Radhanath Swami urges us to see beyond superficial designations

see within the heart

“Real self confidence in life is based on sincerity.” – Radhanath Swami

Lord Sri Krishna descended into this world as Lord Chaitanya about 500 years ago.

One day the devotees were performing an abhishekam for him in Srivas Angam in Navadvip Dham. All the great mahants and famous devotees, they were singing hymns, offering flowers and putting the abhishekam upon the Lord; they were in an exalted position, doing an exalted service. And there was a simple servant, a maidservant, and she was way in the background. Her name was Dukhi.  She was called ‘Dukhi’, which means a miserable person. She was called Dukhi because of her poverty, her lack of education, her very insignificant position of just being the maidservant of a maidservant. She was in the background, filling the pots with Ganga water and bringing them for the abhishekam. She wasn’t concerned with name or fame or recognition. She just wanted to honestly and sincerely assist others in their service to God, that’s all.  But the Lord recognized her. He looked at the back of the room and he began to glorify her.

“The Lord sees within the heart: What is our honesty? What is our ideal? What is our sincerity? What is our integrity?” – Radhanath Swami

And the Lord said, “The name Dukhi is not pleasing to my heart today. I give her the name ‘Sukhi’, which means the ‘happy one’.” Upon giving her the name Sukhi, he also gave her the ultimate perfection of life – pure unalloyed love. The manifestation of spiritual perfection was seen on every limb of her body, as heart was erupting with ecstatic spiritual emotions, not because of her social position, but because of her sincerity.

Radhanath Swami talks of ‘A very little old Bengali widow’

“Unfortunately, in today’s world, people are losing connection to what is actually substantial. We honour people because of what they have; we honour people because of what they could do; we honour people because of what status they may be in. But an actual cultured society honours people according to these qualities: how much does a person have compassion and integrity?” – Radhanath Swami

My guru Srila Prabhupada, he would tell us that when he was living in Vrindavan, there was this very little, old Bengali widow. Nobody knew about her. Nobody even knew where she lived. She just had the same set of old white cloth that she wore as a sari. And Srila Prabhupada – who was at that time living in the Radha Damodar temple – would see her every morning with a bucket of water, which she would fetch from the Yamuna and bring it for Krishna. And she would just leave it outside the temple doors; she honoured and respected everyone.

And here was Srila Prabhupada, a great scholar, a great saint, going around the world talking about her, because she had devotion, she had integrity, she had substance. When we honour integrity and selfless compassion, then we are becoming cultured.

– Radhanath Swami