Souls in this material world need to wake up from the lap of Maya

Thank you Gauravani Prabhu, we welcome everyone to Radha Gopinath’s temple for our weekly Sunday festival, very grateful you are all here especially to Sankarji, Minakshi Devi, Garry and all of you wonderful guest. Back in the mid 1970’s two devotees, two of my dearest friends God brother and God sister Rukmini and Bharadraj Prabhu from their heart of hearts they prayed to have child that would spread the glories of God’s name throughout the world and Gauravani was born, Haribol! They prayed, they performed Tapasya, they cried the prayed to their gurudev Srila Prabhupada and the Lord that their child would be empowered for this purpose and when baby was born they named Gauravani, which means one who had spread Vani or the message of Gaur Lord Caitanya and what is the message

Jév jägo, jév jägo, gauracända bole

Kota nidrä jäo mäyä-piçäcéra kole

Lord Caitanya’s message is very deep and profound; there are volumes and volumes and volumes describing the intricate explanation of philosophy on every aspect of life but in very principle very simple wake up wake up sleeping souls, you are sleeping in the lap of illusion. Essentially we are spiritual; we are part of God,

Mamaiväàço jéva-loke

Jéva-bhütaù sanätanaù


Prakåti-sthäni karñati

That we are all Sad-cit-ananda eternal full of knowledge and full of bliss, änandamayo ‘bhyäsät as part of God we are all seeking pleasure and the essence of pleasure is the pleasure of loving and being loved. Things can give pleasure to the sense and to the mind but only love can give pleasure to the soul. The origin of that tendency which is the essence of every living being is our natural love for God and in that love for God is the spontaneous love for every living being, you cannot love God and not love anyone. When love for God is manifested within this world it manifested as compassion which is the greatest need. It is the very essence and foundation of every spiritual path to be selfless instrument of compassion. That is the nature of everyone to celebrate the joy of love and compassion but somehow other sleeping we are in the dream that I am a man or I am a woman or I am black or brown or white or yellow or red or I am American or south African or Israel or Palestinian or Pakistani or Indian or I am rich or I am poor, old or young.

Väsäàsi jérëäni yathä vihäya

Krishna explains in Gita, this body is like a dress but who is it, that is seeing through the eyes, hearing through the eyes, tasting through the tongue, smelling through the nose, touching through the flesh, thinking through the brain and feeling through the heart. The driver of the vehicle of this body and mind is by nature united with all others in our origin.

So Lord Caitanya taught this simple process, wake up, wake up to who we really are and the simple method that he extracted from the Vedic literatures which is very powerful for waking up the sleeping soul in this age of Kali is God’s name,

Kaler doña-nidhe räjann

Asti hy eko mahän guëaù

Kértanäd eva kåñëasya

Mukta-saìgaù paraà vrajet

That this age of Darkness we are living in or Kali has so many faults but there is one beautiful benediction that through Kirtaan, through chanting God’s name one can attain the perfection of liberation. This in essence is Gauravani or the message of Lord Caitanya and as far I could see this essence is, Gauravani. His parents prayed and they cried and they served, for a child like this and then they gave him this name. Now he is travelling around the world bringing joy to so many people’s hearts, thank you Gauravani Prabhu we are very proud of you.


Radharani is the origin of all love

In a few days is Radhastami, the appearance day of Shri Radha. I believe you will all be in Vrindavan that day we would be stuck here but it’s nice to be stuck to the good place. Radharani is the feminine aspect of the absolute truth. In all the great spiritual paths of world we find that God is one and in the mystical esoteric aspects of all of these great paths we find both male and female aspects of that one God. Especially in the Vedic system and especially in Vrindavan we find the natural acceptance and very, very philosophical cultural understanding of the male and female aspect of the one truth. Krishna is the all attractive supreme object of love and Radha is the compassionate nature, the supreme lover or the supreme abode of love, the origin of all love.


