Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My experiences with H.H.Radhanath Swami

I have been writing periodically for this blog since Nov 2007. Mostly I try to share my expressions of Krishna Consciousness either directly or indirectly by quoting scriptures or previous spiritual masters.

Sometime, I reveal my inner thoughts just plainly without much philosophy. I say rarely because I want to keep the blog about Krishna and helping people understand the wonderful treasure that is in understanding Krishna and His mutlivarious representations in the form of philosophy, music, science etc.

But today, I would like to share my own personal journey with a very special person. That is H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

You see even before I got introduced to Krishna Consciousness "accidently" back in the late 90s, I had strong intuition on a higher power. A power beyond our own analytical brains. I also had an intuition, rather strongly, that I cannot access that power in my current way of living. In other words, I knew strongly that my way of living and thinking strongly hindered with connecting to a higher reality. But, the arrogant person that I was, I thought to myself, why do I ever need such a connection at all? You see, I did not deny the higher power (like an atheist). I acknowledged the power but just plain arrogant and lazy to see any practical revelance to my day to day life and hence had no real need to connect or know.

One thing intuitively ringed strongly in my head since childhood was that "A Truth" can solve our mundane problems, every single individual if he or she practiced the "truth", in my opinion, can live a happier life and closer to a higher power or what we call God. But to me that "truth" seemed all too impractical and elusive.

Then, after getting introduced to Krishna by the infinite mercy of Srila Prabhupada, I realzed a reality which descended from a different dimension. A dimension that has no limitations. Merely experiencing this endless probabilities in the form spiritual knowledge gave me the chills. Imagine we go to school to study subjects that have knowledge pertaining to limitless happiness and love for one another. Something like going to Disney World but only to enjoy the rides endlessly without getting bored or hackneyed but rather the pleasure increases. I saw this possibility of unending happiness by studying Srila Prabhupada's description of a sweet and loving God we call Krishna. Then, I contrasted this ideology with the ideology we live in the 21st century. Surely, to my novice brain, it was like day and night. Without second thoughts, I knew this is what I want - Krishna through Prabhupada.

Yet, in this grand beauty called Krishna, I had this old yearning although sub-conscious to find out this man who is working on the self cleaning within rather than without. No doubt, Srila Prabhupada filled that void, however, Srila Prabhupada to me was a larger than life figure that only he can occupy. I was inspired by the sheer fearlessness, tact and shyness of this great personality whom all lovingly call as Srila Prabhupada. I wanted to be in the shadow of Prabhupada but at the same time see others also relating to Krishna in their own quaint ways.

I guess I wanted a father figure to show me how it is done practically but at the same time appealing to the inner most sanctums of my heart. Honestly, I was afraid there is no such leperchaun character that can fill that void in the deep recesses of my heart. But I was convinced Krishna is much more deeper relative to my "shallow" heart. So I hoped that someday I will meet my mystery man who will guide me the way I want to be guided. This I say not with arrogance but like a small child who wants his father to say the right things at the right time just to show that it is the father who perfectly understands the child. I guess I wanted a perfect father to help me in my fledgling faith to practically guide me among my many insecruities and deviations. While I feel and realize that Srila Prabhupada fills that void in a grandfather type way, still, for me to continue this rather introspective journey, I was hoping to be inspired by a living character that only he dare occupies.

I know people argue that Srila Prabhupada lives forever. I also agree but still for me I believe that the torch of dharma is continuous and the torch of dharma should be carried on by faithful followers of faithful heroes. Srila Prabhupada was that faithful hero and for me H.H.Radhanath Swami was the faithful torch bearer to continue this torch of dharma. Like Srila Prabhupada, he is no less heroic. In his own sweet ways enchants my heart with his steadfast and uncompromising mannerism of Krishna. To me, he represented the ideal saying "strong as the thunderbolt, soft as the rose". His determination, will power and steadfastness is the story of Greek legends. How he single handedly crossed oceans just to know the truth is one for the fairy tales. Keep in mind, I did not know any of these stories till later. It is his soothing voice, precise wording, and compassionate tone that I know and set my heart as H.H.Radhanath Swami.

