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In the neighborhood of leopards and cobras
July 23, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Kailash Baba taught Richard to live in harmony with Mother Nature. Richard learnt to use neem twigs to brush his teeth and riverbed mud to wash his skin. Besides, Kailash Baba also taught Richard to respect sacred rivers, temples, trees, the sun, moon, and also snakes, scorpions, and wild animals. Richard learnt to see the soul within a deadly cobra. Over the course of days, Richard saw a leopard intently hunting through the foliage. He saw cobras and mongoose, and respecting these animals, and remembering the instructions of Kailash Baba, Richard prayed to develop fearlessness. As he saw different animals struggle for survival, he reflected that human life is not meant for struggling like these various species; it’s meant for a greater pursuit.

Roaming in jungles has always been a fearful prospect for me. I once asked a travelling monk who roams in the Amazon jungles, if he wasn’t afraid of the wild animals there. He replied with a cheerful grin, “Of course not, because the most dangerous animal is nowhere to be seen in these jungles.” I realized he meant the humans. Humans are distinct from animals in their ability to quest for enlightenment, for the basic needs of eating, sleeping, mating and defending are fulfilled in all life, but seeking God is a rare privilege of mankind. Not pursuing this sublime goal, humans become victim of selfishness, and slowly degenerate to less than animals. Today we see humans are the biggest threat to the security of life on planet earth. With their advanced intelligence humans have subjugated all species, but strangely with the same intelligence man has created weapons of mass destruction, which threaten to destroy all life on this planet. The irony of modern times is that the greatest strength of humans-their advanced intelligence-is also their weakness, because it isn’t used for a spiritual purpose. Hence human beings live in constant fear. Richard however was learning to become fearless.

Radhanath Swami advises, “Our fear should not be death. Our fear should be that we may forget God. Because if we remember God, when death comes, we may go back to the kingdom of God. It’s better to die remembering God than to live a fearful life in this temporary world.”

Richard’s desire to pursue spiritual life became more intense in the Himalayas:

“A spark of spiritual longing, ignited in my childhood, had been fanned into a flame while praying in a cathedral of Florence. It was kindled into a blaze while meditating on the Isle of Crete and fueled higher and hotter by my challenges in the Middle East. Roaming the Himalayas in the company of holy men, that sacred fire in me now blazed furiously. Resigning my life to this purpose alone, I prayed to the Lord to help me.”

Observing a black bee drifting from flower to flower, seeking nectar, Richard too was moving from place to place, seeking to collect the nectar of spiritual wisdom and inspiration. Suddenly he heard in a distance, a baby cry for its mother and he too felt like a baby spiritually, and wondered when the day will come when he will cry like that baby for his beloved Lord.

Radhanath Swami emphasises that chanting of God’s names should not be performed mechanically. “Even a parrot can learn the art of chanting. But that’s not our goal. Our goal is to chant like a child for its mother.” His stunning analysis on the need to take shelter of God leaves me amazed. In his intense voice, choked with spiritual emotion, Radhanath Swami appeals to all of us, “When the baby is in danger he doesn’t go to the internet, he doesn’t analyze his strengths and his weaknesses’ and neither does he philosophize. He simply spontaneously and instantly cries from the core of his heart for mother’s help. We also have to give up our own endeavours and rather beg for shelter, and cry for mercy from God.”

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188 Comments


  1. Humans are the deadliest of all animals… true.
    However, that same human being becomes the most amiable creature once it comes in touch with GOD.
    And Radhanath Swami is one such being who constantly endeavours to the same effect.
    Thank you Swamiji for all your efforts.

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  2. Saurabh Vinayak

    “Our fear should not be death. Our fear should be that we may forget God. Because if we remember God, when death comes, we may go back to the kingdom of God. It’s better to die remembering God than to live a fearful life in this temporary world.”

    Statement to contemplate and act upon

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  3. Realising the wonderful opportunity we have in the human form of life which no other species of life have…Radhanath Swami is teaching us how we can best use this opportunity…

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  4. Radhanath Swami has shared the SECRET to chanting the Lords name in a very clear way. Hope we learn and practice it …thank you

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  5. HH Radhanath swami is equal to all and intensely attached to God, Krishna. Also, He wanted every living entity find this. Truly a wonderful and unparalleled well wisher and real friend of all. Thank you Maharaj for every thing.

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  6. Move out of the comfort zone—-

    With each step, a camel lifts its hoof from a stable place on earth in order to move forward. And to reach the sea, each ripple of the river must let go of its present state to surrender to the current.”…….Thanks For waking us and to act sincerely and seriously

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  7. “It’s better to die remembering God than to live a fearful life in this temporary world.” Hari Bol.

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  8. Not many people have experienced the adventure with complete dependence upon nature. To know more about the adventures and dependence of Radhanath Swami on God, read “The Journey Home”
    The tale of a teenager in love with God.

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  9. Ram Mohan Gupta

    I liked following statement of HH Radhanath Swami:
    We also have to give up our own endeavours and rather beg for shelter, and cry for mercy from God.

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  10. inspiring point by maharaj It’s better to die remembering God than to live a fearful life in this temporary world.”

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  11. What a thought! Inspires us to be conscious of every moment that we live. Are remembering to remember Him?

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  12. Excellent instructive story. Many times we panic if we forget few things when we travel. In this story we learn that nature has provided every thing that we need and we do not have to depend on Malls.

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  13. We need to learn to call out to God the way a child in need cries for its mother. A wonderful message to contemplate and act on.

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  14. Maharaj has demonstrated what should be the focus in our life. Always remember God and never forget God, even in the face of greatest danger. For this, one needs to train his mind to always remember God.

