Damodar das

Sep 212019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.20

Mahatma is a synonym of sadhu. It is said that service to a mahatma, or elevated devotee of the Lord, is dvaram ahur vimukteh, the royal road of liberation. Mahat-sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes tamo-dvaram yositam sangi-sangam (SB 5.5.2). Rendering service to the materialists has the opposite effect. If anyone offers service to a gross materialist, or a person engaged only in sense enjoyment, then by association with such a person the door to hell is opened. The same principle is confirmed here. Attachment to a devotee is attachment to the service of the Lord because if one associates with a sadhu, the result will be that the sadhu will teach him how to become a devotee, a worshiper and a sincere servitor of the Lord. These are the gifts of a sadhu. If we want to associate with a sadhu, we cannot expect him to give us instructions on how to improve our material condition, but he will give us instructions on how to cut the knot of the contamination of material attraction and how to elevate ourselves in devotional service. That is the result of associating with a sadhu.” —Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.20 purport

Comment by Giriraj Swami: “Association doesn’t mean just to be in the same physical place at the same time, but it means to receive instructions on devotional service and to apply the instructions.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.20 (Right click to download)

Sep 202019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17 at a home program in Highland Park, Dallas.

“A moment passed in the association of a pure devotee by hearing and chanting the transcendental messages of the Lord is a perfect guarantee for eternal life, for returning home, back to Godhead. Mad-dhama gatva punar janma na vidyate. In other words, a devotee of the Lord is guaranteed eternal life. A devotee’s old age or disease in the present life is but an impetus to such guaranteed eternal life.” —Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17 purport.

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17 (Right click to download)

Sep 192019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.17.1-22.

“A devotee’s conclusion is that no one is directly responsible for being a benefactor or mischief-monger without the sanction of the Lord; therefore he does not consider anyone to be directly responsible for such action. But in both the cases he takes it for granted that either benefit or loss is God-sent, and thus it is His grace. In case of benefit, no one will deny that it is God-sent, but in case of loss or reverses one becomes doubtful about how the Lord could be so unkind to His devotee as to put him in great difficulty. Jesus Christ was seemingly put into such great difficulty, being crucified by the ignorant, but he was never angry at the mischief-mongers. That is the way of accepting a thing, either favorable or unfavorable. Thus for a devotee the identifier is equally a sinner, like the mischief-monger. By God’s grace, the devotee tolerates all reverses. Maharaja Pariksit observed this, and therefore he could understand that the bull was no other than the personality of religion himself. In other words, a devotee has no suffering at all because so-called suffering is also God’s grace for a devotee who sees God in everything. The cow and bull never placed any complaint before the King for being tortured by the personality of Kali, although everyone lodges such complaints before the state authorities. The extraordinary behavior of the bull made the King conclude that the bull was certainly the personality of religion, for no one else could understand the finer intricacies of the codes of religion.” —Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.17.22 purport.

Darshan Room Talk (Right click to download)

Sep 122019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter 11: “The Passing of Haridasa Thakura”:

“Haridasa Thakura is known as namacarya because it is he who preached the glories of chanting hari-nama, the holy name of God. By using the words tomara avatara (“your incarnation”), Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu confirms that Haridasa Thakura is the incarnation of Lord BrahmaSrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura says that advanced devotees help the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His mission and that such devotees or personal associates incarnate by the will of the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord incarnates by His own will, and, by His will, competent devotees also incarnate to help Him in His mission. Haridasa Thakura is thus the incarnation of Lord Brahma, and other devotees are likewise incarnations who help in the prosecution of the Lord’s mission.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya 11.25 purport)

Srila Haridas Thakura’s disappearance day (Right click to download)

Sep 072019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23:

“O King Rahugana, the perfectional stage of devotional service, or the paramahamsa stage of life, cannot be attained unless one is blessed by the dust of the feet of great devotees. It is never attained by tapasya [austerity], the Vedic worshiping process, acceptance of the renounced order of life, the discharge of the duties of household life, the chanting of the Vedic hymns, or the performance of penances in the hot sun, within cold water or before the blazing fire.” —Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23 purport

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

“Now, what exactly does it mean to be blessed by the dust of the feet of pure devotees? In  a broad sense it means to be blessed by the mercy of pure devotees. One gets the mercy by following their instructions. So, we are blessed by receiving instructions from pure devotees, and we are further blessed by following their instructions.

“In Bombay, a disciple asked Srila Prabhupada for his mercy to follow his instructions. Srila Prabhupada curled his lips in disgust and  said, ‘My mercy is that I have given my instructions. Now it is up to you to follow them.’ He gave the example of a person who had fallen into a well. When his savior, or deliverer, hands down a rope to pull him, out he prays, ‘Please make my fingers curl around the rope.’ Your deliverer has sent down the rope and is ready to pull you out of the well, but you have to hold on to the rope. In other words, he has given you his mercy in the form of his instructions, but now you have to follow the instructions.”

Radhastami talk from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23

Sep 062019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 9.13:

“Here it is mentioned, bhajanty ananya-manaso, ‘without deviation of the mind.’ As we know from Bhagavad-gita and personal experience, the mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy. When the mind is engaged in Krishna consciousness, it is our best friend, and when it strays into maya, it becomes our worst enemy. By constitution, it is not a friend or an enemy—in fact, no one is—but by behavior it acts as a friend or an enemy. The mind has to be controlled by engaging it in Krishna consciousness. There are nine processes for engaging in Krishna consciousness, of which the primary three are hearing about Krishna, chanting about Krishna, and remembering Krishna. So, ananya manaso—we don’t want the mind to wander into any field other than Krishna consciousness.”

Radhastami morning talk (Right click to download)

Sep 062019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23:

jivan chavo bhagavatanghri-renum
na jatu martyo ’bhilabheta yas tu
sri-visnu-padya manujas tulasyah
svasañ chavo yas tu na veda gandham

“The person who has not at any time received the dust of the feet of the Lord’s pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body. And the person who has never experienced the aroma of the tulasi leaves from the lotus feet of the Lord is also a dead body, although breathing.”

Radhastami talk, San Diego, 2009 (Right click to download)

Sep 052019

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23.

“In the Brahma-samhita it is said that the Lord is never to be found by becoming a great scholar of the Vedic literatures, but He is very easily approachable through His pure devotee. In Vrndavana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Lord Krsna. Srimati Radharani is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Radharani is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Krsna, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association. The conclusion is, therefore, that one should be more serious about seeking the mercy of the devotee than that of the Lord directly, and by one’s doing so (by the good will of the devotee) the natural attraction for the service of the Lord will be revived. Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23 purport.

Darshan Room program (Right click to download)

Sep 032019

“Everyone should be friendly for the service of the Lord. Everyone should praise another’s service to the Lord and not be proud of his own service. This is the way of Vaisnava thinking, Vaikuntha thinking. There may be rivalries and apparent competition between servants in performing service, but in the Vaikuntha planets the service of another servant is appreciated, not condemned. This is Vaikuntha competition. There is no question of enmity between servants. Everyone should be allowed to render service to the Lord to the best of his ability, and everyone should appreciate the service of others. Such are the activities of Vaikuntha. Since everyone is a servant, everyone is on the same platform and is allowed to serve the Lord according to his ability.” —Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.12 purport
Vyasa-puja Celebration via Skype (Right click to download)