Material happiness is temporary – Radhanath Swami

When I was a little boy, I read a newspaper article about one of the wealthiest man in the world, Mr. Rockefeller. He had a college going son, who was studying Anthropology. He went on a project to a place in New Guinea to study man-eating cannibals. He wanted to write a book on these people and get his Ph. D.

After doing interviews and taking photos and all sorts of research, he was on a little boat going back to his ship, when his boat began to sink. So he swam back to the island. Nobody could find him afterwards. Mr. Rockefeller sent his assistants and police all over the island to look for him, and they found that the son was eaten by the object of his studies, he became the dinner of those man-eating people. Mr. Rockefeller was devastated. He told the newspaper interviewer, ‘ With all my hundreds of millions of dollars, all my power and influence over governments, societies, banks and cultures, all my fame and my good health I will never find any moment of happiness in my entire life, because my son has been killed.’ Material happiness is temporary.

By Radhanath Swami


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  • Gurrappanaidu

    It’s really heart touching story.

    Yes, material happiness is temporary, round the corner misery is waiting. It’s keep on rotating.

    Thank you so much maharaj for enlighten us.

  • Jagdish Majethiya

    Thanks a lot Maharaj for this insightful article.

  • Gaurav

    Great insight into the truth !!

  • Yogita Jagannathan

    Such a touching story and yet we feel this will not happen in our life and continue our pursuit for temporary happiness.

  • Suresh

    Each step is very dangerous in this material world.

  • Darshan Mehta

    What a bitter truth! Thank you Radhanath Swami for opening my eyes.

  • manish

    Indeed..running behind material happiness is sure to cause heartbreak

  • sachin komble

    In this world everything is temporary.Thanks.

  • Aishwarya

    Material happiness is very relative and temporary.

  • Manish Advani

    Radhanath Swami often talks about how misery is at the top. manier times we feel if we achieve great success in material life we will be peaceful and happy but opposite is the case in most of people;s life. unless one is Krishna Conscious he is simply wasting his valuable human form of life.

  • Swapnil Gaonkar

    Radhanath Swami has presented miseries of material hapiness through this devastating incident

  • Piyush Singh

    Thank you Radhanath Swami, for this yet another reminder to bring us closure to the permanent i.e. Krishna Bhakti.

  • Thank you very much for this valuable lesson.

  • Ranjeet Kumar

    A powerful example to explain the the material happiness is temporary.

  • krishang

    thank you for post

  • Nilesh

    Thank you very much HH Radhanath Maharaja for teaching us such an wonderful example.

  • Madana Kishore Das

    It is so true. Money, power, fame can only take one so far.

  • Siddharth Hindlekar

    This story proves how material wealth is not made for giving happiness to the jiva…thank you for sharing

  • Kuldeep Soni

    Thank you very much for remind us.

  • seema

    Material happiness is temporary

  • Shyam Bihari Das

    Krishna is the cause of all causes. All the material wealth and power also comes from Krishna. When we start thinking we are the doer and the controller and enjoyer, we pay a very heavy price, as is apparent in this case. Hari Bol!

  • Sandeep Kamat

    thank you radhanath swami for sharing this story. Important lesson for us is that material comforts cannot make us happy in life.

  • Manasa

    Thank you for sharing such a nice Article. Material world is full of sufferings and is temporary. The only way to come out of this world is by surrendering unto Guru and Krishna.

  • anjanadri

    Thank you very Radhanath swami for reminding us this essential truth.

  • Deepak

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj always says this material world is “Dukhalayam Ashashwatam”

  • Vijay Mathias

    A lesson for life! Material happiness is temporary.

  • yugal kishore das

    This wonderful real story reveals how temporary material things and relationships are.

  • bipin

    All Glories To H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    What an telling example of How Material Happiness is illusory, and Temporary and it shall soon come to an end.

    Hare Krishna

  • Sheetal Maheshwari

    Material happiness is compared to a drop of water on the leaf of a lotus flower. Extremely Uncertain and Unstable.

  • Ravi Garg

    Thanks Swamiji for constantly guiding us & telling us that material pursuits & their benefits are all temporary…….

  • yadunath das

    Material happiness is temporary happiness. A good lesson to learn. Thank you for sharing.

  • madhura

    Very important article as day to day in our lives we always forget this fact.

  • mona

    So true Maharaj Thank U

  • Sumit

    It’s an important lesson for everyone of us. Many a times we become complaisant and want to remain in our comfort zone without pondering over the fact that one day all this material self-interest would be devastated and we would be left with nothing.

  • Neha S

    Material life has a beginning and an end. Under illusion in this temporary world we are busy finding happiness, which does not exist.

  • Vidya Patham

    This is very true. Everywhere in the world we see this happening. And this is not a pessimistic viewpoint. This has already been declared by the Maker Himself – Lord Sri Krsna in the Gita ‘….dukhalayam ashashvatam’.

  • krishang

    thank you

  • Srivatsan

    Very practical real world example

  • Amol

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for great examples like Rockefeller – people worship these leaders with no insight like you shared.

  • Satish Iyer

    We need to be constantly reminded of the temporary nature of the material world & therefore there exists saintly people like Radhanath Swami.

