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Thought for the Day

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

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Swami Prabhupada


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Friday, June 30, 2006

from New Goloka, North Carolina, USA
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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Sweet Nectar of Krishna Bhakti at New Goloka

It's really ecstatic to be back here in New Goloka. This sublime rural temple, ashram, and devotee community is situated in a beautiful forest area near Hillsborough, North Carolina. This community was started by my dear Godbrother, His Holiness Bir Krishna Goswami, back in the 1982.

To be here surrounded by loving devotees is the perfection of our existence. Why? Because in the association of devotees it becomes very easy to remember Krishna at every minute. Just seeing a devotee immediately reminds us of Krishna.

This morning a group of thirty devotees gathered together at 4:30am in the geodesic dome temple to celebrate the most sublime and wonderful ceremony known as Mangal Arati. We sang and deeply meditated upon a beautiful Sanskrit prayer composed many centuries ago by a great pure devotee of Lord Krishna known as Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur. It is prayer of devotion to the spiritual master. Here's how it goes:

samsara-davanala-lidha-loka-
tranaya karunya-ghanaghanatvam
praptasya kalyana-gunarnavasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam


"The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy. Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire to extinguish it, so the spiritual master delivers the materially afflicted world by extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is an ocean of auspicious qualities."

mahaprabhoh kirtana-nrtya-gita-
vaditra-madyan-manaso rasena
romanca -kampasru-taranga-bhajo
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam


"Chanting the holy name, dancing in ecstasy, singing, and playing musical instruments, the spiritual master is always gladdened by the Sankirtan movement of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Because he is relishing the mellows of pure devotion within his mind, sometimes his hair stands on end, he feels quivering in his body, and tears flow from his eyes like waves. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master."

sri-vigraharadhana-nitya-nana-
srngara-tan-mandira-marjanadau
yuktasya bhaktams ca niyunjato 'pi
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam


"The spiritual master is always engaged in the temple worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. He also engages his disciples in such worship. They dress the Deities in beautiful clothes and ornaments, clean Their temple, and perform other similar worship of the Lord. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master."

catur-vidha-sri-bhagavat-prasada-
svadv-anna-trptan hari-bhakta-sanghan
krtvaiva trptim bhajatah sadaiva
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam


"The spiritual master is always offering Krishna four kinds of delicious food [analyzed as that which is licked, chewed, drunk, and sucked]. When the spiritual master sees that the devotees are satisfied by eating bhagavat-prasada, he is satisfied. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master."

sri-radhika-madhavayor apara-
madhurya-lila guna-rupa-namnam
prati-ksanasvadana-lolupasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

"The spiritual master is always eager to hear and chant about the unlimited conjugal pastimes of Radhika and Madhava, and Their qualities, names, and forms. The spiritual master aspires to relish these at every moment. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master."

nikunja-yuno rati-keli-siddhyai
ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
tatrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam


"The spiritual master is very dear, because he is expert in assisting the gopis, who at different times make different tasteful arrangements for the perfection of Radha and Krishna's conjugal loving affairs within the groves of Vrindavan. I offer my most humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master."

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam


"The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord, because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is a bona fide representative of Sri Hari [Krishna].

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

"By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna. Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement. Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master. At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master."

Whenever you get a chance come and taste the sweet nectar of Krishna bhakti in New Goloka, North Carolina, USA. www.newgoloka.com

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Scenes from New Goloka:


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Questions and Answers:

Living in Confusion and Emptiness...


Why should I be bothered about being in pain or unhappiness, if it is destined? Should I be running after happiness or peace or moksha, if I am not entitled to it? Shouldn't I be content living as I am, in this confusion and emptiness.

Yours Reverentially,

Brigadier NSS Krishna VSM ( Retired)

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You Are the Architect of Your Own Destiny...

Your duty is now to get out of the cycle of birth and death because you are Krishna's dear son and He misses your company very much in His spiritual world.

Pain is destined if you choose to remain in material world. Unlimited bliss is destined if you choose to go back to the spiritual world. Your going back or staying here is not predestined. It is your choice. In the ultimate regard, you are the architect of your own destiny.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

from New Goloka Dham, North Carolina, USA
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Today's Thought:

Putting an End to the Evil


In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna declares:

yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
abhyutthanam adharmasya
tadatmanam srjamy aham


"Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion -- at that time I descend Myself." Bhagavad-gita 4.7

For what purpose does Krishna descend? That He describes in the next verse:

paritranaya sadhunam
vinasaya ca duskrtam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya
sambhavami yuge yuge

"To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium." Bhagavad-gita 4.8

In this age of Kali the Lord descends in His most merciful form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In this form He does not annihilate the miscreants. He merely annihilates their demoniac mentality. By the expansion of Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan Movement, consisting of the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, gradually the demoniac influence of this materialistic age of Kali will be diminished more and more. The evil will more and more come to an end. Therefore everyone should join the Sankirtan Movement today by chanting regularly the holy names of God:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

What Happens to Gurus Who Allow Meat Eating?


Thank you very much for your kind reply about the prohibition of eating fish and meat.

By the grace of Lord Sri Krishna you have broken my wrong conception with the torch of Gita and Bhagavad-jnana. I read the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam daily and try to understand every verse so that I can lead my life accordingly. But sometimes I am confused about discharging my duties prescribed by Lord Sri Krishna. It is due to my inability of understanding every verse properly. I think, you are one of the perfect representatives of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So, through e-mail I do come to you with great respect and ask you questions to remove my confusion. I beg apology for disturbing you again and again.

Today's "Thought for the day" you advised us to carry out the orders of the spiritual master with enthusiasm and attention to detail. So far I know presently almost all the gurus (the spiritual masters) except the followers of ISKCON do not advise their respective disciples to desist from eating fish and meat. In this concern they say that it is good to eat vegetarian food. They advise their disciples to eat vegetarian food for a specific day in a week. That means they allow fish and meat as a food.

