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...