Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

How to live in a world plagued by selfishness? Radhanath Swami shows the way

By on October 10, 2010 in Life with 49 Comments

Selfless WorldQuestion to Radhanath Swami: Namaste Swamiji.  It is said that we should always associate with selfless people, and that’s very critical.  Then, how should we interact with the people who are selfish?  As you say, we should also love them as they are also part of God. So, if we are surrounded by such people, how should we act?

Radhanath Swami: By being a good example.  Of course, if those people open their minds and hearts for us to speak to them about higher virtues and higher truths in life, then that is our service to them—to offer them that higher ideal, that higher philosophy that’s based on truth.  We should not be egoistically thinking, “I know more than you.”  We should be humbly serving all living beings by sharing a spiritual message that will enlighten them, bring joy in their life, and relieve them of suffering.  So, if we learn the philosophy and the truth nicely ourselves, we can present it in a way that can help convince others of the good way of living.

But if people are unwilling to hear, we can just be good examples. They should see that we are dynamic and successful in whatever we do, as far as possible. At the same time they should see that we do it without greed, without anger, as an expression of our love for God. They should see that we’re actually good, we’re actually spiritual and selfless. That will have a tremendous impact on people.

We live in a world where people have very difficult time trusting one another because they’re exposed to so much hypocrisy.  Most people say one thing and do the other.  But when we act in a spirit of selfless service, which comes by cleaning our own hearts through chanting the names of God and living a service-oriented life, people will feel the radiation of your spiritual energy and they’ll be able to trust you.  They’ll say that this person actually has a simple and innocent heart and I can trust him/her.  And when people trust you, you can do so much good in their lives by your example, by your words.  So we should not hate people that are selfish.  We should feel compassion for them, and we should live in such a way that we can somehow reach their hearts and help them, and if we can’t do anything else, we can pray for them.  You may not be able to change the world, but you could change yourself. And when you access that spiritual potency, you could do your part of making the world a better place.

In building the bridge across the Indian Ocean from Ramesvaram to Srilanka, Hanuman was lifting mountain peaks and putting them in the water, and there was a little spider kicking grains of sand with his little legs.  Hanuman told the spider, “Move aside!” and Rama said to Hanuman, “No!  You move aside!  That spider is doing as much as you.  In helping me in my mission he is doing as much as he can.  That spider’s capacity is to kick one grain of sand at a time, you’re capacity is to rip off mountain peaks and put them, but you’re each doing what you can do; therefore, you are both equally perfect in my eyes.” So, let us be happy just doing our part, whether it’s big or small. And let’s try our best to clean our own hearts to love God and to do actual good in the world.


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  • krishang

    wonderful,thank you

  • Abhijit Toley

    Being a good example is the best thing we can do in most situations. In some situations we can do more, but in most situations, our behavior will do all the talking.

  • Siddeshwar Bhat

    A practical question and a practical answer.

  • Uday

    Radhanath Swami’s approach to the problems of our modern society are very practical and simple.Of course
    humility and purity of our heart are very important. Because Radhanath Swami practices what he preaches, he is so successful.

  • kuldeep

    Thank you Radhanath swami ji for such nice explanation.

  • Ydas

    The very reasons we can trust Radhanath Swami is because he acts in a spirit of selfless service, chanting the names of God and living a service-oriented life.

  • suresh

    good question and perfect answer by radhanath swami,

  • Y.Raja Shekar

    Radhanath Swami shows the correct path to deal with this world. Radhanath Swami himself follows what he preaches that is always in the service mood with highest humility and selflessness.

  • mukund

    Let us be happy just doing our part. This is exact;y what a sane person should do.

  • Sumit

    I am realy touched by the humble and compassionate mood of Radhanath Swami. Rarely we see such soul at this age of quarrel and hypocrisy. If we can follow a bit of whatever he has asked us, we can surely take part in his movement by being a part of him compassionate nature.

  • Vinay Malani

    this is a very beautiful discourse by Radhanath Swami on ‘How to act selflessly with selfish people’.

  • vaishali kamat

    Radhanath Swami is showing that to us with his own example.

