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Thought for the Day

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

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Under the guidance and inspiration of ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Dedicated to bringing about  a spiritual revolution for the enlightenment of all living beings on the planet
 

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Today's Thought for the Day

A Thrill at Every Moment

It's 5:50am on 30 January, 2006. I've finished chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on my japa beads. I've woken the deities, offered mangala arati and Tulasi arati. I've also cooked the breakfast offering. Now it's my writing time, time to compose "Thought for the Day." What a sweet and wonderful part of my regular daily routine this has now become for the last three years! I have no magic formula. I simply honestly present the wonderful realizations and experiences I am having as a dedicated disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

By his causeless mercy any ordinary person, such as myself, can live the most extraordinary life of transcendental adventure, a thrill at every moment. All you have to do is read Srila Prabhupada's books and follow Srila Prabhupada's books. This can be done in any situation in any part of the world. Your life will be unlimitedly sublime. I guarantee it.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers from Sankarshan Prabhu's Correspondence:

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How to Achieve Self Realization?...

How can I achieve self realization? What is the benefit of chanting Hare Krishna? Which is the best time for chanting?

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Amazing Things...

The means of becoming self-realized is to fully surrender yourself at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you will carefully study the Bhagavad-gita At It Is, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, you will gain complete understanding of how to become fully self-realized.

You may obtain a copy at your nearest ISKCON center. There is a world wide directory given here:
http://www.iskcon.com/worldwide/centres/index.html

Read the Bhagavad-gita and regularly attend the programs at your nearest ISKCON center. In this way you will learn everything you need to know for achieving spiritual perfection.

Chanting will clean all the impurities out of your heart. It is best to chant the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 rounds daily on japa beads in the early morning before you begin your daily activities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, January 30, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Today's Thought for the Day

Preparing for My Next Lecture Tour

A layover, time off from my vigorous schedule of traveling and preaching, is welcome. I can focus on various health issues that are affecting this material body that I am lugging around. Plus this layover is a excellent opportunity for introspection.

We must always analyze if we are serving the mission of our spiritual master in the best possible way. To serve his orders in a way that gives him the most pleasure is the purpose of our existence. The surrendered disciple lives for nothing else. His only desire is to please his spiritual master. So we have to always make sure that we are doing the best possible service for our spiritual master.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains,

"A disciple should always remember that by serving the spiritual master he can easily advance in Krishna consciousness. All the scriptures recommend that it is by pleasing the spiritual master and serving him directly that one can attain the highest perfectional stage of devotional service."
from purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.34

It is no doubt enlivening to think of and make preparations for my upcoming European Lecture Tour. But it is all equally enlivening to do everything possible to please Srila Prabhupada right now by my every thought, word, and deed.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers from Sankarshan Prabhu's Correspondence:

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My Pleasant Surprise...

I am getting your Thought for the Day messages regularly. I enjoy reading them first thing in the morning. Whenever I have a question, to my pleasant surprise, I find the same answered for somebody else.

Thank you very much for your wonderful service.

A devotee.

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Amazing Things...

I am very happy that you are enlivened by our humble attempt to present Lord Sri Krishna's teachings. As soon as we try to sincerely glorify the Lord all kinds of amazing things start to happen.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Today's Thought for the Day

Spiritual Hijacking Thwarted

Disciplic succession is the ancient system of one spiritual master passing on spiritual mastership to those of his disciples who are strictly following him. As my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, states, "One who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master. And one cannot be a bona fide and authorized spiritual master unless one has been strictly obedient to his spiritual master." Srila Prabhupada did not name one successor to continue on as the spiritual master of ISKCON, the spiritual movement he created. Rather he said that all his disciples who strictly followed him would be his successors.

Now almost 30 years after his departure there are some persons outside of Srila Prabhupada's movement, ISKCON, who claim that a particular Indian swami, who is not a member of ISKCON, is the sole successor to the spiritual legacy of Srila Prabhupada. They claim that Srila Prabhupada's disciples are not his successors, that only their leader, this Indian swami, is Srila Prabhupada's successor. They demand that all of Srila Prabhupada's followers should now surrender themselves to this Indian swami.

I recently received an fraudulent email from one of the followers of this Indian swami. This follower was somehow or other able to temporarily hijack the email account of my students and signed the email to me with my student's name. (This illegal act was reported to legal authorities.) The email I received informed me that I do not have the shelter of a pure devotee of Krishna. He or she told me that the only way I can get the shelter of a pure devotee of Krishna is to surrender myself to their leader, the Indian swami.

This is not what I was taught by Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada taught me that the spiritual master lives forever by his divine teachings, and that the follower lives with him. I am eternally under the full shelter and protection of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I have not lost his shelter and, although I respect all others, I do not require the shelter of anyone else.

Others may be hijacked by such false propaganda, which goes against the Vedic teachings. But because I have the full shelter and protection of my spiritual master, in my case the hijacking was thwarted.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers from Sankarshan Prabhu's Correspondence:

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The Best Day of My Life!...

I'm honored and grateful for your guidance and your blessings. Just yesterday I was praying to lord Krishna and complaining to Him about how selfish people have become and how I don't think I'll ever get to know what real love is, and today He answered me through you. I am so happy. The day I signed up for this course was definitely the best day of my life!

Wishing you good health and a long life.

Hare Krishna

Mahima

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Make Each Successive Day Even Better...

Now that you've had the best day of your life, make each successive day even better by seriously taking up the process of Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Today's Thought for the Day

Defeating Terrorism

One of the greatest fears of the modern day society is the fear of terrorism. Since September 11, 2001 the US government has spent more than $58 billion to combat terrorism. But in spite of such a huge amount of money being spent to combat it, it is still going on with great vigor. What's wrong? Why can't they stop it?

Leaders who are themselves guilty of promoting terrorism do not have the power to bring it to an end. These leaders have big, big conferences on how to stop terrorism. But when it comes time for their lunch they all dine on the bodies of terrorism victims, the poor innocent animals who are mercilessly murdered in the slaughterhouses.

How much are we terrorizing our four-legged and winged brothers and sisters? Let's look at some statistics. In the USA ten billion animals were killed in 2003. That's 27,397,260 animals every day, 1,141,553 every hour, 19,026 every minute. By comparison this makes 9/11 look like a Sunday school picnic.

Since what goes around, comes around and since he who terrorizes must be terrorized, we must reasonably expect to be the victims of terrorism as long as we continue to inflict terrorism on others. If we want to win the war of terrorism, we must first stop terrorizing the animals and unborn babies. Then we shall see some scope for a terror free world. Otherwise we can go on dreaming our lives away in a state of false euphoria until the next massive terror attack sobers us up a little bit.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers from Sankarshan Prabhu's Correspondence:

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According to Zen Philosophy Everything Happens Automatically...

Zen people say that by sitting silently doing nothing spring comes and the grass grows by itself. They say that you have only to sit silently doing nothing, and everything goes on happening of its own accord. The spring will come and the grass will grow. In this way everything is going to happen automatically. You don't need to do anything.

If so then where does Karma stand? According to this theory we should be effortless.

Thanks,

With regards,

Sangita

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Zen Starvation...

Let the Zen philosopher get his nourishment without putting the food in his mouth and chewing it. Then we will see about taking his philosophy seriously.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, January 27, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Today's Thought for the Day

Real Love

In this world, all too often, desiring sexual union with someone is considered to be love. "I love you. Will you be mine?" often means, "I am lusty to have sex with you. Will you get in bed with me?"

But this is not real love. Real love means to serve another without any thought of receiving anything in return. One of my readers complained that his happy marriage recently failed after he contracted a disease which made his face turn ugly. If we truly love someone, we will never abandon them under any circumstances.

Srila Prabhupada describes real love as follows,

"Even in this material world we can have a little sense of love. How is this possible? It is due to the presence of our original love of God. Whatever we find within our experience within this conditioned life is situated in the Supreme Lord, who is the ultimate source of everything. In our original relationship with the Supreme Lord there is real love, and that love is reflected pervertedly through material conditions. Our real love is continuous and unending, but because that love is reflected pervertedly in this material world, it lacks continuity and is inebriating. If we want real, transcendental love, we have to transfer our love to the supreme lovable object -- Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the basic principle of Krishna consciousness."

If I really love you or you really love me, then we will always agree to serve each other under any condition. This spirit is able to fully manifest only on the spiritual platform, where we no longer consider ourselves to be the center of the universe. It's only when we rightfully see God as the center of the universe that we can truly love.


Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers from Sankarshan Prabhu's Correspondence:

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Is the Spiritual World Only Achieved After Death?...

In the Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has explained that when one attains the highest truth one reaches the abode of Lord Krishna called Goloka Vrindavan. Is it possible to reach this supreme abode while we are alive, or is it possible only after we leave the material world at the time of death?

I had a discussion regarding this with some people who have also read the Bhagavad Gita and they said that it is only possible for great saints to reach this place and not normal people like us.

Kindly throw some light on this topic.

Thanking you,

Mahima

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Alive or After Death...

As described by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 7.4.34, there is one great devotee named Prahlada Maharaja who lives simultaneously in the spiritual and material worlds. So it is possible to achieve the spiritual world even while living in the present body.

