Hare Krishna.

After I started aspiring for HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja, I would regularly write  him to please let me know how can I please him. The only answer I got till date was to serve the temple where I was attached, during a personal discussion. I took it to my heart and try to serve whatever opportunities come my way. I am greatful to HG Rukmini Krishna prabhuji to engage me in some some small services.

In April this year there was an announcement that we can serve Guru Maharaja by transcribing his lectures. I jumped upon the opportunity thinking I get to serve Guru Maharaja directly and I would also learn so much by transcribing his lectures. The first lecture came for 10 minutes of transcription and I did it in 3 days with a lot of enthusiasm. It took me 2 hours to transcribe it. Then came the next instruction that each lecture is to be transcribed in full, which meant each person will transcribe approx. 1 hour of Audio. I tried a lot but could not finish the first lecture till date. Utter shame, so much for my service attitude. I conveniently forgot about it but read all the transcribed lectures with great curiosity that are were being posted regularly by other sincere devotees.

Against this background let me discuss two devotees and my dear god-brothers, HG Ananda Krishna Prema Das and HG Atmarama Krishna Das, popularly known as Anand prabhu and Atma prabhu. I will not get into their material qualifications, I can share that they passed out from world famous universities and worked in the best of companies. I can proudly say that  I haven’t seen any one else as devoted to Guru Maharaja as both my god- brothers. Humble to the core, they shadow Guru Maharaj, work as his secretaries, are dedicated to each of his project and always ensure that Guru Maharaj gets proper rest, important decisions are taken and they still remain in the background.  I saw at Ujjain, when I stayed with Atma Prabhu for a day, how while taking a nap after a long day he would get up in seconds when some prabhuji will knock to ask that Guru Maharaja was calling him. There is no day or night for them in the service of Guru.

In addition to their professional lives, dedication to Guru Maharaja’s projects, they serve MVT, GBC and other ISKCON projects in various capacities.

Whenever I get some service and feels frustrated by that chore, I think about them and try to push forward in my service. They are a benchmark which I know I can only aspire. I am proud to have such god-brothers.

HG Ananda Krishna Prema Das ki Jaya.

HG Atmarama Krishna Das ki Jaya.

All glories to Guru Maharaja.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Wonderful Devotees of Surat

Hare Krishna.


During his last trip I told Guru Maharaja that we hardly get to spend any time with him, even when he comes to Gurgaon he is always so busy. I mentioned how Priti remarked the other day that it will be better to take a flight with Guru Maharaja from Kolkatta to Delhi. He invited us to fly with him to Surat and spend time with him. At first I thought he must be joking but then knowing him a little I knew he would not make any casual remark. We had renovations happening at our new apartment, we gave the labour the weekend off, sent the kids to grandparents and off we went to Surat. Guru Maharaj met us at the airport, he was flying from Patna. Anand Prabhu was with him, joining for us for Surat.

I didn’t get to sit with Guru Maharaja as they had checked in before us.

Surat holds a special place in my heart. I was here in last January to attend Guru Maharaj’s seminar on Brahma Samhita. I’d stayed at Sri Sri Radha Damodar temple, its right on the bank of river Tapti. The temple has very beautiful deities and has wide open areas around it.  I was very fortunate to get association of a very senior devotee HG Nanda Vraja Dasa from Auckland that time, as his room partner. He gave me many practical suggestions to improve my sadhna bhakti, which I followed and reaped the benefits.

While we landed at Surat airport and waited for the luggage to arrive, Guru Maharaj walked straight out to a loud sankirtan by devotees. They were outside but every one in the airport could hear their enthusiastic kirtan. It was a rousing welcome.

We too were very warmly welcomed by the devotees when we came out. We were staying at a devotee’s home in the same complex where Guru Maharaja was staying so it was very convenient.

All the devotees were very warm & welcoming, within half an hour Guru maharaja was giving his first class. From Friday evening till Sunday evening, he gave classes almost 4-5 times a day. And in times between his preaching, traveling and meetings he was served like a king  by the local devotees. Guru Maharaja stayed with us for a day before leaving for Patna, we were to shame by the hospitality of Surat devotees.  Everything was A grade and very well planned.  We promised ourselves to rise to their benchmark whenever Guru Maharaja visits us next time.

The devotees themselves seemed a very tightly knit group led by HG Mukund Priya Prabhuji and his wife. They left no stone unturned for Maharaja. They were ably supported by other local devotees. It all seemed like a clipping from one of the Suraj Barjatia’s big festivity film scenes with a spiritual twist and Guru maharaja at the center.