Story which reveals the condition of the soul in the material world  

There is a beautiful story in Vrindavan which I would like to share with you. There is a place called Shivakhori where there is a very wonderful temple of Lord Shiva Rameshwar and there is small lake just close to that temple. Five thousand years ago, a jackal was drinking water from that lake. Now among animals jackals are not at all respected, many animals are glorified by humans just like there is athletics teams called the lions and the tigers and the eagles and the panthers and the hawks, even the penguins. Sometimes, if you are beautiful you dance like a peacock, you sing like a Cuckoo bird, you have Minakshi eyes like a beautiful fish, so many nice examples. But have every heard anyone glorified as being like Jackal that’s like a greatest insult. If you are a thief, a really cruel selfish you are called the Jackal, yes. I remember there was once Mafia person because I am from Chicago I know some of these things. There was big Mafia person called Jackal and that was great praise, everybody respected him because everyone was afraid of him. Anyways a Jackal is just scrawny wild dog generally very dangerous, eats dead corpses and that Jackal was drinking water. Because he was a Jackal, actually it was a she Jackal forgive me it was a girl. It was she Jackal, because Jackal are not respected at all some children saw this Jackal and started laughing at the Jackal and running after the Jackal, beating the Jackal with sticks. Would you like to beat the Jackal with sticks children? Good thank you hoping you are safe. They were beating this Jackal with stick and this Jackal was screaming and crying and they kept beating it and beating it and beating it and the Jackal somehow other rolled around on the ground and got up and ran away and children ran after it and was throwing stones on it. Jackal, Jackal, Jackal, Jackal and Jackal was weeping in pain and somehow other found hole in the ground and jumped in the hole and buried itself in the hole. Then the children laughing and playing, they really wanted to make this Jackal suffer. So they were yelling names into the hole, they got wood and straw and lit it on fire. So all around the entrance of the whole there was a burning fire and it was going deeper and deeper inside. They wanted to burn the Jackal out so they could continue to bit it. The Jackal was crying, screaming in pain just at that time Radha and her Gopi friends happen to be walking some distance, this is when Radha and Krishna were here on the earth. She felt compassion she told her friend Lalita please no one should be suffering like this, go bring that person to me. So Lalita ran saw the children all waiting at the hole with the sticks and she chase all the children away get out from here, get out from here. The she put out the fire and she reached down her hand and took the jackal out and she brought the Jackal right to Radharani. The Jackal bowed down at Radha’s feet and Radha kneel down and padded her on the head and accepted her as her own eternal servant. Gave that Jackal a perfection of liberation, prema Bhakti the ultimate perfection. Now the symbolism of this story is the jackal represents the fallen condition in illusion. Actually we are all pure spirit, we are all part of God Sad-Cid-ananda but somehow other we are identifying with these Jackal like material identity which is really embarrassing situation for the eternal soul. The children they represent three fold miseries of material existences, Adhyatmik the miseries of one’s own body and mind, Adhidaibik the miseries of nature too much heat, too much cold, earth quakes, tsunamis, rains, drought and Adhiboutik miseries caused by other living beings people, family members, enemies, insects or whoever. The hole represents material existences and the fire represents the burning fire of material existences, saàsära-dävänala-léòha-loka scriptures describe that it’s like forest fire. The Jackals cry is the humble calling out for the mercy of Shri Radha. When we chant her holy name with that sincerity then she will give us her heart. There is hope, ultimate hope, and supreme hope for everyone and this simple means by which we can access that grace is through the sincere chanting of the holy names, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna Hare, Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama, Rama Hare, Hare.


