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Thought for the Day

Featuring realizations and selected correspondence of
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Malaysia
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May There Be Good Fortune Throughout the Entire Universe

Malaysia has been an amazing experience for us. The Hare Krishna movement is flourishing like anything here with 32 vibrant, well-attended centers strategically located throughout the country. In our brief stay we visited only seven of them. Everywhere we went Mataji and I were given the red-carpet V.I.P. treatment with the sweetest, warmest hospitality.

I am writing this on Tuesday, November 29 as we are being driven from the north back down to the south to Sereban, which is south of Kuala Lumpur, where I will be giving an evening lecture. We are on the road for at least four hours today. This is a very good chance for me to catch up on answering my emails. I receive a steady flow of inquiries every day from all over the world. I am witnessing first hand that all over the world people are hungry for Krishna consciousness. They are tired of suffering within the cycle of birth and death.

This Krishna consciousness movement is a tidal wave of mercy that is spreading good fortune throughout the entire universe. It is the unlimited kindness of Srila Prabhupada to allow me to participate in this, the most sublime spiritual revolution in the history of the world, even though I am totally unfit to do so.

svasty astu visvasya khalah prasidatam
dhyayantu bhutani sivam mitho dhiya
manas ca bhadram bhajatad adhoksaje
avesyatam no matir apy ahaituki


"May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other's welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Sri Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him." Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.9

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Can Man Make Up a Religion?

Namaste. I wanted to know. Can man make up a religion, if it has love of God in it? Or must he be a qualified and pure messenger of God like Srila
Prabhupada was?

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Religion Can Only Be Given by God

Man cannot make up a religion. If a religious system is concocted it will not be effective in liberating its followers from the cycle of birth and death. It is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam that religion can be given only by God.

dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam  "Real religious principles can only be given by God."

Even though Srila Prabhupada is a most highly qualified and pure messenger of God, he did not make up a religion. He simply purely presents what Krishna is giving in the Bhagavad-gita.

If a postman delivers you a letter, you want to receive it in its original pure form. You do not want the postman to change it or concoct a letter that is supposedly from your friend when they factually wrote you something else. In the same way we must learn religion directly from God Himself in the Bhagavad-gita or from his pure messenger who does not adulterate it in any way. The highly qualified and pure messenger will deliver God's teachings to you in their original pure form without even a slight tinge of adulteration, 100% pure. In spiritual life 99.99% pure is not good enough. We must be following a system that is 100% pure if we want to go back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead  In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Malaysia
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Tasting the Deathless Nectar of Krishna Consciousness

Let's face it. Material existence is dry. What do you get in the ultimate issue in exchange for an entire lifetime of struggling hard to maintain your existence? You get nothing more than old age, disease, and death.  What's the point then of struggling so hard for nothing? There is no point. That is the point.

What we are really hankering for is amrita, deathless nectar. We want to always experience a sweetness which can never be impinged upon by any kind of material situation. We desire nothing short of a sort of happiness that goes on increasing more and more for all of eternity that cannot be restricted in any way even by death. That happiness is known as Krishna consciousness.

na kascin mriyate tavad
yavad asta ihantakah
etad-artham hi bhagavan
ahutah paramarsibhih
aho nr-loke piyeta
hari-lilamrtam vacah


"As long as Yamaraja, who causes everyone's death, is present here, no one shall meet with death. The great sages have invited the controller of death, Yamaraja, who is the representative of the Lord. Living beings who are under his grip should take advantage by hearing the deathless nectar in the form of this narration of the transcendental pastimes of the Lord." Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.8

Yesterday I tasted that deathless nectar in the association of my beloved Godbrother, His Holiness Bhakti Raghava Swami. It came as quite a surprise. It turned out that he was studying, writing, and preaching on an island just near to where I was stationed in northern Malaysia at the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center. The local devotees me informed me that he had invited me for lunch and that a driver was already arranged. (The island is connected to the mainland by a long bridge.)

When I arrived, as is the normal custom, we bowed down to each other offering our respectful obeisances. Then we warmly embraced and sat together talking on and on jumping from one Krishna conscious topic to another. The lunch was not ready at the time it was supposed to be because the gas for the stove ran out and more had to be obtained. This was not a problem because the conversation was a feast in itself. Our talk continued for well over an hour until finally is was topped it off with a wonderful lunch of many varieties of Krishna prasadam served with love by the local devotees.

Those two hours I spent with him were truly some of the sweetest moments of my entire life. I will always remember and cherish the memory of that day when I tasted deathless nectar in the association of His Holiness Bhakti Raghava Swami.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Receiving the Guru's Grace

1. Is it necessary to be in the presence of guru to receive the guru's grace? Is it irrelevant from the spiritual platform whether or not you are in physical contact?

2. How do you determine if grace has been received? How long does it take to receive grace and mercy?

Hare Krishna,

Bhakta Reese

PS- I am reading Srila Prabhupada's authorized biography.

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In a Fraction of a Second

The grace of a spiritual master can be received even if you are not in his physical presence. There are two ways in which the spiritual master is present. One form is his physical presence. In Sanskrit language this is called "vapuh." The other form is his vibrational presence of his instructions. This is called "vani." Of the two vani is more  important because access to vapuh is always limited by so many material considerations, while vani affords one unlimited eternal access to the spiritual master.

The spiritual master's grace is manifest in the form of the seed of bhakti which is planted in the heart. When you submissively hear from of a bona fide spiritual master that bhakti seed becomes planted in your heart. Then, if you want that seed to fructify into a full grown plant of love of Godhead, you must regularly water the seedling and keep the garden of your heart free from any weeds that can choke the bhakti plant.

The watering process is chanting Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds daily on japa beads. The weeds are:

1. Illicit sex life
2. Meat eating
3. Intoxication
4. Gambling

That grace can be received in a fraction of a second. As is confirmed in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

'sadhu-sanga', ‘sadhu-sanga' -- sarva-sastre kaya
lava-matra sadhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya


"The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by associating with a spiritual master for even one eleventh of a second one can achieve complete spiritual success."

I am very happy to hear that you are reading Srila Prabhupada's authorized biography. I am sure you must be feeling that you are swimming in an ocean of unlimited nectar.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, November 28, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Malaysia

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First Taiping and Then On to Seberang

It's Sunday at 12:35pm.  We have just finished a kirtan/lecture program at ISKCON's Taiping, Malaysia center.  It is indeed an inspiration to see devotees dedicated to cultivating Krishna consciousness and serving Srila Prabhupada's mission in such remote corners of the world.  It was a solid three hour drive through mountains and lush tropical forests to get here this morning from Kuala Lumpur.  After my hour lecture they served Mataji and I the most amazing breakfast.  Many of the preparations I had never tasted before.  Now we are on the road to an evening lecture at the Bhaktivedanta Cultural Center in Seberang, Malaysia.

Today I am forced to rise beyond a body that is feeling ill.  It is my duty to always be engaged in the topmost welfare activity of distributing Krishna consciousness all over the world. Srila Prabhupada describes this duty as follows in his purport to the Srimad Bhagavatam,

"The life of a sincere devotee of the Lord is thus explained in a nutshell by Narada Muni by his personal example. Such a devotee, after his initiation by the Lord or His bona fide representative, takes very seriously chanting of the glories of the Lord and traveling all over the world so that others may also hear the glories of the Lord. Such devotees have no desire for material gain. They are conducted by one single desire: to go back to Godhead. This awaits them in due course on quitting the material body. Because they have the highest aim of life, going back to Godhead, they are never envious of anyone, nor are they proud of being eligible to go back to Godhead. Their only business is to chant and remember the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord and, according to personal capacity, to distribute the message for others' welfare without motive of material gain." --Srila Prabhupada's purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.26

Whenever I get sick I take it as special blessing from Krishna to remind me that this material world is a place of misery and that my real home is in the spiritual world.  Such remembrances are very favorable for our spiritual advancement.  So I am trying to fully capitalize on this special mercy.

This morning I had been thinking it would be nice to drink a dob.  (A dob is a green coconut which is full of coconut water.  The dob merchant chops off the top of the coconut and  provides the customer with a straw to drink the coconut water.)  Without my saying a word the devotees asked me if I would like a dob.  I immediately accepted the offer.  Rajashyama Prabhu pulled the van over and stopped in front of a roadside dob merchant's stand.   Within two minutes he presented me a huge dob full of the most wonderful naturally produced and packaged-by-Krishna coconut water.  After mentally offering the dob to Krishna and remembering that Krishna is the taste of all liquid things, I relished that dob with great delight.  Krishna consciousness is so natural and wonderful that you can make spiritual advancement simply b by remembering that Krishna is the refreshing taste of all liquid  things.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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I Would Love to Know More

Thank you for your reply which I thought I would not get.

I fully understand what you are saying but its sometimes hard to get it across to others if you know what I mean (because most people have been brain washed). I would love to know more about my religion so if you have any more information which would make full sense to me then please can you send it tome? Thank you very much for your time.

Ketan

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Study and Follow Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Simply you must study very carefully the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is available from us or from our nearest ISKCON center. You can find a list of our centers at:

http://www.iskcon.com

Our online store is at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store

By carefully studying and practicing the science of Krishna consciousness you will become fully convinced that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that you are His eternal servant. Then you will be able to convince anyone to take to the pathway of Krishna bhakti. Simply now you must acquire this book, study it every day, and strictly follow its injunctions. You will fully realize God and your relationship with Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Malaysia

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On the Road to Klang, Malaysia

It's Saturday night at 7:28pm.  We are on the road from Kuala Lumpur to Klang where I will give the evening lecture.  I am sitting in the back seat of a car composing tomorrow's  "Thought for the Day" on my laptop  computer while Ramananda Prabhu drives us through the evening rush hour traffic.

While writing I listen to the sweet, sublime singing of Srila Prabhupada on the Krishna Meditations album. Srila Prabhupada is fully immersed of love of God and has so kindly shared with us the sublime science of bhakti yoga by which we can also taste the sweetest nectar of pure love of God.

In my heart I thank Srila Prabhupada again and again for giving me this life which now fully belongs to him. My beloved spiritual master has saved me and ordered me to be a spiritual master for saving others just as he has saved me.  Although I consider myself most unqualified for this service I still must execute it on his order.  By always remembering that I am nothing more than his insignificant servant fully dependent on his mercy I can be successful in properly executing the duty he has given me.

It's now 7:44pm.  We have cleared the rush hour traffic and are now on the open highway.  Srila Prabhupada is now singing of the holy places of Vrindavan and my mind sails back to that most sublime spiritual abode.  There are billions of people on this planet who are trying their best to be happy and failing miserably at it. I have been handed the formula by which the entire world can be peaceful and prosperous.  Now I beg Srila Prabhupada and Sri Krishna for the mercy of being able to find the ways and means of successfully delivering this formula to every man, woman, and child on this planet.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Society of the Cheaters and the Cheated?

You have stated as follows:
"Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur used to say that this material world is a society of the cheaters and the cheated...".

I think that is taking a very pessimistic view of the world. There are so many good and noble people in this world including yourself. Taking a more positive view of society would certainly benefit the individual in particular and mankind in general.

Thank you

S. Ravishankar

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The Actual Positive Position

The doctor who tells every patient there is nothing wrong with him is useless. A competent doctor correctly diagnoses the disease of his patient and gives him the appropriate medicine.

The root cause of all suffering in this world is our misidentification with a material body which is forcing us to experience birth, death, old qge and disease.  The fact is that practically the entire human society is being fed the poison of this false bodily conception of existence.  Because of this mis-education 99.99% of the population think that they are their bodies and they propagate this philosophy also.  Thus the cheating and cheated society is going on.  The situation is so deplorable that when a great spiritual master points out this defect, the ignorant persons criticize him.