I don’t know how those two days passed but they seemed more like three or four days as something was always happening. We visited Sri Sri Radha Damodar temple and took darshan of the beautiful deities on Sunday.

I bring very warm memories of this trip and will cherish them for a long period. We got constant association of Guru Maharaj and met such warm, happy and enthusiastic group of devotees. My humble obeisances and many thanks to Vijay prabhuji, Mukesh Prabhuji,  Vishambhar Prabhuji and so many other prabhujis and matajis whose name I don’t remember but whose hospitality we enjoyed shamelessly.

I will discuss another beautiful realisation at Surat in a separate blog.

All Glories to Guru Maharaja.

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Special chanting at Surat

Hare Krishna.

18th August 2013.

Our second day in Surat. I woke up late in the morning as the last evening ended very late. By the time I got ready and reached the apartment where Guru Maharaja was staying it was almost 7am and not a single  japa round done. As I entered the living room one of the Brahamchari, who had come from Ujjain, pointed me to sit right across him. I had planned to walk but I followed his instruction and sat down and started my japa rounds.

I closed my eyes, as too many people were coming and leaving, and started my japa. I took the opportunity of my closed eyes to concentrate on Krishna playing with his friends at Govardhan hill. I can usually concentrate on it for like a minute then my concentration breaks. To my surprise, and joy, I went through this leela samaran and then mentally went to a round trip of Mayapur temple. I had no idea about the time but my chanting was wonderful. After remembering Mayapur temple. I saw myself sitting in the same room from a third person’s perspective. I saw devotees looking at me chanting with close eyes and smiling. After sometime I see Guru Maharaj walking inside the living room and after observing everyone in the room, his eyes rests on me. My back is towards him, he touches me with his lotus feet,  just his toe. His toe felt soft, like cotton, at my back. Upon his touch I just tumble forward and fall on the ground. Some devotees try to wake me but realise that there is no pulse, I am dead.  I felt very light. Surprisingly I did not get worried about what will happen to my family, my office, new home, etc. I was watching everyone. Surprised, Guru Maharaja says`I just touched him’. One devotee adds `Giriraj Prabhuji has gone to Goloka Dham, Guru Maharaj has sent him straight there.’ Everyone is bewildered at this strange happening.

At that very moment my eyes opened, something tingled. It was my phone on silent mode, in my kurta pocket, vibrating. I was at first startled at my concentration being broken. But I was in a blissful mood. I was very happy that I had such good thoughts while chanting, I saw the time and realised that I  had done japa for 30 minutes, with my eyes closed.

It was my dear friend Sumeet Prabhuji from Gurgaon calling me. I took his call. In his own sweet way he told me that he wanted to speak to me before leaving for Australia on a short official trip. He then shared his own last night’s dream with me. He saw himself as a 95 year old and poor man who comes to meet Guru maharaja, who is still in his late sixties, and request him to give him Diksha. Guru Maharaja asks him what could he offer to him. Sumeet Prabhu then offers him his old blanket,  Guru Maharaja is very pleased, he hugs him and agrees to give him Diksha. I told him that he is blessed that he had Guru Maharaja is his dreams.  I, then, shared my `day dream’ with him. We spoke for some time about glories of Guru Maharaja and our own fallen mentality, it was then time to say good bye and chant my  balance rounds. It was strange that we  both had our own unique experience to share about Guru Maharaja.

Sumeet prabhu is a very special friend and guide for me. Its all thanks to Guru Maharaja who asked me to seek his association and I have benefited tremendously from his association.

I will always preserve and cherish this 30 minutes of chanting in my heart.

All glories to Guru Maharaja.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Srila Prabhupada is always with us

Hare Krishna.

It was 3rd June 2012, a Sunday. I went to the temple in the morning, attended Guru puja, listened to a cheerful  Bhagvatam class, had prasadam and  later completed most of my balance rounds sitting there. I felt very peaceful and fulfilled. I again wished if someone would have been there to sit with me and teach me something , anything. I had the whole day off. There was no one at home that day so no hurry to go back. I felt a little sad that I have all the time today and no one to teach my anything. I went to the temple shop and bought a copy of Brahma Samhita.

I don’t know what prompted me to buy Brahma Samhita. I had another copy at home and I had tried reading it but could not progress very far. I tried again today, sitting in the temple.  The initial verses were difficult to read but I continued. The initial 10 or so verses , specially their purports went all over my head as the English itself was very difficult to comprehend by my poor intelligence. From verse 11 to 28 it became better and from 29th onwards it became easy to understand and was very nice to the heart. I stopped at verse no 37 as the purport was quite long.

