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.