Radhanath Swami

The Journey Home Book Review

Lucy James on Radhanth Swami’s Book

Lucy James Review on Radhanath Swami's Book

Lucy James

“If a person does not have an ideal he’s ready to die for, he has nothing really
meaningful to live for”. This statement encapsulates the spirit behind Richard
Slavin’s journey home – a journey that was all part of a beautiful plan. In reading “The Journey Home – Autobiography of an American Swami”, one is struck by the kind of life that Richard Slavin (Radhanath Swami) led, or rather, was chosen to lead. The events that Radhanath Swami narrates are almost the stuff of fiction, and the reader sometimes forgets that it is an autobiography!

The author’s candid and clear expression, as also his courage in making public his struggles and weaknesses, are what make this narrative endearing.  The reader can at once identify himself with Richard Slavin at the level of an ordinary human being, and at the same time is inawe of his superhuman determination, and his unwavering conviction in his ideals. Born into a traditional Jewish family in Chicago, Richard, from his early years, wrestles with ideas about Religion, War, Hatred, and God’s role and identity in the entire scheme of things.  In order to find some answer, he makes a study of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity, but issues still remain unresolved in his mind.  His restlessness and search for a meaningful life with ideals draws him towards the counterculture of the 70’s, wearinghis hair long as an aggressive challenge to mainstream values driven bymoney, power and prejudice.

From here begins his quest for the meaning of life which takes him and his friends on a European tour, where, on the island of Crete (Greece), Richard hears an inner voice urging him to go to India. With single-
minded determination, grit and tact, he travels overland, often hitchhiking, through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and finally reaches India.  His experiences in these countries are at times spine-tingling and at other times absolutely hilarious. The narrative then takes us to his sojourn at Kathmandu, the Himalayas, Calcutta, Hrishikesh, Dev Prayag,Patna, Varanasi and finally, to his being stranded on Mathura station on the day of Janmashtami, half way through his train journey to Amarnath. His eight mile walk to Lord Krishna’s Vrindavan becomes the culmination of his journey home.

Richard’s narration of his experiences in this forest of grace is so vivid that the reader is virtually
transported to Vrindavan and can actually feel the gentle flow of the Yamuna, hear the lowing of cows and the melodious notes of Krishna’s flute. Strangely, the most seminal event in Richard Slavin’s life is narrated in an absolutely non-dramatic manner. The simple and stark dialogue between Richard and his Guru Srila Prabhupada – “I wish to offer you my life”RR”Yes, you are home.” – serves to remind us that very often, the most important events in life need not necessarily be the most dramatic. The rich and varied experiences and anecdotes that are included in the autobiography ensure that there is
never a slack moment.  Richard’s reflections on these events are something that will compel readers to ponder upon and savour.

Richard Slavin’s life is unique just as each one of ours is too.  The kind of life that he has led sculpts an image of a man who seems larger than life yet human enough to feel pain, humiliation and fear. But what inspires the reader is the power that he receives to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles through patience, perseverance and prayer.  His experiences plumbthe depths of human potential to reveal what an individual is capable of through sheer faith. “The Journey Home” is Richard Slavin’s transition from being the one who sought, to the one who is sought after. The book is a must-read, not only for the spiritualist but for anybody who is sensitive enough to see the miracle that Life is.

– Ms. Lucy James
Associate Professor,
Dept. of English,
Govt. College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Sanquelim.

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80 Comments to

“Lucy James on Radhanth Swami’s Book”

  1. On June 25th, 2010 at 2:06 pm Jagabandhu Says:

    Journey Home, the autobiography of Radhanath swami will help each and everyone to realize the importance of spiritual life which is beyond the realm of material perception. It seems very difficult to imagine a young boy traveling thousands of miles for spiritual enlightenment. When I read this for the time, I could feel the adventurous life full of uncertainties about the place, people and so many other factors. Many reviews of the book by so many eminent personalities can be in this link. http://www.thejourneyhomebook.com/

  2. On June 25th, 2010 at 7:31 pm Pawan Sabharwal Says:

    Very rightly said … So much occupied with things around us that we fail to see simple truths of life … Life is a miracle … only if we can see.

