Teachings from Radhanath Swami.
Editor’s note: Over the coming weeks, elephant will have the opportunity to feature teachings and instructions from HH Radhanath Swami. These short pieces are transcribed and collected from his lectures given around the world. Given Maharaja’s travel and speaking schedule, not to mention, his many other obligations, he will not be able to respond to comments. Thank you for reading and please post any suggested topics you may like to see covered in future installments. We will do our best.
The cause of problems is when the consciousness is degraded, as then everything becomes degraded.
Because the situation of the world is a reflection of the state of the consciousness of humanity, when our hearts are polluted we pollute everything around us. When our hearts are pure, we purify everything around us. This is how creation works. Everything is built upon the foundation of consciousness which is the source of life.
It is the consciousness that is manifested through our action and words that is the cause of happiness and distress in material creation. Karma is simply the laws that respond to people’s consciousness and how that consciousness impels us to act.
Therefore, great sages teach that we have to confront the underlying cause of the disease.
That is the consciousness infected by the ahankara, false ego, which prompts us to selfishly act without real concern for other people, the environment or God, but rather to be prompted by greed, arrogance, envy, lust or anger. So we need to rescue the consciousness. If we put God in the center then we see the value in ourselves as being part of God and in others, and with such a consciousness we will treat everything with love and respect and have compassion for others.
Radhanath Swami is a Vaishnava sanyassin (a monk in a Krishna-bhakti lineage) and teacher of the devotional path of Bhakti-yoga. He is author of The Journey Home, a memoir of his search for spiritual truth. His teachings draw from the sacred texts of India such as The Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Ramayana, and aim to reveal the practical application of the sacred traditions, while focusing on the shared essence which unites apparently disparate religious or spiritual paths.
Radhanath Swami travels regularly throughout India, Europe and North America, sharing the teachings of Bhakti-yoga. He resides much of the year at the Radha Gopinath Ashram in Chowpatty, Mumbai. For the past twenty-five years he has guided the community’s development and has directed a number of acclaimed social action projects including Midday Meals, which daily serves more than 260,000 plates of sanctified vegetarian food to the children of the slums of Mumbai. He has also worked to establish missionary hospitals and eye camps, eco-friendly farms, schools and ashrams, an orphanage and a number of emergency relief programs throughout India.
Editor: Thaddeus Haas
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