Radhanath Swami advices us to be in this world, but not of this world!



“To serve God, Krishna, to serve society better, we are willing to fly in airplanes, we are willing to live in palaces, we are willing to wear nice clothes, we are willing to drive in cars, and we are willing to use Blackberries, Apples, Microsoft and everything else. It is not from these things that we are getting our happiness from; but we are willing to use these things to share what we have.”- Radhanath Swami

The whole time I was in India during the 70s I really liked to live in jungles and I never slept indoors. I slept either in a cave, on a river bank or under a tree. I used to beg and just get some Rotis or some chipped rice. Then I went to a community of my Guru in America where there was an old dilapidated farm house about a hundred and fifty years old. There they served popcorn every night. And I thought, “This is so sinful that I am sleeping in-house with a roof and I am eating popcorn.”So I told one of my brothers there that I was leaving. And he said, “Why are you leaving?” I said, “There is too much sensual enjoyment here.” He looked at me as if I was completely mad. He said, “Nobody has ever left this place because of too much sensual enjoyment.” I said, “No. No. That’s honestly why I am leaving.” He said, “What kind of sensual enjoyment?” I said, “Sleeping under a roof in a house and eating popcorn.” He said, “Srila Prabhupad, our guru, taught us that if you can best serve Krishna sleeping under a tree, then you should not be attached to living in a palace. But if you can best serve Krishna living in a palace, you shouldn’t be attached to living under a tree. You are in Maya, you are in illusion. You are too attached to trees.” So I decided to stay. I was so convinced by Prabhupad’s words, that I even kind of ate extra popcorns.

If we taste the sweetness of God’s love through the chanting of God’s names, then we can be in this world but not of this world. And then whether we are eating apples or Emailing on Apples, whether we are eating Blackberries or talking to someone in another continent on a Blackberry, we could be happy, we could have a meaningful beautiful life.

–          Radhanath Swami