Generally however, achieving the spiritual world means that after your present material body dies you achieve a spiritual body in the kingdom of God. Any normal person who fully surrenders himself to Lord Krishna under the guidance of bona fide spiritual master can achieve the spiritual world at the time of death.

Going back to Godhead is the real meaning of being normal. Those who do not do so are abnormal. Unfortunately at the present moment 99.999% percent of the world population is abnormal. No wonder so many weird things are always happening on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Today's Thought for the Day

The Perfection of Dedication

Dedication is the very substance of our being. It is the fiber of our existence. Everyone has a sense of dedication to something or someone. No one functions without some kind of dedication. A man dedicates himself to his family. If he does not have a family, he will keep a dog so he dedicate himself to the dog.

Because we do not know where to repose our dedication for achieving ultimate happiness, we dedicate ourselves in so many varieties of ways that ultimately do not satisfy us. The intelligent person will seek out where the best result can be obtained from his dedication. He then dedicates himself enthusiastically there and relishes the topmost happiness at every moment. The Vedic wisdom teaches where and how to dedicate ourselves in such a way that our dedication becomes universal and perfect.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers from Sankarshan Prabhu's Correspondence:

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Reincarnation...

I am about to start studying the science of Krishna Consciousness. Is it possible that you can help by enlightening me regarding reincarnation? What really is reincarnation is? How does reincarnation affect our soul?

Mother Alma

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You Are Changing Bodies...

Reincarnation is a very simple principle to understand. Just as you have changed bodies in this lifetime many times, from a baby's body to a little girl's body, from a little girl's body to a young girl's body, from a young girl's body to a teenager's body, from a teenager's body to a young adult body, etc--in a similar way you, the living being, have been changing bodies lifetime after lifetime.

Nature has facilitated you with many varieties of bodies to satisfy your desire to enjoy in many varieties of ways--sometimes as a human being, sometimes as a an animal, and sometimes as a plant. But in each and every bodily situation you have not been fully satisfied because your actual identity is situated far, far beyond the body. None of the millions of different types of bodies that you have accepted over millions of lifetimes could satisfy your desire for an eternal existence full of bliss and knowledge.

To achieve that platform you must realize that you are not that body, that you instead are an eternal spiritual being, the eternal servant of Krishna or God. And then under the expert of guidance of the bona fide spiritual master you should gradually master the art of rendering pure devotional service unto the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Today's Thought for the Day

The Ultimate Cure

We are a world lamenting our lost purity. Everywhere all around us are the mournful signs of a society gone astray. The air is polluted, the water is polluted, and our minds are polluted. The social fabric is falling apart at the seams. It's happening so slowly we can hardly notice it. But if we observe what's going on carefully and honestly, it becomes crystal clear. Order is gradually, gradually fading into anarchy.

Are you disturbed to hear such things? Don't be. This is medicine. We don't cure a disease by ignoring it. We cure a disease by knowing perfectly what it is and then attacking it head on with the proper medicine. That medicine is that we simply have to become reconnected with our original pure state of universal consciousness. This enlightened state of being is known as Krishna Consciousness.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers from Sankarshan Prabhu's Correspondence:

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Recognizing an Advanced Devotee...

I just wanted to say that I think I may have figured out how to recognize an advanced devotee. The advanced devotee is the one who can help you remember Krishna. I have read your "Thought for Today". Each time I read it I feel a connection to the spiritual world. I cannot explain it completely, but as I am reading I am in a sort of bliss. When I am finish reading, I feel as though I have returned from somewhere.

I have a few questions:

At the point of initiation does the spiritual master's love help the disciple to get more and more connected to Krishna through bhakti, devotion?

At the point of death of an initiated disciple does Krishna and the spiritual master come to take the disciple back to Godhead?

When I get initiated I am connected with my guru for eternity? In other words when I go back to Godhead, will I be there with my spiritual master?

Thank you for answering these questions.

Humbly,

Warren

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Srila Prabhupada is the Most Advanced Devotee...

Your realization is correct. The advanced devotee is the one who helps you to remember Krishna. Of course, I take no credit for being an advanced devotee. I take it that because my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, is the most advanced devotee, his potency is acting through me, blessing and uplifting my readers because I am purely presenting his teachings without any adulteration.

I am very happy that you are feeling transported to the spiritual world when you read "Thought for the Day." This makes perfect sense to me because I am feeling transported to the spiritual world every day when I write "Thought for the Day." By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada something truly amazing is happening here.

Yes, at the point of initiation the spiritual master's pure love for his disciple helps the disciple to become more and more connected with Krishna through bhakti, pure devotion.

Yes, at the time of death the spiritual master does take the disciple back to Godhead provided he is fully surrendered to Guru and Krishna.

Yes, when you take initiation from Sri Guru you will be connected with him eternally as his disciple. You will serve him eternally in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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An Exciting, Thrilling Existence for All of Eternity

Srila Prabhupada states,

"The result of Krishna consciousness is that one becomes increasingly enlightened, and he enjoys life with a thrill, not only for some time, but at every moment." from purport to Bhagavad-gita 18.76

Even though we do not consider ourselves highly advanced in this science of Krishna consciousness we are experiencing how true Srila Prabhupada's words are. There is truly nothing more exciting and thrilling than a life fully dedicated to spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

It is exciting in many, many ways. One thing is that there is so much opposition to the spreading of Krishna consciousness. It is an uphill battle every step of the way. The thrill is to see how this Krishna consciousness is gradually gaining more and more of a foothold in this material world. More and more people are waking up and realizing that there has got to be something more to life than simply eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. Every day more and more people are discovering the wonderful books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, especially Bhagavad-gita As It Is. If you don't have a copy yet, you can get one at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store

If you will carefully read and follow the teachings of Lord Krishna as so purely presented by Srila Prabhupada, we can assure you that you will live the most exciting, thrilling delightful existence for all of eternity.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Why Does Krishna Give Us Sorrow?

Why does Lord Krishna give us suffering and sorrow?

Why do people think that only in sorrow one should remember the Lord?

If we are the Lord's children, why should we ask for our necessities? Is it not His duty to look after us?

Why has He made suffering and tension?

Why does He not love His children equally?

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We Give Ourselves Sorrow

Krishna does not give us sufferings and sorrow. We give these to ourselves when we proudly refuse his gifts of eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

Someone who only remembers the Lord in sorrow is a lover of happiness. They are not a lover of God.

Since we are God's children we do not require to ask for our necessities. We should only inquire from Him how we can serve Him.

He did not make the sufferings and tensions. That is our foolish mistake to create these things.

He confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that He does in fact love all of His children equally:

samo 'ham sarva-bhutesu
"I am equally disposed to all living entities."
Bhagavad-gita 9.29

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, January 23, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Attaining Brahma-Nirvana

For last Saturday night's Bhagavad-gita class we studied the following verse:

kama-krodha-vimuktanam
yatinam yata-cetasam
abhito brahma-nirvanam
vartate viditatmanam

"Those who are free from anger and all material desires, who are self-realized, self-disciplined and constantly endeavoring for perfection, are assured of liberation in the Supreme in the very near future." Bhagavad-gita 5.26

In his purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada explains, "He does not feel the pangs of material miseries; this state of life is called brahma-nirvana, or the absence of material miseries due to being constantly immersed in the Supreme." What an amazing state of consciousness this is, to be completely separated from all of the miseries of material existence! All one has to do to attain brahma-nirvana is to immerse oneself 24 hours daily in Krishna consciousness. No matter you are doing you must always remember Krishna.

How is that possible?

You must chant Hare Krishna and associate with the devotees of the Lord at every available opportunity. This is the insider's secret for quickly and easily attaining brahma-nirvana.


Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Does One Have to Have a Personal Guru?

Does one have to have a personal guru? Or is Srila Prabhupada, through his writings such as the Bhagavad-gita As It Is, one's guru?

Thanking you in advance for your time.

Kathleen

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Regaining Your Eternal Identity in the Spiritual World

There are two kinds of gurus. There is the siksha guru, the instructing spiritual master. And there is the diksha guru, the initiating spiritual master. Because Srila Prabhupada has taken so much labor of love to make his teachings fully available in his books, he is fully available to you as a siksha guru, instructing guru.

By reading Srila Prabhupada's books carefully you will see that he is giving the instruction that we must also have a personal guru, a diksha guru (initiating guru.) Diskha or initiation must be taken from a guru who is physically present on this material plane. Since Srila Prabhupada is no longer, since November of 1977, physically present on this plane, you should carefully take shelter of his teachings and through that gain inspiration for making personal contact with and taking initiation from one of his disciples.

