Apr 172019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.23-25.

“Ravana wanted to steal the property of the Lord and enjoy it for himself. We, in our own ways, may have that same inclination—to be the proprietors, the enjoyers, and the controllers. The materialistic mind and false ego put us in competition with the Supreme Lord. And it is a great process to become free from the sense of false proprietorship.”

Rama-navami talk (Right-click to download)

Apr 162019

“Jatayu was really no match for Ravana. But still, out of duty and love, he fought Ravana and was defeated. Later, when Lord Ramachandra was traveling through the forest looking for Sita, He came upon Jatayu, who explained exactly what he had seen. Lord Ramachandra was so pleased with Jatayu that He embraced him and told him He loved him like His own father. Jatayu died in the Lord’s arms, and Lord then performed the funeral ceremony for him just like a dutiful son. Srila Prabhupada used this story to illustrate the point that if we give our lives to the service of the Lord, even if the opposing elements are too powerful for us to be victorious externally, the Lord will be pleased and we will be successful.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.23 (Right-click to download)

Apr 122019

Today, in observance of Sri Rama-navami, we shall read a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Two, Chapter Seven: “Scheduled Incarnations.”


yasma adad udadhir udha-bhayanga-vepo
margam sapady ari-puram haravad didhaksoh
dure suhrn-mathita-rosa-susona-drstya


The Personality of Godhead Ramacandra, being aggrieved for His distant intimate friend [Sita], glanced over the city of the enemy Ravana with red-hot eyes like those of Hara [who wanted to burn the kingdom of heaven]. The great ocean, trembling in fear, gave Him His way because its family members, the aquatics like the sharks, snakes, and crocodiles, were being burnt by the heat of the angry red-hot eyes of the Lord.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

The Personality of Godhead has every sentiment of a sentient being, like all other living beings, because He is the chief and original living entity, the supreme source of all other living beings. He is the nitya, or the chief eternal amongst all other eternals. He is the chief one, and all others are the dependent many. The many eternals are supported by the one eternal, and thus both the eternals are qualitatively one. Due to such oneness, both the eternals constitutionally have a complete range of sentiments, but the difference is that the sentiments of the chief eternal are different in quantity from the sentiments of the dependent eternals. When Ramacandra was angry and showed His red-hot eyes, the whole ocean became heated with that energy, so much so that the aquatics within the great ocean felt the heat, and the personified ocean trembled in fear and offered the Lord an easy path for reaching the enemy’s city. The impersonalists will see havoc in this red-hot sentiment of the Lord because they want to see negation in perfection. Because the Lord is absolute, the impersonalists imagine that in the Absolute the sentiment of anger, which resembles mundane sentiments, must be conspicuous by absence. Due to a poor fund of knowledge, they do not realize that the sentiment of the Absolute Person is transcendental to all mundane concepts of quality and quantity. Had Lord Ramacandra’s sentiment been of mundane origin, how could it disturb the whole ocean and its inhabitants? Can any mundane red-hot eye generate heat in the great ocean? These are factors to be distinguished in terms of the personal and impersonal conceptions of the Absolute Truth. As it is said in the beginning of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the Absolute Truth is the source of everything, so the Absolute Person cannot be devoid of the sentiments that are reflected in the temporary mundane world. Rather, the different sentiments found in the Absolute, either in anger or in mercy, have the same qualitative influence, or, in other words, there is no mundane difference of value because these sentiments are all on the absolute plane. Such sentiments are definitely not absent in the Absolute, as the impersonalists think, making their mundane estimation of the transcendental world.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

The Vedanta-sutra begins with the aphorism janmady asya yatah: “The Absolute Truth is that from which everything emanates.” Srimad-Bhagavatam begins with the same words and explains that the Absolute Truth, the origin of everything, is a person—the Supreme Person, Krishna (krsnas tu bhagavan svayam). He is the origin of everything spiritual and material, and in the Bhagavad-gita He confirms, “I am the origin of everything. From me everything emanates.”

