Spiritual encounter with Swami Radhanath in Mumbai

I was waiting for my tailor who had promised me the black silk halter neck blouse for my neices wedding would be ready by 6pm sharp!

In india time has little meaning and 'being on time' is a myth. I patiently had to wait for a couple of hours. I decided to phone my host to say I would not make it for the art of living satsang as I had to wait at Chowpatty for the black silk sari blouse. So in the meantime I decided to have a look at Govindas the restaurant at the back of the Hare Krishna temple. As i was departing back to the UK that evening I indulged and had 2 scoops of kulfi both almond and pistachio!!

Whilst waiting there I met a family from Ireland who were pleased to hear another english speaking accent. This lady devotee was overflowing with love and adulation for the Hare Krishna swami Radhanath. I had never heard of him. She insisted I at least get his autiobiography book which is cheaper in india than the uk, and went so far as to take me personally to the shop. I acquired the book as well as some vishnu beads which co-incidentally i had been looking for and threw them into the bag.

Today was an auspicious day as it was part of the kartik month where any devotion was trebled she informed me, so we went along for the arthi.

It was no coincidence that the puja was being performed by swami radhanath himself. You are very blessed she informed me she had waited over a year after being initiated to have a siting of him. His melodious singing of the mantra hare krishna was intoxicating and full of devotion. Its vibrations brought tears to my eyes.

I was wanting to come close with this swami who had in an instant moved me to tears. I remembered I had just bought his book 'The journey home - Autobiography of an american swami' I quickly took it out and walked towards the crowd around him and caught his eye and requested him to sign it. At that point i met his gaze and watched his hand writing across the page 'swami radhanath' There was a beauty of the lightness of a feather and the love of a magnet emanating from this being. I closed the book and walked back to my irish friend. The swami left to go the pilgrimage to west bengal and the kirtan continued.

I returned to London only 3 days ago and read the book unable to put it down. As I read each page I saw the humility and selfless love surfacing. Swami Radhanath is a rare person who i have had the honour of meeting. He said to me ' I will see you in London' I certainly hope so. Co-incidentally the sari blouse was for a wedding I will be attending which is to be held at the Bhaktivedanta manor in hertfordshire!!

with deepest love and grace
shakti shira