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Curing the hunger of the heart
August 9, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Meditation from the Journey Home Book – Autobiography of Radhanath Swami

At the convent of Mother Theresa Richard saw her personally scrubbing a large charred cooking pot with her own devoted hands. Although her aging form was shrunken and frail, her eyes twinkled with childlike innocence. She revealed to Richard that the greatest problem in the world was not the hunger of the stomach but the hunger of the heart. She said all over the world both the rich and the poor are suffering, starving for love. She considered poverty as being caused by a lack of respect for one another.  She considered real wealth to be in the hearts of those with faith in the love of God. She was asked by a lady why she was washing pots. She replied that serving God and humanity was not a chore. Any type of service is a blessing. Another person asked her where she gets her strength from, to which she said, “All my strength comes from the Lord’s Holy Names.”

The world is increasingly witnessing selfish exploitation and greedy pursuits, and therefore it’s not surprising to see the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer; stinking opulence coexist in this world with squalor and deprivation. In a recent talk Radhanath Swami quoted his guru’s analogy, “If a bag of rice is placed in a public place, birds will come to eat a few grains and go away. A human being, however, will take away the whole bag. He will eat all his stomach can hold and then try to keep the rest in storage. Now the entire world is suffering because of man’s greed and selfishness.”  Radhanath Swami also quotes his guru who once on a morning walk in Bombay saw a lean, poor man shivering on the pavement. On the same footpath an obese man jogged. And Radhanath Swami’s guru was quick to point that one man is suffering because he has nothing to eat and the other is running to lose calories caused by over eating.

When the world over people are suffering due to selfishness, I am inspired by the second richest man in the world Warren Buffet who has revealed himself to be simple man at heart.   His refusal to pursue ‘I get what I want’ lifestyle- the hallmark of modern society- comes as a breath of fresh air in these troubled times. At a time when crass greed goes in the name of ambition, and frugal habits are frowned upon, Mr. Buffet’s reticence has few parallels.  Mr. Buffet’s recently donated $37 billion in charity. The CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway also hasn’t taken a salary hike for the last quarter of a century, and pays back his company expenses such as phone charges. Mr Buffet also drives his own car to work, and apparently says ‘no’ to all things hedonistic.

If more such fortunate few take responsibility of the underprivileged, and share their love, they will themselves discover God’s love in their own hearts. Radhanath Swami appeals, “When we recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme Lord, and contribute our little worth in ensuring that the needs of all are taken care of, we lead a life of responsibility.” Besides the social responsibility, another reason why we need to keep our lives simple is the personal satisfaction it guarantees. The more we fulfill our desires, the mind continues to remain dissatisfied “There’s enough in this world to meet everyone’s need”, said Gandhi, “but not enough to meet even one person’s greed”. Radhanath Swami shares Mother Theresa’s concern that both the rich and the poor are suffering for want of love. He says this is due to our life centered on selfish acquisitions. A life centered on acquisitions- gross and even subtle aspirations for name and fame- only increases our bodily misidentifications. For such a person, a deep sense of insecurity crops up with changing market conditions, twisting political fortunes, and crashing stock markets.

Therefore the solution for humanity is to share love and compassion. Radhanath Swami humbly confesses, “As soon as we think we are compassionate, we are in illusion. We can only be instruments of God’s compassion.” He also insists that we serve not because we can help anyone, but our service is only for our own purification, and the needy are simply giving us a chance to serve them.

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134 Comments


  1. Radhanath Swami said “As soon as we think we are compassionate, we are in illusion. We can only be instruments of God’s compassion.” This is very touching to the heart and revealed the love of Godhead to poor soul.

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  2. M. Pandurangayya Shetty

    Radhanath Swami beautifully explains everything in this blog.
    service done for one’s purification. One need to be an instrument. Really very good lessons. Radhanath swami ki jai.