There are some 80 or so of Srila Prabhupada's disciples who are diksha gurus. I am one one of them. Taking my course does not mean that you have to take initiation from me. You may take your initiation from any his disciples who are gurus. I am simply a servant of my students to help them fully comprehend and implement the sublime teachings of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and thus attain the supreme perfection, the supreme happiness, and regain their eternal identities in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, January 22, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Krishna Consciousness When the Body is Sick

Today I am very sick. Actually it is not "I." It is the body that is sick. In Krishna consciousness we learn to take advantage of each and every situation we find ourselves in for enhancing our Krishna consciousness. Generally sickness precedes the moment of death, so being sick is a great opportunity to detach ourselves from our material bodily situation and remember the eternal nature of the spirit-soul and its relationship with Krishna. It has been a great encouragement for me to read today many appreciations from all over the world of my humble attempt to serve the mission of Srila Prabhupada through this e-course. So many sincere souls who are subscribed to our "Thought for the Day" have expressed how much they are enlivened by this daily dose of Krishna katha, topics related to Lord Krishna.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Krishna Consciousness in Iraq by the Mercy of Srila Prabhupada

I am highly obliged for the daily emails. I am a disciple of His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaja. At present I am working in Iraq. I don't have any spiritual association except for Srila Prabhupada's books and your "Thought for the Day." After coming here now I realize the importance of what Srila Prabhupada has given. It is the most valuable thing on earth. I am one of the most fortunate persons, completely indebted forever to Srila Prabhupada, my Guru Maharaja, my other Gurus and all of the great Vaisnavas.

Thank you very much,

Sudhir Krishna Das

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Srila Prabhupada is Giving the Most Valuable Thing

You are right indeed to understand that what Srila Prabhupada has given is the most valuable thing on the earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, January 21, 2006
Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Cooking the Morning Breakfast Offering for the Lord

While I'm here at Bhaktivedanta Ashram one of my morning duties is to prepare the morning offering for Sri Sri Radha Damodar. It is very nice opportunity to render direct service to Lord. Although a very simple offering, it gives me a wonderful opportunity to absorb myself in devotional service. I cook a small batch of oatmeal, bring a cup of milk to a boil, and then cut a variety of fruits and arrange them nicely on the Lord's plate.

One of the most wonderful aspects of Lord Krishna's unlimited glories is that even though He is great and so powerful He agrees to accept even the meager offerings of His devotees if they are offered with love and devotion. He explains this in the Bhagavad-gita:

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." Bhagavad-gita 9.26

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Death and Dreams

What is the difference or similarity between death and dreams?

Sangita

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Similarity and Difference

The difference between the dream state and the death state is that after death you don't wake up again and your material body disintegrates. The similarity is that in both states the soul and the subtle body travel outside of the physical body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, January 20, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Don't Neglect This. Your Response Required...

We are switching to a new email server to give you better service. If you want to continue receiving "Thought for the Day," you will have to re-enroll by signing up right now on our new mailing list. You may do so through the following:

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P.S. Sign up right now to make you don't miss a single issue of "Thought for the Day."

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Tasting the Sweet Nectar of Krishna Consciousness at Bhaktivedanta Ashram

Our headquarters here at Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas is a true oasis in the desert. Here everything connects with Krishna. I rise by 3:00am for my morning shower, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra for at least 16 rounds on the japa beads that were personally given to me by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and for attending the morning devotional program.

The morning program we conduct every day was also given to by us with Srila Prabhupada. It is a very powerful, sweet, ecstatic meditation, a sublime series of transcendental events. At 4:30am we have Mangal Arati, an auspicious welcoming ceremony for the Lord. Then we worship the Lord's pure devotee, Srimati Tulasi Devi. Then while Mataji bathes and dresses Sri Sri Radha Damodar, I bathe and dress a deity of Srila Prabhupada, cook the breakfast, and work on "Thought for the Day." At 6:45am after the deities have been dressed and received their breakfast, we have a ceremony to greet them, after which I offer an arati to Srila Prabhupada called Guru Puja. Following this we have an intellectually stimulating Srimad Bhagavatam class and a delicious breakfast of Krishna prasadam (foodstuffs offered to Lord Krishna with love and devotion.)

At this point we enter into our regular daily activities in a blissful state of Krishna consciousness. You can also taste the sweetest nectar every morning by conducting a similar program in your home. Or you can attend the blissful morning program at your nearest ISKCON center. In this way you will quickly and easily advance yourself along the pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Why suffer in a state of anxiety when you taste ever-increasing bliss day after day?

Sankarshan das Adhikari

Editor's note: For a listing of all ISKCON centers worldwide visit:

http://iskcon.com/worldwide/centres/index.html

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Does Krishna Reject Someone Who Doesn't Have a Guru?

I have a question regarding your teaching about the necessity of a spiritual master for us.

How can Lord Krishna who loves his people reject someone who comes to him, calls out to him even without a guru? What about the poor illiterate soul who has never had the chance to go to a guru or even listen to the words of Bhagavad-gita to know that he needs a guru?

We must be very careful not to criticize other methods or religions or pathways to God. In the end the objective must be met, not the method itself glorified. Please allow it to be a Krishna consciousness movement based on the original teachings of the Gita, rather than a ISKCON - consciousness movement.

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Krishna Blesses the Sincere Seeker with a Guru

Krishna doesn't reject anyone who calls out to Him. For those who call out to Him with a desire to master the art of complete surrender at His lotus feet, He blesses them by bringing them into contact with a bona fide spiritual master, who then teaches them how to master the art of complete surrender to Krishna.

You mention, "We must be very careful not to criticize other methods or religions or pathways to God." So how can we imply that there is a defect in teaching the necessity of having a guru? After all, Krishna directly states in the Bhagavad-gita Chapter 4, text 34:

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth."

You are stating that ISKCON is not presenting the original teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. Anyone with even an elementary knowledge of Sanskrit can clearly see that ISKCON is presenting the Bhagavad-gita in its original pure form without even the slightest tinge of deviation.

You have mentioned that we should have a Krishna consciousness movement, not an ISKCON consciousness movement. ISKCON means international Krishna consciousness society. So what you are saying is contradictory. You are saying, "We should have a Krishna consciousness society, not a Krishna consciousness society."

If you want to convince us that we are wrong, you will have to come up with far more coherent arguments than what you have presented thus far. Until then we will continue following the orders we are receiving from Lord Krishna through the guru parampara system started and maintained by Him.

I am hoping this meets you in the best of health and in an ecstatic mood.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

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Fully Dependent on the Lord's Mercy

In this material world we tend to take shelter of our material situation. This is an unhealthy state of consciousness. At any time the rug of material security can be pulled out from under us leaving us bewildered and perplexed. This is why we have to realize that we have no real shelter except for Krishna or God. In this regard in the Vedic wisdom it is stated:

Mare krishna rakhe ke rakhe krishna mare ke

"If Krishna wants to protect you, nobody can kill you, and if Krishna wants to kill you, nobody can protect you."

If we will fully surrender ourselves to Krishna with the complete trust and confidence that He will always fully and purely love us at every moment, then we will enter into a dimension of consciousness which is completely devoid of any kind of anxiety. In this liberated state our joy and knowledge will continually expand for all of eternity without any restriction.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Who are Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu?

Hare Krishna,

If Lord Krishna is everything, He is the only light of the whole universe. Then who are Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu? Why they are considered as the destroyer, creator, and maintainer?

With regards

Sangita Marwah

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Guna Avatars

Krishna reveals Himself in the Bhagavad-gita to be the origin of everything:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate

"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me." Bhagavad-gita 10.8

This is confirmed by Lord Brahma in the Brahma-Samhita:

isvarah paramah krsnah
sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah
sarva-karana-karanam

"Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes." Brahma Samhita  5.1

Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are called Guna Avatars. They are expansions of Lord Sri Krishna to respectively perform the functions of the creation, maintenance, and destruction of this material universe. Shiva and Brahma are demigods, servants of the Lord, and Lord Vishnu is Krishna or God Himself in His four-handed manifestation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13
countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Most Important Announcement:

We are switching to a new email server to give you better service. If you want to continue receiving "Thought for the Day," you will have to re-enroll by signing up right now on our new mailing list. You may do so through the following:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Sign_Up/thought.htm

P.S. Sign up right now to make you don't miss a single issue of "Thought for the Day."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A Devotee is Merciful

A devotee is merciful. He cannot tolerate to see the suffering condition of the world society. Thus the devotee dedicates his life fully to spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world into the heart of all living beings. Because of his or her dedicated service on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead there is no one more dear to the Lord than such a surrendered servant.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Is Krishna Consciousness Selfish?

If I chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and find the bliss, and if I seek to see the form of Krishna for the delight it will give me, am I not seeking to satisfy my senses and thus being selfish?

Your student.

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The Pure Devotee is Perfectly Selfless

The pure devotee is willing to suffer on behalf of Krishna. All he cares about is Krishna's pleasure. He chants not for his own pleasure. Rather, he chants to please Krishna. He is willing to serve Krishna eternally even if he never gets to see Him. He never asks anything in return for his service. This is true love of Krishna, the highest perfection of spiritual enlightenment.

Would you like to develop such pure love for Krishna?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead,  In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online
Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Most Opportune Moment

We are standing at the threshold at the most opportune moment in world history. After thousands of years of ever-increasing planetary chaos, the most enlightened and empowered spiritual master in world history, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has come and delivered the most advanced and thorough explanation of spiritual knowledge ever revealed. Anyone who carefully reads and applies the teachings given in Srila Prabhupada's books will become empowered as a powerful spiritual leader for guiding the lost souls of this age out of chaos.

I started the Ultimate Self Realization Course in December of 2002 simply for the purpose of giving as many people as possible access to these sublime teachings. Kindly take full advantage of this knowledge and live the most highly successful life possible. The world is full of people who are very successful materially. But their success is fleeting. It is here today and gone tomorrow. Rare are those persons in history who have achieved spiritual perfection. But it is those persons who have had and will always have the greatest impact on world history.