If an intelligent person does not understand something he inquires submissively for clarification rather than criticizing. The actual positive position is to see the world's problems as they are and then to act with knowledge for rectifying the situation, not to ignore the world's problems hoping against hope that they will go away.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Malaysia
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Cheated by the Counterfeit Material World

As we were leaving India I decided to turn my leftover Indian rupees into US dollars.  To my surprise one 500 rupee note was counterfeit.  It didn't seem fair.  I was victimized by someone else's cheating.  But what could I do?  I had no choice but to bite the bullet and accept the loss.  I had no idea who had given me that bogus note.

As I reflected on that counterfeit note I realized that this entire world is also a counterfeit note.  It appears on the surface to be very nice.  But in the ultimate issue it does not give the permanent satisfaction that we are hankering for at every minute.  Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur used to say that this material world is a society of the cheaters and the cheated.  This worthless counterfeit note has reconfirmed his true non-counterfeit words of wisdom.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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I Have Some Questions

Hare Krishna.

I have some questions:

Is Caturmasya (four months of extra austerity observed during the India rainy season) observed all over the world or only in India where the monsoon season is actually occurring?

How should I deal with material people who are surrounding me?  Should I stay away from them or should I associate with them?

As I develop more and more faith in Krishna consciousness I am losing my interest in mundane studies . I don't like to read my text books now because I can see that they contain many things that are not true.  So I am worried how I should take all of this.

Manju

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Here Are the Answers

Caturmasya is observed by all members of the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world as a means of increasing austerity even though they may not be experiencing the Indian rainy season.

You should be very compassionate to the materialistic people that surround you by trying to help them come to the eternal shelter of the spiritual platform.

I am very happy to hear that you are losing a taste for mundane subject matters. This is a sign that you are advancing very nicely in Krishna consciousness. Still as a matter of duty you should continue applying yourself to your studies so that in the future you will have increased earning power to make it easier to cover your living expenses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, November 25, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of  ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Last Day in India

Today is the last day of our sojourn in the holy land of India.  We've been here relishing the nectar for a month.  This place is so very special.  Whenever God descends to this universe this is the place where He comes.  This is His favorite spot.  This is where He feels at home.  Nostalgia sets in as I start getting my things packed and ready for our flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this evening at 11:00pm.

As I think back on the oceans of transcendental experiences that I have had here, I feel very grateful for the unlimited kindness of our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  It is by his sweet mercy and the mercy of his many followers that I am able experience the real India that exists beyond the coverings of the modern day political India.

I have visited so many holy places touching their sacred dust and their sacred waters, associated with so many great saintly devotees of the Lord, and have had the unlimitedly auspicious opportunity to hear about and describe the ultimate knowledge of Krishna consciousness in so many situations.  Each of these circumstances has been an unlimited blessing, showering oceans of good fortune upon me.  When I add up an entire month of such experiences the extent of the benediction becomes incalculable.  All I can do is feel very, very grateful and become even more devoted to sharing my unlimited good fortune with the suffering souls of this world.

What can I do now that I am leaving India, the ultimate destination of all transcendentalists?  All I can do is pray for the mercy that I can be a completely pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that in spite of my innumerable disqualifications I can inundate this planet in an ocean of Krishna consciousness for the pleasure of my spiritual master,  His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Astottara Sata Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Hinduism Being Downgraded

I have been told many times that my religion (Hinduism) is not real and that there is nothing to prove it and that its all based on stories about kings and queens. So I was wondering whether you could send me information to study in order for me to have answers ready at hand if anyone says anything to downgrade my religion.

The majority of the times its the Muslims who say that in the Hindu holy books it is written that Mohammed is coming back and things along that line. They also say that Sikhism is based on Islam.

So if you can could you help me out on this because the Hindu priests in my area seem to not know anything.

Thanks

Ketan

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Real Religion is Beyond All Designations

The idea of many different religions is a man-made invention. There is only one religion, to love God. This is the philosophy presented in India's ancient Vedic wisdom. Please note that we say "Vedic" instead of  "Hindu" because the word "Hindu" was coined by the Muslims to describe the religious system of those who lived on the opposite side of the River Sindu. You will not find the word "Hindu" anywhere in the Vedic  scriptures. It is an Muslim invention.

Just as the one sun has different names according to the different languages of the world, similarly the one God can have many different names according to different languages. Even the names of God are many, still God is only one.

Whether we call God as Krishna, Allah, or Jehovah is just a detail. It is not very important. The important thing is that we develop pure unalloyed love for Him.

The difficulty nowadays is that everyone wants to proudly advertise that their conception of God is the only correct one, while at the same time their hearts are full of all material desires. If one is actually religious, He will develop pure love for and total surrender unto the will of the one Supreme Being. He will appreciate genuine devotion wherever it may be manifest, whether it is in the heart of a Muslim, a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew, or whatever. In the spiritual world these designations do not exist. Everyone there is in the spirit of one unified family absorbed fully in pure love of God.

As long as we quarrel over designations we will not be qualified to return to the kingdom of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead  In the sublime atmosphere of  ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India

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Living in Paradise

Staying here at ISKCON's Juhu Hare Krishna Land temple is living in paradise.  Why?  Because Krishna is the center here.  There is no one person here who makes himself the center.  Everyone here molds their life around the principle that Krishna is the center.

At 4:30am we all gather together,  hundreds of us,  to attend the Mangal Arati (auspicious welcoming ceremony) for the deities of Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari (Radha and Krishna)  along with the deities of Sita Rama Hanuman Laksmana and Sri Sri Gaur Nitai.  The temple room is indescribably beautiful like something out of a previous age.  Everything is marble: the floors, the walls, the pillars.  Hundreds of devotees are singing sweetly in congregation the most serene Gurvastakam prayers along with other prayers and the ever-increasingly blissful ever-present ultimate mantra of all mantras:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

This is the how the day begins every day, a powerful mystical experience.  And from there it just keeps getting better and better until finally its time to take rest for the night with sweet transcendental dreams and then another day of simply wonderful nectar.

You can experience this same exact sweetness in your home.  All you have to do is make Krishna center of your home.  Transform it into an ashram and you will be living in paradise also.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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I Want to Know about Gayatri

I am interested to learn about the antecedent history of  Gayatri, this devi's life, history and origin.  I want to know her life history and achievements culminating in the doctrine of the famous Gayatri Mantra.

Thanks,

S.R.Ananthanarayan Aiyar

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Bhakti First, Then Knowledge

First focus on developing pure bhakti. Then all knowledge will be yours.

yasya deve para bhaktir
yatha deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah
prakasante mahatmanah


"Only unto those great souls who have unflinching faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master are all the imports of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.23

This is the secret of spiritual success.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead  In the sublime atmosphere of  ISKCON Mira Road, Mumbai, India

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On the Road to Mira Road

It's 6:30am.  I'm in the back of a tiny Indian car en route from ISKCON's Juhu temple to ISKCON's Mira Road temple.  Both are situated here in Mumbai, India about one hour's drive from each other.  That should give you some idea of how expansive this city is.   I am scheduled to give the morning and evening lectures at Mira Road.  I will spend the day writing and meeting with some of my students. Then we will return to ISKCON Juhu tonight where we are situated with a room up until Friday night when we head out for Malaysia where I will be traveling and preaching for a week.

 I wouldn't trade this sublime life of Krishna consciousness for anything.  This is the most opportune moment in the history of the world.  Srila Prabhupada has just come and gifted us with his sublime books which give the complete formula for the total respiritualization of the human society.  Somehow or other I had the greatest good fortune to come into contact with him and become his  disciple.  He has ordered us to expand this Krishna consciousness so far and so wide that the high court judges in every nation on the face of this planet will be wearing Vaisnava tilak.  When we reach that point this entire planet will be transformed into a paradise.

So my every day is dedicated to expanding the Krishna consciousness within my own heart and increasing the limits of the ocean of transcendental bliss that is currently inundating the world. 

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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What is "Good Work"?

I was under the impression that “good works” and work in Krishna consciousness are one and the same. However after reading Srila Prabhupada’s books I can see that this is obviously not correct. Work done in Krishna consciousness carries with it no karmic reaction, but instead burns off collected karma. Since Srila Prabhupada is saying that “both good and evil work have their reactions” what is he referring to when he mentions “good work”?

Thank you for your help in understanding.

Ron

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Beyond Good Work

Good work means pious activities within this world such as opening charity hospitals. Good works oblige us to take birth again to be rewarded. For example if I open a hospital and give free medical care to thousands of people my reward will be that in a future lifetime I will receive free medical care. But to qualify for free medical care I will have to become sick. So even good karma carries bad along with it. If you engage in devotional service however, there is no karmic reaction of any variety, either good or bad.

Sinful activities are called vikarma.
Pious activities are called karma.
And transcendental activities are called akarma.

Akarma is the desired activity because it completely liberates us from our entanglement in the cycle of birth and death. That akarma is to fully surrender unto Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India

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Invitation to the Golden Road of Unlimited Devotion

The entire world is suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness.  Therefore the greatest welfare work is to push forward the Krishna Consciousness Movement for the spiritual enlightenment of all beings.  Presently the world population is completely engrossed in the false bodily concept of life and therefore unable to taste the true nectar of actual existence. Instead of drinking that sublime nectar they are drinking bitter poison.

Sometimes the illusioned souls imagine that poison to be nectar, but it is not so. They concoct a dream world in which they imagine themselves to be enjoying in so many ways. But just as castles made of sand are washed into the sea, their dreams of happiness in this material world are abruptly terminated in due course of time. They can spare themselves that rude awakening by voluntarily entering the pathway of Krishna bhakti now. We are openly inviting the entire world to travel this golden road of unlimited devotion to the supreme destination. Those who are intelligent will accept our invitation.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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How Do I Develop a Taste for Japa?

How do I develop a genuine taste for chanting japa?

Radhapriya devi dasi

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Sing and Meditate Deeply on this Song

To develop of a taste for japa you have to cry for it in the mood of Bhaktivinode Thakura's song "Kaba habe bolo se din amar." Sing it often  with great intense feeling. By Bhaktivinode Thakura's mercy you will develop a very strong taste for Krishna's name.

kabe ha'be bolo se-dina amar
(amar) aparadha ghuci', suddha name ruci,
krpa-bale ha'be hrdoye sancar


"When, oh when will that day be mine? When my offenses ceasing, taste for the name increasing, when in my heart will your mercy shine, when, oh when will that day be mine?"

trnadhika hina, kabe nije mani',
sahisnuta-guna hrdoyete ani'
sakale manada, apani amani,
ho'ye aswadibo nama-rasa-sar



"Lower than a blade of grass, more tolerant than a tree. When will my mind attain this quality? Respectful to all, not expecting their honor, then shall I taste the name's nectar sublime. When, oh when will that day be mine?"

dhana jana ara, kobita-sundari,
bolibo na cahi deho-sukha-kari
janme-janme dao, ohe gaurahari!
ahaituki bhakti carane tomar


"Great wealth or followers, feminine beauty, I won't care for them or the comforts of my body. Birth after birth give me, Oh Lord Caitanya, causeless devotion to Your feet divine, when, oh when will that day be mine?"

(kabe) korite sri-krsna-nama uccarana,
pulakita deho gadgada bacana
baibarnya-bepathu ha'be sanghatana,
nirantara netre ba'be asru-dhar


"When will I utter Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, with words choked up and shivering body? When will I be trembling all over, lose bodily color, tears pouring from my eyes, when, oh when will that day be mine?"

kabe navadwipe, suradhuni-tate,
gaura-nityananda boli' niskapate
naciya gaiya, beraibo chute,
batulera praya chariya bicar


"When in Navadvipa along the Ganges bank, shouting 'Gaura-Nityananda' as  a surrendered soul, dancing, chanting, running everywhere, when will I become half mad of mind? When, oh when will that day be mine?"

kabe nityananda, more kori 'doya,
charaibe mora visayera maya
diya more nija-caranera chaya,
namera hatete dibe adhikar


"When will Lord Nityananda show mercy upon me, when will I reject the  world of maya? Bestow unto me the shade of Your lotus feet, let the right to preach the name be mine. When, oh when will that day be mine?"

kinibo, lutibo, hari-nama-rasa,
nama-rase mati' hoibo bibasa
rasera rasika-carana parasa,
koriya mojibo rase anibar

"I will beg, borrow, or steal the nectar of the name. By the name's  effect I will feel paralyzed. Oh! Enjoyer of the nectar of the name, When will I touch your lotus feet till the end of time? When, oh when will that day be mine?"

kabe jibe doya, hoibe udoya,
nija-sukha bhuli' sudina-hrdoya
bhakativinoda, koriya binoya,
sri-ajna-tahala koribe pracar


"When kindness to all beings will be appearing, with free heart forget myself comforting, Bhaktivinoda in all humility prays, "Now I will set  out to preach Your order sublime." When, oh when will that day be mine?"

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of  ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai

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According to the Previous Acharyas

We cannot concoct our own version of transcendental knowledge.  That knowledge is carefully handed down to us from the previous realized teachers.  Sometimes we see that persons who are materially motivated will concoct their own new philosophy which is not according to the standard knowledge which has transmitted to us by Krishna through the great realized souls. 

In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna confirms that the method of understanding transcendental knowledge is through the system of disciplic succession:

evam parampara-praptam
imam rajarsayo viduh


"This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way." Bhagavad-gita 4.2

If we think we can ignore the explanations coming down from the previous acharyas and figure out the Absolute Truth on our own, we will never realize it.  We must understand by hearing from the previous spiritual masters.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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How Can I Give More for Guru and Gauranga?

I really like that taste when day ends and you have done something extra for Guru and Gauranga. How can I give even more? As You said in this one lecture (I think it was in Denver) that when Srila Prabhupada gave love for you, you wanted to give even more love to him and then Prabhupada showered even more to you, and that there was this loving competition between you and Prabhupada and he was always wining. I want to also experience that.

Bhaktin Tiina

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The Duck that Quacks the Loudest

We must always go deeper and deeper into Krishna consciousness. If one remains shallowly situated, he will often feel the pinch of the material energy and will always run the risk of falling down from devotional service. But when we go very deeply into Krishna consciousness our position is very strong and we gradually become more and more free from the influence of the three modes of material nature.

Your question of how you can give even more to Krishna is very nice. You must always feel that you are not giving enough. In this mood you must beg Krishna that can give yourself more and more to Him. You should always feel yourself to be fallen and abominable and extremely grateful to Lord Krishna that He has saved you from your fallen condition.

The duck that quacks the loudest gets the most crumbs. So you must as much as possible always be begging Krishna to engage you with ever-increasingly intense absorption in His pure devotional service. The more you beg Him, the more He will reciprocate. You can compose your own prayers of begging and you can chant as much as possible the supreme prayer of begging the Lord for His mercy:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

You should always give your love to your spiritual master and to Srila Prabhupada to the fullest extent of your capability. They will then shower upon you oceans and oceans of mercy. This mercy will then empower you to serve them with even more love. When you do that you will receive even more mercy and be empowered to give them even more love. In this way your absorption in bhakti will become more and more intense for all of eternity. This is the perfection of existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of  ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai

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Purify Your Heart, Revolutionize the Planet

I don't see any other life worth living.  We simply must purify our hearts and revolutionize this planet.  This world desperately needs a spiritual revolution that will solidly put God back in the center in every sphere of human existence: government, education, entertainment, business, etc.

The entire world is engulfed in an ever-increasingly chaotic situation, practically an inescapable syndrome.  The politicians are bought out by the businessmen who are motivated by greed.  Therefore the lust for money rules the world situation.  Something has to be done.  The only solution is to elevate people between the platform of lust, anger, and greed to the transcendental platform.  To do so effectively we must first solidly situate ourselves there.  This transcendental platform is designated by the term "Krishna consciousness."  This is the platform on which all  material miseries become conspicuous by their absence and the devotee relishes at every moment the sweetest nectar of eternity, knowledge, and bliss in all situations.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Developing Constant Love for Krishna

Hare Krishna!

I'm trying to become a devotee. I follow all the regulative principles and chant 8 rounds a day. Why is that sometime I feel great love for Lord Krishna but other times I just serve him without any feelings and lot of doubts start attacking my mind. How can I develop constant love for Him?

Thank you very much.

Kalpana

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Faithfully Chant At Least 16 Rounds Daily

It is natural in the beginning of devotional service that sometimes we will be spiritually enlivened and sometimes not. We have to remain steady in our devotional service in spite of the many ups and downs we experience due to the residual influence of the material energy. If we will tolerate these dualities and continue faithfully chanting the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds daily, we will gradually rise beyond the influence of the modes of material nature and become solidly situated in pure devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead  In the sublime atmosphere of  ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai

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Walking on Juhu Beach

With Mataji's suggestion and remembering how my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, would walk every morning on Juhu Beach whenever he was in Mumbai, I decided to walk this morning on Juhu Beach along with two of my disciples and their friend, Vinay.  I love to walk on Juhu Beach when I come to Mumbai because Prabhupada did so.  Taking a morning walk of Juhu Beach makes it very easy to remember Srila Prabhupada.  By the touch of Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet this beach has been transformed into a holy place of pilgrimage.  Srila Prabhupada carries Vrindavan with him wherever he goes and by his mere presence he transforms every place into Vrindavan.

Having already completed my 16 rounds I was thinking that I would chant some extra rounds while walking.  However, when the boys began asking me philosophical questions I was very happy to absorb myself in discussing Krishna conscious philosophy.  Being asked about the meaning of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) I explained that it is not a cult.  It is a network of like-minded souls who desire to know who they are and be who they are.

Is there any person in his right mind who would object to knowing who they are and being who they are?  If we try to be something other than what we really are, it is sure and certain that we will be frustrated.  Just as a fish cannot be happy outside of the water, we cannot be happy trying to be something that we are not.  If we will simply try to understand who we are and be who we are, all happiness, satisfaction and success will be ours.  How do we find out who we are?  We have to seek guidance from a self-realized soul, someone who has realized who they are. Such a person can teach us who we are and guide and inspire how to actually be who we are.  Such a person is known as a spiritual master.  His association is compulsory if we actually want to realize the perfection of human existence.  Otherwise, we will remain lost and confused in a state of false identification with the material nature.  We will remain asleep in the dream of "I am a man," or "I am a woman"--"I am  American," "I am Indian," etc.  So many false things.

In this way our philosophical discourse continued for an hour.  We made it back to temple just in time for the most ecstatic ceremony which is held at all ISKCON centers throughout the world, the Greeting of the Deities.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Is Srila Prabhupada ISKCON's Only Guru?

I am Manjunath from Bangalore. I heard that Srila Prabhupada will be the only guru for ISKCON for the next 10,000 years. I want to take shelter under ISKCON. How I should approach? Whether I have to take shelter of a living guru or Srila Prabhupada will be my guru?

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There Will Be Many Gurus.

Through the teachings given to us in his books Srila Prabhupada is undoubtedly the guru of us all.  But when it comes to the matter of spiritual initiation Srila Prabhupada said that ISKCON would have many acharyas (initiating gurus), not just one.

He also said that we must take our initiation from a guru who is physically manifest within this material world. Some people have concocted a propaganda that Srila Prabhupada is the only initiating guru for the next 10,000 years of ISKCON, but this is not what he told us. These people want us to ignore what Srila Prabhupada said and follow what they say. They are trying to induce us to deviate from what Srila Prabhupada taught us. Such a course of action, of disobeying the spiritual master, is tantamount to committing suicide.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, November 18, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai

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Heaven on Earth

Last night we arrived at ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai. This place is truly heaven on earth, a spiritual oasis in the midst of a vast desert of hellish material existence. This a frequent stop for us as we travel again and again to India year after year for preaching and surcharging our spiritual batteries.

There is nothing more sweet and wonderful than to be here surrounded by a loving family of Vaisnavas, devotees of the Lord. At every step we are reminded of Krishna. This remembrance pulls us out of the miserable material existence and brings us into the dimension of eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

India needs this pure Krishna bhakti now more than ever. Even just a few years ago chastity was considered to be a very good thing here in India.  Yesterday I was disgusted to see in the in-flight magazine on our airplane flight here that the unmarried girls of India are now cheapening themselves to the level of prostitutes. It was so disgusting I could not even tolerate to read the article. The headlines were sufficient to break my heart.  They are asking the boys that "you please give me sex". This degradation of moral standards simply creates more and more of a hellish atmosphere on the planet. May this Krishna  consciousness movement now expand like anything and engulf the entire world in a tidal wave of pure Krishna bhakti so that the ever-increasing sufferings of the materialistic society may come to an end. May heaven on earth become a reality in every town, city, village of every nation on this planet.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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What is the Difference Between Devotional Service and Pure Devotional Service?

I know the phrase "devotional service." There are the nine standard items of "devotional service" to Krishna, and devotional service would  also include all that is done for the satisfaction of Sri Guru and Krishna. However, you use the phrase "pure devotional service" very often. What  do you mean by "pure devotional service?" Is it different from  "devotional service?"

Sevananda Das

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Devotional Service Means Pure Devotional Service

Devotional service means to engage all of the senses in the service of the Lord. This is described in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu as follows:

sarvopadhi-vinirmuktam
tat-paratvena nirmalam
hrsikena hrsikesa-
sevanam bhaktir ucyate

"Bhakti, or devotional service, means engaging all our senses in the service of the Lord, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of all the senses. When the spirit soul renders service unto the Supreme, there are two side effects. One is freed from all material designations, and one's senses are purified simply by being employed in the service of the Lord."--Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.1.12).

Pure devotional service means to render devotional service without any tinge of material desires, including desire for fruitive activity and empiric speculation. This is confirmed also in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu:

anyabhilasita-sunyam
jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama


"When first-class devotional service develops, one must be devoid of all material desires, knowledge obtained by monistic philosophy, and fruitive action. The devotee must constantly serve Krishna favorably, as Krishna desires."

So in answer to your question, devotional service ultimately means pure devotional  service, but there are preliminary stages of devotional service before one comes to the mature platform. Even in the immature stages one already possesses pure devotional service. It is something like purchasing an unripened mango from the market. You have the mango, but it will take some time before it ripens. As soon as you take to the pathway of devotional service with all sincerity you already possess pure devotional service. It is simply a matter of gradually waking up and fully realizing what you have.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Thursday, November 17, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead  In the sublime atmosphere of Mayapur Dham situated  beyond this material world.

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Bathing in the Sacred Ganges

This morning we depart Mayapur-Navadvip at 8 am for the three hour taxi ride to the Calcutta airport to catch a flight to Mumbai (Bombay) where I will be delivering a series of lectures and meeting with my students and disciples for a week before we fly to Malaysia.

