Sunday, December 29, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Developing Faith

We must know how important it is to hear from the scriptures and the great souls with a humble disposition of mind, so that we can really and truly understand spiritual principles and gradually develop faith. The whole purpose of scriptural knowledge is to give us some faith, faith in a higher principle and a faith in the truth. Knowledge is not just so that we can become a jnani and say, "Yes, I know the truth." The whole purpose of this knowledge is to change our life, to change our whole outlook on reality, to teach us how to give up sinful activities and live for a higher purpose. By hearing from the great souls, by learning how to practically understand those truths beyond our experience, we develop a faith, we develop a conviction, we develop a vision. The purpose of this vision is to change the direction of our life, to change our whole way of thinking, feeling and willing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Radhanath Swami on A True Devotee

The fruit of spiritual knowledge is to become humble and serve the Lord and His devotees. Although very elaborately and very philosophically mentioned in the scriptures, the essence of the highest knowledge in all creation is very simple. A true devotee is one who never finds faults in others. The scriptures do not say that one who is very learned, or one who is very austere, is a good devotee. One who is a humble servant of the Lord will never find faults in others. On the other hand, he will always see a positive opportunity to bring others up in spiritual consciousness. He is so humble and soft that he doesn’t feel he is entitled to find fault in others. This is one of the essential symptoms of one who has changed his heart, and one who is actually tasting the higher principle of glorifying the Lord.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Superficial Belief

People do not have the access to experience a realization of the knowledge of the Absolute. Because of their conditioned state of consciousness, their tendency is to try to relate everything to their own experience. That is the nature of conditioned ego, that it must comprehend something on the basis of its own relative experiences in this world. That is why so many people have such a difficult time in really, deeply & truly believing in God. Most people in religions throughout the world say yes I believe in God, because they want to believe in God for the sense of security it gives. They are afraid that life will be so utterly futile if there is no God. But deep down in their heart of hearts, they really do not know. They fail to admit it to themselves, what to speak of others in the society.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Seeking Pleasure

Pleasure is the motivating force within everyone’s life. If we analyze scrutinizingly everything we do, the motivation is the pursuance of pleasure. The Bhagavad-Gita describes the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion, and ignorance. According to these modes, different classes of living beings seek pleasure in different ways. Those in the mode of ignorance seek pleasure through intoxication, sleep, and violent and cruel acts upon others. Those in the mode of passion seek pleasure through amassing great fortunes, getting prestige and indulging in sensual activities. And those in the mode of goodness take pleasure in doing good for others - the feeling that I am giving in charity, I have lent my helping hand for another’s benefit. But in all cases we are looking for the same elusive object - pleasure.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Accepting Austerity

Austerity means to be willing to accept inconvenience for the purification of one’s heart and in the service of God and humanity. Unless one is willing to accept sacrifice or inconvenience, nothing great can be accomplished in life. When it comes to making money to provide for oneself and one's family, one is willing to accept tremendous sacrifice. Just to feed their families and keep them happy, people are willing to do anything. Some people say that spiritual life is very difficult. But life itself is very difficult. The question we have to ask is not whether something is difficult or not, but whether is right or not. If something is true, we should be willing to do anything and give everything for that purpose.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Finding Happiness

The soul is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. Because the soul is full of bliss, the soul is constantly looking for unlimited bliss and peace. When the soul is trying to find peace or pleasure through the temporary vehicle of the body that is designed to grow old, get diseased and die, what real peace can we find? What real happiness can we share with another? Some of us may say that death is a long way ahead of us. We are still young, we are still strong, let’s enjoy now. There is nothing to fear. But the way of this world is that everything is uncertain. You can make many guarantees through insurance agencies and other means that everything will be provided so that you are protected. But how much you can protect yourself in this world? By the force of time everything is in the process of destruction. Time is terrorizing everyone’s life.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Worshipping the Deity

The Lord allows Himself to take the form of a deity in which we can touch Him. Just by touching the deity, we can be purified – if it is with proper devotion and service spirit. This is how kind the Lord is to us. A real worshipper of the Lord worries about the deity - he cooks for Him, dresses Him and puts Him to sleep. Does the Lord need someone to dress Him and cook for Him? The Lord never sleeps, but the deity sleeps! A true worshipper will risk his life to protect the deity of the Lord. Does the slayer of mighty demons and the controller of Time itself need our protection? But this is how Bhakti works. God actually takes a position where He is in need, because that sense of need increases our feeling of devotion. The Lord stages certain things in certain ways to have the maximum effect of purifying our hearts and invoking our emotions of love and surrender. The Lord, in His deity form, facilitates this relationship of love.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Milk for The Lord