Why devote your life merely to the material rat race when you can instead focus on practicing and establishing enlightened spiritual consciousness on this planet?

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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How Are Children Viewed in Krishna Consciousness?

Firstly, I would like to thank you for posting all of the lectures from your recent world tour. I look forward to many hours of enjoyment and inspiration as I listen.

Secondly, I would like to ask another question if I may.

How are children viewed in Krishna Consciousness? Are they seen as a distraction and detriment to spiritual progress, or as an opportunity to further one's relationship with Krishna?

With humble thanks,

Avril

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Children Can Be the Greatest Blessing

I am very happy that you are appreciating my humble attempt to present the teachings of Krishna in the pure unadulterated form given to us by Srila Prabhupada.

Children in themselves are neither favorable nor detrimental for our Krishna consciousness. It is how you relate with them that is either favorable or unfavorable for your Krishna consciousness.

If you accept them as the Lord's greatest blessing upon you, that you have been awarded the opportunity of delivering these souls back to home, back to Godhead, then being a parent will be the most wonderful service that one can render to the Lord. This enlightened understanding of raising children is the real meaning of parenthood.

On the other hand, if you simply think of making all nice arrangements for their material bodies and you neglect the eternal soul that resides within the body, your so-called parenthood will be a great hindrance not only for them, but for you also.

For the spiritual master it is a similar situation. He is the spiritual father. To have the responsibility of delivering his disciples back to the spiritual world is a great blessing because it fully absorbs him in Krishna's service.

Nowadays many charlatans pose as spiritual masters without even the slightest clue of how they or their disciples can achieve spiritual perfection. Such so-called spiritual masters are the greatest enemies of the human society.

The parent who delivers their child is the greatest well-wisher. The parents who keep their children entangled in this cycle of birth and death are doing the greatest violence to those souls who have been placed under their care and protection by the Lord.

It is clearly affirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum

"One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod." Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.18

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead, In the sublime atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online
Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Back to Austin

I'm back now in Austin. This is a very, very special place for me. This is the place of my spiritual birth. This is where in 1971 I was blessed with the special mercy of Guru, Krishna, and Vaisnavas and was thus able to get the avenue of escape from the all-devouring influence of the material energy. How much I relish the memories of those days when I was finally blessed with the most powerful system for throwing off the suffering of material existence once and for all. What a relief after millions of lifetimes in the cycle of birth and death!

His Holiness Vishnujana Maharaja showed up one day in town like the pied piper. The only musical instruments he had were his voice and his hands. He sang Hare Krishna and clapped his hands on the Guadalupe Street by the University of Texas campus and started a spiritual revolution. Austin has never been the same since. Within a matter of several weeks he attracted many followers and although penniless he also got a house. To this very day the effects of those sweet Hare Krishna kirtans he led which transported the hearers to the spiritual world have continued to reverberate.

Kirtan is the congregational singing of the holy names of God. Especially powerful is the Hare Krishna mantra:

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

Thank you, Vishnujana Maharaja, for bringing the ultimate self-realization process of Krishna consciousness to Austin.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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How Can I Find a Spiritual Master?

I would be pleased to know from you how can I find a spiritual master who can initiate me into Krishna consciousness. I am located in the city of Mumbai, India and wish to get started in Krishna bhakti.

Yours sincerely,
Sheila

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Visit Your Nearest ISKCON Center

It is very wonderful that you are seeking a spiritual master who can initiate you into the ultimate self-realization science, Krishna consciousness. This is our foremost duty in the human form of life. In this regard the Srimad Bhagavatam states:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

"Any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters."
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21

By studying the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami you will get the guidance and blessings of the greatest spiritual master in the history of the world. For personal guidance of a spiritual master we have three Krishna consciousness centers in Mumbai. I recommend that you visit the one which is most convenient to you. There are many bona fide spiritual masters who often lecture there. They will be very happy to guide you on the path of self-realization. The addresses and phone numbers for these three centers are posted on the following: http://iskcon.com/worldwide/centres/asia.html

I will also be very happy to guide you as well through emails and when I come to Mumbai later this year. Please describe to me in full detail the current extent of your Krishna consciousness practice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of Sri Sri Radha-Kalachandji Dham in Dallas, Texas, USA

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150 New Lectures Now Posted Online

Sankarshan Prabhu has just returned from a four month around-the-world lecture tour. He gave 150 lectures on the ultimate self-realization science, in 13 countries and 36 cities, towns, and villages. Now all of these lectures are posted online for your enlivenment and enlightenment. Surf on over and check them out! They are available at:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/lectures.htm

You can listen to them online or download them onto to your computer or mp3 player to hear them later on for you convenience.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Very Important Announcement:

We are switching to a new email server to give you better service. If you want to continue receiving "Thought for the Day," you will have to re-enroll by signing up right now on our new mailing list. You may do so through the following:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Sign_Up/thought.htm

P.S. Sign up right now to make you don't miss a single issue of "Thought for the Day."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Loving the Devotees of Krishna

I'm back now in my old home, Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji Dham. I lived here for many years in this awesome spiritual oasis located in the middle of the most unlikely neighborhood in east Dallas, Texas.

I first lived here in 1972 in the early pioneering days when we acquired these buildings from a Christian church, which was not drawing enough of a congregation. When we first moved in here we did not have any showers. I remember taking my morning bath cleaning myself with water from the bathroom sink.

Then I lived here for three years starting in 1978 when it went through rapid growth under the direction of His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami. I spent another five years from 1984 through 1989, when I lived as an ideal householder temple community member: rising early to attend the full temple morning program, working a job as a computer programmer, donating money regularly, and giving my spare time engaging in many varieties of services for the temple.

Many of my dear devotee friends from many years ago are still here. It is so enlivening to again have their transcendental association. The easiest way to develop our love for Lord Krishna is to churn the ocean of loving relationship with His devotees. Srila Rupa Goswami instructs us in the practical techniques of developing loving relationships with the devotees:

dadati pratigrhnati
guhyam akhyati prcchati
bhunkte bhojayate caiva
sad-vidham priti-laksanam


"Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasadam (foodstuffs offered to Lord Krishna) and offering prasadam are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another. " Nectar of Instruction, verse 4

Krishna is very far away and may still be a sometimes vague concept for us. But His representatives, His devotees, are here on the earth. We should take full advantage by developing sweet, loving relationships with all of Krishna's devotees. This will help us to advance very quickly on the pathway to spiritual perfection.

Sankarshan das Adhikari
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Am I Qualified to Know the Meaning of the Mahamantra?

As I chant the Hare Krishna mantra, I wish to know the meaning of its words, also its overall meaning. This would definitely make my chanting even more effective. Kindly explain it to me, if I am qualified to know it. Please excuse me if I have made a mistake in wanting to know the meaning without qualification.

Thanks and pranams,

Priya

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Your Sincerity to Know the Truth is Your First Class Qualification

Your question is praiseworthy. We are meant to do everything with knowledge, not blindly. Your sincerity to know the truth is your first class qualification.

Krishna and Rama are names of God, and Hare is the energy of God. So when we chant the maha-mantra, we address first the energy of the Lord, and then we address the Lord, to engage us in their pure devotional service.

The Lord has two kinds of energy: spiritual and material. At present we are in the clutches of the material energy. Therefore we pray to Krishna that He may kindly deliver us from the service of the material energy and accept us into the service of the spiritual energy. That is our whole philosophy. Hare Krishna means, "O energy of God, and O God [Krishna], please engage me in Your service."

It is our nature to render service. Somehow or other we have come to the service of material things, but when this service is transformed into the service of the spiritual energy, then our life is perfect. To practice bhakti-yoga [loving service to God] means to become free from designations like "Hindu," "Muslim," "Christian," this or that, and simply to serve God. We have created Christian, Hindu, and Islamic religions, but when we come to a religion without designations, in which we don't think we are Hindus or Christians or Muslims, then we can speak of pure religion, or bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime atmosphere of Sri Sri Radha-Kalachandji Dham in Dallas, Texas, USA

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Achieving Perfect Peace of Mind

As long as we try to hold out some degree of independence, of not fully surrendering to the Lord, we must remain in a state of anxiety. Perfect peace of mind only comes when we totally and absolutely surrender ourselves unto the Lord. If we know and fully live in the reality of understanding Krishna as the supreme enjoyer, the supreme proprietor, and the supreme friend, we can then experience perfect peace in all times, places, and circumstances. This should be the goal of our life. Any other goal may be accepted for keeping body and soul together, but it must be fully understood and realized that no other goal is ultimately beneficial for the living being.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Are Muslims Subject to the Law of Karma?

I was born as a Hindu, and I want die as a Hindu. But suddenly I converted to Islam. I am wondering, since the Muslims do not believe in karma, if my karma will be the same. Will I have to be reborn? What is your advice to save me from taking birth again?

Thank you

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Karma Has Nothing to Do with Material Designations

Krishna has nothing to do with Hindu or Muslim designations. In the Bhagavad-gita He does not say that you should designate yourself either as a Hindu or a Muslim. All He asks is that you should fully surrender yourself unto Him. This is all that is required to be saved from the repetition of birth and death.

