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Transcending material problems by spirituality
November 17, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Richard (now Radhanath Swami) melted with joy to see Srila Prabhupada, who was now Vrindavan’s ambassador to the world. The hearts of the people of Vrindavan swelled with pride to witness people of races they had never seen before now practising Krishna culture. Srila Prabhupada, all residents of Vrindavan agreed, had performed a miracle.

Radhanath Swami writes about Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual journey. He was born in 1896 to a deeply religious family in Calcutta. On his first meeting with his guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in 1922, the latter had told him to teach the message of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the world. Srila Prabhupada who was then known as Abhay protested that India is a dependent nation and nobody will listen to a spiritual message. Bhaktisisddhanta Saraswati cited from scriptures, with logic and compassion that the eternal reality is we are not these bodily designations and the situation of dependence was temporary. Today one power is ruling, tomorrow another one will overtake the country. Real welfare work, Srila Bhaktisisddhanta Saraswati said is to help everyone re-establish their eternal relationship with God. That moment in his heart of hearts, Abhay accepted Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati as his spiritual master, and carried out his order for the rest of his life.

I was reflecting on the wisdom of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and tend to agree about how everything in this world is temporary and what we consider as reality is constantly changing. Therefore we need to focus on the eternal reality-our relationship with God-while doing the needful to address the fleeting problems of this world.

One of the recent problems that has consumed the consciousness of many Indians is the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Post 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, one man challenged Radhanath Swami in a class, “What’s the relevance of spirituality now, if you can’t usher in a political revolution?” Three hundred thousand citizens had gathered at a rally the previous day in Mumbai, close to the centre where Radhanath Swami stayed during this period. They demanded military action against the neighboring country, where the terrorists had been trained. As I wondered what Radhanath Swami will answer, I realized his service is tough; he has to encourage spiritual aspirants to seek strength through spiritual practices, while simultaneously facing the challenge of counseling disturbed minds.

Radhanath Swami with great wisdom and love assured the restless audience that we certainly need to do the needful to protect innocent citizens, and we all stand united to combat Srila Prabhupada Transcending material problems&. At another level he also explained we need to individually transcend problems that seem overwhelming at the present, but are blinding us to the real problems facing all of us, all the time. Terrorism or no terrorism, the ugly reality of death, old age and disease always stares at us, threatening to prolong our sojourn in this world A spiritual practice transforms our consciousness, and helps us remember the Supreme Lord at the time of death. This not only helps us be fearless while confronting tragedies in this material world, but also ensures that after our sojourn in this world, we join the Supreme Lord in His abode, for an eternal life of bliss

Radhanath Swami is pragmatic and assures that we are not to turn a blind’s eye to the day-to-day crisis of this world. He explains that a spiritualist does the needful to address different passing problems of this world, but simultaneously works to free himself from the bondage of material suffering. Inspired by Radhanath Swami, Mr. Nilesh Ghosalkar, a trained fighter with the Mumbai Police became one of the heroes during the war against the terrorists. Nilesh visits Radhanath Swami’s centre in Mumbai regularly and hears his discourses and enthusiastically participates in kirtans. During the terrorist strikes, he was on the frontline, fighting the terrorists in one of the hotels, and narrowly survived the war. He sought the blessings of devotees and combined his heroic combat with devotion to God. Radhanath Swami explains the need for warrior class in the society whose principal duty is to uphold law and order in the country. Radhanath Swami reasons that if an emergency arises, we are not against violence against the terrorists, just as a surgical operation to remove a tumor from the body is not deemed as violence by the suffering patient.

I am impressed by Radhanath Swami’s tremendous balance of spirituality and practical down to earth solutions for facing modern day crisis of this world.

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48 Comments


  1. Radhanath Swami Maharaj always answers all questions with sensitivity & compassion.

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  2. Radhanath Swami is cool headed and surrendered to Krishna. in this way he allows Krishna to answer questions through him. he is amazing!!!

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  3. Best advise ever!

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  4. A Vedic sage in the heart of a metropolis. It’s inspiring how he uses his wisdom to help restless minds deal with contemporary issues.

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  5. How i pray that some time in the future the world leaders will share the same outlook to life as Maharaj.

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  6. Very nice advise. Thank you very much for sharing the same.

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  7. “a spiritualist does the needful to address different passing problems of this world, but simultaneously works to free himself from the bondage of material suffering” — such a proper understanding of what a real spiritualist is.

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  8. This shows how effectively Radhanath Swami can take the focus from unreal, temporary problems to life to the real and eternal problems of life such as disease, old age and death.

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  9. Maharaj perfectly understands the heart of Srila Prabhupada and his mission.

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  10. Such a balanced answer by Radhanath swami

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  11. Yes, it a super tough job to answer such questions. But a true spiritualist like Radhanath Swami knows the answer – always.