My question is:

What will be the fate of those disciples after death? Your kind answer in this respect would be highly appreciated.

Hare Krishna
Your student

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Sri Isopanisad Reveals their Destination...

The fate of the so-called gurus who misguide their disciples into sinful activities such as flesh eating is described as follows in the Sri Isopanisad:

andham tamah pravisanti
ye 'vidyam upasate


"Those who engage in the culture of nescient activities shall enter into the darkest region of ignorance."--Sri Isopanisad Mantra 9

Because the disciples are also engaged in nescient activities under the misguidance of their so-called gurus they must also go the darkest region of ignorance along with their so-called gurus.

Of course, this is intolerable for us to see this happen. Therefore we are making a vigorous effort to educate all these so-called gurus and their followers with the actual principles of transcendental existence so that they can be saved from such an inauspicious fate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

from Wheaton, Maryland, USA
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Today's Thought:

Restore Balance to the World

This is Tuesday 27 June, I am writing you from Wheaton, Maryland. There has been excessive rain and flooding here. In other parts of the world there is drought and starvation. It's not that there is not enough water for everyone. There is ample water supply for everyone in every portion of the earth. The problem is that there are irregularities in the delivery system.

Why do these irregularities exist? Nature is supposed to be balanced and organized. Something is throwing everything out of balance so that we end up with too much rain in one place and not enough rain in another place.

The defect is actually with us. We cannot blame Mother Nature. We are meant by the arrangement of the Supreme to perform sacrifice. This is described as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

annad bhavanti bhutani
parjanyad anna-sambhavah
yajnad bhavati parjanyo
yajnah karma-samudbhavah


"All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yajna [sacrifice], and yajna is born of prescribed duties."
Bhagavad-gita 3.14

The defect in the natural balance is that we not performing our duty. Since we are neglecting to be properly synchronized with nature, nature is not operating in her normal harmonious manner.

We can easily restore the natural balance if we will perform sacrifice. What is that sacrifice? It is revealed in the Vedic literatures that the prescribed sacrifice for this age is the congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra:

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


Kindly regularly join with others to chant these names as much as possible. Join in the movement to restore balance to the world.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Defeated in Debate...


During conversation with my office friends at lunch time yesterday I presented the argument which I had read a couple of times in your discourses that since everything comes from something there must be an origin for all that exists and that that source is God. I had presented the argument because I had thought it was good.

One of my friends said right away something to this effect: We can say that everything live and lifeless ultimately comes from molecules which come from atoms of elements, but nobody has disproved the possibility that atoms of hydrogen and carbon and other elements might have most amazingly existed for ever, that is, they never got created. He said that that possibility is equally awesome as the alternative possibility that atoms of some or all elements got created at either some single moment or over a time period in the distant past.

Then again, in the latter possibility, there might have been one creator of the atoms of elements or there might have been a committee of creators. All are conjectures. He said that he did not mind my presenting my whatever theology by identifying it as theology that either a single God or a committee of Gods created atoms of elements and then molecules that form everything, but finds my presenting some flimsy argument as irrefutable argument rather simple-minded.

I humbly admitted to him that what he said was right. I wanted to tell you what happened yesterday. So I am humbly writing you this note.

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

Sam

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There is Not One Shred of Evidence to Support His Theory...

Don't ever admit that they are right just because you could not defeat them.

When we have practical experience that everything comes from something, it is more scientific to assume that this is a universal principle than it is to assume the opposite which has no basis in our practical experience.

His idea of matter having no origin is mere theory with not one shred of evidence. We have an entire universe full of evidence to establish the principle of cause and effect.

You cannot have a plurality of supreme beings because then they are no longer supreme, just like you cannot have many supreme courts. You can only have one supreme court. If there is more than one, none of them can be the supreme court.

Debating with materialists is a difficult but exciting art. Don't give up. Keep reading and chanting and pretty soon you will be able to defeat even the most erudite and stubborn of atheists!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

from Wheaton, Maryland, USA
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Today's Thought:

Krishna is the Proprietor

In this world we come with nothing and we go with nothing. But yet in between our entrance and exit from this spot life we declare ourselves to be the owners and we fight with other so-called owners over who is the proprietor. If we want peace at all on this planet, a new attitude we must call. We must acknowledge the supreme proprietorship of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. That Krishna is the supreme proprietor is confirmed as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati

"A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods, and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries."
--Bhagavad-gita 5.29

It's so hard trying to play God and so easy to be His servant. Why don't we stop torturing ourselves and just be happy and peaceful being who we are, the eternal servants of the Lord? This is real intelligence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Civilized War?


I would like to ask you a question. I found from Hindu scriptures that the warriors (ksatriyas) fought only amongst themselves, and never attacked civilians. They fought only until sunset and even visited rival tents, had meals together etc. Megasthenes, the Greek traveler, mentions in his records that whilst the armies of two Indian kings were at war with each other, the farmers, women and children in a very nearby field were doing their duties unaffected by the war. To me this is incredible because when we see European or Islamic history, the wars are full of treachery, nightly raids, plunder, and brutal attack on women and children. How did Indian kings fight battles with rules and regulations, whilst European rulers were devoid of any principles during war? Does this have any connection with Hindu scriptures?

Ken Rutherford

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In Vedic Civilization Even War is Cultured...

You have inquired, "How did Indian kings fight battles with rules and regulations, whilst European rulers were devoid of any principles during war? Does this have any connection with Hindu scriptures?"

The answer is that the kings of Vedic India were guided by gurus. In the Vedic social system there were pure qualified brahmanas, spiritual masters, who studied the Vedas, purely followed the Vedas, and taught the Vedas to their disciples, which included the kings.

The royal order (warrior class) was fully surrendered unto the brahmanas. So it was actually the brahmanas who ruled over the society. They did so, not by political power, but by sound spiritual advice.

