Premaka, our simple house maid, has been with us ever since she came to Mumbai twelve years ago. She embraced spiritual life almost immediately after she was employed; my family’s spirituality was perhaps a little too contagious. Sunday festival at Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple would occupy her weekly off. I would watch in silent amusement as she basked in the sound stream of Radhanath Swami’s discourses, though she understood only a little of English. His speeches somehow struck a deep spiritual chord in her, and invoked her faith and trust in him.
That faith and trust was deeper than I had gauged. When her father died, and the stab of grief occupied her entire being, her thoughts rushed to Radhanath Swami; she expressed her desire to meet him, for solace. Moved, we promptly agreed. But quietly, I wondered if she would be crestfallen upon meeting him. Radhanath Swami had thousands of admirers. How could he be expected to reciprocate with the feelings that each one felt for him? And that too, Premaka was a low profile simple girl.
Again, I had wrongly gauged the depths of love in a spiritually advanced person’s heart. When we met Radhanath Swami and told him of the death of Premaka’s father and the sorrow that had engulfed her, he turned to Premaka. With the compassion of his heart reflecting in his glance, in a tone that conveyed reassurance, he spoke words that left her wondering how she could ever reciprocate with his love. ” Now, I am your father. I am there for you.”
How different is a spiritual celebrity like Radhanath Swami! While ordinary celebrities fail miserably in reciprocating with the love of their admirers, Radhanath Swami had made his admirer feel incapable of reciprocating with his boundless love.
–Dr. Mukund Shanbhag