Inspiration - RKT Newsletter

February 2024

Welcome to the February 2024 issue!

Welcome to the February 2024 issue!



भक्त्या मामभिजानाति यावान्यश्चास्मि तत्त्वत: |
ततो मां तत्त्वतो ज्ञात्वा विशते तदनन्तरम् || 55||

bhaktya mam abhijanati yavan yash chasmi tattvatah
tato mam tattvato jnatva vishate tad-anantaram

Only by loving devotion to Me does one come to know who I am in Truth. Then, having come to know Me, My devotee enters into full consciousness of Me.

(Bhagavad Gita 18.55)


From the Editor's Desk


Do you tend to reach out to God mostly in times of distress? Have you whispered a prayer in the quiet of the night or sought solace in moments of desperation? The yearning for something greater – something beyond us – is a universal experience. But why do we seek God only in moments of need? Shouldn't our connection with the divine extend beyond mere pleas for help?

In our pursuit of happiness, we often turn to various sources – material possessions, close relatives, and worldly achievements – hoping that these will fill the void within us. Yet, deep down, we know that true fulfillment cannot be found in these external trappings. True happiness lies in something far more profound and enduring. It is in connecting with God at the level of the soul.

In this issue of Inspiration, the monthly newsletter of the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (Allen), we focus on the essential knowledge and tools for application to get closer to God.

Bhakti Ras
Getting Closer to God

God, the Ocean of Happiness, beckons us to journey beyond the fleeting pleasures of the material world and discover the boundless joy that resides within. He is the embodiment of Sat-Chit-Anand – Everlasting Existence, Ever-Fresh Consciousness, and Absolute Bliss. Unlike the transient nature of material possessions, His love is eternal and His grace unending.

Consider this paradox of modern life: no matter how much wealth or success one accumulates, there is always a lingering sense of dissatisfaction, a craving for something higher and deeper. This is because ignorance about the true source of happiness veers one toward pursuing material happiness. However, such pursuits lead to greater restlessness and discontent. We chase after fame, fortune, and social status, hoping they will bring us joy, only to find ourselves trapped in a cycle of endless desire and disillusionment.

Shree Swami Mukundananda reminds us of the two realms that define our existence – the realm of Maya, characterized by illusion and transience, and the realm of God, imbued with eternal truth and divine love. While the former keeps us tethered to the material world, the latter offers us a path to lasting fulfillment and inner peace.

Overcoming Fear Through Faith

Fear is a powerful force that grips our hearts and clouds our minds. In moments of uncertainty, we cling to worldly comforts – our possessions and relationships – seeking security in the familiar. But beneath this facade of control is a deeper truth: we are already complete as individual souls, protected and cherished by the divine Lord – our eternal relative.

The root cause of our fear is a lack of trust in God’s love and providence. We fear the unknown because we have not fully embraced the truth of His omnipresence and grace. Yet, if we look closely, we will see evidence of His care and protection all around us – from the tiniest ant to the mightiest elephant, from the gentlest breeze to the fiercest storm.

Drawing closer to God enables us to transcend our fears and embrace life with courage and enthusiasm. We no longer need to live in constant dread of the future, for we know that we are held in the loving embrace of the Divine. We can face life's challenges with confidence, knowing that every obstacle is an opportunity for growth and transformation.

Discovering the Beauty of Divine Love

Love for God is not something we can manufacture or contrive – it arises naturally when we recognize His infinite worth and grace. His love sustains us, nourishes us, and breathes life into every moment. Without His grace, we could not even draw breath, let alone experience the beauty and wonder of the world around us.

Consider the majesty of creation – the intricate tapestry of life, the breathtaking diversity of the natural world. Every atom, every leaf, and every blade of grass bears witness to the boundless creativity and love of the Divine. Yet, amidst this splendor, we often find ourselves mired in sorrow and suffering, longing for a deeper connection with the source of all joy and goodness.

As we draw closer to God, we begin to see the world through new eyes – eyes that are filled with wonder and gratitude for the gifts that surround us. We find strength, courage, and wisdom to navigate life's challenges with clarity and purpose. And with each step we take towards Him, we open ourselves up to receive His boundless grace and love.

How to Get Closer to God
  1. Contemplation (Chintan): Take time to reflect on God’s qualities and attributes. Meditate on His boundless love, His infinite wisdom, and His omnipresence. Allow His Divine presence to permeate your consciousness, filling you with peace and joy.
  2. Meditation (Roop Dhyan): Engage in meditation practices that allow you to experience God with all your senses. Visualize His divine form, hear His sacred teachings, and feel His presence in your heart. Let your meditation be a sacred communion with the Divine; a moment of profound connection and intimacy.
    One easy way to access such deep and divine meditations at your fingertips is to download the free Radha Krishna Bhakti app. The 21-Day challenge on #GetCloserToGod has exquisite Roopdhyan meditations for each day that are not available anywhere else.

