At Connaught Circus, on a sidewalk, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) saw prints of various Indian gods stacked up. For about an hour he discovered various types of arts that were beyond description. The figures were unbelievable; he wondered if they are from fairy tales or mythology. Suddenly he saw a print of a personality that attracted his heart like no one else. This person had a bluish complexion, wore a peacock feather in his crown, and played a flute gracefully beside a river. Spontaneous tears filled in Richard’s eyes. He wondered why this person was filling Richard’s very soul and he also felt this person was calling him. The shopkeeper gave the picture to Richard and for a long time the person was to remain a mystery for him.
For those who have read the ‘Journey Home’ it’s no longer a mystery; the personality is none other than Lord Krishna, celebrated in the Indian scriptures as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Radhanath Swami’s attraction to Krishna is described as natural in the scriptures of the East. The soul is said to be part and parcel of God and our attraction to God is dormant in our hearts. By systematic practice of spiritual principles, the original love in the heart for God is awakened. However, Radhanath Swami is special; his love for Krishna, God, awakened by simply seeing a painting. Radhanath Swami at this point in time didn’t even know who this person was, leave alone practicing rigorous spiritual disciplines to try and develop love for God.
Radhanath Swami describes in his talks that God can be understood differently in different cultures. In the culture of Vedic India, God is understood by many to be a person, albeit a different person compared to the people of this material world. His body is transcendental to the laws of this world; His body is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. Radhanath Swami describes with his profound wisdom, “The Lord is inconceivable and unlimited and simultaneously every part of His body is so beautiful, it can be glorified for all eternity with various poetic descriptions that we never even have to repeat to the extent the Lord revels within our intelligence the glory of His beautiful form”.
Talking specifically about Krishna, Radhanath Swami says that Krishna is the same all powerful God mentioned in other scriptures. However the difference is Krishna’s power is not like the power of people in this world. “Krishna’s power is always predominantly characterized by His attraction, by His beauty. Often times people become powerful in this world but it’s not a very attractive power at all, people become envious of power in this world but the super excellence, supreme aspect of Krishna’s power is everything about Him makes Him all attractive”. On the basis of scriptural evidence, Radhanath Swami points out that Krishna possess all six opulences that are required to meet the criterion of God- strength or power, beauty, knowledge, wealth, fame and renunciation. Radhanath Swami for sure was attracted to Krishna’s beauty at this time in his spiritual quest.
On reading this passage in ‘Journey Home’ I wondered if I will ever get attracted to God like Radhanath Swami got attracted at this sidewalk. He answered this doubt in a recent class, “Everything about Krishna is all attractive; every aspect of Krishna attracts the heart of one who is sincere and who has been blessed by the mercy of Krishna. We can only understand Krishna to the extent Krishna empowers us to understand Him.” Now I realize I don’t know God but if I can be at least blessed by the good wishes of Radhanath Swami, a pure saint and a lover of Krishna, I too will one day develop love for his worshipable Lord.