Radhanath Swami’s Divine Palms

Radhanath Swami’s Divine Palms

Radhanath Swami’s Divine Palms

Radhanath Swami and his entourage of monks scurried along the alleyway towards my home.  Their presence had created a stir in the neighborhood, and out emerged curious faces from doors and windows of makeshift apartments that lined the alleyway. Why so many swamis in a not-so-religious neighborhood of suburban Mumbai?

It was 10 January 2006. My mother, 67, suffered from last stages of bone cancer, and that morning her body had stiffened—presaging her imminent death. When the news reached Radhanath Swami, by late afternoon, he promised to be on her side at the earliest, surprising me: he was altering his schedule that was planned atleast months in advance. Usually, thousands awaited him every evening at gatherings where he spoke from the scriptures, but today someone special and intimate awaited him. His father, 85, was visiting him from Chicago after many years, and the two were to dine together that evening at Mr. Mafatlal’s bungalow in downtown Mumbai. Radhanath Swami’s driving two hours to suburban Mumbai to visit my mother—a little-known old dying lady, one amongst thousands of his students—meant his old father would undergo an indefinite fast—of the stomach and the heart.

“Radhanath Swami is coming,” I had whispered to my mother. The pleasant shock triggered her instant recovery. Though she helplessly still lay in bed, her body loosened, and she started to converse once again.

Radhanath Swami, upon reaching our humble dwelling, sat at my mother’s bedside. With reassuring affectionate eyes, his voice choking, Radhanath Swami expressed his gratitude to my mother for her services to her family, to devotees and to society. The monks then sang a prayer in unison. Meanwhile, my mother clenched Radhanath Swami’s right palm as a person helplessly hanging from a cliff clings to the rope that separates him/her from death.

Thirty minutes passed by. Wanting to leave, now that my mother’s departure didn’t seem imminent, Radhanath Swami slipped his palm out of the tight grip it was in, only to have it snatched once again by my old mother. Now she held captive that palm, in more desperate determination than before. Radhanath Swami relented and sat down again. He waited for forty five minutes more, until he reluctantly broke loose of those shackles that ached for shelter. He had to be practical. But at a higher level, was my mother to let go of his shelter? And was Radhanath Swami to really abandon my mother?

24 January 2006. In the night, my mother was seen stretching out her arms, as she lay in bed, towards the framed photographs of Radha Krishna and Radhanath Swami hanging on the wall opposite. “Please take me,” she pleaded again and again. The next day she departed from this world.

In the second week of February, my brothers and I went to the holy town of Mayapur to place our mother’s ashes in the holy Ganges. During this time Radhanath Swami was also in Mayapur for the annual meeting of the ISKCON leaders. A grueling schedule occupied his day, and also a part of his night. The meeting went from 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., breaking at lunchtime for half hour. At 7.00 p.m. he met pilgrims waiting for him outside the boardroom, and he returned to rest at about 11.00 p.m.

A day before the vidhi, the rites that accompany placing the ashes in the Ganges, I stole enough time of Radhanath Swami to inform him of the vidhi schedule. “We are starting at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.” That was the time convenient for the head priest of Mayapur, Jananivas Prabhu. Radhanath Swami initially said nothing. But after a while, after I had returned to the guest house, Radhanath Swami’s secretary came running to me. He informed what Radhanath Swami had just confided in him, “Why is Shyam Charan behaving in this way? I want to be there when his mother’s ashes are placed…” Radhanath Swami’s voice had trailed off in dejection. Immediately, I rushed to Jananivas Prabhu to reschedule the rites. He gladly agreed and it was decided that the vidhi rites would be held just when Radhanath Swami was free at lunch time the next day.

The next day, despite her three sons personally present, my mother’s ashes merged into the current of the Ganges after falling off the divine palms of Radhanath Swami, those same palms which had soothed my mother’s soul a few weeks ago.

–Shyam Charan Das.

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119 Responses to “Radhanath Swami’s Divine Palms”

  1. February 2, 2011 at 8:22 am
    Sunita Paleja

    Your Mother is so fortunate prabhu

  2. February 2, 2011 at 8:36 am
    Abhijit Toley

    Radhanath Swami is very personal in his dealings. He treats people as people and not as objects.

  3. February 2, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Very inspiring !.

    Thank you so much for sharing us.

  4. February 2, 2011 at 1:37 pm
    Vijay Mathias

    Radhanath Swami’s love knows no bounds!

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful experience!

  5. February 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm
    Madana Kishore Das

    Heart touching experience. Thank you for sharing prabhu.

  6. February 3, 2011 at 12:06 am

    All glories to HH Radhanath swami and to that fortunate mother.

  7. February 3, 2011 at 1:50 am
    Prahalad Kaul

    Yet another experience of Radhanath Maharaj’s love towards others.

  8. February 3, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj gives love of a mother to a mother!

  9. February 3, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Very touching story. Hare Krishna !!

  10. February 3, 2011 at 5:56 am
    Ram Mohan

    Maharaj’s love is unfathomable.

  11. February 3, 2011 at 6:09 am

    All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    Hari Hari. What an incident. How Maharaj deals with all the devotees is just 1 such example from millions where he has just not indicated but proven that he loves his devotees so much.

    Hare Krishna

  12. February 3, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Thank you very much for sharing this article. The more we know about Radhanath Swami, the more we feel protected undertanding that he is there to take care of all in any condition at any time.

  13. February 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    All glories to your most wonderful mother and all glories to Srila Radhanath Swami!