What you are saying is absolutely correct. In the former times the wars were fought with so much civility that they were more like tournaments than the wars we know of today. Even in recent history during World War I, the British and German fighter pilots who were fighting to the death in the skies over Europe would wave at each other as friends and then see who could shoot the other one down first. When the famous German fighter pilot known as the Red Baron was shot down over England, the British honored him with a hero's burial.

The Vedic ksatriyas (warrior class) would fight during designated hours and then get together as friends to socialize in the evenings. Even the modern day athletes are not as friendly with each other as were the warriors of the Vedic times.

In former times it's a fact that the civilians were not at all affected by the wars. Just like in the USA the routine work goes on no matter who is in power, the Republicans or the Democrats. In former times the citizens were unconcerned with the outcome of the war. Simply they would pay their taxes to whoever won the war, that's all.

The wars were fought in the spirit of duels in a designated place completely away from the civilian population. And the warriors would appreciate the chivalrous fighting skill of any warrior regardless of which side he was on. In the Kali Yuga, especially at the present time, chivalry is practically dead. Everything is based on deception, cheating, and deceit. The human beings have descended to a platform that is lower than animals. Therefore there is now a burning need to re-establish the brahminical order so that the political leaders can be guided properly how to rule in accordance with the Vedic principles. The first mission of the Krishna consciousness movement is to create a worldwide class of pure brahmanas. After that we will create a class of pure ksatriyas (political leaders) who will govern in strict accordance with the Vedic principles.

Once these two classes are solidly established the entire world population will be able to live peacefully and happily in every corner of the world. I am requesting that you kindly now dedicate your life fully to assisting us to bringing the happy days of Vedic dharma back to planet Earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, June 26, 2006

from Brampton, Ontario, Canada
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Today's Thought:

What is my Duty?


Human life means to act on the basis of duty, not on the basis of sensual impulses as the animals do. This is why Arjuna taught us by his perfect example to approach Krishna and inquire from Him, "What is my duty?"

karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah
prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me
sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam


"Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me what is my duty."
--Bhagavad-gita 2.7

If Krishna is not personally present to inquire from, we can follow His instruction (Bhagavad-gita 4.34) to approach His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, to find out specifically what is our duty. We simply have to find out from the authoritative source what is our duty and then faithfully carry it out. In this way our lives will be glorious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How to Improve the Chanting?


Give some tips to improve the chanting.

Dilip

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Ten Transcendental Tips...

Here are tens tips for improved chanting:

1. Serve those who serve the Lord, don't criticize them out of envy or false ego.

2. Worship Krishna as the "source of all spiritual and material worlds", "the ultimate beneficiary of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities." Show respect to demigods like Lord Siva or Ganesh and personalities like Hanuman as exalted devotees of Lord Krishna.

3. Show full respect to the spiritual master in thoughts, words and actions, considering him to be a representative of the Lord. Carry out the orders of the spiritual master with enthusiasm and attention to detail.

4. Honor (and study) the scriptures as the instructions of the Supreme Lord (dharmam tu saksad bhagavat pranitam) with the desire to understand how they are correct (not if they are correct).

5. Have faith that the Holy Name is not a mundane sound vibration, but is in fact transcendental sound, descending from the (pure) spiritual platform.

6. Have faith in the explanations and glorification of the Holy Name given by guru, sadhu and sastra. This knowledge is given by those who have experienced the glories of the Holy Name, and who have "seen the truth."

7. Root out the desire to commit sins. A sin is an action that is not connected to the Supreme Lord; something done for the gratification of the senses. Acting only for the pleasure of the material body brings you further from practical realization of your factual identity as an eternal spirit soul (separate from the temporary material body).

8. Give up ritualistic pious activities. Transcend feelings of duty and obligation and perform all activities for the pleasure of Krishna.

9. Discuss the glories of the Holy Name with servants of the Lord who will relish hearing about it.

10. Chant attentively, absorbing your full consciousness in the transcendental vibration of the Holy Name.

If you can seriously follow the above ten guidelines your chanting will improve by leaps and bounds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

from Brampton, Ontario, Canada
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Today's Thought:

Serving the Vaisnavas


Sometimes neophyte devotees are very enthusiastic to serve the spiritual master and something less than completely enthusiastic to serve the other Vaisnavas. This is not the proper attitude. In this connection it is described by Narottam Das Thakur:

anande bolo hari bhaja brndaban
sri-guru-vaisnaba-pade majaiya man

"Chant the names of Lord Hari in great ecstasy and worship the transcendental realm of Vrindavan while absorbing your mind in meditation upon the divine feet of the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas."

There are three sources of divine inspiration: the spiritual master, the Vaisnavas, and the scriptures. We should always take advantage of all three for our rapid advancement on the pathway of devotional service. Associating with Vaisnavas means to serve them with love. Without loving service we are not able to derive the full transcendental benefit of their divine association.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Searching for the Ultimate Lover...

Hare Krishna.

For 15 years I have been searching for some one who loves me. After my marriage I thought that this would be my husband for whom I was searching for all these years. But I find myself still in search for somebody. I do not know who exactly he is.

Many times I tried to convince myself that it is the Lord for whom I am hankering. But still I am not convinced.

It has become a big problem for me. I cannot share this with anyone, because nobody can understand me. Please help me to convince myself that the person I am searching for is none other than Lord Krishna Himself.

Your student

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Krishna is the Ultimate Lover...

It is a fact that the person you have been searching after for millions of lifetimes is none other than Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is no one else who can fully reciprocate your love and thus fully satisfy you. Now armed with the understanding that all of your love should be exclusively reposed in Lord Sri Krishna, fully surrender yourself at His lotus feet. You will taste the inconceivable nectar of Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

from Brampton, Ontario, Canada
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Today's Thought:

Overcoming Our Faults


The most important art we can ever learn is how to overcome our faults. This present age, the Kali Yuga, is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam as being an ocean of faults:

kaler dosa-nidhe rajann
asti hy eko mahan gunah
kirtanad eva krsnasya
mukta-sangah param vrajet


"My dear King, although Kali-yuga is an ocean of faults, there is still one good quality about this age: Simply by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental kingdom."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 12.3.51


So our present position is that we are drowning in an ocean of faults. Our hearts are honey-combed with multitudinous faults. How will we become faultless? If we can take shelter of Lord Sri Krishna's holy names, by the sweet merciful power of the holy names our hearts will be cleansed of all faults, and we will become qualified to enter into the all-perfect supreme kingdom of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Offering Food at Work...


