Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami
Religion Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Hinduism
Other name(s) Richard Slavin.
Born December 7, 1950 (1950-12-07) (age 60)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Religious career
Initiation Diksa–1973, Sannyasa–1982
Post GBC–1994, Initiating guru–1994
Website http://www.radhanathswami.com
Radhanath Swami singing kirtan.

Radhanath Swami (born December 7, 1950)[1] is a Gaudiya Vaishnava guru and a member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).[2][3] He works largely from Mumbai in India and also travels extensively throughout Europe and America.[4][5] He has been instrumental in the founding of the Mumbai Bhaktivedanta hospital.[4] He is an ISKCON guru and a member of the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON. Steven J. Rosen described Radhanath Swami as a "saintly person respected by the mass of ISKCON devotees today".[6]



Born as Richard Slavin,[7] he studied a number of religious paths such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. At the age of 19 he began traveling through Europe and the Middle-East, eventually settling for over a year in the Himalayas. Much of this time he spent devoted to the tradition of Shaivism and was living as a renunciate Shaivite in India when he first met with Krishna devotees near Delhi. Through contact with the devotees in Vrindavan, and after receiving name Ratim Krishna from Swami Bon Radhanath began to focus exclusively on his spiritual path in Krishna Consciousness. In 1971 Radhanath Swami observed A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada during the ISKCON Cross Maidan festival in Mumbai. After leaving India, Radhanath Swami returned to the United States where he joined the New Vrindaban ISKCON farm community in West Virginia during July 1972. There he accepted initiation from A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in February 1973.

Radha Gopinath temple

Radha-Gopinath temple in Chowpatty, Mumbai

In later years Radhanath has been essential for many highly successful Mumbai projects associated with Radha Gopinath Temple[8] in Chowpatty,[9] which was founded in 1986 and joined ISKCON in 1994. Radhanath Swami also has been instrumental in the founding of the Mumbai Bhaktivedanta hospital.[4]

The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami

Radhanath Swami wrote his autobiography on the request of his friend and god-brother Bhakti Tirtha Swami who from his deathbed asked him to share his story. The book "The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami"[10] is the story of how Radhanath Swami grew up in a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois and through his journey of prayer was led through the 60's counter-culture movement in America into Europe, walking and hitch-hiking all the way through Europe to the Middle East and into India.[7] Along the way he met many people who would share their wisdom with him, encouraging him on his search for the truth.[7] He stayed with Yogis in Himalayan caves, in Buddhist Monasteries, Jewish Synagogues, and Christian Churches. He met many teachers and practitioners of spirituality and learned from them.[7] The book details his adventures along the journey.[7]

Francis Xavier Clooney in his review of the book notes "Like many a spiritual autobiography, the external events and details turn out to be the setting for the author’s inner quest. His journey is a humbling, learning to be poor, a series of tests that push the author toward living by faith alone. Like any pilgrim, he does not see all of this along the way, but in retrospect sees how he was being quietly, insistently drawn toward God all the time".[7]

Radhanath Swami and Russell Brand

Radhanath Swami has been providing spiritual guidance to the British stand-up comedian and actor Russell Brand.[3] According to The Times report, after meeting with Radhanath Swami Russell Brand stated “He's a beautiful fellow. He's got the answer. I'm a spiritual gent and increasingly that's the level I want to vibrate on, were it not for my crazed lust for sex and glamour.”[2] On another occasion The Times reports him saying “I met this swami, and I said, ‘I’m a bit ridden with egotism and ambition, I’m riddled with it, I’m alive with it, I’m crawling with the stuff.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry. It’s a gift from God. Use it in the service of God.’ Except he said Krishna, but I’m anglicising it to make it sound less oooooeeee. . .”[11]

See also


  1. ^ Lama 2010
  2. ^ a b Russell Brand: I'm a spiritual gent with a crazed lust for glamour
  3. ^ a b Russell Brand seeking guidance from guru
  4. ^ a b c Dwyer & Cole 2007, pp. 24–25
  5. ^ 2004, p. 204
  6. ^ Dwyer & Cole 2007, p. 24
  7. ^ a b c d e f Prof. Francis X. Clooney, S.J.. "A Hare Krishna Swami Tells All". The National Catholic Weekly (www.americamagazine.org). http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&id=20526790-3048-741E-9109927783980030. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  8. ^ The Heart and Soul of Radhanath Swami
  9. ^ Cole, Richard; Dwyer, Graham (2007). The Hare Krishna Movement: Forty Years of Chant and Change. London: I. B. Tauris. pp. 24–25. ISBN 1-84511-407-8. 
  10. ^ Mandala Publishing
  11. ^ Russell Brand is hot to trot


External links

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