Friday, December 31, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Choice is Ours

Is Jesus a liar? Is Abraham a liar? Is Moses a liar? Is Prophet Mohammed a liar? They lived the most resplendent lives of pure integrity, as did their millions and millions of followers. Are they all in illusion? They are telling us that they are seeing God, they are feeling God, they are tasting God, and they are loving God. Whom to believe? Those taking sleeping pills, smoking cigarettes, addicted, and saying that there is no God, or those who are living the most pristine lives of compassion and sacrifice of love for all living beings without discrimination? And what to speak of the great saints of India, who spoke such deep philosophy and profound knowledge about the science of God consciousness. They presented not just some sentimental belief, but presented the truth and the existence of God in deep, sound, scientific, philosophical, and logical ways. It’s for each of us to decide.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Purifying All Creation

The Lord lives not on our tongue, but in our hearts. Mere physical sound vibrations are not very effective alone. But when we chant from our hearts, the Lord manifests Himself from the heart, and into the sound of His name. When such sound of the holy names, vibrated by our tongues, enters into the atmosphere, it purifies all of creation. Why is it so powerful? Because it cuts through the illusory energy, Maya, and it cuts all the demoniac influences at the root. Through chanting the holy names of the Lord, pure love awakens within our heart, and there is no power greater on earth than that love. That is why we congregationally chant the holy names, to create this great arsenal to establish real peace, prosperity and happiness in this world.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Protecting the Seed of Devotion

Power, generally, makes it very difficult for the wielder to learn. The main reason is that the powerful are habituated to giving orders; it is just against their nature to humbly, submissively accept orders. The more power one has, the more one can be corrupted by that power unless one is fully aware of who the power actually belongs to.

As soon as one thinks of anything as one's, pride enters the heart. Even though pride is deep seated in everyone's hearts since time immemorial, if one is willing to start cultivating and nourishing it, even in the name of devotional service or helping others for devotional service, the weed of pride chokes up the seed of devotional service.

That is why knowledge on the path of devotional service is very important. Otherwise if one is just sentimental then, as one performs devotional service, unknowingly, the weeds are also nourished.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Despite All Odds

The Lord gives Himself to the devotee who surrenders unto Him. The Lord always protects such a devotee; He is always there for him. When a devotee faces a very difficult situation, when the opposition seems impossible to overcome, when there seems to be utter failure, if the devotee maintains his faith and enthusiasm, then that very situation will embellish, enhance, and purify his devotion. Nothing can disturb the spiritual progress of a sincere devotee.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Giving up the Blame Game

The human tendency of procrastinating or being stubborn on the basis of blaming others, or being sorry for ourselves prevents our progress, regardless of whether we are right or wrong, regardless of who we are or what happened to us. Even if we are literally or legally right, feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming others is not going to help us. If somebody has done something horrible to us, then we may put the person behind bars. That is good for the person and will prevent him from doing such wrong to others, but it is not enough for us. Only when we purge ourselves of the impurities of the heart will we make progress. It is by answering God's call to come back home that we open the door to good fortune, not by blaming or mourning.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Simple Life

A devotee is happy with a simple life. The more we are trying to find satisfaction by improving the standard of our material opulence through our selfish desires, the more we simply become agitated. The more our minds become disturbed. There is no peace in acquisition. There is only peace in service. There is no inner fulfillment of the heart in acquiring more and more and more. Peace to the heart can only be by expressing our innate love for God and humanity and all living beings. But forgetting this principle, we can easily be diverted.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Setting Priorities

It is important to set our priorities, to know our real purpose, and to understand our real happiness. Unless we work on our priorities with determination, we can neither contribute our best to society nor give the greatest treasure to our children. Unless we are clear with our aims and objectives, we will very easily be distracted.

It is the nature of material life to distract us and the purpose of true religion is to help us set our priorities in such a way that we can dynamically respond to the demands of raising our children, protecting our families and performing our occupation, while at the same time, being connected to the essence of our own life.

Being determined to understand our priorities, we must pray sincerely that we may never lose our attraction towards God, in spite of the diversions and hindrances, just as the river always flows towards the sea, despite whatever obstacles come on its way.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Love and Free Will

The perfection of the perfect love is that God, who is fully satisfied and complete in Himself, feels pain when He sees His children suffering in forgetfulness of Him. We may consider ourselves small or insignificant but God feels separation from us. Yet He does not interfere with our free will because love cannot be dictated, love cannot be forced; it has to be expressed by us of our own sweet choice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Criminals

We are all criminals. The fact that we are not in the Kingdom of God is the proof. This material existence is our prison. Our desires to enjoy and lord over the material energy independent of God are the shackles. No matter who we are - president, scholar, businessman, or sweeper – we have nothing to be proud of, we are all criminals. Let’s humble ourselves and understand the Lord’s mercy. He personally comes in this prison house, or sends His representatives, just to deliver us, and to attract our hearts back to Him.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Radhanath Swami on How a Devotee is Protected

The mercy of the Lord will be never be taken away if we are grateful for it and humble. On the other hand, if we are arrogant and ungrateful, then the Lord covers the benefits He has given us. Even the spiritual credits we have earned in this life and the previous ones will be covered and we will be pushed down into miserable conditions if we are arrogant and ungrateful. But if we purge that ego, and seek shelter in a helpless condition and assume a totally humble position, then all the previous spiritual assets we have earned will be manifested in full bloom.

When we commit offenses out of arrogance, then the Lord withdraws His favour. He allows His material energy do its work of polarizing the ego, and that is a very painful process. Therefore, a devotee is eager to respect others, and does not expect respect for himself. He is humble and tolerant. Tolerance doesn’t mean just enduring pain. It means we are grateful for the opportunity that is given to us and we turn to God with a humble heart, begging, “Please protect me from offending devoteess. Protect me from false ego. Let me forever please You."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Radhanath Swami on A Healthy Society

We find in the ancient Vedic scriptures that the greatest kings of the world bow their heads to the feet of those who can control their senses. To the degree we find leaders, who have this disposition, we actually have a healthy spiritual society. Detachment from sense gratification is real strength. To the degree we are attached to sense gratification, we should be understood to be in a very weakened condition. Therefore the renunciants have the highest position in the varnashram (Vedic) society.

To the degree a society honors renunciation and devotion, not strength, athletic ability, good acting, money, wealth, power and control, to that degree the society is on the right track. Because if those who have money and power, those who have great strength and influence over others, are not humbly following those who are genuinely renounced, then all of their facilities are only creating a situation where in they themselves and others are drowning deeper and deeper and deeper in the ocean of illusion.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Striving for Ideals

We see the world according to our desires. We are judged by our ideal - what ideal we stand for is indicative of the substance that we are.

