Sunday, December 30, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Tolerating Religious Differences

Everyone has their own logic, even in the circles of religion. Everyone has their scriptural quotes to show that we are the way to truth and light and there is no other way except through me. That I am the greatest, my religion is the greatest and everyone else is subordinate or evil. I am Hindu, I am a Christian, I am a Jew, I am a Zoroastrian or I am a Jain and because I am that, that is the greatest because if that is the greatest, that makes me the greatest. Look what this has done to the world. Religion is supposed to create a sense of seeing every living being with equal vision. Religion is supposed to bring about a sense of compassion and love for everyone. If you don’t love everyone you cannot love God. But religion today has the opposite effect of its purpose. It creates sectarianism, bigotry and hatred toward others. We have to learn to tolerate the envy in our heart in the name of God.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Good Leadership

Our aspiration should be to serve. Leadership is just a very wonderful opportunity to serve. We shouldn’t be attached to be a leader; we should be attached to the service that we can render. Sometimes people strive to be a leader because they think they can really do great service to the society. And sometimes people don’t have any inclination to be a leader, but because of their selfless service others put them in the position of leadership. Yes, that often happens. Sometimes the most qualified person to be a leader doesn’t want to be a leader. Whether we are leading a family, whether we are leading in a small circle of friends, whether we are leading a business or whether we are leading an entire nation, we should all cultivate and strive to be leaders by example — by the words we speak and by the example that we live. I have even seen humble street sweepers whose character and virtues are so good that can be considered great leaders. The real thing is to lead by setting an example of high ideals and high integrity. And whether or not we come to the top of a particular field that we are working in, we can be a great leader if we live with character, integrity and devotion.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Honor and Dishonor

To tolerate dishonor is very difficult, but it is more difficult to tolerate honor. When you become dishonored, you may become angry or you may become depressed, depending on the person and the circumstances. Some people, when they become dishonored, they might pull out a sword and call a war against theoffenders but other people might just remove themselves from society, go to a lonely placed and cry in depression. In fact, the scriptures say that for one who is honored, dishonor is worse than death. But more difficult than that is to tolerate honor, without becoming proud.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Lord's Pastimes

It is described that when a cat is about to kill a mouse, usually a cat just does not simply kill the mouse because just killing is not fun. They like to play with it first, they catch it and then they let it go and then they catch it again and let it go and then they catch it and sometimes they make the mouse think that it is going to defeat the cat and get away. But it is all play, and finally when all things are said and done, the mouse is dead. Somehow or other for some reason people in this material world have a very deep tendency to be excited and entertained by violence and anger. God is so merciful and kind that He wants to attract all of our minds, so therefore He performs pastimes with the most incredible war stories that seem so inconceivable. But nobody could ever defy them - they reach beyond anybody's imagination. No one can never put on such a production. And someone has put them down in writing simply for the sake of putting excitement into the Lord's pastimes, just to attract our minds.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Holy Matrimony

For a marriage to work in this world is very difficult. In fact, anything great is difficult, cheap things come easy. If you want a cheap relationship then everything will be easy, but when the going becomes difficult then the relationship breaks. If we really want our relation to have deep substance and deep meaning, difficulties have to be conquered. From the day of marriage, throught our lives, deeply within our hearts, we have to accept that our relationship is based on higher principles. Because the nature of the mind is that sometimes we like each other and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are angry. The ego is very flickering and the mind is even more flickering, and the senses fuel them both. If our relationship is based on this superficial principle of pleasing the mind and senses, then our relationship is very superficial, without much substance.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Believing the Scriptures

People of this world are so much conditioned to the news of the radio, the television and the newspapers where everything is based on the relative activities of conditioned souls and therefore we have a certain conditioned idea of what is possible and what is not possible. When we read history books about various wars and various discoveries and various political revolutions, they are all done by people who are influenced by material nature. Therefore what can such infinitesimal conditioned beings do that is very great? And if they do something little greater than somebody else, then it is considered wonderful. And then everyone must read about it, see it, and talk about it. But the holy scriptures are something completely different. They describe the activities of the Supreme Absolute Truth that has no limitation who is all-knowing and completely independent. There is nothing impossible for God. If there was anything impossible for God, there would be no such thing as God, because God by definition means The Complete Whole, The Supreme Controller. Therefore it is not difficult for us to have faith in any story that comes in the authoritative literatures such as Srimad Bhagvatam.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Boon of Our Life

Who am I? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? Why am I suffering? Why is there so much suffering in this world? From the very beginning the Vedas explain that human life actually begins when we ask these questions. How could I learn mathematics or how can I learn science, or business, or housekeeping, this is not so important. But even the lower species have their mathematics and science. The way the spider makes its web is very mathematical, very architectural. A cow takes care of its calf - they are good housekeepers. Even a little cat takes care of its little babies. Human life actually begins when we really feel we need to know, not just out of curiosity, who we really are. When we feel a need to know, and we ask ourselves and others, that, according to the scriptures, is when human life begins, because human life is especially meant for self realization. It is the boon we have.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Sacrifice

When it comes to making money to provide for oneself and one's family, one is willing to accept tremendous sacrifice. Just to earn some money, how much inconvenience people are going through. But because they have to feed their family, they are willing to do it. A mother will sacrifice so much for the child, she will stay up all hours of the night, she will accept so much inconvenience. Screaming all hours of the day, running around breaking everything in the house, making a completely embarrasment out of everything, the job of a mother is incredibly difficult. What if the mother thinks, "Well I won’t do, it is too difficult, forget it." The most petty things in life people are willing to endure pain and tribulation. What is the greatest attainment in life? What is the most precious treasure in life? It is the realization of one’s eternal soul. It is the fulfillment of all one’s heart desire to real awaken our eternal love of God. When we come to the greatest thing, we take it so cheaply. Can we say it is difficult, therefore I won’t do it, I don’t have the time?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Radhanath Swami on A Meaningful Life

The urgent need of every human being is to hear and chant the glories of the Lord and awaken one’s love for the Supreme Person. And in this life if one does not accomplish the feat of attaining the Lord’s mercy which reveals the pure devotional service within our heart, then our entire life is a waste. Whether you are a scholar or a king or a very very big businessman or whether you have provided to your family all the necessities, if your have not attained love of God, you have simply lived a life of a very very sophisticated animal. The difference between human life and animal life is the facility to love God, to surrender everything for the pleasure of God and thus attain that state of true ecstatic bliss.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Deadliest Weapon

