The joy of Initiation

Hare Krishna and Dandavat Pranam.

All Glories to Sri Sri Gauranga, Srila Prabhupada and Gurudev.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

It is so wonderful to receive Giriraj Prabhu’s email detailing ecstatic moments spent in Ujjain during Nityanand Tryodashi 2014. I was really touched as Prabhuji was so excited (genuinely) that 3 devotees are getting initiated from Gurgaon. With Prabhuji, I really understood the meaning of true friend…infact there is nothing in this world like devotee friend as they are friend in true sense.

I will now jump to Gurudev’s meeting with 8 of us on 11th Feb at 3pm – a day before initiation. It was so touching. Maharaj first welcomed all of us asking if we are all comfortable. Then he stated very lovingly that we have to take sadhana bhakti even more seriously and if we make any mistakes then he shall chastise us. To be honest even the word chastise felt like love. Since we have all been accustomed to Guru Maharaj’s ever smiling and loving gestures, there was a bit of question in everyone’s eyes. Guru Maharaj then explained: “When I was a young boy (10-12yrs), I had few servants and one of them was head servant (30-35yrs) who was quite strict with me. Even I was scared of him as all servants used to listen to him and he used to bossify over me too. I was scared of him as the head servant was very close to my father and he used share every detail with my father.” Then Guru Maharaj closed his eyes a bit and said: “I am like that servant who may chastise YOU – “the children of Krishna” so that u are in the right path as per instructions of Krishna. You are Krishna’s children and I am his servant. I am just doing my duty of serving Krishna so you have to listen to me.”

My heart melted and then Guru Maharaj went on: “However every evening around 7:30-8pm, the head servant would take me on his shoulder and give me a ride. I was fascinated by the moon and was bewildered that moon is walking with me. My head servant used to say – I and Moon love you a lot….wherever you will go, we will follow u. Just like that servant, I will always love you and I will be always with you as I am just a servant helping you to go back to Prabhupad who will take you to Krishna.”

Listening to this, my eyes swelled with tears. His humility, surrender and love was unparallel…I have never heard such profound statement and realization from such an example. My throat was wet and I paid my humble obeisances. I gathered myself and said: “I am such a fallen soul and you are taking my demonic karma that I am feeling downcast. You are so loving and humble and I am so sorry that I have done such bad karmas. I promise that I will never ever do it again knowingly” and begged for forgiveness. I really wanted to cry as I was filled with gratitude that such an exalted, loving and realized soul has accepted to be my Guru. I can never ever forget this incident in my life and feeling of my surrender knew no bounds.

Then on the next day, the initiation started whereby Guru Maharaj patiently made us understand the importance of Diksha and made us promise of following 4 regulative principles, 16 rounds and avoid 10 offences. Then he was about to say our initiated name. Like a small boy, I waited pressing my ears, waiting anxiously and he said: “Shyam Sunder Krishna Das”…I was thrilled. I had never imagined such a beautiful name…I could relate instantaneously to the deity “Radha Shyam sunder” of Vrindavan ISKCON temple and the main Radha Shyam sunder deity gifted by Radha Rani to Shyamsunder prabhu. Guru Maharaj then explained the meaning: “All beautiful Lord Krishna.” After sometime, I smiled because in my first meeting with Guru Maharaj (3 yrs back), when I had asked him the meaning of Bhakti Charu, he responded: “Charu=Beautiful; Bhakti=devotion, so it means beautiful in devotion.”

sumeet initiation 2

When the ceremony ended, I was in pure ecstasy to get such a merciful Guru. I sat in my room and wanted to chant the rounds on beads touched by Guru Maharaj. I was inquisitive to touch the beads touched by Guru Maharaj. Like a child I could feel his touch in beads. It was so inspirational.

sumeet initiation 11

After one round, my wife: Shilpi asked me how I am feeling? I said: I am feeling – joyful, ecstasy, liberated, humbled, full of gratitude and more importantly determined and resolute to succeed in spiritual life. Many devotees used to discuss before “how important it is to get initiated?” I sincerely request one must get serious in spiritual life and surely get initiated as its the best moment of one’s life…

I want to thank most profusely – HH Janananda Maharaj who taught me how to chant 16 rounds when I was not able to move beyond 10 rounds. He also taught me simplicity and servitude mood.

I also want to thank few devotees who really helped me to reach here – Ajay Prabhu (Burijana Prabhu aspiring disciple) who introduced me to Krishna Consciousness and HG Dayananda Prabhu from Australia, my loving brother – HG Vishnu Yagna Prabhu in Jaipur who introduced me to Guru Maharaj and guided me selflessly; HG Mukund Murari Prabhu who removed lot of cobwebs when my mind was cluttered how to select Guru; HG Achyut Hari Prabhu who helped me to get association in Gurgaon; HG Giriraj Prabhu who is my best friend and true love relationship and my wife Shilpi who is more pure than me and was constant companion in serving all senior Vaishnavas and Sanniyasis.

