Comments Posted By Giriraj Swami

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Rupa Sanatana dasa’s departure

From Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Indranuja dasa:

Rupa Sanatana dasa was a special soul. I met him at a yoga program in 1997, and we became fast friends. He was always enthusiastic in service, regularly attending our weekly programs and festivals, and when he decided to become a more serious practitioner, he moved to our Bhaktivana community, building himself a one-room cabin in a hickory grove. He lived there peacefully and went to his office for work. His cabin had no electricity or running water, and we would see him, winter or summer, filling up his two five-gallon buckets and trudging across the fields, chanting to the cows. He embraced Krishna consciousness with the same passion as he did everything, and it was no surprise to us when Romapada Swami gave him the service of temple president in St. Louis.

Two years ago when he was visiting us, he told me about his symptoms. He experienced intense pain trying to effect a cure, but in the end he knew his body was finished. So while he still had the strength, he embarked on a tour of closure, ending up once more at Bhaktivana. He stayed with my family, and we shared many stories from the days he had spent here. When I had taught him to offer arati, we would alternate offering arati and leading kirtana, so we once again offered the evening arati to Sri Nitai-Gauranga and Sri Vrajanatha-Haladhara, and for the last time, his melodic kirtana filled the house.

We visited Rupa in St. Louis a couple of days before he left for Vrindavan. The current temple president there hosted a farewell gathering, and we had a reunion of many friends and family, from Rupa Sanatana’s early and later days. Rupa was very weak, but he sat and heard the holy names and even quietly commented on Srimad-Bhagavatam verses about Dhruva Maharaja leaving this world. The next day a few of us gathered for lunch, and Rupa held our hands and expressed his appreciation for each devotee. After a sweet kirtana, we all one by one said our affectionate goodbyes.

It is said that one can find the measure of a man by the effect he has after he has gone. Rupa Sanatana will be remembered for his enthusiasm and determination in his spiritual life and for his generosity and kindness, witnessed by the many beautiful, practical gifts given by him that grace our altars and homes at Bhaktivana.

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 03.03.2013 @ 10:06

Yamuna-devi — Serving Vani and Vapuh

Srila Prabhupada was extremely personal, and Yamuna-devi was also personal in her reciprocation with him. We have much to learn from their examples, in developing our personal relationship with Krishna, His name, form, qualities, pastimes, and devotees—by Srila Prabhuada and Sri Nama Prabhu’s grace.

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 22.01.2013 @ 00:08

Abdul - The Transcendental Tailor

I have fond memories of Abdul. Later, I was happy to read that Srivasa Thakura also had a tailor from a Muslim family: “There was a Muslim tailor near the house of Srivasa Thakura who used to sew the garments of the family. One day he was very pleased with the dancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; indeed, he was enchanted. The Lord, understanding his attitude, showed him His original form as Krsna. The tailor then began to dance, saying, ‘I have seen! I have seen!’ He became absorbed in ecstatic love and began to dance with Lord Caitanya. Thus he became one of the foremost Vaisnava adherents of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” (Cc Adi 17.232 purport)

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 25.12.2012 @ 07:48

My Visit to Mother Isa

I do not recall having met Mother Isa, but I was completely moved by reading about her and, especially, seeing and hearing her on video. What a beautiful, pure soul. She has nothing in her life but Krishna—she lives only for Krishna. The holy name and Srila Prabhupada’s mercy have entered deep into the core of her heart and will never leave.

I am also grateful to His Holiness Niranjana Swami for his care for her—and for all of us. Out of the goodness of his heart, he has shared with us the goodness in hers. It is only by the association of such great souls that we are able to maintain our lives in Krishna consciousness.

Their servant eternally,
Giriraj Swami

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 14.09.2012 @ 17:05

Update on 26 2nd Avenue

Thank you for your fine efforts. When you actually come to the stage of purchasing the property, I would be happy to donate.

Hare Krishna.

Your servant in Srila Prabhupada’s service,
Giriraj Swami

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 24.01.2012 @ 08:17

A Special Recipient of Srila Prabhupada’s Mercy

You have said it all, beautifully. Sethiji gave everything he had to Srila Prabhupada and his mission and devotees. I wanted people to know about this very special, rare soul, and so I wrote about him, in Srila Prabhupada’s service. I share your perception and appreciation of him, so eloquently expressed.

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 26.08.2011 @ 01:36

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Disappearance Day

Your comments, Pusta Krishna Prabhu, are most apt. In India, Srila Prabhupada said that if someone asks us, “What do you have to say about So-and-so?” we should respond, “What is his philosophy?” and then, if necessary, criticize the philosophy, not the person. He also said that we should deal very carefully with our life members (and by extension, others), because they are like clay china, and if we break them, no matter how hard we try to mend them, they will never be the same again. So yes, we must exercise care, patience, and tolerance, and at the same time speak the truth in such a way as to bring them closer to the lotus feet of Krishna.

Thank you very much. Hare Krishna.

Giriraj Swami

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 27.12.2010 @ 04:04

Reflections on Guru-purnima

I may not be as aware as you of how different groups observe Guru Purnima. What I wrote was based on two letters from Srila Prabhupada:

“Guru Purnima is generally performed by the Mayavadi sects. The idea of Guru Purnima is to offer gratitude to the spiritual master by the disciple once in a year. That is called Guru Purnima. So far as we are concerned, Gaudiya Vaisnavas, we offer all our gratefulness to the spiritual master on his appearance day ceremony, called Vyasa-puja.” (SP letter dated August 2, 1969)

“In the Mayavadi Sampradaya they observe the Guru Purnima day to offer respect to the spiritual master. This system of offering respect to the spiritual master is current in all sections of Vedic followers, but so far we the Gaudiya Sampradaya is concerned, we offer on the appearance day of the spiritual master our humble homage annually, and this particular auspicious moment is called Vyasa-puja.” (SP letter dated August 25, 1970)

Srila Prabhupada wanted us in ISKCON to offer our gratitude and homage to the spiritual master on his appearance day in particular, in the Vyasa-puja ceremony. That said, we should always feel gratitude and offer homage to the spiritual master.

Thank you very much. Hare Krsna.

Your servant,
Giriraj Swami

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 29.07.2010 @ 05:17

Treating Vaisnavas with Care–in Appreciation of Satyaraja Prabhu’s Points

Satyaraja Prabhu has asked me to clarify my position in relation to his articles. Yes, I would agree that Dhanurdhara Swami has been made a scapegoat, but at the same time, he also is responsible. And yes, I would agree that he has been the object of Vaisnava aparadha, but at the same time, he has also committed offenses against Vaisnavas. Even now offenses are being committed on all sides–and they should stop. And I would agree that untruths have been perpetrated in relation to his case. At the same time, we may not find the whole truth and nothing but the truth in any one version, for as Satyaraja Prabhu himself has observed, the truth is many-sided. Still, there are real problems, and they must be addressed.

Because this case involves so many subjective relative truths, I prefer to exphasize the more absolute truths, that we should deal with all Vaisnavas as Vaisnavas and that we should conduct ourselves in accordance with sadhu, sastra, and guru, as taught by Srila Prabhupada.

Others have also commented on my article, and I am prepared to address their remarks as well. But I prefer to do so off of this site. So if any of you do wish to discuss further, you may address your letters to me personally.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Hare Krsna.

Comment Posted By Giriraj Swami On 25.07.2006 @ 19:57

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