“Bhakti or pure love for Bhagavan comes with sadhana or spiritual practices.” Those were the words of Swami Maheshvaranand, Spiritual Head of the Radha Govind Society of Trinidad and Tobago. Swamiji was speaking at the Fireburn Mandir, Freeport where devotees are engaged in a retreat.
Trinidad-born, Swami Maheshvaranand, was trained by Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Maharaj, head of the Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP) of India and is responsible for spreading the philosophy of the organization in the Americas. In Trinidad and Tobago, the work is carried out under the Radhay Govind Society (RGS).
Versed in Hindi and Sanskrit, Swamiji traversed among the scriptures- Bhagavad Gita, Ramayan and Srimad Bhagavatam- and the experiences of saints and bhaktas in the delivery of his discourses. While his pravachans are focused on bhakti or love for God, he does not fail to deliver in a logical and scholarly manner.
The foundational philosophy of the RGS is bhakti or love for Bhagavan and this he underlined by giving the example of Adi Shankaracharya who though an advocate of advaita or monotheism taught his mother bhakti or pure devotion to God – “Without bhakti to Sri Krishna the heart and mind cannot be purified.”
In this short discourse on devotion Swami also referred to the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Citing the Ramayana, he said that Bhagavan Ram told Surgriv that only those with pure minds can know and see God.
Swamiji went on the share a conversation between Sri Krishna and Udho in Srimad Bhagavatam (Canto 11, Chapter 14, Verses 25 and 26): “When gold is heated in fire its impurities are removed, so also is the devotee’s heart made pure with devotion. Anjan, a medication, when applied to a diseased eye heals it over time, so also devotion makes the heart pure.”
This purity of heart is also expressed in serving the needy in society, thus seva or service to the less fortunate is a pillar of the RGS. To this end the RGS held a fund-raising dinner last Sunday at Passage to Asia. According to Sharda Mahadeo the event was a success, and she was thankful to Kavesh the Band, Samaroo School of Dance, Venom Stars Tassa and Vijay Ramkissoon for providing entertainment free of charge.
The RGS is engaged in providing books, uniforms, and medical supplies mainly to orphans and elders in need. This readiness to serve the sick and the poor is an expression of love or bhakti.
The ongoing retreat at the Fireburn Mandir until December 26 is a culmination of a fortnight of nightly lectures across the country that began on December 09th.