Karma is a fact whether one believes in it or not. Hindus suffer karma. Muslims suffer karma. Everyone suffers from karma. But Krishna states that if you surrender unto Him that He will free you from your karma.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, January 13, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the devotees at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Very Important Announcement: We are trying out a new email service to see if it will give better service. If you haven't already done so, you need to sign up for our new email list so you won't miss "Thought for the Day." You may do so through the following: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Sign_Up/thought.htm
Go ahead and sign up right now before you forget!
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Personal Service to the Spiritual Master

Today at 6am I'm heading out for three days of meetings of ISKCON's North American leaders at Sri Sri Radha Kalachandji Dham in Dallas, Texas. What a great opportunity to be blessed by the association of so many great saintly devotees of the Lord! The very ground where the meetings are being held is itself sacred because it has been touched many times by the lotus feet of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. His quarters are still preserved there as a museum. I still remember in 1972 when we first acquired those two buildings at 5430 Gurley Avenue how I was working along with Sriman Adideva Prabhu to get Srila Prabhupada's two rooms ready for his first visit there.

There is no greater blessing than to be able to render personal service to one's spiritual master. The greatest personal service is to be fully absorbed in preaching Krishna consciousness 24 hours a day. If one can be absorbed fully in preaching he is rendering uninterrupted personal service to his spiritual master.

Sankarshan das Adhikari
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Do I Need to Study Sanskrit?

As I am progressing in reading the Srimad Bhagavatam I am wondering whether I should learn Sanskrit. Will this help me in the understanding the Vedas and other related Vedic writings? Is it enough just to study in the English which has been translated by Srila Prabhupada? I still see it is rendered in Sanskrit before the English version is given. If I were to study, how would I to go about it? Is it not too late now to study another language? I am 58 but I still study other new things. Please advise.

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Simply Study Srila Prabhupada's Books. That is Sufficient.

Don't bother with learning Sanskrit. It is extremely complex. One has to study Sanskrit grammar for at least 12 years in order to become an expert grammarian. For your spiritual perfection all that is required is that you become expert in the understanding and practical application of the Vedic wisdom as presented by Srila Prabhupada. That is sufficient. Srila Prabhupada's translations and purports are as good as the original Sanskrit because they are directly inspired by Krishna from within the heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the devotees at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Very Important Announcement: We are trying out a new email service to see if it will give better service. If you haven't already done so, you need to sign up for our new email list so you won't miss "Thought for the  Day."  You may do so through the following:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Sign_Up/thought.htm

Go ahead and sign up right now before you forget!
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Is a Spiritual Master Required?

Sometimes people ask, "I just want to love God and fully surrender unto him. So why do I need a spiritual master?" This is a very logical and intelligent question.

Surrendering fully unto God means doing what He wants me to do. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna clearly instructs to take shelter of a spiritual master. In the Adi Purana Krishna instructs that unless we are a devotee of His devotee we are not His devotee. So if we are serious about fully surrendering unto Lord Krishna, we have to obey His instruction by becoming a disciple of a bona fide spiritual master.

ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada used to say quoting the English maxim, "If you love me, love my dog." He used  this saying to illustrate the importance of our taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. If we try to bypass this system and be a devotee of the Lord independently He will never accept our service.

Therefore, if we are at all serious about achieving spiritual perfection, we should take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Buddhism-Hinduism

Buddhism seems quite similar to Hinduism to me. What are the differences besides the name? Don't both lead to the Supreme Godhead?

Gloria

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Avoid Void

Philosophically Buddhism is atheistic because the Buddhists regard zero or nothingness as the Absolute Truth. (The word Hindu is a term coined by the Muslims. It is not an accurate denotation.) The followers of the Bhagavad-gita reject this void philosophy of Buddhism because the Supreme is a person. He is not void.

Everything comes from something. It cannot come from nothing. Do we have any experience of something coming out of nothing? Therefore the Supreme must be a person. That Supreme Person has revealed Himself as Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

The Buddhist denial of God and His personality will not take them back to Godhead, because they deny the very existence of Godhead. They say that everything is void. It is not possible to attain something whose very existence you deny. Can someone be granted US citizenship if they deny the existence of the USA? No. Therefore it is better to avoid void and chant Hare Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead  In the sublime association of the devotees at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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"I Don't Believe in That."

Yesterday one man approached me and asked me what the tilak marking on my forehead was. I explained to him that it was the victory sign of one who has conquered over death. He immediately replied, "I don't believe in that." I couldn't help but be amazed at how close-minded he was. He did not intelligently consider what I had just told him. He had already decided before he spoke to me, based on how I was dressed, that he wanted to disagree with my viewpoint whatever it was. However I would answer his question regarding my tilak would have no bearing whatsoever on his response. He had already decided that he wanted to tell me that he didn't believe in what I was into.

Just see the foolishness. He said that he did not believe in conquering over death. He thoughtlessly established that he preferred mortality over immortality. He was most likely the member of some sectarian religion and he saw me as a threat to his religious viewpoints. He failed to miss the point that actual religion is one, to love God. It cannot be divided up into different sects any more than the sun is divided when shines upon the different nations upon the earth.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Obtaining a Spiritual Master

You speak so knowingly of the importance of being under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. How does one go about obtaining the inspired services of such a teacher? I would imagine gurus are very busy. What must one do to be ready for such guidance? Are there pre-requisites one must meet before becoming eligible for a spiritual master?

Thank you.

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By the Mercy of Krishna

When one is sincere for realizing the Absolute Truth the Lord within your heart, Who is known as caitya guru-the guru within, will bring you into contact with His external manifestation, the external guru. That external guru will then guide you how to achieve complete spiritual perfection.

The qualification or pre-requisite is very simple. To be ready for the guru's guidance all you have to do is to be in a humble, submissive mood and be prepared to render loving service to the spiritual master. This point is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth." Bhagavad-gita 4.34

The greatest guru in history is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Before he departed this world in 1977 he instructed that his disciples should become spiritual masters for delivering the fallen souls of this world back to the spiritual world. So if you are looking for the guidance and shelter of a spiritual master you can obtain that from me or from many of my Godbrothers who are also bona fide spiritual masters.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the devotees at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Revolutionize the Planet or Die Trying

Our Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has written as follows:

"A Krishna conscious being is always engaged in planning how to take all of suffering humanity back home, back to Godhead. Even if one is not successful in reclaiming all the fallen souls back to Godhead, still, because he is Krishna conscious, his path to Vaikunthaloka is open. He personally becomes qualified to enter the Vaikunthalokas, and if anyone follows such a devotee, he also enters into Vaikunthaloka." --from purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.36

From this we can easily understand our duty as Krishna conscious persons.  We are meant to revolutionize this planet or die trying. Even if we are not successful in making the whole world Krishna conscious, our sincere attempt to do so will qualify us to enter into the spiritual world at the time of death and empower us to deliver back to home, back to Godhead those souls who are sincerely seeking liberation under our guidance.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Can You Prove that Krishna is God?

I have a question for you. How can I learn to love Krishna more and more? I come from a Christian way of thinking that Jesus is God. Can you prove that Krishna is God?

Your friend

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Krishna Has Proven that He is God.

You can learn how to love Krishna through the process known as sadhana bhakti, regulated devotional service. The basic principles of sadhana bhakti are to give up sinful activities and as much as possible always chant the Holy Names of the Lord as follows:

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

Jesus is God, the Son. There is no doubt. But it is a mistake to think that he is God, the Father. Krishna reveals Himself in the Bhagavad-gita to be God, the Father. I do not have to prove that Krishna is God because He has already proven this Himself. His proof is that He was able to reveal His universal form, as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to Arjuna on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra.

Nowadays in this age of cheating it has become very popular for people to declare themselves to be God. But the proof is that they have to be able to reveal their universal form. This they cannot do. Therefore their claims to be God are bogus.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, January 9, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Austin, Texas

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It All Boils Down to Compassion

5:15 AM. Sunday, January 8, 2006.
                                                                                                                 Sri Sri Radha Damodara,  Austin, Texas  

I have just tasted the sweet bliss of chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on my japa beads, worshipping Sri Sri Radha Damodar at Mangala Arati followed by offering an arati to Srimati Tulasi devi.

Now coming upstairs to write "Thought for the Day" I open an email from one of my readers questioning why we have to say that Krishna consciousness is the ultimate self-realization system. If we are wrong to declare it as such, then Krishna is also wrong. He declares in the Bhagavad-gita that Krishna consciousness is the topmost knowledge. So if we are wrong, at least we are in good company. We are in the company of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

This reader has asked me, "Does spirituality too need marketing and campaigning amongst the masses?" He gives his opinion that if this the ultimate source of enlightenment for humans, then it will eventually unfold itself and reveal to everyone. This is like saying that because the lion is the king of the jungle he can just sit there and all the animals will come running to jump into his mouth.

My spiritual master has ordered me to use my intelligence how to spread this Krishna consciousness movement. He told me not to remain dull-headed.  If by employing state-of-the-art marketing techniques in the service of the Lord, so many people can be saved from drowning in the ocean of birth and death, why should I not save them? Should I let them drown? It is a matter of compassion.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Why Do You Use the ISKCON Umbrella?

You wrote me that you are not the member of any particular religion. So why are you using the ISKCON umbrella?

