Radhanath Swami and the Turtles

Radhanath Swami and the Turtles

Radhanath Swami and the Turtles

The rising sun god stole a glimpse, through the stained glass windows, into the temple interior, where Radhanath Swami sat meditating. Then he proceeded upwards along his orbit. Perhaps he too, like many of us, ached to see Radhanath Swami in our ISKCON Nasik temple. Radhanath Swami had been promising to grace us with his presence, but his busy schedule had never allowed him to, for years. . Now, finally in his presence, we felt blessed.

After his japa, mantra meditation, I took Radhanath Swami around the temple; inspired by him I had taken charge of this temple and had recently renovated it. He observed everything keenly, as he always does, and with an air of appreciation. He especially seemed to like the fountain in front of the altar. Excited, I chimed in, “Apart from the fishes, there are two turtles in there.” Radhanath Swami peered into the pool of water at the base of the fountain, “Live turtles?”

“Yes, live turtles.”

“But turtles are not like fishes.” Worry washed across Radhanath Swami’s face, “They are not supposed to be in water all the time. How will they survive without a place to rest?”

“They do rest on the water pipelines that are laid for the fountain,” I tried to assure him.

“It will be nice if you could make a small island in that pool. Then the turtles can rest comfortably. They are now the Lord’s associates and have to be properly taken care of,” Radhanath Swami swung his hands towards the deities on the altar, accentuating his point. He went on to ask questions about what we fed them, whether they liked the food etc.  It was as if his every other major project around the world lay eclipsed behind this newly found one: the happy-turtle-project.

During his one day stay, he brought forth the issue of the turtles atleast ten times. Towards the end, he summarized what he felt of his visit, “Everything about the temple is impeccable and exquisite, and I am highly impressed. But the only thing pinching my heart is the discomfort that the turtles have to undergo in that pool.” And just before his departure to Mumbai, he told me, “Remember what I told about what should be done for the turtles? Do let me know when you have done something for them.”

I got an island made for the turtles in the next 24 hours and sent a message to Radhanath Swami through his secretary: Because of your concern and love for them, the turtles are peacefully sitting in their new haven. When I look at them, they seem to be thanking you from the core of their little hearts for making this arrangement for them.

–Sikshashtakam Das. Temple President, ISKCON Nasik.

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148 Responses to “Radhanath Swami and the Turtles”

  1. October 29, 2010 at 10:12 am
    jyoti chilka

    All glories to Radhanath Swami. I aspire to have at least one percent of such humility as of Radhanath Swami.

  2. October 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Simply wonderful!!!

  3. October 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Jai !!! so much compassion even for turtles… they are blessed by Radhanath Swami’s mercy.

  4. October 29, 2010 at 9:55 pm
    Madana Kishore Das

    Maharaj sees the Lord in everyone which is why he is so compassionate towards all living entities.

  5. October 30, 2010 at 12:02 am
    Siddharth Hindlekar

    Speechless…Simply out-of-the-world Compassion

  6. October 30, 2010 at 12:29 am
    gautam daswani

    wonderful article

  7. October 30, 2010 at 1:25 am

    that was enlivening story of compassion

  8. October 30, 2010 at 4:49 am
    Rahul Kumar Sevakula

    Beautiful. Radhanath Swami has exemplified caring nature towards all living beings

  9. October 31, 2010 at 1:44 am
    prashant v

    jai amazing… how Maharaj is inspiring to take care of each and every living entity and see them as associated of the Lord. hank you very much Maharaj for opening my eyes.

  10. October 31, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    A Sadhu is compassionate towards all living creatures.

  11. October 31, 2010 at 11:38 pm
    priya aiyar

    Only great souls like HH Radhanath Swami can have such boundless compassion for other creatures.Fortunate are those who can get the causeless mercy of such pure souls as Radhanath Maharaj.

  12. November 1, 2010 at 1:20 am
    Santhosh Poojari

    a pure devotee sees every living entity as part and parcel of the lord, for him there is no difference

  13. November 1, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Genuine love exhibited by a true saintly person like Radhanath Swami as he sees Krishna’s wonderful hand in all of Lord’s creation.

  14. November 1, 2010 at 2:18 pm
    Yugal kishore das

    There is a saying, see the saint not when he is giving his lectures but when he is wearing his shoes. It means anyone can give good lectures but caring matters, in this case small turtles….

  15. November 3, 2010 at 12:50 am
    Venkata Buddhiraju

    A pure devotee of God sees His presence in each and every living entity. He cannot see the suffering and discomfort of anyone. He is compassionate to all. This incident shows how Radhanath Swami sees His beloved Supreme Lord in all creatures around him. Such a vision can manifest only after many many years of rigorous practice of selfless service to God and His children.

