Damodar das

Govardhan-puja: The Glories of Govardhan Hill, October 24, 2014, Houston

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Oct 302016
 

Sri_Giridhari_Holding_Sri_Giri-Govardhana“We may approach the Lord for something material and he may fulfill our desire, but in such a way that we don’t approach him again for that desire. So, it is better if we approach the Lord and great souls like Giri Govardhan with spiritual desires like the gopi’s—just to serve and please Krishna—without any desire for themselves. By serving and pleasing Krishna we become pramodah—we become exceedingly happy. That is how we become happy. Not by trying in our own independent way to enjoy but by serving and pleasing Krishna and His devotees. That was the benediction the gopis wanted from Govardhan Hill and he fulfilled their desires.”
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Govardhan-puja Talk

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Sarad Purnima and Karttika, October 18, 2013

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Oct 172016
 

Damodar-Lila-2006forwebGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32, verses 16 to 22.

” ‘But the reason I do not immediately reciprocate the affection of living beings even when they worship Me, O gopis, is that I want to intensify their loving devotion. They then become like a poor man who has gained some wealth and then lost it, and who thus becomes so anxious about it that he can think of nothing else’ (SB 10.32.20). It happens: We get something with great difficulty and then we lose it and become obsessed with the loss. Or we may take something for granted, and when we lose it we appreciate what we had.

“Then Krishna says, ‘My dear girls, understanding that simply for My sake you had rejected the authority of worldly opinion, of the Vedas, and of your relatives, I acted as I did only to increase your attachment to Me. Even when I removed Myself from your sight by suddenly disappearing, I never stopped loving you. Therefore, My beloved gopis, please do not harbor any bad feelings toward Me, your beloved’ (SB 10.32.21). Here Krishna is saying that it is not true that He did not reciprocate their love. He did, in such a way as to increase their attachment for Him. He was reciprocating—because the gopis‘, or any pure devotee’s, only desire is to love and serve Krishna and to increase their love for Him and their service to Him. And so by removing Himself from them He was reciprocating with their hearts’ deepest, innermost desire—to increase their love for Him.”

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Sarat Purnima and the First Night of Karttika

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Becoming Godly, October 2, Radha-Kalachandji Temple, Dallas

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Oct 102016
 

original-delhi-bhagavatam-coverGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28.

“The standard of perfection for a human being is to develop the attributes up to seventy-eight percent in full. The living being can never possess attributes like Siva, Visnu, or Lord Krsna. A living being can become godly by developing the seventy-eight-percent transcendental attributes in fullness, but he can never become a God like Siva, Visnu, or Krsna. He can become a Brahma in due course. The godly living beings who are all residents of the planets in the spiritual sky are eternal associates of God in different spiritual planets called Hari-dhama and Mahesa-dhama. The abode of Lord Krsna above all spiritual planets is called Krsnaloka or Goloka Vrndavana, and the perfected living being, by developing seventy-eight percent of the above attributes in fullness, can enter the planet of Krsnaloka after leaving the present material body.” —Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28 purport

Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.3.28

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Sri Vyasa-puja, October 1, Radha-Kalachandji Temple, Dallas

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Oct 062016
 

10-01-16_grs_vp_12_dallasGiriraj Swami’s Vyasa-puja was a festive opportunity for participants to chant, dance, feast, and glorify Lord Krishna and His devotees.

“My experience with His Holiness Giriraj Swami is that he is a clear representative, or, as Srila Prabhupada said, ‘a transparent via medium.’ So, through Giriraj Swami we see our founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This quality of Giriraj Swami is very important to me because ISKCON is a growing society that must prevail for a long time. That will depend on the clarity with which we see Srila Prabhupada’s vision for what ISKCON should be, which in turn will depends on the clarity of vision the senior devotees have. From my daily exchanges with Giriraj Swami I find he has a strong desire to understand exactly what is being said and meant by Srila Prabhupada.” — Rtadhvaja Swami

10-01-16_grs_vp_01_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_02_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_03_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_04_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_05_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_06_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_07_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_08_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_09_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_10_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_11_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_13_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_14_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_15_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_16_dallas10-01-16_grs_vp_17_dallas——————————
Thanks to Bhismadeva dasa for the beautiful photos.

Part 1 – speakers:
Nityananda dasa, Rtadhvaja Swami, Cakri dasa, Sucharya dasi, Visvambara dasa, Radhanatha dasa, Shyamasundara dasa, Apurva dasa, Guru Bhakti dasi, Mahahari dasa, Syamavali dasi, Radha Krishna dasa, Children from TKG Academy, Guru Priya dasi, Rasikendra dasa, Dhruva dasa, Devaprastha dasa, Arjuna Krishna dasa, Visakha Priya dasi, Vinod Bihari dasa, Nila Madhava dasa and Madhuri Radha dasi, Svapna Vilasa dasi, Ananda Lila dasi, Visnupriya dasi

Part 2:
Gandharvika, Abhay Charan, Hemangi dasi, Jaya Sri Radhe dasi, Lily and Art Garcia, Arduan, Ananda Lila dasi, Vrnda Priya dasi, Indulekha dasi, Patita Pavana dasa, Varshana Rani dasi, Vijaya Bhattaru, Himanshu Tambe, Snigdha Tambe, Aashish Pandya, Dehuti Pandya, Ashesha, Gaura Hari dasa, Maria Caldwell, Gopi Gita dasi

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Vyasa-puja offerings part 1
Vyasa-puja offerings part 2
Vyasa-puja talk by Giriraj Swami

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The Illuminating Knowledge of a Pure Devotee, October 1, Radha-Kalachandji Temple, Dallas

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Oct 042016
 

ct16-114Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.7.51.

“These are very important principles. We may have heard them before, but, as Srila Prabhupada said, ‘Repetition is important for understanding’—because we are in the material atmosphere, which is full of fog and clouds. Therefore even though something may be clear at a certain time and in the right association, the same thing may become clouded over again and we may lapse into habitual ways of thinking which are not spiritual, or Krishna conscious. Thus we must pray that the truth of Krishna consciousness always remain illuminated within our hearts, so we don’t slide back into the fog and clouds of material consciousness.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.7.51, Dallas

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Progressing Spiritually, September 25, Radha-Kalachandji Temple, Dallas

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Sep 282016
 

sp japa 3Giriraj Swami and Rtadhvaja Swami spoke at the Sunday Krishna Fest, referring to Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6.

“It is a great transcendental science and begins with the process of hearing and chanting the name, fame, glory, etc., of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Revival of the dormant affection or love of Godhead does not depend on the mechanical system of hearing and chanting, but it solely and wholly depends on the causeless mercy of the Lord. When the Lord is fully satisfied with the sincere efforts of the devotee, He may endow him with His loving transcendental service. But even with the prescribed forms of hearing and chanting, there is at once mitigation of the superfluous and unwanted miseries of material existence. Such mitigation of material affection does not wait for development of transcendental knowledge. Rather, knowledge is dependent on devotional service for the ultimate realization of the Supreme Truth.” —Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6 purport

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Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.6

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The Supreme Opulence of Vrindavan, September 25, Radha-Kalachandji Temple, Dallas

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Sep 262016
 

krishna-and-gopisGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter 14, in Dallas.

“Although superficially Vrindavan is just a cowherd village, the opulence of Vrindavan far exceeds that of Vaikuntha. But because the mood of sweetness (madhurya) prevails in Vrindavan, it covers the mood of opulence (aisvarya)—even though Vrindavan’s opulence is greater than that of Dvaraka or Vaikuntha. Say, for example, there is a mixture of 100 gallons of lime juice and 100 pounds of sugar, and there is another container with 10 gallons of lime juice and 1 pound of sugar. The lime is like the opulence, and the sugar is like the sweetness. Vrindavan is like the 100 gallons of lime juice which has more opulence than Vaikuntha and yet is sweeter to the taste, with its 100 pounds of sugar, than the 10 gallons of lime juice with 1 pound of sugar.”

