The living force within the body of all beings, is unborn, and undying. It is primeval eternal”

na hanyate hanyamane sarire

“It never dies.”

vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya

The Gita tells, “For an enlightened person, death is like changing clothes.” It is not that you don’t take care of your clothes while you have them; you take care of clothes if they are used for a sacred purpose. But, when the time comes, we understand that life is beyond this, it cannot change my identity or my relationship with that which is sacred.

Our relationships in this world are actually for the body, mind and soul of another. When we know ourselves, we naturally know others too; we know them in their spiritual essence, and then our relationships are deep, forever, and limitlessly meaningful. – Radhanath Swami

Parikshit understood these things. So what did he do? He left his palace and decided that he was going to fast for the next seven days, because he wanted to give all of his energy, and all of his attention towards his enlightenment; it is all that really mattered anymore. He came to the banks of the holy River Ganga, not too far from here. If you drive from Rishikesh to Delhi, you pass the city called Merut. If you turn right, about a half hour drive, there is one of the most sacred places called Suk-taal. Parikshit Maharaj came under this banyan tree and said, “I’m going to fast till death near the holy river Ganga and I want to hear. I want to hear about the real value of life.” It was such a dramatic experience.

 

Radhanath Swami describes the entry of Sukadev Goswami

This is about 5000 years ago and there was no internet, television, twitter, or of any of that stuff, but somehow or other the word spread immediately because yogis have a much faster, and more efficient way of communicating than all that stuff. So all the great yogis in the world and the universe wanted to be there, to help him attain perfection during his seven days, because they were so grateful to him. He was a husband, he had children, and he was performing so many apparently worldly activities, but the greatest renunciates came in from the caves of Himalayas, Sahyadri mountains, Vindya mountains, jungles, and forests. As they were great yogis they could come really fast.

There were people that we read about from thousands and millions of years back. They learned how to preserve their bodies from long times. There was Vishvamitra, Vaisista, Gautam Rishi (Gautam Rishi is the person who brought the Godavari River to this world), Bharadvaj Muni, Vyasdev, Narada; they all assembled to be there to give support, prayers, and blessings to Parikshit. Parikshit was very humble. He was just wearing very simple loincloth. He gave up his royal robes, all of his royal foods, palace, everything, to sit under the tree on the bank of this river, and he honored every person that came in. He asked them, “Please instruct me in the goal of life.”

It was a setting where, what we would call in today’s world, an all-star cast of sages rishis, yogis, sages, that are glorified in Mahabharata, Ramayana, Puranas, Itihasas, and Vedas. They were out there and if anyone had any ego, they would have thought, ‘I’m the one who should speak,’ because whoever was going to speak this talk in front of everybody was going to be really famous throughout history.

At that moment, a 16-year-old boy, whose name was Sukadev, happened to come from the forest. He was son of Vyasdev, the literary incarnation of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu. When Sukadev was in the womb of his mother, he was brahman realized; he realized, ‘I’m not this body. I’m not any thing about this world.’ He understood that there are many temptations and challenges, which can entangle you in the network of karma, in this world. He was satisfied. So he decided that, ‘I am just going a stay in the womb of my mother. It is not very comfortable but there are no distractions.’ He was in the womb of his mother for 12 years, until finally, Vyasdev brought Krishna from Dwarka to ask him to come out and finally he came out.

It’s a long story but he was walking. He was so oblivious to material existence that he did not bother putting on clothes, not as a fashion or because he was a part of some sect. It is just that it was not something he thought about; he didn’t think about doing it or not doing it. He was totally immersed in his liberated state and common people thought that he was crazy. He was going through a village and people thought, ‘what is this madman? He doesn’t even say anything.’ They started throwing things at him, spitting on him, ridiculing him and harassing him; but he was just smiling and walking.

īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe arjuna tiṣṭhati

“The Lord within our heart ultimately directs our wanderings according to our desires and according to our current.”

He came into this wonderful gathering, where all the sages, rishis, yogis were sitting with the emperor of the world, and everyone stood to receive him. He was just a young boy, a teenager. When all the village people saw that he was a great sage or rishi, they got afraid and went away. Everyone there unanimously accepted saying, “There is no one more qualified to speak to the king than Sukadev, because he has heard very carefully from his Guru Vyasdev. He has understood and he lives by with his words, with his actions, and with his thoughts.” Even his guru was there, Vyasdev, and he didn’t say, “No, I’m is guru. I should speak.” He was thinking, ‘No, he is more qualified than me.’ This is the way the great yogis were in those days. So they gave Sukadev the raised seat of honor, and all the rest of them sat on the ground, along with the King.

Maharaj Parikshit asked three questions, and the answers to those three questions comprise 18,000 versus of the Bhagavat Puranas or Srimad Bhagavatam, which is considered the essence of all Vedic knowledge. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami on questions asked by King Parikshit

Would you like to hear the three questions? He was a king. So he had been around and he knows everything about what’s going on in the world. He could also sense what was going to happen in the future. This was around 5000 years ago.

He asked- of the many religious, spiritual paths and so many different scriptures and philosophies, I don’t have time right now to study all of them, please tell me, what is the very essence that one should understand and live by? He didn’t want some sectarian teaching. He wanted the underlying truth that is the very purpose of all great spiritual traditions.

His second question- what is the foremost responsibility for every human being? And his third question, which is so relevant to each and every one of us, what is the prime duty of a person who was about to die?

padam padam yad vipadam na tesam

“In this world, who ever we are, whatever we have, whatever we have accomplished, there is danger at every step.”

We see it and we hear about it, calamity or death could come to anyone, at any time. The acharyas, the great yogis have told us that Parikshit Maharaj knew he had seven days to live, but there is no one within this world who knows for sure that they even have seven minutes to live. So, take the precious moments that we have very seriously, and invest them in the best possible way. This is true intelligence and wisdom. – Radhanath Swami

When Sukadev Goswami, the 16-year-old boy, heard those questions, he became blissful. He honored the king; he said, “You are glorious and your questions are glorious, because the answers to these questions are meant for the ultimate benefit for all living beings.” It is very interesting that this historical event took place, just downstream from where we are sitting now, near the holy River Ganga.

 

Radhanath Swami reveals the glories of Mother Ganga

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the Yuga-avatar, the avatar of this age, lived on the bank of the Ganga, in Navadwip. He spoke about the glories of the Ganga and said, “The River Ganga is very sacred and she has descended from God, himself. She is the feminine aspect of the one supreme absolute truth. She is a shakti, lhadini shakti of the Lord. Her liquid is not just water, but it is permeated with grace, with blessings.

There is a beautiful verse –

om apavitrah pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato api vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahya abhyantaraṁ śuciḥ

When we become purified of our egoistic selfish attachments of our misconceptions, then we realize who we really are, and we realize our true nature, which is sat-chit- anand: eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. What is that bliss? The essence of bliss is prema or love.

Ganga appears to be water but that water is permeated with prema, with God’s love, with God’s compassion, for all beings. So, the greatest, enlightened sages, rishis, and yogis worship Mother Ganga; they are not just worshiping a river. Just as an example, we have this body, some of us are women and some of us are men, some of us are tall and some of us are small; but it is the atma or the soul which is seeing through the eyes, hearing through the ears, tasting through the tongue, and feeling through the flesh. It is the atma that gives life to the body. The energy, the consciousness of the atma, the soul, is in every cellular atomic particle of the body. That is why if somebody pinches you, you feel it. If you pinch a dead body, that body doesn’t feel anything, because there is nobody in there. The atma is within our heart, but the energy of the atma is pervading the entire body. So, similarly, Ganga, the river, is the body of Goddess Ganga and her spirit, infinite, eternal grace, is in every drop of that water which is permeating the whole river. How does she permeate the river? She permeates with her blessings and with her grace.

Krishna tells him Gita-

ye yathā māḿ prapadyante
tāḿs tathaiva bhajāmy aham

We can recognize grace according to our sharanagati or surrender, our sincerity, and our faith. That is why satsang is so important. Satsang is where enlightened people, spiritually minded people, who really have a shared, divine purpose, come together to perform seva or serve, to speak, to hear, to chant, to pray, and to meditate. Satsang is when the energy of many people, who are like-minded, seeking true spiritual connection, increases people’s faith. – Radhanath Swami

Faith is very important. Otherwise, why would we do anything out of the ordinary? To pray to God, to perform meditation, even to perform asanas, it is required that we have faith that we can get something good from this, otherwise why bother and you can just watch television. People give up so many things that ordinarily give them so much pleasure, because they have faith in something higher. We go to school rather than playing, but we have faith that if I go to school, there would be a better life for me in the future than if I just play all day long.

So many of the things we do in life, are based on faith. But, faith in that which is beyond the mind and the intellect, faith in the underlying current of truth, faith in the divine that can transform our character and transform our lives is possible, when we hear from people with faith. – Radhanath Swami

And all these great yogis and rishis have taught us that what we see with the Ganges, we should learn to see through our ears. We are just seeing water, but when we hear from those who have realized, who have experienced, and who have understood the infinite grace that is flowing in every wave of mother Ganga, then we learn that she is our true mother, Mother Ganga. It is that same female divine energy that is the mother of all living beings. She is flowing, she is giving us water for physical life, she is giving this beautiful song for our emotional happiness, and she is giving us grace, to liberate our very souls from all suffering, from birth and death, and ultimately beyond the highest platform of liberation with the awakening of our love of God, and love for all beings. Parikshit Maharaj knew that if he was in the association of saintly people on the bank of Mother Ganga, he would attain the highest perfection in his life and he did it in such a way that countless millions and millions and millions of people would attain that same perfection just by hearing about it and reading the Bhagavat Purana, Srimad Bhagavat.

So, I’m very grateful to be here on the bank of the Ganga with all of you. I was asked to speak about- the qualities of a yogi. So, now I will begin my talk. I only have a few minutes now.

 

Radhanath Swami explains tolerance as quality of a real yogi

Throughout Bhagavad-Gita, it describes the qualities of a real yogi. But within the scripture I was talking about, Srimad Bhagvatam, at suka-taal, Sukadev Goswami was speaking to Parikshit Maharaj on the bank of the Ganga, he is telling the story of Vidura asking questions to Maitreya Rishi in Haridwar on the bank of Ganga. In that, there is the beautiful story of the avatar Kapila Dev. His mother Devahuti was a very illustrious lady. She was in a very difficult predicament in her life and she approached her son for direction. Kapila Dev spoke the sankhya philosophy. Within those texts, Kapila Dev explains the qualities of a true yogi.

titiksava karunika
suhrida sarva-dehinam
ajata-satrava santa
sadhava sadhu-bhusanah
[SB 3.25.21]

“The true qualities of the sadhu, yogi, a realized person are tolerance, mercifulness and compassion. That person is friendly towards all living beings. Such a person has no enmity toward anyone. They are always peaceful and they always abide by the Holy Scriptures. These are the ornaments that give beauty to a yogi or a sadhu.”

I would like to speak briefly of these characteristics.

Titiksava means tolerance. There are so many different perspectives of this word. My own beloved Guru Maharaj His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada wrote in one of his books that, “The greatness of a person should be estimated by how that person is able to tolerate provoking situations.” That is actually the test of our greatness and not just how nice we are when it is nice; but it is how we tolerate provoking situations.

What does it mean to tolerate? On one level it means to tolerate temptations that if I give up my ideals, if I give up my integrity, I could get so much, and on another level it means to tolerate fear that if I do not give up my integrity and my ideals, I could loose so much.

To live by sacred ideals is integrity and to live with integrity takes tolerance because everyone is tested. – Radhanath Swami

The Bhagavad-Gita explains-

matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah
agamapayino ‘nityas
tams titiksasva bharata
[BG 2.14]

“The nonpermanent appearance and disappearance of happiness and distress, pleasure and pain, honor and dishonor, health and disease, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons.”

There is one thing that we can be absolutely certain of, when the sun shines in the summer then winter is coming, and in the coldest days of the winter we can be sure that summer is coming. They are always changing.

The dualities of this world are like different sides of the same coin. In America we say heads and tails. If you take the coin then you get both, they are inseparable. If you want to enjoy pleasure, you have to accept that you are going to suffer pain. To the degree you are enjoying honor, to that degree it is going to really hurt when there is dishonor. If you don’t really care about honor, then dishonor doesn’t hurt either. – Radhanath Swami

It is very difficult to tolerate pleasure pain, happiness distress, but we have to tolerate both, the good times and the bad times.

ananda-mayo ‘bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12)

Because our souls are full of bliss and they are always looking for pleasure. But the problem is, when we are looking for it in temporary fleeting things that have such minimal value, there is never that quality of pleasure, because the soul is looking for something that is deep and profound. It is looking for eternal love. Nothing could substitute that and it is within us. So the Gita says, one should learn to tolerate these things without being disturbed. This is a yogi.

 

Radhanath Swami on satisfaction and equal vision

The Gita goes on to tell that just as a tortoise, who puts his head and limbs outside the shell when there is something to do, but then, if some difficulty comes it withdraws its limbs within the shell. So similarly, a yogi, according to these teachings of Bhagavad-Gita, is fully active for seva, but when it comes to selfish, egoistic impulses, he draws limbs within the shell. It describes that a true yogi rejoices within, is satisfied within, is illumined and enlightened from within. That is real intelligence. No just grasping and grasping for things and things. There is a saying- in a cultured society, people love people and use things, but in the world we live in, too often, people love things and use people to get them or keep them. That is a very shallow, unsatisfying life, a life with a heart, which is constantly starving; and to divert our attention from the starvation of the heart, the mind is always looking for so many things to occupy itself with.

The Bhagavad-Gita tells that a true yogi sees every living being with equal vision:

vidya vinaya sampanne
brahmane gavi hastini
sunichaiva svapake cha
panditha sama darshana
[BG 5.18]

This means, real wisdom is to see whether one is a very enlightened brahman, or sage, or whether one is just a simple person doing labor work, or whether one is an elephant, or a cow, or a dog, or a cat, or wherever there is life, it is sacred. A saintly person understands how to deal with different types of variegatedness within this world, but always in the spirit of respecting the inner life within it. Male, female black, white, red, yellow, brown, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, agnostic, atheist, the atma or the soul has none of these identities. We can be rich or poor, educated or uneducated, we can change the religion, but the atma never changes. When our compassion expands beyond the limitation of our ego of being humans, then it extends to all of the animals, birds, fish, and trees and wherever there is life. This is a sacred piece of God.

 

Radhanath Swami shares his story at President’s palace

Can I tell you a little personal story? On January 26, which is the Republic Day in India, I was just minding my own business, sitting in a little room, where the walls are covered with cow dung, in Mumbai, at our ashram, and I got an invitation from the President of India in Delhi at his palace, the most prominent palace of India, the presidential palace. He was going to have a reception for Barack and Michelle Obama, and the Prime Minister, and all the leading people of India were going to be there. So there were about 150 guests: all the ministers and chief ministers of the Federal Government, President of United States, Prime Minister and President of India. They were all sitting there and I was about as far as I was from all of you. It was in the back garden.

I was just watching as everyone rose when a military band played the national anthem. I was very appreciative of being there. The highlight of my experience was this. A bird flew overhead and I was looking up at the bird in the sky. Then I was looking at the Prime Minister, the President, the Cabinet Ministers and everyone else. Then I was seeing that the bird was looking down at us and I was looking up at him; I was thinking that bird is a living person, is an atma, is a part of God. I call God, Krishna, the all-attractive, all loving one. I was thinking, this bird is a child of Krishna and so is the President, the Prime Minister; they are also children of Krishna. Spiritually we all have the same kind of souls. I was thinking, the bird cannot rule over the government, but the rulers of governments cannot fly in the sky either. So, God has given us all special qualities, special features, and it was just so beautiful to see the simplest feathered being with as much love and appreciation, as I am seeing the most powerful people in the world. Because, after all that bird can become a Prime Minister and his future life, and the Prime Minister’s could become birds if they live accordingly.

 

Radhanath Swami points out the quality of compassion as explained in Gita

So the idea that Gita is teaching us, of how a yogi sees every living being with equal vision, is in the context of compassion. There is no value of just seeing people with equal vision, unless we love them and we feel compassion for them. It is said that a yogi is para-dukha-dukhi, a primary feature of a true yogi, that another person’s happiness is my happiness, and another person’s suffering is my suffering. When we actually understand, who I am, then we can understand our true relationship with every living being, that is love, universal compassion.

It describes in Gita that a true yogi sees, a pebble, a stone, and solid gold, with equal vision. How is it possible? There so many stones here, but we are not picking up; but if there was gold there, we might be tempted to pick it up. It is not that they don’t see the differentiation. They understand that real wealth is not about stones or gold, it is about love, peace, happiness within; it is about tapping into God’s grace, Krishna’s grace. That is where real wealth is.

True wealth is in finding the joy of the love that is within ourselves and sharing it with others; and that wealth has no beginning or end. This is a universal principle. –Radhanath Swami

In the bible, it is said, Lord Jesus told that don’t make your treasure in this world, make your treasure in the kingdom of God; because in this world whatever your treasure will be, it is going to be corroded by time, it is going to be subjected to rust, moths and thieves. But if you find your treasure within yourself, the kingdom of God is within, there are no thieves, there is no rust, and it is secure, and forever.

It describes how a true yogi has no envy towards anyone. This is one of the hardest things. A true yogi is a real well-wisher. It is only because of emptiness, and anxiety due to emptiness that we are envious, and we don’t want to see anybody else succeed. But when we find that happiness within ourselves, then our greatest joy is to see other people blessed, other people empowered with grace, and other people doing wonderful things for the betterment of the world.

Krishna explains in Gita, how this is possible.

visaya vinivartante
niraharasya dehinah
rasa-varjam raso ‘py asya
param drstva nivartate
[BG 2.59]

It is not difficult to give up our materialistic, selfish, egoistic tendencies, if we experience something higher, param drstva nivartate, that higher taste. On the path of bhakti that higher taste is prema or love, to feel God’s love, and to be an instrument of God’s love in everything we do.

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat

“A true yogi is not in need. A true yogi is so self-satisfied that he simply wants to give.”

 

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Ambarish Maharaj and Durvasa Muni

There is a beautiful story that tells about such a yogi’s qualities. He was also a king. His name was Ambarish. For the welfare of others, he went into a forest. The name of the place was Madhuvan, on the bank of the River Yamuna, in the area of Vraj-bhumi. To purify himself and to invoke divine blessings upon everyone in the world, he fasted for many days with his whole family. They were in a secluded place and as they were fasting for so long, they were actually on the verge of death. At the end of the fast, a big plate of sacred food, prasadam, was brought to them. As they were just about to honor prasadam, at that moment, Durvasa Muni, one of the greatest historical sages, came in. Durvasa Muni is a yogi, who never sleeps indoors; he sleeps only under trees or in caves around riverbanks. He only wears tree bark as clothes, and he has long matted hair. He has incredible yogic siddhis or mystical powers, very powerful, and learned. Wherever he goes, 60,000 babaji’s and yogis would follow behind him who were his disciples.

So Durvasa muni arrives and he says to Ambarish, “I am your guest and I am hungry.”

So Ambarish decided to feed him. He said, “Please come in and have Prasad. Have dinner.”

Durvasa Muni said, “First I must go to take my bath in the Yamuna before I can eat anything.”

So Durvasa went to the Yamuna River and while he was there, he entered into a state of samadhi. So his bath was taking a really long time. Ambarish was told by some saintly learned scholars, who were with him, that according to the tradition, you have to break your fast by a certain time otherwise the benefits of your fasting are not going to be effective.

Ambarish says, “Well, when do I have to break my fast?”

They said, “In a moment!”

He said, “But it is impolite, because Durvasa Muni is my guest and if I eat before he eats, that is not good manners. So what should I do?”

They were all confused. It would hold hurt the whole world if he did not break the fast in the right time because he was fasting for everyone. Also, he did not want to be impolite to a yogi.

So Ambarish said, “I read in the scriptures that if you drink a drop of water, charanamrita, sacred water, it simultaneously means breaking your fast, and not breaking the fast.”

And everybody said, “Yes! Yes, that’s true. Drink some water.” So he drank a single drop of water.

Durvasa was a celibate monk. He was in the Yamuna River and all of a sudden in his samadhi he saw Ambarish drinking water. He was furious.

I have seen that sometimes people fast and as they are fasting, if they see anybody eating, they look at them with disdain, thinking, ‘Today I am fasting and your eating.’ But that means his belly is fasting, but his ego is feasting.

Renunciation, ultimately, is renunciation of our ahankar, false ego. Actual renunciation is humility and respect for others, and detachment from all of the egoistic things. – Radhanath Swami

So, Durvasa Muni, somehow or other, because he felt he was being dishonored, he felt he was being disrespected, he got really angry. He came out of the Yamuna, and he came to Ambarish. His eyes were red with rage. He said, “People call you a pious person. People call you a raj-rishi, king who is a saint. You cannot control your mind, you cannot control your senses, and you couldn’t even wait until I came back. You drank water. Because of this, I’m so disgusted with you that today you will die.”

Durvasa muni was really a yogi, on one level. He pulled one of his matted hairs from his head. He held it up, just a single hair, he chanted a mantra, and he dashed the hair to the ground. What came from that hair was a blazing enormous fire, the fire was the body of a person, and that fiery body was screaming in anger. He attacked Ambarish to burn him into ashes.

Ambarish was just standing there; he had no fear. He was feeling embarrassed that, ‘I drank the water. I should have waited.’ He was standing with folded palms, no fear, and no anger, sharanagati. He just gave his heart to Lord Narayan and he prayed, ‘My dear lord, if you want to protect me, nothing could kill me, nothing can harm me; and if you think it’s my time to go, nothing can protect me. I am yours.” In loving remembrance of the Lord, knowing that he is the eternal soul, he just closed his eyes with gratitude for whatever was happening.

Lord Vishnu, to protect his devotee, took his primary astra, the sudarshan, which is like a wheel, and liberated the fiery demon. Durvasa Muni saw that, ‘What is this!’ Then that sudarshan chakra came towards Durvasa Muni. Durvasa Muni immediately turned his back and ran away, as fast as he could, but the weapon of Vishnu was following behind. He ran really fast and when he could not run faster, he started to fly. He had these powers. Wherever he went, chakra was just behind him and he could feel the heat of it.

He went all the way to Indra-loka, the heavens and he said, “Indra save me!”

Indra said, “Vishnu’s weapon! There is nothing I can do.”

And then he went to Brahma-loka and said, “Brahma, save me!”

Brahma said, “There is nothing I can do.”

Then he went to Shiv-loka, kailash dham, “Lord Shankar, save me!”

Shankar said, “Why did you do that stupid thing? The king is a good person. Why did you do that? There is nothing I can do for you. It is Vishnu’s weapon.”

And then he went to Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu. Can you imagine such a yogi? He could fly anywhere. And when he came to Vishnu-loka, he fell at Vishnu, Bhagavan’s feet, and said, “Please, I am surrendering to you, save me.”

Vishnu said, “There is nothing I can do!”

He said, “But it’s your weapon, how can you say that?”

He said, “You offended my devotee.”

Durvasa muni said, “Please have a heart, and give me compassion.”

And Lord Narayan told him, “sadhunam hridayam tv aham [SB 9.4.68] a true yogi, the true sadhu, is one who has given his heart to me, and when someone gives his heart to me, I give my full heart to that person. Such a yogi knows no one but me, and I know no one but that devotee. Such a devotee sees me in the heart of everyone, and therefore is compassionate towards everyone. Therefore, I am the same way, I see my devotee everywhere.” He said, “You are telling me that I should have a heart, but I don’t have my heart. I gave my heart to Ambarish; my heart is in him. If you want to find my heart, you have to go to him. I manifest through my devotees who love me.”

And Durvasa Muni understood that, ‘I’m considered all over the place to be the greatest of the yogis, but this household man, who has family, who is doing his work and everything like that, who is so humble, and who is not showing any siddhis,’ he thought, ‘he is greater yogi than me, because he has complete satisfaction of the mind, and is totally forgiving.’ Durvasa Muni went all the way back to Ambarish.

You know something, Ambarish did not eat anything till that time, and it was for a year that Durvasa Muni was running around all over the place trying to get shelter. Ambarish just was waiting for him to return, because he wouldn’t eat until he fed his guest. When Durvasa came flying back to Ambarish, he saw the chakra and he prayed, “My dear lord, if ever I have done anything to serve you, to please you, if through my prayers, my meditation, my seva, my charity, anything, I have ever done, please take the credits of all of that to protect Durvasa Muni and forgive him.”

The chakra, the wheel of Vishnu, went away. Durvasa Muni bowed down to Ambarish’s feet and Ambarish bowed down to Durvasa’s feet. Ambarish apologized and said, “Just see, because of me you had to go through so much trouble.” Durvasa understood, ‘this type of forgiveness, this type of being compassionate beyond the faults of others, is the true quality of the yogi.’ From that time, wherever Durvasa Muni goes, he glorifies this quality.

In so many great texts, we find forgiveness and compassion being the crest jewel of all qualities of a yogi, and that quality is cultivated by actually finding that essence of our true self, and tapping, reconnecting, to God’s love. – Radhanath Swami

This chanting of mantras, kirtan, is especially for that purpose, to tune in to the divine grace, the frequency of grace that is everywhere and within ourselves. When we tune into that grace, it takes us to that inner happiness that cannot be disturbed by any situation in this world, because it is beyond. When we tune into that grace, it empowers us to be an instrument of that grace, an instrument of that love. That grace cannot be attained, it can only be given to us, revealed to us, when we open our hearts completely, through our spiritual practice, through this association of people we keep, and through our the character in which we live.

So I would like to end by having a little kirtan, wherein we meditate on tuning into that spiritual grace, that essence within all of us.

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http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-qualities-of-real-yogi-iyf-rishikesh/feed 25 2770
Radhanath Swami on ‘Yoga of Love’ http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-yoga-of-love http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-yoga-of-love#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 13:33:17 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2762 I am very grateful to be with all of you in this holy place, Rishikesh, in the Himalayas, on the banks of the holy river Mother Ganga. My special gratitude to Her Grace Bhagavati Devi for being here, and to Param Pujya Sri Chidananda Saraswati Maharaj, for organizing this beautiful event, bringing people from all sectors of life together in this holy place.

Radhanath Swami speaks on ‘Assembly of Sages at Naimesharanya’

About 5000 years ago, there was a gathering of great yogis and sages on the banks of the river, not too far from here called Gomati, in a forest of Naimesharanya. These sages, rishis and yogis, came together for one purpose- to discuss how to be instruments of true compassion for humanity, for the present and for the future. The great saint Bhaktivinod Thakur has written that when love of God awakens within the heart, it is our natural, most essential, potential, then that love is expressed outwardly in the form of compassion to all living beings.

It is said that a true yogi is para-dukha-dukhi, which means the happiness of another is my happiness and the suffering of another is my suffering, and when we feel for the sufferings of the body and the mind, that is satva, that is goodness. Our eternal identity is the atma, the soul, which is sat-chit-ananda: eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss, beyond birth, and beyond death.

Due to the ahankar, the false ego that creates the misconception, we forget our own eternal identity, mamaivamso jiva-loke jiva-bhutah sanatanah, we are all a part of God, and we have those qualities. We forget the love of God which is the inherent treasure and how to be an instrument of that love, ananda-mayo-bhyashyat. When we understand that the true source of all suffering is that forgetfulness of his or her own true identity, then we are prone to seek that same happiness through so many temporary and ever-changing things of this world, and so they become complicated and implicated. – Radhanath Swami

The great yogis and sages understand that the greatest compassion is to help people awaken their eternal, blissful, loving identity. And when they see people in this forgetfulness, in this dreamlike state, engaging in so many wasteful activities even in the name of pleasure, to cause pain and suffering to others for our own purpose, it breaks their heart. So these sages were gathered together because they could see that Kaliyuga was coming, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the age were irreligion is taken to be religion and religion is taken to be the irreligion. They could see it was already happening, and how due to disconnection from truth, it was going to get more and more severe. Even in the name of spirituality, religion, which is meant to awaken love and inspire kindness and compassion, people would be hateful, arrogant, violent, judgmental, and selfish, and use God as an absolute justification to serve their own egoistic tendencies. So they gathered together to try to somehow or other, to create a solution. So they were discussing the spiritual subjects and among them one great yogi, sage named Sukadev Goswami came. Not far from here, on the bank of Mother Ganga, is a place called sukha-taal where the Srimad Bhagavatam was originally spoken by Sukadev Goswami to the great King Parikshit.

Radhanath Swami explains ‘Advent of Srimad Bhagavatam’

King Parikshit was cursed to die in seven days and he considered it as a blessing of God, because he was given a chance to really focus on what is really important and meaningful in life, his relationship with God. He asked three questions to a gathering of sages:

  • What is the essence of all the great religions of the world?
  • What is the prime responsibility of a human being?
  • And what is the duty of a person about to die?

Sukadev Goswami spoke 18,000 versus called the Srimad Bhagavatam, as an answer to those questions. One of them who was quietly sitting, listening, and remembering everything was Suta Goswami. He came to this gathering in Naimesharanya, on the banks of the Gomati River, and all the sages asked him the same essential questions. One of the questions of all the scriptures and spiritual traditions throughout the world is:

We see there are so many interpretations and so many argumentations that are dividing people in so many ways, what is the essence? The essence of all spiritual truths is sanatana dharma.

Suta Goswami initially answered with one verse that he expanded upon,

sa vai pumsām paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati
[SB 1.2.6]

“The supreme dharma – dharma sometimes means occupation, sometimes means religion, the supreme dharma is not a sectarian conception, it is that process which awakens loving devotion to the supreme transcendent Lord – such loving devotional service, which he calls bhakti, must be unmotivated by any selfishness or arrogance, and uninterrupted by any changing circumstances that may come before us.”

In order to truly satisfy the self, in the next verse he speaks,

vasudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogah prayojitah,
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam
[SB 1.2.7]

“Such love of God, love of the supreme truth, is awakened from within our heart, and then we fulfill the culmination of all detachment from material things and all knowledge, vairagya and gyan.”

The yoga of love or bhakti, as a Bhagavati Devi was explaining the other day on the bank of the Ganga, is to take our own selfish interests out of the center of our lives.

janasya moho ‘yam aham mameti…

The root cause of all conflict and suffering in this world is, we are in this conception of thinking in terms of, ‘I am this body,’ ‘I am the designations of this body and whatever is in relation is mine,’ ‘I,’ ‘Me,’ ‘Mine,’ that creates so many divisions. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on ‘Peace Formula’

I remember, I was giving a lecture once at a university, and there was a professor of economics who invited me to speak in this class. I asked him, “You’re asking me to speak on economics, but I have not had a bank account or signed a cheque since 1969.” But I spoke and afterwards I asked him, “According to your academic tradition, what really is the essential problem that economics is trying to solve?” and I will never forget what he told me.

He said, “From an academic perspective, the problem of economics is very simple: there is only a limited amount of resources within the world and every person has such selfish greed that everyone needs unlimited resources, so there are a lot of problems.”

In the fifth chapter of Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna tells what he calls the peace formula,

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram,
suhridam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim ricchati
[BG 5.29]

“If you want real peace, just understand three principles: there is one supreme truth Bhagavan who is the ultimate enjoyer of everything, sarva loka maheshwaram, and that supreme Lord Krishna speaking is the proprietor of everything that exists, and he is the most intimate loving best friend for all.”

Radhanath Swami explains ‘How to put God in center’

So, how do we take ourself out of the center, our selfish needs, where everything is just about ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’? Param drishtva nivartate, it’s only possible when we have a higher experience and that is putting Bhagavan or God in the center.

The fourth canto of the Bhagavat Purana tells that, when you water the root of a tree, naturally that water extends to every part of the tree: the branches, twigs and flowers. And similarly, when we put seva, service to God, loving God, in the center of our life that love and that service extends to every living being. The Brahmasutra tells that janmashaya yatahah, that the absolute truth is the source of everything and everyone. We cannot love God and not love every living being, because every living being is a part of God, and nature is the divine energy of God.

There are so many problems, both in the way humans are living with such enmity toward each other, and such enmity toward other living beings, slaughter houses, cruelty. This is considered normal in Kaliyuga and it is due to pollution within the ecology of human hearts.

When through yoga, through the practice of our spiritual path, we clean the ecology of heart, of selfish passion and greed, envy, anger, illusion, and then naturally it is like a cloud that dissipates so that the light of the sun can shine freely.

God’s grace can shine through us in everything we speak, in everything we do, and unless we clean this arrogance and greed from our own hearts, then it’s unsustainable to try to clean the environment, because the pollution outside of ourselves is simply a manifestation of what is within human hearts. –Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on ‘Ravana’s tendency vs. Hanuman’s tendency’

In the Vedic context, the absolute truth is one, and has both a male and female nature. The female nature, the Hladhini Shakti is the source of all compassion, forgiveness, and nourishment of wisdom and kindness. A manifestation of that feminine aspect of the divine or Sri Radha, Sri Sita is Ganga – just as the eternal soul is permeating this body and is conscious of every cell of this body – similarly the goddess Ganga, the mother of all living beings, who nourishes all her children, has assumed the body of this river to nourish us with kindness and with grace.

Similarly that feminine potency appears as mother Earth. In Sanskrit, Bhumi is a very inseparable aspect of our yoga or our spiritual path. This is how we honor the compassionate Ganga, and the compassion of the Bhumi, of Mother Earth. In the Ramayana, Sita, the consort of Sri Ram, was born from the earth. Very symbolic! Ravana, who was a very powerful mystic, who performed tapasya at various places including Gokarna, a place where he attained such powers, he could change his form, could chant mantras to create unbelievable nuclear type weapons, could see distances, and had yogic siddhis. Yogic siddhis are only mechanical ways of manipulating subtle material energy.

We understand the essence of yoga is to transform the quality of our heart, from greed to compassion, from craving for manipulation, exploitation and proprietorship to the desire to serve. – Radhanath Swami

So he had all these powers, but the ecology of Ravana’s heart was filthy and he abducted Sita. He kidnapped her for his own personal exploitation, and he kept her on the island of Sri Lanka. He separated her from Ram. And then there was Hanuman – the symbol of bhakti or love. He jumped across the ocean and performed such incredible historical deeds to bring Sita back to Ram.

So in each and every one of us we have these tendencies: we have the Ravana tendency, the tendency to exploit, to be selfish and put ourself in the center, and the Hanuman tendency, to serve with love. At every moment we have the choice: are we going to follow Ravana’s example or Hanuman’s example? If we follow Hanuman’s example, we are instruments of compassion and grace to the world, to the environment, and to all living beings. If we follow the influence of Ravana within us, we will selfishly cause so much harm and pain to others.

So yoga is to harmonize the body with the mind, with the intellect, with the atma, with the eternal nature of our true self, and then to harmonize the self with the will of the supreme self, the parmatma, who we call Krishna, Sri Ram, and then to live in the spirit of seva or loving service. It is that loving service that actually gives true happiness to ourselves and it’s the true wealth we have to share with others. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on ‘Analogy of musk deer’

In the Himalayas there is a metaphor that is often used by the yogis living here about the musk deer. This particular dear has a gland and that gland excretes a certain type of oil, that we call, musk. It costs about $40,000 a kilo. It is quite precious and it really smells nice. So the musk deer smells it and wants to find that fragrance and enjoy it. And according to the metaphor the musk deer spends his whole life crossing rivers, going through thorny bushes, going through jungles, risking everything, trying to find the pleasure of that smell, not knowing that it is within himself. It is a simple analogy, but it is a story of our life.

We are looking and we are striving for so much acquisition and physical, and emotional pleasure, not knowing that what we are really looking for, is within our own hearts, it’s the love of God, it’s our love for God, it’s is our love for all living beings, and then whatever we have, whatever we can do, we utilize it in that spirit of love and devotion. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on ‘The Essence of Bhakti’

Whether we are billionaires and millionaires, or we are little sadhus living in a cave, big or small have no real importance, it is quality that bhakti is about. – Radhanath Swami

Hanumanji was building that bridge across the Indian Ocean, and he was so strong that he could lift mountains. Once, as he was carrying a mountain, and there was a little squirrel on the way. This little squirrel wanted to help. What he did was, he jumped in the water, and got all wet, then he rolled around in the sand, and he got on the bridge which was just being built. He started shaking himself and the sand went on the bridge, and that was his contribution, a few grains of sand. But while he was doing this, he was standing right in front of Hanuman who was caring a mountain.

Hanuman couldn’t move forward and said, “Please move!”

Lord Ram said, “No! He is doing as much as you, your capacity is to lift mountains, and his capacity is to lift grains of sand, but you’re both doing everything you can with the same spirit of devotion.”

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah
[BG 9.26]

Bhagavad-Gita tells: “Even if you offer me,” Krishna says, “a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water, if it is offered with devotion, I accept it.” Bhakti understands that the Lord is

bhava-grahi janardhana

That means he only accepts the essence, and what is the essence, the quality of the sincerity of our love, of our devotion.

I would like to conclude by telling a story that really moves me every time I tell it, because as I’m telling it, I get to hear it too.

Radhanath Swami narrates the life of Sridhar Kolavecha

Bhagavan Sri Krishna appeared about 500 years ago as Sri Chaitanya. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lived in his early life on the bank of the holy River Ganga, downstream quite away, in Navadvip. The story I am about to tell you, happened here on the banks of the Ganga.

In his early years, he was known as Nimai because he was born under a neem tree, that tree is still there. He did not reveal his divinity until later. He was in the mood of a devotee to teach us devotion. He used to go down a little path in an area called Simantadvip and on the side of that dirt path there was a man named Sridhar. But nobody knew him by that name. He was socially, the most insignificant person possible. If anyone did know him, they just called him Kolavecha, which means the banana leaf seller. He would collect some banana leaves, sit on the side of the road, and sell them. Every now and then, they would find him with some bananas, or some banana roots or some banana flowers.

He was a different kind of businessman because usually businesspeople, their way of thinking is, how can I make the most possible profit from what I have, but he was thinking how can I make the least possible profit and survive. Now, how much the banana leaves cost? Very little! But he was thinking, ‘I don’t want to give inconvenience to anyone. Let me make it available, as much as possible, to everyone and somehow or other maintain myself.’ Whatever funds he would get, you know what he would do, he would take half of it immediately and worship Mother Ganga, because he understood the identity of the holy River Ganges.

The goddess Ganga is manifesting her compassion, her grace, in the form of the current of the river, and every drop of water is very sacred. The scriptures tell that just by seeing mother Ganga, by bathing in mother Ganga, by touching mother Ganga, by tasting the water of the Ganga, by being touched by the breeze that has comes from mother Ganga, we are blessed, and the divine love in our hearts is awakened. And to the degree we have faith, it has very powerful effects. – Radhanath Swami

So he wanted to show his gratitude by offering flowers and puja to mother Ganga, just as we are having a Ganga arati in a very elaborate way, he would do it in a very simple way, and with whatever was left he somehow or other survived with his family.

