Damodar das

Jun 242016
 

06.23.16_04.TKG_App_Carp“Sometimes we would discuss something together and at times he was clearly right, but other times I would feel that I saw something that he didn’t see and he would not agree. But I had faith in him because it happened again and again that in the morning he would chant and reflect on whatever the issue was and if it really was a point where he should have come around, he did come around. Although he was such a powerful and forceful person, he was controlled, even invisibly, by Krishna and Srila Prabhupada.

—Giriraj Swami

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Devotees’  Appreciations
Giriraj Swami’s Appreciation

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Jun 172016
 

harinam-sankirtan3Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 3.10 at a home program.

“In the Age of Kali, the sankirtana-yajna (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-yajna and Krsna consciousness go well together. Lord Krsna in His devotional form (as Lord Caitanya) is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32) as follows, with special reference to the sankirtana-yajna:

krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam
sangopangastra-parsadam
yajñaih sankirtana-prayair
yajanti hi su-medhasah

‘In this Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of sankirtana-yajna.’ Other yajnas prescribed in the Vedic literatures are not easy to perform in this Age of Kali, but the sankirtana-yajna is easy and sublime for all purposes.” (Bg 3.10 purport)

Bhagavad-gita 3.10, McClean, Virginia

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Jun 122016
 

prahladaGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.18.9.

” ‘If the Krsna consciousness movement spreads all over the world, and if by the grace of Krsna everyone accepts it, the thinking of envious people will change. Everyone will think of the welfare of others. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays, sivam mitho dhiya. In material activities, everyone is envious of others, but in Krsna consciousness, no one is envious of anyone else; everyone thinks of the welfare of others. Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays that everyone’s mind may become gentle by being fixed at the lotus feet of Krsna (bhajatad adhoksaje). As indicated elsewhere in Srimad-Bhagavatam (sa vai manah krsna-padaravindayoh) and as advised by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita (18.65), man-mana bhava mad-bhaktah, one should constantly think of the lotus feet of Lord Krsna. Then one’s mind will certainly be cleansed (ceto-darpana-marjanam).’ (SB 5.18.9 purport)

“Krishna consciousness means always thinking of Krishna. By always thinking of Krishna, ceto-darpana-marjanam—our consciousness will be purified, we will become happy, and we will think of the welfare of others. That is why we have temples. That is why we are undertaking building a new temple here—to give people a chance to come and think of Krishna and become happy and peaceful and bring peace to the world. That is the only motive. Devotees are so selfless. It takes a lot of effort to get architectural drawings made, get permits from the government, organize the materials and contractors, and raise funds. It requires great endeavor. But that is the merciful nature of Vaishnavas—they want to do good for others by spreading Krishna consciousness.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.18.9, Baltimore

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Jun 082016
 

Krishna-Welcomes-Gopa-KumarGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17.

” ‘A living being, especially the human being, is seeking happiness because happiness is the natural situation of the living entity. But he is vainly seeking happiness in the material atmosphere. A living being is constitutionally a spiritual spark of the complete whole, and his happiness can be perfectly perceived in spiritual activities. The Lord is the complete spirit whole, and His name, form, quality, pastimes, entourage, and personality are all identical with Him. Once a person comes into contact with any one of the above-mentioned energies of the Lord through the proper channel of devotional service, the door to perfection is immediately opened.’ (SB 2.3.17 purport)

“God, or Krishna, is perfect and complete. And when we are established in our relationship with Him, we feel completeness. Without our eternal relationship with Krishna we feel incomplete, and so we try to overcome the feeling of incompleteness with so many things—’If I get this record, I will feel complete. If I get this job, I will feel complete. If I get this spouse, I will feel complete. If I have a child, I will feel complete’—whatever it may be. But we never feel complete with those things, because we are complete only in relationship with the Supreme Complete Whole, Krishna.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17, Potomac

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Jun 062016
 

2016-Jun-4-HomeProgramGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.22.

“Only attention engaged in the service of the Lord, especially in dressing and decorating the temple, accompanied by musical kirtana and spiritual instructions from scriptures, can save the common man from the hellish cinema attractions and rubbish sex-songs broadcast everywhere by radios. If one is unable to maintain a temple at home, he should go to another’s temple where all the above performances are regularly executed. Visiting the temple of a devotee and looking at the profusely decorated forms of the Lord well dressed in a well-decorated, sanctified temple naturally infuse the mundane mind with spiritual inspiration.” (SB 2.3.22 purport)

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.22, Bethesda

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Jun 062016
 

2016-Jun-4-IFASTGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter 8.

