Spiritual Life Means Connecting to Krishna

We find in every society and every part of the world, when there is a celebration there is music, there is singing, there is dancing. Usually nobody tries to talk when there is singing and dancing and music going on. So spiritual life does not mean to extinguish our natural tendencies it simply means to connect our consciousness with Krishna to our natural tendencies. In fact that is why Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has explained that in this age of Kaliyuga there is no more sublime process of self realization and purification than singing, dancing and chanting to the name of God because to go to Himalayas, to fast, to sit in other silence and meditation, to perform great great sacrifices very difficult because its completely against natural tendencies of our ways of life. Therefore in Kaliyuga it is practically impossible to perform these methods of Yoga and attain the Supreme destination.


Beginning Of Real Spirituallity

As we read the Srimad Bhagvatam, Lord Brahma explained that you can go to the forest and leave your home and family behind but along with you, you have to take 6 wives, the mind and the 5 senses and they are constantly going to be making demands of you. Therefore the beginning of real spiritual advancement is to simply accept and admit that we are really not very special, we are just ordinary fallen souls. Everyone likes to think they are very special so they try to do something very difficult, very hard but they become frustrated and they come to certain point and they can’t go any further. In this age of Kaliyuga it is explained it’s an ocean of faults, whoever you are, wherever you are born, you have a short life, a weak memory, fond to bad habits, misguided by society all around you. In this age of Kaliyuga it’s explained there is only one benediction and that is by simply singing, dancing the name of God anyone, everyone can be liberated. There are few boys here; they do not speak English, not even a single word, so right now they are very very patiently painstakingly waiting for this lecture to end so that they can take nice Prasad, so there is really not much that I can do for them now. But during the Kirtan the holy name of God is beyond all languages, it’s beyond literacy or illiteracy, they were simply dancing with joy, crying out for Krishna.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare


We all are orphans without Radha-Krishna

Actually in one sense we all are orphans because our real mother is Srimati Radharani and our eternal father is Lord Shri Krishna and our real home is Vaikuntha, Goloka Vrindavan, but here we are in this strange place called the material world we are far far away from our mother and father, in the sense that we are repeatedly unconscious of them. The eternal soul which is full of knowledge and bliss has to grow old, get disease then die to do identification of this body. We are like orphans and the goal of life is to be reunited with our mother and father Radha and Krishna, Sita and Rama and how to do so? The lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has taught us, the Srimad Bhagvatam has taught us simply by chanting, dancing, in the association of the devotees of the lord is simple and sublime, but because of our complicated minds, our tendency is to look for something more difficult because if it’s so easy, it must not work. This is the illusion of Maya in action. Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come to causelessly give love of God to everyone and anyone, simply accept. It is the precious gift.


Bhakti is personification of Sita

Actually Bhakti, the gifts of Guru and Gauranga is the most precious, valuable fortune in all the creation. Bhakti is personification of Sita, love, devotion but there is someone that is always try to steal bhakti, steal Sita out of our hearts and that is Ravana. Tonight is a very special occasion because it is a night which comrades the great battle which took place in Srilanka in the Treta Yuga, it was the battle between Ram and Ravana. Ravana was very powerful and he was very clever. How he stole Sita, you all know the story that Maricha one of his friends and associates was ordered by him in to disguise himself as a golden deer so beautiful so exotic. Just to capture the mind of any young lady and how he was dancing and how he was jumping here and there, it was so enchanting that Sita pleaded with Ram, please catch that deer, when we go back to Ayodhya, we will have him in our palace, no where is such a beautiful pet to be found. You see the Supreme Personality of Godhead Ram is always subordinate to the love of his devotees.