I have few questions about offering of food.

As I am a working person, I have to eat food in the office canteen. Such foods prepared give karmic reaction. Also they must be having some stuffs like onion, garlic etc. Though we take vegetarian food, still sometimes we are not sure of some non-vegetarian contaminations like egg by-products etc. In this way we accept so many karmic reaction.

Before I take the food, I chant Hare Krishna mantra 3 times as an offering to Krishna and then I take it. Are we really taking away the karmic reaction by offering this way even though it contains some stuffs which can't be offered? So what we can do in this situation where we can't offer our food in the purest way before we take as Krishna Prasadam?

So can you please suggest if there is any way for getting rid of the reactions?

Your Servant

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Bring Prasadam from Home...

You need to prepare your own foodstuffs at home and take them to work with you. You should cook them in a mood of devotion to Lord Krishna and offer them to Him. If we eat food cooked by non-devotees, even if all the ingredients are pure, we are still adversely affected by the materialistic mentality of the persons who cooked the food. On the other hand, if we take food which was cooked with love and devotion for the pleasure of Krishna, that eating will elevate our consciousness. If we take food cooked by non-devotees, that eating will cloud our consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, June 23, 2006

from Brampton, Ontario, Canada
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Today's Thought:

Miser Means Miserable

In the Brihad-aranyaka Upanishad (3.8.10) the perplexed man is described as follows: yo va etad aksaram gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa krpanah. "He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self-realization."

The thoughtful, intelligent person realizes the temporary nature of all forms of material pleasure. Thus he as much as possible invests his time and energy in those activities which will awaken the divine consciousness within. What are those activities? Hearing and chanting the transcendental name, fame, form, pastimes, entourage, paraphernalia, and teachings of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

We are requesting all of our readers to conquer over the enemy of pride by humbly submitting themselves to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the doorway to factual happiness. To not do so is to remain a miser, and thus remain miserable.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Stress and Strain...


Please advise how to prevent daily stress and strain that comes with doing our routine work.

Nagender Verma

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Love Defeats Stress and Strain...

If we truly love someone and we are serving them, even there is stress and strain we will not find it to be disturbing. We will see it as a wonderful opportunity to show our beloved our genuine love. In this way if you truly love Krishna and you are doing everything for Him, you will always be happy in all circumstances, whether stressful or peaceful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

from Brighton, Michigan, USA
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Today's Thought:

The Beauty of Being Humble


Our tendency in this material world is to put ourselves in the center, to make ourselves number one. This brings us into immediate conflict with everybody else, who is trying to do the same thing. This is why there is so much conflict and hardship in today's world. We have deviated far, far away from ishavasya spirit, the God-centered conception of existence.

The beauty of Krishna consciousness is that a Krishna conscious person understands the need to become humble, to not put himself in the center. He therefore always likes to keep Krishna or God in the center. By doing this he immediately enters into a wonderful peaceful serene mood. In this connection Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed us very nicely:

trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih


"One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." --Siksastaka 3

If we adopt this principle very seriously, we will quickly and easily advance ourselves on the pathway of spiritual perfection and taste ever-increasing happiness at every minute.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

I Think Eating Fish and Meat is Allowed by Lord Krishna...


In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 9-27) it is said:

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mas-arpanam

Translation : "O son of Kunti, all that you do, all that you eat, all that you offer and give away, as well as all austerities that you may perform, should be done as an offering unto me."

This means that Lord Krishna allows us to eat everything. He did not mention a particular class of food. But we have to make the food prasadam by offering him before eating. He did not say that he would not accept fish and meat as well as non-vegetarian food.

Now my question is:

In the Srimad Bhagavatam are there any advice for human being not to take non-vegetarian food? Your kind reply would be highly appreciated.

Hare Krishna

Ashis Paul

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I Hope My Answer According to the Vedic Version Will Bring You to Your Senses...

Your conception that Krishna allows the eating of fish and meat is incorrect. There are innumerable scriptural references to defeat this idea that fish and meat are allowed by Lord Krishna.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna specifies which types of foods may be offered to Him:

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." Bg 9.26

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that everything we eat must be first offered to Him, and then He describes in the above verse what He will accept. There is no place where He states that He will accept meat, fish, and eggs.

You have quoted a verse in which Krishna says that whatever we eat should be offered to Him. You are trying to interpret that this means you can eat anything including fish and meat as long as you offer it to Krishna. In the same verse Krishna says that whatever you do should be done as an offering to me.

Following your line of logic, someone could argue that it is okay to engage in terrorism as long you do it for Krishna. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually the modern day fish eating and meat eating is terrorism against our winged, finned, and four-legged brothers and sisters. If you are engaged in such detrimental activities I am humbly requesting you to desist from this horrendous cruelty and from now on subsist on a healthy, delicious, and more affordable diet of fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and grains that have been offered with love and devotion to Lord Sri Krishna.

