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.