Damodar das

Apr 132017

We have added another 200 lectures by Giriraj Swami to his radio station bringing the total to over 400 talks! Listen on girirajswami.com or tunein.com or install the TuneIn app on your mobile device. You can listen to lectures 24/7 and find other Krishna conscious radio stations too.

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Hare Krishna!

Apr 032017

1559260_10152122338719615_3260227624458222997_o“The Lord, Sri Krishna, says,

daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

‘This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.’  (Bg 7.14)

“One who surrenders to Krishna can easily overcome Maya—not directly, but by Krishna’s mercy. We do not have the strength to fight Maya independently. Maya is a very powerful energy of Krishna’s. When we surrender to Krishna He will arrange for our release from the clutches of Maya. So, Ravana is lust personified. He could be killed only by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ravana had ten heads, and as soon as one head was cut off another head would grow. In our own practice of Krishna consciousness, we can recognize this phenomenon. Material desires come one after another. And lust does not mean only sexual desire but any desire to enjoy independent of Krishna, any desire to enjoy anything in forgetfulness of Krishna which will take us further away from Krishna.” —Giriraj Swami

Rama-navami Morning Talk

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Maha Gaura-purnima, March 18, Laguna Beach, California

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Mar 272017

Presentation by Vaisesika Dasa (Right click – Save as)

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Talk on Sridhar Swami, March 18, Laguna Beach, California

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Mar 212017

03.18.17_02.LagunaGRS_SDS“One day Sridhar Swami and I decided to do Govardhana parikrama together. I was feeling pretty sick, but I didn’t want to disappoint him by stopping. He was also feeling sick, and he was thinking, ‘I don’t want to disappoint Giriraj Maharaja by stopping,’ so he also kept pushing on. Pretty soon thereafter we were both in the hospital—he for his liver problem, and I for a heart condition. While he was in the hospital in Bombay, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Kesava Bharati Maharaja, and Giridhari Swami came from Vrindavan to visit him. Having cirrhosis of the liver and cancer, he was considered a terminal patient. They advised him that he should just go to Vrindavan and chant and hear about Krishna. Much as he appreciated their visit and respected them as senior godbrothers, he thought about it and concluded, ‘That’s not me. I want to live the way I am.’ So he kept traveling and preaching, practically to the very end.”

Sridhar Swami

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From the Archives, Gaura-purnima 2013, Houston

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Mar 122017

Gaura_Purnima_Houston_2013“We hold onto our material attachments because we don’t have faith in Krishna; we don’t have faith in the holy name. First, we doubt whether Krishna actually exists — whether He’s really a person. And then we doubt whether he will really save us. If I am falling, will Krishna catch me? And if we don’t have faith that Krishna will catch us, we will think we have to make so many material arrangements to protect, or support, ourselves. And ye yatha mam prapadyante — as we surrender to Krishna, He reciprocates. If Krishna sees, ‘Oh, this person is making his own arrangements; he thinks he doesn’t need me. All right, you are making your own arrangements — you take care of yourself.’ If someone really depends on Krishna, he can experience Krishna’s intervention. We will never experience Krishna’s intervention unless we take that chance — that risk — and depend on Him. Then we can actually experience it.”

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Disappearance Anniversary of Sripada Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja, February 27, Carpinteria

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Feb 272017


 Lectures  Comments Off on Nityananda-trayodasi
Feb 072017

Nityananda AGiriraj Swami gave this talk on February 12, 2014, in New Dvaraka, Los Angeles.

“We think of Srila Prabhupada staying in the Bowery with that young man, David Allen, who was taking the New York version of strong liquor—LSD. David went mad. He could have done anything to Srila Prabhupada. And Srila Prabhupada went running down the stairs onto the street, not knowing where he would go. It was like Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura running for their life from the drunken brothers Jagai and Madhai. I cannot imagine anyone since Nityananda Prabhu and His associates who has taken up that mission of approaching anyone and everyone without discrimination and giving them the message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, as Srila Prabhupada did. And he is doing that through all of you; you are also doing the same thing. You are approaching people without discrimination and giving them the message of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the form of Srila Prabhupada’s books, or through or the hari-nama sankirtana party, which also carries books and magazines. By that activity we will get the mercy of Lord Nityanada and Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.”


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Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Disappearance Day — A Discussion by Giriraj Swami

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Dec 172016

srila_bhaktisiddhanta_sitting_cross-leggedSrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master, is my grand spiritual master, but I feel that I never really knew him that well until I read his biography Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava by my godbrother Bhakti Vikasa Swami. Many of the quotes and references below come from that work, which has helped bring me closer to my spiritual grandfather.