A devotee might sometimes struggle to become God Consciousness but he is still to be highly respected because of his ideal to serve and love God honestly and earnestly. On the other hand there could be persons who have even taken to the dress of a so-called sadhu (saintly person), but if their ideal is something material, they will sooner or later fall down in the eyes of people. So it is not just the external behaviour of a person that is to be taken into consideration, it is that person’s character and the ideal that person is striving to achieve in life that must also be seriously considered.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Radhanath Swami on the Importance of Foundation

The general tendency is to neglect our spiritual duties, or to do it just as a formality and be done with it as quickly as possible. This is because we don’t notice tangible results of spiritual activities. All other activities give tangible results - when we work, we get money; when we fulfill social obligations, we build stronger and deeper relationships. But when we perform our religious duties, we do not see any tangible results other than feeling somewhat peaceful. This is to do with the concept of foundation.

How many people have come to your house and exclaimed, "Your house has a magnificent foundation"? Nobody appreciates or even notices the foundation; yet, if it is weak nothing can stand - it is the most important part of the house. What can’t be seen, is holding up everything that is seen.

The integrity with which we live, our connection to God, and the cultivation of that relationship is the foundation of our life. Unless we have deep spiritual roots, we can easily give up our integrity, and all our peace of mind could collapse, just by some incident, some storm, or some anxiety. But, if our foundation is strong, then no matter how many storms come, our peace of mind, our integrity, our faith, and our happiness will stand. Without such a foundation the mildest of storms will affect us causing such stress and anxiety, that we may even end up hurting the people we love.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Fog of Illusion

The soul is resplendent and effulgent. It radiates love for everyone and everything indiscriminately. It sees everything in its relationship with the Lord. Within every soul is love for God. Why then do we see the world in terms of friends and enemies? Why do we have conflicts amongst each other? Why, if the soul actually radiates love for all by loving God, is there envy? Its only because of the illusion which makes the soul think of itself to be something it isn’t. This illusion is the fog that smothers the effulgent soul.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Austerity of Offering Respect

A devotee commands respect but never ever demands it. To a person with a crude consciousness, the difference is subtle. But it is blatant for a person with refined devotional consciousness. To demand respect means to expect it, to want it. To command respect means to behave in such a way, without any attachment to getting respect, that people spontaneously offer respect. As for ourselves, we should command our false ego to respect others, and never demand others to respect us. We may feel no respect for a particular person, but still, as an etiquette, for the pleasure of the Lord, we should offer respect. That’s an austerity.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Best Prayer

In an open—heart surgery, the patient doesn’t tell the doctor how to perform the surgery. The doctor knows best what the patient needs. Similarly, the Lord is in the perfect position; He knows how to do the surgery, He knows what we need. We should not choose the type of obstacles and problems that the Lord should use to purify us. Because if we pray like that, the Lord may fulfill our prayer, but then it becomes a long process of becoming purified. The fastest way to purification is to leave it to the Lord. Any way of praying to and remembering the Lord is good, but ideally, with full faith in the Lord, we should offer this best prayer: “Oh Lord, you know what is best for me. Let me surrender unto You in any circumstance according to Your desire. Please protect me.”

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Radhanath Swami on the Path to Degradation

When there is anger, the memory is bewildered; one can no longer think like a sane person, one cannot think systematically – “if I do this, then this will happen, if I do that, then that will happen; I should say this, because I have to see in terms of the future.” There are two ways of thinking - Preyas and Shreyas. Preyas means like the animal - to do what is needful for the present in order to enjoy or to survive, and Shreyas means human existence - to think what will be the result of what I do or what I say. When there is anger, one becomes like an animal – one becomes insane, one's whole memory, accomplishments, everything is at risk, everything is just forgotten and one reacts like fire. And after
the reaction, such as speaking harsh words or performing terrible acts, one is penalized.

When memory is bewildered, the intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost, one speaks and acts in ways that degrade the soul. Anger is a great enemy. Lust and anger are like consorts of one another and they are one's worst enemies; one must always be careful. If one does not curb lust, then the frustrated attachment culminates in anger. It is the law of the world that enjoyment is always in very impermanent situations.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Elimination to Fulfillment

To progress on the spiritual path, elimination of our conditioned state is a must. This includes elimination of our very deeply rooted desire to exploit, accumulate, and possess. Also required is the acceptance of a path of humility, purity, and service. Service really means death to the ego. Service is very powerful. It’s our constitutional position. It’s not simply about death, but about dying to live. Not only do we want to dismiss the ego or cause its death, but we also want to live according to our real ambition - to live in a state of complete fulfillment, divine life, and divine love.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Restrictions

We must guard ourselves by following the regulative principles very strictly. We should be careful not to associate with anyone or anything for our sense gratification. Vedic culture is about honoring all with great respect and remaining very pure. Restrictions maintain the stability of one’s mind from being subjected to the influence of lust and wrath. But this is only possible if we keep our mind always fixed on God. The path of God Consciousness has two parts – to restrain one’s senses and fix one’s consciousness on God. That is the path of perfection. We must restrain our senses from material enjoyment and we must fix our mind on God through the chanting of his Holy name.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Greatness

A great person is like a tree which is filled with fruits. A person who actually has good qualities is like that tree, with many fruits. Because of the fruits of the good qualities, the tree always bows down to everyone. But a tree that has no fruits stands up very straight. Similarly if a person is actually blessed by the Lord, if a person is actually great, with good qualities, he will offer all respects to others and not expect respect for himself. God does not tolerate false pride in anyone for very long. Very soon the pride will be crushed.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Die to Live

Material illusory consciousness is one of exploitation, and the real consciousness of the soul is a consciousness of service. If you want to live in truth, you will have to die as you are in your present state of consciousness. Death to the material illusory consciousness, the false ego, is a process – the most important process. This process is the very basis of all spiritual paths. The process is like the purification of gold; the longer the gold is in fire, the more its gross coverings are burnt away, the more its original shine manifests, and the more it looks beautiful.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Controlling Pride

Wealth, power and prestige have the irresistible nature to make us proud, to think that we are better than others. And as soon as we start thinking like that, the disease that "I am the proprietor and I am the enjoyer" follows. This happens to most devotees, unfortunately. God gives power and facility and we think it is ours to enjoy and we become proud. And this could happen in a very subtle way.

For example, we could be given a position in devotional service and we may think, “This is my service”. Even if someone else can do it better, and everyone else wants that person to do it, we may still think, "no, this is my service". Nothing is ours. This is God’s service. What does service mean? Service does not mean we do what we want, when we want. Service means whatever makes God happy. And God reveals what makes Him happy through the guru (spiritual master), sadhu (saintly persons) and the scriptures.

