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Radhanath Swami: “Consciousness: The Missing Link” | Talks at Google

Despite decades of advancement in science and technology, we are somehow facing increasingly complex problems to solve — both individual and collective — even in the most affluent nations: identity issues, high divorce rates, unexpected violence, high school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, environmental crisis, energy shortage, unemployment rates, unstable economy, rising healthcare costs, etc. Why and where is the disconnect ?

The Vedic model of consciousness that’s described in the ancient Sanskrit texts of India provides dramatically fresh insights into the root cause of these problems — and their solutions — in the most unexpected way. In this talk, Radhanath Swami will explore the inner workings of consciousness based on this model and discuss its application in the modern day context.

Speaker’s Bio:
Radhanath Swami is a renowned Vedic scholar, a highly respected bhakti-yoga teacher and author. As a counter-cultural young American teenager, he left a promising career behind 40 years ago and hitchhiked all the way across the world in search of deeper meaning of life. Convinced from his world travels that the fundamental problems of the society are simply caused by basic human frailties irrespective of race, nationality, sex or economic status, he dedicated his life to the exploration of solutions to the world’s problems through advancement of human consciousness. He is currently based in New York and travels frequently giving presentations and workshops at universities, corporate venues, community, yoga and cultural centers.


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  1. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, 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. He has been featured as a guest speaker in universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Stanford, and in corporations such as Apple, HSBC, and Microsoft. He has also addressed the House of Commons in 2011 and met with President Obama to discuss inter-faith dialogue in 2012.

  2. Very nice to see how people are resonating with spirituality when we observe them take active participation in the discourses given by great saints like Radhanath Swami Maharaj. This is certainly good symptoms of how the yuga dharma will be flourishing in this age of hypocrisy and quarrel. Only by introducing people to the Lord can we change the facet of it.

  3. hahaha, thrashtalk at google… teaching BIG EVIL how to fool themselves (so that they think that they are becoming orwellian BIG BROTHER for the good of mankind)… why do these dumbasses even fly into civilization and poison it with they crap that lead their own nations into THOUSAND YEAR CIVILIZATION LAG (just overpopulating like rabbits because after initial sin of DECOLONIZATION they were left on the drug of technologies from higher civilization… starting from too much food)? Funny that neurosci talks here at google and elsewhere conclusively proved that any faith/religion is just a light form of mental disease… sometimes serious, like islamic or socialist/communist/nazi religions or other collrctivisms)

  4. I have been a member of the "Hare Krsna" Movement since 1990 and I never could stand to listen to Radhanath.

    Swami? I have to laugh. Listening to him is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Look up ISKCONspiracy here on YouTube and research him on your own. When choosing a guru be very careful. Hare Krsna!

  5. 45:22 He says he haven't had a bank account since 1969.. Yet he has a big budget to travel the world gathering thousands of followers, self-promoting himself in his book, highjacking Prabhupad's Iskcon for personal profit, name and fame. He personally gave money to Tritha for killing Sulochana das in New Vrinadavan.. And he brags about not having a bank account???

  6. You people are insane! Radhanath is a fraud, thief, and protector of pedophiles! I dare any of you to challenge me on this! These western self appointed gurus of Iskcon have all but destroyed Swami Prabhupada's legacy!

  7. wow, co conspirator to murder impressing the gullable. how can you stomach this frauds fake sickening baby voice and down syndrome faces? his mother obviously drank alot of alcohol while pregnant.

  8. It will be great if someone can reply to my message. I have a panic and anxiety attacks sometimes in large meeting room set up’s , so during those attacks I see mind goes little deeper as Swamy ji said ‘witness’,
    So is it the witness who is anxious here

  9. Sukriti that is what it

     Vrajanatha: You have said that the association of suddha-bhaktas is achieved by sukrti. What is sukrti? Is it karma or knowledge?�

    Babaji: The sastras say that there are two types of auspicious karma (subha-karma) that are in accordance with Vedic injunctions. One causes the appearance of bhakti, while the other gives irrelevant, inferior results. Performance of pious activities such as nitya andnaimittika-karma, studying sankhya, and cultivating jnana all give irrelevant results. The only auspicious activities that give bhakti as an end result (bhakti-prada-sukrti) are associating with suddhabhaktas and with places, times and things that bestow bhakti.

    When enough bhakti-prada-sukrti has been accumulated, it gives rise to krsna-bhakti. The other type of sukrti, however, is consumed after one enjoys its results, so it does not accumulate to give any permanent result. All the pious deeds in the world, such as charity, only result in achieving the objects of sense gratification. The sukrti of impersonal speculation results in impersonal liberation.� Neither of these kinds of sukrti can give devotional service to Sri Bhagavan.

    Activities such as sadhu-sanga and observing Ekadasi, Janmastami, and Gaura-purnima all help to develop one�s saintly qualities. Tulasi, maha-prasada, sri mandira, holy places, and articles used by sadhus (sadhu-vastu) are all auspicious; touching them or obtaining their darsana are pious deeds that give rise to bhakti.

