Read The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami by Radhanath Swami Online


Within this extraordinary memoir, Radhanath Swami weaves a colorful tapestry of adventure, mysticism, and love. Readers follow Richard Slavin from the suburbs of Chicago to the caves of the Himalayas as he transforms from young seeker to renowned spiritual guide. The Journey Home is an intimate account of the steps to self-awareness and also a penetrating glimpse into theWithin this extraordinary memoir, Radhanath Swami weaves a colorful tapestry of adventure, mysticism, and love. Readers follow Richard Slavin from the suburbs of Chicago to the caves of the Himalayas as he transforms from young seeker to renowned spiritual guide. The Journey Home is an intimate account of the steps to self-awareness and also a penetrating glimpse into the heart of mystic traditions and the challenges that all souls must face on the road to inner harmony and a union with the Divine. It is a tale told with rare candor, immersing the reader in a journey that is at once engaging, humorous, and heartwarming. Radhanath Swami was born in Chicago in 1950. In his teens he set out to wander the world on a spiritual quest, eventually discovering the yoga path of devotion. He presently travels in Asia, Europe, and America teaching devotional wisdom but can often be found at his community in Mumbai, India. People who know Radhanath Swami speak of his dedication to bringing others closer to God and their own spirituality. Almost in the same breath they speak of his lightness, simplicity, and sense of humor. Visitors and friends are inspired by his unassuming nature and natural unwillingness to take credit for the works he inspires-community development, massive food distribution to indigent children, missionary hospitals, eco-friendly farms, schools, ashrams, and emergency relief programs....

Title : The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781601090447
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 356 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami Reviews

  • Amrahs Jarihd
    2019-03-22 05:18

    I started reading this book somewhat grudgingly and after a tumultuous ride on a journey with the author, I came to this. It describes the author's confusion about whether God is personal or impersonal and how one day Srila Prabhupada removed his confusion. I had the same confusion regarding the nature of the divine and this removed my confusion as well. But unlike the author, I lean towards striving to attain the divine as impersonal through meditation. I will always remember this book for this section which inspired me to resume my spiritual quest."For some time, I had been troubled by a fundamental philosophical dispute over whether God was ultimately impersonal or personal. On the one hand, I had heard some yogis and philosophers profess that ultimately God is impersonal and formless, but that he accepts a temporary material form as an avatara when He descends into the world for the benefit of all beings. After accomplishing His mission, He again merges into His formless existence. All form and personality, according to the impersonalists, is a nonpermanent product of material illusion. In the final state of liberation, the soul sheds its temporary identity and becomes one with God, merging into the all-pervading spiritual existence.On the other hand, I had heard other yogis and philosophers profess that God is the Supreme Person, that His spiritual form is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss. At the time of liberation, the soul enters into the kingdom of God where it eternally serves the all-beautiful Personality of God in pure love.I often pondered this apparent contradiction. How could they both be correct? God must ultimately be one or the other. Either He must be ultimately impersonal or personal. Out of respect for my beloved teachers, it had been difficult for me to think that any of them were wrong. Some attacked the opposing point of view while others refrained from argument by keeping the subject vague. I found that many spiritual teachings were similar until they came to this point.What is the goal I should aspire to? I wondered. Should I strive to transcend dualities to become one with an impersonal, formless God? Or should I strive to purify my heart to serve a personal Lord with unconditional love in His eternal abode?One afternoon, a guest asked Srila Prabhupada this very question. “Is God formless and impersonal or does He have form and personality?” The chattering of birds, screeching of monkeys, and honking of distant rickshaw horns were silenced by the anticipation in my heart. I sat up with attention, eager to hear his answer. Srila Prabhupada slowly leaned forward, his face perfectly relaxed and full lips curved downward at the edges. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, his elbows rested on the low table in front of him and his hands were clasped together under his chin. With a grave gaze, he quoted from the Vedas and explained, “We must first understand the inconceivable nature of God. The Supreme Lord is simultaneously personal and impersonal. It is an eternal truth that He is both formless and that He has an eternal, blissful form.”I felt a warm, peaceful sensation flood my chest. With one hand Srila Prabhupada stretched his index finger upward. “The Lord’s impersonal, all-pervading energy is called Brahman. And Bhagavan is the personal form of God, who is the energetic source and never under the influence of illusion. Take for example the sun. The form of the sun as a planet and the formless sunlight can never be separated, as they exist simultaneously. They are different aspects of the sun. Similarly, there are two different schools of transcendentalists who focus on different aspects of the one truth. The impersonalists strive to attain liberation in the Lord’s impersonal, formless light, while the personalists strive for eternal loving service to the Lord’s all-attractive form. There is no contradiction.“Similarly, the soul is part and parcel of the Lord, simultaneously one with God and different from God. Qualitatively we are one with God, being eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. But quantitatively, we are always but a part, just as the sunray is but a tiny part of the sun and yet has the same qualities as the sun. We are both one with God and different from God. God is the independent controller, but when the soul misuses his God-given independence, he forgets his relation to the Lord and falls into illusion and subsequent suffering.”Leaning back against the wall, he tilted his head slightly and gazed directly into my eyes. “The two schools, personalists and impersonalists, both approach different aspects of the One God.” He went on to explain how Krishna, His form, qualities, personality, and abode were unlimited, and that all the true religions of the world worshipped the same One God. He had simply revealed Himself in different ways at different times.How beautiful. With these simple and intelligent words, Srila Prabhupada had harmonized two apparently opposing views. As I listened to him, tears of appreciation welled up in my eyes. Yes, now it all makes so much sense, I thought. A dilemma that had confused my progress was now completely removed. A spontaneous, joyous smile stretched across my face. Srila Prabhupada reciprocated with a smile, too, one endowed with both wisdom and serenity."