  1. Service (Seva): Serve God and Guru with love and compassion to learn humility and purify the heart. Whether it is volunteering at your spiritual organization’s local charity event or offering a helping hand to the larger mission of the Guru, every act of service brings us closer to God. In serving others with selflessness (i.e., no expectation of recognition or reward in return), we serve the Divine in ways that enable us to get closer to God.
    As Shree Krishna said to Arjun (Bhagavad Gita, 9.28), “By dedicating all your works to Me, you will be freed from the bondage of good and bad results. With your mind attached to Me through renunciation, you will be liberated and will reach Me.”
Bal-Mukund: Playground for Vedic Wisdom
Faith in the impossible

The celestial sage, Narad, once visited the homes of a Vedic scholar and a cobbler sequentially during his visit to Earth. He received a warm welcome on both visits and offered his services to them in return. Both of them requested him to ask God, on their behalf, when they would achieve liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Narad agreed to fulfill this and headed to God’s abode.

Narad informed God of the scholar and cobbler’s visit and query. God told Narad to tell the cobbler that his present life would be his last one. However, the scholar would need lifetimes equivalent to the number of leaves on the tree of his courtyard. Narad did not understand this because the scholar was already reciting spiritual hymns whereas the cobbler only knew one religious verse. To make him understand, God told Narad if they inquired what God was doing tell both of them that “God was taking an elephant through the eye of a needle”


Narad returned to the earth and visited both of them separately. Both inquired what God was doing when Narad went there and awaited their answer on liberation. When Narad mentioned to the scholar that God was taking an elephant through a needle’s eye, the scholar laughed and disregarded this comment as a joke. His intellect would not allow him to believe this because he found it challenging to pass a thread through a needle. Narad understood God’s answer. He told the scholar that he was devoid of faith in God. Alternatively, when the cobbler heard what God was doing, he jumped with joy. Narad asked the cobbler whether he believed this and the cobbler indicated that when God can manifest a huge banyan tree from a little seed, nothing is impossible. Thereafter, Narad informed him that his present life was his final life before liberation.

Practical Wisdom:
  • The scholar did not believe that God could pass an elephant through a needle’s eye. It is one thing to know that God that is powerful and it is another thing to believe in it. On the journey to getting closer to God, faith is necessary for devotion – leading to God realization.
  • The cobbler was filled with joy upon hearing what God was doing when Narad met him. The cobbler had no doubts about believing the impossible. To get closer to God, one must create a hunger for such kind of faith through detachment. God will bestow the devotee with the required faith.
Youth Insights


In the whirlwind of adolescence, I found myself embarking on a quest that went beyond the surface-level complexities of teenage life. This essay is a reflection on my personal journey and some advice for fellow teens navigating a similar path.


The Power of Simple Prayer and Meditation

The starting point of my spiritual journey was surprisingly simple – prayer and meditation on the form of God. Initially skeptical, I approached this practice as merely part of my daily routine. However, as I made it a regular habit, I discovered a profound sense of peace. It transformed into a channel where I could express my innermost thoughts, fears, and hopes – almost like engaging in a heart-to-heart conversation with a close friend.


Community and Gatherings

Religious gatherings and services played a crucial role in my spiritual journey. Chanting, listening to Swami Mukundananda ji’s lectures, and participating in classes like the Bhagavad Gita class created a sense of belonging and support. Engaging with others who share similar beliefs provided a foundation of strength on my spiritual journey.


Exploring Sacred Texts

Delving into the teachings of my faith through sacred texts is a pivotal aspect of my spiritual growth. Instead of approaching it as a mere academic exercise, I seek to understand the wisdom embedded in these texts and how it can be applied to my own life. The stories and passages are now resonating with my personal experiences and enriching my understanding of my faith.


Acts of Kindness as Spiritual Expression

Expressing my spirituality took a tangible form through acts of kindness and charity. Volunteering and extending a helping hand to those in need allows me to embody the values I hold dear. It is clear to me now that spirituality is not confined to personal reflection. Expressing my spirituality through meaningful actions of Seva (volunteer work) connects me weekly to something greater.

My ongoing quest to get closer to God is a transformative journey, which includes prayer, meditation, community service, exploration of sacred texts, and acts of kindness. To fellow teenagers embarking on a similar path, I hope you will enjoy this journey as much as I do.


Holistic Health Titbits
Why Should We Bring God into the Material World?