The Lord takes a subordinate position out of love. He likes taking orders from His own devotee. When Krishna is hungry, He asks Yashoda for milk. Now factually Krishna is the cause of all causes. That means He is the cause of all milk. Every mother’s breast, whether it’s human, or cow or elephant or camel or buffalo, all milk exists only by Krishna’s divine arrangement. He is the cause of all causes. But yet, out of intimacy, out of love, He cries, He is dependent on Mother Yashoda to nourish Him. This is the highest revelation of the Absolute Truth. This is because, beyond even liberation, is the intimate, ecstatic relationships of love between the Lord and His devotees. And this Love is completely transcendental to material conceptions. Without love and devotion, we can never understand why the Lord cries for His mother's milk.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Ahankar

The bewildered soul, under the illusion of false ego, thinks himself to be the doer of activities. But actually, within this material creation, everything is being done by the influence of the three modes of material nature. And beyond that, God is the controller of the material nature. So, we want to take credit, we want to give blame, but when the Lord descends in this world, He is very eager to give credit to those who are pure in heart. He takes joy in loving relationships. Like in the history of Lord Rama, at every step, the Lord’s love for His devotees makes Him give credit to His devotees more than Himself; and even when He did something, He staged it in such a way that it was due to the blessings of His devotees. This is a very important lesson, because what keeps us in this world is our very deep rooted tendency to take credit for what we do, to take credit for what we don’t do, and to give blame for what we do – this is ahankar or false ego.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Sacred Celebrations

All over the world there are millions of people celebrating festivals. But like most spiritual occasions, not so many know why. It is a characteristic of kali yuga that even sacred things are perceived very superficially. Often times religious festivals of all religions are more of an opportunity for some sort of social entertainment than for genuinely cultivating love of God – which is the purpose of every great religion and the purpose of every spiritual observance. The Srimad Bhagavatam tells us that whatever occupation we perform, whatever spiritual activities we do, if in the end it does not awaken within us a deep attraction to hear about, to chant about, to serve and to love God, then we miss the point. We have wasted our time.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Conquering Our Greatest Enemy

The greatest danger is not to know who and what your enemy is. When you trust somebody as your friend but you do not know that he is not your wellwisher, he is actually your enemy in disguise, such a person can do a lot of intense internal damage to your life. According to the scriptures, the ultimate original enemy is ignorance or avidya. It is our enemy in disguise, and the only way to conquer it is through knowledge. We are not aware that we are not the physical components of the body, we are the consciousness within the body. When the consciousness leaves, the body is dead. The nature of that consciousness is the highest science and that is the most important of forms of knowledge.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Knowledge and Service

The whole purpose of all knowledge is to bring us to the point of devotional service. Unless we apply that principle of humble devotional service, all the knowledge we accumulate is like a jewel on the head of a serpent - it looks very beautiful, but what is the use? Actually, the jewel on the serpent makes the serpent more dangerous because it is so beautiful and it makes the serpent very attractive. We want to be with the serpent because it has a nice jewel. But the fact is, the serpent is just as venomous and as envious as a serpent without a jewel. So therefore, anyone may appear to be a very great, learned saint, he may speak very eloquently on the scriptures, and everyone may want to associate themselves with him, but his life is a very different thing if he has not adopted the humble spirit of service.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Temporary Manifestations

We are not this body, we are the eternal soul. The elements of matter - earth, water, fire, air and ether are permanent but their manifestations when they are mixed are temporary. Sometimes earth, water, fire, air and ether formulate themselves into an earthen pot. That pot may last for a few years until ultimately it dissolves back into the earth. The form has changed but the elements remain exactly the same. They transform from one form to another. In this way the material energy is eternal and its ingredients are also eternal, it is only the specific manifestations that are temporary. And we are such crazy fools that despite all our lofty philosophies, we still cannot overcome our attachment to the misconception that we are the grossest, most externalized transformation of these material ingredients. We have not even come to the realization that we are not composed of earth, water, fire, air and ether. If we did, we would understand that these are permanent ingredients of the temporary physical body in which we reside.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Realizing the Scriptures

