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This world is a dangerous place
December 30, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

Along with Frank and Gary, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) decided to go on a trip to Europe. No one from his family had ever ventured out of America. On hearing the news that Richard was planning to leave, Richard’s parents expressed shock and begged him not to leave to a distant land. Their tormented condition and desperate appeals didn’t change Richard’s determination. Richard’s father in particular revealed the harsh reality of this world. He implored Richard to change his plan for this world is a dangerous place and Richard was young and inexperienced. Anything could happen to him. Richard however remained firm in his resolve.

Richard’s father echoed the sentiments expressed in the religious scriptures of India. The Vedic texts declare this world to be filled with dangers at every step. Radhanath Swami often explains on the basis of the scriptures that if we take shelter of God, the hurdles of this world reduce to the size of a small puddle of water created by the hoof prints of a calf. One not having the Lord’s shelter finds the world and its insurmountable complexities like that of a huge ocean. We are constantly tossed by the waves of this material ocean. The shelter of Lord keeps us sane and happy.  This is best exemplified in Radhanath Swami’s own life. His search for spiritual enlightenment led him through one dangerous encounter after another. His close shaves with death are a testimony of God’s hand in his life.

Richard’s father was absolutely right in declaring this world to be a dangerous place. Radhanath Swami’s travels in Istanbul and Afghanistan are scary accounts to read. Afghanistan in particular has for hundreds of years, been one of the world’s most strategically important and lusted after territories. However it remains one of the poorest, undeveloped and unstable. During the Soviet invasion, the Red Army planted more than 12 million landmines in Afghanistan. Hundreds of people are killed, shredded, and maimed each year due to these insidious devices. Then came the Taliban which meant more banditry, tribal violence and drug related violence. No one in Afghanistan is safe, and Richard was travelling alone in this country on his way to India, searching for God.

While Richard’s father spoke about the world as a dangerous place, it’s interesting to note that the apparent safe haven like the US of America is also quite dangerous. For the average traveller, the USA is fairly safe, but the numbers do not lie. There are more than 200 million guns in the USA and more than 50 murders a day, 10 times the rate of Germany. Nearly 5000 people die a year in truck crashes, about 6000 pedestrians die on the streets and 31000 people end their own lives. The USA now leads all nations in violent crime and leads all nations with incarcerations now standing at 2.3 million. American citizens also make up the greatest number of criminals serving time in overseas prisons. The US government is spending a whopping $600 billion a year on defence in order to contain the handful of nations hostile to it.

So are we safe in any corner of the globe? Whether it’s Antarctica with minus 60 degree Celsius and winds’ tearing in at 100 km/hr or Brazil, or Bagdad, or Burundi, this world is not only temporary but also miserable. Radhanath Swami appeals that after we end our sojourn in this world we must seek destination in the permanent abode of the supreme Lord. Only that place is free from material inebrieties and fear of death.

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  1. Before coming in Krishna conscious Radhanath SWami have very strong faith on Lord which is really very rare

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  2. Wonderful article. Srila Prabhupada mentions in his lectures this material world is an emergency.

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  3. Brahma says in Bhagavatam, ‘padam padam yat vipadam na tesam’ which means that this place is full of miseries. One who is intelligent should try to act in such a way that after this life he should not come back to this mortal dangerous world but return to abode of God. Radhanath Swami gives the valuable information in his discourses about how to achive that destination after this life.

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  4. I think every one should read ‘The Journey Home’ It gives a different experiance

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  5. Truly, the world is a miserable place.
    But with the spiritual knowledge can make best of the small time offered to them by taking the steps to get out of all dangers and achieving immortality!

    Thank you Prabhu

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  6. Jagdish Majethiya

    Very Instructive article – Thanks a lot for sharing.

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  7. thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful story of radhanath swami

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