There are many ways to come to know God. We learn about Him by attending services, hearing stories and sermons, reading scriptures, and participating in rituals – to name a few. If we are lucky, our relationship with God develops beyond these activities and becomes more personal. The best way to do this is to bring God into our daily lives. There is no need to leave Him behind at the Temple or in the pages of the Vedas. He is always with us whether we remember Him or not, but it is to our benefit to make Him our champion in the physical world. “In whatever way people surrender unto Me, I reciprocate accordingly. Everyone follows My path, knowingly or unknowingly, O son of Pritha.” (Bhagavad Gita, 4.11). Notice that Lord Krishna says, “In whatever way…”. As devotees, we can interact with God any way we want, as long as the foundation is love. Although He is Divine, he is available to witness and participate in our every action. We have to choose to bring Him along though.

How Can We Get Closer to God?

There are innumerable ways to incorporate God into our daily lives. Our only limitation is our imagination. God can be our greatest motivation in physical and mental health. For example, we may go to the gym or yoga studio, workout for an hour, and then go home. Why not place Krishna right next to you as you exercise? Swami Mukundananda says that to help us remember God, we can bring the personal form into our minds. Once we have the image, we can find ways to interact with God. In yoga, it is easy to practice this by chanting divine names with every inhale and exhale. Or, when you are swimming: see Shree Krishna at the end of the pool and imagine swimming towards him with your best efforts on every stroke. At the gym: when you think you cannot do one more repetition of weights, imagine Shree Krishna’s Divine hands supporting you.

Another great way to get closer to God is to walk in nature. It requires some discipline and focus on our part. Often while walking we worry about how many steps we take, calories we burn, or even staring at our phones. Let us put all that aside and instead focus on observing the beautiful creation God has given us. Notice the sounds, smells, and unique aspects of the natural world. Feel how the grass, dirt, or sand moves under your feet. Touch the leaves on the trees or pick up shells along the beach. Observe the sun and wind on your face. Nothing manmade can compare to the peace we find in nature, and that peace is directly from God.

Finally, meditation is the ultimate way to connect with God. While it benefits our mental health by lowering stress and anxiety, it is also the ideal practice for connection because the distractions of the senses are minimal. When the mind and body are still, we can give our undivided attention to Him and feel His presence. This is why meditation is extolled by every great saint. Even if we struggle with our meditation practice, a few minutes each day will benefit us immensely. Eventually, it becomes easy, and we can do it longer.

Start by listening to Swami Mukundananda’s exquisite guided meditations here.

Reflection Questions for Discussion
Bhakti Ras / Inspiration
  • How can we get closer to God for an everlasting connection?
  • Bal-Mukund: Playground for Vedic Wisdom
  • Why did God say that the scholar would need many lifetimes for liberation but not the cobbler?
  • Youth Insights
  • What are some ways you can implement spirituality in your daily life?
  • Holistic Health Titbits
  • In what work or activities can you bring the presence of God each day?


    Disqus Comments
    Upcoming Events

    The Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (Allen) has three amazing events coming up in March 2024.

    Mahashivratri Mela

    Participate in a grand three-day celebration on the sacred occasion of Mahashivratri. It is a golden opportunity to realize the presence of God and connect the mind to the divine realm.

    If you reside in Dallas, please join us in person from March 8-10, 2024, to celebrate the festival in its true sense, by immersing the mind in the reverberations of divine chants and poojas. Those residing outside Dallas, are welcome to join virtually by joining the live broadcast portal that will be added closer to the festival date.

    Participate in the celebrations to drench yourself in devotion as you participate in Shiv Poojan, Rudrabhishek, Chants and Kirtans, Shivratri Jagran, Cultural Program, and a Shivratri Special Satsang on Sunday morning. Savor the bliss of Bholenath’s divine leelas and connect with like-minded people at the Temple.


    Holika Dahan & Phoolon ki Holi

    The amazing Holi celebration has three lovely events for the community.

    Samuhik Satyanarayana Katha

    The eventful celebration will begin with the auspicious Samuhik Satyanarayana Katha on Sunday, March 24, 2024, at 4:30 PM. The local and global community has the opportunity to participate in the pooja.

    Holika Dahan

    Everyone has the opportunity to participate in the sacred depiction of Holika Dahan and have a fulfilling experience in this devotional celebration of the victory of virtue over evil. Devotees are invited to participate in the pooja that depicts the destruction of the demoness Holika who attempted to kill Prahlad, the earnest devotee of Lord Vishnu, by putting him in her lap on the burning pyre. It will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2024, and take place after the Samuhik Satyanarayana Katha.

    Phoolon ki Holi

    We will celebrate Holi with flowers or flower petals as originated in Braj – the holy land of Shree Radha-Krishna, where instead of using dry or wet colors, people sprinkle flower petals on each other. All community members are invited to participate in this auspicious occasion to play Phoolon ki Holi with our beloved Shree Radha-Krishna and Shree Maharajji.

    • LocationRadha Krishna Temple of Dallas, 1450 N. Watters Rd, Allen, TX 75013