Wednesday, June 29. 2011
Sunday Feast lecture on Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 3 (Karma Yoga), Text 10 given by Giriraj Swami.
In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishnu, and blessed them by saying, "Be thou happy by this yajna [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation."
The material creation by the Lord of creatures (Vishnu) is a chance offered to the conditioned souls to come back home -- back to Godhead. All living entities within the material creation are conditioned by material nature because of their forgetfulness of their relationship to Vishnu, or Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Vedic principles are to help us understand this eternal relation, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita: vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyah. The Lord says that the purpose of the Vedas is to understand Him. In the Vedic hymns it is said: patim visvasyatmesvaram. Therefore, the Lord of the living entities is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam also (2.4.20) Srila Sukadeva Gosvami describes the Lord as pati in so many ways:
The praja-pati is Lord Vishnu, and He is the Lord of all living creatures, all worlds, and all beauties, and the protector of everyone. The Lord created this material world to enable the conditioned souls to learn how to perform yajnas (sacrifices) for the satisfaction of Vishnu, so that while in the material world they can live very comfortably without anxiety and after finishing the present material body they can enter into the kingdom of God. That is the whole program for the conditioned soul. By performance of yajna, the conditioned souls gradually become Krishna conscious and become godly in all respects. In the Age of Kali, the sankirtana-yajna (the chanting of the names of God) is recommended by the Vedic scriptures, and this transcendental system was introduced by Lord Caitanya for the deliverance of all men in this age. Sankirtana-yajna and Krishna consciousness go well together. Lord Krishna in His devotional form (as Lord Caitanya) is mentioned in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.5.32) as follows, with special reference to the sankirtana-yajna:
"In this Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of sankirtana-yajna." Other yajnas prescribed in the Vedic literatures are not easy to perform in this Age of Kali, but the sankirtana-yajna is easy and sublime for all purposes, as recommended in Bhagavad-gita also (9.14).
Download: 2011-03-13 - Giriraj Swami - BG 3.10 - Sunday Feast.mp3
Thursday, June 23. 2011
Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 3, Text 18, titled "We do not Reject the Body" given by Giriraj Swami. Fixed Audio
One who considers his visible body, which is a product of the three modes of nature, to be independent of the soul is unaware of the basis of existence, and therefore he is a rascal. Those who are learned have rejected his conclusion because one can understand through full discussion that with no basis in soul, the visible body and senses would be insubstantial. Nonetheless, although his conclusion has been rejected, a foolish person considers it a reality.
Without the basic principle of soul, the body cannot be produced. So-called scientists have tried in many ways to produce a living body in their chemical laboratories, but no one has been able to do it because unless the spirit soul is present, a body cannot be prepared from material elements. Since scientists are now enamored of theories about the chemical composition of the body, we have challenged many scientists to make even a small egg. The chemicals in eggs can be found very easily. There is a white substance and a yellow substance, covered by a shell, and modern scientists should very easily be able to duplicate all this. But even if they were to prepare such an egg and put it in an incubator, this man-made chemical egg would not produce a chicken. The soul must be added because there is no question of a chemical combination for life. Those who think that life can exist without the soul have therefore been described here as abudhah, foolish rascals.
Again, there are those who reject the body, regarding it as insubstantial. They are of the same category of fools. One can neither reject the body nor accept it as substantial. The substance is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and both the body and the soul are energies of the Supreme Godhead, as described by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (7.4-5):
"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego -- all together these eight comprise My separated material energies. But besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which consists of all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe."
The body, therefore, has a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as the soul does. Since both of them are energies of the Lord, neither of them is false, because they come from the reality. One who does not know this secret of life is described as abudhah. According to the Vedic injunctions, aitadatmyam idam sarvam, sarvam khalv idam brahma: everything is the Supreme Brahman. Therefore, both the body and the soul are Brahman, since matter and spirit emanate from Brahman.
Not knowing the conclusions of the Vedas, some people accept the material nature as substance, and others accept the spirit soul as substance, but actually Brahman is the substance. Brahman is the cause of all causes. The ingredients and the immediate cause of this manifested material world are Brahman, and we cannot make the ingredients of this world independent of Brahman. Furthermore, since the ingredients and the immediate cause of this material manifestation are Brahman, both of them are truth, satya; there is no validity to the expression brahma satyam jagan mithya. The world is not false.
Jnanis reject this world, and foolish persons accept this world as reality, and in this way they are both misguided. Although the body is not as important as the soul, we cannot say that it is false. Yet the body is temporary, and only foolish, materialistic persons, who do not have full knowledge of the soul, regard the temporary body as reality and engage in decorating this body. Both of these pitfalls -- rejection of the body as false and acceptance of the body as all in all -- can be avoided when one is fully situated in Krishna consciousness. If we regard this world as false, we fall into the category of asuras, who say that this world is unreal, with no foundation and no God in control (asatyam apratishtham te jagad ahur anisvaram). As described in the Sixteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, this is the conclusion of demons.
