Envy – The destroyer of the world

The root cause of envy is the false ego. We envy someone who we feel has more than us. It may be more wealth, more knowledge, more ability, more prestige; it may be a higher position. Envy is a very deep-seated disease.

There is the provocation of envy on a collective basis in the form of bigotry, sectarianism, fanaticism, etc. Envy and pride are very much inseparable. People say, “I am Hindu,” “I am a Christian,” “I am a Jew,” “I am a Zoroastrian” or “I am a Jain,” and “Because I am that, that is the greatest; if that is the greatest that makes me the greatest.” Everyone has their scriptural quotes to show that they are the way to truth and light and there is no other way except through them. Everyone has their logic, even in religious circles, to show they are the greatest, their religion is the greatest, and everyone else is subordinate or evil. Just look what this kind of thinking has done to the world!

Religion is supposed to create a sense of seeing every living being with equal vision. Religion is supposed to bring about a sense of compassion and love for everyone. If you don’t love everyone you cannot love God. But religion has created the opposite effect. It has created sectarianism, bigotry and hatred toward others.

The same is true with Nationalism. When I was in America I was conditioned to think that America is the greatest race in the world. But when I went to England, they think they are the greatest in the world. And in Holland they think they are the greatest people in the world. The same is true with Greece, Turkey, Afghanistan, Iran, and ultimately India. Every nation thinks that they are the greatest. They hold their flags high. So many flags waving high, each nation thinking that they are great and the result is so many wars – territorial wars, egoistic wars. To tolerate this sectarianism, this bigotry, is one of the greatest need of the world today. People hate each other because of their color. It is insane, inability to tolerate envy. See how it is critically creating pain and envy in the world today.

But envy cannot exist where there is even a trace of real love. Where there is love of God, we see every living being as part and parcel of God. Therefore, we feel happy at another person’s success and we feel sad to see another person suffer. To tolerate envy is very difficult, but through purification of the heart it becomes natural.

–Radhanath Swami

There can be no love without free will

The fundamental need within every living being is to find pleasure. The ultimate pleasure is the pleasure of loving and of being loved. If we do not have that, then all the other sensory pleasures will never satisfy the heart. And the perfect love is the eternal love between the soul and God. But in order for love to be real and satisfying, the supreme absolute has created every living being with free will.

If we do not have free will, then we are like robots. A robot can do incredible things but cannot have relationships, it cannot love. So this is a necessity for love to be true and satisfying—that there be free will. The quality of God is that He is swarat, fully independent. So as His parts and parcels, we also have our minute independence. In order to freely love we must have the freedom not to love. If someone puts a gun on your head and says, “Do what I say, please me according to my desire,” you would probably do it; but will you be really happy doing it? And will that person be really happy forcing you to do it? Not really! But if you had your free will—to reject that person or to want to please that person—that satisfies the heart of both, because there is love.

So God has created everything and everyone in such a way that there can be perfect love. Thus he has given us the free will not to love Him, the free will to accept Him or to reject Him. That is His love.

Radhanath Swami

If you are in the middle of an…

If you are in the middle of an ocean in the darkness of night, do you know which way to go? But there is a compass in the boat that tells you exactly which direction you should be going. So this material existence is compared to an ocean, ‘bhavasagar’. The human life is compared to a boat, which actually has the potential to cross over this ocean. The guru is like the captain of the boat and the teachings of the Vedas and other holy scriptures are like the breezes. If we have the right captain, he or she can teach us how to actually move forward with the help of these breezes of the great teachings.

Radhanath Swami

Watering the roots

If you give food to the stomach the whole body is nourished. Every part of a healthy body is serving the whole body. The eyes are not just selfishly doing something; the eyes are directing the rest of the body. The hands are supplying to the rest of the body. The stomach is bringing nourishment to the rest of the body. The nose is bringing oxygen to the rest of the body. Every healthy cell of the body is serving the whole body. That is good health.

What is disease? I am not a doctor but I am speaking about disease from a philosophical perspective. Disease is when germs or cells enter body and they are selfish. They are egoistic and selfish, they are thinking about themselves. They are not thinking about the whole body.

What is a cancer cell doing? It’s living for itself. It’s eating the other cells. It’s fighting a war against the rest of the body. Then all the healthy cells, the good guys, because they are concerned with the body, they all start fighting against that disease. If you have a cold, those cold germs are like selfish guys; they are just thinking about themselves, eating you up. But you have the whole rest of the body fighting against it. And ultimately if those selfish cells become stronger and stronger, the cells that are working together for the whole body are ultimately killed and the body dies.

That’s what is happening in the world. The world is a body. Humanity is a body and a proper body is where everyone is focused on feeding the stomach, everyone is focused on serving the whole for the interest of everyone. But when you have people who are greedy, selfish and egoistic, they are like cancer cells in this body and they are creating havoc.

People consider that energy and power are very important, but actually knowledge is more important. If we apply our knowledge in utilizing the energy properly, it can serve the whole body, i.e. the world. It can be utilized in harmony with the absolute, with God. But if we utilize that same energy and power without proper knowledge of who we are and what our real purpose in life is, it could create disaster.

Radhanath Swami

Actually challenges or failures can be stepping stones…

Actually challenges or failures can be stepping stones or stumbling blocks on the road to success. It is all a matter of how we look at it. You can see a glass as half empty or you can see a glass as half full. One will bring you enthusiasm and the other will bring you discouragement. We can apply this principle to every aspect of our life. But what is of real importance is that we know that we are doing the right thing, that we learn from our mistakes. A mistake is only a mistake if we fail to learn from it. Real leaders make many, many mistakes, but they do not repeat them. They learn from them, they remain enthusiastic; they remain determined for the goal.

Radhanath Swami

Story : Get back into your natural element

Years ago, I was walking along the sea shore and I saw a little fish about three or four inches in size. But this little fish was in so much worry, flapping again and again, lying on the dry sand. I do not know whether it was a male fish or a female one. Let’s say it was a male fish, so that the fish could be addressed as ‘he’. So I looked in his eyes and he just looked in total confusion, frustration and misery. Somehow or other a wave had washed this little fish up and there he was, lying on the sand. The fish could not breathe properly. He was flapping and suffering.

Now I could have got a female fish and put next to him; would that be of any help? I could have got some mango lassi with some nice sanitized straw and put it next to him. I could have got him a diamond ring or a ruby crown. I could have offered him a BMW. Would anything of that make him happy?

Because he was out of his natural element, nothing could make him happy. So I tried to pick up that little fish and throw him back into the ocean. But he was so intensely worrying that every time I picked him up he just flapped so hard that he flapped right out of hand back into the sand. And I picked him again, but again he flapped out of my hand into the sand. At least 5 times I picked him up and he flapped out.

I was his well wisher trying to save his life but he could not recognize me, because he was just in such a state of trauma. Finally, with both my hands I cupped him and trapped him so he couldn’t get out; then I threw him as far as I could into the ocean.

Radhanath Swami

Everything is changing constantly But the real beauty…

Everything is changing constantly. But the real beauty of life is, throughout these changes, the underlying current of truth never changes. And if we can connect ourselves to the beauty of this truth, we can be stable through all the unpredictable uncertainties of life.

Radhanath Swami