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Liberation: How to Begin

July 25, 2009 by Andrew Baerthel

Liberation CoverOn December 29th 1973, Swami Radha gave a satsang talk on the subject of Liberation. It has evolved through different formats and mediums over the years and is now available digitally after being completely remastered, refined and polished. In this post, Lightwaves proudly presents an audio clip of the first chapter, How to Begin, along with reflections from media intern, Andrew Baerthel and resident sanyasin, Swami Durgananda.


A fellow karma yogi once told me that the quickest way to enlightenment was through working with audio recordings of Swami Radha’s talks. Liberation is one of the talks that I’ve had the priveledge of working with as part of my karma yoga at the Ashram. Removing all of the unwanted sounds, coughs and assorted background noises was the first task I approached. As I worked, it was inspiring to see the clarity come forward – I was watching something emerge, take shape and shine through. Taking great care to preserve the authenticity of the recording was a very high priority, and in doing so it felt like I was able to connect with a very caring and nurturing aspect within myself.

I can remember having several talks with Swami Durgananda as I worked on the project. She isn’t shy to admit that Liberation is her favorite talk by Swami Radha, and would glow in anticipation as I worked away. She recently took some time to reflect on what the talk meant to her:

Swami Radha’s talk, Liberation, is one of her richest and most helpful talks for students at all levels of development. She is clear and direct, giving us what we need to free ourselves from what she calls our “self-made prisons.” They are part of our reality in our daily life.

She suggests we make a list of what keeps us from making changes and fulfilling our purpose. She mentions our attachments, our mechanical habits, fears, anxiety and uncultivated imagination. We need to use what she calls “straight walk thinking”. This involves not only writing in a journal but also reviewing what we have written and then taking action. In this way we are following the path of yoga and using the power of choice. She reminds us not to weed our neighbor’s garden as we have plenty to do in your own gardens and to take responsibility without judging ourselves: “We all have made mistakes but what do you want to do Now?”

My response to this talk was a feeling of gratitude for the help in becoming more aware and for giving me areas of focus to work on. I don’t have to judge myself but just remember that Liberation comes one step at a time.

The audio clip included in this post begins Swami Radha’s talk and she immediately brings us straight to the practical. “It’s not some lofty philosophical idea that I will talk about… I’m talking about the liberation as we have to start and begin with it. Because liberation has to begin in the here and now of our daily life.” The full digitally remastered album (along with several other items) is now available for purchase on iTunes by Clicking Here. As Timeless continues to evolve and move forward, Lightwaves will keep you up to date as more titles and talks by Swami Radha become available. If you would like to help support our publishing initiatives, you may Donate to the Yasodhara Ashram Society by Clicking Here.


Andrew B


How to Begin


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  1. A quality recording, good work Andrew. Swami Radha’s talk is fearless, well grounded in the real and gives me a loving, gentle kick in the pants. I will be downloading the full talk from itunes. What a great series to take back with me and listen to in my daily life outside the Ashram. Thanks again. Namaste.

    Comment by Cake — July 28, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

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