Richard (now Radhanath Swami) now arrived at Patna and got the association of Narayan Prasad and his guru Rama Sevaka Swami. Simplicity and devotion poured from the heart of Rama Sevaka Swami in whatever he did. For hours daily he chanted the Holy Names of Lord Rama and he personally fed Richard with his own hands. While staying with him, one day a sadhu, visiting monk, cooked kichari for all. It was unbearably spicy and caused lot of suffering to Richard while the others were enjoying it. The cook insisted on serving seconds and thirds to Richard and Richard tried blocking his plate but the cook insisted on serving and was very pleased with Richard’s honoring the food. Although Richard was miserable, he didn’t have the heart to tell the cook that he was in pain eating the food. The spice caused tears in Richard’s eyes but the cook thought Richard is crying in gratitude. Richard realized that to please others is not easy but enduring that burning pain was worth it for the sadhu was pleased.
Radhanath Swami always emphasizes that we have to try and please other devotees of God. God is never alone in a vacuum; God is always surrounded by His loving devotees. When we serve devotees who are dear to God, we also become dear to God.
Radhanath Swami speaks with great relish the story of one great saint from south India, Shri Ramanujacharya. Once Ramanujacharya travelled to a town where two of his disciples stayed. Ramanujacharya sent his assistant to inform both of them that he would come to their house for lunch that day. He then told his assistant to report about the responses of his both students. When the assistant went to the first house, the host was overjoyed that in a few hours his guru would be coming for lunch. He busily made arrangements and in the process ignored to serve the assistant of his guru. When the assistant then went to the second house, the host was overjoyed but first he greeted the assistant with great honor and respect. Later Ramanujacharya decided to visit the second disciple’s house for lunch because he knew how to honor and please not just God or guru but also the servant s of the guru. Radhanath Swami often quotes this story to illustrate the point that we have to endeavor to please God and his servants. This is the key to the heart of God.
Radhanath Swami explains the logic that goes in serving and pleasing other devotees of God. A spiritual aspirant thinks of himself as insignificant and also considers himself as possessing no love for God. He feels since he has no love for God, he has no hope for progress in spiritual life. He then turns to the other devotees of God and considers them as dear to the Lord. He thus feels that if he can somehow please them, God would be also pleased because he is approaching God through his dear most devotees. Radhanath Swami quotes Srimad Bhagavatam, the ancient Indian scripture where God speaks to a devotee Narada Muni and tells him, “My dear Narada please know that I do not stay in the spiritual world nor in the hearts of great mystics but I certainly reside where my devotees come together and glorify me and serve each other.” It is due to faith in this command of the Lord that devotees seek to serve other devotees of the Lord to gain blessings and favor of the Lord.