Devotional service is based exclusively on one principle, and that is humility. To the degree there is humility in our heart, to that degree what we do is pleasing to God. To the degree we think that we are great, we are intelligent, we are beautiful, we are spiritually advanced, we are coming from a high family, to that degree whatever we do is useless in the eyes of God. The most deadly weapon against a spiritual seeker is false pride. Even if a person becomes utterly celibate, even if a person gives up his family, his home, his wealth to live in the jungles to perform severe austerities, who memorizes every verse of every scripture in the world, he is waging a great attack against the illusory nature of the world. But how does illusion defeat him? It creeps into his heart and convinces him that you are very advanced, you are very great, you are a saint. Therefore a true devotee never considers himself advanced. In comparison to the Supreme Lord, a devotee understands that he is utterly insignificant.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Managing Spirituality

A spiritual movement is based not on management. It is not based on the principle of getting things done. No doubt utility is a principle. But ultimately the greatest utilitarian principle is when our relationships are based on love and trust. As a management technique we say one thing which isn’t what we really mean, to try to get somebody to do something that they don’t want to do, or you say various things which are not exactly the way it is so that you can get what you want form someone one way or the other. Immediately it may have a good effect but in the long run it has a disastrous effect because if we cannot be very honest, straight forward and trustworthy in the most basic ordinary activities of our relationships, then people simply cannot trust us. Especially within our spiritual circles, it is very important that we are very truthful and honest even in our ordinary activities.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Bringing A Change

To a certain extent we have the power to change our environment. But ultimately it is very limited; we may not be able to change the whole world or how people think or how people act or why people do what they do. Of course, we can try our best to help, but there is one thing that we could always change and that’s ourselves. If we live by that power, if we live with that potential of devotion, if we carry God’s grace in our lives and express it through what we do, that’s the greatest way in which we can influence others and there will be many people you do seriously influence. And of course there will be other people you may not be able to influence so much. But you can be transcendental to that. We cannot always change everything in this world but we can change ourselves and that gives us this great strength to be an instrument of change.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Focus of Our Lives

Ignorance is to make the goal in life that which is temporary. And those who live by truth aspire for that which is ever-lasting, eternal. We are eternal, God is eternal and our relationship with God is eternal. That quest for eternal truth, that quest for ecstatic love which is dormant within us should be the prominent focus of our lives. And all of our occupational responsibilities, domestic needs, they should all be harmonized to fulfill that aim of life because death is inevitable. At the time of death, everything except whatever cultivation of spiritual consciousness we have attained is taken away.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Honest Living

Human life is meant for purification. If we understand this very clearly then we will make it a priority in our life to teach our children how to be pure lovers of God, honest and earnest servants of the society, and we will lead all by our own example. That is true love, that is real knowledge and to make it a priority is intelligence. When we make it a priority and have faith in the Absolute Truth then it behooves us to balance and regulate our life in such a way that everything we do or speak is harmonized towards achieving that goal. If we are honest before God and honest with ourselves then to lead such a life is very simple. But to the degree we are duplicitous, it’s very difficult. But where there is a will, there is a way. We see throughout history, many of the most dynamic people within the world were servants of God and humanity. And they never compromised their integrity.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Radhanath Swami on A Life of Purification

An intelligent person prepares in this life and prepares also for what is beyond this life. When we associate with spiritually minded people, when we associate with people who are searching for spiritual elevation or with people who have realized the spiritual essence within their hearts and in their association when we hear the transcendental knowledge then we are inspired to read the holy scriptures and the sacred commentaries of the great saints. And then we desire a life, not of temporary enjoyment, but a life of purification. The nature of the soul is to seek ecstatic love and joy. Yoga, spirituality, religion – all these are the means by which we can cleanse or purify our hearts.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Vicious Cycle

When you commit a sinful activity, then the seed of the reaction gets stored in the heart and it starts to grow. And ultimately, the physical reaction comes upon us. It is unavoidable. It may come in this life, it may come in a future life, but the reaction will come! If you cause any pain to any living entity then that reaction, that pain must come upon you with greater force, you cannot avoid it. It is just a matter of time. But worse than that, not only will the reaction come, but also the inclination to do it again becomes deeper and stronger within the heart. A gross example is, if somebody smokes cigarettes then he can’t stop smoking cigarettes, in fact he gets addicted to it. It is true for all types of material activities - the more we do them, the more we become internally addicted to the tendency to do it. And then the reactions come, and along with the reactions, the inclination grows. It’s a vicious cycle! How to get out of this cycle? When we chant the holy names of the Lord, it cleanses the heart at all different levels - it actually extinguishes the seed of inclination for sinful, materialistic, egoistic, selfish, envious activities.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Getting Closer to God

The holy scriptures teach us that real intelligence is to learn to balance and harmonize our lives so that all our responsibilities are fulfilled in such a way that it pleases God. We should do our job and raise our family in a way that we are pleasing the Lord. That means there must be morality, there must be ethical values in our life and beyond them there must be spiritual vision and devotion for the Lord. And that is awakened by giving quality time on a regular basis to cleansing our heart by associating with saintly people. A saintly person is one who is harmonizing every aspect of life in a spirit of devotion. Such a person believes deeply in spiritual principles and lives by them. If we give quality time for hearing the glories of God in association of saintly persons and sincerely chant His holy names then gradually our heart will be cleansed and we will come closer to Him.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Awakening Love for God

When our consciousness becomes spiritually inspired by God’s name, and gets spiritually connected to the all-attractive Lord of our hearts, then naturally, whatever we do will be motivated with love and devotion. Devotion is the gradual development of the eternal spiritual virtue which gives meaning and fulfillment to our lives. Real fulfillment is in the awakening of our eternal inner love for God. And to give that fulfillment to our loved ones and to the needy people in the world is the greatest service. But we can only give what we have. Thus, if we believe, if we have faith, if we have scientific philosophical conviction or just simple faith, either one, then yes, we will orchestrate our lives in such a way that we actually fulfill our various responsibilities on the path of perfection. And for that purpose, we must have a strong commitment to chanting God’s names and living a life based on religious principles.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Hunger of the Heart