    Vrajanatha: Can a person obtain bhakti if he is tormented by material problems and takes shelter of Sri Hari�s lotus feet in full knowledge to become relieved of his problems?� Babaji: The jiva, harassed by the afflictions of the goddess of illusion, may somehow understand through discriminating intelligence that worldly activities are simply troublesome, and that his only solace is Krsna�s lotus feet and the feet of His suddhabhaktas.� Knowing this, he takes shelter of His lotus feet, and the first step in this process of surrender is to accept the shelter of suddha-bhaktas. This is the principal, bhakti-prada-sukrti, through which he obtains the lotus feet of Bhagavan. Whatever renunciation and wisdom he had originally were just a secondary means of obtaining bhakti. Thus, the association of bhaktas is the only way to attain bhakti. There is no other recourse.

    Vrajanatha: If karma, jnana, renunciation and discrimination are

    secondary ways of achieving bhakti, what is the objection to calling

    them bhakti-prada-sukrti?

    Babaji: There is a strong objection: they bind one to inferior, temporary results. The performance of karma has no permanent result, but it binds the jiva to the objects of sense gratification.� Renunciation and empirical knowledge can only lead the jiva as far as knowledge of brahma, and this conception of an impersonal supreme principle prevents him from attaining Bhagavan�s lotus feet. Consequently, these cannot be called bhakti-prada-sukrti. It is true that they sometimes take one to bhakti, but that is not the usual course of events. Sadhu-sanga, on the other hand, definitely does not award any secondary benefit, but forcibly brings the jiva towards prema. It is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25):


    satam prasangan mama virya-samvido

    bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah

    taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani

    sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati


    In the association of suddha-bhaktas, the recitation and discussion of My glorious activities and pastimes are pleasing to both the heart and the ears. By cultivating knowledge in this way, one becomes established on the path of liberation and progressively attains sraddha, then bhava,and finally prema-bhakti.

    Vrajanatha: I understand that sadhu-sanga is the only sukrti that gives rise to bhakti. One has to listen to hari-katha from the mouths of sadhus, and thereafter one obtains bhakti. Is this the proper sequence to progress in bhakti?

    Babaji: I will explain the proper way of progressing in bhakti. Listen attentively. Only by good fortune does the jiva who is wandering throughout the universe achieve the sukrti that gives rise to bhakti. One of the many limbs of pure bhakti may touch a jiva�s life.For example, he may fast on Ekadasi, or touch or visit the holy places of Bhagavan�s pastimes, or serve a guest who happens to be a suddha-bhakta, or have the chance to hear hari-nama or hari-katha from the lotus mouth of an akincana-bhakta. If someone desires material benefits or impersonal liberation from such activities, the resultant sukrti does not lead to devotional service. However, if an innocent person performs any of these activities, either unknowingly or out of habit, without desiring material sense gratification or impersonal liberation, these activities lead to the accumulation of bhakti-prada-sukrti.

    After accumulating such sukrti for many births, it becomes concentrated enough to give faith in pure bhakti, and when faith in bhakti is undivided, one develops a desire to associate with suddhabhaktas.� By association, one gradually becomes engaged in performing sadhana and bhajana, and this leads to the removal of anarthas, in proportion to the purity of chanting. When anarthas are removed, the previous faith is purified further to become nistha (firm faith). This firm faith is also purified to become ruci (spiritual taste), and by the saundarya (beauty) of bhakti, this ruci is strengthened and takes the form of asakti (transcendental attachment). Transcendental attachment matures into rati or bhava. When raticombines with the appropriate ingredients it becomes rasa. This is the step-by-step progression in the development of krsna-prema.�

    The principal idea is that when people with sufficient sukrti have darsana of suddha-bhaktas, they develop an inclination to proceed on the path of bhakti. One associates with a suddha-bhakta by chance, and this leads to initial sraddha, whereupon he gets the association of the bhaktas a second time. The result of the first association is sraddha, which can also be termed surrender (saranagati). The initial sadhu-sangais brought about by contact with holy places, auspicious times and paraphernalia, and recipients of Sri Hari�s grace, all of which are beloved by Him. These lead to faith in His shelter. The symptoms of the development of such faith are described in the Bhagavad-gita (18.66):


    sarva-dharman parityajya

    mam ekam saranam vraja

    aham tvam sarva-papebhyo

    moksayisyami ma sucah


    Here the words sarva-dharman imply worldly duties (smartadharma), astanga-yoga, sankhya-yoga, jnana and renunciation. jiva can never achieve his ultimate spiritual goal by practicing all these dharmas, which is why the instruction here is to give them up. Sri Krsna says, �My form of pure and condensed sac-cid-ananda appearing as Vraja-vilasi (the performer of wonderful pastimes in Vraja) is the only shelter for the jivas. When one understands this, he gives up all desire for bhukti (material sense enjoyment) and mukti (impersonal liberation), and with undivided attention, takes shelter of Me.� This is known as pravrtti-rupa-sraddha (the exclusive tendency to engage in Krsna�s service). When such faith dawns in the jiva�s heart, with tears in his eyes he resolves to become a follower of a Vaisnava sadhu. The Vaisnava of whom he takes shelter at that point is the guru

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