“Regarding the offense “to not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names and to maintain material attachments, even after understanding so many instructions on this matter,” I once asked Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu what the connection was. He explained that we hold onto material attachments because we don’t have complete faith in the holy name—we don’t have faith that the holy name will give us everything we need. We  don’t have faith that our need and desire to love and be loved will be satisfied by Krishna, so we hold on to some attachment. Or economically, we don’t know if Krishna will take care of us so we keep working hard and accumulating more and more money at the cost of our spiritual life—because we don’t have complete faith. Yes, we should take precautions, but we should realize that what will really stay with us is our relationship with Krishna and His associates, and we should not not invest too much in what we will leave behind, at the cost of what is permanent.”

How to Live and Die Gloriously, IFAST

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Jun 032016
 

IMG_1113Giriraj Swami spoke on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 22.83:

krsna-bhakti-janma-mula haya ‘sadhu-sanga’
krsna-prema janme, tenho punah mukhya anga

“The root cause of devotional service to Lord Krishna is association with advanced devotees. Even when one’s dormant love for Krishna awakens, association with devotees is still most essential.” (Cc Madhya 22.83)

“Sacinandana Swami made the point that if we are in a humble mood, we will see our godbrothers and godsisters—people similar to ourselves—as being more advanced than we are and that that would fulfill the condition that one should associate with devotees more advanced than oneself (sadhu sanga sato vare). And he gave the example of the two of us. Superficially we appear to be equals, but he is thinking, ‘Oh, Giriraj Swami is more advanced than I am; I can learn from him,’ and Giriraj Swami is thinking—and this part is true—’Sacinandana Swami is more advanced than I am and I can learn from him.’ And in this mood we are getting the benefit of sadhu-sanga.”

Kirtan, Sadhu Sanga Retreat 2016
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 22.83, Sadhu Sanga Retreat 2016

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Jun 022016
 

gaura-nitai

Giriraj Swami explained the meaning and Bada Haridasa Prabhu led the singing of Sri Sri Gaura-Nityanander Daya by Srila Locana dasa Thakura.

  1. The two Lords, Nitai-Gauracandra, are very merciful. They are the essence of all incarnations. The specific significance of these incarnations is that They introduced a process of chanting and dancing that is simply joyful.
  2. My dear brothers, I request that you just worship Lord Caitanya and Nityananda with firm conviction and faith. If one wants to be Krishna conscious by this process, one has to give up his engagement in sense gratification. Become absorbed in worshiping Lord Caitanya and Nityananda and simply chant, “Hare Krishna! Hari Hari!” without any material motive.
  3. My dear brothers, just try and examine this. Within the three worlds there is no one like Lord Caitanya or Lord Nityananda. Their merciful qualities are so great that upon hearing them even birds and beasts cry and stones melt.
  4. But I, Locana dasa, regret that I am entrapped by sense gratification. I have no attraction for the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, and therefore Yamaraja, the superintendent of death, is punishing me by not allowing me to be attracted by this movement.

Parama Karuna purport explained by Giriraj Swami
Parama Karuna led by Bada Haridasa

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May 272016
 

rrOn Sri Ramananda Raya’s disappearance day, Giriraj read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter 8.

” ‘Although SrCaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya were embracing in ecstasy, the Lord restrained His transcendental emotions upon seeing the outsider brahmanas.’ (Cc Madhya 8.28 purport)

“In this verse the word vijatiya, which means ‘outsider,’ appears. And opposed to that is sajatiya. Because the brahmanas were vijatiya, or outsiders—in other words, they were not pure devotees who could understand the loving exchanges between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya—Lord Caitanya restrained His emotions so that they would not be bewildered and commit offenses.

“One of Srila Prabhupada’s early disciples, Gargamuni, told Srila Prabhupada that sometimes he felt like crying in kirtan. Srila Prabhupada replied, ‘It is all right when you are with devotees, because they will understand. Otherwise, you should not.’ ”

Cc Madhya 8, Houston

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