‘Grand Prix’ with Radhanath Swami

‘Grand Prix’ with Radhanath Swami

‘Grand Prix’ with Radhanath Swami

Reality belittled wildest imaginations on this impromptu ‘Grand Prix’ from the North Indian city of Kanpur to the Lucknow Airport. Our car raced at 130 Km/Hr! Still, Radhanath Swami yelled from the rear seat, “Faster, faster.” Radhe Shyam Prabhu—an illiterate in traffic rules—appointed himself the traffic-navigator, and shouted directions from the rear, while I, like a coach impatient for victory, sat next to our ‘race driver’ Vikas and kept nagging him, “How much longer will it take to reach?” And like a gramophone record stuck in its track, the jittery Vikas kept repeating a mantra ‘hour after hour’– “We will be at the airport in ten minutes only.”

8 January 2011, 5:30 p.m., Kanpur. As the car keys turned on the ignition, Vikas turned to Radhanath Swami, “My home is only a 5 minute drive off the highway. My family has been decorating our home since last night—waking up all night long—expecting your visit at our humble residence. Please, if you could place your holy feet there, even for a moment, we will be blessed.”

How could Radhanath Swami deny? “I will come, provided you promise that you will reach me to the airport on time.” To catch the flight was critical, for that was the last flight to Mumbai, and flying the next day meant cancelling pressing engagements of selfless service lined up for the next day, back in Mumbai.

Vikas nodded innocently, knowing not what awaited him.

At Vikas’s home, we were cordially greeted, but after a while it was time to leave. The whole family saw us to the gate, and bid us a fond farewell.

Yet, the family’s concern that we reach the airport on time continued to follow us. After 7:00 p.m., while the ‘Grand Prix’ was at its peak, the family called Vikas every five minutes with the same question I was bothering Vikas with—How much longer…? And Vikas repeated the same irritating mantraWe will be…ten minutes. High strung, I finally switched off Vikas’s mobile.

The car flew into the airport terminus at 7:45 p.m. Sure that all passengers were already aboard the plane, still we dashed into the check-in. Radhanath Swami had once joked that India is the only place where sadhus can bribe with blessings. But here, we didn’t even have to do that. Simply our sadhu attire got us through in seconds.

Once aboard the plane, while I adjusted to the miracle that we had finally made it, Radhanath Swami asked me to dial Vikas’s number. I dialed and… my mind screamed, “Oh no! I myself have switched off his mobile.” Somehow, after several prayerful trials, the phone rang when Vikas turned it on at the other end.

“I am grateful and happy for your service of driving us here,” Radhanath Swami gasped. Then he paused. “But I would have been grateful even if we hadn’t caught the flight”—pause—“sorry for the anxiety we caused you”—pause—“but the anxiety you had to undergo and we had to undergo was a small price that all of us had to pay for the happiness of your family.”

–Vikram Arora. (Radhanath Swami’s secretary)

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127 Responses to “‘Grand Prix’ with Radhanath Swami”

  1. March 28, 2011 at 9:51 am
    jayshree shinde

    Thankyou for sharing such a beautiful incident with Radhanath Swami

  2. March 28, 2011 at 9:54 am
    jayshree shinde

    so beautiful

  3. March 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    thanks for sharing, wonderful…

  4. April 1, 2011 at 12:30 am
    Vijay Mathias

    Thank you for sharing! Maharaj pleases everyone who comes his way.

  5. April 1, 2011 at 4:50 am

    HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj really cares for all!

  6. April 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Radhanath Swami has such clarity of thought and love; even though he might have gone thru such anxious moments of missing the flight, he still doesnt miss a chance to make a devotee happy and reassured. I wonder what I would have done in such a situation!!!

  7. April 9, 2011 at 6:48 am
    vaishali kamat

    The last sentence is really very touching. This shows how much Radhanath Swami cares for every individual without considering his social status and prestige.

  8. April 13, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Exciting Adventure.!

  9. April 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm
    Parag Udeshi

    Maharaj Has an art of dealing with every individual in a very special way.

  10. April 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    It’s amazing how Radhanath Swami cares for everyone!

  11. April 15, 2011 at 3:59 am
    krishna chandra

    For Radhanath Swami, pleasing others is a priority for him.

  12. April 17, 2011 at 9:39 am
    radhasangi devi dasi

    This is the real GRAND PRIX!

  13. April 18, 2011 at 4:59 am
    ishwar anand das

    thank you, great souls are ready to take any trouble to please others

  14. April 19, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Maharaj! You have dedicated your life to please the vaishnava’s. Please bless me with this mood.

  15. April 22, 2011 at 3:33 am
    Divyesh N Sata

    The last lines shows how humble Maharaj is. For him nothing is more important than pleasing vaishnav’s. Truly grateful for sharing this beautiful story.

  16. April 24, 2011 at 11:49 pm
    deepti chhabria

    thank you for sharing

  17. April 28, 2011 at 9:47 pm
    Satish Iyer

    Radhanath Swami is so caring .

  18. May 8, 2011 at 12:25 am

    thank you very much for sharing..
    hari bol

  19. August 15, 2011 at 1:57 am
    Vinay K

    Radhanath Swami is cool..He don’t want to disappoint his devotees.
    Thank You for posting this nice article..

  20. September 27, 2011 at 12:49 am
    Keval Shah

    This shows that maharaj always wants pleasure of devotees…

  21. October 12, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    HH Radhanath swami is so kind. He always face inconviniences very happily for the pleasure of others. HH Radhanath swami ki jai.

  22. October 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    just goes on to show how loving, caring and thoughtful HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj is.

  23. December 6, 2011 at 11:35 am
    Kalpana Kulkarni

    Amazing how Radhanath Swami puts others’ happiness before his own. His humility and gratitude shines through in this incident. Truly great soul

  24. December 17, 2011 at 10:27 am

    A very wonderful experience. Thou it is dotted with moments of anxiety but the care, concern and compassion makes it a narrative worth giving and ear to. How spirituality makes you something that everybody else and not you are the centre of your concern and love.

  25. December 19, 2011 at 8:18 am
    Tallam Sita Ramaiah

    The compassion of H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj is unparalleled.

  26. December 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Radhanath Swami is so compassionate, caring and loving

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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."