His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari
2005 Vyasa Puja eBook
Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.
namo om vishu padaya krishna prestaya bhutale
I offer my respectful obeisances unto His Divine Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari, who is very dear to Lord Krishna, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.
" By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master."
Srila Gurudev, every year whenever I write the Vyas Puja offering I cannot but just keep thanking you for the mercy you shower on us, but this year is the most auspicious, the year in which I got my 2nd initiation.
brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
“According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. By the mercy of both Krishna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.”
I remember you sent me this mail to encourage me to take initiation
Sub: The Necessity of Initiation
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Please note the following quotation from Srila Prabhupada given in his purport to the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila, Chapter 1, Text 35:
"One should always remember that a person who is reluctant to accept a spiritual master and be initiated is sure to be baffled in his endeavor to go back to Godhead. One who is not properly initiated may present himself as a great devotee, but in fact he is sure to encounter many stumbling blocks on his path of progress toward spiritual realization, with the result that he must continue his term of material existence without relief. Such a helpless person is compared to a ship without a rudder, for such a ship can never reach its destination. It is imperative, therefore, that one accept a spiritual master if he at all desires to gain the favor of the Lord.
We can see from the above purport that if one stubbornly refuses to accept initiation that they will continue in the cycle of birth and death without going back to Godhead. We can also see that if one refuses initiation that he will not receive the mercy of the Lord.
You are welcome to directly study this quote yourself when you come to the center. It is in the first volume of the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita.
Hoping this meets you well,
Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Today when I look back I feel I have wasted so much time not listening to you the first time, my life is so better now, I am much happier and peaceful. It took me so long to understand though you kept repeating this, had you not patiently preached and cared for me I would be completely lost. My fortune is boundless to have your grace.
Srila Gurudev we very dearly miss your presence in the temple as you have started to travel more and more, though we are aware that others are immensely benefiting by your traveling.
Srila Gurudev, please bless me that I will remain your menial servant forever and not leave you even for a moment.
Menial Servant at your Lotus Feet
Dear Srila Gurudeva,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
When I was reading this verse from Bhagavad Gita 10.9, "The thoughts of my pure devotees dwell in me, their lives are fully devoted my service , and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about me", I remembered you Srila Gurudeva. This verse is the perfect description about you although please forgive me as I am no one to judge you but that's what I feel about you Srila Gurudeva .
During my last trip serving you Gurudeva I have never seen you wasting even a second on mundane things. Whenever you would talk, it would be related to bhakti or Krishna and no other talk even though I used to always talk everything else but Krishna consciousness.
I have seen you, Gurudeva, personally working continuously on your laptop day in and day out, answering the questions asked by your E-Students. One thing I would like to share is that when we came back from Govardhana Parikrama, I was really very tired and I went to sleep, but you, Gurudeva, went back to your usual work and started answering questions on your laptop.
When we were returning from Jaipur to Vrindavan I was sleeping in the Qualis that too in the morning but Gurudeva engaged me and my brother into a debate and we started discussing Krishna Consciousness. That’s how Gurudeva used to engage me in Krishna consciousness although I always trouble him.
I would like to say that last year trip with you was one the most enlightening trips of my life till now I would serve you more and more in the future. Because of you I got the most rarest of rarest knowledge that is Raja Vidya.
Please allow me to leave.
Yours Eternal servant,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Your eternal servant,
Advaita Chandra das
My dear Srila Gurudeva,
My Dear Father Srila Gurudeva,
Please accept my most humble obeisances on this auspicious day of of your divine appearance.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada and all glories to your divine grace!
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate Sankarshan Das Adhikari iti namine
nama om visnu-padaya krsna-presthaya bhu-tale
srimate bhaktivedanta-svamin iti namine
On this auspicious day of your Vyas Puja celebration, I offer my dandavat to the dust of your lotus feet. Lord Krishna says that one should approach a bonafide Spiritual Master for becoming self realized. But, you approached me in my life while I was searching for a Guru. It is all because of the unlimited compassion that you had over a fallen conditioned soul like me. I feel very blessed to have taken part in your pastimes during your North American Preaching Tour, 2005, where I could clearly see face to face how you elevated thousands of souls by giving them Krishna Consciousness. I took one step towards you and you took 100 steps towards me and helped me come out of my difficulties in Krishna Consciousness. You give constant guidance to any question we (disciples and E-Students) ask you. Sometimes I feel, "I don't deserve this special mercy". Now that I am trapped by your mercy, I pray at to the dust of your lotus feet, that I become a good instrument in your hands and become a sold out slave of your Divine Grace. Your mercy is most important to me than anything else, "How can I understand Krishna or Srila Prabhupada, without your blessings and guidance? You always stress about "Pure Devotional Service" and that sound vibration has imprinted in my heart. It is now my duty to strive for pure devotion and serve you in your mission of spreading the message of Lord Krishna.
