giriraj swami (13)


Hearing His Holiness Niranjana Swami’s wonderful talk, I felt we were being elevated to the spiritual world. He quoted from Visnujana Maharaja. Visnujana had a program in which he went by boat along the Ganges River, in Bengal, and chanted the holy names all day, stopping at villages along the way and chanting and speaking and distributing books about Krsna. Once, when I was in Los Angeles recovering from being sick in India, Srila Prabhupada received an issue of Back to Godhead with an artic

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An Instructive Lesson by Giriraj Swami

3814101009?profile=RESIZE_710xI remembered an incident from New Delhi, perhaps in 1971. Gurudas and I had gone into a shop to make a purchase, and in the mood of saving Krishna’s money, I was bargaining fiercely. But he corrected me, citing a principle from The Nectar of Devotion - “Not Giving Pain to Any Living Entity.” Srila Prabhupada had written, “This is the statement of Mahabharata: ‘A person who does not disturb or cause painful action in the mind of any living entity, who treats everyone just like a loving father doe

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Fifty years ago, on December 26, 1969, in Boston, Srila Prabhupada awarded me second initiation. He said, “Sucih means purified. And another meaning of sucih is brahman. A brahman means purified. Those who are going to be sacred-threaded today should remember that they are being accepted as sucih, as brahman. After chanting for six months or one year, it is supposed that he has already become purified. Now he should be recognized that he is purified. So this sacred thread means recognition. Sac

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On 11 Dec, Badrinarayan Swami and two other devotees from San Diego spent the afternoon with us in Carpinteria, and I had a wonderful time with him. Associating with him outside a temple setting, I became aware of many wonderful qualities and abilities in him for the first time. He is brilliant and truly a great asset to Srila Prabhupada’s mission, to which he is completely committed and devoted. And he has a real taste for Krishna consciousness.


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A Transcendental Visit by Giriraj Swami


Hridayananda das Goswami stayed with me in Carpinteria over the weekend, and we had many enlivening and enlightening conversations. I could really appreciate Srila Prabhupada’s statement that Maharaja has a “transcendental brain.” He is intent on serving Srila Prabhupada’s mission, especially in America, and our common interest is to please Srila Prabhupada and become Krishna conscious by his divine grace.

I pray for the association of Srila Prabhupada’s sincere, committed, and affectionate fol

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Last night I finished hearing Radhika Ramana dasa’s wonderful seminar on “The Glories of Srimad-Bhagavatam,” delivered at ISV in September 2015. I highly recommend it to all devotees.

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo ’tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate ’tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat

“Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhaga

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Chastened and Humbled by Giriraj Swami


Listening to Srila Prabhupada’s talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.25.35, given in Bombay on December 4, 1974, I felt chastened and humbled by his description of surrender and pure devotion, as exemplified by Sri Prahlada:

“Krishna says (Gita 18.66),

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah

[Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.] The qualification is: unless one is s

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On Sunday, September 15, in Dallas, in the presence of Sri Sri Radha-Kalachandji, Srila Prabhupada, and their followers, I was pleased to officially connect eight devotees to Srila Prabhupada and the guru-parampara through hari-nama initiation. Rajesh Sharma became Radha-vallabha dasa, Seema Sharma became Srimati dasi, Deo Pun became Divya Nama dasa, Manju Pun became Manjari dasi, Syamasundara Dasshort became Syama-vallabha dasa, Maria (Maggie) Caldwell became Madhuri Gopika dasi, Vanitha Sukum

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Giriraj Swami read and spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23:

“O King Rahugana, the perfectional stage of devotional service, or the paramahamsa stage of life, cannot be attained unless one is blessed by the dust of the feet of great devotees. It is never attained by tapasya [austerity], the Vedic worshiping process, acceptance of the renounced order of life, the discharge of the duties of household life, the chanting of the Vedic hymns, or the performance of penances in the hot sun, within cold wa

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Visiting Rajani Priya Dasi by Giriraj Swami


Yesterday eight of us Kuntidevi, Lavanga Manjari, Nanda Kishore, Kandarpa Manjari (his wife), Gopal (their son), Srimati (their daughter), Jivan Mukta, and I visited Rajani Priya Dasi (Rose Forkash) at Mission Terrace Convalescent Hospital, where she is staying temporarily. She was as Krishna conscious as ever and told us how she is getting staff, patients, and visitors to chant Hare Krishna. She explains the philosophy behind it and gives them pieces of paper with the maha-mantra written on it

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I heard a lively argument between Srila Prabhupada and Dr. Patel on a morning walk on Juhu Beach, February 23, 1974. Srila Prabhupada was criticizing so called gurus who are actually Mayavadis and say, “I am God. Let me now have rasa dance. Send your children. Send your wife, send your daughter. We’ll dance.” “These are all rascals,” Prabhupada said. “Mayavadis. Mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa. This is the statement of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. As soon as one hears the statements of Mayavadi

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Gurudeva! by Giriraj Swami

While I was chanting japa this morning, my mind was flooded with a verse from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s song Gurudeva!:

jogyata-vicare, kichu nahi pai, tomara karuna sara
karuna na hoile, kandiya kandiya, prana na rakhibo ara

“Upon examining my value, I find that I have none; your mercy is essential to me. Therefore, if you are not merciful I will constantly weep and I will not maintain my life any longer.”

Later, I saw just how appropriate and relevant the rest of the song was to my effort

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Reflections on the Forest Fires


By Giriraj Swami

Terrible forest fires have been raging around Ventura and Ojai, California, devastating homes and everything else on their way. I recalled Srila Prabhupada’s discussion of the first verse of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s Sri Gurv-astaka:

tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam
praptasya kalyana-gunarnavasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

“The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy. Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire

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