Radhanath Swami on ‘What touches the heart?’

Radhanath Swami quote

Accomplishments, they come, they go. They can’t touch our heart. But the accomplishment of love, the accomplishment of living by our values, the accomplishment of actually sustaining compassion and growing higher and higher and higher and higher with affection among each other, that’s something beautiful. – Radhanath Swami

A Global Conference is organized by the Milken Institute in Beverly Hills every year. It is attended by many influential industrialists, business people, investors, politicians and entertainers. A few years ago I was invited to give a morning meditation session every day at the conference.

 

Radhanath Swami speaks of Joe Torre

I also attended one particular event at the conference which was quite interesting. There were about two thousand people in this beautiful ball room of a hotel in the Beverly Hills. The panel discussion was among some of the most accomplished people in their fields: Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts; Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of a pharmaceutical company that patented more cures and remedies for cancer than anyone in world history; Steven Burd, President and CEO of Safeway foods; Mike Milken, big investor and philanthropist; and Joe Torre, previously the manager of the New York Yankees, an American professional baseball team. The topic of the conference was, ‘Leadership in Business’.

What amazed me was that Mahatma Gandhi was quoted five times during the talks: his values – values of compassion and caring – are what American business has to embrace.

There was one instance that moved me. They had a screen that showed the life accomplishments of each person on the panel before that person spoke. And this Joe Torre, he was a ‘Hall of Fame’ baseball player. Later he was a manager. They showed on the screen how the New York Yankees were not in a playoff for eleven years, and then they hired him. All the press was saying the nastiest things about him, because they felt he was useless and he couldn’t do it. But in the next ten years they were in – I think in six World Series – and they won three. Torre was voted one of the five greatest managers in baseball history. He was asked during the discussion, “What was the greatest accomplishment that gave you the most fulfilment in your life?” And he said, “Compared to this lady next to me who cures people of cancer, I haven’t done anything.” The moderators said, “Well, you may think that. But probably most of the people in the audience are New York Yankee fans. And we think that you did do something.” So he said, “Well, if I have to say the greatest thing I ever did in my life…When I was a child, I came from a home where there was terrible abuse. There was always fighting, always violence. It was total suffering. Going out of my home was like escaping prison. And when I played baseball, all my frustration, all my anger, all my pain, I would take out on the baseball. That’s how I became such a great baseball player. I found shelter, I found release in baseball. I could forget the problems of home. The most fulfilling thing I have done is not being one of the greatest baseball managers or being on the Hall of Fame. I started an organisation where we go into the inner city schools of New York and help the kids who are from abusive homes. When I see these children suffering the same way I did, we give them counselling, we give them encouragement, we give them skills. When I see them smile, when I see them successful and when I see them have confidence, that’s the greatest joy of my life.” And he said something interesting. He said, “And this whole organisation wasn’t my idea. It was my wife’s idea. I am just helping her.” He got a standing ovation from all of these politicians, business people and investors, because he touched their hearts.

When it really comes down to what really is valuable in life, the most fundamental need of every living being is to love and be loved. There is a saying, ‘An evolved human society is a society where people love people and use things. But unfortunately, all too much in this world today, people love things and use people to get them.’ – Radhanath Swami

 

Bob Dylan’s Wisdom

Couple of years ago I saw an article. All the rock and roll musicians from the nineteen fifties to today, they voted on what was the greatest rock and roll song in history. How many thousands of rock and roll songs have there been! And the number one song was ‘Like a rolling stone’ by Bob Dylan. So they interviewed Bob Dylan. “This is the greatest honour a musician could ever have. You wrote the song, you sang the song. It’s the number one song in history. What are your feelings?” He said, “I don’t feel the slightest bit of satisfaction. Next year they’ll probably vote for another song. So why should I be attached to this award?” There is truth there.

 Accomplishments, they come, they go. They can’t touch our heart. But the accomplishment of love, the accomplishment of living by our values, the accomplishment of actually sustaining compassion and growing higher and higher and higher and higher with affection among each other, that’s something beautiful. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami at a Basement in Chicago

Not long ago I was in Chicago. The son of a person I know took me into his beautiful home. He had a basement, and he must have had about twenty thousand dollars’ worth of toys and all sorts of computerised games for his son. The son always wanted something else! The parents told me, “Whatever we give him, after a week or two he gets tired of it, and he wants something else. And we get him something else.” I discovered that they had no time for him. They were working and the child was lonely. The child was starving for affection, for care, for love and trying to divert his attention away with things.