Yesterday I relished the sweetest nectar of taking a midday bath in the sacred Ganges River.  In Mayapur we have easy convenient access to the Ganges.  It flows just at the front edge of our temple property right across a small road.

As our temple complex and its surrounding area was teeming with thousands and thousands of pilgrims, the bathing ghats on our side of the river were highly congested.  So Mataji and I hired a boat to take us across the river where there was nothing but an isolated pristine beach.  The boatman accomplished everything with one simple paddle maneuvering us across the Ganges at a very good clip. After a 20 minute cruise over the most divine waters the boatman secured the boat on the western bank. 

After donning my gamcha for bathing I chanted, "Gangamayi ki jaya! (All glories to Mother Ganges.)" and with great joy I entered the most sacred Ganges directly from the boat.  I dipped myself three times into her transcendental waters and standing waste deep I chanted my noon Gayatri mantras as well as prayers to Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya.  A Ganges bath is truly the most exhilarating enlivening experience because not only is it refreshing and cleansing for the body.  It purifies the soul from the contamination accumulated over millions of lifetimes.

Sankarshan das Adhikari
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of Mayapur Dham situated beyond this material world.

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A Global Inundation is Emanating from Sri Mayapur Dham

From Navadvip-Mayapur Dham is emanating a tidal wave of Krishna prema (love of God) that is sweeping the entire world and inundating everyone. It was predicted five centuries ago by the great fully realized devotee, Krishna Das Kaviraj,

saj-jana, durjana, pangu, jada, andha-gana
prema-vanyaya dubaila jagatera jana


"The Krishna consciousness movement will inundate the entire world and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman, a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind." Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 26

The words of such devotees as Krishna Das Kaviraj cannot go in vain. It is very wonderful to be right here in Mayapur, the place from which this divine merciful flood of love of Godhead is coming forth. I am simply praying to Lord Caitanya to bless me with the understanding and full appreciation of how fortunate am I to be in this place. Every second spent in this place is more valuable than all the wealth of the entire universe.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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What is the Self?

What is the Self? What is the "Self" in Self-Realization.

Thank you

Ravi

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Both the Individual Self and the Supreme Self

The Self refers both to the individual self and the Supreme Self. If one realizes either the individual self or the Supreme Self this means he must necessarily also realize the other self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52

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Entering Navadvip-Dham, the Most Sacred Place in the Universe

I used the taxi ride from the Calcutta Airport to Mayapur as a golden opportunity to catch up on emails. It wasn't so easy in the back seat of a vehicle that was constantly bumping up and down and swerving from side to side as our driver maneuvered around everything imaginable or unimaginable that can be found on Indian highways. But I knew that I had a solid chunk of time (three hours) and that my second battery (the first one was drained on the airplane flight into Calcutta from Bangalore.) was sufficiently juiced up to make it all the way the Mayapur.

After thirty six emails we made a 160 degree turn to the left off of the highway. This my cue to finish up that 36th email and pack up my computer.  We were now approaching Mayapur in the heart of the most sacred place in the universe, Sri Navadvip Dham.

Because Lord Caitanya appeared here it is the crest jewel of all holy places. Offenders are the object of punishment in other holy pilgrimage places, but in Navadvip-dham they are purified. The example is the two brothers Jagai and Madhai, who committed great offenses yet sill received the mercy of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda. What to speak of other places, at Vrindavan the offenders are punished. But a person who has committed hundreds of offenses can easily receive the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu and overcome those offenses in Navadvip-dham. For this reason the sages endlessly praise Sri Navadvipa-dham.

Now it was time to worship Lord Caitanya and His most holy abode. I picked a bhajan (devotional song) by Narottam Das Thakur that focused exclusively on Lord Caitanya and His associates and began singing it with intense feeling calling out for the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His eternal associates:

sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu doya koro more
toma bina ke doyalu jagat-samsare

"My dear Lord Caitanya, please be merciful to me, because who can be more merciful than Your Lordship within these three worlds?"

patita-pavana-hetu tava avatara
mo sama patita prabhu na paibe ara


"Your incarnation is just to reclaim the conditioned, fallen souls, but I assure You that You will not find a greater fallen soul than me. Therefore, my claim is first."

ha ha prabhu nityananda, premananda sukhi
krpabalokana koro ami boro duhkhi

"My dear Lord Nityananda, You are always joyful in spiritual bliss. Since You always appear very happy, I have come to You because I am most unhappy. If You kindly put Your glance over me, then I may also become happy."

doya koro sita-pati adwaita gosai
tava krpa-bale pai caitanya-nitai

"My dear Advaita Prabhu, husband of Sita, You are so kind. Please be merciful to me. If You are kind to me, naturally Lord Caitanya and Nityananda will also be kind to me."

ha ha swarup, sanatana, rupa, raghunatha
bhatta-juga, sri-jiva ha prabhu lokanatha

"O Svarupa Damodara, personal secretary of Lord Caitanya, O six Gosvamis; Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami, and Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami! O Lokanatha Gosvami, my beloved spiritual master! Narottama dasa also prays for your mercy."

doya koro sri-acarya prabhu srinivasa
ramacandra-sanga mage narottama-dasa

"O Srinivasa Acarya, successor to the six Gosvamis! Please be merciful to me. Narottama dasa always desires the company of Ramacandra Cakravarti."

Finally we came to Yoga Pitha, the spot where Lord Caitanya appeared in 1486. As our taxi drove past it I mentally offered my obeisances. Then after a few more minutes we arrived at the ISKCON property, the home of the Mayapur Chandradoya Mandir. Srila Prabhupada described this most holy of all holy places in a lecture that he gave here in Mayapur on April 8, 1975, 

"So from the very beginning of our life, we should try to become Krishna conscious. Not try, but we must. It is not, what is called, optional. It is compulsory. If you want to make your life successful, then this is compulsory, from the very beginning to become Krishna conscious.

"So especially in India, the atmosphere is very good. It is especially meant, within this universe, this plot of land known as Bharatavarsa, India, is the most sacred place within this universe. And of the whole land Bharatavarsa, in Bengal, it is very sacred. And the whole of Bengal, this Nadia is very sacred. And in the whole Nadia, this part is very sacred, Mayapur Chandradoya Temple. So by Krishna's grace, you have got this opportunity to live here. Take advantage, full advantage of this opportunity, spiritually fortunate. This is the statement of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Not that I am manufacturing. We cannot manufacture anything, but we can repeat the words of our predecessors. Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his Jaiva-Dharma, or in Caitanya-siksamrta, he has stated like that. In the Bharatavarsa, Bengal is the most important place, and in Bengal, the district Nadia is most important place, because Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. "

By the grace of Srila Prabhupada I am able to be here in Mayapur-Navadvip.  Just by coming here one becomes free from all offenses. Just by remembering this place one receives the benefit of traveling to all the holy places of entire universe.

Sri Navadvip-dham ki jaya! All glories to Sri Navadvip-dham.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Will We Merge into Krishna?

Please help me to understand the Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 12, Text 8, where the Supreme Lord Krishna says “ Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt."

Please explain the “Live in Me” part, because here Lord Krishna is clearly stating that we will live in Him. Does this mean that we will merge in Him? I understand that devotional service to the Supreme will be satisfying to the nth degree but here the Lord is making a statement that we can live in Him.

Please help me regarding the understanding of this statement.

Hare Krishna

Veren Maharaj

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We Will Live in a Direct Relationship with Him, Not Merged into Him.

Srila Prabhupada has answered your question in his wonderful purport. Living in Krishna means living in a direct relationship with Krishna. It does not mean merging into Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, November 14, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52

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On the Road to Mayapur Dham

After a delightful three days with the nectarean ISKCON devotees in Bangalore, India, Mataji and I along with Sri Sri Radha Damodar are heading out for the holy abode of Lord Sri Caitanya, Sri Mayapur Dham.  Our hearts have been very enlivened by association of Krishna's devotees at Bangalore's Jagannatha Mandir.   There is truly nothing more sublime than the association of Krishna's devotees. The Lord has so much blessed us to hear and chant the glories of the Lord with so many wonderful devotees over these last three days.

We are departing from Bangalore this morning at 9:55 am and will be flying straight to Calcutta to be taken on a three hour taxi ride through the beautiful, lush West Bengal countryside.  There on the bank of the most sacred Ganges river is situated Sri Mayapur Dham, the place where Lord Sri Krishna manifested Himself a mere five centuries ago in February of 1486.

vande sri-krsna-caitanya-
nityanandau sahoditau
gaudodaye puspavantau
citrau san-dau tamo-nudau


"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krishna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all." Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila, Ch. 1, Verse 2

Visiting Mayapur Dham is the ideal opportunity to absorb ourselves in worshipping and meditating upon Lord Caitanya, begging His mercy that our hearts may become 100%  pure and that by His blessings we may be able to powerfully and effectively spread Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Stay tuned in for more nectar!

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Are All of Our Sins Forgiven?

Sir, does the Lord forgive all of our sins?

S.R. Vaswani

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Yes, If You Fully Surrender.

If you fully surrender to Krishna, He will deliver you from all of your sins, otherwise not. Therefore you should fully surrender yourself and become actually free, once and for all.

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah


"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear." Bhagavad-gita 18.66

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, November 13, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52

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Bangalore or Bungle-ore?

Having arrived in Bangalore we are seeing how advanced this city is materially.  There is a major presence of many American high tech corporations such as IBM, Intel, and Dell.  But in spite of all material progress we are sad to note that the spirituality is so much deteriorating.  Traveling the streets between our residence and the ISKCON Jagannatha Temple we see how much people are running unnecessarily after material sense gratification.  Of course there is nothing wrong with material sense gratification to the extent required to keep body and soul together.  But to expend our energy beyond that is a useless waste of time.  It entangles us in the false bodily conception of life and obliges us to take birth again in the lower species such as the plant kingdom or the animal kingdom.

As human beings we are meant to utilize this rare opportunity to re-awaken our dormant enlightened consciousness, our Krishna consciousness.  Of course, there is no harm in material advancement if simultaneously we advance spiritually.  But if our material advancement is at the cost of our spiritual advancement, it is better than we keep our material life very simple.   Instead of plain living and high thinking we have a society based on the principle of high living with no thinking.  

A life devoid of spiritual understanding is not worth living.  What do we gain by it?  In such a life we merely play our role on the stage of human existence for a few years and then get demoted down to the lower species for many, many lifetimes.  Human existence is meant for self-realization.  It is not meant for imitating the ways of the animals.  

Take advantage of your rare human form by awakening your dormant Krishna consciousness.  Don't bungle it like the people here in Bangalore.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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What About Killing Trees and Waging War?

Could you please clarify this quote of yours? "I am not wearing leather footwear. It is better to avoid it as much as possible. Why should we support the slaughter of innocent animals?"

We are slaughtering trees everyday for food. Since our survival depends on them, we have this attitude "don't know, don't want to know" about suffering of the trees. Also, you opposed wars. Sure, many of us do not support them. But they have been happening ever since Kurukshetra and before, and Lord Krishna was the supporter of a war. He called it just, as it would punish the sinners for their bad karmas. If a war was justified for greater good then, why shouldn't it be justified now? Also, you and I are enjoying the personal security as a result of the sacrifices by our soldiers. You are being able to carry out your noble mission across the globe probably because of the war on terror. Even though war gives only short term gains, we are benefiting from it right now. If we criticize the entire war, aren't we hypocrites?

Thanks,

Satya

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No Need to Kill Trees for Food.  War Can Be Accepted.

There is no need to kill trees for survival. We can eat the fruit of the tree while the tree continues to live.