  3. On July 1st, 2010 at 6:59 pm nitin Says:

    As people are on a journey towards hellish life , this book will definately take people to new, happier and blissful life .
    i have learned more about author Radhanath Swami on

  4. On July 4th, 2010 at 7:13 am Yogita Says:

    WOW! So aptly put – the first line really captures the mood of Radhanath Swami in this book. This website has some nice weekly quotes, videos etc of the author. Check it out : http://www.radhanathswamiweekly.com/

  5. On July 6th, 2010 at 8:38 am Vinay Malani Says:

    Indeed, HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj sculpts an image of a man who seems larger than life, mainly because of the flawless spiritual qualities he possesses

  6. On July 8th, 2010 at 6:03 am Amol Says:

    Excellence has no limits… Glorious Swami

  7. On July 8th, 2010 at 5:04 pm Nausheel Unnadkat Says:

    This book- The Journey Home, will definitely lead one to the real Home, where he can find real shelter and being loved. This book will also reveal, Maharaj’s experiences portray, the real identity of the self.
    To find more meditations and realizations of beloved Gurudeva, please visit: http://radhanathswami.org/

  8. On July 12th, 2010 at 3:14 pm tanvi Says:

    Excellent statement made by Radhanath Swami in the beginning which makes the readers really think about whom should they look up on as their ideal.

  9. On July 22nd, 2010 at 11:19 am sachin komble Says:

    simple living and high thinking is very important for us.it is excellent.

  10. On July 22nd, 2010 at 3:01 pm saroj Says:

    Truely a revolutionary book 4 generations to come…!

  11. On July 22nd, 2010 at 5:57 pm Nitin L Says:

    I am inspired with thoughts, realizations and experiences of author.

  12. On July 23rd, 2010 at 7:37 am Ankur Dwivedi Says:

    Radhanatha Swami’s autobigraphy is an exciting journey through different regions of world,varied cultures,varieties of religions & of course so many interesting person’s lives.So many insights from so many adventures.I really thank Radhanatha Swami for revealing this great journey to the world.

  13. On July 26th, 2010 at 9:10 am Petra Says:

    While reading this book there were moments when I also forgot that it’s actually autobiography. It like book contains all kind of genre – novel, detective story, spiritual story etc.

  14. On July 26th, 2010 at 10:03 am Vikas Shinde Says:

    It is a book to convince each and every individual to understand that how God guides a sincere seeker towards Himself.A true seeker only find the hand of God in all external circumstances or situations whether good or bad, and learn from them.
    Radhanath swami maharaj’s journey home is the journey to home for all who reads it.

  15. On July 26th, 2010 at 10:24 am Padmalochana Says:

    very nice radhanath swami maharaj

  16. On July 26th, 2010 at 6:18 pm Tushar Gaikwad Says:

    Radhanath swami has shown thru his example so nicely how one should sincerely search and then surrender to God.

  17. On July 28th, 2010 at 9:02 am Bhavesh Says:

    This book is a torchlight for me. There are so many practical lessons in this book…for any type of reader, from a student to the CEO of an organization.

  18. On July 29th, 2010 at 2:35 pm drsunil Says:

    Radhanath swami has searched for a path to godhead and given it to us. We just need to remain on this path. Thank you Maharaj

  19. On August 4th, 2010 at 9:33 pm Pramathesh Says:

    Very nice review. Radhanath Swami can certainly be related with by a very normal man like us and at the same time by a resillient renunciant

  20. On August 5th, 2010 at 2:34 pm raghunath puridas Says:

    When you read maharaj’s journey we go through so many emotions

    It is perspiring to see the various adventures and dangers he went through
    It is inspiring to see how he took every event as a personal message of the lord

  21. On August 6th, 2010 at 3:48 am Anil Timbe Says:

    “If a person does not have an ideal he’s ready to die for, he has nothing
    really meaningful to live for.” It’s truly beautiful statement. Nice review.

  22. On August 6th, 2010 at 4:43 pm Vivek Pandav Says:

    Heart inspiring book

  23. On August 11th, 2010 at 9:09 am prashant a Says:

    each and every page of the Book The Journey Home is filled with lessons and something inspiring to come to close to God.

  24. On August 12th, 2010 at 11:23 am Tushar Gaikwad Says:

    It is very inspiring to read the book by Radhanath swami. The values are decreasing everyday but it is very encouraging to read the life based on values.

  25. On August 13th, 2010 at 6:49 am umesh Says:

    Really as Lucy points out one completely forgets that one is reading the autobiography and it almost looks like a fiction. It’s extremely rare to find someone who has lived such a life.

  26. On August 17th, 2010 at 6:58 pm Shra1wiz Says:

    This review of Radhanath Swami’s Autobiography is commendable. Within small words, Ms. Lucy James has captured the essence of the Journey Home so beautifully. Thank you!

