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Questions and Answers HH Radhanath Swami


Q. Maharaj, my family is against my devotional life. So, should I leave them (family) to continue on the path of devotion? It becomes difficult, as in India family bonding is still very strong. Please guide me.

A. It will be best to respect your family. And treat them with such concern and high quality behaviour that they learn to appreciate your devotion to God through your good example.

Q. How would you like to see modern India?

A. Our Guru Maharaj told us that science and technology of the west, harmonised with the spiritual knowledge and the culture of India, will bring great strength and vision to the world. If there is a blind man and a lame man and if the lame man gets on the blind man's shoulders, one will give strength and one will give vision. Thus, they can attain their destination together. The great spiritual wisdom of India combined with the material strength of the west could bring great prosperity to the world.

Q. Maharaj, how do I get desire to progress in Krishna Consciousness?

A. By associating with those sincere souls who have such desires. And by engaging in those activities that increase our spirituality, we will become empowered by the mercy of Lord Krishna with a pure desire to love God and share that love with all living beings.

Q. In today’s scenario is world peace possible through non-violence?

A. Yes, but we must understand what is the essence of non violence. This subject is discussed in Shri Bhagwad Gita. There are three levels of Reality. We have the body, the mind and the spirit-soul. Ignorance is violence to the soul. When we purify the heart with transcendental knowledge and apply that knowledge to our practical life, we can attain spiritual realisation. In that realisation we can experience the inner most nature of the self, which is our eternal and unlimited love for God. In that state we attain eternal peace and joy! The real secret of creating peace in this world is when people strive to purify their hearts in this way and share that spirit in their life. The simple method that is explained in the scriptures to purify the heart and experience Divine Love is to chant the names of God. In our society we chant the names Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare; Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

Q. Is it necessary to count while chanting the name of God? Why?

A. It is necessary in the sense that the name of God is the perfect medicine for the disease of ignorance. When a physician prescribes medicine he will instruct us that it should be taken regularly to have the greatest effect. Chanting the names of the Lord according to a vow of prescribed number has the greatest effect of cleansing the heart.

Q. Who do you think has been the greatest peace messenger in the history?

A. The Supreme personality of God-head Lord Krishna is the source of all peace and love. Krishna is the source of everything and the ultimate object of everyone's love. When we forget Krishna or God, we fall into the material conception of Life, which is the cause of all suffering. Lord Krishna has personally descended into this world and has descended as many Avtaars or incarnations to bring about real peace within our hearts. He has also sent his beloved sons, prophets and divine associates to perform this great mission of compassion. They are all giving to the world the eternal message of universal peace or Sanatan Dharma. We are now living in the Kalyug, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy. In this age the Lord has appeared as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to give love of God freely to everyone and anyone, without discrimination, by teaching how to live a life of service rather than exploitation. And by cleansing the heart by chanting the holy names of the Lord.

Q. Maharaj, today the world is burning. In such a state of affairs, how can we convince people that spirituality is indeed the solution to all the problems?

A. Before we can save the drowning person, we must become proficient swimmers. If we become convinced of the need for genuine spirituality and practice it in our life, our words and our examples will have a powerful effect on those around the world and us at large. My beloved spiritual master His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad was one man from India who had such pure love. By his influence millions of people throughout the world are finding unlimited hope and joy, living a life of sincere knowledge and devotion. All of us are obliged to do our part.

Q. With all the nuclear war heads ready to destroy the world now what should be the role of religion and spiritual gurus like you?

A. To teach by words and example that real happiness is within our hearts. It can never be found in acquisition of power, wealth or land. We are the eternal soul. As long as we live in the misconception that this material body and I and that those things in relation to the body are mine, we are a part of the problem of the world. The soul is eternal and is longing to repose its propensity to love in Krishna. We can see to what extent man has come in trying to satisfy his lust, anger, pride and greed. The development of nuclear weapons is severely threatening everyone's life on this earth. We should try to spread true devotion in harmony with the laws of God. Bhagwad Gita tells that the soul cannot be killed by any weapon. Individually we can be fearless and joyful in all circumstances when we realise this great treasure in our hearts. There is no nuclear war head or any other weapon on earth that can take that treasure away from us. Let us live a life of peace and compassion and do our part in making the world a better place.

