for ISKCON News on June 2, 2012
In March 2012, Radhanath Swami visited Moscow and Saint Petersburg for promoting his book The Journey home
. The book was released in Russian in the previous fall, and all the 10,000 copies were sold out in no time. So for his visit a second printing was done.
The book turned out to be a very good gift for relatives and friends who were a bit dubious about Krishna-consciousness before. The book softened people’s hearts in many cities of Russia, reaching beyond Russia to as far as Kazakhstan and other CIS countries where a large number of people speak Russian.
Radhanath Swami’s tour started with an interview with the “Moscow Komsomolets” newspaper and a live interview on the radio station “Echo of Moscow” with an audience of a million people. The next day he gave an interview to the Russian “Yoga Journal” and went to a program with Alex Dubas. On the third day he participated in a program at the Thanksgiving Center (The Blagodareniye Center) after that he gave a presentation at Gennady Burbulis’s town house, attended by famous politicians, businessmen and artists.
Then Radhanath Swami went to Saint Petersburg to give more interviews, a presentation at the bookstore “Bukvoed” and a lecture in the conference-hall of the Azimut Hotel attended by 1400 people. His amazing story and simple words captivated everyone’s heart: “Bhakti is love. It is in the heart of every living entity, so bhakti is the universal principle, the essence of every spiritual path. Bhakti is service to God and to all living entities with love, without selfish desires. Service is aimed to satisfy those we serve, to love God and to be an instrument of this love, being merciful to all living beings. And that is exactly what everyone needs, what everyone searches for – to love and be loved. This love is already inside us and all we need is to wake it up. Unfortunately, we pay attention to different external things and forget about the great treasure which is inside us. But instead of searching satisfaction somewhere else – in jobs, travels and entertainments, we may look inside – to our soul. And then love for God will manifest itself in everything we do filling our life and lives of those who are near us with happiness.”
Those who visited these programs will probably not be able to forget the feelings and the atmosphere that reigned in the hall by the end of each lecture. Perhaps for many people these lectures became an important step on their spiritual paths.
In Saint Petersburg a woman who had accidentally stopped by at the “Bukvaed” bookstore and saw Radhanatha Swami giving a presentation surrounded by devotees, asked: “Where you are from? I have never seen such beautiful people”! She listened for a while and after that came directly to the program at Azimut Hotel. There, Radhanath Swami signed a book for her, which most probably changed her entire life.