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 replies on “One night at the monastery”

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

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.

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.

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.””

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.

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

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..

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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