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Learning to tolerate and sacrifice
May 6, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Meditations on The Journey Home – Lesson from Chapter 1

Richard (now Radhanath Swami) wore his hair long, not as a fashion, but as an expression of discontent at the mainstream values driven by money, power and prejudice. He and his friends yearned for a meaningful life with ideals they could live and die for. However his appearance invited anger and negative reactions from many. People swore at him, called him a lazy parasite, and he was often harassed by the police. Richard struggled to curb the resentment that would swell up in his own heart, reminding himself about his spiritual purpose. Although he bore no malice towards anyone, he was a target of ridicule and hate. He sought to cultivate patience, perseverance, and prayer to overcome these obstacles.

It seems to be a rule that anyone not toeing the social line is marked as abnormal. It’s not just ordinary seekers like Richard, even great men, seeking to break free from the bonds of worldly prejudice, have been ridiculed and persecuted. Jesus Christ dared to stand up for love, and reclaim the lost children of God. Far from being appreciated, he was crucified. In the fifteenth century, Haridas Thakur, though born in a Muslim family in Bengal, India, became an exalted saint devoted to God in the form of Krishna, whom the religious zealots of his time considered to be a sectarian Hindu god. Consequently, Haridas Thakura was constantly tormented by those religious Zealots. His crime? He sought to chant the holy names of God, and broke sectarian barriers in spreading the message of love of God.  A spiritual seeker never attempts to imitate great souls, and Richard had no desire to do so. He was unknowingly to himself following the footsteps of all previous God seekers, and humbly following the calling of his heart. Even as Radhanath Swami, he often guards himself and others that a spiritual seeker always aspires to follow the footsteps of great souls, but never in the wildest of his dreams should dare to imitate them.

Practicing spiritual life is always a challenge, especially in modern times when the goals and values of the modern society are determined by the print and electronic media. Today’s heroes are movie-stars and sports-stars, and their exploits are emulated by million others. Yet emptiness engulfs the heart of many of those superheroes and their diehard fans who have no tangible goal in life; their pain is compounded when they see saintly people, who have abandoned the pleasures of the world, to be much happier than them. Unable to contain their envy, some give vent to their frustration by hurling abuses at such seekers of spiritual enlightenment. This is a challenge for the spiritual seeker- not to nurse the same negativity, and on the contrary, love the very people who despise him or her. This requires internal fortitude and strong character, achieved through sincere spiritual practices. Thus a spiritualist, far from being lazy, has to strive hard with patience and prayer. While the world chases after the mirages of external growth and success, a seeker of God attempts to conquer his own inner enemies of anger, envy and pride. The endeavor alone, if filled with loving remembrance of God, fills the heart with a level of happiness that is far beyond the fleeting happiness of this world. History has borne witness to the sacrifices of thousands of saints who pursued their inner calling, despite the social wave flowing in the opposite direction. Richard too, was pursuing a similar goal.

He derived constant inspiration from flowing streams of water. Sitting on the banks of a water body, he felt soothed and driven to pursue his inner calling. He reflected on the secrets of life that were waiting to unfold and guide him to his destiny. During this time, his friends, Gary and Frank planned to go to Europe for a few days. Richard explained his plan to his parents, and pacifying their concerns as best as he could, set out determinedly, on an unprecedented adventure.

A burning desire to know and love God compels a person to leave the comforts of a safe home. Radhanath Swami sums it up eloquently, “The greatest joy is to make sacrifices for someone you love.” Richard desired to love God, and was ready to make his sacrifice.

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47 Comments


  1. According to HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj, if we seriously want to make our life sweet & sublime and overcome stress, then we need to learn to tolerate & sacrifice without hankering for recognition.

    To know more about Maharaj, please visit http://radhanathswamionline.com

    Hare Krishna!

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  2. A very nice article.

    Hare Krsna

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  3. Thanks for good article. Hope to see more soon. . . . .

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  4. Gaurav Bhardwaj

    Very practical and nice article. The depth of the article reveals that the writer himself is having these wonderful qualities.

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  5. Gaurav Bhardwaj

    Very practical and nice article. The depth of the article reveals that Radhanath Swami is having these wonderful qualities.

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  6. Gautam Daswani

    The greatest joy is to make sacrifices for someone you love.” Richard desired to love God, and was ready to make his sacrifice.
    Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s qualities of tolerance and sacrifice is great inspiration and his teachings of tolerating provoking situations has helped me to tolerate provoking situations in a positive manner

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  7. This is really helpful for inner peace. Thank you 🙂

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  8. Louetta Tottingham

    Great stuff. thanks for this

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  9. Very true!!!! Radhanath swami gives very practicle examples which r related 2 us.Wonderful articles.

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  10. Really beautiful!
    Thankyou

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  11. H.H.Radhanath Maharaj exhibits qualities which are truly speaking superhuman. No ordinary person can have such tolerance, patience, love & compassion like him. His autobiography The Journey Home churns the heart & brings out the good within oneself. I even visited his site radhanath.com & was really impressed. Really want to know more about him.