Gopal fulfill every desire of his devotees

Sita is the Supreme lover and Ram is the Supreme object of love. Similarly, Arjuna because his heart was so full of bhakti, when he told Krishna on the chariot “Parthasarthi you go this way”, Krishna would go this way, “ I want you to drive my chariot between these two armies”, Krishna drove the chariot between these two armies and in Vrindavan mother Yashoda would say “Krishna you eat”, Krishna would eat, “Krishna you go to sleep”, Krishna would go to sleep, “Gopal wake up”, Gopal would wake up, “Gopal go heard the cows”, Gopal would heard the cows and amongst his friends “Krishna”, Sridhama would say “ Krishna please let us see you imitate peacock”, and Krishna would start doing. “Eya Eya …Eya Eya” and then he would start moving his neck in such a way to make all of his friends laugh. This is the nature of love that the lover is always simply trying to fulfill the desires of beloved.


Story of Ravana stealing Sita

The nature of love that the lover is always simply trying to fulfill the desires of beloved. So Sita told Ram “Please catch that deer, Maricha” and Ram went to catch, but he knew this was a dangerous forest. The forest of Dandakaranya, and there were many Rakshasas and dangerous animals so he told Lakshman “You stay and you protect my Sita Devi, I m going to satisfy her desires by capturing this deer so he went. Ahh and the plot thickens because Ravana disguised himself as a Sadhu, a holy man because he knew exactly what the weak place or the soft place, not the weak place but the soft place in the Sita’s heart was that she was so loving and so charitable,  specially to holy men. If he came in any other form, he could not have tricked her, so what happened is Maricha, when he was going deeper, deeper, deeper into the jungles. Rama can understand that no nice little golden deer would be doing like this. This is a demon so he took his arrow and shot it and Maricha called out “Ram, Ram, Lakshman , I m sorry  Lakshaman, Laxshaman save me” and then he died and revealed his original Rakshas form. Sita told Lakshaman “you must go help Ram”, he said “no no there is no danger”, she said “ no you must” he wouldn’t go.  Ahh she was so worried about Ram, “there is something could have happened, you want to violate my chastity when my husband is gone, you rascal”, he could not tolerate this. So in one version of Ramayan it is described that Lakshman made a circle a mystic circle around Sita and no one could enter as long as she remain within that circle, she was protected and Ravana was helpless unless somehow or the other he could allure her to come out of the circle so Ravana aimed at the softest what he considered the weakest part of her personality, her charitable disposition towards Sadhus and he said “I m very hungry, in fact I m starving, please give me some food” and she said “but I m not allowed to leave this circle, come in” he said  “I m I m  so weak, I cannot take another step” and he fell to the ground. So when she saw this, full of love and respect she came out to help him, to give him some Prasad and at that time he revealed his true form as the Rakshasa Ravana and took her on his chariot driven by assess and departed for Shri Lanka.


Ravana aspect in Kaliyuga (example World War 2)

This is very very important to understand that it’s historical it is also very symbolic. In that Ravana is the manifestation of Maya the manifestation of that propensity within us, to exploit what belongs to god, to lord it over the resources of material nature, to steal away all of our natural godly qualities and how does Maya strike us? We should know because as soon as you take to spiritual life you are declaring war against the illusionary energy you are declaring war against repetition of birth and death and it is going to be a fight and unless you know the enemy, how the enemy works and why? Then you will be certainly defeated because you will be caught off guard. Through out history the greatest strategy of the enemy is to catch their enemy off guard. This in some years ago, while World War 2 was going on and the Germans and Japanese’s were fighting like anything trying to conquer the world and Europe was conquered and the South Pacific Islands were being conquered. In meanwhile America was thinking we are on the other side of the world, we are oceans away, let us just watch the television and be happy so they didn’t care and then one fine day the least expected day all of a sudden Japanese plane came and bombed the entire navy at Pearl Harbor and there was no navy left and the whole country was completely shattered . scared like anything they started drafting every young man. All the automobile companies close down just to make tanks and jeeps, the army, ammunitions for years it was like this. They hit them at the most vulnerable place at the most vulnerable time that is the way enemy plans it out.


