default image for post
Celebrating God’s birthday
October 8, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Gary and Richard (now Radhanath Swami) boarded a train at Varanasi, and were compressed in an overcrowded compartment. The sweltering heat suffocated the two friends. Besides, the monsoon storm had forced the train to stop at a place for two days. Finally, seeking relief Gary and Richard got down when the train halted at Mathura. When Richard enquired from a local sadhu about the place, he replied, “This is Mathura, Lord Krishna’s birthplace. And today is Janmastami, Krishna’s birthday.” The sadhu also revealed that Krishna is their name for that one Supreme Lord who appears in this world to remove suffering and give us spiritual happiness.

Gary and Richard (now Radhanath Swami) then went to the birthplace of Krishna to witness the festivities. Hundreds danced and chanted to live music played with drums, flutes and cymbals. Both of them spent the whole day absorbing the wonderful sights and sounds of the birthday celebration. According to the scriptures, it was at midnight that Lord Krishna appeared in the city of Mathura. Now everybody waited for that moment. Although the temple was already packed with thousands, a steady flow of thousands more managed to stream through the door. The police tried to control the crowds in vain with long bamboo sticks.

Neither Gary nor Richard had ever seen such massive crowds. When the clock struck midnight, the doors of the inner sanctum swung open to reveal the altar of Krishna. A tumult of joy rose like a tidal wave. Enthralled, the people in the crowd were oblivious to being shoved and crushed. Old and young, male and female, rich and poor, all merged together with palms joined in prayer and eyes glossed with devotion. Small circles of villagers sang their own special songs, while everyone else laughed, cried, danced, and exuberantly called out Krishna’s holy names. For Gary and Richard who had clung on to pillars, the eagerness of these pilgrims was astounding.

The birthday of Krishna is known to Indians as Janmashtami, and I have been fortunate to hear Radhanath Swami’s talks on this special day. The different scriptures throughout the world address the Supreme Being variously as Jehovah, Alllah, Buddha, Rama and so on. Radhanath Swami says that the Supreme Person is full of extraordinary attributes, which make Him universally attractive. The name Krishna, meaning ‘the all-attractive one’ describes this all-attractiveness of the Supreme Lord.

Radhanath Swami explains that Krishna descends not just to maintain law, but to awaken love. The love that our heart longs for through relationships with various persons finds fulfilment when it is reposed in the Supreme Person God. “Because when we love Krishna, our love is never interrupted, never betrayed, never let down, and never disappointed”, says Radhanath Swami.

Quoting scriptures, Radhanath Swami reveals that over 5000 years ago on Janmashtami, the Lord appeared at mid-night. This historical fact also has a deeper significance, according to Radhanath Swami. He says, “Midnight is the time of maximum darkness and from the moment the Lord appeared the darkness started diminishing. Similarly our heart is dark being afflicted by multiple anxieties and miseries. But in the darkest hour of our life, when we turn to the Lord and He appears in our heart, all the darkness recedes and the light of eternal hope starts streaming in.”

Radhanath Swami gives a beautiful purport to Krishna appearing in a prison cell amidst shackles. “Krishna appeared in the prison and freed His parents from the shackles of the prison. This indicates that all of us who are shackled by our own self-destructive desires can be freed by the Lord who appears in our heart, which is like a prison house.”

Related Posts:


128 Comments


  1. It is only by the mercy of Radhanatha Swami that we can realize that we are Krishna’s servants and He is our only saviour.

    View Comment
  2. Its touching to hear about the love for God that people in Mathura have. This proves that God is a very real person for them, not just a concept.

    View Comment
  3. So wonderfully has Radhanath Swami explained the significance of the Lords birth at midnight and his birth in the prison cell. Thankyou for this valuable insight.

    View Comment
  4. Radhanath Swami gives hope to all of us

    “Krishna appeared in the prison and freed His parents from the shackles of the prison. This indicates that all of us who are shackled by our own self-destructive desires can be freed by the Lord who appears in our heart, which is like a prison house.”

