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The Journey Home PDF Free Download

The Journey Home PDF Free Download

The Journey Home PDF Free Download

  • Book Name: The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami 
  • Authors: Radhanath Swami,
  • Pages: 396
  • Publish Date: 25 May 2003
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Self-help 


The Journey Home by Radhanath Swami, this book is the autobiography of an American swami. so when Radhanath - was Richard at the time - was a teenager he left his home in Chicago to go to Europe with his friends as many teenagers do, with the intentions of returning back home in the fall. but during his adventures in Europe,

He felt a very strong spiritual calling to go to India. so he hitchhiked all the way from Europe to India, through Greece, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally India. 

And in doing so he encountered a lot of obstacles, he almost lost his life a few times he got very sick with dysentery 

Also, there was a cholera epidemic happening in turkey at the time and also at every border crossing - every country's border crossing.

He had to get a visa for that country and sometimes that visa was denied to him including India. but he persisted and somehow he managed to get the visa and finally enter India

As they say, where there is a will, there is a way. even though sometimes he had thoughts of returning to the comforts of America, his spiritual calling was so strong that he actually never turned back, once he entered India

He travelled all over India from the Himalayas to Bombay and goa and Calcutta and Patna and then Ayodhya and Mathura and Vrindavan all these places.

So he visited different ashrams and tried to learn from different sadhus and teachers and also he spent some time by himself meditating in different places and living the life of sadhu. 

As he was learning from all these different teachers and himself as well through his meditations, he was trying to find the answer to the question that which path of yoga would be the best for him and which spiritual teacher would be best for him. 

After two years of searching for his answer, he arrived in Vrindavan where he spent six months and that's where he realized that bhakti-yoga is the path of yoga that he wants to pursue and the teacher that 

He accepted as his teacher - even though lots of other sadhus and swamis had offered to be his teachers - he finally accepted his spiritual teacher to be swami Prabhupada. 

Who should read this book?

 This book is for you if you are into spirituality but you don't want to read a preachy book. this book is for you 

If you're interested in learning about eastern spirituality in particular. and also if you're interested in the roller coaster journey of a person who is trying to search for meaning. 

Now I want to share with you my reactions and takeaways from this book. I had expected this book to be a bit heavy but it wasn't heavy at all. it actually felt like reading fiction because it is just a story. and it's a very interesting journey and very nice storytelling which has been done by the author. 

There are some moments in this book that are absolutely mystical and magical - especially for me as a layman. for example, how the author decided that Krishna bhakti-yoga is his path. 

It's really beautiful how he discovers that. when he had arrived in India, and he didn't even know who Krishna is, he was looking at the pictures of deities being sold by a vendor. and out of all the pictures - maybe 50 of them 

The one picture that stood out for him and appealed to him and attracted him was the picture of Krishna - a blue boy with a peacock feather on top and a flute in his hands. 

So why did only that picture stand out to him? and at that time he didn't even know that that picture is of Krishna. and then once when he was meditating on a rock in the Ganges, 

He heard the mantra hare Krishna from the Ganges. so he said that the song of the river... it just... he heard it that way. now two-three years ago if I had read this book, I would have just maybe shut it down when I read that because come on! Rivers don't sing songs! 

but in the last two three years, I have become or I'm becoming a bit more right-brained. originally I'm a very very left-brained person because you know I'm an engineer and I want scientific proof for everything and everything has to be logical and um you know intellectually explainable for me. 

but over the last two three years because of the life experiences or meditation or reading spiritual books, I am becoming a bit more right-brained so I was able to um not be very sceptical when  

I read the part of the book that said that the mantra hare Krishna was revealed to the author for the very first time, not from someone singing it, not from sitting in a temple but by the Ganges river herself.

 I am becoming more open to the possibility of such mystical occurrences because I know that if I use scientific proof as a gauge for measuring everything, I am going to miss out on a lot of truths that science hasn't caught up to yet. so there's more space for faith in my life right now and also I am open to admitting that I don't know what I don't know. 

so I'm more open to the possibility of things that I cannot understand with my logical, intellectual mind and that is the reason why I was able to enjoy this book so much more! and I think also the process of reading this book has maybe made me a little bit more right-brained than I was. 

for example when before reading this book I thought that people who worship deities or chant mantras do it out of blind faith. but reading this book and the way he has explained bhakti-yoga has broadened my perspective around this as well and now I am more convinced of the power of chanting mantras. 

one thing I believe is that the universe sends you signs that pull you towards your calling and this was um confirmed by the story of the author because you know, out of all the pictures of the deities why did he pick Krishna's picture? 

and out of all the mantras that he may have heard why did he only resonate most with the Hare Krishna mantra? and also when he roamed from city to city in India, he always felt pulled to go to the next city or the next town to learn something more. 

but when he was in Vrindavan where Krishna had spent a lot of his life, for some reason in Vrindavan the author was compelled to stay and he stayed the longest in that city - for six months. 

So I think that was just the universe sending him different signs to give him hints that this is his calling, the path of bhakti-yoga and um devoting himself to Krishna is his spiritual calling in life. 

Another thing that I already knew but it got reconfirmed by reading this book is that when the author was going through Afghanistan and he saw the happy smiles on the faces of very poor people who were squatting on the roadside, 

He puts it very beautifully that "the surreal combination of poverty and happiness short-circuited my intellect". Beautiful! 

Often the people who are poor are happier and often have bigger hearts than people who are rich. there are always exceptions but I have seen that to be the case. 

I love this book and I would recommend it to you because it's a fascinating story and it helped me to learn more about eastern spirituality and the lives of sadhus from the eyes of an american teenager. and also because it gave me a lot of aha moments! 

I love it when books or podcasts do that! these mind-expanding moments are what I live for! they make my soul happy. 

when I finished the book, I felt a bit sad because it felt like I was in the company of Radhanath swami for two weeks and then all of a sudden, I'm on my own. I don't know about you but I wonder, do you also sometimes feel sad when you finish a really good book? 

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