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Radhanath Swami—softer than a rose or…

Afternoon-silence occupied the Radhagopinath Ashram as some monks napped while the others pored over the scriptures. …I heard ONLY the loud screams of my restless thoughts!

Taking a walk through the ashram corridors–for no particular reason–I  met Radhanath Swami on the way. In reflex I struck a conversation—a long premeditated one.

“I have been unable to follow one of your instructions,” I effused.

“What is that?”

“Seven years ago when I had joined the ashram you had instructed me to keep sanctified food and water in the bird feeder every day.” I was referring to the bird feeder in the garden; Vrindavan Forest, the garden in our ashram backyard, serves as an oasis for birds of downtown Mumbai. “I haven’t been able to follow that instruction, sometimes circumstantially and sometimes due to personal negligence.” By now tears of sincerity were brimming in my eyes—and my greedy mind began to anticipate a sympathetic embrace from Radhanath Swami, the warmth of which I had experienced innumerable times.

Surprisingly, he remained stoic through my ramble. “You should do it,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone and walked away.

It was unlike his kind demeanor, for he wanted to teach me a lesson: determined perseverance in following instructions is essential for spiritual progress, while sneak-out excuses are detrimental.

Months later when Radhanath Swami’s Autobiography The Journey Home was published, a passage in it struck me:

It is said that a saintly personality can be softer than a rose or harder than a thunderbolt. This morning, one guest made excuse after excuse to defend his immoralities and spiritual weaknesses. Srila Prabhupada listened, then his voice rose like thunder, “If you are weak, rectify it. If you have no determination, you have no character. What makes you different from an animal?” The man shrunk like a punctured balloon. Bowing down, he promised to do what he knew was right. When required, Srila Prabhupada could be very strict to emphasize the urgency of a person’s predicament. Like a scalpel in the hands of an expert surgeon, his strong words cut only to heal. Or as he himself explained, “A spiritual teacher is required to have the courage of a British General and the heart of a Bengali mother.”

Gajanan Bhat

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96 replies on “Radhanath Swami—softer than a rose or…”

We think there is enough time to live But we never know which moment is the last. So Love, Forgive And Celebrate Every Moment of Life with Krishna……….

“A spiritual teacher is required to have the courage of a British General and the heart of a Bengali mother.”
So true!

This quality of being softer than rose and harder than the thunder bolt for the ultimate benefit of people is the unique one of the great saints like HH Radhanath Swami.

The great saints like HH Radhanath Swami exhibits this rare quality of some times being soft like rose and other times like a thunder bolt only to transofr the hearts of others.

The great saints like HH Radhanath Swami exhibits this rare quality of some times being soft like rose and other times like a thunder bolt only to transform the hearts of others.

A very difficult combination indeed – courage of an englishman and heart of a bengali mother!

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article. H.H Radhanath Swami is full of compassion and mercy.

Guru Maharaj is like a spiritual guide and by simply following His instructions one can easily succeed in attaining the ultimate goal of life.Besides Maharaj’s instructions are very practical.One must simply follow them without any other recourse.

HH Radhanath Swami is really soft like Rose as some times he does not even care for his health to do the highest welfare activity of spreading the holy names of God all over the World.

Hari Hari!
Amazing realization.
Whatever the spiritual master tells and does is for our purification only. We should carefully meditate on his instructions in order to access mercy of the Lord by pleasing him.

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