War can be either accepted or rejected depending on the purpose for which it is being fought. War is rejected if it is for the purpose of sense gratification. But if it is fought for a Krishna conscious purpose then can be accepted. For example, if there is a Krishna conscious country whose citizens are peacefully and happily engaged in Krishna consciousness, and a greedy power monger invades it with a desire to plunder its resources, that country has a right to wage war against the invaders to protect itself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, November 12, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52

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En Route to Bangalore

The time: 10:50 am.  The place: Jet Airways,  Flight #815, Seat 12D, en route from Delhi to Bangalore.   Checking out the newspapers provided for me by the airline I am horrified to see how degraded the current Indian society has become.  Practically all vestiges of Vedic culture are dead and gone.  Where are the enlightened leaders of days gone by?  Before 5,000 years ago the enlightened kings of India ruled the entire planet Earth under the enlightened guidance of such great stalwart personalities as Sukadeva Goswami and Vedavyas.

In today's society the politicians, athletes, and entertainers are given more prominence.  No wonder the entire fabric of the global human society is so rapidly deteriorating.  It will take an extraordinary miracle to pull the human society out of its nosedive into utter chaos.  The signs are already there.  Just see what is happening in France right now.  Poet Yeats wrote, "Things fall apart.  The center cannot hold.  Mere anarchy is  loosed upon the world."  This is a fact.  Without Krishna consciousness, everything will deteriorate.

If you care at all about the unfortunate suffering people of this world, kindly dedicate yourself fully to this Krishna consciousness movement.  Your life will be filled up with highest happiness at every moment, and you will be able to always give the highest happiness to all others.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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What About Onion, Garlic, and Mushrooms?

Could you please explain to me why Hare Krishna devotees do not consume garlic, onion and mushroom? What is the scientific explanation behind it?

Thank you.

Regards,

Mathavan

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If You Love Someone...

If you love someone and you invite them for dinner, you will feed them what they like, not what they will refuse to eat. Isn't it a fact? Krishna does not like onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Therefore we do not offer them to Him.  And since we, as His devotees, only eat His remnants, obviously we are not going to eat these either.

This is based on a higher principle than science. It is based on love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, November 11, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52

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Reflections on Vrindavan and on What Lies Ahead

Today we depart Vrindavan at 4:00am.  We are hitting the preaching trail for spreading this wonderful Vrindavan atmosphere, Krishna consciousness,  all over the world.  The Krishna consciousness atmosphere is the original natural environment for all varieties of living beings.  No matter what kind of simple or sophisticated arrangements we try to make to be happy and fully satisfied in this material world, we will find our efforts to be futile.  Therefore we must take fully to unalloyed Krishna consciousness to taste the full pleasure of what existence is actually supposed to be like.

We will have a last look at the Krishna Balarama Temple and Srila Prabhupada's samadhi as we drive by on our way out of town to the Delhi airport three hours away.  Just as when we arrived in Vrindavan I sang "Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna Jaya Sri Vrindavan,"  I will also sing those same  sweet words as I depart Vrindavan.  Oh, Vrindavan Dham, when will you again give me Your shelter?

Our work lies ahead.  Our mission is to inundate this entire planet in the ultimate spiritual enlightenment of pure devotion to the Supreme Being.  Krishna please help us and bless us that we can be successful in purifying our own hearts and in manifesting a spiritual revolution that will completely transform the course of human history from the dense deep darkness of delusion into the brilliant light of pure love of Godhead.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Can an Initiate Drink Green Tea?

Hare Krishna.

Can initiated person drink Green Tea?

Thanks,

Komal Dhiman

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We Get Far More Energy from Chanting

Any beverage that contains caffeine is avoided by Vaisnavas because caffeine is a stimulant, a mild form of intoxication. We don't need caffeine for an energy boost because we get far more energy from the Hare Krishna mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Thursday, November 10, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
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Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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Last Day in Vrindavan

This is it.  This is our last day in Vrindavan.  It's always bitter-sweet to be leaving Vrindavan.  The bitterness is being away from Krishna's transcendental abode.  The sweetness is that by intensely feeling the separation from Vrindavan, this supreme holy abode, Sri Vrindavan Dham, becomes fully manifest in our hearts.  Just as a lover pines in separation from her beloved the devotees languish in separation from Sri Vrindavan Dham.  When our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, left Vrindavan and was sailing to America on the ship Jaladuta for starting the Krishna Consciousness Movement, he lamented his separation from Vrindavan in the following words recorded in his dairy:

10 FRIDAY 1965
Today the ship is plying very smoothly. I feel today better. But I am feeling separation from Sri Vrindaban and my Lords Sri Govinda, Gopinath, Radha Damodar. The only solace is Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita in which I am tasting the nectarine of Lord Chaitanya's Leela. I have left Bharat Bhumi just to execute the order of Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati in pursuance of Lord Chaitanya's order. I have no qualification, but I have taken up the risk just to carry out the order of His Divine Grace. I depend fully on Their mercy so far away from Vrindaban.

Just as Srila Prabhupada left Vrindavan to execute the order of his spiritual world to spread consciousness to the English speaking world, we are also instructed to leave the sweet atmosphere of Vrindavan for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.  By remaining ever faithful to his order we can feel ourselves in the transcendental abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham at every moment. 

Therefore with complete submission I place myself humbly at Srila Prabhupada's feet and beg for his mercy that every ounce of my energy from now up until my last dying breath will be 100% engaged in the divine mission of delivering the suffering humanity from the dense, dark dungeon of illusion.  May all living entities throughout the universe realize what is the sweet transcendental atmosphere of Sri Vrindavan Dham.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

P.S.  If you would like join our 2006 Vrindavan pilgrimage during October/November of 2006 kindly let us know so we can let you know how to do so.    Email to:  sda@backtothome.com

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Ravi Argues that Words Cannot Gives Us Truth

My philosophy is that That Truth: the SatChidAnanda Brahman of Vedanta, the SatChidAnanda Shiva of the Tantras, the SatChidAnanda Krishna of the Puranas, cannot be expressed, described, shown, given. One already is Truth, therefore It can only be lived.

Normal words we use, the Vedas use, the Upanisads use, other religions use... they cannot give us That Truth. Words cannot make someone realize That Ultimate Goal in life. I cannot give you That Truth with words, nor can you give It to me. That is the philosophy. Whatever it is you are saying about what I speak being wrong or something is not my philosophy, you have misunderstood.

Ravi

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We Agree that Ravi's Words Cannot Give the Truth

You are saying with words that words cannot give the truth. Therefore according to your philosophy, your words cannot give the truth.

But, with all due respect, I beg to inform you that you are wrong. The words of Krishna do give the truth.  Krishna therefore says in the Bhagavad-gita:

jnanam te 'ham sa-vijnanam
idam vaksyamy asesatah
yaj jnatva neha bhuyo 'nyaj
jnatavyam avasisyate


"I shall now declare unto you in full this knowledge, both phenomenal and numinous. This being known, nothing further shall remain for you to know."
Bhagavad-gita 7.2

You say that truth can only be lived, but speaking is part of living. "Truth cannot spoken," is a very nice philosophy for someone who doesn't know the truth. That way they can remain silent and not spread untruth. But someone who has fully realized the truth speaks unlimitedly for the benefit of the suffering souls of this world. His words convey the truth into the hearts of those who are in illusion. And when they follow the truth they will personally realize it themselves and can then enlighten others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Wednesday, November 9, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
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Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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Another Nectarean Day in Vrindavan, Higher Than Heaven


Every day at the Krishna Balarama Mandir (temple) we begin our day by rising at 3:00 am, bathing, and chanting japa until 4:10 am at which time we attend arati for Srila Prabhupada at his samadhi (tomb). Then we assemble in the temple room at 4:30 am before the beautiful deities of Gaur Nitai, Krishna Balarama, and Radha Shyamasundar. I position myself front and center at the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama and experience the most incredible feast for the eyes and soul. As I gaze up at the beautiful forms of Krishna, the original cowherd boy, and His big brother, Balarama, I join in with the joyous singing of hundred of devotees who have gathered from all over the world to taste the sweetest nectar of Sri Vrindavan Dham. The nectar becomes thicker and sweeter as we sing together responsively this beautiful prayer of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur:

vibhavari sesa, aloka-pravesa,
nidra chari' utho jiva
bolo hari hari, mukunda murari,
rama krsna hayagriva


The night has come to an end and the light of dawn is
entering. O jiva soul, arise and give up your sleep. Chant the holy names of Lord Hari, who is the giver of liberation; the enemy of the Mura demon; the supreme enjoyer; the all-attractive one; and the horse-headed incarnation, Hayagriva.                                                                  
Sri Sri Krishna-Balarama, Vrindavan, India

nrsimha vamana, sri-madhusudana,
brajendra-nandana syama
putana-ghatana, kaitabha-satana,
jaya dasarathi-rama

Lord Hari [Krishna] incarnated as the half-man, half-lion, Nrsimha. He appeared as a dwarf-brahmana named Upendra and is the killer of the Madhu demon. He is the beloved son of the King of Vraja, Nanda Maharaja, and is blackish in complexion. He is the slayer of the Putana witch and the destroyer of the demon Kaitabha. All glories to Lord Hari, who appeared as Lord Rama, the son of King Dasaratha.

yasoda dulala, govinda-gopala,
vrndavana purandara
gopi-priya-jana, radhika-ramana,
bhuvana -sundara-bara

He is the darling of mother Yasoda; the giver of pleasure to the cows, land, and spiritual senses; and the protector of the cows. He is the Lord of the Vrindavan forest; the gopis' beloved; the lover of Radhika; and the most beautiful personality in all the worlds.

ravanantakara, makhana-taskara,
gopi-jana-vastra-hari
brajera rakhala, gopa-vrnda-pala,
citta-hari bamsi-dhari

As Ramacandra He brought about the end of the demoniac King Ravana; as Krishna He stole the older gopis' butter; He stole the younger gopis' clothes while they were bathing in the Yamuna. He is a cowherd boy of Vraja and the protector of the cowherd boys. He steals the hearts of all and always holds a flute.

yogindra-bandana, sri-nanda-nandana,
braja-jana-bhaya-hari
navina nirada, rupa manohara,
mohana-bamsi-bihari

Lord Krishna is worshiped by the best of yogis and is the son of Nanda. He removes all the fears of the inhabitants of Vraja. He is the color of a fresh rain cloud, and His form is enchanting. When He wanders about, playing His flute, He looks very charming.

yasoda-nandana, kamsa-nisudana,
nikunja-rasa-vilasi
kadamba-kanana, rasa-parayana,
brnda-vipina-nivasi

He is the son of Yasoda and the killer of King Kamsa, and He sports in the rasa dance among the groves of Vraja. Krishna engages in this rasa dance underneath the kadamba trees, and He resides in the forest of Vrindavan.

ananda-vardhana, prema-niketana,
phula-sara-jojaka kama
gopangana-gana, citta-vinodana,
samasta-guna-gana-dhama

He increases the ecstasy of His devotees. He is the reservoir of all love and is the transcendental Cupid who uses His flowered arrows to increase the loving desires of the gopis. He is the pleasure of the gopis' hearts and the abode of all wonderful qualities.

jamuna-jivana, keli-parayana,
manasa-candra-cakora
nama-sudha-rasa, gao krsna-jasa
rakho vacana mana mora

Lord Krishna is the life of the River Yamuna. He is always absorbed in amorous pastimes, and He is the moon of the gopis' minds, which are like the cakora birds that subsist only upon moonlight. O mind, obey these words of mine and sing the glories of Sri Krishna in the form of these holy names, which are full of nectarean mellows.