Two stories which are opposite but their results are same

Gauravani sang one beautiful prayer of Lord Caitanya paraà vijayate çré-kåñëa-saìkértanam, paraà vijayate means supreme victory will come to those who take shelter of the Kirtaan of the holy name. Now we have to understand that this victory is not based on a material consideration. Sometime ago there was one famous atheist person who said, “That whether one is a saint or whether one is a criminal they both have to die so what’s the difference, everyone is going to die. So if God is going to save you then, every religious person has to die and every irreligious person has to die so what’s the difference, what is this saving, what is this saving, where is the victory? In Ramayana there are two stories of victory which seem quite contradictory to each other but if we understand the essence they are one. First there is Hanuman, Hanuman was fighting for Rama. Sita is feminine aspect of God, just as there is Radha and Krishna there is Sita Rama and there are other such manifestations. So Ravana wanted to enjoy Sita for himself, he was a person with massive false ego but sometimes people with really big false ego’s work so hard to establish them that they become really powerful and they could really terrorize others. So Ravana was from material standards the most powerful man on earth, he performed Tapasya and gained mystical powers. He could change his form, each of his arms were like tens and thousands of elephants strength. He disguised himself and kidnapped Sita when Rama was away. Now there was a great war and we read about Hanuman, Hanuman he fought valiantly with his heart, with his soul, with his everything there was no limitations for him. He was a prominent part of the great victory of Rama over Ravana and he is celebrated throughout all time. Then there was another devotee named Jatayu he was equally devoted as Hanuman. When Ravana first stole Sita he was carrying her and at that time in a forest Jatayu was very, very old. Sita cried out to him Jatayu don’t try to stop Ravana, he is so powerful and you are so old if you try to stop him you will be killed, just tell Rama who has stolen me and tell him we are heading in the southern direction. Jatayu could not just stand there and watch for him that’s worse than death then to do nothing in the face of an injustice. So Jatayu jumped up to fight with Ravana and Sita said, go back Jatayu you are too old you cannot fight. But Jatayu he attack Ravana he said, life or death I will not allow you to take Sita away and he fought with all of his power, it was a long fight. He gave his everything and ultimately he became so exhausted due to his age that and he had no weapons, Ravana had every weapon. Ravana cut off his legs and cut off his arms and his wings and Jatayu was laying there in blood. Sita ran after to him and started to cry she padded his head and said you have given your life for me and now look at your condition. She blessed Jatayu with her heart of hearts than Ravana grabbed her by the hair and took her to Srilanka. Shortly, after Rama and Laxman were searching for Sita and they see this personality lying on the ground with blood all over the place. Rama said, “This must be Rakshasa, this must be the person that stole my Sita. All this blood around must be Sita’s blood he must have killed her. Rama took his bow and arrow jumped right toward Jatayu and aimed right at Jatayu head he said I will kill this demon. It’s a thankless task, he gave his life for Rama and Rama is chastising and about to kill him. Jatayu cries out, I am your devotee Jatayu I am the friend of your father. It was Ravana that took Sita, I tried with all of my heart to stop him but I was defeated. When Rama heard those words he drops his bow and arrow felt to his knees, he said Jatayu to protect my Sita you have given your life. I was exiled from my kingdom and lost everything and then my father Dasarath and then my wife was taken from me Sita. But the greatest pain I have ever experience in my life is now to see you in this condition, my own devotee who even though you had no chance of winning you fought for me, you fought to protect my beloved and now you are about to die. The supreme absolute truth wept tears of love and gratitude profusely; he embraced that pitiful body of Jatayu that was chopped into pieces and Rama told him on this very day I send you back to the spiritual world. On this very day I grant you the ultimate liberation because you fought and you were victories because you gave everything you had. Then chanting the holy name of Rama Jatayu gave up his life and attains spiritual perfection. Just to show the whole for all time to come the gratitude of the lord for those who sincerely give what they have in service, Rama perform the last rights for Jatayu, Laxman got the logs; Rama personally lifted the body and put it and lit the fire and Rama said the Mantras and the prayers to send Jatayu to the spiritual world.


Krishna will only please by our sincerity

Krishna tells us in the Bhagavad Gita, that we should not be attached to success or failure, honor or dishonor, happiness or distress these dualities will always be there. Material existences is constituted on the principle of duality like two sides of coin, you cannot have the head side of tail of coin and say I don’t want the tail. If you are attached to happiness to that degree you will suffer when there is distress, if you are attached to honor to that degree you will suffer when there is dishonor. Health disease, life death, heat cold; it’s a world of dualities but to rise above these dualities there is a beautiful verse that teaches us how,

 Atah pumbhih dwijashresthah varnashrama bibhagasah

Swanusthitsya dharmasya samsiddhir hari toshanam

Krishna tells in the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna if you simply serve sincerely you will be victories it doesn’t matter what the material result would be. If Bhagavan is pleased by the sincerity of our efforts we are victories. If we can sincerely chant the holy name like that little Jackal we can attain victory, victory over life, victory over death, victory over all sorrow and achieve,

Änandämbudhi-vardhanaà prati-padaà pürëämåtäsvädanaà

The happiness that we are all striving for, the endless spiritual love that is inherent within all of us. Thank you Gauravani prabhu for enlightening us for this subject matter and Jhanava Devi her parents were also crying and praying for the same thing we are so proud of you. When she plays her violin just like the strings of our hearts began to cry in devotion to Krishna, thank very much Hare Krishna. Would you like now to Kirtaan, everyone can dance, Haribol.

Thank you very much!

Hare Krishna!

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    What an amazing lecture! The story of how the Jackal was hounded and beaten and how we are like that Jackal being beaten by Maya is eye-opening. We have to desperately call out to Srimati Radharani and the Supreme Lord for protection and shelter.