My connection with him was established by the grace of my wife and continued through the sound waves of his Krishna narrations. For him Krishna was not a poster figure. Krishna was real and alive. His narrations of establishing the truth striked my heart in such a way that it revealed my own deceptions. I was happy to have exposed my own deceptions!!

"A Truth" I somehow intuitively knew to be the truth since my early childhood, the truth I found no one posessing when growing up, the truth I thought was downplayed by modern day scholars and philosopers and academicians, the truth I thought no one (even the self proclaimed Godmen) cared about, that same truth which apparently the whole world rejected and forcibly threw away, that truth which I thought was a necessity & panacea for world problems but seemingly impractical and elusive was repeatedly exclaimed again and again and again by H.H.Radhanath Swami as the ultimate pinnacle of spiritual wisdom. He quelled my fears and doubts that it is indeed the panacea for world problems but at the same time practical and doable. His conviction convinced me. His position, realization and the essence on this matter revealed to me his inner mood towards his guru and Krishna. I was attracted to this inner mood!

The truth which I intuitively knew and galdly confirmed by H.H.Radhanath Swami as the pinncale of spiritual wisdom is HUMILITY. God cannot be accessed through any other medium but humility. Krishna is attracted by one opulence and that is humility of heart. H.H.Radhanath Swami among many of his godbrothers narrates all teachings, I think, through this core subject of humility. This is not simply a subjective conclusion from a mundane mind. It is the essence of Bhakti. This is confirmed by Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself in his famed Sikshastaka prayer.

trinad api sunicena
taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harihi

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

In order for us to constantly chant the Holy Names of God and engage in unalloyed bhakti, we must understand and realize our humble position. To me, this is the answer to all problems of life - Humility. This I knew intuitively to be the truth since childhood.

H.H.Radhanath Swami not only spoke about humility constantly but lived it. This was evident from the many stories I have heard through the internet and corroborated through other sources. The way he deals with his own struggles emulates the ideal character of a Vaishnava. Yes, there are envious people on this planet, but how to deal with them is another thing. H.H.Radhanath Swami perfectly fits the description and characteristics of a self-realized soul as enunciated by Krishna to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita.

This determination of character among all odds and humility of heart overwhelmed me to seek his blessings in my own spiritual journey. What more better way is there than to be his disciple and train under his tutilage on the art of determination and humility. By the mercy of my wife to whom I am forever indebted as she is the reason I got introduced to Guru Maharaj and by the mercy of my Godbrothers, and by the inconcievable plan of Krishna, I have had the opportunity to become his disciple.

Although, I have met him once or twice with combined time of 60 secs, I pray to Krishna to give me the desire to be the disciple he wants everyone to be. My experience with H.H.Radhanath Swami is purely through sound than physical. Yet, he attracts my heart and mind to do the right thing inspite of the multitude temptations around me.

His purity, determination of character, enthusiasm to spread the Holy Name, humility of heart, loyalty to his guru and the expressions of Krishna inspires me, moves me and gives me the impetus to carry on my own internal struggle and ultimately to connect with Krishna in a real personal way.

Guru Maharaj, you are a special soul sent by the higher power which I now know as Krishna to show us what it really means to be the "servant of the servant" - Thank you for accepting me. I am forever indebted to your grateful heart.

Hare Krishna

Monday, June 21, 2010

Difficult but possible

What does it mean to be humble?
Real humility is to truly from one’s heart accept I am the servant. How can I serve you and mean it. Not just say it but mean it. Back your words by action and be the servant.

What does it mean to be the servant?
To not be the enjoyer. To live for the pleasure of Krishna.

H.H.Radhanath Swami

Thursday, June 17, 2010

dark matter...oh it doesn't matter?

Dark Matter - does it exist or not...or perhaps in the minds of the scientists? Well...no one really knows is the real answer. Check out the link for more on dark matter.

