Radhanath Swami elaborates on the different ‘world views’

Radhanath Swami on world views

Humanity today practically puts no energy or focus at all in understanding the inner self. One of the great authors of the West, Ralph Waldo Emerson, has said, “The reason the world is in such disunity and lies in heaps and wastes is because a man is disunited from his own self.” This is a principle that is universal. What would you gain if you achieve the whole world, but you lose your own eternal self?

Radhanath Swami speaks of 3 popular views of the world

There are three basic views of the world we live. One is the very materialistic view, wherein people see the world as the only real reality. Other is the mayavad view, that the world is an illusion. And the third is the Vaishnav view, that the world is the sacred property of God; it is real, but it is temporary in its manifestation.

Implications of the materialist view

The conception that the world is the only true reality leads to the consciousness that it really doesn’t matter what we do as long as we get what we want: ‘Even if we hurt people, if we trample on moral values, ethical principles, but if we get money, if we get fame, if we get power, if we get sensual and emotional pleasures, it is all justified. Eat, drink and be merry, because tomorrow may never come.’

When we believe that this world is the only reality, then even our so called moral principles are built on a very weak foundation. When temptations and fear come, the attitude is – ‘Why not break moral and ethical values, if I can get something better!’ Then we become servants, victimized servants of greed, envy, lust, anger, arrogance and illusion. And we see it so prevalent within the world today: people take certain types of intoxications that are proven to destroy one’s health.

“Sometimes the world we live in today is called ‘me generation’. So much is based upon what makes me happy, what I can acquire to call mine. ‘I am this, I am that. I have done. I have not done.’ In other words, it is a world that is so much conquered by this tendency of selfishness and egoism. And so much of that is born of the conception that this world is the only reality.” – Radhanath Swami

Implications of the Mayavadi view

The Ganga and the Yamuna, by western standards they are literally hundreds and hundreds of times more dangerous – because of the bacteria and germs in them – than that which is considered acceptable for human sustainability. And yet we keep dumping more and more and more pollution in them! If we start using so much of the funds and the human energy that we are using in so many of other areas to actually clean the air, clean the rivers and clean the earth, it could be done for sure. But there is no prioritization.

This philosophy that the world is an illusion, if we view the world in that way, even when we see all this stuff happening, our attitude will be – ‘Who cares?! It doesn’t exist. Let everybody pollute the rivers and pollute the air; let everybody die of cancer and all kinds of stressful heart diseases. It really does not make any difference whether people suffer, whether animals suffer, because this world is an illusion. Let’s get out of this crazy, contaminated, condemned world. Let’s get out, and whatever we leave behind really doesn’t make any difference at all, because the world is an illusion.’

“With this world view, where is the call for action within the world we live? The call for action is only to get out.” – Radhanath Swami

Implications of the Vaishnav view

The Vaishnav philosophy is the philosophy of Srimad Bhagvatam and Bhagvad Gita, the philosophy that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Vallabhacharya, Ramanujacharya, Madhavacharya, and other great souls taught. They taught us Om Purnamadah Purnamidam – the Absolute Truth is the source of everything that exists; the Absolute Truth is perfect and complete, and everything emanating from the Absolute Truth is also perfect and complete.
Krishna says in the Bhagvad gita that this whole world is God’s property.

If we see it in this way, we are freed from that greed, envy, anger and lust; we understand, ‘I am not proprietor. I am the caretaker.’ If we see somebody else doing well, we celebrate their good fortune, because we understand that we are all brother and sisters; we are all spirit souls; we are all children of God. Exploitation is a symptom of a diseased, selfish and egoistic heart. Compassion is a symptom of a person who has actually found inner fulfillment. So this is so important for the world today: to understand that everything is sacred and to build our relationships on that principle – with all living beings, and with mother earth.

“Wherever there is life, there is a sacred child of God. Everything is the property of God, and we are meant to be a family to utilize that property. Everything in this world is meant to be used for the purpose of seva, or unselfish service.” – Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami Summarizes

If we consider this world as the only reality, then our attitude will be – ‘Who cares? As long as we become millionaires and billionaires, it really does not matter how many people suffer. Ultimately, it’s about me.

And if we consider this world an illusion, then our attitude will be – ‘Let’s just meditate and get out of this contaminated and filthy world forever. And let people do whatever they want with it. I am out.’

But this Vaishnav philosophy, this Gita philosophy, is such an incredible key to the future of life. And in order to actually go beyond – to actually get out of this world, to attain prema, and to go to Krishna’s abode – we have to, while in this world, treat it as God’s sacred property, and treat every living being as God’s sacred child.


