One night at the monastery

One night at the monastery

One night at the monastery

It was 9:00 p.m., time to call it a day at the monastery. Spotting Radhanath Swami taking a casual stroll through the ashram corridors, some of us surrounded him. On such occasions our discussions were more informal, and Radhanath Swami often spoke of his personal life: his childhood, his travels in search for the truth, his realizations while staying in an austere monastery on a mountain in North America, and the adventures of his outreach programs. These intimate talks charmed the monks even more than the transcendental philosophy and drew us affectionately to him.

On this day, a fellow monk raised a question, “We occasionally get discouraged while undergoing even the basic austerities that accompany ashram life. How is it that you never complained even while living through extreme inconveniences in that monastery on a mountaintop?”

Radhanath Swami briefly describes his stay at a mountaintop monastery in his memoir, The Journey Home:

For the next six years I resided in an austere monastery on a secluded mountaintop that one had to trudge a three-mile muddy footpath through a forest to reach. The snow-blanketed winters were frigid there and we had no heat. To bathe, we used a rock to break a layer of ice, then dipped in the icy water. Our sanitation system was to climb down a hill with a shovel in hand and busy our waste in the mud.

Every monk was eager to hear the reply. We pressed ourselves closer.

After a brief silence, Radhanath Swami spoke, “If you simply realize what awaits you on the path of Bhakti, you will roll on the ground and cry tears of joy and gratitude. Krishna has given much, much more than what we deserve.”

It was like a father sharing his deepest secrets with his children. We felt blessed.

–Venugopal Acharya 

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28 Responses to “One night at the monastery”

  1. May 9, 2013 at 10:49 am
    Prahalad Kaul

    Radhanath Maharaj is so simple in his approach that is why he is elegant.

  2. May 9, 2013 at 11:29 pm
    Kalpana Kulkarni

    What wonderful realizations! We are really blessed to have Radhanath Swami in our midst to guide and inspire us. thank you for sharing your personal experiences.

  3. May 10, 2013 at 2:58 pm
    Ravi Garg

    Swamiji’s replies have deep & profound realisations…….

  4. May 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm
    Piyush Singh

    Amazing. HH Radhanath Swami’s mood and conviction on protection of Krishna is just amazing. We are often in comfortable situations and still often eager to complain on any so called lacking. Thank you very much for sharing this eye opener.

  5. May 13, 2013 at 1:15 am

    very nice question & thanks for sharing for our enlightenment.

    It really opens the eyes specially after reading following lines : “If you simply realize what awaits you on the path of Bhakti, you will roll on the ground and cry tears of joy and gratitude. Krishna has given much, much more than what we deserve.””

  6. May 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm
    Paramesvara Dasa

    It is an open secret. many may not accept to follow. Only great souls like Maharaja, having faith in that accept and realize. All glories to HH radhanatha Svami Maharaja.

  7. May 13, 2013 at 11:13 pm
    Sumit Sharma

    Very inspiring moments with Radhanath Swami.

  8. May 14, 2013 at 1:54 am
    deepak bagla

    Superb, simply superb. I will keep these words of radhanath swami as treasure in my heart

  9. May 14, 2013 at 9:58 am

    So true, i also get baffled everytime with determination /austery but if we always remember what awaits on the path of bhakti..will make us more determined..

  10. May 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Very inspiring and amazing moments of Radhanath Swami touched the heart deeply .

  11. May 15, 2013 at 8:51 am

    So heart touching.. We forget many times gifts of Krishna..

  12. May 15, 2013 at 10:58 am

    We pray that we always remember this even in the face of adversity.

  13. May 16, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Really Radhanath Swami shares deepest realizations. One is so fortunate to get linked to a bonafide line of spiritual mentors, which is so rare. Thank you so much.

  14. May 20, 2013 at 8:43 am
    Keval Shah

    A very valuable lesson of gratitude demonstrated from life of radhanath swami.

  15. May 20, 2013 at 9:07 am
    vaishali kamat

    Radhanath swami is telling us to count our blessings. Then there will be no complaints whatsoever.

  16. May 26, 2013 at 9:54 am
    rajesh karia

    very inspiring moments with Maharaj, Haribol!

  17. May 26, 2013 at 9:55 am
    bhakti karia

    very inspiring experience & thank you for sharing it with all of us, haribol!

  18. June 4, 2013 at 8:40 am
    Abhishek C

    Radhanath Swami’ love for all those he comes in contact with is the most visible feature of his interactions. He is an overflowing ocean of compassion and sweetness.

  19. June 14, 2013 at 8:54 am
    Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Very inspiring & educative experience.. We are so fortunate to have the association of wonderful soul like HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj Ji..

  20. June 19, 2013 at 6:17 am

    very much inspiring Thank you maharaj…

  21. June 24, 2013 at 5:03 am
    krishna daya das

    Nice vision of mahraj.

  22. June 26, 2013 at 4:56 am
    Milind M Churi

    Surely it is a grateful heart of Radhanath Swami to say that what we get is more than what we deserve.

  23. July 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm
    Anil Timbe

    wow.. such a inspiring reply from Radhanath Swami. Thanks for sharing.

  24. August 14, 2013 at 3:28 am
    Swapnil Gaonkar

    Radhanath swami is a great realised soul. we can learn so many things from him

  25. August 17, 2013 at 9:16 am
    Suryakant krishna Das

    very nicve question and inspiring answer from Radhanath maharaj. This answer makes us strong to face all the obstacles that we have to face

  26. September 14, 2013 at 4:58 am
    Hareesh PK

    thank you so much Maharaj. Seeking your blessings that I may fully appreciate the precious gift of KC

  27. October 9, 2013 at 8:01 am

    No words can express the way Radhanath Swami inspires with his own example. thank you for sharing.

  28. May 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm
    Ashish Deshmukhj

    Maharaj answer really gave inspiration for continuing with whatever little tapasya we have in krishna consciousness with enthusiasm.

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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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