Jan 302015
 

01.30.15_04.JuhuGiriraj Swami and Radhanatha Swami accepted disciples for first and second initiation.

“What does it mean to be conscious of Krishna? In all the different situations of life — success and failure, honor and dishonor, happiness and distress, health and disease — it means to remember; jivera svarupa haya – krsnera nitya-dasa. I am eternally the servant of Krishna. And whatever may come — at any stage of life — samsiddhir hari-tosanam — how can I serve You Krishna? How can I please You Krishna?”

—Radhanatha Swami

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Jan 292015
 

01.26.15_01.Juhu01.26.15_02.Juhu———————–
“Srila Prabhupada said, ‘Just try to hear yourself chant sincerely.’ Chanting sincerely means that one feels oneself to be very fallen and in need of mercy. One’s chanting should be infused with prayer for mercy. There are many prayers by our previous acharyas that exemplify the mood of dainya, or humility, such as Amara Jivana by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. So, we need to chant in that mood of dainya, humility. Humility comes when we realize that we are helpless to do anything on our own and we depend completely on mercy.”

Jaya Radha Madhava
Talk in Srila Prabhupada’s Room (with Russian Translation)

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Jan 272015
 

01.25.15_01.Mumbai“In all the books and from all the previous acharyas we find that it is important that we are focussing on the end result — prema bhakti. Even if we are in a conditioned state, if we make anything else our goal we will be distracted and diverted. So, how to keep this focus on pure devotional service always as the aim of our life? By hearing and chanting in the association of saintly people.”

—Radhanath Swami

Giriraj Swami
Radhanath Swami

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Jan 262015
 

01.23.15_Rathayatra_05.MumbaiGopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah. My only true identity is that I am the servant of the servant of the servant  of the servant of the Lord of the gopis — Sri Krishna. After offering this prayer, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu invited everyone together to bring Jagannatha to Sri Vrindavan Dhama. In this way He taught us what our sense of identity should be. We are not these bodies, we are not the proprietors, but we are the servants of the servants of the servants of Krishna.”

— Radhanath Swami

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Jayadvaita Swami
Radhanath Swami
Jagjivan Dasa
Giriraj Swami

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Jan 232015
 

01.23.15_01.Juhu01.23.15_02.Juhu———————–
Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter 1, during the morning program on Ratha-yatra day.

Translation: Having shown the verse to Svarupa Damodara with great wonder, Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked him how Rupa Gosvami could understand the intentions of His mind.

Purport: We had the opportunity to receive a similar blessing from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami when we presented an essay at his birthday ceremony. He was so pleased with that essay that he used to call some of his confidential devotees and show it to them. How could we have understood the intentions of Srila Prabhupada?

Cc Madhya 1.171

Giriraj Swami: So, this is a very good question that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu asked Svarupa Damodara Gosvami—”How could Rupa Gosvami have understood My mind?”And Srila Prabhupada asks the same question: “How could I have understood the mind of Srila Prabhupada [his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura]?” The basic answer comes in a verse quoted in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234):

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah

Everything about Krishna—His names, forms, qualities, and pastimes—is transcendental. So, how can we understand Him? When we engage in service, beginning with the tongue, Krishna reveals Himself. When we render selfless service, Krishna and His devotees reveal themselves.

Ratha-yatra morning class, Juhu, Mumbai

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Jan 212015
 

01.21.15_02.PuneGiriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.17 at Gopal Acharya Prabhu’s homae.

“We heard the wonderful descriptions of Mukhara Mataji, how she had awakened to her eternal identity and her eternal service to Radha and Krishna. We all can experience the same result if we follow the same method in the same spirit. Even though our forms will be different in the spiritual world, Srila Prabhupada said that we will recognize the devotees we knew in the material world. This is also very encouraging: We will be reunited in kirtana and seva. And that is achieved primarily through the offenseless chanting of the holy names — Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.”

