Few years ago I read the memoir by Radhanath Swami-The Journey Home

This book is a story of a young boy who was in search of God and also the purpose of his life. He certainly was aware of the struggles but not aware of the miracles that Krishna would bring during his journey. This book takes you through the journey of thrills, despair, hope, and eventually to devotion to the Almighty.

Radhanath Swami has depicted his fascinating journey with wit, humor-filled with his spiritual quests. He also stresses how God has a divine plan for each one of us and our aim is to find that divine plan, follow and fulfill it.

Radhanath Swami’s journey from being a suburban Jewish youth participating in the counter-culture of the 1960s in the US, to becoming a devout ascetic and spiritual leader of the Bhakti tradition, influencing the lives of millions is inspiring. For people who do not know him,  he is the Guru of Gaur Gopal Das, the famous and humorous monk of ISKCON Gopinath Temple, Mumbai.

Though honestly I do not remember much from this book but one incident has stayed with me. (learning mindfulness so please excuse me) 🙂

I do not remember the naam, paatra and kaal (name, characters or time) but there is an incident in the book which I am going to narrate.

Once there lived a saint, on the hill top, on the outskirts of a village, with minimum bare essentials needed to survive. Radhanath Swami had gone there during his search for God and was staying with this evolved saint.

One day a tiger came in that village and everyone got scared. Then someone saw that tiger going on the hill top forest.

Same day, at night, just before sleep, the saint took a stick with him and went to sleep.

Swami Radhanath asked him ,” why are you keeping a stick near to you”?

“To scare the tiger who is somewhere nearby”, saint replied.

“So you think a stick will scare the tiger” ?, asked Radhanath Swami.

“No way, but when I meet Krishna and if he will ask me what did you do to save yourself from tiger, I will reply I did my Karma by carrying the stick as that was the best thing available to me.”

(This was more about doing our Karma sincerely even if we have adverse situation and not being bothered about the results)

It is a very small and kind of unnoticeable story but it affected me deeply.

Do we really give our best that when the Lord will appear we can proudly say that “yeah we did our best.”

We just can’t give up under the garb of absolute surrender. We need to perform our Karmas. There is no life without Karma. 

I somehow try to follow this on a daily basis. Even my husband knows this and if I cross question him sometimes on his few acts, he simply replies-” I at least carried the stick .”

The nature of this world is everything is always changing and essentially the biggest problem is we want to control our environment and the eternal reality is you and me we are not the controllers. Things are going to go there own way. We can try our best and to some degree we have influence but ultimately things are out of our control. 

And that’s where this story impacted me. That we are supposed to give our best without thinking of results. Bhagwat Geeta teaches the same thing.

Any similar stories you would like to share which left a deep impact on you?

Jai Sri Hari

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Shalini Pandey

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