Download: 2011-03-12 - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.18 - We do not Reject the Body.mp3
Wednesday, June 8. 2011
Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 3, Texts 15-17 titled "Being Vegetarian Isn't Enough" given by Giriraj Swami.
The mahat-tattva, the total material energy, is undivided, but because of the material modes of nature, it appears to separate into earth, water, fire, air and ether. Because of the living energy [jiva-bhuta], these separated energies combine to make the cosmic manifestation visible, but in fact, before the creation of the cosmos, the total energy is already present. Therefore, the total material energy never actually enters the creation. Similarly, although You are perceived by our senses because of Your presence, You cannot be perceived by the senses, nor experienced by the mind or words [avan-manasa-gocara]. With our senses we can perceive some things, but not everything; for example, we can use our eyes to see, but not to taste. Consequently, You are beyond perception by the senses. Although in touch with the modes of material nature, You are unaffected by them. You are the prime factor in everything, the all-pervading, undivided Supersoul. For You, therefore, there is no external or internal. You never entered the womb of Devaki; rather, You existed there already.
This same understanding is explained by the Lord Himself in Bhagavad-gita (9.4):
"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them."
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is not perceivable through the gross material senses. It is said that Lord Sri Krishna's name, fame, pastimes, etc., cannot be understood by material senses. Only to one who is engaged in pure devotional service under proper guidance is He revealed. As stated in Brahma-samhita (5.38):
One can see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Govinda, always, within oneself and outside oneself, if one has developed the transcendental loving attitude toward Him. Thus for people in general, He is not visible. In the above-mentioned verse from Bhagavad-gita, therefore, it is said that although He is all-pervading, everywhere present, He is not conceivable by the material senses. But actually, although we cannot see Him, everything is resting in Him. As discussed in the Seventh Chapter of Bhagavad-gita, the entire material cosmic manifestation is only a combination of His two different energies, the superior, spiritual energy and the inferior, material energy. Just as the sunshine is spread all over the universe, the energy of the Lord is spread all over the creation, and everything is resting in that energy.
Yet one should not conclude that because He is spread all over He has lost His personal existence. To refute such arguments, the Lord says, "I am everywhere, and everything is in Me, but still I am aloof." For example, a king heads a government which is but the manifestation of the king's energy; the different governmental departments are nothing but the energies of the king, and each department is resting on the king's power. But still one cannot expect the king to be present in every department personally. That is a crude example. Similarly, all the manifestations that we see, and everything that exists, both in this material world and in the spiritual world, are resting on the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The creation takes place by the diffusion of His different energies, and, as stated in the Bhagavad-gita, He is everywhere present by His personal representation, the diffusion of His different energies.
One may argue that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who creates the whole cosmic manifestation simply by His glance, cannot come within the womb of Devaki, the wife of Vasudeva. To eradicate this argument, Vasudeva said, "My dear Lord, it is not very wonderful that You appeared within the womb of Devaki, for the creation was also made in that way. You were lying in the Causal Ocean as Maha-Vishnu, and by Your breathing, innumerable universes came into existence. Then You entered into each of the universes as Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. Then again You expanded Yourself as Kshirodakasayi Vishnu and entered into the heart of all living entities and entered even within the atoms. Therefore Your entrance into the womb of Devaki is understandable in the same way. You appear to have entered, but You are simultaneously all-pervading. We can understand Your entrance and nonentrance from material examples. The total material energy remains intact even after being divided into sixteen elements. The material body is nothing but a combination of the five gross elements -- namely earth, water, fire, air and ether. Whenever there is a material body, it appears that such elements are newly created, but actually the elements are always existing outside of the body. Similarly, although You appear as a child in the womb of Devaki, You are also existing outside. You are always in Your abode, but still You can simultaneously expand Yourself into millions of forms.
"One has to understand Your appearance with great intelligence because the material energy is also emanating from You. You are the original source of the material energy, just as the sun is the source of the sunshine. The sunshine cannot cover the sun globe, nor can the material energy -- being an emanation from You -- cover You. You appear to be in the three modes of material energy, but actually the three modes of material energy cannot cover You. This is understood by the highly intellectual philosophers. In other words, although You appear to be within the material energy, You are never covered by it."
We hear from the Vedic version that the Supreme Brahman exhibits His effulgence and therefore everything is illuminated. We can understand from Brahma-samhita that the brahmajyoti, or the Brahman effulgence, emanates from the body of the Supreme Lord. And from the Brahman effulgence, all creation takes place. It is further stated in the Bhagavad-gita that the Lord is the support of the Brahman effulgence. Originally He is the root cause of everything. But persons who are less intelligent think that when the Supreme Personality of Godhead comes within this material world, He accepts material qualities. Such conclusions are not mature, but are, made by the less intelligent.
Download: 2011-03-11 - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.15-17 - Being Vegetarian Isn't Enough.mp3
Friday, June 3. 2011
Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 3, Text 14 titled "Praising God's Activities" by Giriraj Swami.
My Lord, You are the same person who in the beginning created this material world by His personal external energy. After the creation of this world of three gunas [sattva, rajas and tamas], You appear to have entered it, although in fact You have not.