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  12. I always see that great Spiritual Leaders like Radhanath Swami always have a different dimension and perspective to look at problem s of this world. Their approach makes the solution so easy to comprehend and apply while other common men may be bewildered and in frenzy with no clue of solutions. I think issues like Rama Janmabhoomi should be taken to such wise spiritual leaders rather than the courts which take unlimited time and money to come to conclusions.

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  13. H.H. Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki jai

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  14. A pure devotee like Radhanath Swami does whatever is needful at a certail situation and by this quality he proves that devotee is always pragmatic and not sentimental.

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  15. Thanks for sharing and bringing one of many very well known qualities of Maharaj

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  16. Haribol…wonderful!

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  17. H.H.Radhanath swami ki jai

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  18. rambaboo maheshwari

    Radhanath Swami does not talk only of temporary solution but of permanent solution of life .

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  19. Radhanath Swami eloquently pacifies an agitated questioner without disturbing any section of society and endears himself to all!

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  20. While attending to the immediate needs, Radhanath Swami is reminding us to transcend the short-sightedness and seek permanent solutions to the real problems

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  21. Material problems can be overcome only by taking recourse of a higher principle- the spiritual.

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  22. Maharaj very patiently answers queries of the audience, even if the question is foolish or the questioner is a agitated state of mind, Maharaj’s answer is always soothing.

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  23. Radhanath swami’s answers clarifies all our doubts on how should we react to these situations.

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  24. This is the best way of understanding and dealing with material world and its problems.

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  25. Radhanath Swami is completely dedicated to his spiritual master.

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  26. very beautiful explanation by HHRNSM on the current need for facing the real problems with devotional and spiritual solutions, haribol, bhakti

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  27. HHRNSM has very nicely taught us to understand the fact that all problems shall always haunt us but we must be confined to face them practically and with the right consciousness, haribol, rajesh karia

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  28. Very nice article…..many people think those who follow path run away from their material responsibilities & problems……but Radhanath Swami beautifully explained that “a spiritualist does the needful to address different passing problems of this world, but simultaneously works to free himself from the bondage of material suffering”

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  29. A Life-Saving Project…Something that actually makes people ‘LIVE’ the teaching of Simple Living High Thinking. Radhanath Swami ki Jay

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  30. Radhanath swami maharaj is inspiring every one by his example and the results which he has given to the society.

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  31. Thank you very much for this inspiring observation. H.H Radhanath Swami Mharaj takes the focus from unreal, temporary problems of life to the real and eternal problems of life such as birth, death,disease and old age. Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki jai.

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  32. Thank you for sharing this nice article. A spiritualist does the needful to address the fleeting problems, but at the same time individually transcends problems (that may seem overwhelming now) that are blinding him to the real problems of life -old age, disease and death.

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  33. Radhanath Swami’s balanced views come from his purity, which makes him do the right thing, and his non-judgmental nature which makes him compassionate towards all, even though they are not on his level.

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  34. Sukhwindar Dhillon

    How we die is irrelevant so long that we have accepted that somehow or other we are going to die. What is essential is to be convinced of the dire necessity to take shelter of GOD to help us tide over the calamity of death. Radhanath Swami does a brilliant job at answering such “difficult” questions.

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  35. Good article. Radhanath Swami ki Jai!

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  36. thanks for sharing such wisdom.. JAI !!!

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  37. Madana Kishore Das

    What a wonderful answer to the question which I as a past Mumbai resident always had. Maharaj is so right in telling us the message of Bhagavad Gita that the material problems/happiness are temporary.

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  38. All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    What an beautiful explanation during these times of constant strife and conflicts.

    Hare Krishna

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  39. M Pandu Rangayya Shetty

    Radhanath Swami speaks the practical application of Krishna consciousness. Theory is good, but put the knowledge in practice is the best. this gives even realization. All glories to Radhanath Swami.

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  40. Radhanath Maharaj nicely explained the balance between our day to day issues and the spirituality and also to keep the focus on the real issue.

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  41. Thank you very much for sharing

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  42. Thank you very much for sharing the words “Real welfare work is to help everyone re-establish their eternal relationship with God.”

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  43. fully agree…nature of material world has not and will not change…its plagued with disturbances…while we deal with them as needed, a person should try to find a lasting solution by cultivating spirituality….

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  44. Kalpana Kulkarni

    What a wonderful answer! With so much violence all around, people are bound to ask such razor-edged questions. But Radhanath bSwami answers them with such sensitivity that people are convinced of his genuinity.

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  45. What an alternate solution given,very much applicale & Heart transforming.

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  46. A very nice article which shows wonderful solution for transcending problems of material mire.

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  47. Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Wonderful answer. Jai Gurudev!!

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