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  3. “When we recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme Lord, and contribute our little worth in ensuring that the needs of all are taken care of, we lead a life of responsibility.” Some food for thought that is, the statement by Radhanath Swami

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  4. the greed is man’s greatest enemy is must be dealt with very carefully

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  5. this point told by Radhanath Swami that “we serve not because we can help anyone, but our service is only for our own purification, and the needy are simply giving us a chance to serve them.” is really nice one. Because in general as soon as i help others even in small ways, the pride creeps in my mind..

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  6. “There’s enough in this world to meet everyone’s need”, said Gandhi, “but not enough to meet even one person’s greed”.

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  7. Very amazing meditation. Maharaj has very nicely explained that the love and compassion are the basic priciples of satisfaction and peace. And to become peaceful and satisfied we have to be simple at heart. By extending ourselves to the poor and unprivileged we become instruments of God’s compassion and love. Thanks for this wonderful meditation.

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  8. Very sensitive article.Present world situation can be improved if each one can implement the lessons in this article.

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  9. Great Article – Radhanath Swami Maharaj is a shining example of how one can be instrument of God’s compassion.

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  10. HH Radhanath Swami makes a nice point.We can only become an instrument in the hands of God. The whole world is suffering due to selfishess. Day by day, the world is going away from God. That is the reason for increasing suffering world over. The great souls like Ramanujacarya, Madhvacarya, Nimarkacarya, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, etc. have rendered unparallaled sacrifices to attract the people at large towards God centered life and lead a simple life. HH Radhanath Swami surely one amongst these great souls who had sacriced his whole life and preaching extensively to make the people lead a simple life based on Vedic principles.

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  11. Great article! Serves to remind everyone that there is more happiness in giving than receiving.

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  12. Sublime message.
    “our service is for OUR purification.”

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  13. In every religion the lord’s holy name is the only thing which gives power.that is the yuga dharma. essence of all religion

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  14. Two most basic needs of a human beings are to give love and to receive love.Mother Teresa is teaching us how get these needs.

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  15. Thank you very much for sharing this pastime of HH Radhanath Swami maharaj

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  16. the selfish enjoying mentality is the root cause of the problems in the world today and this can be curbed by happily accepting whatever is in our quota and not encroaching on others property…and the strength and conviction to follow this will come from chanting the holy names of Lord.

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  17. Excellent meditation- many times we donate thinking we should be compassionate – but we can only be instruments of God’s compassion.

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  18. HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj has wonderfully guided us that
    1. “As soon as we think we are compassionate, we are in illusion. We can only be instruments of God’s compassion.
    2.“When we recognize the proprietorship of the Supreme Lord, and contribute our little worth in ensuring that the needs of all are taken care of, we lead a life of responsibility.”

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  19. Aekta Brahmbhatt

    Radhanath Swami understands the basic human need…..to love and be loved. There is no hunger for food but a hunger for love in the material world.

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  20. Yes, the real poverty is poverty of heart ! We see it happening each day in life ! How big big multi-millionare’s suffer so much because of greed. Thanks to Radhanath Swami for helping us understand this important fact of life !

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  21. Our quest for Love had perverted to lust and greed. One may realize or not but every one is looking for that pure love of God and not able to find it, are becoming poorer and poorer. Path Radhanath Swami trod had shown how to get that love of God. Following in his footsteps along the same path will surely give that love of God who are sincere.

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  22. A very good article!!! Radhanath Swami’s each incidence is interesting to read. Thanks for sharing this article!

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  23. World really needs such kind of teachings and living example like Radhanath swami otherwise we are not far from making this earth planet into Hellish planet.

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  24. Wonderful instruction and realization. I especially liked this: “As soon as we think we are compassionate, we are in illusion. We can only be instruments of God’s compassion.”

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  25. We serve not because we can help anyone, but our service is only for our own purification, and the needy are simply giving us a chance to serve them. This is really heart touching statement. There is no word I or WE in Radhanath Swami’s dictionary. So nice to find such a personality. Thank you so much sharing this.

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  26. Sheetal Maheshwari

    Its very often that we may perform some service and in our hearts be proud for what we doing for the soceity. Radhanth Swami & Mother Theresa have so wonderfully explained in this article that ‘Our service is only for our own purification, and the needy are simply giving us a chance to serve them’

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  27. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article.

