Apr 152014

1654404_10152249448784929_1845577006_nGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.46–81.

“At the Ratha-yatra, Lord Chaitanya recited the following verse:

seita parana-natha painu
yaha lagi’ madana-dahane jhuri genu

‘I have gotten that Lord of My life, for whom I was burning in the fire of lusty desires.’ (Cc Madhya 1.55)

“All the scriptures proclaim that the gopis’ love for Krishna is completely pure and spotless, free from any material taint ofselfish desire. So, when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the mood of the gopis says that he is burning in the fire of lusty desires, He really means that He is burning in the fire of separation—separation from pleasing Krishna. The gopis know that Krishna is pleased by their service more than anyone else’s. And because their only ambition is to see Krishna happy, they want to serve Him, not for their own happiness, but to give Krishna the highest transcendental pleasure. But they express their desire in terms of lust, or selfish desires—also to please Krishna.” —Giriraj Swami

Ratha-yatra Morning, Dallas, 2014

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Mar 172014

03.16.14_02.GauraPurnima_ISVGiriraj Swami and Vaisesika das read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila.

“When we take up the process and make the effort to chant without offense—which means without distraction, with attention—we will see how many different thoughts pass through our mind. Those thoughts have underlying conceptions, mainly related to the body, that ‘I am the body’. Some are gross, like ‘I’m hungry; when can I take prasada?’ And some are subtle, like ‘How are people regarding me? Are they appreciating me?’ But if we stay steadfast in our practice, these things will vanish. Srila Prabhupada gave the example of making ghee from butter. When you put the butter on the fire, the impurities come up, and you wipe them off. Then more come up, and you wipe them off. And then, eventually, none come up, and it is pure ghee. So the fact that these things come up need not discourage us as long as we remain steadfast in our practice. They come, and they go—the holy name takes care of them. It may be that some are a little persistent, and in such cases we may want to consult some senior devotee or go deep into the scriptures to find an answer. Then gradually the chanting becomes more relishable.”—Giriraj Swami

Prelude to Gaura Purnima, ISV, Part 1

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Jan 282014

prabdskGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 7.166-168 on Sunday morning.

“We should not be swayed by romantic tales of instant enlightenment. It is stated by the previous acaryas—and here in the purport by Srila Prabhupada—that chanting the full Pancha-tattva mantra will free us from offenses and bless us to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra without offenses. And if we do that, all our spiritual desires and aspirations will be fulfilled—because everything is in the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. By offenseless chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra everything is revealed. One gets that mercy, that blessing, by serving the Pancha-tattva, which includes their devoteesgaura-bhakta vrinda. And in that effort we should not compromise.”

Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 7.166-168

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Jan 082014

01.06.14_DelhiGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.132.

“Being a Rupanuga doesn’t mean dressing in a loincloth and sleeping under a tree. The real essence is, as Srila Rupa Gosvami is described: sri-caitanya-mano-‘bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale—he established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Chaitanya. He understood the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and was empowered to establish it on earth (bhutale). That is done primarily—not exclusively, but primarily—through writing, publishing, and distributing books. And this has come to us through parampara. Srila Prabhupada compared it to a train: “This is the parampara system. My guru maharaja pushed me, I am pushing you, and you are pushing others. It is like a train.” And so the pushing through parampara continues. That is seen and experienced very vividly here: the whole temple is surcharged, and it is very enlivening.”

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 19.132, Sant Nagar, New Delhi

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Mar 122012

“Every mother will be most attentive her child’s welfare. And that is how we should care for every living entity. Of course, it is hard to keep track of one’s child at every moment, but a sensitive mother can tell the meaning of the child’s different crying. If we call out the name of Krishna — or Gauranga — in an ordinary or mechanical way, the Lord may not pay much heed. But if the intensity of the cry reaches the stage where we call out in utter dependance, urgency, and helplessness, then Krishna’s attention will be drawn. So if we want to capture Krishna’s attention, or Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s attention, we have to cry out like that. Srila Prabhupada said that the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is like the genuine cry of a child for its mother: ‘Mother Hara (Radha), please help me achieve the grace of the supreme father, Krishna.’ Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has Radharani’s mood. To call out to  Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is like calling out to Radharani (Hare). But it’s a question of the urgency and the intensity. The Lord reveals Himself to the devotee who chants sincerely.”