Example of Israel disaster due to Ravana mentality

In 1967, in Jerusalem there is a holiday called Young Kipper which is the ultimate highest holiday for the Jews. It’s a holiday where every jew must fast, from sunset to the next sun set and they are not allowed to do any work and they are not allowed to drive in any car, they are simply suppose to pray from sunset to sunset, not even drink water. They prepare for many months before this year for this special holiday. So during this holiday in Israel everyone was fasting, everyone was simply praying and all of a sudden thousands of soldiers marched in and bombs started dropping all over them.

Uhh cause the enemy very very carefully, strategically and decisively found out in their minds exactly when and where is the weakest point, we can attack and this is the way Maya works. Ravana understood exactly where Sita could be weak because of her good nature and her charity. He exploited her and Ravana this materialistic, demoniac illusionary energy within our hearts is also very very carefully inspecting each one of us


How Maya cheats us… 

For the Gross materialists Maya does not even need any strategy. There just she’s simply manipulating everyone’s life like a puppet’s string. She doesn’t even need to use her intelligence, they are her slaves, but for one who takes spiritual life it’s a battle. Some how or other she’s trying to keep us away from Krishna. Actually, this demoniac spirit of greed and lust and envy and pride always waiting to try to find where she can take us away from Krishna. Therefore we must be very very careful, very very conscientious and that is why it is very important to have good association, good spiritually minded people because they could see what we cannot see, they could see when we are being attacked by Maya and we won’t even know it. We would be too proud to admit it. They help us, they lift us up, they enlighten us and that it is why we also must be very strictly in our Sadhana. When we take a vow to chant the holy names Maya comes in like a needle but out like a plough. To some how or the other convince you, that today you are tired you don’t really have to chant that much, besides you don’t feel that good. Tomorrow you will make it up. And, in this way she gets you to deviate a little and then the next day ” Well look you didn’t chant your vow yesterday and you are still alright you are still a devotee, you are still blissful, so you are little tired today too and besides that there are so many things to do, don’t worry about it.” Alright i m not worried about it and then a few days later, “You are still a devotee you see, I m your friend, you are still a devotee and it’s not so heavy, it’s not so difficult anymore because I m making it easier for you.” Gradually, you are fallen, you don’t even know it, until it’s too late.


Different ways in which Maya makes us Fall down

A Thief doesn’t just come through your first door and knock on it, ring a doorbell and say I m a Thief, please let me in. You will find in the middle of the night, some little window, just a crack open in your basement. It will very quietly sneak in, by the time you wake up everything is gone. Maya works like that so we have to be very careful. Ravana is always trying to take away Sita. He is always trying to steal Bhakti or love from our hearts, love of Ram. So of course in this situation because Sita was always crying out for Ram, she herself was the embodiment, the supreme emblem of chastity. She would not deviate from her devotion and her vows to lord Ram and Ravana had never met anyone like this he tried to allure her by his wealth, by his incredible power and physical strength, by his capacity to have wonderful, in conceivable sex life. While none of those things worked, he couldn’t attract her. He began to try to make her afraid that if you do not give into my desires, i will destroy you and I will drink your blood and eat your flesh, Alive!!! That was how he did things, it was a very veiled threat. These are the two ways that Maya tries to take our mind away from Krishna, try to make us untrue to Krishna, one is by attracting us through the object of the senses and if that doesn’t work, Fear! Just look at our own lives, we are trying to be devotees, there is a crazy show on television, let me go watch this nice crazy show on television, is attracting you or some people are attracted to cigarettes or alcohol or some unmentionable food stuff or is going to cinema to watch something that really has, makes, doesn’t have anything to do with reality or she attracts us through some sort of fame and prestige, trying to divert our attention away from Ram and simultaneously she’s giving fear, if you are a devotee, your friends they laugh at you, they may criticize you, they may want nothing to do with you any more and your employer he might think you are crazy and your mother and father, you will break their hearts and you might not make as much money and you might not be so popular. In fact you even may be persecuted.

