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.