Radhanatha Swami – Poverty of the Rich

Years ago, I met with Mother Teresa. A newspaper reporter was glorifying her for nicely serving the poor. She said, ‘You don’t know who the poor are. People in the western countries living in big mansions, expensive homes, driving in nice cars, eating all kinds of foods—they are poor. Because although they have so much wealth materially, their hearts are lonely, their hearts are starving. When I look in their eyes, I see poverty of the heart. These people dying in the streets of Calcutta with nothing, when I look in their eyes, I often times see they have faith. They have faith in God. They have abundance within their hearts.’

So who is poor? A rich man is fearful, suspicious, lonely, taking sleeping pills to go to sleep at night, taking alcohol and drugs to somehow or other cope with the anxieties of the day. Going here and there—to Europe, to Alaska, to Singapore and all kinds of vacations—to somehow or other just find some variety in life or escape from the loneliness within. Sometimes even engaging in cruel egoistic acts to others just to get some excitement out of life. This is poverty. They are poor.

By Radhanatha Swami


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  • tushar

    Thanks for wonderful quote maharaj!

  • Nisha

    Hare Krishna.

  • Utkarsh

    Beautiful definition of rich & poor. Great souls like Radhanath Swami & Mother Teresa have the spiritual vision which allows them to see everything as it is.

  • Gaurangag

    Nice explanation.

  • Namita

    Very wonderful explanation… especially about how one tries to hide their loneliness within

  • Poverty of the heart very well-defined.Only those whose hearts are filled with love can give that love to others. We can see this from the life of HH Radhanath Swami and Mother Teresa.

  • sachin komble

    so nice article

  • Shyam Kishore das

    I have heard this story many times, and every time I hear it, I am fascinated by its profundity. What an inspiring and uplifting understanding of the meaning of life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Ravi Garg

    What transcendental vision great souls like Mother Theresa & Radhanath Swami have…….they change the whole perspective of looking at things…..thanks for sharing this wonderful, eye opener article….,

  • Sagar Wadekar

    JAI !!! Maharaj gives us the correct meaning of poverty and we learn to become wealthy at heart.. thanks..

  • Karthik

    The illusion wide spread these days that povery means lack of money and happiness means money can be driven away by such wonderful instructions of Saints.

  • N Swaminathan

    Truly, saints such as Mother Teresa and Radhanath Swami have very clearly identified that poverty is not just measured in terms of bank balance; it is emptiness, loneliness, meaninglessness which contribute greatly to an impoverished mentality

  • Naveen

    Thank you Radhanath Swami, I now understand that there is a long way for me to become real ‘Rich’

  • Arjun K Ramachandra

    Saintly people always see thorough the external glamor to the substance of the heart inside.

  • Aarti

    Striving to be actually rich! Thanks Radhanath Swami for being the inspiration in my life.

  • Piyush Singh

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for these useful words of wisdom.

  • krishna chandra das

    This real understanding of who is rich and who is poor is very enlightening for those who are honest to themselves.

  • Govind Sabat

    We can see here how Mother Teresa and Radhanath Swami have been able to access the real wealth in their hearts. And they are teaching us through their lives how to access this treasure within us – through selfless service.

  • Vinay Rachh

    Real poverty is truely of the heart.

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  • vaishali kamat

    Radhanath Swami helps to make everyone really rich because a rich man is the one who is connected to the “ALL RICH GOD”.

  • Ydas

    Radhanath Swami can truly take the essence from every person and show how it is so relevant to us in the present contect of so called worldly life

  • Vani

    This is very nice and Maharaj has mentioned this in his book “The Journey Home”also.

  • Pradeep Kumar

    Any sane person will agree with this philosophy, poverty in real is poverty of heart not of packet, when I see in big big multinational companies which I am also a part of, people having everything, having handsome salary, packet filled with money but empty heart, only show off. Thanks for sharing this.

  • This is a very powerful explanation of poverty. This is indeed a very thoughtful article. H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki jai.

  • Rupa

    Very nice explanation.

  • Ram Mahtani


  • Sundar

    I remember once HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj said – “what if you are the proprietor of everything in the entire world, but there is no one to share with?” Yes, there is no point just trying to change the externals without a change of heart as Maharaj wonderfully explains.

  • Rasaraj das

    A saintly person is the real seer.

  • Radhanath Swami, very explained that real poverty of every living being is that he lacks love of God and possesses all temporary things. This is the miserliness of every living entity (including me)

  • srikanth

    H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki jai

  • Vidya Patham

    Poverty is generally associated with external conditions of living. Here Radhanath Swami helps us understand how poverty of the heart is more dangerous. We may not know or refuse to accept that we have it. Nevertheless it is there. Thank you Maharaj for making us aware of this aspect.

  • sharda gokarn

    very well said about the difference between poor and wealthy people.

  • Sumit

    Very nicely said. The real wealth is the wealth of the heart if it’s filled with joy, peace and love, otherwise it’s poor. Great message from Radhanath Swami.

  • Abhijit Toley

    The poor rich and the rich poor is explained here. And there are the rich rich and poor poor too 🙂 But all can take guidance from Radhanath Swami and become rich.

  • Shantipur Nath das

    very nice article

  • MPD

    Very good description on who is really poor

  • Dipti Gaikwad

    Wise words by Mother Teresa and Radhanath Swami… real poverty is poverty of the heart. It weighs down on one’s spirit, unlike material poverty.

  • Manish Advani

    Thats so true sometimes we feel we will be happy if we become filthy rich all problems will be solved not realzing we will be most lonely when we are on top as Radhanath Swami often says.

  • Pallavi Gawas

    What he is saying is absolutely true……….. we should be rich in spirituality

  • shirish

    Thank you Radhanath swami maharaj for sharing such a woderful teachiing about poverty of heart.

  • Rajat

    Elvis Prisley, Michael Jackson and many other so called successful people in the society committed suicide though very rich. True what Radhanth Swami says is really true, they were poor though rich.

  • Siddeshwar Bhat

    Radhanath Swami also says this in his book, The Journey Home.

  • Shyam Bihari Das

    This is so true, as living in America I see materialism at its best. There is no real understanding of spirituality, although people go to Church on Sundays. There is complete illusion that I am this body and I am meant to have fun. This is definitely poverty of Faith.

  • Prahalad Kaul

    What an eye opener statement given by Radhanath Swami regarding who is really rich & poor.

  • CS Sandeep Shinde

    Very nice article. Thank you very much for telling me who is poor and who is rich.