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  28. All Glories To H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    Only Lessons of spiritual wisdom can lead the entire humanity to be more simple and less hedonist.

    Hare Krishna

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  29. Thnks so much for sharing this.
    Such a great realization by Radhanath Maharaj!

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  30. Maharaj beautifully explains that we should be grateful and happpy with our quota alloted by God, otherwise the spirit of exploitation and greed will take us away from our spiritual goal..

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  31. a very common and hidden feeling to accept that one is more compassionate but radhanath swami precisely brings out this subtle level of feelings which is harmful if left unnoticed and if not corrected,

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  32. In trying to exploit and get what we want – we lose. In giving/sharing what we have with others – we gain. Through out history great souls have dedicated their life to give/serve people and in that receive the mercy of the Lord. Radhanath Swami not only learnt these aspects well in his early years, he has put them 100% into practise…

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  33. Mangesh Kulkarni

    To be really compassionate and loving, we need to really assimilate the mood and attitude of great people like Mother Theresa and Radhanath Swami, methinks..

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  34. So true in today’s context where people go mad after the name – fame game ! We spend what we do not have (credit) to buy what we do not need to impress people whom we do not like ! What did Radhanath Swami not have in his childhood – Loving and caring parents, comfortable life in the US .. but still he strived for the real wealth … Love of God !! All the problems of this world would disappear, if the entire world strives to be God conscious. Only truely intelligent souls like Radhanath Swami Maharaj can understand it, even at such a tender age.

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  35. Radhanath Swami like his spiritual master also follows this principle of living frugally and propounds ‘Simple living, high thinking’ formula for a happy life

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  36. Smitha Krishna das

    A very touching story. The qualities of Radhanath Swami which can be followed by us are inumerable. He is saving several souls all over the world.

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  37. Man’s greed can never be satisfied with material pursuits……Instead he should be greedy for devotional service to God & that will bring satisfaction of heart….

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  38. Very nice. I will get what i need. I liked it very much. Thank you very much. Radhanath Swami Maharaj is so compassionate, he wants us to lead simple life but meaningful. Thank you very much.

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  39. “The more we fulfill our desires, the mind continues to remain dissatisfied”. Very true.We are suffering because of the unlimited demands of the mind. Very Powerful article.

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  40. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article about Radhanath Swami

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  41. This statement from maharaj, “As soon as we think we are compassionate, we are in illusion. We can only be instruments of God’s compassion.” — is very subtle subject. We do not even realise that proudness crept in us, as we are thinking that we are doing the service. That we are compassionate to others. We have impure senses and without Krishna’s mercy and Guru’s mercy, something pure would not come out of the impure senses. We need to remember always our position and should humbly perform service as an instrument of God.

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  42. For our own purification we should be instruments of God’s compassion.

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  43. “The more we fulfill our desires, the mind continues to remain dissatisfied” amazing root cause analyssi by Raddhanath swami..

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  44. Eye opener from HH Radhanath Swami maharaj.“As soon as we think we are compassionate, we are in illusion. We can only be instruments of God’s compassion.”

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  45. Very touching artice

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  46. “As soon as we think we are compassionate, we are in illusion. We can only be instruments of God’s compassion.”very true,thank you swamiji for giving us free of cost for what you received after a very hard work.

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  47. Manish Raikundalia

    We serve not because we can help anyone, but our service is only for our own purification, and the needy are simply giving us a chance to serve them. That’s a very humbling thought.

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  48. The whole world is suffering from hunger not of the stomach but of the heart. HH Radhanath Swami quoting these words of Mother Theresa, makes a nice realisation point that the world over, people are longing for love. HH Radhanath Swami always stresses Love of Godhead which alone can mitigate this hunger of people.

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  49. Yogita Jagannathan

    Radhanath Swami always gives such deep insights. Sometimes we tend to feel puffed up because we serving/helping others. But Radhanath Swami puts things in proper perspective- that they are actually helping us by allowing us to serve them.

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  50. Chanting Holy names is not just hindu culture but all religions has it and it’s one of the most optent way of reviing Lov for God Head.

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