In Bhagavad-gita (7.4) the Supreme Personality of Godhead clearly explains:
This material world of three modes of nature -- sattva-guna, rajo-guna and tamo-guna -- is a composition of earth, water, fire, air, mind, intelligence and false ego, all of which are energies coming from Krishna, yet Krishna, being always transcendental, is aloof from this material world. Those who are not in pure knowledge think that Krishna is a product of matter and that His body is material like ours (avajananti mam mudhah). In fact, however, Krishna is always aloof from this material world.
In the Vedic literature, we find the creation described in relationship to Maha-Vishnu. As stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.35):
"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, the original Personality of Godhead. By His partial plenary expansion as Maha-Vishnu, He enters into material nature. Then He enters every universe as Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and He enters all the elements, including every atom of matter, as Kshirodakasayi Vishnu. Such manifestations of cosmic creation are innumerable, both in the universes and in the individual atoms." Govinda is partially exhibited as antaryami, the Supersoul, who enters this material world (andantara-stha) and who is also within the atom. The Brahma-samhita (5.48) further says:
This verse describes Maha-Vishnu as a plenary expansion of Krishna. Maha-Vishnu lies on the Causal Ocean, and when He exhales, millions of brahmandas, or universes, come from the pores of His body. Then, when Maha-Vishnu inhales, all these brahmandas disappear. Thus the millions of brahmandas controlled by the Brahmas and other demigods come and go in this material world through the breathing of Maha-Vishnu.
Foolish persons think that when Krishna appears as the son of Vasudeva, He is limited like an ordinary child. But Vasudeva was aware that although the Lord had appeared as his son, the Lord had not entered Devaki's womb and then come out. Rather, the Lord was always there. The Supreme Lord is all-pervading, present within and without. pravishta iva bhavyase: He only seemed to have entered the womb of Devaki and to have now appeared as Vasudeva's child. The expression of this knowledge by Vasudeva indicates that Vasudeva knew how these events took place. Vasudeva was certainly a devotee of the Lord in full knowledge, and we must learn from devotees like him. Bhagavad-gita (4.34) therefore recommends:
"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth." Vasudeva begot the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet he was in full knowledge of how the Supreme Lord appears and disappears. He was therefore tattva-darsi, a seer of the truth, because he personally saw how the Supreme Absolute Truth appeared as his son. Vasudeva was not in ignorance, thinking that because the Supreme Godhead had appeared as his son, the Lord had become limited. The Lord is unlimitedly existing and all-pervading, inside and outside. Thus there is no question of His appearance or disappearance.
Download: 2011-03-10 - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.14 - Praising God's Activities.mp3
Monday, May 30. 2011
Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 10, Chapter 3, Text 13 titled "Fear of Death" given by Giriraj Swami.
Vasudeva said: My Lord, You are the Supreme Person, beyond material existence, and You are the Supersoul. Your form can be perceived by transcendental knowledge, by which You can be understood as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. I now understand Your position perfectly.
Within Vasudeva's heart, affection for his son and knowledge of the Supreme Lord's transcendental nature both awakened In the beginning Vasudeva thought, "Such a beautiful child has been born, but now Kamsa will come and kill Him." But when he understood that this was not an ordinary child but the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he became fearless. Regarding his son as the Supreme Lord, wonderful in everything, he began offering prayers appropriate for the Supreme Lord. Completely free from fear of Kamsa's atrocities, he accepted the child simultaneously as an object of affection and as an object of worship by prayers.
Download: 2011-03-09 - Giriraj Swami - SB 10.3.13 - Fear of Death.mp3
Thursday, July 15. 2010
We were honored to have a double initiation ceremony by HH Giriraj Swami and HH Rtadhvaja Swami at the Dallas Rathayatra.
Download: 2010-05-22 - Dallas Rathayatra - 04 - Initiation Ceremony - Giriraj Swami and Rtadhvaja Swami.mp3
Friday, July 9. 2010
Rathayatra Parade in Dallas. Kirtan led by many devotees including Nityananda das, Chaitanya Chandra das, Enadhi das, Amala Kirtan das, Hari das, Giriraj Swami, Advaita Acharya das, others.
Download: 2010-05-22 - Dallas Rathayatra - 01 - Parade.mp3
Thursday, July 8. 2010
2 DVDs of ecstatic Kirtan, a combined Initiation by His Holiness Giriraj Swami and His Holiness Rtadhvaja Swami, Bhajans, and Dance Performances. This is a wonderful way to experience Rathayatra as held in Dallas in May 2010.
Initiation by Giriraj Swami & Rtadhvaja Swami
Bhajans by Amala Kirtan & Advaita Acharya
Bharatnatyam - Sanskriti Trivedi
Khatak - Chinmayi
Chaitanya Bhajan - Gopi Gita & Kalindi
Bharatnatyam - Gopi Krishna & Surata
Bhajans - Kalindi & Kalchandji's Kirtan Group
Tuesday, July 6. 2010
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