Radhanath Swami on difficulties in devotion

Difficulties in this world will not go with self  realisation,  but devotion will equip us  with a deeper level of perception

Difficulties in this world will not go with self realisation, but devotion will equip us with a deeper level of perception.

– Radhanath Swami

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  • Dr.Subrahmanyam

    wonderful saying by HH Raadhanath swami,,,,, NO JIMMICS IN DEVOTIONAL SERVICE OF LORD…

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    True! The path of spirituality does not mean there are are no troubles or miseries, it gives us the strength to face them with equanimity.

  • vidya karekar

    What a wonderful way of explaining devotion

  • Keith Swanson

    This is always evidence when there are some material difficulties we take shelter of the holy name but we shouldn’t be like that, whether Lord gives or doesn’t give we should cry out His holy name

    • Piyush Singh

      Actually Yes, we should try to cry out Holy Names irrespective of pleasure or pain.

  • Abhishek Pandey

    What a quote it is !! It goes so deep in my heart , although we may be self realized , but troubles are bound to come because we are living in a material world . Krishna explains in Bhagvad Gita, material world as Dukhalya Ashashwatam. But as roots of our devotion to the Lord grows deeper we take all the difficulties as blessings of the Lord ,just as a tree whose roots are well developed gets nourished even in places which seem practically impossible to thrive in .

    • Piyush Singh

      So well said. This attitude is so perfect for a spiritual practitioner.

  • Navin Poojary

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful quote.Devotion gives a guiding principle to humbly accept will of the Lord as Supreme! This principle is also mentioned in scriptures like Bhagvatam wherein it focusses on building the Right Attititude towards Difficult situations

  • Keshav Kishor Das

    Striving to go deeper and deeper in devotion…..! Very helpful quote. Lord Krishna points that, we are in Dukhalayam (miserable world) which is ashashvatam (temporary). But devotion takes us to eternal platform…..! Thank You Maharaj for this gem…!

    • Piyush Singh

      So true. Devotion takes us to the eternal platform that is not under the purview of this temporary and miserable world.

  • vidya karekar

    What a perception

  • Y Raja Shekar

    Its very tricky thing. If difficulties and troubles persist and follow the self realisation or devotional service, then common people are not attracted to it. But the underlying principle of this material world is that the difficulties come whether we pursue self realization or not. Because the design of this world is such that.

    However, when we take up the devotion then, as Radhanath Swami precisely put it, we get immense strength to undergo the difficulties with superior understanding of all situations, which are missing in the material condition of life.

    • Piyush Singh

      So true. So, considering this wisdom one should always aspire to spiritualize one’s life as much as possible to lead a fulfilling life in this world and to attain a suitable destination after this life.

      • Y Raja Shekar

        I agree Piyush Prabhu. Though it is very tough to spiritualise all our activities due to tremendous influence of materialism all over, we should take inspiration from each other like this and be in constant remembrance of Lord under the guidance of great souls like Radhanath Swami. This is the only hope to come out of this hopeless material condition of life.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Nice point! Difficulties came to Arjuna’s life even after he realized Bhagavad Gita’s timeless wisdom. However, he could tolerate the reversals because of this wisdom.

  • anashree

    Very true. Having taken to the path of spirituality one understands that difficulties/obstacles are all servants of the Lord and that Lord puts us in difficulties to test us. By practising devotional service, one gets the strength to face difficult situations.

  • biswajit

    Thank you very much HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

  • Sumbrahmanya

    the importance of continuing of devotional services even in difficulties very easily explained by Radhanath swami… In this……thank you very much….

  • Sumit Sharma

    Very true. Even Lord Krishna says to Arjuna in Bhagavat Gita that one must learn to tolerate the ups and downs in one’s life as they would definitely be there. However, an intelligent person asks why I have to undergo these difficulties. Why can’t I get to a place where there are no reversals. Bhagavad Gita talks about that place and also hot to go to that place. Thank you very much Radhanath Swami for this wonderful spiritual quote.

    • Piyush Singh

      So well said Sumit. These are some of the vital questions that with which the spiritual life often begins.

  • brajswaminidd

    So true , it all about how one perceives it.

  • NSP

    Sometimes one may think that if one is doing devotional service, difficulties will not come in life. This quote rectifies this wrong conception. If one is motivated by this conception to do devotional service, there may be frustration soon. Even in the life of great devotees (like Pandavas) there have been great difficulties. But this quote gives a great hope that devotional service will change our perception of how we look at difficult situations. The world is abode of miseries. This is the only practical way to deal with difficulties in this world. Thanks HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj for enlightening us with this wisdom!

    • Anand Patil

      Very nice observation and thoughts. Thanks for sharing Niranjan pr. The quote removes a lot of misconceptions that people have about spirituality. Thanks HH Radhanath Swami.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Well Said. A devotee never leaves shelter of the Lord even in reversals, rather he becomes more determined in such situations.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Amazing lines! True, our difficulties will never go as long as we are in this material world, but by practicing devotional service, it will give us a deeper level of understanding and the strength to overcome those difficulties. That is why it is so important to practice spirituality which changes our perception of looking at things,people and events.

  • Jerry Richard

    unity is a perception and we should be striving to purify our perception. That is why spiritual practice is very important. Sadhu-sangam, association with saintly persons, regular spiritual practices at home, or coming to the temple; it gives us vision, it gives us a philosophical ideal in which we see the world.

    • Gopinath Chandra

      Excellent observation Jerry. Everything is a question of perception

    • Piyush Singh

      So true. The spiritual practices certainly gives us a higher perspective to see the world.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Great point Jerry! If we can purify our perception, then we would be able to tolerate reversals in our life. There are so many examples of pure souls who could tolerate difficult situations by fully depending on the Lord’s wish and continued to serve the world.

  • Piyush Singh

    Such a practical wisdom. Few people expect that all their difficulties will be gone post self realization, but HH Radhanath Swami clarifies here that the difficulties will never go in this material world but by the power of devotion we’d have the understanding of the deeper levels to understand Lord’s plan for us in those difficulties and also the knowledge that how best to utilize that difficulty in Lord’s service. Thank you for publishing this inspiring wisdom from HH Radhanath Swami.

    • Umesh

      Agree. This is much more realistic view of bhakti as compared to the one where the promises are given that bhakti will resolve all the problems of life. Even we can see that great devotees of Lord were always put to severe test before being successful
      Thank you Radhanath Swami for this wonderful sentence

      • Piyush Singh

        True Umesh, there are so many examples of devotees of the Lord who had to undergo so many hardships like Pandavas they were so capable and also devoted to the Lord but still they had to go through so much trouble just to show us proper behavior in all the situations.

        Would anyone else like to share any more such examples here?

        • NSP

          Another example I can think of is Prahlad Maharaj. He had to undergo so much of difficulty despite being a pure devotee of Lord. Lord ultimately protected him, but Prahlad Maharaj showed us that by remembering Lord one can transcend extremely difficult situations.

          • Piyush Singh

            Yes, a very apt example. Thank you for sharing.

            How about Bharat? He was put in such odd situation that everyone thought that he was behind the plot to banish Lord Ram to the forest and he wanted to rule as Kink of the world. He went through so much trouble in process of proving himself an innocent servant of Lord Ram. And I feel it is really tough to not enjoy the kingdom when you are actually serving as a king. Bharat continued to serve as representative king but never enjoyed any facilities associated with it. He lived in forest in even worst conditions than Lord Ram. Amazing example of facing difficulties in devotion.

            I remembered as I heard these points in a talk by HH Radhanath Swami. It was so inspiring to know about his high integrity and character.

          • NSP

            Thanks for sharing wonderful example! Bharat’s has set a great example. I also remember HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj talking about Dasharath Maharaj. How much suffering he had to undergo.