Radhanath Swami on ‘Childhood pastimes of Nimai with Sridhar’

So Nimai would come every day down that little road and ask him, “How much is your bananas?” Sridhar would say a really fair price, and Nimai would respond, “It’s too much! I’ll give you half.” They would argue about the price of the bananas, and eventually Nimai would just say, “Why are you cheating me, I will just take it for nothing,” and walk away. Sridhar was very happy because he was a devotee of Krishna; he did not know that Nimai was Krishna, but he loved him just like you love Krishna. It was very mysterious.

It is described that every day, this in the scripture, Nimai and Kolavecha Sridhar would argue the price of bananas for minimum three hours. If Nimai was coming down the road a little late, Sridhar would just be looking at the dirt path, looking and looking, thinking, ‘Where is Nimai? Where is Nimai? Is he not coming today?’ His heart would be beating with expectation, with longing, and yearning to see Nimai, and then when he would see Nimai coming, somehow he would contain himself, and Nimai would say, “How much is the bananas today?” and they would argue for a few hours. It was a loving exchange and then Nimai would take the bananas, and walk away.

One day Nimai said to Sridhar, “Why do you worship this Krishna? What is the use of this bhakti yoga? What is it doing for you? Look all around you, there are wealthy people and they don’t do this. They have nice clothes; you just have the same set of clothes. I see you wearing same set every single day and there are at least 15 holes in your clothes, and you don’t even have the money for needle and thread, you just tie a knot to close the hole. Your body is skinny and weak. Look at your house, it is just one room of a straw, with absolutely no furniture. What is God doing for you? You are doing everything for your God, what is he doing for you?”

And Sridhar smiled and said, “In my life, I have observed that there is a king, who is living in a big palace, eating the finest foods and wearing the nicest clothes and then there’s the bird, living in a tree, and it is wearing the same old set of feathers every day, and he just eats whatever little berries are growing. But as far as I could see, they are passing their lives in the same way: sometimes they’re enjoying, sometimes they are suffering, sometimes they are confident, sometimes they’re fearful. I’m finding such inner satisfaction by just chanting God’s holy names, I don’t require anything else. I just want to serve.”

Nimai said, “Someday I’m going to expose you as being a hypocrite.”

Sridhar said, “What do you mean by that?”

He said, “You are such a wealthy person, you have such a great treasure, but you’re hiding it from the world. Everyone thinks you’re in poverty, but I’m going to expose you.”

Sridhar said, “Whatever you see outside is what’s inside, I’m not hiding anything.”

“I will expose you!”

Would you like to know how he exposed?

Radhanath Swami speaks on ‘How Lord reveals principle of unconditional, unmotivated love’

Years later, Nimai manifested his lila, his pastime as being Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He established this Harinam Sankirtan movement in Navadvip. He offered a prayer,

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrisi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisam ihajani nanuragah
[Sri Sikshastakam, Verse(2)]

“The one supreme father and mother of all living beings has many names and in each and each one of these names, the Lord has infested grace and power, compassion and love, and there’s no hard and fast rules for chanting these names, anyone young or old, from any place, can attain, can awaken their love of God simply by sincerely chanting these beautiful mantras”

cheto darpana marjanam

The mind is like a mirror. The mirror is covered with dust of our lust, envy, anger, greed, arrogance, and illusion. But when the mirror is cleaned, we see our true self, our true divine nature as loving instruments.

So he taught this profound system of yoga of harinam sankirtan

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājan
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

The scripture tells us, “In this age of Kali where there are so many faults in the world today, there is a special benediction – simply by chanting the names of Krishna one can attain the supreme perfection of liberation.”

So he was having kirtan with his devotees and he was revealing his true nature of Krishna to his most confidential associates. He asked them, “Bring Sridhar!” but even the devotees did not know who Sridhar was. He said, “Just go,” it is the middle of the night, “just go this direction and you will hear somebody crying out God’s names, Krishna’s names, that’s Sridhar,” and they brought him. Then Lord revealed his divine form of Krishna to Sridhar and said to him, “I want to offer you any benediction, I can give you everything anything you ask. Ask!”

Sridhar looked up, such a simple person, he said, “I don’t want anything.”

And the Lord said, “But I want to give you something. Ask for anything. I will give you the wealth of the heavens. You are so poor, and I’ll give you palaces and land and opulence.”

Sridhar said, “I have no interest in property or houses or opulence.”

Lord Chaitanya said, “I will give you the perfection of the yogic siddhis, you can read people’s minds, you can travel on light beams of the sun, you can create through mantras anything you want. I will give you the mystic powers!”

Sridhar said, “If I have these mystic powers, they will only distract my mind. I don’t want.”

Lord Chaitanya said, “I will give you liberation, mukti. Liberation, no more birth, no more death, complete peace. Ask!”

Sridhar said, “I have no interest whatsoever in mokshya.”

Lord Chaitanya said, “Ask for something!”

Sridhar said, “Please do not be disturbed, I don’t want anything.”

Lord Chaitanya said, “I am not disturbed.”

Sridhar said, “I only want to please you.”

And Lord Chaitanya said, “It will please me, if you for something.”

I will end with this request.

Sridhar said, “If it pleases you that I ask for something, then grant me this one benediction, every birth that I may take anywhere, that you will always come to me in your beautiful form of Nimai to steal my bananas. I want nothing else, but to be the servant of the servant of the servant, and always remember you and chant your holy names- Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.”

This is one little historical episode that took place on the bank of Mother Ganga that reveals the principle of unconditional, unmotivated love.

I thank you very much.

 

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Radhanath Swami explains Meaning of Anand Prakash http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-meaning-of-anand-prakash http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-meaning-of-anand-prakash#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 16:17:21 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2750 I am very grateful to be here with you. It is always a highlight of my year to come to Anand Prakash Ashram, simply because Sriman Param Pujya Vishwaketuji Yogi is always so hospitable, kind and so spontaneously affectionate to us. It is the goodness of Vishwaketuji Maharaj’s heart that has manifested in this ashram, and I am always so happy to meet all of the fortunate students that come here on the banks of the holy River Ganga. Thank you very much.

Radhanath Swami explains ananda and dualities of the world

Anand Prakash means ‘the divine revelation of ecstatic happiness’. The Acharyas are great spiritual teachers who have explained different types of happiness: two words are sukha and ananda. Generally, the concept of sukha, which means happiness, is the other half of another word dukha, which means misery. Sukha-dukha means happiness and distress. They are two parts of the same principle of duality, because the entire material creation is built on the principle of duality. There is light and there is dark, happiness and distress, honor and dishonor, pleasure and pain, success and failure, victory and defeat, health and disease, birth and death.

Radhanath Swami on ‘The nature of this world and power of time’

In the Bhagavad-Gita Krishna describes this world as dukhalayam ashashwatam. Dukhalayam means the place where inevitably there is suffering. Why is that? Because the atma, the living force within us is sat-cit-ananda. Sat means we are eternal, cit means we are full of divine knowledge and ananda means we are naturally blissful. In the school of bhakti we understand that the source of that blissful nature is experiencing the infinite love of Krishna or God. When that love awakens within our heart, we naturally realize that every living being is a part of God, everything that is in existence is a gift of God, and therefore there can only be love radiating from our souls.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to sing a beautiful song when he would wake up in the morning and go through the village:

jiva jago jiva jago,

gaurachandra bole,

kotha nidra jaya,

maya pichariya kole

“Please wake-up souls, wake up! You are sleeping in this illusion and in this illusion you are constantly in the presence of these dualities.” Every pleasure in this world is very limited in quality and quantity, and it has an end. Eventually it is dukhalayam, it is distress. We love someone in this world, but we know they are going to die or else we are going to die. We both are going to die and all our friends are going to die – just for some consolation – all our enemies are going to die too, by the power of time.

The Himalayas are going to become powder, the oceans – the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian Ocean – they are all going to dry up into nothing, and the Sun is going to burn out. That is the power of time. Everything is under the influence of kala or time.-Radhanath Swami

Therefore, we can’t hold onto anything.

It is human nature that when we find something that gives us some happiness and pleasure, we become attached to it. We want to hold onto it, but we cannot hold onto anything. Did you ever try to hold onto time? I can hold onto this clock, and even if I take the battery out, I am still going to get old and the sun is still going to rise and set in horizon. We can’t stop time. It is so subtle: you can’t see it, you can’t taste it, you can’t touch it, you can’t hear it and you can’t feel it. But it so powerful! Everything within mortal creation is under its control: armies cannot subdue time, even the greatest scientists, even the greatest scholars cannot stop time for even a moment. Therefore everything is in this temporary state.

Radhanath Swami narrates a personal story

I remember. When I was little boy, there was one famous movie actress- I’m not going to say her name out of respect- she was really beautiful. I was just a little boy and I didn’t really know what all this romance was. But later on I became swami, and I just happened to see in the newspaper that that same person tried to commit suicide several times and was living in seclusion. Because she was getting so much pleasure out of being beautiful, so many people would see her with her beauty and be attracted, but now she was old and nobody cared about her beauty anymore and she didn’t want people to see her like that. She did surgeries and she had all kinds of cosmetics, but there was nothing she could do. Beauty is only skin deep. About wealth, there is a saying in India that in the cremation ground, before they burn you, they put a white sheet on you and it’s explained that whether you were living as a little villager or whether you were a crorepati or a billionaire, there are no pockets in the clothes they put on you in the cremation ground. That’s actually a very philosophical truth. You can’t take anything with you: you can’t take your PhDs, you can’t take your platinum records, and you cannot take your popularity, or your skills, because everything is under the influence of the ever-changing time.

Time is like the Ganga. It is always flowing, but you can put a dam on it. On the surface of mother Ganga there are so many ripples, and so many swirling, and so many different things that are floating around. On a rainy day it’s flowing gushingly and on a sunny day it is just flowing calmly. And in the winter it’s crystal clear and blue water and later on in the path it starts getting muddy because things start melting and then people start throwing.

The surface of the Ganga is always changing, but the underlying current is always constant. So the current of truth never changes, but in this physical world everything is subjected to dualities. So to the degree we are seeking pleasure in these temporary things, it’s just a matter of time till there’s pain. That is Sukha-dukha. -Radhanath Swami

There’s a beautiful song –

grihe thako vane thako

sada hari bole thako

sukhe duhkhe bhulo na’ko,

vadane hari-nam koro re,

gay gora madhur sware

This is the message of the Lord: whether you are a family person with a husband or with a wife, with children and taking care of parents, grandparents, having a job, paying the mortgage, paying taxes, a working person or whether you are yogi living in the Himalayan caves, or whether you are a Swami, traveling around… I was speaking this morning that usually every year I’m invited to HSBC bank to give a lecture at their headquarters in London, and I’m always fascinated by that because there’s usually about 900 bankers sitting there and I haven’t had a checking account or a bank account or signed a cheque since 1969. And when I told them that, they looked at me like I was an alien from outer space….. So whether we are swami just traveling around or whether we are millionaires and billionaires or family people, it doesn’t matter.

If we connect to that spiritual essence of who we actually are, a part of God, the atma, if we make that spiritual connection and we taste the sweetness of the Ananda Prakash of the bliss, of the love of God and of loving God, then we become completely transcendental to sukha –dukha, to all the happiness and distress of this world. -Radhanath Swami

To a person who experiences this higher realization, the pleasures and the pains of this world are not that much different.

Radhanath Swami shares the essence of Prayers of Mother Kunti

In fact, just near the banks of Mother Ganga – a little downstream – Kunti Devi, the mother of the Pandavas who went through so many difficulties in her life, she offered a prayer

vipadah santu tah sasvat

tatra tatra jagad-guro

She said, “Krishna let challenges, calamities, and difficulties come again and again because in those challenges I have no one else to turn to except you!” The pleasures of this world can sometimes make us very complacent and distracted, and the pains could do that too. So rather than being attached to pleasure or pain, in this wonderful opportunity that we have we can become attached to anand prakash, to the revelation of ecstasy of love. Bhaktivinod Thakur explains that this chanting of God’s names, this kirtan, harinam karo re, actually tunes us into that ananda, to the ecstasy, to the love of the soul.

Krishna means all attractive. When we become attracted to the all attractive, then our love awakens. And the natural expression of that yoga, when we actually reconnect to our self, is our greatest most meaningful purpose in life – which is to be instruments of compassion, to be instruments of grace, to help uplift other people. That should be the real joy of life. -Radhanath Swami

Unfortunately in this world, because people are so much asleep to their true nature, they are thinking that by acquiring more and more things or by getting more power, more fame, by somehow or other feeding our ego to think ‘I’m superior to others,’ and proving it, and in the process usually causing so much pain, we think that’s going to make us happy.

Radhanath Swami shares simple understanding of Yoga

There’s a traditional analogy. That type of happiness is like, if you come to the Ganga… It used to be that way that the government would punish people, they would take them by the hair and bring them to the river and pushed her head down and keep it down underwater. Every breath is so precious. Since I began this talk how many times do you think you inhaled and exhaled? But we take it for granted so much that we don’t even think about it. But if you are underwater for about a minute and they are holding you down there, you would give everything you have for a breath.

Sometimes we don’t appreciate something until we don’t have it. -Radhanath Swami

It is like that with our relationships too. Often times we don’t appreciate people until they are dead. ‘Oh! I should’ve done this and I should’ve done that’. What to speak of breathing! There’s a famous saying that- the youth is wasted on the young. When we are young and we can get so much done and we have so much energy, usually we waste it because we don’t understand the value of it. And when we are old and it’s too late, we think, “If only I was strong again, I would do this and that.” So this person is under the water and he is really, really just struggling, struggling, struggling, and then they put his head up and ahhhh! And you know how good it feels when you breathe. And you get a few breaths and put underwater again. Sukha-dukha happiness and distress: there is the pleasure of breathing and the stress of being put underwater. There is something more in life than that. There is ataho brahma jignyasa. There’s the opportunity for ananda, for real happiness. And when we connect to that real happiness within ourselves, we have something really wonderful and valuable to share with the world, and that’s what yoga really is meant for.

Yoga means to reconnect, to harmonize our body, mind with the true self, the soul, and then to harmonize the soul with the supreme soul or the will of God. And when that harmony is made for ourselves, we naturally live in harmony with our environment, with nature, because we see its connection to our self, we see everything is God’s grace, and we reciprocate and live in the spirit of seva, spirit of compassion. -Radhanath Swami

The science of yoga is meant to bring us to that of awakening, and then we have something so beautiful so wonderful to give.

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of Vidura

How many of you have read or heard the story of Mahabharata? Please raise your hands. Well, I am going to tell a little story.

The Pandavas were the rightful kings, the sons of Kunti. They had a cousin brother Duryodhana, who was envious of them and wanted the kingdom for himself. Everyone loved the Pandavas and no one liked Duryodhana, because he was such an envious person. He was always plotting and scheming against them, and his idea was, by putting them down he will put himself up. But the more he would try to put them down, the more people didn’t like him, and he couldn’t tolerate that. People liked them instead of him. So ultimately he was doing all these terrible things of making plans and conspiracies to kill the Pandavas. And his uncle Vidura was always trying to convince him and his father Dhritarashtra to be fair to the Pandavas. But Dhritarashtra was much influenced by his son. He knew his brother Vidura was saintly and was giving him good information. But every time he tried to follow what Vidura would say, Duryodhana would become really upset, and he would say, “Unless you do what I want, I am going to commit suicide, and it’s your fault.” Father was attached to his son, and so he always sided with Duryodhana, who was doing those atrocities.

One time Vidura was so compassionate, he was telling his brother Dhritarashtra, “Your son is envy personified, and if you follow him, everything is going to be ruined. Yudhishtir and the Pandavas are pious people. Why are you torturing them? Why are you cheating them?” And he said it in the presence of Duryodhana. Duryodhana was so angry. He said to Vidura the nastiest words to insult him. I’m not going to go into detail, because it will take a really long time. But Duryodhana just started insulting Vidura’s mother for the caste that she was born in. He called her, kept maidservant, and “You are the son of such a woman.” This is his nephew speaking. It is described in the Bhagavat Purana, that Duryodhana was insulting Vidura so terribly, that his words were like the sharpest fiery arrows that were going right into the Vidura’s heart; and when your own relatives speak in that way in public, it hurts. And then Duryodhana said, “I exile you from this kingdom. You leave this town and I will not allow you to take anything with you, except the breath you breathe.” And Duryodhana, because his father was the King, he was meant to give the kingdom to Yudhishtir, but he wanted. King was keeping it for his own son. He had all the military. So, Vidura, who had a wife and a home and the family, he just had to immediately leave and take nothing with him. He was insulted, he was humiliated and he was literally impoverished. But as he was leaving, there was sadness in his heart for his brother, because he was being misled. Even though Vidura was the most loving, supportive brother anybody could ever be, Dhritarashtra, his brother, didn’t say a word to defend him. He let his son go on insulting him and exile his own brother. So, Vidura left.

He was totally betrayed. We know, in this world, the greatest, most traumatic pain of the heart is, when we are betrayed by someone we love and trust. I’ve seen betrayal can bring such deep depression and even disease. He was betrayed. But Vidura was a yogi. As he was walking away, he was thinking that, “This is the greatest blessing I have ever got in my life. I can just go on pilgrimage. I’m free. I’m liberated. I tried my best to end all these conspiracies of envy and hate but now I’m free to just travel and wander to holy places and give my whole heart to God and chant His holy names and meditate on him and pray to him.” In the Bible it is said, ‘Seek and you shall find,’ ‘Knock and the door shall open.’ So because he was seeking opportunities to serve, to love, even in the most traumatic situation, he understood that it was a blessing.

True wisdom is to transform apparent curses into wonderful blessings, just by seeing the opportunity we have in that situation, and unfortunate consciousness is when blessings come, and we can’t recognize them. -Radhanath Swami

Do you know where Vidura went? Here, he came to Haridwar which is just downstream from Rishikesh and there he met Maitreya Rishi, a great sage. Even though Vidura was a Mahatma, he was a paramhamsa; he was really a great personality.

The nature of the great personality is, they want to humble themselves before other great personality. The nature of the ego is, when we get some status we don’t want anyone to be equal or better than us. -Radhanath Swami

But actually enlightened people, they’re always looking for more enlightened people, because they want to humble themselves before somebody better.

jivera swarupa hoya krishnaer nitya das,

gopi bhartur padakamla das, das-anu-das,

So actually Maitreya Rishi was not as advanced as Vidura spiritually, but he was very advanced, and Vidura just wanted to hear from someone. So he came and sat on the bank of the holy river Ganga, just near Rishikesh and Haridwar. And there are chapters and chapters in the great scriptures, of their discussion together. And while he was on this pilgrimage for many years, in completely transcendentally ananda or blissful state, Kurukshetra war happened, Bhagavad-Gita was spoken, Dhritarashtra’s children were vanquished, he lost everything and Yudhishtir was coroneted as king, which was his rightful position.

Do you know what Vidura did? He left his pilgrimage; he went all the way back to Hastinapur because he knew that his brother was in real pain. Everything Vidura warned him what would happen, happened, and Vidura didn’t come back and say, “I told you so.” He forgave him and said, “It’s not too late. You were abusive, you were materialistic, you were envious, you were violent, you were hateful, even before Krishna, but it’s not too late. Come with me and I’ll show you how to perfect your life and have liberation.” He took Dhritarashtra to a holy place and Dhritarashtra was liberated.

This is yoga. The power of harmonizing our hearts with truth, with ananda, actually gives us the power to forgive, to enlighten. -Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami speaks on qualities of a true yogi or sadhu

There’s a beautiful verse,

titiksava karunika

suhrida sarva-dehinam

ajata-satrava santa

sadhva sadhu-bhusanah

[SB 3.25.21]

What are the qualities of a true yogi or sadhu? It is not whether you have long hair or no hair, it is not whether you wear saffron robes, or even if you have nice suit and tie or evening gown. The true quality is not based on external appearances; it’s our character. The true yogi is titishava, that means a person who is tolerant and forgiving, and karunaka, means merciful, kind and friendly to everyone, having no enmity toward anyone. Because even if somebody like Dhritarashtra is bad, we see the disease and we don’t hate the person. We feel compassion for that diseased person, because arrogance and envy and all these crazy things that happens from it, are only the symptoms of the disease. And we need to deal with them accordingly, because when a person is forgiving and a friend to everyone then he is compassionate, merciful. Shanta, person is really peaceful in any situation. If we have a strong spiritual foundation, even when the storms of life come, we remain stable; our integrity, our dignity, our character, and our peace and our compassion cannot be moved by circumstances, because it’s coming from something so deep and so real and from a place that is timeless, eternal. That’s the nature of the atma. Everyone is looking for ananda, it is within us. Yoga awakens it, uncovers it.

Bhakti yoga, this beautiful chanting is the most powerful, simple, and pleasing way of awakening the love, the love for God that is within us. And as it awakens, we become empowered with compassion, because we really have nothing to fear anymore. The self is indestructible. Our greatest pain is to see others, our own brothers and sisters, everyone, and we are always forgetful of that. Rishikesh is a place since most ancient times and people have come specifically to reconnect with their own hearts, with their own souls. There’s an old saying in India that when a person is about to die, as a tradition they would say, “Are you going to Badrikashrma or Badrinath?”. And before people die they would come to the bank of the Ganga and go to the Himalayas to end their lives in a sacred place. People go to Kashi, people go to Vrindavan, to these holy places to leave their body in this enlightened state of consciousness, but even better than that is to come here when we are young and get enlightened now, and become trained as teachers, and be equipped with knowledge and realization, and use our wonderful energy that we have to share this joy with the world.

Thank you very much.

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Radhanath Swami on ‘Glory of Path of Devotion and Holy Names’ http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-glory-of-path-of-devotion-and-holy-names http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-glory-of-path-of-devotion-and-holy-names#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 11:48:30 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2744 I am very grateful to be here today. Special gratitude to Param Pujya Sri Srimad Vimalananda Maharaja who is a dear disciple of Sri Param Pujya Swami Shivanandji Maharaj, who my own guru Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami had very affectionate relationship with, Sri Vimalananda Swami Maharaj. In 1969, in San Francisco – Srila Prabhupada called San Francisco New Jagannath Puri because it is the first place in the Western world where the Rathayatra was celebrated – and in front of Lord Jagannath’s chariot Srila Prabhupada and Swami Vimalananda danced together.

Vimalananda Maharaja: In 1969, in San Francisco, he had chariot festival, 3 chariots. They had to remove the overhead wires so that chariots could pass easily. Towards the end we all went and danced with Prabhupadji. There were more than 5000 people there, and they were all given prasad in very beautiful way. It was a wonderful sight to see.

Radhanath Swami describes Srila Prabhupada’s Rath Yatra as a little boy

When Srila Prabhupada was a little boy, about eight years old, he used to look at the timetables of the Indian railway schedule to see what time the trains to Jagannath Puri would be from Calcutta where he lived. And when he was a little boy he got a little wagon and made a chariot for Jagannath and would have Ratha Yatras through the streets of Calcutta and dance and chant and give prasad. Then later he took that festival to the whole world. I am very grateful for your hospitality for welcoming us in this holy place.

Radhanath Swami on ‘Kali-yuga’s great benediction: The Holy Name of the Lord.’

Swamiji has asked me to speak something about bhakti and harinam. In the Srimad Bhagavat, there is important verse-

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājan

asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ

kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya

mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

This Kali Yuga is an ocean of faults and people have such bad habits. What is religion is taken to be irreligion and what is irreligion is taken to be religion. But there is one benediction, that in this age of Kali by simply chanting and kirtan, the name of Krishna, one can attain the perfection of liberation.

kali-kāle nāma-rūpe kṛṣṇa-avatāra

nāma haite haya sarvajagatnistāra

 That Krishna has descended in this age of Kali in the divine name and Krishna descended himself as Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, to teach by his example in the role of a devotee, of what are the values we should cultivate in our chanting of Krishna’s names. There is a beautiful verse that Sri Chaitanya cited-

nitya-siddha krsna-prema sadhya kabhu naya

sravavadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya

That the love for Krishna is within the heart of every being, and by associating with saintly people and by chanting Krishna’s name that love is awakened. Swami Vimalanandji Maharaj was talking about how real wealth is in that love. I will briefly share one beautiful leela that has always very much moved my heart.

Radhanath Swami narrates story of Suklambar Brahmachari

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu established the Sankirtan Movement in Navadvip, West Bengal, and he would have the devotees chanting harinam. One day he said, “We were chanting in the day, but we are wasting precious moments of human life by sleeping at night. We should continue the kirtan throughout the night also.” And all of the devotees had so much faith in him, they were so inspired, they all said Haribol!!! Then Sri Gauranga taught them, “This is the method by which you can chant constantly. It cannot be done by our own determination or our own tapasya. It is only possible by Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s grace,” he said, “And this is how to reach that grace:

trinad api sunicena taror api sahishnuna

amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harihi

One should chant in a state of mind and one should live one’s life thinking oneself more humble than a blade of grass. One should feel oneself more tolerant and forgiving than a tree, one should offer all respect to others and not demand respect, or expect respect for oneself. If we live by these principles, we could chant God’s names constantly.” And he said, “Take this verse, put it on the string of the holy name and wear it always –

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis,

tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah,

etadrisi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi,

durdaivam idrisam ihajani nanuragah

That the supreme Lord has many names and in each of these divine names the Lord has invested all of his potencies, his grace.”

namachintamani Krishna Chaitanya rasavigraha

The name of the Lord, and the Lord is present and there are no hard and fast rules for chanting.

So one day the Lord was having kirtan in the house of Srivas and Sri Gauranga at that time he was fulfilling the desires of all of his devotees. He saw one simple brahmachari named Sukhlambar. This Sukhlambar was very unknown, he was a beggar in the eyes of most of the people. He had a little thatched hut where he lived on the bank of mother Ganga, and every day with begging bowl he would go out to at least eight houses to beg. People would just give him a little, or the only thing they would give them is broken pieces of old rice because generally people don’t give beggars the best they have. Usually people don’t give beggars anything. But if they do give something, they give the cheapest thing they have. So he would have a little cloth bag and go house to house and collect these broken pieces of rice and the whole time he would be chanting the names of Lord Hari. He would be in the ecstasy of love for Lord Hari, but nobody knew. The common people thought he was just an ordinary beggar. He never advertised that he was a saintly person. He considered himself most ordinary. He was really trinad api sunicena. He had that humility. Quietly, silently, he would beg and would take him many hours till he got enough rice before he came with his bag to his little thatched hut chanting Krishna’s name. He would cook the rice and he would offer it to Krishna and then he would eat it.

One day, after he begged and before he came home, he came to the kirtan at Srivas Angan. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was sitting and everyone was chanting. Sukhlambar was so simple and very poor materially, yet had such a rich heart; he danced and he was dancing like a child with such spontaneous joy. Lord Chaitanya then was sitting on the altar because he was in his mood of Krishna. He saw Sukhlambar. Just to see the innocence, the humility, and the joy in which Sukhlambar was dancing, he said, “Sukhlambar come here.” Then Lord Chaitanya took his hand, he had very long arms, and with his hand he thrusted into the bag of Sukhlambar Brahmachari and took a handful of broken pieces of raw chipped rice and ate it. Sukhlambar started to cry and said, “No, no, this is not fit to be eaten by you My Lord”. And Sri Chaitanya Mahaprahu again put his hand in the bag and took more and more and more, and he ate the whole bag of rice. Lord Chaitanya said, “Today, because I am taking the rice from Sukhlambar’s cloth bag, I am for the first time truly tasting the love for Krishna.”

Radhanath Swami narrates “Suklambar Brahmachari as Sudama in past life

And then Lord Chaitanya said to Sukhlambar brahmachari, “You do not remember, but I know you birth after birth. You are my poverty-stricken beggar devotee.In your last birth you were living very simple in poverty with your wife. Your name was Sudama and your wife told you, ‘Please go to Krishna. He was your classmate at the ashram of Sandipani Muni and now he’s living in Dwarka in beautiful palaces. He has so much wealth and you are so skinny and you have all dirty, not dirty, but very old torn clothes and we are just living in a thatched hut. I can’t tolerate seeing you in such poverty. Please go to Krishna and ask him for some help.’” Sudama would always say ‘no’. But just because he couldn’t tolerate seeing his wife in poverty, he decided, “Alright, I would go. But Krishna is Bhagavan. I have to offer him something.” His wife looked around in the house. There was nothing to offer him, so she went out begging and she got some chipped rice. She took an old piece of cloth, wrapped the chipped rice and gave it to Sudama and said, “Bring this to Krishna.” So Sudama walked from Porbandar, which is also the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, and he walked all the way to Dwarka. There when he saw the magnificent gates of the Yadu kingdom, he was amazed. There were guards, but as soon as they saw this simple little beggar person Sudama, a Brahman, they let him pass through all gates. He was escorted into Krishna’s principal palace where he was sitting on the bed with Rukhmini Devi. The various assistants of the palace were watching and they were thinking, “Who is this?” They were living in such opulence and here is this simple man in rags – so skinny. Why, why is he being allowed in? Suddenly Krishna got off of his bed, and he went running, and he touched Sudama’s feet, embraced him with such affection, and he put Sudama on his seat. Krishna himself washed Sudama’s feet, honored him, worshiped him. Krishna is worshiping him and then he brought him wonderful Prasad. Meanwhile Rukhmini Devi, the supreme goddess of fortune had a chamara, a fan, humbly serving Sudama by fanning him. And after he was received with so much love by the Lord, they spoke remembering the days when they were living with Sandipani Muni in Ujjain, the ashram when they were small, they spoke all night long. Wonderful stories are shared in the Srimad Bhagvatam. In the morning Krishna asked Sudama, “Did you bring something for me?” Seeing the jewels, gold and silver and the silks and after eating such a prasad Krishna had prepared for him, he was really thinking, “How can I give Krishna that stale, broken chipped rice that I am holding in this little cloth?” He said, “No my Lord. I didn’t bring anything.” Krishna knows everything, he specially knows the heart of his devotee. So Krishna suddenly – he knew exactly where that little bag was – he grabbed it and he took the chipped rice and ate a morsel. And he was about to take it again, and Sudama was saying, “No, no, no, my Lord this is not fit for you.” He was about to eat more and Rukhmini said, “That’s enough.” Now different acharyas give you different explanations why she said, “This is enough.” Because she knew just by that morsel, Sudama would have more wealth than Indra, the king of heaven, what to speak if he ate more? How much more wealth he would get! And another reason is, because she saw how much Krishna was enjoying the love of devotee in the form of that chipped rice, she wanted some. She wanted to share with all of her people, all of her maidservants and all of the other queens and all the other assistants. “If Krishna enjoys the love of his devotee in the form of this rice so much, I want to share with everyone; this will please Krishna the most.” She said, “You’ve already satisfied the 14 worlds by taking this one morsel.”

So after such a beautiful meeting, Sudama took leave and returned. And as he was walking back to his home, in his mind he was just remembering all the beautiful pastimes and conversations he just had with Lord Krishna. He was thinking, “Krishna, he’s the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the husband of the goddess of fortune, and who am I? I am just a very fallen insignificant friend of a Brahman, and yet with his own arms, he embraced me. He put me on his bed, he worshipped me, he was overwhelmed with gratitude and love.” But he was thinking of his wife, because she gave him that chipped rice and Krishna ate it. But he was supposed to ask Krishna for some wealth, but he didn’t as in his mind he was thinking, “How could I ask God for anything?” In the seventh canto, when Prahlad Maharaj was offered benediction by Narahari Narasimha Dev, he said, “My beloved Lord, if I ask anything in return for my devotion to you, then I’m not a devotee, I am not a bhakta, I am just doing business with you. My love, my service, my life, is only for your pleasure. I want nothing in return, except to love and serve you and always remember you.” That was the mood of Sudama, but when he got to the place where his house was supposed to be, he happened to see, there was a beautiful palace, with gardens and lakes and swans and wonderful trees and beautiful celestial people walking all around. He was thinking, “Where am I?” He was really astonished and then he saw this beautiful lady come out, in elegant gowns. And she came before him and he looked at her and then one of the ladies who was close by said, “This is your wife.” He recognized her, and she just looked down and together they walked into their palace.

It is described that for the rest of his life, with his wife, they lived with the same simplicity, the same humility, the same spirit of service, as they did when they were in the little hut, because they understood that everything is God’s property. Whether they were living in a thatched hut, or whether they were living in a palace, they used everything in the service of Krishna as das dasa-nu-das, and were constantly serving everyone by inspiring and enlightening. Their consciousness was the same, whether one is living in a palace or under a tree.- Radhanath Swami

Neither one is a disqualification or a qualification; akinchan gocharam means ‘nothing is mine’.

So Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, when he was reminding Sukhlumbar brahmachari, “You are Sudama and now you have come again and it’s my greatest satisfaction to steal your rice.” Vrindavan Das Thakur explains that according to shastras, Pancharatriki Vidhi, there are certain rules and regulations and rituals in order to make an offering to Bhagavan. There are mantras and yantras and tantras and pujas and mudras, but Sukhlumbar, Sudama they didn’t do any mantras, they didn’t even offer it, but because of the simplicity and the humility of their devotion, even without an offering or an intention to offer, the Lord was so hungry that he stole it.

Radhanath Swami says, “Krishna tastes the love and devotion of a devotee.”

In Vrindavan, Gopis, little Gopas would come and steal their butter, and they would, just for the opportunity to talk about these pasttimes, they would go to Yashoda Mai’s house to complain about Krishna. And they would say all the different things Krishna was doing to steal the butter – Makhanchor. And Yashoda Mai said, “Then I will keep Krishna at home.” They said, “No, no, no, no, don’t do that. The only reason we make butter is with the hope that Krishna will come and steal it. The only reason we live is with the hope and prayer that Krishna will come and steal our butter.” They were not offering to Krishna, but because it was made with love and devotion for Krishna’s pleasure, Krishna would come to taste it. These beautiful pastimes are there to teach the world, Krishna is bhakta vatsala. 

The Lord, by his own supreme power, willingly becomes subordinate to the love of his devotee. And that love is within all of us; it is dormant within our hearts and when through the practice of devotion, our hearts become soft and sweet like butter, then Krishna will steal our hearts and that is the ultimate aspiration of bhakti yoga to offer our hearts to Krishna. – Radhanath Swami

And if he accepts it, that’s the perfection of our lives. Chanting these beautiful names of the Lord Hari’s in kirtan is a sublime way of awakening that love and softening our hearts. Thank you very much.

 

 

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Radhanath Swami speaks on ‘Equanimity Amidst Turbulence’ http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaks-on-equanimity-amidst-turbulence http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaks-on-equanimity-amidst-turbulence#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 15:19:14 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2740 I am very grateful for this opportunity to be with all of you: Sripad Param Pujya Shankaracharyaji, Sripad Param Pujya Chidananda Saraswatiji Maharaj, Sadhvi Devi, Ganga Mai and to all of you. I was asked to speak on the subject of ‘Equanimity Amidst Turbulence.”

In this world we do not have to seek turbulence. Bhagavad-Gita tells dukhalayam ashasvatam, it (turbulence) comes naturally. Padam padam vipadam, it is a world where whatever position we may be in, whatever we know, whatever we have, there is always danger at every step. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami narrates the story of a hawk

Years ago I was sitting on the bank of mother Ganga. It was around noon time in the summer. I prayed for some experience, or some lesson that could help transform my life. 

And interestingly, even apparently ordinary things that happen can have a major impact if our hearts are open to receive those blessings. – Radhanath Swami

 

In the Bible it is said, “Seek and you shall find.” So while I was sitting on the banks of Mother Ganga that day, and I was really seeking, then something happened. I was all alone, because it was summer, and it was at Prayag. A hawk, a very big hawk is flying just over my head, its wings were spread – brown, gold, white – it was coming lower and lower until it was just a few meters above me. I looked up, and his sharp claws were moving like it was about to attack someone; its yellow eyes glistening in the sunshine were staring upon… what appeared to be on me; and there was no one else around. Its beak was curved and sharp at the tip as it came just a few feet above my head. Then suddenly it went head first into the water, underwater. While underwater there was a skirmish with splashes and splashes and splashes. I was wondering, ‘What’s happening?’ Suddenly the hawk emerged from the current of Ganga and in its claws was the fish. Now this was just a few feet in front of me. That fish was about a foot long and I could see its eyes. I don’t know if it was a boy or girl actually, but I could see his eyes. They were completely disoriented, shocked. As the hawk was bringing the fish higher and higher, the fish was flapping furiously trying to escape, but could not.

I began to reflect how that fish was probably just going about his day like any other day, swimming upstream, downstream, across stream, looking for food, playing with family and friends. But at the least expected moment the hawk of fate ripped it out of its complacency, to suffer and die. And I was thinking, “Isn’t that fish a lot like me and the people in this world?” We go about our routine duties not knowing that at any moment there can be crisis in our life. We read about it in the newspapers, we see it on television, we know people who it has happened to, and it may happen to us. How precious is each moment, to be focused on what is the real value and purpose in our life.  – Radhanath Swami

 

And yoga means to integrate, to unite, the true-most meaningful purpose in life in everything we do, whatever we think and whatever we speak. As I saw that hawk carrying the fish into the forest, I was thinking, “If this fish was swimming deeper, the hawk could not touch it.

 

And similarly if we orchestrate our life in such a way that we can find our happiness, our purpose and our connection deeper within ourselves, then the ever-changing circumstances of this world cannot really touch us. But if our happiness and distress and our searching and our longings are on this very superficial shallow level, then at any moment the hawk of fate can create such turbulence in our life. – Radhanath Swami

 

Krishna tells in Bhagavad-Gita that true intelligence is when we rejoice within, when we find our happiness, our shelter, within.  If we find there, we find such treasure of love, naturally we become instruments of the compassion of that grace and we want to share it with the world. Without that experience, birth after birth we are struggling and striving to find things outside of ourselves to give that experience. If the building has a strong foundation, no storm, no wind can knock it down. But even if you build an incredibly ornate palace on shifting sands, then when the storm comes, everything will crumble.

Yoga teaches us how to build every aspect of our life on a powerful foundation that can maintain our integrity, our dignity, our peace, our equanimity and our compassion even in the face of the inevitable storms that will come within this world. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami draws wisdom from the redwood trees

 

In California there are redwood trees: the largest, highest and some of the oldest trees

in the world. These trees have gone through thousands of years, some of them, and have endured earthquakes, blizzards, storms, and tornadoes. How do they just keep growing and growing? Because the roots of the redwood trees, underground they reach outward for the roots of other trees. And there, as soon as two trees connect with each other, they wrap around, intertwine, and make a permanent bond. Every tree in the forest directly or indirectly is supporting every other tree, and therefore even through sunny days and stormy days they just keep growing higher and higher and get stronger and stronger. When I saw this, I was thinking, ‘This is what satsangha is. Satsangha is when people come together, like we are here at this international yoga festival, with the divine purpose.