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Home Program in Nigdi, Pune

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Jan 212015
 

01.20.15_05.Nigdi.Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 12.6-7, and other devotees shared memories and realizations, at Gopal Acharya Prabhu and Mukhara Mataji’s home.

ye tu sarvani karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
ananyenaiva yogena
mam dhyayanta upasate

tesam aham samuddharta
mrityu-samsara-sagarat
bhavami na cirat partha
mayy avesita-cetasam

“But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Pritha—for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death.” —Bg 12.6-7

“One point that seemed especially relevant in the purport was Srila Prabhupada’s statement that it doesn’t matter what service you perform; what matters is that you devote yourself fully to Lord Krishna. Mukhara Mataji was such an unassuming devotee that one could have missed how devoted she was—because we tend to see things in an external way. But Krishna doesn’t see things in an external way. He sees things in every way, and He especially appreciates the intention, or consciousness, of the devotee. Mother Mukhara showed that spirit of selfless service, working only to please Sri Krishna.” —Giriraj Swami

01.20.15_01.Nigdi.01.20.15_02.Nigdi.01.20.15_03.Nigdi.01.20.15_04.Nigdi.——————————–
Remembering Mukhara Devi Dasi

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Jan 192015
 

01.18.15_06.Nigdi“Srila Prabhupada did unprecedented service to make Krishna consciousness available for everyone. He did it first, of course, by bringing it to America and Europe and Australia and Africa. And then, especially in India, by defending the rights of his devotees to be accepted fully as brahmans and Vaishnavas, who are even more that brahmans. This combination of his traveling and preaching and at the same time fighting for the rights of his disciples to perform all the services that brahmans and sannyasis can do is why we are where we are now and doing what we are doing now. So we should always remember what Srila Prabhupada has done for us, and our great debt to him. And we should try to repay the debt by serving him and following his instructions—following the process of Krishna consciousness and spreading Krishna consciousness, like he did. This is how we can try to repay him.”

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Kirtan at Nigdi
Talk at Nigdi

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Jan 192015
 

01.17.15_01.Pune 01.17.15_02.Pune——————————————–
“Krishna came again five hundred years ago as Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This incarnation of Krishna is called a channa-avatara, which means a concealed, or hidden, avatara. Other avataras, like most of the dasa-avataras, assert themselves as the Supreme Lord. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is considered a channa-avatara because He did not assert Himself as the Supreme Lord but played the part of a devotee. The significance of His coming as a devotee is that He can show us how to be devotees. In practically any subject the teacher gives not only a theoretical explanation but also a practical demonstration.”

Talk at ISKCON’s Balaji Temple

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Jan 182015
 

01.18.15_01.Pune 01.18.15_02.Pune—————————–
Giriraj Swami read and spoke from the “Concluding Words” to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta at the Sri Sri Radha- Vrindavanchandra temple.

“To get the strength to spread Krishna consciousness we should follow the regulative principles, as stated again and again by Srila Prabhupada. To have the spiritual strength to preach you must rise early, attend the morning program, follow the regulative principles, chant your rounds, and read the books. So that also counts. Once, a disciple asked, ‘Srila Prabhupada, how can I please you?’ And Srila Prabhupada replied, ‘Just your desire to please me, pleases me.’ And that is a very deep statement — having that sincere desire.

iha yasya harer dasye
karmana manasa gira
nikhilasv apy avasthasu
jivan-muktah sa ucyate

‘A person acting in the service of Krsna with his body, mind, intelligence, and words is a liberated person even within the material world, although he may be engaged in many so-called material activities.’ (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.2.187)

“Our acaryas explain that even if one does not act but simply has the desire, he is also liberated. So it is the desire, even if you are unable to execute it fully. Of course, Krishna will help to fulfill your desire. But you are liberated just by your desire. And generally if you have the desire, it will be manifested in the activities of your body, mind, and words. But under certain circumstances, such as at the time of death, we may not have the capacity to do so many things, but just that desire can take us to Krishna.”

Cc “Concluding Words”, NVCC, Pune

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