Watering the Seed is an invaluable offering
to all aspirants on the path of devotion.
Inside you will find many wonderful
personal exchanges between Srila Prbhupada and his dear disciple Giriraj Swan who shares his realizations with the honest wisdom, and humility for which he is known and loved. He recounts how Lord Krishna’s
beloved gardener, Srila Prabhupada, toe
such great care to water the seed of devotion
within his heart.
You will be transported into Srila Prabhupada
intimate association during some of the me
historic moments of ISKCON's development
You will be given entrance into his private
quarters to witness his gentle fatherly 10
toward his young and sometimes perplexed
spiritual child. Srila Prabhupada's innocent
child like humor will bring joy to your heal
You will see how he, in his compassion for t.
conditioned souls, overcomes all opposition
with unrelenting determination and fait
You will hear Srila Prabhupada's spontaneous
philosophical perspectives both in times
crisis and in everyday life.
In 1965 His Divine Grace A. C. Bhak
vedanta Swami Prabhupada embarked upon
a mission that would fulfill an ancient, Iongawaited prophecy. His spirit of selfless compassion
passion will be imprinted forever upon the
pages of religious history. Those illustrious
souls who stepped forward to sacrifice the
lives to help Srila Prabhupada became the
dearmost recipients of his priceless blessing
his Holiness Giriraj Swami is one such shining
jewel in the necklace of Sri la Prabhupada
Giriraj Swami is a spiritual leader and initiating
guru in the International Society for
Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
He met his spiritual master, His Divine Grace
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, in
1969 and followed him to India, where he
made significant contributions to Srila Prabhupada's mission, most notably overseeing
the development of Hare Krishna Land in
Juhu, Bombay. Later he led the development
of the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Govardhana, and the Kirtan Ashram for women,
the Bhaktivedanta Hospice, and the Institute
of Palliative Care, in Vrindavan.
He was awarded sannyasa, the renounced
order of life, in 1978, became a member
of ISKCON's governing commission, and
oversaw the Society's activities in Bombay,
Mauritius, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Sri
Lanka, and Pakistan. He has preached extensively in India and throughout the world.
Giriraj Swami is now focused on Srila Prabhupada's personal instruction to him to
write. He has been a frequent contributor to
Back to Godhead magazine and is working on
several books and publications.
In 1965 His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Prabhupada embarked upon a mission that would fulfill an
ancient, long-awaited prophecy. His spirit of selfless compassion will be imprinted forever upon the pages of religious history. He spread the eternal message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through- out the world. By his words and example, Srila Prabhupada established that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that all living beings are His eternal servants, and that the ultimate perfection of life is to awaken pure love for Krsna through the sublime method of chanting His holy names. With tears in his eyes, Srila Prabhupada would appeal to his followers to assist
him in his divine service to humanity. Those illustrious souls
who stepped forward to sacrifice their lives to help Srila Prabhupada became the dear most recipients of his priceless blessings.
His Holiness Giriraj Swami Maharaja is one such shining jewel
in the necklace of Srila Prabhupada's beloved followers.
Giriraj Swami is the son of a well-known and respected
attorney, judge, philanthropist, and advocate for religious free- dom. In fact, to honor his father's contributions to jurisprudence and the community, Cook County, which includes Chicago, dedicated a courtroom in his name.
After graduating from a prestigious university in Boston,
Giriraj Swami dedicated his life to the path of pure devotion.
Renouncing the pleasures of material opulence and prestige,
he became one of the pioneers in Srila Prabhupada's mission in India.
Srila Prabhupada wanted to establish a temple for Sri Sri
Radha and Krsna in Bombay. There was no support. Giriraj Swami lived in sub-poverty conditions on a plot of land
infested with rats, mosquitoes, and life-threatening diseases.
Corrupt government officers and gangs of criminals were
creating continuous dangerous disturbances. Still, Giriraj
Swami remained faithful, lovingly enduring all obstacles to
please his spiritual master.
His father and mother came to India. They offered him
a million dollars if he would return home. But Giriraj Swami
replied that his service to Srila Prabhupada was a treasure
beyond all the wealth in the world.
Srila Prabhupada saw in Giriraj Swami a genuinely surrendered servant and thus invested him with immense responsibility and great trust. Srila Prabhupada offered him the rare gift of being one of his close personal associates.
Watering the Seed is an invaluable offering to all aspirants
on the path of devotion. In this book we will find many wonderful personal exchanges between Srila Prabhupada and his dear disciple. Giriraj Swami kindly shares his realizations with the honesty, wisdom, and humility for which he is known and loved. This book will transport us into Srila Prabhupada's intimate association during some of the most historic moments of ISKCON's development. We will be given entrance into his private quarters to see the beautiful human qualities of a world acarya from behind the scenes. We will witness his gentle fatherly love toward his young and sometimes perplexed spiritual child. At the same time, Srila Prabhupada's innocent childlike humor will bring joy to our hearts. We will see how Srila Prabhupada, in his compassion for the fallen, conditioned souls, overcomes all opposition with unrelenting determination and faith. Throughout these pages we will hear his spontane- ous philosophical perspectives both in times of crisis and in everyday life. Giriraj Swami recounts how Lord Krsna's beloved
gardener took such personal care to water the seed of devotion within his heart.
It is my great fortune to have the opportunity to write the
foreword to this book, which is the first in a series of publications by my dear god brother and friend. I pray that all who read watering the seed may be blessed with ever-increasing appreciation for Srila Prabhupada’s monumental contribution to our lives.
In April of 1969, when I heard Srila Prabhupada for the first
time, he explained that if we sow the seed of service to God
and water it with chanting, God will give us the sunlight to
help make it grow. I did not realize it at the time, but Srila
Prabhupada had just given me the seed of devotional service.
The process by which the spiritual master gives the seed of
devotional service to the disciple is explained in Sri Caitanya-
caritamrta (Madhya 19.151):
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
"Out of many millions of living entities wandering throughout
the universe, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krsna. By the mercy of both Krsna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service."
In his purport Srila Prabhupada elaborates: "Krsna is situated in everyone's heart, and if one desires something, Krsna fulfills one's desire. If the living entity by chance or fortune
comes in contact with the Krsna consciousness movement and wishes to associate with that movement, Krsna, who is situated in everyone's heart, gives him the chance to meet a bona fide spiritual master. ... Such a person is fortified by both Krsna and the spiritual master. He is helped from within by Krsna and from without by the spiritual master. ...
"Everyone has dormant krsna-bhakti-love for Krsna-and
in the association of good devotees, that love is revealed. As
stated in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 22.107):
nitya-siddha krisa-prema 'sadhya' kabhu naya
sravanadi-suddha-citte karaye udaya
"Dormant devotional service to Krsna is within everyone.
Simply by associating with devotees, hearing their good instructions, and chanting the Hare Krsna mantra, dormant love for Krsna is awakened. In this way one acquires the seed of devotional service."
The next verse continues:
mall hana kare sei blja aropana
sravansa-kirtana-jale karaye secana
"When a person receives the seed of devotional service, he
should take care of it by becoming a gardener and sowing the
seed in his heart. If he waters the seed gradually by the process of hearing and chanting, the seed will begin to sprout." (Cc Madhya 19.152)
Here Srila Prabhupada explains, "By the mercy of Krsna,
one meets the bona fide spiritual master, and by the mercy of the spiritual master, the disciple is fully trained in the devotional service of the Lord.
"Bhakti-lata-bija means 'the seed of devotional service.'
Everything has an original cause, or seed. For any idea, pro-
gram, plan, or device, there is first of all the contemplation of
the plan, and that is called bija, or the seed. The methods, rules, and regulations by which one is perfectly trained in devotional service constitute the bhakti-lata-bija, or seed of devotional service. This bhakti-lata-bija is received from the spiritual master by the grace of Krsna .... The bhakti-lata-bija can be received only through the mercy of the spiritual master. Therefore one has to satisfy the spiritual master to get the bhakti-lata-bija (yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadad). Unless one satisfies the spiritual master, he gets the bIja, or root cause, of karma, jnana, and yoga without the benefit of devotional service. However, one who is faithful to his spiritual master gets the bhakti-lata- bija ....
"After receiving the spiritual master's mercy, one must
repeat his instructions, and this is called sravana-kirtana-
hearing and chanting .... One has to water the bhakti-lata-bija
after receiving instructions from the spiritual master."
By Srila Prabhupada's mercy we received the seed of devotional service, and since then we have tried to water it by hearing and chanting about Krsna.
The present volume is a collection of my efforts to water
the original seed Srila Prabhupada gave me when we first met. Several disciples and friends suggested I publish a collection of anecdotes and articles about Srila Prabhupada and Krsna consciousness, including already-published as well as new material. I have endeavoured to glorify Krsna and His devotees for my own purification, to water my own bhakti-lata-bija. At the same time, if some spray or droplets of water touch the devotional creepers in your hearts-the hearts of the readers-I will consider my effort to be supremely successful.
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