Damodar das

Oct 242014
 

naradawelcomedSarva loka mahesvaram—Krishna is the supreme proprietor of all the planetary systems. That means this planet, our home, all our paraphernalia, our family members, our wealth and our very selves. Nothing belongs to us—everything belongs to Krishna and therefore it should be engaged in Krishna’s service. But, although we know this philosophically, we conditioned souls tend to harbor within us a desire to have at least a little part of Krishna’s creation that we can call our own. Although we know the philosophy and we hear the theory, we do have that little desire within us that, ‘Yes, everything belongs to Krishna, I don’t want much. He has all of creation. All I want is one wife, one house, a few children, a few hundred thousand or million dollars. What is that for Krishna? He has everything, I just want a little for myself.’ So, we have that within us and that has to be purified by hearing the narrations of Krishna with faith. By hearing the narrations of Krishna along with suffering the reactions of material nature we come to loosen that grasp on Krishna’s property—which is very good for us to do.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.70.38

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Oct 222014
 

rADHAkRISHNA“Service to Krishna includes service to His Name, His form, His qualities, His pastimes, His paraphernalia, and His pure devotees. They are all contained within ‘Krishna.’ And Srila Rupa Gosvami says that any of the items of devotional service can be performed in relation to any of these categories. Krishna is never alone. The previous acaryas use the example of a king, but we will use President Obama, because he is more in our context. If I were to say that President Obama is coming, it wouldn’t mean that he alone is coming; it would be understood that he is coming with his secretaries, his advisors, his bodyguards—his whole entourage. We say ‘President Obama,’ but it doesn’t mean just President Obama—there is the presidential limousine and his entourage and paraphernalia. Those are all included when we say ‘President Obama.’ So, in the same way, when we say ‘Krishna,’ it includes His associates, His paraphernalia—everything that is with Krishna. And we serve all of them. That is bhakti-yoga.”

More Questions Answered: The Nectar of Devotion, The Darshan Room, Dallas

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Oct 212014
 

SP-translating.jpg “On this date forty years ago, I went up to Srila Prabhupada’s quarters in Juhu, Bombay, as usual, at 6 a.m. But very unusually, his door was locked. I had never come and found his door locked before. I knocked and waited, and eventually his secretary opened the door a little and spoke very quietly. He said that during the night Srila Prabhupada had finished translating Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and that he had written the most beautiful glorification of his spiritual master after completing the work. He said that Srila Prabhupada was in a very ecstatic mood and instructed that the devotees should celebrate by having a feast.”

Kirtan
Srila Prabhupada’s “Concluding Words” for Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

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Oct 202014
 
Krsna das Kaviraja Goswami. A painting by Arca Vigraha dasi.

Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami

Srila Prabhupada said that in every activity, the Vaisnava should pray to the previous acarya, “Kindly help me”—that the Vaisnava always thinks himself helpless and begs help from the previous acarya. And he gave the example of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, who at the end of every chapter prayed,

sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
caitanya-caritamrita kahe krsnadasa

As Srila Prabhupada explained, “In every line he is thinking of Rupa-Raghunatha, previous acaryas: ’Let me surrender to the Gosvamis and they will help me how to write.’ You cannot write. That is not possible.” And Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is saying it openly here, that “I did not write this book. I could not write this book. It was written only by the mercy of these personalities.” And he mentions the Deities of Vrndavana and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates and followers. And then he writes, “I have also been specifically favored by another supreme personality. Sri Madana-mohana Deity of Vrndavana has given the order that is making me write.” In other words, “I am not qualified, but still I am writing because I have been given the order to write.”

Caitanya-caritamrta’s Conclusion

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Oct 182014
 

Radha-kundaGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Nava-vraja-mahima by Sivarama Swami and Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava by Bhakti Vikasa Swami.

“Krishna turned to Radha and declared, ‘Most beloved! Because your kunda is as dear to Me as You are, I will bathe in it daily. May Radha-kunda garner more fame in this world than my own beloved Syama-kunda.’

“Now it was Radha’s turn. She completely abandoned her contrary mood and openly revealed her true feelings:  ’O Syama! You may kill a hundred bull-demons, but every day I will bathe in Your kunda.

” ‘From now on, any person who has intense devotion for your lake, Syama-kunda, or who bathes there or lives on its banks, will certainly become very dear to Me and thus come to Me.’

“After Radha and Krishna had pronounced Their vows and given Their blessings, the entire area surrounding the two lakes echoed with the voices of cheering gopis and the sounds of rejoicing forest animals.”

