Tennis and art of Compassion – Radhanath Swami

One tennis player told me a story about one of the highlights of his tennis career.  This experience is far more sacred and precious in his memory than all the championships he won. It’s a memory about a match that he lost.  It was a championship tournament final match. Millions of people were watching on television, tens and thousands were present in the stadium.  It was the last serve.  He told me, ‘Where you position yourself, is going to determine whether you win or lose.’  So he saw the perfect position where he knew he could beat his opponent, but he happened to see some ants crawling in that place, so he positioned himself a distance away. Everyone in the stands and everyone in the television were thinking, ‘What is he doing?  He is going to lose. Why is he standing there?’

Then sure enough, the ball came to him and it was out of his reach. He lost the championship tournament in front of millions of people, because he did not want to stamp on an ant. This is one of the highlights of his tennis career. He said, ‘I do not regret that; I felt that I pleased my spiritual master. That was more important than winning the tournament.’ That is compassion.

By Radhanath Swami


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    Thank you Maharaj for everything.

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  • Raj Narang

    Wonderful incident…

  • Naveen

    Wonderful incident by Radhanath Swami

  • Ashish patil vjti

    Thank you maharaj

  • Amol

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for giving such wonderful stories & with your help we r even able to meet these people in real world.

  • Sagar Wadekar

    nice incident. thnx.. JAI !!!

  • Jagdish Majethiya

    Very inspiring – The Tennis player won the tournament of life by pleasing his Spiritual Master with his ultimate compassion. Thanks a lot for sharing this wonderful story.

  • Suresh

    The Tennis player practically demonstrated.

  • Suresh

    The Tennis player practically demonstrate how to stick to the principle.

  • Manish Raikundalia

    This tennis player is a true disciple. Hats off to him, Hari Bol.

  • Vani

    Hare Krishna, Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki Jai!!

  • Sunny

    Hats off to this wonderful tennis players, whose consciousness was so much filled with service and pleasure of his Guru rather than his own personal benefit!

  • jatin

    It requires gr8 surrender to do things that would please one’s spiritual master even in difficult and alluring situations.. all glories to the tennis player.. Thans to Radhanath Maharaj for sharing…

  • Vishnupriya

    thank u

  • prashant v

    because of our selfish motives we do not care about other humans also and then forget of considering an ant….. this is a really inspiring incident to me to guide me in path of virtue and selflessness leaving aside temperory achievements which comes as obstacles to execute the path of dharma.

  • Karthik

    Thats genuine compassion with out selfishness. I pray to the lord that i can develop a fraction of it.

  • reality_as_it_is

    very nice

  • vaishali

    Its inspiring to know how one choose big spiritual goal instead of small material goal.thank u.

  • shirish

    amazing story ,Thank you radhanath swami maharaj

  • Pankaj

    Very inspiring…This devotee has shown by his own example how one should not put pleasure before principles…Thank you Radhanath swami Maharaj

  • Anup Shah

    Wodnerful! very inspiring!

  • Seema.M.P

    What is the use of killing an ant and winning a frivolous match. Somebody may give him a trophy and people would forget it. But God will never forget the ant incident. For that stupid trophy, one has to suffer for millions and millions of lifetimes. It is a really a bad bargain. If only people of ths earth could understand this.

    This tennis player is really God conscious, because he never forgets his priority even in pressure situations such as this. Although engaged in all activities of this world he is never entangled in it. Although in this world , he is not of this world. He is constantly doing everything for the pleasure of God. If he had served from that position, some onlookers who are only deriving pleasure by his performance would have been pleased, but if he had left the ants alone, God would be pleased. He chose the latter, for he has his priorities properly in place. He knows God is his priority. when it comes to choosing between God and temporary illusory laurels of this world, he chooses God.

    But to see these worldly goodies as worthless pieces of glass , one needs the eyes of scriptures, which is provided by great souls such as H.H.Radhanath Swami.

  • Ram Mohan

    I liked the statment of this tennis player: I do not regret that; I felt that I pleased my spiritual master. That was more important than winning the tournament. Thanks to Radhanath Swami Maharaj for narrating the determination of this tennis player to always show compassion to all the living beings.