  27. On August 18th, 2010 at 3:22 pm Srijana Says:

    You have so aptly described the book, its very inspiring and so is the story of HH Radhanath Swami.

  28. On August 20th, 2010 at 9:24 am umesh Says:

    “Richard’s narration of his experiences in this forest of grace is so vivid that the reader is virtually transported to Vrindavan”

    Really Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s description of Vridavan is very vivid.

  29. On August 21st, 2010 at 2:08 am Nisha Says:

    Very inspiring book, the best gift u can give to anyone to inspire and boost one’s spiritual quest.

  30. On August 25th, 2010 at 4:58 pm bipin Says:

    All Glories To H.H.Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    The Feeling is simply Indescribeable

    Hare Krishna

  31. On August 28th, 2010 at 5:29 am Sujit Mehta Says:

    Books fascinate many and as per individual liking one buys and reads them. The Journey Home Book by Radhanath Swami is not just a book, for the uninterested it may not sound as a good investment or something necessary. But lets find a person who say’s – What the Hell! Why do I need water for my survival. I’ll prove this to be a myth. What are the chances of him living to tell is tale? Radhanath Swamis Book Quenches our ever unsatisfied and unrealized Thirst.

  32. On August 29th, 2010 at 4:07 am Manish Raikundalia Says:

    Very nice comments.

  33. On August 30th, 2010 at 3:42 am anjanadri Says:

    Very beautifully presented by Radhanath swami. This book I am sure will serve as a guide for genuine spiritual seekers

  34. On August 30th, 2010 at 7:42 pm madhura Says:

    Amazing book which will inspire everyone to read.

  35. On September 7th, 2010 at 6:45 am Ram Mohan Gupta Says:

    If a person does not have an ideal he’s ready to die for, he has nothing
    really meaningful to live for. — I really wish to keep this statement in my heart.

  36. On September 23rd, 2010 at 4:48 am Manish Advani Says:

    Life is waste without having an ideal in life.

  37. On October 27th, 2010 at 7:30 am Sumit Says:

    The Journey Home by Radhanath Swami is just an eye opener for those who are desiring to know and realize the Absolute Truth.

  38. On October 31st, 2010 at 5:35 pm Sumit Says:

    Glories of Radhanath Swami are beyond words.

  39. On November 8th, 2010 at 9:03 pm Shashi Says:

    All the words in the book journey home are coming from a sincere person who wants to learn about real meaning of life and without ambiguity

  40. On November 10th, 2010 at 4:09 am Shyam Bihari Das Says:

    This book is my inspiration, and I read it when i need a lift. I left India and came to the US looking for material gains, and I am still looking. HH Radhanath swami came to India from the US looking for Krishna and his spiritual master. He found Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and is at complete peace within and without. He got what he was determined to find, whereas I am still lost in my material quests. This book has helped me realize what is important and what is not. It has provided perspective to my life. It is a must read for all.

  41. On November 11th, 2010 at 4:14 pm Sumit Says:

    Nice words about Radhanath Swami’s book. Surely, all of the qualities mentioned here are there in Radhanath Swami.

  42. On November 12th, 2010 at 2:52 am Manasa Says:

    Ms. Lucy James’s words are really true. “The Journey Home” shows us the way to the spiritual life

  43. On November 17th, 2010 at 9:46 am Vinay Rachh Says:

    It’s so nice to see that Academicians like Lucy James are inspired by this book

  44. On November 26th, 2010 at 5:30 am Karthik Says:

    Very nice review and overview of the Book. I felt like immediately reading the book again.

  45. On November 29th, 2010 at 4:47 pm Vidya Patham Says:

    It is truly inspiring to see eminent personalities also taking up the message of Radhanath Swami’s book.

  46. On December 3rd, 2010 at 10:35 am umesh sarda Says:

    truly the determination shown by Radhanath Swami Maharaj is super- natural despite meeting life threatening situations and the bogus people showing themselves to be a guru.

  47. On December 3rd, 2010 at 2:35 pm Kuldeep Soni Says:

    very nice.

  48. On December 8th, 2010 at 11:54 am Paul Mathews Says:

    Wonderful book, and very well said by Lucy.

  49. On December 16th, 2010 at 2:13 pm Jamadagni Mishra Says:


  50. On January 6th, 2011 at 1:12 pm Mahendra Sahu Says:

    Very Nice…

  51. On January 14th, 2011 at 1:47 pm Glentin Franklin De Silva Says:

    Read the book, fascinating Thank you

  52. On February 9th, 2011 at 1:42 pm Vinay Rachh Says:

    must read book

  53. On April 19th, 2011 at 6:36 am Utkarsh Says:

    Yes this is a must read book. Awesome review too.