Nava-vraja-mahima

Radha-kunda’s Appearance

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Oct 172014
 

Radha-kundGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and The Nectar of Instruction.

“Why is Radha-kunda so exalted? The lake is so exalted because it belongs to Srimati Radharani, who is the most beloved object of Sri Krishna. Among all the gopis, She is the most beloved. Similarly, Her lake, Sri Radha-kunda, is also described by great sages as the lake that is as dear to Krishna as Radha Herself. Indeed, Krishna’s love for Radha-kunda and Srimati Radharani is the same in all respects. Radha-kunda is very rarely attained, even by great personalities fully engaged in devotional service, not to speak of ordinary devotees who are only engaged in the practice of vaidhi bhakti.”

Nectar of Instruction 11

Appearance of Radha-kunda

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Oct 142014
 

damodar2Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.9.18.

“Everybody is offering Krishna prayers and worship, and He appreciates it and accepts it. But He enjoys more when He forgets that He is God and reciprocates with intimate, confidential associates who also forget that He is God. This is the special feature of Vrindavan. In His original form of Krishna—who is the unlimited supreme—He allowed himself to be bound by ropes by Mother Yasoda. Still, within that pastime, or lila, He also manifested His unlimited potencies. But her love for Him was so intense that His display of mystic power did not eclipse her conception that He was her son. He manifested His unlimited potencies to test her determination—and to show the world that He is God—but she always maintained the conviction that He was her son.”

———————————

Kirtan
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.9.18

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Oct 122014
 

Damodar“There were two factors that combined to allow Mother Yasoda to bind Lord Krishna: one was her hard labor, and the other was Krishna’s mercy. The acharyas explain that when these two elements combine — the devotee’s hard labor and Krishna’s mercy — Krishna allows Himself to be bound by His devotee.”

Binding Lord Damodara

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Oct 122014
 

bhagavatam_bigIn Dallas devotees are distributing full sets of Srila Prabhupada’s books and installing them in people’s homes with a ceremony that includes chanting mantras and offering flowers (puspanjali). On October 10, I was fortunate to participate in the installation in the new house of Sarvajaya Madhava dasa and his family, and I spoke on the following verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.40):

idam bhagavatam nama
puranam brahma-sammitam
uttama-sloka-caritam
cakara bhagavan rsih
nihsreyasaya lokasya
dhanyam svasty-ayanam mahat

“This scripture named Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful, and all-perfect.”

In his purport, Srila Prabhupada explains, “Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna and is therefore nondifferent from Him. Srimad-Bhagavatam should be worshiped as respectfully as we worship the Lord. Thereby we can derive the ultimate blessings of the Lord through its careful and patient study. As God is all light, all bliss, and all perfection, so also is Srimad-Bhagavatam. We can have all the transcendental light of the Supreme Brahman, Sri Krsna, from the recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam, provided it is received through the medium of the transparent spiritual master. Lord Caitanya’s private secretary Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami advised all intending visitors who came to see the Lord at Puri to make a study of the Bhagavatam from the person Bhagavatam. Person Bhagavatam is the self-realized bona fide spiritual master, and through him only can one understand the lessons of Bhagavatam in order to receive the desired result. One can derive from the study of the Bhagavatam all benefits that are possible to be derived from the personal presence of the Lord. It carries with it all the transcendental blessings of Lord Sri Krsna that we can expect from His personal contact.”

The blessings that one gets from the book Bhagavatam when received through the person Bhagavatam — Srila Prabhupada — can be compared only with Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself. And so we worship the complete set of Srila Prabhupada’s books as we worship the Supreme Lord and His bona fide pure devotees.

Hare Krishna.

Your servant,

Giriraj Swami

Installing the Book Incarnation of God

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Oct 112014
 

Krishna_Bhagavan“In the Vedanta Sutras, the Absolute Truth is defined as janmady asya yatah — that from which everything emanates. And Srimad-Bhagavatam begins with the same line: janmady asya yatah. So, what is that from which everything emanates? This is a very important question, because according to our origin, we can understand the purpose of our existence. Srimad-Bhagavatam explains in detail that that from which everything emanates is a person, who is conscious of everything directly and indirectly, who is independent, and who imparted the Vedic knowledge in the heart of Brahma, the original living being and the secondary creator of the universe. And that person is identified as Krishna, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead.”

All Questions Answered: The Cause of All Causes

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