“atmaupamyena sarvatra

samam pasyati yo ‘rjuna

sukham vä yadi vä duhkham

sa yogi paramo matah”

Bhagavad-Gita 6.32



ätma—with his self; aupamyena—by comparison; sarvatra—everywhere; samam—equally; pasyati—sees; yah—he who; arjuna—O Arjuna; sukham—happiness; vä—or; yadi—if; vä—or; duhkham—distress; sah—such; yogi—a transcendentalist; paramah—perfect; matah—is considered.



He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!



The Pefect Yogi:

One who is Krsna conscious is a perfect yogi; he is aware of everyone’s happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. The cause of the distress of a living entity is forgetfulness of his relationship with God. And the cause of happiness is knowing Krsna  to be the supreme enjoyer of all the activities of the human being, the proprietor of all lands and planets, and the sincerest friend of all living entities. The perfect yogi knows that the living being who is conditioned by the modes of material nature is subjected to the threefold material miseries due to forgetfulness of his relationship with Krsna. And because one in Krsna consciousness is happy, he tries to distribute the knowledge of Krsna everywhere. Since the perfect yogi tries to broadcast the importance of becoming Krsna conscious, he is the best philanthropist in the world, and he is the dearest servitor of the Lord. Na ca tasmän manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah (Bg. 18.69).

In other words, a devotee of the Lord always looks to the welfare of all living entities, and in this way he is factually the friend of everyone. He is the best yogi because he does not desire perfection in yoga for his personal benefit, but tries for others also. He does not envy his fellow living entities. Here is a contrast between a pure devotee of the Lord and a yogi interested only in his personal elevation. The yogi who has withdrawn to a secluded place in order to meditate perfectly may not be as perfect as a devotee who is trying his best to turn every man toward Krsna consciousness.


The Golden rule:

It is said in the western world, the golden rule. You know what is the golden rule? The golden rule is do unto others as you would have them do to you. Of course I met one sadhu who told me that this golden rule “do unto others as you would like them to do to you that is for the golden age. But in the Iron Age of Kali Yuga a more practical rule is do not do to others, what you would not want  them to do to you”. This is a symptom of one who is advanced in spiritual life. The great devotees, it is said they are “para duhkha duhkhi”, which means they have become selfless. In the service of the lord they are willing to tolerate anything. Krishna says in the Gita

“mäträ-sparsäs tu kaunteya


ägamäpäyino ‘nityäs

tams titiks

asva bhärata”

Bhagavad-Gita 2.14


The nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course of time, arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata. They appear like the winter and summer seasons. Therefore the wise man he tolerates without being disturbed. He tolerates the happiness that comes into his life and he tolerates the distress that comes into his life. How does he tolerate? He knows that his purpose of life is the service of the supreme Lord. And anything that comes his way in regard to that service he becomes indifferent. Whether he is praised or blamed. Whether he is understood or misunderstood. Whether he is in pleasure or pain. Health or in disease. He tries to do best. Only because in a healthy body in a respectable position, you can often  do better service. But it  is the service rendered not the result. So therefore devotees become very selfless and indifferent to what Krishna so kindly offers him. Bhaktivinoda Thakur has song

“märobi räkhobi-jo icchä tohärä

nitya-däsa prati tuwä adhikärä”


That my lord Sri Krishna, if you want you can kill me. If you want you can protect me. You have every right to deal with me in any way you please. But just know that I am your eternal servant. If you actually accept the position of service then you allow your master to deal with you, however he pleases. But as long as you want to be the master, you want to be the controller, and then you have no choice  of what comes or what does not come.


A Devotee is Selfless:

So a devotee becomes very selfless. But he becomes very very extremely sensitive and conscious towards the betterment of others. To distress in his, own life, he accepts it as god’s grace and become very ecstatic. But to see distress in another’s life causes grieving in his heart. You see, until you  become selfless to our own selfish desires, we cannot truly give of ourselves for the welfare of others. And it describes here that such a person he sees all living beings equally, because he has no motivation. If he is a motivated person, he will want to help and certain people he will not want to help. In fact certain people, you will want to harm.

But one who is in purified consciousness, he sees every living being equally. Whether the person is literate or illiterate, rich or poor, man or woman, Hindu, Christian, or Muslim. Whether that person is Indian, Pakastani, Russian, or American. He is the true friend in welfare work for everyone. Because he sees the soul in everyone’s heart. This is the natural symptom of one who is spiritually advanced. And people ask how do you know who is spiritually advanced. Not some who just preaches nicely. Anyone can preach nicely, if they have good education. But someone who preaches and lives according to these principles, who is genuinely concerned for the welfare of others. The supreme welfare is to bring  them to the state of eternal consciousness in the loving service of the Lord. Therefore anyone who has the qualities should be considered to be the shelter of all living beings. It is said there is a verse that one who sees the deity in the temple to be made in the wood and stone. One who sees the spiritual master as an ordinary man or one who sees the vaishnavas to belong to any caste, nationality or creed, such person has a  hellish mentality. One must understand that anyone who is sacrificing his life, anyone who accepts the lotus feet of the lord upon his head that person is above all the designations of this world. Because he no longer sees according to the designations of this world. One who discriminates according to a particular person’s designation that person has material consciousness. Therefore that person by his own consciousness belongs to a particular section of society. But one who no longer sees according to these sections of society, one who sees the equality of all living beings by his own visions, he is transcendental to all those designations. The great acaryas, this was the principle that they lived by.

