26 November 2009. It was 4:59 a.m. when Radhanath Swami, visibly tired, entered the Radhagopinath temple hall for the morning prayers that would begin in a minute. He hurried towards the deity of his Guru Srila Prabhupada to pay his obeisance.
The last few days had been particularly hectic for Radhanath Swami due to spiritual get-togethers that went till late in the night. I could see how much of an effort it was for him to come for the morning prayers. Today, I could not control myself and I approached Radhanath Swami and blurted, “Why do you push yourself so hard and come for the morning prayers everyday?” He smiled and replied “Because I feel really unhappy when I do not come.” I burst out “But I feel so unhappy to see you in the morning prayers. And I feel really happy when you do not come, knowing that you are
taking your well deserved rest. Please do not push yourself so hard.”
“Thank you so much for your genuine concern.” He then laughed loudly, his shoulders heaving, and continued, “However, better that you become unhappy rather than me becoming unhappy.” I retreated, completely defeated.
Attending morning prayers is crucial for one who is serious about progressing in bhakti. But for one who has reached perfection, whose life itself is a prayer, of what value are these regulations? Yet, Radhanath Swami derives happiness in stretching himself, as far as possible, to inspire his followers through his personal presence in the morning prayers.
— Krishnan Iyer