This was such powerful moment that even writing this I am feeling again very high and rejuvenated….Pls pray for me that I keep serving you all; I imbibe same love that our Guru Maharaj has for everyone, I do not offend anyone and that my attachment to Guru, His Godbrothers, Vaishnavas and eventually Lord keeps increasing..

Guru Dev ki Jai!

Samved Bhakt Vrind ki Jai…

Very fallen and menial servant,

Shyam Sunder Krishna Das

Kirtan Mela at Ujjain

Hare Krishna.

11th Feb, 2014, Ujjain.


A trip to Ujjain is always very special. This time the trip had multiple causes. Firstly I had got initiated on Nityananda Trayodasi last year and I wanted to be with Guru Maharaj on this day. The second, far more joyous, reason was that my very dear friend, mentor and elder brother Sumeet Prabhu was going to get initiated along with two other senior devotees from Gurgaon, Pawan Prabhu and Pooja Mataji, on the same day. Thirdly there was a Kirtan mela at Ujjain temple and we would be able to attend atleast the 3rd day.

We reached Ujjain on 11th morning. I was fortunate to get a chance to travel with Sumeet Prabhu and his family and during the trip, as always, he subtly taught me many things. As a bonus HG Radhe Shyam Prabuji too travelled with us and in the morning I did chanted sitting with him for 3 hours. I was very inspired by his calm face and how he did his chanting with eyes closed and chanting softly. I tried to copy him by trying to close my eyes and chant but could not hold my eyes close for a more than few minutes before something or other will break my concentration. But I am going to try practicing it once I am back home.

Whenever I come to any ISKCON temple I feel like a girl who has come back to her parent’s home, her `mayakaa’. As soon we reached Pooja mataji called us to hurry up as HH BB Govinda Maharaj was playing for the last time before leaving Ujjain. I hurried and reached in time to hear maharaj live for the first time, HG Madhava Prabhu and his team were playing the musical instruments. The temple hall was almost full.


What a performance, it usually takes me some time to get `tuned’ into a Kirtan, especially if it is a large performance. It was within seconds that I was totally immersed in the kirtan. Maharaj has such a deep and powerful voice, after a few minutes I felt purified as if I have taken a bath in the Ganges river. The whole experience was awesome ! I sang so loudly that many a times my lungs and throat protested at such sudden enthusiasm ! It was food for my soul. After a while HH Chandramauli Swami Maharaja started dancing, he danced like a well trained dancer, dancing for the pleasure of Sri Radha Madanmohan. I felt the devdasi would similarly dance in front of Lord Jagannath. Then few more devotees followed Maharaj and then few more and in a short span the whole temple was dancing in sheer ecstasy of the Hole Name.

All glories to HH Bhakti Bhringa Govinda Swami Maharaja !

Guru Maharaj came towards the end of maharaj’s kirtan, and once the kirtan was over, Guru Maharaj glorified HH BB Govinda Maharaj profusely and praised his preaching and kirtan programs all over the world. HH BB Govinda Maharaj, who was leaving for Bangladesh, too glorified Guru Maharaj. He complimented Guru Maharaj . He complimented Guru Maharaj on the magnificent temple, beautiful Deities, top class service for the Deities and then added that he has never tasted a more delicious prasadam, as he had in last 3 days, in any temple all over the ISKCON world ! He also agreed to Guru Maharaj’s request to visit Ujjain again. They both hugged each other with such affection that it brought spontaneous clapping and Hari Bol from all devotees.


It was prasdam time and I was quite hungry. We had a sumptuous prasadam at the temple food hall with first class food and wonderful hospitality by local devotees. I also caught up with senior devotees from Jaipur Murari Prabhu and Vineet Prabhu, Mukunda Prabhu, so many Brahmachari’s from the temple and yet some more familiar devotees from all across the world. In just few hours I had completely forgotten that I even have a material life!

The next session started at 4pm. By the time I entered the temple hall it was already 5pm and  HH Chandramauli Swami Maharaja was doing the Kirtan. After his excellent Kirtan for an hour it was the turn of HG Madhav Prabhu to perform.

If HH BB Govinda Maharaj’s kirtan was like taking a dip in Ganges than Prabhuji’s kirtan was like being transported straight to Vrindavan. He sang slow, deep and with so much heart into it that I almost cried while singing in the Kirtan. Prabhuji has a special mercy of Aindra Prabhu on him.


All glories to HG Madhav Prabhu and his team members.

photo 1

I was trying to click the above picture of a devotee deep in the trance of Holy name when I heard a flurry of activity on my right side. I could see in the camera frame itself that devotees were turning to greet someone. As I hastily turned, and my phone shook to get the above hazy picture, I saw Guru Maharaj walking in with his ever enchanting smile.

Guru Maharaj was back in the temple ! After HG Madhav Prabhuji’s kirtan was over Guru Maharaj glorified and thanked him for such wonderful kirtan and how they are so popular throughout the world. They too were all praise for Guru Maharaj and the temple.