You have asked for references from the Srimad Bhagavatam. Here are some:

na dadyad amisam sraddhe
na cadyad dharma-tattvavit
muny-annaih syat para pritir
yatha na pasu-himsaya


"A person fully aware of religious principles should never offer anything like meat, eggs or fish in the sraddha ceremony, and even if one is a ksatriya, he himself should not eat such things. When suitable food prepared with ghee is offered to saintly persons, the function is pleasing to the forefathers and the Supreme Lord, who are never pleased when animals are killed in the name of sacrifice." SB 7.15.7

loke vyavayamisa-madya-seva
nitya hi jantor na hi tatra codana


"In this material world the conditioned soul is always inclined to sex, meat-eating and intoxication. Therefore religious scriptures never actually encourage such activities." SB 11.5.11

narada uvaca
bho bhoh prajapate rajan
pasun pasya tvayadhvare
samjnapitan jiva-sanghan
nirghrnena sahasrasah

ete tvam sampratiksante
smaranto vaisasam tava
samparetam ayah-kutais
chindanty utthita-manyavah


"The great saint Narada said: O ruler of the citizens, my dear King, please see in the sky those animals which you have sacrificed without compassion and without mercy in the sacrificial arena. All these animals are awaiting your death so that they can avenge the injuries you have inflicted upon them. After you die, they will angrily pierce your body with iron horns."
SB 4.25.7-8

sindhos tatam candrabhagam
kauntim kasmira-mandalam
bhoksyanti sudra vratyadya
mlecchas cabrahma-varcasah


"The land along the Sindhu River, as well as the districts of Candrabhaga, Kaunti and Kasmira, will be ruled by sudras, fallen brahmanas and meat-eaters. Having given up the path of Vedic civilization, they will have lost all spiritual strength."
SB 12.1.37

saka-mulamisa-ksaudra-
phala-puspasti-bhojanah
anavrstya vinanksyanti
durbhiksa-kara-piditah


"Harassed by famine and excessive taxes, people will resort to eating leaves, roots, flesh, wild honey, fruits, flowers and seeds. Struck by drought, they will become completely ruined."
--SB 12.2.9

Elsewhere in the Vedic literature it is stated:

mam sa bhaksayitamutra
yasya mamsam ihadmy aham
etan mamsasya mamsatvam
pravadanti manisinah


"That creature whose flesh I am eating here and now will consume me in the next life. Thus meat is called mamsa, as described by learned authorities."

I hope that this authoritative answer according to the Vedic version has brought you to your senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

from Niles, Michigan, USA
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Today's Thought: Danger at Every Step

Monday as we were traveling from Kansas City, Missouri to Niles, Michigan we got a stark reminder of the dangerous nature of this material existence. We were cruising along Interstate Highway 80 at normal highway speed going with the flow of the traffic. One of my disciples was driving the van and I was sitting in the back seat with my laptop computer trying to catch up on my backlogged correspondence. All of a sudden my concentration on my writing was interrupted by a loud "kawham". Our van was hit on the left rear side. Spontaneously I immediately called out, "Krishna", taking shelter of the Lord's holy name at what could have been my last moment in this present body.

By Krishna's grace the van was only slightly damaged and our driver was able to maintain control of the vehicle. We pulled over to the shoulder to assess the damage and to report the details of the incident to the police who came out to investigate the crash. The persons in the vehicle that crashed into us did not get off so easy. Their vehicle was badly damaged and rolled over on its side where it remained standing on the inside shoulder. Luckily, even though their vehicle was totaled, they were for the most part uninjured. Only one passenger had a cut on his arm.

This was a very poignant lesson. It was a pleasant afternoon. I was engaged in my usual daily routine. And then all of sudden we were staring death in the face for what turned out to be a practice run only and not the real thing. One day it will be the real thing. I am very encouraged that I spontaneously and instantly took shelter of the Lord's holy name when the danger hit. I passed the test. I pray to be able to do so again when the real thing, my actual moment of death, finally arrives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Not Eat Meat?...


Why it is advisable for humans to not to intake non-vegetarian food ?

Ravindra
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It is a Simple Matter of Human Decency...

It is advised for human not to take non-vegetarian food because partaking of the flesh of animals is an act of great cruelty against the poor animals. When we can be healthy and happy maintaining our bodies on thousands of varieties of vegetarian food preparations, why should we murder our four-legged, winged, and finned brothers and sisters? How would you like to slaughtered and butchered and make your way to someone's dinner table?

To treat our family members in such a way is the greatest act of terrorism and barbarianism. And yet this unthinkable atrocity goes on every day throughout the world disguised as an ordinary daily activity. It's time we wake up from this madness and close down all the slaughterhouses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

from Niles, Michigan, USA
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Today's Thought:

Are We Stressing the Guru Too Much?


Sometimes we hear complaints that we are giving too much stress to the spiritual master in our explanations of the science of self-realization, that we should be talking more about Krishna. Of course it is a fact that we often talk about the spiritual master. So are we making a mistake to do so?

The self-realization process requires that we become fully absorbed in God consciousness or Krishna consciousness 24 hours a day. Krishna consciousness means to always have our minds absorbed in the name, fame, form, pastimes, and teachings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So if we are fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness, we must be obedient to Lord Krishna's instructions. We cannot manufacture our own brand of Krishna consciousness which deviates from the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna. Krishna consciousness means complete subservience to the orders of Krishna.

So what does Krishna order us in regards to how we are to approach him? In the Adi Purana there is the following statement by Lord Krishna Himself, addressed to Arjuna: "My dear Partha, one who claims to be My devotee is not so. Only a person who claims to be the devotee of My devotee is actually My devotee." From this we can understand that no one can approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly.  One must approach Him through His pure devotees. Therefore, in the self-realization system, the first duty of the practitioner is to accept a devotee as spiritual master and then to render service unto him.

If we neglect this principle thinking that we should only think about Krishna and talk about Krishna, our so-called Krishna consciousness will not be pleasing to Lord and will not deliver us from our entanglement in the cycle of birth and death. Real Krishna consciousness is executed according the instructions we receive from Lord Krishna, not our own concocted ideas.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Om and Hare Krishna Japa...


Hare Krishna!

My questions:

1) In many instances the Upanishads declare that aum is the word of God, indeed, that it is God. It is explained as the perfect sound containing all others, that it reveals the divine vibration within us, (like a motor, as it were). Does aum have any place in this practice? If not, how can such scriptural authority be dismissed?

2) What verses in the Bhagavad-gita As It Is refer to japa? And from whence is Mahamantra japa given such exalted priority? The more I chant the Holy Names , the more I want to keep going and look forward to the next opportunity....increasingly. I see the parallel of scripture, East and West.