Thank you very much, Srila Gurudeva,
Your aspiring servant and son,
Bhaktivinode DasTop of Page
My very very dear Srila Gurudeva,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and All Glories to you
Today I cannot contain my tears, my Love for you is so so deep and strong and I miss you so so much, I dont know what to do...
On this very special day of your appearance day, I miss you even more then before.
My heart and soul is with you at every second and I worship every single second I can read your Emails. or listen to your class or just close my eyes and remember all the Love and protection that come from your instructions to me.
I am for ever your eternal servant and I hope and pray that for ever Krsna will keep me as your servant. I owe you my life and every single good things that comes to me and Janaki.
Please never ever forget about me and keep me always at your Lotus feet, which are my only shelter. I feel so much Love coming from you even if we are physically far, I feel closer to you then ever and I try to serve you here by serving the community of wonderful devotees that live here at Saranagati.
We have many different programs many times a week its wonderful.
And all that I owe to you and your Mercy towards your most fallen disciple.
I Love you so so much with all my heart for ever and ever...
Thank you for being my very very special father, I Love you
your eternal servant,
Guru Carana Padma devi dasi
My Dearest Srila Gurudeva,
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and you.
I read that Srila Prabhupada once said: '"My guru is no ordinary guru. He saved me." I feel the same way about you and Mataji.
After traversing a desert world of atheists, impersonalists, and voidists, I thank you with all of my heart for bringing love of God back into my life. Through your eyes and teachings I have been able to see just how lovely, wonderful and kind Krishna , or God really is, and love Him By your mercy, you have installed Radha and Krishna in my heart. You and Mataji have made my heart blossom again. My most humble and grateful obeisances to you.
Your servant and disciple,
Jambavati devi dasi
Our Spiritual Master: Ocean of Mercy, Friend of the Poor, Lord and Master of the Devotees
In loving appreciation of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan das Adhikari on his 59th appearance day, the 10th day of Kartika
* * *
“O best among the brahmanas, those who are spiritual masters are very kind to the needy. They are always kind to their followers, disciples and sons, and without being asked by them, they describe all that is knowledge.” [SB 3.7.36]
* * *
As I sit down to write this Vyas-puja homage to my spiritual master, I find myself overtaken by my inability to do this task justice, entrapped as I am within the snare of material nature. Feeling lost to offering anything beyond my own personal reference, it is here that I have to begin.
“Dear Srila Gurudeva . . .”
I, like thousands of others, first came in contact with His Grace Sankarshan das Adhikari through his self-realization e-course. It was about two months after I had picked up a copy of Bhagavad-gita As It Is from a young brahmacari on the corner of Clark and Belmont in Chicago. I was all but finished reading the Gita, having already effectively surrendered to Srila Prabhupada’s words from the first night I started reading. Everything had happened so fast. I had just tried visiting the local temple for the Sunday Feast, but was somehow hit by a kind of trauma that I can’t readily explain. At the bottom of it all, I had gone to the temple in search of a teacher, knowing how the Bhagavad-gita instructs us all to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master in a bona fide disciplic succession. The devotee who so kindly showed me around that evening told me that unfortunately there were no sannyasis there at the time; at that point I was more or less left hanging. All in all, this wasn’t working out, and given the way I had reacted to everything, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to drag myself back.
The self-perceived failure of my visit really hit me the next day, when I found myself sitting idle at work feeling the deepest and most profound sense of emptiness I had ever known. I already knew how I’d lost interest in anything the material world had to offer; but now I had come to feel, at a level more real than anything in space and time, how totally lost I was to any real connection with life or even with mundane living. It was at that point that I snatched the chance to start surfing the internet (against policy if not practice in my workplace) for anything “Krishna.” I don’t remember how I clicked on the Ultimate Self-Realization Course home page – it wasn’t the first thing I found - but I did. I read the information, saw Gurudeva’s picture and signature, and took it as just the thing I needed. I didn’t think twice - I signed up immediately.
