Richard (now Radhanath Swami) was carrying quite a few spiritual books with him and was attached to them. He had Bhagavad Gita, Bible, Upanishads, Autobiography of a Yogi, books on Buddhism, one by Shankaracarya, and the Krishna book personally given by Srila Prabhupada. He felt it was a small library in his bag, although the weight of these books impelled him to consider giving away some of these books. However he couldn’t decide which one to give away. One day exhausted by carrying the bag, he put the bag down. Seconds later, as he reached down to lift his bag of books, he was shocked to see it was gone. After a frantic search everywhere, Richard reconciled that the bag was stolen. Although he was sad, he suddenly felt it was much easier to walk now. Radhanath Swami writes his realization
“The nature of the mind is to interpret nonessentials essential. The mind creates artificial needs, believing it cannot live without them. In this way we carry a great burden of attachments throughout our life. Attachment is itself a great burden on our minds. We may never understand the extent of the burden till, like my books or the earwax, we’re free of it. But if we find joy within, we can live a simple life, free of endless complications.”
Radhanath Swami frequently speaks on the absolute necessity for a spiritualist to spiritualize his consciousness. This happens by controlling the mind and practicing to remember God. Over a period of time a sincere sadhaka, practitioner, develops detachment. We are presently carrying the burden of many unnecessary attachments which prevent us from developing love for God. We are rather focused on our petty material needs. These material desires are vicious because they do not go away over a period of time; rather they multiply and become a huge burden in our heart. It seems impossible to et them out of our consciousness. Radhanath Swami prescribes constant engagement in bhakti yoga practices of hearing and chanting of God’s names with firm faith. This will help us get relief from the harassment of these burdens.
Radhanath Swami offers another interesting perspective on relieving ourselves of material burdens. He suggests we take up spiritual burdens by filling our lives with responsibilities for a spiritual cause. When we take the anxiety of uplifting others in their spiritual lives, we are automatically relieved of our own petty burdens.
Radhanath Swami also constantly appeals to all sincere spiritual aspirants to increase their attachment to God. As we increase our positive attachment, we are easily able to give up our wrong and unhealthy attachments to the things of this world.
Radhanath Swami also notes that the more we possess, the more we worry about losing what we have. The more things that grab our attention, the more worry confronts us. If we can give up many unnecessary things we can experience relief from the pangs of material troubles. He also once pointed out how people are always fearful of being alone or being with God. Therefore they fill their lives with unwanted things and spend hours in front of the television and internet. To experience real happiness we need to focus on the inner wealth of our communion with God, rather than focus on the flickering externals of this world.