Open Heart Conversations
Bhakti Yoga as a Path to Awakening with Radhanath Swami
|When:||Sunday, May 19, 2019 3:00pm|
|Where:||United Palace, 4140 Broadway, New York, NY 10033|
Join Rev. Arda Itez and Rev. Dr. Jose Roman for a very special Open Heart Conversation to explore the path of Bhakti-yoga with one of its most beloved spiritual leaders and NY Times best-selling author, his holiness Radhanath Swami.
Introduced to the West as The International Society For Krishna Consciousness in 1966 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Bhakti-yoga has traceable roots to the 1st millennium, BCE. What came to be known as the “Hare Krishna Movement” developed into one of the most influential and important spiritual and social reformations in US history.
Sometimes referred to as “love for love’s sake,” Bhakti is one of the four yogic paths to enlightenment and the essence of spiritual perfection, which is to awaken ecstatic love for God.
What was it about the Bhakti tradition that inspired so many people to embrace it as their own?
Who are the Hare Krishnas?
What are the Bhakti tenets, spiritual practices and beliefs?
Discover the beauty behind one of the oldest, most well-known and often misunderstood spiritual traditions, and what led to his life of devotion directly from Radhanath Swami himself.
Radhanath Swami is a Vaishnava sanyassin (a monk in a Krishna-bhakti lineage) and teacher of the devotional path of Bhakti-yoga. He is author of The Journey Home, a memoir of his search for spiritual truth, and the New York Times bestseller The Journey Within. His teachings draw from the sacred texts of India such as The Bhagavad-gita, Srimad Bhagavatam, and Ramayana, and aim to reveal the practical application of the sacred traditions, while focusing on the shared essence which unites apparently disparate religious or spiritual paths.
Born Richard Slavin, on December 7, 1950, in his teens he came to confront a deep sense of alienation from suburban Chicago life and the civil injustices of mid-century America. At the age of nineteen, while on a summer trip to Europe, his internal struggles culminated in a commitment to search for God wherever it might lead him. Meditating on the Isle of Crete, he felt a supernatural calling and the next morning set off alone to find spiritual India. The Journey Home documents his odyssey as a penniless hitch-hiker though Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally India. There he lived as a wandering ascetic, first amongst the forest dwelling Himalayan yogis and later amongst a wide variety of gurus and spiritual practitioners throughout India and Nepal. Ultimately, he was led to the holy town of Vrindavan, where he found his path amongst the Bhakti-yogis.
In Vrindavan he found the teacher he was searching for in A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), and representative of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, (the Krishna-bhakti tradition stemming from the 16th century mystic avatar Sri Chaitanya). In choosing Bhaktivedanta Swami, as his guru, Radhanath Swami felt compelled to shear his matted locks and reenter Western society with a mission to share the sacred wisdom he had received. This return exemplifies the form of devotional yoga which is at the heart of Radhanath Swami’s teachings, a spiritual practice expressed as tangible action meant to bring about personal fulfillment and benefit the world.
At the age of 31 he took the monastic vows of a Vaishnava sanyassin and became known as Radhanath Swami.