Damodar das

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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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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Jun 172014
 

Chaitanya-Mahaprabhu-as-Radha-Krishna1Giriraj Swami and Bhakti Charu Swami spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.4.18 during the Sunday festival in New Dvaraka.

“Krishna considers who is qualified and who is not, and accordingly He gives His mercy. But Srimati Radharani did not consider the qualification of a person to receive mercy or not. She gives without consideration of qualification. Therefore Krishna decided to come as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, assuming the mood of Srimati Radharani. And what is He doing? He is distributing without any consideration of qualification. One’s birth and other things like that are considered external considerations for qualification. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to distribute His mercy without any consideration of qualification. And that is what has been explained in this verse.”

—Bhakti Charu Swami

Giriraj Swami
Bhakti Charu Swami

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Jun 152014
 

06.14.14_Panihati_LagunaGiriraj Swami and Bhakti Caru Swami spoke during the festival in Laguna Beach.

“Jagat Purusa Prabhu would cook in Bombay in extremely austere conditions. One day it was so hot he could hardly stay on his feet; he felt like he was going to collapse. He was so hot and sweaty—and you are not supposed to sweat when you are serving the deities—his mind was reeling. Afterwards he left the cooking area and went to the part of the shack where the devotees lived. He was condemning himself: ‘What kind of a person am I? I am just thinking of my body—my mind and my senses. I am not thinking about Krishna.’ Then he saw a small picture of Krishna in the room. And he saw a peacock feather stuck in the chatai. He took that peacock feather and started to fan the picture of Krishna. And he immediately felt complete relief. All his fatigue and heat just went away. Then he realized, ‘This is Krishna consciousness: thinking of Krishna and how to please the senses of Krishna—not thinking about my own mind and senses.’ ”

— Giriraj Swami

Bhakti Caru Swami
Giriraj Swami

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Jun 122014
 

05.17.14_01.Installation_Houston———————–
Romapada Swami and Giriraj Swami spoke during the ceremony.

“As Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Himself described,

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vana-stho yatir va
kintu prodyan nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah

‘I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a vaisya or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmacari, a householder, a vanaprastha, or a sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krsna, the maintainer of the gopis. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.’ (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 13.80)

“That is the best position. Even serving the deity should be done in the mood of serving the devotees. Everything should be done in the mood of serving guru and the devotees. That will please the deities and the devotees—Sri Krishna and His servants. We are all mutually dependent. As Srila Prabhupada wrote in a letter to a disciple: ‘You are dependent on my mercy, and I am dependent on your mercy. It is reciprocal. This mutual dependence is based on love—Krishna consciousness.’ Even the Lord places Himself in our hands. He depends on us to wake Him, to feed Him, and to dress Him. It is such a sublime reciprocation.” — Giriraj Swami

05.17.14_04.Installation_Houston05.17.14_03.Installation_Houston05.17.14_02.Installation_Houston05.17.14_05.Installation_HoustonRomapada Swami
Giriraj Swami

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