Charity is to help needy people. People need food, they need clothing, they need hospitalization and they need emotional encouragement. But they also need spiritual enlivenment, spiritual education. People’s hearts are starving, and the starvation of the heart causes much more problems than the starvation of the belly. Starvation of the belly can be satisfied with food but it is very difficult to satisfy the hunger of the heart. It creates massive problems and disturbances within the world where we live. Unless we solve the hunger of the heart, people will be selfish, crooked and duplicitous. A saintly person weeps and cries in sorrow to see the poor man loitering in the street without food to eat, but weeps and cries perhaps even more to see the big executives in their offices who are spiritually starving in their hearts. Giving transcendental knowledge and spreading the congregational chanting of the holy names of God is actually the highest quality and more inclusive form of welfare. It satisfies the hunger of the heart. If you change the hearts of the people, if you make greedy, selfish people into compassionate instruments of God’s love, then everyone will be happy and internally satisfied. People will transcend their egoistic materialistic lives and will harmonize their concerns with the goal of spiritual enlightenment.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Deeper Love

In marriage, you may unify on the principle of romance or beauty, but the bodies change. Don’t have faith that you’ll remain attracted to the beauty of a woman or a man. And the minds change also, because two egos will have so many differences. That’s why according to religious principles, you take a vow, so you have to stay together no matter what because you have made a vow. You have a responsibility to each other, you have a responsibility to God, you have a responsibility to your children, and through that sacrifice of somehow or other tolerating each other and forgiving each other, you actually learn to really love each other much deeper than the love of the glances and the touches and the words.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Creating Unity

There is an inner disunity within all of our hearts. The mind is the battlefield. The dualities of life are always competing with one another. From the spiritual platform, while working in this world to do good, we must simultaneously actually realize the art of love, the art of yoga, to be united body, mind, and soul, and soul with God. And then whether we are business people or students or industrialists or architects or teachers or farmers or politicians, or soldiers, whatever we may be, we express that inner knowledge, that inner love, that inner compassion in everything we do. Is there anything that is greater needed in the world than that mentality within human beings? Technology is good provided it’s in the right hands. If it’s in the wrong hands, knowledge and technology could be the most destructive force on earth, and if it’s in the right hands, it can do so much good for so many people. So just creating people who can earn, just creating people who can invent, that’s not going to help the world in itself unless people become holistic, unless people become united with their own inner spiritual nature and act with dynamic compassion in this world on that basis.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Watering the Root

There are people who think differently, there are people with different natures, with different inclinations. There is unlimited diversity and variety in this world. We cannot force oneness. We cannot artificially try to make everything one, but we can understand and realize within ourselves through inner purification how there is a oneness underlying all the variety and cultivate and develop that. The scripture explains when you put water in the root of the tree every part of the tree grows—the leaves, the branches, the twigs, the flowers. And what is the root of all the trees? To cultivate our own inner awareness of the Supreme and understand what God wants of us and to actively and dynamically live in this world, work in this world with that basic foundational experience in our heart, that is watering the root.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Spiritual Relationships

We are all spiritual. We’re all part of God. We’re all brothers and sisters. If your sister has a disease, do you hate your sister or you hate the disease? If the disease is there, you hate the disease but you feel compassion, which is a symptom of love for your sister. So yes, there are people acting in very crazy, violent, and unethical ways, but deep within their heart is the atma, the soul, which is pure, which is part of God, which is our brother and sister. In a person who understands the self, there can be ego, there can be no hatred toward anyone. There can only be love, and for those who are unfortunate, there is compassion. That is knowledge of the truth. We are all part of God, and when we develop our own inner awareness of our own relationship with the Supreme, then naturally we see every living entity in connection to that relationship. That is the inner unity extending to create unity within the world.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Needing Each Other

On the battlefield, every soldier is completely dependent on all of his comrades. When there’s thousands of people shooting guns and bombs at you, singlehandedly, what can you do? Your life, your survival is dependent on all the others around you. Yes? It’s not that you look at your other comrades who are fighting along with you and think, “I don’t like the color of your skin” or “I don’t like the things you eat” or “I don’t like the way your eyebrow goes up and down” or “I don’t like the way you smell” or “I don’t like what your wife said to me 2 years ago.” No! You understand that “I need you and you need me or we perish,” that’s what war is about. In the front lines, everyone is dependent on everyone else.  This world is a place where war is always going on—the battle of good and evil, the battle of sin and piety, of religiosity and irreligiosity, of love and sectarian hatred. We need each other.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Strict Spirituality

The illusory power of the Lord is very powerful and all pervading. And if we are not very careful, if we are not very strict in our spiritual practice, it is dangerous. Being strict in our spiritual practice is very important but being very strict is also very dangerous. Because if we are more strict than others then we start becoming a victim to pride: “I have done so much! I practice such austerities. I am very exalted. How can someone else get more respect than me, impossible, intolerable! He is a pretender. Did you hear what he did?" So, If we are not very strict in our spiritual practices then our mind will be swept away by illusion. Strictness is a pre-requisite. But that is not enough, we should be careful that this doesn't make us proud. Therefore we have to be very strict in our practices and at the same time we have to cultivate humble service to the community. It is when we accept the position of humble servant to the devotees and give all credit to them expecting none in return as an austerity, that we will be protected from these tendencies. Strictness means tenacious adherence to the order of the spiritual master. That will protect us from the weakness of our mind and heart. No amount of temptations or provocations can agitate us. But the illusory power of the Lord can still attack us if we have envy towards someone. We can be tricked into giving information about that person to his worst enemy under the justification that we are only trying to help him! If we actually want to help we should tell one who we are convinced has no malice or envy, and who is really a well wisher of that person. And not tell anybody else. That is called love. That is called trust. And that is going to help the person.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Love and Trust

We find in spiritual circles throughout history that there has been great envy and fighting even amongst followers of the same religion. It is because certain persons, although strictly practising the religious rituals, scrutinizingly learning the religious philosophy and dedicatedly propagating those rituals and philosophy, never really humble themselves or strive to become purified of false pride. Unless they very diligently strive to become purified of false pride, that pride will creep into their spiritual life and cause them to be envious and inimical towards other devotees. This is the greatest danger. The illusory energy of the Lord cannot harm us in any way by attacking from outside. In fact, if we are sincere, the attacks from outside only make us stronger. But when the attack is from within our minds, when the seed of dissent and jealousy is dropped within our own minds, then that creates a sense of pride, and competition on a worldly level where, for the purpose of attaining land, control, influence, money, and support, we start to spread false propaganda against others and ultimately it becomes a fight, a war, a struggle for power. And in order to deal with that there has to be so much diplomacy, so much politics; eventually nobody really knows what’s true and what’s not true. One can’t be neutral anymore because there is a total breakdown of love and trust. The mission is crippled because it is love and trust among the devotees of the Lord that attracts the empowerment of the Lord. So we have to be extremely cautious and careful that wherever we see this type of false propaganda, criticism of devotees, seed of dissent towards others, and envy that others have something that we don’t, we have to immediately stamp it out. We have to stamp it out within our own hearts and mind, and stamp it out within the heart and minds of others. Otherwise everything will get spoiled.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Ocean of Happiness

