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Embracing hope during crisis
February 22, 2011  |  radhanath-swami

At Istanbul, Richard (now Radhanath Swami), Jeff and Ramsey had a close shave, making a dramatic escape from the clutches of the underworld gangsters. Radhanath Swami writes that during the fight against the attackers, he went through sickening thoughts and wondered why he had left the comforts of his home in Highland Park to be here facing a horrible death. He prayed and surrendered to God’s will. Later Richard realized that it was their hope in divine that helped them survive the ordeal. Radhanath Swami explains in ‘Journey Home’ that in the most terrible predicaments when our hearts embrace hope, we attract a power beyond ourselves to guide us, purify us and ultimately liberate us.

To progress in spiritual life we have to be hopeful and optimistic of attracting God’s mercy. This attitude helps a practitioner grab opportunities for advancement. He is enthusiastic and ever alert in his spiritual endeavours. Hopelessness on the other hand breeds despair and despondency about the future. Hopeless individuals believe that their problems will never be solved and they will never succeed at what they attempt to do.  After all, success is attained through seizing the opportunities and a hopeless person can’t see the opportunities.  He or she only sees future disappointments.  To the mind of a hopeless person, what appears as opportunities and future promises are nothing but future failures and disappointments in disguise.

Radhanath Swami compares hope with a cheerleader in our game of life. It is hope that always urges us on to do more and then to try a little more.  It gives us strength to struggle when we can’t solve the daunting problems in our normal stride.  Hope is optimism.  Hope makes sure that we don’t fail to notice the silver lining piercing through the clouds.  Hope makes us spot the rainbows afar off when the rains of misery pour on relentlessly.

Radhanath Swami speaks on the basis of scriptures that in this material world we are always suffering under threefold miseries—the miseries arising from the body and the mind, from other living entities, and from natural catastrophes. One who has sufficiently developed consciousness, who is intelligent, inquires why he is suffering. “I do not want miseries. Why am I suffering?” When this question arises, there is chance for God consciousness to grow in the hearts. Then as we progress in our understanding of God and surrender ourselves to Him, we surcharge our lives with spiritual hope. Radhanath Swami gives the example of a lost and rebellious child who decides to return to his father. The prospect of reuniting with this all good and loving father fills the child with hope and happiness. Similarly when we connect with God and seek to reunite our consciousness with Him, we experience spiritual hope and happiness. And Radhanath Swami assures that God for sure won’t let us down.

When one of Radhanath Swami’s young students, Stoka Krishna was dying of cancer, he was next to him and repeatedly spoke about God’s kindness upon all of us. Radhanath Swami lovingly encouraged the young man to remember God and seek hope in God rather than material facilities. Sitting at his bedside, Radhanath Swami described in detail the spiritual world to young Stoka Krishna. Stoka Krishna was smiling and grateful to the Lord and devotees as he left his body. His departure is not only a glorious example of facing death but the incident filled the lives of all of Radhanath Swami’s followers with hope in the mercy of divine.

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  1. this is a tough path every individual has to walk…thanks so much for this inspiring article…

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  2. it is a razors edge, tad-vijnarthan sa gurum eva abigachet

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  3. Thank you very very much maharaj. … reading made me joyful and instilled hope in all positive ways …

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  4. Thank you ver y much for sharing maharaj.

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  5. Kalpana Kulkarni

    To progress in spiritual life we have to be hopeful and optimistic of attracting God’s mercy – great advice to follow.

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  6. Kalpana Kulkarni

    Life is tough and we face many hurdles and unpleasant situations. It is in these times that we should have hope and faith and take shelter of the Supreme Lord.

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  7. Kalpana Kulkarni

    To progress in our spiritual lives, we have to be hopeful and optimistic of receiving the Lord’s mercy.

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  8. Our only hope during a crisis is to take shelter of the Lord.

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  9. Kalpana Kulkarni

    In our times of crisis, it is only hope and surrender that can save us!

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