Early this morning I decided to look into what is going on with the American Spiritual teacher, Radhanath Swami. He probably does not get much notoriety, because he probably does not seek it. Anyway, his story is interesting. You can read his book, or watch one of the many video’s that document his life. He was a young man in the late 60s and like many young men of the time got caught up in the civil rights movement. However, he came to a profound truth which I think a lot of us should consider.
You must transform yourself before you can transform society.
He went on a trip overseas with a friend (he was raised in Chicago), at some point on that trip he wandered off alone and started hitch hiking across the continent. He ultimately set a goal to get to India, which he eventually did. He struggled to get into the country and past customs. He begged his way through the gate, making his life promise.
In trade for entry, I will do everything I can to benefit the people of India.
So somewhere along the way, he figured out that his quest for spiritual truths, for his belief in God that he had to first forget himself. He learned what he believes spirit really is.
The desire to serve others without selfish motives.
So he started his journey. He created a hospital, a teaching center, a temple, a school lunch program for kids and many more things. Regardless of your religion, regardless of your walk in life, you would benefit from some encouragement, a little uplift, by watching some of his videos. He has quite a few of them. However, be warned. You may just decide to chuck everything, put your sandals on and spend the rest of your life serving God. You see I think the most important thing that he picked up in his life is captured in the following quote:
“Long ago, I was wandering the world starving for an experience of truth and beauty. The one truth I found which penetrated to the core of my heart was, that beyond the differences that divide us—nationality, religion, gender, race, appearance, health, or illness—lies the common essential quality we all share: the soul’s inherent ability to love.”