 

Mac-citta mad-gata-prana

bodhayantah parasparam

kathayantas ca mam nityam

tusyanti ca ramanti ca

When yogis, when devotees, come together, they enlighten and inspire one another, and feel great happiness in doing so. That is our strength. – Radhanath Swami

 

The story of Narada Muni’s enlightenment

 

There’s a beautiful story in the Srimad Bhagavatam about a very young boy who was confronted with the most incredibly difficult challenge.

 

mahajano yena gatah sa panthah we could learn though the examples of others and follow in their footsteps. In Badrikashram on the banks of the Saraswati River Srila Vedavyas was speaking to Narada Muni. And Vedavyas was asking how, how he (Narada Muni) attained such an enlightened position. Narada Muni explained his previous life. He was living in the jungle. His mother was a very simple hearted, uneducated maidservant. She was a widow and he was the only child. She would just serve others in the most menial ways. At one time a group of great sages came to that forest during the chaturmasya, the rainy season, when they could not travel. And she was serving them, little things: cleaning, washing, bringing objects. Her little five-year-old son was helping her and he became so attached to these sages, who he called the Bhaktivedantas. In the third canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, Kapila Deva tells his mother that the path of liberation is when the same attachments that we have to the things and the pleasures of this world – society, friendship, and love – when we redirect that same attachment to saintly enlightened people. They were just so kind to this boy. They were actually equal to everyone, but because he was so receptive, he was receiving their kindness. He became really, really attached to them, and he loved to serve them. The Bhagavat Purana says,

 

Shushrusoh shraddhanasya Vasudeva katha ruchih

 Syan mahat sevaya viprah punyatirtha nesevanat

 

When we serve mahats, great people, our taste, our eagerness for transcendental life increases, and we want to hear these spiritual subject matters, Hari Katha. One day, he had so much faith in these people, he asked them, “Could I take the remnants of your food after you finish and leave it on your plate?” And they gave this permission. And because he served them and they blessed him so much, he had such faith in the food, that just by eating it he was transformed. He started to understand everything they were speaking, such deep wisdom.

 

After some time they all left. He was left alone with his mother. The five-year-old child, the mother; all of her affection was for him only. She was widow; she had nothing else and he had no other protection. Then one night she went out to take care of a cow and a serpent struck her on the leg and she died. Now this is a turbulent situation in a child’s life, five years old: you’re all alone, your mother who protected you in every way from the time of your birth is dead. Naturally he felt in his heart separation from his beloved mother, but because he heard transcendental knowledge from these great sages and he received blessings, he was thinking, “This is the grace of God. It is an opportunity for me to come closer.” He began to travel. He traveled to the great towns and cities and saw how people were living and what they were doing. He was always looking for deeper wisdom, for a deeper connection to God. He went to the villages, into the agricultural fields, and soon he found himself deep into a forest where no humans would ever go. He was thirsty, he drank water from a little pond and then he sat under a Banyan tree and meditated. He did the same exact meditation he learned from those great sages and Rishis. He was meditating on the Parmatma within his heart. And by divine grace, Parmatma, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared within his heart: the essence and source of all purity, of all love. The little boy in his meditation was in ecstasy. He described to Vedavyas in Badrikashram, “I was swimming, I was drowning in an ocean of ananda or ecstasy.” He was so grateful.

 

Suddenly that form disappeared; he came out of his meditation. He felt such a deep connection; he wanted to make it again. He did the same exact meditation again and again and again, but nothing happened. He was yearning, he was longing, and then Bhagavan spoke to him from within. He said, “My dear child, I appeared before you because of your sincerity, but you cannot see me like that constantly unless you are free of any tinge of material desires or attachments. So now you will not see me again in this lifetime, but because you will always be longing for me, seeking me and performing your meditation and chanting my name and glory constantly, you will become completely purified and in your next life you will be my great, great devotee.” From that time on the little boy, for the rest of his life, was meditating upon and chanting the holy names and glories of that personality, Paramatma. And he described to Vedavyas: just like when there is lightning, immediately there’s illumination; in the same way, when the time of his death came – death is like lightning, everything is finished, but at the same time illumination, light – he was totally enlightened and he revived his original, pure consciousness, and he became Narada Muni, the sage who is constantly playing his vina and chanting the glories of the Lord. He became the Guru of Dhruva, Prahalad, Valmiki, the Prachetas, and so many other great Mahajans and personalities. This is how the power of satsang transformed a young boy in such a way, that from a disaster, the death of his mother, he was able to see the door open to the highest perfection.

 

mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes

tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam.  

 

Radhanath Swami shares his experience with Bhakti Tirtha Swami

 

I’d like to conclude by sharing with you a personal relationship I had, because these are not just historical narrations; these lessons can be assimilated and experienced by all of us even today. One of my very dearest friends, his name was Bhakti Tirtha Swami. He was an African-American boy, born in the ghettos of Cleveland around 1950, at a time in America when if you had African-American descent, skin was dark, there were no civil rights. If you are born in ghetto, you will die in the ghetto, 99%. There was so much violence where he grew up, but his mother always taught him spiritual principles. She was a Christian, a very openhearted universal Christian, and therefore he always was looking for God’s grace and he was always positive. He could’ve become a gangster like all of his friends, but he got a scholarship to Princeton University. He became a civil rights leader; he met Martin Luther King. He realized, “If I really want to make a substantial deep change – as Gandhi said – I have to change myself, and that needs to be spiritual.” He came in contact with the same Guru that I have, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who taught a timeless lineage of bhakti yoga, the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudya Sampradaya. He became so enthused and empowered over the years, he became a mentor for Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Ali, Alice Coltrane and he wrote about a dozen books. He was traveling around the world, he had tens and thousands of people who loved him and followed him.

 

He was struck with cancer. When he was in his very last stages, he called me. He was in Pennsylvania in America and I was about six hours away. He called me and he said, “The doctor told me I have three more days to live. I really want to see you.” So I left whatever I was doing and I drove with some others, and I was at his bedside. I had a very, very busy summer; I had meetings and I had lectures and I had conferences and so many things. After staying the day, two days with him, I went to his bed to say goodbye, to give him my last love and respects. But before I could say anything, he spoke, he said, “I want to die in your arms, stay with me.” So I thought he only had a day or two to live; so I canceled everything for a day or two, and said, “I’m with you as long as you live.” He lasted another eight weeks. I was with him and it was incredible, because any day, we knew, he was going to die and there was… We didn’t talk about the news, there was no room for gossip or thinking about other people’s faults. We made a vow between each other: we will only discuss those things which are meant for the ultimate enlightenment and liberation of the soul to bring us closer to Krishna.

For hours every day we spoke, because our conversation was so much trying to help each other come closer to God. It was the deepest loving relationship I ever had in my life. I couldn’t believe what two humans can do when they are on the spiritual platform together. – Radhanath Swami

 

One day, this is really close to the end of his particular earthly life, that cancer was so intense it seemed like it was going to the very core of his bones; his whole body was trembling. He was emaciated; he only had one leg, the other was amputated; he was picked up and put on a chair. And like every day we were discussing scriptures, and our personal understandings of the scriptures. But I could see his whole body was trembling. He couldn’t hear what I was saying and he couldn’t communicate with me. The pain was just too much. So I held his hand and began to chant the Maha Mantra, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. And he chanted. We chanted together. Suddenly his smile blossomed like a limitless lotus flower, practically went to his ears. His eyes were glistening, he began to glow. He was in ecstasy and he shook his head and squeezed my hand and said, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” He said, “We are there.” I said, “Could you explain?” Because his body was still trembling with the same amount of pain. He said, “I have never felt such happiness, such love, such joy in my life as this moment, because more than ever before I am tasting the sweetness of God’s names. I would not change my position for anyone else’s in the world. I am so grateful, I am so happy, I know where I’m going and I want to go there.” Then he shook his head again, tears of joy were flooding from his eyes; I never saw him cry in pain. He said, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Soon after that a group of people came to see. And seeing his condition they were really receptive to everything that he was saying. I saw people who were skeptics, who were atheistic people, who had been abused, who had lost their faith spiritually due to situations, and I saw they were completely mesmerized and transformed by everything he was saying. When they left the room, I said, “Swami I have known you for 35 years. I’ve never seen you do this to people. I have never seen anyone do this to people.” He smiled, he said, “My life is seva. I gave my life to serve, and because of the condition I’m in, people are more receptive to receive the gift of devotion, of love, of grace, than any other time in my life.” He said, “This disease is the greatest benediction for me, because it’s enabling me to serve people in a deeper way than ever before. It is blessing.”

 

vishaya vinivartante niraahaarasya dehinah

rasa-varjam raso ‘py asya param drishtvaa nivartate

 

Bhagavad-Gita tells that the mind and the senses, even on a nice peaceful day could be very turbulent, what to speak on turbulent times. But we can find real peace, real satisfaction, real love, real compassion within our hearts when we experience our true, our true nature, our true self, when we feel God’s eternal love for the soul and we reciprocate by our kindness to all others. In this way we can find the highest equanimity, both in the sunny and rainy days. 

Queen Kunti, she gave an analogy of the Ganga: as the river Ganges continuously flows to the sea without hindrance, my dear Lord let my attraction be forever drawn to you, without being diverted to the superficial little things of this world. Then we can be like mother Ganga, instruments of grace. – Radhanath Swami

 

Thank you very much.

 

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Radhanath Swami at Artha forum – ‘Taking The Inspiration Back Home’ http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-artha-forum-taking-the-inspiration-back-home http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-artha-forum-taking-the-inspiration-back-home#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:23:49 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2735 Thank you. You are the survivors of our Artha Forum! I thank you and I congratulate you. It has really been a joy, I think, for everyone. The enrichment of sharing our realizations with one another has been a very growing and enlightening experience. The concept of the Artha Forum is very much the inspiration of Rajeev and Sanjeev and several others who have great, deep devotion to the principles of Bhagavad-Gita.

Radhanath Swami speaks of the spiritual equality of all beings

Lord Krishna and the Bhagavad-Gita teach the universal principle that if we water the root of the tree, naturally that water will extend to every part of the tree: the leaves, the flowers, the branches, the twigs. And similarly,

sarvasya caham hridi sannivishto

mattah smritir jnanam apohanam ca

aham sarvasya prabhavo

mattah sarvam pravartate

iti matva bhajante mam

budha bhava-samanvitah,

 

Krishna is in everyone’s heart, and Krishna explains in the Gita that the one supreme God is the source of all material and spiritual worlds; everything emanates from the Absolute Truth. Therefore Bhagavan is the root of all existence, and when we love God we naturally love everyone. This is the first commandment of both the Old Testament and New Testament: to love God with all our heart, mind and soul. And what is the natural result of such love? We will love our neighbor as ourselves. – Radhanath Swami

 

vidya-vinaya-sampanne

brahmane gavi hastini

The Bhagavad-Gita teaches us that everyone is our neighbor, all varieties of human life, whatever our sex, whatever our religion, whatever our nationality, whatever our race, whatever our social, economic status may be. All species – the cows, the dogs, the cats, the elephants – wherever there’s life, life is sacred, because all life is a part of God. Krishna tells in Gita aham bija prajapita: ‘I am the father and mother of all beings.’

On the spiritual level there is actual equality. On material level equality is subjected to laws and rules and regulations, but in many ways there just isn’t equality. I’m a male, I cannot give birth to a baby; so I’m not equal to a female. Some people are very highly educated, but they’re not equal to someone who knows how to grow crops in a field. So we all have our variety. Unity in diversity is only deep when it’s on the spiritual level. – Radhanath Swami

As His Holiness Bhakti Rasamrita Maharaj was explaining, spiritual solutions are very much required within this very chaotic world we are living in. How to actually see the true equality of all beings?! Then compassion is not just a mental exercise, it’s not just something regulated by government officials, which is necessary. As was said, in the absence of an enlightened monarch, democracy is the best thing there is. But the Bhagavad-Gita teaches that each and every one of us as human beings has a responsibility to everyone else. Nature, when we have a spiritual connection, we see it all as God’s nature. My Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupad, he used to say, “When you talk about nature, the natural question is, ‘Who’s nature?’ You have your nature, he has his nature, she has her nature, and I have my nature. This is God’s nature – the sun, the moon, the clouds and the rain, mother Earth, and every living being.” Whether you are an insect or whether you are a PhD, human, we all are equally, totally depend on the gifts of nature. We all depend on the air, on the water, on the food, on the sunlight.

From a spiritual perspective we understand our intimate relationship with each other and when we learn to love God, who is the root of the tree of all existence, then naturally that love must extend unconditionally to everyone. And that is the fullest, deepest, compassion. And what the spiritual science tells us is, it is the potential of each and every one of us. It is not just a concept; it is not just an impossible theory; it is who we really are. It simply needs to be uncovered. And true spirituality is not about being a Krishna or a Muslim or a Jain or a Jew or a Sikh or a Parsi. True spirituality is about excavating that wealth that is inherent within each of us, and as we discover within ourselves, we can actually recognize it within others.

I have a dear friend Shyamsundar. I was with him just about a week ago. He was the personal secretary of my guru Srila Prabhupad for many years. He’s now writing a book. He is one of the world’s foremost geologists. And I remember: one time I was driving with him in British Columbia, Western Canada, and there were just mountains. And I am looking at the mountains and I’m just seeing mountains. And he’s telling me, “There is sapphire in that mountain.” And he’s telling me which minerals and which jewels are in each mountain. All I see is mountains! I said, “How do you know?” He said, “Don’t you see that the color of the stone in that mountain right there?” And he was showing me the things that we ordinarily see. I was seeing the same colors as he was, but I was just seeing color. He was seeing what it indicates, is inside, because he understands the science. So the spiritual science teaches us to actually be able to see the divinity within all living beings and we also see what kind of coverings.

Radhanath Swami explains the term ‘waste’

This eco-village, it’s a community – we have an orphanage, we have a monastery, we have so many families living. We are trying to live in a sensitive way that’s more harmonious with nature, to this concept of symbiotic biotechnology, or something like that, where we understand the value of everything.

The concept of waste is a modern misconception. The real waste is when we waste our time, when we waste our time by forgetting what really the purpose and meaning in life actually is. That ecological pollution within our hearts is what creates all the pollution in the world around us, because when we forget our true wealth and we start chasing after the mirages of this world, our heart becomes polluted with greed, arrogance, envy, limitless physical and emotional passions – ‘I need power, I need fame, I need more and more property and more and more assets and more and more money.’ – Radhanath Swami

I’ve been in this little body of mine for 64 years. I’ve never seen any of these things give any sustainable happiness to anyone, and according to the Scriptures that is a correct analysis. What are we looking for? We are so distracted, bombarded by these weapons of mass distraction constantly. So many promises: ‘if you have this you’ll be happy’, ‘if you get this you’ll be happy’. But the Bhagavad-Gita teaches us very clearly: “all these acquisitions and the need for them is like putting fuel on a fire.” The fire is never satisfied, whether you are a millionaire or a billionaire or a trillionaire or a quadrallionaire.

Radhanath Swami answers the question, ‘What is real wealth?’

In our Vedic scriptures, even Indra – he’s more than a quadrallionaire – but he’s always getting in all kinds of trouble, because he is still not satisfied. What is the story of Nara Narayan Rishi? Nara Narayan Rishi is an avatar, written of in Srimad Bhagvatam and other Scriptures. He was living in Badrikashram, Badrinath, and performing tapasya. But Nara Narayan Rishi were performing tapasya for the purpose of giving blessings to all living beings within the creation; were hardly eating. Badrinath is cold; they didn’t have any warm clothes, they didn’t have any house. So such severe austerity! Indra was thinking, “He must want my kingdom! That’s why he’s doing this tapasya. He’s trying to get power to conquer me.” Because you see, the whole world is a mirror of our own state of consciousness. If we have envy, we see so much envy everywhere; if we have greed, we will see so much greed everywhere; if we are looking for opportunities for seva, for selfless service, we will see limitless service everywhere. So Indra, because he so attached, he so attached to his wealth, his power, his beautiful ladies that he enjoys with, he was thinking, “If Nara Narayan Rishi is working so hard with this tapasya, he wants what I have.” So he tried to somehow or other pollute Nara Narayan Rishi by sending every kind of incredible temptation – best he had in the heavenly world. He surrounded Nara Narayan Rishi in Badrinath to seduce him, and nothing worked. Finally created incredible… he sent the most beautiful lovely ladies who were singing and dancing around Nara Narayan Rishi. And Nara Narayan Rishi, he smiled and he created a lady that was millions of times more beautiful than all of Indra’s. Just created and said, “Indra you take her. I don’t want anything you have.” Because he was self-satisfied.

Vishaya vini vartante

Niraharasya dehina

Rasa varjam rasopyasya

Param drishta nivarthathe

Krishna tells in Geeta that when we experience a higher taste then we are no longer corrupted by the things of this world. And that higher taste is what is within us. So much of the problem of the world today is a misconception of real wealth. What is it?

Real wealth is not about things. Real wealth is about our values, the inner love, happiness and contentment that we find. It’s not subjective to circumstantial situations of this world. That is real wealth, because ultimately everyone’s looking for pleasure, not just the pleasure of touching things or seeing things or hearing things, but the pleasure of what’s within our own hearts, because nothing could touch the heart. Only God’s love could touch our heart and the greatest happiness, when our heart is clean, is to make that connection and share it with others.

The will to serve, the spirit of compassion, and the happiness that is derived from that, is real wealth. And money, property, knowledge, skills can give us that highest satisfaction when they are utilized for that purpose. – Radhanath Swami

The Artha Forum is a group of business people who really have this spirit. They are, they have children, they have husbands and wives, they are really dynamic and competitive in their fields, whether it be investment or software industry or banking. And they are dynamic, they are powerful, they are competitive, they are aggressive, but like Arjuna. Arjuna was really aggressive, and he was really passionate, but not out of arrogance and ego – out of compassion.

To share is the joy of humanity. Real humanity evolves from the obsessive need to get stuff for myself, to the joy of giving. And the more I have, the more I can give. – Radhanath Swami

So just like a mother is so highly motivated 24 hours a day to take care of the child, so similarly, whether we are in business or politics or farming or agriculture or in science, education, weather, we are sadhus. The greatest motivating force is to acquire more and more and more, so that I can be a more benevolent, efficient instrument of the grace that is higher than me, that’s God’s grace.

It’s really some gratification but tremendous amount of agitation whenever we take credit for what we do, but it’s a sheer limitless joy when we learn the art of being an instrument of the infinite power of God’s love and God’s grace. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami explains the importance of setting the right example

It has been quoted many times during this conference – tat tat evetaro jana. The Gita tells that what leaders do, common people follow. The idea of Artha Forum, in these conferences is, yes, to inspire people who are like-minded and to keep us individually and collectively focused on these higher values of life so that through our example and through our character we can share with the world. Because, as has been explained by many, anyone can preach with their words, that’s called gyan. Maharaja (Bhakti Rasamrita Swami) was describing there are two types of gyan – there is gyan and vigyan, there’s theoretical knowledge and there’s realized knowledge. When we practice knowledge, we get realization and when we practice, we give hope to people.

In our little eco-village here, at one time we were insisting on organic farming; we had some village people because we had a few different incarnations of this farm. And they from their childhood they were made to believe it is impossible to grow crops without chemical fertilizer and chemical pesticides. ‘Can’t be done!’. We told him, “You’re not allowed to use.” They said, “Who are you? You people are living in the cities; you’re from other countries. What do you know? What do you know? We are farmers.” I heard. Because we wouldn’t let them use fertilizers and pesticides, sometimes they would secretly go out in the middle of the night and spray because they didn’t believe it could be done. We had to send a lot of them home and get people from the city to come, who never farmed before. And they started growing wonderful crops, totally organically and then the villagers thought, ‘It actually can be done!’ Seeing is believing. Water harvesting! Drought is a major cause of poverty. In Maharashtra farmers commit suicide, farmers leave their beautiful land to go to live in a very, very overcrowded filthy place in a city like Mumbai and become beggars. Because there’s no water, nothing grows. But the same monsoon rains come here, it’s all here, but instead of just walking around with an umbrella thinking, “Oh it’s raining again,” every drop of water is the gift of God. If we understand its value, we will do something. So because our water harvesting project is actually, is fertilizing and nourishing the crops throughout the entire year, even through the summer, people see this. If we tell them water harvesting, it doesn’t register. When they see an example of the knowledge, now more and more of our villages in the area are allowing us to help them to develop water harvesting. It’s a principal. This eco-village is not just alone for ourselves to live peacefully in an environmentally friendly setting; we are trying to create an example that people can find hope and faith in.

In every aspect of our life people can find hope and faith if we have values. Ajay Piramal was speaking. He gives tremendous amount to so many people and it’s based on his devotion to Krishna. He sees that whatever he has, he’s a caretaker on behalf of God and he’s doing so much. And because he’s doing it, so many other people are taking notice. Whether we have a lot or a little… When Lord Ram was making the bridge across the Indian Ocean, Hanuman, who is one of our ishta devs here – we have a little temple of him and in that little murti he’s holding a mountain. Hanuman – of course in the murti it’s a little mountain – but he was carrying big mountains, he was tearing off the peaks of mountains which weigh millions of tones or kilos, and he was putting them to float to create the bridge. And there was a little spider – you have seen the legs of the spider, they don’t have very big muscles – that little spider was just kicking individual grains of sand, and the spider was right in front of him on this pathway as he was caring this mountain, and Hanuman said to the spider, “Move!” Ram said to Hanuman, “He’s doing as much as you in my eyes. I see the intent. That spider is according to his capacity helping to build this bridge and you are doing according to your capacity. There is no difference.”

It’s the spirit of seva that makes anything we do sacred and beautiful to our own human nature, and to God, to Krishna. The greatest wealth is the enthusiasm and the joy of serving. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami explains the science of chanting God’s names

When the ecology of the heart is polluted by this envy and arrogance and greed and everything else, that’s all we see. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained the mind is like a mirror. When you look in a mirror you’re supposed to see yourself. But if the mirror is completely covered due to neglect with layers and layers of dirt and dust and debris, that’s all you see. And you look at the mirror and you see all this dust, and you think, “That is me!” We are thinking, ‘I am male, I am female, I am human, I am black or white or red or yellow or I am richer, I am poor.” We are thinking, “This is me. I want this. I don’t want this. I love this person. I hate this person.” We are identifying these things. “This is mine, and this is his, and this is hers.” This concept creates so much arrogance and so much envy and so much depression; it’s all pollution. True dharma is the path of cleaning the mirror of the heart. This chanting of God’s names… In our tradition we chat Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,  Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

There are many names of God. It is meant simply to clean the mirror of the mind so that the ecology of our hearts becomes clean. And in that state we see ourselves. Sat-cit-ananda: the living force within us is eternal, full of knowledge and full of happiness, ananda. And what is that happiness? That happiness is the happiness of love. And how is love expressed? Where does love find its joy? In serving. – Radhanath Swami

So the Artha Forum is a group of people who want to share this wealth with each other, and through what we all receive, in whatever small or big ways, whether they are incremental or whether they are something wonderful in a bigger way. Big or small is not really important. What God gives us, we want to share. And the reason why these beautiful conferences are happening is because people like Rajeev and Sanjeev, they live by these principles. Their greatest joy, their greatest motivation in life is, through their example and through whatever God gives them, to share, to serve. This is such a beautiful spiritual principle.

I think I’m supposed to speak something about what we can take home. Well, my first request is, please make this eco-village one of your homes. It’s ours. And the real beauty of this conference is how we each take responsibility in this spirit of seva and how we share with each other and how we try to share it and inspire people of all walks of life of the world.

Radhanath Swami says, ‘Never Give Up’

I’m going to end with one little example of something that happened about a month ago. There was a person who came here to the eco-village. In some circles he is very well known worldwide. His name is Jason Lewis. He’s the first human being to circle the earth on human power. How many of you have heard about him? Please raise your hands. I never heard of him before either. He is British, and he decided to go around the world by human power. That means without any motorized anything. Do you know he crossed the Atlantic Ocean? He personally made a little boat, 3 feet wide 16 feet long, and he put a little bicycle pedals with the chain and a little, what you call it, propeller behind it. That was only going around according to how he was peddling. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean on that. It took him 110 days. Then he crossed, he arrived and he went from Portugal to Miami. He went across the entire continent of North America on roller skates. Then he made another boat. The same thing with the paddles and crossed the Pacific Ocean. He had a partner up to Hawaii. Then at a certain point his partner said, “I’ve seen enough of the world!” So he was all alone on this little boat, peddling and peddling. And it’s not that he had some big boat with the motor next to him, by throwing them food and everything. He was alone, his radio would only contact anything that was close by. Most of the time he was totally isolated; he had to figure out.

He told me one story. He said he was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, somewhere near Fiji, that area. And there was a current that was pushing the opposite direction. So he would paddle 18 hours day and then he would have to get some rest; and whenever he took rest, boat was behind where he started from. The next day, the day before. He was getting nowhere, and he peddled another 18 hours. He took a little rest and woke up and the boat was behind where he started the day before. Five days went by; he didn’t make 1 inch of progress. And there is no one he could communicate with, and he is all alone. And he’s in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Would you get discouraged? He got discouraged, but he was a student of Bhagavad-Gita, even though he is a British person. And he remembered, karmanye vadhikaraste, in this  beautiful verse in Gita that said, “Do not be attached to the results of your actions. Just perform your duty for Krishna’s satisfaction.” That gave him so much joy. ‘As long as I’m attached to progress, for getting, I’m really discouraged. But if I just paddle for the sake of paddling, because that’s my duty, then I will never be discouraged.” He was completely, ecstatically just peddling and peddling. It doesn’t matter if I get anywhere, because I’m doing my duty. And for the next 18 days he was brought back behind where he was. But it didn’t matter to him, because, ‘I’m just peddling.’ But that was the strength and the inspiration that he got for the rest of his trip: not to be attached to the results.

Success, failure, honor, dishonor, pleasure, pain, happiness, distress, health, disease, these dualities are going to come to everyone, no matter who we are. But the Gita teaches: if we have this higher purpose to serve, that’s the higher experience. It really doesn’t matter. In the path of Bhakti, if Krishna is pleased, that’s all that matters. And he is pleased if we are sincerely trying to do the right thing. – Radhanath Swami

So even though the next 13 days after he became inspired by this verse of the Gita he didn’t get anywhere, but he was completely enlivened to go out the next day. And he didn’t know in his lifetime if he would ever get anywhere. But what a realization! It transformed him, and he shared it so it could transform us.

Do you know why he came to this eco-village? Because when he was doing his journey, which by the way to circle the world one time it took him 13 years nonstop, he came to Kanyakumari and pedaled a bicycle to the Himalayas. And on the way one of the things he saw how cruelly abused, exploited donkeys are. Now here is a person from Britain, who is an author of books, who is on international television because of his journey. He saw in our website or something that we have donkeys that we take nice care of.  ‘In India they are taking care of donkeys?’ That was such a cultural experience for him. He just wanted… he saw a picture of these donkeys that were like combed nicely. And his wife Tammy is an animal rights activist. So they decided, ‘We want to go there and honor those people who are taking care of donkeys.’ And they came, and just less than a month ago, I was in Mumbai when they came. And I came the next day, and when I came they were crying, talking about how they never saw such happy cows. He went on and on for a half hour about how elated they are to see the cows. The cows are so affectionate…. Because now they live in Colorado, in England… now the cows in America, they know they’re going to be slaughtered, they have that intuition. Whether they are dairy cows or whether they are in the meat industry, hundred percent they all get slaughtered. It’s just a matter of when. So these cows, you could see, you could feel that they are loved, because they are loved. They are so fearless and so happy and so protected. And they went on and on and on, up to the saying, “We are so grateful to see what’s happening with these cows.” And I said, “What about the donkey? You came to see the donkey.” “Oh!” they said, “Yes, yes. The donkeys are very nice and very happy, never saw a brushed donkey before.” In other words, they came because of something that they believe was based on a higher value, and then they can appreciate everything else. It’s quite amazing, because he’s very influential. He said, “Wherever I go in the world, I am gonna talk about the compassion you have for your cows and donkeys.” So one person’s heart is touched by just little example of a smiling donkey, and when we are inspired by that example, we become instruments of those values.

And the Artha forum is a forum in which we come together to try to nourish the art of giving within each other, the art of serving within each other. And our home become beautiful wherever it may be. When we can share this culture of devotion with our families, with our friends, with the society around us, in whatever our occupation is, through our words, through our actions, through our prayers, because each and every one of us when we connect with grace, grace is the sweetest, most beautiful, fragrant, power in all of existence. And there’s no power stronger than grace. When we connect to that grace and help each other to connect that grace individually and collectively, we really can make a difference.

In Mumbai there’s the Birla house and sometimes I go there to do programs. And they showed me one room, and in that room Ghanashyam Das Birla, he used to bring just a few people – Gandhi, Nehru, Patel – they would all sit together to discuss this idea of ‘Quit India’, the freedom from the British rule. Just a few people coming together with an idea and a determination, and little by little, through their words, through their actions, it conquered the most powerful empire in the world, at that time the British Empire. In America we were under the British Empire too, just like you were in India. And just a few people – Thomas Jefferson and George Washington – these people they just came together in little conference and said, “Let’s make a declaration of independence.” It seemed completely insane and crazy, but they believed in it and through their dedication they got many people behind them. Many of the greatest scientific breakthroughs began with just one person sitting in a laboratory not willing to give up. So we should have hope, no matter how much greed and corruption and everything else there is in this world. We should have hope that if we just keep peddling in that boat… Pacific Ocean is big, the current was stronger than our friend, but he didn’t give up. Because he had hope, and this wonderful forum is an opportunity to come together to try to share with each other, wisdom, experience, realization, ultimately to bring us hope that each and every one of us, we can make beautiful difference if we value the wealth of love, of service, Thank you very much.

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Spirituality A Compass for Business – Radhanath Swami, Ajay Piramal, Ashish Chauhan, Shrijit Mishra http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/spirituality-a-compass-for-business-radhanath-swami-ajay-piramal-ashish-chauhan-shrijit-mishra-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/spirituality-a-compass-for-business-radhanath-swami-ajay-piramal-ashish-chauhan-shrijit-mishra-2#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:24:26 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2730 So moving on to the next session, which is ”Spirituality: A Compass for Business”. This is going to be a very interesting session again. We have His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj. We have Dr. Ajay Piramal, Mr. Ashish Chauhan and the session is going to get coordinated by, moderated by Mr. Shrijeet Mishra. So if I could please ask the panelist to kindly come up to the stage.

You have already heard from His holiness (Radhanath Swami) and Ajay Piramal in the morning. So I will very quickly introduce Shrijeet, the moderator and Mr. Ashish Chauhan while you are all taking your seats. So Shrijeet is the Chief Operating Officer and the Executive Director on the board of Bernard and Coleman. In addition to his role in publishing business, Shrijeet also oversees Bernard Coleman television interests and new ventures. He joined this venture in 2011 after exciting 24 years stint in Unilever, where he was the last fast food business Executive Director. Shrijeet holds an MBA degree from IIM Ahmedabad and an advance management programme from Wharton. He plays active role in key industry associations such as Bombay Chambers, FICCI and CII and ASCI.

Very quickly, for Ashish, he has got a very very impressive and long CV but I will try to keep it very short in the interest of time. Ashish currently works as the MD and CEO of BSE and the first stock exchange of India and as many of you would know, BSE is ranked as the largest exchange in the world in terms of number of stocks listed and Ashish runs that show. Ashish was given the distinguished alumunus award for the year 2014 by his aluminate IIT Bombay and also received the Best CEO in the financial market in the Asian Pacific by the Asian Bankers. Ashish is also best known as the father of modern derivatives in India and he was a part of small team that initially set up NSE which you know has achieved many many milestones over the last several years.

At BSE, he has been responsible to bring the fastest trading system in India within 200 micro seconds response time amongst any other achievement. Ashish is considered also as one of the India’s foremost experts in financial market policies, micro structure technology, retail, telecom and Indian social issues amongst other things. He and his writings have been widely quoted in various magazines, newspaper and the other media over the last two decades.

So, with that I will leave the session with Shrijeet for an interesting session. So, ladies and gentlemen, request you to put your hands together for the panel and look forward to an interesting session.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Thank you Artha for this opportunity. First of all this experience, has been a very, very wonderful experience. I am honored to be here. It has been rich and full of learning for me. What I take back in these eight hours is absolute happiness and learning from all that I have heard since morning. Thank you very much.

What can I say, it’s also an honor to have a panel like, the panel that is here. So I will try and do justice, to try and say what questions I can ask.

Well today, it’s a  world. It’s very, very volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and complex. In this world, what certainly happening is stress and strain are going up. Organizations are going through stresses, individuals are going through stresses, youngsters are looking for their passions, they take much longer to join an organization. They are looking for a fit with the organization, the kind of job that they do. It’s no longer that it is an organization that is available and youngster would join. So there is lot that’s happening in the context that we have. In this situation, many people and organizations are finding that there is more to life, then just business or profits. And in this context my first question is to Ajay you. In today’s context for most businesses, really it is very important to get to profits; but spirituality is given a bit of a second rung. Do you think they are mutually exclusive? And I just want to understand if they are not, at what point in your life, did this make the change?

Mr. Ajay Piramal: So in my humble opinion, spirituality is a way of life. So how can you separate if business most of your life? You cannot separate it! In the environment today, where you have people from very different faiths working with us. We have people in different countries. We have more than 2000 people working in the United States itself, for instance. We have people working in every country, I mean more than 100 countries. Yet some basic principles I think for mankind remain the same and we for instance have as our values, which everybody has to live by, and we have to work in the business is knowledge, action and care, which is actually jnana, karma and bhakti and we found that when we put these values across to people across the world, they all have… they can  relate to it. It is in some ways embarrassing, I think all faiths and yet it is… actually the basis is from Vedic scriptures. But it is so universal. And when people have this as a base, I find that they connect better and they want to work with you. So it’s not only people today and not only looking for just mere a monitory compensation, but they want to work in an environment which is value-based because they feel… basic human nature I think wants to live by values. Sometimes, we get diverted but I think all basically… at the root I think feel that all of us are value driven. And that’s what we try to do.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Thank you.  Ashish, in your case, do you think that it is mutually exclusive? Is there a way by which you think spirituality shapes leadership, motivates people? What’s your view?

Mr. Ashish Chauhan:  I think, I agree with Ajay completely, that basically all of us have to combine both. In a sense, we live life right and in some sense, spirituality, the business, the family, friends – everything is a part of the same whole. So if you don’t have balance in one, you have imbalances in other also. So effectively, it’s a very strange thing. And somewhere, if you look back at what I call recent Indian history, the questions themselves also look like more from a perspective of a kind of Christians, where they have separated the religion, the spirituality from day-to-day life and that came into our elites because most of them studied in convent schools and so it is kind of they read Brighton and P. G. Wodehouse stuff, but many of us who come from vernacular, we don’t even see any kind of dilemma at all. It’s a one continuous whole and most of us want to connect our life and make a meaning within the context we are in, not in the context 18th century England or so on and so forth. But our names Arjuna or Bhima or Sankaracharya or Shiva, I mean, these are stuffs we grew up with. And we were thought that this is kind of different, or it’s something where you come out of home and go to office, you have a kind of shut off your other side of life. We continue to live the same life and that’s what most of India is I think.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Thank you.  Swamiji (Radhanath Swami), a small question for you. You know the organizations today are becoming heterogeneous. In the sense, there are lots of people who are Indians, there are non-Indians, there are people from different religious backgrounds, there are people from different backgrounds that come and work in a country. It happens in any country in this world today. And we are seeing perhaps in many cases, the religion beginning to creep in into this angle as well. And people become a little more restless of each other. The question specifically to you in that in an organizational context, does spirituality and religion go hand-in-hand? How do you balance the difference and practices and the diversity that people have?

Radhanath Swami: In previous generations, religions, races were very much in different countries, different sections of the world. But today everything is more integrated than ever before. And this type of social merging brings about challenges and opportunities. The challenge is there’s so much reason for conflict; the opportunity is to understand that now we have a necessity to appreciate unity in diversity. Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Agnostic, Atheist – what is the essence? Where is the unity in the diversity?

In my own life, I am from America, which is called a melting pot, because the only actual indigenous Americans are the American Indians. Everyone in power in America came mostly in pursuit of religious freedom or social freedom because they were being persecuted in other countries. I saw in America, of the various religions, so much sectarianism. In each religion there is a sector of people, who truly believe that they have monopoly over God and the kingdom of God. And each one has scriptures and tradition and saints to support the conclusions. I saw so much hate in the name of a God that everyone considered to be loving. So I came to a crossroads in my life – either I have to totally reject all religion, or I have to find that there is a common essence within all of them. And from the core of my soul I believed that there was a common essence within all of them. And it is there – to love God and to neighbor as yourself is the basis of every true spiritual tradition. And when we actually in today’s world in business… Recently, I spoke at the HSBC Bank on this very point because they have so many people, of so many races and so many nationalities, and so many religions working in same office. How do they work together? I gave an example. They gave me this garland or mala and it had about ten different flowers on it. They were roses, and there were gardenias, and so many flowers – different colors, different textures, different fragrances. But when they have a common thread, they create something beautiful. And it’s very, very important for the leaders of society – religious leaders, business leaders, media leaders – to actually enlighten people in the common thread that we all have in common.

Just a couple weeks ago, I spoke at the Oxford Union in a debate – whether extremism justified… whether extremism in defensive liberty was a vice or not. If we approach this subject from the perspective of being an American or Indian or a Hindu or Muslim or Christian, we are going to have a particular perspective. If we approach it as a human beings, then we see what we all have in common. And if we approach it as eternal souls, living beings, who are all part of the same God, then we can really appreciate unity in diversity. And I believe in today’s world, this is one of the greatest needs for leaders in all fields of life to enlighten the people about our unity on a spiritual basis.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Thank you Swamiji (Radhanath Swami). It was really a… It’s about allowing the human in the human being to come out, its allowing the God in each one of us to come out.

The question I would like to ask next is to you, in the definition of spirituality could vary from… And I have heard people talk about spirituality in business. I have been lucky to work in two organizations – my current organization of Times of India and Unilever, where I worked 24 years – to understand the importance of spirituality in business. But the definition of spirituality in business differs. In some… To some people, it is about personal values, to some it’s about treating people and co-workers and employees in a responsible, caring way, and for some others, it’s about making the business socially responsible. The concept of triple business line is well-known – it’s not just profits; it’s about values, ethics; it’s about people, planet and profits. Just wanted to understand your view as to how you have defined it for your organization.

Mr. Ajay Piramal: We have not defined spirituality, but we have defined what are our values, and what is the purpose of our organization.

