Talk at Bhaktivedanta Gurukula and International School, December 20, Vrindavan
Giriraj Swami

“The Juhu land had buildings with tenants, and the tenants’ children would run around the grounds making noise. One of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples approached him and said, ‘We have to do something to keep the children quiet.’ Srila Prabhupada replied, ‘You cannot keep the children quiet. But their tendency to make noise can be channeled […]

Initiation Ceremony, Gita Jayanti, Moksada Ekadasi, December 13, Vrindavan
Giriraj Swami

———————- Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 3.34 and Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.1.11 during Ati Sundari dasi’s initiation ceremony. “Above them are the devotees of the Lord, who neither aspire to enjoy the material world nor desire to get out of it. They are after the satisfaction of the Lord, Sri Krsna. In other words, the […]

Govardhana Retreat, Concluding Words, December 5, Govardhana Hill
Giriraj Swami

—————- “Do all your activities, and put the word ‘servant’ before the activity: servant-cook, servant-preacher, servant-speaker, servant-listener—whatever. Then Hari-dasa, or Giriraja Govardhana, and all your memories from here will stay with you. But if you take ‘servant’ away, you are only a preacher, only a cook, only a guru, only a disciple, and it won’t work. […]

Govardhana Retreat, Learning from Govardhana Hill, December 3, Govardhana
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 18.34. “Govardhana Hill is Krishna, but He is in the mood of a devotee. In that respect he is like Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also Krishna in the mood of a devotee. In the mood of a devotee He is more magnanimous than in […]

Govardhana Retreat, Questions and Answers, December 5, Govardhana
Giriraj Swami

—————— “Srila Prabhupada always spoke about anxiety in Krishna’s service as being spiritual. In relation to the Juhu temple, when construction materials were being stolen, he said, ‘How can I eat?’ There is a spiritual anxiety at the center of which is pleasing Krishna, and there is a material anxiety which is about pleasing me. […]

Eagerness to Hear, December 1, Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Govardhana
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.12.3 for the morning class at Bhaktivedanta Ashram. “At the end of the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna explains that this science should not be explained to those who are envious or not austere or not engaged in devotional service—in other words, that it is for devotees. But Srila Prabhupada said […]

VIHE Holy Name Retreat, Questions and Answers, and Taking the Retreat Home, November 25, Varsana, Vraja Mandala
Giriraj Swami

—————— Sacinandana Swami, Giriraj Swami, and Bhurijana dasa addressed the assembled devotees on the final day of the retreat. “Every day you spend about two hours on retreat. You chant your rounds, and you do some reading. So every day each one of us goes on retreat. In that time—the time of your spiritual practice—take […]

VIHE Holy Name Retreat, Evening Talk and Kirtan, November 23, Varsana, Vraja Mandala
Giriraj Swami

—————————————- “In order to have the strength to engage in devotional service, we need to engage seriously in chanting and hearing about Krishna. That is why we are here—to deepen our relationship with the holy name, which means Krishna. There are technical elements—our posture, our pronunciation, our mind, our heart. But when that chanting and […]

VIHE Holy Name Retreat, 64-Round Day, November 23, Ter Kadamba, Vraja Mandala
Giriraj Swami

“It is more important to chant constantly with feeling, clearly hearing each syllable, than to simply increase the number of rounds. And as paradoxical as it may sound, on your 64-round day, in some way forget the sixty-four rounds. Remember more to chant with feeling and devotion, and you will easily reach sixty-four rounds. Everything […]

VIHE Holy Name Retreat, Kirtan Day, November 22, Varsana, Vraja Mandala
Giriraj Swami

————————————————————————————————– “Somehow or other we have been called here to Vrindavan. And we can see that something wonderful is behind this thin curtain. Now, the question, of course,  is how to remove the curtain. And the answer is that we don’t have the capacity to remove the curtain. But if we can chant Krishna’s names […]

Appreciating Her Grace Yamuna Devi, November 16, Vrindavan
Giriraj Swami

“I felt such a genuine friendship with Yamuna Devi—apart from the first time I met her, when I felt very reverential toward her: ‘This is the person who sings the Govindam prayers. What should I do? Should I offer obeisances? How should I relate?’ But she immediately blasted through all that. She went, ‘Jai! Haribol!’ and […]

Initiation Program of B. B. Govinda Swami, November 17, Raman Reti, Vrindavan
Giriraj Swami

Bhakti Bhringa Govinda Swami accepted disciples and he and Giriraj Swami and others spoke at the ceremony. “Srila Prabhupada would say that initiation means that we really come to understand that ‘I am hopelessly and helplessly lost in the ocean of material existence; I am completely bewildered and I don’t know how to get out […]

