Spiritual Questions and Answers with Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami answers the question, ‘If we are always straightforward, will we be losers?’

By on November 4, 2014 in Life with 59 Comments

radhanath swamiQuestion to Radhanath Swami: Spirituality teaches us to be always positive, in our attitude and in our dealings. But many a times even negativity is a reality we have to deal with. For example, it is a reality that many people in this world are outright cheaters. If we artificially try to be positive while dealing with them, that might be foolishness.

Also, if we simply try to be positive and straightforward, we may turn out to be losers in the not-so-straightforward world we live in. What do you say?

Radhanath Swami Answers: In addition to being positive, we should use our discrimination and intelligence as well, in a very positive way. And we should also use one of the most uncommon things within the world today – common sense.

We can take the example of Srila Prabhupada. When he was trying to establish his spiritual society in New York, he had his hopes and he had his plans. But he would not let people cheat him, nor would he indiscriminately waste time. Having faith and having positive attitude does not mean just foolishly rushing into situations. It means to use our intelligence, to use our God given discrimination, and to pursue in a very positive hopeful way – with faith, integrity and detachment.

What does Krishna say in Bhagavad-Gita about detachment? Detachment does not mean detachment from trying your best. He told Arjuna, “You must fight with all of your power, intelligence and discrimination. But do not be attached to enjoying the results yourself. Be attached to the service. If you win, you will get the world. If you lose, you will go to the spiritual world.” If you have the right ambition, you cannot fail. Failure means to give into evil. If you become a multimillionaire or a billionaire through evil ways, you have failed. From the point of view of the soul, you are going to suffer all the reactions for everything you have done to get to that place. That is not success, whether you attain your goal or not. Real success is, you preserve your integrity and your character, and you do everything by the right means. Then whether you win or lose by material vision, you have won the battle against maya or illusion. So that’s what is all important.

If with faith, integrity and proper character we work as hard as we can to fulfill our duties, then our efforts itself is our success. For Arjuna, whether he won or lost, he was successful. For Duryodhana, whether he won or lost, he was a failure. Why? Because one had the right motives and the other had the wrong motives; one had a service attitude, a spirit of compassion and devotion, and the other was motivated by greed and envy.

The world has enough greedy and envious people. They are not making it a better place. We need people who are using their intelligence and their abilities to their full capacity in a spirit of devotion and service.

yad yad acharati shreshthas
tad tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate
[BG 3.21]

We need leaders who are going to teach people by their example the path of dharma; not that we sell our souls for the cheap glittering ornaments of this world.

So yes, use your discrimination, use your intelligence, and use your valor with the right motive, the right idea and with the pure heart. That is your success. God sees the purpose in which you act.



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