Radhanath Swami was invited to speak by the London School of Economics (LSE) Student’s Union on the 2nd of December 2014. LSE is a global leading social sciences dedicated institution, considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The university attracts some of the worlds most influential figures to lecture.
This event was hosted by Citibank and the largest collaboration of societies in the history of LSE including the Economics Society, Investment Society and Entrepreneurs Society.
The talk was ttended by over 300 students in the Hong Kong Theatre in London. Radhanath Swami spoke on the topic “Investing in a Better Future.”
Special guests included LSE’s Faith representative Reverend James Walters; Student’s Union General Scretary Nona Buckley-Irvine; activities Officer Alastair Duncan; and Welfare Officer Sebastian Bruhn.
The students were very impressed by the stories and wisdom Radhanath Swami shared and have invited him to address them again. Some of the students were so inspired by the talk that they want to go and visit the Govardhan Eco Village in India and have begun arranging their trips. Jay Ghanashyam Shetty who coordinated the teams for the event is excited by the opportunity to work together again in 2015 with the LSE.
Below is and article about the event from BeaverOnline, the newspaper of the LSE Student Union, written by Sebastian Bruhn, Community and Welfare Officer.
LSESU WELCOMES RADHANATH SWAMI
The LSESU welcomed Radhanath Swami to the Hong Kong Theatre to present at the ‘Investing in a Better Future’ event on Tuesday. The evening was busy and historic, being a result of one of the largest collaborations of LSESU societies, at least in recent times. Around 300 people attended and the Krishna Consciousness, Hindu, Economics, Investment, Entrepreneurs, Russian, Trading, and Finance society all collaborated in putting the event together.
Radhanath Swami is a prominent Gaudiya Vaishnava guru who, although originally from the United States, travelled through Europe and Asia extensively. Throughout his travels he encountered numerous beliefs and cultures, until finally settling in India and embracing its rich faith tradition. Drawing upon many of his own ventures and meetings with leaders and intellectuals, he dealt with various weighty and thought-provoking topics in his talk, related to improving one’s happiness and fulfilment in life. He touched on several ideas, such as morality, compassion, spirituality, and common humanity, linking them all to the everyday hustle and bustle of modern life.
Attendants, who represented numerous different faiths, nationalities, societies, and disciplines, were positive about Radhanath Swami’s presentation. Some felt that, at times, it was challenging to fully relate to some of the more mystical themes that he brought up, but many also expressed great enthusiasm with his universal message and with hearing ideas that aren’t always regularly presented on at the LSE. Lina Lives, a third year undergraduate, described the event as being, “irie” and “a great reminder.” Yaajan Govinia, one of the chief organisers of the event, said, “the key to success is normally one which is hidden and inaccessible to the majority of us. And as students we’re all extremely ambitious! Tonight Radhanath Swami uncovered some of those secrets to success and shared them with us all to cherish and implement in our lives.”
The talk had a visible impact on a large portion of the audience, many of which stayed behind after for book signing or a quick conversation. Moreover, with the amount of effort and people involved, it would seem that it was a sign of more initiatives to come here at the LSE, especially from students and students’ union societies. A quote from the night that was continually repeated by attendants afterwards acts as an ideal summary of the event; “’you can count how rich you are by the number of things you have that money can’t buy.”