    View Comment
  5. “Midnight is the time of maximum darkness and from the moment the Lord appeared the darkness started diminishing. Similarly our heart is dark being afflicted by multiple anxieties and miseries. But in the darkest hour of our life, when we turn to the Lord and He appears in our heart, all the darkness recedes and the light of eternal hope starts streaming in.”

    What an amazing explanation by Radhanath Swami.

    View Comment
  6. Thank you for sharing this wonderful meditation

    View Comment
  7. Radhanath Swami Maharaj speaks so eloquently….

    View Comment
  8. The discription is so real that you feel being there.
    This kind of enthusiasm is all over india during janmashtami. It shows the all attractive feature of the lord.

    View Comment
  9. The devotion in the heart of Radhanath Swami towards Krishna is so that it has the potency to illuminate hundreds and millions of people all over the world from darkest ignorance. thank you Radhanath Swami for making us understand what is real Janmstami.

    View Comment
  10. Radhanath Swami explanation about appearance of Lord convinces us to worship Lord with full heart

    View Comment
  11. The British, while ruling India, never could make out the mystery behind these apparently crazy celebrations! Many times they even criticized.

    But interestingly, now Janmashtami is celebrated in the British Parliament.

    View Comment
  12. All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    What an beautiful anecdote. All experiences of Maharaj are so beautiful, that they keep us awed, with the message of God at the end.

    Hare Krishna

    View Comment
  13. Thank you Maharaj for showing light to millions of people all over the world.

    View Comment
  14. Thanks for this wonderful insight. Midnight is the time of maximum darkness and from the moment the Lord appeared the darkness started diminishing. Similarly in the darkest hour of our life, when we turn to the Lord and He appears in our heart, all the darkness diminishes and appears the light of eternal happiness. So true.

    View Comment
  15. Radhanath Swami has nicely madea point that Krishna is our only shelter

    View Comment
  16. Radhanath Swami is so clear about how the material man is shackled by his own self-destructive desires can be freed by the Lord.

    View Comment
  17. Siddharth Hindlekar

    Wonderful…thanks for sharing

    View Comment
  18. Radhanath Swami says with so much conviction
    . “Because when we love Krishna, our love is never interrupted, never betrayed, never let down, and never disappointed”.
    but in our conditioned lives we are so stubborn, we don’t fully turn to him.

    View Comment
  19. hrishikesh mafatlal

    The REAL India is a land with millions of believers, who have unshaken faith in the Lord.

    View Comment
  20. Radhanath Swami gives such an applicable explanation of the appearance of Lord Krishna.

    View Comment
  21. Sheetal Maheshwari

    Radhanath Swami has such deep love and faith in God that he can actually share it with others.

    View Comment
  22. We see that Lord Krishna has always and continues to attract people from all walks of life. He must truely be “all attractive” as this article describes. I am so grateful to and admire Radhanath Swami who encourages people to take to the traditional and time tested path of devotion to God very seriously.

    View Comment
  23. beautiful article.

    View Comment
  24. Radhanath Swami’s explaination of Krishna’s appearance at midnight during darkness & in a prison cell is very beautiful…….

    View Comment
  25. Mangesh Kulkarni

    nice, isn’t it?

    View Comment
  26. God Conciousness is solution to all the problems and which opens the door of ever lasting happiness … it is Krishna’s appearance in our heart… thanks to Radhanaath Swami for very wonderful teachings in very lucid way.

    View Comment
  27. what a coincidennce that Radhanath swami exactly was in Mathura on the day of Janmashtami.

    View Comment
  28. It was such a wonderful experience to read about how Richard and Gary got the chance to be in vrindavan exactly on the day of Janmashtami. It is really the hand of God! How God directs the devotees to his lotus feet. We should be grateful to krishna for that.

    View Comment
  29. Radhanath Swami’s ideas seem to be so crystal clear. Every statement of his echos his firm faith and true love for God.

    View Comment
  30. Nice explaination by Radhanath Swami.I liked the last paragraph.

