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.