1. How to Give up Bad Habits

    Question: I have heard that Bhakti Yoga helps us to give up bad habits. But how exactly does it work? Radhanath Swami: My dear god brother, Shyamsundar, he is an example of how bhakti can transform a heart, to help us give up very difficult habits. In 1967, Srila Prabhupada asked Shyamsundar to carve the deities of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra from the little model that they had. He was in his room working, very, very hard. One day, Srila Prabhupada came into the room to examine how the...
  2. How to Connect to the Divine?

    Question: It is said that God is present everywhere. But I don’t perceive his presence anywhere. Can you explain? Radhanath Swami: To connect to the Divine presence of God within ourselves and within everything that exists cannot be done with our senses, no matter what microscopes or telescopes we use, no matter how many degrees we have or how many books we memorize. Our sciences may be very helpful in dealing with the temporary problems of this material world, but to actually connect to the Divine—according to all of the...
  3. The Great Gift of Chanting the Holy Names

    Illusion is to see things separate from God. So to see the sacredness in everything is to realize or understand that everything has a relationship with God. Illusion is when we don’t see anythings eternal connection to its divine source. So when we understand our eternal nature and everything is connected and emanating from God, then we can actually see things in truth. Misconception of appearances due to illusion is the cause of so much suffering and conflict. The knowledge of the relationship between the soul and God, soul and...
  4. 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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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,...
  8. 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...
  9. 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,...
  10. 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...