Srila Ramanujacharya:

In fact yesterday was the appearance day of Srila Ramanujacarya, one of the great great spiritual masters of the world. In fact he is the founder of one of the four principle Vaishnava Sampradayas. I would like to speak just one drop of the ocean of the glories of this great paramhamsa vaishnava. Highlighting this particular aspect of his personality, of how he would see only the quality of devotion in a person’s heart. It is described that there was a disciple, one of the principle sannyäsi disciples of Srila Yamujacarya. His name was Sailyapurna Maharaja and he was a very great preacher of bhakti or devotion to Sri Krishna, Narayana.

Now Sailyapurna, he had two nieces. One’s name was Kantimati and the other was Deptimati. They were both very religious and pure in heart. Kantimati was married to a very great devotee of the lord, his name was Keshava Acarya. They wanted very much to have a child but many many years went by then, they could not have a child. So Kesava Acarya, he was very famous for  performing  fire sacrifices. So he took his wife to the holy place near Madras, where the deity of Parthsarathi resides. It is close to the ocean. Today if you go to Madras, the principal temple of Krishna is Parthsarathi Mandir. So before the Murti of Parthsarathi, he performed a sacrifice and prayed that a noble and virtuous son would be born, who will broadcast the glories of the Lord throughout the world and soon after that the beautiful child was born. When Sailyapurna found about this he came to that place and he named the child Ramanuja.

Ramanuja from his very childhood displayed all the qualities of a great devotee. He was always very gentle, always very humble, and very obedient. In his school he would very quickly learned all of his lessons and he was always attracted to the association of sadhus and he was always very attracted to hearing and chanting the glories of Narayana. I believe when he was about to sixteen years old, he was married to a very very beautiful girl, her name was Rakshyakambala. It is said, she was beautiful like an apsara and she was very gentle and very chaste. And she was coming from a very very distinguished brähmin  family as was Ramanuja. They were living a city called Bhutapuri. Six months after their marriage the father of Ramanuja died. So Ramanuja did not like to be there any longer. He shifted their residence to the holy city of Kanchipur.


Kanchipura A Great Devotee of The Lord:

There was one very very great devotee, who was living in Kanchipura, his name was Kanchipurna. He was born of a sudra family. But how much love he had for Krishna. In Kanchipura there is a very famous deity of the name Bharadwaj. Today you can go and visit this beautiful temple. It’s very big and beautiful temple. And Bharadwaj, he has been worshiped by great saints since time of memorial. He is a deity of Lord Narayana. So Kanchipurna, he had a very very personal sweet loving relationship with Sri Krishna and everyday, he would fan the Lord and sing beautiful songs in His glories. It is described that whatever needed to be known by the people in general, Bharadwaj was confidentially speak to Kanchipruna to relay that to others. So he was very advanced and very pure in heart.

So one day, he was walking and he happened to meet Ramanuja, who was a young man. Ramanuja seeing the beautiful devotional qualities of this great soul invited him to his house for Prasad. So after Ramanuja personally fed him, cooked by his good wife, Ramanuja sat him down to massage his feet. Kanchipurna became very embarrassed. He said Ramanuja you are very very learned man, I am not well educated. He said you are born in a very high class brahmana family and I am only a sudra. Therefore how can I allowed you to massage my feet. I should be massaging your feet. Ramanuja with great sincerity, he replied. He said if my being born in a brahmana family create such pride in my heart that I cannot render service to the great devotees of the lord such as you, then I consider being born a brahmana the most inauspicious thing. He said, whatever birth one has, if one has loving  devotion to Sri Hari that person is the only real brahmana.

When Kanchipurna heard, how Ramanuja understood the glories of  pure devotion, he became very satisfied and on that day they became best friends. In fact they sat throughout the day and throughout the night, simply discussing Krishna’s lila and the glories of pure devotion. Then they would meet regularly. Ramanuja would see that Kancihpurna, whenever he could find him, just to sit and discuss Krishna Consciousness. Especially in those days, when impersonal school of philosophy which was rampant everywhere. It was very very difficult to find even a single pure devotee of the Lord.

One day Ramanuja, he went to Kanchipurna who was in the Bharadwaj temple and he invited  him to his house for Prasad.

