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Searching for God within
July 17, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Meditations on The Journey Home – Lesson from Chapter 2

Inspirations 
from 
‘The
 Journey 
Home ‐ 
Autobiography
 of 
an 
American
 Swami’

In the inner depths of the Himalayan forests, Richard met a powerful, well built, six foot tall yogi, dressed only in a loin cloth covering his groin. Mahavirdas Tat Walla Baba had left home as a child in search of God and since the age of sixteen lived in these caves. Years of rigorous, solitary meditation had given him supernatural powers. With the ability to read Richard’s mind, Tat Walla Baba spoke in a deep, compelling voice, addressing his deep concerns. The Baba spoke about maya, or illusion as forgetting our identity in relation to God. He explained we needn’t search for God everywhere. If we are sincere and call out to Him sincerely, He shall reveal to us in our own hearts. We may wander through the jungles our whole lives yet not find Him, because He resides in our heart, and if we can find Him there, we can see Him everywhere.

Radhanath Swami often narrates a story to drive home this point. Once a rich man left a huge treasure for his son, but he died before he could give it to his son. The son, on knowing that his father had left him a fortune, began a massive search. He searched the whole world but couldn’t find the treasure. Eventually he too became old, and died. His family members buried his dead body at the back yard of his house, and lo and behold what did they discover on digging the ground? The treasure!! He searched for it whole life, but it was lying at his own backyard. Similarly there is a huge treasure of love of God right in our hearts. However we search for it through more money, fame and material success. These ephemeral pursuits can never give us happiness. Tat Walla Baba cut through Richard’s selfish conditionings by his sword like words, “People are chasing after the temporary. Do you not see they are on the road to death?”

Almost all the Babas Richard met lived a simple life, satisfied with whatever Mother Nature provided. “He who is content is rich”, said the wise Lao Tzu. When we lead a God centered life, with a culture of prayer and service as the basic foundation, a sense of serenity fills our lives. The pushing of the restless mind to ‘get what I want, when I want’ is replaced by a desire to improve the quality of our offering to God. The mind’s primary function is to ‘like’ and ‘dislike’. Constant acceptance and rejection by the mind ensures we are never peaceful and happy. The connection to God however helps us ignore the various material allurements, and transcend the petty wrangling of the mind. How does this science of God connection work?

Radhanath Swami answers this beautifully, “A devotee practicing a God centered lifestyle fills his or her heart with loving remembrance of God.  This absorption in chanting God’s holy names and hearing about God gives us an experience of spiritual happiness that helps one transcend the constant battering by the mind.  To the extent we are connected to God, our happiness only increases with the passage of time, and simultaneously the craving for material possessions wanes away.”

Tat Walla Baba invited Richard to join him and spend the rest of his life in the caves. Richard thought deeply:

“His words reverberated in my mind while I pondered the seriousness of the decision I had to make. One morning, I came out of my meditation and thought: It would be a blessing to live under the guidance of such a holy man in this sanctified forest. Still, if I dedicate myself to following a guru, I should never disgrace him by changing my mind later in life. I wish to find a master and a path that I can dedicate my life to”.

Richard humbly declined, not because the Baba wasn’t qualified, but Richard wanted to be sure he wouldn’t disgrace his guru. Radhanath Swami shares his internal meditation, “The behavior of a disciple can be an ornament for, or a scar on the reputation of the spiritual master.”

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134 Comments


  1. A disciple should be the true representative of the Guru , bring glory to the Guru & not infamy.Richard did the right thing by not committing himself to a path before he was 100 % sure.

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  2. H.H.Radhanath Swami is a wonderful example to mankind.

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  3. The behavior of a disciple can be an ornament for, or a scar on the reputation of the spiritual master – this is a powerful statement and worth meditating on.

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  4. The last sentence in the article is really has deep meaning and need to be taken seriously by every disciple taken the shelter of the lotus feet of his Guru…not only Guru but his disciple should also be qualified to never to bring disgrace to his Spiritual Master. Thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaj for this wonderful message and please bless all of us that we be an ornament and not an scar to reputation of our spiritual master.

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  5. Smitha Krishna das

    H.H.Radhanath Swami has encountered several hurdles in his journey for The Absolute Truth. However, he has never looked back in his jouney. His determination is unparalleled. This book will bring more people closer to Krishna undoubtedly.

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  6. Another wonderful story from HH Radhanath Swami. I was moved by HH Radhanath Swami’s thought process, that he did not wanted to bring wanted to bring disgrace to Guru. Such a humble position and great respect for saintly person. Wow. I am elated to read this. Thank you.

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  7. suresh kanakraj

    no doubt, radhanath swami is a born spiritual teacher, each and every activity he perfomed throughout his search for the ultimate truth and ultimately to HDG AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada,it was a true and spontaneous decision that expressed his quality to be a special and a chosen one in the path of delivering his followers by guiding them to the true path of love of godhead, all thanks and all glories to my guru and krishna for giving radhanath swami to us,

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  8. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. So truly said by Radhanath Swami….How should a disciple behave so that spiritual master is satisfied in nicely described here.

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  10. the last line of the article has a deep meaning. Only Radhanath Swami has the ability to make such strong statements in such sober and simple words.

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  11. great article, thanks for sharing with us.

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  12. Radhanath Swami shows such deep integrity and sincerity in his approach to reach and connect to God even in his early days – that is sometimes rare to acheive after spending years on the Spiritual path.

