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.