Oct 202014
 
Krsna das Kaviraja Goswami. A painting by Arca Vigraha dasi.

Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami

Srila Prabhupada said that in every activity, the Vaisnava should pray to the previous acarya, “Kindly help me”—that the Vaisnava always thinks himself helpless and begs help from the previous acarya. And he gave the example of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, who at the end of every chapter prayed,

sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
caitanya-caritamrita kahe krsnadasa

As Srila Prabhupada explained, “In every line he is thinking of Rupa-Raghunatha, previous acaryas: ’Let me surrender to the Gosvamis and they will help me how to write.’ You cannot write. That is not possible.” And Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami is saying it openly here, that “I did not write this book. I could not write this book. It was written only by the mercy of these personalities.” And he mentions the Deities of Vrndavana and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates and followers. And then he writes, “I have also been specifically favored by another supreme personality. Sri Madana-mohana Deity of Vrndavana has given the order that is making me write.” In other words, “I am not qualified, but still I am writing because I have been given the order to write.”

Caitanya-caritamrta’s Conclusion

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Oct 182014
 

Radha-kundaGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Nava-vraja-mahima by Sivarama Swami and Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava by Bhakti Vikasa Swami.

“Krishna turned to Radha and declared, ‘Most beloved! Because your kunda is as dear to Me as You are, I will bathe in it daily. May Radha-kunda garner more fame in this world than my own beloved Syama-kunda.’

“Now it was Radha’s turn. She completely abandoned her contrary mood and openly revealed her true feelings:  ’O Syama! You may kill a hundred bull-demons, but every day I will bathe in Your kunda.

” ‘From now on, any person who has intense devotion for your lake, Syama-kunda, or who bathes there or lives on its banks, will certainly become very dear to Me and thus come to Me.’

“After Radha and Krishna had pronounced Their vows and given Their blessings, the entire area surrounding the two lakes echoed with the voices of cheering gopis and the sounds of rejoicing forest animals.”

Nava-vraja-mahima

Radha-kunda’s Appearance

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Oct 172014
 

Radha-kundGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and The Nectar of Instruction.

“Why is Radha-kunda so exalted? The lake is so exalted because it belongs to Srimati Radharani, who is the most beloved object of Sri Krishna. Among all the gopis, She is the most beloved. Similarly, Her lake, Sri Radha-kunda, is also described by great sages as the lake that is as dear to Krishna as Radha Herself. Indeed, Krishna’s love for Radha-kunda and Srimati Radharani is the same in all respects. Radha-kunda is very rarely attained, even by great personalities fully engaged in devotional service, not to speak of ordinary devotees who are only engaged in the practice of vaidhi bhakti.”

Nectar of Instruction 11

Appearance of Radha-kunda

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Oct 142014
 

damodar2Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.9.18.

“Everybody is offering Krishna prayers and worship, and He appreciates it and accepts it. But He enjoys more when He forgets that He is God and reciprocates with intimate, confidential associates who also forget that He is God. This is the special feature of Vrindavan. In His original form of Krishna—who is the unlimited supreme—He allowed himself to be bound by ropes by Mother Yasoda. Still, within that pastime, or lila, He also manifested His unlimited potencies. But her love for Him was so intense that His display of mystic power did not eclipse her conception that He was her son. He manifested His unlimited potencies to test her determination—and to show the world that He is God—but she always maintained the conviction that He was her son.”

———————————

Kirtan
Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.9.18

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Oct 122014
 

Damodar“There were two factors that combined to allow Mother Yasoda to bind Lord Krishna: one was her hard labor, and the other was Krishna’s mercy. The acharyas explain that when these two elements combine — the devotee’s hard labor and Krishna’s mercy — Krishna allows Himself to be bound by His devotee.”

Binding Lord Damodara

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Oct 122014
 

bhagavatam_bigIn Dallas devotees are distributing full sets of Srila Prabhupada’s books and installing them in people’s homes with a ceremony that includes chanting mantras and offering flowers (puspanjali). On October 10, I was fortunate to participate in the installation in the new house of Sarvajaya Madhava dasa and his family, and I spoke on the following verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.40):

idam bhagavatam nama
puranam brahma-sammitam
uttama-sloka-caritam
cakara bhagavan rsih
nihsreyasaya lokasya
dhanyam svasty-ayanam mahat

“This scripture named Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of God, and it is compiled by Srila Vyasadeva, the incarnation of God. It is meant for the ultimate good of all people, and it is all-successful, all-blissful, and all-perfect.”