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah

“I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.” (Gita 10.8) Further, He says, aham adir hi devanam: “I am the source of the devas.” (Gita 10.2) Srila Prabhupada explains that the three primal devas, or gods, are Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh and that Krishna is the origin of them all—even of Vishnu.

Srimad-Bhagavatam describes the Absolute Truth in detail. It lists twenty-six incarnations of Godhead and states, ete camsa-kalah pumsah krsnas tu bhagavan svayam: “All of these incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krsna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (SB 1.3.28) As such, Krishna includes all of the other incarnations, including the incarnation of Lord Ramachandra. Thus we need not worship Lord Ramachandra separately. By worshiping Krishna, we automatically worship Lord Rama simultaneously.

Krishna, being the origin of everything and everyone, is also the origin of us, the living entities. So whatever qualities we have must also exist in Krishnaoriginally. We have individuality, so Krishna must too. We have form, and so must Krishna. We have thinking and feeling and willing, so Krishna must too. And we have activities, so Krishna must too. Krishna, the Absolute Truth, has everything that we have plus more—and in greater quantity.

In the specific incarnation of Rama, the Lord acts as the ideal human being—the ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal king. The Ramayana, the history of Lord Rama, is filled with the exemplary behavior of the Lord and His associates, and they all show ideal examples. Sita shows the ideal of a chaste wife, Laksmana and Bharata of faithful brothers. The Ramayana is full of ideal examples that we are meant to follow—ideal father, ideal son, ideal brother, ideal husband, ideal wife, ideal servant, ideal ruler, and so on.

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Apr 092019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 3.10.

“After reading, discussing, and considering, the conclusion is that we should engage in sankirtana-yajna. That will enable us to live happily in this life and to go back home, back to Godhead at the end of this life. We should all chant as much as possible—Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Srila Prabhupada said that anyone can chant. ‘Even a child can take part in the chanting and dancing.’ ”

Sunday Festival Talk (Right click to download)

Apr 082019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 3.10.

“The Lord created this material world to enable the conditioned souls to learn how to perform yajñas (sacrifices) for the satisfaction of Visnu, so that while in the material world they can live very comfortably without anxiety, and after finishing the present material body they can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the whole program for the conditioned soul. By performance of yajña, the conditioned souls gradually become Krsna conscious and become godly in all respects. In the Age of Kali, the sankirtana-yajña (the chanting of the names of God) is recommended by the Vedic scriptures, and this transcendental system was introduced by Lord Caitanya for the deliverance of all men in this age. Sankirtana-yajña and Krsna consciousness go well together.” (Gita 3.10 purport)

Darshan Room Discussion (Right-click to download)

Apr 052019

“The residents of Vrindavan, including Srimati Radharani, decided to go to Kurukshetra to see Krishna. Krishna, or Jagannatha, with His sister, Subhadra, and brother, Balarama, went from Dvaraka to Kurukshetra on a chariot. At Kurukshetra, the residents of Vrindavan met them and they were filled with ecstatic love to see Krishna again after a long separation. But Srimati Radharani felt that She could not enjoy serving Krishna the same way at Kurukshetra as She did in Vrindavan. In Kurukshetra Krishna was dressed as a royal prince, there was the clatter of chariots, there were horses and elephants, whereas Vrindavan is a very sweet pastoral place. So Radharani’s mood was, ‘I am the same Radharani, and you are the same Krishna, but We cannot relish our time together in this opulent realm of Kurukshetra, so please come back to Vrindavan.’ The internal spiritual mood of the devotees while pulling the chariot with ropes is that they are bringing Krishna back to Vrindavan.”

Sunday Festival Talk

Apr 022019

“If you buy a plane ticket from Dallas to New York, you are destined to go to New York. But you still have free will to decide how you use your time on the airplane and once you arrive. Our destiny may carry us in a certain direction to a certain place, but we still have free will how we engage ourselves on the way and when we reach. So, we should use our free will in the best possible way, which is to revive our relationship with God—Krishna. Whatever we are doing, wherever we are, we can be in God consciousness, Krishna consciousness.”
Ratha-yatra – Ask a Monk Q&A (Right-click to download)