Thank you,

Dave Bhardwaj

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Kali Yuga is Raining Heavy Now

In ISKCON our philosophy is not to belong to any particular religion. Simply we are meant to become pure lovers of God. This automatically makes one the best follower of every religion. ISKCON is not a particular religion. Our philosophy is that the concept of different religions is a bogus philosophy.

We are all simply meant to be lovers of God, while at the same time understanding that we are transcendental to all varieties of religious designations.

And, by the way, we use an umbrella when the rain is heavy. If you haven't noticed, Kali Yuga is raining heavy now. If you want to stay dry, check out our umbrella at your nearest ISKCON center. Otherwise, you may find that you will get soaked to the bone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, January 8, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Austin, Texas

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Special Announcement!  Live Radio Show Appearance Tonight!

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari will be appearing live tonight from 5pm to 6pm Central USA time on a popular radio talk show known as  "The Meditation Hour."  He will be discussing Krishna consciousness  and his  recent around-the-world lecture series.  You can hear this program at the  above mentioned time through the following link:

http://www.kile1560.com/live.htm

 You can use the following link to find out what time the show will be playing in your country:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

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There's No Place Like Home

Traveling and preaching Krishna consciousness is very helpful for developing detachment from this material world.  Even though I'm back at our home base here at Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, I'm still waking up in the morning and wondering where I am.  After four months of constant traveling and preaching I've grown accustomed to always waking up in a different place under a different set of circumstances.  In such a situation one becomes accustomed to always finding one's shelter in Krishna, not in any particular material situation.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada states, "This material world is not actually a place of residence for an intelligent person or a devotee because here there is danger at every step. Vaikuntha is the real home for the devotee, for there is no anxiety and no danger."  The Vaikuntha realm is the spiritual existence situated far, far beyond this extremely problematic material existence.

Let us always take shelter of that Vaikuntha (anxiety-less) realm by constantly or as much as possible always chanting these names:

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

This chanting will situate us always at our real home at the lotus feet of Krishna.  There's no place like home.  There's no place like home.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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We Do Not Want to Over Burden You With Too Many Emails

Please accept my respects.
 
I was wondering how many emails that on an average day that require an answer. And if it would be better not to comment or ask too many questions, that this is too great an effort to answer all the emails. We do not want to over burden you with too many emails.

Your worthless servant,

Steve

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The Burden of the Beast vs. the Burden of Love

My daily emails can range from a few to many. Sometimes owing to varying circumstances I get several days behind on my correspondence and it becomes quite an endeavor to catch up. However, I would much prefer to have this burden than to be relieved from this burden.

In this connection His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada explains as follows,

"There are two kinds of burdens. There is the burden of the beast and the burden of love. The burden of the beast is unbearable, but the burden of love is a source of pleasure. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti describes the burden of love very practically. He says that the burden of the husband on the young wife, the burden of the child on the lap of the mother, and the burden of wealth on the businessman, although actually burdens from the viewpoint of heaviness, are sources of pleasure, and in the absence of such burdensome objects, one may feel the burden of separation, which is heavier to bear than the actual burden of love." 

So the point is that I want all of my beloved disciples and readers to know that they always have a fully open channel of communication with me. I am always ready to hear from and respond to my dear disciples and readers.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Saturday, January 7, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Austin, Texas

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Special Announcement!

His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari will be appearing live this coming Sunday evening from 5pm to 6pm Central USA time on a popular radio talk show known as "The Meditation Hour."  He will discussing Krishna consciousness and his recent around-the-world lecture series.  You can hear this program at the above mentioned time through the following link:

http://www.kile1560.com/live.htm

You can use the following link to find out what time the show will be playing in your country:

http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/

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The Importance of Hearing

If we are at all serious about making spiritual advancement we must master the art of hearing.  A little inattention and there can be all havoc on the pathway of emancipation.  The ears must be engaged in the hearing the Maha-mantra and hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam from the lips of highly advanced transcendentalists.  This will give us an inside connection with the process of Krishna consciousness enabling us to easily make progress on the pathway of the great Mahajanas.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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How Do I Come Out of Material Thinking?

I offer my humble obeisances to you. I wish to know that if one who had some bad character like getting often angry about others, talking too much materially to others, trying to be friend with everyone will these be a great obstacle for improving Krishna consciousness?  Will a shelter or diksha from guru help us to get rid of bad habits that are due to the bad situation we encounter?  I asked this question because even though I chant my 16 rounds japa daily I can't come out of the material thinking.

Your student

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You Can Overcome All Bad Qualities Very Easily

You can overcome all bad qualities by chanting Hare Krishna and taking shelter of Guru, Krishna, and Vaisnavas.

Are your 16 rounds completed every day early in the morning before sunrise? This will work wonders on your Krishna consciousness.

Always be careful to avoid the ten offenses. It is because of these ten offenses that we do not taste the sweet nectar of the names. The ten offenses are as follows:

(1) To blaspheme the devotees who have dedicated their lives for propagating the holy name of the Lord.

(2) To consider the names of demigods like Lord Siva or Lord Brahma to be equal to, or independent of, the name of Lord Vishnu. (Sometimes the atheistic class of men take it that any demigod is as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu. But one who is a devotee knows that no demigod, however great he may be, is independently as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, if someone thinks that he can chant "Kali, Kali!" or "Durga, Durga! and it is the same as Hare  Krishna, that is the greatest offense.)

(3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master. (This means you must be fully surrendered to the spiritual master.)

(4) To blaspheme the Vedic literature or literature in pursuance of the Vedic version.

(5) To consider the glories of chanting Hare Krishna to be imagination.

6) To give some interpretation on the holy name of the Lord.

(7) To commit sinful activities on the strength of the holy name of the Lord. (It should not be taken that because by chanting the holy name of the Lord one can be freed from all kinds of sinful reaction, one may continue to act sinfully and after that chant Hare Krishna to neutralize his sins. Such a dangerous mentality is very offensive and should be avoided.)

(8) To consider the chanting of Hare Krishna one of the auspicious ritualistic activities offered in the Vedas as fruitive activities (karma-kanda).

(9) To instruct a faithless person about the glories of the holy name. (Anyone can take part in chanting the holy name of the Lord, but in the beginning one should not be instructed about the transcendental potency of the Lord. Those who are too sinful cannot appreciate the transcendental glories of the Lord, and therefore it is better not to instruct them in this matter.)

(10) To not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names and to maintain material attachments, even after understanding so many instructions on this matter. It's also offensive to be inattentive while chanting.

Anyone who claims to be a devotee of the Lord must carefully guard against the above offenses in order to quickly achieve the supreme success, pure love of Krishna, Krishna prema.  Strictly avoid the above mentioned offenses and chant Hare Krishna as much as possible.  Your life will be sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Friday, January 6, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Austin, Texas

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Back from the Road

We're back now to our home base at Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas after completing our first around-the-world lecture series.  After a delayed late night arrival on Continental Airlines and a wonderfully warm greeting with kirtan, prasadam, and flowers from disciples and well-wishers we were able to finally take our evening rest by 2am.

Krishna blessed me with such an enlivening experience!  I gave a total of 150 lectures in 13 different countries and 36 different cities, towns, and villages.  All the way from a lecture given in a tent on the beach in Pacific Harbor, Fiji to a lecture delivered in an agricultural university left over from the Soviet Era in Latvia.  The external situation did not matter.  It was the Krishna consciousness that it made it sweet wherever we went.

I have nothing to live for except for the expansion of Krishna consciousness within my own heart and within the world at large.  Whatever unhappiness, anxiety, and suffering that is being experienced anywhere within the universe is simply due to one thing and one thing only, a lack of Krishna consciousness.  And yet we are so foolish that we don't center our lives around developing Krishna consciousness.

Sometimes the most obvious things are the most difficult to realize. This should be obvious to everyone, that they've got no other business than to develop their Krishna consciousness. But yet, somehow or other, they do not grasp this simple truth and hence continue suffering unnecessarily in the cycle of birth and death.  Something must be done to help the suffering people throughout the world.  Therefore now with the year 2006 just beginning we are planning to do three tours this year.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Welcome Back to the USA

Thank you for sharing your Thoughts for the Day with us. Your letters over the last couple of months during your around-the-world lecture series have been a real pleasure to read . Your ever increasing enthusiasm due to your association with the Lord's devotees is contagious and very inspirational. I especially liked the stories you told during the time you spent in India. Some days it truly made my hair stand up on end! It is very fitting that your journey should end in New Dwaraka glorifying His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. Your heartfelt prayers are very beautiful.

Your Servant,
(name withheld for confidentiality)

On a personal note as of the 1st of Jan. I have now completed 12 months of chanting the Maha-mantra 16 rounds or more per day . I am truly amazed at how the lord has cleared the clutter out of my confused mind!

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

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo 'si me


""Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend."  Bhagavad-gita 18.65

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All Credit Goes to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for you sincere appreciation of my humble efforts to spread pure Krishna bhakti all over the world. There is certainly no other option for the human society. This is why I have fully dedicated my life for the expansion of the Krishna consciousness movement. All the credit for whatever success we have had goes to His Divine Srila Prabhupada. It is he who is acting through us, using us as his instruments for flooding this planet in a tidal wave of love of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Thursday, January 5, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Austin, Texas

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"Srila Prabhupada, I am Your Servant."

