Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

Difficulty with Academics after taking to Spirituality? Radhanath Swami has a solution

By on September 23, 2010 in Life with 54 Comments

Difficulty with Academics

Question to Radhanath Swami: After reading spiritual books, it becomes very difficult to read academic books; they now seem boring! What shall I do for that?

Radhanath Swami responds: If we want to use our academic knowledge in the service of God, then the combination of the two can be very effective.

The Holy Scriptures and the messages of the holy men teach us what we should strive for and how to strive for it. They teach us what our values should be, what our moralities should be, and what our consciousness should be. And academic books can teach us skills. These skills can then be used to do wonderful things for the society, when combined with the proper values and proper aspirations that we acquired from the holy men and Holy Scriptures.

Academic education is like a tool. This tool can either be used for destructive purposes or for constructive purposes depending on whose hands it is in. For example, a doctor may use a knife to do a surgery and save a person’s life. But a murderer may use the same knife to kill someone, or rob someone. So is the knife good or bad? The knife is only as good or bad as the person operating it. Similar is the case with academic knowledge. It’s a tool which could be very helpful if it’s used in the service of God. The world today is in great need of people who have this tool, and who use them for the benefit of human society.

So you may not like academic books, but if you can use it in God’s service, you should not be concerned with what you like and what you don’t like. You should be concerned with how best you can serve. Someday you may not like reading spiritual books too, but that doesn’t mean you stop reading them. We should do what is right, whatever is best to serve the Lord.

Srila Prabhupad, our guru, had a disciple, Bhaktiswaroop Damodar Goswami. He was PhD student in the University of California. But he was not very interested in physics and science; he was interested in bhakti. But Prabhupad said, “Better you become a scientist and enlighten people about spiritual principles through the knowledge of science.” And he has done that in a wonderful way.


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