Demoniac Ravana & his Ferocious Battle with LORD RAMA

a.     Ravana’s Power

Out of fear Maya tries to steal away any devotional propensities we have and if we don’t understand what’s going on we will be a victim. Like Sita we must hold firm to our vow and our conviction that without the lotus feet of Ram, life is not worth living, she could be the most popular queen worshipped by all in Srilanka but for Ram she was the most persecuted the most hated of all people of Lanka. So of course Ram came with the army of monkeys and it was a great great battle we could speak of it for hours and hours. How Kumbkarna, how Indrajeet, how they were slammed, wonderful, wonderful exhibitions of the supreme strength and glory of god. The one thing which is very interesting, is explained in Srimad Bhagvatam, is in this great battle, Ravana had a very very highly trained army of Rakshasas and these Rakshasas most of them, they had mystic power, they could display all sorts of illusions and they were expert not only at killing but of drinking the blood of their victims, they were vicious. In the literal sense they were blood thirsty.


b.     Simple Army of Lord Rama

There are blood thirsty when someone is terribly wicked. But they were literally blood thirsty when they were on the battle field they were simply longing to drink the opponents blood, fresh and warm to them it was like nectar and plus they had the most sophisticated weapons of the day. On the contrary, Ram and his entire army there was only two weapons. Ram at an bow and arrow and Laxman at an bow and arrow and all the others, all they had was their claws and their teeth and whatever they could just grab onto, sometimes they grab a tree, sometimes they grab a rock and just throw it so what chance is there by material standards it was impossible for him to begin to fight against this sophisticated army of Rakshasas, But you see Ram, specifically and purposely designed it this way. Why? because he wanted to show the whole world for all time to come that if you are on my side you will be victorious, if you against me you will be destroyed don’t consider any material calculations that’s all you have to know. Nothing could defeat my devotee.


c.     Pride of Ravana

So in this great battle many things took place and Ravana was seeing his brother, all of his sons, all of his generals, they were all being destroyed by the light arrows of Ram and Laxman and his wife Mandodari she was repeatedly pleading ” Just send Sita back to Ram, he is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you cannot defeat him, you cannot exploit what is his, you will be destroyed”. He was getting so much good advice, his own brother was telling him, his own wife was telling him but when one becomes infatuated by lust and pride one looses all intelligence, one cannot hear. He was so intoxicated that he thought he was the greatest person in all of creation. So he boarded his beautiful chariot and went into the battle field of Lanka and he was so powerful, he had attained many benedictions from both Brahma and Shiva and these benedictions made him practically invincible and undefeatable and as he was charging to the military flanks of the monkey soldiers, he was destroying them by the thousands. They could not even look at him, he was so ferocious and so cruel and so powerful that at last they have to come running back to Ram and when Ram saw that his devotees were being disturbed than he could no longer tolerate. Ram did not even have a chariot. You know in Ram’s whole army there was not even a single horse, there wasn’t a single elephant, there wasn’t a single chariot. All the Rakshasas, they had elephants, they had horses, they had chariots, they had infantries. Ram, everyone was just walking, the monkeys were just walking and throwing rocks.


d.     End of Ravana chapter

Can you imagine fighting a war like that, can you imagine if the Pakistani army came with their nucleus bombs that they are about to create and there all of their weapons, they bought from the, my proud land of America and the Indian army dropped their guns and start throwing stones at him and started throwing tree branches at him. If they were chanting the names of Ram they would win. So this is the situation and when Ram saw this he came with his bare feet unto the battle field, face Ram Ravana and when they looked one another Ravana became ferociously angry. But is this that time Indra came down and gave his beautiful chariot to Ram with his chariot driver, Matheli was his name and all of his weapons, he said “Ram you fight with this” and Ram looked at Ravana and he said “you are a lowly dog”. Just as the dog sneaks into the kitchen when nobody is around to steal the foodstuffs when I was absent you stole my wife Sita. If you would have come to try to lay one finger on her in my presence, you would have been the food for the dogs and the vultures. You don’t mind it cruel Rakshasa. Now prepare for your entrance into the realm of Yamaraj and then they began to fight and they were both shooting piercing arrows at one another and everyone simply was struck with wonder at this great great battle. The demigods from the higher planets, everyone in the battle field, they simply stood motionless watching and at times it appeared that Ravana was about to destroy Ram, but who can destroy God? It is described that just like a cat when it is about to kill a mouse usually a cat just does not simply kill the mouse because just killing is not fun they like to play with it first, they catch it and then they let it go and then they catch it again and let it go and then they catch it and sometimes they make the mouse think that you are going to defeat me, you are going to get away, you are going to kill me, but it’s all play and finally when all things are said and done the mouse is dead.