 The heart is starving and sometimes in order to cope with that, instead of actually going within to find that love within us and to share that love with others, we try to pacify it by just preoccupying our mind with things and more things and more things. – Radhanath Swami

 

Radhanath Swami quotes Mother Teresa

Forty two years ago in Kolkata I met Mother Teresa. And I remember her speaking, “The greatest problem in this world is hunger, but not hunger of the stomach. You give some food, you could resolve that. It’s hunger of the heart. And only love can nourish the heart. The origin of that love is the love between the soul and God. When we are nourished with that love, we become an instrument of that love in whatever we do. Even in Calcutta, sometimes these people in the ghettos who have nothing, they die in my arms. And I see a light in their eyes. When I travel the world, even some of the greatest, most successful people in London, in Los Angeles, in New York, in Nairobi, in Paris, in Bombay, I rarely see that light in their eyes.” The heart is starving and sometimes in order to cope with that, instead of actually going within to find that love within us, and to share that love with others, we try to pacify it by just preoccupying our mind with things and more things and more things.

 

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  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    “The greatest problem in this world is hunger, but not hunger of the stomach. You give some food, you could resolve that. It’s hunger of the heart. And only love can nourish the heart” – So true! Our soul is always longing for love and we can be happy only when we find the love in our hearts. Thank you for sharing such great words of wisdom by Bob Dylan, Mother Teresa, Joe Torre and Radhanath Swami’s profound realizations!

  • sunil

    very true

  • Onkar Deshpande

    The accomplishments are actually subordinates to human values like love , care , affection. Our Heart seeks for love ! The point made here by HH Radhanath swami Maharaj is life time teaching for all of us. Things are meant to be used and people to be loved but we love the things and use people. This very tendency should be dovetailed towards real affection and love ! Thank you maharaj for this wonderful article ! Superb !

  • Sanat Swain

    All the articles are caring article

  • amit

    Thank you for sharing.

  • Balkrishna

    HH Radhanath Swami ki Jay!

  • vani

    Caring & sharing gives real satisfaction to the heart.This can only be felt by love for fellow beings. Nice ly explained by Radhanathsami.

    • Piyush Singh

      So true.

  • CS Sandeep Shinde

    Very nice article. Thank you very much for sharing the same.

  • Raju K Mewada

    Most heart touching talk. Success or failure may come and go but if it don’t change the life of other people no use of such success. All examples discussed here are inspiring us to put such teachings into practical life.

  • Navin Poojary

    This is the real tresure of life !To connect with each other and ultimately with the Supreme Lord based on principles pf Love

  • Satya Kama Das

    Thank you very much for such a nice article.

  • Satish Rane

    wonderful article. It has touched the heart. Hare Krishna. Thank you. Grateful to you. Hare Krishna.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    To Love and to be loved – that is the only valuable thing in life. We can learn to love the Lord which can satisfy this desire of of the soul.

    • Anand Patil

      very true.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Very nice article.

  • Piyush Singh

    The instances narrated by HH Radhanath Swami here are very inspiring. Joy Torre and Bob Dylan examples are pretty much in line with the principles of Bhagwad Gita like not taking the credit of anything ourselves and staying the same in all the success and failures. And no doubt these instructions from HH Radhanath Swami do touch hearts.

    • Anand Patil

      Very true Piyush Ji. Thanks

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      From these examples by Radhanath Swami, we see that real fulfilment comes when we give joy to others.

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Thank you very much for such a nice article.

  • Y Raja Shekar

    Nice article by Radhanath Swami. What people of this modern age need more is love and care which can be achieved only through spiritual practices.

  • mangesh

    very wonderfully explained what is beautiful thing in this world ,thanks HH Radhanath Swami

  • Sanjiv

    Even though we may be externaly laughing and smiling, if there is no love for God, it will not touch the heart

  • vidya karekar

    love shared by different people at different platform-wonderfully explained

  • Y Raja Shekar

    very nice article by Radhanath Swami which emphasises the importance of values over valuables.