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  15. Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s advise of “Our fear should not be death. Our fear should be that we may forget God. Because if we remember God, when death comes, we may go back to the kingdom of God. It’s better to die remembering God than to live a fearful life in this temporary world.” is really never to be forgot and should be remembered till end.Thank you Maharaj!!

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  16. Radhanath Maharaj’s life story is really inspiring. The amazing experiences he has gone through and the lessons he derives from them are still being taught by his actions and words.

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  17. Very inspiring!!

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  18. I simply pray that Radhanath Swami’s words inspire me……

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  19. Radhanath Swami has very clearly shared the SECRET to the Holy name. Hope we can practice it daily. Thank you.

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  20. How an American boy of 20 years old was subjected to such an experience of living in the himalayan jungles amidst wild animals , so far away from the comforts of modern american cities is astounding. The journey home is a book truly worth reading , just to know these experiences.

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  21. We human beings are so busy in the pursuit of material happiness that we forget that it is only God consciousness that will give us true eternal happiness. Radhanath Swami rightly reminds us of this truth again and again and also tells us how we should call out to God – like a child crying for its mother.

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  22. Very inspiring and eye-opening too.

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  23. Only a pure vaishnava like Radhanath Swami can guide the human civilization in the correct path.

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  24. Radhanath Maharaja has seen both types of lives – that of a hermit and city life. But he remained the same in all circumstances – with unflinching longing for the highest truth – God.

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  25. Uday Krishnamurti Koppikar

    Bhagavad Gita teaches that a humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees spiritual spark in every living entity.Knowing that the spiritual spark(soul)is part and parcel of God,he becomes fearless.Radhanath Swami understood this truth very early in his spiritual quest, hence he was fearless.

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  26. Very inspiring and enlightening.

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  27. suresh kanakraj

    radhanath swami is very humble to lead a life between the wild animals and creatures with a consciousness of accepting them as a part and parcel of the supreme god,but the most dreadful creature in this entire creation is humankind only if not in the path toward spirituality,then he is not less than an animal,

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  28. Advaitachandra Das

    Radhanath Swami’s earnest spiritual longing and desire for spiritual life is igniting the fire of spiritual life in all his followers.

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  29. The concept of taking exclusive shelter of only the Lord was wonderfully explained by Radhanath Swami through the example of the child crying for mother in need and not searching in internet or analyzing one’s strength’s and weaknesses.

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  30. Arun P. Jadwani

    every step of life we fear of losing each and everything whatever we have procured , which does not actualy gives us pleasure for a very long time and which infact fades our mind & soul to forget God with tons of dust . Nothing count at the end power,beauty,false ego, nothing but only the chanting of the Holy name with desperation can help us at the end to be with the supreme God Krishna.

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  31. Radhanath Swami teaches us how to in every walk of life remember the Lord through His Holy names…thank you.

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  32. Whenever we’re in trouble, we turn to so many things for help. Sometimes a little voice tells us, it’s no use, turn to God, but we don’t listen. We have too much false ego. If only I could chant intensely…

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  33. Radhanath swami is great example to follow.Great thinking .such wonderful conclusions.

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  34. Death is an inevitable experience that we all have to go through. Radhanath Swami is counselling us to make it a spiritually beneficial experience for ourselves so that we can go back to Godhead. On our part, we just need to follow in his footsteps & lead a proper devotional life.

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  35. Hrishikesh Mafatlal

    Radhanath Swami wonderfully proves that the superior intelligence of humans is being misused, which means that mere intelligence is not enough to transform a heart. Our consciousness, based on our desire, can form our character.

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  36. The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don’t know what to do.

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  37. Smitha Krishna das

    H.H Radhanath Swami has demonstarated by his personal example by showing that Gos is more important than death by willingly facing several life threatening situations and he has shown the world that God takes care of those who love Him.

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  38. Radhanath Swami is very deep…

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  39. Very instructive experience.

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  40. yes I also agree that because of technological advancements human being is causing lot of fear to normal people.We must remember God then everythig has value.What a wonderful lesson we receive by this story.

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  41. Radhanath Swami truly does a stunning analysis on the need to take shelter of God & leaves us amazed. Radhanath Swami seems to appeal across all strata of life.

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  42. Yes.Its not the length but the depth of life that is counted.So our quality of life is important than no.of yrs.

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  43. A powerful example of fearlessness….which is attained after one surrenders to Krishna’s will..

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  44. “Our fear should not be death. Our fear should be that we may forget God. Because if we remember God, when death comes, we may go back to the kingdom of God. It’s better to die remembering God than to live a fearful life in this temporary world.”…
    THIS STATEMENT REALLY MAKE SENSE.
    Thank you very much for enlightment swamiji.

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  45. Shikhar Maheshwari

    Radhanath Swami’s faith in the Holy name of the Supreme God is something beyond my descriptive ability. It makes me pray to the Lord “Oh Lord, let me also develop such a faith on your holy names one day…”

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  46. “Our fear should not be death. Our fear should be that we may forget God.”
    What a great statement, what a great realization!

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  47. chandrika nirmal

    Unless we have a desperate urge to seek God realization like HH Radhanath Swami god will not reveal himself to us. I pray to God to give a drop of determination like HH Radhanath Swami.

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  48. This is revolutionary. First time I am hearing, how one should face death, by remembering the Lord.

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  49. I like the way Guru Maharaj deals spiritually in the most difficult situations of life.

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  50. hare krishna.great example maharaj is giving thru this article how best we can use our human form of life in its really sense .thank u for this .

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