Radhanath Swami on ‘Dissipating the fog of ignorance’

Radhanath Swami on fog of ignorance

“In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says that when one is enlightened by true knowledge, all the fog of nescience is dispelled, just as when the sun rises very brightly, all darkness and fog disappears.” – Radhanath Swami.

Radhanath Swami explains the analogy of the fog

What is this analogy of fog? Fog disrupts so many of the plans of humanity because it obscures us from seeing things as they are. In New Delhi, at the Indira Gandhi Airport, usually when there is fog, airplanes are delayed, sometimes for hours and hours and hours. And even if you are a billionaire with a private jet that costs fifty million dollars, when the fog is there, you cannot take off and you cannot land.

“We think that we are the controllers, but ultimately, there are powers that are beyond ourselves, whoever we are, however much knowledge we have.”- Radhanath Swami

Whether we are BAs, MAs, PhDs, whether we don’t know how to write or read, whether we are multi-multi-billionaires, whether we are just lying on the side of the road, whether we have very good, powerful health, or whether we are sickly and old, whatever the situation, the nature of this world is, there are powers beyond our own.

Prahlad Maharaj also echoed this truth in Srimad Bhagavatam. “In this fog of nescience, whatever solutions we create to solve problems, those solutions usually end up in a bigger problem than the original problem.”

“That is the nature of living in fog. We can’t see what is real and what is what.” – Radhanath Swami

In one sense, a definition of Maya is ‘fog’. Srila Prabhupada and the great acharyas, they define Maya as ‘that which is not’. That means we can’t see things as it is. So in the fog we really can’t see where we are going: very difficult to drive, very difficult to walk.

There is a documentary made in America called ‘The fog of war’. It’s about wars – where hundreds and thousands of people were killed, millions suffered – that were just based on miscommunication, not understanding facts truly. America and Vietnam, during the Vietnam War, they had different conceptions of what was true. They did not understand each other. They had so much distrust that for over a decade they were killing each other, bombing each other. And when the fog cleared, they realized, “We were fighting you for something you never did! And you were fighting us for something we never did!” It was all an illusion! This is fog. And this is very much the story of the material world.

Radhanath Swami explains the sun of knowledge that dissipates the fog

According to the Gita, what is this sun that arises that allows us to actually see? It’s the sun of knowledge. Krishna tells what this knowledge is. It is to understand who we truly are. The atma, the soul, is part and parcel of the supreme soul Krishna, or God.

When the atma is in this mass-fog of misconception, the misconception of forgetting who it is, we are thinking that we are this body, that we are American or Indian or Russian or Pakistani or Israeli, that we are black or white or red or yellow or brown, that we are male or female; we think that those things in relation to this body are ours: wealth, intelligence, abilities. And as soon as we start thinking in this way, we separate ourselves from our relationship with all others. Because we don’t see what we really have in common, there is a separation. And what is the result of that separation? Either we are arrogant thinking we are better, or we are envious because they are gaining more than we can gain. It’s all fog; it’s only because of the fog.

“But when the sun of knowledge dissipates the fog of all of these misconceptions, we see that we are all intimately loving and related.” – Radhanath Swami

Whether one religion or another religion, whether one is a human, cow, elephant, dog or cat, wherever there is life, there is a sacred part of God. Lord Krishna tells, “I am the father, mother of all living beings.” If the fog is lifted, we understand who we are, and what our relationship with Krishna, with God, is. Then we see everyone in relationship to ourselves.

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  • Sumit Sharma

    Very nice analogy of fog as an illusory agent for anything and everything. Only by knowledge this fog of illusion can be destroyed. However, real knowledge may be obtained only when one surrenders to a bonafide spiritual master, serve him with humility and inquire submissively.

  • Sanjiv

    Beautiful article – It is ultimately this fog of ignorance which is the cause of so much fight and violence. This fog can be removed only by the grace of the Lord when we surrender to become his loving servants

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Very true. Thanks Radhanath Swami for enlightening us for removing fog inside.

  • Pradeep Iyer

    We think that we are the controllers…so true we make our situation miserable by thinking we are the controller. Wonderful explanation by Swamiji

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      So many times we have become miserable because of controlling mentality. Hope we can remember the words of Radhanath Swami and correct ourselves.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Very true. Only Lord is the controller and others are subordinate to Him. However, as per Shrimad Bhagavatam, He empowered His unalloyed devotees to perform amazing activities to spread the glories of Holynames.

  • mangesh

    wonderful analogy,thanks HH Radhanath Swami

  • Anand Patil

    What an excellent analogy of fog and Sun to relate with the soul’s illusion and knowledge. Thank you HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj for enlightening us.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Agree. Beautiful analogy by Radhanath Swami.

  • Rohit Potdar

    Thank you Maharaj , we can understand who we are only by knowing the truth by following the succession of guru parampara

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. Fortunately we have Radhanath Swami coming in a bonafide Guru parampara.

  • Sanjiv

    The fog can be cleared only by following the instructions of the greqat souls and serving God

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. As soon as we hear great souls like Radhanath Swami, we feel uplifted in our consciousness.