I came back home. I tried to reading it but could not concentrate. I slept and woke up at 4 pm and started reading it again. The next two hours proved to be one of the most productive of my life. The whole book seemed to so easy and full of delectable juice, it was as if someone is teaching me. Slowly, many topics like gopi’s paramour relationship with Krishna, explanation of Shambhu ( Siva) , Brahma, Ganesh, Durga all became clear. It was so simple yet profound. Then the last 5 verses were like cherries on top. I could not have asked for more simpler definition Bhava and then such nice explanation of Bhakti in the purport of verse no. 61.

For a strange reason I kept on looking at my watch while reading as I could not believe that all this information I am able to understand in such a short time.

I realised that day I am not alone in my spiritual journey, Srila Prabhupada is there with me, I only need to have a sincere desire in my heart. I thank all the senior devotees for giving me intelligence to realise it.

Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya.

How I met my Guru Maharaj

Hare Krishna.

It was April 2012.  One day when I came back home from office my wife told me that there is a guest joining us for the evening Arti. I was surprised and then thought she must be trying to pull a fast one on me.  As we were about to begin our Arti, the bell rang and sure enough, a tall and handsome Vaisanava entered our house. I was taken aback. He joined us for the arti. He was very gentle and calm, his cousin brother was staying on the floor above us and he was visiting him and met my wife in the lift. He spoke about HH Bhakti Charu Swami maharaj and asked me whether I have heard about him, I replied in negative. He told me that maharaj is arriving in Gurgaon next day for a short trip. He left soon.

Later, I inquired from my wife what made her invite him at our home  ? She replied that when she saw him in the lift she found him extremely peaceful and a good aura around him. She could not stop herself and told him that there is `another one like him’ at our home, who gets up early and start chanting and invited him over. The name of that Vaishanava is Mukunda Das from Ujjain.

I went to the address next evening. It was called Radha Niwas, house of an exalted devotee HG Radheshyam Prabhuji. It was all very peaceful in the house. There were many devotees who had come to meet Maharaj. He met me soon. Like a parrot, I narrated my entire short spiritual journey to him, sitting under his feet. I talked and talked. He heard me patiently,  advised me to continue what I am doing. Later, he took a very nice class in the evening, sang beautiful bhajan. I could see that with his mere presence he seemed to have made everyone around him very peaceful and happy. He was accessible. It was joy all around him.

I came back home and realised that something is amiss, for a few days I could not put my finger to it. Then I realised that my heart was no longer with me. Lord Balram finally sent his representative for me. He is the one. And he took my heart away. I wrote my first mail to Guru Maharaj on the morning of 10th April surrendering myself at his lotus feet, got his reply the same evening and my life was never the same again.

HG Mukunda Prabhuji ki Jaya.

HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj ki Jaya.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

How I came into Krishna Consciousness (II)

I decided to visit an ISKCON temple. The only one I knew was in East of Kailash, Sri Sri Radha Parthasarthi temple. I visited the temple around early evening. It was surprisingly clean and well maintained temple. I visited, looked at the beautiful deities, sat there for some time. I didn’t know what exactly to do. But I liked being there. After I came back a thought/ voice started chasing me from inside. The voice said now that I have visited the temple what would I be ready to give up. I ignored it for some days, thinking that my mind is playing games with me. But it won’t go. To my own surprise, and horror at that time, I myself started dwelling on what could I leave. There were two things to chose from non veg and liquor. I did my own calculation and thought that meat would be a better and easier thing to give up as I could not imagine my life without a drink. Easier said than done, I didn’t use to eat any vegetables at home. And what would I eat when I go out ? Shahi paneer !! But within days I started losing taste in meat. I didn’t want to commit leaving till i was sure I would not come back to eating it.

I still remember the last day I ate meat. We had an office lunch for new year eve in one of the restaurants in Janak Puri. It was a buffet system with many types of meat coming to our table. I first opted for vegetarian menu to the surprise of everyone, I made some lame excuse. While everyone was eating I thought let me try one piece at least. I picked it up, took a bite and could not finish it. I felt as if I am eating raw flesh of some dead animal. I never ate meat again.

My chanting on fingers and reading Bhagavad Gita continued. During one of my meetings I told Mukul that East of Kailash was too far away. He told me that there is another ISKCON temple in Punjabi Bagh, not as big as East of Kailash, still I could go once and see. Again one of the late afternoons I visited the temple. It was very small compared to the almost majestic temple at East of Kailash. It was in a posh residential colony, neat and clean, and for the first time ever I took darshan of Sri Jagannath, Baldeva and Subhadra Maharani. I will narrate their story in a separate blog some day.

