Jul 272014
 

07.19.14_SBSarvatma das lead sweet kirtan and Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 12.5.

“A person in Krishna consciousness, engaged in devotional service, simply by the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, simply by offering regulative obeisances unto the Deity, simply by hearing the glories of the Lord, and simply by eating the remnants of foodstuffs offered to the Lord, realizes the Supreme Personality of Godhead very easily. There is no doubt that the impersonalists are unnecessarily taking a troublesome path with the risk of not realizing the Absolute Truth at the ultimate end. But the personalist, without any risk, trouble or difficulty, approaches the Supreme Personality directly. A similar passage appears in Srimad-Bhagavatam. It is stated there that if one ultimately has to surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead (this surrendering process is called bhakti), but instead takes the trouble to understand what is Brahman and what is not Brahman and spends his whole life in that way, the result is simply troublesome. Therefore it is advised here that one should not take up this troublesome path of self-realization, because there is uncertainty in the ultimate result.”

Bhagavad-gita 12.5 purport

First kirtan by Sarvatma das
Second kirtan by Sarvatma das
Bhagavad-gita 12.5 talk by Giriraj Swami

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Jul 202014
 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.7.33 during the morning class.

“Lord Siva said, ‘My dear beautiful Parvati, have you seen the greatness of Vaisnavas?’ He was referring to Citraketu. ‘Although you are beautiful and glorious, you cannot compete with the beauty and glory of devotees who are servants of the servants of the Supreme Lord Hari. They are great souls and are not interested in any kind of material happiness.’ Then he said,

narayana-parah sarve
na kutascana bibhyati
svargapavarga-narakesv
api tulyartha-darsinah

‘Devotees solely engaged in the devotional service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, never fear any condition of life. For them the heavenly planets, liberation, and the hellish planets are all the same, for such devotees are interested only in the service of the Lord.’  (SB 6.17.28)

“After Parvati heard Citraketu’s discourse and her husband’s (Siva’s) explanation, she became peaceful; she realized that Citraketu had not actually been offensive to Lord Siva, and she felt ashamed for having misunderstood him and cursed him.”

Appreciating Vaisnavas, Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.7.33

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Jul 152014
 

07.13.14s_LARtadhvaja Swami, Jayadvaita Swami, Giriraj Swami, and other devotees and guests were present at this ceremony, in which Giriraj Swami awarded second initiation to Krishna Kirtan Das, from Ventura, and first initiation to Brent Pyeatt, from Bellingham, WA, who received the name Balabhadra Das, and to Nick Pritchard, from LA, who received the name Narottam Das.

“Srila Prabhupada had a press conference during the pandal program in Calcutta. A lot of the reporters were in that atheist-communist mood. One of the reporters asked, ‘What is the use of spending all this money on this big elaborate arrangement? What are you going to achieve by this?’ The implication was that we could have used the money to feed poor people or do some charitable work. Srila Prabhupada replied, ‘What will it achieve? It will achieve hearing. This whole elaborate arrangement that you are seeing has come from hearing. Some young men and women heard from me, and because they heard they have been inspired to make this arrangement.’ And that is a fact—everything begins from hearing. And then, as Srila Prabhupada would say, following his Guru Maharaja, ‘One who hears nicely can speak nicely.’ So, we are not manufacturing anything new, we are simply repeating what we have heard from Srila Prabhupada and our predecessors.”

—Giriraj Swami

Rtadhvaja Swami
Jaidvaita Swami
Giriraj Swami

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Jul 152014
 

Prabhupada-on-Juhu-TerraceHere is another inspiring exchange with Srila Prabhupada about Hare Krishna Land, Juhu. —GS

Tamala Krsna: You always came out victorious—always. I have never seen you defeated. In Bombay it was absolutely impossible. It seemed to be impossible.

Prabhupada: Nobody encouraged—not a single man. Who could see that such a big project would come up?

Tamala Krsna: Only you could see that—you and Radha-Rasabihari. I was . . .

Prabhupada: Still, I was determined: “No, this place is very nice.”

Tamala Krsna: They should write a book about that.

Prabhupada: Yes, it is worth writing, history.

(Room Conversation, June 18, 1977, Vrindavan)

 

Jul 062014
 

Srila Prabhupada on Juhu TerraceWhile gathering and reviewing information for writing about Srila Prabhupada and Juhu, I came across an interesting conversation with him that I thought to share with you. —GS

Hrdayananda: Your Bombay project is very impressive. We’ve just taken a tour.

Prabhupada: Therefore I persistently took that place. Nobody encouraged me, “He is all . . .” Nobody helped me. I hesitated a little, that “If I am persistent to take it, they will not cooperate. It may be a failure.” Still, I took it. And only fifty thousand and one lakh of rupees I gave this thief Nair: “All right, take it. Come on. Whatever I have got, you take it.” Still he thought, “Oh. I’ll get money.”

Tamala Krsna: He had already played the trick with one man.

Prabhupada: Still, I took the risk, that “I have no money. If he cheats me, that’s all right, but let me attempt.”