The proper consciousness is that this is a post and I am simply a humble servant performing the duties within this post, but this is not mine.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Death for the Soul

From the spiritual perspective, death means forgetfulness or ignorance of our true identity. This ignorance simply means identifying with what we are not. As long as we are thinking that we are this temporary material body, mind, and intelligence, we are trying to experience pleasure and fulfillment through this medium. But we are not this body. We have never been this body. We are eternal souls, and the real happiness that we are all searching for is within our very selves. Therefore, this cloud of forgetfulness is likened to death for the soul.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Perfecting the Practice of Love

If we don’t love each other – God’s parts and parcels – then all lofty talks about God are superficial and meaningless. Without humbly serving devotees, without being genuinely eager to help others, any sentiment of love for God is merely theoretical. We must first learn to humble ourselves to serve others; this will create a climate in which to learn how to actually love each other. We must then practice loving each other; eventually we will perfect the practice.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Real Renunciation

There are two processes - enjoyment and renunciation. Both are artificial. The natural, complete and healthy understanding of the world is to see everything as the divine energy and as a utility for serving the divine with devotion. Rejecting something as material is incomplete renunciation because the existence of a distinction between material and spiritual is our perception. Anything seen in relation to God is spiritual. It is not that the world is an illusion. Our perception of this world as meant for our pleasure is an illusion. When we see everything as the beautiful aspect of God and when we see every situation as an opportunity to express our love for Him then we truly renounce our illusion and make spiritual progress.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Material and Spiritual Fear

We should be anxious not to ever forget God. As long as a devotee is remembering the Lord, he is perfectly situated. His prayer to the Lord is: “My dear Lord, You can take away anything You wish, and You can give anything You wish, but just let me remember You always. My only fear is that I might forget You.” This type of fear always keeps the devotee at the Lord’s lotus feet. On the other hand, material fear is based on attachment to temporary objects of the senses. Until we are thoroughly detached from material life, real transcendental fear will not awaken in our heart. But in our state, in which we have so many fears, we have to learn to fear the right thing. We can’t just extinguish fear, but our fear should be that we might forget the Lord and disappoint Him again.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Wonders of Creation

Even scientists claim that the sun is millions of times bigger than earth. It is made of blazing fire and stays in the same place. Theories can be made to explain how this is possible but that cannot detract from the quantum of amazement on perceiving such inconceivable phenomena. Why doesn't God create this material world in a simple and understandable way? Because if we want to know God, we must accept His inconceivable potencies - that is the first principle of understanding the Absolute Truth or God. And that is why, great saints who want us to understand God first crush our empirical attachment to our mind and senses equipped with the arsenal of science and technology.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Sankirtan

Sankirtan generally means the loud chanting and glorification of the Holy Names but is not restricted to this alone. It includes any other activity that we might do to assist great souls in glorifying the holy name. Thus, whether we clean toilets, or give a discourse to ten thousand people, if we do it as a sacrifice for the pleasure of Krishna, then that’s also sankirtan – the chanting of the Holy Names.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Handling Setbacks

Being a devotee is not about externals only. It is not about attendance in the temple. It is not about the kind of beads one wears around one's neck or the kind of clothes one puts on. That is not all. What is important is the character of a true devotee. Even when great difficulties, impediments, setbacks, disturbances or intrusions arise, a true devotee welcomes them with folded palms and a grateful heart. He believes that actually he deserves worse and this is only a token by God. He also believes that if he simply carries on with his devotional service patiently and takes shelter of the Lord in that situation, that is his greatest fortune.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Putting Our Heart in Chanting

The Lord lives not on our tongue, but in our hearts. Mere physical sound vibrations are not very effective alone. But when we chant from our hearts, the Lord manifests Himself from the heart, and into the sound of His name. When such sound of the holy names, vibrated by our tongues, enters into the atmosphere, it purifies all of creation.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Perfection of Attachment

The whole cycle of how one falls into the material life begins with attraction between the objects of the senses and the senses. From that attraction comes lust - Kama, the longing and craving to enjoy something - and then one becomes attached to the sense objects. One naturally becomes attached to whatever one enjoys. But this tendency can be used to turn around the situation completely. It is the nature of soul to become attached to what it enjoys. And the soul finds unlimited enjoyment in being enjoyed by God. Therefore, when one gets attracted to God one unfailingly becomes unlimitedly attached to Him. That is the perfection of life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Purification by Fire

By keeping crude gold in fire, everything that is not gold is gradually burned away; what remains is pure effulgent gold. Sometimes in this material world, we find ourselves in fire like situations; our mind, our senses, and our very heart, is just burning in anguish. But if we remain pure in our motives, then the fires of all the tribulations of this world only increase our devotion and purify our heart.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Attraction and Aversion

In this world there are two principles that are always bewildering our mind - the principles of attraction and aversion. We either have hankering and attraction, or lamentation and aversion. Attraction and aversion are two sides of the same coin - the coin of material bondage and illusion, and either one will cripple our spiritual progress. If we are attracted to this material energy, we cannot properly fix our mind on God. And if there is too much aversion to this material energy, we still cannot fix our mind on God.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sincere devotees versus insincere devotees

A symptom of spiritual advancement is we really want to help others rather than others wanting to help us. It is easy to criticize and easy to find faults. Anybody can do that. You don’t have to be sincere to do that but you have to be very sincere to see whatever opportunity there is to solve the problem. We may see some problems; I don’t want to associate, what am I getting out of it? I am not enlivened. Forget about your enlivenment, more important is how can you enliven others. If you earnestly and sincerely desire to help others then God will empower you to do higher and bigger things in this world. When the devotees are unified in a common spirit to glorify Krishna and serve their Guru and fulfill his desires then there is no power on earth that can impede the progress of this movement. Maya creates disunity. Unity means every single individual must take it his life’s responsibility to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. There are million reasons to not want to associate. There are million faults you can find. But all is necessary is one reason to associate - To serve Guru - To fulfill the desires of Krishna. This is the great sacrifice.

There are so many personality conflicts; there are so many people we don’t like; there are so many things we don’t like; there are so many people who don’t care about me but the question is not how many people care about me but the question is how much I care about them. Saint Francis said seek not to take but to give; seek not to be consoled but to console. We have to give up our selfishness. The tendency is to feel sorry for ourselves but we should learn to feel sorry for others. Why don’t we feel sorry for others and help them rather than feel sorry for us and expect everyone to help us. That is the difference between a sincere devotee and insincere devotee. Every one of us has the capacity to be sincere and hear from the proper sources and accept and follow. That’s all. It takes any fool on the street to find fault in others any fool in the street can talk about his own glories but it takes a great man to see whatever little good quality is in another and not worry about whatever faults may be there.