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There is enough sweetness in this experience to fill up the entire universe hundreds and millions of times. What need is there of visiting any other holy places? Simply by this worship of Srila Prabhupada and Krishna and Balarama all perfection is achieved. The unparalleled pleasures of the heavenly planets are nothing for us. We are living in Vrindavan, the transcendental abode of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And by the grace of Guru and Gauranga we are empowered to transform the entire world into Vrindavan.

Sankarshan das Adhikari


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I Am Not Receiving the Weekly Lessons

I signed up for the weekly course but so far I am only receiving "Thought for the Day," is this the course?

Also how do I access lesson 2 on your website , all I have gotten is lesson 1. I love your teaching so far.

Volkmar Fuerer

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Try Our Alternate Systems

Oftentimes the foolish internet service providers block our emails thinking them to be spam. To try to get around this problem we have a secondary server for those of our students who are being denied the mailings sent from our primary server.

I suggest that you go to this site and sign up for our secondary server:

http://www.totalawakening.com/thoughts

If still you do not receive our mailings you can always access them online at:

http://www.backtohome.com/course

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

===========================================================================
Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
===========================================================================
Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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Day Trip to Jaipur for the Ultimate Mercy of Sri Sri Radha Govinda

I am writing this in the back seat of a Toyota Qualis traveling from Jaipur back to Vrindavan.  We decided to take out one day to travel to Jaipur to have the darshan of Sri Sri Radha Govinda.  Even though it's a four hour drive in each direction on bumpy, crowded Indian roads, we could not resist the sweet nectar of Sri Sri Radha Govinda's mercy.  The temple was crowded with about 2,000 worshippers, but we gave a 100 rupee donation and were allowed a special darshan for about fifteen minutes in a blocked off area right in the front of the deities.  I took the opportunity of being in such close proximity to Sri Sri Radha Govinda to bow down flat on the floor (dandavats) for an extended period of time and humbly beg them the benedictions of pure devotional service to Their lotus feet and of being able to spread Their glories all over the world.

These most enchanting deities of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna were originally installed by Lord Krishna's grandson, Vrajanabha, 5,000 years ago and were re- stablished 500 years ago by Srila Rupa Goswami. The story behind these deities is one of the most amazing stories every told.  The story is as follows:

The Rescue of Govindaji  
(A devotee-king uses his royal power and opulence to protect and glorify the Supreme Lord.) 
by Jagatguru Swami and Satyaraja dasa

There are indeed many examples of kings who misused their royal position. But there have also been many saintly rulers. Jai Singh II, king of Amir from 1699 to 1745, ascended the throne at the age of thirteen. He quickly mastered engineering, architecture, mathematics, and astronomy. And like his father and grandfather, he was a devotee of Lord Krishna. With daring and devotion, at the age of nineteen he rescued the Govindaji Deity and took Him to his fort in the hills of Rajasthan.

Although the rulers of ancient India and their royal states have passed into legend, the mere mention of a Maharaja or a royal palace of India still conjures up exotic, romantic images. A Maharaja's luxury was a reflection of his power, and the palace in which he and his family and retinue lived represented an ethos and a way of life that have all but vanished.

Nowadays most people are unaware that the greatest of ancient India's rulers were devotees of Lord Krishna who used their wealth and influence in His service. Indeed, the primary purpose of Vedic India's ruling class was to protect religious principles. This they did, and the stories surrounding their activities are more alluring and fascinating than the myths that have grown up over the centuries.

One such true story concerns Govindaji, a Deity of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. Devotees of Lord Krishna have traditionally worshiped Him in His Deity incarnation, which is made of stone, wood, clay, or other material elements. Since Krishna is the all-powerful Supreme Lord, He can appear anywhere, even in a form fashioned from matter. The Deity is not an idol -- an imaginary form worshiped according to whim -- but is shaped and worshiped according to directions given in the Vedic literature.

Krishna also appears personally on earth -- as He did five thousand years ago in the district of Mathura in India. Such visits are rare, however, and therefore Krishna's sincere devotees take advantage of the opportunity to worship Him in His Deity forms. Shortly after Krishna disappeared from the earth almost fifty centuries ago, a great devotee named Vajra established various Deities of the Lord, and one of these is Govindaji. (Govindaji is a name of Krishna that means "one who gives pleasure to the senses, cows,  and land.") These Deities were loved and worshiped for many centuries.

Then came the Moghul invasions, and all of northern India was plunged into war. People fled Mathura -- but only after placing their beloved Deities within the earth and burying Them. They prayed that the Moghul rulers would not commit the offense of destroying the Deities, and they hoped the Deities might one day be discovered and worshiped again with full regalia.
                           
Sri Sri Radha-Govindaji in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Govindaji and the other Deities of Mathura remained hidden until the early 1500s, during the time of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. * [*Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself in the role of His own devotee. He appeared five hundred years ago in India to teach love of God through the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.] At that time, two of Lord Caitanya's chief disciples, Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, set about recovering Mathura's ancient Deities.

One night, the Govindaji Deity whom Vajra had installed thousands of years ago appeared to Rupa Gosvami in a dream and revealed to him where He lay buried. Rupa Gosvami then excavated Govindaji and personally took charge of His regular worship. Being in the renounced order, however, he had no means for building a temple for his beloved Deity.

Rupa Gosvami was renowned as a great philosopher and as an authority on the Vedic literatures; therefore, he was often requested to attend the court of Emperor Akbar, who had a love for religious and philosophical discussion. Rupa Gosvami had written many books on the science of Krishna consciousness, and his writings, which embodied the very essence of spiritual wisdom, intrigued Akbar. After all, the emperor was an avid reader of the world's great scriptures, and Rupa Gosvami had mastered the Vedas, the most time-honored and comprehensive of them all.

Akbar had a dear friend named Man Singh. As a general in the emperor's army, Man Singh faithfully executed many arduous tasks, eventually attaining the post of king of Amir. Like Akbar, Man Singh was fascinated by Rupa Gosvami, and he one day set out for Vrindavan to meet the great saint. On meeting Rupa Gosvami, Man Singh became convinced of his exalted character. Wanting to render service to this genuine holy man, he decided to finance the building of a magnificent temple in Vrindavan for the Govindaji Deity. For five full years, several thousand men labored with great care, building one of the most gorgeous temples in the world.

The temple was four stories high, with an altar of marble, silver, and gold. A sculptured lotus flower weighing several tons decorated the main hall, where pilgrims thronged daily to see the Deity. Thus Govindaji was again being worshiped with great opulence and devotion. This continued until the early eighteenth century.

Aurangzeb, one of the last in the line of Moghul rulers, was a tyrant and an avowed enemy of Vedic culture. He plundered much of India, destroying many beautiful temples and their Deities. During the time of Aurangzeb's infamous emperorship, Man Singh's grandson, Jai Singh II, ascended the throne of Amir at the age of only thirteen. As he grew to manhood, he quickly mastered engineering, architecture, town-planning, mathematics, and astronomy. And like his father and grandfather, he was a devotee of Lord Krishna. Although he extended his patronage to all communities equally, the Krishna devotees enjoyed his special favor, because he understood the devotees to be engaged in the very essence of authentic spirituality.

One night as the aging Aurangzeb sat on his veranda enjoying the clear night and starry sky, he noticed one stationary star. On inquiring from his servant, he learned that the so-called stationary star was, in fact, the fire atop the Govindaji temple in Vrindavan, some ninety miles away. Unable to control his fury and envy, Aurangzeb vowed to blot out the disconcerting star.

That very day, Jai Singh II, now nineteen, was visiting the royal court at Agra. When he heard that Aurangzeb was going to destroy the temple of Govindaji, the temple his grandfather had built for Rupa Gosvami, he became overwhelmed with disgust and anger. Immediately Jai Singh set out for Vrindavan with a plan to save Govindaji. He knew he would be unable to save the temple, but at least he could rescue the Deity.

On arriving in Vrindavan, Jai Singh warned the people, who then fled the town. Jai Singh next carefully removed Govindaji from the splendor of His temple and, in great haste to avoid Aurangzeb's advancing army, transported Govindaji to his well-fortified capital in the desert hills of Rajasthan. When Aurangzeb and his army reached the Govindaji temple, Aurangzeb was furious to find that the Deity was gone and the townspeople had been alerted. Still, with hundreds of war elephants and thousands of men, he began to bring down the mammoth Govindaji temple, story by story, until only one story remained. All of a sudden, the ground of Vrindavan began to shake violently. Aurangzeb's men were terrified and ran for their lives, never to return.

Although Aurangzeb wanted to kill Jai Singh for disrupting his plans, he was now old and faced more pressing problems within his empire. He soon died in South India.

With the rapid decay of the Moghul empire after Aurangzeb, Jai Singh's reputation as a righteous and powerful ruler grew. At the age of forty, he envisioned an immense new city, with Lord Govindaji at the center, residing within a beautiful temple. And as fifty-five thousand men labored for fifteen years, the dream began to manifest. Thus Jai Singh created his "City of Victory," Jaipur, a dedication to Lord Govindaji.

                                                                                                                                                                   The famous Govindaji Temple of Vrindavan




Jaipur city was fashioned according to Silpa-sastra, the part of the Vedas dealing with architecture and design. And although established in the early eighteenth century, it is still functional and appreciated for its masterful construction. The city was arranged on a grid of wide avenues connected by smaller roads, all focusing on the palace at its heart. Govindaji's temple stood in a beautiful garden by the palace, and when the temple doors were open, Jai Singh could see his beloved Deity from the royal quarters. Government buildings and open marketplaces surrounded the central palace and temple, and a forty-five- foot-high wall circled the entire city. With God at its center, Jaipur was the ideal city, and today it is the capital of Rajasthan.

From the story of Govindaji we can see how Lord Krishna gives His devotees opportunities to serve Him in magnificent ways. Jai Singh's grandfather, Man Singh, was able, by the Lord's grace, to build a magnificent temple for Govindaji. And although that temple was later partially destroyed, Jai Singh had the opportunity to rescue and protect Govindaji and to later construct for Him an entire city. Thus the devotee is always unshaken, seeing even a dangerous situation as an opportunity offered by the Lord to render loving service.

 

Postscript:
In 1972, when His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, traveled to Jaipur with some of his Western disciples, Govindaji was still being worshiped by thousands of devotees, Srila Prabhupada and his followers were happy to see this. Thus, there was a mutual exchange of love between the inhabitants of Jaipur and the ISKCON devotees, for these devotees were also worshipers of Lord Govinda, or Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 

    Above: Arati ceremony as seen from the Palace
      Below: View of the Palace from the Temple

 

Sri Sri Radha-Govinda at ISKCON New York


Just as Srila Prabhupada's American and European disciples were moved to see a living legend of Krishna consciousness in Jaipur, so the queen of Jaipur, Maharani Gayatri Devi, was moved by the devotion of Srila Prabhupada and his followers. To show her appreciation, she offered Srila Prabhupada a pair of large marble Deities of Radha and Krishna, similar to the original Radha-Govindaji Deities. Srila Prabhupada accepted the Deities and immediately shipped Them to his ISKCON center in New York. The Deities, he said, would be known as Radha-Govinda.

===end of historical narration===============

If you think there is anything that is actually enjoyable in this flickering material existence, think again.  The only happiness that exists here is the illusion of happiness.  And that, my dear readers, is not happiness at all.  If you want real happiness you must take shelter of Krishna.  If and when you do so, you will taste happiness which is zillions of light years beyond any happiness you can conceive of even in your wildest imagination.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

                                                                                                                                                                
Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Deities at ISKCON New York
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Is Initiation Required?