  • Ryan
    2019-03-08 11:11

    I don't know how widely available this book is (published in 2008 in India by an Indian publisher), but I think it may explode in popularity! The author was a Jewish-American kid from the Chicago area that that was immersed in the hippy counter culture of the time. Then at the age of 19 decided to go on a quest to find spiritual and personal truth. The adventures that follow are NEARLY beyond belief! He flies to Europe with friends, hitchhikes from London hitchhikes through some of Europe's most famous tourist destinations (Amsterdam, Florence, Rome, Athens, etc.) on literally no money and finally to Crete where a vision tells him he must go to India. SO HE HITCHHIKES THERE!!! This is in 1970, he's got to get through Turkey (where there's a cholera epidemic!) and Afghanistan to get to his holy land, India!! I was jaw dropped and thrilled to be reading it in the prologue, in the first chapter I knew I was holding gold divided into pages!And when it is made into a movie (because it will be, whether by Hollywood or Bollywood) the cast of cameos is going to be incredible! He hangs out with counter culture characters like Johnny Winters and Swami Satchinanda ("The Woodstock Guru"); encounters cultural characters like Ram Dass, J. Krishnamurti, Mother Theresa; sees Indian yogis levitate and read minds; and all the while morphs from a shaggy, pot smoking hippy to a wandering ascetic beggar in search of god to a spiritual teacher and Swami. A truly amazing and inspirational story! Hare hare:-)

  • Lisa Spinelli
    2019-02-27 12:17

    Truly amazing and inspiring story of the spiritual journey of Radanath Swami as he explores many spiritual traditions across Europe, through the Middle East and India to find his heart's calling as a Vaishnava monk.

  • Suchita
    2019-03-23 08:32

    A very nicely written book that will motivate you and will make you witness the bitter realities of life.Its a common story of a common man as you and me go through in our daily life. We meet impostors, quacks, charlatans .. etc etc. Some of us becomes a part of this society of black heart people , some accepts it as the only truth and exceptionally few fights back. Those exceptional souls don't let anyone to dilute their soul and corrupt their heart. Some of the incidents from this book are a great lesson to learn from like "We must not run after things we desire rather appreciate what we getting". As at many places where Radhanath Swami went through the toughest time of his life, were the moments where he received the greatest blessing from Krishna.His meetings with Garry was another lesson of Hope , faith & friendship. We meet people only when its the right time. Because "GOD has a plan for each and everyone of us".Then being happy is in our hand, If you truly wish to be Happy, you just need to faith on Krishna. And you must not run after the momentary gain of this materialistic life. Because life starts from where these moments of materialist life dies.Lot many things to absorb from this book..A Must read book:- It will make you start accepting incidents and accidents as a lesson to learn from.

  • Madhu Gopal
    2019-02-20 10:27

    Great read. Real page turner. When is the movie coming out?

