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Battle between the mind and the heart
August 11, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Meditation on Radhanath Swami’s Book – The Journey Home Book

At the Bombay festival, a gigantic pandal, tent was erected and over 25,000 people attended the programme, eager to hear from the guru. Richard was seated at the rear end of the pandal. Richard saw the guru call over one of his disciples and spoke in his ear. The disciple then gazed into the massive crowd, signaled someone to come up onto the stage, but when nobody came, he finally came down and walked right up to Richard. He smilingly told Richard, “Srila Prabhupada wants you to sit with him on the stage.” Richard was stunned that of the thousands, Srila Prabhupada had picked on him to sit next to him.

As Srila Prabhupada spoke, Richard heard a voice within his heart proclaim, “This is your guru.” But the mind couldn’t accept, and a battle ensued between the mind and the heart. His mind won and he dismissed the idea that he was ready to choose a guru. After the lecture Richard extended his hand to touch Srila Prabhupada’s feet. A disciple tried to stop but Srila Prabhupada gently spoke that he could touch his feet. Meanwhile the other Western disciples of Srila Prabhupada became good friends with Richard but he was still fearful of a commitment. During one class, Richard felt Srila Prabhupada’s eyes penetrating into the depths of his soul, and silently urging him not to waste his precious time, for Krishna was waiting for him. Richard trembled:

“It is said that a saintly person is so pure that he or she acts like a spotless mirror. When we come in the presence of such a mirror-like soul, we can see both the beauty and ugliness of our inner life. Our faith and doubts, virtues and sins, strengths and weaknesses are revealed. It is both a joyful and painful experience, one that I had in the presence of Srila Prabhupada.”

Although the association of a saint fills our heart with spiritual joy, it also positively disturbs. A true saint doesn’t flatter his followers with platitudes. While he exudes warmth and affection, he also speaks the harsh truth of life, some of which may be unpalatable for the ego. The ego fears that commitment to a spiritual path may restrict our freedom. Radhanath Swami narrates the example of an uncleaned room. A room that isn’t cleaned for years may be dirty, and an attempt to clean the room only raises more dirt. However, if the cleaner persists, the room will become attractive for a person to stay. Similarly, a genuine well wishing guru attempts to clean the heart of a disciple. The process appears painful, but if the seeker persists and allows the transcendental instructions of the guru to enter his consciousness, the room of the heart once again illuminates and attracts God to reside in the heart. A God centered life then fills our lives with freedom and happiness.

The pain occurs in the initial days of our spiritual life because we hear the special position of God and our position in the cosmos as inconsequential. A genuine guru teaches that God is indeed special and we are insignificant only to the extent we are disconnected from God.  A soul that endeavors to reestablish the relationship with God becomes special, and he or she then experiences a level of happiness that transcends ordinary bodily pleasures.

Radhanath Swami cites the example of a finger which is insignificant when separated from the body. However when connected to the hand, it has a special place. A screw when separated from the machine is useless but when reconnected enjoys a unique function. Likewise, separated from the Lord, no endeavors in this world can actually make our lives significant. In a loving relationship with God alone, we can be blissful. Besides, prayerful contemplation on our insignificance compared to the all great Lord and His numerous servants, makes us humble. This humility softens our heart and captures God’s heart. Radhanath Swami enlightens us, “A spiritual approach to life that is based on humility and service transforms even unknown servants to glorious recipients of Lord’s love and mercy.” Richard was one such special recipient.

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134 Comments


  1. Radhanath Swami has described many amazing moments in the book ,’The Journey Home’. One such moment was that out of 1000s of people Srila Prabhupada called Radhanath Swami to sit on stage with him. Almost unbelievable !!

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  2. Great Story

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  3. Wonderful are the instructions of Radhanath Swami and wonderful are his ways of teaching us the ways to connect to God. Thankyou Radhanath Swami.

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  4. Dharmendra Kumar

    How wonderful, Srila Prabhupada found maharaj among so many people. Gurudev is such a gem

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  5. Radhanath Maharaj has so much love for Srila Prabhupad and he is sharing it with us most generously. Thank you Maharaj.

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  6. This is inspiring story of teenager with determination in search Truth which is unparalleled.