- H.H.Radhanath Swami

Friday, November 12, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Pious But Sinful

The Lord must always be first in our lives. Those who are negligent to this spiritual principle act very selfishly. They simply try to feed their false egos and engage in many sinful activities. From the absolute point of view, even if we do pious activities, if we do them just for our own pleasure, it is sinful because everything is ultimately meant only for the Lord’s enjoyment, not ours.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Free Will

Experience is the best teacher and a fool learns by no other way. In fact even after experiencing very rarely does one make the right choices. The nature of life is that at every moment we have choice. We may desire for selfish egoistic gratification and contemplate on that or we can contemplate on God. We have a choice within our minds whether we are going to surrender to the dictations of the mind and senses or whether we are going to take shelter of God and fight against ignoble, immoral, unfavorable thoughts. We have a choice of glorifying God or criticizing others. And we have a choice over our actions – we can act impious or we can act in the service of the Lord. That is free will. We always have that free will.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Radhanath Swami on God is First

The real glory of our life is in God’s glory. Because we are His part and parcel, our eternal nature is to glorify, with great pleasure, His greatness - not our own. To the degree we think very highly of ourselves, to that degree we underestimate the position of God. But by keeping ourselves last, we’ll always be conscious that God is first.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Disciplining Senses

To discipline oneself means to sacrifice, to be willing to accept pain for the sake of achieving something higher. An animal is simply concerned with satisfying with his immediate sensual and mental demands. But human life is meant to put aside the immediate feelings of the mind and senses to understand what is required to achieve the highest purpose of life.

It is not a question of whether there is desire or not. It is a question of how one is willing to control one's desires. If one has an impulse towards sinful activities or for activities that are not conducive to spiritual life and in spite of that impulse, if one is willing to say "no" then one is a Gosvami (Go means the senses and svami means master). But one who yields to the senses is a Godasa, a servant of the senses.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Serving to Serve More

What do we hope to achieve by chanting the holy names of God? Or by serving the deity, the spiritual master, the devotees, and even the most insignificant creatures on earth? More service, eternal service. Serving is our natural healthy position, the very essence of our being. We don’t want to become God by serving him. We want to serve the Lord so that we can serve him more, with love and devotion, forever.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Radhanath Swami on God Loves All

Compassion is an essential element of love. If you love someone, then naturally, you also love everyone and everything that the person loves. If you love God, then naturally, you also love all that God loves. And God, being the seed giving father of all life, loves everyone. Every living being is His part and parcel. Therefore, there is nobody whom He does not love. He may not like what you're doing, He may hate your disease but He loves you; He loves every soul. So even when the Lord is angry with you it is always perfect. It is always out of love which manifests towards imperfect beings as compassion. When you love God, you naturally love those who are fallen, sinful and suffering.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Clouded Vision

When we go to see a deity in the temple and we see just a piece of stone, not God who’s standing right in front of us, we are clouded by illusion. This cloud of illusion is all-powerful; it’s the Lord’s own energy. No mystic powers nor any amount of scriptural knowledge can blow it away. Only by pure devotional service will this cloud disperse because that is the process of simply pleasing God. Being pleased with his devotees, the Lord blows away the cloud of illusion, allowing them to see him everywhere – just like how we see the Sun after the clouds disperse.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Pleasure of Pure Devotion

If we want pure devotional service for our own satisfaction then we're not much greater than those who want liberation for their own satisfaction. In one sense, it is a higher enjoyment to be in the kingdom of God than it is to merge one's existence in the spiritual light. The pleasure of liberation is like a drop and the pleasure of pure unalloyed devotion is like an ocean. But that's not a devotee's motive. The reason we want that pure devotion is because that is what pleases God. And a devotee wants the happiness of pure devotional service because God wants to see His devotee happy. That's the only reason. For example, if someone loves us, they want to see us happy. Similarly God wants to see us happy. That's the only reason we want to be happy; for it will make God happy. And the only thing that will make us happy is when we simply want to make God happy. That's a pure devotee.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Spiritual Degree

The spiritual degree means getting God’s mercy. But we don’t get God’s mercy by just doing what we want, the way we want, whenever we want. We need education. Just as we don’t get a medical degree by doing what we want, how we want, and whenever we want. There is an authority and accepting that authority is essential for progress in anything - spiritual or material. The temple represents the authority of the great acharyas (spiritual masters) who teach us the science of devotion and how to cleanse our hearts by chanting the Holy Names.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Tuning of the antenna

Everyone of us is like a transceiver emitting the our desires, and according to what we tune in to, we get affected. If we tune into spirituality, we become purified. If we tune into modes of passion and ignorance, we get affected by that. What we decide to tune into by our free choice will determine how we are affected and how our reality shall be. If we tune into the Lord, to meditation, to saintly association and to God's name, the Lord will manifest within our heart and we will be purified by the experience.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Simple Life

A devotee is happy with a simple life. The more we are trying to find satisfaction by improving the standard of our material opulence through our selfish desires, the more we simply become agitated. The more our minds become disturbed. There is no peace in acquisition. There is only peace in service. There is no inner fulfillment of the heart in acquiring more and more and more. Peace to the heart can only be by expressing our innate love for God and humanity and all living beings. But forgetting this principle, we can easily be diverted.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Bitter Medicine

Sometimes our devotional service becomes a routine affair. But when tragedy strikes or a crisis looms, reality dawns. If we could choose what crisis to undergo, at least our life would be very comfortable. But the Lord knows what we need; he sends the medicine, sometimes sweet and sometimes bitter. Sometimes we get confused and bewildered: how and why is this happening to me? In that state what do we do - do we speculate, or do we run for shelter? If we run for shelter, the Lord is there for us. In fact, even in good times, we must be taking shelter of God. One must be convinced that material nature is very strong; miseries, even death, can strike anytime – while driving in a car, or flying in an airplane, or walking down the street, or just eating food. With this understanding, a devotee lives daily as if it’s his last day. In this mood, he can take shelter of God at every moment.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Healthy Fear

Devotees are fearless because they have taken the shelter of God. They are confident that God will save them. Yet, at times the devotees are very fearful. But this fear is different. It is not the fear of death or of losing everything. It is actually the fear of displeasing God. Such a fear is regarded billions and trillions of times more desirable than being fearless.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The College for Self-Realization

A real temple is meant to be a college, a college for self-realization, a university to understand the Absolute Truth. It’s a place where people come together to study the Absolute Truth and to practice those teachings. The temple has professors on the subject to inquire from, who teach us how to study the spiritual books, and how to do the homework of chanting the holy names and following the various regulative principles. These professors present the truth according to the authority of the spiritual disciplic succession (parampara). And finally, getting the spiritual degree means to get the mercy of the Lord.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Humility Protecting Innate Love for God

Most gigantic and seemingly insurmountable obstacles can be overcome by accessing the power of God by humbly taking a very small position. Conversely, false pride is one of the greatest impediments to one's spiritual life - the source of all obstacles. One's innate devotion can be protected from being captivated by the exploitative tendencies of greed, lust, selfishness, egoism and false pride by taking a very humble position, as an insignificant fortunate instrument in the hands of God. This will rescue the love of God within our hearts from the obstacles of gross materialism.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Radhanath Swami explains From KG to PhD