This is a good example to show how modern science is all about about interpretation of data (piecemeal data) and not so much about reality.

No offense...I think modern science is simply misleading!

Hare Krishna

Monday, June 7, 2010


We are living in the age of exaggerations. Everything is exaggerated to its nth power to get the maximum mileage. Whether it is a small problem or big problem, everything is exaggerated. This is due to media explosion via all forms from the newspaper, television, internet and other avenues. Everything has to be splash news. This tends to portray an issue for not its real worth. As a result of this splash mentality, the torchbearers of information sharing are setting a standard whereby news with no firepower is not news worthy. Translating that to our mundane lives, this exaggerating culture sub-consciously influences the minds of people who have a desire to make the news. We may not desire to make the national news or the local news but perhaps our audience reach might be as small as my family or friends. Still our desire to be recognized and adored and ultimately be in the family news will push us to exaggerate incidents and make a splash out of every story we have experienced.

This exaggeration is detrimental to our interpretation of life. After all…ever since we are born and growing, we interpret life and life incidents and make future decisions accordingly. Ask any famous personality and he or she will have a childhood story to tell where their consciousness was molded. Therefore when we start to interpret life at a fairly young age and in the process molding our ideals, if we unduly weigh them, we are invariably pushing our own self to disappointment ultimately leading to depression, sleeplessness, and artificial suppressants for the future. Isn’t this the common story of child movie stars shooting to stardom at a fairly young age only to lose it after growing up and become depressed ultimately reverting to dangerous mind altering drugs for constant exaggerations or highs? They do this because they are not able to deal with extreme realities from exaggeration to common Joe in short time frame.

Therefore, the way to counteract such extreme realities is by taking a deep breath, looking around and interpreting my own life and life in general with a grain of salt. To take it one step further, to understand that our material positions and acquisitions are like flowing mercury, all the time changing and unstable. Understand that there is an unchanging phenomenon within the ever changing phenomenon. Revert back to that unchanging, primeval phenomenon by practicing a spiritual outlook to life. Experts who have mastered this art of connecting back to the unchanging phenomenon recommend meditation on the Holy Names. This type of meditation is best possible by chanting.

This chanting can keep us real, simple and help us interpret life as it is without much ups and downs. Life, then, becomes peaceful and ultimately happy.

Try chanting and see the difference.

Hare Krishna

Thursday, June 3, 2010

pep talk

Today, one person asked me a question. Normally I dont post personal Q&A on my blog. But I thought his question was generic in one sense although personal for the person. It is generic in the sense that I think every single individual face these moments in his or her life. Moments of despair and dejection. Not knowing how to proceed forward, more questions are raised than answered. The end result is depression.

I thought posting my response on the blog might help people who are seeking answers. The question was of personal nature, hence I removed all personal names and identities and pasted my overall generic response. The response is in second person.

Q: I feel everyone is happy around me but I am sad. It’s hard. What should I do?

A. To learn and ultimately succeed we need to study and apply from great masters. The verdict from them is clear. Look within and not without.

So here is a summary.

There are always two things one must know - the theory (philosophy) and practice (day to day application).

Here is the

Theory (philosophy):

Life is a series of incidents. These incidents can be

1. approached as it is (or)
2. approached with our own interpretation.

Point 2 above is basically that our interpretation is invariable filled with our own likes and dislikes. Henceforth, normally we interpret life incidents based on our liking and disliking. I like this person, hence what he said sounds nice and correct. I dont like this person, hence whatever he does is to insult me and hence incorrect. Like this...we interpret reality as my like or my dislike and not necessarily see the facts. The fact is simply the person talks or behaves in a particular fashion. Thats all.

