Radhanath Swami and Cricket – part 2

November 9, 2012

Once Radhanath Swami and his dear friend, Devamrita Swami were scheduled to give a talk on cricket. Although the world cup season was on, and most Indians were busy watching cricket, the temple courtyard was packed with thousands of youth. The audience was eagerly anticipating an exciting talk by two American monks on a sport that Indians are crazy about.

As both the speakers sat on the chairs, Gauranga Dasa, the master of ceremonies, introduced both of them. Then he picked up a coin from his pocket, and revealed how a game of cricket begins. Each cricket match begins with the two captains of the respective teams walking to the centre of the field and tossing a coin. One of them calls out ‘heads’ or ‘tails’, and on winning the toss, the captain decides how the game would begin. “Similarly”, Gauranga Dasa announced, “amongst the two distinguished speakers this evening, who would speak first shall be decided after tossing the coin”. He then turned to both of them and asked, “What would you prefer, heads or tails?” Spontaneously, without blinking an eyelid, Radhanath Swami replied, “Tails of course, I always like to be a tail. I can’t be the heads”. Sitting close by and hearing this instant response, I was amazed. Radhanath Swami often teaches in his classes on the need to be a servant of all, and on the importance of helping others go ahead in life and achieve success. He always shuns materialistic competitive attitude, and this principle is so deeply internalized by him that even during an insignificant coin tossing, he was conscious of being the ‘tail’ or servant of others.

–Venugopal Acharya

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