Jun 172018
 

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06.16.18 IDS  PanihatiLaguna (Right click to download)
06.16.18 GRS Panihati Laguna (Right click to download)

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Jun 132018
 

By Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, I successfully completed my vratas (vows) for the sacred, extra month of Purusottama. I chanted extra rounds and read and recited the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita (Purusottama-yoga) every day—and I finished the first draft of my book about Srila Prabhupada and Juhu (I’ll Build You a Temple). And, remembering how Dr. Patel brought Prabhupada a palmful of sea water on the last day of the month, for his auspicious bath, I also took some sea water on my head. So, by Srila Prabhupada and devotees’ grace, I feel a sense of accomplishment and internal happiness.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Jun 122018
 

This morning while chanting japa before my deity of Srila Prabhupada, I was struck by how merciful he had been to accept me as his disciple, appreciating that, despite all my failings, he will never let me go but would do whatever it takes to deliver me. As he said of his guru maharaja, “My spiritual master was no ordinary spiritual master—he saved me.” Thinking of Srila Prabhupada’s compassionate, selfless commitment, my hard heart melted.

Hare Krishna.

Your grateful servant,
Giriraj Swami

Jun 072018
 

Giriraj Swami, Indradyumna Swami, and all the other devotees staying at the ashram in Carpinteria went to visit Rajani Priya dasi (Rose Forkash), age 97, and spent two hours with her.

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Indradyumna Swami’s kirtan (Right click to download)

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Jun 062018
 

Indradyumna Swami Maharaja has come to spend four weeks with me at my ashram in Carpinteria, and today, watching him do his Deity worship, I was reminded of a statement in Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.5.23–24 purport) that a devotee “unable to worship the Deity must at least see the Deity worship, and in that way he may achieve success also.” Deity worship is one of the five most potent items in devotional service, and witnessing Maharaja’s worship had a powerful effect on my heart.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Jun 012018
 

After almost fifty years, I was surprised to receive a letter this week from my freshman roommate at Brandeis University, Sam Hamburg. He had heard that I had “changed my name” from Glenn Teton to Giriraj, and he had traced me, followed me, and then written me, saying that he would be in Santa Barbara on Friday, June 1, and asking if he could visit. I welcomed him, and we spent two wonderful hours together. Since Brandeis, he had become a clinical psychologist, specializing in marriage, and I had become a Hare Krishna devotee. We remembered old friends and professors, shared experiences and lessons learned, and found that fifty years had not diminished our affection and appreciation for each other. He gave me a copy of his book Will Our Love Last? A Couple’s Road Map, and I gave him a copy of my Life’s Final Exam.

Sam, thank you so much for remembering me and visiting me. I treasure our friendship.

—Giriraj

May 302018
 

Every day during the auspicious Purusottama month, I read the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita, “Purusottama-yoga”—“The Yoga of the Supreme Person,” in which the seventh verse is one of the most significant.

mamaivamso jiva-loke 
jiva bhutah sanatanah
 
manah sasthanindriyani
 
prakrti-sthani karsati

“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.”

I found Srila Prabhupada’s purport to be both thorough and profound—a spiritual masterpiece and work of genius—and wished that other devotees could similarly contemplate its liberating depth and beauty.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

May 292018
 

Audio
Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.12, 13 (Right click to download)

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May 282018
 

Giriraj Swami spoke to friends and devotees  in Srila Prabhupada’s quarters.

“Srila Prabhupada was talking about forming a political party. There was a movement in America that the government shouldn’t have the slogan ‘In God We Trust’ on money and elsewhere, because what about the Americans who don’t believe in God? So Prabhupada said that we must capture the power before they remove it. And some of his disciples formed the ‘In God We Trust’ party.”

Prabhupada’s Quarters, LA (Right click to download)

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May 222018
 

My disciple Rohini-nandana Dasa, from Israel, who has helped tremendously with my book about Srila Prabhupada and Juhu, and his devoted wife, Vrinda Devi Dasi, a wonderful disciple of Bhurijana Prabhu (she took the picture), have come to spend eight days with us in Carpinteria. We are relishing their association and look forward to more of it whenever time and circumstances—and Srila Prabhupada and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy—allow. They and other devotees are rendering invaluable service to Sri Guru and Gauranga in Israel.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami