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.

Related Posts:

148 replies on “Radhanath Swami and the Turtles”

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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….

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.

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].”

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

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.

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

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

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

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!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *