Giriraj Swami Radio Now Has Over 400 Lectures to Hear

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Apr 132017
 

GRS_speaking———————
We have added another 200 lectures by Giriraj Swami to his radio station bringing the total to over 400 talks! Listen on girirajswami.com or tunein.com or install the TuneIn app on your mobile device. You can listen to lectures 24/7 and find other Krishna conscious radio stations too.

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Hare Krishna!

From the Archives, Rama-navami Morning, April 8, 2014, Houston

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Apr 032017
 

1559260_10152122338719615_3260227624458222997_o“The Lord, Sri Krishna, says,

daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

‘This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.’  (Bg 7.14)

“One who surrenders to Krishna can easily overcome Maya—not directly, but by Krishna’s mercy. We do not have the strength to fight Maya independently. Maya is a very powerful energy of Krishna’s. When we surrender to Krishna He will arrange for our release from the clutches of Maya. So, Ravana is lust personified. He could be killed only by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Ravana had ten heads, and as soon as one head was cut off another head would grow. In our own practice of Krishna consciousness, we can recognize this phenomenon. Material desires come one after another. And lust does not mean only sexual desire but any desire to enjoy independent of Krishna, any desire to enjoy anything in forgetfulness of Krishna which will take us further away from Krishna.” —Giriraj Swami

Rama-navami Morning Talk

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Rama-katha

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Apr 032017
 

Rama, Sita, and Laksmana

 

[This verse is quoted in Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Sri Padyavali (151):]

ramo nama babhuva hum tad-abala siteti hum tam pitur
vaca pancavati-vane viharatas tasyharad ravanah
nidrartham janaki-katham iti harer hum-karatah srnvatah
saumitre kva dhanur dhanur dhanur iti vyagra girah pantu nah 

[Mother Yasoda is telling Sri Krishna a story:]

“There was once a king named Rama.”

“Yes.”

“His wife was Sita.”

“Yes.”

“On the order of His father, Rama lived in the Pancavati Forest. There Ravana kidnapped Sita.”

Hearing His mother narrate His own activities performed in ancient times, Sri Krishna suddenly called out, “Laksmana! Where is My bow? Where is My bow? Where is My bow?”

May these alarmed words of Lord Krishna protect us all.

 

Broadcasting the Mantra: Ramanujacarya’s 1,000th Appearance Anniversary

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Mar 312017
 

Ramanujacarya with his beloved LordTomorrow is the 1,000th anniversary of the appearance of Sripada Ramanujacarya, the principal acarya in the Sri, or Lakshmi, sampradaya. Srila Prabhupada wrote that “We find great shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Ramanujacarya because his lotus feet are the strongest fort to combat the Mayavadi philosophy.” (letter 22.11.1974) And in the early days of ISKCON in India, before we had Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita As It Is translated into Hindi, he would refer people to read the Hindi edition of the Gita with Sri Ramanujacarya’s commentary.

Prabhupada often told a story about Sri Ramanujacarya’s merciful, compassionate nature. As he related it in Ahmedabad in 1972, “The servants of Krishna take all risk for Krishna’s sake. Just like Ramanujacarya. Sri Ramanujacarya’s spiritual master said, ‘My dear son, the mantra which I am giving, you chant silently and you will be delivered. It is so powerful. Don’t chant this mantra loudly so others can hear.’

“Ramanujacarya thought, ‘If this mantra is so powerful that if others hear it they’ll also be delivered, then why not?’ He immediately went to the market and began to chant the mantra. So his spiritual master became very angry, that ‘I told you not to chant loudly, so others may not hear.’ And Ramanujacarya replied, ‘My Lordship, I have done offense unto you. That’s all right. For this I am prepared to go to hell. But if this mantra is so powerful, I must speak it to everyone.’ ”

In this mood, following in the footsteps of Sripada Ramanujacarya, Srila Prabhupada broadcast the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita everywhere, to everyone.

We pray and aspire to follow in their footsteps.

Hare Krishna.

—Giriraj Swami

God is Great, and God is Good

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Mar 282017
 

Today God is great, good, and beautifulI had a simple but profound realization: God is great, and God is good. If he were good but not great, He could not help us fully. And if He were great but not good, He could harm us. But He is great, and He is good, and He is always mindful of all the infinite living entities. These thoughts brought to mind a verse Srila Prabhupada often quoted from the Katha Upanishad (2.2.13):

nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman

“He is the prime eternal among all eternals. He is the supreme conscious being among all conscious beings. And He alone is supplying all the desired necessities of life for the many other living beings.”

I had heard these words before, but today they came to life. Now I pray to always remember the good, great Supreme Godhead and serve Him with gratitude and appreciation. As the same verse in the Katha Upanishad continues,

tam pitha-gam ye ’nupasyanti dhiras
tesam santih sasvati netaresam

“The wise souls who worship Him in His abode attain everlasting peace. Others cannot.”

Hare Krishna.

—Giriraj Swami

Maha Gaura-purnima, March 18, Laguna Beach, California

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Mar 272017
 

Presentation by Vaisesika Dasa (Right click – Save as)


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An Ekadasi Memory

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Mar 232017
 

TodaPrabhupada speaking and smilingy being Ekadasi, I was considering whether or not to go out on an errand, and I recalled an incident that took place on Ekadasi in Madras in 1971. Achyutananda, Bhavananda, and I were based in a supporter’s house, and Bhavananda and I were in the mood to go out and preach. Achyutananda, however, said, “No, it’s Ekadasi. We shouldn’t go out. It’s inauspicious. And besides, it looks like rain.” But we thought, “Oh boy, he is so attached to external rules and regulations. We have the real spirit of preaching. We are not going to worry about Ekadasi or some rain.”

When we went out, there was only a light drizzle, but within minutes the sky poured down rain. And the rain didn’t stop; it came down heavier and heavier. In Madras then, at least where we were walking, there was not much of a drainage system—just an open ditch two or three feet deep, lined with concrete. And as the storm continued, the channel filled with water, and soon we couldn’t distinguish between the water on the street, the water in the ditch, and the water in the fields beyond.

So, we were walking along blissfully, drenched in water but inspired in our mission, in our service to our guru maharaja, and then Bhavananda fell into the ditch. He was in water up to his waist. So, I gave him a hand, and he climbed out of the ditch, soaked with sewage water.

Later, I related the incident to Srila Prabhupada, declaring that Bhavananda Prabhu had equal vision: he didn’t distinguish between high and low. And I quoted the verse from the Bhagavad-gita (5.18),

vidya-vinaya-sampanne
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah

“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater [outcaste].”

“Yes,” Prabhupada replied. “You have theoretical knowledge. But Bhavananda has realized knowledge, practical realization, so he is more advanced.”

Hare Krishna.

—Giriraj Swami

Talk on Sridhar Swami, March 18, Laguna Beach, California

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Mar 212017
 

03.18.17_02.LagunaGRS_SDS“One day Sridhar Swami and I decided to do Govardhana parikrama together. I was feeling pretty sick, but I didn’t want to disappoint him by stopping. He was also feeling sick, and he was thinking, ‘I don’t want to disappoint Giriraj Maharaja by stopping,’ so he also kept pushing on. Pretty soon thereafter we were both in the hospital—he for his liver problem, and I for a heart condition. While he was in the hospital in Bombay, Tamal Krishna Goswami, Kesava Bharati Maharaja, and Giridhari Swami came from Vrindavan to visit him. Having cirrhosis of the liver and cancer, he was considered a terminal patient. They advised him that he should just go to Vrindavan and chant and hear about Krishna. Much as he appreciated their visit and respected them as senior godbrothers, he thought about it and concluded, ‘That’s not me. I want to live the way I am.’ So he kept traveling and preaching, practically to the very end.”

Sridhar Swami

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Niranjana Swami’s Meditation on Sridhar Swami

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Mar 202017
 

A few dNiranjana Swami and Sridhar Swamiays ago, Niranjana Swami wrote me a letter in which he said, “I meditate a lot on Sridhar Maharaja. I miss him.” And when I asked him to tell me more about his meditation, he replied, “I honestly can’t fully explain it. He became so unbelievably dear to me in Mayapur—the way he loved his godbrothers, the way he loved me.

“One of my often-remembered meditations of him is the time I sent a message to him one evening just after the GBC meeting had finished for the day. I usually came to his room to chant with him and the other devotees in the evening, after the meeting. This particular evening, however, I had a terrible headache and sent him a message, apologizing for not coming, due to the headache. While walking back to my room, I began thinking, ‘Here I am, not going to tonight’s kirtan because of some headache, and there’s Sridhar Maharaja, whose condition can’t even be remotely compared to my little headache, lying in his bed, having kirtan with the devotees!’ So I decided to turn around and go back.

“When I arrived at the door of his room, his room was, as usual, packed with devotees chanting. Sridhar Maharaja looked up at me, sat up in bed, and gestured for me to come through the crowd of devotees to sit next to him on the bed. The devotees parted to allow me through, I sat on the bed, and he turned to Mayapur das, his personal servant, and said, ‘Give me the Tiger Balm.’ Then he sat there, using the Tiger Balm to massage my head. I can’t remember exactly how long he massaged, but it wasn’t just a gesture; he massaged vigorously for quite some time.

“I cry every time I think about this, as I am crying right now as I am typing this. Practically speaking, I cry every time I think or talk about Sridhar Maharaja. He seemed so selflessly a friend to me, and I felt so undeserving.”

—Giriraj Swami