          • Gopinath Chandra

            Even Ambarish Maharaj, I thought, serves as an excellent example. He did no mistake; did everything perfect; still got into trouble. That’s the nature of this world. Even if you have the best of intentions, and you do everything perfect, no guarantee you won’t run into trouble.

          • Piyush Singh

            Hmmm… that’s really so true about the nature of this world. Thanks for sharing this striking examples for this case.

          • Gopinath Chandra

            Supreme Lord puts his devotees into such extreme situations. And how they react to such situations is an example for the whole world to follow.

          • vilas bhujbal

            One of the best example I personally always like is Bhishma Pitamaha. He was the Greatest warrior in his time on the earth . yet he was always disrespected , disregarded, misunderstood . But he never deviated from his devotion to Lord Krishna and the result he got is that Lord personally came in front of him when Bhishmadev left his body.I feel Bhishmadev is the best example of internal tolerance.

          • Gopinath Chandra

            Yes. Even for pious people it is difficult to see a helpless woman tortured. And here is Bhishma, a pure devotee, who had to see Draupadi, a helpless woman, being tortured, insulted and embarrassed. How difficult it must have been to tolerate that!

            And then he, a person who lived by the highest dharma of pure devotional service, had to fight against dharma. He was pushed to do the extremes.

          • Raja Shekar

            Yes. Krishna wants to prove that even if a greatest of the warriors like Bhishma also, if fighting against the dharma will be defeated. Bhishna took this painful service and pleased Krishna, the most.

            But, Bhishma was always at the receiving end. He never succumbed to any of the pressures and stood by his vows at all difficult times.

          • Gopinath Chandra

            Radhagopinath Prabhu once gave a class “Rasa Lila on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.” The class was about Bhishmadev’s exchanges of viryaras with Krishna on the battlefield of kurukshetra as described in the 9th chapter of the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

            That was a deeply insightful class. He explained that in this instance, Krishna was bestowing more mercy upon Bhishmadev by lifting weapon against him, than the mercy he was bestowing upon Arjuna by prtecting him.

          • Y Raja Shekar

            Its really amazing that these pastimes though happened 5000 years back, draw so much nectar and gives us unending lessons. And if we hear these pastimes from a pure soul like Radhanath Swami, then they are all the more nectarean, as if happening in front of us.

          • Gopinath Chandra

            These are spiritual pastimes. They never become old. Anything material becomes old with time, but not something which has a spiritual nature.

            For example, the body becomes old, but the soul is always young. An old man feels like a young man in spirit, because his soul is still young.

          • Sumit Sharma

            Great point! That’s the utmost difference between material and spiritual. In Bhagavad Gita 2.40, Lord Krishna Himself says that anything done spiritual never gets lost, and it can protect from many dangers.

          • Piyush Singh

            I feel so elated on reading this series of comments today again. I’m sure we get the spiritual benefit on each repeated reading of such spiritual comments :). This is so hope giving and refreshing.

          • Sumit Sharma

            Very true Piyushji! These conversations are very important as they reveal newer and newer things in our life.

        • Y Raja Shekar

          The glaring example of recent times is Srila Prabhupada himself, the beloved spiritual master of Radhanath Swami. How many challenges he faced to give Krishna Consciousness to whole world. Amazing thing is, he never counted them as troubles and beautifully converted each one of them as an opportunity to use in the service of Lord. The Jhansi failure, roaming lonely in Delhi streets to distribute Back To Godhead magazine, 2 heart attacks during sea voyage to Boston, the one year struggle in US without money and so many. What a gritty person of strength, integrity and who had 200% faith in God and also perfectly understood the nature of this world as “Dukhalayam ashashvatam’.

          • Navin Poojary

            True ! Srila Prabhupad has really lived a very exemplary life !

    • NSP

      Well said! Devotional service gives us wisdom to look at difficulties with positive attitude.

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