Your catholic devotee,

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Tremendously Magnified Potency...

Aum or om is indeed Krishna. This is revealed by the Lord in Chapter 7, text 8 of the Bhagavad-gita: pranavah sarva-vedesu "In all the Vedic mantras, I represented by pranavah or om."

All the wonderful qualities and potencies present in aum are also present in the Hare Krishna mantra. The difference is that these qualities and potencies are many, many times more magnified in the Hare Krishna mantra. This is why in this particular age of Kali when we are very short lived and the atmosphere is extremely materialistic it is recommended in the Vedic wisdom that we should center our spiritual practice around the more powerful chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra:

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

Whatever benefits we can achieve by chanting aum are automatically attained many times over by chanting Hare Krishna.

In the Bhagavad-gita (10:25) Krishna declares: yajnanam japa-yajno 'smi "Of sacrifices I am japa, the chanting of the holy names."

Japa is so much stressed because in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna instructs that we must chant His holy names 24 hours daily:

satatam kirtayanto mam
yatantas ca drdha-vratah
namasyantas ca mam bhaktya
nitya-yukta upasate


"Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion." Bhagavad-gita 9.14

When we come to actual platform of spiritual realization we transcend all the limits of the so-called Eastern and Western perspectives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, June 19, 2006

from Rupanuga Vedic College, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
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Today's Thought:

Blessed by Sri Sri Radha Damodar on the Road


Today after we finish our worship of Sri Sri Radha Damodar we are heading out on a long haul to Niles, Michigan. It is wonderful to blessed with the divine association of the Supreme Lord and His eternal consort in the form of these most beautiful and wonderful deities. Since we have started to take them with us on our traveling and preaching adventures all over the world we are tasting a new sweetness in our service. This is all due to their unfathomable mercy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

My Meditation is Disturbed by the Horrible Smell of Tobacco...


When I meditate at 03-05, I can "take" anything else: sickness, loneliness, everything, except for the horrible smell of tobacco that emanates from my neighbor's windows. It just makes meditating (especially when I am sick) impossible and makes me insane with the desire to get out or to do something violent!

I cannot see how any devotee could meditate in such conditions. (And closing the windows is impossible because then it gets too hot to meditate.)

Does meditation take us away from duality of a bad or a good day? What do you do when you meditate and it is such a bad day that it is impossible to do it well?

Thank you,

Your student

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A Devotee is Undisturbed in All Situations...

The ability of the Lord's devotee to always be in a blissful meditative state even in the midst of the most disturbing conditions is inconceivable to one who has not awakened the dormant Krishna bhakti in their heart. Trying to explain to you intellectually will always have its limits. Only if you can carefully follow our instructions for awakening the dormant Krishna bhakti within your heart, will you then have a tangible experience of what it means to be transcendentally situated.

If we try to the meditate on the impersonal platform without devoting ourselves fully to Lord Sri Krishna, we will always find that our meditations are constantly being broken by the disturbing conditions of this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

from Rupanuga Vedic College, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
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Today's Thought:

Remain Equipoised in Happiness and Distress


Traveling and preaching Krishna consciousness all over the world is a great opportunity to practice the art of always remaining equipoised. Sometimes circumstances are very pleasing and sometimes they are very difficult.

This is described in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
sitosna-sukha-duhkha-dah
agamapayino 'nityas
tams titiksasva bharata


"O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed." --Bhagavad-gita 2.14

A devotee learns to see everything as the mercy of Krishna without being disturbed. By taking this detached position he gradually learns to relish the sweetest nectar at every minute no matter where he is or what is happening to him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Does One Need to Be Detached from His Loved Ones?


Hare Krishna. Thank you for regularly sending me "Thought for the Day." It is very enlightening. I am glad to have your association.

I have two questions:

According to the introduction in the Bhagavad-gita, one does not need to give up his occupation but needs to think of Krishna while engaged in work. How is that possible? For example, an engineer needs to have full concentration on his professional job. So how would he concentrate on two things at a time?

The second question is: Does one really need to get detached from his loved ones to advance in spiritual life? I have only one child (a boy), and I find that I am over protecting him. Even when I am chanting I pray that the Lord gives him full protection. Is this okay?

Please advise. Thank you.

Your servant,

Chandran

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Engage Everything in Krishna's Service...

Just as a tabla player learns how to expertly play two different drums at the same time, you can also gradually master the art of how to perform your material duties and spiritual duties simultaneously. The key is to engage your material duties fully in Krishna's service. In this way they become fully spiritualized and no longer a source of entanglement.

Real detachment means to engage your family members fully in the service of Krishna. And real attachment means that you love your family members so much that you want them to become delivered from the cycle of birth and death. To deliver them you must engage them fully in the service of Krishna. So for a devotee his attachment and detachment are one and the same.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

from Rupanuga Vedic College, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
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Today's Thought:

When the Whole World is at Your Disposal


In the Eleventh Canto, Twentieth Chapter, verses 32 and 33, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam Lord Krishna instructs Uddhava, "My dear friend, the profits derived from fruitive activities, austerities, the culture of philosophical knowledge, renunciation, the practice of mystic yoga, charity and all similar auspicious activities are automatically achieved by My devotees -- those who are simply attached to Me by loving service. These devotees have everything at their disposal, but they desire nothing outside of My devotional service. If ever a devotee should desire some material profit, like promotion to the heavenly planets, or some spiritual profit -- to go to the Vaikunthas -- by My causeless mercy his desires are very easily fulfilled."

This means that when we truly and fully place ourselves at the Lord's complete disposal, the totality of existence then becomes fully at our disposal to be engaged in the Lords' service. In the material world everyone is engaged in a fierce competition to see who can be most successful in lording it over this material energy. But they don't realize that by the simple act of complete surrender unto the will of the Lord that the entire world will then be at their disposal for engaging in the Lord's service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

What to Do with a Spouse Who is Not Krishna Conscious?