We have the highest, most intimate and confidential of all knowledge in the Vedas in the Srimad Bhāgavatam, which is how we are not this body. We should give up the bodily concept of life. Of course, we read the beautiful pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna also. But when we come to this highest knowledge of body and soul, we want to skip through this because we already have heard it so many times. We want new tastes, new nectar, we want the juice of newer and newer subject matter of the scriptures. We feel we already know this and have heard it many times, now we want to hear something else. But the problem is we do not know. Therefore we must be continuously reminded, otherwise everything else we learn will be misunderstood utterly. Intellectualization of scriptural study is not very impressive to a sadhu. Realization is impressive to a sadhu. And realization is manifested though humility and devotion. And that is the most important principle.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Purposeful Living

Duration of life is not a very important quality. It is said in the holy scriptures, better one moment of full consciousness of the Truth than a long, long life simply dreaming in illusion. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lived for 48 years. Shankaracharya lived only for 32 years, Lord Jesus Christ 31 years, and see the mark they made on the world. See the dignity of their purpose and their lives. Most of the old people today do not know what to do. They may play cards or checkers, simply surviving with no purpose or aim, just trying to avoid death day by day. Who thinks about those people after they die? They are gone, they are forgotten very soon in the pages of history. But these great souls, they are remembered even five thousand years later. An intelligent person, a wise man or woman, will identify with the teachings of the scriptures, will know that old age and death are the problems I have to face and will seek out the answers on how to live a meaningful life that will make an impact on society.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Power and the Powerful

The Lord is the doer; He has the power which we all live by. He gives us the power to see, to hear, to smell, to taste, to walk, to talk, to think. He gives us all the facilities of this world. But He also gives us independence: we have the choice to properly use or misuse all that He has given us. We have the choice to use it in His service, or to use it for our own selfish purposes. The power is coming from the Lord, all we have is the choice how to use it. Therefore the greatest foolishness to take credit for anything. We are just instruments, we are puppets, either directly or indirectly, because the power is ultimately coming from Him. Whatever we have is His gift. But God can also take it away. He will take it away just to prove to us and give us the realization that it was never ours in the first place. It was never ours to enjoy either with our senses, our body, or with our mind through the credit and the prestige that comes with whatever we have done. It is all meant to be enjoyed by God alone.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Influence of Prayers

Whenever a devotee who has love for God in their heart prays for anyone, it’s just a matter of time that that love of God will awaken. That is the power of prayer, because God loves His devotees so much. He will never allow His devotees’ prayers to go in vain. Thus, somehow or the other to become dear to a devotee is the greatest aspiration for all of us. Even if we have envy, deceitfulness, harshness, or any other unwanted quality within our hearts, but if we take the shelter of God, He will transform that hatred into love, envy into compassion, arrogance into humility. If we simply allow Krishna to dance on our tongues while we chant with sincerity, and we have the prayers of Vaishnavas around us, these anarthas within us will be transformed and the awakening of the love of God will take place.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Radhanath Swami on The Source of Strength

The real and only strength is spiritual strength because all apparent material strength is completely resting upon the spiritual platform. People may be strong because of their knowledge or because of their physical powers or because of their wealth or their influence over others or their beauty. In so many ways people can conquer others by strength but none of that can be exhibited in a dead body. What humor or prowess or intelligence can a dead body have? As soon as the soul leaves, the body is nothing but a dead lump of matter. Actually, it is the spirit soul that is the source of all strength.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Radhanath Swami on The River of Love

The Ganges from Gangotri to the Bay of Bengal is thousands of miles. Nothing can stop the current of the Ganges - no amount of problems, no situations, no attachments. Similarly, nothing should stop the flow of affection from our hearts toward God. In essence, this is what the final teachings of the Gita mean - to perform your worldly duties according to Dharma. Krishna explains, “Abandon all varieties of religion and surrender to Me”. Surrender on an external platform means obedience to the order of the Lord. But the internal quality of surrender is the direction in which the river of affection flows from our heart. We have to pray to let our attraction be constantly drawn unto the Lord, without being diverted to anyone or anything else.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Radhanath Swami on The Culture of Service

We read in the Mahabharat that when Quessn Kunti was just a child, she was very loving and charming in all her mannerisms, very anxious to serve and to please even though she was a princess. Even though she had such immense riches, so many servants, she always remained in a very menial service attitude right from her childhood. This is culture. Culture is when we learn how to be loving servants, how to always be trying to please the elders and the great souls. Generally we find that children today are very selfish and disobedient and very self-centered. They want to keep things, they want to possess and fight over them. They want attention. Queen Kunti was simply aspiring for the loving service of her father, of her friends and especially of the great sadhus that came to their home. And one who pleases the Lord’s devotees, the great souls, are given the greatest fortune. Infact, the greatest fortune is in that service itself. We should aspire for nothing else.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Radhanath swami on Faith and Science