Another example, your company gets a multi-million dollar project...yes very nice...or failed the project, hence not nice. You see the truth is that the company either got the project or did not get the project. Thats all. But immediately we put another layer of like (which translates to happy) and dislike (which translates to distress). So like this, in our whole life we are desparately trying very hard to always go from being unhappy (unlikable distress situation) to being happy (likable situation). In this struggle for existance and pursuit for happiness, we are ready to step on everyone and anything to achieve happiness which actually is simply the interpretation of reality manufactured in our mental factory. In other words, this interpretation is an illusion. In other words, this interpretation or this interpretation of happiness/distress is an illusion. It only exists in your mind. In this struggle for existance and pursuit for happiness, we are ready to go so far as losing our soul and integrity. Why all this fuss...the real truth is simply to fulfill our own illusory interpretation of life incidents which fundamentally stems from our own false-ego (which is another discussion).

Therefore, to answer your question in theory is that the sadness and anxiety you have expressed is simply a product of your fertile and active and uncontrolled mind. While the simple fact is people around you are just happy, you interpret this life incident of others being happy as you being left out, rejected and ignored and ultimately this feeling of rejection you are currently experiencing is causing sadness. But in reality...no one cares enough in this dog eat dog world that they are ready to waste their precious time on accepting you or rejecting you (they have better things to worry about besides you). They are like others simply passionate to step on everybody else for achieving the elusive happiness which unfortunately they will learn later in their lives that actually there is no happiness here. This enlightenment will come unfortunately late when everyone is about to face death.
Therefore, the great thinkers of Vedic India conclude that the uncontrolled mind is the root cause for our so called happiness and distress. Therefore the great minds of Vedic India recommend controlling the mind by maintaining a balanced equilibrium of the physical body and mental body. This segways nicely into our practice (day to day application).

Practice (day to day application):

In order to maintain equilibrium, you have to

1. have proper food and diet. Too much food or less food causes imbalance.
2. have a balanced lifestyle of work, sleep and other activities depending on your inner nature. Too much work/sleep/other activities or less of it causes imbalance.
3. have to associate with inherently good thoughts and words which 99% comes from spiritual minded people (better associate with books if you cannot find spiritual minded people). Associating with people whose main goal in life is to make money, have nice house/family, have nice sex etc will agitate the mind and hence cause disturbance and imbalance.
4. cultivate a spiritual and compassionate outlook to life.
5. Connect with nature around you.
6. Take shelter of the Supreme consciousness and depend on Him and be thankful to Him for your daily living.
7. In this holistic environment, and grateful heart, finally and most important of all, you have to glorify God (chanting is recommended for this age). Glorification of God is not an option but our duty.

Like this when you balance your material desires and true spiritual values, you will experience constant inner happiness and peace. You will not find fault and depend on other people to glorify or criticize you. You will not be disturbed if someone is trying to harm or insult you.

If you go back to the beginning of this email, you will see point 1 is approach life incidents as it is without your interpretation. At the current moment, you are doing point 2 that is interpreting everything and everybody.

You have to abandon this practice and learn to accept reality as it is without your own interpretation. When you actually do this, you will have to face the bare truth -which is - 99% people on this planet earth at the current moment do not care about others or other things. As a result, there is immense pain caused by one living entity on the other. This pain is scientifically categorized as animal slaughter, environmental degradation, pollution, rape, murder, poverty etc etc all the social ills we study and read.

So you can either be part of the whole dog eat dog world who are busy exploiting and thus being part of the global problem or you can dis-associate from this main stream exploitation and look within for change.

Change has to happen within. Seek and you shall find so Lord Jesus said. Seek within and you will find happiness. Stop exploiting others and take a humble position. Stop identifying yourself based on what other people say or think about you. You are who you are - a loving and gentle soul part of the Supereme Soul. Please go back to your loving and gentle nature by reconnecting back to your original spiritual self. In this mood of reconnection, there is only happiness and peace.

Please take shelter of Krishna by chanting His Names in a mood of gratitude and humility, then you will see all your sadness vanish like thin air. This is reality without interpretation. The choice is yours - do you want to rise like the phoenix or wither like the riven cloud?

Hare Krishna