I am practicing Krishna Consciousness for some time. My spouse is not very keen on following this path. This acts as an hindrance in my progress and puts brakes on my active participation in the movement. What can I do?

Is it a must to have deities (Gaur Nitai/ Laddu Gopal) at home if one takes initiation? We are told that the initiation commitment is for only for chanting 16 rounds daily and following the four regulative principles.

Your advise will be appreciated.,

Your servant

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Inspire Her to Follow You by Serving Her with Love...

Now that you are giving your love to Krishna, your spouse may naturally feel neglected and discouraged. So you must now serve her with so much love that she will not feel in any way neglected and will become so much inspired and enlivened by your association that she resolves to follow you on the path of devotion to Lord Krishna.

It is not required to have deities at home, even if you are initiated. You may simply keep photographs of Sri Krishna, Sri Panca Tattva, Srila Prabhupada, and your Guru Maharaja on your home altar.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, June 16, 2006

from Emporia, Kansas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Beyond the Miseries of this Material Existence


According to the various fluctuations of the three modes of material nature we experience many varieties of circumstances within this material existence. Sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are sad. Sometimes we are peaceful, sometimes we are agitated. But no matter what our position may be here, we cannot find lasting peace and happiness here.

Why is that? It is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita that every place throughout the entire universe is a place of misery:

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

Traveling throughout the world for spreading Krishna consciousness we see so many varieties of situations. Some appear to be very nice, some not so nice, and some absolutely hellish. But we have to understand that even the apparently nice situations are actually problematic because in every situation time is dragging us through birth, death, old age, and disease.

Therefore the intelligent person as much possible absorbs his consciousness on the spiritual platform.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Are You Sinless?...

Please excuse my ignorance, I have two questions:

Is there a difference between chanting the Hare Krishna mantra verbatim or chanting "O energy of the Lord, O all-attractive Lord, O Supreme Enjoyer, please engage me in Your service." Since you have stated before that all religions are one, it shouldn't matter in what language the names of God are chanted. Is this correct?

Are you (being a bona fide spiritual master) without sin? Do you ever become angry or afraid? Do you ever react to the material world with a "human" response rather than from the awakened Krishna consciousness? If yes, then how can you be sure that the teachings that have been passed in disciplic succession were not clouded by the same sins?

Best Regards,

Kenny

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By the Grace of My Spiritual Master...

As the Lord is multi-lingual, you may pray to Him in any language. He understands every single language on the face of the earth. At the same time in the Vedic literature special significance has been given to the Hare Krishna mantra. God Himself appeared on this planet 500 years in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He taught us that any of the unlimited names of God are potent for delivering us from this material existence. But He showed the example of being fully absorbed in chanting this particular mantra:

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

You are asking if I am free from sin. The answer is that by the grace of my spiritual master I am completely free from sin. A devotee may sometimes experience anger or fear, but not in the same way that a materialist experiences them. These emotions can be experienced on the spiritual platform completely beyond the platform of selfishness and greed.

To achieve the enlightened platform of Krishna consciousness means to awaken the actual human qualities. It means to rise beyond the animalistic platform of lust, anger, and greed. For example no human being would want to kill a poor animal to eat his flesh when there is an ample supply of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and grains.

Our teachings have been carefully passed down to us through a tradition of saintly teachers who were fully liberated from the materialistic tendencies. And by carefully following the Krishna consciousness process we can practically experience how we are being liberated from all materialistic tendencies. The proof of the ice cream is in the eating.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

from Radha-Kalachandji Dham in Dallas, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

 On the Road to Rupanuga Vedic College

Today we are heading out towards Rupanuga Vedic College in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. We'll be arriving on Friday after an overnight stop in Emporia, Kansas. At RVC (Rupanuga Vedic College) the devotees have a very nice training program for men who would like to live the life of a monk for a few months, a few years, or for a lifetime. For more information check out their website at:

www.rvc.edu


A monk's life is the ideal position for advancing in Krishna consciousness. Of course, one can also become Krishna conscious while living at home, if one as far as possible transforms one's home into the transcendental atmosphere of an ashram, a place of spiritual cultivation.


If you would like to become fully absorbed in practicing Krishna consciousness at home, check out the following information:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/articles.php?articleId=81

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

What is the First Step Towards Achieving the Greatest Good Fortune?


Thank you for your reply it has become clear to me. Yes, I would very much like to receive that greatest good fortune.

What is the first step for an absolute beginner like myself. I have heard it said on some ISKCON websites that it is best to begin practices gradually and build up in that way, what do you think?

Looking forward to your reply,

Kind regards,

Glen

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Carefully Read Bhagavad-gita As It Is...

I am very happy to learn that you would like to achieve the greatest good fortune of becoming fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness.

A thousand mile journey begins with the first step. It takes time to fully awaken the dormant Krishna consciousness that has been sleeping within your heart for millions of lifetimes, so the practitioner must be patient.

The best thing is to move forward at a pace that you can maintain in the long run. In the proverbial race between the hare and the tortoise it was the slowly but steadily plodding tortoise who won the race.

Of course it is not in the name of graduality that we should make our advancement any more gradual than it needs to be. Death can come at any time. So we always strive to be as Krishna conscious as possible at every minute while at the same time recognizing that we are engaging ourselves in a lifelong process of purification.

The first step is to carefully read the Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and submit to me all of your questions.

If you don't have a copy, you can obtain one from our website at:

 http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/store

Once you have completed this step then I will give you your next assignment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

from Radha-Kalachandji Dham in Dallas, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought:

Celebrating the Appearance Day of Tamal Krishna Goswami


Today is the appearance day (birthday) of my beloved older Godbrother, His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaja. He is no longer physically manifest with us here in the material world, having departed several years ago. We are here on the first stop of our North American preaching tour at the ISKCON center in Dallas, Texas, Radha-Kalachandji Dhama. Since many of his disciples reside here they have organized a special celebration in his honor. It is very uplifting to be here with them remembering the wonderful qualities and activities of this great saintly teacher.

