Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today we are observing the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Sri Gadadhara Pandita. I first learned of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura when I visited the Boston temple. At that time there were only two published books in ISKCON: the abridged edition of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, published by Macmillan, and Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, […]

Srivasa Pandita’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Srivasa Pandita is one of the members of the Pancha-tattva: sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasa. Vedic authorities state that in the current Age of Kali, Krishna came as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Balarama came as Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Similarly, Maha-vishnu appeared as Advaita Acarya, Srimati Radharani as Gadadhara Pandita, and Narada Muni as Srivasa Pandita. […]

Serving the Father or Spiritual Master
Giriraj Swami

Here are a relevant verse and purport from Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.24.13): etavaty eva susrusa   karya pitari putrakaih badham ity anumanyeta   gauravena guror vacah “Sons ought to render service to their father exactly to this extent. One should obey the command of his father or spiritual master with due deference, saying, ‘Yes, sir.’ ” Srila […]

Sri Vakresvara Pandita’s Appearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the appearance day of Sri Vakresvara Pandita, one of Lord Chaitanya’s most dear associates. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 10.17–20) states, “Vakresvara Pandita, the fifth branch of the [Chaitanya] tree, was a very dear servant of Lord Caitanya’s. He could dance with constant ecstasy for seventy-two hours. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally sang while Vakresvara Pandita […]

The Panihati Cida-dadhi Festival
Giriraj Swami

We have gathered at the lotus feet of the Pancha-tattva on this most auspicious occasion of Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s cida-dadhi festival, the background to which can be found in his early life. Raghunatha dasa’s uncle and father, Hiranya and Govardhana Majumadara, were the wealthy landlords in Bengal—almost like kings—and had a huge, opulent riverside palace, […]

Srila Vrindavan Dasa Thakura’s Appearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is Srila Vrindavan dasa Thakura’s appearance day. Sri Caitanya caritamrta (Adi 11.55) states, “Srila Vyasadeva described the pastimes of Krsna in Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Vyasa of the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was Vrndavana dasa.” In his purport Srila Prabhupada elaborates: “Srila Vrndavana dasa Thakura was an incarnation of Vedavyasa and also a friendly cowherd boy named Kusumapida […]

Serving Guru Maharaja in Bombay, by Rasa Sundari Dasi
Giriraj Swami

Serving Guru Maharaja in Bombay from 1990 to 1992 was sometimes a real challenge, because we had hardly any facilities. In the beginning there were only three of us, not even initiated then—Bhakta Juan, Bhaktin Manju, and myself, Bhaktin Flor. Cooking was done on the second floor in a small kitchen connected to the Bhaktivedanta […]

Sri Ramananda Raya’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

We shall discuss the conversation between Sri Ramananda Raya and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, ramananda-samvada, recorded in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, Chapter Eight: “Talks Between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya.” TEXT 1 sancarya ramabhidha-bhakta-meghe   sva-bhakti-siddhanta-cayamrtani gaurabdhir etair amuna vitirnais   taj-jnatva-ratnalayatam prayati TRANSLATION Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is known as Gauranga, is the ocean of […]

Nrsimha-lila, Bhakti SF, San Francisco
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.19. “My Lord Nrsimhadeva, O Supreme, because of a bodily conception of life, embodied souls neglected and not cared for by You cannot do anything for their betterment. Whatever remedies they accept, although perhaps temporarily beneficial, are certainly impermanent. For example, a father and mother cannot protect their […]

Sri Rukmini-dvadasi
Giriraj Swami

Today is Rukmini-dvadasi, the appearance day of Srimati Rukmini-devi. There have been wonderful festivities all day, beginning with the special darshan of the Deities in Their flower outfits, and just now a wonderful abhiseka. During the abhiseka I really felt like I was in Vrindavan. There was so much devotion, spontaneous devotion—every time the pujaris […]

On Becoming Deathless
Giriraj Swami

In Los Angeles on January 5, 1974, speaking on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.8, Srila Prabhupada discussed the process of deathlessness. na kascin mriyate tavad   yavad asta ihantakah etad-artham hi bhagavan   ahutah paramarsibhih aho nr-loke piyeta   hari-lilamrtam vacah “As long as Yamaraja, who causes everyone’s death, is present here, no one shall meet with death. […]

Sri Sita-navami
Giriraj Swami

Today is Sita-navami, the appearance day of Srimati Sitadevi, the eternal consort of Lord Ramachandra. She appeared as the daughter of King Janaka, one of the twelve mahajanas, great authorities in Krishna consciousness, and thus one of her names is Janaki. In Valmiki’s Ramayana, Sita is said to have been discovered in a furrow in a ploughed […]

Mother Arca-vigraha’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is a most auspicious occasion. Mother Arca-vigraha was a very special devotee, and she really gave everything to Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and the devotees. I think of the verse akamah sarva-kamo va, moksa-kama udara-dhih/ tivrena bhakti-yogena, yajeta purusam param, that akamah, whether one has no desires, sarva-kamo, or is full of desires, moksa-kama, […]

Aksaya-tritiya
Giriraj Swami

The day known as Aksaya-tritiya occurs on the third day (tritiya) of the waxing moon in the month of Vaisakha. Every second of this blessed day is completely auspicious, and so there is no consideration of any one period (muhurta) being better than another. Aksaya means “inexhaustible”; anything a person undertakes on the day of […]

Gadardhara Pandit’s Appearance Day, April 30, Houston
Giriraj Swami

“No one can understand the loving intimacy between Gadadhara Pandita and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Gadadhara Pandita gave up his vow and service to Gopinatha just as one gives up a piece of straw. Gadadhara Pandita’s behavior was very pleasing to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s heart. Nevertheless, the Lord took his hand and spoke to him, displaying […]

A Hospice Miracle: Krishna’s Mercy—Serving Jayananda Prabhu’s Mother
Giriraj Swami

Jayananda Prabhu left his body on May 1, 1977. The following account is derived from a letter by Kalindi Dasi to her spiritual master, Candramauli Swami. In mid-July I started wearing tilak to my work at the hospice. I thought that since many other spiritual practitioners were expressing their faith by wearing crosses, doves, silk […]