default image for post
From lust to love
October 11, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

At Mathura Gary and Richard (now Radhanath Swami) were hosted by a guru who had pleasing mannerisms and was refined and meticulous in his speech and movements. He offered Richard to share his own wooden bed for sleeping in the night. Richard felt it was an honour to sleep on the same level as the guru, but soon realized this guru was lusty. As the guru tried to grope Richard in his embrace, and started moving his hands in the private parts of Richard’s body, Richard shoved him away and jumped to his feet. Richard rushed outside and closely spied on the swami making sure he didn’t do this to Gary.

Later both Gary and Richard realized that once again their idealistic innocence was challenged by the real world.

What inspired me the most on reading this account was Radhanath Swami’s mood even as young Richard. He writes:

“…He was a scholar of scripture, the high priest of a temple, and the guru of many disciples who revered him. Yet he’d tried to exploit me to satisfy his own carnal desire. Real saintliness should be understood by a person’s behavior. Exerting one’s spiritual authority to exploit the innocent is a grave injustice. I prayed that this incident would not create doubt in my mind toward the sincere devotees.”

Radhanath Swami’s purity shines forth in this passage. Generally a normal person would be so outraged by acts of hypocrisy that it wouldn’t be surprising if he or she dismisses all gurus and all paths. However Radhanath Swami even as an inexperienced Richard prayed that the misdeeds of those in the guise of a saint but ravaged by lust, not disturb his faith in genuine gurus and sincere devotees of the Lord.

Lust has been the biggest stumbling block for many spiritual seekers. Even for those not interested in spiritual life, lust sucks the consciousness of millions searching for happiness. “Mistaking lust for love is the single greatest tragedy of the modern world”, says Radhanath Swami. Due to the influence of the movies most people think bodily contact and union is the essence of love. When we mistake ourselves to be physical bodies, whether male or female, we become lusty. Radhanath Swami explains that lust originates and perpetuates from the fundamental ignorance of who we actually are. When we indulge in lust, that overwhelming experience of subordination to the body for pleasure, seals our bodily misidentification. Lust creates within us a sense of incompleteness which we struggle to fulfil by exploiting another’s body for our pleasure.

Radhanath Swami is also quick to point out that love on the other hand is based on the true understanding of our spiritual identity. We are spirit souls, emanating from the complete whole. The self is complete in the natural, eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord. Radhanath Swami reminds us, “Unfortunately we have at the present moment forgotten this relationship with God. When we revive this divine relationship, the resulting love fills us with a sense of completeness.” A natural question that comes to one’s mind is does this completeness make us indifferent to all worldly relationships? “Not at all”, exclaims Radhanath Swami with the exuberance of a child, “if we reconnect with the Supreme Lord, then we form relationships with others, not to fill our completeness, but to share our completeness. That’s why the great saintly persons across the religious traditions were able to transform thousands of lives by radiating this spiritual love.”

Radhanath Swami speaks very fondly of his own guru who transformed thousands of drug-addicted hippies into ‘spiritually-satisfied “happies”. How? Because the hippies whose motto was to rebel against every authority found him(Radhanath Swami’s guru) to be a source of unconditional, divine love and so abided by his guidance to transform their lust into love.

How can we awaken this love for God? “All bonafide scriptures recommend chanting of God’s names”, says Radhanath Swami, whose formula is very simple, “If by chanting God’s names, we can shine with love, why should we choose to burn with lust?”

Related Posts:



147 Comments


  1. rambaboo maheshwari

    Mistaking lust for love is the single greatest tragedy of the modern world very nicely explained .

    View Comment
  2. this last line “If by chanting God’s names, we can shine with love, why should we choose to burn with lust?” is the essence…lust will burn our existence in to ashes, what actually we are looking for is pure love of god and that only can be achieved by chanting of the Holy names of Lord. Thank you maharaj.

    View Comment
  3. Thanks to H.H Radhnath Swami Maharaj , nicely quoted diffrence between Lust and love

    View Comment
  4. I agree with Abhijit pr. Choice is ours – by being lusty to satisfy the body we are hankering miserably but by accepting and distributing love we experience fulfillment and complete satisfaction.

    View Comment
  5. Radhanath swami has led a v pure life right from beginning. This shines thru all his dealings.

    View Comment
  6. very nice blog

    View Comment
  7. Oh, better to fuel our love with chanting of holy names than to fuel lust. as Maharaj is already telling in one post that lust burns all the intelligence of a man.

    View Comment
  8. Radhanath Swami focused on the internal aspect of spiritual life which is much more deeper than focusing on the externals.

    View Comment
  9. “I prayed that this incident would not create doubt in my mind toward the sincere devotees.” This shows Radhanath Swamy Maharaj’s saintly quality

    View Comment
  10. The power of A genuine Guru is visible in the life of millions of those who are following RADHANATH SWAMI. Thank you maharaj.

    View Comment
  11. thank you maharaj

    View Comment
  12. nice defination of,’ from lust to love’given by Radhanath swami maharaj

    View Comment
  13. Radhanath Swami’s purity and sincerity shines through. Indeed a very important lesson.

    View Comment
  14. Thank you very much for sharing. H.H.Radhanath Swami’s sincere prayers made him to meet his Guru and serve the world in this way

    View Comment
  15. The fact that Radhanath swami, even as Richard, was not at all disturbed even though he encountered this guru ravaged by lust, proves that he was genuinely seeking out a true spiritual master. Most people would have been so much disappointed, that they would have totally given up spiritual pursuits, after such an incident.