I started studying the Weekly Lessons and reading the Daily Thoughts with great attention. I had no computer at home, so I had to go to an internet café in order to spend anything more than a couple of minutes of stolen time with the course. It took me a solid month to get up the courage to write to Gurudeva; in the meantime I had procured some japa beads and had begun chanting. When I finally did write, it was while I was at work – under pressure of time and possibly getting ‘caught’ with some very heavy communication. But I was serious and needed some good consultation. Everything I had seen up to that point convinced me that Gurudeva was legitimate: the knowledge he was presenting was in perfect accord with the Bhagavad-gita and everything I had read from Prabhupada up to that point. And his instruction was so clear - moreover, it was so deeply fulfilling to read and understand. Gurudeva’s words soaked in just like Prabhupada’s did. I was willing to listen and to follow whatever Gurudeva had to tell me.
Where do we go from here?
I had written to Gurudeva as an anonymous stranger, one of many thousands who were receiving the course. I expected to get a response akin to a form letter, although I didn’t really care – I could understand the ‘reality’ of the situation, after all. But the response I got was probably the most personal response I have ever gotten from any human being. That was the way it felt to me, and I was so amazed. Gurudeva actually listened to me and carefully addressed each one of my concerns. Especially notable to me was the kindness he projected. This was a real exchange; even more than that, it was a total act of spiritual charity given freely to the most wretched and hopeless of living entities. Looking back on it, I realize that the words were simply straightforward and informative; but something in them was different. It’s not anything that could be rhetorically analyzed – in fact, to ‘explain’ it from that perspective would only cloak the reality.
Srila Gurudeva is a Gaudiya Vaisnava master and disciple of Srila Prabhupada – definitely of quality lineage. Now there are many disciples of Srila Prabhupada who can impart the Vedic knowledge to us, often with great wisdom and clarity. So how do we, the aspiring devotees, choose a spiritual master? There are, of course, many factors to take into consideration, and the Vaisnava acaryas give us plenty of guidance to this end. For me, one general answer is suggested through a verse from Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s song Sri Sri Gurvastaka:
"By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master one cannot make any advancement."
Of course we need to find a guru who understands the Vaisnava philosophy, who can impart the knowledge to others, who exercises the Vedic wisdom in his own life . . . But ultimately, after the other qualifications are met, mercy is going to be the deciding factor. We must receive the undeserved mercy of the spiritual master in order to begin our own journey back to Godhead. Practically speaking, this is how we ‘choose’ a guru: by the fact of spiritual nature (and a bit of insight) we give ourselves over to the one who is giving us his mercy.
Over the course of several months’ association, this is just what Srila Gurudeva had so unbelievably given me: mercy. For as much as he inspired me or encouraged me to continue through all circumstances, I cannot say that I ‘chose’ him - as if I were in the marketplace, shopping for a guru as if I were looking for a piece of jewelry – rather, through his mercy, he chose me. With all my difficulties, all my karma, all my particular entrapment . . . Gurudeva has never, ever rejected me or written me off as anything less than able, with proper application, to become a true, pure devotee of God. Krishna and Prabhupada led me to him, and he has not sold out on Krishna, on Prabhupada, or on me, even though I was born nothing ‘better’ than a mleccha female from the nation known most notoriously for its materialism. How can I begin to repay him? All he is asking is that we try with all our hearts to become pure devotees of God. All I can do is follow his lead and become a pure devotee of God – he is showing me that beyond anything else, this is the one thing that I should do, could do, and must do sooner or later.
Witness to the Words
The acaryas give us so many points to consider when evaluating whether or not one is a qualified, bona fide guru. Sannayasa is not one of them, nor is age, ethnicity, fame, number of followers, or any particular material talent. I could produce a list of qualifications for your consideration, but I would rather point to a few of the more subtle qualities.
Srila Prabhupada has left us with a tremendous body of Vedic knowledge, imbued with wisdom stemming from his own position as a pure devotee and realized soul. Yet two of the most essential ingredients of his success – particularly with those of us from Western backgrounds – were his qualities of humility, love and devotion. By testimony of anyone who knew him when he was on this planet, and even by recognition of anyone who reads records of his dealings with disciples, the power of his message was in his example: as a determined and unwavering disciple of his spiritual master; as a loving spiritual father to his disciples, one who never saw anyone as too ‘low’ to be saved; as a soul absolutely and totally dedicated as a puppet in the hands of his Lord, Sri Krishna.