  • Manish Advani

    Vow that is inspiring one is willing to sacrifice his career for life of few ants. Radhanath Swami thank you for making us understand that the principles of dharma in our life should hold more value than anything else.

  • Piyush Singh

    Amazing. Glories to the player and glories to his Spiritual Master. Thank you Radhanath Swami for sharing this.

  • Neha S

    To give up something so dear to us from the material point of view in order to please the spiritual master requires great conviction which the player had.

  • Jitendra Pardeshi

    Although the player appearantly involved in mundane sporting activity of this worl , still his consciousness was not of this world. Thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaj for illustrating that although being involved in mundane activities of this world still one can be spiritually situated.

  • Bhavesh

    This shows the determination of the tennis player and love for his spiritual master.

  • Gopasana

    illustrious example of true compassion

  • Swapnil Gaonkar

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for sharing this story of integrity and humility. Who was this tennis player? He won this match by getting the blessings of his spiritual master and Krishna

  • Shyam Bihari Das

    Such a big sacrifice for such a small ant…but it made his spiritual master and Krishna happy. Ultimately he was the winner. Hari Bol!

  • Ravi Garg

    Very nice…..very rearely do you find people who are ready to give up their gains for other living entities no matter how insignificant they are…….

  • Vaishali Kamat

    Radhanath Swami has highlighted a very important point here about what should be out highest priority .. material gains which are temporary or spiritual achievements which are eternal.

  • Sandeep Kamat

    wonderful story of the tennis player. Maharaj, Thank you very much for sharing this story.

  • Nice. Thanks for sharing this

  • Sheetal Maheshwari

    It is only when practising devotees apply the teachings of scriptures in practical activities which strengthens the faith of many others on this path.

  • Prahalad Kaul

    Pleasing Guru is more important than any other achievement in life

  • Rajesh Nikam

    Radhanath Swami nourishes and inspires compaission in heart of milions

  • yadunath das

    Thank you for sharing. Who was this tennis player ?

  • Girish

    Teaching thru the live example. Thank you.

  • madhura

    Amazing article showing the mood of compassion of a devotee.

  • Vijay Mathias

    Very inspiring! A exemplary display of compassion.

  • Veena

    Wonderful article on the art of Compassion by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj…Thank you!!

  • Unbelievable, will inspire me always.

  • Sumit

    What a sacrifice for the pleasure of spiritual master. Thank you very much Radhanath Swami for this story.

  • Dr Dhotre

    truly, that was the game truly won!
    Thankyou Radhanath Swami for enlightening us by that graphical example.

  • suresh

    radhanath swami is simply a pure soul, i hope and i pray to the lord to please my spiritual master atleast for once,

  • Srivatsan

    Amazing story & practical display of compassion

  • vinay rachh

    To sacrifice in solitude is not very difficult but to make such a big sacrifice in front of the eyes of the whole world world needs real courage.

  • Y.Raja Shekar

    This article by Radhanath Swami stresses the importance of pleasing the Spiritual Master. Radhanath Swami often quotes Scriptures and advsises us that we must treat the spiritula master as equal to as Supreme Lord Himself.

  • Y.Raja Shekar

    This article by Radhanath Swami stresses the importance of pleasing the Spiritual Master. Radhanath Swamo often quotes Scriptures and advsises us that we must treat the spiritula master as equal to as Supreme Lord Himself.

  • Deep

    True compassion.Values are more important then winning a tournament.

  • Meera Sharma

    Very inspiring, practically following the instructions of Spiritual Master in all situations. This shows when we are sincere, by the mercy of Guru we have the intelligence to discriminate true success or failure.
    Thank you Maharajah for guiding us.

  • Jayshree Shinde

    We dont want anything coming in the way of our sucess but this story really challenges our way of thinking. There is so much more than winning. Thank you Radhanath Swami for sharing such an inspirational story with all of us.

  • Aishwarya

    Amazing dedication towards one’s spiritual master.

  • Siddharth Hindlekar

    This is so very rare…Thank you for sharing

  • Shantipur Nath das

    very inspiring story. the player gave up material success, but won spiritual success.