  • Chandala Potdar

    If the fog is lifted, we understand who we are, and what our relationship with Krishna, with God is . Thank you Maharaj.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. And great personalities like Radhanath Swami help us lift the fog.

  • Pradeep Iyer

    I heard Radhanath Swami speak on Bhagvad-Gita, he is superb

  • Balaram Acharya Das

    Wonderful article. Thank you HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj Ji.

  • Pankaj

    when the sun of knowledge dissipates the fog of all of these misconceptions, we see that we are all intimately loving and related.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. Radhanath Swami explains that we are all children of God, hence intimately related due to having the same Supreme father.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Jai. We are all souls with same divine qualities, however due to ignorance we think we are bodies. Removing this illusion is possible only when one takes shelter at the lotus feet of a pure devotee.

  • Sumit Sharma

    Thanks for sharing it!

  • Tallam Sita Ramaiah

    Thi is a nice comparision with fog. We need to have the light of knowledge. H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj is providing that light. Thank you Maharaj.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Agree. Thanks Radhanath Swami for providing the light.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Very true! We are all in the fog of ignorance not knowing our destination and the path. Fortunately, Srila Prabhupad has given us the light of knowledge to dissipate the fog and realize our true identity and destination in life. We should take this opportunity of utilizing the knowledge that is available to us to enlighten ourselves and others.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      True. Thanks to Radhanath Swami and Srila Prabhupada.

  • Vilasa Manjari Devi Dasi

    Thank you very much for posting this . Once again guru maharaj’s explanations have fed my intelligence along with knowledge and most importantly humility .
    In the below discussion I read somewhere need of balance between knowledge and character. My understanding is character follows when knowledge becomes realization . And knowledge becomes realization when we come out of pride of owning the knowledge and humble ourselves and act on the knowledge . I may fail when I act on knowledge first time .But that is when I become humble and keep trying until it becomes realization , connecting us to source of knowledge Krishna . Please correct if my understanding and experience is wrong . All glories to guru and Gauranga . All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    • Gopinath Chandra

      Wonderful explanation! Loved it.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Really liked sentences “I may fail when I act on knowledge first time .But that is when I
      become humble and keep trying until it becomes realization , connecting
      us to source of knowledge Krishna.” Thanks Radhanath Swami for connecting me to you.

  • Srivallabhi dd

    Very nice.

  • biswajit

    Nice point

  • biswajit

    Nicely explained by Maharaj

  • Srivallabhi dd

    Very intelligently explained by Maharaj.The sun of knowledge that dissipates the fog of misconception that we are this body.

    • Gopinath Chandra

      Srimad Bhagavatam 10.20.16 : During the rainy season the roads, not being cleansed, became covered with grass and debris and were thus difficult to make out. These roads were like religious scriptures that brāhmaṇas no longer study and that thus become corrupted and covered over with the passage of time.

      Something like the fog….

      • Ram Mohan Gupta

        Thanks for quotation from Srimad Bhagavatam. Radhanath Swami has trained you nicely.

  • biswajit

    Wonderful answer from HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

  • Kiran Shetty

    The only true need in this present day society is not of food or technology and anything external but that of people with genuine Knowledge and Character. Knowledge without character is often very dangerous. But character without knowledge only makes us more dissatisfied. Hence there is a great need for teachers who can teach us to balance the both.

    • Kalpana Kulkarni

      True!

  • Raju K Mewada

    As we can’t see in presence of fog, we can’t see the things as it is in presence of Maya. So question is how to improve our vision so we can see the things as it is. As HH Radhanath Swami explains as Sun dispels fog, Sun of knowledge as given in Bhagvad Gita can dispel all ignorance. Just we need to find correct Guru who can teach us this in correct way. “Bhagvad Gita As It Is” written by Srila Prabhupad and published by Bhakti Vedant Book Trust is one of the best and highest read edition of Bhagvad Gita. Let us use it to understand the vedic knowledge and try to dispel the maya.

    • Gopinath Chandra

      Chances of accidents shoot up when there is fog. Similarly, we tend to make improper decisions, for which we may have to regret later, if we don’t take steps to dissipate the fog of ignorance.

      And yes, Bhagavad gita is the perfect text which can help us in this!

      • Y Raja Shekar

        Agree with you Gopinath Chandra Pr. It is said in Brhadaranyaka Upanisad
        “Asatoma Sadgamaya
        Tamasoma Jyotirgamaya
        Mrtyorma amritangamaya”.
        Unless we cut the fog like asat of this world and try to take the shelter of Truth of eternal spiritual world, we will be in darkness of ignorance tamah and can not see things as they are. We continue to take the things of this world very seriously and take them all in all and we can not reach the eternal nectarean world. So our journey can begin with cutting of fog of ignorance with true knowledge which illuminates our path to show us the eternal kingdom of God and we can reach that life, filled with nectar where there is no birth, old age, disease and death. As explained by HH Radhanath Swami explains nicely, we should take the shelter of Bhagavad gita to achieve this.

        • Gopinath Chandra

          It will be nice if u could create a login here…..

      • Swapnil Gaonkar

        Nice point Gopinath Chandraji. Fogs can be scary…..