  14. February 4, 2011 at 1:14 am

    what a heart touching experience with Radhanath Swami Maharaj!! such a personal dealings shown by him despite so many things requiring his time as in his service to God and thus to humanity at large!

  15. February 4, 2011 at 2:25 am
    Anil Timbe

    This incident has made me spell bound by amazing qualities of Radhanath Swami. Millions of thanks for sharing.

  16. February 4, 2011 at 4:18 am
    Santosh Kaimal

    What can be said. Such a touching incident.If only we could realize how fortunate we are to be in the midst of such great souls as Radhanath Swami

  17. February 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm
    M P Advani

    Radhanath Swami is merciful

  18. February 5, 2011 at 10:09 pm
    Meera Sharma

    Prabhu you and you mother are so fortunate.How man devotee would wish they even have personal darshan of Maharajah when they are facing death.

  19. February 7, 2011 at 4:16 am
    Ketan Pendse

    A very soul touching incident…. Radhanath Swami’s compassion is beyond one’s imagination

  20. February 7, 2011 at 8:19 am

    A very nice article of His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  21. February 7, 2011 at 9:11 am
    Shikhar Maheshwari

    Only those who genuinely care for others can actually show there love for others in such a caring way despite of all the busy schedules and official tasks. HH Radhanath Swami, really loves to take care of the heart of others.

  22. February 7, 2011 at 11:38 am
    Shyam raas das

    Maharaj’s personal care and compassion for all the people is just amazing.

  23. February 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm
    Shoba Ramachandran

    HH Radhanath Swami’s compassion has no limits. He not only takes care of his disciples. He is concerned of everyone; he has built the Bhaktivedanta Hospital to serve us. Above all, he is so compassionate to our soul; he works so hard, travelling intensely despite his frail health to help us connect to God; to know the ultimate purpose of our life.

    All glories to this mother who was dear to Swamiji.

  24. February 8, 2011 at 6:42 am
    Suman S

    So much love is in the heart of Radhanath Swami for all those who decide to lead life according to his incomparable.

  25. February 10, 2011 at 1:28 am
    Kajal Gandhi

    Maharaj always sets a very high example in each and every dealing of his….he greatly values building and maintaining intimate relationships..

  26. February 10, 2011 at 2:32 am
    rambaboo maheshwari

    thankyou for sharing this private LOVE STORY.

  27. February 10, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Radhanath Swami is very personal and caring for each and every soul who wants to take his shelter…

  28. February 11, 2011 at 1:47 am
    Vinay Jain

    Radhanath Swami’s compassion for others is unfathomable. And anyone who has received it in such a way as mentioned in this story is a most fortunate being.

  29. February 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm
    Sachin Boradia

    Radhanath Swami sensitive love is hope for all and so are his palms are source of comfort and strength.

  30. February 12, 2011 at 9:19 am
    Jayshree Shinde

    Such a heart melting event…….Radhanath is so compassionate

  31. February 13, 2011 at 1:49 am
    Swapnil Gaonkar

    Radhanath Swami’s love and compassion extends not only to his disciples but to their parents also. Whose heart will not melt by such actions?

  32. February 15, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Amazing!Maharaj is very merciful.

  33. February 18, 2011 at 3:28 am
    priya aiyar

    Only a pure soul like Maharaj is capable of such overwhelming love and compassion.Thanks for sharing.

  34. February 19, 2011 at 12:29 am
    Yogita Jagannathan

    Radhanath Swami has such a hectic schedule yet he is always available to not only his disciples but their loved ones as well. Thank you Radhanath Swami for everything you do for all of us.

  35. February 19, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Thank you very much for sharing

  36. February 20, 2011 at 9:23 am
    Vidya Patham

    This is yet another amazing example of Radhanath Swami’s deep compassion, understanding and fathomless love.

  37. February 21, 2011 at 1:18 am
    Rahul Kumar Sevakula

    Amazing. This shows how much caring Radhanath swami is. He gives the right amount of time as per the need. He wants to give time to all but since there are so many, it isnt practical. But this doesn’t mean that he is not present when a devotee really requires him. Thank you for sharing

  38. February 22, 2011 at 2:12 am

    A very touching story

  39. February 22, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Maharaj always ready to spent his time for the benefit of others.

  40. February 24, 2011 at 6:52 am

    The kind of experience the author must have undergone due to such a personal dealings of Radhanath Swami is quite a unique one!

  41. March 3, 2011 at 7:33 am
    Vinay Rachh


  42. April 6, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Maharaj is so compassionate and loving!

  43. April 8, 2011 at 4:29 am
    Arjun Gopa

    very touching..

  44. April 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Gurudev is amazing and very personal.
    thanks a lot prabhu to share this story.
    you and your family is really blessed.

  45. April 23, 2011 at 3:57 am
    servant omprakash

    God is personal as his pure devotees are….HH Radhanath Swami maharaj ki jai

  46. April 25, 2011 at 10:13 am
    satyam mishrasatyam mishra

    It shows the all encompassing nature of Mh and devotees like u are really fortunate to get his mercy

  47. May 5, 2011 at 10:41 am
    Krsnanaam das

    In spite of his busy schedule Radhanath Swami took time off to see the mother of a brahmacari depart from this world to the spiritual world. All glories to HH Radhanath Swami maharaj

  48. June 30, 2011 at 5:27 am
    mythili. venkatesh

    Maharaj views everyone equall.This pastime brought teras prabhuji.How I wish I was your mother.Thank u for sharing. All glories to srilagurudev.

  49. August 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    That speaks about the mercy of Radhanath swami. Many thanks for sharing.

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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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