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  7. Among 25000 people Srial Prabhupada selected Radhanath Maharaj to sit on the stage with him. This is so wonderful.
    Radhanath Swami is showing the gratitude towards his guru by distributing that love to all his followers.Thank you so much maharaj.

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  8. Radhanath Swami Maharaj always stresses the need for humble service. This he says is most pleasing to the heart.

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  9. Sheetal Maheshwari

    An unbelievable incident! But its true that the spiritual master is like mirror who can see all ur strengths and weakness.

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  10. Radhanath Swami is one of the valuable gems of his guru Srila Prabhupada

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  11. it’s wonderful pastime of Maharaj with Prabhupada

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  12. Shoba Ramachandran

    Just a glance of a saintly person reveals the beauty and the ugliness of us like Maharaj says. If we hear their instructions and submissively follow, our battle over mind will be won.

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  13. this battle is the one we all experience every day…by sincerely praying and taking shelter of the lord we can choose to do what the lord wills..

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  14. This is so inspiring..We’re blessed to be under the protection of Sri prabhupad and Maharaj..

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  15. thanks to srila prabhupada that he selected radhanath swami as his disciple for he is worth leading the life of a true spiritual leader for millions of his followers,

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  16. There is an eternal relationship between guru & his sincere disciple…..thats why Srila Prabhupad picked Radhanath Swami amongst a crowd of thousands, even though he didn’t know him at that time………

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  17. Pure devtee can see through the heart. Srila Prabhupad picked up Radhanath Swami among thousands of people. Amazing.

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  18. Really!! A genuine seeker finds a genuine guide. There must be some connection, timeless, eternal….as they say…

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  19. What a wonderful quote by Radhanath swami – “A spiritual approach to life that is based on humility and service transforms even unknown servants to glorious recipients of Lord’s love and mercy.”

    Great work by the people maintaining this blog. Thanks for the wonderful blogs.

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  20. This is something wonderful. Radhanath Swami is sharing how by mercy of Srila Prabhupada he was able to feel his soul but the mind was in the way not allowing him to accept him as Guru. In his heart he was convinced that Srila Prabhupada is his Guru.

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  21. Manish Raikundalia

    From this incidence it is clear Srila Prabhupada saw in Radahanath maharaj then what we are seeing and experiencing now. Jai Srila Prabhupada.

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  22. A true guru recognizes his sincere disciple.. Radhanath Swami ki jai!:)

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  23. This battle between the mind and the heart is one we face every day. It’s the most painful tug-of-war. Sometimes the heart wins, and sometimes the mind wins. It helps to have guidance.

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  24. “It is said that a saintly person is so pure that he or she acts like a spotless mirror. When we come in the presence of such a mirror-like soul, we can see both the beauty and ugliness of our inner life”
    We feel the same when we associate through his teachings or in person with HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

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  25. This shows that Radhanath Swami is a eternal associate of Srila Prabhupada. wonderful.

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  26. “A genuine well wishing guru attempts to clean the heart of a disciple. The process appears painful, but if the seeker persists and allows the transcendental instructions of the guru to enter his consciousness.We are so fortunate that we have received the right path where Srila Pradbhupada & Radhanath Maharaj cleaning our hearts through book,lectures and kirtan.Jai Gurudev!!!

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  27. A true preacher of the message of god head…….

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  28. This reflection on a passage from the autobiography written by His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj has brought many things in perspective. The first is that accepting a spiritual master is a serious commitment because this heralds the beginning of a second childhood – just as we had to obey our parents when we were young even though our mind had different views, once we accept a master in spiritual life, there will be many times when we will hear unpalatable truths about ourselves. The second is that any cleaning process, including that of the heart, will initially rise up settled dust which might force us to stop and maintain status quo. But continued effort will pay rich dividends. The third is that just as human beings can be effective only when inter-dependent, similarly, only when we collaborate and cooperate with God in His plans will we all benefit and be happy. I just can’t stop admiring the newer and deeper meaning to life I get each time I read about Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

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  29. Radhanath Swami is indeed special, as he was spotted amongst thousands by Srila Prabhupada who had him sit next to him.