Throughout my association with Gurudeva, I have noted how he is showing us these very same qualities. In this sense, he is truly one of Prabhupada’s dearest sons. His compassion and positive desire to deliver the science of bhakti and Krishna to anyone who wants the Truth is evident in the facts of his everyday life: just see how he answers all of our emails, each one as carefully and personally as another; how he goes out of his way to give us his face-to-face association; how he does everything he can to communicate the message of the Vedas to everyone, regardless of their ‘qualification.’ See how freely he is giving us this blessing, in the true spirit of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, without regard for his own material comfort or convenience. I have experienced all of this directly. Also like Prabhupada, Gurudeva’s genuine humility, even though he has assumed the authoritative and dominating role of the master, is so inspiring; and his complete devotion to his spiritual master is demonstrating to us one of the most essential, practical lessons we as devotees can learn. I have experienced these things directly as well. And Gurudeva doesn’t just tell us what we should know. He shares his life with us, all over the world, just to help us understand demonstrably what it means to be a true Vaisnava – to put real knowledge, intelligence and compassion into action.
Beyond the Words
Association with Gurudeva has more power than that of simple communication. Not too long ago I recall receiving an email from him in response to a question I had asked. As I read the answer, I perceived directly the answer to another question I had not thought to ask – simultaneously, right as I was reading. At other times I have been blessed with the benefit of ‘answers’ simply by writing, period – at the click of the “send” button! So why can’t I write any more than I do? How does Gurudeva tolerate the fact that I am nuts?
The first time I actually spoke with Gurudeva, I could sense immediately, even over the telephone, that he did not carry the dense cover of material entrapment - the heavy, lacquer-like coating of anxiety, defensiveness, and falsity - that covers almost every human being. His words felt like they were coming directly from the unaffected spirit; his entire projection was life-infusing. His personal presence is like bright sunshine gracing an otherwise dark and confining room. His outlook is always positive because it comes from a true, philosophical perspective. Whatever may be happening at ground level, Gurudeva doesn’t waste time struggling with the snares of Maya on her own terms. And perhaps more notably than anything, he somehow projects a sense of unconditional love, even to the most entangled and disturbed of souls.
This is my experience of Srila Gurudeva. He has given me the chance to become a true devotee of Krishna and is continuing to do so with personal love and affection beyond any ordinary understanding. I only hope I can reciprocate by carrying out this destiny.
One unworthy servant,
Labangalatika devi dasi
Dear Srila Gurudeva,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I apologize for the delay in mailing this as I had it marked from last year that your appearance day was on November 7th. Yet, another indication, that I am undeserving to even be given an opportunity to serve you, as I can't even properly observe your appearance day.
Although I may have been ignorant of today being your Vyasa Puja, I can honestly say there is never a day that goes by that I do not worship you. I am constantly remembering bits and pieces of your lectures and guidance, as well as, various times I have been lucky enough to spend in your presence, trying to relish every moment, realizing how I deserve none of this.
Without your mercy, I would be nowhere. The other day I was writing an entry in my blog, trying to figure out what mercy truly means to me on a personal level.
Basically it came down to the fact that for me you are mercy personified, in the sense that without your going out of your way to drag me out of the completely degraded state that I was in, and still am in to a certain extent, I wouldn't even be chanting japa today.
If you wish to read the whole blog entry:
I know I'm not the only one who can say that. You have helped pull so many people from the darkness of ignorance, surely Srila Prabhupada must be pleased by your service and how you are so nicely spreading Lord Caitanya's movement around the world. You are a spiritual revolutionary in the sense that you are able to take such a seemingly mundane thing as the internet and turn it into a transcendental brhad mrdanga vibrating the glories of Krishna and Srila Prabhupada all around the world.
It never ceases to amaze me the level of enthusiasm you are able to constantly maintain throughout all sorts of situations/ circumstances, how you can factually see everything as the mercy of Krishna. You are truly a great acarya, teaching all of your disciples and students by the example you are setting for us, as to what it really means to be a pure devotee. You have such great compassion and love for each and every one of us, no matter what our circumstances or hang ups may be you treat us all like your beloved children.