Kanchipurna said,” how can I take Prasad always at your house?” He said “I am very low, you are very great.” But Ramanuja insisted” no, you  must come, you must come, you must come.” So Kanchipurna, he said” alright I’ll come.” So Kanchipurna knows that Ramanuja is going to his residence to bring him to his house. So not  wanting to be embarrassed by all these formalities, Kanchipurna waited till Ramanuja was on his way to his house, and he went another way to Ramanuja’s home. When he arrived, Ramanuja’s wife, she said” my husband has gone just to get you. You sit and wait for few minutes and then I’ll serve you Prasad.” He said,” no no I am in very great in hurry, I had promised to come here for Prasad. So I have come. But I have very urgent business. I have to be in the temple to do my puja. Please if you want to give me something, give me now. So I could go.”

So she fed him very nice, whatever was prepared. Then what she did, after Kanchipurna finished, he was so humble that he took cow dung and water and washed that place, where he ate. Then he left. Ramanujacarya’s wife, she took the food on the banana plate and she gave it to a sudra woman. Then she cleaned up everything and she started to cook again. Then Ramanuja came, he said” has Kanchipurna come yet?. She said” yes he has come and he has gone.” Ramanuja said,” why are you cooking again?” He said, “where is that mahamaha Prasad?. Where is that food that he has eaten?” She said “I gave it  to a sudra lady everything that I had prepared for him. Now I am preparing everything for you.’ Ramanuja said,’ why have you done  this? “She said “you are a first class brähmin. You are my husband. How can I give you the remnants of a sudra?” This was like a lightning bullet that struck Ramanuja’s heart. He felt so sad and distressed. He said “my dear wife do you not understand, that you have just cheated me of being purified by the remnants of a pure vaishnava, pure devotee of the lord. There is no question of high birth or low birth in devotion to God.” So Ramanuja, he was very  depressed on hearing this.

At that time Ramanuja, he also indicated to Kanchipurna. He asked him to initiate him and accepted him as disciple. So Kanchipurna went to Bharadwaj and began to speak to deity of Krishna. He said, “what is this? I am just a simple devotee. I am just the simple person. I just wanted to chant for you. I just wanted dance for you. I simple want to be fan you and do nice service for you and now the high class educated brähmin, he wants to massage and wash my feet. He wants to give me honor. If he gives me the honor, the whole world will give me honor. He wants to be my disciple. These things are so much of a disturbance, Bharadwajji, please let me go away. I would like to go to Tirupati.” So the deity of Krishna said,” alright, you go to Tirupati. So he left and he was  away for six months.

One day Bharadwaja appeared to him in a dream and said “ no one has been fanning me for six months and I am feeling very hot, you should come back.’ So he came back. Ramanuja was very happy  that he came back. Again they sat together and they  just discussed Krishna. Ramanuja was saying “I am starving for the last six months without your association.”

It is described that one day a brähmin came to the house of Ramanujacarya. Ramanuja was not in. And he came with his begging bowl begging from his wife.” Why do not you get a job? What kind of brahmana are you, begging?” She said,” go away. I am not going to give you any food. “So he was feeling very sad and dejected. And as he was walking by Ramanuja saw him.” So what is wrong? He said “I have just gone to your house” Ramanuja saw that the brähmin looked very under nourished very hungry and very sad. He said” I simply begged your wife for something and she chastised me, called me a  parasite, I should get job, and I should go away.” She had nothing for me. Ramanuja, he said “you go back to my wife” and then he wrote a letter. He said tell her you are a messenger of her father. So Ramanuja wrote a letter and on this letter he wrote. This was the letter  to Ramanuja.

My dear son, my second daughter is about to get married and my old wife she cannot properly attend to all the guests who will be coming for the function so please  kindly send your wife (my daughter) to help. So he said alright, you give this letter to my wife. When the brähmin said’ I am the messenger of your father” and gave the letter. Then she immediately started giving him nice Prasad.” After all you have come from my father’s side. Very nice. You are a very great man.” So Ramanuja came home and his wife greeted him very warmly and she showed him the letter and Ramanuja told her that I have urgent business, I’ll not be able to go now, I may come later. But you should go immediately. So he packed all the things and  and she went. As soon as she went, she is out of sight.

The Initiation Of Ramanuja:

He went to the temple of Bharadwaja and he said Bharadwaja, “I want to just surrender everything to you, How can I live with someone who is making all these discriminations? This is beggar, this is a lower class, and this is a higher class. “He said” I simply want to live for the welfare of all living beings.” And then he took his cloth and dried of saffron. He got a  new cloth and dyed it saffron. And he started a  sacred fire and then Kanchipurna came and Kanchipurna initiated him as  a sannyasi and gave him the name Yatiraja. He left that place and began preaching all over India with no discrimination. Simply giving the mercy of Krishna to everyone. Anyone who would simply accept it.


