Damodar das

Dec 062017
 

srila_bhaktisiddhanta_sitting_cross-leggedSrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master, is my grand spiritual master, but I feel that I never really knew him that well until I read his biography Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava by my godbrother Bhakti Vikasa Swami. Many of the quotes and references below come from that work, which has helped bring me closer to my spiritual grandfather.

We are all here by the mercy of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. There’s a line through which the mercy descends upon us, beginning with Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and passing, one teacher after the other, through parampara, or disciplic succession. Five thousand years ago Krsna came in His original form and in the Bhagavad-gita (9.34, 18.65) He instructed, man-mana bhava mad-bhakto: “Always think of Me and become My devotee.” Five hundred years ago the same Lord Krsna came again, in the devotional form of Sri Krsna Caitanya, to explain and personally show how to be a devotee and always think of Krsna. Lord Caitanya quoted a verse from the Brhan-naradiya Purana (38.126):

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha

“One should chant the holy name, chant the holy name, chant the holy name of Hari, Krsna. There is no other way, no other way, no other way for success in the present age of Kali.” He also desired and predicted:

prthivite ache yata nagaradi grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora nama

“In as many towns and villages as there are on the surface of the earth, My holy name will be propagated.” (Cb 3.4.126) He expressed this desire and prediction at a time when it was almost impossible to imagine or believe that it could happen.

In the 1800s Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura began the effort to spread the holy name of Krsna to countries outside India. He wrote a small book in English called Caitanya Mahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts and dispatched copies to libraries around the world. In recent years Srila Prabhupada’s disciples have discovered copies in libraries from Canada (McGill University) to Australia. Bhaktivinoda Thakura yearned for the day when devotees from all over the world would unite in harinama-sankirtana and wrote, “Very soon the unparalleled path of harinama-sankirtana will be propagated all over the planet. . . . Oh, for that day when the fortunate English, French, Russian, German, and American people will take up banners, mrdangas, and karatalas and perform kirtana through their streets and towns. When will that day come? Oh, for the day when the fair-skinned men from their side will raise up the chanting of ‘Jaya Sacinandana, jaya Sacinandana ki jaya!’ and join with the Bengali devotees. When will that day be?” (Sajjana-tosani) Continue reading »

Initiation Ceremony, The Last Day of Karttika, Purnima, November 3, Carpinteria, California

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Nov 062017
 

Here is a video of the name-giving. Prema Bhakti dasa became Premi Bhakta dasa, Pradipta and Mousumi Chatterjee became Pandita Srivasa dasa and Malini dasi, and Rob Goettler became Jayananda dasa.

Here is Giriraj Swami’s address.
11.03.17, Initiation, Carpinteria

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Govardhana-puja, October 20, Moorpark, California

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Oct 222017
 

Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.32.

“But, competent as the Lord was, He saved the inhabitants and animals of Vrajabhumi by His personal energy and proved definitely that anyone directly engaged as a devotee of the Supreme Lord need not satisfy any other demigods, however great, even to the level of Brahma or Siva. Thus this incident definitely proved without a doubt that Lord Krsna is the Personality of Godhead and that He was so in all circumstances, as a child on the lap of His mother, as a boy 7 years old, and as an old man of 125 years of age. In either case He was never on the level of the ordinary man, and even in His advanced age He appeared a young boy 16 years old. These are the particular features of the transcendental body of the Lord.” SB 2.7.32 purport—————————-

Govardhana-puja, Moorpark

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Mumbai Mitrotsava Talk via Skype, October 5, Carpinteria, California

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Oct 052017
 

“It is important that devotees take care of each other. Like other people, devotees have different aspects to their lives—physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. So we want to support each other in all these ways. Of course, with devotees, everything is for Krishna. We help each other in all respects to better serve guru and Krishna. That is really our goal: gopi-bhartu pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasa—we want to be the servant of the servant of Krishna, the maintainer of the gopi damsels of Vrindavan. In our conditioned life, each of us wants to be the center—that is material life. But in spiritual life, Krishna is the center. We have to work on keeping Krishna in the center and ourselves as the servants, the servants of the servants of Krishna.”

Mitrotsava talk

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Vyasa-puja Celebration, September 24, Carpinteria

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Sep 282017
 

“Srila Prabhupada wrote to one disciple, ‘You cannot survive without my mercy, and I cannot survive without your mercy. It is reciprocal. This mutual dependance is based on love—Krishna consciousness.'”

——————
Special thanks to Gaudacandra Prabhu for the beautiful photographs.

Devotees’ appreciations (right-click, save as to download)

1.Balaram Chandra das
2. Sarvatma das
3. Yudhisthira das
4. Radha Priya dasi
5. Sri Murti dasi
6. Balarama das
7. Krsangi dasi
8. Gaudacandra das
9. Sri Vallabha das
10. Rajani Priya dasi
11. Siddhi-lalasa dasi
12. Varsabhanavi dasi
13. Syamananda das
14. Apsara Kund
15. Abhay Charan
16. Purusottama Ksetra das
17. Revati dasi
18. Bhakta Rob
19. Vrajesvari dasi
20. Shyam Gopal das
21. Gandharvika Haulkhory
22. Tulsi Manjari dasi
23. Parvata Muni das
24. Sita dasi
25. Giridhari Priya das
26. Lavanga Manjari dasi
27. Aditi dasi
28. Visnupriya dasi
29. Hari Bhakta das
30. Adilakshmi Nanduri
31. Shyama Chandra das
32. Bhaktin Vivian
33. Radhika Bhuckory

Kirtan by Giriraj Swami
Vyasa-puja Address by Giriraj Swami

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Giriraj Swami’s Vyasa-puja, September 17, London, via Skype

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Sep 242017
 

IMG_0877Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad Bhagavatam 3.15.25.

“When one is free from all ten of these offenses in chanting the holy name of God, he develops the ecstatic bodily features called pulakasru. Pulaka means “symptoms of happiness,” and asru means “tears in the eyes.” The symptoms of happiness and tears in the eyes must appear in a person who has chanted the holy name offenselessly. Here in this verse it is stated that those who have actually developed the symptoms of happiness and tears in the eyes by chanting the glories of the Lord are eligible to enter the kingdom of God. In the Caitanya-caritamrta it is said that if one does not develop these symptoms while chanting Hare Krsna, it is to be understood that he is still offensive. Caitanya-caritamrta suggests a nice remedy in this connection. There it is said in verse 31, Chapter Eight, of Adi-lila, that if anyone takes shelter of Lord Caitanya and just chants the holy name of the Lord, Hare Krsna, he becomes freed from all offenses.” SB 3.15.25 purport.

Vyasa-puja, London

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