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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Mar 282013
 

Gaura_Purnima_Houston_2013“We hold onto our material attachments because we don’t have faith in Krishna; we don’t have faith in the holy name. First, we doubt whether Krishna actually exists — whether He’s really a person. And then we doubt whether he will really save us. If I am falling, will Krishna catch me? And if we don’t have faith that Krishna will catch us, we will think we have to make so many material arrangements to protect, or support, ourselves. And ye yatha mam prapadyante — as we surrender to Krishna, He reciprocates. If Krishna sees, ‘Oh, this person is making his own arrangements; he thinks he doesn’t need me. All right, you are making your own arrangements — you take care of yourself.’ If someone really depends on Krishna, he can experience Krishna’s intervention. We will never experience Krishna’s intervention unless we take that chance — that risk — and depend on Him. Then we can actually experience it.”

Download Lecture

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Mar 112009
 

gauraapurnima09.jpg

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On March 10, with about thirty other devotees, Giriraj Swami celebrated Gaura-purnima at Syamananda and Radha Priya’s house in Moorpark, California.

The program was very sweet, with melodious bhajanas and kirtana, Maharaja’s talk, arati, and a sumptuous feast.

Here is the lecture: