“Go to India” a sweet but commanding voice; spoke up in the heart of young Richard (later Radhanath Swami) who was immersed in meditation, his search for meaning in life has brought him to the Isle of Crete. Today he was ordered to go to India. Born and raised in the middle class suburbs of Chicago, Richard grew up in the 1950’s and 60’s era when popular musicians protested war, prejudice and social injustice. Richard would listen to these songs again and again, but their lyrics referring to God stirred his soul. Peter, Paul and Mary- the folk trio from Greenswich village sang in their debut album
“Early in the morning, about the break of day
I ask the Lord, to help me find my way”
This simple prayer was to guide Richard in the coming years of his life.
With friends, he had hitch hiked all over Europe and now as he heard the command, “Go to India”, he was determined to obey it. Travelling on foot, he traversed through the dangerous terrain of cholera stricken Istanbul, Turkey and then through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally at the gates of the Hussainiwala border crossing. India- The land of Yogis, mystics, sacred chants, holy rivers, disease, mal nutrition, corruption, hope and spirituality; Richard’s extra-ordinary spiritual adventure brought him face to face with a galaxy of spiritual stalwarts, who helped him at every step. When he decided to offer his heart to Swami Prabhupada, a devout Vaishnav Saint and the founder of a worldwide movement dedicated to spreading the love of God (ISKCON), Richard was ordained as a monk with the spiritual name Radhanath Das (later known as Radhanath Swami when he accepted the order of senior renounced monk)
Teachings of Radhanath Swami can be found at www.radhanathswami.info. Radhanath Swami travels around the world and frequently lectures throughout the United States and Europe. He is based at Radha Gopinath Temple in Mumbai, India.