“I never get to do what I want to do”

“I never get to do what I want to do”

“I never get to do what I want to do”

Vehicles honked and spewed out black clouds of exhaust. Pedestrians peacefully crossed the busy street, zigzagging through the sluggish traffic. Malls, swarming with customers, lined the sidewalk. We were at Connaught Place, one of the largest financial, commercial and business centres in New Delhi.

As our car headed towards Hotel Lalit, Radhanath Swami from the rear seat reminisced, “During my spiritual quest, whenever I passed through New Delhi, I stayed at the Hanuman Temple here, at Connaught Place.  I stayed in the company of sadhus.”  I was all ears. It was one of those special moments when the Swami candidly shared from his travels through India. Radhanath Swami continued, “It is my desire to walk through these streets again.” After a thoughtful pause, he added, “Somehow I never get to do what I want to do.” Hearing that, I felt pained.

Being his secretary, I took it as my duty to find a free slot for him during our 2-day stay in the nation’s capital, a slot sufficient for a walk through Connaught Place. The first day, today, was dimming into twilight, and Radhanath Swami’s weary body needed an early rest. The next day, March 2, at 9:00 a.m., Radhanath Swami was scheduled to deliver the Key note and Inaugural address at the All India Management Association’s (AIMA) second World Marketing Congress. I supposed that Radhanath Swami would be out of the conference hall by 11:00 a.m. Since our flight was at 2:00 p.m., there was a free slot, sufficiently big.

The next day things didn’t work out as I had planned. By the time the Swami got out of the conference hall, it was late; we had to rush to the airport. Our next destination was Rishikesh, where he was invited for several talks at the International Yoga Conference.

In Rishikesh, inquisitive, I further explored Radhanath Swami’s connection with Connaught Place in his autobiography The Journey Home. Apart from what he had disclosed in the car, I discovered one more connection—an intimate one. That was the place he first saw a painting of Lord Krishna. The passage in The Journey Home read,

Designed by the British, Connaught Circus was laid out in an immense circle surrounding a spacious park. Exploring the enclosed walkway, my attention was drawn to a hand-painted sign that read, “S.S. Brijabasi and Sons Religious Artwork.” Stacked on the sidewalk were hundreds of 8 x 10 prints. ……For about an hour I sat on the sidewalk searching the selection. Among the pictures was a beautiful woman with eight arms holding swords, choppers, and spears and riding on a lion, then a fantastical, somewhat pudgy man with the head of an elephant who was sitting on a mouse……..I came across a magnificent monkey, wearing a crown, whose eyes shone with devotion……….As I rummaged deeper through the stack of prints, I discovered a person with a dozen heads, each of a different species and multiple arms………

Suddenly, from out of the stack of prints appeared a personality that attracted me like no other. He had a bluish complexion, wore a peacock feather in his crown, and played a flute while posing gracefully beside a river. Behind him a white cow stared lovingly and a full moon bathed an enchanted forest in pearly light.  Spontaneous tears filled my eyes. The person in the picture seemed to fill my very soul. Why was this happening to me? I felt him calling me. But how?  It was only a painting, and of a fantastical person I didn’t even know. His name was written on the bottom in an ancient alphabet I couldn’t read.

I gave whatever money I had to the shopkeeper, but it was not enough. He smiled and gave me the picture anyway, a picture that I would not part with during the rest of my travels. Who was this person in the image? For a long time, that was to remain a mystery.

As I read, tears filled my eyes, and my determination to help him take a walk through Connaught Place heightened.

After a 4 day stay at Rishikesh, on March 7th as I packed bags for our return trip to Mumbai, Radhanath Swami raised the topic of Connaught Place again. While returning, we had to change flights at Delhi, and there was a gap of 3 hours between landing and the next take-off. “Will it be possible for me to visit Connaught Circus during that gap?” Radhanath Swami asked. “I will work out the logistics and let you know,” I replied.  I hurriedly called a contact at New Delhi. He said it was possible. It was planned that while I waited with the luggage at the Delhi airport, Radhanath Swami would collect the Metro Rail ticket from my contact waiting outside, take the half hour train ride to Connaught Place, walk through the streets there, and then return.

We landed in New Delhi at 1:45 p.m. The connecting flight to Mumbai was at 5:00 p.m. Everything seemed perfectly as per plan. But as I dialled the number of my contact who waited outside the terminus, Radhanath Swami interrupted, “Should I really go? Tomorrow is the Gaur Poornima Festival, and I have to discourse. I might well use this time for preparing.”  What could I say? For him it was duty calling again. Thousands in Mumbai would be visiting the temple the next day to attend the Birthday Festival of Lord Chaitanya. And his lecture was the sought after inspirational event for the pilgrims.   

We searched for a quite place, and Radhanath Swami pored over the Chaitanya Charitamrita, the biography of Lord Chaitanya, whom the Gaudiya Vaishnavas believe to be Lord Krishna himself. At 5: 00 p.m. we boarded the flight that brought us back to Mumbai.

The next day Radhanath Swami discoursed 4 hours non-stop from the Chaitanya Charitamrita, as thousands listened in rapt attention. Later, many proclaimed this to be one of the most inspiring festivals of their life. As I listened to them, I was distracted by burning questions. When is the next time we will pass through New Delhi?!! And even then, will Radhanath Swami be able to do what he really wants to do?

