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.