1. The Fruits of Good Qualities

    The Srimad Bhagavatam describes how the trees in Vrindavana are bowing down due to their heavy fruits. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained this by describing how a person who has the fruits of good qualities is like a tree with good fruits. The weights of the fruits cause the tree to bow down to everyone. But a tree that doesn’t have good fruits stands up very straight, doesn’t bow to anyone. A person who has character, amanina manadena, is eager to offer respect to the divinity, the spiritual essence within everyone, everywhere....
  2. Understanding Truth Beyond Temporary Designations

    To understand the greatness of God is a very special, sacred ornament to our lives. It carries us above all sectarian differences and illusions. The constitutional position of the spirit soul is that we are servants of God, the Absolute Truth. In this world we have each become so forgetful of our true spiritual nature and of our relationship with the Supreme. We act in so many ways by which the bondage of illusion is more and more perpetuated. Very few people truly endeavor to understand the truth. Oftentimes, intelligent...
  3. On Unity

    One of the greatest powers in all fields of life is unity. But there is a fundamental problem – that there are so many diversified distinctions between living beings. Everyone has their own conception of their identity, and this creates a natural conflict amongst those who look different from one another, think differently, or act differently. There has always been conflict between the castes, not only in India but all over the world. They may go by different names. There is the educational class, administrative class, working class, and there...
  4. The Special Feature of Human Existence

    According to how we invest in our karmic life, we will get a particular type of body. There are millions of species of life. Each one facilitates a particular opportunity to get the reactions of our particular karma. The law of nature is that we become who we associate with. So according to the modes of nature we associate with, our consciousness is influenced, which creates the destiny of our soul to live in a particular species of life. After travelling through all those species of life, one is given...
  5. Need for a Strong Foundation

    Everyone seeks happiness. True happiness is a product of inner fulfillment. Through the ages, sincere people have turned to spirituality to find a higher quality of life. The tendency in today’s world is to be trapped in a life obsessed with quantitative rather than qualitative values. This tendency can imprison the mind in endless superficialities. Today, stress and anxiety are often daily realities, and even those who excel are often prisoners of their own success. The more we have, the more work it takes to sustain it, and the more people try to take it away from...
  6. Investing in the Ecology of the Heart

    A crippled economy and a polluted environment plague our social body. Both largely stem from the same core disease — pollution of hearts. Blinded by distractions one can forget how to invest in what awards a meaningful, fulfilling life. Parallel to our vast strides in technology, there is a dangerous rise in unemployment, foreclosures and degrading education. Millions of people are stricken with hopelessness and strife. Sadly, in the name of progress we have polluted the air, water, soil and the food we eat. What can we do? The following...
  7. Can You be Spiritual Without Being Religious?

    Question: Is it necessary to equate spirituality with religion? Do you think people can be spiritual, having values, but not be religious at all? Radhanath Swami: It depends on our definition of spirituality and religion. Values are required to be genuine in any spiritual or religious path. In the yoga system there are yamas and niyamas which are based on our values, on our ethics, on our morality, because we can’t truly build our spiritual experience unless we have those values. When we see a religion or spiritual path without...
  8. Three Planes of Consciousness

    Essentially there are three planes of consciousness:  enjoyment, renunciation, and devotion. 1. Enjoyment In order to survive, the environment is geared towards exploitation. Why? Because of selfishness. We put ourselves in the center and this results in conflict as everyone has a different center. 2. Renunciation It is taught that there can be no peace in this material existence because everything is temporary and there is so much conflict. To renounce everything and have a deep dreamless sleep – no more pain and suffering, everything is just peaceful! Yet death...
  9. What Is Real Wealth?

    Srimad Bhagavatam tells that even if one conquers the entire universe one cannot be satisfied or free from anxiety unless one controls one’s own mind and senses. So this is real wealth. True wealth from a realistic spiritual prospective is not what we accumulate – fame, power, wealth, skills, longevity of physical life. All of these things we strive for thinking they will give us happiness. Real wealth is happiness that is not subjected to the ever changing conditions of this world. Because whoever we are, whatever position we may...
  10. On Religion & Spirituality

    Question: How would you define the difference between a religion and spirituality? Radhanath Swami: If we try to understand the true meaning of religion, we will find that there is no difference. But if we view the way religion is often followed in the world today, there is a big difference. The word religion comes from the Greek word religio, which means ‘to bind back’ or ‘to reconnect’— to reconnect our hearts, our consciousness, with God. The word yoga means exactly the same—to reunite the atma with the Paramatma, to reconnect...