This year, 2022, devotees and disciples of HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj is celebrating his 72nd Vyasa Puja. Each one of us feel blessed to have the mercy and association of Maharaj in our life. Whenever I face any challenges in my life, I try to hear Maharaj’s lectures or try to read his books like Journey home.
His teachings are full of transcendental wisdom which helps to find best Krishna Conscious solution in a given situation and circumstances. Below is my offering to HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj, my spiritual master, on his 72nd Vyasa Puja.
Maharaj’s emphasis on rediscovering inner happiness
While addressing the employees and their families at HSBC headquarters in London in 2013, His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj said, “While I am speaking to the top bankers of the world, but I never had a bank account since 1969.“
We all know that Maharaj left the comforts of his home in USA and came to India when he was just a teenager in search for that wealth which is sublime, eternal and bestows uncontaminated bliss.
He was looking for a genuine spiritual teacher who could show him the right path. And when Maharaj met Srila Prabhupada, he knew that he has found a realized soul who knows the secret of true happiness.
He decided to take shelter of the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada had left Vrindavan to distribute the wealth of Krishna Consciousness all over the world.
Following the footsteps of his spiritual master, Maharaj decided to dedicate his life in helping people discover inner wealth which gives pure bliss. And that inner wealth can be accessed only when we connect to the lotus feet of Krishna.
Maharaj again and again emphasizes in his lectures that we should search for happiness within ourselves and not in the outside world. Maharaj says, “Unless one is happy within one’s own heart, one cannot be happy no matter what one acquires.”
The real treasure is within us. Unfortunately, we have forgotten it. But once we get it then we will never be unhappy in our life.
Heart can never be satisfied by any external means
But sadly, even after coming to Krishna Consciousness and practicing for many years, we are not able to find that inner happiness. And this is the reason that sometimes we see unfortunate incidents of devotees having difficulties in getting along with each other. It can be within the devotee community, or it can be within a family too.
Since we feel unfulfilled within, so, we try to satisfy ourselves with external means. Sometimes we think by amassing wealth and accumulating material facilities we can be happy. Or we may start delighting in having power and positions. We start looking for name and fame. But these are not going to give us much pleasure.
In fact, these may become the cause of misery eventually. Heart can never be satisfied by any external means. If we are happy within, we will always remain satisfied and we will be able to spread happiness everywhere.
When Maharaj saw a boy full of joy
Maharaj in his The Journey Home book tells the story of a 16-year-old boy whom he met in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The boy was extremely poor, emaciated, was wearing rags and had swollen eyes. He had a little musical instrument with him which was also not in good shape.
But with that instrument, as he began singing spiritual songs, his face lit up and in spite of his deplorable material circumstances, he was joyful. He appeared to be the happiest person Maharaj had ever seen in his life at that time.
Maharaj writes, “He was smiling and crying in joy as he sung, and it was a culture shock for me. I was born and raised in northern Illinois and I was taught that having good health, having beauty, having money, having property, having education, this is what defined a happy life. This boy had absolutely none of it, He was impoverished, he was diseased, he was blind but I could tell you, he was the happiest person I had ever seen up to then in my life and I had to question, what really is happiness?”
How to always have positive experiences
Maharaj expects that each and everyone of us should discover that inner joy. And that can be possible when we change our consciousness from material to spiritual. Spiritual life does not mean just doing some spiritual activity. It depends upon our consciousness.
Krishna Consciousness should change the way we see the world. We should see the world from the eyes of the scriptures given by Krishna. We should utilize every opportunity to get closer to Krishna.
Here in this world, we have good and bad experiences both. But how we deal with good or bad situations determines our destiny. Once devotees had gone with Maharaj to his hometown in USA. Maharaj was narrating various incidents of his childhood days. One of the devotees said, “Maharaj you have many positive experiences in your life.”
Maharaj immediately replied, “Those are positive because I process them to be positive.” Situations and circumstances do not automatically become positive or negative. Maharaj teaches us that how we deal with that situation makes it positive or negative.
Maharaj being a spiritual leader have faced many oppositions and challenges. We hear that during initial days in New Vrindavan Maharaj had to go through difficult circumstances. But even in those situations Maharaj found positivity and explored ways to serve Krishna in a better way.
Lesson to learn when we are insulted
Maharaj goes on to say that we can even draw positive experience even if someone insults us.
He explains that “When someone insults us, blames us, use harsh words against us, criticizes us then we feel great pain within our heart. So, we should think that if we use the same words and behave in same way with others then the other person will also feel the same pain. Therefore , the lesson we should learn is that we should never insult others.”
Maharaj says that there are principles and there are higher principles. And one of the highest principles is to never hurt any devotee’s feelings. Because this will displease Krishna and if Krishna is displeased then how we will be happy.
Maharaj does not want to see any one of us morose
HG Radheshyam Prabhu in his offering to Maharaj was saying that “Maharaj does not want to see any devotee morose.” Maharaj says that since we have been practicing Krishna Consciousness, so we should always be happy because we have got the treasure of Krishna Consciousness which is pure, and which never depletes.
HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s quote on happiness
- Everyone seeks happiness. True happiness is a product of inner fulfilment.
- You cannot give happiness to another person, unless you are happy yourself.
On this auspicious occasion of his 72nd Vyasa Puja, I thank HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj, my spiritual master, from the core of my heart for revealing to me the wealth of Krishna Consciousness. I pray at his lotus feet to give me intelligence and determination to always follow his instructions and serve Krishna as per his wishes which will make my human life successful.
Maharaj’s insignificant servant
Purushottam Nitai Das
Iskcon Newtown, Kolkata, India