Damodar das

Aug 252016
 


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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.”

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Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.31

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Aug 242016
 

krishna-son-of-vasudevaGiriraj Swami read and spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.33.36 at Lord Krishna’s Appearance Day festival.

“When we hear these stories, we should think, ‘Krishna is so kind to His devotees.’ Even in the midst of the worst calamity, if you just take shelter of Krishna — just surrender to Krishna — He will protect you.  ‘I could have that facility if I surrender to Krishna. Why am I missing out — puttering around with my little toys and sense gratification and fallible soldiers? I am wasting my time. I should surrender to Krishna and get the real benefit.’ So, Krishna appears for this reason. And we can make the purpose of His appearance successful by hearing about His pastimes and dedicating ourselves to Him.”

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Giriraj Swami
Vaisesika Dasa

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Aug 222016
 

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“Mrs. Nair’s husband died, and eventually she had a a change of heart. She surrendered to Srila Prabhupada and said, ‘I really didn’t go along with my husband; I didn’t want him to do that.’ Srila Prabhupada replied, ‘Don’t worry. You are like my daughter. If a man is going on the wrong path in the morning and comes to the right path in the evening, he is not lost. Now you have taken the right path and have reached home. You can stay in any of our centers; we will take care of you. Now you just devote the rest of your life to Krishna, chanting Hare Krishna and serving Krishna. Everything will be all right.’

“The registrar had come out to Juhu, and Mrs. Nair and Srila Prabhupada signed the documents. Then a big feast was served. Afterwards Srila Prabhupada leaned back on his asana and said, ‘It was a good fight. Someone should write a book about it.’ ”

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Home Program, Galt, California

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Aug 182016
 

08.17.16_10_Balarama_Carp“Balarama is considered the original spiritual master because he performs the two functions of the spiritual master. One is that He serves Krishna, and the other is that He gives knowledge of Krishna. In His desire to serve Krishna He wants to serve Krishna in every possible way. In terms of rasa, or transcendental mellow, or relationship, sometimes Balarama is in the mood of servitude (dasya). He also serves Krishna in sakhya-rasa, in the mood of an equal. And because He is elder to Krishna, He serves in the mood of vatsalya-rasa, or parental affection. And finally, because one can enter madhurya-rasa with Krishna only in a female spiritual form, Lord Balarama manifests Himself as Ananga Manjari, the younger sister of Srimati Radharani, and serves Krishna in that relationship. He wants to serve Krishna in every possible way.” — Giriraj Swami

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Balarama Purnima 2016, Carpinteria

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Aug 172016
 

Lord_Balarama_and_Yamuna_Devi5Today is Balarama Purnima, the appearance day of Lord Balarama, the first expansion of Lord Krishna, who plays as Krishna’s older brother. Listening to Sri Caitanya-bhagavata this morning, I happened to hear a description of Lord Chaitanya’s special affinity for the mood of Lord Balarama: “Every day, Lord Chaitanya, accompanied by Lord Nityananda, visited various Vaishnava’s homes and enacted transcendental pastimes. The Lord was constantly engaged in His ecstasies, manifesting the moods and behaviors of different incarnations—Matsya, Kurma, Narasimha, Varaha, Vamana, Ramachandra, Buddha, Kalki, and Krishna, the son of Nanda Maharaja. Lord Chaitanya displayed these moods, as and when He desired, and then quickly hid them.

“But somehow the mood of Balarama came repeatedly to the Lord, and He kept manifesting it. As Haladhara (Balarama), Lord Chaitanya would become very excited and shout loudly, ‘Bring Me wine! Bring Me some wine!’ Nityananda always understood the Lord’s intentions, and so He would reverentially give Him a pot filled with Ganges water. At such times, Lord Chaitanya’s mighty voice seemed to shake the entire creation, and His dancing was so wild it appeared as if the earth would shatter. Seeing such violent dancing, the devotees became fearful. They sang the glories of Balarama, and the Lord became very pleased and His ecstasy increased. In this state, the Lord moved about like a madman; He staggered like an intoxicated person, and He composed and recited varieties of poems and songs. What splendor He manifested in the mood of Balarama! The devotees gazed at the exquisite beauty of the Lord’s face, but their eyes could not be satiated. They more they looked, the more their desire to see Lord Chaitanya’s moonlike face increased-—without limit.” (Cb Madhya 28.61–74)

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 17.115–117) describes, “One day the Lord sat down in the corridor of a Visnu temple and began calling very loudly, ‘Bring some honey! Bring some honey!’ Nityananda Prabhu Gosani, understanding the ecstatic mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, brought a pot of Ganges water as a token and put it before Him. After drinking the water, Lord Caitanya became so ecstatic that He began to dance. Thus everyone saw the pastime of attracting the river Yamuna.”