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  30. Radhanath Swami’s teachings are very touching to the heart, the analogies to explain the relationship between God and living entity is very amazing.

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  31. “A spiritual approach to life that is based on humility and service transforms even unknown servants to glorious recipients of Lord’s love and mercy.” This statement of HH Radhanath Swami is very true. It is said that one of the two things is required for getting spiritual life. 1) Previous life Credits or 2)Mercy of Lord or Mercy of Pure Devotees. HH Radhanath Swami, a receipient of Lord’s mercy, one of those rarest pure devotees of Lord, can make anybody spiritual.

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  32. So clear understanding of spiritual life!
    Hh Radhanath swami Maharaj is acting like that spotless mirror in thousands of people’s lives today. Thank you Maharaj for such a genuine search for spirituality

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  33. We are parts and parcels of God.Hence we are related with Him.When we are in this relationship with Lord we are situated in our original constitutional position and that is the perfection of our life.

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  34. Mele Parambottil S

    HH Radhanath Swami’s teachings and examples are a great hope in this material world.

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  35. The Battle takes place within everyone for “The Mind says give me what I like and The Soul Pleads give me what I Need”. Our conditioning is such that we rarely heed the inner voice and carry on toiling aimlessly seeking happiness in things which are of temporary nature. Radhnath Swamis book is about how one should heed to the voice of the soul.

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  36. Radhanath Maharaj has totally imbibed and absorbed the teachings of Srila Prabhupad and our previous acharyas. In Maharaj we can see a perfect disciple of a perfect Spiritual Master.

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  37. Swami ji because of your earnest desire to know GOD and love GOD you always got the attention of pure souls.

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  38. When one is serious about their spiritual life God in the form paramatma from within guides us through correct path and takes us to genuine guru.

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  39. radhanth swami is such a great soul that he received srila prabhupada’s attention, no doubt he is a very special gift for mankind,

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  40. only a jeweller knows the true value of a jewel

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  41. This is true! What is the significance of a single mustard seed in a bag of mustard seeds. Our whole earth is like that one mustard seed in the bag called the cosmic manifestation. Radhanth Swami Maharaj truly points this so well!

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  42. Thank you Radhanath Swami for your most precious words of wisdom.

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  43. Shikhar Maheshwari

    Once Srila Prabhupada said that accepting Guru is a serious business and most important decision of your life because you need to be committed to your spiritual master. The struggle of mind and self as shown by HH Radhanath Swami indicated his seriousness to accept a Spiritual master to whom one is committed. As commented above, both the jeweler and the jewel were brought together by the providence and the jeweler recognized the value of the jewel

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  44. A pure soul like HDG Srila Prabhupada can easily spot another pure soul like HH Radhanath Swami.Maharaj had always listened to his inner calling.He had thirst for spiritual knowledge. Somewhere in his heart love for Krishna had sprouted and Srila Prabhupada being a pure devotee could sense that in young Richard.
    Again it is true that in the path of bhakti one needs to conquer one’s ego.When someone hurts our ego it truly hurts but looking at Maharaj’s life one can learn to be determined in the path of spiritual life.

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  45. Aekta Brahmbhatt

    A true and genuine Spiritual Master can see the genuine and sincere disciple……what a perfect example of this can be seen. Radhanath Swami truly is the most exalted Guru and Disciple……..

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  46. Pramathesh Nimkar

    the articles on this website are very special. RAdhanath swami’s book is already a mango and hearing it through the realized writings of his beloved servants is even more nectarine like a mango pierced by the beak of a parrot

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  47. Than you maharaj for giving me and my family your shelter

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  48. “separated from the Lord, no endeavors in this world can actually make our lives significant”if one understands this very basic “separation from lord” of spirituality he will really progress fast.

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  49. Very nice article. Specialy the example of screw which is seperated from machine. Everyone will inspire from this..

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  50. Radhanath Swami says “A true saint doesn’t flatter his followers with platitudes. While he exudes warmth and affection, he also speaks the harsh truth of life, some of which may be unpalatable for the ego” This is really an important symptom of a true saint, otherwise most modern day saints are just speaking some flattering words to the followers and continue to take service from them without any tangible change of heart of followers

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