Krishna attracts minds of Everyone.. specially Children

Someone is saying way simply for the sake of putting excitement into Lord Rama’s pastimes, just to attract our minds you know how little children are so inclined for war stories, Unbelievable! Just like when Ramayana and Mahabharata was on T.V when i would go visit our friends houses, their children, they were practically never enacting the romantic scenes, there were so many of those, they were never acting the philosophical scenes but they were always enacting the war scenes, beating each other with clubs, shooting each other with bows and arrows, ” I m Ram, i will kill you” huh ” I m Bheema, I will smash your head”. Even in New Vrindavan we tell the children all these beautiful stories, they are not concerned about Krishna dancing with Gopis or when you start talking about Krishna killing demons they all are like at the edge of their seats, “Jai Sri Krishna, Jai Sri Krishna”. When we start talking Mahabharata they are just, please tell me Mahabharata, tell me Mahabharata. You see it is a natural tendency to want to enjoy exciting war stories. In fact, I don’t know about the movie industry in India but in America, the best movies are always war movies. Cow boys and Indians killing each other or World War 1 or World War 2 or civil war or some crime movie. Somehow or other for some reason people on this material world just have a very very deep tendency to be excited and entertained by violence and integer. So Krishna is so merciful, he is so kind he wants to attract all of our minds so therefore he performs leela’s with the most incredible war stories that see so blee Demille nobody could ever defy this reaches of their imagination, they can never put on such a production.


Lord Rama respects benediction of Lord Brahma

The description of Ramayana of the battle between Ram and Ravana, simply captivating to the mind, how they were both being pierced by arrows. Ravana was disappearing and becoming invisible, showering arrows and Ram, blood was flooding from his body then Ram took his sharpest arrows and severe two of the heads of Ravana, he had ten heads and instantly they grew back, then he sliced of another two heads and they grew back and he sliced of another and they grew back and Vibhishan took Ram to the side and said Ram “He has a benediction from Brahma, that when anyone cuts off his arms or heads, they grow back”, he was cutting off his arms they grow back, heads grow back, what to do? Ram knew this, you see Ram is so considerate to his devotees that lord Brahma is one of his nicest best devotees and Brahma gave him this benediction. So Lord Ram did not want to make a wire out of Brahma. Just like when Krishna told Arjuna. You declare it Arjuna, my devotee will never perish, if i declare it people may not believe but if you declare it, people will always believe because they know that i will never make a liar out of my devotee, i will never break the dignity of my devotee by making him untruthful. So therefore, by the arrangement of Ram, he was allowing those heads to come back just to respect Brahma’s promise, but then he took the sharpest and the strongest of all of his arrows, it was a golden arrow. It was more powerful than all the demigod’s weapons put together and when he pulled it back in his bow, a thunderous sound filled the entire universe and when he released that arrow that shaft soared through the air with a brilliant effulgence lighting all directions and it struck the heart of Ravana.


Amazing Commentaries of Acharyas..