Vrindavan is All-Pervading, November 15, Brahmanda Ghat, Gokul, Vraja, India
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.13.60. “Pradyumna Prabhu said that after reading so many Sanskrit and Bengali texts, he perceived that there was something different about Srila Prabhupada’s writings—Srila Prabhupada taught how to apply the principles of bhakti-yoga on a global scale. Generally the scriptures are taken to be for devotees, or aspiring […]

Initiation Ceremony, November 13, Vrindavan, India
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami and Indradyumna Swami accepted disciples during a blissful initiation ceremony at the samadhi of Srila Srinivas Acharya in Vrindavan. “It is a very joyful occasion because we are making the turnabout to go back home. But it is a serious affair as well; these are serious vows. Devavrata took a vow that he […]

The Glance of Lord Vishnu Creates the Desires of the Devotees, November 11, Chowpatty, India
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.13.50: candrika-visada-smeraih sarunapanga-vikshitaih svakarthanam iva rajah- sattvabhyam srashtri-palakah TRANSLATION Those Vishnu forms, by Their pure smiling, which resembled the increasing light of the moon, and by the sidelong glances of Their reddish eyes, created and protected the desires of Their own devotees, as if by the modes of […]

The Merciful Supreme Lord and the Merciful Acharyas Help the Aspiring Devotee, November 8, Bhaktivedanta Manor, London
Giriraj Swami

Bhaktivedanta Manor’s week-long celebrations of Srila Prabhupada continued with Giriraj Swami reading and speaking from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.2.31 in the morning class. “Srutakirti prabhu asked Srila Prabhupada, ‘We know that you have preserved basic principles that have come to us through scripture and parampara and made adjustments only in the details. Now, how do we distinguish […]

Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day, November 6, Bhaktivedanta Manor, London
Giriraj Swami

“O Maharaja Parikshit, this entire universe, with its great, exalted demigods like Lord Siva, Lord Brahma, and Lord Indra, is under the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yet the Supreme Lord has one transcendental attribute: He comes under the control of His devotees. This was now exhibited by Krishna in this pastime.” (SB […]

Govardhana-puja, November 3, New Dvaraka, Los Angeles
Giriraj Swami

———————————- Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.7.32. “For His devotees, the Vraja-vasis, who were fully surrendered to Him and completely dependent on Him, the seven days that Krishna held Govardhana Hill aloft were the greatest transcendental festival. Generally, during the daytime when He went with the cowherd boys to pasture the cows, He would be together […]

The Appearance of Sri Radha Kunda, October 26, Goleta, California
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.36.11 – 16. “After purifying Himself by bathing, Lord Hari became quite arrogant and said, ‘I have produced a pond containing all the various holy places, whereas you gopis must never have executed any religious duties on this earth for the pleasure of Lord Brahma.’ Then Srimati Radharani […]

Sarat Purnima and the First Night of Karttika, October 18, Santa Barbara
Giriraj Swami

——————————– Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.32, verses 16 to 22. ” ‘But the reason I do not immediately reciprocate the affection of living beings even when they worship Me, O gopis, is that I want to intensify their loving devotion. They then become like a poor man who has gained some wealth […]

The Mood of Ratha-yatra, October 13, Laguna Beach, California
Giriraj Swami

——————————- Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhaya-lila, beginning with verse 52. “You can feel separation from something only if you have attachment to it. If you know someone and develop an affectionate relationship with the person and then are separated from him (or her), you will experience the mood of separation. The mood […]

Spiritual Solutions to Material Problems, October 6, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami discussed spiritual topics with an Iranian professor and students from Tulsa, Oklahoma. “You can’t eliminate war. You can’t eliminate anything—eating, sleeping, or anything else. What you can do is regulate it and adjust it so it is favorable for Krishna consciousness. As far as different parties within the material world, we generally don’t get […]

The Importance of Devotee Association, Sunday Festival, October 6, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

“The scriptures explain that if one begins acting according to one’s constitutional position, one develops all the qualities that help one act according to that position. Our eternal position is that we are naturally devotees of God and we naturally love God. And, naturally loving God means that you love everyone. So, the natural state […]

Eligibility to go Beyond Varnasrama Dharma, October 6, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila, 22.62. ‘sraddha’-sabde — visvasa kahe sudridha niscaya krishne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krita haya TRANSLATION By rendering transcendental loving service to Krsna one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. Such confident, firm faith favorable to the discharge of devotional service is called sraddah. PURPORT Firm faith and confidence are called sraddha. […]

The Teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, October 2, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami gave class to devotees and guests in the Darshan Room in Dallas. “This magazine had an article on the 25th anniversary of the Woodstock festival, with profiles of one hundred people who had been at the original Woodstock. There was a little photo of each, with a brief description of what they experienced then […]

Faith Develops in the Association of Devotees, October 5, Plano, Texas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Bhagavad-gita 9.3 at a home program in Dallas. “The faithless cannot accomplish this process of devotional service; that is the purport of this verse. Faith is created by association with devotees. Unfortunate people, even after hearing all the evidence of Vedic literature from great personalities, still have no faith […]

Vyasa-puja in South Africa, via Skype, October 5, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

“We have no idea what we are dealing with. We are dealing with pure nectar. We have to drink that nectar. Sometimes even by force. Because of the disease of jaundice — ignorance — nectar tastes like poison in the beginning. But really appreciate the facility you have and take advantage of it. Somehow use every moment […]

The Basis for Feelings of Separation is Humility, October 3, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.67 for the morning class in Dallas. “In this exalted state of love for Krishna, Nanda Maharaja and the other residents of Vrindavan show qualities that even we, in our stage, should aspire to and try to develop. The development of Krishna consciousness is hierarchical in that whatever […]

The Symptom of Pure Love for Krishna is Humility, October 2, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.64-66 during the morning program at the ISKCON Dallas temple. “Although the gopis are the most worshipable devotees in existence, they worshipped Uddhava as a dear friend of Krishna’s. So, when one develops such purity of heart, although one is most exalted, one feels oneself to be ordinary […]

Freedom from Envy—The Vaikuntha Mood, September 28, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

——————————- Giriraj Swami and Giridhari Swami read and spoke on Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.13.60 during a home program in Dallas. “The temple is supposed to be Vaikuntha, but it is not automatic. We have to have the Vaikuntha mood. Srila Prabhupada described the Vaikuntha mood in different ways at different times. When I joined the temple in Boston […]

Taking Risks for Krishna and Preaching, September 27, Plano, Texas
Giriraj Swami

“If we couldn’t go to the temple, if we couldn’t have darshan of the deities, if you couldn’t hear from qualified teachers, if you couldn’t chant in kirtan together—that would be pretty difficult, would it not? Sometimes we take these things for granted. I think the only way to not fall into that trap is […]

The Importance of Devotees, September 22, Houston
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.3.23 during the Sunday festival in Houston. “In other words, Lord Sri Krishna is the property of His pure unconditional devotees, and as such only the devotees can deliver Krishna to another devotee; Krishna is never obtainable directly. Lord Caitanya therefore designated Himself as gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah, or […]

Srila Prabhupada’s Arrival in America, September 25, Dallas
Giriraj Swami

“A gentleman came to Srila Prabhupada and said, ‘Swamiji, Swamiji, please save me! Only you can save me!’And Prabhupada replied, ‘I cannot save you; you have to save yourself. But I can give you the method by which you can save yourself.’ He gives us the instructions, and he prays for us, but we have […]

Giriraj Swami’s Vyasa-puja, September 21, Houston
Giriraj Swami

The Vyasa-puja celebration started around 9:30AM and ended around 5PM. To begin, Giriraj Swami was greeted at the sannyasa quarters by a kirtan party, which escorted him to the temple. There Giriraj Swami offered a gift to the Deities, garlanded Srila Prabhupada and Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj, and then honored his godbrothers Giridhari Swami Maharaj, […]

Visvarupa-mahotsava, September 19, Houston
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami spoke on Visvarupa-mahotsava, the day which Lord Chaitanya’s older brother Visvarupa accepted sannyasa and the date on which Srila Prabhupada also accepted the renounced order of life. Giriraj Swami was joined by Giridhari Swami, Kesava Bharati Dasa Goswami, and Rtadhvaja Swami. “Srila Prabhupada saw that his Guru Maharaja was forcing him to take […]

Srila Haridasa Thakura’s Disappearance Day, September 18, Houston
Giriraj Swami

Giriraj Swami read and spoke from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter 11. prabhu kahe, – ‘kon vyadhi, kaha ta’ nirnaya?’ tenho kahe, – ‘sankhya-kirtana na puraya’ TRANSLATION Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu further inquired from Haridasa, “Can you ascertain what your disease is?” Haridasa Thakura replied, “My disease is that I cannot complete my rounds.” PURPORT If one […]