Giriraj Swami

Feb 192020
 

Today is the disappearance day of Sri Isvara Puri. He was such a perfect disciple of Sri Madhavendra Puri that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Krishna Himself, was pleased to accept him as his spiritual master. Later, Lord Chaitanya visited Isvara Puri’s birthplace at Kumara-hatta and collected some earth from the birth site, which He kept very carefully and ate a small portion of daily. Thus He showed us how a faithful disciple worships a spiritual master who has faithfully served his spiritual master perfectly.

On this auspicious occasion, we pray that Sri Isvara Puri and his disciple Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will bless us with devotion to the spiritual master.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Feb 182020
 

Those who are intelligent know that everything is supplied by Krishna. So why not depend on Krishna only? Why so many other attempts? Therefore Krishna says,

vyavasayatmika buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca
buddhayo ’vyavasayinam
        [Gita 2.41]

Vyavasayi means one who knows business particularly. Vyavasaya. Or one who knows confidently, “This is the cause; this is the effect.” Those who know that Krishna is the origin of everything are fixed up in Krishna. Vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha. One. Just depend on Krishna. They who do not know this depend on so many things. Buddhi avyavasayina.

So, if we want to be Krishna conscious, we shall fix up our mind on Krishna. And how to become fixed up—that art will be given to you by the spiritual master. Therefore Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says in connection with the explanation of this verse, vyavasayatmika buddhih means to take the words of the spiritual master as one’s life and soul. That is vyavasaya . . . That is called vyavasayatmika buddhih. Visvanatha Cakravarti says that “Whatever I am ordered by the spiritual master, that is my life and soul. I don’t care for liberation. My only business is to serve my spiritual master.” And in the song we sing, Ye prasade pure sarva asa. Ye prasade means, “By his mercy, all our desires are fulfilled.” Ye prasade pure sarva asa.

So, this is our process, to depend on Krishna. “Depend” does not mean I shall remain idle. Depend means to work according to the direction of the shastra. Sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya, tinete kariya aikya [Srila Narottam dasa Thakura].

—Srila Prabhupada, talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.24, July 14, 1974, Los Angeles

Feb 152020
 

In a talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.51, on December 28, 1973, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada spoke about bhagavat-priyanam, those who are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Bhagavat-priyanam. There is a common saying in English, ‘If you love me, love my dog.’ That is very important. If you love such person who is very dear to Krishna (bhagavat-priyanam), then Krishna is more pleased.

“There is a version in the Padma Purana. Parvati was asking questions to Lord Shiva, and he was replying. This is the process at home. The wife is supposed to inquire from the husband about spiritual advancement of life, and the husband must be competent to answer all the wife’s questions. That will keep the relation very nice. Sravanam kirtanam, hearing and chanting. (SB 7.5.23) That is bhakti. So, Parvati was asking . . . Because according to the Vedas, there are so many demigods. Vishnu is sometimes taken as one, but He is not. Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh are the principal deities. So, her inquiry was, ‘Which worship is the best—Vishnu or Lord Shiva or Brahma or Chandra?’ There are so many demigods. Sometimes they are misunderstood, that all of them are Gods. No. They are called demigods. God is one. Originally, God is Krishna. Isvarah paramah krsnah (Bs 5.1). [“Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes.”]

“So, her inquiry was, ‘There are so many gods—which worship is the best?’ And Lord Shiva replied,

aradhananam sarvesam
visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi
tadiyanam samarcanam
(Padma Purana, Laghu-bhagavatamrta 2.4)

The meaning is, ‘My dear wife, Devi.’ The wife is addressed ‘Devi,’ not by name. The husband should address the wife, ‘Devi.’ They must be like devis. ‘Devi’ means goddess. And the wife must address the husband as ‘lord.’ This is the system. So, Lord Shiva replied, ‘Devi, aradhananam sarvesam.’ There are many kinds of recommendations. ‘If you want this, you worship this god. If you want this, if you worship . . .’ These are described in the Bhagavatam. So, Lord Shiva said, ‘Of all different types of worship, the worship of Lord Vishnu is the best (aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param). And further he said, tasmat parataram devi: ‘There is still better worship.’ What is that? Tadiyanam samarcanam: ‘To worship the devotee of Vishnu, the Vaishnava.’ That is the best. First he said, visnor aradhanam param—’That is the supreme.’ But then he said, tasmat, ‘above that,’ tasmat parataram, ‘still better,’ tadiyanam samarcanam, ‘to worship the devotee of God.’