My question is, if one is a born Vaishnava, has been following the four principles of ISKCON (in fact, many other societies follow this and even more back in India!) and had Brahmopadesam (ceremonial second birth) and had been praying Lord Krishna and chanting  the Gayatri Mantra 10 rounds a day is he considered an initiated devotee?

If he starts to:
* chant "Mahamantra" and
* follow the FOUR principles and
* participate in ISKCON temple activities and
* reads the scriptures of Srila Prabhupada and other authoritative scriptures and books

If he is doing the above, does he still need to take initiation?

Bhakta Prasad

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There is No Substitute for Initiation

Initiation is not merely a ceremony of second birth.  Nor is it simply following the rules and regulations of devotional service.  It is the beginning of a dynamic personal relationship of complete surrender to a bona fide spiritual master who is present on the planet earth at the time of your initiation.  To make spiritual advancement you must receive the merciful blessings of the bona fide spiritual master.   This is why you must fully submit yourself as his disciple.  This full submission begins at the time of initiation.

Even though the acceptance of his instructions as your life and soul is virtual initiation, the vow solemnly made at the initiation ceremony is required.  You must make your solemn pledge to ever be faithful to your spiritual master. This vow can never be broken.  It is an eternal commitment, not just for one lifetime.

This relationship of complete surrender to him is solidified and sanctified by the initiation ceremony. At that time the spiritual master accepts the disciple's karma and agrees to take him back to Godhead, and the disciple agrees to always abide by whatever instructions the spiritual master may give him. There is no substitute for this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, November 7, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
===========================================================================
Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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Back Soon on the Enlightenment Trail

The festivities here in Sri Vrindavan Dham are now winding down after reaching a peak on Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day.  Mataji and I are now getting ready to hit the trail once again for spreading the science of Krishna consciousness all over the world.  The entire society is suffering like anything due to a lack of Krishna consciousness.  It is the duty of the Krishna conscious people to enlighten them how to become free from their suffering condition.

This time spent in Sri Vrindavan has been an incredible experience of spiritual battery charging and expanded realizations of what is Krishna consciousness.  Krishna has so kindly allowed us to enter in His most sacred abode to be blessed by His inconceivable mercy.  Srila Prabhupada describes Vrindavan as follows,

"The land of Vrindavan, the Lord's childhood playground, still remains today, and anyone who visits these places enjoys the same transcendental bliss, although the Lord is not physically visible to our imperfect eyes. Lord Caitanya recommended this land of the Lord as identical with the Lord and therefore worshipable by the devotees. This instruction is taken up especially by the followers of Lord Caitanya known as the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. And because the land is identical with the Lord, devotees like Uddhava and Vidura visited these places five thousand years ago in order to have direct contact with the Lord, visible or not visible.  Thousands of devotees of the Lord are still wandering in these sacred places of Vrindavan, and all of them are preparing themselves to go back home, back to Godhead."

Just as Krishna never steps one foot outside of Vrindavan, His devotees also never leave Vrindavan by always carrying Vrindavan with them in their hearts wherever they may go for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Prasadam While Traveling

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

My question is, the regulative principle is no meat eating including fish. Does this mean, onions, garlic, mushrooms,  Coca-Cola, biscuits, etc are okay under isolated cases like in airplane etc. Why do devotees wear neck beads?  Is it required for initiation?

Bhakta Amitabh

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Carry Your Own

When traveling you should carry your own prasadam. I am traveling all over the world and we never eat the food provided by the airlines.

You may drink non-caffeinated soft drinks, but must strictly avoid those that contain caffeine like Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Neck beads mark you as being a devotee of the Lord. You may wear one strand now and three strands after you are initiated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, November 6, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

===========================================================================
Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
===========================================================================
Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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How to Be Happy When Things are Not Going Well

Any fool can be happy when things are going well.  It takes a true transcendentalist to be happy when things are not going well.  Catastrophic circumstances are tests of how solidly situated we are in Krishna consciousness.  We have to honestly scrutinize our own position to see if we pass the test.  So there is no sense in being dishonest in this regard.  If we do so, we are only cheating ourselves.

The key is that we should never try to be the enjoyer of the good times.  If we do so, we are simply setting ourselves to be the sufferer of the bad times.  The key is that every situation of so-called good or so-called bad should be utilized for the pleasure and satisfaction of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  If we do this sincerely, then we will always feel satisfied.  Why?  Because when Krishna is pleased, the devotee is naturally pleased.  When we water the root of the tree all the leaves and branches are automatically nourished.  Krishna is the root, and we are the leaves.

Sankarshan das Adhikari


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I Drink Tea Every Day

Hare Krishna,

Sir, I am able to follow all of your practices, except that I drink tea every day.

Your servant,

Harish Singla

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One Thousand Times More Energy

Tea gives energy by artificially stimulating the adrenal gland. This boost of energy may appear to be very nice, but what is actually happening is that your adrenal gland is being worn out.  According to medical science this will lead gradually to many health problems. Therefore it is better to give up drinking tea.  If you will chant Hare Krishna with great love and devotion you will get 1,000 times the energy from drinking tea without any harmful side effects and you will achieve the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead. Tea will never give you that.

Tea drinking was never a part of the culture of India. It was introduced by the British as another way of exploiting Indians. Tea was being grown in India for British consumption. But then the British thought that if we can convince the Indians to drink tea we can make a good profit. So they opened free tea stalls all over India and kept serving the Indians free tea until they became addicted. Then they starting selling it to them.

Are you regularly attending the programs being conducted at your nearest ISKCON center?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, November 5, 2005
The Disappearance Day of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

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Special Announcements:

Today is Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day.  All of his followers must fast until noon and then break their fast after noon with a sumptuous feast that was  prepared for and offered to him at noon.
===========================================================================
Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
===========================================================================
Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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On this Day in 1977  

According to the lunar calendar it was on this day in 1977 at 7:21pm that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada departed from this world and returned to the eternal pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna in the spiritual world.  (In 1977 it was November 14th.) The appearance and disappearance of such great personalities are the most momentous occasions in the universe.

Srila Prabhupada was no ordinary man, nor was he an ordinary guru.  He was in fact the most extraordinary spiritual
master in the history of the entire world because he did what no other guru has ever done before.  He successfully introduced the entire world to the sublime process of Krishna consciousness.

Today I am feeling the separation from my beloved Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada.  How much I am indebted to him! 
 It is he who saved me from my hellish, nightmarish shadow of an existence in the cycle of birth and death.  I still remember how I was sometimes crying in the agony of being stuck in deep depression before I received his mercy.  Srila Prabhupada has blessed me with unlimited kindness.  Even though I was most unqualified and unfit he mercifully picked me up from my fallen position and engaged me in the pure devotional service of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  He gave me the blissful life of eternity, knowledge, and bliss.  I am eternally indebted to him.

Today I cry tears of separation in his absence.  If he were physically present with us now it would be the greatest cause
of joy and celebration, but alas, he is gone from our vision.  Our only solace is to connect with him via the medium of his instructions.  The spiritual master lives forever by his divine instructions, and his disciples live with him.  This is how we can connect with him.  This is how we can be in his divine presence at every minute.

Just as it is said that Krishna never steps even one foot of Vrindavan, it is also a fact that Srila Prabhupada never leaves
the heart of his disciples who are fully dedicated to serving him with their every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances.  Srila Prabhupada told us that his Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, is always seeing his activities and guiding him within his heart by his words.  If we are intensely dedicated to Srila Prabhupada at every minute he will also always see our activities and guide us from within our hearts by his words.  We simply must fully take shelter of his divine teachings as presented in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and in his numerous other writings.  Then our lives will be perfect.  We will live at every moment in the transcendental dimension of immortality, and we will be able to render the best possible service to the suffering humanity.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Why Bother Earning Money?

I want to know who I am.  Every human knows that he will be die one day.  The money which we struggle to earn every day will not go with us.  So why do we earn that money which is useless for our next birth?

Your servant,
Harish

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What is Actually Important

You are the eternal servant of Krishna. Earning money is only for the sake of maintaining this temporary material body, which will be finished today or tomorrow. So earning money is not very important. What is important is always chanting:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

This chanting will deliver us from the cycle of birth and death and make us actually happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, November 4, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

===========================================================================
Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
===========================================================================
Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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Work at Being Krishna Conscious

Even though Krishna Consciousness is the original natural entity of the living being because we have been conditioned in material consciousness for so many millions of lifetimes in our present condition it does not automatically manifest. We have to work at being Krishna conscious. For example in regards to chanting Srila Prabhupada said, "The tongue must work." And he personally instructed me, "Disciple means  discipline."

Although the guru-disciple relationship is the most wonderful loving relationship we will ever have, it is not a mutual admiration partnership.  The spiritual master instructs, and the disciple follows. The spiritual master corrects the disciple for his or her rectification, and the disciple gratefully takes the medicine even though it may sometimes be bitter. When we are sick, medicine must be accepted, even if it is bitter.

Without making an endeavor to engage our senses in the Lord's service they will naturally gravitate towards the material energy and keep us entrapped in the cycle of birth and death. Even here in the powerful spiritual atmosphere of Sri Vrindavan Dham if one is not careful they can be captivated by the spirit of sense enjoyment. Overeating, oversleeping, illicit sexual indulgence, and a fighting spirit can overtake us anywhere within this material world. We must therefore always be very vigilant.

And then someday when we've passed all the tests and overcome all the hurdles, we will become situated in spontaneous pure love of God. If we try to do everything now merely based on spontaneity, we will find ourselves still entangled within the material energy.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Can There Be Contamination in the Spiritual World?

Thank you for your reply. I don't mean to be offensive in any way. Perhaps I'm not understanding properly but if we were existing eternally as spirit soul full of bliss and knowledge in the spiritual world which is our natural position, how did we develop envy? I thought that as pure spiritual beings we were free of such things as envy, greed, anger. How did we become contaminated whilst still living in the spiritual world?

Annjelyn

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Contamination Only Exists in this Material World

The tendency for independence always exist within the heart of the living being. Since we are part and parcel of Krishna, we share the same qualities that He has. Since He is supremely independent, we also have a minute degree of independence. The potential for misusing independence must exist, otherwise independence does not exist. The potential for misuse of independence means that there has to be some degree of probability of misuse. When we apply even the minutest percentage of probability for independence misuse against the unlimited number of devotees who inhabit the spiritual world, we end up with a material world full of living beings who have misused their independence.

The material qualities of lust, greed, and envy do not exist in the spiritual world. If someone in the spiritual world manifests these qualities, he or she will instantaneously find themselves here in the material world without even a delay of even so much as a nanosecond (.000000001, or 1 billionth, of a second).

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

===========================================================================
Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
===========================================================================
Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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Addicted to Vrindavan Dham

There is truly nothing sweeter than being in Sri Vrindavan Dham. In regards to this ultimate abode Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 8.21, "There is nothing superior to the abode of Supreme Godhead, and that  abode is the ultimate destination. When one attains to it, he never returns to the material world. Krishna's supreme abode and Krishna Himself are nondifferent, being of the same quality. On this earth, Vrindavan, ninety miles southeast of Delhi, is a replica of that supreme Goloka Vrindavan located in the spiritual sky. When Krishna descended on this earth, He sported on that particular tract of land known as Vrindavan, comprising about eighty-four square miles in the district of Mathura, India. "

Once we get a taste for doing devotional service in the sweet transcendental atmosphere of Vrindavan we will find everything else in this material world to be completely pale and insignificant. Prabhodananda Sarasvati, a great pure devotee of Krishna, has fully realized the transcendental nature of Vrindavan, which he beautifully glorifies in his great devotional classic, Sri Vrindavan Mahimamrita as follows,  "Vrindavan is illuminated by numberless moons of spiritual bliss. It is cooled by the sweet nectar of spiritual love, and it is filled with desire trees and many hosts of madly cooing birds. Whose heart will not run to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, who enjoy sweet transcendental pastimes in that Vrindavan?"

