The Spirit of Christmas and the Perfection of Love
Giriraj Swami

“Now these Christmas holidays have begun in your country. Throughout the whole month of December you’ll observe nice festivities. Why? It began with God consciousness. Jesus Christ came to give you God consciousness, and in relation to him these festivities are going on. It may have degraded into another form, but the beginning was God […]

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Prabhupada’s spiritual master, is my grand spiritual master, but I feel that I never really knew him very well until I read his biography Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Vaibhava, by my godbrother Bhakti Vikasa Swami. Many of the quotes and references below come from that work.  We are all here by the […]

Kurukshetra and the Influence of Holy Places
Giriraj Swami

In the first verse of the Bhagavad-gita, the low-minded king Dhrtarastra asks his secretary, “O Sanjaya, after my sons and the sons of Pandu assembled in the place of pilgrimage at Kuruksetra, desiring to fight, what did they do?” Kim akurvata: “What did they do?” Srila Prabhupada says that this is a foolish question. The […]

The Power of Srila Prabhupada’s Pranama-mantras
Giriraj Swami

Achyutananda Prabhu says that according to proper kirtan principles, we should always begin with Srila Prabhupada’s pranama-mantras. He said that he noticed several kirtan leaders not doing this or not knowing kirtan etiquette. A Russian devotee, Purnamasi devi dasi, told the story of when she was imprisoned by the KGB for practicing and preaching Krishna […]

Odana-sasthi
Giriraj Swami

Today is Odana-sasthi, the date on which Lord Jagannatha is given a winter shawl. One year when Lord Chaitanya and His associates celebrated this festival in Puri, Pundarika Vidyanidhi, who is Vrsabhanu Maharaja, Srimati Radharani’s father, in krsna-lila, received some special mercy. His experience is instructive for us all. Srila Prabhupada explains, “At the beginning […]

Srila Prabhupada—Always There for His Followers
Giriraj Swami

The following account is from Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Bhaktisiddhanta Dasa. Srila Prabhupada appeared to Prthuputra Swami, the first French sannyasi, just before Prthuputra died. Maharaja had done a lot of service for Srila Prabhupada’s preaching mission. But after Srila Prabhupada’s physical demise, Prthuputra left Krishna consciousness. He broke the regulative principle and went back to the sinful […]

December Book Distribution
Giriraj Swami

My dear devotees, Please accept my best wishes. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. In a letter to me dated December 1971, Srila Prabhupada wrote, “Go on increasing books, and go on increasing my pleasure.” December is a special opportunity to focus on Srila Prabhupada’s desire that we distribute books—and thus increase his pleasure. As he […]

Srila Bhugarbha Gosvami’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the disappearance day of Srila Bhugarbha Gosvami, who is described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 12.82): bhugarbha gosani, ara bhagavata-dasa yei dui asi’ kaila vrndavane vasa “The eleventh branch of Gadadhara Gosvami was Bhugarbha Gosani, and the twelfth was Bhagavata dasa. Both of them went to Vrndavana and resided there for life.” Purport: “Bhugarbha […]

Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the disappearance day of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was a great devotee—a maha-bhagavata. He was a disciple of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and was very renounced. Earlier, he lived for many years in Vrindavan, roaming the twelve forests, chanting the holy names of Krishna, begging alms, and sleeping under […]

Sri Dhananjaya Pandit’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the disappearance day of Sri Dhananjaya Pandit, who is described in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, Chapter 11, text 31: nityananda-priyabhrtya pandita dhananjaya atyanta virakta, sada krsna-premamaya  “The sixteenth dear servant of Nityananda Prabhu was Dhananjaya Pandita. He was very much renounced and always merged in love of Krsna.” Purport: Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura writes […]

Sri Gopastami
Giriraj Swami

Today is Gopastami, the day on which Krishna and Balarama and other boys Their age, who previously had tended the calves, were given charge of the cows. This event is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.15.1): tatas ca pauganda-vayah-sritau vraje   babhuvatus tau pasu-pala-sammatau gas carayantau sakhibhih samam padair   vrndavanam punyam ativa cakratuh “When Lord Rama […]

Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Once, on his guru maharaja’s disappearance day, Srila Prabhupada said, “On the absolute platform, there is no difference between the appearance and the disappearance of the spiritual master. Both are beautiful, just like the sunrise and the sunset.” So, although we feel separation, within that separation our remembrance of Srila Prabhupada is heightened, and thus […]

Srila Prabhupada’s Beloved Disciple Sankha Dasa
Giriraj Swami

Early this morning Srila Prabhupada’s beloved disciple, my dear godbrother, Sankha Dasa departed this  world. You can read about him and his wonderful service to Srila Prabhupada in Juhu in the following excerpt from my book I’ll Build You a Temple: The Juhu Story. I have no doubt that Srila Prabhupada has called Sankha Dasa […]

Sri Govardhana-puja
Giriraj Swami

We shall read from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Two, Chapter Seven: “Scheduled Incarnations.” TEXT 32 gopair makhe pratihate vraja-viplavaya   deve ’bhivarsati pasun krpaya riraksuh dhartocchilindhram iva sapta-dinani sapta-   varso mahidhram anaghaika-kare salilam TRANSLATION When the cowherd men of Vrndavana, under instruction of Krsna, stopped offering sacrifice to the heavenly king, Indra, the whole tract of […]

Dhanvantari’s Appearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the appearance day of Dhanvantari, who is described in the following verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.21):  TEXT dhanvantaris ca bhagavan svayam eva kirtir   namna nrnam puru-rujam ruja asu hanti yajne ca bhagam amrtayur-avavarundha   ayusya-vedam anusasty avatirya loke TRANSLATION The Lord in His incarnation of Dhanvantari very quickly cures the diseases of the […]

The Power of Srila Prabhupada’s Blessing
Giriraj Swami

The following account was given by Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Atma Tattva Dasa. One Ekadasi during the Kumbha-mela in Allahabad, Prabhupada was sitting back with his eyes closed, his legs stretched under his desk, talking about Ekadasi. Prabhupada said, “Lotus pods fried in ghee are very good on Ekadasi.” Somebody immediately ran to the market to […]

Sri Rama-ekadasi—Srila Prabhupada’s “Concluding Words” to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
Giriraj Swami

Today, Sri Rama-ekadasi, is a very special day. It is the first Ekadasi in the month of Kartik, or Damodara, and it has special significance as the day on which Srila Prabhupada completed his translation of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, the most important book on the life and precepts of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Every devotee should […]

Sri Radha-kunda’s Appearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Kartik is very auspicious for spiritual advancement. Another name for Kartik is Urja-vrata. Urja means power. The supreme power, the original power, is Srimati Radharani. So Urja-vrata, or Kartik-vrata, is for Srimati Radharani. Many important pastimes took place in the month of Kartik. On the full-moon night, Sri Krishna played upon His flute and enjoyed […]

Kartik and Sarat-purnima: Special Mercy and the Dance of Divine Love
Giriraj Swami

We welcome you to this most auspicious place, the temple of Sri Sri Radha-Radhanath, on the most auspicious occasion of the beginning of Kartik, in the most auspicious association of Lord Krishna’s devotees. Kartik is also known as the month of Damodara (dama means “ropes,” and udara means “abdomen”), or Krishna who allowed Himself to […]

Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the auspicious disappearance day of three great acharyas in the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, and Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. We shall read about Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami from Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter Thirteen: “Pastimes with Jagadananda Pandita and Raghunatha Bhatta.” TEXT 89 […]