“This is very simple method. You cannot approach God. It is not a very easy thing. But God’s representatives, God’s devotee, who is canvassing on behalf of God, tadiyanam—that worship is better. Tadiyanam samarcanam.

“So, to worship God is very good, but to worship the devotee of God is still better. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita (18.69), na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah. Krishna says, ‘Anyone who is preaching this Bhagavad-gita,’ na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah. Bhagavat-priyanam. Priya-krt. Priya means dear, very dear. Krishna says, ‘Anyone who is preaching the message of Bhagavad-gita to the suffering people of the world,’ na ca tasmat priya-krt, ‘nobody is dearer to Me than he.’ ”

I aspire to serve and worship those who are bhagavat-priya, dear to God—first and foremost, Srila Prabhupada—and by doing so, by their mercy, I may also become dear, to them and to God.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Feb 142020
 

Twice last week, accompanied by various devotees, including Vrindavan Chandra das from London; Ugrasena das, Nitya Manjari dasi, and Kaviraj from Durban; and Visnupriya dasi from Dallas, I visited Rajani Priya dasi (Rose Forkash) at her home in Carpinteria, California. She is seven months away from her one hundredth birthday, but she is mentally and spiritually strong, and we all felt uplifted by her association. In addition to speaking with us about her life in Krishna consciousness, in appreciation of Srila Prabhupada, she also played Hare Krishna on the piano beautifully, and we all joined in chanting. One of her greatest pleasures in life is chanting and getting others to chant, which she has done with many, many people from all backgrounds and walks of life.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Feb 142020
 

Today, February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day, I was struck when Srila Prabhupada, at the conclusion of his class on Sri Isopanisad, spoke about love—the love that Krishna wants and the love that will satisfy us:

“Any religion, it doesn’t matter whether Hindu religion, Muslim religion, Christian religion—if you are developing love of God, then you are perfect in your religion. . . .

And what kind of love? Ahaituki: without any cause. ‘O Lord, I love You, God, because You supply me so many nice things. You are order-supplier.’ No, not that sort of love. Without any exchange. That is taught by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, that ‘Whatever You do . . .’ Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam. ‘Either You trample me under Your feet or You embrace me—what You like. You make me brokenhearted by not seeing You—that doesn’t matter. Still You are my worshipable Lord.’ That is love. . . . That sort of love Krishna wants. Therefore He was so much fond of the gopis. In the gopis’ love there was no question of business propaganda: ‘Give me this, then I love You.’ No. That is pure love. . . . If you want to love God, there is nothing throughout the whole world which can check you. Simply you have to develop your eagerness: ‘Krishna, I want You.’ That’s all. Then there is no question of checking. In any condition you’ll increase your love, increase your love. . . . If you can develop your love for God, or Krishna, without being checked, without any cause, then you will feel fully satisfied.”

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Feb 122020
 

Today is the auspicious appearance day of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja. When our Srila Prabhupada first came to America, we had no idea of Vaishnava etiquette or culture; we had no idea how to honor the appearance day of the spiritual master. In 1970, soon after I joined the Boston temple, Srila Prabhupada explained that the appearance day of the spiritual master is honored as Vyasa-puja, the worship of Vyasa. Srila Vyasadeva compiled the Vedic scriptures, and according to shastra, one cannot understand transcendental knowledge by independent study of books; one must study the Vedic literature under the guidance of a spiritual master. The Mundaka Upanishad (1.2.12) instructs, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: in order to understand the transcendental science, one must—it is emphatic (eva)—one must approach a spiritual master. And Lord Krishna Himself, in the Bhagavad-gita (4.34), states,

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.” First is pranipat: surrender. Then pariprasna: submissive inquiry. And then seva: service.