    View Comment
  31. CS Sandeep Shinde

    Thank you very much for telling us that KRISHNA is our real shelter.

    View Comment
  32. Before Srila Prabhupada, janamashtami was celebrated in India. This year janamashtami was celebrated in a big way in 126 countries all over the world. Jai Srila Prabhupada. Jai Rdhanath swami Maharaj.

    View Comment
  33. M Pandu Rangayya Shetty

    Radhanath Swami reveals the purpose of Krishna’s descend to this world.Intelligent person does devotional service guided by authority like Radhanath Swami and makes this purposed served. All glories to Radhanath Swami

    View Comment
  34. For milleniums, people of India have been celebrating appearances of Lord with great faith. Even today millions are attracted to Lord – That’s God.

    View Comment
  35. Yet again we are taken on a spiritual journey with the book ‘The Journey Home’ by Radhanath Swami. The only ticket one requires is “BHAKTI” and one is onboard, these experiences are simply enriching.

    View Comment
  36. “Krishna appeared in the prison and freed His parents from the shackles of the prison. This indicates that all of us who are shackled by our own self-destructive desires can be freed by the Lord who appears in our heart, which is like a prison house.”- tremendous Explanation

    View Comment
  37. mahraj has given such beautiful understanding of krishna appearance in the prison to His appearing in our heart

    View Comment
  38. rambaboo maheshwari

    Krishna descends not just to maintain law, but to awaken love this is the perfact teaching of Radhanath swami on Janmashtmi.

    View Comment
  39. Shikhar Maheshwari

    HH Radhanath Swami although apparently appears to be non-Indian in Origin with regards to birth, his understanding of Festivals and Supreme Lord Krishna as God of Law and God of Love far far exceeds that of even a staunch Indian ritualist well versed in Vedic Knowledge. So much so that Krishna has given him the potential to make atheists into devotees of Lord. This clarifies the universality of God and the fact that superficial appearances and nothing to do with the relationship of the soul with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Radhanath Swami’s words are filled with conviction of Krishna as Supreme Personality of Godhead that can inspire so many of us.

    View Comment
  40. GOD is a person and has a name, and He is the one actually in control. Now doesn’t that make us more comfortable while dealing with the adversities of life since we know about GOD who is always there to protect us as His very dear children.
    Radhanath Swami is one such child, very special though and a cynosure of GOD, for he has taken upon himself to educate countless humans about their true nature and help them in returning to a place where they real belong to- the spiritual world. And, boy, how much GOD loves to be reunited with His long-lost sons!!!

    View Comment
  41. In the ancient scripture Bhagavad Gita,Lord Krishna says that if one understands His birth and activities in principle, one is released from the cycle of birth and death.Radhanath Swami’s analysis of reasons for Lords birth are very enlightening and help us understand about God’s birth and activities as it is,in truth,in principle.

    View Comment
  42. Thank you Radhanath Swami for making us understand that we cannot make God fit into ‘our’ concept of what God should be. Thank you for telling us the importance of His appearance day.

    View Comment
  43. ” in the darkest hour of our life, when we turn to the Lord and He appears in our heart, all the darkness recedes and the light of eternal hope starts streaming in” so much hope giving statement by Radhanath Swami

    View Comment
  44. “Where there is will GOD provides the way !”
    Radhanath Swami was in search of truth & GOD made this arrangement for him.

    View Comment
  45. I like the last paragraph. Thank you for sharing

    View Comment
  46. Most often, we know the history, but not its significance. Radhanath Swami reveals the spirit of the history, and not just the historical event.

    View Comment
  47. when you desire something fervently ,the Lord fulfills your desires.

    View Comment
  48. “Krishna appeared in the prison and freed His parents from the shackles of the prison. This indicates that all of us who are shackled by our own self-destructive desires can be freed by the Lord who appears in our heart, which is like a prison house.”

    What a wonderful analogy!

    View Comment
  49. nice post…. read it again today

    View Comment
  50. Nice article !

    View Comment

Leave a Reply