“Both Radhanath Swami and I were invited by American Presidents; he cleans the minds of the people, while I was invited by President Clinton to clean the streets. Both are interconnected; when the mind is clean, the street will be cleaner and when the streets are clean, the mind also becomes clean”. These words of Mr. B. Nirmal received applause as he appreciated Radhanath Swami and the Bhaktivedanta Hospital for their services to society.
On 30th January’ 2014, Radhanath Swami was in Chennai for the launch of the Tamil translation of ‘The Journey Home’, ‘Punitha Payanam’. At a hall known as the Kuchalambal Kalyana Mandapam, Mr B. Nirmal honored Radhanath Swami by presenting a memento of appreciation for inspiring the team of Bhaktivedanta Hospital in serving selflessly during the Tsunami relief operations at Chennai in 2004-05. He recognized that Radhanath Swami’s team is adept at providing physical, mental and spiritual support to relief victims in particular, and to the society in general. Mr Nirmal himself is a prolific writer and an author of over a dozen books. He has pioneered a civic movement in Chennai dealing with environmental issues, consumer advocacy afforestation programs, rehabilitation of convicts, besides a host of other social welfare projects.
Kailasam Balchander, the Chief Guest during the program is a legendary film director and a winner of nine National film awards. In a career spanning over forty five years, he has also been awarded with the prestigious National Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian honors. Bhanu Swami, Murli Bhatt, K. Srikanth, the former captain of the Indian cricket team, and Mr Suki Sivam, an inspirational writer and orator par excellence, known regionally as ‘the king of words’ were also amongst the thousand plus guests during the book launch. Mr. S.Badrinath was another special guests; a pioneer in eye care in Chennai who founded a charitable, non-profit eye hospital where each day over 1200 patients are treated and over a hundred surgeries performed.
While all guests praised the ‘Journey Home’ and expressed thanks for being invited for the program, Radhanath Swami in his address thanked the people of Chennai. “The journey home is my little offering to express the incredible appreciation I have for what I have received from your great Nation”