Srila Vyasadeva compiled the Vedic literature to give knowledge to the conditioned souls so they can be liberated from the miseries of material existence, and the spiritual master repeats the same message. He speaks from the Vedic scriptures; he explains them so the disciples can understand them; and he engages the disciples in service to Krishna. Just like we sing—saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair—the disciples worship the spiritual master on the same level as God; they honor him as much as the Supreme Lord. But the spiritual master never thinks that he is God. Rather, he considers himself to be the most humble servant of the servants of the servants of the servants of the servants of God, Krishna. He doesn’t ask his disciples to engage in his service; he asks them to engage in Krishna’s service. But out of respect for the spiritual master, out of appreciation and gratitude for what he has taught them and done for them, the disciples honor him, especially on his appearance day.

When I was in Boston, in 1970, Srila Prabhupada explained to the devotees that his spiritual master’s appearance day was about to take place and that the disciples should write homages, or offerings, to him. I was a new devotee and didn’t know much about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, but I considered the subject as seriously as I could, and my first thought was how great Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura must have been for such a great personality as His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to have surrendered to him. How great he must have been that Srila Prabhupada found him worthy of his own surrender. And then I thought of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati’s instruction to Srila Prabhupada to come to the West and preach the message of Krishna consciousness in English, and I thought it was really by the mercy of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja that Srila Prabhupada had come to us and given us the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita, given us the holy name of Krishna, given us the beautiful life of Krishna consciousness, and engaged us in loving service to Krishna. I felt that it was really due to his mercy that Srila Prabhupada had come and that we were being delivered by Srila Prabhupada.

So, we all wrote offerings to Srila Prabhupada’s guru maharaja. They were collected, and then Srila Prabhupada explained how to observe Vyasa-puja. We fast in the morning and come together and glorify the spiritual master, perhaps read the homages that we have written in his honor, offer puspanjali, offer bhoga, offer arati, and then honor prasada.

Some years later, after having served in India for about three years, I became very sick with jaundice and Srila Prabhupada said that as long as I remained in Bombay I would not be able to recover. So I happened to be present for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s appearance day in Los Angeles, celebrated in Srila Prabhupada’s presence. Srila Prabhupada had a very high seat made for his guru maharaja. He had his own vyasasana in the temple room, but he arranged for a bigger and higher seat for his guru maharaja, for a picture of his guru maharaja. He led the disciples through puspanjali and arati, and he had all the food preparations that his disciples had made offered to the picture. He said that this was the one day when we offer food directly to his guru maharaja. And so we observed Srila Prabhupada’s guru maharaja’s Vyasa-puja in his personal presence in Los Angeles.

We are indebted to His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura for sending Srila Prabhupada to us, for it is by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada that we have been elevated from the material condition and engaged in the loving service of the Lord.

Jaya om visnu-pada paramahamsa parivrajakacarya astottara-sata sri srimad bhaktisiddhanta saravati thakura prabhupada ki jaya!
Jaya om visnu-pada paramahamsa parivrajakacarya astottara-sata sri srimad bhaktivedanta swami prabhupada ki jaya!

Hare Krishna.

[From a talk by Giriraj Swami by telephone to Mauritius, February 14, 2009]