In his purport, Srila Prabhupada explains, “Yamunakarsana-lila is the pastime of attracting the Yamuna. One day, Sri Baladeva wanted the Yamuna River to come before Him, and when the river Yamuna refused, He took His plow, wanting to dig a canal so that the Yamuna would be obliged to come there. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the original form of Baladeva, in His ecstasy He asked everyone to bring honey. In this way, all the devotees standing there saw the yamunakarsana-lila. In this lila, Baladeva was accompanied by His girlfriends. After drinking a honey beverage called Varuni, He wanted to jump into the Yamuna and swim with the girls. It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.65.25–30, 33) that Lord Baladeva asked the Yamuna to come near, and when the river disobeyed the order of the Lord, He became angry and thus wanted to snatch her near to Him with His plow. The Yamuna, however, very much afraid of Lord Balarama’s anger, immediately came and surrendered unto Him, praying to the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and admitting her fault. She was then excused.”

This incident is also described in the Dasavatara-stotra (8), the prayer of Jayadeva Gosvami concerning the ten incarnations:

vahasi vapusi visade vasanam jaladabham
halahati-bhiti-milita-yamunabham
kesava dhrta-haladhara-rupa jaya jagad-isa hare

“O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari who have assumed the form of plow-wielding Balarama! All glories to You! On Your brilliant white body You wear garments colored like a fresh rain cloud and the river Yamuna, whom You frighten with the blows of Your plow.”

May Lord Balarama kindly excuse us for our offenses and draw us near Him.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Kishori Yatra Tour Group’s Visit, July 26, Carpinteria, California

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Jul 272016
 

07.26.16, Kishori Yatra’s Performance in Carpinteria from Derek Carter on Vimeo.

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Giriraj Swami spoke to the touring devotees about his first meeting with Srila Prabhupada and his early days in the Hare Krishna movement—and what has sustained him in Krishna consciousness ever since.

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Meeting with the Kishori Yatra tour group

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Sri Gadadhara Pandita’s and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Disappearance Day, July 4, Santa Barbara

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Jul 062016
 

07.04.16_01.SBGiriraj Swami read from Sri Caitanya-bhagavata on the auspicious occasion of Gundica-marjana, Sri Gadadhara Pandita’s disappearance day, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s disappearance day—and the twentieth anniversary of Giridhari Priya dasa’s worship of his Gaura-Nitai Deities, shown here on his altar.

“After taking darshan of Lord Jagannatha with great bliss, Lord Nityananda went to see Gadadhara Pandita at the Tota-gopintha temple. Gadadhara and Nityananda loved each other deeply. There, seeing the three-fold bending form of Gopinatha, Lord Nityananda cried incessant tears of joy. Hearing of Nitai’s arrival, Gadadhara Pandita stopped reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam and immediately ran to greet the Lord.” (Sri Caitanya-bhagavata, Antya 6)

“This is another feature of Gadadhara Pandita—he was very learned and he loved to recite Srimad-Bhagavatam. Lord Caitanya would hear him recite Srimad-Bhagavatam, and He heard the pastimes of Dhruva Maharaja and Prahlada Maharaja hundreds of times.” —Giriraj Swami

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Kirtan led by Sarvatma dasa
Ye Anilo Prema-dana led by Sarvama dasa
Talk by Giriraj Swami
Nrsimha Prayers led by Giriraj Swami

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The Wonderful Effects of Pure Krishna Katha, June 29, Carpinteria, California

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Jun 292016
 

prabhupada-associationDuring a Skype conversation with devotees in Mumbai, Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.30.35:

Translation: Whenever pure topics of the transcendental world are discussed, the members of the audience forget all kinds of material hankerings, at least for the time being. Not only that, but they are no longer envious of one another, nor do they suffer from anxiety or fear.

Purport: Vaikuntha means “without anxiety,” and the material world means full of anxiety. As stated by Prahlada Maharaja, sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat: the living entities who have accepted this material world as a residence are full of anxiety. A place immediately becomes Vaikuntha whenever the holy topics of the Personality of Godhead are discussed by pure devotees. This is the process of sravanam kirtanam visnoh, chanting and hearing about the Supreme Lord, Visnu. As the Supreme Lord Himself confirms:

naham tisthami vaikunthe
yoginam hrdayesu va
tatra tisthami narada
yatra gayanti mad-bhaktah

“My dear Narada, actually I do not reside in My abode, Vaikuntha, nor do I reside within the hearts of the yogis, but I reside in that place where My pure devotees chant My holy name and discuss My form, pastimes and qualities.” Because of the presence of the Lord in the form of the transcendental vibration, the Vaikuntha atmosphere is evoked. This atmosphere is without fear and anxiety. One living entity does not fear another. [SB 4.30.35]

Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.30.35

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Srila Tamal Krishna Goswami’s Appearance Day, June 23, Carpinteria, California

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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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