  • Jyoti
    2019-02-26 10:32

    My first autobiography read. It was gifted by a spiritual uncle at the time I lost my mother, as an attempt to help settle me...The book took many weeks to finish because of distractions and preoccupations but I did seek it out despite much mental and physical confusion. It offered a fluid and believable read. Radhanath Swami's journey from a 19 year old American Jew boy to become Srila Prabhupada's follower 2 years later was full of tough travels, conflicting experiences and much exploration. It took him 6 months to reach India through Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan by land and with little or no money. I admired his determination and belief in his own quest. It was a surprise that the idea of India came to an American teenager in the 1970s when this country was even less tourist-friendly or known. It was good to know about all the sadhus he met--including Neem Karoli Baba who I'd heard about only in Steve Jobs' context--and his genuine interest in learning from them. I felt sorry for his troubles so many times and heaved a sigh of relief each time he got to eat anything substantial. After all his doubts, learnings, struggles, I've to say, however, that I was disappointed with his final decision to connect with a glamourous brand like Iskcon. Much as I enjoy going into clean and large Iskcon temples, eating its lovely prasad or buying rosary beads from its Delhi store, in its present state, Iskcon's concept brings many doubts to mind about its mission. And, this is when I believe in Krishna as a God too. Recently, when I asked a young Sivanand Ashram Swami about his impressions of Iskcon's mandate and method, he said that it has evolved into something that may not have been Srila Prabhupada's vision of it. To my own mind, Iskcon promotes a cult movement by offering music, dancing and single-minded chanting of a mantra. It's almost as if it's created a template that is attractive to adopt by Western seekers. I realize that many would advice me to keep my own heart and quest clear instead of deriding any sect but for now my impression of Iskcon is based on my experience of it...however limited that may be at this stage.And yet, I do not mean to trivialize Richard Slavin's journey to find God and a guru. I'm full of admiration for his hardships and bravery to leave a comfortable life. The book itself is well written for someone who hadn't kept notes on his experiences and wrote about them 35 years later.

  • Kavesh
    2019-03-09 08:31

    Truly marvelous book. I had been a interested in the book reading since childhood, and have read various books but this book is just a different one. Extreme adventures (and yet true!! these are not the incidences from fictional life but rather a real living person’s story!!), the unshakable determination of Radhanath Swami to undergo anything and everything to reach his goal of life and the style of the writing of author is so simple and humorous that one never finds the book tiring but always expecting what is going to happen next..No movie maker or a fiction writer can ever imagine to compose such a story! The book is replete with great adventurous and thrilling real-life events that take place in the life of a sincere seeker of the truth.

  • Erinmelissa999
    2019-03-18 05:25

    I was totally loving this book but then I got pregnant and stopped reading it when I was about 2/3 of the way finished (with the book, not the pregnancy). The reason is probably because it was pulling me in the direction of a more solitary spiritual journey and motherhood will be the opposite of that--just the wrong energy for the moment. Maybe I'll finish this book when my kid starts kindergarten. :) I still give the book 5 stars and I think it's going to be a great read for any serious student of spirituality--especially those seeking to develop a deep solitary practice or those who enjoy well-written spiritual travel-writing that reads like a novel.

  • Hanuman Dass
    2019-03-15 08:16

    Westerners especially those who have an Indian heritage can relate to the stories of great individuals like Radhanath Swami. He is a living saint, master and it has been my great fortune to have his darshan on two occasions.This is an excellent book, and there is a wonderful insight into his meeting with Ram Dass and Neem Karoli Baba, my copy is covered with copius notes, and I have read this from cover to cover twice.

  • Yana Repkin
    2019-02-28 05:36

    A spiritual journey of an american teenager back in early 1970. Great first half of the book where he travels the world but second half of the book gets too slow, becomes a bit too exalted and starts to proselytize. This book would be great for young people/teens because the author has a lot of "profound" revelations that most thinking educated adults would have already experience by the age of 27 (I hope).This book made me remember the main commandment of George Carlin: "Thy shall keep thy religion to thyself".

  • Hoshi Bhad
    2019-03-21 07:21

    Anyone seriously or even casually looking for answers in life, this is the book. What should be "MY" role in this vast world, how can "I" help myself and others also, these questions were cleared when i read this book. Really a VERY GOOD one, positively inspiration and practical. And definitely clears the concepts related to God and His-will, different religions.