Feb 102020
 

Prahlada Maharaja says, bharam udvahato vimudhan. Prahlada Maharaja, a great devotee, was offered a benediction by Nrsimhadeva: “My dear Prahlada, you have suffered so much for Me from your father’s side. He has chastised you in so many ways because you are My devotee. Now your father is killed. That is finished. Now you take whatever benediction you want from Me.” Prahlada Maharaja said, “My Lord, I have no problem, so why shall I ask You for anything? I have no problem.” Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaranyah: “Everyone has got problem in this material world. They’re trying to overcome the problem. But I have no problem.” Naivodvije para duratyaya-vaitaranyas tvad-virya-gayana-mahamrta-magna-cittah [SB 7.9.43]. “I have no problem because my mind is always absorbed in glorifying Your Lordship. Therefore, I have no problem.” Kirtan. You’ll feel immediately refreshed. However much burden you may feel, as soon as you perform krsna-kirtana, you’ll find yourself immediately refreshed. So one who has got taste for this kirtan, he has no problem. Prahlada Maharaja says, Tvad-virya-gayana-mahamrta-magna-cittah: “Because my heart is always merged into the ocean of Your glorification, I have no problem.” This is the devotee. Everyone goes to God to mitigate some problem, that “God, give us our daily bread.” That means bread is a problem. That is the general tendency. They go to temple, church, to mitigate some problem. And as soon as the problem is finished, they forget God—no more church, no more temple. You see? That is not devotion. Devotion is, “No problem. I am ready to serve You, my Lord.” That is life. No problem. We should not take to Krishna consciousness or sankirtana to solve some problem. No. That is not pure devotion. When you will feel that “There is no problem. I am chanting, glorifying. So I am becoming merged into the ocean of bliss,” that is perfect life. That is the symptom.

So, Prahlada Maharaja said, “I have no problem.” That is pure devotee. “But you seem to be very unhappy. Why?” “Yes, still, I am unhappy.” What is that? Soce tato vimukha-cetasa indriyartha-maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan [SB 7.9.43]: “I am unhappy for these rascals. They have created a huge mode of civilization for temporary happiness.” Temporary happiness. That is not happiness. Maya-sukhaya. Maya, illusion.

—Srila Prabhupada, talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.23, January 19, 1974, Honolulu

Feb 062020
 

We welcome you on this most auspicious occasion of the appearance day of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. According to the Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, the Absolute Truth is realized in three features. Preliminary is Brahman, the impersonal light that emanates from the transcendental form of the Lord. Next is Paramatma, the localized Supersoul within the hearts of all living entities. And the last word in realization of the Absolute is Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. The jnanis who realize the impersonal Brahman experience only the sat, eternal, aspect of the Absolute Truth. The yogis who realize the Paramatma within the heart experience the eternal, sat, and cognizant, cit, features of the Absolute Truth. Only the devotees, who realize Krishna, experience ananda, bliss, which is the goal and ultimate nature of every living entity.

When an interviewer once asked Srila Prabhupada, “What is the goal of life?” Srila Prabhupada replied, “The goal of life is to enjoy.” Now, the effort to enjoy materially, through the mind and senses, leads only to frustration and misery, but spiritually one can enjoy in relation to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that pleasure, unlike the temporary so-called happiness of the material world, is eternal, and that eternal happiness can be realized through the mercy of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Nitya means “eternal” and ananda means “bliss.” So if we can come in touch with Lord Nityananda, we can realize that eternal bliss for which we are hankering.

How do we become eligible for Lord Nityananda’s mercy? That we can learn from the description of His qualities and pastimes in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, the most authorized book, biography, about the teachings and activities of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda and Their associates. There are a number of verses that summarize the pastimes of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, but one is especially instructive, from Adi-lila, Chapter Seventeen: “The Pastimes of Lord Caitanya in His Youth”:

TEXT 17

tabe saci dekhila, rama-krsna—dui bhai
tabe nistarila prabhu jagai-madhai

TRANSLATION

Thereafter Mother Sacidevi saw the brothers Krsna and Balarama in Their manifestation of Lord Caitanya and Nityananda. Then the Lord delivered the two brothers Jagai and Madhai.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

One night Sacidevi dreamt that the Deities in her house, Krsna and Balarama, had taken the forms of Caitanya and Nityananda and were fighting one another, as children do, to eat the naivedya, or offering to the Deities. On the next day, by the will of Lord Caitanya, Sacidevi invited Nityananda to take prasada at her house. Thus Visvambhara (Lord Caitanya) and Nityananda were eating together, and Sacidevi realized that They were none other than Krsna and Balarama. Seeing this, she fainted.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

