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Hypocricy breaks trust
August 13, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

From Pashupatinath Richard travelled two hundred miles south to Bodh Gaya, the holiest place on earth for Buddhists. At Bodh Gaya he read books by D.T. Suzuki and Alan Watts on Zen Buddhism, and found their teachings simple and appealing. He also learnt that a Zen master from Japan was teaching a way of Zen in Bodh Gaya. The teacher claimed to be following the tradition that has passed down from a long time, and emphasized on the need to lead a life of prayer, humility, service, gratitude and meditation. He demanded a strict schedule, but Richard felt something suspicious.

Some days after the course, a young American couple, two of Master’s faithful followers discovered him to be having a full-on-affair with a lady every night. All his disciples had left him. Richard felt pained that the Master had been strict with his students, but not with himself. He had misrepresented a long tradition of sincere teachers.

“An irresponsible leader can break the hearts and faith of his followers and raise suspicion even toward those who are genuine. What pain his hypocrisy caused to those who trusted him and just see what it has done to his own life. How essential it is to live what we believe. How vital it is to practice what we preach.”

The irresponsibility of the Zen master reminded me of Socrates’ immortal words, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” Radhanath Swami says, “A spiritual teacher has to be a student first; a preacher has to be a practitioner first; a master has to be a sincere servant first; and a leader must be a true follower first.” Accepting position of leadership without the necessary qualifications is a violent crime, as it shakes the faith of innocent people who trust such a teacher.  Radhanath Swami narrates the story of a sadhu, a holy man who was approached by a lady requesting him to instruct her son to give up eating sweets. The sadhu asked them to come the following week. A week later, the sadhu requested the child to give up eating sweets. The perplexed lady asked him why he hadn’t given this simple instruction a week ago. The man replied, “Last week even I was eating sweets. I abstained from sweets for one week and now I have some credibility to tell others not to eat sweets.” Radhanath Swami explains before we instruct others we should at least be aspiring to follow the instructions ourselves.

Once, a young man stayed for a month at the Radhagopinath temple monastery, video shooting everything that was happening there.  An inmate confided in me, “We became conscious of him and his camera. Sometimes during my distracted prayer sessions, he would come in the front and catch us on the camera. Suddenly I would become alert and display a certain kind of seriousness in my spiritual activities. One morning as I was putting up my best performance to be good on the camera, I got a nice realization. I thought of how God is constantly watching u

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110 Comments


  1. prach what u practice is a lesson we can learn from this story

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  2. Maharaj, thank you for sharing and realizing us that one should stop behaving like hypocrite. As our conditioning nature we do so often but Maharaj by your help & guidance we are trying to come out from this horrible face of life. Jai Gurudev!!!

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  3. We can have best of the people around us if we could follow the words of HH Radhanath swami maharaj:- ““A spiritual teacher has to be a student first; a preacher has to be a practitioner first; a master has to be a sincere servant first; and a leader must be a true follower first.” “

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  4. A very practical solution to become good teacher, preacher, master and leader. Thank you very much Radhanath swami maharaj

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  5. this shows us who is a true leader

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  6. As you sow so shall u reap!

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  7. Dr Yuvaraj J Bhosale

    Radhanath sawmi has taught us a great lesson- Being conscious of God helps us develop integrity

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  8. Great lesson!

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  9. Great thoughts by Radhanath swami – Practise what you preach. This is very essential for each and everyone to follow.

    Thank you to the wonderful team that maintains this blog site. There is no other blog site that i know which shares such wonderful articles.

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  10. its true its easy to preach big philosophy but what is the use of that peraching if person can follow that. Thank you swami ji for your valuable analysis.

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  11. A reminder to me to be conscious of my conscious.

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  12. Very nice, thank you very much Maharaj for such a nice article.

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  13. Hypocrisy can kill someone’s faith.Swamiji even though was a young boy at that time could realise how important it was to keep someone’s trust.His knowledge and realization has taught him to be the kind of a Guru he is.He himself practices what he preaches others.

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  14. “How essential it is to live what we believe. How vital it is to practice what we preach.” This is what makes HH Radhanath Swami a great soul. HH Radhanath Swami’s preaching is always effective and penetrating the hearts, just becuase He simply preaches what He practices.

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  15. All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    THe modern day’s Guru’s may not follow their every word and adhere to every principle they may profess, because they if are not ones who are practicing spirituality in the right essence, are likely to falter and eventually cause distrust amongst their follower as was the Zen Master.

    Hare Krishna

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  16. Very powerful and profound teachings by Radhanath Swami.

