Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

Is it possible to achieve social equality through bhakti? Lets hear from Radhanath Swami…

By on September 15, 2010 in Insights with 44 Comments

sage seeing everyone equallyQuestion to Radhanath Swami: Is it possible to achieve social equality through bhakti?


Radhanath Swami: Certainly. Krishna tells in Gita that a bhakti yogi sees everyone with an equal vision.

“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and an outcaste.”

How does a person see with an equal vision? By seeing the eternal soul within the heart of every living being. When we realize our own soul, we can perceive the soul in others, the sacred diving spark of life, the part of God, the atma. And then, there can be nothing but love and respect for every living entity. Universal brotherhood is spontaneously manifested in the heart when we know our father and mother. So we find the great saints of great traditions throughout history offering respect, love, and compassion to all living beings.

In the epic Chaitanya Charitamrita we read about Mragari, the cruel hunter. Not only would he kill, but he would slowly kill—so that the animal suffers. But after associating with a great bhakti yogi Narada Muni, and understanding the truth from him, he became such a loving devotee of Krishna. He would then meticulously go out of his way to avoid disrespecting and harming even an insignificant ant. This is the sensitivity of one who loves God. So yes, social equality is only real when it’s actually from the spiritual platform. On the spiritual platform there is total equality because we are not these bodies. We are not black, white or yellow; we are not Indian, Pakistani, American, Russian, African or Chinese; we are not men or women, rich or poor; we are not brahmans, kshatriyas, vaishyas, shudras or untouchables. We understand these to be temporary designations.

Through political or philanthropic propaganda, to try to create equality has much limitations.
In his famous address at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, Martin Luther King proclaimed, “I have a dream that one day people will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” He was a religious man.

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