Friday, February 11, 2011

Radhanath Swami on The Holistic Understanding of Truth

The more you rub sandalwood, the more its natural, beautiful fragrance is manifested. We understand theoretically that we are eternal souls, parts of God, and His eternal servants. However, in our life, in the process of purification, in the process of making actual progress, there will be many challenges and obstacles that would threaten our progress towards what we want to achieve. However, if we, with proper integrity and proper spiritual direction, pass through those obstacles, they bring about realization. One thing is to have theoretical knowledge, but through the process of overcoming so many obstacles on the path, we develop realization of that knowledge. This realization is the holistic understanding of the truth - of who we really are, what is our relationship with material nature, what is our relationship with other living beings, and what is our relationship with God.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just surrender to Krishna!

Whatever Krishna does to His devotee is perfect. It is easy to say that, when everything is going the way you like it. But when everything is going against you by all material standards, to be very peaceful and undisturbed and say everything is perfect according to Krishna’s plan, that takes realization. If God is perfect, everything that comes from God must be perfect. The only imperfection is if we do not see the connection to God. Then our vision is imperfect. Everything is perfect except our vision. This consciousness is the only consciousness that brings peace. As long as you are battling against the material nature, let me tell you right now, you are a loser. No one can conquer material nature! As long as you are going to fight the problems of material life you are fighting a losing battle. Maya is so powerful (material energy). She is so powerful that the most you can accomplish is that you work so hard that Maya just plays with you to make you think you are winning.

- H.H.Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on Attraction and Aversion

Some people try to overcome attachment by developing a hatred for the sense objects. A person who is averse means that he is attached but is trying to counteract that in an immature way. But actual elevation is to become indifferent - neither attracted, nor averse. An advanced person is indifferent. Of course, there will be and there should be an aversion to maya, but it should be done with respect. It should be a respectful aversion. Too much aversion is simply the other side of attachment. The principle is to balance such that there is aversion to the principle of sense gratification and at the same time there is attraction to the principle of surrender and devotion.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Radhanath Swami on Resurrection of the True Self

In the materially conditioned state, the eternal soul is deeply buried in a grave of ignorance. It is apparently dead. It is covered by earth from this foreign land of the material world - lust, envy, anger, pride, greed, illusion, the desire to exploit, the desire to possess, the desire to accumulate, and so on. As if in a grave, the true self gets buried in this dirt that it has been collecting since time immemorial in this material world. But when the false ego - the misidentification with the material body - dies, then the true-self, the soul, is resurrected in its full glory.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Radhanath Swami on Real Love Means Responsibility

People are influenced by each other. The mistake of one person’s misbehavior can create great suffering and loss of faith in many peoples’ lives because each person assumes multiple roles - a father, a son, a spiritual master, a disciple, a counselor and a counselee. What one does not only affects one's spiritual, physical and emotional life, but also that of many others. So, human life is a life of responsibility and when one takes to devotional service, one needs to become even more responsible.

A disciple’s behavior is seen by the world. If a devotee misbehaves, the people in general think that his guru, as well as God, is bad because one judges a tree by its fruit. Therefore, responsibility is indicative of love. Real love doesn’t just mean saying, “I love you, here is a flower, I made this garland for you." Those are certainly expressions of love, but real love is to behave in such a way that people in this world will glorify the disciplic succession of great souls that you are connected to, rather than blame them and criticize them over your behavior.

Real love means to take up responsibility - to protect and glorify the dignity of your guru and parampara. Real love means you have to live and speak in such a way so as to help people’s faith, not to disturb it, to make people happy in God Consciousness, not miserable.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Radhanath Swami on Sincerity of Endeavor

As devotees, we should perform all physical and verbal acts for the purpose of pleasing the spiritual master and the Lord. Ultimately, it’s our attitude that pleases the Lord and attracts His mercy. We may chant the holy names and make it look to others that we are chanting very sincerely; but our advancement does not depend on how others see us. Our advancement depends on how the Lord sees us within our heart. The Lord sees our motivation, our aspiration, and our sincerity of endeavor.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Radhanath Swami on The Perfection of Life

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 the 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.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Radhanath Swami on The Common Center

There are two types of centers: self centeredness and God centeredness. Self centeredness means the “what’s in it for me” attitude, and God centeredness means “what’s in it for the Lord”. When we have a common center, there’s unity and love. But as soon as we take God out of the center, we become the center. There is no in-between; the center is either the Lord or me. And the “me” can get extended to mine. For example “my nation”, leading to conflicts between people from different nations. But with God in the center, the whole universe is God’s and we are all brothers and sisters. We cannot have such friendly relationships unless the Lord is really in the centre.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Radhanath Swami on The Essence of Scriptures

Every scripture in the world that God has given is filled with discussion of how to elevate ourselves to higher platforms of enjoyment. But, for a pure devotee, they are a disturbance. One should serve the devotees to please the devotees. One must render first class devotional service, without the desire for material acquisitions, elevation to higher planets, or even liberation. One must perform service only with a desire to please God, the spiritual master, the devotees, and to uplift the conditioned souls. The best among humans seek only the essence - abandon them all and surrender to God. The only recommended sacrificial act in this age is the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Radhanath Swami on A Devotee's Agenda

A devotee finds happiness in other people’s success and feels pain in other people’s failure. He doesn’t want respect for himself, but wants to give respect to others. He is not political because material politics is about having one’s own agenda. If we are not striving for these qualities and not trying to live by these principles, then we are not really devotees. A devotee has no agenda except serving and pleasing the Lord. He has no separate interest.