  • Meera Sharma

    In this material world with material body we are always looking for material happiness . It is very difficult to remember we are completely controlled by the Law of Nature. Under illusion in this temporary world we are busy finding permanent happiness, which does not exist.
    It is only possible by the mercy of Pure Saint like Radhanath Swami Maharajah.

  • Rajesh

    What an examlpe to learn from. thank you swami ji for sharing such example and opening our eyes.

  • Shantipur Nath das

    very good incident to make people aware about temporary nature of material world

  • Naveen

    What a painful reality about this world, thanks to Radhanath Swami for presenting this so nicely.

  • Swapnil

    Very true .the fact is that the material world is having everything temporary and gives miseries .Very nice story elaborating this fact .

  • Y.Raja Shekar

    Very true Radhanath Swami Maharaj. Eventhough we heard this many times and also see people losing their lives, we don’t understand and conduct our lives as if these things would not happen to us. Thnak you Radhanath Swami Maharaj for constantly reminding us of this absolute truth.

  • Deepali Boradia

    Yes it is so true, Material Happiness is only temporary but we are so conditioned that we always get trapped in the webs of Maya until a Saint like radhanath Swami reminds us once again and gets us out of it.

  • saurabh

    Reality of Life is Very harsh. Thank you maharaj for bringing out in such a way. Hope by hearing such incident we may give up our unattainable desire to enjoy in this world.

  • Manish Advani

    Radhanath Swami is explaining his points through facts which have taken place in the history of this world. Its so important to control ones mind which could drag one deep in to maya.

  • prabhat kumar

    This is a very nice article by Radhanath swami , which shows how objects of happiness can give greatest pain in this world.

  • Milind M Churi

    Therefore we should use all that we have in our material possesion to serve God under bonafide guidence.This happiness is complete in all respect and involved no material risks and dualities of this world.Thank you Radhanath Swami for sharing this story with us.

  • vinay rachh

    very nice story to explain the concept

  • Rajesh Lad

    The essence was narrated in such a simple way and yet the mind wants to be deceived by what is not true (maya’s promise of happiness)

  • Balaji

    This material world is full of dangers at every step. We should always try to take shelter of Lord at every step

  • N Swaminathan

    It is frightening to think that all our lives we are programmed to work for temporary happiness

  • Tushar Gaikwad

    Radhanath swami is making a v important point we should apply in our lives.

  • Anand

    what Rockefeller has realised after experience is what we learn from the Bhagavad Gita with is being taught by teachers like Radhanath Swami

  • rakesh

    Thanks to H.H. Radhanath Swami Maharaj to remind us how happiness in this world is temporary and we should not get bewildered by it.

  • Devotee is par dukh dukhi. However, Mr. Rockerfeller’s honest realization should be an eye opener. Material attachments are bound to frustrate us or be taken away.

  • Rakesh Chandra

    Thank you Maharaj.

  • nandkishor wani

    in the material world there is no true happiness because it is DUKHALAYAMHI ASHASHWATAM that same thing is explained by Lord Himself in Bhagvad-Gita.
    Radhanath Swami has given nice example for the same.

  • pradeep iyer

    Biggest mistake one could do is ‘Think this will not happen to me!’ it is only saints like Radhanath Swami who teach us what should be our real purpose in life. Thank you very much

  • Pankaj

    This story tells us money does not bring happiness…Even richest persons in the world can be suffering.

    Radhanth swami tells us here what is the temporary thing in our life we should not look for…

  • sangharatna bhamare

    That s the nature of material happiness. Thank you maharaj for the reminder.

  • Uday

    True.Bhagavad Gita states that this material world is a house of misery and temporary.Still, people are after temporary and illusory happiness.Radhanath Swami said in one of his lectures that there is only so much happiness to keep you attached to your miseries.

  • Renuka

    So true! We base our life on materila happiness and later repent. Thank you maharaj for a wonderful eye opener.

  • Ydas

    Radhanath Swami sympathises with Rackfeller but is very quick to tell us the lesson we need to learn

  • Ashish patil

    Great story ! worth reading and teaches a nice lesson

  • Sujit Mehta

    There is a deep analogy in this article by Radhanath Swami, we either check our lives and direct it toward service to the lord or it is just a matter of time when time itself will devour us.

  • Vaishali Kamat

    This story shared by Radhanath Swami tells us that we should not chase after material happiness as it will end one day or the other.

  • hrishikesh mafatlal

    We experience this fact all the time but our illusion makes us forget, till the next time comes. If we get proper spiritual guidance through saints and scripture, we are very fortunate.

  • Ram Mohan

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj explains the concepts with the most fitting examples. We obtain material happiness through material objects and material relationships which are temporary.

  • umesh

    a powerful example given by Radhanath Swami Maharaj for showing the temporary nature of material happiness.

  • rajendra desai


  • vikram

    mazing story of how dangerous or unpredictable this world is

  • Abhijit Toley

    Its so dangerous to base our life on material happiness because it is temporary. The more you rely on material happiness or get addicted to it, the more it will torture you when it gets over, which its bound to get.