So let me just talk a little bit first of our purpose. So we believe that we, our purpose is doing well, and doing good, and making a difference in the world around us by living our values. So what are we saying? It is not doing well whatever we do, whether it is a CSR activity or whether it is a business, we have to do well in it. So we have to try and achieve what is the best we can. Even if it is a CSR, let’s say, and also it has to do good. So whatever activity that we are doing, it also has to contribute to being good. So, for instance if you are making drugs, we are saying that it is an activity which is alleviating human suffering. And therefore their purpose is to do well and to do good.

And then we say that making a positive difference to the world around us. Again in that we say that human beings are the only living creatures you get… As they say, a human life after millions of  birth, so many other living organisms, you get into a human birth and therefore and we have the ability to make a difference in the world around us. So that’s what we want to do.

And finally living our values. As I said our values are knowledge, action and care. So what does knowledge mean? Knowledge means that whatever we are doing we should have expertise in that and we should develop expertise in the business that we are doing, or in the activity that we are doing. We should have innovation, because that’s the only way you can actually survive in a competitive environment, is to become innovative and continuously change. When we talk about action, we talk about being decisive, taking decisive action and of being an entrepreneur. And when we talk about care, we talk about trusteeship and that’s really the concept from Gita, which talks about how nothing… Maharaj (Radhanath Swami) spoke about it in the morning today that we are mere caretakers of the wealth that is, so we have to act as a trustees for all our stakeholders, and we have to have humanity and compassion. So, that’s how we try to weave in whatever knowledge that is there in the scriptures for us.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Ashish, would you like to share the same question and answer for the same question?

Mr. Ashish Chauhan: It’s slightly different in a sense, I have been a public servant probably large part of my life and for me, there are several aspects to what business for me is. One is whatever I do has to be useful to the society. So every aspect of it, I try to make sure against whether we are adding value or we are taking away the value. And if we are taking away the value, then that is something which we should not be doing. And in some sense, the value is again in a way the personal judgment on what we are adding or what we are taking away, right. So in a sense…

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: (inaudible)

Mr. Ashish Chauhan: It is and it is not. So for me the conscience, the person’s own sort of, can you answer yourself what you have done is very, very important. Then recently, I asked the question saying, what is important, I mean there are four aspects to life in our scriptures – dharma, artha, kama, moksha. So which one is important? And all four have to be in balance. It cannot be you have only dharma, but if you don’t have artha then you don’t have dharma also. You require artha to do the dharma. But if you don’t have ichha, then you don’t have artha also. And of course, moksha will not come without dharma. So, all these things have to be in balance. And in personal life also, if you have imbalances, that comes out in your sort of official life or function life.

The other issue which especially we, public servants, continue to do is juggle with – something which private sector also does – is that something is morally right, but legally not allowed; or morally sort of allowed, but legally not allowed. What do you do? For example, I will give you sort of small stuff. Twenty years back, import of gold was not allowed in India. But morally everyone thinks gold is not an illegal thing or immoral thing to have, right. So what happens, it’s called, in a standard jargon of MBA, it’s called de facto vs. de jure in legal stuff. But effectively something is morally not wrong, but legally wrong, what do you do? And something is morally wrong, but legally allowed, what do you do? For example, in stock market itself, the companies do a lot of things which are legally allowed, but it sometimes helps the promoters of the company, but affects the other shareholders of the company, what happens? And legally it is allowed. Now lot of people call me up, even media and there are 6-7 channels, which keep on commenting on us 247. And of course, so many news channels and newspapers that somebody mentioned about, so many lakhs and crores. So every decision an entrepreneur takes rightly, wrongly. And if it is legally allowed, how can I stop? If I tell him, if I give him advice and if he doesn’t take it, what happens to that? So those are the dilemmas we face, but effectively if you are clear in our mind that what is adding value to the society, you sort of do it yourself, tell others to do and what is taking away the value from the society, you don’t do it at least yourself and if you can influence others, very good.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Ashish, thank you. Swamiji (Radhanath Swami), we heard you say, it’s important to be in the world, not of the world. In this discussion, as you balance the spirituality and the business, how do you think we can achieve it? How do you think we can achieve this in the current context?

Radhanath Swami: In our tradition, we have three very important principles to spiritualize our lives, satsang, sadhana and sadachar.

Satsang means when we associate with people who influence us spiritually, who enlighten us, who inspire us. That gives us the way and also the hope that I could do it. Ashish and Ajay, when we see that they are living with spiritual principles and still very successful in what they are doing in their lives, to the common people, it gives hope – if they can do it, I could do it. Bhagavat Gita tells that what leaders in society on every level exemplify, that’s what the common people will follow. So we need such leaders and satsang, association with like-minded people, who enlighten us, encourage us, inspire us with wisdom and example is crucial for our own spiritual lives.

Sadhana means our own spiritual practice. When we have that satsang with sadhus or saintly people, then we are inspired, that yes there is a need for me to purify myself. There is something more than just grabbing more and more things to call my own. There is something more substantial and valuable in life than just enjoying my mind and senses. There are real values. I am a divine person, a part of God, so when we have that faith, we perform sadhana, which means our own spiritual practice, put some time aside every day. We chant God’s names, meditation, prayer to actually make that connection, to tune in to that divine principle within us.

And then there is sadhachar which means our character, the example in which we live our life. And if we have this foundation of enlightening association, a spiritual practice to tune us in to this higher power and the will to live by these principles, then yes, each and every one of us has the power to be in this world, but not of this world.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Thank you Swamiji (Radhanath Swami), thank you again, thank you so much.

Ashish to you, a major effort that is going on in the world today is to look at socially responsible investment. And more than me I am sure you are aware of many such indices, financially indices that are coming up in the world that tracks performance and social responsibility together. How quickly do you think can it happen in India? And is it happening? And how quickly can it come to India?

Mr. Ashish Chauhan: It’s a common theme across the world and BSE itself has two indices. Our indices are managed by Standard & Poor’s and BSE jointly. It’s called S&P BSE Green Index called GREENEX, there is one index called CARBONEX, this is about carbon usage and stuff like that. But recently in 2013, the Parliament of India passed an interesting legislation called Indian Companies Act 2013. We had a Companies Act, which was called Indian Companies Act 1956, and then there was an Indian Companies Act which was first set up in 1850. So 1850 and 1956 and then you have 2013. In 2013, there is an interesting aspect of it, which is basically saying that companies above a particular size in profits need to spend at least 2% of their profits for corporate social responsibility (CSR) and it is a compulsory activity they need to do. And that’s a phenomenal change. For me, corporates are basically artificial entities, humans are natural entities – we are born and stuff like that. Even animals are natural entities. The corporates come out of the social contract. They come out and they exist because we all agree that they exist as a society. And each time even a natural entity has to justify its existence. But the artificial entities have to justify their existence even more, because if they add value to the society, they are allowed to remain there and if they don’t, then they can be stopped. And corporates have been a cause of great good over the last six hundred years, since they were set up first time; limited liability companies are not very old, they are very new in a sense of human history. And they have been cause of great bad also. If you remember the East India Company, which came to India and subjugated India. So they have been cause for great bad, and they have been cause for great good. And most of the modern life has been made possible because of the corporates and the way they could organize people, including Mr. Piramal, that normal life today, where most people are in the middle class at least in developed countries. Even in India lot of people have come into middle classes because of the work that corporates have done and so at the same time society has become more aware and more demanding of that justification they need from the corporate. And earlier twenty years back, when I used to debate corporates and corporate governance and sustainability, it was about shareholder protection, minority shareholder protection. Today, we talk about sustainability. That minority shareholder protection issue is still there but in a minor way. Many of the issues have been resolved. Now we worry about other stakeholders that includes government, society at large, environment and so on and so forth. So in a sense, this corporate social responsibility is very new. First time in the world, India has done it. Many people think it’s not necessary to do that because corporates are ultimately, they can make guns, make profits and then do little bit charity. So, that was the perspective. But today India, the New India, new Indians – because large part of India is very young; 50% of India is below age 25. And they have a lot of expectations from their own society, but also from the corporates. And this is an interesting perspective that first time a developing country has made corporate social responsibility compulsory. When I go to many parts of the world, they totally get freaked out. Even in India many of us, who have not kind of justified it in our minds, rationalized in our minds, we still think, it’s not a great idea, let corporates do the profits-making and then sometimes they can also… When you… Warren Buffet, makes huge sums, sometimes he can donate it and he can feel happy about it. But otherwise don’t mix them too, because they kind of don’t go together. For me both go together. Now whether 2% is correct, 1% is correct, there is some other way to do it. But unless corporates continue to justify to the newer and emerging realities of expectations by young Indian, they will not get that acceptability and then if they are not accepted, then continual questions will be asked on their existence and that’s why they need to continue to do more and more and for me even off course Ajay is the doyen of the industry, I’m very, very young compared to him, so he will have probably much more evolved views on this.

Mr. Ajay Piramal: So my view on corporate social responsibility…

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: This is about saying that indices, there are indices yesterday, that tracks performance which is not just financial, but also, if I may use the word, socially responsible, ethical. We don’t have it yet in this country, yes, I mean there are some indices that are doing it, but it’s not being as the social responsible movement in the rest of the world has moved, we have moved 2% that he is talking about. Just wanted to understand what’s your view if such a movement comes in India?

Mr. Ajay Piramal: So I think certain things they are good if you have an index because will have a look at it. I don’t think they affect the valuations of companies. I haven’t seen these indices affecting stock valuation.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Abroad they do.

Mr. Ajay Piramal: Abroad also its marginal, some people, there are small group of investors, who really believe in it, overall it’s not. It’s more when the when the media pressure comes in and all that, which is in a way good. You need balance in society. You need to have balance and counter balance. So, I think its good. Frankly, business over all if you look at it, ever since the modern business has started, business has contributed significantly for, as Ashish said, for the well-being of the society. You know, just think of it, I was just reading somewhere. Modern medicines, from 1970s only till now, in the last 40 years, the life span of Indians has gone up 20 years only because of modern medicine. Take an invention like toothpaste in the modern world; it is because of toothpaste that people’s lives have gone up. It is such a simple thing that you take because earlier people would not brush their teeth properly and therefore they would die early. So in every sphere actually business has contributed to the well-being of people, I mean we look at industries, you look at here all the… even in an eco-village, we still need electricity. And all this has become because of the innovation that’s taken place by business. So there is a contribution.

I think we need to always balance. Sometimes greed overwhelms everything else. When you have greed you destroy let’s say the whole environment, you don’t care for the people around you. I think there needs to be balance in that, and to that extent it’s good. Whether we need a CSR or not, I don’t know because frankly now organizations, yeah it’s the way we did business even before, nothing has changed since the CSR has come in. In fact I have heard both views. Some people are misusing this, on the other hand, I know that there are many organizations that I am involved with and including in our mid-day meals, we are now getting more funds because people want to give to good organizations. So it is mixed.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: I think, just coming to you, I think, there is a clear mixed view also on this 2% because that is a view that if you hang, it will keep CSR outside the main business, it can be explained away and today the law allows it to be explained away. Unfortunately, if I say it was almost kind of that becomes a part of your business like you said, then the reason for doing it would be the reason for your business. And then it becomes the real purpose of a business. Doing well by doing good becomes the purpose of the business. In Unilever where I worked, it was all about what is right for India is right for Unilever. And therefore from our perspective, whether it was hand wash, or it was toothpaste, or a hair wash, or was a skin cleansing, it was a part of saying, it was all about something you make a difference in a small ways to people’s lives. Sorry to pull your question.

A lady from the audience: Shrijeet, I think you have been asking most of the questions. And I know you had a very unusual – unusual for most of us here – an unusual childhood and upbringing in a small village of Odisha, and in the shelter of Lord Jagannath, in the land of Lord Jagannath. And I know spirituality has been a compass all your life. So, I would request before we wind up, we would like to hear from you about that. So you can say it now or later.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: I will, but I think there is an announcement that Ashish wants to make. I think it’s an important one, let’s hear it.

Mr. Ashish Chauhan: Thank you, since you talked about CSR, BSE is going to set up a CSR action. So I wanted to make it in the presence of Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) and Ajay. So basically all NGOs including everyone sitting here, we can basically register ourselves and the corporates who want to also put in funds can register and then we will match and also we will give details of the progress being made and so on and so forth.  So because we have been all our lives, 140 years of BSE history has been setting up exchanges, so we thought this would be our contribution to the society, and I thought I will make the first announcement in front of this audience.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Well, I think it couldn’t have been better than this for the panel to announce this year. Ashish, thank you so much. Just one last question for me before I go and summarize the comment. Ajay, it’s to you. There is also a growing movement of social entrepreneurs and we who create a social benefit corporation and in fact today we heard very similar example of that. You know five or six things that Rajiv talked about just before lunch was an example of that. You heard in the morning people say that can we get the rich people down here, who actually begin to contribute to such things in a bigger way. Do you think this growing movement of social entrepreneurs is the way to go forward, which will make this entire movement come alive?

Mr. Ajay Piramal: So I think it’s a good thing that there are so many young people who are willing to take up social entrepreneurship. I think, I mean today I meet many more people who are looking at or doing social entrepreneurship or starting it than ever before. So it’s a good thing. It means also that, you know social entrepreneurship, when young people come in, there is lot of innovation that also takes place. You know the way we progress whether socially or anywhere else, has to be through innovation. How can you do the same thing or how can you find solutions to the problem, than the problems and then new ways of doing it and that’s what some of the brightest people are doing. I think it’s growing and it’s something that we should all support and encourage because I think that’s the way forward.

Mr. Shrijeet Mishra: Thank you, I just want to thank the panel for giving us their esteemed views. I would like to summarize by saying that it gives us a great opportunity to do something for the first time. My Guruji had told me once, very early at the age of 20, that ask yourself this question every year: (1) Are you making a mistake? If you are not, you are not growing. But if you are creating the same mistake, there is a problem, and, (2) Are you doing something for the first time? When was the last time, you did something for the first time? I suggest these audiences here ask themselves this question – when was the last time that you did something for the first time? That was the time you change. Here is an opportunity for you to take your business and to take yourself as an individual and your business forward in a very, very ethical balanced manner, allow the human being to come out from inside you, allow the God in you to take over, trust yourself, trust your instinct and let the God take over. God bless and thank you very much.

Well, I will just say the two experiences that I’ve. There are many experiences but two recent experiences that have shaped who I have, how I’ve kind of trying to be. One is early in my career, I met a gentleman called Solusen, who I  salute as my marketing guru. And you know I was working on a brand called Lifebuoy and I used to wonder what the hell am I doing working on a brand called Lifebuoy? What this soap really do? It’s a soap, hand wash, when you go to a loo you wash your hands with it. What am I doing? And I think the best part of this is, Solu explained this to me that young man, you have a chance to save lives. It is not a soap that you are selling. It’s not a germ-kill proposition that you are living with, you are saving lives. Like you said, Ajay, through hand wash, millions of lives get saved, through simple thing like hand wash. And since then everything that I have done on my brands, in my businesses, with my people, has always been trying to see what’s the larger purpose of what we are trying to do? What are we energizing ourselves to do? And what’s really the larger purpose of this pace? The second was most recent on 26/11, when our entire past, current and future of Hindustan Lever-then was stuck in Taj. And with 30 of us, and what it told me is, it taught me in some very simple ways that there is a hand up there, and if you have survived, there is a reason why you have survived. And if you have, you should find that reason why you have survived, not say that you have just survived. It is not the heroism of how you have survived, it is wanting to look for the reason why you have survived that makes the biggest difference. And I  really loved the way, we heard you talk about  your experience of the reason why you survived through your life and I think it’s very similar in many ways to understand that.

The second thing it taught me is real leaders. People whom I had revered, people who had picked me into the organization called Hindustan Lever, people who… and all the other people who were staff members of Taj and how they conducted themselves, people who survived, who ran in from the other rooms, how they conducted themselves, the real leaders are born during chaos, real leaders are born at the time when there is life and death staring at your face. And to me if you can make every situation simple… I will go back to again a learning that my Guru gave to me – how do you know something is right or wrong? If you can tell it to your mother proudly that you have done something, and it is right; if you can’t, it is wrong. And in again simple rules, if you try and keep your life to commit yourself what you wanted to do, what drives you as an individual, I think we will all come a long way. It has been an absolute brilliant experience and a humbling experience for me.

Thank you Swamiji (Radhanath Swami), it’s been so nice to have heard you speak today and to the esteemed panel, thank you for sharing your views and I will look forward to the rest of the sessions. Thank you so much.

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Radhanath Swami innaugurates Book about stories of Book Marathon http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-innaugurates-book-about-stories-of-book-marathon http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-innaugurates-book-about-stories-of-book-marathon#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 09:47:46 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2725 ]]> http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-innaugurates-book-about-stories-of-book-marathon/feed 20 2725 Spiritual Transformation through Art and Culture http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/spiritual-transformation-through-art-and-culture http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/spiritual-transformation-through-art-and-culture#comments Sun, 15 Feb 2015 09:58:28 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2723

I am very hopeful the people of India will rediscover the supreme treasure that has been our heritage, and through our arts, through our lives, we share it with each other and share it with the world. – Radhanath Swami

It’s my honor and pleasure to be with all of you tonight. Thank you to Juhi Chawla, Saurabh Raj Jain and to all of you who have given your precious time to be here tonight. The arts have been utilized throughout history to transform the hearts of humanity: politically, socially, and in practically every possible way. Being a swami, I’d like to focus on spiritual transformation.

The origin of the arts has a very spiritual foundation. In India, the concept of yoga is to harmonize, our body and all of its senses, our mind, our words, with the living force, the atma or the soul and then to connect the atma with the supreme atma or God. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna tells that he is the intelligence of the intelligent, the strength of the strong and the ability in everyone. It is one– from that one supreme source of everything that exists, who has many names, who has appeared in many religions, who, in Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna tells that he is providing the light of the sun, the air that we breathe, the rain, the earth, the food. Patram pushpam phalam toyam yo me bhaktya payachati

“When we utilize the abilities and resources that we have in a spirit of gratitude for what we are receiving, and humility, and we offer it in that spirit, that is true religion; that is true yoga.” –Radhanath Swami

Srila Prabhupada, my guru, in 1969 he was in London and a journalist asked him, “Swamiji, why have you come to England?” And he said that, “The British ruled over India for well over a century, and took from India, bringing to London, so much of the wealth. But you forgot our most precious wealth, our culture. And I have come to give you what you forgot to take.” And he inspired so many people in this spirit of utilizing the God-given talents that we have as an offering of gratitude.

“And the greatest gratitude we can offer is to uplift others. Aham bija prajapita Because every living being is a child of the one supreme God. We are all related.” –Radhanath Swami

I’d like to speak very briefly in honor of one of my dearest friends. She passed away just about a year ago. Her name was Yamuna Devi, she was an American girl born in Oregon. And she came in contact, through with her guru Shrila Prabhupada, with this great culture of India. And it transformed her to such an extent; everything she did was like a masterpiece of art, as an offering of gratitude. I’ll give an example; she came to India to learn cooking. She was going to just common ladies’ homes and learning the art. She was going to various temples. She became so deeply absorbed, and she wanted to share these gifts with the world. She wrote a vegetarian cookbook built on– based on traditional Indian cooking, it was called Lord Krishna’s Cuisine. She did it so masterfully it was the number one cookbook, internationally, of the entire year.

She liked to sing, to express her gratitude to God and her love for God. She was living in London in 1969, and was singing simple kirtan with a harmonium. She had no money; she didn’t even have a place to live (her and her husband). George Harrison of the Beatles, when they were at the peak of their fame and success, he would disguise himself, because if he went out everyone would crowd around him, just to go and see her sing. And he was so inspired by the spiritual substance of her music that he wanted to record her on the Beatles own record label, Apple. And Yamuna Devi’s singing, her record was the number one record in all of England and all of Europe. She just played a little harmonium–– this is at the time at the peak of rock ‘n roll and all kinds of other music–– she just played a harmonium. There was a tambora, mridanga, (traditional Indian instruments) and her song was the Hare Krishna mantra: 

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna

Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

She had created an altar in her home. The way she designed that altar with her own hands– every day she would make beautiful flower arrangements, beautiful malas (garlands). People would prefer to come to her house than even the big glorious temples of India and the west, because they felt such devotion in every detail. In fact, with her own hands, she built her own house because she wanted to show how people could live very naturally. It was an environmentally friendly home that she made with earth and natural ingredients. It was so beautiful. Every inch, every detail of that home was meticulous, artistic, in the right place. I was there many times. I knew atheists who decried the concept of God, just by entering into their [Yamuna and husband’s] house, they were transformed. Seriously. “If a home is so meticulously, artistically designed, with so much care and so much love in honor of God, I have to believe in God.”

We all write our names. She was writing for Krishna. She mastered the art of calligraphy. Every word, every letter was like a beautiful work of art from her heart. And she never took credit for anything; she was so humble. She would say Krishna is the ability in all of us.

“Yoga, and the yoga of art is, through our music, through our dance, through every aspect of our life actually, we are tuning in to the frequency of divine grace. And through our art, we become transmitters to uplift humanity and uplift the world to that divine grace.” –Radhanath Swami

Art engages the senses, the mind, and has the power to transform the heart. It absorbs people. Rising India, I am very hopeful the people of India will rediscover the supreme treasure that has been our heritage, and through our arts, through our lives, we share it with each other and share it with the world. And I’m so grateful that this event, with such beautiful people, is happening tonight. Thank you very much.

 

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Radhanath Swami on Srila Prabhupada’s Book Marathon http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-srila-prabhupadas-book-marathon http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-srila-prabhupadas-book-marathon#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2015 08:55:39 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2720

So up until he passed from this world, he was traveling, traveling, traveling. But still he would say, “I want my leaders to do this. I want to just sit down in one place and translate these books.” That’s just how much these books meant to Srila Prahupada. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami elaborates on ‘ananda’, true happiness

I was just coming here, and Sankirtan Prabhu told me there was a group of people from America who wanted to see me. So I was late. But it was quite a cultural experience for them. As I was speaking to them, every couple minutes there was a tsunami of laughter that completely drowned the whole room that I was in. And they never heard laughter like this before – tumultuous. I’m used to it, all of you are used to it, but they never heard it before like this – laughter, so long laughter. They said, “What’s that?” And I said, “That is our monks.” They were totally speechless. Monks?! “Yes, they have given up all sex life and given up all the material property and pleasures and they don’t have any money,” I said, “but because they have Krishna they are very happy.” They said, “We have never heard such happiness.” And then as I was saying, you laughed again. anandam-buddhi-vardhanam pratipadam purnamrtas-vadanam; this anandam is actual happiness. The happiness in this material world sukha dukha, mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya śītoṣṇa-sukha-duḥkha-dāḥ, these happiness and distress in this world are inseparable from each other. Happiness is a relief of the boredom and emptiness of our hearts, but that relief appears to be a surge of joy. But like intoxications, it doesn’t last long. It’s not really happiness.

 

Happiness of the mind and the senses is superficial and illusory. When we speak about ananda, it is a completely different tattva. It’s a principle of true happiness, the happiness that actually comes from the soul connecting with Krishna. – Radhanath Swami

 

And through bhakti we find this real happiness of the soul’s enjoyment in loving service to Krishna. Bhakti means to seek our happiness in life in serving. Material happiness is seeking our happiness through temporary, sensual, mental or emotional gratifications, but in bhakti we seek happiness through service, through making Krishna happy. Even if physically, emotionally we are in suffering state, if we are making Krishna happy, then we will be the most happy.

 

Sometimes I tell that story about Bhakti Tirtha swami. When he was in his most painful state anyone had ever seen him, his body was trembling because the cancer was deep in his bones and every cell pained. And we were chanting together; he started smiling, he started crying in ecstasy. He said, “It doesn’t get any better than this! I am tasting Krishna’s name like I’ve never tasted before.” His body was still in the same condition of trembling; so the physical situation didn’t change, but he changed. That’s real happiness.

 

Real happiness, it’s not based on circumstances. Material happiness is based on circumstances, and in this world circumstances always change. – Radhanath Swami

 

Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s cold, sometimes you’re young, sometimes you are old. That rhymes! Sometimes we are healthy, sometimes sick, sometimes people glorify, sometimes people criticize us, sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail, things are always changing. But the happiness of bhakti is, these changes will always be there but we find our happiness in that deeper place of seva. Seva means unconditional service, samsiddhir hari toshanam. Seva means, “Krishna, whatever pleases you, that is what is my object and purpose of life.” Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn’t make sense; doesn’t really matter. What pleases Krishna… and what pleases Krishna? yasya prasadad bhagavat prasado, mad bhakta pujabhyadika,  by pleasing the devotees, by pleasing the servant of the servant of the servant, by pleasing our Guru, that’s what pleases Krishna.

 

Radhanath Swami on Srila Prabhupada’s desire to give us his books

Srila Prabhupada our Founder Acharya, he gave us his books when he came to America. When he came, he had Rs.40 which was unchangeable. He had a bag of some cereal to eat, he had his japa mala, an umbrella, just a little suitcase full of clothes and boxes of books. That was the main thing he carried from India – the Srimad Bhagavatam – boxes of books. Even though he came off in New York, he didn’t know anyone, anywhere. He told some of his devotees later, “But I had no fear. I knew I would succeed, because I had the holy name and I had the Srimad Bhagavatam and I had the order of my spiritual master.” So Srila Prabhupada, he put so much of his own life into creating these books for us. We have all heard the stories so many times. He traveled around the world to establish this movement, but even from the early years he was saying that, “I am hoping that my senior man will be able to do this, so I can sit down and translate these books.”

 

He would come to New Dwarka, “I want to stay here and translate my books.” He would come to Hawaii, “I want to just stay here and translate my books.” He came to New Vrindavan and, “I wanted to stay here and translate my books. He came to Bhaktivedanta Manor in London, “I want to just stay here and translate my books.” And each and every place he just wanted… this is the only place he wants to stay to translate his books. Then each place thought, “This is the only place he wants to translate his books.” Like Krishna, who made each Gopi think that “I’m only with you.” But even if we heard that he said this to every other place, it encouraged us in the same way, because in the reciprocation, bhakti is qualitative but not quantitative. Just the fact that he said it and he meant, even if he said it to every center in the world that, “I wanted to stop traveling everywhere else and only be here,” it had the same effect. But his leaders did not have the maturity or the capacity at that time to be able to sustain and expand his movement all over the world. He was the only one who could do it.

 

So up until he passed from this world, he was traveling, traveling, traveling. But still he would say, “I want my leaders to do this. I want to just sit down in one place and translate these books.” That’s just how much these books meant to Srila Prahupada. – Radhanath Swami

 

And he was writing them for the devotees and for people for all time to come, and for the world. And his enthusiasm, enthusiasm to enthuse devotees to distribute his books…

 

Radhanath Swami narrates a pastime of Srila Prabhupada

Recently at the Bhakti Center in New York City Shruti Kirti Prabhu, who was Srila Prabhupada’s personal servant for several years, he came to give class. He was giving class about his remembrances of Srila Prabhupada. Most of this class he was talking about Srila Prabhupada and his books. Now Shruta Kirti Prabhu himself was never really a big book distributor. He was more a cook at New Vrindavan and then Prabhupada took him to be his personal servant. And then he was a president of a temple in Hawaii, like that. But he was telling, one time he came into Srila Prabhupada’s room at night. There was nobody around. It was completely quiet and Srila Prabhupada was reading Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. He was just reading it for long time, and Shrutikirti Prabhu was thinking, “He’s just reading his own books!” But he didn’t say anything. And Prabhupada looked at him and said, “I didn’t write these books, Krishna wrote these books. So you may wonder why I am reading my own books, but I did not write these books, Krishna wrote these books.” And he held up the book and he said, “If you just read this one book in your life, your life will be perfect.”

 

Of course, we have to really read it with open heart. There’s ‘reading’, and there’s reading. Tad pranipatena pari prashnena sevaya, when we approach the guru, we submit ourselves with faith; then his instructions can completely transform our hearts. So when we actually submit our hearts with faith, then reading Bhagavad-Gita one time, our life will be perfect. – Radhanath Swami

 

So Shruta Kirti Prabhu said, “He’s inspired me to read Bhagavad Gita.” But being Prabhupada’s personal servant, there is not that much time for reading. You’re always doing something 24 hours a day practically. It wasn’t an easy service. Extremely fortunate position, but very demanding; and he can’t take a break. So a couple months later he comes into Prabhupada’s room, and Prabhupada is reading Bhagavad-Gita As It Is. And Prabhupada looks up at him and says, “If you only read one chapter of this book, your life will be perfect.” Couple months later he came in his room; Prabhupada was reading Bhagavad-Gita. It’s amazing how Prabhupada remembers the order! “If you only read one verse of this book, your life will be perfect.” He meant reading with understanding. And then couple months later he came in and Prabhuada was reading Bhagavad-Gita. “If only you understand one word of this book your life will be perfect.” That was Prabhupada’s faith in the Bhagavad-Gita, what to speak of Srimad Bhagavatam!

 

He had faith in Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam because he had realized, he had, he had realized that Krishna’s words are non- different than Krishna. And with this realization and this great compassion he asked devotees to distribute the books. And he was so very happy especially when devotees endured hardships or took risks to distribute his books. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on “What really pleases Srila Prabhupada?”

He was very happy, and what pleases our guru is what pleases Krishna. Samasiddhir hari toshanam.

 

So the real liberated state is when we are not concerned with our own conditional, circumstantial, material, sensual, emotional happiness – and of course these things are there and it cannot be denied – but they are adjusted in such a way that they are in harmony with our real purpose, which is to please Krishna, to please – in our society especially, Srila Prabhupada. – Radhanath Swami

 

It’s not just the number of books that are distributed that pleases Srila Prabhupada and Radha Gopinath, but it’s the enthusiasm in which were trying to please them by distributing these books. It is an act of great compassion, when we are distributing these books, if were in the proper spirit.  We are not… we are not the doers, we are the instruments. We are just giving Prabhupada’s words to someone else, we are giving Krishna’s words. Srila Prabhupada’s purports were not from Prabhupada’s point of view, it was not Prabhupada’s words; Prabhupada took the words of all the other Acharyas of our whole parampara and distilled them with his own compassion, realizations into his purports. So by repeating those words through our own words, or by giving these books, we are the instruments of the highest dimension of compassion. That’s what book distribution is.

 

That’s what preaching is on every level – enthusiasm to serve, enthusiasm to please, enthusiasm to uplift others which is the greatest service that pleases Krishna, what gives Krishna great happiness. Enthusiasm especially to put aside our false egos and work together for this purpose. That creates community, and that community is the most powerful thing that pleases the creation of these devotional communities; enthusiastic to serve gives the most pleasure to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna.

 

When we do something ourselves that gives some happiness, but it can also inflate our egos extensively in the name of bhakti. But when we do things together, we are not proud of ‘me’, we are proud of ‘us’, and that’s actually a type of humility. So the enthusiasm to serve together, this is great, great offering of love. – Radhanath Swami

 

And all of you, many of you are on bus parties. Bus parties… sometimes austere conditions, being with people who have separate identities, different natures, different conditioning, individual egos, millions of reasons you could disagree and fight and walk away from each other, insult each other, but one reason to unite and to rise above it all, no matter how difficult it is – and that is because that’s what bhakti is about, being a monk means, being a brahmachari, being a sanyasi, being a proper… a proper grihastha even means a life of renunciation. And renunciation, if you renounce money and property but you’re still always fighting with other people, what kind of renunciation is that?

Radhanath Swami explains brahmachari life

Renunciation ultimately means renunciation of our separate egos for the purpose of the higher cause of pleasing Krishna. And if it was easy, it wouldn’t be renunciation. Because it’s difficult, it’s actual renunciation. – Radhanath Swami

 

That’s what monks, that’s what  brahmacharis are for. Srila Prabhupada said that… he gives the example of prophet that came to the village and he said to the brahmachari, “I give you the benediction, better you die.” And to the Prince, “Better you live.” And to the butcher, “Better you neither live nor die.” And to the sadhu, “Better you either live or die.” And he explained. Butcher is living in the hoards of death and when he dies he is going to have to suffer all the karma, for all the death he was implicated in. And the prince is engaging in so many sinful activities, but is happy now. “Better you live, because when you die, you are going to get all your karma back for you.” And for sadhu, to live or die it doesn’t matter. “Because you’re just serving Krishna, you have no other desire but to serve Krishna, so you’re happy in this world serving Krishna. When you die, you just go back to Godhead to serve Krishna, makes no difference.” To brahmachari, “Better you die, because now there are so many hardships. You’re not yet completely pure, so many hardships. But you’re not giving up; you are living by that higher principle, to please Krishna.” But that doesn’t mean better you physically die; you just pick up where you left off. Better that your ego dies, your false ego, and you real ego is revived.

 

So the austerity of brahmachari life is, despite all difficulties, we unite on this – we unite our body, mind, words – with the higher purpose of our souls, which is to please Krishna, and from that level unite with each other. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami on “Laughter is the best medicine”

And the laughter and happiness that you all are sharing together in this little room was so tumultuous and so genuine. You know I sometimes go to – I haven’t been there in some years, but I used to sometimes walk – in Hanging Gardens, and there are these laughing societies. Have you seen? They laugh because it’s actually clinically, medically proven that laughter is one of the best medicines for every disease. There is a certain thing that happens to all your cells in your body when you really laugh, and it really invigorates your system and cures diseases – emotional, physical, everything. There is television station, whole big broadcasts about the advantages of laughing; we have books about it. So you go there, and people they know this, living in Mumbai. And cities, I’ve seen this in Singapore, I’ve seen it in Central Park in New York, I see  it in Los Angeles, all these people, you just go by and they are just laughing and laughing and laughing. Usually in parks, sometimes they are in meeting places too. But it’s… they are laughing not spontaneously, they are actually forcing to laugh. And if you force yourself to laugh enough, becomes like momentum, so you’re really laughing.

 

But when laughter comes from a spontaneous uprising of joy of the heart, that’s a whole another level of laughter. That’s not just artificial laughter, that’s an expression of the true happiness, and one that… true happiness is rising from the heart. – Radhanath Swami

 

Because we are hearing about the wonderful devotional service and realizations of others, that’s bhakti. This is what these people were hearing; was unbelievable to them. Monks are laughing like this! They thought monks are supposed to be like… you know, putting hooks on themselves and stuff, just so they suffer more. What is this? Laughing monks! But they were purified; this laughing is like Kirtan, it really is. Not the laughing in the parks, but the laughing here, because it’s born of genuine happiness, born of appreciation, with another person’s service. Yes, that’s what you’re laughing about. Somebody was speaking some funny story, but it was about their devotional service. And due to our intimacy of our affection for that person we laugh. If we don’t like the person and he tells a story like that, we don’t laugh. We just like… why is everybody laughing? ‘Should be laughing at me instead.’ But when the spontaneous joy, it’s a celebration. Anandam budhi vardhanam, it’s happiness of bhakti.

 

And your month of the Christmas Marathon or the Book Distribution Marathon, December, going out, the organizing, the management, shipping of the books, the storing the books, the accountability of all the books and all the funds that come in for the books, the traveling from one place to another, the meeting all of kinds of different people, all of those things together is the harmonious offering that Radha Gopinath Temple has offered to Srila Prabhupada this last month. And your enthusiasm, it is your enthusiasm that has successfully pleased Srila Prabhupada and Radha Gopinath, so much by your… by both the quality and the quantity of the sincere efforts that you made. I am very grateful. As my personal life is as a caretaker on behalf of Srila Prabhupada for trying to help all of you, encourage all of you, and when I see that you are united, enthusiastic, determined with very high ideals, integrity, working together in this way, serving together in this way, it brings great joy to me because I see that the success of our mission and our life is when Srila Prabhupada is pleased. I thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

 

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Radhanath Swami on Vedic Wisdom for Modern Business http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-vedic-wisdom-for-modern-business http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-vedic-wisdom-for-modern-business#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 12:39:52 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2717

Vedic Wisdom teaches us to understand individually and collectively what our potential really is. Na jayate mriyate va kadachin: we are all eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss, we are all brothers and sisters. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami implores us to live in harmony with the unchangeable reality

“Vedic wisdom for modern business” is the topic we have been given today. In the Bhagavad Gita we learn there is prakriti and apara-prakriti. Simultaneously there is the unchangeable reality.Changes are always taking place within creation; on a physical level nothing is ever stable.What we see with our eyes is very gross. If you look under a microscope you will see that every little particle is constantly moving and constantly changing. That is how creation has been built. But underlying it is eternal soul, the atma, which is unborn and undying.  And Krishna tells in Gita – yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharatah – that  the Supreme Truth, the cause of all causes, the source of everything that exists – who some call God, Bhagawan, parameshwar, paramatma, Krishna, who has many names – has descended into this world in many ways at various times and has spoken the same eternal truths and sanatana dharma according to the time, place and circumstances. The container or package in which Dharma is given varies according to what people can understand and according to the needs of the time and place. But the truth is constant, just like a foundation to a building; you cannot see the foundation but it holds up every part of the building. Whether it’s a mosque or a church or a corporate headquarters or a government headquarters, whatever the building shape may be it needs a strong foundation.

 

So Sanatana Dharma – these everlasting truths that remain relevant in all times, in all circumstances – is often times forgotten, underestimated, overlooked, because we are so busy dealing with the ever-changing challenges of this world. – Radhanath Swami

 

But we actually want to make a real difference in a way that’s truly beneficial. To know the harmony between physical nature, mind, the atma the force that’s within us that’s giving us the power of consciousness, and the supreme consciousness or God, paramatma from whom everything emanates, to understand the unity and harmony between all these different aspects of life and to live in that harmony is actually the meaning of yoga or religion. It is dharma and it is the greatest need within this world.

 

Radhanath Swami poses the question – ‘Are we really in control?’

Dr Desai quoted from the Isopanishad: isavasyam idam sarvam, this basic principle that everything is the property of the higher power of God’s grace. And this is something very practical, because proprietorship means control and we may have some control over some things, but ultimately there are so many forces within creation that may take that away from you. If this is really my body, then it should never get sick. But somehow or other there are bacterial people in the world; they somehow or other invade us and we get sick. If I had control of the body I may not decide to get old. Who wants to get old? Children want to get old, but once they get older they don’t want to be old; definitely they don’t want to be older. And ultimately every living being has to die. My Guru Srila Prabhupada used to say that when people want to make the point that something is certain, you say ‘sure as death’.

So if this is really ‘my body’, why do I have to die?

If it’s really my property then how come I can’t take anything with me at the time of death? If it’s really my property I wouldn’t have to pay taxes. This body is divine property and we are the caretakers, we are living within this body. And we have a divine purpose, and whatever wealth, intelligence, health, strength, fame, beauty, whatever we may have, these are all gifts. – Radhanath Swami

 

To understand how to utilize whatever I have been given in harmony with the creator – aham bija praja pita Krishna tells in Gita, ‘I’m the father and mother of every living being – with this vision…We see everyone as our brothers and sisters. Whatever the race, whatever the sex, whatever the religion, or no religion, whatever the species, wherever there’s life, it is sacred.Every living being is a child of God and every living being has the rights of being treated and respected as a child of God. And if we do not see it that way and utilize what we have in that spirit, then we are disconnected from our own selves, we are disconnected from currents of truth.