  • Manisha
    2019-02-24 07:21

    Although I know the Himalayas is full of mysteries, it was nice to know it from the pen of an American. We Indians, from childhood, hear so much about people having super natural powers living peacefully in the high mountain range of Himalayas, beyond the reach of common people. It was like getting one more evidence in favour of all the legends.

  • Adhiraj Didwania
    2019-03-11 07:16

    Over-exaggerated and over-blown. Radhanath indulges in shameless self-aggrandizement. His blind followers love this book as evident from the ratings and they couldn't be more deluded about an eccentric, egocentric, sanctimonious charlatan. This is more of an self-hagiography than an autobiography.

  • Anasuya
    2019-03-11 04:24

    Mind-blowing! Heart touching! Spiritually challenging!

  • Iryna Lomachynska
    2019-03-10 10:13

    A beautiful book. It tells about a man travelling all the way from US to India to find his destiny. Learning different religions, meeting diverse people and facing lots of challenges and surprises. What I personally took from this book is that everything that is happening is happening for a reason and that the misfortunes that we are facing are always leading us to something good and beautiful, even we cannot understand it at the beginning.

  • Shane
    2019-02-20 04:14

    The Journey Home is a beautiful story of a gripping spiritual journey. The author's account of his obstacle-filled road to spiritual understanding is so detailed and fascinating that parts of it seem farfetched. However, interwoven in this exciting story of exemplary resilience are gems of wisdom for anyone seeking spiritual development. Overall, this was a good read.

  • Tania
    2019-03-20 07:36

    A fascinatingnstory of an American young man who was searching for his spiritual path. The book is so well-written and inspiring that you feel blessed while reading it. It was very interesting to read about his meetings with such great people as Mother Theresa, Dalai Lama and others. It doesn't matter what religion you are in (or if you're not religious at all), the adventures and spiritual discoveries of this American Swami will not leave you indifferent. After this book I found a lot of information about Radhanath Swami, watched some videos with him and got really amazed by his activity in India and his teachings. This is one of those books that can change your life or at least make it better...

  • Abhishek Pareek
    2019-03-01 11:35

    The book starts off as a simple writing but as the author pens down his experiences while travellimg in search of answers to his spiritual quest, it gets interesting. Many incidences made my jaw drop. The meetings with various spiritual personalities are interesting, more interesting is the author's learnings from each of it. Author's focus on God is inspiring and so is his meeting his Guru. The account of travel through India is interesting

  • Dhaval Mehta
    2019-03-05 10:37

    Reads like an action-adventure film. You'll be able to visualize the amazing adventure with great ease. Written beautifully and in its own way, this book is an epic love story of Guru and disciple. Those unfamiliar with the strong bond between a Master and disciple will slowly be able to perceive the magnitude and awesome nature of this superbly unique relationship. So entertaining and elevating!

  • Dartsya
    2019-02-28 04:17

    Одна из самых лучших книг, которую я прочитала в этом году. Здесь всё: поиск себя, поиск жизненного пути, поиск Бога... При этом всё так искренне и чутко, что просто дух захватывает. То, как человек, нашел себя после концерта Джимми Хендрикса - это вообще отдельная история:)Книга о многом заставила задуматься и однозначно рекомендую к прочтению. А ещё лучше - к прослушиванию! Её аудиоверсия сделана просто великолепно - с мантрами, духовной музыкой и соответствующей атмосферой. Снимаю шляпу!

  • Sudarshan
    2019-02-28 04:25

    It's just amazing to read it. The reader takes us along his journey helping us to realize the most amazing truths of the world, which all the age old intellectuals has assimilated in their soul journey.I am flabbergasted to perceive my soul journey in his....Eagerly waiting for his ahead books... :-)

  • Liza
    2019-03-09 09:21

    The writing was very weak at times, and at other times beautiful. I found myself on a roller coaster with this book. Sometimes disliking it, sometimes really enjoying it. Overall it is a beautiful story of his spiritual journey and there is something we can all relate to.

  • Kushagra Singh
    2019-03-05 12:19

    This is one of the most enriching and fascinating books that I've read. I completed it in about 1.5 days. Radhanath Swami is a very elevated spiritual leader and reading about journey and his views about religion and God was enlightening.

