FOREWORD to Watering the Seed
In 1965 His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada embarked upon a mission that would fulfill an ancient, long-awaited prophecy. His spirit of selfless compassion will be imprinted forever upon the pages of religious history. He spread the eternal message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu throughout the world. By his words and example, Srila Prabhupada established that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that all living beings are His eternal servants, and that the ultimate perfection of life is to awaken pure love for Krsna through the sublime method of chanting His holy names. With tears in his eyes, Srila Prabhupada would appeal to his followers to assist him in his divine service to humanity. Those illustrious souls who stepped forward to sacrifice their lives to help Srila Prabhupada became the dearmost recipients of his priceless blessings. His Holiness Giriraj Swami Maharaja is one such shining jewel in the necklace of Srila Prabhupada’s beloved followers.
Giriraj Swami is the son of a well-known and respected attorney, judge, philanthropist, and advocate for religious freedom. In fact, to honor his father’s contributions to jurisprudence and the community, Cook County, which includes Chicago, dedicated a courtroom in his name.
After graduating from a prestigious university in Boston, Giriraj Swami dedicated his life to the path of pure devotion. Renouncing the pleasures of material opulence and prestige, he volunteered to be one of the original pioneers in Srila Prabhupada’s mission in India.
Srila Prabhupada wanted to establish a temple for Sri Sri Radha and Krsna in Bombay. There was no support. Giriraj Swami lived in sub-poverty conditions on a plot of land infested with rats, mosquitoes, and life-threatening diseases. Corrupt government officers and gangs of criminals were creating continuous dangerous disturbances. Still Giriraj Swami remained faithful, lovingly enduring all obstacles to please his spiritual master.
His father and mother came to India. They offered him a million dollars if he would return home. But Giriraj Swami replied that his service to Srila Prabhupada was a treasure beyond all the wealth in the world.
Srila Prabhupada saw in Giriraj Swami a genuinely surrendered servant and thus invested him with immense responsibility and great trust. Srila Prabhupada offered him the rare gift of being one of his closest personal associates.
Watering the Seed is an invaluable offering to all aspirants on the path of devotion. In this book we will find many wonderful intimate exchanges between Srila Prabhupada and his dear disciple. Giriraj Swami kindly shares his personal realizations with the honesty, wisdom, and humility for which he is known and loved. This book will transport us into Srila Prabhupada’s intimate, personal association during some of the most historic moments of ISKCON’s development. We will be given entrance into his private quarters to see the beautiful human qualities of a world acarya from behind the scenes. We will witness his gentle fatherly love toward his young and sometimes perplexed spiritual child. At the same time, Srila Prabhupada’s innocent childlike humor will bring joy to our hearts. We will personally see how Srila Prabhupada, in his compassion for the fallen, conditioned souls, overcomes all opposition with unrelenting determination and faith. Throughout these pages we will hear his spontaneous philosophical perspectives in times of both crisis and everyday life. Giriraj Swami candidly shares with us his invaluable realizations as he recounts how Lord Krsna’s beloved gardener took such personal care to water the seed of devotion within his heart.
It is my great fortune to have the opportunity to write the foreword to this book, which is the first in a series of publications by my dear godbrother and friend. I pray that all who read Watering the Seed may be blessed with ever-increasing appreciation for Srila Prabhupada’s monumental contribution to our lives.