The longer you don't eat, the hungrier you become. Similarly, the more graphic the details of punishment, the more we are obliged to stick to the rules. Therefore, the emphasis of most scriptures is punishment, sin and hell. The purpose is to wake up people, raise them to the level of obedience to God and to take to the process seriously. But the devotees are interested in the sweet pastimes of the Lord. They relish the sweetness of the Lord's interactions with His intimate associates. They are attracted to strike a relationship with the Lord through love and not fear. That is the difference between KG-level students and PhD-level devotees. Kindergartners worship God because they know they have sinned and they don't want to go to hell. Doctorate holders want to please God even if that means going to hell.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Sun And The Shadow

The idle mind is the devil’s workshop. If our mind and senses are not actively engaged in the Lord’s service, then Maya will distract the mind and senses and take them away – definitely. That’s the nature of this world. As long as we are not perfected in our devotional service, we will be affected by Maya. It’s a matter of choice, it’s one or the other. There is the sun, and there is the shadow. If we turn to the Lord, then we are under the protection of the sun of the Lord, but if we turn away from the Lord, then we are under the shadow’s jurisdiction. Yes, Maya – the Lord’s illusory energy - is all around and within us. But to the degree we create a spiritual atmosphere amongst ourselves, to that degree we will actually feel our connection to the spiritual energy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Bona fide Enjoyment

Krishna Consciousness in its essence is not a dry philosophy of denying yourself of what everyone else is enjoying. Real essence of Krishna Consciousness is learning how to be a bona fide enjoyer. For the soul, enjoyment is in service, in love for God, in love for every living being as part of God. Therefore, real enjoyment is in being an instrument of God's compassion, in the service of all others. It is dynamic, wonderful and it is available to everyone.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Curse Or Blessing?

Results of our past activities - karma - can be used in both ways. Destructively, when we use it for our own enjoyment; and constructively, by employing it in service to God. When one becomes attracted to a pure devotee, when one takes spirituality seriously, then any material karmic situation, whether a curse or a boon, helps one on his way closer to God. Therefore, it’s our choice how we see the challenges of our lives - as curses or as blessings.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Choosing our thoughts

We can conquer the whole world, but if we cannot conquer our mind and senses we are defeated in life. The scriptures explain that a successful person is one who conquers the minds and senses. For this, we must divert our attention away from thoughts of enjoying sense objects by using the free will. Many thoughts, and many desires may just awaken from our sub-consciousnesses or be stimulated by the external environment around us but we have the choice what to contemplate upon.

The idle mind is devil’s workshop. So unless we fill our mind with higher thoughts it will certainly contemplate on the seeds of our degradation.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Radhanath Swami on the Boat, River and Storm

In the river of time, during the storm of death, the boat of this body will sink. None of the phenomenal knowledge of this world will be able to save us then. Only one kind of knowledge will allow us to meet death happily and attain eternal reality – the knowledge that we are all part of God and His eternal servants; the knowledge that He is non-different from His Name. The greatest knowledge is that which impels one to sincerely take shelter of God’s Holy Names. For one who takes His shelter, He removes the dark fog of material illusion and reveals Himself.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Highest Principle

Any confusion, ethical decision or moral dilemma can be solved if we place our perceptions on the foundation of higher principles. These higher principles are the core of our nature, and the basis of all our actions. Being part and parcel of God, who is ever blissful, every living entity is spontaneously and perpetually seeking pleasure or avoiding pain. But, even in this world, we can understand that there is no higher pleasure than love. The variety of forms of success or acquisition can give pleasure only to the senses and the mind. Only love can give pleasure to the heart, which is the throne on which our very being is seated.

The soul's nature is to feel God's love and to love God. And where there is love for God, there is love for every living being, because every living being is a part of God. From love for God is derived compassion for other living beings. That is the perfection of human life, and the real happiness - the highest principle.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Cleansing by the Storm

In the four rainy months, torrential rainstorms lash against the tall Himalayan peaks. Dark clouds envelop the peaks and the mountain has to endure relentless rain and hail. But the mountain tolerates it all and remains stable all throughout. Consequently, after the rainy season, the mountain is absolutely pristine and effulgent. When the storms of illusion come upon us, if we lose our faith, give up our spiritual principles, abandon our vows, and take shelter of illusion, then that storm has defeated us. But if, even in the impossible helpless situations, we maintain our faith, keep associating with devotees, continue hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, and try our best to perform our service, then that very storm will clean our heart.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Training Children-II

In contrast to giving a child what he wants, the concept of ancient Vedic education system is to train the child with love and compassion, in austerity. The child gets what is good for him. And if he behaves or demands improperly, he is given not cruel punishments but proper education out of love and genuine concern. Even for milder corrections there are investments of much greater levels of encouragement. So whenever needed proper corrections are there, but with love and compassion.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Training Children

When we're young we develop certain very deep rooted characteristics. What the parents inculcate in the child is permanently there because childhood is the most impressionable time of life. It's foundational to the development of our character in life. So if a child is just given whatever he wants and the parents surrender to the child every time he cries then he will get spoilt. He will grow expecting to get what he wants each time. But when he grows up, not everyone will be like his parents. His desires will be more, his demands will be more but people will not necessarily cooperate and it will be intolerable for him, causing great stress and anxiety. A spoilt person can never be happy because he's always expecting to get what he wants.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Essence of All Beings

Essentially, we are all pure. We are all eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss because we are all parts of God. We simply need to recognize, realize, and experience this very essence of our being. Then we’ll find, in every situation of life, the unlimited pure ecstasy of Love of God. This love is not sentimental bodily attraction, but the true, pure eternal love of the soul towards God.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Transcendental Friendliness

Transcendental friendliness is to do everything possible to help a soul come closer to God. It means to feel for the physical, mental, and spiritual sufferings of others. It means to pray for the betterment of even our so called worst enemies and to forgive them even before they offend us while praying with a positive spiritual motive for their deliverance. If we are envious or seek revenge, then such feelings are the real enemies; we must conquer these real internal enemies, not the so called enemies outside.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Power of Time

Whatever efforts we make in this world will be evaporated by time. We make money, we lose money, we get fame, we lose fame. Whatever we get will be eventually lost. That is the power of time. But any advancement we make in Krishna Consciousness - just sweeping the floor, just appreciating other devotees for what they have done, just putting a single flower on the string of a garland, or just chanting the holy name once sincerely - the benefit is never lost; it is forever. It is the only secure investment. We are told that our investments in the stock market, banks and various financial enterprises are secure, but it is all illusion because everything will be taken away at the time of death. Or many other situations may happen in between. It is for certain that we lose everything. There are only two things that are certain in this world - absolutely certain:
1. Anyone who is born will die, and
2. Any investment that we make in Bhakti is never ever lost.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Radhanath Swami on the Fruits of Illusion

To do any good to the world, we must arm ourselves with the power that can destroy illusion - the illusion which nourishes lust, greed, pride, anger, and illusion itself. By slashing away the root of a tree, the entire tree dies. Similarly, constant remembrance and chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord slashes away the roots of illusion, and consequently kills all bad qualities – the fruits of illusion.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Recipient of Compassion