Vikram Arora

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142 Responses to ““I never get to do what I want to do””

  1. April 17, 2012 at 12:05 am

    surely,maharaj would be able to visit ,beacuse He is a pure devotee……..as heard from senior vaishnavas, and so Krsna will fullfill all his desires and needs………

  2. April 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

    this shows the simple heart of Radhanath Swami

  3. April 17, 2012 at 1:50 am
    Sunny Mattas

    Very touching. Short of words to express my feelings! Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki JAI!!

  4. April 17, 2012 at 4:54 am
    Jaydeep Sahu

    This again indicates that Maharaj thinks himself as servant of others and hence gives more importance to his service of inspiring other with his lectures than compared to his own personal leisure activity.. All Glories to Maharaj !

  5. April 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Maharaji is full of compassion and very merciful.

  6. April 17, 2012 at 9:36 pm
    Pranjal dixit

    That blue boy is always with him in his heart and he is busy in serving that blue boy all the time. When they both decide to do something they will do.

  7. April 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Very touching to know about how much Radhanath Swami sacrifices his personal time for so many people looking up to him for guidance and inspiration. Thank you for sharing such an intimate experience.

  8. April 18, 2012 at 2:35 am
    Citra Gopi DD

    Thank you for inspiring us with this post.

  9. April 18, 2012 at 6:39 am
    Hemant Solanki

    Thank You for sharing

  10. April 18, 2012 at 6:40 am
    Rajeshwari Marchande

    Hare Krishna Thank you

  11. April 18, 2012 at 5:23 pm


  12. April 20, 2012 at 6:13 am
    Arjun K Ramachandra

    Thank you Vikramji for rendering this story in such beautiful words. Radhanath Swami has sold out his life in the service of others hardly caring for his own likes or even needs.

  13. April 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

    The blue boy has to fulfill the desire of Radhanath Maharaj ! Hare Krsna !

  14. April 24, 2012 at 10:18 am

    A truly touching post!

  15. April 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  16. April 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm
    Jagannath Dham Das

    Thank you very much for sharing such an inspiring article about Radhanath Swami and His sacrifices for the benefit of all of us !

  17. April 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm
    Anil Timbe

    So touching… thanks for sharing. It shows how Radhanath Swami always things for others.

  18. April 29, 2012 at 12:50 am

    amazing determination, i liked it very much

  19. April 29, 2012 at 6:55 am
    Smriti Gupta

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful pastime. We wish and pray that one day Maharaj will be able to walk from that way again as he desired.

  20. April 29, 2012 at 8:57 am

    HH RadhanAth Swami Maharaj’s life is dedicated to serving others

  21. April 30, 2012 at 6:02 am
    Krishna daya das

    Mahraj is para sukha sukhi.

  22. May 1, 2012 at 12:19 am
    Sumit Sharma

    Amazing experience with Radhanath Swami. Thanks for sharing it.

  23. May 1, 2012 at 6:11 am
    shivkumar salegar

    amazing incident. thanks for sharing

  24. May 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing. Wonderful experience.

  25. May 2, 2012 at 8:42 am

    really wonderful article

  26. May 4, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Radhanath Swamis life represents a life of surrender and sacrifice. He had completely dovetailed all his own desires for the service of the lord and his devotees with expecting nothing in return.
    Very Touching incident. Thank you very much.

  27. May 5, 2012 at 3:03 am

    thank you maharaj for sharing your life’s experience

  28. May 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    A truly touching and thought proving message. Thank you.

  29. May 8, 2012 at 12:55 am

    A very deep experience showing how selfless a sincere spiritual seeker must be. HH Radhanath Maharaj is showing such high standards to teach us what is really surrender means. Hare Krishna!

  30. May 8, 2012 at 3:35 am
    Y.Raja Shekar

    HH Radhanath Swami always gives preference to service over his personal interests.

  31. May 10, 2012 at 3:24 am
    deepak bagla

    excellent artcile, as a leader, Radhanath swami is setting the standards. Our likes does not matter but service is more important

  32. May 10, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Radhanath swami has sacrificed many things for the society

  33. May 14, 2012 at 8:03 am
    Vidya Patham

    Thank you for sharing this incident in relation to which our own selfish desires and wishes pale in comparison.

  34. May 14, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing a wonderful and touching incident. All glories to H.H Radhanath Swami Maharajji.

  35. May 15, 2012 at 12:21 am

    i m really thankful to u …………….

  36. May 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing!

  37. May 16, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Hare Krishna. Thank you

  38. May 17, 2012 at 8:51 am

    hare krishna.. big lessons from simple things..

  39. May 17, 2012 at 11:23 am

    wonderful teachings from Radhanath Swami.

  40. May 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    MANY thanks for sharing this very instructive incident involving Radhanath swami

  41. May 19, 2012 at 4:22 am

    i m thankfull to u swamiji for so nice discourse

  42. May 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    great story….thanks for shaaring

  43. May 21, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Very touching. How selfless swamiji is , He always puts service before his personal desires. great lesson for us , to imbibe the same spirit in our spiritual journey.

  44. May 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Its life in the servoce of God & humanity
    just simply wonderful

  45. May 29, 2012 at 4:07 am

    i can not repay the debt of yrs swamiji

  46. May 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    so touching.

  47. May 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Very. Touching experience.

  48. June 2, 2012 at 12:35 am

    thank you radhanath swami maharaj…,

  49. June 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    This is a touching message. Thank you for sharing it.

  50. June 6, 2012 at 4:13 am
    gokul ramesh

    very wonderful… heart touching

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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."