  54. On June 8th, 2011 at 6:06 am tushar Says:

    This book is classic example of a person whose life is personally orchestrated by the divine will of the Lord

  55. On July 4th, 2011 at 12:16 pm vvdd Says:

    fantastic reviews for a wonderful book

  56. On July 14th, 2011 at 10:52 am Madhava Govinda Says:

    It is amazing, Radhanath Swami is inspiring personality to every one.

  57. On July 17th, 2011 at 9:21 am Tallam Sita Ramaiah Says:

    Generally, people are on a journey towards hellish life performing abominable acts. But this book will definitely take people to a new and happier life .

  58. On July 18th, 2011 at 2:53 pm Vidya Patham Says:

    It is thanks to Radhanath Swami that many people have got spiritual re-birth. Thus his book is very close to their hearts.

  59. On July 19th, 2011 at 9:02 am gopasana Says:

    very heartfelt review of the book…and a very appropriate conclusion

  60. On July 21st, 2011 at 1:47 am vraja manjari Says:

    Great review. Thank you!

  61. On July 21st, 2011 at 3:31 pm Arabinda Says:

    It;s the best quote – if you don;t have something to die for, you have nothing useful to live for!

  62. On July 22nd, 2011 at 10:48 am vvdd Says:


  63. On July 23rd, 2011 at 5:37 pm Amol Kulkarni Says:

    Thank you Madam for insights on ‘The Journey Home’. We are all eternally indebted to Radhanath Swamiji

  64. On July 27th, 2011 at 1:22 pm naresh Jethwa Says:

    Excellent, Thank you

  65. On July 30th, 2011 at 2:36 am surekha Says:

    Journey Home is really a wonderful book and worth reading it. Thank you for giving insights of the book

  66. On August 1st, 2011 at 5:55 pm madhavi Says:

    All Glories to Radhanath swami.

  67. On August 11th, 2011 at 6:53 pm Sunny Says:

    Such a perfect conclusion: The book is a must-read, not only for the spiritualist but for anybody who is sensitive enough to see the miracle that Life is…

  68. On August 21st, 2011 at 2:53 am surekha Says:

    Thank you Lucy for giving the total description of the Journey Home in this article. Journey Home is a must read book by everyone.

  69. On August 24th, 2011 at 3:00 pm Chandrika Says:

    This is an adventurous book.

  70. On September 2nd, 2011 at 8:44 am Deepak Says:

    Truely amazing book

  71. On September 16th, 2011 at 9:30 am Anand Says:

    This quote of Maharaj is one of my favorites
    “If a person does not have an ideal he’s ready to die for, he has nothing really meaningful to live for”..
    Haribol.. HH Radhanath Swami Maharaj ki Jai!

  72. On September 20th, 2011 at 6:10 pm Citra Gopi DD Says:

    A truly wonderful book.

  73. On September 27th, 2011 at 10:09 pm achyuta govinda Says:


  74. On September 28th, 2011 at 11:35 pm poonam Says:

    Thanks for sharing this review. The book is absolutely wonderful. I liked your point that sometimes the most important moments in our lives are not the most dramatic ones; this is very true!

  75. On September 30th, 2011 at 5:26 am jackie Says:

    they should make a movie out of this!!!!

  76. On October 4th, 2011 at 10:38 am Milind M Churi Says:

    Honestly written comment by Lucy James.A proper judgement is made in this comment.Very inspiring and useful.Thank you very much for sharing with us.

  77. On October 5th, 2011 at 9:26 am Paramesvara Dasa Says:

    Good appreciation. Very nice suggestion for all. All glories to the readers and the author, An American Swami, HH Radhanatha Swami.

  78. On November 5th, 2011 at 9:42 am Roshan Kumar Hota Says:

    Thank you for that learned review.

  79. On December 30th, 2011 at 11:59 pm surekha Says:

    Thank you for your wonderful comments about the Journey Home by Radhanath swami.

  80. On February 4th, 2012 at 9:54 am Jagannath Dham Das Says:

    Thank you very much Prof.Lucy James for sharing your review about the autobiography of Radhanath Swami !
    Hare Krishna !

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His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Founder Acharya of the International Society For Krishna Consciousness

The Journey Home - Autobiography of An American Swami

Radhanath swami's - The Journey Home Book

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