On 14th May a plane crashed in Jomsom, Nepal, and among those killed were eight Krishna devotees from Mumbai. Radhanath Swami’s reaction to the disaster revealed the heart of a transcendentalist on the Bhakti path. A Bhakti Yogi realizes that the soul is eternal, beyond death—and that understanding keeps the yogi equipoised in the face of the death of a dear one. Yet, the yogi feels separation, for now the medium of exchange of spiritual love, which was the material body, is no longer functional. Radhanath Swami said in the memorial ceremony, “When I learned about it the shock was so immense that it was difficult to try to philosophically reason. Sometimes things that affect the heart so deeply, we simply have to take shelter of the Lord. What is beyond our intelligence, what is beyond our ability to deal with is a time when we can helplessly cry out for Krishna.”
Radhanath Swami cut short his tour of the United States to return to Mumbai and help the near and dear ones of the departed take shelter of Krishna.
Few of us went to the airport to receive Radhanath Swami. As we drove back to the ashram, Radhanath Swami spoke of the eternality of the soul. He explained how the eternal souls of the devotees killed were under the loving care of Krishna. As a discussion ensued, a fellow monk chimed in, “I flew to Jomsom the day after the crash to collect the bodies of these devotees.” To the surprise of everyone around, Radhanath Swami responded appallingly, “Why did you go there?” Silent moments passed. Radhanath Swami was disturbed that another dear devotee had risked going to the same place. But this trip made by the monk was necessary, or else how could the dead bodies be procured for the last rites?
“I went to collect the bodies,” reiterated the monk.
“But…..but……. why did you go there?” Radhanath Swami sighed.
I thought. This sweetness of spiritual love amid a balanced philosophical approach to life is what makes Bhakti Yoga beautiful.