A person who finds inner peace and inner happiness is unaffected by the constant onslaught of happiness and distress, honor and dishonor, pleasure and pain, success and failure, diseases… these are constantly coming like a flowing river. Sometimes the river is wide, sometimes the river is dry, but the ocean is not affected by the power of its own depth and volume of water. Similarly, when the ocean of happiness awakens in our heart, then whatever may come in this world is not really very significant. It is only due to forgetfulness of God that things in this world are disturbing or apparently enticing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Pride and Envy

The four material qualifications - high birth, beauty, knowledge and wealth - have a tendency to make one proud. And when one becomes proud one becomes possessed with this great illusion that there is no one more worthy of enjoying the facilities of this world than me. Whatever is good, whatever is awesome, whatever is most pleasurable - I deserve most. And such a person cannot tolerate when someone else has something better. From pride envy is born. We see when we are humble that there is nothing to be envious of, when we are humble we think we do not deserve anything. We think that everyone else is better than us. So in such a humble state of mind if somebody else gets something and we get nothing we think, “Yes, this is correct, this is proper justice, this is the way it should be”. But if we are proud we cannot bear it -“Why he has this, why not me; why this person is getting credit, why not me; why this person is getting respect, why not me; why this person has this wealth, why not me?”. This envy is born of false pride. We cannot tolerate seeing someone else exceeding us on any level. And this goes not only to the low class criminals and thieves but even up to very exalted yogis and even the exalted demigods.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Children of God

The goal in human life is to be in God consciousness, to awaken one's natural devotion to the Lord. In the holy scriptures it is described that if a human dies without realizing God, he is a miserly person who has completely wasted his life. So it is the parents' first and foremost responsibility to try to create an environment that will induce the child to want to know and love God, and at the same time teach wonderful skills that they can use in God consciousness throughout their life. That is the singular exclusive reason for education - to give children tools that they can use in God’s service and express their love throughout their life. So all parents or future parents should take this very seriously. It is your first and foremost responsibility to your children to attract them to God by your personal example, by your words and by what you emphasize in their life. Raising our children should be in such a way that they are naturally attracted to God. Then even little austerities, with God in the center, is fun for children. We should create an environment where children find the greatest happiness in their life in those activities or subject matters that relate to God.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Greatest Strength on Earth

What is the greatest strength on earth? United we stand, Divided we fall. Our strength is in our unity, not only
as nations, not only as races, not only as families, but even within religion.  The greater the service we can do to society, the larger we expand this principle of compassion. There is nationalism, then there is humanitarianism. These are for all human beings, but they are limited too. The greatest compassion is compassion for every living being, even for the animals, the fish, the birds, the trees and the plants. We are all part of God. We can show our love for God by how we respect, how we serve, how we honor, and how we love each other. The greatest necessity is to create a very, very deep form of real unity and that unity, the unity of inner compassion born of unity between the soul and God, is the greatest strength on Earth.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Essence of Religion

Each and every one of us within our own hearts has unlimited tremendous spiritual power. True process of religion or yoga is not just to perform some rituals and have some social identity in which you protect yourself from other people with different religious or social identities. The essence of real religion or yoga is to access that incredible spiritual power and to express it in every aspect of our life. Then, with a pure heart, we can overcome so many obstacles that seem so impossible.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Mirror of the Heart

There is a simple universal principle with which we can eradicate envy within ourselves, envy for God, and envy for all other living beings. It is the principle of ego and envy which is the real cause of all problems. When a mirror is covered with dirt and when we look at the mirror, what do we see? We can see only dirt. The mirror is supposed to reflect us. We must clean that mirror to be able to see ourselves clearly. This mirror represents our heart, which is covered with dirt acquired from millions of years. We have to clean it of the dirt of ego and envy first, only then will it help us to see our own true self, which is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. That is the true nature of the heart.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Loving Children

People see the authenticity of any religious movement according to how the older generation can imbibe within the small children the understanding and love for their religion. Consciously or subconsciously the world feels that way. To make thousands and millions of converts are good but that doesn’t impress them. We, as parents, must understand the serious responsibility that we have in inculcating love for God in the hearts of children. If our children do not feel love they will not understand God’s love because the love of the parent is translated to the children as the love of God. When they feel their parents' love, they can actually begin to understand God’s love. And what is love? Love doesn’t mean spoiling a child, love doesn’t mean being nice sentimentally - real love means that we must give the child the best possible that we can in our life, with the goal of awakening their eternal love of God. Then that’s the most important thing that we can give to our children - everything should be in harmony with that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How devotees should control envious thoughts? -by H.H.Radhanath Swami

Q.Consciousness of a devotee and external behavior, is it related or independent? (This question is related to how a Vaishnava should behave in the mode of goodness so people in general are attracted by those qualities)

A. They are related. According to your consciousness, according to your thoughts and desires that is what will provoke words and actions. Therefore we have to go right to the root of the problem which is our material desires and material attachments and the Holy Name and devotional service goes right to the root of that problem and purifies our heart.

But in the meanwhile while this purification is taking place, on the external level we must be very careful to tolerate any inclination towards offensive activities. If we simultaneously perform the austerity of restraining our mind and senses and at the same time continue with the process of devotional service of chanting and hearing the Holy names and glories of the Lord, very quickly we become purified. If we do not contemplate and keep our mind endeavoring to be fixed on Krishna if we allow our mind to unrestrictedly contemplate the objects of the senses in envious and selfish thoughts then It is just a matter of time until those thoughts force us into offensive words and behavior. Therefore when these thoughts come into our mind we must restrain from giving into them and we must struggle and strain to replace them with holy thoughts. This is tapasya. This is real austerity.

