1. From Illusion to Reality

    The difference between material and spiritual life is our perception. How we see the reality around us. According to our conditionings, the species of life we are in, the various designations we have identified with, our desires and our ego, everything is being filtered and creates a perception. A simple analogy. If you wear rose colored glasses everything looks rosy. So we, the soul, are perceiving life through the ego, then the intelligence, then the mind and the five senses. So what is real? Spiritual life is not about interpreting...
  2. What is the Purpose of Temples?

    Question: What is the purpose of temples? Radhanath Swami: A temple is a place where people are in a selfless spirit of compassion and love, and are truly worshipping God and surrendering their hearts to him. A temple is a place that transforms your life, by illuminating you and bringing you to higher states of consciousness and higher states of living. Temples are not just places where you give donations, see the deities and say a prayer. It’s pious to go to a temple and give a donation and walk...
  3. The Nature of Difficulties

    Question: Even if we look in the right direction and do the right things, why some difficulties still come? Radhanath Swami: If you are in the ocean, even if you swim correctly, do you still get wet? Yes, because you are in water. So, the nature of this world is there will be difficulties. No matter what right or wrong we do there will be difficulties. If we are going in the wrong direction, the difficulties will be perpetuated, complicated and worsened for the future. If we’re going in the...
  4. Tuning Into Grace

    Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda descended into this world to teach us that the power of illusion is inconceivable, but by the grace of the Lord we can overcome all obstacles. The three modes are impossible to cross over but one who takes shelter of Krishna can easily cross beyond it. How is that? When we take shelter of the Lord we attract the grace of the Lord. The path of Bhakti is to access that grace. By our desire to serve and please the Lord, our humility and devotion,...
  5. The New App Rise by Radhanath Swami

    Rise brings its users short bursts of wake-up wisdom from the comfort of their phones. It has simple, uncomplicated spiritual tools specific for everyone’s needs. If you’re stressed, search through the videos on stress. If you’re looking for advice on relationships, search through the videos on relationships. And if you’re looking to realize your inner self, the app may even have something for that too. It’s a practical, accessible approach to spirituality created for the modern world, which is why it all fits into everyone’s mobile. Rise was inspired by...
  6. On Seeing Reversals as Blessings

    Reversals, even of the most difficult kind, have the potential to be the greatest opportunities in our life. The nature of material existence, even when we come to spiritual path, is that we are conditioned that things should go our own way. Material existence is a consciousness by which I am the controller, I am the enjoyer, I am the proprietor. And therefore we very much are accustomed to expect things to go our way. And if things don’t go our way, depending on our nature, we may become angry,...
  7. Understanding the Need to Go Deeper

    On the surface of the river are so many waves, and these waves are constantly changing. Some are swirling, some are foaming, some are crashing against each other. And no wave lasts for more than a few seconds. It’s the same water. The same water turns in to another form of wave, and another form of wave – waves are always in a turbulent situation. But if you go deeper, there is a constant current below the waves that is steady and peaceful. Similarly, situations come to us in the...
  8. Finding Perfect Joy – A Lessons from St. Francis

    In Italy, near the city of Perugia, is the place called Assisi, the birth place of a very popular saint named Francis. He was the son of a wealthy merchant, but he took up the life of renunciation. Committed to a life of self-imposed poverty, humility, and devotion, he attracted many to follow. “One day he was walking with one brother Leo from Perugia to a very famous temple, St. Maria of the Angel. He was walking for miles and miles, and it was freezing cold. It was raining and...
  9. Nourishing Our Higher Tendencies

    A Native American wisdom story tells of two dogs that live in every human heart: a bad dog and a good dog. The bad dog represents the lower tendencies of envy, anger, lust, greed, arrogance and illusion. The good dog represents the higher tendencies of compassion, integrity, generosity, humility and wisdom. These two dogs battle one another. Which dog will win? The one we chose to feed! We “feed” the dogs through the choices we make. Using the intelligence for spiritual pursuits, to express compassion, and to love with integrity...
  10. What is Yajna?

    Question: I want to understand the concept of yajna (sacrifice) which Krishna talks about. Yajna, in relevance to modern times; can it be related to in modern times? Radhanath Swami: Yes, it is a timeless principle. How to apply spiritual truths, according to time place and circumstance, takes wisdom – wisdom of the scriptures, wisdom of saints and wisdom of own intuition. So yajna has many meanings. In one sense, yajna means the ‘homa’, the performing of oblations to a sacred fire. And in another sense, yajna means sacrificing something selfish...