The story is that Sacidevi had a dream and told her son Nimai, “Last night I had a wonderful dream, and in this dream You and Nityananda went into my Deity room, and You picked up the Deity of Balarama, and Nitai picked up the Deity of Krishna, and the Deities started to protest, ‘You can’t take Us from the altar. You can’t take Us out of the Deity room.’ And You and Nityananda replied, ‘Your days of stealing butter and playing pranks are over. Now You are appearing as brahmans to chant the holy names.’ ” Then They started to fight over Mother Saci’s offerings, and Krishna and Balarama said, “These are meant for Us. You can’t have these.” And Gaura and Nitai were saying, “But now You have appeared as Us so We can take them.”

Mother Saci asked Lord Chaitanya, “What do you think of this dream?” and Lord Chaitanya said, “This is a very wonderful dream, but don’t tell anyone about it.” Because He was concealing His identity as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, He didn’t want anyone to know that He was Krishna and Nityananda was Balarama.

Then Lord Chaitanya said, “I would go into the Deity room to have maha-prasada [the remnants of the offerings] and see that half of it was gone.” His wife Vishnu-priya was listening to this, and He knew that she was listening, so He said, “Seeing that half of the offering was gone, I would suspect that it was Vishnu-priya who had taken the maha-prasada, but now I am seeing that these Deities are very mystical, and I am suspecting that They Themselves might be eating half of the remnants meant for Us.” He continued, “Anyway, I think tomorrow you should invite Nityananda for lunch,” and she did. And as They were having lunch, she saw Them transform Themselves into Krishna and Balarama, and she fainted.

PURPORT (concluded)

Jagai and Madhai were two brothers born in Navadvipa in a respectable brahmana family who later became addicted to all kinds of sinful activities. By the order of Lord Caitanya, both Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa Thakura used to preach the cult of Krsna consciousness door to door. In the course of such preaching they found Jagai and Madhai, two maddened drunken brothers, who, upon seeing them, began to chase them. The next day, Madhai struck Nityananda Prabhu on the head with a piece of earthen pot, thus drawing blood. When Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard of this, He immediately came to the spot, ready to punish both brothers, but when the all-merciful Lord Gauranga saw Jagai’s repentant behavior, He immediately embraced him. By seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face and embracing Him, both the sinful brothers were at once cleansed. Thus they received initiation into the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra from the Lord and were delivered.

COMMENT

This is a very important pastime of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda, and it is worth considering in detail, because it will give us an insight into the actual mission of Gaura-Nitai and, through parampara (disciplic succession), the mission of Srila Prabhupada and consequently the mission of his followers.

Continue reading »

Feb 052020
 

Today is Varaha-dvadasi, the appearance day of the boar incarnation, Varahadeva. To celebrate His appearance, we shall read one verse about Him from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Two, Chapter Seven, “Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions.”

TEXT 1 

                      brahmovaca
yatrodyatah ksiti-taloddharanaya bibhrat
    kraudim tanum sakala-yajna-mayim anantah
antar-maharnava upagatam adi-daityam
    tam damstrayadrim iva vajra-dharo dadara

TRANSLATION

Lord Brahma said: When the unlimitedly powerful Lord assumed the form of a boar as a pastime, just to lift the planet earth, which was drowned in the great ocean of the universe called the Garbhodaka, the first demon [Hiranyaksa] appeared, and the Lord pierced him with His tusk.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

Since the beginning of creation, the demons and the demigods, or the Vaisnavas, are always the two classes of living beings to dominate the planets of the universes. Lord Brahma is the first demigod, and Hiranyaksa is the first demon in this universe.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

From the beginning of creation, there have been two classes of human beings within the universe. One is the demigods, or the devotees, who are favorable to Lord Vishnu, and the other is the demons, who are against Lord Vishnu. The difference between them has existed from the beginning of creation, and the competition between them has continued until now. There are always struggles and fights between the devotees and the demons.