Q&A with H.H.Radhanath Swami

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Transforming Power of Power

There are many educational institutions in the world today and there are many people who are gaining tremendous power, but it is the most educated and powerful people in the world that are causing the problems. It is not the simple field workers that are creating threats of nuclear wars, creating disruptions in the whole economy, by cheating, plundering and greediness. It is not the simple people that are really creating the ecological problems that the world faces today. Power comes through knowledge, ability and influence. When power is used by the wrong hands, it can create greatest problems in the world. When power, and all those things that make power - knowledge, strength, prestige, ability, are used by the right hands, they can create a healing effect to the human society. In today’s world the greatest need is that the people’s hearts are cleansed of the tendencies of greed, lust, envy, anger, pride and illusion. In the world today people require to clean their heart and be instruments of love and compassion, and then our educational systems and scientific research will have a very deep healing affect on the world. It can bring real happiness and prosperity. That is why we pray, that is why we chant the names of God, to invoke the compassionate spirit of love that is dormant within us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Real Happiness is Within!

What is the fundamental need of every living being? What is it that everyone is looking for and longing for in life? Happiness? A lot of money and prestige? Food, clothing, and shelter? Actually food, clothing, and shelter, then prestige and money - why do we want them? For our happiness. So really the food, money, prestige, shelter - none of them are the goal of life, but the promise that they will give us happiness. Everyone is striving for happiness. What is the basis of happiness? If you have a hundred billion dollars and you have a beautiful palace and you have the best cars and you have the finest foods, you have beautiful majestic dresses, and you have all the best technologies, but you are the only person alive, will you be happy? Will you be happy driving in your car and eating all your wonderful food all alone? What happens if one little bird comes and lands on your finger? Because you can have a relationship with the bird, that bird will be more precious than your life. The basis of happiness is relationships, and what makes relationships satisfying is love. People work for their children. People are looking for love. It is the most fundamental need of every living being. If we do not have love in our life, our life is superficial and quite meaningless. If we have love in our life, it really does not matter whether we have anything because we will be satisfied because of that love. Happiness is something of the heart. Happiness is not out there. The real happiness is within, not without. We see some of the most successful people committing suicide. Why is that the fundamental need of every living being is to love and be loved? Why is everyone longing for that? Because it is our nature. The soul is part of God, hence to love God and be loved by God is our original constitutional position.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Determined - we must be!

We must be determined. Prabhupada said determination is what differentiates a man from an animal. We must make a vow of determination. Dhrdhavrata. satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah namasyantas ca mam bhaktya nitya-yukta upasate- BG 9.14. Krishna explains who is qualified for spiritual life? A person who is always chanting my Holy Names and in endeavoring with great determination.

We have the power to be determined if we just take it. Krishna will give us the strength if we just want it. The character of a human being is based on how much he is willing to suffer and make sacrifices and show his determination even in the face of difficulty. That is the character that makes a human being something. Something great! So we must hear. Otherwise we will not know what to be determined for or how. So we must hear regularly. We should be hearing Bhagavatam everyday. Either coming to temple or reading at home, we should hear Bhagavatam everyday. We should be chanting the Holy Names in a fixed number everyday. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah. And on the basis of what we hear and the strength of the Holy Name we must endeavor with great determination.

Spiritual life has no effect for a lazy person. If we are not endeavoring to give up our bad qualities that’s laziness. Krishna says we must overcome this lethargy and we must endeavor. Endeavor means I will do it whether I will feel like it or not, endeavor means also I will not do it no matter what. We know what is right. We can’t simply wait when will I become so purified that I will not do these things. This is nonsense philosophy. No! In order to get purified I have to give it up now at all costs. I have to accept it now at all costs. Satatam kirtayanto mam yatantas ca drdha-vratah – always chant the Holy Name and endeavor with determination and what we do at the time of initiation – take vows – I will chant the Holy Names regularly and I will follow these principles and in order to follow these principles we have to endeavor with determination and these principles are only the beginning.

When we hear the Bhagavatam everyday we understand what all the principles we must follow the basic principles. We must endeavor with determination. If we are not willing to do that we are not worthy of realization. There is no question of just trying. There is no determination in just trying, oh I will try! Determination means I will do it no matter what! With God’s grace and Guru’s grace it will be done but I will be determined. Nothing will stop me. Come hell or high water it will be done. Better that I die than give up my determined vow. This is what it takes to make advancement in spiritual life. We have to have this substance.

Materialistic people do it for money or for victory. How much more a devotee should do it for Krishna? How much determination we have in our business, how many reversals we just fight at all costs. For spiritual life to overcome these bad qualities…I will try, I tried my best! Trying your best means I will die before I give into maya. Haridas Takur said you cut my body into millions of pieces and every part will be chanting the Holy Names Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Nothing will stop my preaching of Krishna consciousness he (Haridas Takur) said. Nothing! No power on earth! This must be our determination and this is the price – drdhvrta – firm vow of determination in our lives. After Bhagavad Gita when Krishna told Arjuna to fight he did not say I will try, I will try my best, He said I will do it whether I win or lose I am going to do it. I am going to fight for you. That is what is required.

- H.H.Radhanath Swami

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Radhanath Swami on True Virtue

Some people just see hope everywhere and other people see hopelessness everywhere, according to the channel they are tuned into. Because they are both there, some people optimistic and some people are pessimistic, some people are angry, some people are friendly, it is depending on our channel or how we are being influenced by the environment around us, what waves we are connecting to. Our nature, as a part and parcel of God, is pure. But what we associate with very highly influences us. The human form of life is specifically and especially an opportunity to return to our original, divinely, all blissful, eternal nature, to utilize this body, education, wealth, and everything for that purpose. There is nothing wrong in making a lot of money, there is nothing wrong with a fantastic education; these are wonderful virtues, provided they are being used for the right reason. Put a knife in a thief’s hand and he will kill somebody out of greed. Put a knife in a doctor’s hand and he will save someone’s life out of compassion. The knife is the same. What is our consciousness? The biggest problems in this world today are not being created by simple, poor, uneducated people. They are being created by very intelligent highly educated wealthy people. But with that same power of education, that same power of knowledge, of strength, of wealth, we can do the best benefit and service to the world. This is essential.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Tuning Our Concsiousness

