Rama-navami continued, April 16, New Dvaraka, Los Angeles

 Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Caitanya-caritamrta, Ramachandra  Comments Off on Rama-navami continued, April 16, New Dvaraka, Los Angeles
Apr 192016
 

04.16.16_01.LA04.16.16_02.LA———————————————-
Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya 9.178 – 194.

“Srila Prabhupada raised the question, ‘Why do we call this building a temple and that building, an ordinary houses?’ He said, ‘In this house, we are living. And the next house, they are also living. So what is the difference? The difference is that here, Krishna is the center. Therefore it is temple. And next door, a house. That is the difference between house, ordinary house, and temple. This is also made of bricks and stones and wood, and that is also made of bricks and stones. They also live, they also cook, they also eat. Everything is the same, practically. But the difference is that there is no Krishna, and here is Krishna. That is the difference.” The temple is spiritual because everything is engaged in the service of the Lord. Even the physical body when fully engaged in the service of the Lord becomes spiritual. When we engage them in the service of the Lord, material things become spiritual. And conversely, if we want to use something spiritual which is meant for the service of the Lord—which is really everything that exists—for our sense gratification, it becomes material. So, Ravana kidnapped Sitadevi to enjoy her, but he didn’t get the spiritual Sita; he got the maya Sita.”

Rama-navami continued, Los Angeles

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Mar 282016
 

03.26.16_05.GauraPurnima_Laguna“Devotees are infused with bhakti-sakti, and Krishna consciousness comes out through every pore in their body. Just as someone can get a person’s disease by eating the remnants of his or her food, because devotees are infected by Krishna consciousness, by coming in touch with them—through the dust of their feet, the water that has washed their feet, or the remnants of their food—one can get that infection. And we want that infection.

bhakta-pada-dhuli ara bhakta-pada-jala
bhakta-bhukta-avasesa—tina maha-bala

‘The dust of the feet of a devotee, the water that has washed the feet of a devotee, and the remnants of food left by a devotee are three very powerful substances.’ (Cc Antya 16.60)

“It is by the association of devotees that one comes to Krishna consciousness. And even after developing love for Krishna, the association of devotees is still most essential.

krsna-bhakti-janma-mula haya ‘sadhu-sanga’
krsna-prema janme, tenho punah mukhya anga

‘The root cause of devotional service to Lord Krsna is association with advanced devotees. Even when one’s dormant love for Krsna awakens, association with devotees is still most essential.’ (Cc Madhya 22.84)”

—Giriraj Swami

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Kirtan by Giriraj Swami
Talk and kirtan by Vaisesika Dasa
Realizations by various devotees
Talk by Giriraj Swami

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Ratha-yatra Morning, April 12, Dallas

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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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Prelude to Gaura Purnima, Part 1, March 15, ISKCON Silicon Valley, Mountain View, California

 Caitanya-caritamrta, Gaura Purnima, Vaisesika Das  Comments Off on Prelude to Gaura Purnima, Part 1, March 15, ISKCON Silicon Valley, Mountain View, California
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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Srila Prabhupada Has Given Us Everything We Need, January 26, Bhaktivedanta Manor, London, England

 Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Prabhupada, Yamuna devi  Comments Off on Srila Prabhupada Has Given Us Everything We Need, January 26, Bhaktivedanta Manor, London, England
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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The Brhad Mrdanga, January 6, Sant Nagar, New Delhi

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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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Gaura Purnima, March 7, Dallas

 Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Caitanya-caritamrta, Lectures  Comments Off on Gaura Purnima, March 7, Dallas
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.”

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Rama Ekadasi, October 23, Juhu, Mumbai

 Bombay, Caitanya-caritamrta, Rama-ekadasi, Srila Prabhupada  Comments Off on Rama Ekadasi, October 23, Juhu, Mumbai
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.”

Meeting Srila Prabhupada, November 14, Dallas

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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

TRANSLATION

“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

Concluding Words: Follow the Instructions, Feel the Presence — November 3, Dallas

 Bombay, Caitanya-caritamrta, Dallas, Srila Prabhupada  Comments Off on Concluding Words: Follow the Instructions, Feel the Presence — November 3, Dallas
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. . . .”