The scientific approach is that I will only accept if there is tangible proof, I will believe it if you can show me. If you cannot show me God, if you cannot put Him before me to see, to touch, to smell, to taste, to experience directly with my senses, how do you expect me to believe it and remain scientific? This is a great fallacy because factually everything in your life that you believe is true, you have no means to prove it directly through sense perception and yet you accept it. Gandhi was the father of India. How do you know? Can you see him, can you meet him? You cannot show me Gandhi any more than I can show you God with your senses. How do you know that Mahatma Gandhi existed? Through books and through persons who knew him, through faith. There are thousands of times more books explaining the nature and the history of God’s events in this world than there are about Mr. Gandhi. There are saints and sages from all traditions throughout history who explain that they have met him, they have experienced him. Faith is a part of our life, which is the basis of practically everything we believe to be true. And this faith is on what we never will perceive with our senses.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Radhanath Swami on The All-Powerful Time

The body is the temple of God. It is not our body. It is a great illusion to think anything is mine. Realistically, if we own something, we have control over that thing. Now we are calling this body ours. Do any of us want to grow old, do any of us want to get disease, do any of us want to die? It is forced upon us. Therefore we are not the proprietors of this body. It is Time which is consuming our life’s duration, it is the power of Time that we are evicted from this body, we are told get out after a certain number of days. So Time is the real proprietor or controller, or owner of this body.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Solving the Greatest Problem

Through all our intelligence, all our efforts in this world, we are very anxious to find a solution to problems. Even businesses are based on trying to eradicate people’s problems – people grow food to solve the problems of hunger, you buy tooth paste to solve the problems of cavities, you wear clothes because you don’t want to be a social misfit or to solve the problem of cold or heat. Throughout our lives we are endeavoring to solve the problems that face us, but there is one problem that is guaranteed to be faced by each and every one of us. Through all science and technology, we have no solution to this problem and that is the problem of death.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Radhanath Swami on the Science of God

Everything we have ever witnessed within our life proves that something comes from something. Science means to be consistent. If everything comes from something, can everything come from nothing? If everything comes from nothing, it is scientifically not possible because what ever we have must come from either an object or a mixture of objects which should have all the characterisitics of the final product. That is physics. How can something with quality come from nothing with no quality? There is no rational explanation. There is no scientific understanding to this – if something could come from nothing, then there is no God. But if everything comes from something, then that something is God. What are the qualities of that something? What is the nature of that something? That is a great science to understand.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Action and Reaction

For every action there is an equal corresponding reaction. There is no question of exceptions. Anything you throw up will come down – this is the law of nature. If you commit violent activity to another, you cannot escape the reaction. That violence must come back to you. Exactly when, exactly how, that you may not be able to understand the detail, but it will be an equal corresponding suffering which will come back to you. If you give in charity, it must come back to you. Ignorance of the law is no excuse to breaking the law. If I put my hand in fire, I am burnt whether I believe its going to burn or not. The laws of nature are never subjected to what you believe. The laws act regardless.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Channelizing Our Intelligence

The air pollution, the water pollution, the wars taking place, the prejudice and hate throughout the world, the putting of nuclear waste in the ground, the horrible diseases like cancer and AIDS which are born of misuse of our own bodies, the breaking down of the ultraviolet layers of the ozone covering which protect us from the sun, and so many other innumerable problems – are they caused by the birds and the beasts? Or the frogs and the grasshoppers? They are all caused by human beings. Because human beings are trying to use the conscious power of discrimination towards satisfying our lower nature like the insects and animals, we cause a complete mess. We become endlessly greedy and envious and proud and lusty. What is happening to the whole planet and the suffering of all living beings is a direct result of that. Therefore, it is very important for us to apply our good intelligence for the ultimate goal of life which is to understand who I am.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Being Connected