 

Radhanath Swami summarizes the essence of the Vedas

In the Vedic literatures, there is very primarily historical examples of the difference in the quality of our life and the effect we have in the world by how we utilize what God has given us. In the Mahabharata there are so many stories and so many philosophical teachings, but the basis of it all is ‘Duryodhana’ and ‘Yudhistir’. There was a kingdom. Duryodhana wanted to exploit it for his own selfish purposes; Yudhistir Maharaj wanted to utilize it in the service of God and all living beings. It’s described that Yudhistir Maharaj saw every single one of his citizens as his praja, that ‘everyone is my child’. A leader is one who is like a father or mother and ‘all those people who are subordinate are my children’. And he felt greatly responsible for everyone. He understood that ‘they are my children’, in the sense that ‘they are all Krishna’s children and I am in this position on behalf of God and on behalf of Krishna to be a caretaker of Krishna’s children’. And that’s how he ran his kingdom. Now, in Mahabharata we read: Duryodhana, he was envious, he was exploitative and ultimately he took control over the whole kingdom, and Yudhistir Maharaj was exiled. What was the difference? Yudhistir Maharaj, he held sacredness of dharma above and beyond all the wealth and power of the world, and Duryodhana, he favored the wealth and power of the world over dharma. Initially, Yudhistir Maharaj was exiled; Duryodhana had everything. But in the end Duryodhana was vanquished and he is infamous for the rest of the history.

One of the other great scriptures is Ramayana; same teaching. Ravana!  Ravana wanted to exploit Sita. He put aside dharma for the purpose of his own desires, his own power, and his own pleasure. His little brother Vibhishan, he put Dharma above everything else, and he was also exiled. He had nothing. Ravana wanted to exploit Sita; Vibhishan wanted to honor and respect Sita, and bring her back to her natural relationship with Ram.In the end Vibhishan was made King and Ravana was vanquished.

So Duryodhana and Yudhistir were cousins brothers; Vibhishan and Ravana were brothers. But they had two different ways of looking at the world.One valued the temporary things and one valued Dharma, sanatana dharma, the true values of the soul. Neither Vibhishan nor Yudhsitir Maharaj would ever compromise spiritual values. – Radhanath Swami

 

Learning from the life of Prahlad

And what is the greatest value? Little Prahlad, we read about him in Srimad Bhagavatam. He was just a five-year-old child. When he was in the womb of his mother he heard the truth from Narada Muni. Now Narada Muni is a renunciate. He doesn’t have a wife, he doesn’t have children, he doesn’t have a house, he is always traveling around. Daksha cursed him: he’s not allowed to stay in one place. But he was happy: ‘if that’s the will of God, let me be, Narada muni bajaeveena Radhika ramananaameso.’ Narada Muni is a renunciate and the knowledge he spoke to Prahlad, let us examine carefully how it transformed him. Little Prahlad spoke to his father Hiranyakashipu…I think we all know the story.He was a dictator, he was a person who had knowledge of scripture, he had gurus. But he interpreted everything according to his own arrogance – ‘what is good for me?’ So he was exploiting and he would destroy anything that came in the way of his own personal interests. And little Prahlad would instruct his father in the principles of Bhagavat Dharma – that ultimately everything is the property of God. Hiranyakashipu hated this philosophy. He decided to kill Prahlad; he tried in every way, and finally when he couldn’t kill Prahlad, he decided, ‘I am going to take my sword and I am going to sever his head.’ And he said, “Prahlad. You talk about this God Vishnu. I’m about to cut off your head. Where is your God now to protect you? Where do you get your power that you think you could defy me?” And here is this gigantic dictator with a massive sword right over the neck of little five-year-old Prahlad. He smiled. He fearlessly said, “My father, I get my power from the same place where you get from – Krishna.” This was such an insult to his father. It was the ultimate insult. Hiranyakashipu said, “Then let us see. Is he in this pillar?” Then Prahlad said, “Yes, he is in the pillar, he is everywhere.”

“Then I will destroy him.  Then let us see if he can save you.”

And then he came to little Prahlad to sever his head, and Vishnu came out of the pillar. And ultimately Vishnu asked – Narasimhadev Lord asked – Prahlad, “You have done so much for me. I’ll give you anything you want. Ask for anything benediction.” LittlePrahlad, he said, “Why are you tempting me? I’m a devotee not a businessman. A businessman gives something with this expectation of something in return, but a devotee just wants to give. Your pleasure is the only thing that I want. Just let me be the servant of your servant of your servant.” And then Little Prahlad said, “But if you insist on giving me something, give my father liberation. And as for me, I don’t want liberation. Great yogis and sages, they go to the Himalayan Mountains for their own salvation. But please put me where the people are, where people are in ignorance, where people are suffering. They are your children; let me be there to help them.”

 

And then Prahlad was made king. He was a self realized soul. He became the emperor. It’s not that in his enlightened state he just renounced everything.He took serious responsibility of managing an entire kingdom for a long, long time. But what was the difference?His father Hiranyakashipu terrorized anybody who didn’t harmonize with his egoistic, ulterior motivesin life; and little Prahlad, he was the servant of everyone. He honored and respected every living being. – Radhanath Swami

 

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explains what is an enlightened state: amanina manadena. When we actually understand reality of how every living being is a child of God and everything is the property of God, it makes life so beautiful, because we learn how to offer respect and honor to everyone.We may not like what they do, but we love them.- Radhanath Swami

 

The greatest attention within all of us is what we are yearning for, but we have forgotten what it is. We are trying to find pleasure, ananda mayobhyashat, in so many things, but it is the principal that in evolved human society people love people and use things to servepeople.But unfortunately due to being so distracted from our own well-being, we love things and we use people to get them and to keep them.

We are so concerned with the quantity of what we have,that we miss the point of quality of life.The happiness everyone is seeking is to love and to be loved, because it’s the nature of the soul. It’s our potential, and when we connect to that love that is within us, it naturally extends through everything we say, everything we do, everything we have, in the spirit of compassion.The greatest joy to the soul, the greatest joy to the heart, is to find pleasure in being an instrument of God’s infinite compassion. – Radhanath Swami

And this is the foundational basis of true education, whether we are doctors or whether we are engineers or lawyers or farmers, industrialists, entrepreneurs, politicians, teachers,mothers, fathers,or Swamis. Whatever our position may be, if we learn how to utilize that in the spirit of compassion then we are tuned into the eternal truth and we can actually nourish not only the true pleasure in our own hearts, but we can enlighten others in that pleasure.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks of the example of Maharaj Shibi

The Vedic literatures have countless examples like this. Maharaja Shibi, he was an emperor, he had palace, he had massive wealth, and he had family. And one pigeon came to him and said, “You’re the king, you are supposed to give protection to everyone. I’m one of your citizens. Give me protection.” And the king said, “Yes! I will give you protection.” Now a pigeon is quite insignificant compared to so many people in his kingdom. But he wasn’t seeing everyone according to their rank; he was seeing everyone according to a spiritual vision. He said, “I will protect you.” Pigeon said, “A hawk is about to eat me.” The king said, “I will protect you.” And the hawk said, “What about protecting me? I’m also your citizen and my food is pigeon.” Because hawks are not vegetarians, Maharaja Shibi, he said, “I’ve given my word. The weight of that pigeon I will give you from my own flesh.”He didn’t say, “I’ll give you from the flesh of my wife, or my son, of one of my servant.” His own! And he put the pigeon on one side of the scale and start putting – cutting his own flesh off – putting it on the other side. And no matter how much he put, the pigeon weighed more. So finally he sat with his whole body on the other side of the scale, and it weighed exactly the same as a pigeon. And Maharaj Shibi said, “Eat me now.” This is extreme, cannot imitate.But the principal is to be understood. 

He was willing to sacrifice his life for dharma, and what is the dharma of the king? Not to be the controller or the exploiter, but the servant of even the least among the people. – Radhanath Swami

 

At that time the pigeon, the hawk, they both became devas, demigods, and they bowed down to Maharaj Shibi and said, “We just staged this performance to show the world for all time to come what is the man of true dharma.” Because death will come, what is the integrity of our life?

 

Radhanath Swami on the potential within all of us

Great personalities see this potential in us. And because they see it within us, they remind us of what our true potential is. A little example. This building that we are in today, all of the bricks are made from the soil, the earth, of the land that we are walking on, right here in our Eco Village. I think we made about 250,000 bricks out of dirt from our own ground; we don’t import the dirt. We learned this from a lady named Chitra from Bangalore. She taught us the great potential of earth. Now, so many of us are walking on the ground and we don’t really see that much value. But when we are enlightened, we see that we could take that same ground and we can make beautiful homes, buildings that will last for centuries. And they are baked by the sun. We just compress the earth, put them in the sun and build a house. The potential of the earth!

A farmer understands the potential of what can grow in here, because they have been enlightened.

And the sun! The sun is shining for everyone equally.We have solar panels here.Somebody taught us how you can give power to your whole community by just extracting electricity from the rays of sun. What a beautiful art!

I remember when I was a student in school, and as a teenager in the 1960s, we were really rebellious,because we didn’t like what was going on in our country, in the world. So we sometimes grew our hair or wore clothes that made us very obvious that we were living for our statement of revolution called the counterculture. So a lot of our teachers really didn’t like us, but I had one teacher and this particular teacher, he saw something very valuable in me and he appreciated me for that. And he enlightened me and I really thought I could actually do something. And when I met My Guru Srila Prabhupada, he could appreciate that I could be an instrument of a power that can actually transform so many people’s lives in a positive way. I can see it in me, any more than an ordinary person sees bricks and houses in the soil, or electricity in the sunshine.

Vedic Wisdom teaches us to understand individually and collectively what our potential really is. Na jayate mriyate va kadachin: we are all eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss, we are all brothers and sisters. – Radhanath Swami

 

The wonderful property that we are entrusted with is sacred if we use it for a sacred purpose. Wealth is not maya, unless we don’t understand its purpose. Maya means illusion. Laxmi is the goddess of fortune. Knowledge, strength, fame, influence, property, money, this is all the energy of Laxmi. It is sacred, if we only understand that sacred potential within it and within us.And theVedic wisdom,it can bespoken in many languages.Bhagavad Gita is in Sanskrit.Our guru Srila Prabhupada translated it into almost every language in the world. Doesn’t matter what language, doesn’t matter what kind of cover you put on the book.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks of unity through the Vedic Wisdom

The human body is composed of so many parts; we have lungs and pancreas and liver and heart and brain and arms, legs and eyes and ears, and each part of the body appreciates the contribution ofevery other part of the body. And each part of the body is there to nourish, to protect and to give happiness to every part of the body. When you see something – your vision – you’re seeing how to protect, how to nourish every other part of the body.The eye is not thinking, ‘just about me’, and the heart, heart just doesn’t pumpfor itself.Every cellular part of thebody is being nourished by the heart and the brain is giving direction. So the Vedic literatures, its wisdom teaches that human society is like a body, God’s body within this world. And Vedic wisdom is where we can see the potential unity ofeverything and everyone. And as Dr. Acyut Samant was saying, “Not just understand it, but live by it.”

Theoretical knowledge, scientific information is crucial, because without it, it’s like trying to get to a place we’ve never been without a map. We need direction, but even if you have the best map or you have one of those GPS, you may know exactly where to go and how to get there – we have to go. Otherwise, you are just sitting at home saying, “I know all about this place.”But if you actually want to experience the place, you have to get up and go. You have to apply that information. So this is the great opportunity we have. 

This Vedic wisdom is sanatana dharma. It’s the essential, universal principles that is foundational for the morality, the values and the enlightenment of every culture and every religion. – Radhanath Swami

 

To connect to it, to understand and then to put it into our practice, we become transformed, we experience that seva, serving with compassion. Watering the root of the tree, by pleasing Krishna, by pleasing God, we can actually learn how to be a compassionate instrument of his grace in everything we do for everyone. That is real satisfaction that we will find. And as we find that satisfaction we become more and more enthusiastic, determined and fearless to share that satisfaction with others.That is our real life.

 

Concluding words

And business, it’s so much controlling the world. Most of the politicians, they were in power because of business people putting them there, facilitating them. Through business, whether small or big, it’s not important, it’s the quality that is important. Dr Acyut Samant, he had so little, but he had compassion and look what he has done. My own beloved Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupada was a businessman. He owned a little pharmacy, Prayaag Pharmacy, in Allahabad and then in Mumbai.But in his heart, like little Prahalad, he loved Krishna and he wanted to share that love with the world through compassion. And one time he was in Mumbai speaking to some of the biggest business people of Mumbai. And he said, “When I left Mumbai in 1965 I had 40 Rupees and I left on a cargo ship The Jaladutta.” 38 days over oceans and continents, he was70 years old, and when he came off, nobody wanted Rupees in 1965, so literally he had nothing. He knew no one, he was in a strange land, he never saw the winter and snow before. He said, “But I wanted to share the greatest wealth, the wealth of Sanatana Dharma, wealth of bhakti.” He said, “Now that I have come back and I have hundreds of temples all over the world and tens of thousands of followers from all over the world and have published millions and millions of books,” he said, “40 rupees that I couldn’t exchange, look what that investment has done.” On this level… but he never considered anything to be his. Success, failure, honor, dishonor, happiness, distress, these things are always coming and going.

But the greatest opportunity is to see potential within our own self, to tune in to that potential. That is why we chant God’s names and follow these principles of bhakti. And satsang, association with enlightening people tunes us in, and once we become tuned in, through everything we do we can be a transmitter of compassion, of grace. – Radhanath Swami

 

Thank you.

 

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Radhanath Swami on “Purifying our desires and ego” http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-purifying-our-desires-and-ego http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-purifying-our-desires-and-ego#comments Sat, 10 Jan 2015 13:19:04 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2707 It is my honor and my pleasure to be with you this evening. I thank you Nupur for your gracious and kind words. Thank you for this wonderful family, the Desais who have opened the doors of their beautiful home for us tonight. And I thank all of you for coming despite the cricket and hockey and everything else going on.

I was asked to speak about being purified. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says, “Of the purifiers I am the wind.” Tonight we are feeling the nice ocean breeze. There is also a beautiful verse: he Krishna karuna sindhu.

Krishna is an ocean of kindness and the breeze of that kindness actually permeates everything, everywhere and we become purified through the natural process of just tuning in to that grace that is coming from the ocean of God’s kindness. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami narrates a lesson he learnt from a fisherman

I just met Mr. Mishra who is from Jagannath Puri. And just a few weeks ago I was in Puri. One early morning I was doing my meditation of chanting my Mahamantra to get purified and I was praying for a nice inspiration. I looked out at the ocean and there I saw a fisherman; very simple a row boat he had. That was big enough for one person. It was early morning and the waves were very high. And he was somehow or other trying to get his boat out where he could go for fishing. I was watching… he took his boat and a big wave knocked him down and the boat tipped over backward and went to the shore. He picked it up again, pushed in to the water and started going with the boat, pushing on his feet. Another big wave pushed him back. He was really struggling and somehow or other he got into the water – where he actually got into the water – and another big wave came and knocked him over. The boat went tumbling. He went to the water, got back on and finally when he came to the deep water he was very peaceful and he started doing his fishing. What was the inspiration of that, since I don’t eat fish or anything like that?

To live with values and spiritual integrity, to actually make that inner connection to God whom we call Krishna, is very similar to what that fisherman did. In the beginning stages when the mind is still very conditioned and oriented towards selfishness, greed, arrogance, envy, selfish passions – they come like waves and try to push us back. So it takes some determination; not only determination but faith. – Radhanath Swami

You see, that fisherman he knew, he had total hundred percent faith that if he keeps trying he will come to calm waters and catch his fish.

Through satsang, through association of people who are enlightened or people who have faith – not blind faith but realized faith based on the foundation of a philosophy, tradition and the direct experience of others and ourselves – that gives us the impetus that ‘yes, if I just keep trying I will receive that place that I’m trying to find.’

Wave after wave will come. Actually I could see he was enjoying going through it. It was a struggle but he was enjoying the struggle because he knew where he was going. So similarly, when you have that faith through shravanam kirtanam, through satsang, then we know for sure where we are going, and we know for sure the power within us that will enable us to reach it, and even the struggles gives us pleasure.- Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami speaks of our true nature

One time a little baby was crying and the mother had to jump up from the class that I was giving and take her baby out, so that the crying baby wouldn’t disturb people. Then I asked her afterwards, I said, “I’m really sorry that it must have troubled you.” She said, “No. No. It’s a pleasure. Even if that baby cries all night long – it’s a struggle – but because I know I’m helping someone I love, it’s a pleasure.

So real happiness is not just the immediate pleasures to the senses and to the mind, the real happiness everyone is seeking is fulfillment of the heart. And that only can be connected to when we satisfy the essential need of the heart, which is to love and be loved. – Radhanath Swami

If we don’t have people who love us, we don’t have anyone to love, then all of our so-called happiness is very superficial; it cannot reach the heart. Why? Because that is nature – janmadyasya hi yatah. The Vedanta sutra tells us that the source of everything, the source of our very life, the Absolute Truth Bhagavan Krishna, who has many names, God… Love for God is our innate nature. And when one loves God, it’s like watering the root of the tree, the Bhagavat Purana tells. That water naturally extends to every part of the tree, to leaves, the branches. And because God is the source of everything, Jagannath, Lord of all creation is the source of everything and everyone, the father and mother, aham bija praja pita, then when we connect with that love by experiencing the infinite love of God, who is karuna sindhu, and reciprocating with our love then our love reaches every living being in the form of compassion.

Bhaktivinod Thakur and his explanation of compassion

Bhaktivinod Thakur, he was one of the great saints of our tradition. He was actually the guru of my guru of guru. He lived at the time of British regime in India in Bengal. He was married. His wife was Bhagwati Devi, who was a great saintly lady. They had 10 children, several homes. He was a magistrate in the British legal system; such a good magistrate, so thorough and so compassionate, because he really was a saint. Even Babajis, Sadhus and Swamis would come to speak and receive his blessings, because he had such love and it manifested through compassion. When he would be in a court room and he would rule somebody guilty and send them to prison, usually that person would thank him. Because he was such a compassionate person, they would have faith by being in the courtroom with him – “If you are sending me in the prison that must be the best thing for me.” There are not too many judges like that anymore. He was a saint. He also lived in Puri.

So this principle of compassion, Bhaktivinod explained, when love of God is actually tuned into within our hearts, it naturally expresses itself as compassion to all beings. Because when we connect to our own true identity, which is sat-chit-anand, eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss, we are the atma, we are part of God, then we recognize that everyone – wherever there is life, there is a sacred part of God – and then our greatest joy is to express our love through compassion.

Radhanath Swami talks of Satsang and Sadhana

In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna was a warrior, the least likely occupation to be saintly person. But that was arranged just to show – whatever occupation we are in, it has the potential of being yoga, a means of purification, the actual path of liberation. Whether we are in business, science, education, agriculture, politics, whether we are swamis, housewives, mothers, fathers, whatever, if we do it after tuning into that divine essence within us, that bhakti, then our occupation and our activities become dharma. That’s the true meaning of dharma: to unite whatever we do in whatever role we may be in, with our spiritual nature, in the service of God.- Radhanath Swami

How to purify our hearts to actually make that connection? Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who lived in Puri for about 18years, he spoke a beautiful verse – nitya siddha Krishna prema – that eternal love for Krishna, for the once supreme source of all religions, is within the hearts of everyone. By taking to a spiritual practice, by associating with spiritually minded people, this love is awakened. Satsang is where we connect – like events tonight – especially for the purpose of nourishing our spiritual side of life. And it’s a sacrifice to get here; like that boatman you had to go through the waves of cricket matches and hockey matches, so many other things, who were trying to keep you on the shore. But somehow you came. Satsang is so very sacred, because it gives us inspiration and faith of ‘what is within me, what is my potential, what I can do to this world’.

And there is sadhana – through this faith we appreciate the value of our spiritual side of life, because we have a body and we have a mind, but we also have our self who is experiencing through this body and mind – the living force, the true me. And all three aspects need nourishment. A balanced life, a life of yoga, a life of true religion is to appreciate the needs and to cultivate and nourish our physical health, our emotional health and our spiritual health, and to help do that for others as well. Because ultimately, the body dies, na hanyate hanyamane sharire, but we never die. So before that time comes, to make that connection is to actually find a treasure that is not limited by the waves of time. That’s truly what everyone is looking for, that love that is unlimited and unending. Why are we looking for it? It’s because it’s who we are; it’s what our nature is and what our greatest potential is. So sadhana means to take out sometime to actually purify the mind. Mantra means to liberate the mind from arrogance, greed, envy, selfishness, illusion, to free our minds. Ceto-darpana-marjanam: the mind is compared to a mirror. When the mirror is covered with dust, that’s what we see and that’s what we think we are. All these material conceptions that are being perpetuated day after day become our idea of who we are. But when we cleanse the mind through these mantras, through our prayers, through our spiritual practice, we can actually see who we really are and we can reflect that grace, that brilliance of our true identity, that love, in everything we do.

Radhanath Swami on wealth

Our wealth, because we accumulate so much… our wealth may be knowledge, it may be skills, it maybe money, it maybe fame, power, that’s all considered wealth. In the bible Jesus sees, “It’s easier to put a camel through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of God.” Now that analogy is quite profound – putting camel through eye of a needle. But then afterwards he sees, “For a man it is not possible, but for God all things are possible.” Now in Bhagavat Purana, Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, she says essentially the same thing, with the same conclusion that’s in the bible. Janamaishwarya .. – the greatest obstacle to spiritual progress… our wealth, lot of money, high education, beauty, and fame, she says these are the greatest impediments. But, if we understand… They are impediments if they bring out this tendency of arrogance and greed and envy, because that’s often what happens when we become attached to these things. What if we understand this simple principle? Bhoktaram yagya… maheshwaram, Krishna tells the peace formula. The easy process anyone can attain piece is just to understand – God or Krishna is the proprietor of everything. It means we are the caretakers of the sacred property to be used for a sacred purpose.

And everything’s is meant to be used in a spirit of service. Samsiddir-hari-toshanam: to harmonize our body, mind and words in such a way that will be pleasing to God; pleasing to God means being of service to God’s children. Isn’t that what pleases every mother or father? And recognizing that ultimately God is the supreme object of our love, and we are the supreme objects of God’s love. If we just harmonize our life in this way, it becomes very simple. So our spiritual practice is to connect to that essence, sadhana.

And Lord Chaitanya has told us that through chanting these mantras, through our spiritual practice, giving time and giving importance to these things gives everything else you do a divine purpose. Radhanath Swami

I write in this book I wrote, “The Journey Home”: when I was a young boy, I heard Martin Luther king. He said, “If you don’t have an ideal you are willing to die for, you have nothing worthwhile to live for.” And in those days, in 1960s, I was a teenager. It was a very unbelievable disconnection in American between the younger generation and older generation. In certain ways we were at war – in values – with the parents. It is called the counter culture. So Martin Luther king was very influential on all of us, because we saw so much racism and hatred in name of the ego – ‘I am white and you are black’. I wanted to find that idea. And I tried to find in politics and I tried to find it in counterculture, in social activities, and ultimately I heard Gandhi say, “You should be the change you want to see in world.” And I understood that change has to be spiritual if I make my ideal to find out who I really am. Then whatever I decide to be, whether I follow my father’s path to be a businessman – which he always wanted me to do, but he’s happy that I’m not – or whether I go into to some other field. I left America in 1969, I worked as a cook in a hospital; So I said, “Maybe I should be a doctor… or whatever that is, unless I find my ideal, then what do I really have to contribute? So that’s what led me on my spiritual expedition.

And renunciation does not mean to be a Swami living without the bank account like me.

Renunciation is just the understanding of, to whom everything belongs, and learning to live in a spirit of compassion, in spirit of service, to live in the spirit of love.- Radhanath Swami

And in my own life, it was revealed to me that I could best serve in that way as a Swami; that’s what I am. To give time to nourish that inner wealth that we have is so important. Wealth is sacred and purifying. It’s the essence of dharma, when used in compassion; to earn with integrity and spend with compassion. And this ego that I am this body, and all the designations of this body, and whatever is there in relationship with this body is mine, that ego is purified through seva, through really appreciating the value of service.

Radhanath Swami elaborates on seva

What my guru Srila Prabhupada taught, which was so beautiful, was, ‘There’s nothing more beautiful than the opportunity to serve.’ The evolution of human nature is to progress from the obsessive need to get things to the joy of giving for the body, mind and souls of others; that is seva. – Radhanath Swami

Ravana, he wanted to enjoy taking Sita to his little island Sri Lanka. And hanuman, who is actually the son of the wind God, pavana, pavana-putra, with his strength and powers, he just wanted to bring Sita back to Ram. They were both intelligent, they were both powerful, they had the exact same facilities as each other, as far as the strength their intellect and everything else, but Hanuman used it in the spirit of seva and Ravana used it for his own selfish purpose. Now the Gita tells us that these two tendencies are within each of us – our lower tendency and higher nature. Like 2 dogs living in our hearts, good dog and bad dog. The bad dog wants to satisfy its envy, its arrogance and its selfish passions, and the good dog is our humility, our gratitude, will to serve with love, with compassion. And they’re both calling for our attention. Sometimes one barks longer than the other, and we have the choice. Sometimes that bad dog, it’s really barking, demanding our attention; and sometimes the good dog is very quiet. The one we choose to feed is the one that’s going to rule over the other. That means the choices that we make. Our potential is so beautiful.

Radhanath Swami describes his experience at the Oxford Union

Just a few days ago I was at Oxford University and I was asked at the Oxford Union to be a part of a debate. And the person I was debating against was Dr. Cornel West; he is from Princeton University. I would like to tell you about that, but that will take long time, because in the process of debate we agreed to what each other said.

The Oxford Union is really an unusual place, because in that Union when they have debate… This was the biggest program that happens in the whole year at Oxford University. It was the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s… Have you heard of him? He debated on this subject which is very relevant today. ‘Is extremism in defense of liberty a vice?’ He argued it was not a vice; it was justified. And Cornel West, who is African American who is on television almost every day in America and who is a great scholar, he was taking Malcolm X’s position that it is not a vice, and along with him there was Angela Davis who was one of the most famous radicals of the 60s and 70s, African American lady. She was so radical and such influential and powerful speaker, FBI acclaimed she was one of the 10 most dangerous people to America. They put her in prison; she was such a radical person. She was in prison for couple of years. She didn’t do anything wrong; it was just to intimidate her, to shut her up. And the day she came out of prison, she went to Cuba to meet Castro! Very bold lady. She was along with Cornel West to defend the argument, ‘It’s not a vice, extremism in defense of liberty.’

And I was invited. But until I got to Oxford, they didn’t tell me which side I was on. So when I got there, I found out that I was on the side of “it is a vice” and I had to argue against them. But I had one other person on my side, a lady named, Shami Chakravarty, who is like a very powerful person from ‘News Week’ I think. But she didn’t come. The last minute she didn’t show up. So it was them against me. And my God! What kind of argument he gave, Cornel West!

First students argued it. And this one, from the Debate Club of Oxford Union, and my God! They were passionately ripping into each other, trying to defeat each other. So I thought, “God! This is what I am supposed to do!” And then Cornel West, he, everything he was saying, he was getting ovations and he was giving cheering and people were clapping and stamping their feet. And except for me, every single man, about 450 people in Oxford Union Chambers, every man was wearing a full tuxedo. It’s a very formal event and every woman was in extravagant evening gowns. And I was wondering, “Where do I fit in?!” So after he speaks and he gets all these cheers, it was time for me to speak. And I began by saying, “If you ask a Swami to come to a debate, whatever side of the debate you put me on, I am gonna say what’s in my heart.” And I spoke my heart. Would you like to hear some of the things I said? I said, “What is extremism? It’s very subjective. There were people in high political power who considered Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to be dangerous, extremist, because they were boycotting the economic system; that’s extreme. They were breaking existing laws and they were subjecting their followers to brutality. The same time, there are people who do not consider it extreme; there was the strongest possible military action, to liberate surviving prisoners of the Nazis concentration camps. Then I quoted Malcolm X, as I read his speech, as there was one paragraph in his speech that I could really connect to, because I had to find something. He was a radical person in his 60s and 70s, 60s actually, because he got assassinated 2 months after he gave his speech at Oxford in 1964. He said that in order to understand whether extremism in defense of liberty is justified, one cannot look at the subject as an American, as an Africa, as an European or Asian, one must look at it from the perspective of the human being. All men are created equal. That’s the first principle of US constitution, that’s the basis of democracy, that’s the basis of humanity, and it’s the essence of every religion. The Gita tells that the real wisdom is to see not only all humanity, but every living being with equal vision, because everyone is the part of God; life is sacred. So, I said, “I want to argue today from a spiritual perspective, that arrogance that causes us to be so obsessed with proving ourselves superior to other to the point that we create hateful ideologies that oppress people – that is extremism to the very heart of humanity.” When I argued against that and I quoted Bhagavad Gita, and after I spoke, Dr Cornel West, who was my opponent, he jumped. This is something I think never happened in the 100s and 100s of years of the Oxford Union and all their debates. He jumped up right in front of all of these people in their tuxedoes and their evening gowns and he ran up to the center of the room where I was standing and embraced me and kissed me and said, “I agree with everything you said.” And I said, “Actually I agree with everything you said too.” Because it was just on two different levels. He spoke brilliantly. So this higher ground of what our real potential is, Srila prabhupada could see that in us and he gave that. He is recognizing that yes, you are a divine child of God, you are eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss, you are perfect. There is no reason to be depressed. There is no reason to be arrogant. There is something sacred that you have, that you can connect to.

And that’s what Krishna tells in Bhagavad  Gita,

yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati bharata

He descends into this world again and again in different religions, in different forms, in different avatars, just to remind us of who we really are and what our real potential is, and where our real happiness lies:  in the love that’s within our own hearts, which is inseparable from our own souls, to tune in, to connect to that, and then with all determination, enthusiasm, to be instruments of spreading real compassion in the world in whatever we do.- Radhanath Swami

So when I was watching that person on the fishing boat, after a while he was in very calm waters, just putting his net in and brings up so many fish and he was just so happy. But to get to that place, he had to endure some obstacles, from his perspective it was worth it and what we have the opportunity to receive.

Thank you very much.

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Radhanath Swami at CII: Leadership, Spirituality and Management http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-cii-leadership-spirituality-and-management http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-cii-leadership-spirituality-and-management#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:00:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2696 Mr Ajay Piramal: Good morning. Let me give you a very warm welcome. It’s pretty early for Mumbai standards, and that all of you are here. I am sure we are going to have an exciting few hours in the morning. I consider it a great privilege to welcome His Holiness Radhanath Swami, Kishore Biyani, Govind and all of you. It’s a very interesting session that we have on ‘Spirituality and Leadership’ and there couldn’t have been a better person to talk about it than Swamiji (Radhanath Swami). Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) has had a very interesting career. He was born in the US, born in a Jewish family. And till the age of nineteen had never stepped out of the US, when truly there was an inner calling that he had to go to find his true meaning in life. He just took off from the US. At that time in the seventies – early seventies – when you know there was a lot of turmoil going on in the US, whether it was the whole issue of the Vietnam War, it was about drugs and there was a lot of dissatisfaction in the society. He travelled without any money in his pocket, not knowing where to go, and ultimately found his true calling in India. His journey through that period is fascinating and I just saw copies of that book outside – ‘The Journey Home’. And I would recommend that you have a go through that, because it talks about the real you. You will understand what Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) has been, the real him – the challenges that he faced in his life, the near death experiences. Remember, if you travelled in those days, it was not easy as it is today. You travelled really by road because if you don’t have money and you come from US, people think that you have a background that you are probably a drug or a hippie. How these near death experiences, whether it was in Turkey, in Kabul, in Nepal are all very interesting. Since then Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) has devoted his life to spread the message of bhakti, not only in India but all over the world. He talks and spreads this knowledge across various segments of people, from the top leaders of the world to all of us. And we are really honored that you have come today Swamiji (Radhanath Swami).
Kishore Biyani is really the father of modern retailing in India. Whenever I need to understand what’s happening in the country, in terms of what the real consumer thinks, there is no better person who’s better informed than he is, because he is constantly in touch with people. He believes his office is more on the shop floor than in his office complex. We are really happy that he is here today.

And Govind, as many of you must have seen him on TV for many many years. We miss you now on TV Govind, but still very well informed and a very good anchor. So with this I am not going to stand too much between the discussion and you. We start off the discussion and I will ask Govind to take over from all of us.

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: Thank you Mr Piramal. So may be the organizers didn’t know: I am somewhat qualified to be here. I first did a ‘Spirituality at the Workplace’ series on CNBC in 2002, much before I think spirituality was main stream, in a way, by media. So the journey continues. Of course I have not had the privilege of interviewing or speaking with Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) here. I have explored this question in some ways, or the set of questions, to do with workplace, leadership and so on for many years. So what we are going to do now is, I am going to ask Mr Piramal and Mr Biyani to speak first to see how to understand – in for a few minutes each – how they relate to the concept of spirituality and leadership from where they stand. I would urge them to be a little anecdotal, share some experiences even if for a minute or two, and in some ways empathize with the theme today. After which I will request Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) to sort of respond to what they have said, as well as lay out his sort of views, rather define the landscape as he sees it and then we can have a conversation. May be we will also involve, even take a few questions. So may I begin with Mr Piramal.

Mr Ajay Piramal: Since you talked about anecdotes, let me start with a true story. I am going to give the example of Gandhi Ji. When Mahatma Gandhi was a lawyer in South Africa, he decided very early on that he would only defend those people whom he felt were true and honest, and he would not defend anybody who in his opinion had committed a crime. And if his client… and he made it a rule with his clients that if you are to either say lies to me or in the court, I will give up the practice. So there was this case where he had a very famous client who came and who was standing in the witness box and said something which was incorrect and Gandhi Ji actually withdrew from that case and told the judge that “Sorry, actually my client is not saying what is the truth and I want to withdraw from this.” There was an uproar. Everybody said how could a person like this ever be successful as a lawyer, but Gandhi Ji stood by his values and ultimately you would be surprised, but actually he got even more clients than anybody else. It’s only because if Gandhi appeared before the magistrate, the magistrate knew that in all likelihood that the person was already not guilty and he was innocent. And this is a true story. So in other words if you have values they can actually create even economic value.

 

I can give you an incident, since Govind you asked for it. In our own case we started the pharmaceutical business. We entered it in the eighties by the acquisition of a small foreign multinational in this country. At that time we had made a commitment to them that we would not export any product in the brand name of theirs, because in India the cost of manufacturing was much lower. That was our deal, that we would not export anything and we would keep the quality of the product as any international standards. This both meant that in the short term we had to incur greater cost, and therefore our profitability was affected. But over a period of time because we could create this value based environment of trust, almost every acquisition, and every sale that was done by a multinational to an Indian company was done to us, or we were invariably the first call. And very often we got it at values or prices which were lower than what others in our competition were willing to offer. So in other words, I think if we can, if we practice the values, then I found that actually it created great economic value. May be in the short term it had some loss, but over a longer period of time it was a much more beneficial thing.

Another example I want to give is what… Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) keeps teaching us is that how if we focus on the action, the results will follow. Rather than focusing on the results if we just focus on the actions, the results that come out are better. We were doing this transaction where a part of our business we were going to sell to Abet Laboratories which is American company. Actually from Chicago where Maharaj is… original home is. So it’s a Chicago based company. It was a large transaction. After we had agreed upon whatever the values, you go through a legal process. And during the legal process, because the values were large, I think the other side lawyers used to put a lot of pressure on us, that if you don’t do, I think we are gonna walk off from the agreement, and so on and so forth – unless we agreed to certain things which we thought were not in the right interests of our company. In my mind it was clear that we have to do what is right, and if focus on the actions, the results will follow; and therefore rather than getting stressed whether the deal will take place or not, we just remained focused on what we had to do. And that’s what ultimately happened, that the deal got done. And when the deal was done, one of the things that the Abet lawyers and the senior management told me, ‘You all were so cool and composed during the agreement, during the whole negotiation that we felt that that’s what that got the deal done.’ So in other words, if we do focus only on the action then there are better results. I have many more examples and I can only say one thing – that practicing this faith and spirituality in business, they are not two separate things. It really helps succeed. I can go on and on, but I will leave to Kishore to take it on from here.

Mr Kishore Biyani: Hello. Yeah. For me I think it has been a really interesting story about me but like… I was virtually a born agnostic or atheistic, never believed in going to temples, rituals, religions. I believed religion was created to tame the animal instinct of human beings until three years ago, when a friend of mine took me to Hare Rama Hare Krishna temple in London. I think the first visit, it was Janamastmi and I didn’t meet Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) then. I think four years ago it was then. Then three years ago, we were twelve of us. We went to the Hare Rama Hare Krishna temple and I met Swamiji (Radhanath Swami). Out of the twelve people, he hugged me first. I thought I am the chosen one. I was going through some turmoil at that time in terms of… we were executing some businesses. He gave me a book, his book ‘The Journey Home’ and from there I think I was on a flight returning from Stockholm or going somewhere and I read that book. I was wanting to understand, out of the nine rasas, I had experienced at most the eight rasas. The ninth rasa was the bhakti rasa which I discovered out of the book and that got me curious about understanding the bhakti rasa and experiencing that. So I used to meet people. I asked Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) about bhakti rasa. I had interactions with him. He had come home once. My wife’s fiftieth birthday, we did a Pushp Abhishek. After that I have been to Hare Rama Hare Krishna temple four or five times and always I have met Swamiji (Radhanath Swami). It was never designed, but it’s been by again the chosen one. So that book gave me an insight about bhakti rasa and I started wanting to understand more about bhakti rasa. Whomsoever I wanted to meet for that particular six months I used to discuss bhakti rasa and finally my son-in-law Viraj, who is here, he gave me a definition of bhakti rasa is to immersing oneself to experience something much at a higher plain of thought. And probably that is spirituality. I think that’s been there but not that we are not using mythology in business. We have always been advocating that everything which is happening in the world has happened and has been recorded. There’s so much to learn from that and that’s how spirituality came about and I think that spirituality is a inner thing always there. And as a leader in business I think it helps a lot in, like Mr Piramal was mentioning, in taking decisions, in maintaining relationships, in maintaining values and making happy people all around you. I think happiness is what spirituality gives you and that’s what we are seeking, and that’s what we are spreading and that’s what.. I think as a leader of business we influence many, many lives. Today forty thousand people we directly employee, nine hundred thousand people are dependent directly on income from us. I think our responsibility is so huge and I think the aid of spirituality is what keeps you going.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Thank you. I think I am going to… before I request you to take over Swamiji (Radhanath Swami), a couple of points I have picked up from the comments that you have made. I think you have spoken about how does leadership contribute to people’s lives and in some ways that place, that Mr Biyani has been saying. Secondly, is the responsibility of leadership. As to quote you, people open their hearts to you. And therefore leadership is not a position to enjoy. And therefore it is a serious significant responsibility of service to others. And that is what both the gentlemen here have been saying. So on that note, let me hand over to you now. Take us through how you see both Mr Biyani and Mr Piranmal said, your own views on what spirituality is in the context of leadership as we see it today.

