Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

What’s the Need of a Spiritual Society?

By on October 8, 2010 in Insights with 36 Comments

Prabhupad - ISKCONQuestion to Radhanath Swami: Ultimately, we die alone. I have also read that our relationship with God is individual, which is unique to every soul.  So, being the member of a spiritual society, how does that enable one to reach that potential individual relationship with God?

Radhanath Swami: Yes, ultimately at the time of death we have to turn to God ourselves. That’s something like a pilot having to fly his/her own plane.  No one else will be there in the cockpit in mid air for the pilot. But that pilot needs help in learning how to fly, so he/she goes to school. And after one learns, one can actually fly a plane on his/her own. Similarly, for us to turn to God at the time of death, we need to be trained during our life time.

In the self-realized state, we are atmarama, we are finding the inner satisfaction of love of God within our hearts. But until we attain that state, we’re very much influenced by our environment.  And in the environment of the world today there’s so much bombardment of various temptations in various ways to make us forget our true identity, our service attitude towards God. So we need to create an environment around us that encourages and inspires us to do the right thing that’s in harmony with our true identity as spirit souls; we need to create an environment around us that gives us strength to overcome our spiritual weaknesses. To create such an environment we need a society of spiritualists around us—that could be our family, or that could be our friends. But that society should be helping us to remain on the straight path of dharma.

Actually, spiritual life is enjoyable, it’s fun, and it’s wonderful.  Spiritual life is the greatest excitement, the most dynamic, enjoyable, blissful lifestyle to live.  That can be easily experienced when spiritual life is practiced with like-minded people. That unity gives us the strength to continue on with integrity.


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  • Abhijit Toley

    I can say from personal experience that a society is a MUST for spiritual advancement and perfection. Just like its impossible to imagine sports without sportsmen, Its impossible to imagine devotional life without devotees.

  • Sumit

    When we practice spirituality with like-minded people, the effect of that practice is more. Thank you Radhanath Swami for showing the importance of association.

  • ajay p sankhe

    birds flying long distances fly together but everyone flies alone . thats the way a spiritual society works.

  • Siddeshwar Bhat

    That’s an often asked question. Radhanath Swami’s answer is beautiful….

  • Y.Raja Shekar

    This is the wonderful answer by Radhanath Swami. It is because of the association with like minded people we get the spiritual nourishment. As Radhanath Swami says, on our own we can not learn anything perfectly to take care of our lone journey towards the end of our life. We need training from pure devotees of Lord.

  • bipin

    All Glories To H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    This only ispires us to remain in association with devotees and train ourself in as many aspect as possible so when the final time arrives we are ready to bail out succesfully.

    Hare Krishna

  • Association is the basic need to advance spiritually. Thank you Maharaj.

  • Sheetal Maheshwari

    Everyone has to fly his own plane. Tht’s the reason it is said that life is a preparation and death is an examination.

  • Vijay Mathias

    Brilliant answer and explanation to why we need a spiritual society.

  • HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki Jai!!!

  • madhura


  • Mangesh Kulkarni

    I love the answer.

  • Amol Kulkarni

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for the unity

  • Excellent…what a convincing explanation…Perfectly acceptable..Yes, when we want society for business, for management etc, then how can we take cheaply spirituality and think that we can do it on our own without guidance??? so logical..Thanks maharaj for such wonderful insight..

  • malathi santosh

    Nice one – unity gives us the strength to continue on with integrity.

  • Shyam Bihari Das

    Sadhu sanga…the company you keep is very important in our spiritual advancement. Jai Maharaj!

  • kuldeep Soni

    “For us to turn to God at the time of death, we need to be trained during our life time”- Thank you very much to tell the importance of Association.

  • Ram Mohan

    Radhanath Swami Maharaj has created a vibrant spiritual atmosphere at several places. Prominent among them are New Vrindavan(USA) and several places in India such as Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Kolhapur and Goa. Every year, Maharaj takes his followers and well wishers for the tour of holy places. These tours are so enlivening that everyone waits for the whole year just to take part in them.

  • Uday

    Example of pilot is so appropriate.Devotee association is so important for our spiritual life.As Radhanath Swami says practicing spirituality with like minded spiritualists is such a joy and one can make progress faster.

  • Vidya Patham

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for giving us an environment where individual as well as collective spiritual growth takes place.

  • mukund

    Radhanath swami, thank you for sharing this wonderful analogy of the pilot flying the airplane. Ultimately, we all have to fly our own planes

  • hrishikesh mafatlal

    As Radhanath Swami explains, association is like an air-raid shelter from the bombardment of bad influences around us.

  • seema

    Thank you

  • Santipur Nath Das

    thank u so much for explaining the need for devotees in our life

  • Jitendra Tapadia

    One day we have to meet Krsna face to face,may it be at the time of death.Thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaj for training us to prepare us for death.

  • Girish

    Wow! Radhanath Swami has explained how to build our individual relationship with God after learning it in an association of Godly people.

  • Siddharth Hindlekar

    Thank you radhanath swami

  • Vinay Rachh

    very nice article

  • Rajesh Lad

    That was very nice !

  • ks Subramanian

    Radhanath Swami says spiritual life is exciting, dynamic, enjoyable when practised among like minded people! He actually demonstrates it through his wonderful congregation at Radhagopinath temple that he has lovingly nurtured over decades. It is a joy to interact with his disciples and aspiring disciples. There are innumerable instances of one individual who became attracted to the temple bringing whole family and neighborhood to become devotees! It is joy indeed with such a guru around.

  • Servant

    His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj has spoke beautifully on the importance of association.

  • Gurrappanaidu

    Superb !

    Thanks Maharaj for nice analogy.

  • Murthy

    Wonderful article !

    Very nice, Maharaj nicely explained about spirituality and spiritual life.

    Thank you so much maharaj for enlighten us.

  • Sunny

    With current day culture – there is no way but to engage in sinful life and suffer miserably…

    the only way we can save ourselves from this onslaught is to have people who dare to stand for path of dharma…

  • Arjun K Ramachandra

    Yes, we desperately need a society of spiritualists around us to encourage and motivate us to stick to the right path of dharma.

  • Vinay Jain

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for these most motivating words on the need for practicing spiritual life with like-minded people!