  • Vikas Shinde
    2019-02-25 06:40

    This is a story of a young boy going through various dangerous situations, threats, tests, adventure, humor in order to at last find his way to his most cherished goal.....True Love

  • Alexandra
    2019-03-22 10:39

    An interesting read. An exploration of personal faith/spirituality. The prose was a bit weak for me, but the story was fascinating.

  • Abhishek Jain
    2019-03-09 12:27

    Radhanath Swami is an inspirational figure. His story is not just an exciting read, but also full of knowledge.

  • Nathalie
    2019-02-28 08:40

    Maybe when you travel the world, religion can also play a major role. (Some spoilers contained) Sometimes, when you decide to venture the world you might end up finding religious and spiritual culture that might just change the way you look at the world.This book is about someone named Richie and how god changed the way he saw the world, and instead on being like a typical hippie he was finding his spiritual self in his journey with his best friend Gary. This books is non fiction, and the time period is 1970. At that time, hippies were mostly discriminated, so it was hard for Richie to travel around the world without the police almost putting him in jail. The author's purpose is to show that sometimes when doing horrible things in the past can actually change the way you do things in the future. Richie's best friend's parents hated Richie because Richie was Jew, and so they also said that god hated Richie. Richie then throughout his whole life, he though about god and how god loves everyone. The title relates to the book because the journey home is the journey to find yourself, and to find yourself is to find your home. The author finds himself in one place he never visited, and it was in a certain place on earth and also in his calm state of mind. Yes yes, it sounds very spiritual but it's the actual truth. The character's motivation was really shocking. Even though he was almost in jail only for being different and misjudged, and he rejected having a loved one, he kept on searching. He never stopped searching the the answer he wanted since he was a kid. He wanted to know all about god and how god accepts him and others. I rate the book 5 stars because the author talked about events that actually passed in the past, like the march from martin luther king jr and how discrimination was horrible in the past. Also, it made me think of how horrible people treat other people that weren't like them. Also, the book also explains how music can explain the feelings of the person playing it, or music can make new friendships. I would recommend this book to people who like to read about religious things and the life story of someone who also helped other people do the same. The book has some parts that have nothing to do with religion, and the book is like a fiction book but the weird thing is that it actually happened in reality.

  • Abhinav Yadav
    2019-03-10 10:18

    I am finding his journey extraordinary. Once in a while, we all feel the urge to escape this world and become a monk thinking that it would solve all problems. But the experiences in the book say that it's definitely not easier to be a pursuer of spirituality. The author sets out on a journey to Europe at the age of 19. Taking the cues around him and interpreting them in his own way, he lands in India. In a period of one year, he visits most of the places known for spiritualism and mysticism. He dares chilly nights, with few rags to cover his body, sleeps on the river banks, spends many days without proper food, and learns from the people.The best part of his journeys is that most of them have unbelievable strokes of luck - finding his childhood friend (Gary) in India after parting from him in Europe, Crossing the unsafe International borders, getting looted by goons and hunted down by government officials for VISA, etc. I am reading it more as a travelogue than a spiritual journey to become ascetic.

  • Natalia
    2019-03-04 12:11

    Эта книга попалась мне на глаза несколько лет назад на озоне, но на тот момент мне не хотелось столько тратить на книгу, в качествах которой я сомневаюсь. А вот в этом году она сама пришла мне в руки. Судьба интересно складывается и подкидывает новые знания и поводы для размышления.Книга оказалась лучше, чем я ожидала. Нет, почти все о духовности и разных видах близости к богу в восточной традиции. Читать интересно не из-за этой темы, сквозящей через все произведение, а из-за истории человека, решившего стать отшельником на Востоке по собственной воле. Выбрать путь скитаний, искания идеального состояния, недостатка, когда ты сам из семьи на Западе с хорошим доходом, кажется на первый взгляд странным... Нет, не хочется пойти по стопам главного героя и автора, да и не всем такой путь подойдет, но во многом его поиск можно понять. Мы все ищем себя, и каждый находит себя по-своему и в разном.Книга интересная и очень достойная, но не подойдет каждому читателю. Наверно, как и в моем случае, до нее нужно будет дорасти.

  • Aanchal
    2019-02-22 06:39

    A beautiful spiritual journey of an American boy to find GodThe message delivered by numerous saints through their service that yearn for God and at the right time he will send the Guru to you to guide you towards him is actually practiced here. Infinite thanks to the kind soul who took your promise to write this book and infinite thanks to the Noble soul who wrote this book. My Pranams.