At Rama Sevaka Swami’s ashram, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) heard Ramayana, the story of Lord Rama and saw all the assembled sadhus exhibit various emotions. Sometimes during the narration they laughed, at other times they cried in sorrow or even sat motionless in suspense. Since the language was foreign to Richard, he wondered if he could hear the translation. Daily after the session, Narayana Prasad volunteered to translate. Narayana Prasad spoke briefly the story of Krishna stealing butter. Richard wondered he had never heard during the narration, any mention of Krishna and why is Narayana Prasad translating wrongly. Besides how could he speak everything in five minutes while the Ramayana narration by the sadhus lasted a few hours? After much persuasion by Richard, Narayana Prasad revealed that Lord Rama had appeared in the dream of Rama Sevaka Swami and told him that Richard would soon become a Krishna devotee and hence he should be told Krishna’s stories. Richard didn’t understand the significance of this dream and later continued his travels to Himalayas.
While reading this account I was amazed to know how simple sadhu life is. Devotees of the Lord come together happily to narrate and hear the Lord’s activities. They derive great pleasure and nourishment from these talks. I wonder how in contrast, in the material world we see new movies daily, hear and watch news telecasts, and get newer issues of movie and sports magazines. Yet our hearts are not satisfied and the mind remains agitated and restless. Hearing Supreme Lord’s stories however nourish the soul and fill the heart with immense satisfaction that springs from the spiritual realm. And ironically the Lord’s pastimes as revealed to the world are same. It’s not that the next year, devotees are going to invent some new stories of the supreme Lord. It’s the same stories each year and they fill the heart with increasing happiness with the passage of time.
Hearing Radhanath Swami speak these stories is an experience of its kind. On the appearance day of Lord Rama or Lord Krishna, he speaks for hours the same stories that devotees have already heard for years. Some devotees in the audience have been practicing spiritualists for the last three decades and know these pastimes very well. Moreover Radhanath Swami too has been speaking these stories for over four decades. Yet it is an inspiring sight to see Radhanath Swami narrate these descriptions each time as if he is speaking them for the first time. He speaks with great enthusiasm and joy and the audience too relish these narrations which last sometimes over four to five hours. This is the proof that spiritual subject matters are transcendental; for they cause more joy with successive reading and hearing, and increase spiritual bliss in the hearts of sincere practitioners. When Radhanath Swami sits to give class, he sits in the same position for over five hours without moving his body. This also shows his absorption in the stories of the Lord.
Besides giving long classes, he also spontaneously spices the narrations with his super excellent mimicking of monkeys, birds, oceans, wars and thousands of other things. He adds his realizations and experiences and enlivens the audience with a personal touch to the narrations. No wonder Radhanath Swami has more than four thousand recorded lectures which his fans hear with great relish.