My name is Varangi Radha Devi dasi and I have been a practitioner in the Vaisnava tradition of Bhakti Yoga for about a decade. I am deeply inspired by this tradition because it teaches a simple yet valuable process by which to connect and rebuild my long lost connection with Krishna, the Supreme, through loving service. Through the study of very practical and universal lessons and a desire to be transformed, this tradition opens the door to the sincere and receptive seeker to reawaken his/her dormant love for God and gradually develop a desire to serve without an ulterior motive.
My intention in sharing the wisdom from the prime ancient Bhakti Yoga text, Bhagavad Gita, is to try to thank my teachers who have forever transformed my life by planting the seed of love of God in my heart and the only way to nurture it is by sharing it with others. I hope that you, the listener and seeker, can become uplifted and inspired to dive deeper into your spiritual practice and in this way discover the only solution to hack life’s seemingly unsolvable problems, namely birth, disease, old age and death and actually become happy and unaffected by the fluctuations of this material world and attain the highest goal of life: self-realization.
Father of three children, husband, brother, ex-basketball player and entrepreneur, my name is Tadeu Souza and I came from Brazil to the USA at the age of 18 to study and play basketball. After realizing that my life’s main goal, at the age of 23, which was to play professional basketball for an NBA team, had come to an unsuccessful end, suffering was the result. Having achieved a high level of success while pursuing my NBA goal, it was not clear to me why, after dedicating myself so diligently and having come so close, from so far, I would meet with multiple career ending injuries. A feeling that life was unfair quickly turned into a confused and angry state of mind. So I picked up my computer and Googled: “Why am I suffering?” There were many Bhuddist articles and sites that came back as a result.
I started to read different religious and spiritual texts. After about three months of studying such texts, my childhood experiences of religion were coming back to me which was a sense of deep curiosity mixed with a feeling that my questions were still unanswered. The Buddhist texts however, did stand out and offer a fresh perspective which was an indication that eastern traditions had the potential to more efficiently help me understand my predicaments, or at least accept them. My curious nature again asked: “But how can everything come from nothing?” which is taught by many Buddhist traditions.
A few days later, in the fall of 2007, I walked by a very eastern looking monk who was distributing books. I proceeded to talk to him for the next two hours. I asked him about all the questions which had been unanswered since I was a small boy. Question by question, this knowledgeable and devoted monk answered everything I could think of and then asked me one simple question: “Anything else?” For the first time I realized that I ran out of questions and that this one kind person was able to help me more in two hours then I had been able to help myself in about four months. Then he said: “So please, come to our temple; my teacher will be there as well.” That was also interesting because in my mind he was the teacher and for him to have a teacher, I thought, his teacher must be really good! My future wife and I went to the temple the very next Sunday and never stopped going.
Since then I realized that my struggles with a lost dream, although real and painful, were very small and temporary. At the same time it was the most important thing that happened in my life so far because it was the impetus for a sincere search which led me to many sincere teachers in this most complete and inspiring tradition of Krishna Consciousness. Today I have a new life goal: A more selfless, meaningful and fulfilling one which is to share what I am convinced to be the most profound and uplifting spiritual wisdom with as many people as possible. And so we are thrilled to present this small but hopefully powerful and meaningful podcast project with the most sincere intentions that its lessons can help and spiritually enrich your lives as much as it has ours.
My name is Kim Polinder, and I’ve been involved in the ISKCON (Int’l Society for Krishna Consciousness) community since 2018 and am now part of an ashram. I was born in Seoul, Korea, and adopted when I was a baby. I was raised by a conservative Christian family and thus grew up with the perception that God was angry, judgmental, and surely going to condemn me to hell for eternity. This conception of Divinity created a lot of fear in me, and God became a being that I did not feel like knowing, let alone desire to be close to.
Since discovering Krishna Consciousness, I now know what a truly all-good Deity consists of, and I live my life fostering an intimate loving relationship with Krishna. I have experienced God’s grace and mercy in inexplicable and undeserving ways, and I am inspired to share this rich philosophy with others. Thank you for sharing your time with us. We hope to inspire you as well.
Music provided by Atulya Bhakti
Email us with questions, comments, or someone you would like to nominate for a Devotee Spotlight interview!