The love of the spiritual world is manifested in this world as compassion to lift the fallen souls who have rejected God, and are suffering. This compassion is expressed through great souls whose greatest happiness is to see people reconnecting with God. And this compassion is received by one who takes the order of one's spiritual master as one's life and soul and, by that process, is empowered to be the instrument of God's will. Honoring a spiritual master is not just speaking words of praise and offering garlands; it is carrying out the orders of the spiritual master according to one's capacity and pleasing him by the endeavor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Holy Name Bomb

An atom bomb can hardly scratch the surface of this small planet earth. The earth remains and so does the entire universe. But just by once purely chanting the holy name of God, this entire illusion of material existence - which contains all material creation - is instantly defeated, conquered, and destroyed. This is real power – the power of the Holy Name bomb.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Radhanath Swami on the Mood of Contemplation

If we contemplate on objects, people and situations in the spirit of being an instrument in their service to the Lord, then that is the ultimate contemplation in life. It will bring us perfection, peace and spiritual love. But, if we contemplate upon them for enjoying selfishly and for our own egoistic purposes, then that ends in havoc in our life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Rising Sun of Knowledge

Education (derived from the Latin word “educare”) means to draw out what is within. It doesn’t mean accumulating all kinds of mundane knowledge from without; even the insentient computers can do that. All knowledge - not of the various phenomena of this world, but of the supreme eternal Absolute Truth - is inherent within our hearts. Just like the sun reveals everything during daytime, once we get situated in this knowledge, it reveals everything to us. Thus, self-realization is the rising of the sun of knowledge within our heart.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Equality of God

God is equal to everyone. He gives everyone an equal opportunity to use one's free will. And He ubiquitously reciprocates according to how one approaches Him. If a devotee misbehaves, the devotee will have to suffer. If a materialistic person misbehaves, he also has to suffer. However, there is a difference in the devotee’s suffering because of his aspiration to ultimately love God although he may have misbehaved due to conditioning or habits. That suffering, if taken with proper consciousness, will purify him. On the other hand, a materialistic person simply doesn’t want God. He only wants material life with all its facilities for sense enjoyment. Therefore, the suffering will simply foil his spiritual life. There is no benefit. The only gain will be that his sins are being cleared but no spiritual progress is made. Therefore, when one surrenders his life and when God becomes his dear most object, he becomes the dear most object of God. That is how God is equal to all.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Synthetic Religion

This is an age of synthetics. Automobiles now have more plastic than metal, furniture now has more plastic than wood. Imitation synthetic jewelry is definitely here to stay. As long as it looks good, we don’t mind even if it’s not the real thing. This attitude is especially prominent in the field of religion. We are more concerned with performing some external rituals to impress others. We are biased towards the particular form of religion we follow. But unfortunately, we don’t seek the true spirit, the essence, and the purpose behind religion.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Greatest Miracle

What is it that God cannot do? Sometimes we find it difficult to comprehend how God can be blue in color. That is because we have seen people of different colors - white, yellow, black, brown - but never blue. We tend to confine God to our limited conception. Just one look at the sky on a starry night can make us understand the futility of trying to understand God in terms of our capacity. "Can any one of us create such beautiful stars?" For someone who can create the entire universe effortlessly, would it be difficult for Him to appear in a blue form? It is this inconceivable power of God that is the only hope of His devotees. If He can do anything, can He not transform our lives and help us love Him if we surrender unto Him?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Pious but Sinful

The Lord must always be first in our lives. Those who are negligent to this spiritual principle act very selfishly. They simply try to feed their false egos and engage in many sinful activities. From the absolute point of view, even if we do pious activities, if we do them just for our own pleasure, it is sinful. Because everything is ultimately meant only for the Lord’s enjoyment, not ours.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Accepting the Inconceivable

Sometimes, atheists accuse that our idea of God is anthropomorphic, which means we are projecting our form upon God. They joke that if we had been cows, we would have fancied that God has a form that is like a cow. But, the reality is just the opposite. When the atheists hear about the super excellent inconceivable activities of the Lord, they declare that it is impossible; that means they are trying to make God like us. They are trying to superimpose their own limitations on God.

It is easy to see within this creation miracles of the Lord, everywhere. Everything we see is inconceivable but we fail to appreciate it. For example, we were little seeds, and somehow we entered into a woman’s womb and now we have such a huge and complexly organized body. This is actually inconceivable - scientists can never do it. We can understand this only if we break free from our mundane limiting ideas of reality.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Time Running Out

As soon as we wake up, we remember everyone and everything we have a relationship with. Similarly, by coming in touch with the Lord through his devotees, we have now woken up from our slumber of ignorance and have been reminded of our relationship with God. In every other life, we had so many relationships; the only one missing was with God. But now, despite getting a human birth, even after being woken up, if we don't genuinely take shelter of God, then we willfully commit suicide. Time is running out; we must take shelter of God - now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Choosing Our Thoughts

You can conquer the whole world, but if you cannot conquer your mind and senses, you are defeated in life. The scriptures explain that a successful person is one who conquers his mind and senses. For this, you must divert your attention away from thoughts of enjoying sense objects using the free will. Many thoughts and many desires may just awaken from your sub-conscious mind or be stimulated by the external environment around you, but you have the choice of what to contemplate upon.

The idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Unless you fill your mind with higher thoughts, it will certainly contemplate on the seeds of your degradation.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Monster Striking Back

We should not feed an envious venomous serpent; that will only increase its venom. Due to its natural envy, it will eventually strike us. This is what we do in our lives. We put our precious energy into selfish egoistic activities without serving God. Eventually the monster of our own karma comes back to strike us. We are left wondering why, despite being so nice, bad things are happening to us.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Renunciation

There are two processes - enjoyment and renunciation. Both are artificial. The natural, complete and healthy understanding of the world is to see everything as the divine energy and as a utility for serving the divine with devotion. Rejecting something as material is incomplete renunciation because the existence of a distinction between material and spiritual is our perception. Anything seen in relation to God is spiritual. It is not that the world is an illusion. Our perception of this world as meant for our pleasure is an illusion. When we see everything as the beautiful aspect of God and when we see every situation as an opportunity to express our love for Him then we truly renounce our illusion and make spiritual progress.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Attention

Attention manifests our consciousness. Attentive chanting means to put everything else out of our consciousness, and to use our consciousness to attend to God alone. Thus, attentive chanting of the holy names of God is the most powerful and effective way of surrendering to the Lord; because in doing so, we surrender to him the very essence of our life - our consciousness.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Practicing Philosophy

Putting philosophy into practice, to the best of our abilities – that’s real spiritual life. Some people get so caught up in the mere intellectual aspect of philosophy that they don’t really take any of it seriously. They just want to know more and more, without applying any of it in their lives.