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  12. tolerence is killing initially,but over a period of time it is a bliss.along with humbleness it makes us a beautiful person. to practise this is not possible without a guru- thank u maharaj.

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  13. Pramathesh Nimkar

    tolerance is a culture. If some one grows up seeing examples of his parents happily and philosophically doing it, it becomes his second nature. We are extremely fortunate to have Radhanath Swami’s living example so close, although we might have missed it in our folks. Let’s medidtate on this and follow this for his pleasure

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  14. thanks H.H.Radhanth swami for your great sacrifice

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  15. How many times we get upset on small things not going right and hurt our near and dear ones? What to speak of tolerating wrong things and wishing well for an outsider?

    Radhanath Swami at very young age is grasping and living very deep characteristics of a saintly person…Very laudable indeed…

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  16. thank you posting such articles it indeed needs a lot of contemplation to be done on to actually practice it in our lives…

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  17. Nature inspires many. But its real value is if it attracts us to God like it did Radhanath Swami MAharaja.

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  18. nice article!

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  19. Venkata Buddhiraju

    It is said that God is pleased by sacrifice. It appears that God is extremely pleased with the sacrifices made by Radhanath Swami in the process of attaining Him. That is why Radhanath Swami has been blessed by God with such an amazing ability to inspire people lead a simple life devoted to God.

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  20. Radhanath Maharaj’s has sacrificed his life for giving Krsna to the entire world.

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  21. It is difficult to practice tolerance & sacrifice in today’s world. A true sadhu as Radhanath Swami teaches by his example how we should learn to tolerate & sacrifice. That is only thing that can give happiness.

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  22. Radhanath Swami has acquired all Godly qualities because of his sincere spiritual practices and the sarifices he made to please the Lord whom he loves so much.

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  23. Radhanath swami always emphasis on tolerance power.what he preaches he practices

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  24. very interesting article

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  25. So true ! people who donot follow the norms of the society normally have to go through lot of problems but inspite of all the hatred great personality follow their insticts and thats what make them unique.

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  26. Radhanath Swami inspires to imbibe the quality of tolerance and sacrifice for a spiritual practitioner in a very pleasant way.

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  27. M. Pandurangayya Shetty

    Radhanath Swami got the Love of God by sacrificing his own mundane pleasures to get his real eternal pleasure.

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  28. I am very new to the net and needed to research this subject. Thought it was a fantastic blog very well written and helpful. I will surely be coming back to your blog to read more articles as i really enjoyed this one..

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  29. Good article, Every and every Stage is good enough.Many thanks for sharing with us your wisdom.

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  30. Would it be okay to syndicate your feed?

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  31. i really never thinking for that point. just also i’m a real newbie about that.

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  32. I Too Like the Blog here. Keep up all the work. I too love to blog. This is great everyone sharing opinions 🙂

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  33. I love Blogging. Keep up all the work. I too love to blog. Great Stuff Here.

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  34. Im going to say what everyone else have not said above, but I do want to comment on your knowledge of the topic ,Your are truly well-informed. i wasnt aware of imformation of your post .Thank you for publishing more content to this topic for everyone .Im truly grateful and really impressed.

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  35. Thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaja for your example. I am very inspired by yourreaction to the hatred which you had to faith – in place of becomming angry you chose to cultivare patience, perseverance and prayers

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  36. Nicely said Maharaj, a true spiritual speaker is the one who tries to conquer his own inner enemies of anger, envy and pride.

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  37. Radhanath Swami has tried to teach us many lessons through his life. He was always ready to search for God because we was sincere in his attempts to do so. If we also try to follow his footsteps with sincerity and seriousness, we can also get some glimpse of that transcendental truth which many of us are striving to know.

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  38. Thank you Radhanath Swami for explaining the power of love and forgiveness.

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  39. Practicing spiritual life is difficult and in particular in the moderns age. Its difficult to even start with it.
    but seekers like Radhanath Swami Maharaj not only stood against all odds but helps others many for the following spiritual life.

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  40. I like your website! I am looking forward to more content like this.

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  41. Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some devotee thank you maharaj

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  42. Great astounding to know God

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  43. Radhanath Swami is an embodiment of these two qualities. His book Journey home mentions about so many other incidents of his life where he had passed through extremely unfavorable or demanding situations but he has gone through them very easily because of his sacrificing and tolerating nature. He has influenced the life of so many because of the same qualities. Thank you very much Radhanath maharaj.

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  44. Thank you very much for sharing, ‘greatest joy is to sacrifice for someone you love’ and love for God is ultimate realization of life. inspiring.

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  45. We need a ideal to follow in life, Radhanath Swami just suits it by his thoughts , words and actions teaches us and revives the lost which everyone is actually searching for.
    Thank you for sharing this …

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