    As Richard, he so deeply feels the need to seek shelter of a bonafide Spiritual master and at the same time ensures its not a matter to be taken lightly…

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  13. Very powerful statements by RADHANATH SWAMI, very inspiriational.

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  14. H.H.Radhanath Swami’s powerful statement “The behavior of a disciple can be an ornament for, or a scar on the reputation of the spiritual master” is so meaningful.

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  15. H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj shows how to approach Guru and please him by dedicating ourselves.

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  16. Advaitachandra das

    Radhanath Swami has experienced all major spiritual paths and is giving us the essence.

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  17. Really! Radhnath Swami has so nicely explained the Science of connection to God. “To the extent we are connected to God, our happiness only increases with the passage of time, and simultaneously the craving for material possessions wanes away”
    Thank You Radhanath Swami.

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  18. Hrishikesh Mafatlal

    What an advanced spiritualist does and thinks others follow. Radhanath Swami shows the way regarding how to seriously meditate on accepting a spiritual master, and being true, loyal and faithful to him for the rest of his life. He is indicating that this acceptance is the MOST IMPORTANT SERVICE in our life.

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  19. Amazing! A man of his stature thinks that he doesnt want to bring disgrace to his Guru.All of us should imbibe this teaching of maharaj.

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  20. Radhanath Swami’s has nicely explained that if we wants to have happiness in our life then we have to make God centered lifestyle filled with prayer and service. Radhanath Swami’s desire for acceptance the Spiritual master is incredible that by being fully surrender and never disgrace his guru.

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  21. A wise thought provoking decision to be followed by anyone who is seriously seeking a guru for spiritual realisation

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  22. The Story of lost treasure is really good. Really touch my heart.
    We are searching for happiness but in wrong things.

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  23. Dr.Anjali S. Palav

    Radhanath swami’s jouney is so thrilling. he has underwent many experiences & he learnt lesson from them. Radhanth swami is teaching us also the same thing.
    Bhakti-source of happiness is there in our heart & we are searching happiness foolishly in this temporary world,like that person who was searching wealth in his backyard.
    Radhanath swami is also teaching us by practical example how to surrender to Guru.

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  24. I read this book twice & i will still read it again. Amazing experience. we, Indians also do not know so much about Spiritual wealth that India possesses.
    Hare Krishna!

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  25. I read this book twice & i will still read it again. Amazing experience! we, Indians also do not know so much about Spiritual wealth that India possesses.
    Hare Krishna!

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  26. Radhnath Swami’s life reminds me of the quotation :

    Lives of great men remind us
    We can make our lives sublime
    And departing leave behind us
    Footprints on the sands of time

    Maharaj’s life is truly inspirational and he is leaving behind
    his foot prints to follow.

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  27. We can understand how important a disciple’s behavior is.

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  28. great insights. thanks for sharing

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  29. Thanks for sharing

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  30. This is a truely inspiring event in the life of Maharaj. Many cannot deceide if offered an option like that offered by that Tat wala Baba and probably might have accepted. But Radhanath Swamis consideration not to disgrace his guru when he finds the right guru is amazing. This shows that Lord has unique plans for his devotees. Thanks for sharing this.

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  31. The Incident wherein the Sardar Customs Officer’s heart melts into allowing Maharaj entry into India is truly something that I cherish.

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  32. Thanks for sharing, the last para. is really touching and inspiring, Hare Krishna.

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  33. amazing article..

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  34. Such an insightful article !

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  35. God reveals Himself to those who sincerely desire Him. Radhanath Swami also had a deep & sincere desire, which is why the Lord Himself directed him to go to India to attain spiritual perfection

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  36. By following in the footsteps of great souls/self realized souls one can develop good qualities and as His Holiness
    Radhanath Swami Maharaj says “The behavior of a disciple can be an ornament on the reputation of the spiritual master.”

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  37. Radhanath Swami is fortunate to get the association of self realized souls. It reminds me of Ramayan how Lord Rama, Sita and Laxman during the 14 years exile were taking the association of one saint after another.. Lord Rama was showing by his example how important it is to associate with great souls because we become what we associate with.

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  38. Radhanath Swami is so elevated and dedicated whole heartedly his life to His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

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  39. Yogita Jagannathan

    One day I hope I can imbibe this integrity of Radhanath Swami Maharaj about being 100% dedicated to his Guru. Radhanath Swami always took upon himself any decision, without blaming the other person.

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  40. Dharmendra kumar

    Radhanath Swami maharaj is a wonderful example to mankind

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  41. What a beautiful pasttime. Peace of mind is linked to the extent of detachment from material possessions. Jia Srila Radhanath swami Maharaj.

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  42. Maharaj practices much more than what he preaches, this is his greatest quality

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  43. Swapnil Gaonkar

    Great article

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  44. “The behavior of a disciple can be an ornament for, or a scar on the reputation of the spiritual master” This quote by Radhanath Swami is this article is really touching.

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  45. Most revealing article.

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  46. Excellent article..thank you for sharing.it inspires me to read the book again…

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  47. “The behavior of a disciple can be an ornament for, or a scar on the reputation of the spiritual master.”
    Really Inspiring & True…
    Learned My Lesson Today.How one should live or behave.

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  48. Narendra Rakibe

    This goes to show the seriuosness with which HH Radhanath Maharaj was searching for his GURU….let me never be a scar on the reputation of My Guru Maharaj.

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  49. Wonderful experience of a wonderful person giving a wonderful message. Simply wonderful. Thanks fpor sharing such a wonderful inspiration.

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  50. very inspiriational thanks maharaj

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