I don’t exactly remember whether it was another earlier trip to temple at East of Kailash or the first one at Punjabi Bagh that the strange voice came back to ask me to leave another thing. What was left, just my drinks. I avoided this voice a bit longer. Something strange happened,  I would start my drink but it started tasting so horrible that I could not finish it.  Even a pint of beer I could not finish and had to throw the rest. I left drinking or rather drinking left me for good.

Then another wonderful thing happened. Mukul took me to Vrindavana. I immediately felt at ease after entering the temple, from the rear side entrance and I still use this entrance only. Oh ! What a beautiful temple, it was welcoming, had such wonderful aura,  and so beautiful deities. I was at home and in love. This time no voice needed to prod me , I requested Mukul to please help me buy me a bead bag and Tulsi mala. I was already doing 16 rounds on my fingers so starting on beads proved to be easier. I was hooked on to chanting from that day onwards.

Every time I visit an ISKCON temple I feel bliss. It feels as if I have come to my home not my home rather my paternal grandfather’s home. I know someone is waiting for me there, always looking forward to see me.

HG Mukul Prabhu ki jaya

Sri Sri Radha Parthasarthi temple ki jaya

Sri Sri Radha Radhika Raman, Krishna Balram Temple ki Jaya

Jaya Gaura Nitai, Gaura Nitai, Gaura Nitai, Jaya Gaura Nitai

Jaya Krishna Balram, Krishna Balram, Krishna Balram, Jaya Krishna Balram

Jaya Radha Shyamsundar, Radha Shyamsundar, Radhey Radhey.

Jaya Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada ki Jaya.

How I came into Krishna Consciousness (I)

Hare Krishna


Let me share how I came into Krishna Consciousness. We had invited an old acquaintance to help our start-up company and give us some `gyaan’ on how to scale it and make it big. His name, Mukul Harmilapi. He will change my life for ever.

We hit it off pretty quickly and were soon discussing  many things apart from business. He was, and still is, very intelligent and very calm. He would answer each problem at office with a very simple solution and I would wonder why couldn’t I think of it. I was a little fond of reading and he suggested some books , even gave me a few. The first spiritual book which he gave me was Perfect questions, perfect answers. It definitely impressed me with its logical answers.

Let me give you some background about my own self. I was a `karmi’ to the hilt. I was most fond of eating outside, twice a week. As I grew materially I became fond of liquor and became a big fan of beer. My day could not end without an evening drink and some chicken tikka or snacks to go with it.  Weekends were out to the mall and I was fond of this new lifestyle and all the vices which come with it, but never satisfied at heart.

Now after I read Perfect questions, perfect answers I told Mukul that the book was very good. It was surely very logical and the discussion about animals being killed for the taste of our tongue' left some impression on me. The next book he suggested me was Bhagavad Gita by Srila Prabhupada. My first reaction, I know Bhagavad Gita. I have been reading Bhagavad Gita for last 30 years. Everyday after taking my bath I would read 2 pages sitting in front of the altar. This habit I picked it from my father who would read it for at least 20 minutes after his bath. He told me this book is different. I replied to him that the verses can not change and I know them well. He persisted and I reluctantly opened the book and read a verse, I think it was the first verse, and its purport. I thought let me read one verse only I find something different would I accept it. Indeed it was different. I took it home and started reading it, each page, rather each line revealing more to me than what I had learned in last 30 years. It was like Goddess Saraswati reading it to me. I started looking forward to reading it every morning.  I also felt ashamed on that all these years I have been reading it like a ritual without ever bothering to understand it's meaning and practical application. Yes, that explains it wellPractical Application’ , that’s what Srila Prabhupada taught me, that Bhagavad Gita should be applied in practice not just read it like a good book and carry on with our daily life. I really felt ashamed on the kind of life I was leading and what Srila Prabhupada explained so logically what Krishna wants us to lead.

In the past I have never been a temple person and would never visit a temple except for some vacation trips to may paternal grand father’s home in Himachal Pradesh. I was born there so I had some natural affection for all the places there, lots of Devi temples. In between I started visiting Vaishno Devi mata’s abode. It began with enthusiasm and I continued visiting there for many years, keeping strict fasts during navratras. It slowly fizzled out as my devotion became thinner and thinner. The navratra fasts also went away as I saw people who didn’t keep them also were doing fine in life, there was no basis of my faith .  There was no relationship. I never asked anything from Mata but liked visiting her. Whenever I would to go to Himachal I remember going to a small Shiv temple near our home. No relationship or desires I just liked doing it.  Sometimes there I could feel or imagined Lord Shiva’s presence but coming back to Delhi all my `devotional’ feelings will evaporate. I would forget them completely, only to be back when I would visit them in next summer vacation.