Radhanath Swami: Thank you. Thank you Govindraj, Ajay, Kishore. I am feeling very comfortably out of place. We have two of the greatest, most successful business people on our planet and I have not had a bank account or signed a cheque since 1969. But wealth is something more than just physical acquirements. And this is a universal principle. Often times it’s quoted from the Christian Bible that it is easier to bring a camel through the eye of a needle than for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of God. And in the Srimad Bhagvatam, Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, she speaks that the greatest impediments to spiritual progress are having wealth, academic knowledge, beauty and fame. Now in both cases, there is an explanation why. And in this explanation we find that having material prosperity is in a way a disqualification for spiritual life. Rather, it’s a blessing – if we can actually recognize the blessing. Because the tendency is, when one has a lot of knowledge, a lot of wealth, a lot of fame, a lot of power, along with it comes greed. And greed can never be satisfied. The Bhagvad Gita explains it is like putting fuel on fire – the more you give it, the more it becomes aggravated. Greed, arrogance – thinking that I have right over others because I have more – and selfishness.

In other words, that aggravates the misconceptions that ‘I am this body and what is in relation to this body is mine.’ But the spiritual principle is to understand that ‘I am not the proprietor, but I am the care taker. And whatever I have, my knowledge, my fame, my influence, it has been entrusted to me.’ And the more that has been entrusted to us, the more we have responsibility. And this is a basic universal principle: to earn with integrity and to spend with compassion. If we actually understand who we really are – an eternal soul within this body and mind – then we can understand how everyone else, all other living beings, are actually our true brothers and sisters. Humanity is a family. When we go beyond all the temporary designations and when we develop this foundation in life, of this realization and experience, then everything we build on that foundation has great benefits – physically, emotionally and spiritually. If a house has a strong foundation, no storm can make it crumble. But if it has a weak foundation, then the storms will destroy it. In life, whoever we are, there will be storms. What will sustain our integrity, our dignity? It requires spiritual foundation, a foundation where we respect that the evolution of humanity is not just how much we can acquire to fill the void within ourselves, but to find the real joy of our own spiritual nature within ourselves and to use our wealth and our knowledge and our power and our influence to share that love, that wealth with everyone. And that’s the greatest legacy we could leave for our children and for the next generation – the values of integrity, compassion, investment – not only in truly making the world a better place through everything we do, but an investment in our lives, in the lives of our loved ones, even beyond death.

 

So there are three principles on the path of bhakti that are very important to help to establish and maintain this foundation. Satsang, Sadhna and Sadhachar. Satsang means associating with people who really inspire us with the faith that there is a spiritual reality within ourselves and within everyone that we should remain faithful to, despite the temptations and fears that come in this world. Sadhna means balancing our lives in such a way so that physically, emotionally and spiritually we are nourished holistically. We give time to our families. We give time to our occupation and we also give time to nourish our own spiritual needs, to connect to that higher power of grace that we can be instruments of. And Sadhachar is the quality of the choices we make in our daily life, to live in a spirit of seva. In essence, bhakti is to take our selfish desires out of the centre of our lives and to put God in the centre. And God is like the root of the tree. When we put water on the root of the tree it automatically goes to every leaf, branch, twig of the tree. So similarly when we put God in the centre, we put our family, our loved ones, humanity and all beings in the centre. There’s no greater joy than the joy to serve with love. That is the spiritual principle. And when I see people like Kishore and Ajay, who are leaders in society, who are taking responsibility to honor that foundational principle, it encourages me so much and I am so grateful.

Govindraj Ethiraj: One of the things that you have said is good leaders attract confidence and infuses people to loyalty and faithfulness because of their relationship, whether immediate or extended. This is something that also is a challenge for a lot of people. You know, infusing spirituality into leadership and in the manner that you describe. I mean, from your experiences as you have interacted with maybe Mr Biyani and Mr Piramal here and others, how do you help them navigate this challenge?

Radhanath Swami: My guru Srila Prabhupada gave a simple formula:  How could I best serve? What will actually be pleasing to God in each situation?

 

Wall Street – a few years ago – went through turmoil. It was really a shock to a lot of people in America. Because the people who had so much – and most people who are trying to be like them thinking that if I have what they have, I will be happy – but some of those people, to protect themselves and to earn more, they were willing to destroy the lives of the very people who made them who they were. That was a lightning bolt to millions of people in America. Thousands of people were coming to me, completely disillusioned from the whole system. What am I living for, if people in those highest positions are so arrogant and so self-centered and so selfish? The Gita tells that when we take a leadership position, we have a great responsibility. It describes that Yudistir Maharaj in Mahabharata, when he was a king, he saw that every single one of his citizens as his praja, as his own children, under his protection. So the leaders in business, in politics, in education or wherever it may be, when we really care about the people who are supporting us, and whom we are supporting, with a spirit of genuine compassion and we make our decisions accordingly, to set an example that will actually help the world progress toward happiness. So this foundational principle is so important. ‘What is my responsibility?’

Govindraj Ethiraj: Mr Biyani, you talked about the forty thousand people who work for you. You also talked about the transition from being an agnostic to appreciating spirituality and in particular in the context that we are speaking today. How did that change your perception of people around you and those who work for you, while running a business?

 

Mr Kishore Biyani: I think as you grow older, your behavior changes, your approach to life changes. You start meeting people. By design of accident, you come in touch with people who talk different things with you. You talk about life, you talk about spirituality… so like going with the flow is one of the value which we wrote long, long time back. When I look back it’s the most spiritual value one can write… like aligning with the nature and going with the flow. So this invitation of the event came and I went with the flow. I had other events to go for, but I think flows.

Govindraj Ethiraj: 8 AM in the morning?

Mr Kishore Biyani: It was not in the morning, but irrespective of that. The kind of flow that one gets in. So for us the responsibility increases. You start looking at people as your responsibility. Earlier when you are in a creation mode of building a business, I think you are using people as resources. But we are treating them as more humanistic come into play now than it ever has come in. So treating everybody as a human being at a very different level, talking to them about their personal lives, involving them into everything what we do… I think it’s a much much different than what it used to be. So spirituality brings that humanistic into play.

Govindraj Ethiraj: I don’t know if it’s a tangential question, but you have had a chief belief officer in your organisation, which is a very unique position. And person also, Devdutt Patnaik, is also someone who has achieved fame for his knowledge of scriptures and Mahabharata and Ramayana. Does this all converge somewhere? I mean, your new beliefs, the fact that you are trying to institutionalize this?

Mr Kishore Biyani: I think, the day I met Devdutt, he was consultant. So we brought the mythology out of him, because he was a student of mythology. We thought that mythology can be applied in business. And that’s what we worked towards in many years we worked together. So I think it’s all about associating with the right people at the right time and what the subject interests you. So for me, I pick up a subject every two three years. I work on the subject quite deep. And mythology was one subject, design has been a subject, business, leadership. So one, one subject at a time. So in that sense, mythology has remained with me for a long period of time as a subject. We believe that every outcome of every individual is a result of behavior. And behavior is a result of belief. That’s what chief belief officers come in. Beliefs shape behaviors and behaviors shape the outcome in business, or in life.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Mr Piramal, let me put the same question to you. Means, how do you view people around you today? I mean, maybe it’s been always the same, but is that changed? And what is that manifestation of that change, if so?

 

Mr Ajay Piramal: We have business which are in different industries and different geographies. And a few years ago, maybe it was about ten years ago, we actually did have an independent agency look at what they thought were the values we as a group had. And it was not that we had articulated them clearly, but there were some things which we were surprised to find which were really common across those groups. And then we identified them into three – values of knowledge, action and care. Actually it’s nothing but guana, karma and bhakti. But that is the three values and we found that though there were people who were very different backgrounds they all felt that as a group we exercised these values. Because you know you can always put up a value statement on your walls and looks very impressive, but if people don’t believe in it, that’s of no value frankly. And we every year have independent agencies do surveys with people to see that we are living that values. In the values of care, I am just gonna talk about the two things that we emphasize. One is the concept of trusty-ship, that is what even Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) said. When we are there we look upon ourselves as trusties of whatever assets, the wealth that has been given to us… And the trustee’s job is to see that the value of the asset goes up for the benefit of beneficiaries. And the beneficiaries we identify as whether it is our customers, our employees, our shareholders and society. So our job of trustee is not to look at personal gain, but to see how we can enhance the values to each of these beneficiaries. You may be an employee and yet you are a trustee, so you will do things required for an employee. As you will do for a shareholder, but that’s where you bring the balance or the sadachar.

One more thing Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) spoke about sangat. I can’t tell you how important that has been in our whole journey. You know in business, as in life, there is always a slope which is always pretty slippery. Once you get on to that slippery slope it’s very easy to come to the bottom. But you have the association of good people who can tell you that what is right and what is wrong or who can forewarn you, I think we found as that to be very valuable. So whether its association of people like Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) but he is at an another level, so its whether in our board of directors, whether it is in terms of our consultants, people who we meet as friends, I think we keep emphasizing that it is this sangat which makes a big difference. And that’s the one which keeps you on the right path.

And the other thing which we emphasize is care and humility. Again, we found that if you are humble, it opens the whole world to you, because then everybody is… you can get the best out of people. If you are arrogant, nobody’s gonna tell you what is an another point of view, and again we found that that has been very useful.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Quick question. Have you found that, in experience, working or dealing with people who are on same spiritual frequency as you different from those who are not? And do you try and convince people to be on same spiritual frequency as well?

Ajay Piramal:  You know it’s, these are universal values and I found that almost every religion it is accepted. I think, as I said, we have businesses in the US and in Europe and in Asia and India and I don’t think it makes a difference. And frankly we also seem to attract those people who follow these values. There are others, they may not join you. I am not saying what is right or wrong, we just say these are our values and people realize that. So those people who align with these values, who feel comfortable they come to us. But in the balance, people like to live a value based life. I think they are more comfortable and again what Swamiji said, it leaves a good impression on their kids. Even the biggest criminal wants his son or daughter to be, you know, a good person. So, I think what we are doing they are all derived from our scriptures, but it is universal. I don’t think there is anything….

Govindraj Ethiraj: And we will come to the next generation in a little bit. Swamiji are we therefore saying that there are some cardinal principles, you know, which are universal and there are… But, I am saying, my question is from the point of view of leadership or running enterprises or are there some principles that are constant and there are some which people may, you know, align with or not align with, but that’s ok?

Radhanath Swami: When we focus on those foundational principles, then, what we build upon it can be adjusted, but not at the risk of destabilizing the foundation. That is very important, to have core values and then build on those core values. According to time, place, circumstances we may have to make certain adjustments on how we execute.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Can you illustrate that? Give us an example?

Radhanath Swami: The core value of compassion. Now how we actually express that in a situation of business or politics, whatever it may be according to the place and the circumstance and the problem we are facing? But if we are actually violating that principle of depriving people their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, according to the US constitution, and that’s the spiritual principle, then there is something wrong. There we have to really re-examine. And and ultimately, if we clean the ecology of our own hearts, then we will naturally bring that purity, that cleanliness into the world through whatever we do. That is why from a spiritual principle, it’s important that we actually make that spiritual connection within ourselves through our prayer, through our satsang, through our chanting of God’s names, whatever our spiritual practice may be. If we make that connection and in that connection we clean our heart of greed and envy, then with humble heart, we live our lives, we express that. If our heart is dirty, we are not really going to be an instrument of cleaning or purifying the world. So, it’s very important.

Children see more than they hear. We can tell them so many things, but unless we actually live by it and the times that children really learn the most to emulate how they are going to in their life is when parents are in a crisis. How do they deal with it? Do they deal with it with anger? Do they compromise their integrity of their principles or do they stand by it? If they stand by these values, these principles, by these spiritual codes even at the time of crisis, that’s going to go so deep within the hearts of the children and the future generations and that’s what the world needs more than anything else is people who have character. There is that saying that – if you lose your wealth, you lose nothing; if you lose your health, you lose something; if you lose your character, you lose everything. If we can teach people by our example, by our leadership, what is character, and then our wealth, our health has incredible value to serve incredible ways in our life and example for future generations.

Govindraj Ethiraj: You spoke about the financial, and the soul searching followed that episode. One of the questions, I am sure people as you, typically the leaders from the business world is, can this be institutionalized? Should it be institutionalized? Or is this completely individual personal pursuit?

Radhanath Swami: An institution is only really strong as individuals within the institution. So, it should be institutionalized. But it has to begin with each and every one of us taking responsibility to be a part of solution, rather than part of the problem. And when enough of us agree on that, then we can have strong sustainable institutional principles.

Govindraj Ethiraj: How do you view the environment today? When you look around you, is this when you are optimistic about, the way people look at spirituality in their lives or are you worried?

Radhanath Swami: Govindraj, I am both. There is a polarization in the world. People have a tendency of going to extremes. Extreme greed, extreme sectarian religious conceptions, extreme towards just a life of immediate pleasure, which often breeds immorality, frustration, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, so many things. I see… and pollution of environment, without really caring about what our real responsibility is to God and to nature and to all living beings. So, there is a lot of negativity. But because the human spirit is inherently good, wherever there is this strong rise in immorality, people question where are we going? And they actually do look for deeper spiritual solutions. So I see a tremendous revival in spirituality. Not in sectarian spirituality that brings about arrogance and hate, but in universal principles of spirituality.

In my own life, as a child I saw so much hate in the name of loving God that I came to a conclusion that either I have to totally reject this idea of religion because it was bringing so much arrogance that we are better than you, you killed our savior, something that happened 2000 years ago. So much just attachment to these arrogant conceptions causes us to hate and divide. Either I had to reject it or there must be some common beautiful essence within all these spiritual paths and to the core of my heart, I believed there was a common essence and in my study of all these different religions and faiths and spiritual paths, I found there is that common essence, a transformation of that arrogance to humility, greed to generosity to love, putting God in the center rather than our own selfish egos in the center. And that automatically brings us about a life of compassion and for me it took a serious crisis in what I was seeing everyone around to look for that essence. And I see in the world there is a lot of environmental crisis, political crisis, religious crisis, economic crisis, and that often time leads people to just do anything to survive and to conquer. But the human spirit, it’s also awakening in so many people throughout the world. A desire to go deep into what spirituality is. What real values are? And people want to be an instrument of change.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Let me come back to this. You know we have talked about spirituality as a practice and an interesting point that Swamiji made was looking at environment and looking at the changes of environment as a spiritual challenge as well. Do you see similarly? My question is, really, are you in some ways… may be we are expanding the definition of spirituality to what it applies, environment is somewhat perhaps relatively recent phenomenon, but it actually affects our future more than may be ever before?

Kishore Biyani: I have a very radical view on this and I might not confirm with Swamiji(Radhanath Swami)here. I will just tell you a recent anecdote. I was, just after Diwali, I was in Maldives for a vacation and one night we decided we will do star gazing. And we went into the planetary system trying to understand everything… we realized earth is one of the smallest planet. We are not even a spec in the whole universal things and actually we are nobody, and secondly as a human being when we look at ends I think somebody look from different view, we are less than ant. In that sense we all create our world and we create the meaningful meaning of our existence. Leaving aside that, for me, the way I look at the environment is very different. We human beings occupy less than 3% of earth. I don’t think so we are capable of destroying the planet. So for me, the spirit of alignment with the nature is more important, that’s aligning with the environment and not to do anything against the flow of nature and that’s what the balance of environment. Environment is the new religion of the world, the green religion is the latest religion created. Or most of the religions we created for businesses or to tame the society. So, I think, this is the new religion, which is created out of fear. I don’t think that human beings are capable of destroying this planet.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Same question to you Mr. Piramal.

Ajay Piramal: I don’t know how I shall address this. According to me the environment has been always addressed. It’s not a new religion, it’s nothing new, I mean it’s not… I cannot say in front of him. But if you read all the old scriptures, all the God’s, everybody lived in harmony with the environment. You see what the image of Krishna is in the forests of Vrindavan. It is in the… Forests are blooming, there are wild animals sitting next to him, that is environment and according to me that was there all throughout and this is not a new thing. We have always emphasized environment in our scriptures and we have to do that and I mean, you can see the impact of environment every day. I mean, I see how the weather changes, it rains in Bombay in November. There is something going wrong.

Govindraj Ethiraj: And it’s warm.

Kishore Biyani: I don’t think so at all

Ajay Piramal: We can agree to disagree

Kishore Biyani: No, no. I think we have recorded history of only 150years or 100years. So we don’t know whether it happened earlier. So somebody is creating this fear in us, this is happening because of that.

Govindraj Ethiraj: So, my question to you Mr. Piramal. So since you are in chemicals and pharmaceuticals, or have been with chemicals and pharmaceuticals business, you are also in some ways, I mean, some of what you or by product of it has an impact on environment. Is that something, if I am not stretching it too far, is that something that you would today look at from a spiritual lens or through a spiritual lens, this concerns people in the external environment too?

Ajay Piramal: You know, I don’t know whether you call it spiritual or not, but we really believe that our purpose of our organization and we believe, it’s not just us, is to do well and to do good and to make a positive difference to the world around us, and that’s what we do. And if we feel that whatever we are doing for the environment, if its doing good and it’s making a positive difference that’s what we will do. And that’s what we believe in, and so we try to live it. And it is easy to say things and again Swamiji(Radhanath Swami) said the same thing, people don’t in your organization and outside people will not believe in if I just keep on lecturing. They have to experience it and that’s what we try to do.

So, for instance, the person for health safety and environment is independent of all our CEOs and goes directly to the board to ensure and who is conscious of what’s happening and would raise issues. So we believe in that.

Govindraj Ethiraj: We are going to go to couple of quick questions after this, but back to you Swamiji(Radhanath Swami). So, you have also talked about you know, one is the discussion that we are having and second the challenge is how do you sustain this because this should not be a discussion one morning and then it fizzes out. What are the challenges there that you have seen people going through and how would you guide them through that? And second, in some ways which is extension is the next generation which we touched upon earlier, how do these principles get transferred to the next generation?

Radhanath Swami: Every day we eat food and we sleep because we need that nourishment and that gives us strength to go through our day. If we have a theory that the more I work the more I will progress then I shouldn’t eat or sleep. That could be sustained for some time but eventually we become weak. So we have to balance our life. So similarly this satsang, sadhana and this sadachar. To actually pursue the true values of human life we need to have that harmonious balance where we give time to invigorate and nourish our spirituality and with that strength we actually can have integrity to perform our work in such a way that we are progressing towards our real ideals. This is very vital.

When my Guru, Srila Prabhupada was in London in 1969, a journalist asked him, “Why have you come to England?” And Srila Prabhupada responded, he said, “The British had controlled India for almost 2 centuries and during that time, British plundered so many of the riches  of India – jewels, gold, so many facilities – and brought it to London. But you forgot the most important wealth of India – its values, its spiritual culture. I have come to London to give you what you have forgotten to take from us.” What India represents to the whole world is a very deep profound spiritual culture and it’s quite incredible. When I look at it from an objective perspective, so many religions from so many parts of the world, for so long have lived in freedom and harmony to a large extent in India more than anywhere else I have ever seen. Because, there is a foundation of a deep culture of values. It’s very important that we give our children this. And we can only give them if we really appreciate the value and culture of the spiritual heritage of this great land and live by it. Then we can give our children actual happiness. There is a saying – that in an evolved human society loves people and uses things but in today’s world, all too often, people love things and use people to get them and keep them. There can be no inner satisfaction in such a life. It’s that conception that creates sectarianism, division, castism, ecological pollution. We have to find that love within ourselves and value people and then all the things of this world, whether little penniless Swamijis or whether billionaires or millionaires, we can all work together just like the human body. Within the body, there are so many organs. They have different colors, they have different shapes and they have very different functions. The kidneys cannot do what the brain does, and the heart cannot do what the pancreas does, but every part of the body is not arrogant that I am better than you. Everyone is doing their duty for the whole health of the whole body and in the same way in all of our different positions, in all of our relationships, in all of our roles, if we see how we are all contributing to the whole of society in devotion to God then we can have a healthy spiritual body. And when the body is healthy every part of body is healthy with it. I think this is the real legacy of India, the real legacy of spiritual principle of all great spiritual paths, and if we could give this to our children, our grand-children, we have really made a tremendous, beyond material value, we have made a contribution to the world.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Question. Yes mam, short question please.

Question: In regard to the passing on to the generation, the values and the principles. How do we explain a situation where two siblings have been brought up in the same family, live with the same values, with the same environment and yet the two are having completely different set of values in their behavior?

Govindraj Ethiraj: May we collect a few more questions and then we can ask? Yes.

Question: Swamiji (Radhanath Swami), you talked about the spiritual strength of India, and its culture. While it’s very true, but what we find today is the various religious leaders and politicians exploit this spirituality and create more dissentions within the country in spite of the fact that our strength lies in our spirituality and culture.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Ok, anyone else? No. Ok, I think we have got 2 questions Swamiji (Radhanath Swami). The first one was about why do two siblings adopt different values or pursue different values, and the second being…

Radhanath Swami: We all have free will and actually we are all siblings, and Bhagavan is our supreme mother and father. And God gives us all free will; we all have free choice.  But still in Gita, Krishna says,

yada yada hi dharmasya

glanir bhavati bharata

 

Our supreme mother and father comes again and again and again to teach us by his example, his words, what’s best for us and how to actually live in harmony with ourselves. And when we live in harmony with ourselves, we could create harmony in the world. And that’s where all the great spiritual paths have manifested from that principle, from our father coming to this world to teach us through life and through teachings. And as mothers and fathers, our children always have free will as we have free will. And we cannot control that. But we can do the best in our role to inspire the right values.  Whether a person accepts it or not may be beyond our control, but our life is perfect when we embody the right example and that’s our true compassion – to be an instrument of this higher power of compassion within ourselves.

 

And naturally, some people will find religious leader, how is it that in every great religion there are followers of same scripture and the same avatar who are living with compassion with humility with devotion seeing equality of beings and in same religion there are people who are exploiting for their own power for their own prestige for their own, creating division and hatred. That’s human nature. We should never be discouraged; we should live by trying according to our capacity to embody the real values. Does that answer your question and I think the same answer for yours. People try to exploit anything if they have exploitative ego, whether it’s in name of politics, whether it’s in name of capitalism or socialism or atheism or agnosticism or religionism, whatever it may be, if we have that selfish ego, then we are going to try to exploit it for our own individual or collective purposes.

 

The whole purpose of a spiritual path is to rise above that selfish ego. But unfortunately people use the same tools which are meant to rise above the selfish ego as weapons for the ego to conquer others. Like a knife. Is a knife good or bad? If it’s in the hands of a surgeon, it saves life. If it’s in the hands of a thief, for that person’s selfish interest, it destroys the life. Wealth, religion, influence, power; it’s all like that knife. It is as good or beneficial or harmful as the motivations of the persons who are using it.

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: Few questions. This is, I think has come via twitters. What according to you is the most important indispensable trait of a successful leader? And somewhat linked to that… people generally are more interested in understanding the traits of a leader, what about traits of a follower?

 

Radhanath Swami: To be a food follower is pre-requisite to be good leader. Humility and gratitude are very important. To be grateful for the gifts that we have received, and to be humbled by the opportunity to use them, I think are very very foundational to leadership.

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: Another question. What does the Gita say about leadership? Very broad question but…

 

Radhanath Swami: yad yad acharati shreshtas- Krishna tells in one verse in Gita that what leaders do,the common people will follow. So, in whatever field we are leader, a mother and father is leader of the family, a teacher is leader of students, a politician is a leader of nation, in business whatever particular role we have, if people are subordinate to us then we are leaders. We all have serious responsibilities. For one whom much is given, much is expected. So, where we have leadership… on some level or another we are leaders. It may be small leadership, but that is not really important. What is important is quality. We take responsibility of our leadership by imbibing the spiritual principles and satsang, sadhana, sadachar is a beautiful formula which makes it all possible.

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: Thank you Swamiji (Radhanath Swami). Yes, last question.

 

Question: Thank you Swamiji (Radhanath Swami). One question which relates to, to be successful one has to beat competition, are there any spirituality principles for competition?

 

Radhanath Swami: Competition is good if it is good. Like that example of the knife… or I will use another example, morphine. We have a hospice at Bhaktivedanta hospital at Mira Road. So to improve quality of a person’s life as they are dying, morphine could be helpful. But that same exact drug, certain dealers are selling to our teenage children to addict them and to destroy their lives. So is morphine good or bad? It depends on who is using it. So similarly, competition, competition could actually be the incentive to really go beyond the call of duty, to make something successful. It’s a glorious thing providing we have principles. We have certain lines we will not cross, and those are those foundational principles and integrity. If competition is performed with values and integrity it has a sustainable effect to actually bring about a better life and a better world. But if in the name of competition we cross the line of integrity then we create a terrible example that will become the standard what people or the next generation feel is the norm.

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: I think there is someone in the back. Just one question, and then we will close.

 

Question: Swamiji (Radhanath Swami), good morning. My question is for you and Piramal both. Sir, in today’s world the definition of business has changed. If you are subtracting value, yet you could be in a good profitable business. Piramalji was in the business of pharmaceuticals and as I understand, it’s vested in someone’s sickness. If somebody is sick you make profit out of it. Can’t this business be vested in wellness, where you make money when the mankind is happy and healthy?

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: Question for you, I think first.

 

Ajay Piramal: So, I think lets understand what the pharmaceutical industry does. I think we are alleviating the burden of disease. We can talk about wellness, but I don’t know in your family and around there must be many people who tried to be well, but yet they have diseases and only drug can cure them. And look at the numbers. Why the longevity in world has gone up? Today if you have somebody who lives till 70, who dies at 70, you say he died a bit too early. 20, 30 or 40 years ago you would have said that he lived a reasonable life. So would you have done without a medicine? I don’t think that is possible. But wellness is also important. It’s not that we all have to live well, but it doesn’t mean that that is the only way to live. I mean I think so, it’s pretty obvious to me today, longevity is 85year old today. And in Japan it is increasing, people are saying they live beyond 100. It’s only because of modern medicine I think.

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: Would you like to respond?

 

Radhanath Swami: If you ask a Swami about medicine, he is going to give a different type of answer. Anechi-aushadi…magi, the core disease that we have is forgetfulness of our true eternal nature that we are beyond birth and death, we are not black or white or red or yellow or brown, we are not Indians or Pakistani or Americans or Russians or Africans, we are not Hindu, Muslim Christian, Jain, Parsi, Sikh, agonistic or atheist, we are not businessmen or Swamis. We are all eternal souls, playing these different roles and the disease is we are forgotten who we really are. And under the spell of this arrogance or this ego or this Maya, we are creating so much bad karma for ourselves which cause suffering. And we are propagating that same culture within the world around us. So the medicine in this age of Kali according to the Vedic literatures is the chanting the God’s names, to actually clean that disease of ignorance from within our hearts. And that is, from the spiritual perspective, and to live in such a way that seva, prayer, devotion, this is medicine for the heart.

 

And as far as pharmaceuticals, if we base these principles on this… because I know Mr. Piramal, I don’t know so much about how his business runs, but I know, my God! He does, he and his family does such enormous good for human society. They have principles of integrity that they work and live by and with the wealth that they earn they use it so much to feed tens and thousands of people in ghettos, in educational institutions. They are trying to utilize for a good purpose because they have these values and I think the medicine is very healing for the whole society. And Kishore is also, the same principles, striving to live by. And I think it’s the example of these two people is very medicinal for the wellness of the humanity.

 

Govindraj Ethiraj: Thank you. Mr Biyani, closing comments for a minute or so, what you have taken away from this. The climate change discussion we will continue next time. Then we will come back to Mr Piramal for a closing word.

 

Mr Kishore Biyani: I think for me the closing remark should be that I got medicine for my soul today.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Thank you. Mr Piramal, closing comments.

 

Mr Ajay Piramal: Difficult to match after that. I think it has been a very interesting conversation and I don’t think both are separate. But you can’t separate business and spirituality. You cannot separate, but today’s life and spirituality; it’s all a part of one integrated thing and if you have to be a better human being, all these things are required and that balance which Swamiji (Radhanath Swami) spoke about is really essential.

Govindraj Ethiraj: Thank you very much.

 

Mr Kishore Biyani: On a lighter note, a person with a debit balance, a person with a credit balance and no bank account here.

 

 

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Radhanath Swami at the Litomania Literary Festival http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-the-litomania-literary-festival http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-the-litomania-literary-festival#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 06:42:37 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2693 I am very grateful and honoured to be amongst all of you today. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you some of my thoughts. I was asked to speak from the book which I have written entitled ‘The Journey Home’. There are various perspectives in which I can share my thoughts today. Today I would like to focus on the challenges that I confronted in my life that caused me to question the very fibre of everything I was taught was true.

Radhanath Swami shares memories of his childhood and youth

When I was about seven years old I was confronted with parents of my best friends who I was told hated me because of my minority religion. In fact I was told even God hated me. When you are that small and such words are coming from people your parent’s age, it really has an impact.

I was confused. Why is there so much hate in the name of a loving God? Is religion meant to bring about unity and love, or is it meant to divide us and create hate? – Radhanath Swami

I couldn’t intellectually reason it very well. I was just hurt and confused. As I grew a little older, my father went through bankruptcy. So when I was about 15, I had to get a job. And where I worked, everyone except my friend Gary and one other were African Americans from the ghettos of Chicago. This was in the mid-nineteen-sixties. They were my parents age or older, and I saw how beaten down they were by poverty and racial discrimination. There were no real equal rights. In the nineteen sixties if you were born African American in the ghetto, it was ninety nine percent for sure you would live and die in the ghettos. There were practically no opportunities, either in the North or the South. That every day it was the law of the country, in school before the class begins we would pledge allegiance to our flag. And the last line was, “I pledge the allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” And as a fifteen or sixteen year old boy, when I would say, “Freedom and justice for all, men are created equal,” I would think about the people whom I worked with; I loved them, they were my friends.

Every one of them was an alcoholic or a drug addict, not because they were bad people, but because that’s the way they learned to cope with frustrations that were beyond themselves, the frustration of being hated. And I was being taught that this was the greatest country of the world, because there was liberty for all – providing you are a certain colour and a certain religion!! This did not make sense to me. – Radhanath Swami

In the nineteen sixties it was a turbulent time in the United States of America. There was war between two generations, the young generation and the old generation. Millions of people in their teens and early twenties formed a counter culture. They were protesting against an establishment of the older generation that they felt was hypocritical, because those were the people at that age that were subjected to the Draft. At that time the military, if they called you for the army – once you turn eighteen, you are eligible for the army – if they call, you have three choices. Go to the Vietnam War and fight a war and kill or be killed for a cause you absolutely don’t believe in; or go to jail and never be able to go to a proper college or get a good job for the rest of your life; or escape from the country and go to a foreign land probably never being allowed to come home. At that time those were the three choices we had and I was soon to become eighteen. There were millions of boys who were being drafted by force. And I had friends who were drafted; some were killed, some came back invalids and others were so traumatised they were drug addicts. It was a difficult time. Should I fight for something I really believe is wrong? So I joined the Civil Rights Movement with the followers of Dr Martin Luther King and I protested against segregation due to the colour of the skin and discrimination. I was in one march; I was the only white person; it was in the South, in Florida. And other white people who were standing on the sides of the roads were cursing me and throwing stones on me.

I had serious questions: “Where do I belong?” I heard Martin Luther King say: “If you don’t have an ideal you are willing to die for, you have nothing meaningful to live for.” I wanted to find that ideal. But for me, it wasn’t possible just floating along with the current of what everyone was doing, with the fashions and the fads, with the economic promises. – Radhanath Swami

In 1968 there was a Democratic Convention in Chicago at the Grand Park and young people went to protest there against the Vietnam War. I just went there to figure out what’s going on. I was tear-gassed and chased by police who were brutally beating people with clubs and arresting them and putting them in prison just for questioning in a free country.

You see, my search was not out of curiosity; it was a sense of identity, a sense of where I could find dignity in my life. In that sense, it was desperation. – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami narrates the beginning of his journey

One day I was in New York City visiting a friend, and I got a call from a person I grew up with from about nine or ten years old. His name is Gary. He is my best friend. He was in New Jersey at a common friend’s house. He said, “Please come here. I have to talk to you.” I had no money in those days; so I hitchhiked. You know hitchhiking in India? You go like this, and someone picks you up. If no one picks you up, you stand like this, and usually someone would pick me up.

In those days, being a part of the counter culture I grew my hair long. Growing hair long was not a fashion in those days; it was a statement, a statement of revolution against established hypocrisy – and people hated people with long hair. So I stood on the road and I got to New Jersey. And my friend said, “Frank, our friend wants us to go to Europe with him. He is willing to pay for both of us if we go.” That was a convincing argument. So I was on a little airplane to Iceland with my friends and then to Luxemburg. And in Luxemburg we found out what type of facilities our friend Frank was going to give us! The first night we spent in a tent, and then we found out that there was a waterfall nearby – a small one. It was for the first time I was out of my country in which I was born; I just felt so free; I could do anything, go anywhere. When we came back from bathing under the waterfall, all of Frank’s money had been stolen; he left it in the tent. So he went back to America the same day. Gary and I were left with nothing; but we wanted to continue on this journey.

And as I was travelling I was going to museums and trying to get some messages of life from art; I was going to forests and river banks trying to get some messages of direction in life from nature and music. – Radhanath Swami

Music was a very important part of our lives back in the 1960s. The musicians were the heroes and the prophets, and somehow or the other Gary and I were hitchhiking. We went across the English Channel; police harassed us for about six hours with threats and abuse because our hairs were long – the immigration police. And finally they let us in. We stood at the side of the road, at the side like this, grateful that we were allowed in the country of UK. And our ride was going to an island, the Isle of White, where there was the biggest rock festival of the whole generation of the sixties. There were over five hundred thousand people over there, listening to the most popular successful bands. They didn’t play ragas; they played rock and roll. I was nineteen years old at the time. And I remember I was there, and the music was so loud. They didn’t have speakers everywhere, but they had speakers on the stage. And they had to be loud enough to really shatter the ears of five hundred thousand people, because that’s what people liked in those days. And we would go right up front and I was trying to be a part of the scene.

There was a silent calling that was from my heart that was actually louder than all the music, and it seemed to be calling me away from all of this. I didn’t know where, but I understood it was something spiritual, and I was being called to find in my life.

A few days after that rock festival, one of the great legends of the generation died of an overdose of drugs in England. Three days before I was sitting there watching him at the festival; his name was Jimmy Hendrix. He was talented, incredible wealth, incredible fame, he had every type of sensual pleasure he could possibly want. Everything that everyone in this world is striving for, he had it to enormous dimensions. But yet, was he happy? If he was, why did he die with an overdose of drugs? I said a prayer for him. I remember I was sleeping on the floor of someone’s house when they told me the news. But I remember thinking – what really is happiness? He had everything except happiness. – Radhanath Swami

I started going to monasteries – catholic monasteries, Franciscan monasteries, synagogues – spending more time in the forests, going to big cathedrals and spending days just praying and reading different philosophical and spiritual books. We travelled through France, through Italy, and eventually my thirst for spirituality became so much.

A call from the heart

I found that the very things that all my comrades in the counter culture were rebelling against, we were the same. We just had a different dress and we created a different language, but the same type of egoism and selfishness and greed was within us. I heard Gandhi’s words, “We should be the change that we want to see in the world.” I understood personally that, that change has to happen within ourselves. If we are not part of a solution we are part of a problem. So my conclusion was that that change has to be spiritual. – Radhanath Swami

And eventually, Gary and I were living in a cave in the Isle of Crete which is south of Greece. It is really a beautiful place; quite simple. But if I had to classify it, it was a five star cave, in the sense it was clean, and it had good ventilation. But it was just a cave; there was no furniture. We just slept on the stone ground. Every day I would climb a mountain and there on the top I would meditate, read holy books and pray for direction. I believed in one God.

I struggled – is religion bad or good? It seemed to be dividing people with so much hatred and so much prejudice. And everyone had absolute reasons to hate in the name of God. So if I want to find peace and be an instrument of peace, should I reject religion? It seemed like a good idea, but there was this inherent faith in the goodness of God and the goodness and the essence of all religions. And I was determined to find that essence, once connecting with which we can understand the real purpose and truth of all the spiritual paths of the world. – Radhanath Swami

I was praying for direction, and it became so intense when I was obsessed with finding my direction in life. I (had) told my parents that I will be back in two and a half months, and almost three months passed. There was no phone or post office in my cave. So I had no way to communicate with my parents, and I had no desire to do so because I knew it would break their hearts if I told them. I just couldn’t go home and continue college. There was a calling that i had to answer. So I would cry for direction.

One night as the sun was setting I heard a voice. It was the loudest voice I ever heard, but it didn’t have any sound. It was from within me; spoke three words, and I knew if I followed these three words, nothing would ever be same in my life. I would have to leave almost everything I thought I was behind, but I really believed that it was the call of God, and I still do. Would you like to know what those three words were? “Go to India.” Now, this was in 1970. I had never met an Indian in my life. I had never eaten Indian food in my life. I had never tasted a chilli pepper. I didn’t know where India was. I didn’t have a map. And I didn’t have a single penny or money to buy a map. But I was determined to go to India. I felt this is where my calling was taking me. It was perhaps the greatest challenge that I was ever confronted with. Am I willing to do this? – Radhanath Swami

So I climbed back down the mountain and went into the cave. My beloved friend Gary was sitting with long beard and long hair. He was in meditation. There was a little candle next to him. I meditated in another little part of the cave. As we were looking out, the sun had already set, the moon was rising, and the stars were in the sky over the Mediterranean Sea. I said to Gary, “Something incredible happened to me tonight.”

Garry said, “Something amazing happened to me.”

I said, “What happened?”

And he said, “You won’t believe me.”

“I will believe you. Just tell me what happened.”

“No. You won’t believe me.”

“I believe you. Tell. What happened?”

“At sunset, while I was on the ocean side, on the sand, I heard a voice.”

“What did it say?”

“You won’t believe.”

“You just tell me. What did it say?”

“Go to Israel.”

“Where?”

“I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Where? I just didn’t hear.”

“Israel. We should both go to Israel. God is calling us to Israel.”

“Gary! He told me to go to India!”

He said, “India?!”

It was total silence – because it was so shocking – for about twenty minutes. We were just looking up into the stars. I was crying, because I felt so grateful. I whispered into the sky, “I am ready to come.” Then I said, “Gary! I am leaving at sunrise tomorrow for India.” And he was really disturbed. He said, “Are you going to leave me all alone in this cave? Are you insane? Hitchhiking through Europe is one thing, but the Middle East… through the deserts! You will be killed. You can’t do that.” I said, “Gary, I believe that God has called me there.”

