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Gratitude

Going out for Lunch with Radhanath Swami

It was 22 November 2004, Vrindavan, India. The Fogla Ashram Guesthouse, where I stayed, had swarmed with Radhanath Swami’s followers for the past two weeks. Now the pilgrimage was over and only Radhanath Swami and his personal entourage—Nityananda, Sri Krishna Chaitanya, Vasudev and I—stayed back. Radhanath Swami was now recovering from his extreme exhaustion; being the pilgrimage guide for four thousand, he had been over-stretching himself.

As noon approached, Radhanath Swami drove off to Radha Gokulanand Temple along with Nityananda and Sri Krishna Chaitanya, for lunch. It was in response to a loving invitation from the head-priest Nitai Prabhu, who knew Radhanath Swami since the early 70s when Radhanath Swami had first visited Vrindavan. Nityananda, the acting secretary of Radhanath Swami, had earlier asked Vasudev and me if we too wanted to join in for the lunch. But since Radhanath Swami hadn’t asked us personally, we weren’t sure and had declined.

Back at the guesthouse, our stomachs rumbled. For the past two weeks, piping hot Prasad, sanctified food, was cooked and served right here in the guesthouse complex for the pilgrims. But now we had to search for a food booth in the scorching sun. Monkeys that squatted on the compound walls seemed to share our melancholy; they too hadn’t been out for a while: sneaking into the makeshift kitchen that was erected in the complex, they had been getting plenty.

As we prepared to walk out, the car that had taken Radhanath Swami returned. The driver informed that halfway to the temple when Radhanath Swami realized our absence, perhaps when he turned back to look at the passengers sitting in the rear, he halted the car. He then sent the car to pick us up and decided that he would walk the rest of the way—under the sun that now beat down on Vrindavan.

We reached the temple on time to have lunch with Radhanath Swami and the others. Later, when the head priest Nitai Prabhu came to the door to see us off, he handed a parting gift to Radhanath Swami, some remnant paraphernalia of the Lord, something inexpensive by worldly standards. Spontaneously, Radhanath Swami braced it to his chest in joy and gratitude.  At this, Nitai Prabhu remarked to Radhanath Swami, “This goes to show the devotion that overflows in you. Most influential men who come here hand over such gifts to their secretary—instantly—perhaps never to have a second look.”

–Damodar Dulal.

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128 replies on “Going out for Lunch with Radhanath Swami”

Radhanath Swami is never proud of his revered position of being a leader within a spiritual organization. Rather, he considers himself to be a servant of all his followers, and by this very behavior sets standards for all of them to follow.

Radhanath maharaj always teaches us not only through his lectures but also by example,we are truly fortunate!

HHRNSM is a wonderful teacher and cares very much for the feelings of his devotees, very merciful, haribol, rajesh karia

Thankyou for sharing such a beautiful n heart melting event.
Radhanath Swami never forgets his disciples

All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

What an wonderful narrative. Thank you Prabhu for sharing this experience of yours.

Hare Krishna

Its so wonderful to see bothsides – sensitiveness on side of Damodardulal pr and Vasudev pr & how Radhanath Swami sends his car back for disciples and walks down the path!

Maharaj’s gentle and personal attitude is not only towards the Brajvasis of course! but towards everyone he comes across. I have attended such wonderful spiritual excursions and sure they are fantastic and really wonderful ….. you have to attend these to understand the intensity and the positive impact it would have in your life.

Maharaj within his heart is always a humble servant whether he’s giving a lecture to 1000s or when he has to correct his dosciples. we can see his humility pouring out of his heart and the spontaneous love for God as a result of that.

Never heard of before that a spiritual master gets down from a car and walks on a hot summer afternoon leaving behind the car for his disciples!

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