We are all here by the mercy of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There’s a line through which the mercy descends upon us, beginning with Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and passing, one teacher after the other, through parampara, or disciplic succession. Five thousand years ago Krsna came in His original form and in the Bhagavad-gita (9.34, 18.65) He instructed, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto: “Always think of Me and become My devotee.” Five hundred years ago the same Lord Krsna came again, in the devotional form of Sri Krsna Caitanya, to explain and personally show how to be a devotee and always think of Krsna. Lord Caitanya quoted a verse from the Brhan-naradiya Purana (38.126):

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha

“One should chant the holy name, chant the holy name, chant the holy name of Hari, Krsna. There is no other way, no other way, no other way for success in the present age of Kali.” He also desired and predicted:

prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama

“In as many towns and villages as there are on the surface of the earth, My holy name will be propagated.” (Cb 3.4.126) He expressed this desire and prediction at a time when it was almost impossible to imagine or believe that it could happen.

In the 1800s Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura began the effort to spread the holy name of Krsna to countries outside India. He wrote a small book in English called Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts and dispatched copies to libraries around the world. In recent years Srila Prabhupada’s disciples have discovered copies in libraries from Canada (McGill University) to Australia. Bhaktivinoda Thakura yearned for the day when devotees from all over the world would unite in harinama-sankirtana and wrote, “Very soon the unparalleled path of harinama-sankirtana will be propagated all over the planet. . . . Oh, for that day when the fortunate English, French, Russian, German, and American people will take up banners, mrdangas, and karatalas and perform kirtana through their streets and towns. When will that day come? Oh, for the day when the fair-skinned men from their side will raise up the chanting of ‘Jaya Sacinandana, jaya Sacinandana ki jaya!’ and join with the Bengali devotees. When will that day be?” (Sajjana-tosani) Continue reading »

The Advent of the Bhagavad-gita—Some Practical Guidance

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Dec 092016

Krishna_Speaking_the_Bhagavad-gita_to_ArjunaToday is the auspicious occasion of Gita Jayanti, the day Lord Krsna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kuruksetra, the day of Moksada Ekadasi. To begin, we shall read from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Chapter Nine, “The Most Confidential Knowledge,” two verses that can provide us with guidance for our lives:


api cet su-duracaro
bhajate mam ananya-bhak
sadhur eva sa mantavyah
samyag vyavasito hi sah


api—even; cet—if; su-duracarah—one committing the most abominable actions; bhajate—is engaged in devotional service; mam—unto Me; ananya-bhak—without deviation; sadhuh—a saint; eva—certainly; sah—he; mantavyah—is to be considered; samyak—completely; vyavasitah—situated in determination; hi—certainly; sah—he.


Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

The word su-duracarah used in this verse is very significant, and we should understand it properly. When a living entity is conditioned, he has two kinds of activities: one is conditional, and the other is constitutional. As for protecting the body or abiding by the rules of society and state, certainly there are different activities, even for the devotees, in connection with the conditional life, and such activities are called conditional. Besides these, the living entity who is fully conscious of his spiritual nature and is engaged in Krsna consciousness, or the devotional service of the Lord, has activities which are called transcendental. Such activities are performed in his constitutional position, and they are technically called devotional service.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

Following Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada is explaining that because devotees are living in the material world, they also have activities that they must perform in relation to material existence, in relation to society, state, and so on. Such activities cannot be avoided, because we are in the material world. We have to live in society. We have to live in a country. In the grhastha-asrama, one has to earn a living and pay taxes. We have to do so many things, and those activities are performed in the material world. When we go to the spiritual world, we won’t have to go to the office, pay taxes, or perform social functions, but for now we must.

There are, of course, constitutional activities that one performs both here and in the spiritual world. Sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam. We hear about Krsna. We chant about Krsna. We remember Krsna. And when we go to the spiritual world, we will engage in these same activities.

PURPORT (continued)

Now, in the conditioned state, sometimes devotional service and the conditional service in relation to the body will parallel one another. But then again, sometimes these activities become opposed to one another. As far as possible, a devotee is very cautious so that he does not do anything that could disrupt his wholesome condition.


To give an example, a person may be engaged in some work, some business, and to do his business he has to associate with nondevotees. In sastra, associating with nondevotees is discouraged and associating intimately with them is forbidden. But because the person has to earn his livelihood, he has to mix with all sorts of people, and their association is contaminating. This is an example of when conditional activities run opposite to one’s constitution.

If one is fortunate, one’s work can be done in the association of devotees. Srila Prabhupada encouraged the devotees to have businesses that would engage other devotees, so they wouldn’t have to associate extensively with nondevotees. And even better is to live in a self-sufficient community of devotees. Then you don’t have to go to the office or the shop at all. You don’t have to interact so much with the material world. You grow food, keep cows and get milk, and depend on nature and the cows. You don’t have to be involved with materialistic civilization.

So, sometimes the conditional activities run parallel to devotional service and sometimes they run opposite, and a devotee is very careful not to do anything that will disrupt his wholesome condition. He is aware that to some extent he has to interact with materialistic people in the course of his work, but he is careful not to interact with them beyond a certain point, because if he does, their association will affect his Krsna consciousness and disrupt his wholesome condition. Continue reading »