It's 6:18am on January 4, 2006.  I'm here with His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in his quarters in our Los Angeles center, New Dwaraka.  Even though Srila Prabhupada physically departed from this realm in 1977 in Vrindavan, India, he is fully present wherever his followers are faithfully remembering him and carrying out his orders.  Especially he is fully manifested here in Los Angeles in his quarters in the form of his deity.  In his deity form Srila Prabhupada is seated here behind his desk absorbed in deep meditation while chanting on his japa beads.  Even though this is a deity, Srila Prabhupada directly accepts whatever service or prayers we offer to him through this deity, just as if this deity were his actual physical body that was manifested on this earthly plane up until 1977.  It is wrong to think that this is just a deity.  No.  Srila Prabhupada is fully manifested here in this form.  I have personally seen a similar deity of Srila Prabhupada cry tears of ecstasy during an enlivened kirtan in ISKCON's Atlanta temple.  From the right eye of the Srila Prabhupada deity tears of love of God were streaming down his right cheek.  This confirms absolutely that this is not a resin statue.  It is actually Srila Prabhupada himself.

Srila Prabhupada, I now humbly submit this prayer at your lotus feet.  You have so kindly given me this life, which now belongs fully to you.  I beg you to please utilize me in any way you like for all of eternity.  You are my eternal spiritual master.  I am your eternal property.  I have no desire except to serve your mission for spreading this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world.  Kindly accept this useless dog as a tool in your hands.  Use me in whatever way you find most suitable to assist you in your world preaching mission.

This is the last day of our first around-the-world lecture series.  I have lectured on the science of Krishna consciousness in 13 countries and 37 towns, villages and cities over the last four months.  We have been blessed by the association of your ever-expanding family of followers all over the world.  Just one moment of their association can bestow all benediction upon the suffering, conditioned souls of this world, and we have been blessed with the inconceivable good fortune of being able to live with such spiritually exalted souls around the globe.  I cannot even begin to measure the unlimited extent of our good fortune.

Today, we are returning to Austin where I am begging your blessings that I may continue being empowered by your blessings to write and distributing the unlimited glories of the science of Krishna consciousness all over the world.  Thank you, Srila Prabhupada, for your unlimited loving kindness upon this useless soul.  Please never kick me away.  I am your servant, eternally running behind you like I did that day in San Francisco in Golden Gate park in 1971 when I was running behind you as you were being driven away from the Ratha Yatra Festival site.  I was running behind you yelling, "Srila Prabhupada, I am your servant."  So now I am  eternally running behind you yelling out, "Srila  Prabhupada, I am your  servant."

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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I Cannot Believe in Eternal Damnation

I was raised in a culture of Christianity. Mostly Baptist, and Methodist. I've never really claimed either. I was always put out by their seeming arrogance, and hypocrisy. One thing's for certain, there is a substantial preoccupation with death and the afterlife in this culture. They have warned everyone to love and follow Christ, or you will meet your fate in eternal damnation.

That's hard to get out of my psyche. Yet, I've always questioned how a loving creator could allow such a thing. We are expected to love and forgive, but our creator is not? All these rules and policies seem so made up. As if God were some kind of Czar of the heavens reigning his fury down on the human race.

I see a lot of truth in the lessons. I see the path to possible happiness. But those people's voices are in the back of my mind telling me that if I do this I'll burn for sure. Why would God want us to love him out of fear? Does that not make the love counterfeit?

Can you help me with this? What is your view of Christianity? Did Christ die for our sins, or was it mostly for his disciples? Is Krishna the same thing as Christ? Doesn't God incarnate himself to come to the earth and help us?

Yours respectfully,

Scott

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Krishna Attracts Us with the Enchanting Sound of His Flute

You are right. The idea of eternal damnation is a bogus idea. God is the most kind and forgiving person. In fact love and forgiveness exist simply because Krishna is so very, very kind.

The big-nasty-cop-in-the-sky concept is not all correct. God is the most beautiful, sweet, kind-hearted Lord Krishna who doesn't have to scare anyone into surrendering to Him. He attracts us all back to home, back to Godhead with the enchanting sound His beautiful flute and his inconceivably amazing pastimes with His devotees.

Christ was very unhappy to see the suffering of others. Therefore he agreed to be crucified -- to free others from their suffering. But his followers are so unfaithful that they have decided, "Let Christ suffer for us, and we'll go on committing sin." They love Christ so much that they think,  "My dear Christ, we are very weak. We cannot give up our sinful activities. So you please suffer for us." This is not love of Jesus. This is love of  sin.

Krishna is God, the Father. When Jesus prays, "Our Father, Who are in heaven," he's praying to Krishna.

Lord Krishna has now manifested on the earth in the form of the Hare Krishna mantra to deliver everyone from their suffering. The entire world can now be delivered from the quagmire of delusion if they will simply chant:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in New Dwaraka, Los Angeles, California, USA

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Tasting the Inconceivable Nectar of Srila Prabhupada's Mercy in New Dwaraka

Here in New Dwaraka (ISKCON Los Angeles) I am tasting the sweetest inconceivable nectar of Srila Prabhupada's mercy. I got to stand at the exact spot where in 1971 I had my first personal interchange of question and answer with Srila Prabhupada. He asked me a question and I answered.  He asked me if I had received a flower from him yet and I acknowledged that I had.

In those days when Srila Prabhupada would return from his morning walk on the beach his driver would drop him off in front of the temple. Devotees would line up along the sidewalk. He was given a basket of flowers. Each devotee would give him a flower and then he would hand that devotee a flower. It was thrilling experience to be able to personally offer His Divine Grace a flower and then to receive one back from his lotus hands.

I was the 2nd or 3rd devotee in the line. The first was His Holiness Vishnujana Maharaja. I had already offered and received a flower from Srila Prabhupada. But wanting to feast my eyes more on the transcendental form of my spiritual master I positioned myself on the steps on the front on the building to watch him as he walked by on the way to his quarters upstairs. He saw me standing there and with his lotus hand held a flower out to me asking me via body language if I had a flower yet. I nodded that I already had one.

It is here in New Dwaraka that Srila Prabhupada established his first world headquarters and spent extended time for writing the Krishna Book, a summary study of the tenth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam.

It is here in New Dwaraka where Srila Prabhupada is eternally residing because his followers under the guidance of His Grace Sriman Svavas Das Adhikari are unflinchingly dedicated to publishing and distributing his books.

It is here in New Dwaraka that Srila Prabhupada's quarters are being maintained with such love and devotion that you can feel his presence in them.

It is here in New Dwaraka that Srila Prabhupada was very fond of sitting in his garden and hearing the pastimes of Krishna read to him from the Krishna book.

It is here in New Dwaraka where the devotees are through their sincere service preserving and expanding the great legacy of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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I Want to Awaken My Kundalini

My query is:

While Bhakti Yoga is the easiest path and the path I believe you recommend, I am beginning to feel that Raja Yoga may be ideal for those with scientific mind whereby you get some reciprocation or feedback. It is a system whereby you get feedback via the rising of the kundalini and the sensation of lights, colors, heat etc and eventually communication with God. This seems more exciting. At this stage I am bent on experiencing the rising of kundalini even if it means I take great risk of not being able to control its forces. Can you share your thoughts on this?

Thanks and regards,

Rajan

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Safely Achieve All Perfection Through the Bhakti Yoga System

If your goal is to communicate with God, Bhakti Yoga is the quickest and easiest way of enabling the practitioner to directly communicate with God face to face, eye to eye. This is confirmed in the Sri Brahma Samhita as follows:

premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Syamasundara, Krishna  Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see both within themselves and outside of themselves with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love." Brahma-Samhita 5.38

There is no reason to try  to awaken the kundalini chakra through the dangerous system of Raja Yoga. You can easily, safely, and automatically awaken it through the Bhakti Yoga system.

Bhakti is the perfect meditational system because when you fall in love with the object of your meditation you can do nothing but be completely absorbed in thoughts of your beloved 24 hours a day. There is no mechanical extraneous effort required as in the Raja Yoga system.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in New Dwarka, Los Angeles, California, USA

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Remembering Our Transcendental Sojourn in the Fiji Islands 

The ride to the Nadi airport as the sun was setting over the ocean and the clouds were crawling over the mountains was picture post card perfect.   I was awestruck once again by Fiji's fresh air and spectacular natural beauty.   Although Fiji is a land of breathtakingly spectacular beauty, it is a place like every other place in this material world.  It is miserable.  Why?  Everyone there is born, gets sick, gets old, and then dies, just like everywhere else in the material world. This point is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna as follows:

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah
punar avartino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate

"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again."  Bhagavad-gita 8.16

Now I am at 30,000 feet cruising across the Pacific ocean from Fiji to Los Angeles in an Air Pacific 747, with my laptop computer perched on my lap remembering the incredibly sweet time Mataji and I had preaching the Krishna Consciousness movement in the Fiji Islands.   We were blessed with the wonderful association of so many enlivened devotees in Suva, Tavua, Nausari, Sigatoka, and Lautoka.  (My Fiji lectures will be posted in several days on http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com.)  In the presence of Krishna's devotees the influence of the material miseries mentioned above become conspicuous by its absence. Even if that influence is present, its impact on the consciousness becomes reduced proportionately to the point of nil, depending on one's level of spiritual advancement.