But even if we know only a few fundamental principles of spiritual life, and seriously apply them in our lives, follow them ardently, without hypocrisy or ulterior motives, we will attain spiritual perfection – of this there is no doubt.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Key to Loving All

Loving the centre of all existence, God, spontaneously enables us to love every living being because every living being is a part of God. When we realize the love for God that is within our own heart then we naturally see everyone as our kith and kin, being parts of God just as every ray emanating from the sun is a part of the sun. The inseparable part of God can be seen in every living being regardless of gender, nationality or caste. Once we understand our own relationship with God, we can see that every living being has similar relationships. This sense of commonality unifies us and there is love and compassion towards every one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The ‘One’ before all ‘Zeroes’

Whatever we may have in this world - beauty, education, etc. – are all zeros. Because anything we do materially, has but temporary results. We are eternal souls; temporary things have no real value in eternity. But God is the 'one' in front of all these zeros – the ‘1’ that converts ‘0’ to ‘10’ and ‘0000’ to ‘10000’. That’s why we should do everything for the pleasure of God; converting even the temporary material activities into eternal spiritual activities – because acting for the pleasure of God is our eternal constitutional position.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Way Discipline Works

The mind and senses cannot be disciplined simply by self-imposed abstinence and negation. Restraint will eventually slacken, unless one experiences a higher taste. Bhakti yoga means to fill one's life with so many with positive spiritual activities that one does not have time for those things which are distracting to spiritual progress.

It is not that by one's endeavor alone one can discipline oneself. The secret is that by one's disciplining oneself, by accepting things favorable for devotional service and rejecting things unfavorable, by that sincere expression of one's sacrifice, one attracts the mercy of God. One pleases the spiritual master and God. And by their mercy one becomes free from all attraction.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Spiritual Hearing

Hearing about the Lord and his instructions is a spiritual activity. We benefit to the degree we hear seriously. Hearing seriously doesn’t mean just to sit through a discourse with a serious expression on one’s face. Any professional actor could do that. Real hearing means to apply in our lives whatever we hear – to the best of our abilities & without ulterior motives. To the extent we hear in this mood, to that extent we progress in spiritual life. Without this mood, even years and years of hearing discourses won’t take us far in our spiritual journey.

Let’s chant the Holy Names sincerely, let’s serve the Lord sincerely – then we can say that we have also heard sincerely. This is how we’ll measure our seriousness about spiritual life.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Dormant Love

All our desires, the longing, yearning for gratification and frustration have a single source - forgetfulness of the love that is dormant within our hearts. This is what we are all searching for. In fact, all the progress through the millenniums in the form of science and technology, arts and entertainment, business and economics are only expressions of our search for that one thing. Finding that love will bring us complete satisfaction and empower us to be instruments in bringing about a positive change within this world - to love God and to feel God's love.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Preparing for the Final Exam

A human being can use his intelligence to search out for God - that's Why human life is superior to other species. Typically, in youth, when our body is fit and fine, we hardly ever thank the Lord for giving us so much. But soon, the body starts giving troubles - gentle reminders that we are insignificant in front of God, that death is round the corner, and that we can't do anything about it.

An intelligent person dedicates his human life, from a very young age, in the service of God. He employs his body, mind, senses, everything. His lifelong service prepares him well for the final exam - death. Thus using his life for the right cause, he passes the final exam with flying colors; he is relieved of all miseries, for all time.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Service Mood

There are different types of services - one could lead a household life and earn one's livelihood while developing spiritual values, or one could submit one's life to preaching the values of God consciousness or one could reside in a temple and dutifully perform elaborate worship of the deity. Even though these three services are altogether different, they are actually one and the same. This is because the Lord is an essence seeker - he only sees the spirit of devotion - whether one is a monk living in a temple and preaching, or a householder with an occupation. No service is better than the other; where there is devotion all are equal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to be free from miseries and anxiety?

As long as you are looking for happiness you will find so much sadness in your life.

As long as the motivation for your activities is your own pleasure, you will find so much pain in your life.
As long as the motivation for your activities is your own happiness, you will find so much distress in your life.
As long as the motivation for your activities is to find honor you will suffer so much dishonor in your life.

Until you work and you act for the pleasure of Krishna you have to suffer the dualities of material existence. That is why Krishna says in the third chapter (BG 3.9) work done as sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed otherwise whatever work you do with any other motivation than the pleasure of Krishna you will only cause bondage.

So as long as we do what we like to do we should understand that we are extending the perplexities of our own bondage in material existence. But as soon as we do what Krishna wants us to do, what the great devotees on behalf of Krishna are telling us to do, through that process we gradually become free from all the miseries and anxieties of the material world.

H.H.Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on An Emblem of Tolerance

The tree is an emblem of tolerance. In the blistering summer heat, the tree stands exposed to the sun. But, it gives us shade and keeps us comfortable. In the freezing winter, the tree is covered with ice. But to keep us warm, it gives firewood. Sometimes, a tree survives without rain water for months, and yet, it bows down to give us thirst quenching juicy fruits. The tree is always eager to serve others.

Tolerance for tolerance’s sake is not real tolerance. Real tolerance is to tolerate difficulties for God’s pleasure and for serving others. Real tolerance is to respect all others and to not expect any respect in return. The Lord will be very pleased if we nurture such a service attitude. He will then reveal his divine love, divine form, and divine pastimes in his Holy Name. In that state, we’ll develop such a taste for his Holy Name, that then we’ll be able to chant his Holy Names incessantly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Radhanath Swami on The Search for Spiritual Love

Spiritual love is what we are all searching for. All progress of civilization through millennia has been simply in search of that love. Science, technology, entertainment, family life, art, music, business, economics - all have been searching for that one thing - the heart’s need to love God and to feel God’s love.

Love for God is dormant within everyone’s heart. Our natural position is of an eternal servant of the God. This is a universal principle. For example, in Christianity, the first great commandment is to love god with all one’s heart, mind, and soul. The natural consequence of such love for God is love for all living beings. Because every living being is a part of the God. Just like every ray emanating from the sun is a part of the sun. When we discover the love for God that is always within our own hearts, we see an inseparable part of god in every living being’s heart, whether male or female, black or white, yellow or brown, Hindu or Muslim, Christian or Jew , Parsi or Jain, Indian or Pakistani, Israeli or Palestinian. All these are just temporary bodily designations. They are ever changing. They are like clothes on the body. When we actually understand our own soul and our own relationship with God, we can identify the soul in every living being and see its relationship with God. Then, instead of hatred, there is love, there is compassion.

Rediscovering our inherent love for God is the most fundamental and greatest need in the world today.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Radhanath Swami on True Saints are Not Liars

Some people opine that God is a myth; a crutch that man has created to make sense of this chaotic world. But a look through the history books, along with observations about the present world, indicates a different conclusion. Who have galvanized the most positive changes in the world? Who have displayed the most genuine and potent compassion for the masses? They were those who had sought out the very essence of religion and spirituality; those who had proclaimed that all their powers were merely because they chose to be instruments in the hands of the divine.

Are they all liars? Are they all ignorant fools or sentimentalists? If they are, then let us all be like that. They were intoxicated with love and shared that love with everyone. They were happy, and made others happy. No, they were not liars, not mere sentimentalists creating an illusion. Otherwise they could not have lived the way they did. Their compassion could not have been the way it was. The great scriptures and histories teach us about such great souls who actually followed the essential principles of spirituality, not about those who exploited spirituality for their own egoistic ends. A true saint is one who, on behalf of God, searches out for God’s long lost servants – us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Beautiful Surrender

On face value, surrender sounds like a horrible thing. It reminds us of the surrender of Germany when the allied forces bombed Berlin while the Russian Army marched in with millions of soldiers. It reminds us of the surrender of Japan, when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed. But when Krishna asks us in the Bhagavad Gita to abandon all varieties of religions and just surrender unto Him, it’s not like the German or Japanese surrender.

Of course, ultimately we all surrender to God in the form of death, but nobody likes to surrender to death. The surrender which Krishna and all great saints talk about is the most beautiful experience and the most wonderful concept in all creation. It means to genuinely offer our love to God. “I am yours. How can I please you? Let me live a vibrant dynamic life and let me use all my creative abilities, my intelligence, my wealth, and whatever I have, as an expression of my love for you, by helping all others. Not selfishly, but with compassion.” That is surrender.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Transforming Greed into Service

Greed is our enemy. This feeling of possessiveness is the cause of war and hatred, besides being very disturbing to our spiritual lives. But the Lord says that He is the father of all living entities and the proprietor of everything. Then where is the question of ‘I’ and ‘mine’?

The holy scriptures explain that the basic core of suffering is the misconception that I am this body and everything in relation with it is mine. Everything is the Lord’s property, and if we really believe that, we will utilize everything according to His desire. Whatever God has entrusted to us is meant to serve others, not just our own families. This is our sacred duty. God is seated in the heart of every living entity, therefore, when a guest comes to our house, we should see him as a part of God and serve him accordingly. A householder should consider that God is coming to his house through this guest to receive his services, even if the guest is his enemy. Even if your worst enemy comes to your house, you should welcome him with genuine enthusiasm and treat him with such affection that at least momentarily he forgets that you are his enemy, and actually enjoys the experience.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

H.H.Radhanath Swami on True Love

Some people think love is some pleasure sexual pleasure or some family security or an emotion or sentiment that comes and goes but real love is a feeling of complete sacrifice and surrender to the beloved and factually there is only one personality that can completely reciprocate and fulfill all our desires in total sacrifice and surrender and that is Bhagavan that is Krishna.

H.H.Radhanath Swami

Friday, August 27, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Real Faith leads to Discipline

There are two thumb-rules for rapid advancement in any direction, including the spiritual – to embrace the favorable, and to reject the unfavorable. The different major religions of the world follow different spiritual practices. The followers are expected to do certain things, and to abstain from certain others. Not whimsically, but according to the instructions of their preceptors and the holy books. This is discipline - in fact, the basic principle of every original religion in this world
is discipline.

Many are convinced about the need for discipline – sportsmen, singers, students, business tycoons, and so on. But most don’t recognize the importance of discipline in spiritual life. One who does not control the mind and senses to follow the instructions of God can never make any spiritual advancement. For example, the Old Testament, which is the basis for all Christians, teaches the ten commandments to discipline life accordingly. And who is a Christian? Not one who merely visits the church, but one who follows the teachings of Jesus. Discipline.

Unfortunately, today’s mantra is “just do it”, whatever you like. Spirituality today just means to go to temples of worship, give some donations, pray, and “just have faith”. Follow no spiritual discipline, but still expect to “be saved”. But, to have faith in God means to faithfully do what God wants us to do. Real faith necessitates a disciplined life in accordance with the instructions of God. The Lord says, “I accept not those who merely cry out ‘Lord! Lord!’, but those who do My will”. This is discipline.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Radhanath Swami on the Attitude of a Devotee

A person who loves the Lord does not see anyone as his enemy. One who surrenders to the Lord is a friend of all the living entities. It is possible to see every living being with equal vision only when we understand who we are, and that we are part of the Lord and every living being is a part of the Lord. Every living being is His child, His part and is very dear to Him. We cannot love God without loving every living being.

We are suffering due to the consequences of our own karmas. The Lord descends in this world again and again in so many ways because He loves us and cares about us. He is inviting us to comeback. If we offer our heart with affection to the Lord, all our karma will be gone. This world becomes the spiritual world. We see every leaf, every tree, every human being, every animal, every insect, every star in the sky and every breath as God’s energy. We see every situation and everything as an opportunity to reciprocate with His love.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Realizing Spiritual Knowledge

Spiritual literatures, if heard attentively, reveal the ultimate knowledge. If we understand them, we will know God. If we are comfortable with our material situation or distracted by our material complications, how much attention can we really give to these scriptures? We should not hear it as a form of spiritual entertainment – just because it feels good to hear some discourses. Unless we have hunger, we cannot digest properly, no matter how palatable the food is. It will not really benefit us. Similarly, there should be a great desperation that I need God, I need His mercy, and then we can digest this topmost knowledge properly.

To hear this wisdom means to follow its teachings, and through this comes realization – understanding what the spirit is and imbibing that. To hear with rapt attention, we must be pure in mind and action. We must live our lives around the teachings of the spiritual literatures; otherwise there will be no realization. With this serious mood of need, we must study these instructions on how to live our lives and perfect them.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Yearning for God

We must understand that there is danger at every step. Terrorism is growing. It is said that two out of five people will die of cancer. Ecology is breaking down. There are floods, droughts, cities being washed away by the ocean. It is a very harsh society we live in today, a society with no tolerance or mercy.

People are competing so much for sense gratification, wealth, power, adoration, but a sincere seeker has nothing to do with this competition anymore. The most serious thing is to have a sincere yearning for God. This is our responsibility as human beings – to get to know Him and love Him. But we are always getting distracted by something – our needs, our health, or how we have been mistreated. Even if our excuses are accurate, the reality is that our soul is longing for God. He will reveal Himself in our hearts according to how we surrender to Him, how we make Him a priority in our life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Radhanath Swami on Arrogance vs. Respect

We should see every living being with veneration. But when selfishness becomes prominent, we start thinking only in terms of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. There is no service attitude left in us. We always want to be the master and enjoyer of all we see. When the desire for our own prestige and enjoyment becomes foremost in our minds, our fellow beings appear insignificant. Due to egoism, we think, “I can judge others. I never make mistakes. If you stand between me and my aspiration of success and appreciation, you are my enemy.”

This arrogance destroys everything sacred within us. We need to show our love for the Lord by how we cooperate with each other. But we cannot do that unless we follow the Lord’s teachings of being tolerant, patient and respecting everyone. We must be on guard at all times, to not be judgmental or offend anyone, to be eager to serve, uplift, encourage, and sacrifice for the benefit of all.