The Theosophical Society in America encourages open-minded inquiry into the world religions, philosophy, science, and the arts in order to understand the wisdom of the ages, respect the unity of all life, and help people explore spiritual self-transformation. Radhanath Swami was invited by the Theosophical Society to share his wisdom and message at the National Headquarters in Wheaton, Illinois on October 1, 2015. In front of an audience of seventy-five, Radhanath Swami discussed unleashing the power of the soul. His message was well received and, according to the society members, he attracted the largest crowd in the history of the Thursday talks.
Radhanath Swami opened by emphasizing the value of each moment and the power of time. He explained the nature of time is so mystical that even though we cannot directly experience it with our five senses, it is in the process of extinguishing the sun, evaporating every ocean, and pulverizing every planet. Unlike humans, bribes cannot corrupt it, beauty cannot seduce it, and greatest military with the mightiest arsenal cannot stop its progress, even for a moment.
He quoted a verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam – “Whoever we are, whatever we have, with every rising and setting of the sun, we are one day closer to death. But those who utilize their time for higher spiritual purpose, with every rising and setting of sun, we are one day closer to the eternal life”. He emphasized the need to ask: who am I? He stressed that unless we know who we really are, we cannot understand our true relationship with each other, with the environment, and with God.
Radhanath Swami provided an answer to this basic question by stating: “We are all the eternal force, known in Sanskrit as atma (soul). This force is eternal, full of knowledge and happiness. Atma is actually who is seeing through our eyes, hearing through our ears, tasting through our tongues, thinking through our brains and loving through our hearts. The nature of the soul is pleasure-seeking. Whether it’s a little ant crawling on our kitchen counter or a CEO of a big corporation, everyone is looking for pleasure and everyone has a relative way of finding that pleasure. Things can give some pleasure to the body, mind and senses, but only love can give fulfillment to the heart. To give love and to receive love is the most fundamental need of every living entity.”
Radhanath Swami further explained that the entirety of creation is built on the principle of duality: “Honor-dishonor, success-failure, victory-defeat, pleasure-pain, birth-death – like the two sides of a coin, heads cannot be separated from tails. If we are attached to honor, destiny will eventually flip us onto the side of dishonor; if we are too attached to success, it will eventually flip us onto the side of failure. When destiny flips, we will be caused as much pain as we were given pleasure. Despite this pleasure-pain dynamic, people are naturally pleasure-seekers. Without finding the pleasure within ourselves, we invariably become dependent on the pleasures derived from the dualities and becomes vulnerable to stress, frustration and depression.”
He quoted a verse from the Bhagavad Gita that provides a method to transcend these dualities. He explained that we rise above the dualities only when we experience something higher and deeper. Then we can reconnect to our soul’s blissful loving nature. The origin of that love is the love between the soul and the Supersoul (i.e the soul and God).
The talk had a visible impact on a large portion of the audience. The event ended with audience members having an opportunity to personally meet Radhanath Swami and for book signing. A few members shared their appreciation, views and experiences after his talk.
“It was a great honor to have Swami Radhanath speak at the Theosophical Society. His peaceful and loving presence was felt by all those who attended the program. The heartfelt teachings that he generously shared were not just theoretical concepts and knowledge acquired from study of scriptures, but the insights and direct experiences of a man who is the living embodiment of those spiritual ideals.” John Cianciosi, Director of Public programs at the Theosophical Society in America, Wheaton, Illinois
“I found him to be very enlightening and delightful but most of all I appreciated that he was so down to earth and for a lack of better words – he practiced what he preached! I actually went on YouTube the next morning and listened to one of his meditations and I was so moved that I cried!” Anna Christina Nelson-Park District Manager, Illinois
“I went to School with Swami and I am meeting him, my classmate after 45 years. I really enjoyed his talk and being around him. His peaceful presence was deeply felt.” Robert Chesrow, Photographer and Reiki Master, Self-employed, Deerfield, Illinois.