Radhanath Swami narrates his experiences of the Middle East

The next morning at sunrise I left him and started my journey to India. So many ways of hitchhiking! I hitchhiked like… working on a little fishing boat to get back to Athens. And then I started hitchhiking; I met a couple of people who also wanted to go to India, and we started going east. I believed that if I just keep on going in the eastern direction that someday I will reach India. I went through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. It took six months from the time I left London to the time I reached the boarder of India. The three months that I was travelling through the Middle East, usually alone, I was getting all kinds of diseases because of the way I was living. But I was really meeting some of the most beautiful people and some of the most dangerous people I ever met in my life, because when you are not a tourist and you are travelling, you are really completely dependent on a mercy beyond your own powers. And that was a nice thing for me; I think I aged about thirty years in those three months.

The one situation I’ll never forget. It really caused me to question again the very fibre of what we consider really valuable. In Kandahar, Afghanistan. In those days the people of Afghanistan were the friendliest, charitable, the most hospitable people I had ever met. They would take me in their homes and give me food, simple flat bread, and they were just so kind. Somebody took me to a tea stall; the place was really in poverty. The tea stall was just a tiny shack where about six people could sit on the floor, and we were crouched down on our feet and we each had little tiny cups of tea. No milk, just tea and a lump of little sugar within, dissolving. As we were sitting together… there were about five of us, very old Afghani men with turbans and their traditional clothes, very poor economically. At that time it was night, it was dark, just a little lantern giving some light. A boy, he was probably about fifteen or sixteen years old, he came in. He was so thin and his clothes were so old and dirty and torn up and he had this little turban around his head that was so… it was rags. But the thing that affected me most was his eyes; he was blind. His eyes were swollen, discoloured and there was nothing covering them. I never saw anything that churned my stomach like that. It was really from a material perspective, ugly. He couldn’t see. He had a branch of a tree and a can nailed to one end of it and a wire across it. That was a musical instrument and he was playing it. It wasn’t melodious like a sitar, or a guitar. It was blum, blum …. And as he was going blum, blum, he sang. He sang these songs about his love for God. And as he was singing, there was such joy in his face that it seemed to light up the room. I was enthralled. For about forty five minutes I just watched; I felt transformed. I was thinking. The way I was brought up in my life, if you have wealth, if you have health, if you have beauty, if you have high education, you are going to be happy. This boy was in total poverty; he was in a diseased condition; he was illiterate. “And yet he is the happiest person I have ever met in my life.”

What is happiness? Everyone is looking for happiness. What is it? We become so superficially entrenched in conceptions. We are told something that will make us happy, but it doesn’t at all. Happiness is a thing which is within ourselves; it’s not something that we just grab from outside. If we are not happy within our hearts, we are not happy no matter what we have. – Radhanath Swami

He was happy, just expressing his gratitude to God in his situation. And here I was, a teenage American boy in relatively good health thinking I want what he has. And when I started thinking like that, that was a culture shock.

Radhanath Swami at the Indian Immigration

Eventually I got to the border of India six months later. Between Pakistan and India there was no man’s land between two rival nations. And when I came to the boarder I was rejected. They wanted money from me and I had no money. I think I had twenty six cents and the immigration agent said I needed two hundred dollars, minimum, to come to India. In that no man’s land where I was, there were no phones, post offices. I couldn’t even go back to Pakistan because I had only a one way visa. I pleaded, I cried, I was totally rejected with guns pointed at my face. “Go back! We have enough beggars here.”

About six hours later the guard changed, and I went to the new guard. I cried and I begged and I pleaded. “Just give me a chance. I promise you. I have risked my life. I have given up everything of my past just to learn from your great nation, from your rishis and your sages and your people. Just give me a chance. Someday I will do something for your people.” The immigration agent, he was a Sikh gentleman. He looked in my eyes for a long time. He said, “Sometimes a man must follow his heart. I have been told by my commanding officer, the previous agent that I must reject you unless you show me two hundred dollars. But I am going to give you the chance that you are crying for.”He stamped my passport and put his hand my hand on my head and said, “Welcome to India. May you find what you are longing for.” – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami in the Himalayas

Within a week I was in the Himalayas, and the first day I was there I met a Sadhu. I was just in a lonely place, and he told me to take off all my western clothes and offer them to mother Ganges. He wanted to give me the robes of a Sadhu. I said, “What is the word Sadhu? I have never heard the word before.” He said, “He is a wandering, homeless person who is seeking truth.” I thought like, ‘That sounds like me.’ So I threw my jeans and my turtle neck shirt in the Ganges, and my underwear too, and put on a little kaupin and a lungi and a chaddar, just simple cloth.

Radhanath Swami and Kailash Baba

I travelled through the Himalayas. One person I met, his name was Kailas Baba. He wanted to teach me. I had already lived in caves with Himalayan yogis. I had lived with some very famous people, some people the world really doesn’t know, but this person, he was very elderly man and he wanted to teach me how to live in the jungle. How to eat when you are deep in the forest? What kind of herbs and fruits and berries and leaves you can eat? And what types you can’t? Which ones were medicinal, when you get sick? I was fascinated. I had just turned 20 years old, and it was really an adventure for me.

He taught me how to live among our neighbours who were no humans. There were leopards, panthers, wild elephants. I didn’t see any tigers, but I saw the others. There was the Wild Boar. There were lots of snakes, cobras, wipers, mosquitoes, scorpions, and we were just sleeping on the ground at night. And I remember, he told me, “This is their home. You are their visitor. If you have the slightest fear of them or if you have any ego that you are superior to them in any way, they will kill you. And there is nothing you could do to defend yourself here. You have to see the equality of life, you have to understand the atma, the living force within everyone; the living force, that is seeing through the eyes and hearing through the ears and tasting through the tongue and trying to find various pleasures and securities in life. That living force is a part of god and we are all brothers and sisters. Inequality is only on the mental and physical level, but on the spiritual level there is true equality. To humble yourself before God is to learn to respect and love life in whatever way it exists, in its essence. If you see them as your brothers and sisters and respect them as such and give them the place that they need, they will respect you.” – Radhanath Swami

He had been living in the forest. He was in his late sixties. Some people told me that he was a hundred and fifty; I don’t know! But he was in the forest for at least fifty years. Now, usually when you learn something in school you have some time to memorize it or to imbibe it before the exam. But this was a crash course, because those snakes and leopards, they were walking around us. But you know something?

Because I was with Kailash Baba – not any merit of my own – because I was with him, I actually had no fear. I was actually feeling that these were my brothers and sisters and there was no problem. I was thinking that this is the power of associating with people who have faith and realisations of that faith. They can transform us. It was so real. – Radhanath Swami

Another thing that was so real is, he didn’t speak a word of English, and I didn’t speak any Hindi. I learnt more from him – I was thinking – than in any college that I went to in America, without any communication through language. This was a great lesson for me.

Because he so deeply cared about me as an eternal soul, as a brother, as a child of God, and because I was so eager to hear from him, that communication of wisdom came. And I could understand what he was saying even if it was a different language. I didn’t understand the language; it was something of the heart. To actually care, to actually fell affection is such an important part of education.- Radhanath Swami

And I remember. While I was living in the jungle with Kailas Baba, thinking how I was learning so much from him – and we couldn’t talk to each other; it was kind of good, we could not gossip – but then I was thinking of all the years I went to school, the one teacher that had affected me the most, it was not the best academic teacher, but he was the person who really cared about me the most, encouraged me the most in my life. After some time I travelled on.

 

At the leaper colony

I came to a leaper colony. It is a long story, but there was an old leaper woman in rags, dying. She had no nose, no fingers, no toes, but her people harassed me and she felt sympathy for me. She couldn’t speak my language, but in her eyes I experienced a mother’s love. She put her hand out to bless me, and I put my head under her hand which had no fingers. She was crying, crying, as she was saying, “May God bless you my son.” She said it in Hindi, but I could understand that. “May God bless you my son,” again and again.  

I was thinking. Here is this woman, totally destitute, rejected by society; all she wanted was what any mother wants – to bless a child. And because I was giving her a chance to bless a child, she was in ecstasy, weeping in happiness and smiling. – Radhanath Swami

She didn’t have teeth. But her smile was… I looked up at here. I was living in a country like America where the most glamorous movie actresses were constantly on all the hoardings, and in all the televisions and all the movies and all the magazines. I looked up at this old leaper woman and I was thinking that she was the most beautiful person I had ever seen. What was her beauty? It was beyond the skin, and it was the motherly love that she was offering me from her heart.

Radhanath Swami at Varanasi

I wandered through your great land of India, living with yogis and rishis, living with the people of all varieties, living with lamas and rinpoches and sadhus. I was going to all holy places. After leaving the Himalayas, in Varanasi I saw a funeral procession. All the ladies were marching at the back of the procession, weeping. I went and walked behind the ladies. They were crying so piteously. Then I saw something I never saw in America; they took the body and put it on some logs and lit it on fire right on the banks of the river Ganges. And I sat and watched as the body was consumed by fire.

What is death? I was thinking – unless I understand death, I can’t really understand life. And unless I really understand life, I really can’t understand death. – Radhanath Swami

So I sat from sunrise to sunset, watching body after body burn, just trying to get a realization of what is this thing called death. In seeing all the tears of all the relatives as they were coming and going, body after body, I became so convinced about the eternal nature of the atma or the soul.

 

 

Radhanath Swami meeting Gary once again

I was in India for about a year travelling like a Sadhu, from holy place to holy place, and from mountain to mountain, and from forest to forest. I especially loved to live near holy rivers. And at a certain time, because I needed visa extension, I was in Nepal in a small village called Svayambhunath, where there is a Buddhist temple on the top of a mountain called the Monkey Temple.

I was sleeping under a tree near a monastery, and one day I just decided to take a walk through a field. It was a rice paddy. And you all know rice paddies; during the monsoon season, which it was, they are really muddy. And there is just a little border on which you could walk on between them. While I was walking on the border I saw massive dark clouds forming in the sky. I understood there was going to be a monsoon downpour within moments. I was looking for some shelter, because I only had this one set of clothes that this sadhu gave me about a year ago. There was no house as far as the eyes could see; there were no trees as far as the eyes could see. It was just rice paddies and there was not a single human being. I was just all alone, kind of in the middle of nowhere. And as it started drizzling, I looked a little closer in all directions and I saw one old man walking alone in the no man’s land. So thought I am going to get under that umbrella.

I was slipping on the edge; I was somehow or the other behind; I was walking really, really fast; and I was almost running right behind him. I got under the umbrella. And it started pouring and raining and I was just right behind him walking, walking, and he never turned around; two people, total strangers, walking under the same umbrella in a rice paddy where nobody else is around. We walked about twenty five minutes or so. Then the rain stopped, and I said, “Thank you,” and he turned around. When he turned around, he was so shocked, he dropped his umbrella in the mud of the rice field. It was Gary, my friend, who a year before I had left behind in a cave in the Isle of Create! He had gone to Israel.

But if you want to know the rest, you have to read “The Journey Home.” Anyways, we were connected and then, later we went to Pashupatinath. I prayed to Lord Shiva, “Please show me my path.” As I was learning so many things from so many people, I felt something deep inside that something is going to be revealed.

Radhanath Swami at the Forest of Grace, Vrindavan

And then one Sadhu said, “We are going to Amarnath. It’s a holy place in Kashmir where there is a cave. And whatever you desire is, will be fulfilled.” And my desire was to find my guru and a spiritual path. So I said, “Gary! We are going to Amarnath.” So we went on a third class train. In those days we went for free, not because the railway was charitable, but because it was so crowded in the third class trains that the ticket collectors could never get in. There were no bars in the windows in those days. You just jumped in the windows while it was moving, if you wanted to get in. So we were in this train and it got flooded in the field. It was a massive downpour of rain and the train couldn’t move for about twenty hours. There was no water; there was no food; there was no fresh air. You couldn’t go out of the train, because it was muddy water where snakes crawled around in the muddy fields. Finally about twenty eight hours or something later, the train after moving, came to a station.

Gary and I decided, “Let’s crawl out a window, get some water, walk around and breathe fresh air. Then we will go to Amarnath.” So we did. Then we heard the whistle of the train. It started moving and in those days steam engines…. and I said, “Gary, that train is leaving. Let’s get on.” We dove through a window, but we just bounced off human bodies…. and then another one, and then another one and then we tried to get in through a door. And we bounced out of another human body mass. The train was just gone, and we cannot just go on. Now, where we were? So I asked someone, a Sadhu who was just sitting on the railway platform, “Where are we?” And he said, “This is Mathura, Krishna’s birth place. And today is Janmashtami, Krishna’s birthday. Come, I’ll show you his birthplace.” And I went there. There were about a million people and I thought this was something wonderful. I was charmed, and Gary wanted to leave the next day or a couple of days later, because it was really crowded and there were many people there. I went to Vrindavan. I told Gary, “I’ll meet you at Brahma Ghat under the clock tower in Hardwar in four days. I want to stay here for a couple of days. There is something happening to me.” So I was sleeping on the banks of the Yamuna River, and the morning I was supposed to leave. I had typhoid fever. I couldn’t go, couldn’t communicate with Gary. He was gone forever, it seemed.

And by the time I got better from my typhoid, the forest of Vrindavan, the path of Bhakti, the concept of Radha, the feminine compassionate absolute truth, the feminine aspect of the absolute truth, the path of love, Bhakti, and the people – their humility, their deep philosophical convictions that they were applying to their lives in such simple compassionate ways – I decided, “This is my path. And this is what I want to give my life to.” So I decided, “I am just going to stay in Vrindavan for the rest of my life.” And a little later, Prabhupada, who later on became my teacher, came through Vrindavan. And his compassion and his depths, and the authenticity of what he was presenting, it affected me so deeply. I just wanted to assist him.

So I was in Vrindavan for nine months and my visa ended. But during those nine months, what I was longing for, what I was searching for, what I was praying for, a window opened in which I could see where I really wanted to go on my journey home. Home is within each of our hearts. If we find that homes within ourselves, we will feel home with family, with whatever we are. – Radhanath Swami

Thank you very much!!

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Radhanath Swami at the CLO Summit http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-the-clo-summit http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-the-clo-summit#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:11:59 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2679 It is my great honor, fortune and pleasure to be with all of you today at this very relevant and needed conference, CLO. Thank you Mr. Kumar for inviting me to participate. I was asked to speak on how  we could learn lessons that can not only equip us to live and serve within this world in a very significant way, but also lessons that can transform our lives, even from the most ordinary experiences in life.

Radhanath Swami reveals the underground secret of redwood trees

Not long ago, I decided to get away from all the demands and expectations in my life, because spiritual people also have that kind of situation. And I went to a forest; it’s in Northern California; it’s called Meer Woods; gigantic redwood trees, sequoia trees are growing there. I just wanted to be left alone. As I was walking, I came upon a circle of about 25 Chinese tourists. In the middle of the circle was a forest ranger. So wanting to get away from people, I started walking a little faster,  but then I heard the forest ranger saying, “ I am about to tell you the underground secret of Redwood Forest.”

Now, I grew up in 1960s as a teenager in America. So I am naturally inclined towards underground secrets.  So I stopped to listen. He explained how the redwood tree is the tallest, largest tree on planet earth, and some of these trees are over 2000 years old. He said, “Usually for a tree to survive and grow, the roots have to grow very deep.  But Redwood trees, their roots don’t grow deep. But yet these trees, over the thousands of years they have been standing there, have endured massive forest fires, devastating earthquakes, frigid winters, storms, winds, tornadoes. How do they keep standing?”  And he paused. “Let us think about it.”

And he explained, ‘Underground, the roots cannot be seen. But the nature of a redwood tree is that the roots reach out to the roots of other redwood trees. And when two roots of two different trees come together, they wrap around each other and make a permanent knot. And all the roots of all the trees are reaching out to connect with each other.’ Unity is their strength, these gigantic redwood trees that are thousand years old that are so tall.” – Radhanath Swami

We came to one redwood tree; there was a sign near it and it said that if a little mouse looks up at a six foot man – not a Bombay rat, a little mouse – it’s the same experience as for a six foot man looking up at this tree… huge. These giant trees, their roots go not only to other huge trees, but even to the little baby trees that are just coming out of their seeds. Their fine little roots are wrapping around the big roots and in this way they are empowering each other to grow. And because of their unity, through the fires and through the wind storms, they keep growing and growing and growing.

I found this to be such an incredible message. We see trees everywhere we go, but this invaluable lesson is right in front of our eyes. How much we could learn!

 

A lesson from a basket ball champion

A few years ago I saw in a newspaper the story of a basketball game. Now, what does a Swami have to do with basketball games? Really nothing.   But there was something that really affected me. There was a star player in a World Championship playoff, the last game. There were two seconds left. He was given the ball; if he made the basket, they win the World Championship. If he missed it, they lose. It’s the last shot of the game. They are one point behind, either they win or lose. It was an easy shot. If he made this basket, he would have won one of the greatest awards for making one of the most coveted records in the basketball history, something no one has ever done…how many points he scored in championships. He passed it to another person… that person… it went in, made the basket, they won. When he was asked, “Why didn’t you do it? It was easy. You would have won a world record,” he said, “When I am playing, I can’t think about me. I have to think about the team. Yes, it was 90%  I would have made it, but it was 95% he would have made it.”

 In spiritual organizations, what to speak of politics and corporate world, the lesson is – it’s not about me, it’s about us. That consciousness where we help each other to grow. The giant redwood trees in the forest are totally dependent on the little trees, and little trees are dependent on giants and on each other.” – Radhanath Swami.

Radhanath Swami speaks of a leadership lesson he learnt from Srila Prabhupada

As was said in the introduction, when I was a teenager I hitchhiked from London to India and I travelled in the Himalayas as a sadhu, searching for spiritual meaning. Because I was born and raised in United States of America, I saw people had so much. But what confused me is, they had so little because real happiness is the condition of the heart. There is a saying that in human evolved society, people love people and use things. But unfortunately sometimes we become so distracted by limitless weapons of mass distraction that we love things, and use people to get them and keep them. From an economical perspective, from political perspective, from organizational perspective, it is an unsustainable model. And from a human perspective, there can be no real fulfillment in such a life. So I was looking for something meaningful and fulfilling that I can really connect my life to; and then whether I become a millionaire or a billionaire or a monk or a swami, I found something rich within myself and I could share that with the world. I travelled in the Himalayas; I lived with many masters and yogis.

I would like to tell a little lesson that really transformed me and helped me to follow the path that I am on now. It was in Vrindavan. I was sleeping under a tree on the bank of the Yamuna river, and then Swami Srila Prabhupad, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami , he came to Vrindavan with about 40 disciples from all over the world. Somebody was introducing him, talking about his accomplishments. How he left Vrindavan with forty rupees; he took a cargo ship across two oceans and three continents to New York City from Calcutta; and when he arrived, no one would change – in 1965 – rupees for  dollars; so he had nothing and he didn’t know anyone, but he had such a determination to share the wealth of what he had within himself; and from that small beginning, he started International Society with thousands of people and temples. And I was sitting in his room next to him; there were only five or six people;  and one journalist asked him a question, “Are you the guru for the world?” And he looked down with such a humble expression and with tears in his eyes. He was just sitting on the floor and he looked on the floor and he said, “No. I am just everyone’s servant. That’s all.” And that was his answer.

And I was thinking, ‘That’s the person I want to follow. Such determination, such incredible accomplishments, and he has been proclaimed the guru of the world; and he is saying – no! I am just the servant of everyone. That’s all.’ And for me, it was that type of humility that really prompted me to dedicate myself to assist him.” – Radhanath Swami

In Bhagavadgita, there is a beautiful verse, “yad yad acarati sresthas…” which means what leaders do common people will follow. There is a saying – you can tell how rich you are by counting how many things you have that money can’t buy. Money cannot buy love or peace or inner fulfillment or character or integrity. The values that we hold sacred, that is what brings about a fulfilling life. And when we find that wealth within ourselves, it humbles us. We realize – ‘I am not a master or proprietor; I am a care taker. I am a trustee of things that belong to a higher principle than just me.’ In the Gita, Krishna tells, “I am the strength of the strong, the intelligence in intelligent. I am the ability in people.”

“Whatever we have, it is so much based on the gifts we are receiving from nature, from God and from so many other people. To be grateful means to be humbled by those gifts, to treasure their value, to utilize them with tremendous determination, tremendous insight, tremendous focus; to share what has been given to us, not thinking ‘I am the giver, I am the messenger.’” – Radhanath Swami

I remember another time someone spoke to my Guru and said, “Thank you so very very much for what you have given us.” And he said, “Actually I have not given. I am just like a postman. It’s coming from higher powers of God and saints and great people. I am just delivering the message.” A similar thing I heard from Mother Teresa when I lived with her in 1971 in Calcutta. I came to her ashram or her covenant and she was washing pots, huge pots. And they asked me to sit and wait for her. And we spoke for some time, and then some people from Britain came, some journalists and one asked, “How do you do so much?” She said, “It is God’s work. I am just an instrument.”

The inner satisfaction we get from feeling that higher power and being an instrument is millions of times greater than thinking, ‘I am doing it myself.’” – Radhanath Swami

And also, it is so much more of an incentive to give and to do everything we can, because we are representing something or people we believe in – whether it’s a government, whether it’s a company, whether it’s a God or our religion. To take responsibility and understand that the integrity of what we represent is how I speak and how I act and especially how I treat others. All of these thoughts were coming through my mind for days and days and days, after I learnt the underground secret of the Redwood Forest, the biggest trees reaching out to make the little tiny seedlings become big like him and little tiny seedling knows that it has potential to be a part of an incredible forest. Every tree is dependent on every other tree.

 

Radhanath Swami on the unpredictability of life

Another time I was… I write about this in my book The Journey home. I was at Prayag, the confluence of Yamuna, Ganges and Saraswati rivers. This was 1971. It was summer and it was in the noon time, extremely hot. I was thinking, “I am going to go to the place of the Kumbh Mela where tens and millions of people gather every year.” But when I came, there was no human anywhere around, because it was just so hot. And I was sitting there on the banks of Ganges, Yamuna and Saraswati. And I had all these little scriptures with me and I was thinking, “I am going to learn something in this holy sacred place.” And as I am doing my meditation and reading some little scriptures, trying to get some knowledge, I learnt something that was to me the essence of all my chanting and all my meditations and all my scriptures, from something I was about to see. It was a hawk, flying just above my heads, wings expanded. It was a really big hawk, brown-white-golden wings. It had really sharp curved beak and yellow glistening eyes that were looking down with tremendous focus, and it was right above my head. It looked like he was looking at me and there was no one around. He was circling lower and lower and lower and I looked up and just a few meters above my head were his claws. They looked really sharp and they were moving like they were ready to attack. Suddenly it dove right into the river, went under water. Then I saw skirmishes and all kinds of splashing and splashing and splashing. Hawk came out with a fish in its claws, and it was a just a few meters away from me. I was looking and I could see the eyes of that little fish. It was about a foot long. That fish was squirming and flapping helplessly and its eyes looked totally bewildered, disoriented and helpless as the hawk flew higher and higher and took the fish into the forest. And I was thinking, “What I am supposed to learn from this? There must be a message.”

We see these kinds of things every day. I was thinking that the little fish probably was just going about its day like any other day – swimming upstream, downstream, across stream may be with family, friends, trying to get some food, trying to protect itself, had no consciousness that the hawk of fate was about to rip it out of its complacency, rip it out of its life. I was thinking how much that is like us.

 Like little fish we are swimming around with the people we know, we are going about our routines in life and we are going through the challenges in life. But we don’t know that at any moment something could really rip us out of that state. We read about it, we see it on televisions, we hear about it, we know people it happened to, but still we just swim around; complacency! When we understand the realities of this world, then we really put our consciousness on what really matters. Sometimes we just become so distracted.” – Radhanath Swami

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krisha tells Arjuna what really matters. And says, “That doesn’t mean that you should give up your duty. You should perform your duty with your full vigor and concentration, but understanding what your higher purpose is.” Then success, failure ,victory, defeat, honor, dishonor, these things come and go like the seasons, but our roots are in the real values that we are representing. The ultimate value is the love that is within all of us, to be an instrument of that love, to be an instrument of that power, to be an instrument of who and what we represent. Because we don’t know what’s going to happen in this world; there are so many uncertainties. But then I was thinking, “If that fish was swimming deeper, the hawk could not catch it.” So similarly, in whatever we are doing in our life, if we are doing it on a superficial level, near the surface, then we are subjected to all the different hawks of fate and destinies that may grab us, meaning all the different situations that could come to disturb us and trouble us. But if we find that inner satisfaction in a deeper place, in our values, in our character, in our integrity, in our love, if we find that then whatever may happen in the world it can’t change the quality of our life. If a house is built on a strong foundation, it can endure any storm. If a house, however beautiful it is, is built on shifting sand, then when the storm comes, it crumbles. It is so important that on every level of society we learn to find and develop that inner foundation of our life, those inner roots of our life, empower one another, inspire one another, encourage one another to be the best we can, and in doing so we grow.

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Radhanath Swami expounds the dynamics of divine love http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-expounds-the-dynamics-of-divine-love http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-expounds-the-dynamics-of-divine-love#comments Wed, 05 Nov 2014 08:59:39 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2649

Gopal made a plan, because he was yearning to see Lord Chaitanya as Lord Chaitanya was yearning to see Krishna.” – Radhanath Swami

So Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would not step on Govardhan. What a dynamic… that was going on at this time. He yearned so much to see Gopal, and now he is so close. He could see the temple right upon the hill, but he wouldn’t go.

He bathed in Manasi Ganga. Then he walked to Govinda Kund, and he bathed in Govinda Kunda. And that’s where the intensity of his desire to see Gopal was so strong, because it is near a place called Annakut Kshetra. The temple of Srinathji is just near there, where five thousand years ago Krishna actually manifested a gigantic form to the Vrajavasis. He said, “I am Govardhan hill.” He manifested the body of Govardhan hill, and it was there that on Krishna’s instructions, Nanda Maharaj inspired all the Vrajavasis to make the annakuta – mountains and mountains and kunds and kunds of bhoga. Krishna, he ate it all. There was nothing there; Govardhan hill ate it all. Then he manifested again his Mahaprasad; everyone really knew that it was Mahaprasad! At Govinda Kunda, Indra along with Surabhi bathed Krishna. Indra with Airavata brought the water from Akasha Ganga, the Ganga of the heavenly worlds, to bathe Krishna. Surabhi bathed Krishna with the milk from her own motherly love.

At that famous place of Govinda Kund, while Lord Chaitanya was bathing there, he felt this very very deep yearning to see Gopal, but still there was no question of stepping on the hill. But Gopal knew his heart… and here is an example of Krishna’s loving reciprocation with his devotee: Gopal made a plan, because he was yearning to see Lord Chaitanya as Lord Chaitanya was yearning to see Krishna. This is the esoteric meaning of ye yatha maam prapdyante. Krishna says, “As you surrender unto me, I reveal myself.”

Krishna reciprocates according to the nature of our love, the nature of our surrender. And this is on the level of bhava or love, because to the degree we yearn to see Krishna with real bhakti, Krishna yearns to see us. When we yearn to please Krishna, Krishna yearns to please us.” – Radhanath Swami

He is bhakta vatsal. So a wonderful pastime took place right at that moment.

This devotee, a Vrajavasi, he comes to the village of Annakuta Kshetra, and says to the people there, “An army of Turkish soldiers is coming over here. They are going to attack and devastate everything. Every single person along with the deity of Gopal should leave this place immediately. They are coming tomorrow.” So what was the first thing the villagers did? They secretly brought Gopal off the altar and secretly covered him with a cloth. They took him away, and they all evacuated. There wasn’t a single human being in the whole town or village of Annakuta Kshetra. When Lord Chaitanya heard the news that Gopal… He was being hidden in different places… they moved him around: sometimes in bushes and sometimes in forest. At that time he was in a village called Gantuli. It is called Gantuli because one time – Srila Prabhupada says that it is ‘hearsay’ – that is the first place Radha and Krishna met. And while they were hiding here, they tied their clothes together. So it is called Gantuli. So Gopal was in the house of one Vrajavasi, and nobody knew where he was. But Lord Chaitanya found out, and so he went there. Srinathji had the darshan of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had the darshan of Srinathji. Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu was Krishna in the mood of Sri Radha’s love. He spent three to four days there continuously dancing and singing before Srinathji. And he offered a beautiful prayer.

Lord Chaitanya in his great ecstasy, when he first saw Srinathji he prayed, ‘May the left hand of Gopal always protect you.’ It was with that left hand that he lifted the entire Govardhan hill to protect his devotees.” – Radhanath Swami

In that spirit he danced and danced and danced. This vipralamba and sambhoga – being so close but not able to see the Lord put him in such a deep and loving separation… and then seeing Gopal is the greatest happiness. About four days later they found out there were never any Turkish soldiers. They weren’t anywhere around. Somebody said it, but they said it with such conviction. So they were carrying Gopal back home on top of Giriraj, and Lord Chaitanya, he was with Srinathji every possible moment he could; his eagerness, his devotion. Bhakti Siddhant Sarswati Thakur says, “Do not try to see Krishna. Try to serve Krishna in such a way that Krishna is pleased to see you.” And that was Lord Chaitanya’s mood. He wasn’t there just to see Gopal, but he was there to serve Gopal. He was going to offer his body, his mind, his words, and his life to Gopal. That is what it really means to have darshan.

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Radhanath Swami explains the science of Aparadhs http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-the-science-of-aparadhs http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-explains-the-science-of-aparadhs#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 15:19:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2641 “At a higher level of bhakti, we don’t commit offences because it is worse then suffering, it’s worse than death itself to displease Krishna by offending those he loves.” – Radhanath Swami

For Lord Chaitanya it was the only time of his life he went… So he was so close, he was right at Govardhan, and he yearned to see Gopal. But still in this mood of being the servant of the servant of the servant, he would not risk going by committing an offence.

Now, there are different ways of looking at committing offence. One is – if I commit an offence then I will have to suffer. That’s a very low level; but there are many much more lower levels, so at least we should go to that low level.

“But on a higher level, it is not about whether we suffer or not. It displeases Krishna when we make an offence; it is not properly expressing our love for Krishna when we make an offence.” – Radhanath Swami

There is that story of Govinda. When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing and dancing and dancing in Jagannath’s temple for so many hours and hours and hours with his devotees… and he wouldn’t stop dancing. The kirtan went on from early morning till afternoon. And finally, Nityanand Prabhu got the kirtan leaders to stop. “Everybody is tired; everyone is hungry. Please stop.”

So on this day, Lord Chaitanya was laying on the doorway, and his feet were inside. So Govinda couldn’t get in. He said, “My Lord, please! If you can slightly move, so I can get in, so that I can massage your legs.” Lord Chaitanya in the role of a devotee, said, “I am too tired. I cannot move.” Govinda didn’t know what to do. He said, “Please, please just move slightly so that I can get in to massage your legs. I want to massage your legs.”

“I cannot move.”

Few minutes passed.

“My Lord! Please move your legs… please slightly… just a little, so that I can get in.”

The Lord became abrupt. “Do it or don’t do it. Do whatever is in your mind. I just cannot move.”  Then he went to sleep.

What did Govinda do? He put Lord Chaitnya’s outer cloth on his (Lord Chaitanya’s) body, and then he stepped over his body to go in the room, and massaged his legs. How many of you are willing to step over Lord Chaitanya’s body? Hare Krishna!

About a half hour later, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu awoke. And Govinda was still there, massaging his legs. And Lord Chaitanya said, “What are you doing?”

“I am massaging your legs.”

“But it is the custom that after you massage my legs, you go and take Prasad. Have you taken Prasad yet? You couldn’t have taken Prasad if you are still here. Why dint you go to take Prasad yet?”

Govinda didn’t say anything. But Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami tells us what was in his mind.  He didn’t say a word; he was silent when Lord Chaitanya asked him that question. What was he thinking? “To please you and serve you my Lord, I am willing to endure the reactions of unlimited offences. But for my own purpose, I am deeply fearful of even committing the slightest tinge of an offense to anyone.”

So in this sense, for the service of Krishna, one doesn’t mind suffering. Srila Prabhuapad went on the Jaladuta when he was seventy years old – sixty nine… then he turned seventy near Cochin in the Arabian Sea.  All that heart attacks and sea sickness! But he was willing to suffer anything to serve and please his Guru and Krishna. So you see, at a higher level of bhakti, we don’t commit offences because it is worse then suffering, it’s worse than death itself to displease Krishna by offending those he loves.  Krishna told Durvasa muni after he offended Ambarish maharaj, “Because I am in the heart of my devotee, if you offend my devotee, you are offending me. That I take even more seriously.”

Narottama Das Thakur prays in one wonderful song, “If one offends Krishna, one can rectify it by chanting his holy names. But if one offends Krishna’s devotees, it is very difficult, because of how Krishna loves his devotee!”

Radhanath Swami

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Radhanath Swami tells us the way from imaginary realizations to real realizations http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-tells-us-the-way-from-imaginary-realizations-to-real-realizations http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-tells-us-the-way-from-imaginary-realizations-to-real-realizations#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 03:37:11 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2638  

“The personification of Krishna’s grace is Sri Radha and that grace manifests in our lives in so many ways if we are receptive.” – Radhanath Swami

 

And Lord Chaitanya, who took the role of a devotee, taught us in a practical way how to live the Srimad Bhagavatam. We read about Dhruva, Prahlad, Pandavas; we read about the residents of Vrindavan, the gopis and the gopas. Now, how to apply those principles in our lives?

 

radha bhaava dyuti suvalitam naumi krishna svarupam
 

Krishna came with the love of Sri Radha in his heart, and (with) her complexion as well. And he came in a role of a devotee to teach us how to actually live following in the footsteps of the residence of Vrindavan in our very lives. At the ratha yatra in Puri, before revealing to the world these inner secrets, he folded his palms before jagannath and offered several prayers. Among them,

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro

naham  varninaca griha-patir no vanastho yatir va

kintu prodyannikhilaparamananda

gopibhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah

 

“I am not a Brahmana, nor a Kshatriya, nor a vaishya, nor a shudra. I am not a brahmachari, nor a sannyasi, nor a grihastha, or nor a vanaprastha. My aspiration, my identity, my true identity is,

 

gopibhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah.

 

I am the servant of the servants of the servants of your servants, my Lord, the Lord of the gopis. Now, this is the principle which is the basic foundation of all true realizations of bhakti. There is imaginary realization: we can understand the truth philosophically, we can know what achintya abheda bheda tattva is, we can know what jiva tattva is, what bhakti tattva is, what Krishna tattva is, what Radha tattva is, what Rasa tattva is, what these inner truths are. But to understand any of them, our realizations have to be built on this foundation, the foundation of gopi bhartur pada kamalayor das, das, dasanudas – feeling oneself the servant of the servants of the servants; not feeling oneself qualified, but feeling oneself unqualified, because when we feel ourselves unqualified, then we are able to, from the heart, call out for Krishna’s grace. The personification of Krishna’s grace is Sri Radha and that grace manifests in our lives in so many ways if we are receptive.

 

                                         Radhanath Swami

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Radhanath Swami narrates one of his experiences with Bhakti Tirtha Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-narrates-one-of-his-experiences-with-bhakti-tirtha-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-narrates-one-of-his-experiences-with-bhakti-tirtha-swami#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:08:45 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2633 Radhanath Swami narrates one of his experiences with Bhakti Tirtha Swami

“It was about 10 years ago. I was with one of my very dearest friends and god-brothers. His name was Bhakti Tirtha Swami….”- Radhanath Swami

He was an African-American who was born in the ghettos of Cleveland, at a time in the 1950s and 60s when if you were born in the ghettos it was ninety five percent chance that you would live and die in the poverty of the ghetto. The constitution spoke of civil rights. But the country did not offer civil rights to minorities. He was incredible, so positive; he never lost hope. He had such faith in God and such a will to do good for others, that without even asking he got a full scholarship to Princeton University. He graduated…. he was the leader of the civil rights movement in Princeton in 1960s; that was Martin Luther King’s movement. But he (Bhakti Tirtha Swami) had a spiritual calling, and eventually he became a swami with the same guru as me, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. He wrote many books; he would give spiritual guidance to people like Nelson Mandela, Mohammad Ali, and Alice Coltrane.

He called me to his bedside, because he was suffering from Melanoma Cancer. I would like to tell you one story, one that is etched so deep forever in my heart. His health was going through so many ups and downs, but his consciousness was always so humble, so transcendental, so full of compassion – and detachment. This is an irresistible combination – detachment and compassion. Sometimes to be detached, we are not compassionate: we don’t care – ‘it  is not about me…nothing, no one’

“Sometimes detachment creates aloofness. But when there is deep detachment from one’s own ego, from one’s own selfishness, it is harmonized with profound compassion – real care for others, real willingness to make sacrifice for the welfare of others. That’s a combination that can transform people’s hearts.” – Radhanath Swami

So one day he was in so much pain that his whole body was trembling. They sat him on a chair, because he was paralysed from the waist down, and one of his legs was amputated. He was sitting in a chair, and I was speaking to him. We would spend hours and hours just talking about spiritual subjects. But as I was speaking, I could see he could not focus on what I was saying. So I began to chant this Mahamantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. As I was chanting, he held my hand, and suddenly the most blissful smile manifested on his face. His teeth practically went to his ears; that is how he was smiling. His eyes – I never saw him cry when he was in pain – his eyes were pouring tears of joy. Then he was shaking his head, and he told me, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Same pain was there; the body was still trembling. I said, “What do u mean?”

“It doesn’t get any better than this. I would not trade my position for anything or anyone else in this world, because I am tasting the sweetness of Krishna’s names.” Then he looked at me; his eyes were glistening with light. He said, “I am feeling Krishna’s love. I know where I am going, and I am ready to go. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Radhanath Swami

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Gratefully Receiving The Key To Vrindavan-Part1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/gratefully-receiving-the-key-to-vrindavan-part1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/gratefully-receiving-the-key-to-vrindavan-part1#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 07:02:38 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2628 Talk By HH Radhanath Swami at Mumbai
On Srimad Bhagawatam Verse:10 38 01
Date:09-Feb 2014

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Gaya The Place Of Heart Transformation-Part 1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/gaya-the-place-of-heart-transformation-part-1 Tue, 09 Sep 2014 12:55:19 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2624 Published on May 29, 2014
Talk By Radhanath Swami at Mumbai
On Sunday Feast

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Fear Is Destroyed By Krishna’s Presence http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/gaur-sundara-nagari http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/gaur-sundara-nagari#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:22:10 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?post_type=video&p=2401 Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 10.13.33) Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami on Fear Is Destroyed By Krishna’s Presence given in .