Everyday, as we lead our daily routines, there are universal energies just right all over us. Most of us are not even aware of what is all around us. All those television stations are present here. That is how, just by pressing some buttons, all the channels come on, as the waves are here. All the millions of cows being slaughtered every minute are screaming; that’s going off in the energy. All the pious people are doing good things and that is all going up in this energy. Now what station we are going to program our consciousness to pickup? It is only according to our association. If we are in ignorance of the purpose of life and the goals of life, according to what we associate with, according to what we do, according to what we think, we are just what tuning in. And what different types of vibrations we are absorbing in our lives is affecting our consciousness. The purpose of human life is to actually program our heart to be on the channel where we become enlightened rather than degraded.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Acquiring the Higher Taste

Those who are engaged in the loving devotional service of the Lord transcend the different modes of material nature. An ocean transcends the rivers flowing into it because it is so full, it doesn't care for them. Although it still sees them flowing in, it witnesses them, but doesn't care for them. Similarly those engaged in the devotional service of the Lord taste something so much greater that they don’t care for the lower modes of material nature. A hog eats stool and we eat nice palatable food and so we don’t care for stool anymore. But if we have never tasted palatable foods then we may think stool to be nice. Similarly once we taste something higher then we will not have taste for something lower, we will not care for them and we will neglect them. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Controlling Thoughts

The idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Unless our mind is fully engaged in the higher activities of God consciousness, there is every possibility of the senses pulling us down. All our thoughts are based on our desire. The Lord’s illusory energy provokes these desires through the objects of the senses. Today various schools teach that we should simply sit and watch the thoughts pass by, neglect them and not give them any time. However, practically it is not possible because we are souls and a soul always looks for pleasure. So we should always try to control our mind by engaging it in the loving devotional service of the Lord. Once the mind gets busy in tasting the sweetness of the Lord’s names then when any such thoughts come, the mind simply ignores them because it doesn't have time for them.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Search for Happiness

Great sages have explained that if we take fish out of water and make wonderful arrangements for its sustenance, still the fish will be frustrated because it is not in its natural element. Similarly we are all eternal souls, these bodies are temporary covering, like vehicles or sets of clothing, and the nature of the soul is to be happy. This is why everyone looks for happiness. Have we come across anybody ever who does not want to be happy? Consistent nature of every living
being is to try to be happy, even the trees are looking for happiness by trying to get sunlight and water. All species of life are in pursuit of happiness, because it is the nature of soul to be happy. And what is that happiness that everyone is looking for? It is the happiness of love. And the perfection of love is if we simply redirect our natural impulses for love towards the supreme, all-attractive, God.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Restraining Our Senses

Penance means the willingness to forego, to put aside, our egos & desire for selfish pleasure for the higher principle of pleasing God. Pleasing God in the beginning often means to deny ourselves what our mind and senses are expecting. Animals simply follow the dictations of their senses and the mind has no power to discriminate. The animals are slaves of their minds and senses without the power to question. Today people also are not taught how to control their mind and senses, in fact they are trained as how to surrender to their minds and senses. But human life is meant for self-realization. So we must try our best to restrain our senses from those things which are not favorable in our quest for self-realization; rather we should perform the austerity of engaging our senses in those activities which are favorable. We should regularly take association of saintly people and hear and chant the glories of the Lord. This is the supreme most function and responsibility of every human being. And if we are not doing it then we are nothing more than a sophisticated animal.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Illusion

True love for God is within the heart of every living being, but it is covered. It is covered by forgetfulness of our eternal and true identity as being eternal servants of the Lord, and in that forgetfulness we want to enjoy separately from Him. We want to live independent of the will of the Lord and this condition is the cause of our sufferings. The basic principle of our consciousness is that we seek enjoyment. We do not understand what real enjoyment is. This is called ignorance or illusion. Great saints have defined illusion as “that which is not” i.e. what we think is the cause of pleasure is actually the seed of pain and what we think is the cause of pain is actually the seed by which the flower of real enjoyment will blossom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Value of Money

Money is only valuable to the extent it helps us become God conscious and helps others to become God conscious, but if money is doing the opposite then it is an impediment. You are selling your soul, for the cheap things of this world. It’s not worth it. So, you must be very careful to balance your life in such a way that you have set quality time aside for devotion and for saintly association. But if you are working and struggling in the passion of youth for earning money, as some householders do, then you are wasting your precious life. You are giving up a rare diamond for broken pieces of glass. Earning money is fine but it should be balanced with spiritual practices. That’s real wealth. Do not lose anything for that.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Glorification of God

The glorification of God is the universal principle of all religions. In glorification we show our love. The greatest form of glorification, the one that pleases Him, is the one that pleases His devotees. There is no better way. There is nothing more pleasing to God than rendering of service. And greater the need, greater the service - if you give a person water, that is not such a great service, but if you give it to a person who is thirsting for water and whose mouth is parched, that is a great service. Because you are really pleasing that person who is in need. The greatest need of all human beings is God consciousness. People are spiritually starving. Therefore, the greatest service, the greatest charity, the greatest welfare work is to distribute the glories of holy name to the people of this world. This way we can purify our hearts and attract the love of God in our lives.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Reviving Spirituality

We must learn to revive our real spiritual nature. We must be willing to fight against pride and our endless longings for our own personal interests. We must learn how to come to the pure state of consciousness. However beautiful our clothes and our cars and our scientific technology may be, if we are not pursuing the purification of our consciousness and not endeavoring for self realization, then we are living in an uncivilized world. Religious literatures like Bhagavad Gita give us very important and essential messages which can lead us toward real happiness and transcendental bliss which our soul longs for. When we live a pure life based on the principle of no intoxication, no meat eating, no gambling and no illicit relationships with the opposite sex, and we associate with the devotees and take up the cleansing process of chanting God’s name and hearing God’s glories then we truly become civilized. If we are following this then we are making real progress in our life.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Spiritual Science

There are three types of diseases - disease of the body, disease of the mind and disease of the soul. We know all about diseases of the body; the whole medical industry is trying to deal with those diseases to alleviate pain and suffering. And psychology and psychiatry are trying to deal with alleviating the diseases of the mind and the emotional systems within. There is also the disease of the heart, the disease of ignorance. People have forgotten who they are, what is the purpose of life, what is their relationship with one other, what is their relationship with nature, and what is their relationship with God. And this disease can cause suffering despite having very healthy bodies and very strong minds. The spiritual sciences which inform us about the nature of the soul are meant to ultimately cure this disease. The nature of the soul is to love God, the nature of the soul is to be an instrument of God’s compassion in everything we do, everything we say and ultimately, in everything we think in life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Science of Deity Worship