The greatest musicians study under other great musicians. The greatest artists study under other great artists. The greatest lawyers, doctors, and professors study under other great lawyers, doctors and professors. So why should we take spiritual life so cheaply? To study every other subject matter seriously, we try to find a teacher to teach us. But we think that in approaching the science of God, we can just figure out our own way. If we are truly and deeply serious about finding God, then the Lord within our heart will direct us to a teacher who can show us the path. Even the great personalities who don’t need teachers accept teachers just to show us how important it is. Jesus accepted John the Baptist and Krishna became the disciple of His own devotee, Sandipani Muni, just to show the world the importance of being connected to a teacher. When genuine faith awakens within our heart then we understand what is a guru.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Beauty in Creation

Every sound is a manifestation coming from God, but God is that supreme source from which everything emanates. The sunshine is emanating from the sun, but there is difference between the sun and the sunshine, and at the same time there is no difference. The sunshine is the energy, the sun is the energetic source. God is the energetic source of all that exists. Everything in this creation is that energy emanating from that supreme source. If you understand the nature of God, you perceive all of His energy as non-different than Him. But at the same time you see difference. The difference is that this is His energy, this is His love. But you understand that Krishna or God is the source of all this. Everything becomes beautiful when we see it in relationship with the source.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Facing Reversals

Reversals, even the most difficult ones, have the potential to be the greatest opportunities in our life. The nature of material existence, even when we come to the spiritual path, is that we are conditioned that things should go our own way. Material existence is a consciousness by which I am the controller, I am the enjoyer, I am the proprietor. And therefore we very much are accustomed to expect things to go our way. And if things don’t go our way depending on our nature we may become angry, vengeful, we may fight, we may give up, become depressed, commit suicide, withdraw from society - these are among the different ways the conditioned soul deals with his emotional crisis that “things are not going my way”. Now when we come to spiritual life, we still have our same conditionings. It is not that as soon as we come to the spiritual path, we are pure.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Virtuous Saints

All the hundreds and thousands of saints and sages all over the world shared some qualities that were consistent among them. They were all perfectly in peace with themselves. They were sacrificing their very lives for the upliftment of others. They were merciful, compassionate, and they all spoke of a God and of a soul which was beyond birth and death. Are all these great persons from all cultures throughout the world in illusion or are they liars? Have they all come to cheat us? They were all ascetics, they were not receiving anything in return for their services, for their sacrifices to the upliftment of humanity. Tens and thousands of them throughout the world, throughout history, with thousands of years and thousands of miles separating them, and they all taught the same thing. Were they all under the spell of believing something that cannot exist? How is it possible that they all displayed the same characteristics which are the most virtuous and glorious that have ever been manifested by human beings throughout history? We should open our minds and hearts to accept the possibility that what they say has some validity and truth.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Facing Death

Death is unknown, it is a mystery and therefore people are afraid of death, for themselves and their loved ones. When one of them does die, it’s very sad and it increases our own fear of death. This fear of death is an intricate part of every person’s life and you can try to forget it. But you can only forget it for a short time. You can hide yourself from the reality of your ultimate destiny. But eventually you have to face it. It’s all around you, it’s in all the newspapers, it’s in your families, you are getting older, it’s creeping up upon you. To face a problem and to try and understand and solve that problem is the true glory of a human being. To close your eyes and run away from the problem or ignore the problem is ignorance. And most people, even the most highly educated ones, when it comes to this most important problem of life, they close their eyes, they don’t want to think about it, they don’t want to hear about it because they do not know the solution. Because they believe that life or death is simply whatever they want to believe.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Reciprocating with Nature

Today in the environment, ecological problems are looming over us. That is because we are not honoring with gratitude what God has given us through Mother Nature. Nature is like our mother. She is providing everything to nourish us, to sustain us. You cannot just take from your mother without honoring, respecting and giving back. Like we honor our own mother and father, this is one of our commitments too. Nature is like our mother too and all living beings are like her children. Exploiting her and not reciprocating with her needs is causing great problems. The basis of these problems is spiritual negligence, and the lack of proper perception and appreciation of God's creation and our fellow living beings around us.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Radhanath Swami on The Substance of Life

Death has to happen to everyone, in one way or other, inevitably and eventually. What is really important till then? During the time of life is when we actually can do something. What values did we leave behind for the world? What example did we gift to our children and to the world around us? What did we actually do to develop and show our love for God and for humanity and all other beings? That is all that really matters, because whatever money we make, whatever fame and power we acquire, whatever political successes we may have, it is all like the waves, ripples and foam on the surface of the Ganges. It is all coming and going; none of it has much substance. But to awaken to the eternal truth, that is the greatest success of life.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Willing to Follow the Divine Will