Oct 252011

Rama Ekadasi is the day when Srila Prabhupada finished his translation of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, at Hare Krishna Land, Juhu.

“Srila Prabhupada would take rest at ten at night and then wake up at midnight, after only two hours of rest. And then, while everyone else was sleeping, he would translate — for us, so that we would have these books to study and apply in our lives. It is a privilege and a blessing to read these books, and also our duty. The time and effort Srila Prabhupada put into writing these books for us will be for naught if we don’t care enough to reciprocate and make the effort to study his books. Srila Prabhupada said that we should not only distribute his books, but we should also read them. He said of his followers that sankirtana would keep them happy and that reading his books would keep them.”

Nov 182010

During the Sunday program, Giriraj Swami read Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, 1.59 (which is also Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.26.26), and related it to meeting Srila Prabhupada and the devotees.

tato duhsangam utsrijya
satsu sajjeta buddhi-man
santa evasya chindanti
mano-vyasangam uktibhih


“One should therefore avoid bad company and associate only with devotees. With their realized instructions, such saints can cut the knot connecting one with activities unfavorable to devotional service.”

“After seeing Srila Prabhupada for the first time at my university, I went to the temple. Srila Prabhupada spoke, but because he had a thick Bengali accent and I was unfamiliar with the subject, I couldn’t understand much of what he presented. But at a certain point he quoted a verse from the Bhagavad-gita and said, ‘Out of many thousands of men, hardly one will seek perfection.’ And I thought, ‘That’s me. He’s talking about me.'” — Giriraj Swami

Nov 042010

“Yesterday we fasted for Sri Rama-ekadasi, and twenty six-years ago, in Bombay, something very special happened the morning after Sri Rama-ekadasi. Every morning before six I would walk up the stairs to Srila Prabhupada’s quarters to accompany him on his morning walk. But the morning after the Rama-ekadasi in 1974, when I got to the top of the stairs, the door was locked, which was very unusual. It was the only time I ever climbed the stairs when Srila Prabhupada was there and the door was locked. . . .”

Sep 212010

Today is the disappearance day of Namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura, so we shall read from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter Eleven, “The Passing of Haridasa Thakura”:

The summary of this chapter is given by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Amrta-pravaha-bhasya as follows. In this chapter it is described how Brahma Haridasa Thakura gave up his body with the consent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and how the Lord Himself personally performed the funeral ceremony and carried the body to the sea. He personally entombed the body, covered it with sand, and erected a platform on the site. After taking a bath in the sea, He personally begged prasada of Jagannatha from shopkeepers and distributed prasada to the assembled devotees.


namami haridasam tam
caitanyam tam ca tat-prabhum
samsthitam api yan-murtim
svanke krtva nanarta yah


Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Haridasa Thakura and his master, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who danced with the body of Haridasa Thakura on His lap.


jaya jaya sri-caitanya jaya dayamaya
jayadvaita-priya nityananda-priya jaya

All glories to Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is very merciful and who is very dear to Advaita Acarya and Lord Nityananda!

jaya srinivasesvara haridasa-natha
jaya gadadhara-priya svarupa-prana-natha

All glories to the master of Srinivasa Thakura! All glories to the master of Haridasa Thakura! All glories to the dear master of Gadadhara Pandita! All glories to the master of the life of Svarupa Damodara!

jaya kasi-priya jagadananda-pranesvara
jaya rupa-sanatana-raghunathesvara

All glories to Lord Sri Caitanya, who is very dear to Kasi Misra! He is the Lord of the life of Jagadananda and the Lord of Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Continue reading »

Oct 192009


On the Rama-ekadasi thirty-five years ago, at Hare Krishna Land, Juhu, Srila Prabhupada completed his translation of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. In this talk, Giriraj Swami discusses this event and reads from Prabhupada’s concluding words: “Today, Sunday, November 10, 1974–the Rama-ekadasi–we have now finished the English translation of Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta in accordance with the authorized order of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Gosvami Maharaja, my beloved eternal spiritual master, guide, and friend. . . . I think that His Divine Grace is always seeing my activities and guiding me within my heart by his words. . . . Spiritual inspiration comes from within the heart, wherein the Supreme Personality of Godhead, in His Paramatma feature, is always sitting with all His devotees and associates. . . . On this occasion, I request my disciples to continue their cooperation fully, so that people all over the world will benefit by reading our transcendental literatures, such as Srimad-Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.”