Every Tuesday night at Jivamukit Yoga school, Yogaswari conducts talks about the Bhagavad Gita followed by a Kirtan session and delicious vegan treats. Last Tuesday was no ordinary night as Radhanath Swami was going to be conducting the session and Sharon Gannon(the founder of Jivamukti) was going to be there. I actually posted about him a few months ago, he is the author of the incredible book The Journey home. That was one Tuesday night that I was NOT going to miss.
As we started the session by chanting “Hare Kirshna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna,Hare, Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare, Hare”, Radhanath Swami discreetly entered the room and sat in-between the crowd.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. He was surrounded by a white light and had the most incredible Aura. When we finished chanting, an emotional Yogaswari teared up as he introduced Radhanath Swami and asked him the following question.
“You travelled the world, attended all sorts of events, been around all types of people including the top CEO’s. Tell me, Is there hope for Humanity?”
After a few moments of laughter, we were all eager to see how Swami was going to respond. It was hard to write down everything he said as my iPhone battery was dying and of course, I didn’t think of getting a pen and paper. In addition, his answer was an hour long and he used lots of allegories to get his message across. I couldn’t possibly transmit everything he said as eloquently as he did, but I am going to try my best because I think it’s important to share the wisdom he so graciously shared with us.
He started by telling us how indeed, he was with a top CEO of a financial company who asked him what it was to be RICH.
“You can count how rich you are by counting the things you have that money can’t buy,” said Radhanath Swami.
The CEO agreed and insisted that money didn’t matter to him. Swami responded by asking him why was he working so hard to make money if it didn’t matter. The CEO said because “I like to have the things that money CAN buy.“
In order to find HOPE, we must believe in it and see it in most hopeless situations. “Knock and the door will open” – The Bible. If we believe in hope, the doors will open for us to understand possibilities and opportunities in every situation. In order to connect deeply with the source of God, we need to understand that every situation is a perfect opportunity to connect. If we can’t be grateful for each opportunity we have to turn to God, we won’t be able to take shelter in the higher power. If we don’t see the opportunity in the challenges that life presents, we cannot be grateful when these obstacles arise.
“The heart is a field. Universal Love is a seed within our hearts. Our spiritual practice is how we water that seed to grow into a beautiful tree. We must make the soil favourable for growth.” Radhanath Swami
Our souls are constantly reaching to the outside world to find what is available inside all of us. We can all find LOVE within our heart when we connect to the infinite divine love and become an instrument of that love. Real joy is experiencing the sweetness of that Love and sharing it in whatever we do. Every one is our ancestor, everyone is sacred. We must be able to see the sacredness of life wherever it exists and feel love and compassion to all beings.
“When water is in the sky, it is clear. When it touches the soil, it becomes muddy. When you put it through a filter, it goes back to it’s natural state which is clear.” Radhanath Swami
Our souls are inherently PURE just like water. Chanting God’s name is the process of filtering our consciousness. When we chant, we separate our body from our soul. At that moment, we begin a relationship with God and all other beings while getting rid of greed, arrogance and selfish patterns. – That’s all the dirt. Every situation as an opportunity to connect with nature and to see god in everything and everyone. Once we are connected, nothing can interfere with it. Whatever we do, we can become conscious that this is an offering. Yoga filters our consciousness and brings it back to it’s natural state.
“We all have liberated souls that are at different stage of forgetfulness. When we come together, we have the power to do incredible things to the world.” Radhanath Swami
The way we can achieve that is through Satsang – Coming together for spiritual enlightenment. When people fall into addictions, they have an inclination to go back to that addiction. The only way we can come out of it is by being around people who help each other. Satsang is a community that helps you out of your addiction, in the same way that AA sponsors attend their members. In other words, Satsang is the company that helps you get rid of the weapons of mass distractions.
Beyond practice, is the intention of the practice and how we express what we gain from that practice. The result of it should be Harmony; it is what will free us from the shackles of egoism. We must be sincere and achieve what we really want with patience and enthusiasm. To serve, the key is to be patient. A patient heart is one who wants to serve, not the one who demands results.
No matter what your designation in this world is, wherever there is life, it is sacred. Whatever we do, we must do it the best we can and we must be motivated by love, compassion and a desire to serve. Another person’s happiness or sadness should be our own happiness and sadness. And that is true compassion. The real fulfilment in life cannot be disturbed by any situation in this world nor by death.
As long as we have values for satsang purification (even if there is just a few of us), there IS hope for the world.
Radhanath Swami ended his session by signing his book and offering us food one by one. It was such a magical evening, I’ll never forget it.