  16. November 3, 2010 at 1:28 am

    wonderful incindence , thank you very much for sharing this. Radhanath Swami Maharaj is so much concerned and caring even for the turtles even though anyone ordinarily would have simply failed to notice them.
    reminds me of the quote from Bhagavad gita – “vidya vinaya sampannee.. ” – “The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].”

  17. November 3, 2010 at 6:55 am
    Jagdish Majethiya

    HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj is most compassionate – Thanks a lot Prabhuji for sharing such a beautiful and inspiring story.

  18. November 4, 2010 at 3:47 am
    gaur gopal das

    There is a proverb “Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows.” Its easy to give attention to big things and people and obviously our energy flows there. But with Radhanath Swami, he pays attention to the apparently smallest things, people and in this case a creature (turtle). I am simply amazed by Radhanath Swami’s selfless compassion.

  19. November 4, 2010 at 5:14 am
    rajesh karia

    this article is one of my favorites, its a must read for all, thank you Prabhuji for sharing with all of us, regards, rajesh karia

  20. November 4, 2010 at 5:16 am
    bhakti karia

    HHRM has eye for every smallest of details and ensures comfort for all beings, hari hari, bhakti

  21. November 4, 2010 at 6:22 am
    Acyuta Mohana Das

    Sadhu Sadhu !

  22. November 5, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I am simply amazed by Radhanath Swami’s selfless compassion.Thanks a lot Prabhuji for sharing such a beautiful and inspiring story.

  23. November 8, 2010 at 12:27 am
    Arjun K Ramachandra

    Simply Amazing! Radhanath Swami’s concern for an apparently insignificant turtle is extraordinary. This is the vision of a pure soul, a sadhu who can see even a turtle as an associate of the lord!!

  24. November 9, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Care for even the turtles, we can just imagine what Radhanath Swami is doing for the human associates of the Lord.

  25. November 10, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Radhanath Maharaj loves & cares 4 every living Entity.

  26. November 10, 2010 at 7:32 am
    Shoba Fernandes

    Radhanath Swami considers every living entity a part and parcel of Krishna and hence treats them with great love

  27. November 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    H.H. Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki jai

  28. November 15, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    so sweet… those turtles r so fortunate that Maharaj kept thinking of them

  29. December 7, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Jai, His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s perfect example of compassion.

  30. December 11, 2010 at 7:40 am

    This goes to show how humble and caring Maharaj really is..
    Thank u for sharing.

  31. December 12, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Wonderful incindence , thank you very much for sharing this.Maharaj is most compassionate towards each and every living being.

  32. December 25, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Thank you very much for sharing. Radhanath Swami is so compassionate to everyone

  33. January 4, 2011 at 7:59 am
    bhakti karia

    ths article is one of my favourites, its simply blissful, haribol, bhakti

  34. January 4, 2011 at 8:02 am
    rajesh karia

    pure love and compassion is flowing from HHRNSM for the smallest creation of the Lord, simply wonderful to experience HHRNSM being so concerned and cared for the comfort of the turtles, haribol, rajesh karia

  35. March 17, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Really Really touching. Radhanath Swami ji ki jai.

  36. April 6, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Radhanath Swami is an ocean of compassion.

  37. April 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Radhanath Swami is very compassionate and loving to all living entity.

  38. April 23, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Jai, His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s perfect example of compassion.

  39. May 19, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Its difficult to point out the best article among all such wonderfull ones….but this one is outstanding…JAI

  40. August 5, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Thank you for sharing this Pasttime

  41. August 12, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Many thanks for sharing this beautiful story about Radhanath swami, who is an ocean of compassion for all the living entities

  42. September 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing Radhanath Swami’s heart and his concern for all living entities.

  43. September 13, 2011 at 9:35 am
    Radhasangi Devi Dasi

    Radhanath Swami’s concern for each living entity arises from the fact that he sees everyone as a child of God and hence the responsibility of taking care of their comforts when they are under his care.

  44. October 10, 2011 at 7:00 am
    Keval Shah

    Hats offf!! Really my prostrated obesiances to this Great Sadhu…..Wonderful to see such genuine compassion ,,,

  45. October 11, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    so sensitive to needs of other living entities – this is the state of heart that one can really aspire for…so beautiful..

  46. December 12, 2011 at 2:04 am
    Kalpana Kulkarni

    Wonderful incident.

  47. December 20, 2011 at 2:01 am
    Kalpana Kulkarni

    Just goes to show how compassionate Radhanath Swami is towards ALL living entities.

  48. September 18, 2012 at 6:05 am
    Anup Shah

    Thankyou 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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