As each day goes by I find myself becoming more and more addicted to this sweetest of all places. Every moment is oozing with the juiciest nectar.  In the original Vrindavan Dham in the spiritual world all the speech is song, and all the walking is dancing. In its earthly manifestation that same poetic quality is manifested to the devotee according to his or her degree of advancement in Krishna consciousness. The more we are Krishna consciousness, the more we can experience Vrindavan as it is.

Just as it is stated in scripture that Lord Sri Krishna never sets even one foot outside of Vrindavan, the pure devotees of Krishna also never leave Vrindavan. Although they travel to every corner of the world to spread Krishna consciousness to those who are suffering in the clutches of illusion, they never leave Vrindavan because they always carry Vrindavan with them in their hearts. Indeed they transform every place they go into Vrindavan by their transcendental presence.

I pray therefore to Srila Prabhupada, Lord Sri Krishna, and to Srimati Vrinda Devi, the predominating deity of Vrindavan, that I can always carry Vrindavan with me wherever I travel for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world and that I will always be able to give all those who have the ears to hear a desire to be engaged in pure devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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What is Initiation?

Hare Krishna,

I would like to ask one question. What is initiation?

Thanks,

Komal Dhiman

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Formal Acceptance of a Spiritual Master

Initiation is the formal acceptance of a spiritual master. It is at this point that we fully enter into spiritual life. We agree to follow the instructions of the spiritual master, and he agrees to deliver us from this material existence by taking us back to home, back to Godhead. At the time of initiation a formal ceremony is held. The spiritual master gives the disciple a spiritual name and presents him with his chanting beads. The new initiate must commit himself to the following:

1. No illicit sex (sex other than for procreation)
2. No meat eating (including fish and eggs)
3. No intoxication (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes)
4. No gambling
5. Chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa beads

(The above are the basic items of sadhana bhakti to be executed by all those who are serious about being a devotee of Lord Krishna.)

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the Most Amazing Transcendental Abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham in India

===========================================================================
Special Announcements:

Don't be cheated by false gurus. Discover the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master at the following web page:
http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=52
===========================================================================
Sankarshan Prabhu is residing in Vrindavan up until 10 November and is available for personal meetings. He may be traveling to Jaipur for one or two days within this time period, but the rest of the time he will be in Vrindavan. If you would like to meet with him for guidance on how to make your human form of life perfect you may meet with him. He is staying in MVT-Bhaktivedanta Ashram behind the Krishna Balarama Mandir in Building 101, Apartment #A17. If you plan to come send an email to: vrindavan_meet@backtohome.com

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Blessed by the Sacred Dust of Kamyavan

Yesterday was spent in Kamyavan. It's at the farthest edge of Vraja Mandala (Vrindavan Dham) and is rather a rough ride on dirt roads to get there.  (It took us almost three hours.) But it was well worth it. When our party of about 30 devotees arrived there our first stop was Bhojan Sthali. This is where Krishna would often take lunch with His cowherd boy friends. We joined with another group of many hundreds of devotees who got there before we did. I was asked to speak some words of Krishna consciousness before the assembled Vaisnavas. I quoted the famous verse of Narottam Das Thakura:

visaya chariya kabe suddha ha 'be mana
kabe hama herabo sri-brndabana


"When my mind is completely purified, being freed from all material anxieties and desires, then I shall be able to actually enter into the transcendental realm of Sri Vrindavan Dham."

In that transcendental realm of Sri Vrindavan Dham the eternal pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna and His most intimate associates are going on at every minute. One must simply develop the purified vision to be able to personally experience those pastimes. By visiting the various pastimes places and by remembering the many pastimes executed there, we bring ourselves step by step closer to that day when we can directly perceived those pastimes with purified vision directly with our own eyes..

It was quite appropriate that at this place of Krishna's eating pastimes that we would take our meal. We sat down in huge rows of devotees in an agricultural field. It seemed to be between 500 and 1000 devotees. It was quite amazing at how expertly everything was arranged. There were long strips of cloth rolled out for us to sit on so we wouldn't have to sit in the dirt. We ate using our fingers with plates and bowls that were made out of leaves! Talk about environmentally friendly. This caused zero disruption to the environment. And what a nice breakfast/lunch it was.  There were about ten different preparations.

From there our small group then headed out for Charana Pahari. Our bus parked at the foot of a small mountain and then we climbed it for the most wonderful view of Vraja Mandala and the footprints of Lord Krishna. 5,000 years ago Krishna was on this mountain playing his flute when the rock on which he was standing began melting in ecstasy. This allowed Krishna's footprints to become permanently imprinted on top of this mountain. Many great personalities have come to this place for the darshan of Krishna's footprints: Lord Caitanya, Lord Nityananda, Advaita Acarya, Madhavendra Puri, Madhavacarya, Vallabhacarya, the six Goswamis, to name a few.

I sat there in a mood of great awe and reverence singing and deeply meditating on these lines from the famous song describing the holy places of Sri Vrindavan Dham (the Sri Vraja-dham Mahimamrita):

jaya radhe, jaya krsna, jaya vrndavan
sri govinda, gopinatha, madana-mohan

syama-kunda, radha-kunda, giri-govardhan
kalindi jamuna jaya, jaya mahavan

kesi-ghata, bamsi-bata, dwadasa-kanan
jaha saba lila koilo sri-nanda-nandan

sri-nanda-jasoda jaya, jaya gopa-gan
sridamadi jaya, jaya dhenu-vatsa-gan


"All glories to Radha and Krishna and the divine forest of Vrindavan.
All glories to the three presiding Deities of Vrindavan - Sri Govinda, Gopinatha, and Madana-mohana."

"All glories to Syama-kunda, Radha-kunda, Govardhana Hill, and
the Yamuna River (Kalindi). All glories to the great forest known as Mahavana, where Krishna and Balarama displayed all of Their childhood pastimes."

"All glories to Kesi-ghata, where Krishna killed the Kesi demon. All glories to the Vamsi-vata tree, where Krishna attracted all the gopis to come by playing His flute. Glories to all of the twelve forests of Vraja. At these places the son of Nanda, Sri Krishna, performed all of His pastimes. "

"All glories to Krishna's divine father and mother, Nanda and Yasoda. All glories to the cowherd boys, headed by Sridama, the older brother of Srimati Radharani and Ananga Manjari. All glories to the cows and calves of Vraja."

After visiting a spot at the base of the mountain where Lord Balarama's footprint is clearly visible in a rock and Pichel Pahari, a natural slide in the mountain rocks that was enjoyed in the sliding pastimes of Krishna and the cowherd boys, we eventually arrived at Vimala Kunda, a sacred lake.  Many devotees were going to take bath, but I decided to sit peacefully merely enjoying the serene atmosphere.

But then I found out that in Adi Varaha Purana it is stated that anyone who takes bath in Vimala Kunda has all of his sins destroyed. So much for merely sitting peacefully by the kunda! Within minutes I had removed my dhoti, vest, and kurta and was attired in a simple gamcha suitable for bathing and was within the inconceivably sweet nectarean waters of Vimala Kunda purifying myself of all the sins accumulated over countless millions of lifetimes. This purification allows us the rare privilege of purely practicing Krishna consciousness and spread it all over the world for the benefit of the suffering humanity. After that refreshing dip no towel was handy so I merely dried off naturally in the sun.

I sat by the kunda speaking with my beloved Godbrother from Germany, Sriman Vaiyanatha Prabhu. He works for the German government doing accounting work. He described to me how he made one of his co-workers a devotee.  Just by observing his nice devotional qualities the co-worker became attracted to Krishna consciousness and became a devotee of Lord Krishna. Just see the potency of purely being absorbed in Krishna consciousness. This can transform the entire planet.

Our last stop in Kamyavan was the cream. We went for a darshan of the enchantingly beautiful deity of Vrinda Devi, the orchestrator of Lord Sri Krishna's Vrindavan pastimes. This deity was originally installed by Krishna's grandson, Vrajanabha 4,900 years ago and was rediscovered by Rupa Goswami on the bank of Brahma-Kunda 500 years ago in Vrindavan. He installed the deity in a small temple next to the Radha-Govinda Temple.

When the Muslim tyrant, Aurangzeb was preparing his armies to invade Vrindavan to demolish the Radha Govinda temple, a greatly heroic Rajasthani King, Maharaja Jai Singh, heard of the impending catastrophe and secretly came to Vrindavan. He alerted the Brajavasis (inhabitants of Vrindavan) who arranged to move all the main deities out of Vraja Mandala to Jaipur, Rajasthan for safety.

On the way they stopped at different places, such as Radha Kunda and finally Kamyavan, which is very near the border of Vraja Mandala. After some days, when the party was preparing to resume their journey they found to their amazement that no one was able to move the deity of Vrinda Devi.  Despite all efforts Vrinda Devi remained. Since she is the presiding deity of Vrindavan, she was not willing to leave Vraja Mandala. Therefore a Radha Govinda temple was established in Kamyavan and Vrinda Devi resides there. 

Vrinda Devi is described by Srila Rupa Goswami in his "Radha Krishna Gannoddesh Dipika":

Vrinda Devi has a beautiful complexion, like molten gold, and wears blue garments. She is decorated with pearls and flowers. Vrinda Devi is glorified as the most expert gopi messenger, and she is expert at arranging the meetings of Radha and Krishna."

Srila Raghunatha das Goswami explains in his "Vraja Vilas Stava":

Vrinda Devi is the transcendental orchestrator of Radha-Krishna's pastimes.  She decorates the pastime groves and creates a festive atmosphere to enhance the divine couple's pleasure.

I bowed reverently at her feet and prayed very intently with great devotion for the benediction that Vrinda Devi would allow me to play some kind of role in the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. While I was praying in this way the devotees began singing prayers to Vrinda devi with intense love and devotion. It was a very powerful experience.

Then I was informed that according to the Bhakti Ratnakar that Kamyavana has a great and wonderful potency for fulfilling all one's spiritual desires. Simply by taking bath here one is freed form all miseries. Every grain of dust, creeper, kunda (pond or lake), bush or tree is surcharged with this wish-fulfilling potency. So I intensely prayed to Vrinda Devi, to the dust, to the plants, to the lakes, to everything here that I could become a completely pure devotee and that I can spread Krishna consciousness all over the world like anything. I also prayed that I could conquer over sleep.

When we finally arrived, after dark, back at our residence by Vrindavan's Krishna Balarama I knew that I just experienced one of the most amazing days in my entire sojourn of millions of lifetimes in this material world. I knew that my life would never be the same. I have now been blessed by sacred dust of one of the twelve main forests of Vrindavan, that most sublime Kamyavan. And there was a lot of it, especially on the road back to Vrindavan town.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Is ISKCON Presenting Sanatana Dharma?

Is ISKCON presenting Sanatana Dharma? I would like to know.

Dave Bhardwaj

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ISKCON and Sanatana Dharma

ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna is in fact not presenting any particular religious system. We are presenting the pure essence of what religion actually is before it is colored by any sectarian consciousness. In Sanskrit language, the pure essence of religion is called "sanatana dharma." This term literally means "the eternal inseparable nature of the living being." Just as the eternal nature of water is liquidity, the eternal nature (sanatana dharma) of the soul is to love God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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