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  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    The three views – materialistic, Mayavad and Vaishnav explained brilliantly.

  • Jai


  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very nicely explained. Thank you very much.

  • Navin Poojary

    A devotee loves to live in harmony with every aspect of GOD’s creation

  • Sameeksha

    This informative crates awareness in minds of readers that whatever things mother earth and nature has given to us is God’s sacred property and we should utilize it for higher purpose. The vaishnava view explained by His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj give me new perception to see towards words. Thank you very much for sharing this article.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Thanks for encouraging comment. World view shared by Radhanath Swami Maharaj is just what is needed for today’s world.

  • Ninad Kambli

    Just had a thought in mind, if we live our liife according to Vaishnav view, then we can actually live in this world like family, that is God is our father and we like children of father would serve him

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Wonderful thought. All forms of life are sacred children of God. Thanks Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • harsh0807

    So eloquently explained about the reality of the world . Thank you !!!

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Superb explanation!

  • Pradeep Iyer

    What an excellent analysis

  • dharmendra vaishya

    Prabhupad explain in the introduction that this world is temporary but it is not false ie. Krishna tells arjuna that this world is (asasvatam)

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. This world is temporary but it’s not false. Thanks Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Sanjiv

    When we believe that this world is the only reality, then even our so called moral principles are built on a very weak foundation. When temptations and fear come, the attitude is – ‘Why not break moral and ethical values, if I can get something better!’

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Correct. Thanks Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Sanjiv

    Krishna says in the Bhagvad gita that this whole world is God’s property. Since thee whole world includes us, we should develop the attitude of lovingly serving God.

  • Y Raja Shekar

    Of all the Vaishnava view of the World that every thing belongs to God is the most sacred as they use all the things for the service of the Lord.

  • brajswaminidd

    Thanks for a comprehensive view of this world.

  • Smitha Krishna Das

    Very comprehensive summary of philosophies. Thank you Maharaj.

  • Mangesh

    very nice and simple to understand explanation given ,I just loved the way topic has been summarized,thanks HH Radhanath Swami.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    What a wonderful explanation of the three philosophies – Material, Mayavadi & Vaishnava. The world would a much better place if all could follow the Vaishnava philosophy. Pray that it happens soon enough.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Radhanath Swami Maharaj is trying to make this world a better place. Thanks Kalpana for your prayers which will surely help Radhanath Swami.

  • vidya karekar

    Maharaj has so clearly explained our goal of life -o actually get out of this world, to attain prema, and to go to Krishna’s abode

  • Navin Poojary

    One who understands that each living entity’s suffering in this materail world is the cause of his own doing and the solution of which lies in surrendering to the Supreme is a true social worker and a Vaishnav

  • vidya karekar

    fantastic summarization !

  • Raju K Mewada

    Only Vaishnava philosophy can help us to make our mother earth sustainable. Just pure materialistic view of life propagate to enjoy without consideration of future and mayavadi view ask to renounce without looking at other’s problem. Here H H Radhanath Swami teaches us why should we believe and follow vaishnava philosophy.

  • CS Sandeep S. shinde

    Thank you very much.

  • Chandala Potdar

    Thank you Maharaj for elaborating world views, and importance of vaishnava views

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Thank you very much for sharing

  • biswajit

    Thanks for sharing ..

  • brajswaminidd

    Nice summary by Radhanath swami to view the world.

  • CS Sandeep Shinde

    Thank you for explaining three popular views. Of the three i think Vaishnava view is more correct.

  • biswajit

    wonderful article

  • Piyush Singh

    How simple it becomes to see that everything is connected to and owned by Krishna, when one hears from the personalities like HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj. It’s really interesting to know all these world views and the associated mentality with them.

    • Seeker

      what’s mayavad?

      • sagar w

        there are many ways in which Mayavad can be explained, there are many types.. in the context of this article, as the writer has mentioned “philosophy that the world is an illusion” is a type of mayavad. people who follow this thought process, think that lets get out of here, I don’t care about the world, they ignore the problems of the world saying that it doesn’t exist.
        this thought process takes one away from reality and hence it not correct. if the world was not real, they why do you have feeling, why do you feel pain, happiness?
        this idea of illusion is improper, instead, one should take things in real perspective, that everything around is given to you by God, its God’s property and every living being around is a sacred child of God and we should respect and treat other people with dignity.

        • Piyush Singh

          Thanks Mick for sharing this aspect of Mayavad.

  • Sumit Sharma

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.