In his purport, Srila Prabhupada explains, “Srimad-Bhagavatam is the literary incarnation of Lord Sri Krsna and is therefore nondifferent from Him. Srimad-Bhagavatam should be worshiped as respectfully as we worship the Lord. Thereby we can derive the ultimate blessings of the Lord through its careful and patient study. As God is all light, all bliss, and all perfection, so also is Srimad-Bhagavatam. We can have all the transcendental light of the Supreme Brahman, Sri Krsna, from the recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam, provided it is received through the medium of the transparent spiritual master. Lord Caitanya’s private secretary Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami advised all intending visitors who came to see the Lord at Puri to make a study of the Bhagavatam from the person Bhagavatam. Person Bhagavatam is the self-realized bona fide spiritual master, and through him only can one understand the lessons of Bhagavatam in order to receive the desired result. One can derive from the study of the Bhagavatam all benefits that are possible to be derived from the personal presence of the Lord. It carries with it all the transcendental blessings of Lord Sri Krsna that we can expect from His personal contact.”

The blessings that one gets from the book Bhagavatam when received through the person Bhagavatam — Srila Prabhupada — can be compared only with Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself. And so we worship the complete set of Srila Prabhupada’s books as we worship the Supreme Lord and His bona fide pure devotees.

Hare Krishna.

Your servant,

Giriraj Swami

Installing the Book Incarnation of God

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Oct 112014
 

Krishna_Bhagavan“In the Vedanta Sutras, the Absolute Truth is defined as janmady asya yatah — that from which everything emanates. And Srimad-Bhagavatam begins with the same line: janmady asya yatah. So, what is that from which everything emanates? This is a very important question, because according to our origin, we can understand the purpose of our existence. Srimad-Bhagavatam explains in detail that that from which everything emanates is a person, who is conscious of everything directly and indirectly, who is independent, and who imparted the Vedic knowledge in the heart of Brahma, the original living being and the secondary creator of the universe. And that person is identified as Krishna, the all-pervading Personality of Godhead.”

All Questions Answered: The Cause of All Causes

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Oct 082014
 

prabhupada-samadhi1Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.2 during the morning class.

“Our acharyas say, krsnaika-sarana—one should take exclusive shelter of Krishna. If one has that one qualification, even if he is lacking in the other twenty-five, he is to be considered a devotee, or sadhu. And to criticize such a devotee is an offense: sadhu-ninda. Conversely, if one has all the other twenty-five qualifications but is lacking the one qualification of krsnaika-sarana, then he is not considered a devotee. Here again we see the same principle. If one is coming from a low family but is a devotee, he is worshipable and is entitled to perform worship. But if one is born in a brahman family but is not a devotee, he cannot purify even himself, what to speak of others. So, we are blessed with a wonderful opportunity to associate with devotees, who are so rare. But it is also a challenge to live in the association of devotees and appreciate them as devotees and not be overwhelmed by the perception of their apparent—or real—defects.”

Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.15.2

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Oct 072014
 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Giriraj Swami spoke at the ‘Simple Living, High Thinking’ gathering in Houston, a regular program for seekers who want to learn about Krishna consciousness. After his talk—and many questions and answers—Giriraj Swami led an ecstatic kirtan during which everyone present danced very joyously.”

—Nila Madhava dasa

First Kirtan
Talk
Second Kirtan

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Oct 062014
 

KrishnaPriya1Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 4.2 at a program at Krishna Priya dasi’s home.

“The impersonal speculators say that in Sanskrit ‘Krishna’ means black, that black means unknown, and that unknown means unknowable—and then there is no Krishna: He’s gone; He’s completely disappeared! We want to avoid that. We want Krishna. Especially in Kali-yuga, this whole material world is constructed in such a way as to make us forget Krishna. Either through gross materialism or subtle speculation, everything works to make us forget Krishna, which really means that we forget our own self interest and are deprived of the only means to achieve true, enduring happiness and satisfaction in this world. So we should stick to the association of devotees who are fixed in Krishna consciousness and don’t waste time in frivolous pursuits, who will help us to spend our time talking and hearing about Krishna, chanting, serving—somehow or other being in touch with Krishna.”

Kirtan
Talk

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