radhanath swami

On July 21, Stanford Bhakti Yoga Club and the Hindu Student Association of Stanford joined efforts to host spiritual leader Radhanath Swami and James Doty, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and Founder of Stanford’s Center for Compassion & Altruism Research & Education, for a talk on the topic “Redefining Success”. An eclectic mix of approximately 500 students, members of academia and industry leaders attended.

The event began with mantra meditation, creating a serene mood.

James Doty spoke first, about compassion and care, sharing a personal story about finding spirituality after a bankruptcy. “I became a successful entrepreneur, my company went public, I owned a Ferrari and a penthouse, but I started feeling empty. And then one fine day I lost everything. It allowed me time to reflect and forced me to take a journey inward.” he said.

Radhanath Swami began his talk by explaining that the English word success comes from the Latin succedere, which means to go up or to go near. Drawing parallels to Sanskrit, he explained that the word Upanishad, a collection of ancient spiritual teachings, also means to go near or rise above and that, from a spiritual perspective, success comes when we build our life based on a meaningful and fulfilling foundation. “Things can never give fulfillment to heart” he said. “Only one thing gives fulfillment to heart, and that is to love and be loved. That is our greatest need. Actual fulfillment is state of our heart.”

Throughout his talk, Radhanath Swami shared personal anecdotes that helped shape him as a teacher on the path of bhakti-yoga.

After Swami’s discussion on success, fulfillment, connection and spirituality, Vaisesika Das, President of ISKCON Silicon Valley, shared his appreciation of James Doty, Radhanath Swami, and Stanford Bhakti Yoga Club. The event ended with Radhanath Swami signing copies of his new book The Journey Within and a vegetarian dinner.