Some of the great acharyas comment that “the reason why he didn’t shoot his heart at the very beginning, is a very special reason was because Ravana was so lusty and attached to Sita that she was always in his heart because you know the mind is in the heart as long as you are thinking of somebody that person is in your heart. So Sita was in the heart of Ravana and because Sita was always thinking of Ram, Ram was also in the heart of Ravana. Let me try to say it again, Ram was always in the heart of Sita because Sita was always thinking of Ram and Ravana was always thinking of Sita, Sita was in Ravana’s heart, Ram was in Sita’s heart so therefore by killing Ravana would be committing suicide.


Celebrations after death of Ravana

When the arrow released by Lord Rama hit Ravana, he collapsed. They were shocked, they couldn’t believe it, Ravana has fallen, the king of Sri Lanka is dead !! They just were so disoriented they just began to run away in fear and Hanuman, Sugriva, Angada, Sureshna all the monkey soldiers, they just began to jump up and down and chant ” Jai Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Ram” like that and while the monkeys were celebrating and the demigods were showering flowers and beating cattle drums celebrating. It’s like you heard those they are not exactly cattle drums but some sort of drums, celebrating with drums everywhere. The demigods were celebrating with like beating drums, singing, dancing


Warning of Mandodari

When Ravana was killed at that time Mandodari, the wife of Ravana came out of the palace and she was crying, she was weeping and weeping and weeping because after all she was a chaste and faithful wife. Even though Ravana was such a terrible, mischievous asura. She was actually a godly person and she came out and her head laid on the breast of Ravana and she bathe him with her tears and she began to speak. She said ” Ravana you have met the destiny that you have deserved, you are so foolish, Sita was the property of Ram, Ram is the supreme personality of godhead, he is the supreme enjoyer, he is the supreme controller because you have tried to exploit what is dear and beloved to the lord. He warned you but now, you have died.”.Such a terrible death, in truth Mandodari was speaking to all of us. She is warning all of us, she warned Ravana so many times. For one who tries to exploit the resources of this world for their own enjoyment, the result is death, for one who respects that everything belongs to Rama and acts in such a capacity as a servant of Rama, there is no death but eternal life.


Celebrating Real Dussehra by Chanting Holyname…

Of course we all know that lord Rama is not gone today in his physical, not physical, but in his avatar as a son of Dasharatha he left this world and went back to the supreme Vaikunta Ayodhya Dham but he has remained in this world within the sound of his name when we chant the holy name of Ram and we allow that name to make its presence within our heart, all obstacles and all demoniac qualities will be destroyed.
ceto darpan marjana..

this is the prime benediction for all humanity the holy name 0f god because its explained
namnam akari bahuda nija…

that all the power, al the strength, all the glory of god is within the sound of the name but you see we have to chant from the heart if we simply chant ritualistically with our lips, Rama will be on our lips Krishna will be on our lips but if we attentively and prayerfully chant from our heart the name of god the personality of godhead will be within our heart to slay all the Ravanas, to slay all the illusions, to slay the lust, the envy, the anger, the greed, the pride, the illusions within us. So let us all on this wonderful occasion of Dussehra celebrate the killing of Ravana by Shri Ram by glorifying his holy name.

We would like to thank very much Dr. Sitaram Alwa and his good wife Maya for making this wonderful evening possible. Tonight they had a beautiful welcoming ceremony for the deity of lord Shri Krishna as well as Panduranga, Kapila Deva, Hanumana and Garuda. So if you have not done so already before you leave please go into his beautiful temple room and have the darshan of the lord and of course they have decorated the simple terrace in such a nice way .What do we need the simplest thing we could make it beautiful by just filling it with devotees and chanting Hare Krishna. haa.. is there anyway else you would rather be tonight than this little rooftop in the middle of this crazy city of Bombay. haa..Why? Because Krishna is being glorified, wherever krishna is being glorified it becomes the spiritual world and Dr. Alwa and Maya Devi invited us all. They are actually doing great great service for all the humanity because they are bringing the devotees together to cry out the name of Krishna and that joint effort of chanting Krishna name will fill the atmosphere and purify everyone. This is great charity

Thank you very much!

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.