I know no matter how much service I try to do I can never even come close to repaying you for all you have done for me, at every moment you are saving me from the darkness of ignorance. My service is so insignificant anyway, I could be doing much more. My attempts are not enough, not just in the case of personal service, but cultivating my Krishna consciousness. You have led me to the water but, I know its up to me to take the drink.
There is nothing I can actually offer you that has any worth as you already possess pure Krishna-bhakti which is the only thing that is of any real value anyway. I can however, make a humble attempt to try to wholeheartedly take this process of Krishna consciousness that you have given me, as seriously as possible, working towards trying to make my every, thought, word and deed, one that is pleasing to you.
Although, therein I am a pauper as well as, I know that any progress I make is solely the result of your causeless mercy and blessings.
The essence of all I am saying is "All glories to you, Srila Gurudeva". I hope that you continue to inundate the entire world with Krishna prema through your ecstatic preaching as you have been doing.
Please let me know if there is any way I can be of service to you.
Your humble servant,
Radhapriya devi dasi
om ajnana-timirandhasya jnanajnana-salakaya caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah
namo om vishnu padaya Krishna-presthaya vu-tale Srimate Sankarshan Das Adhikari iti namine
O dear Srila Gurudeva, O Eternal Father, O Grandsire of Transcendental Knowledge, and O Reservoir of The Most Munificent Benedictions,
On this most auspicious day of your appearance on planet earth, I would like to offer you my heartfelt thanks along with some humble words of praise.
My most beloved Srila Gurudeva, you are the pivotal point of my life, your pleasure is the pivotal purpose of my life, and your causeless mercy is the pivotal sustaining pillar of my whole existence. Except you, there is no one to whom I can offer my heart fully and be certain that it will not be broken. You alone are worthy of my love and worship. You alone can satisfy all of my desires.
But, still, I am the most lowly and unhappy pest crawling in the lap of Mayadevi, because I have not done a darn thing to make you proud and happy.
I am a pompous and defiant speaker. I speak big, and make big plans, but I don't have the heart to carry it through. My heart is shackled in the modes of passion and ignorance. Please, Srila Gurudeva, please, I beg you to release me from this nescience, and engage me in the service of the Epitome of Sweetness, Lord Damodara. My dear Srila Gurudeva, when will that day be mine when I will be following in your footsteps and chanting and dancing in the ecstasy of the Holy Names, spreading it all around?
My dear Srila Gurudeva, on this most auspicious moment of my life, I would like to inform you that I have finally started taking heed of your instructions. In one of your current responses to my e-mails you have instructed me to dissolve my life in chanting the Holy Names, reading Srila Prabhupada's books, associating and serving the devotees, and preaching whenever I can. By your divine grace these instructions are taking root in my heart. I chant the Holy Names quite intently these days, I have started studying the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is from the very beginning, I try to serve the devotees very sincerely, and definitely I will preach by your mercy whenever I can.
Thank you very much,
A servant of your servants,
My Dear Srila Gurudeva,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to you. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
guru caitanyera dasa
"Although I know that my spiritual master is a servitor of Sri Caitanya, I know him also as a plenary manifestation of the Lord. "
I am most fortunate to have found shelter at the lotus feet of a bonafide spiritual master. Krishna has kindly manifested Himself to me in the form of boundless, fathomless, dizzying mercy. Although I am a fool and a rascal I have been blessed with the essential advantage of Sri Guru whom I must serve. It is the perfect system -- service to Sri Guru will bring spiritual advancement but more important is the attachment to His lotus feet which is a sweet, loving relationship. Sweet, loving personal relationships are the natural food of the soul and help to get it unhooked from the poison of sense gratification. Thank you, Srila Gurudeva. By your grace I am understanding so many things and am able to share it with others despite my disqualifications. And I see the real love flowing. If you forever keep me as your humble instrument, I will never have anything else to ask for. When will I serve you perfectly? I count the seconds but I am sure that time will come eventually, if I am serious and if it is your wish.
On the auspicious occasion of your Sri Vyasa Puja I offer you my most humble obeisances and the very humble offering of foodstuffs (fruit, panir and zucchini and wild squash subji, channa-whey bread, and a cool rice drink), nag champa incense, a beautiful magenta flower with a yellow inside, and a ghee lamp. Please forgive my constant rampant offenses and bless me that I may serve you instead of illusion.
your unworthy aspiring servant,
Vilasini devi dasi