Tamala Krsna: Then you installed the Deity as soon as possible.

Prabhupada: Yes. Immediately Akash Ganga left. All Krsna’s desire.

Tamala Krsna: Everyone is appreciating how wonderful this project is—all of Bombay.

Prabhupada: So many obstacles, one after another, one after another, one after another.

Tamala Krsna: Krsna would not leave.

Prabhupada: No. That was my request: “Please sit down here tight. Then I shall do everything.” Continue reading »

Jul 042014
 

SP GS Juhu BeachAfter the conveyance of the Juhu land—Hare Krishna Land—was finally signed in 1973, Srila Prabhupada declared, “It was a good fight. Someone should write a book about it.”

Srila Prabhupada had already given me the direct instruction to write, and I thought that I would be the person to write that book.

In fact, I am the only devotee who was intimately involved in the project from the time Srila Prabhupada got possession of the land in 1972 to the time the temple opened in 1978.

Over the years, and especially recently, well-wishing friends, including Indradyumna Swami, Radhanath Swami, Rtadhvaja Swami, and Sacinandana Swami, have urged me to take up writing about Srila Prabhupada and Juhu as my first priority, and now, by Srila Prabhupada and the devotees’ grace, I have begun.

I request you to bless me with your prayers and good wishes, that I may complete this work as Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari, the presiding Deities at Hare Krishna Land, would want, for their pleasure and for the pleasure of their devotees.

Thank you very much.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service to Srila Prabhupada,
Giriraj Swami

Jun 282014
 

06.26.14_05.SBT_SB“Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote something like one hundred and four books. Anyone who has tried will know that it is difficult to publish even a small pamphlet perfectly. And Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote more than one hundred books—some of them very long. You can understand from these descriptions how elevated some of the subjects were and how intricate the expositions were, with correspondences between the times of the day and the eight verses of the Siksataka and the eight stages of spiritual development in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu. By reading his books one’s mind will definitely become absorbed in Krishna consciousness and one will try to apply them in one’s life.”
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06.26.14_04.SBT_SB06.26.14_01.SBT_SB06.26.14_02.SBT_SB06.26.14_03.SBT_SB———————————

Kirtan by Sarvatma das
Talk by Giriraj Swami
Ohe! Vaisnava Thakura by Sarvatma das
Kabe Ha’be Bolo by Radhika
Nrsimha prayers and Kirtan by Giriraj Swami

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Jun 222014
 

vidura_manjariIMG_1981-

 

 

 

 

 

 

“All the circumstances surrounding her departure were auspicious: She left on the same tithi (date) as Tamal Krishna Goswami—which was the same tithi as Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s disappearance—and at the same time of day. And when she was brought outside, there were so many auspicious signs. For example, a gentle rain began, and a rainbow appeared in the sky. So many auspicious signs, one after the other. If someone had made a movie of it, I would have thought it was too contrived: ‘Do you expect us to believe that all these auspicious signs could really be there? Maybe one or two, but not so many.’ I think it is quite clear that both Vidura das and Manjari dasi went back to Godhead.”

—Giriraj Swami

Naikatma das
Nirantara das
Giriraj Swami
Krishna Prema das
Rupanuga das

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Jun 202014
 

TKG_slideshowGiriraj Swami and Tamal Krishna Goswami’s brother and sister-in-law, Kalachandji das and Sraddhanjali dasi, shared memories and realizations of Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja via Skype with devotees in Israel.

“My understanding is that like everything else he did his entering academia was not out of a personal preference but out of what he saw as necessary for his service to Srila Prabhupada. And we can see that in the result of his dissertation, which is totally a glorification of Srila Prabhupada. I had been in academia for many years already, but it was like I was the tortoise and he shot ahead of me as the hare. But actually it was a great austerity for him as well. Although he loved to have his intellect engaged in many ways and he saw how he could use the university and academia to preach Krishna consciousness, it was not academia or the university in itself that appealed to him. When he first arrived there he was very excited to be engaged in that way. His letters from when he first arrived in Cambridge are full of excitement, exuberance, and energy. But his letters from shortly before he went to Mayapur are a very different tone. They express much more the austerities involved in that enterprise. He was known as such a strong and heavy guru, but I think by nature he was very much a man of the heart—very soft and loving. But to be a spiritual master required great strength. Engaging that aspect of his personality was as much a service as it defined his personality.”

—Kalachandji das

Israeli Skype Call

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Jun 192014
 

TKG_1Giriraj Swami and devotees in Carpinteria and Durban shared memories and realizations of Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja via Skype.

“One of the main things I learned from Goswami Maharaja was that love is not just sentimental words and offering obeisances and garlands but it is expressed in the details of one’s service—details like serving one dhokla at a time to ensure that you get them warm, and to not speculate. I was thinking to bring a few at a time so I could leave you and Goswami Maharaja alone to discuss privately as far as possible, but I was speculating, and he immediately cut through all of that. He taught us not to speculate and to show our love in the details of our service.

—Swarup Damodar das

 

Various Devotees
Giriraj Swami

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