Quotes from Radhanath Swami's book: The Journey Home
I am currently reading Radhanath Swami's book, "The Journey Home" and will be sharing quotes and short passages from his book here. I hope you enjoy them! Be sure to check back often as I will be continually updating this page.
" A force within me was dragging me away from it all. Battling agianst that inner force, I was determined to be victorious to experience firsthand the unrestricted pleasures glorified by society. Was it the Lord in my heart I was fighting? Yes, I sliently boasted, and I'm winning the battle. But late at night, when I came to the river, gazing down into the current, I felt ashamed. I was winning but I felt lost. "
"In our complacency, we fail to grasp the impermanence of all that is material. "
~ p. 35
Hope in the divine can empower a human being to overcome unimaginable obstacles.
"There I discovered a precious truth, a truth that awakened a sense of shelter and freedom: I am the soul, distinct from the world of externals, a child of God. The blaze of culture shock had acted like the rays of the sun to dissipate the fog of misconception. I felt liberated. Flooded with gratitude, I knew that Herat would forever remain a sacred place on the map of my heart.
Whenever I look back to that day, I am reminded how prayers may be answered in ways we never expect. To grow may require that we be shaken right to our core. While kneeling on that roadside in Herat, something died within me, giving birth to a realization necessary for me to move forward in my path. With each step, a camel lifts its hoof from a stable place on earth in order to move forward. And to reach the sea, each ripple of the river must leg go of its present state to surrender to the current."
~ p. 69
"Sex could be a gift of God, but when it becomes an obsession, it plunders all intelligence and people are driven to abominable acts to satisfy their lust. When passion is frustrated, people lose all good sense."
"What is enjoyed by one person creates suffering for another. What we experience of the world is so relative, so conditioned by our subjective experience. In the same way, God, who is absolute, reveals himself to different people in different ways....I realized it would be very narrow to think that there was only one way to God."
~ p. 94
"As he told me about his family customs a white cow nuzzling its calf strolled by...I had never been so close to a cow, having only seen them in distant pastures as we raced by on the highways. Now I was struck by how these animals shared loving exchanges so similar to those of a human mother and her child....
I stared first at the meat chunks and then at the cows...My heart cried.Why should a beautiful life be slaughtered to eat some meat? She loves her child and this innocent calf loves her mother. Why had I blindly participated in this? Why are we all so blind and deaf to the horror in every slaughterhouse? How has human society become so insensitive to the cruelties inflicted upon these children of God? Although the meat I had been eating was not cow meat, this was the first time I had made the connection between my diet ad the suffering of animals. "
~ p. 94-95
" Just as in climbing a mountain we have to leave behind unfavorable earthly attachments. Sincere spiritual practice is an uphill climb, and no matter how many difficulties we face, we have to continue looking upward with hope. The mountain provides all support for those who strive to reach its top. Similarly, if we are sincere, the Lord will provide us with the means to reach his supremely merciful heart."
~ p. 111
" All beautiful forms of this world are in the process of transformation. Nothing is stable. With every moment, our reality is changing. Mother Ganges, like nature, is constant, but no manifestation of hers remains. Likewise, all that we hold dear in this world is imperceptibly vanishing. We cannot cling to anything. But if we can appreciate the beauty of the underlying current of truth, we can enjoy a reality deeper than the fickle waves of joy and sorrow. "
~ p. 111 ( Thoughts that came to him while meditating by the Ganges twelve hours a day for a month)
" Mother Ganges teaches us that if we want to attain the sea of our aspiration, we must persevere in our goal and never be discouraged by the inevitable obstacles that come on our path. All impediments are like rocks in the river of life. We should flow around them and never give up. With the Lord's help there is always a way."
~ p. 111
Relating Srila Prabhupada's description of the Mahamantra (Hare Krishna Chant):
" He then described that the name Hare was an invocation for Radha, the divine energy or female counterpart of the Lord. "It is she that is the origin and giver of the love of God. Krishna is a name of God that means He is all-attractive. And the name Rama means the Lord is the supreme enjoyer and bestows unending bliss to those who off Him their love." He went on to explain that the transcendental sound vibration cleansed the heart of selfish desires and awakened our original, natural love for God, bringing about spiritual happiness."
~ p. 163-64
" Become addicted to your mantra even more than an alcoholic toward his liquor. Never forget it." ~ Swami Muktananda, p. 172
"We are like fish that have separated from the sea of divine consciousness.For a person to be happy outside his her natural relation with God is like a fish trying to enjoy life outside of the water, on the dry sand. Holy people go to great extremes to help even one person to return to his or her natural spiritual consciousness, to the sea of true joy. But the net of maya, or illusion, snatches away the minds of the masses, diverting us from our true self-interest."
~ p. 174-75
"The Gita had been spoken on a battlefield because life is a battle. Life is a battle , where evil perpetually attacks good and our sacred ideals are destined to be tested. We would all be confronted with grave dangers and demons within and without. There was much to be gained with facing these aggressors with integrity and faith. Krishna's timeless call culminated in the practice of selfless devotion, determination, and spiritual absorption as the means to access a power beyond our own to overcome all fear-the power of God's love."
"In my travels, looking for the love of God, I had discovered a unique beauty in all of the world's religions. But hateful aggression in the name of God is also a sad reality of this world. It is the way of those attached to external forms without understanding the essence. The essence is one, unconditional love of God. The symptoms of any true follower are faith, self-control, love and compassion."
~ p. 190
"The unsuspecting fish, who knew nothing but life in the river, went about its routine like any other day, but in an instant was ripped out of its reality to meet with death. Like that fish, we routinely live our lives hardly aware that, at the very least expected moment, the yellow-eyed hawk of fate in the form of crises, tragedy, or even death, may wrench us out of our comfortable environment. We regularly hear of it in the news or see it around us but rarely take seriously that it could happen to us. Perhaps the lesson here is to guard against complacency and give higher priority to our spiritual needs. If the fish swam deeper, the hawk would not be able to reach it. Similarly, if we go deeper into our connection to God, we will find an inner reality so deep and so satisfying that it lifts the consciousness to a place where we could deal with the effects of unforeseable fate with a stable, detached mind."
~ p. 291-92
" The sand scorched me like blazing fire, and later, was greedy to devour me. But now the same sand is cool and soft and gives me shelter. Like sand, a person influenced by circumstances can become viciously envious or affectionately kind. Our company and surroundings have a crucial effect on our consciousness. How important it is to be an instrument to bring out the inherent good of each other rather than the worst."
~ p. 194