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Kirtan
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 14.228

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Tasting and Distributing Krishna Consciousness, Sunday Evening, September 18, Houston

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Sep 222016
 

Giriraj Swami and Anutama Prabhu spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 7.92.

adi-2-05-938x1377“Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains in his Anubhasya, ‘A person who has attracted the attention of the spiritual master by his sincere service likes to dance and chant with similarly developed Krsna conscious devotees. The spiritual master authorizes such a devotee to deliver fallen souls in all parts of the world. Those who are not advanced prefer to chant the Hare Krsna mantra in a solitary place.’ Such activities constitute, in the language of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, a type of cheating process in the sense that they imitate the activities of exalted personalities like Haridasa Thakura. One should not attempt to imitate such exalted devotees. Rather, everyone should endeavor to preach the cult of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in all parts of the world and thus become successful in spiritual life. One who is not very expert in preaching may chant in a secluded place, avoiding bad association, but for one who is actually advanced, preaching and meeting people who are not engaged in devotional service are not disadvantages. A devotee gives the nondevotees his association but is not affected by their misbehavior. Thus by the activities of a pure devotee even those who are bereft of love of Godhead get a chance to become devotees of the Lord one day.” (Cc Adi 7.92 purport)

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Sunday-Program Talk by Giriraj Swami and Anutama Dasa

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Visvarupa Mahotsava, September 16, Houston

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Sep 192016
 

spsanyass1On this date, Sri Visvarupa, the elder brother of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, took sannyasa. It is also the date on which Srila Prabhupada took sannyasa.

“If Srila Prabhupada hadn’t taken sannyasa and come to us, where would we be? We wouldn’t be anywhere—I shudder to think where we would be. So that renunciation is necessary. Sat-nyasa. Nyasa means to give up, and sat means the Supreme. One takes sannyasa to give up everything for the service of the Supreme, Krishna. Many of our acharyas have taken sannaysa. They gave up the limited families of their homes or their towns and embraced the larger family of all humanity and all living beings.”

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Srila Prabhupada’s Sannyasa

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The Divine Disappearance of Srila Haridasa Thakura, September 15, Houston

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Sep 172016
 

Lord Chaitanya Carrying Haridasa ThakuraGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter 11.

Haridasa Thakura said, “I have had one desire for a very long time. I think that quite soon, my Lord, You will bring to a close Your pastimes within this material world. I wish that You not show me this closing chapter of Your pastimes. Before that time comes, kindly let my body fall down in Your presence. I wish to catch Your lotuslike feet upon my heart and see Your moonlike face. With my tongue I shall chant Your holy name, ‘Sri Krsna Caitanya!’ That is my desire. Kindly let me give up my body in this way. O most merciful Lord, if by Your mercy it is possible, kindly grant my desire. Let this lowborn body fall down before You. You can make possible this perfection of all my desires.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Haridasa, Krsna is so merciful that He must execute whatever you want. But whatever happiness is Mine is all due to your association. It is not fitting for you to go away and leave Me behind.”
Catching the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Haridasa Thakura said, “My Lord, do not create an illusion! Although I am so fallen, You must certainly show me this mercy! My Lord, there are many respectable personalities, millions of devotees, who are fit to sit on my head. They are all helpful in Your pastimes. My Lord, if an insignificant insect like me dies, what is the loss? If an ant dies, where is the loss to the material world? My Lord, You are always affectionate to Your devotees. I am just an imitation devotee, but nevertheless I wish that You fulfill my desire. That is my expectation.” (Cc Antya 11.31-42)

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Kirtan
Disappearance of Haridasa Thakura

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