  • biswajit

    Wonderful explanation,

  • Y Raja Shekar

    Using people and loving things is the routine of this world now-a-days. Only when we meet or hear about great people with accomplishments of love and living by values, can we realise the importance of people over things. Great article by Radhanath Swami.

    • Ram Mohan Gupta

      Agree. Great wisdom by Radhanath Swami.

  • Sanjiv

    Having the right values is so critical

  • biswajit

    Thank you very much for sharing such nice article

  • vidya karekar

    The heart is starving and sometimes in order to cope with that, instead of actually going within to find that love within us and to share that love with others, we try to pacify it by just preoccupying our mind with things and more things and more things. – very true

    • Piyush Singh

      Yes Vidya Ji, that is the unfortunate situation most of the times. May everyone get good intelligence and improve by doing the needful for good.

      • Ram Mohan Gupta

        Thanks for both of your comments and good wishes. Thanks to Radhanath Swami for enlighting us.

  • Sanjiv

    It is such an important message that it is only living by our values with compassion that can tocuh our hearts

  • CS Sandeep S. Shinde

    Thank you very much for sharing such nice article.

  • Sanjiv

    We can feel happiness only when we please God with our service to God and to others

  • Piyush Singh

    Very instructive discourse from HH Radhanath Swami. The hunger of heart is really a common problem these days.

    • NSP

      Very well said! Excellent quote from HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj

  • vijay karhale

    nice said
    people love things and use people

  • vidya karekar

    unfortunately, all too much in this world today, people love things and use people to get them.’ – so true

  • vilas bhujbal

    Radhanath Swami is teaching through this article that what the people should love and put affection on , and that is the people and not the things those people are having or the accomplishments those people have achieved.Thank you Maharaj.

    • Piyush Singh

      Thank you for summarizing the essence here.

  • biswajit

    Amazing article

  • brajswaminidd

    The heart is starving and sometimes in order to cope with that, instead of actually going within to find that love within us and to share that love with others, we try to pacify it by just preoccupying our mind with things and more things and more things.-so true. But hardly do we realize it !

  • Sanjiv

    An evolved society is where people love people and use things. It is such a pleasure to the heart when we get the good fortune to see such an environment around us. And this is generally seen to be possible only when we see God as the center and the one to be served

    • Piyush Singh

      Very true Sanjiv ji, this can only happen if God is in the center.

  • Sumit Sharma

    Amazing article by HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Yadati Raja Shekar

    Wonderful article by Radhanath Swami. To love and to be loved is the sublime and true nature of heart.

  • biswajit

    Very inspiring.

  • Kiran Shetty

    It is very disheartening situation that we are going towards a wrong direction and with greater speed each passing day. I am especially touch by the story of the child mentioned in the above article.

    I am so grateful to Lord for giving me such nice and kind parents, who took care of me in every phase of life until i could stand on my own, but i am scared about the plight of next generation childrens who have working parents- who will encourage them when they fall, who will listen to them..No surprise more and more young childrens are taking to Social media!!!

    http://img.timeinc.net/time/daily/2011/1102/360_ldalton_0221.jpg

    • Piyush Singh

      I agree Kiran ji. As much as possible there should be enough personal love and care should be given to children. I feel that one of the parents should stay home to take care of them and even the working one should also ensure to spend some quality time with the kids. it is said “It takes a village to raise a child”, means there should be many people around kids to care and lead them by example, but unfortunately today’s atomic family culture is killing this very essential aspect, and the situation becomes even worst when both the parents go out to earn leaving the kids on some maids or day care where the driving force is not love and care but money. May God give everyone the intelligence to justify their roles.

  • Sanjiv

    “The greatest problem in this world is hunger, but not hunger of the stomach. You give some food, you could resolve that. It’s hunger of the heart. And only love can nourish the heart. The

  • Chandala Potdar

    When it really comes down to what really is valuable in life, the most fundamental need of every living being is to love and be loved. Its true. Thank you Maharaj for such wonderful article

  • biswajit

    very true

  • vidya karekar

    to love and beloved – very true