    View Comment
  16. “Unfortunately we have at the present moment forgotten this relationship with God. When we revive this divine relationship, the resulting love fills us with a sense of completeness.”-HHRSM

    View Comment
  17. Maharaj has clarified in a nice manner.
    We should all endeavor towards a fulfilling relationship with Lord and then we can truly love all others.

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

    Hippies to Happies,Wonderful narrative.

    Thank you Prabhuji.

    Hare Krishna

    View Comment
  19. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article that goes on to explain how Radhanath swami was spiritually mature even as young Richard

    View Comment
  20. It is a very nice assurance by HH Radhanath Swami that by chanting the Holy Name we can shine with love.In bodily conception this love is mistaken for lust.Where lust seeks gratification,love is complete in itself.Thank you Maharaj for showing us the path of Love to God.

    View Comment
  21. Radhanath Swami very nicely pointed out
    “if we reconnect with the Supreme Lord, then we form relationships with others, not to fill our completeness, but to share our completeness. That’s why the great saintly persons across the religious traditions were able to transform thousands of lives by radiating this spiritual love.”
    We are suffering in this material existence life after life only because of “Lust’.

    View Comment
  22. We have to be exemplary in our behavior. As Radhanath Swami points out “Real saintliness should be understood by a person’s behavior.”. Thanks to Radhanath Swami.

    View Comment
  23. Thank you Radhanath Maharaj for giving us a solution for lust – Solution is chanting of the holy name by which we can get real love of God.

    View Comment
  24. Lust devours us but love conquers us

    View Comment
  25. Ashish patil vjti

    Excellent answer

    View Comment
  26. thank you very much maharaj for a wonderful and eye opening difference between lust and real love.

    View Comment
  27. How wonderfully it is explained what love is. An eye opening. Thank you Maharaj!

    View Comment
  28. Lust manifest in so many ways, even if we are aware somehow it gets the better of us, Radhanath Swamis book ‘The Journey Home’ is packed with exciting adventures and enroute one gets to absorb great practical learning’s.

    View Comment
  29. Its novice to conclude all Sadhus are bogus by seeing the lustful acts of some who failed in dovetailing their love to Supreme God. But, time and again real Sadhus emerge to transform the lives of millions by their unconditional love towards the Supreme, reflecting in their love towards all living creatures

    View Comment
  30. Thanks to Radhanath Swami for opening our eyes and showing the reality of this world. What we see all around in the name of love is actually lust, based on selfish interests.

    View Comment
  31. The wonderful learning which Maharaj is sharing with us is very touching. Maharaj has said ” I prayed that this incident would not create doubt in my mind toward the sincere devotees.” Inspite of facing such a situation Richard prayed that the misdeeds of those in the guise of a saint but ravaged by lust, not disturb his faith in genuine gurus and sincere devotees of the Lord.

    Thank you Maharaj for this wonderful insight on Lust and love and a guide for many to follow.

    View Comment
  32. Great way of explaining the difference between the two..thank you radhanath swami.

    View Comment
  33. Jagdish Majethiya

    Very nicely explained – “if we reconnect with the Supreme Lord, then we form relationships with others, not to fill our completeness, but to share our completeness.” Thank you so much Maharaj for the great lessons.

    View Comment
  34. Very deep matter revealed here by Radhanath Swami Maharaj. Maharaj says in one lecture lust belongs to this matrial world which is perverted refelection of Love which belongs to Spiritual world.

    View Comment
  35. Mitali kallianpur

    In the story if it was anybody else in the place of richard .He/She would have lost faith in every guru. But Richard still had faith in the lord that he will guide him to the real guru.The same conviction and faith in the lords plans needs to be imbibed in our lives too.

    View Comment
  36. Modern worlds misconception of lust to be love vey nicely brought out in this article. It led me to deep introspections.

    View Comment
  37. Yogita Jagannathan

    LOve for God and His followers is the only genuine love in this world. Srila Prabhupada and his disciples out of compassion, are spreading this love to everyone they meet.

    View Comment
  38. Shine by chanting God’s names and awaken the true love. Thanks to Radhanath Swami Maharaj for giving true meaning to our lives by sharing the completeness he is experiencing within.

    View Comment
  39. Thanks to Radhanath Swami Maharaj for enlightening us about what real love is.

    View Comment
  40. This distinction between love and lust has been so elusive so far, but Radhanath Swami has presented the answer through his example and these above words. Thanks a bunch!

    View Comment
  41. Radhanath swami has described so nicely the difference between lust and love

    View Comment
  42. THANK U MAHARAJ FOR EXPLAINING THIS

    View Comment
  43. Thanks to H.H Radhnath Swami Maharaj , nicely quoted diffrence between Lust and love

    View Comment
  44. Radhanath Swami was determined on his path although this incident could have turned him away but its so inspiring to see how Radhanath Swami still continued his journey

    View Comment
  45. Radhanath Swami is very pure since his childhood. Purity is the force behind him.

    View Comment
  46. Very needed example in today’s world – while so many cheat in name of God, to persevere with a sincere heart – finding a genuine teacher and dedicating every breath of life to God’s service…

    View Comment
  47. Oh!! Wonderful insight. I had also read something similar on one of Lokanath Maharaj’s website.

    View Comment

Leave a Reply