The deity is an incarnation of God in this world. The Lord is so kind that knowing our material condition, He appears in material elements so that we can see them and conceive of Him with our material senses, so that we can see with our eyes and serve with our hands. We could use all of our senses in a very active, dynamic and practical way to connect ourselves to serve the deity. And with our mind we can easily remember that form, we can meditate on that form, we can fix our mind on that form. God is that form because for God, material and spiritual is quiet irrelevant. God is the source of everything - He manifests His supreme spiritual glory even in material elements, therefore it’s no longer a material element, but it is perceptible by material senses. The deity is not material; the deity is pure spiritual substance. However, out of His mercy, that pure spiritual substance is manifesting to us, incarnating to us in such a way that we can perceive Him with our material senses that can only perceive material things. This is the science of deity worship. Therefore, we find throughout the scriptures how great souls were worshiping the deities and teaching others too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Radhanath Swami on A Divine Society

Today there are so many social events - people come to hear materialistic music together, people come to dance together, people come to drink together, to eat together, to go to the cinemas, to go to the concerts, to go to the sporting events. People are so foolish that they do not take out time to regularly associate with the saintly people and to hear and chant the glories of the Lord. But the real purpose of the society is to give people opportunity to come together to hear the glories of the Lord, to chant and dance for the glorification of the names of the God and to take the holy food offered to the Lord together. And to the degree this is missing from our society, to the same degree there will be terrible sufferings in this world.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Maintaining Spiritual Strength

Just as we regularly eat to maintain physical strength, similarly, we should regularly associate and chant for spiritual strength. The supreme most important responsibility for every human being is to come together to hear the glories of the Lord and to chant His holy name. But it should be done under the direction of genuine saintly persons who are humble servants of God and of previous saintly persons. If we do not regularly have the association of saintly people, if we do not hear and chant the glories of the Lord regularly then we will not be able to maintain our spiritual strength.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Associating with the Holy Name

The Lord is eternally manifested in the sound of His name. He is inviting everyone to simply take this holy name and share it amongst one another. And through this process we can always experience the divine presence of the Lord in our life. This process will purify our hearts and we can attain eternal love and eternal peace. The greatest fortune in anyone’s life and the most precious opportunity in all of creation is to come together to chant the holy names of God. We should chant the holy name with great enthusiasm and great feeling. And we should live our life in such a way that we attract the mercy of the Lord. If we associate with the holy name in the spirit of submission then the holy name will quickly transform our minds to the spiritual world.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Spiritual Advancement

As we make spiritual advancement, our false pride diminishes and ultimately disappears. In the beginning stages we can tell we are making advancement because we are chanting the names of the Lord. But on a more subtle and higher level we can understand our advancement by how we are actually taking joy in giving respect and honor to others and how we are not taking joy in being respected and honored ourselves, even if it comes. If it comes we don't take it, we accept it on behalf of our spiritual master and God because we know that it’s not for us. This is the sign of a pure devotee.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Power of the Holy Name

We may have so many justifications and excuses for not practicing devotion. We may think that I am born in the western world, or I live in a very materialistic society, I have a family, I have a wife, I have children and so many different excuses we may have. But in the history of mankind we have seen that even though a person may be very fallen if he takes shelter of God then he attains pure love of God. Every single one of us can achieve the ultimate destination - not by our power but by the power of God’s mercy, by the power of His name. God’s name is so powerful and attractive that irrespective of whatever we have been in all our previous lives or in this life, it can purify us. So simply hear about Him from sincere devotees and chant the holy names.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Humble Lovers of God

The nature of a devotee is to think himself very unworthy of God's mercy. Actually if we feel ourselves to be very fallen then we naturally fall in love with God. We have to fall in love with God; we can’t ascend to love God. When we consider ourselves very fallen and unqualified then we take shelter of God with humility, and then God reciprocates with us. If we simply chant the Lord’s holy names sincerely, we become gentle and humble lovers of God and servants of all living beings. Even the most crooked mentality can be utterly purified simply by chanting the holy names.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Superficial Living

How many friends do you have who can honestly, sincerely, confidentially reveal their minds to you? Not many. People in this world have a tendency for very superficial relationships with one another because it is a superficial society. The natural surroundings that bring about a natural lifestyle are so hard to find. We are living in a society of concrete, oil and plastic and exhaust fumes, and so much quarrelling for unnecessary paraphernalia and sense enjoyment. Where do you find natural water? You have to buy it in a bottle, imported from 100 miles away. Where do you find natural air? The basic ingredients of our life - natural air and water - they are nowhere to be found. We have to go great distances just to breathe properly. And, of course, we are a product of our environment, we become like what we associate with. Therefore we become very artificial, very superficial, very unnatural. And therefore our relationships with one another are of the same quality, unfortunately. In these circumstances, how wonderful it is that God reveals His mind to us in the scriptures, and that He loves each one of His children intimately!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Radhanath Swami on A Friend in Need

God is the supreme friend of all the living beings. He is the supreme friend because He never abandons us. The real quality of a friend is when we are most in need he will not abandon us. That’s when we really know who our friends are - when we are most in need. Most people only want us when we assist them in their sense gratification. At the time of death who is there to stand by our side? Not about standing by the side of our body, but standing by the side of our soul? We may have so many people standing around the bed crying, "Oh don’t leave us. We enjoy you too much, please don’t leave us." But how many of them are standing by the side of our soul to take our soul to a better place, to save our soul from a worse place? There is only one person who is our friend at the time of our death – that is God. So, He is the supreme friend and of course, any devotee who is acting as a representative of God in our life is also our real friend because he is representing our supreme friend. So as the supreme friend, as the most confidential and intimate friend of the soul of every living being, God reveals His mind in confidence to us in the revealed scriptures. And in our prayers we are meant to reveal our minds to Him in confidence with faith and trust. This loving exchange is meant to take place between the sincere devotee and God.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Exemplary Leaders

What the great men do the common men follow. Therefore, the leaders on every level of society must set the proper example of God consciousness for others to follow. Whatever position of leadership one takes, one must set the example of how to perfect one's life. And who are the leaders? The guru a leader. If the guru is not setting proper example of how to perfect one's life, he has no business being a guru. The parents, the father and the mother, especially the father is a leader. If the father and mother are not living exemplary God consciousness lives by the authority of God, they have no right to be a father or mother; they’re cheaters. The king has no right to be a king; a politician has no right leading his people unless he is setting a perfect example of God conscious life for others to follow. This is the first responsibility each one of us has in our life - to set an example for those who are depending on us. This responsibility is more important than feeding the bellies of our dependents, because the animals are doing that too, even the demons are feeding the bellies, clothing and giving nice houses to their dependents. These things are required, that is surely a responsibility, but are secondary. The first responsibility is how we are setting an example for the world to be influenced by how we are guiding our dependents and our devotion to God.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Correcting Our Own Faults