    • Anand Patil

      yes the story of the Jackal is very illustrating and hope giving. If we are sincere and pray to Radharani even we could get the mercy.

      • Kalpana Kulkarni

        Very true

      • Gopinath Chandra

        One of the most intimate pics of Radhanath Swami is the one taken near Shiv Khor at Govardhan. In the pic he is squatting on the roadside. I will try to share that image with all of you sometime.

        • Piyush Singh

          Sounds interesting. I’m also eager to see this pic of HH Radhanath Swami.

    • Gopinath Chandra

      By chanting the mahamantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare

  • Sumit Sharma

    Nice lecture by Radhanath Swami Maharaj. Only by the mercy of the Lord we can get liberated from the pangs of this material world.

    • Piyush Singh

      Yes, mercy of the Lord is the only hope.

  • Piyush Singh

    It must be so much encouraging to hear such appreciation from HH Radhanath Swami. Gaurvani Prabhu must be feeling elated on these encouraging words. He seem to be really a fortunate soul.

    As always, HH Radhanath Swami narrates the other wonderful points like Krishna is pleased only by our sincerity, the examples given of of Hanuman and Jatayu are so contrasting in terms of the results achieved by both of them but ultimately in the eyes of Lord Rama both the devotees are the same based on the sincerity of their hearts.

    Thank you very much for publishing this inspiring talk by HH Radhanath Swami.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Points wonderfully captured Piyush! Gaurvani prabhu has got special blessings from Radhanath Swami.

      • Piyush Singh

        Yes, he is certainly blessed.

  • Vinay Malani

    Thank you Radhanath Swamiji for explaining the essence of Gauravani – that inspite of the many faults of Kali-yug, just chanting God’s names can give us liberation from this miserable world.

    • Piyush Singh

      This is so encouraging wisdom. Such a great boon for the current age.

  • Satya Kama Das

    Very nice lecture. Thank you very much.

  • Keshav Kishor Das

    I have seen H G Gauravani Prabhu accompanying H H Radhanath Swami on several occasions especially Yatras. I was very much attracted by his mesmerizing Kirtans, pleasant personality and humble nature. But this article helped me to know more about him. H G Gauravani Prabhu ki jaya….!

    • Sumit Sharma

      I was also fortunate to see him in South India yatra where he sang many heart-touching kirtans!

      • Gopinath Chandra

        He was recently here in Mumbai for the celebration of ISKCON’s 50th anniversary. He also visited Govardhan Eco Village, where they had a Bhakti Immersion retreat. Vishwambhar Seth, another kirtan giant of the western world was also there.

        Kirtan is the only hope of kaliyuga and these divine souls are taking the holy names all over the world.

        • Piyush Singh

          Yes, they also visited Pune around that time.

          It is very nice to see their love for music and their skills. I wish to follow in their footsteps as music is my love too, but so far I never got time in life to spare some dedicate time to enhance my music skills. And that’s why I feel inspired and happy to see these musicians using their skills nicely to serve.

  • Vinay Jain

    The examples of the jackal being protected and delivered by Radharani & that of Jatayu’s sacrifice are indeed very inspiring & heart touching. Thank you Radhanath Swami for nourishing our souls by sharing such wonderful stories from the scriptures.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Yes indeed! These two and many other similar examples show the power of mercy.

    • Piyush Singh

      No doubt, these are very heart touching examples. Many thanks to HH Radhanath Swami for nourishing us with these nectarine thoughts.

  • Jerry Richard

    If one is attached to happiness to that degree one will suffer when there is distress, if one is attached to honor to that degree one will suffer when there is dishonor

    • Piyush Singh

      So true. This is very practical wisdom from HH Radhanath Swami. This should keep us on the ground and not to hanker for false happiness or honor.

    • Sumit Sharma

      Amazing words of wisdom. We can always give honor and respect to others and remain happy, however the other way it’s not always possible.

  • Anoop

    Interesting comparison of 2 stories, of Jatayu and Hanumanji by Radhanath Swami. The conclusion is really beautiful that the sincerity is what is seen by Lord Ram or Lord Krishna, and the result is immaterial. Thanks for sharing this beautiful narration.

    • Piyush Singh

      Yes, really interesting comparison.

  • Piyush Singh

    The narration of the precarious condition of the jackal is so heart touching. And even more awakening is to know that I’m also like that jackal only in such a pitiable condition.

    Hope to receive some mercy someday to get out of this miserable situation.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.