Richard (now Radhanath Swami)’s six months of adventure filled travels was now entering an exciting phase. Since he’d heard the voice of God in his heart at Crete that told him to go to India, each day he had been looking forward. Now having reached Lahore from Peshwar, Richard was all set to enter India through the Hussainiwalla border. A stout lady at the immigration desk refused entry to Richard demanding money. She also gave instructions to her colleague who came at the night shift to not allow the ‘nuisance’ –Richard- into India. Richard once again meekly approached the tall Sikh officer and pleaded him to allow entrance into the great land of India. Richard cried tears that he had left the comforts of America to search for India’s spiritual treasures and he narrated how he had risked his life. Richard promised that someday he will do something good for the people of India. The Sikh officer relented and stamped his legal entrance into India.
Radhanath Swami did fulfill his promise to the Sikh immigration officer. Once I spoke to Dr. Ranjit Wagle, an Opthalmology specialist and a citizen of India who since his childhood dreamt of going to America and becoming a billionare. After becoming a doctor he was earning well and was all set to go to the US. During this time he met Radhanath Swami who requested him to offer some services for the poor and needy in North Indian villages. By the end of the month long camp, Dr. Ranjit’s heart had changed; the act of selfless service filed his heart with a deep inner fulfillment and he changed his plan. He now stays in India and serves the needy. At a time when the Indians are forgetting their own roots and blindly aping the Western countries, Radhanath Swami reminds the Indians the need to render service here.
At a time when more than eighty percent of the doctors in India work in the cities, the villages have suffered due to lack of medical facilities. Radhanath Swami pioneered rural eye camps free of cost. Today many medical students and doctors visit these annual camps and help the needy in rural areas. Radhanath Swami is now inspiring many to settle in Indian villages. I am amazed how an American born has so much love and concern for this country.
Radhanath Swami is also inspiring a team of dedicated people to serve food to the poor and needy children in schools daily. The project, ‘Mid Day Meal’ is an initiative of ISKCON Food Relief Foundation, inspired by the tireless leadership of Radhanath Swami. The ISKCON Food Relief Foundation is at present implementing the Mid Day Meal Project in 14 centers across India, cooking for more than 6,60,6000 school going children every day. At present, in Mumbai alone there are four units with state-of-the-art ISO 9001-2000 certified kitchens.
Radhanath Swami regrets that India is so much concerned with building better cars , better bombs and better technology when the west has already perfected that and are destroying the world with it. Radhanath Swami insists that India’s opulence is in its transcendental knowledge. “Indians are tossing aside the most valuable diamond of spirituality to pick up the broken pieces of glass of materialism”, says Radhanath Swami. He repeats the words of his guru, “Any family in India that has more than one child should give at least one child for a spiritual cause to spread the glories of India throughout the world.”