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Faith Opens The Treasure Of Krishna Prema-Part 2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/faith-opens-the-treasure-of-krishna-prema-part-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/faith-opens-the-treasure-of-krishna-prema-part-2#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:12:57 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2391 Talk By Radhanath Swami at Mumbai
On Srimad Bhagawatam Verse:10-33-39
Date:29-Dec 2013

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Faith Opens The Treasure Of Krishna Prema-Part 1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/faith-opens-the-treasure-of-krishna-prema-part-1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/faith-opens-the-treasure-of-krishna-prema-part-1#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 04:26:22 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2385 Talk By Radhanath Swami at Mumbai
On Srimad Bhagawatam Verse:10-33-39

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Eagerness To Serve In Separation http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/eagerness-to-serve-in-separation http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/eagerness-to-serve-in-separation#comments Sat, 12 Jul 2014 08:41:47 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2382 Talk By Radhanath Swami at Mumbai
In a Sunday Feast
Date:17 Jan 2013

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Charming Contrasts In Krsna Lila Mumbai-Part 2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/charming-contrasts-in-krsna-lila-mumbai-part-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/charming-contrasts-in-krsna-lila-mumbai-part-2#comments Sat, 21 Jun 2014 11:46:53 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2378 Talk By Radhanath Swami at Mumbai
On Srimad Bhagawatam Verse:10_14_61

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Charming Contrasts In Krsna Lila Mumbai-Part 1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/charming-contrasts-in-krsna-lila-mumbai-part-1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/charming-contrasts-in-krsna-lila-mumbai-part-1#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 08:28:31 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2372 Talk By Radhanath Swami at Mumbai

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Conceiving Inconceivable Krishna’s Creation by Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/conceiving-inconceivable-krishnas-creation-by-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/conceiving-inconceivable-krishnas-creation-by-radhanath-swami#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:37:37 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2369 Talk By Radhanath Swami at Mumbai
On Srimad Bhagawatam Verse:10_40_01-03

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My Favorite Verse – Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/my-favorite-verse-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/my-favorite-verse-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 26 May 2014 05:44:35 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2361 My Favorite Verse – Radhanath Swami

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Radhanath Swami TEDx London Business School http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-tedx-london-business-school http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-tedx-london-business-school#comments Fri, 23 May 2014 05:51:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2354 Radhanath Swami speaks on the “Magic Within”, spiritual teachings, at TEDx London Business School

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Radhanath Swami – Spiritual principles for married couples http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-spiritual-principles-for-married-couples http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-spiritual-principles-for-married-couples#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 09:52:54 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2349 Radhanath Swami – Spiritual principles for married couples

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Radhanath Swami on Govardhan Eco Village http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-govardhan-eco-village http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-govardhan-eco-village#comments Sat, 17 May 2014 06:20:39 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2346 Radhanath Swami on Govardhan Eco Village

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Kiev – Arrival Talk – Niranjana Swami and Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/kiev-arrival-talk-niranjana-swami-and-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/kiev-arrival-talk-niranjana-swami-and-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 05:40:04 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2341 Kiev – Arrival Talk – Niranjana Swami and Radhanath Swami – English/ Russian

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Kirtan Mela 2014 Mayapur Day 1 – Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/kirtan-mela-2014-mayapur-day-1-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/kirtan-mela-2014-mayapur-day-1-radhanath-swami#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 05:56:06 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2333 Kirtan Mela 2014 Mayapur Day 1 – Radhanath Swami

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Radhanath swami on new year resolutions http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-new-year-resolutions http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-new-year-resolutions#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 06:08:59 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2325 Radhanath swami on new year resolutions

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Radhanath Swami speaking about Intuition at EY http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaking-about-intuition-at-ey http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-speaking-about-intuition-at-ey#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 10:55:36 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2318 Radhanath Swami speaking about Intuition at EY

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Hare Krishna Kirtan by HH Radhanath Swami at ISKCON London, UK http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hare-krishna-kirtan-by-hh-radhanath-swami-at-iskcon-london-uk http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hare-krishna-kirtan-by-hh-radhanath-swami-at-iskcon-london-uk#comments Fri, 08 Nov 2013 04:45:21 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2312 Hare Krishna Kirtan by HH Radhanath Swami at ISKCON London, UK

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HH Radhanath Swami – Kirtan and Dance Party – ISKCON Houston http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-kirtan-and-dance-party-iskcon-houston http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-kirtan-and-dance-party-iskcon-houston#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 06:11:20 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2307 HH Radhanath Swami – Kirtan and Dance Party – ISKCON Houston

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HH Radhanath Swami and Gaura Vani Prabhu at Gita Nagari Retreat http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-and-gaura-vani-prabhu-at-gita-nagari-retreat http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-and-gaura-vani-prabhu-at-gita-nagari-retreat#comments Tue, 17 Sep 2013 10:01:44 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2302 HH Radhanath Swami and Gaura Vani Prabhu at Gita Nagari Retreat

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Radhanath Swami – Yoga and Ecology http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-yoga-and-ecology http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-yoga-and-ecology#comments Mon, 02 Sep 2013 08:33:13 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2298 Radhanath Swami speaking at the University of Texas in Dallas on the topic “Yoga and Ecology”.

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Moving story of Sindhutai Sapkal – Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/moving-story-of-sindhutai-sapkal-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/moving-story-of-sindhutai-sapkal-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 12:53:39 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2292 A Talk by HH Radhanath Swami on A moving story of Sindhutai Sapkal at Narayan Mandir, June 4th 2013

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Radhanath Swami talk at Ford http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-talk-at-ford http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-talk-at-ford#comments Wed, 07 Aug 2013 08:29:14 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2288 Radhanath Swami talk at Ford

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Govardhan Eco Village Introduction http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/govardhan-eco-village-introduction http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/govardhan-eco-village-introduction#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 06:16:35 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2280 Govardhan Eco Village Introduction

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Radhanath Swami on Consciousness: The Missing Link, Talks at Google http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-consciousness-the-missing-link-talks-at-google http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-consciousness-the-missing-link-talks-at-google#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 08:11:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2276 Radhanath Swami on Consciousness: The Missing Link, Talks at Google

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Radhanath Swami at Kirtan Mela Mayapur 2013 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-kirtan-mela-mayapur-2013 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-kirtan-mela-mayapur-2013#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 05:23:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2268 Radhanath Swami at Kirtan Mela Mayapur 2013

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Timelapse at Govardhan Eco Village http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/timelapse-at-govardhan-eco-village http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/timelapse-at-govardhan-eco-village#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 11:58:39 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2262 Timelapse at Govardhan Eco Village

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Radhanath Swami on How can I know if God Exists? http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-how-can-i-know-if-god-exists http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-how-can-i-know-if-god-exists#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 15:18:00 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2258 Lecture by H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj on How can I know if God Exists?

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Radhanath Swami on Pleasing oneself to Please Krishna http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-pleasing-oneself-to-please-krishna http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-pleasing-oneself-to-please-krishna#comments Wed, 24 Apr 2013 04:00:41 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2252 Lecture by H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj on Pleasing oneself to Please Krishna

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Radhanath Swami on Gaura Poornima Festival http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-gaura-poornima-festival http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-gaura-poornima-festival#comments Fri, 19 Apr 2013 08:43:02 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2249 Lecture by H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj on Gaura Poornima Festival

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Radhanath Swami at Jagannath Rath Yatra, Dadar http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-jagannath-rath-yatra-dadar http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-jagannath-rath-yatra-dadar#comments Thu, 21 Mar 2013 12:33:00 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2243 Lecture by H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj at Jagannath Rath Yatra Dadar.

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Radhanath Swami’s Vintage Kirtan – 2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-vintage-kirtan-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-vintage-kirtan-2#comments Fri, 08 Mar 2013 05:59:35 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2239 Vintage kirtan of HH Radhanath Swami in his room with the devotees Part 2.

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Radhanath Swami’s Vintage Kirtan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-vintage-kirtan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-vintage-kirtan#comments Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:53:04 +0000 http://radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2167 Vintage kirtan of HH Radhanath Swami in his room with the devotees.

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Radhanath Swami’s Kirtan in London http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan-in-london http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan-in-london#comments Tue, 04 Dec 2012 13:06:41 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2158 Hare Krishna Mahamantra sung by HH Radhanath Swami during his visit to London.

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Radhanath Swami’s Visit to Mayapur http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-visit-to-mayapur http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-visit-to-mayapur#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 10:24:24 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2153 The Video showing Devotees of Mayapur preparing for the arrival of HH Radhanath Swami to Sri Dham Mayapur.

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Radhanath Swami at Sri Krishna Dhaam http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-sri-krishna-dhaam http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-sri-krishna-dhaam#comments Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:06:06 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2150 HH Radhanath Swami is leading Bhajan, giving lecture, answers questions and doing kirtan at Sri Krishna Dhaam ISKCON Preaching center Den Haag (The Netherlands/Europe). Recorded in a very crowded center Mondayevening 6th of August 2012.

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Radhanath Swami interviewed by Stephen Chan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-interviewed-by-stephen-chan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-interviewed-by-stephen-chan#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 12:33:24 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2144 One year after his last visit to SOAS, Radhanath Swami, returned to the London campus on October 8th to share his thoughts on the role of spirituality and devotion in the modern world. Home to students from over 130 countries, the university was already buzzing in anticipation of his arrival, with many students eager to meet and hear from him again. This year’s program included the participation of the renowned Stephen Chan, professor of Oriental and African Studies.
“http://www.radhanathswami.com/2012/10/radhanath-swami-returns-to-the-school-of-oriental-and-african-studies

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Radhanath Swami At Cambridge Union Society http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-cambridge-union-society http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-cambridge-union-society#comments Fri, 02 Nov 2012 11:37:08 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2138 Radhanath Swami: “Life was much simpler when apples and blackberries were just fruits”

Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.

He has been featured as a guest speaker in universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Stanford, and in corporations such as Apple, HSBC, and Microsoft. He has also addressed the House of Commons in 2011 and met with President Obama to discuss inter-faith dialogue in 2012.

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Rathyatra Pastimes by HH Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/rathyatra-pastimes-by-hh-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/rathyatra-pastimes-by-hh-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:56:09 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2135 A Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami on Pastimes of Rathyatra from Caitanya Caritamrita (Adi Lila 11.36) given at ISKCON London.

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Radhanath Swami On Time for a Positive Change http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-time-for-a-positive-change http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-time-for-a-positive-change#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2012 12:15:16 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2126 A Video Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami on Our World – Time for a Positive Change given at Stanford University, California.

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Radhanath Swami at Kirtan London Launch Party http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-kirtan-london-launch-party http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-kirtan-london-launch-party#comments Sat, 13 Oct 2012 12:42:25 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2122 A Video of HH Radhanath Swami at the Kirtan London Launch.

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Boro Kripa Koile Krishna http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/boro-kripa-koile-krishna http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/boro-kripa-koile-krishna#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 13:12:59 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2117 Boro Kripa Koile Krishna – A Bhajan sung by HH Radhanath Swami written by Srila Prabhupada.

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Radhanath Swamis Kirtan at Bhakti Yoga Retreat http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan-at-bhakti-yoga-retreat http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan-at-bhakti-yoga-retreat#comments Wed, 26 Sep 2012 08:33:32 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2101 Radhanath Swami’s Kirtan during Bhakti Yoga Retreat held at Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Paradise Island Bahamas.

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Russell Brand introducing Radhanath Swami at Kirtan London Launch http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/russell-brand-introducing-radhanath-swami-at-kirtan-london-launch http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/russell-brand-introducing-radhanath-swami-at-kirtan-london-launch#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2012 12:39:19 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2096 Radhanath Swamis talk at London Kirtan Launch, Where he was introduced by Russell Brand.

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Radhanath Swami and C.C White Blessedly Chanting at Exhale in Venice. http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-and-c-c-white-blessedly-chanting-at-exhale-in-venice http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-and-c-c-white-blessedly-chanting-at-exhale-in-venice#comments Wed, 29 Aug 2012 11:27:39 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2091 Blessedly chanting with the beautiful soul “Radhanath Swami” and C.C. White with Shiva Rea’s class at Exhale in Venice.

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Radhanath Swami – Core Power Yoga 2012 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-core-power-yoga-2012 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-core-power-yoga-2012#comments Tue, 21 Aug 2012 10:20:05 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2085 A Talk by Radhanath Swami at Core Power Yoga 2012

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Values are Invaluable by HH Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/values-are-invaluable-by-hh-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/values-are-invaluable-by-hh-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:53:10 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2081 A Special Talk given by HH Radhanath Swami on the Topic Values are Invaluable given at London.

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Lecture on Srila Prabhupada – How To Chant http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/lecture-on-srila-prabhupada-how-to-chant http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/lecture-on-srila-prabhupada-how-to-chant#comments Tue, 07 Aug 2012 12:27:33 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2078 Radhanath Swami’s Lecture On How to Chant as thought by Srila Prabhupada. A Lecture given at Radhadesh.

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Balaram Jayanti Festival Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami, in London http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/balaram-jayanti-festival-lecture-by-hh-radhanath-swami-in-london http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/balaram-jayanti-festival-lecture-by-hh-radhanath-swami-in-london#comments Sat, 04 Aug 2012 11:57:13 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2074 A Video Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami On the Occasion of Balaram Jayanti Festival given in ISKCON London.

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HH Radhanath Swami – Lecture at Bhaktivedanta Manor, London http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-lecture-at-bhaktivedanta-manor-london http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-lecture-at-bhaktivedanta-manor-london#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:42:54 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2070 Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 6.4.26) Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami given at Bhaktivedanta Manor, London

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How To See Goodness In Difficulties by HH Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/how-to-see-goodness-in-difficulties-by-hh-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/how-to-see-goodness-in-difficulties-by-hh-radhanath-swami#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 09:40:11 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2067 Srimad Bhagavatam (SB 4.15.4) Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami On How To See Goodness In Difficulties given in Nigdi in the year 2012.

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Yoga of the Heart by HH Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/yoga-of-the-heart-by-hh-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/yoga-of-the-heart-by-hh-radhanath-swami#comments Thu, 12 Jul 2012 07:03:25 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2062 A Talk by HH Radhanath Swami On The Art of Fulfillment Within given at Washington, USA

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Radhanath Swami Kirtan – Festival of Inspiration http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-festival-of-inspiration http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-festival-of-inspiration#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2012 07:56:25 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2059 Hare Krishna Kirtan by HH Radhanath Swami at Festival Of Inspiration.

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Glorification of HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj by HH Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/glorification-of-hh-tamal-krishna-goswami-maharaj-by-hh-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/glorification-of-hh-tamal-krishna-goswami-maharaj-by-hh-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 02 Jul 2012 09:47:23 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2054 A Video of HH Radhanath Swami Glorifying HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj in Sri Mayapur Dham.

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Radhanath Swami and Fransis Clooney : Perspectives On Encountering God http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-and-fransis-clooney-perspectives-on-encountering-god http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-and-fransis-clooney-perspectives-on-encountering-god#comments Tue, 12 Jun 2012 09:57:19 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2046 Radhanath Swami and Francis Clooney, two individuals whose deep journeys into their own Hindu and Christian faiths have not only lead them to encounter God but the tradition of the other.

Francis Clooney’s decision to teach in Katmandu, Nepal, as part of his Jesuit missionary training, ushered his introduction to various religions and a lifelong study in comparative theology. Clooney is Professor of Comparative Theology and Director of the Center for the study of World Religions at Harvard. His numerous publications include Beyond Compare: St. Francis and Sri Vedanta Desika on Loving Surrender to God (2008), The Truth, the Way, the Life: Christian Commentary on the Three Holy Mantras of the Srivaisnava Hindus (2008), and Comparative Theology: Deep Learning across Religious Borders (2010). He has been a Roman Catholic priest for over 30 years and is a member of the Society of Jesus.

Radhanath Swami was born into a Jewish family in the suburbs of Chicago in 1950. At the age of 19, he traveled to Europe and hitchhiked his way to India in his search for God. His journeys allowed him to study many of the world’s major traditions in their country of origin. These adventures are gathered in his recent autobiography, The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami (2010). He has been a Hindu monk for the past 40 years and leads a congregation of over 10,000 in and around Mumbai, India.

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HH Radhanath Swami On Radha Gopijanavallabha at Vrindavan -1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-on-radha-gopijanavallabha-at-vrindavan-1-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-on-radha-gopijanavallabha-at-vrindavan-1-2#comments Sat, 09 Jun 2012 09:43:34 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2041 Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami Speaks Further On Meeting with Ghanshyam Baba and his Deity Radha Gopijanavallabha at Vrindavan.

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HH Radhanath Swami On Radha Gopijanavallabha at Vrindavan -1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-on-radha-gopijanavallabha-at-vrindavan-1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-on-radha-gopijanavallabha-at-vrindavan-1#comments Tue, 05 Jun 2012 10:04:51 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2036 Lecture by HH Radhanath Swami On Meeting with Ghanshyam Baba and his Deity Radha Gopijanavallabha at Vrindavan.

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Radhanath Swami’s Radhagopinath Community http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-radhagopinath-community http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-radhagopinath-community#comments Thu, 24 May 2012 09:51:05 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2031 Radha Gopinath Temple’s Video featuring Radhanath Swami and Niranjana Swami Visit to Devotee’s House.

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A Play On Journey Home Book http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/a-play-on-journey-home-book http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/a-play-on-journey-home-book#comments Wed, 23 May 2012 10:19:37 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2027 A Drama Performed by Children On The Journey Home – An Autobiography of An American Swami, A Book by HH Radhanath Swami.

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Radhanath Swami at University of Massachusetts, Boston http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-university-of-massachusetts-boston http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-university-of-massachusetts-boston#comments Wed, 23 May 2012 09:52:22 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2021 His Holiness Radhanath Swami speaks at University of Massachusetts, Boston campus during his book “The Journey Home” North American tour.

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Scared sounds at Rudgers with Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/scared-sounds-at-rudgers-with-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/scared-sounds-at-rudgers-with-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 16 Apr 2012 10:57:28 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2017 Come, experience the extraordinary Sacred Sounds with Radhanath Swami along with Famous kirtan Bands, the Kindred Spirits and Mayapuris at Rudgers University On 19th April 2012.

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Radhanath Swami at Harvard University http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-harvard-university http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-harvard-university#comments Wed, 11 Apr 2012 07:10:36 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=2013 A Lecture by His Holiness Radhanath Swami at Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He was introduced by Francis X. Clooney, Professor of Divinity and Professor of Comparative Theology and Director of the Center for the Study of World Religion at Harvard University.

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Soul Wise By Radhanath Swami reviewed on SABC1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/soul-wise-by-radhanath-swami-reviewed-on-sabc1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/soul-wise-by-radhanath-swami-reviewed-on-sabc1#comments Mon, 19 Mar 2012 07:03:40 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1984 Book review Soul Wise by HH Radhanath Swami broadcast on SABC 1: Spirit Sundae, South Africa

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Interview with Jerry Slavin: Father of Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/interview-with-jerry-slavin-father-of-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/interview-with-jerry-slavin-father-of-radhanath-swami#comments Sat, 17 Mar 2012 11:34:52 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1985 In this interview Jerry Slavin, the father of Radhanath Swami shares his heart about how he felt when Radhanath Swami left the home in young age. Radhanath Swami is the author of “The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami”.

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Radhanath Swami’s Kirtan – Pushya Abhishek 2012 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan-pushya-abhishek-2012 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan-pushya-abhishek-2012#comments Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:45:45 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1981 At Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir, Mumbai the Annual Flower Festival was celebrated recently. On this day 1 ton of flower petals were used to bath and shower their Lordships and then were showered on the fortunate crowd. In this video HH Radhanath Swami is  Sings Hare Krishna Kirtan.

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Radhanath Swami Singing at Kirtan Mela 2012 in Mayapur http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-singing-at-kirtan-mela-2012-in-mayapur http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-singing-at-kirtan-mela-2012-in-mayapur#comments Sat, 10 Mar 2012 10:54:26 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1977 Recently a Kirtan Mela was held at Sri Dham Mayapur a Birth place of Lord Chaitanya. Radhanath Swami is Leading a Kirtan in this video in Kirtan Mela.

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Radhanath Swami’s Journey Home Book Review http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-journey-home-book-review http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-journey-home-book-review#comments Sat, 10 Mar 2012 10:33:50 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1973 Book review of The Journey Home – An Autobiography Of An American Swami by HH Radhanath Swami broadcast on SABC 1: Spirit Sundae.

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Annamrita- Midday Meal Program http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/annamrita-midday-meal-program http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/annamrita-midday-meal-program#comments Wed, 29 Feb 2012 13:42:20 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1969 “The Annamrita Project” meaning “Food as pure as nectar’ is being implemented by ISKCON Food Relief Foundation.
The Annamrita program is based on the belief that ‘you are what you eat’. Annamrita reaches out to over 12,00,000 children across India, therefore providing them one nutritious meal a day which brings them to school everyday. We provide the child that important one meal of the day which not only feeds his stomach, but also feeds his soul with the zeal to achieve his full potential.

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Pune book launch of The Journey Home – Autobiography of An American Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/pune-book-launch-of-the-journey-home-autobiography-of-an-american-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/pune-book-launch-of-the-journey-home-autobiography-of-an-american-swami#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:52:29 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1964 Radhanath Swami at book launch of The Journey Home – Autobiography of An American Swami held at Pune.

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RadhaKund and ShyamKund sung by Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhakund-and-shyamkund-sung-by-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhakund-and-shyamkund-sung-by-radhanath-swami#comments Wed, 15 Feb 2012 10:28:55 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1958 RadhaKund and Shyamkund Darshan with the Bhajan of Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna sung by Radhanath Swami.

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Pushya Abhishek Dancing Kirtan Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/pushya-abhishek-dancing-kirtan-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/pushya-abhishek-dancing-kirtan-radhanath-swami#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 11:27:40 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1952 Kirtan by HH Radhanath Swami during a flower festival celebrated at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple Chowpatty, Mumbai

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HH Radhanath Swami Kirtan at Radha Damodar Temple http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-radha-damodar-temple http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-radha-damodar-temple#comments Mon, 30 Jan 2012 06:27:35 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1947 Radhanath Swami’s Kirtan in Radha Damodar Temple during Vrindavan Yatra 2004

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Radhanath Swami – Role of spirituality in health care http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-role-of-spirituality-in-health-care http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-role-of-spirituality-in-health-care#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2012 07:12:17 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1937 A Lecture given by Radhanath Swami to group of Doctors. The Lecture was conducted by Association of Medical Consultants and Bhakti Vedanta Hospital. The Lecture was about Role of spirituality in health care.

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Radhanath Swami – Dance to the source of Love http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-dance-to-the-source-of-love http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-dance-to-the-source-of-love#comments Sat, 07 Jan 2012 08:47:19 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1923 Radhanath Swami’s talk at the event Dance to the source of love in Seattle, WA

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Radhanath Swami Vyas puja offering http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-vyas-puja-offering http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-vyas-puja-offering#comments Tue, 13 Dec 2011 06:25:55 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1910 Guru puja song – Vyas puja offering to HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

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Radhanath Swami at House of Commons (UK – Parliament) http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-house-of-commons-uk-parliament-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-house-of-commons-uk-parliament-2#comments Thu, 08 Dec 2011 16:36:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1905 A 4 Min Clip of Radhanath Swami visit to House of Commons, UK Parliament

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Radhanath Swami – DY Patil Award for ISKCON Food Relief Foundation http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-dy-patil-award-for-iskcon-food-relief-foundation http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-dy-patil-award-for-iskcon-food-relief-foundation#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2011 12:45:14 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1895 Radhanath Swami was recently awarded for the ISKCON Food Relief Foundation for Social work, Midday meal a project which feeds lakhs of students every day. This award ceremony which was held in Mumbai.

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House of Commons UK Parliament- HH Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/house-of-commons-uk-parliament-hh-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/house-of-commons-uk-parliament-hh-radhanath-swami#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2011 05:10:46 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1890 Radhanath Swami inspires and enlightens the members of The House of Commons, Parliament of United Kingdom(UK).
Download Link

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Radhanath Swami – Book Signing in Watkins Book Store http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-watkins-book-store http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-watkins-book-store#comments Wed, 02 Nov 2011 12:52:04 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1869 Radhanath Swami at the Watkins Book Store, London for the book signing event of his book The Journey Home – Autobiography of an American Swami.

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Radhanath Swami’s “The Journey Home” – Official UK Book Launch http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-the-journey-home-official-uk-book-launch http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-the-journey-home-official-uk-book-launch#comments Sat, 22 Oct 2011 10:11:12 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1865 Official UK Book Launch of Radhanath Swami’s “The Journey Home”

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Bhaktivedanta Hospice – Vrindavan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/bhaktivedanta-hospice-vrindavan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/bhaktivedanta-hospice-vrindavan#comments Thu, 20 Oct 2011 13:04:08 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1824 Video on Vrindavan Hospice which aims to prepare one to leave their body in the most holy abode Sri Vrindavan. The project is a dream of Giriraj Swami and Radhanath Swami.

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Radhanath Swami in HSBC London, UK http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-hsbc-london-uk http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-hsbc-london-uk#comments Fri, 14 Oct 2011 10:20:18 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1816 Radhanath Swami Visits to HSBC London, UK

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Radhanath Swami, Sachinandan Swami and Sri Pundrik Goswami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/swami-radhanath-swami-sachinandan-and-sri-pundrik-goswami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/swami-radhanath-swami-sachinandan-and-sri-pundrik-goswami#comments Tue, 11 Oct 2011 10:38:44 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1805 Lecture by Sri Pundrik Goswami with Radhanath Swami and Sachinandan Swami on Tradition & Spirituality at New York 2011

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Radhanath Swami’s Kirtan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-kirtan#comments Tue, 27 Sep 2011 12:18:26 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1792 Radhanath Swami Perfoming Kirtan

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Radhanath Swami brings Krishna’s grace to New York http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-brings-krishnas-grace-to-new-york http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-brings-krishnas-grace-to-new-york#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2011 06:55:02 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1787 Radhanath Swami flooding New York with ecstatic Kirtan

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Janmashtami Lecture by Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/janmashtami-lecture-by-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/janmashtami-lecture-by-radhanath-swami#comments Wed, 07 Sep 2011 13:30:17 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1783 Pastimes of Lord Krishna – Janmashtami Lecture by Radhanath Swami at Bhaktivedanta Manor London given on 22nd of August 2011.

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3 – Radhanath Swami Chants Bhakti Tirtha Swami Lila http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/3-radhanath-swami-chants-bhakti-tirtha-swami-lila http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/3-radhanath-swami-chants-bhakti-tirtha-swami-lila#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2011 13:11:35 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1776 Radhanath Swami speaks about passing away of his dearest friend and Godbrother HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami Maharaj.

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2 – Radhanath Swami Chants Bhakti Tirtha Swami Lila http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2-radhanath-swami-chants-bhakti-tirtha-swami-lila http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2-radhanath-swami-chants-bhakti-tirtha-swami-lila#comments Wed, 24 Aug 2011 08:42:27 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1766 Bhakti Tirtha Swami Maharaj, is one of the dearest friend and Godbrother of Radhanath Swami. Radhanath Swami speaks about his life in this video.

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1 – Radhanath Swami Chants Bhakti Tirtha Swami Lila http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/1-radhanatha-swami-chants-bhakti-tirtha-swami-lila http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/1-radhanatha-swami-chants-bhakti-tirtha-swami-lila#comments Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:31:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1757 Radhanath Swami speaks about his dearest friend and Godbrother HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami Maharaj.

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Radhanath Swami – Two Minute Wisdom http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-two-minute-wisdom http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-two-minute-wisdom#comments Tue, 09 Aug 2011 08:51:00 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1751 Radhanath Swami speaks about path of Bhakti wherein Love of God is attained through the process of Bhakti or Devotional service.

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Radhanath Swami New Dwarka Srimad Bhagavatam Class http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-new-dwarka-srimad-bhagavatam-class http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-new-dwarka-srimad-bhagavatam-class#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2011 09:44:56 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1744 Radhanath Swami’s video Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam at New Dwarka given on 8th of July 2011

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Radhanath Swami Kirtan At ISKCON San Diego, United States http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-iskcon-san-diego-united-states http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-iskcon-san-diego-united-states#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2011 06:56:05 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1686 Ecstatic Kirtan Of Radhanath Swami At ISKCON San Diego, United States on 7th of July 2011.

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Talk between Radhanath Swami and Gary – 5 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/talk-between-radhanath-swami-and-gary-5 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/talk-between-radhanath-swami-and-gary-5#comments Wed, 27 Jul 2011 06:30:49 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1679 Radhanath Swami narrates how he reached India after the series of amazing incidents that happened in his life along with Gary.

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Talk between Radhanath Swami and Gary – 4 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/talk-between-radhanath-swami-and-gary-4 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/talk-between-radhanath-swami-and-gary-4#comments Wed, 20 Jul 2011 12:27:43 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1631 Radhanath Swami narrates how he reached India after the series of amazing incidents that happened in his life along with Gary.

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Talk between Radhanath Swami and Gary – 3 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/3-radhanath-swami-and-garys-video-talk http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/3-radhanath-swami-and-garys-video-talk#comments Tue, 19 Jul 2011 08:56:00 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1618 A talk between Radhanath Swami and his old friend Gary about their incredible journey.

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Talk between Radhanath Swami and Gary – 2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2-radhanath-swami-and-garys-video-talk http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2-radhanath-swami-and-garys-video-talk#comments Mon, 18 Jul 2011 09:30:25 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1603 A talk between Radhanath Swami and his old friend Gary about their incredible journey.

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Talk between Radhanath Swami and Gary – 1 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/1-radhanath-swami-and-garys-video-talk http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/1-radhanath-swami-and-garys-video-talk#comments Sat, 16 Jul 2011 08:49:06 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1500 A talk between Radhanath Swami and his old friend Gary about their incredible journey.

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Radhanath Swami – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-buddha-at-the-gas-pump-interview http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-buddha-at-the-gas-pump-interview#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 10:36:26 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1493 Radhanath Swami’s interview on Buddha At The Gas Pump with Rick Archer. In this interview Radhanath Swami shares his experiences from his book The Journey Home – Autobiography Of An American Swami.

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Radhanath Swami – The Journey Home http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-the-journey-home http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-the-journey-home#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2011 11:36:04 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1489 Radhanath Swami speaks at the Dallas Conference Center, United States about his life. The talk is preceded by introductions from various dignitaries.

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East Meets West – 2 – A Conversation Between Radhanath Swami and Dr.Cornel West http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2-east-meets-west-a-conversation-between-radhanath-swami-and-dr-cornel-west http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/2-east-meets-west-a-conversation-between-radhanath-swami-and-dr-cornel-west#comments Wed, 06 Jul 2011 06:44:12 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1482 Radhanath Swami  and Princeton scholar Dr. Cornel West at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton University in a discussion “East Meets West”

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East Meets West – 1 – A Conversation Between Radhanath Swami and Dr.Cornel West http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-conversation-with-dr-cornel-west-on-east-meets-west http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-conversation-with-dr-cornel-west-on-east-meets-west#comments Tue, 05 Jul 2011 12:51:07 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1476 Radhanath Swami  and Princeton scholar Dr. Cornel West at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton University in a discussion “East Meets West”

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Radhanath Swami At NBC Noon News – Hartford http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-nbc-noon-news-hartford http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-nbc-noon-news-hartford#comments Mon, 04 Jul 2011 06:46:01 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1469 An Interview with Radhanath Swami on NBC Noon News. In this video Radhanath Swami shares his experiences from his autobiography The Journey Home about his journey from America to India.

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Juhi Chawla on ‘The Journey Home’ Event http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/juhi-chawla-on-the-journey-home-event http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/juhi-chawla-on-the-journey-home-event#comments Sat, 02 Jul 2011 06:52:16 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1463 Juhi Chawla, the popular Indian Bollywood actress, speaks about Radhanath Swami and his autobiography The Journey Home at the Mumbai Book launch of the book.

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Radhanath Swami — Portland Book Signing http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-%e2%80%94-portland-book-signing http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-%e2%80%94-portland-book-signing#comments Thu, 30 Jun 2011 06:33:00 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1457 Radhanath Swami at the Portland Book Store, USA for the book signing event of his book The Journey Home – Autobiography of an American Swami.

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Radhanath Swami’s 24hrs Kirtan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-24hrs-kirtan http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-24hrs-kirtan#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2011 14:51:15 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1311 Radhanath Swami perfoming 24 hrs kirtan with devotees at New Vrindavan (temple in West Virginia, USA).

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Interfaith Dialogue by Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/interfaith-dialog-by-radhanath-swami-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/interfaith-dialog-by-radhanath-swami-2#comments Fri, 10 Jun 2011 12:07:31 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1286 Radhanath Swami at Somaiya College, Mumbai in an Interfaith Dialogue with leaders of different religions.

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Festival of Inspiration Mother’s Day Lecture by Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/festival-of-inspiration-mothers-day-lecture-by-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/festival-of-inspiration-mothers-day-lecture-by-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:54:05 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1258 Radhanath Swami speaks at West Virginia temple on Mother’s Day during the Festival of Inspiration. During the discourse he also speaks from Srimad Bhagavatam the story of Dhruva Maharaj and his mother. He also speaks about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His mother Saci-mata, pastimes of Lord Ram and childhood pastimes of Lord Damodar.

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Radhanath Swami – Jagannath Rath Yatra on television channel Aastha http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-jagannath-rath-yatra-on-aastha-channel http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-jagannath-rath-yatra-on-aastha-channel#comments Fri, 03 Jun 2011 11:39:30 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1244 Part 4 – Radhanath Swami’s talk at the Rath Yatra Festival celebrated at Shivaji park, Mumbai. This video was broadcasted by television channel Aastha.

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Radhanath Swami at Intel Corporation http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-intel-corporation http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-at-intel-corporation#comments Mon, 30 May 2011 13:18:18 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1227 Radhanath Swami delivering a talk at the Intel Corporation, Portland, USA. He speaks on the importance of competition and stress in corporates. Also talks on greed, ego, love, integrity and finally concludes with the philosophy of Bhagavad Gita.

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Radhanath Swami Quotes Video http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-quotes-video http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-quotes-video#comments Mon, 23 May 2011 14:10:58 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1221 Collection of Radhanath Swami’s Quotes in a Video form

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Radhanath Swami’s Kirtan at Kulimela in Dallas http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-kulimela-dallas-tx http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-kulimela-dallas-tx#comments Sat, 21 May 2011 06:14:57 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1209 Radhanath Swami leading the kirtan at the Youth Festival Kulimela in Dallas, Texas

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Radhanath Swami on Tamal Krishna Goswami & Bhakti Tirtha Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-tamal-krishna-goswami-bhakti-tirtha-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-tamal-krishna-goswami-bhakti-tirtha-swami#comments Wed, 18 May 2011 12:06:48 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1198 Radhanath Swami shares his experience  with two of his very dear godbrothers – Tamal Krishna Goswami & Bhakti Tirtha Swami. In this video he also speaks on Chaitanya Charitamrita and Srimad Bhagavatam.

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Radhanath Swami Continuing His Journey http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-continuing-his-journey http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-continuing-his-journey#comments Thu, 12 May 2011 10:07:39 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1176 Radhanath Swami is continuing his journey after reaching India from America. From the many social projects that he is involved with this video shows his contribution to few of them like Mid-Day Meal Program, Barsana Eye Camp, Share Your Care, Bhakti Vedanta Hospital, etc. A heart touching video for all.

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Radhanath Swami’s Kirtan at Laguna Beach Temple http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-laguna-beach http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-kirtan-at-laguna-beach#comments Tue, 10 May 2011 10:21:47 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1170 Radhanath Swami performing a kirtan at the Laguna Beach temple.

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Radhanath Swami’s Lecture in New Delhi http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-lecture-in-new-delhi http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-lecture-in-new-delhi#comments Thu, 05 May 2011 14:16:02 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1163 Radhanath Swami speaks on householder sadhu and renounced sadhu in New Delhi, India.

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What is the Purpose of Life? – Radhanath Swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/what-is-the-purpose-of-life-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/what-is-the-purpose-of-life-radhanath-swami#comments Wed, 04 May 2011 07:33:03 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1154 Radhanath Swami speaks on the purpose of life , how to love and be loved, and how to redirect that propensity to love God.

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Radhanath Swami on The Essence of Religions http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-lecture-the-essense-of-religions http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-lecture-the-essense-of-religions#comments Mon, 02 May 2011 10:28:07 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1133 Radhanath Swami speaks at the Utarian Church, Dallas, TX on the essence of religions.

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Radhanath Swami on Mayapur – Uniting Whole World http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-mayapur-uniting-whole-world-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-on-mayapur-uniting-whole-world-2#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 13:17:07 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=1098 Radhanath Swami during Pancha Tattva Deities installation at Mayapur in West Bengal, India. Radhanath Swami speaks on the mercy of Lord Chaitanya & Mayapur uniting the whole world.

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Radhanath Swami in a 24 Hour Kirtan Festival ’08 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-24-hour-hare-krishna-kirtan-festival-08 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-24-hour-hare-krishna-kirtan-festival-08#comments Mon, 11 Apr 2011 09:38:17 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=585 Radhanath Swami singing during a 24 hour Hare Krishna Kirtan Festival in 2008.

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Radhanath Swami’s Burning Man Interview for Krishna Camp http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-burning-man-interview-for-krishna-camp-2 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-burning-man-interview-for-krishna-camp-2#comments Mon, 11 Apr 2011 09:27:05 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=579 Radhanath Swami speaks on how to seek the love of God?

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Radhanath Swami’s talk at Kula Yoga, New York http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-kula-yoga-new-york http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-kula-yoga-new-york#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 11:59:08 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=512 Radhanath Swami giving a wisdom talk at Kula Yoga, New York

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Radhanath Swami in Stay Strong Project http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-be-strong-project http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swami-in-be-strong-project#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 16:52:23 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=507 Radhanath Swami is one of the luminaries of Stay Strong Project. Stay Strong is a music video featuring prominent chant and yoga luminaries from all over the world who have come together to unite their hearts and voices for a worthy environmental cause. The vision of the Stay Strong Project is to spread a global message of unity and to inspire others to come together in service, celebration, and prayer, and to remain positive in challenging times.

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Radhanath Swami’s Journey http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-journey http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/radhanath-swamis-journey#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 11:46:23 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=502 Radhanath Swami’s tells in his own words about his adventurous journey as described in his book The Journey Home – Autobiography Of An American Swami.

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Radhanath Swami on Love http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/love-hh-radhanath-swami http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/love-hh-radhanath-swami#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 11:16:49 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=499 Radhanath Swami’s video on love

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Radhanath Swami on Sincerity and Compassion http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-on-sincerity-and-compassion http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/video/hh-radhanath-swami-on-sincerity-and-compassion#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 10:59:41 +0000 http://www.radhanathswamivideo.com/?p=495 An offering by Radhanath Swami to his parents during his Vyas Puja (Birthday) celebrations where he speaks on sincerity and compassion.

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