In between I asked Mukul what more could I do and he told me that I could chant Maha Mantra. I started chanting in night counting it on my fingers. I quickly came to chanting 16 rounds on my fingers. I was on a different `high’ and chanting  felt good.  Mukul would visit our office once a week and slowly business took a back seat in our discussions.














After the elephant’s bath

My glum feeling continued, which I shared under `Elephant’s bathing’ post. I felt very gloomy the whole evening and did not know what to do. Should I share with anyone, Sumeet Prabhu or Karuna Prabhuji ? Or should I share with my Guru Maharaj or HG Rukmini Krishna Prabhuji and tell them how much I can fall. Let them scold me. I felt ashamed telling them, I also thought do I have to always approach them with what is bad happening within me. I then thought of driving to Vrindavana and try to get myself `purified’. None of these suggestions would make me feel at ease.

I woke up next morning at 3.30am, slept back, and then waking up again at 5.30am I resolved to go to Punjabi Bagh temple. It was a working day for me but somehow I listened to my inner self and went there.

I reached temple around 9.15 am. It was a festive atmosphere due to Balram Jayanti, and as a special bonus HH Lokanath swami maharaj was giving the morning class on Balram Katha.  HH Lokanath swami maharaj ki jai ! I felt somewhat at ease and tried to  listen attentively.  The katha got over around 10am and then the darshan opened.

As I looked at the beautiful Sri Sri Krishna Balram, I realised something ticked inside me.  As I paid my obeisances, I felt Lord Balram asking me `will you stop doing `it’.’ He didn’t scold me or didn’t make me remember my problem, just said will I stop it.  In my own heart I replied to Him that I try sincerely but still lose control over my mind. I told Him if He were to hold my hand then I won’t do it again, ever. But He will have to promise me that He will not leave my hand. He replied in affirmative and gave me His hand to clasp. I held His hand and my obeisances were complete.

I was immediately cheerful, thankful and so full of energy. I wanted to sing, I wanted to dance and dance right there. Of course, the hall was full to its capacity and everyone was jostling to take their Lordship’s Darshan. I went outside the temple and  bought a pair of garlands, offered it to Sri Krishna and Sri Balram with my deepest feelings of gratitude. I then paid my obeisances to Srila Prabhupada, thanked him profusely for such good association all around me and came out a changed man.

I have resolved to keep my promise to Lord Balram and would not dare to spoil my new found friendship with Him, not the least at the cost of my roving rascal mind. I will never ever leave His hand.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

My Sadhna Bhakti

baby steps in Krishna consciousness

riding in the waves of `maya’,

My feet firmly fixed in the material world,

mind always looking for an excuse to stay away from Krishna,

I wonder if remembering Krishna’s name at the time of death

is my only hope,

No anarth Nivrtti, no taste, no bhava, for me………….ever.

Posted by Giriraj Das on April 15,2013 at 4:35pm ( This was my first post on )

Elephant’s bathing

Some days I really feel sad at my weak self control as I fall again and again from whatever baby steps I take in my sadhna Bhakti. Outside I may take bath twice a day but inside I am full of worst what material nature has to offer. And I do feel very sad after failing to control my mind. But what good is that atonement.

in SB 6.1.9 Pariksit Maharaja says: One may know that sinful activity is injurious for him because he actually sees that a criminal is punished by the government and rebuked by people in general and because he hears from scriptures and learned scholars that one is thrown into hellish conditions in the next life for committing sinful acts. Nevertheless, in spite of such knowledge, one is forced to commit sins again and again, even after performing acts of atonement. Therefore, what is the value of such atonement?

He further adds in 6.1.10: Sometimes one who is very alert so as not to commit sinful acts is victimized by sinful life again. I therefore consider this process of repeated sinning and atoning to be useless. It is like the bathing of an elephant, for an elephant cleanses itself by taking a full bath, but then throws dust over its head and body as soon as it returns to the land.

So this is it, my feeling guilty after committing a mistake, is like an elephant’s bath.  And I am so unfortunate that even after getting association of devotees I still can not control it and I continue to fall again and then again. Somedays I just feel helpless in front my mind, inspite of knowing what is good and what is not at all good for my sadhna bhakti.

I can only humbly pray to my spiritual master and to Srila Prabhupada to please give me strength so that I can control my mind; with my own strength and practice I can not reach anywhere in my spiritual journey, this is confirmed.

And I may be the best candidate for their mercy as they won’t get a more fallen person than me.

  • Posted by Giriraj Das on August 20,2013 at 8:12pm