At Rishikesh one day, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) found himself surrounded by lepers; they pressed their stinking body that was deformed and rotting, against his body and demanded ‘baksheesh’, charity. Although he felt the oozing blood and stench unbearable, he also felt pity for them. At that time an old leper woman showered Richard with profuse motherly affection and love. As Richard bowed to seek her blessings, her face lit with joy and Richard also lost his fear of contamination. Radhanath Swami shares his realization that although she was diseased and externally ugly, she was a beautiful soul who only wanted to give love and be loved. His realization was deep; he felt everyone is potentially divine and good. I was shocked to read Radhanath Swami’s magnanimous vision as he describes in ‘Journey Home’ even his potential killers in Istanbul as victims of circumstances and inherently good.
I was once talking to Mr Ashok Parekh, a leading Stock Market consultant on why he accepted Radhanath Swami as his spiritual master. He narrated an instructive experience with Radhanath Swami. When he was a new member of the congregation, one day he heard some dirty rumors and scandals attributed to Radhanath Swami. Mr Parekh was aghast; how could his worshipable teacher be accused? He did further investigation and found out who the perpetrator of the rumor was. He then decided to confront Radhanath Swami with these accusations. He was shocked to see Radhanath Swami maintain his composure and not once in the whole conversation did Radhanath Swami speak badly about the accusing team. It was obvious that they were a group of cheats who had political ambitions and wanted to discredit Radhanath Swami for their own selfish pursuits. When Mr Parekh presented the allegations, Radhanath Swami humbly yet assertively denied them. When Parekh said, “but Maharaj this person is speaking about you.” immediately, Radhanath Swami said, “He is a wonderful person. He is also a nice devotee and sincere member of the congregation. However what is saying is totally baseless.” Ashok Parekh further probed Radhanath Swami and after an hour long meeting, he was completely transformed to see the exalted spiritual qualities of Radhanath Swami. Not only was Ashok Parekh convinced of Radhanath Swami’s impeccable spiritual integrity, he was witnessing a rare phenomenon; not one hint of revenge or maligning the character of the accusing party by Radhanath Swami. Radhanath Swami was walking his talk. He genuinely loved even those who were trying to destroy his character.
Radhanath Swami is convinced that we should hate the disease but not the diseased. Behind the veil of all negativities is a pure soul, part and parcel of God. Radhanath Swami also encourages us to take shelter of prayer when we see someone not confirming to the expected behavior.
Radhanath Swami is emphatic about how our consciousness by nature is eternal, full of knowledge and full of joy. In a real joyful state based on truth, there can be no contamination. Real joy and love only wants to share themselves with everyone else. The nature of love is to give; the nature of envy and greed is to take. The real pleasure is in giving the love of our hearts. That love is already in our hearts. But our consciousness is impure. We are not aware of who we are. Radhanath Swami recommends that through the process of purification, our consciousness becomes clear; it becomes transparent. Through the transparent consciousness, we can experience God at every moment. It is this pure state of consciousness that Radhanath Swami wants us to aspire to attain. “And when you perceive that God at every moment, you realize, not that your feel, or you believe or you think, but you realize that whether someone calls that God Allah or Jehovah or Krishna or Rama or Buddha—God is the supreme object of love and the source of all that exists.”