Found Radhanath Swami Alone, Outside Vrindavan Forest

Found Radhanath Swami Alone, Outside Vrindavan Forest

Found Radhanath Swami Alone, Outside Vrindavan Forest

Looking back into the events of my life, I could see a river of divine grace carry me in her currents.

In 1993, when I was in fourth standard and poverty threatened to terminate my schooling, that river of divine grace brought me to Lady Northcote Hindu Orphanage (LNHO.) There I was given a chance to peacefully continue my studies and lead a healthy life.

It was only my second day in LNHO, when I first experienced the whirlpools of love, also of that divine river. Our mentor Bhagavan Prabhu took us, the new entrants, to Radhanath Swami who oversaw the Orphanage activities. When I was introduced, Radhanath Swami proclaimed, “I accepted him as my son the very moment I saw him yesterday.” He embraced me with an affection I will never forget.

As I floated along in the currents of that divine river, I was simultaneously writhed further in her love whirlpools. Everyday, while at the Orphanage, I walked into Radhanath Swami’s room—uninvited—to receive a sweetmeat and his loving smile. One late evening as I walked in, he was about to recline for the night rest. But seeing me, he sat up again. He then handed me prayer beads and we chanted the holy names together for a while, before I took his leave. Another day when we boys cleaned our orphanage rooms, Radhanath Swami walked in. Seeing me, he joyously called for me, “Jyandev, my son!!” Dirty and dripping in sweat I sheepishly walked closer. Placing his right palm over my head in blessings, he soaked me further in his affection, “Are you happy?” he asked. On my thirteenth birthday when I went to meet him, he first warned me of the dangers awaiting me in my teens. Then, gifting me his prayer beads for my protection, he said, “I have chanted 400 rounds of the holy names on these beads.”

Now it was 2004. After eleven years at the orphanage, just about to complete my graduation studies, I wondered how I could possibly reciprocate with the river of grace that had brought me such a long way, caressing me in her whirlpools all along  . Seeing clearly the origin of that river in Radhanath Swami’s compassion, I wanted to ask him what I could possibly do as a gesture of gratitude. To one who is given much, much is expected of—it is often said. But though I had received extraordinary grace, I couldn’t see myself doing anything extraordinarily great in receprocation. I wasn’t a charismatic monk who could open temples and monasteries in the dozens, I wasn’t a rich man who gave billions in charity, nor was I an accomplished speaker who could inspire millions on the bhakti path. How possibly then could I reciprocate with the infinite love and affection I had been receiving?

One day I found Radhanath Swami alone, as he walked out of the Vrindavan Forest, a beautiful garden near Radha Gopinath Temple that is designed after the holy land of Vrindavan. A burning desire to reciprocate ablaze in my breast, I went up to him, “How can I please you?”

“You can please me by setting a nice example for others to follow. Are you chanting the holy names regularly on your beads?”


“Are you following the regulations of Bhakti Yoga?”

“I am trying.”

“Then, Jyandev, you are pleasing me.”

“I don’t think so,” I uttered in disbelief.

“Yes, you are pleasing me,” he said with a glance of assurance.

As he walked away, I found the fiery desire to please him rage in me all the more, having perceived the selflessness of his love. But now I had also found the way to satisfy it. I simply had to be the best I could be—for his pleasure. Bhakti wasn’t about being the best, but was about trying our best. And if I simply tried my best to please him, I now knew for sure, he would be pleased.


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160 Responses to “Found Radhanath Swami Alone, Outside Vrindavan Forest”

  1. January 11, 2011 at 6:56 am
    Sagar Wadekar

    this is really heart touching story.. thanks a lot for sharing this.. Maharaj does so much for us and not expecting much in return.. this has inspired me a million times to give my best now..

  2. January 15, 2011 at 1:51 am
    Swapnil Gaonkar

    thanks for sharing

  3. January 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    “Bhakti wasn’t about being the best, but was about trying our best” – The secret mantra to please our divine master. Thank you Radhanath Swami for all the love you have been showering on us all. I will try my best to please you

  4. April 27, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Thank you so much for this very wonderful post!

  5. May 20, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    many many thanks for the nectarine post. we all owe a great deal for the mercy showered upon us by saints like Radhanath swami

  6. May 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Heart Touching…..

  7. September 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm
    Rahul Abhay Kamat

    Very Inspiring

  8. December 8, 2011 at 6:17 am

    I have read this story few times, but every time it fills the heart with joy and tears in the eyes!

  9. December 10, 2011 at 7:32 am
    Kalpana Kulkarni

    Wonderful lesson about what pleases the spiritual master.

  10. April 7, 2012 at 4:04 am
    Arjun K Ramachandra

    Selflessness really touches the heart! Radhanath Swami is truly the source of that unlimited river of divine love, giving and giving without any expectations.

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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."

Radhanath swami on Twitter