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.
From the moment I had woken up at 3:30 in the morning, I was an engine revving to go. Go, go, go! Go to Mangal Arati, go to the Mayapur Academy, go practice, go chant, go! Get everything done so that I could go hear my guru speak tonight.
Radhanath Swami had been here in Mayapur for almost a week, speaking every night to 4,000 people on the glories of Lord Chaitanya. Even though the pandal where he was speaking was only a couple hundred meters from where I was studying, I had not yet had time to spend one full night to listen. I was just so, so busy.
But tonight would be different. I was scheduling my day meticulously to leave school on time. Not only that, I was going to sit up at the very, very front and look at Maharaj’s (Radhanath Swami is affectionately addressed by his followers as Radhanath Maharaj) face the entire time!
One night in Mumbai, I got a call from Radhanath Swami. He was amidst his North American book tour, to promote the US trade release of his autobiography The Journey Home. Visiting most major cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, Houston, and Vancouver, he also gave media interviews for radio, television, newspapers and magazines.
It was a momentous occasion for Daya Rupa when Radhanath Swami asked her what services she rendered at the temple. “I maintain the garden,” she replied.
Once Radhanath Swami and his dear friend, Devamrita Swami were scheduled to give a talk on cricket. Although the world cup season was on, and most Indians were busy watching cricket, the temple courtyard was packed with thousands of youth. The audience was eagerly anticipating an exciting talk by two American monks on a sport that Indians are crazy about.