Real wealth is within. One could be a billionaire and not be happy at all. If there is no real foundation, and if you build a massive beautiful sky scraper, a big storm is going to make it all topple to the ground. Any negative situation in our life could cause our entire fulfillment and satisfaction to come crumbling down, unless we have a strong foundation of connection to the Divine, and that connection comes by using our free will for God's purpose. God has given all living enities the free will to choose between right and wrong. The essential purpose of giving us free will is to choose selflessness over selfishness, humility over arrogance, charity over exploitation, love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of vengeance. And to choose these virtues is to do the will of God by putting aside our own selfish greed, lust, envy, anger, arrogance, to be an instrument of God’s will.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Love - The Mystical Essence

Whether we are Jews, Christians, Hindus, Parsis, Muslims, Sikhs, or even atheistic, the tendency of the masses is to use God for their personal benefit. God is there for me. When I need something God is my order supplier. And it is alright to think that whatever I need, let me ask God for it. When I am in danger, let me ask God to help me. When I want success, let me ask God for help. That’s good, because we are recognizing a superior divine power above ourselves. But in every great religion, there is a mystical essence which goes beyond that. This essence is love, and most people miss out on this. Love is not to take, love is to give. Everyone says God give me this, God give me that, God I want this. But eventually we must learn to say, "God, I love You. What can I give You? What do You want me to do for You?" That is the higher principle.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Radhanath Swami on A Time to Reflect

Prioritizing integrity and values within one’s life, especially in today’s world where there is so much stress, so many demands and temptations, is really important. Sitting on the banks of a river, watching the current rushing by, you can realize that if you are in the river, you really get tossed around. You have not much time to think about anything else except the next wave that will be hitting you. But if you are sitting on the bank, you can observe the river with detachment. Similarly when we get side-tracked with the external activities in the demands of life, we may miss the point, the essence of where we are really going. We should take the time out to stand back and reflect on what really is of true value in life.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Greatness of Character

Who is a great person? People come to adore great people or envy great people. And people like to become great in their own way somehow or the other, but what is actual greatness? What are the actual qualities of a great soul? Is it greatness to have a lot of money? Some of the most degraded people in the world are billionaires and millionaires. We see very wealthy people are funding terrorism and cruelty to innocents. Is that great? Is greatness fame, being a good singer, being a great dancer or having a beautiful body or being very strong and athletic or being heroic? According to the universal principle of all spiritual paths, one's greatness has to be estimated by one's ability to tolerate provoking situations. It is easy to make a show of being great, but when you are challenged, when provoking situations face you, then is the actual test of the substance of your character.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Radhanath Swami on A Humbling Experience

The great problem we face in life is that we all want to be in control of our destiny, today and tomorrow. But the problem is, no one is in control. There are higher powers, dictating circumstances upon everyone; we have control over our future destiny by our activities today. That is the law of karma. But what is coming upon us is something not always under our control. Ultimately we all are being controlled by time. You loose your beauty, you loose your memory, you loose your physical capacities, does any one want to be old? But can anyone stop the process? It is a humbling experience to live in this world, because we are not the controllers.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Relations with God

The Lord has inconceivable potencies. An ordinary man may deal in one way with one person and in a completely different way with another in order to make profit or maintain a particular friendship. Each personality of every human being has many diversifications. A police officer, when he catches a criminal, is very harsh and very severe. When he comes home to his children, he is very soft, very warm, very loving. And when he comes under the subjugation of his wife, he is like a pet dog! In this way one single man can have many, many different personality faces according to his relationships in this world. God is the supreme personality. And therefore, His inconceivable opulence is that, of all living entities, which are innumerable, He can reciprocate, can relate to each and every one of them uniquely, individually and personally. He does not have the same relationship with any two spirit souls.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Radhanath Swami on Getting Better

When we go to the hospital, as soon as we walk in, we are not free from disease. Usually after we walk in, there is more pain than before we walked in. They may cut us up, stitch us, do so many painful tests and exams. They will give us as many painkillers as we want. There is a lot of pain, many restrictions and many problems. So when we go to a hospital as a patient, expect things to get worse before they get better. Because that is the process of taking out the disease - restrictions of diet, restrictions of movements and medication. You are not even allowed out until they discharge you. Similarly spiritual life is like coming into a hospital for the heart. There are going to be a lot of difficulties that we wouldn’t have to deal with if we just remained in the diseased condition, without trying to get better.