Damodar das

Aug 262014
 

SP_VP_LA_GRS_in_Prabhupada's_roomDevotees met in Srila Prabhupada’s quarters in the evening for an intimate sharing of Srila Prabhupada memories.

“My parents invited a family friend who was a psychologist. She came in my room and began to inquire, ‘Tell me, Glenn, did you feel that your parents didn’t love you?’ ‘Which parents?’ I asked. ‘I have passed so many lifetimes, and in every lifetime I have had different parents.’ It went on like this for some time, and she left the room. Then I overheard her speaking with my parents. ‘I am sorry, I but I don’t think there is anything I can do.’ Then I realized that she had come to ‘cure’ me. When I related this incident to Srila Prabhupada here, he responded, ‘Yes, you have been permanently infected; you can never be cured.’ ”

Sril Prabhupada Vyasa-puja Evening

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Aug 232014
 

SP_AbhisekLAse“Srila Prabhupada said that even if the disciple cannot follow all the regulations strictly, simply by the spiritual master glancing favorably on him, the disciple can make spiritual advancement. The best offering we can give to Srila Prabhupada and the predecessor authorities is that we actually become advanced in Krishna consciousness, and become empowered to do the impossible—because to spread Krishna consciousness around the world is virtually materially impossible for people with our backgrounds. But by the unlimited mercy of such a close associate of Krishna as Srila Prabhupada, it becomes very possible.”

—Banabhatta dasa

The following Devotees shared their heartfelt remembrances and realizations during Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa-puja (birthday) celebrations.

  1. Naikatma dasa
  2. Balai dasi
  3. Drutakarma dasa
  4. Kriyashakti dasi
  5. Satyanarayana dasa
  6. Devadahiti dasi
  7. Mriganatha dasa
  8. Jagajannani dasi
  9. Bhargava dasa
  10. Mukunda Datta dasa
  11. Banabhatta dasa
  12. Gopal Ananda dasa
  13. Punyattama dasa
  14. Narahari dasa
  15. Bhojadeva dasa
  16. Arcita dasa

Vyasa-puja Homages

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Aug 212014
 


PrabhupadaPreachingInIndia
Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagvatam 10.2.31 for the morning class on Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa-puja day.

“In Srila Prabhupada’s initiation letter to me he wrote, ‘I marked it in your person when I was in Boston, and I prayed to Krishna that this good soul may be aware of the importance of Krishna consciousness.’

“The pure devotee prays to Krishna to give mercy to the fortunate conditioned soul. And because Krishna is bhakta-vatsala—affectionate and favorably inclined to His devotees—He fulfills their desires. Within the heart He encourages the candidate—the object of the devotee’s mercy—to appreciate the value of Krishna consciousness and accept the process of devotional service.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.31

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Aug 202014
 

Srila-Prabhupada-With-Giriraj-Maharaj-After Srila Prabhupada left us on November 14, 1977, I came across a section in Srimad-Bhagavatam—Canto 4, Chapter 28—in which he explicitly discusses the disappearance of the spiritual master and how the disciple is to serve him—even in separation. The following paragraph summarizes the essence of his instructions:

“The disciple and spiritual master are never separated, because the spiritual master always keeps company with the disciple as long as the disciple follows strictly the instructions of the spiritual master. This is called the association of vani (words). Physical presence is called vapuh. As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.28.47, purport)

This instruction—“As long as the spiritual master is physically present, the disciple should serve the physical body of the spiritual master, and when the spiritual master is no longer physically existing, the disciple should serve the instructions of the spiritual master”—seems simple enough, but like almost all of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, to follow it properly requires deep faith, surrender, and realization.

For example, we may want to render personal service to the spiritual master, but we may also be afraid—that we might disappoint him, that we might fail, that he might chastise us, even that he might reject us or banish us. Thus disciples may shy away from direct, personal service. We must have faith that whatever the spiritual master does will be beneficial for us, purifying and edifying for us, whether or not it is pleasing to our mind and senses. Continue reading »

Aug 192014
 

08.17.14_01.LA08.17.14_02.LA———————————
“That is the specific reason why Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears. Any incarnation of Vishnu could kill the demons, deliver the devotees, and re-establish the principles of dharma, but only Krishna can show us the beautiful life that awaits us if we join Him in intimate love in Vrindavan. Therefore Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.36) says:

anugrahaya bhaktanam
manusam deham asthitah
bhajate tadrsih krida
yah srutva tat-paro bhavet

‘Krishna manifests His eternal humanlike form and performs His pastimes to show mercy to the devotees. Having heard such pastimes, one should engage in service to Him.’ ”

 

Janmastami Evening Talk

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Aug 102014
 
Madhudvisa prabhu

Madhudvisa Dasa

“My father was always very loving to all of us. He was always our well-wisher. Whatever we did, he was there to support us. Whenever we came he would want to have a kirtan. It didn’t matter if it was just for five minutes. He would just do it real quick. It didn’t matter what was going on in our lives. Even if we were broken down on the side of the road, he would say, ‘Let’s have a kirtan. It’s alright, let’s have a kirtan right now.’ I think I will hold that the strongest in my heart—because of him I will never stop chanting.”

—Chay Gosai das-(M(———————————————————————————————————————— 08.09.14_02.Madhudvisa_Mem08.09.14_03.Madhudvisa_Mem08.09.14_01.Madhudvisa_Mem08.09.14_04.Madhudvisa_Mem————————————————————————-
Badrinarayana Swami
Svavasa dasa
Kurma das
Amala Bhakta das
Bhakti Charu Swami
Siddhanta das
Hridayananda Das Goswami
Yasonandana das
Abhay Charan das
Nikilananda das
Chay Gosai das
Ramai Swami
Madhudvisa das
Kriyashakti dasi
Sukla dasi
Malati dasi
Drutakarma das
Divyadristi dasi
Naikatma das
Ksudhi das
Tamal Krishna Goswami
Giriraj Swami

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Aug 052014
 

13.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.14Once again their Lordships Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra descended with the spiritual world and their associates and devotees to bless all the living entities in Venice Beach. Giriraj Swami attended the festival and hosted a questions-and-answers session, posted below.

“We are persons. When the soul leaves the body, the body is dead—it is just a bag of chemicals. So, that personality that animates the body is the soul. The soul is active when it is in the body, and the soul continues to be active after it leaves the body. It is a person when it is in the body, and after it leaves the body it is still a person. And Krishna is the Supreme Person.  He never enters a material body. He always exists in His original, blissful, spiritual form. Our goal is to revive our loving relationship with Radha and Krishna. As far as karma is concerned—we don’t care for karma. The pains and pleasures will come and go. You can’t stop them.”

tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido
labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah
tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham
kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa

“Persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet down to the lowest planet. As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.5.18)

02.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1403.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1404.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1405.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1401.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1406.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1407.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1409.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1408.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1411.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1410.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.1412.LA_Ratha_yatra_08.03.14

Questions and Answers

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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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