Whatever our particular designation may be in this world — black, white, American, Russian, Palestinian, Israeli, young, old, rich or poor — the fundamental need of every living being is to love and to be loved. Without that nothing can really satisfy the heart. Objects can satisfy the senses of the body. Various emotional gratifications can satisfy the mind. But the heart is yearning, longing, to love and to be loved — it is the inherent nature of the soul. And the soul is part of God.
We have forgotten that love so we try to find the experience of pleasure in so many ways in this world. Because it’s not really satisfying our need, there is so much frustration, which causes human beings to act in such strange and often dangerous ways, to themselves, to others, and to the planet. It’s all in the search of love.
The purpose of life is to redirect that propensity to love, of the soul, back toward God. When we experience God’s unlimited love and we feel the unlimited love of the soul for God, with that experience comes compassion and love for every living being.
That is what everyone is looking for. That is the essence of every religion. And that is the highest purpose of life.
~Radhanath Swami was born Richard Slavin in Chicago in 1950. At age seventeen, he traveled overland from Amsterdam to India, where he lived in Himalayan caves, learned yoga from revered masters, and eventually became a world-renowned spiritual leader in his own right. His newest book is The Journey Within, Exploring the Path of Bhakti. His acclaimed memoir, The Journey Home has been translated into over twenty languages and has been published in over forty countries worldwide.
Radhanath Swami presently travels in Asia, Europe and America teaching devotional wisdom to leading institutions including Harvard, MIT, Google, Apple and The London School of Economics. He can often be found with his community in Mumbai, where he works tirelessly to help develop communities, food distribution, initiatives, missionary hospitals, schools, ashrams, emergency relief programs and eco-friendly farms.
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