Radhanath Swami’s realizations at Kurukshetra

November 30, 2012

Bhagavad Gita
At Kurukestra, Richard (who is now Radhanath Swami) immersed himself in reading the words Krishna spoke to his disciple Arjuna who was about to shrink from his calling in the face of insurmountable obstacles. The Gita had been spoken on a battlefield because life itself is a battle, where evil perpetually attacks good and one’s sacred ideals are destined to be tested.

Radhanath Swami shares his realizations he gained while reading the Bhagavad Gita in his memoir The Journey Home, “We would all be confronted by grave dangers and fearsome demons within and without. There was much to be gained from facing these aggressors with integrity and faith. Krishna’s timeless call culminated in the practice of selfless devotion, determination, and spiritual absorption as the means to access a power beyond our own to overcome all fear—the power of God’s love.”

In that sanctified place, the Bhagavad Gita’s message penetrated the Swami so deeply that he felt as if Krishna were personally speaking to him on each page. He read several chapters every day, poring over his little Gita Press copy of the Bhagavad Gita, which was printed on cheap paper and bound in a white cardboard cover. He had read many spiritual texts in his travels, but none struck him as so highly practical.

Radhanath Swami recounts in his memoir, “Reading the Bhagavad Gita under the very banyan tree where Krishna originally spoke to Arjuna, I was struck by how powerfully it revealed the science of self-realization beyond sectarian or historical boundaries. It elucidated such intricacies as, how the soul is related to God, how that changeless soul is affected by material nature, how karma (the natural law of action and reaction) affects all of us, and how the imperceptible influence of time acts on creation. As a lonesome wanderer seeking truth, where danger, temptation, and fear could pounce on me at any moment, I found solace and direction in these immortal words. In Kuruksetra, the Bhagavad Gita became my handbook on how to live.”

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