Q. How can you say that Krishna Consciousness is only way to world peace? Why not some other movement like Art of Living etc. We are all confused about what is the right path?

A. The essence of all religion is to realise our constitutional nature. That we are pure spirit souls, part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. All of the great scriptures and true saints throughout history have taught us that we must aspire to surrender to the will of the Supreme. We can do this by giving up sinful activities and making our every word, thought and action an offering to the Supreme Personality of God-head. Wherever we find these qualities is where we will find true Dharma or religion.

Q. Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisance. Please explain how the Maha Mantra has been scientifically proven that it brings changes to human life

A. Science means there is a hypothesis, a process of experimentation and the evidence of the hypothesis through scriptures, history and our contemporary observation we can see how this Maha Mantra (Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare; Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare) has completely transformed people's lives. We have seen even drug addicts, alcoholics and atheist become compassionate instruments of God's love through sincerely chanting the Maha Mantra. It is recommended in the scriptures as the most effective medicine in this age of Kalyug and we can see practically how the transcendental sound vibrations transforms peoples' lives by bringing mental peace and spiritual love. The mind is compared to a mirror. When a mirror is covered by dust you cannot see yourself. This Maha Mantra is a scientifically proven process by which we can cleanse the mirror of the mind of the dust of love, greed and egoism. At that time we see through our mind the true reflection of the godly nature of our own soul.

Q. If Lord Krishna would be present in today’s age, how would he deal with a situation like today? I am asking this, as (even though he did not fight directly) he was present in the battlefield during the battle of Kurukshetra?

A. Krishna has appeared as Lord Chaitanya and has taught us to purify our lives by chanting his holy name. It was a holy war because the Pandvas were pure souls. They were being persecuted and exploited by the Kauravas. Thus, as Kshatriyas or warriors, it was the Pandavas' duty to protect the society from the ignorance and exploitation of the Kauravas. The real war must be fought in each of our hearts. Shri Bhagwad Gita teaches us perfectly how to fight this war and be victorious.

Q. Should spirituality be taught to children at a young age as they are the future generation of leaders? But isn’t a child's mind too raw to understand it?

A. The most important time of life to receive spiritual direction is the time of childhood. A child is impressionable. He or she may not be competent to understand philosophy but if a child is taught through the environment around and the association of spiritual impression there will be a great spiritual foundation built within his/her heart. The greatest love of a parent is to serve the needs of the child's body mind and soul.

Q. Who is your inspiration and your motivation Maharaj? What is the ultimate objective towards which you are heading now?

A. The greatest inspiration in my life is my Guru Maharaj Srila Prabhupad. My sincerest motivation is to be an instrument of his compassion by assisting him in offering this world the most priceless jewel of Krishna's love. And my ultimate objective is to make you happy in this way!

Q. World peace is needed to overcome the barriers to unity. What catalyst is needed to cross the barriers to achieve harmony in human life, which in turn will affect the world peace?

A. The greatest need to overcome barriers is self-realisation. We are all eternal children of the same mother and father. To understand the soul and God is to see that every living being is our brother and sister. In forgetfulness of our spiritual identity we identify with the dualities of this world: American, Indian, Pakistani, Russian, African; Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Jain, Sikh Parsi; Black (body), White, Yellow, Red; Man, Woman; Young- Old; Rich-Poor. By identifying with these dualities there is so much conflict in this world. Purification of the heart helps us to transcend these dualities that are temporary and superficial. We are all God's eternal children. To love God is to see a part of God in every living being. Beyond all such mundane discriminations it is that love of God that can bring peace and unity. Every other solution will certainly fail in due course.

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