Sep 152010
 

For the most auspicious celebration of Sri Radhastami, we shall read from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Two, Chapter Three: “Pure Devotional Service.”

TEXT 23

jivan chavo bhagavatanghri-renum
na jatu martyo ‘bhilabheta yastu
sri-visnu-padya manujas tulasyah
svasan chavo yas tu na veda gandham

TRANSLATION

The person who has not at any time received the dust of the feet of the Lord’s pure devotee upon his head is certainly a dead body. And the person who has never experienced the aroma of the tulasi leaves from the lotus feet of the Lord is also a dead body, although breathing.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, the breathing dead body is a ghost. When a man dies, he is called dead, but when he again appears in a subtle form not visible to our present vision and yet acts, such a dead body is called a ghost. Ghosts are always very bad elements, always creating a fearful situation for others. Similarly, the ghostlike nondevotees who have no respect for the pure devotees, nor for the Visnu Deity in the temples, create a fearful situation for the devotees at all times. The Lord never accepts any offerings by such impure ghosts. There is a common saying that one should first love the dog of the beloved before one shows any loving sentiments for the beloved. The stage of pure devotion is attained by sincerely serving a pure devotee of the Lord. The first condition of devotional service to the Lord is therefore to be a servant of a pure devotee, and this condition is fulfilled by the statement “reception of the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee who has also served another pure devotee.” That is the way of pure disciplic succession, or devotional parampara. Continue reading »

Sep 142010
 

Today is Radhastami. So pray to Radharani. She is hare, hara. This word hare is Radharani. Hara, Radharani, the same thing. So Hare Krsna, we are praying to Radharani, “My mother Radharani, and Krsna.” Hare Krsna. “O Krsna, O Lord.” Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, the same thing, repetition. “O Radharani, O Krsna.” “O Radha-Krsna.” Radhe-Krsna or Hare Krsna, the same thing. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. Again addressing, “O Krsna, O Krsna, O Radharani.” Hare Rama. The same thing again. Hare Rama. Rama is also Krsna. Rama is Rama, Rama is Balarama. They are all Krsna. Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. So this repetition of addressing Radha and Krsna, or Hare Krsna, is to pray, “My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service.” That’s all. “I am now embarrassed with this material service. Please engage me in Your service.”

–Srila Prabhupada, Radhastami, September 23, 1974, Calcutta

Sep 032009
 

Radha_Giridhari.jpgRadha_lotus_feet.jpgGS_Abishek.jpgGS_Class.jpg

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Giriraj Swami traveled to ISKCON San Diego to join the devotees in their Radhastami celebrations. The well-attended program, which was held on Sunday, August 30, featured kirtana, arati, abhiseka, class, and of course, a sumptuous feast for Srimati Radharani.

Giriraj Swami gave an inspiring class from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23. “In Vrndavana all the pure devotees pray for the mercy of Srimati Radharani, the pleasure potency of Lord Krsna. Srimati Radharani is a tenderhearted feminine counterpart of the supreme whole, resembling the perfectional stage of the worldly feminine nature. Therefore, the mercy of Radharani is available very readily to the sincere devotees, and once She recommends such a devotee to Lord Krsna, the Lord at once accepts the devotee’s admittance into His association.” (SB 2.3.23 purport)

An image gallery from the occasion can be viewed here: http://www.newgovardhan.us/2009/radha09/index.html

Sep 082008
 

radha_krishna.jpg

Sri Sri Radha Govinda

His Holiness Giriraj Swami and a group of devotees were invited to this year’s Radhastami festival at the house of Sarvatma dasa and Divyananda dasi. The celebrations consisted of devotional chanting of Hare Krsna kirtanas, bhajanas, lecture, arati, and a sumptuous feast prepared for the pleasure of Sri Sri Radha Govinda. After Sarvatma prabhu led the crowd into sweet Hare Krsna kirtana, he sang Radhika-stava, a famous song from Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Stavamala. Then, Kandarpa Manjari beautifully sang Sri Vraja-dhama-mahimamrta–The Nectarean Glories of Vraja-dhama–a song composed by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. She ended her chanting with the glorification of several names of the Deities of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, worshiped in our ISKCON temples, worldwide.

The eloquent Radhastami message was delivered by HH Giriraj Swami who was the guest speaker for the occasion. Maharaja read from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 9.13: The Most Confidential Knowledge. This was followed by the traditional arati ceremony performed by Giriraj Swami, during which Sri Radhika dasi blissfully chanted Hare Krsna kirtana and throughout the arati, loud chants of “Radhe-Radhe” filled the air. The temple room was electrified when she started Jaya Radhe Jaya Radhe Radhe, a traditional Vraja song, glorifying Sri Sri Radha-Krsna by Hari-Vyasa Devacarya. She concluded her singing with the ecstatic and unanimous chant of “Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe-Syama!“, just like one hears in Vraja.

The evening ended with a feast made of rice, pies, chickpea sabji, spinach and panir sabji, plum and coconut chutneys, salad, strawberry ice-cream, a melt-away carob sweet and last but not least, the host’s famous blueberry cheese cake. The entire atmosphere was spiritually uplifting by the charming presence of the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Govinda, beautifully dressed and decorated in a flower outfit by Divyananda dasi.

Srimati Radharani ki jaya! Barsane Wali ki jaya! Sri Radhastami ki jaya!

–Krishna Kirtan dasa

Lecture from Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 9.13 by Giriraj Swami