Love Conquers All

By editor - 5.9 2022

On September, HH Radhanath Swami was in New York City to speak at The Bhakti Center for their 3rd Annual Pearl Festival, celebrating Radhastami (the Divine appearance of Srimati Radharani). A special feature of this festival is that all guests received the opportunity to write a prayer on a paper pearl and offer it, along with a real pearl, to Radharani. All the real pearls were then collected, strung into a necklace and offered to Radharani as a gift. Below are some excerpts of his talk.

“The Latin poet Virgil, has written, ‘Love conquers all’. The second part of what he wrote, in many ways is instrumental. He said, ‘Love conquers all, so let us all be conquered by love’. This is the principle of bhakti. The first and great commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and the natural consequence of that is that you will love your neighbor as yourself. And according to the Bhagavad-gita you will see every living being as your neighbor.”

“But that actual ecstasy of loving God really comes when we become conquered by God’s love. Krishna, who is the Supreme Absolute Truth, the one God who has many names and has descended into this world many times, in his fullest expression, comes once in a day Brahma to this world. Sri Radha comes with him. The one Supreme God is ever as two personalities, Krishna, the Supreme object of love, and Srimati Radharani, who is the ultimate supreme lover.”

“The deepest pleasure that everyone is seeking in this world is to love and to be loved. The origin of that experience is the love of Sri Krishna and Sri Radha. We are all part and parcel of Krishna and our nature, our greatest potential, is to love Krishna. This love for Krishna is within every heart. It is the nature of the soul.”

“In bhakti the goal of life is very different than what we see many religious people have done throughout history. People want to conquer others on a material platform in the name of God. In bhakti, we understand that the higher principle is to be conquered by love. Radharani is giving us the capacity to be conquered by Krishna’s love and to conquer Krishna by our love – that is bhakti.”

“Like a pearl, a little grain of sand goes into an oyster and just by staying there for some time it becomes a precious natural pearl. So whoever we are, if come into the association of those who have been blessed by the grace of Sri Radharani and Krishna, then naturally from our hearts, that pearl of love will grow and there is nothing more priceless than that.”

Soon you will be offering a pearl, but it is not things that give Krishna happiness, only love can do this. The real pearl is our love. I like this festival because I was born on Pearl Harbour Day! (laughter) But the Pearl Festival is a festival of love, of making an offering and when we write our prayers in bhakti we pray, ‘How may I please you my Lord, how may I serve you? How may I be the servant of the servant of the servant of the instrument of your love and compassion in everything I do?’ That is the highest prayer and it is that prayer, when offered sincerely, that conquers Krishna and in reciprocation, His and Radha’s love conquers us. – Radhanath Swami