As we were standing in line to check in for our 11pm flight, a man asked us, "What is your religion?"  I explained to him, "Know who you  are, and be who you are."  I then explained what that means, that we are servants of God and the purpose of our existence is to love God.  Then he expressed his disapproval of a God who would cause a tsunami to kill so many people.  I told him that God did not create the tsunami, that we created the tsunami by the karma of our improper activities.  He did not accept this principle of karma as valid because he preferred to blame God or negate His existence.  But when I told him that Newton's law of motion (Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.) applies on many levels, he could not say anything.  Later on after we were checked in I saw him again in the waiting area.  He smiled and winked.  Even a person with an atheistic temperament can be positively affected by strong, intelligent, compassionate presentation of Krishna consciousness philosophy.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Shouldn't I Be Inspired to Cut Off All Ties of Affection?

I have been reading your mails very carefully every day. The questions are very challenging, and your responses are very good too. But I have some more questions which I humbly put forward.

One of your recent responses advises against abandoning the family. However, Queen Kunti in her prayer (SB 1.8.41) appeals very categorically to the Lord to sever her ties of affection to her kinsmen. Also, I have always admired the full-time devotees of ISKCON who have given up their families for active preaching. Should I not be inspired on these lines?

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to be of some service to ISKCON.

Manoj

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Cut Off Shadow Affection to Revive Pure Affection

We have to preach to each individual according to their level of understanding. The beginning math student will be taught that 1+1=2, while the advanced student will be taught on a higher level of advanced calculus.  If we try to teach the beginner on an advanced level, he may become bewildered and give up the process.

The fact is that by cutting off the bodily ties of affection we can reactivate the original pure affection of the soul for Krishna and everyone else, seeing them as part and parcel of Krishna. This is the perfection of affection. By giving up our attachment for shadow affection, we get the real thing which is infinitely superior to the shadow.

Krishna consciousness is not a process of denial. It is a process of affirmation on the highest possible level.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Monday, January 2, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Lautoka, Fiji

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Quadrillions of Light Years Beyond the Miserable World of Birth and Death 

Everywhere I travel in this material world I can see from the looks of the faces of the people how miserable they are.  Even though when we ask people how they are doing they will say that they are fine, their faces cannot hide the disturbances that are going on in their minds.

This current state of affairs of the human society is stupid and unnecessary because constitutionally every living being is unlimitedly happy.  It is only due his mistakenly thinking himself to be the material body that he is subjected to so many varieties of miserable situations.

The material miseries are of three varieties: 1) Miseries caused by the mind and body, 2) Miseries caused by other living beings, and 3) Miseries caused by natural disasters.  At any given time we are always being afflicted by at least one of these miseries.  Therefore it would behoove us to seek out someone who can train us how to regain our original constitutional nature beyond all the above threefold miseries.

That person is known as the bona fide spiritual master.  The Vedic wisdom affirms that in order to achieve genuine happiness we must take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

"Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must  seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken complete shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters."

I was most fortunate to come into contact with such a bona fide spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  I was blessed with the sufficient intelligence by his grace to understand that I must surrender to him as my eternal father, so I did that.  Such an act of surrender brought me out of the realm of suffering into the realm of eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

Now, on his order, I am extending to you this invitation to enter into the sublime world of Krishna consciousness quadrillions of light years beyond this miserable world of birth and death.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Correlation Between Christianity and Vaisnavism

Since we are in the Season of Christmas I thought I would get your perspective on Jesus’ birth:

1.Is it true that Vaisnavas celebrate Janmastami in the same way that Christians celebrate Christmas Day?

2. Is it possible to be a Christian and a Vaisnava at the same time?

3. Can one be a Vaisnava worship Christ as God, rather than Krishna (at least as a chosen ideal)?

4. Isn’t that the position of Srila Prabhupada, who said the guru is the same as God?

Hare Krishna,

Bhakta Reese

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Jesus Christ Is a Pure Vaisnava

There are similarities between Janmastami and Christmas in that they are both days of great spiritual happiness for devout Krishnites and Christians respectively. On Janmastami devotees of the Lord will hear and chant the glories of the Lord all day long and will fast all day up until midnight at which time a feast and arati are offered to the Lord. After the arati the devotees will break their feast by honoring Janmastami prasadam.

A true Christian must necessarily be automatically also a Vaisnava because (as confirmed by Srila Prabhupada) Christ is a pure Vaisnava. The heavenly Father that He prayed to is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita as Lord Sri Krishna. Srila Prabhupada explains,

"A Vaisnava is unhappy to see the suffering of others. Therefore, Lord Jesus Christ agreed to be crucified -- to free others from their suffering. But his followers are so unfaithful that they have decided, 'Let Christ suffer for us, and we'll go on committing sin.' They love Christ so much that they think, 'My dear Christ, we are very weak. We cannot give up our sinful activities. So you please suffer for us.'"

Jesus Christ presented himself as the Son of God, one in purpose with his father but a different person than his father. We follow his teaching. We do not concoct some idea that He is God, the Father. He would never approved of being described as being God, the Father.

We cannot separate the conception of Krishna from the conception of God because Krishna is God, the original father, the Supreme Person. We can in one sense say that the spiritual master and Jesus Christ are Krishna or God because they are as good as God in the sense that they act with the full potency of God for delivering the fallen, conditioned souls of this material world. Because Jesus and the bona fide spiritual master purely represent Krishna or God they are considered to be non-different from Him. This does not mean they are one and the same as Him. It means that they are simultaneously one with and different from Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Sunday, January 1, 2006

Broadcast from the Ecstatic Road Back to Godhead In the sublime association of the ISKCON devotees in Lautoka, Fiji

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Realizations While Traveling in the Fiji Islands 

Saturday, 31 December 2005, 5:10pm

After finishing my Suva lecture series this morning, Jairam Prabhu is now driving Mataji and I down the coast line from Suva to Sigatoka where I will be giving an evening and morning lecture before traveling on to Lautoka for the afternoon Sunday feast lecture.  The Pacific Ocean is on our left side and lush forested mountains are on our right side.

I cannot help but appreciate how Krishna has so wonderfully provided the people of Fiji with such a beautiful home.  The climate is ideal. The air is clean.  There is no overpopulation.  The entire country of 200 islands fits in one small phone book.  There are no snakes.  Delicious fruits and vegetable of many, many varieties as well as beautiful fragrant flowers grow easily everywhere in abundance.  There are wild mango groves, blue lagoons, dazzling waterfalls. and so many other varieties of pure natural wonders.

But one thing is missing here.  The people are not happy.  There is so much thievery that people have to stay home every evening after dark to guard their homes against break-ins.  Instead of making Krishna or God the center of their lives, they foolishly and uselessly try to be happy by putting themselves in the center.  This does not work because God factually is the center of all existence.  We are but His tiny servants.

If we appreciate our role as His humble servants and faithfully follow His instructions, our lives will be perfect and sublime, no matter where we may be living in this material world.  Whether we reside in the paradisial Fiji Islands or in the cold, bleak northern regions, if we are fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness, we will be tasting the sweetest bliss at every minute.

Sankarshan das Adhikari

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Is It Krishna Conscious to  Feel Affection?

A few things are troubling me, which I'm sure in your gentle way you can clarify for me and put me at ease.

I remember reading in an ISKCON publication an old story about a newborn baby who stood up and declared that his "parents" were not his mother  and father at all, and he proceeded to expound on reincarnation.

My sorrow is that my children have no real connection to me at all, and their affection is merely their delusion by our material natures. But this doesn't seem right to me because even Krishna and Arjuna called each other friend, and Krishna understood Arjuna's reluctance to fight his own dear kinsmen. Along this same line, I read in the Bhagavad-Gita that we are to see all creatures equally because all have a spark of Krishna. But this cannot mean (or can it?), that I am to have the same feeling--or lack thereof--for a spider as I do for my mother or husband?

And lastly, regarding the beautiful spiritual planets where the demigods and Krishna reside, if we are to be detached from sense objects, is it right to be attracted to the beauty of these places?

I feel my lack of true understanding of these points is a hindrance to me and I wish to jump headfirst into the ambrosial ocean of Krishna's love and mercy. Please help me to understand rightly.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Humbly,

Avril

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Krishna Consciousness is the Perfection of Affection

In Krishna consciousness we do not deny affection. Rather we perfect it. Affection between parents and children is natural. If you actually love your children, you should deliver them from the cycle of birth and death. This is the perfection of affection.

To feel equal love for all living entities, even a spider, is a highly advanced stage of spiritual realization in which one feels unlimited bliss at every minute. It is described in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

brahma-bhutah prasannatma
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param

"One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman and becomes fully joyful. He never laments or desires to have anything. He is equally disposed toward every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me." Bhagavad-gita 18.54

The demigods don't live on the spiritual planets. They live on higher planets within the material world known as the heavenly planets. Pure devotees are not attracted by the incredible opulence of the heavenly planets, nor are they interested even in the opulence of the spiritual planets. The only thing they are interested in is the opportunity to render pure devotional service to the Lord and His devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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