Even to get the place where we are so comfortably sitting now, Hare Krishna Land, Juhu, there was a great struggle. Srila Prabhupada, the devotee, wanted to purchase the land to build a temple for Radha and Krishna, and so many enemies joined together to oppose him. Month after month the struggle continued, until ultimately Srila Prabhupada and the devotees were successful.

Even after they acquired Hare Krishna Land, the struggle continued. So many enemies tried to stop the construction of the temple, but again, in the end, the devotees were successful and Srila Prabhupada was able to build this temple for Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihariji.

Even after Srila Prabhupada’s disappearance, so many enemies tried to capture Hare Krishna Land and take the management of the temple from the devotees. They accused the devotees: we were CIA, we were spies, we were smugglers, we were this, we were that. They even claimed that the chakras on top of the temple domes were radio antennas for sending and receiving secret messages, and such ridiculous stories were published all over the newspapers. Finally, these enemies induced the police to make a thorough search of the entire premises.

The police came to look for radios, contraband, and whatnot, and eventually they wanted to search Srila Prabhupada’s personal quarters on the fifth floor of the west tower. At the time, His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami was the GBC for Bombay and I was the temple president. So Tamal Krishna Goswami accompanied the officer to Prabhupada’s quarters. When the officer saw the quarters, he paused and asked Tamal Krishna Goswami, “Do you know why we are searching Hare Krishna Land?” Goswami Maharaja thought and replied, “Because there are so many foreigners here.” The inspector in charge of the investigation said, “There are more foreigners at the Holiday Inn, so why are we not searching there?” Tamal Krishna Goswami replied, “I don’t know. Maybe you should say.” Then the officer said, “At the Holiday Inn they eat meat, they take intoxicants, they gamble, and they have illicit sex, so no one bothers about them. But here you don’t eat meat, fish, or eggs; you don’t take intoxicants; you don’t have illicit sex; and you don’t gamble. And you broadcast very loudly that people should not eat meat, should not take intoxicants, should not have illicit sex, and should not gamble. That is why we are investigating you. People are comfortable with sense gratification, so where there is sense gratification they feel comfortable. But you are giving up sense gratification, announcing it, and telling others to give it up as well. So people get disturbed, they become suspicious, and they want to know what’s happening, because they can’t understand how people can actually give up sense gratification. That’s why we are investigating you.”

Continue reading »

Feb 042020
 

Today is the disappearance anniversary of Sripada Ramanujacharya, the principal acharya in the Sri, or Lakshmi, sampradaya. Srila Prabhupada wrote, “We find great shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Ramanujacharya because his lotus feet are the strongest fort to combat the Mayavadi philosophy.” (Letter 22.11.1974) And in the early days of ISKCON in India, before we had Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is in Hindi, Prabhupada would refer people to read the Hindi edition of the Gita with Sri Ramanujacharya’s commentary.

Srila Prabhupada often told a story about Sri Ramanujacharya’s merciful, compassionate nature. As he related it in Ahmedabad in 1972, “The servants of Krishna take all risk for Krishna’s sake. Just like Ramanujacharya. Sri Ramanujacharya’s spiritual master said, ‘My dear son, the mantra which I am giving, you chant silently and you will be delivered. It is so powerful. Don’t chant this mantra loudly so others can hear.’

“Ramanujacharya thought, ‘If this mantra is so powerful that if others hear it they’ll also be delivered, then why not?’ He immediately went to the market and began to chant the mantra. So, his spiritual master became very angry, that ‘I told you not to chant loudly, so others may not hear.’ And Ramanujacharya replied, ‘My Lordship, I have done offense unto you. That’s all right. For this I am prepared to go to hell. But if this mantra is so powerful, I must speak it to everyone.’ ”

In this mood, following in the footsteps of Sripada Ramanujacharya, Srila Prabhupada broadcast the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita everywhere, to everyone.

We pray and aspire to follow in their footsteps.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami