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.