We should welcome whatever comes in our life with gratitude. We should see that everything is an opportunity for us to purify us consciousness. Especially the things that we like the least, especially the things that disturb our minds the most - these are the most special loving gifts of God. Because in the face of that experience, we have the greatest opportunity to become God conscious, if we simply remain fixed in our service in this condition of humility. We should always be looking for our own faults. We should never ever look for the faults in others. In looking for the faults in others, we simply become further incriminated in our false ego and whims. Thus we become further incriminated in forgetfulness of God. We should look for our own faults and see how God reveals to us our faults. He reveals to us our own lack of God consciousness, our own lack of humility, our own lack of faith. By His mercy then, we can take advantage of this glorious situation and pray to the Lord for help, pray to the spiritual master for strength, which is the only means of overcoming this attack in our life. And God helps those who help themselves.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Getting Closer to God

We should not complain when things go wrong in our life. We should never blame this person or that person; we should see that everything is happening by the sweet will of the Lord to give us the perfect opportunity to get closer to Him. But it is the exact reverse with us. When everything is going our way - when we are in good health, when people are properly respecting us - we think, "Oh, yes God, You are very kind upon me". But a really intelligent person thinks, when he disrespected, misunderstood, when things have been taken away from him, when he is losing everything, has been battered and smashed and kicked by the modes of the material nature, that God is very nice. And that this is just the opportunity that I have been waiting for, to surrender. In that condition, the intelligent person takes the opportunity and increases his humble devotion to the Supreme Lord. And this is the qualification of a sincere devotee - one who, even in the most negative conditions of life, can see the divine merciful hand of God behind the whole scene. This is the very glorious lesson - to get an opportunity to get closer to God in trying situations - that is illustrated time and again by God through His devotees.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Radhanath Swami on An Offering Fit For God

On the journey from material life to spiritual life, we should know that God will take us through various experiences. Sometimes He will drag us through mud, sometimes He will put us on a golden chariot. To qualify us to become His eternal associate, we have to be perfectly purified to be offered to God by our spiritual master. Just like when we offer food to the Lord, we only offer the best food, similarly the spiritual master is very apt to make each devotee an offering to God. But God is so kind that He helps spiritual master to make us into a worthy offering. And how does He do that? Just like when crude rice comes out of the field, there is a big shell around it - nobody can eat it except the animals. So they take the rice and they beat it many times. Then the husk is broken and the rice can be offered to the Lord. So we have this husk of ahankara or false ego that is covering our divine quality. The spiritual master is like the farmer who just puts all the rice on the ground. And then God takes it from there - to run us over by the cars, horses, cows and trucks of material difficulties till finally when the last trace of this husk of false ego is completely separated from our existence. Then at that time we can be presented at the altars in the temple of God for Him to taste the sweetness of our qualities of devotion. This is what we have to go through, if we are to be eligible to be offered to the Lord. We should accept all experiences in life; this is the perfect opportunity to help us to advance in God Consciousness. If we always see everything in this way, there will be no impediments to our spiritual progress.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Final Exam

If one truly wants to understand how to live, how to perfect life, one must follow in the footsteps of the great souls. The great souls teach us how to live through their every word and act. But they are also teaching us how to die. People are very anxious, especially in today’s society, to learn how to live very nicely. People are very anxious to accumulate wealth, prestige, power, and luxuries so they could live nicely. But they do not understand that more important in this world than learning how to live nicely, is learning how to die nicely. Because death is the final exam. What is the use of going through all the types of education, all the classes and seminars, and reading all the books, but failing the final exam? One has to start all over again. Everything we do culminates in how we perform in the final exam, and how we perform in the final exam is dependent on how we prepare ourselves during the course. This human life is a course. We are all in school, whatever our age. The purpose of this course of human form of life is to graduate. Graduate means we no longer have to go to school - graduate out from this material conception of life and return to the spiritual world.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Radhanath Swami on The Manual for Life

Scriptures are the guides of how to live in this world perfectly. They are enunciated by the creator. If we want to learn how to utilize a machine properly, especially if the machine is quite complex, we must learn from the manufacturer. If we buy a highly sophisticated computer system, the manufacturer does not give it to us in a box and say, now you figure out how to use it. Will any one buy such a computer? There is a very sophisticated detailed owner’s manual that is included. Any expensive piece of machinery we buy, on the front page of the owner’s manual, it will say do not even attempt to use it without thoroughly reading this manual. So the scripture is the word of God. The Lord Himself is the only one qualified to install religion within this world. And the saintly person is one whose every word act is an illustration of the conclusion of this scripture. The qualification of a saintly person has nothing to do with performing magical tricks or juggling words. The real sadhu is one who simply, humbly, repeats the word of God without change and lives accordingly.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Enthusiasm and Patience

There are two essential principles that compose the quality of a surrendered soul - enthusiasm and patience. If we simply have enthusiasm but no patience, then our work will be very hard and we will almost certainly give up because of not getting results. "Lord, I am praying every day, I am living regulatedly, I have renounced so many things of this world, I am working so hard, and still I am not getting what I want. I have done so much for You, what You have given me in return? I resign. What kind of God are You? You are not a good gentleman. You are not a good businessman. I’ll go somewhere else. I’ll enjoy." That’s what happens to our enthusiasm, if we do not have patience. Now, what happens if we have patience without enthusiasm? Then we just wait, wait, wait, and wait. Just like a man who says, "Well, I am very patient to get my PhD, but I am not going to go to college, I am not going to study. I would just wait." So one must have enthusiasm and patience.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Radhanath Swami on Living By Religious Principles

We should live by the philosophy of the religious literatures. First we should hear about the message of God from authoritative sources in the association of saintly people and then we must put what we hear into action. We should also learn to dedicate ourselves in the service of the Lord completely. We should dovetail our lives in such a way that regular religious discussions become an important part of our lives. A life based on religious principles will not only transform our own self but will also help in reconstructing our society in such a way that it will give positive benefits to the citizens of the entire world.