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  17. Aekta Brahmbhatt

    One of the most important lessons taught by Radhanath Swami, one must WALK HIS TALK…….and PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH.

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  18. Radhanath Swami has personally lived up to the standards of faultless leadership that is expected from all leaders in Society.

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  19. Today we have wealthy & famous people but none can bet on their character. It is the last thing that is seen in a person in modern era. That is what is separating people of this era from real satisfaction. Above article has hit the nail on the head so precisely. A true saint like Radhanath swami stands out mainly because of this purity and strong character.

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  20. Thank you Radhanath Swami for teaching us the meaning of true character.

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  21. This is just wonderful. We have to strive hard to ensure that we are not hypocrats. Radhanath Maharaj said that we need to be “SIMPLE” in our lives. Simplicity means no duplicity.

    Thanks to Maharaj we are able to understand how we need to lead our lives.

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  22. Very powerful reminder from Maharajah “What we are as a person is undoubtedly more important than what we have and what others think of us.”

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  23. Very nice article……at present times, people do not trust sadhus because most of them act with hypocrisy……so people assume all sadhus are cheaters……Radhanath Swami’s character is an ideal for every sadhu & spiritualist to follow….

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  24. Very important lesson.

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  25. Because he takes so much care to practice whatever he preaches, Radhanath Swami’s teachings are so effective.

    Very nice realizations on the excerpt.

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  26. great lesson!!

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  27. I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success.

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  28. Nowadays there are so many self-styled fake gurus who have set up “spiritual shops” just to garner fame, money & in some extreme cases, to even sexually exploit women & children. These hypocrites by their misdemeanor have created a huge trust deficit between the common people & spirituality. Fortunately, we still have some very genuine saints like Radhanath Swami, who actually practice what they preach. We can advance in our spiritual life by seeking guidance from such holy men & associating with them.

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  29. Thank you so much for mentioning about what does character mean.

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  30. Shoba Ramachandran

    Reading this article awakened me – Am I being conscious of presence of God who is always with me, caring for me?

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  31. Hey admin, very informative blog post! Pleasee continue this awesome work..

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  32. Smitha Krishna das

    A great Lesson!

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  33. Very true. It does really break.

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  34. I like what you all have to say. Very straight to the point. All in all great blog 🙂

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  35. Hypocrisy and Trust are one of the greatest challenges faced by world. Thank you for enlightening me, with this article.

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  36. shyam bihari das

    Maharaj has always led by example. Hari Bol!

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  37. Mele Parambottil S

    How I can thank these posts. Every mornign I read them before I start work and feel as if I have taken a bath of my soul. H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj is Lord’s divine messenger who is very mercifully giving us updates of Supreme Lord while are away from Him in our consciousness.

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  38. Manish Raikundalia

    Several nice points in this. Thanks Maharaj.

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  39. CS Sandeep Shinde

    Very nice article. Thank you very much for sharing the same.

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  40. Very much inspiring article and demanding that we have to act before we speak to other. Radhanath Swami’s words, “A spiritual teacher has to be a student first; a preacher has to be a practitioner first; a master has to be a sincere servant first; and a leader must be a true follower first”, opens the eyes .

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  41. Spiritual life taught by HH Radhanath Swami is very simple and does not have an iota of hypocracy. Simplicity means no duplicity says HH Radhanath Swami. Thank you for the wonderful article on one of the most simple leaders, HH Radhanath Swami.

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  42. Thank you for these amazing insights

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  43. M. Pandurangayya Shetty

    Very much important instruction for everyone. Radhanath Swami ki Jaya. All glories to radhanth Swami

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  44. Very useful and practical article by Radhanath Swami Maharaj about the importance of our good and moral character and practicing what we preach.

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  45. This very true”An irresponsible leader can break the hearts and faith of his followers and raise suspicion even toward those who are genuine.” We see this happening in todays world.
    Thanks to Radhanath swami for the point.

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  46. Radhanath Swami is trying to teach us how one must learn to practice what he preaches…

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  47. Unless one has the qualifiactions one should not become a mother, father, teacher, guru, says the shastras. Radhanth Swami is teaching us how to live our lives according to this principle.

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  48. Hrishikesh Mafatlal

    Radhanath Swami is a great teacher because he has been a great student; He is a great Guru because he has been a sincere disciple.

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  49. H.H Radhanath Swami’s teachings on any subject matter are simply great. We should that fortune.

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  50. We all need to adhere to the “Simple Living, High Thinking” concept as Radhanath Swami does. That is the way to inspire people to become God conscious and to develop faith in them.

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