Radhanath Swami—softer than a rose or…

Radhanath Swami—softer than a rose or…

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 Responses to “Radhanath Swami—softer than a rose or…”

  1. February 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

    A spiritual master knows how exactly to correct his defendants. All glories unto the Swami and his disciples.

  2. February 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

    A spiritual master knows how exactly to correct his dependants. All glories unto the Swami and his disciples.

  3. February 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us we hope that we can follow Radhanath
    swamiji’s teachings.

  4. February 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    thank you

  5. February 9, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    spiritual master’s instructions whether harsh or soft are always healing. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. February 10, 2012 at 5:27 am
    Jagannath Dham Das

    Thank you very much Prabhu for sharing how each & every gesture and instruction of Spiritual Master is for the benefit & welfare of the disciple !
    All Glories to Radhanath Swami Maharaj !
    All Glories to Srila Prabhupada !
    Hare Krishna !

  7. February 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    This is wonderful story of how we should have strong determination in following the instructions of a spiritual master. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  8. February 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience.

  9. February 10, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    thank you…great post

  10. February 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Perfect Doctor ! Heals the patient !!

  11. February 14, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Thank you very much Prabhu for sharing how each & every gesture and instruction of Spiritual Master is for the benefit & welfare of the disciple !

  12. February 15, 2012 at 4:42 am

    thank u so much Radhanath Swami

  13. February 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Many thanks for sharing this incident with swami Radhanath and the one from The Journey Home

  14. February 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing. All glories to Radhanath Swami.

  15. February 17, 2012 at 4:43 am
    Sunil Jha

    Thanks Prabhu very much for sharing this wounderful realization. Yes Spiritual master is softer like rose and harder like thunderbolt and this all will help us/me to advance in our spiritual life. That`s really true without determination our life is no better than cats and Dogs…

  16. February 20, 2012 at 12:54 am

    thank u so much maharaj for all these guadances .eternally indebted for all thee lessons

  17. February 20, 2012 at 4:48 am
    Anshu Jaiman

    Hare Krishna Maharaj…!!! Maharaj ki jai hoo..
    All Glories to Radhanath Swami Maharaj…
    Very Very nice article.. classy and full of knowledge..you are really giving us the real nector through your articles. Thank you for engaging us in the web seva..
    Thank you very much
    Yas-anshu jaiman

  18. February 22, 2012 at 7:30 am
    samir paleja

    thanx for sharing

  19. February 24, 2012 at 7:16 am
    shyama radhika devi dasi

    nice one

  20. February 24, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    nice story…thanks for sharing

  21. February 27, 2012 at 6:49 am

    very nice This is the correct method.

  22. February 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

    i reallty agree with u

  23. February 27, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    All glories to H.H. Radhanath Swami. Thanks for sharing wonderful article.

  24. February 28, 2012 at 3:25 am
    satish rane

    hare krishna. fortunate is the disciple who is correct by the sp master.

  25. February 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

  26. March 1, 2012 at 5:52 am
    Amar Solanki

    RAdhanath swami ki jai

  27. March 2, 2012 at 4:50 am


  28. March 2, 2012 at 7:00 am
    Sumit Sharma

    Thanks a lot.

  29. March 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Spiritual master instructions are always healing to heart and soul.

  30. March 3, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Chandraprakash yadav

    wonderful understandng

  31. March 6, 2012 at 4:41 am
    Gaurav Bhardwaj

    Thanks for sharing

  32. March 6, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Amazing .. thank you very very much for sharing … makes us determined to remove our anarthas.

  33. March 7, 2012 at 9:43 am
    Sumit Sharma

    Amazing message.

  34. March 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Many thanks for sharing this instructive incident involving Radhanath swami

  35. March 10, 2012 at 3:10 am
    Sumit Sharma

    Wonderful sharing. Haribol!!!

  36. March 11, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    Very nice lesson inspired by Radhanath swamis’ dealings.

  37. March 14, 2012 at 11:15 am
    Sumit Sharma

    Nice one.

  38. March 17, 2012 at 5:23 am
    Jagannath Dham Das

    “A spiritual teacher is required to have the courage of a British General and the heart of a Bengali mother.” We can see both Srila Prabhupada & Radhanath Swami having both the above qualities for the benefit of their disciples !
    Hare Krishna !

  39. March 19, 2012 at 5:35 am

    its really a rosy picture

  40. March 20, 2012 at 2:52 am

    very nice article as always

  41. March 20, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Radhanath Swami knows exactly what is needed at what time.

  42. March 21, 2012 at 12:15 am
    Paramesvara Dasa

    Preaching done according to time, place and circumstances. Preacher is like soft rose petal and strong like thunderbolt. All glories to HH Radhanatha Swami Maharaja.

  43. March 21, 2012 at 10:30 am
    Sumit Sharma

    Wonderful article.

  44. March 22, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Very nice article.

  45. March 22, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    superb article

  46. March 28, 2012 at 4:07 am
    Sunny Hinduja


  47. March 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

    thank you for sharing

  48. March 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Felt inspired!

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Radhanath Swami Quotes...

"It takes hard work to make something wonderful"

"Not a moment in human life passes that you are not accounted for"

"Compassion brings fulfillment to the heart. Selfish desires simply agitate the heart."

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