  • Aishwarya

    Wonderful answer by Radhanath Swami.

  • Anand

    setting a good example is most effective way to preach

  • Vidya Patham

    Thank you Radhanath Swami for giving us this higher understanding.

  • Girish

    Beautiful! Wonderful! Thanks.

  • Sheetal Maheshwari

    Radhanath Swami has given a very practical way of understading and behaving with selfish people of this world.

  • Shyam Bihari Das

    As long as we do our best, every little bit helps. Thank you Maharaj.

  • madhura


  • Meera Sharma

    Very nice instructions from Maharajah
    “So, if we learn the philosophy and the truth nicely ourselves, we can present it in a way that can help convince others of the good way of living.”.
    Bottom line we have to practice before preaching.

  • Manish Raikundalia

    Very Nice.

  • Ram Mohan

    I love one thing about Radhanath Swami Maharaj – He always encourages us to purify our own hearts and be a good example. Thanks again Maharaj. You speak the same message in many diffrent ways and your words penetrate our hearts. We become eager to change for good.

  • Jitendra Pardeshi

    Thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaj for explaining how the onus is always on us for positive behaviour even if we are surrounded by negativity and that way we can strive to make a positive change.

  • malathi santosh

    And let’s try our best to clean our own hearts to love God and to do actual good in the world….. just apt..

  • Rajesh Lad

    Amazing !

  • hrishikesh mafatlal

    Selfishness can only be countered by such noble thoughts which actually counter today’s selfish society. May this world be blessed with such great personalities!

  • Jatin

    There is a saying,”Your actions speak so loud, that I can’t hear your words”. Very truly explained…

  • ks Subramanian

    wonderful prescription by Radhanath Swami. The onus is always on the spiritual person and we cannot blame others as selfish and indifferent. Setting a good example becomes the duty . Succinctly, he says you can humbly share spiritual knowledge with receptive people and with others, win them over by examplary behaviour.

  • Dipti Gaikwad

    Radhanath Swami tells us how important it is to become better people in order to improve others, as our actions speak louder than our words.

  • Santipur Nath Das

    very good answer. thank u.

  • ranjeet

    Thank you very much.

  • Veena

    Hare Krishna, thank you for sharing.

  • Guru

    Thank you very much for nice quotes and practical explanation.

    As Maharaj said every one is looking for enlightenment but they do not know that they are looking for. In this way spiritual concious person can attracts even selfish also and get benefited.

  • Servant

    Very well explained to be selfless in this selfish world by His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj.

  • Anagha Warade

    Hari Bol!
    Thank You maharaj for sharing such nice explanation.

  • brad

    so nice

  • Gurrappanaidu

    Very nice analogy !

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Chhaya Gurung

    Example of Spider and Hanuman and how both of their work has equally important in God’s eye is wonderful.This information has given a relief that we should do our part as per our capacity.Sometimes we feel if I were rich I could have also done much much more.Message here is we should repect ourselve for what we are and do service to God as per our capacity and thank God that he has enlighten me to serve him.

  • Sunil

    Setting the own example is really true, unless we dont follow something and preach others will not have any major impact.

  • saurabh

    Amazing explanation. very true. Thank you very much Radhanath Swami

  • Sunny Hinduja


  • govind

    very nice explanation. Thank you very much.

  • Vaibhav Sharma

    Such difficult question but such an easy answer, “By being a good example.” Radhanath Swami is a great thinker.

  • Gokul Sundari Devi Dasi

    Wonderful answer.Thank you so much HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj Ji for the nectar.

  • Satish Rane

    very nice answer by good example. thank you maharaj.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Superb answer! Yes we can set an example by our actions and behaviour. We have to practice what we preach. it is only then will it have an effect on others.

  • Piyush Singh

    A very practical answer by HH Radhanath Swami. By setting examples for others there is hope that in long run this plague of selfishness be cured.

  • Kalpana Kulkarni

    Very true! We can help and inspire others by living up to our spiritual ideals and try to be selfless in our behaviour towards others. In this way we can earn their trust and respect and we can then bring them closer to the Lord.

  • Asha Kanta Sharma

    Very true….