The Last session of the Kirtan Mela was led by Guru Maharaj. What can one say now! Guru Maharaj started with a slow pace and then picked up the beats. For the fourth time in the day the whole temple was again dancing jubilantly. Devotees won’t let Guru Maharaj stop the Kirtan! Children, women, elders, everyone was dancing on the tune of Guru Maharaj.


After the ecstatic kirtan Guru Maharaj gave a brief but serious lecture on the importance of Hari Nama. He said that the whole purpose of organising the Kirtan mela was to attract people to chant of the Holy name of the Lord.

By hearing just one full day of kirtana I felt as if my soul is satiated till its very core.

It was already 9.15 pm and we all had another dose of sumptuous prasadam. After spending some time with Vineet Prabhu, I retired to my room around 11.45pm.

All glories to the Kirtan mela.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

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.

Lasting impressions

Hare Krishna


I was talking with a close devotee friend, Sumeet Gupta Prabhuji, yesterday evening. While talking to him I realised how so many senior devotees have left their mark on me. I am sharing some of them to show my deep appreciation for them. And there are hundreds of others senior devotees in ISKCON from whom we get inspiration every day.

The first one to leave his imprint, continues to do it, HG Rukmini Krishna Das Prabhuji, he is the temple president of Sri Sri Radha Radhika Raman and Krishna Balram temple, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi. Let me admit that whatever little sadhna bhakti I have in me is all thanks to him. His lectures shaped me each time I listened to him and I was fortunate to be able to get his direct instructions which saved me many a times whenever I felt constrained or disturbed. The only good thing I have done in my spiritual life is to go to him and share whatever I felt inside me openly. Looking back, I can laugh at myself and my silly questions or agitations on small issues. He always heard me patiently and gave instructions which saved me from going astray. He takes class every Saturday and each lecture is a gem to be absorbed in heart and follow. The centre is one of the best in India and dedication to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON runs supreme.

Second is a short description. During my initial years I one day saw lots of hustle and bustle in Punjabi Bagh temple and I found someone special is visiting. I couldn’t get the name initially and listened to his lecture, it was mesmerising. I later told my wife, rather foolishly, that after listening to his lecture I felt like leaving everything and walking behind him. My wife suffered a lot of insecurity due to this foolish statement to her and she many a time would tell me that she dreams that one of the western devotees has taken her husband away with them J . Even today I remember the power and conviction his lecture had and I am sure that if he would stood up and asked who would like to dedicate his life to Krishna, I would have raised my hand. I can only imagine what effect Srila Prabhupada had on these young disciples. That person is HH Giriraj Swami Maharaj. I am most fortunate to be called his servant in my spiritual name.

Third one is very special, he gave me diksha this year in Feb, HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj. I met him two and a half years ago in Gurgaon, another good story for some other time as to how Krishna makes us meet our Guru. I paid my obeisances and my life was never the same again. I had know idea who he was, I just knew that he took my heart away with him. I could not keep him out of my thoughts and within days I pleaded with him to take me under his shelter and he took pity on me and accepted me as his son and disciple. He inspires me everyday and shapes me. Most of all he cemented my relationship with ISKCON as an organisation, my strong love and attachment for ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada today is all his mercy.

And the last on today’s list is HH Radha Govinda swami maharaj. What a speaker, what style of katha and so much rasa in every sentence, in every word. HG Karuna Chandra Das recommended listening to his lectures. He made me lose interest in philosophy and learn to absorb Krishna katha, from Bhishma stuti, Giriraj Dharan lila, Bali Maharaj, Prahalad Stuti….., each katha is dipped in love for Krishna. I hope to take his darshan very soon in Vrindavan Dham.

Today morning, at a Bhakti Vriksha seminar, I was told that we can only give what we have. If we have a grief then we can give grief , if we have anxiety then we can pass on anxiety and only if we have Krishna then we can offer Krishna consciousness to others. All these senior Vaisanavas gave me Krishna Consciousness, it is entirely my lack of receptiveness that I am still a neophyte. I should rather say that despite all my shortcomings and material propensities I still tasted Krishna’s nectar due to their pure consciousness.

I will write about my realisations from other senior Vaisanavas soon.

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

  • Posted by Giriraj Das on August 8,2013 at 5:26pm

My Guru Maharaj

My Guru is the very life of me.

He is Caitanaya MaharaPrabhu for me, though I am completely unqualified, he took me under his shelter

and told me my relationship with Krishna.

He is Sanatana Goswami for me, who has convinced me about this relationship.

He is Rupa Goswami for me, who is teaching me how to do my prescribed duties.

He is Raghunath Das Goswami for me, who is teaching me what is the goal of my life.

By his mercy alone I can dream of having, one day, the pure love of Krishna within my heart.

He is the one who can get me the `adhikar’ to serve Holy Dhama.

He is only one who will make me see Radha and Krishna in MahaPrabhu.

He will one day bring out my real spiritual self and give me the right to serve Krishna’s associates.

He will cut the knots of my false love and attachment with this material world.

I can just beg my Guru, and all the Vaishanavas, to bless me in my devotional service to develop Bhava.

  • Posted by Giriraj Das on May 19, 2013 at 9:15pm