Krsna’s Mercy:

It is described that the mercy of Krishna is like the sun. The sun does not discriminate, whether you are from this family or that family. This nationality or that nationality. The sun rises for our beneficially giving itself to everyone. But if you hide in a cave that is your own misfortune. And those representing the lord, they are like mirrors of the sun, of Krishna’s mercy. They are reflecting the divine mercy of the lord in all directions to anyone who is simply accepting it.


The Purpose of Human Civilisation:

And what is the problem in this world? There is a problem that such great souls are so rare to find. Everyone is  coming to pursue their own petty little selfish ambitions in life. That they are missing the whole point of human civilization, which is to act as a servant of god for the welfare of all living beings. And you should know, until you accept that principle on your life, you will never find real happiness. The more you take the less you have. The more you give the more you have. This is spiritual principles. Of course, if you have nothing what you have to give. So therefore a devotee is very serious about his own spiritual life. Srila Prabhupada is explaining here that the class of man often called the yogis, often times they are very very strict in their spiritual principles, for their own spiritual advancement. But the great devotees of the lord they have very apposite way of dealing. They do not want to practice sadhana or Krishna Consciousness for their own spiritual advancement. They will be very very attentive and very intent in their execution of devotional service. So that they can make spiritual advancement, why because the more advancement they make, the more they can give to others. They do not give anything for themselves.


Distribute Peace To Others:

That is a symptom of a great soul. Krishna says in Gita there is no one more dear to me than those who sacrifice and risk everything for the sake of others. Srimad Bhagavatam also explains that “no all over other be, someone so me dear to me is that”.


The Greatest Service To God:

So first of all we must know that in our own life our real happiness is not in chasing temporary illusions of this world. But in finding true peace in the self but that is not enough because the real happiness of that peace is in distributing it to others. According to our capacity, according to what we have and what can we do, we should live for the welfare of others. If I have  good intelligence, I should use my good intelligence to elevate others in devotion to God. If I have a strong body, I should use my strong body under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master to elevate others in devotion to God. If I have wealth, if I have prestige, we should use this things for the elevation of all other living beings. This is the greatest service to the God and this according to Srimad Bhagavatam is the only platform of real peace.

“Sa vai pumsam paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokshaje

Ahaituky apratihata yayatma suprasidati.”

Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6

The supreme occupation for all humanity is unmotivated and uninterrupted loving service to the lord and to all the God’s children. Only such a state of consciousness just can completely satisfy the self. So this Krishna Consciousness movement, which is the movement of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, such great souls as Srila Prabhupada living according to the divine principle and Lord Caitanya especially urge the people of India to accept this principle.

“bhärata-bhümite haila manuñya janma yära

janma särthaka kari’ kara para-upakära”

Caitanya-caritamrita Adi 9.41


To Live Life For The Supreme Benefit Of Others:

That those people who are born in India, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, especially because they have given so much, they have given the highest facility and opportunity for divine consciousness. They should live to spread the message of Krishna all over the world for welfare of everyone. And according to God, this is the duty of everyman and woman and child born in this land of India. Para Upakara. To live for the supreme benefit for all living beings. So we take this principle to heart. We should know that we are most fortunate. The more people we make fortunate, we become fortunate. This is spiritual mathematics. The more you give the more you have. And how to give? It is very simple. You do not have to become asannyäasi. You do not have to become an author of Bhagavad-Gita. Just according to your capacity you assist those great sadhus, who are making this high welfare service to humanity their life and soul. In any way you assist them. That is your greatest fortune. That is the greatest contribution. He is a perfect yogi by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings both in their happiness and distress o’ Arjuna.



AM:  That means you should be thinking in terms of the well wisher and friend of others. Do you like other people talking behind your back? So you should not talk behind anyone else’s back. Do you like other people cheating you? So you should not cheat another? Ahimsa simply does not simply mean physical abuse; it means abuse on a level of body, mind, and soul. You should be the friend of all living beings.



AM:  It begins with intellectual understandings. But then you have to practice according to the instructions of the guru, the sadhu and the sashtras in order to develop the experience. I can tell you how nice Vrindavana is? You can even intellectually understand  how nice Vrindavana is. But then do you have the experience until you go there. Now how to get there? {Is nothing you just see the intellectually understand it that you will not pay you the ticket.} You have to do what is required under the directions of someone who knows Vrindavana, how to get there? When you get there, then you will experience. We are explaining this divine state of selfless consciousness, pure loving consciousness towards Krishna. But to experience you have to follow the process. First you have to be convinced and with that conviction, you chant the holy names, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”. You follow the four regulative principles and associate with devotees. Then you help in the service of the great souls. You become the servant of the servant and gradually that experience will manifest within your life.

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.

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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.