  • Satish Iyer

    This is a very inspirational incident of how success in our life depends on how sacred we hold our ideals.

  • Manish Parmar

    Amazing, Praiseworthy. He understands what compassion to other living entities is.

  • Swapnil

    I liked this experiance very much . Thank you very much .

  • Anand

    very inspiring true Compassion in practice

  • Rajesh

    Incredible and very inspiring story

  • KGdd

    Pleasing the spiritual master is worth more than countless souls taking note and appreciating any of our activities.

  • Manish Chadha

    Though he may have lost a match, i think in reality he was far more victorious for the applying scared teachings in his life and pleasing his spiritual guide.

  • Mangesh kende

    very wonderful & inspiring article by Radhanath Swami

  • nandkishor wani

    thank you for such nice example.

  • Pradeep Kumar

    great example of compassion. this example giving me the remembrance of a story from scriptures of Narada Muni & his desciple Mrigari (a hunter)

  • Renuka

    Very rare to find such a wonderful and dedicated devotee. Thanks for sharing

  • Sujit Mehta

    “Compromise – I shall on anything if it comes in the way of my success”, seems more or less the motto of so many in the world today. The famous quote form the Bible as “What is the use of all Gain if one loses his soul” causes so much pain in following it. Yet there are these exemplary examples to make us realize not to stoop low, Radhanath Swamis articles and teachings shape up ones character.

  • Anil Timbe

    so inspiring story… it really speaks in itself what it means to be compassionate.

  • mukund

    It shows how much a sincere person values the instructions of his spiritual master

  • sangharatna bhamare

    This shows how the teachings of a real guru changes our heart. Thank you maharaj.

  • Anita Iyer

    We may hear wonderful philosophy but it takes courage and determination to put it into action in our lives, especially at such a critical moment.

  • umesh

    a graphical and real life experience by Radhnath Swami Maharj of the compassion of this great tennis player.

  • Vinay Malani

    It really comes to the integrity of one’s character to live upto one’s faith & beliefs without any compromise, even if it results in defeat, materially speaking. Radhanath Swami inspires all his followers to be willing to sacrifice for the higher cause.

  • Uday

    That is sacrifice.By that sacrifice he knew he had pleased his spiritual master.That is the perfection of his life.All glories to the tennis player!
    All glories to his spiritual master!!

  • Very touching…

  • hrishikesh mafatlal

    This tennis player had the courage of his convictions. Bravo!

  • Siddeshwar Bhat

    Acts of sacrifice leave behind fond memories that one can relish for the rest of one’s life, something which even acts of victory can never do.

  • N Swaminathan

    Pleasing the spiritual master attracts his mercy. But it takes a great amount of mercy to be able to think like that and give up a championship for the sake of ants.

  • mona

    Amazing! It is so uncommon to see these things in todays times.

  • Gautam

    Compassion in its realized state by Radhanath Swami

  • CS Sandeep Shinde

    What a genuine compassion? Thank you very much for sharing the same with us.

  • Abhijit Toley

    This incident reveals what a powerful force can compassion be. More powerful than the urge for name, fame, and glory. Radhanath Swami highlights these incidents to give us precious lessons.

  • Balaji

    This is the practical example to show how a devotee should uphold the principles of his life even during tempting situations. Thank you Radhanath Swami for sharing such a wonderful example.

  • Rajesh lad

    Genuine Compassion!

  • Vidya Patham

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring article. It goes to show how a sincere practitioner of devotional service can truly be compassionate toward all the living entities in this world.

  • Vishvesh

    It so hard to find people of such a high values in life.

  • judy

    what a great example!

  • Aru

    Very good lesson for us to be compassionate towards all living being
    thank you Radhanath Swmi for giving good incident so we can develop compassion .

  • Sid

    Haribol, wish I would get the determination to stick to the principles so lovingly taught by Radhanath Swami

  • Ashwani

    This is the real wealth and real victory of a devotee….. to please his spiritual master.

  • Kuldeep Soni

    Such a great compassionate devotee is very rare. Thank you for sharing…