I remember many, many times when I was in his association. He was a loving friend and also a very strict mentor. He was very enlivening to be with and taught me many, many enlightening lessons. I am forever indebted to him for his loving kindness and for being such a good example of someone who was 100% dedicated for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Which Way of Krishna Bhakti is Correct?



How can one know which of these two different ways of Krishna-Bhakti is the correct one?

1.ISKCON Vaishnavism
2.Classical Gaudiya Vaishnavism

Thank You,

Jukka

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ISKCON Vaishnavism is Classical Gaudiya Vaishnavism...

Your question is based on the mistaken premise that there is a difference between ISKCON Vaishnavism and classical Gaudiya Vaishnavism. This premise is completely false. Persons who are envious of ISKCON's unparalleled success in spreading Krishna Consciousness all over the world are making the false propaganda that ISKCON is not presenting classical Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Why they should do like that? Advanced devotees are not envious of those who are successful in spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. Rather they are joyful and appreciative to see that someone is successfully spreading the Krishna consciousness movement. Envy is the quality of neophyte devotees who are still on the material platform.

ISKCON is presenting the finest essence of pure Gaudiya Vaishnavism. It is the pure, classical Gaudiya Vaishnavism in its more powerful and potent form. What is the proof?

Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami explains in his great seminal Gaudiya Vaishnava Classic, the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, as follows:

krishna-sakti vina nahe tara pravartana

"Unless one receives the special power of attorney from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he cannot spread the glories of the Hare Krishna Mantra all over the world."
--Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya Lila, 7.11

There is only one Gaudiya Vaishnava Acharya in the history of the world who has been able to do this. Who is that acharya? It is none other than ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Now that Srila Prabhupada has blazed the trail, other Gaudiya preachers are also out there preaching in many parts of the world. But they are simply following in the footsteps of Srila Prabhupada. They were not powerful enough the blaze the trail on their own.

If Srila Prabhupada had not blazed the trail, they probably would still have been in their Indian villages thinking that the scriptural predictions of Krishna consciousness spreading all over the world are simply some kind of poetic simile, not a literal fact.

The other Gaudiya preachers are all wonderful devotees, no doubt, but in comparison to Srila Prabhupada, they are like the many stars in the sky, and Srila Prabhupada is like the moon. The many, many stars cannot do very much to brighten the nighttime sky. They can simply twinkle a little bit. But when the full moon is present, that is another matter. That full moon can greatly brighten the nighttime sky with his cooling, soothing rays. That full moon is His Divine Srila Prabhupada and his ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada has the power to single-handedly deliver the entire universe. We respect and love all of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, but it would be incorrect to think that they have the same spiritual potency as Srila Prabhupada and his movement, ISKCON.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Discovering the Anti-Material Particle


Hidden beneath the broad field of material energy lies another field, the field of anti-matter. The material energy is temporary, full of ignorance, and full of misery. The anti-material energy is eternal, full of unlimited knowledge and unfathomable bliss. The field of anti-matter is composed of an unlimited number of anti-material particles. While matter is destructible, anti-matter is indestructible. Matter is dead. It does not possess consciousness. Anti-matter, on the other hand, is alive and possesses full consciousness.

The anti-material particle is finer than the finest of material particles. It is pure living force, and it is so powerful that it spreads its influence all over the material body. The anti-material particle has immense potency in comparison to the material particle, and consequently it cannot be destroyed.

The finest form of the anti-material particle is encaged within the gross and subtle material bodies. Although the material bodies (both gross and subtle) are subject to destruction, the finer, anti-material particle is eternal. One's interest, therefore, should be in this eternal principle, the anti-material particle.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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North American Preaching Tour Starts This Afternoon!

13-14 June Dallas, Texas
15 June Kansas (program in small town)
16-18 June Rupanuga Vedic College, Kansas City, Missouri
19-20 June Niles, Michigan
21 June Brighton, Michigan
22 June Lockport, New York (mid-day)
22 June Guelph, Ontario (evening)
23 June-25 June Toronto, Ontario
26 June-24 July To be announced. Stay tuned!

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Questions and Answers:

Why Did You Choose Krishna Consciousness?



I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for sending me your "Thought for the Day" over many months. It really does help me and inspire me.

I would like to ask a question. What is it about Krishna consciousness that made you choose to follow it above other paths? There are many great traditions, i.e. Islam, Christianity, Judaism etc. I would like to know what stands out about Hare Krishna that made you follow it as opposed to others.

Looking forward to your reply,
kind regards

Glen

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The Greatest Good Fortune...

I am very happy to hear that my humble attempt to pass on the enlightened wisdom I have received from my beloved spiritual master is helping and inspiring you. Of course, this does not surprise me because I know how much it benefits me at every minute. Your appreciation simply tells me that you are a very sincere recipient of this most sublime wisdom.

An enlightened spiritual being does not perceive that there are different paths. He perceives one path with different levels of advancement along that one path. He also sees that some are going in the wrong direction on that path.

When we create sects such as Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc, we are definitely heading in the wrong direction on the path. We are not seeing things on the enlightened spiritual platform. Rather we are seeing things on the miserable and illusory material platform.

In this connection it is stated in the Sri Isopanisad:

yasmin sarvani bhutany
atmaivabhud vijanatah
tatra ko mohah kah soka
ekatvam anupasyatah


"One who always sees all living entities as spiritual sparks, in quality one with the Lord, becomes a true knower of things. What, then, can be illusion or anxiety for him?"
Sri Isopanisad Mantra 7

The great Vedic sages clearly perceived and followed that one path and if we are fortunate we will carefully follow in their footsteps. If we are fortunate, we will not remain in the realm of relativity where life is temporary full of ignorance and misery. We will take the mercy of those sages and become elevated into that sweet realm of eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

Whether we choose to label this as Allah consciousness, Christ consciousness, Jehovah consciousness, Universal consciousness, or Krishna consciousness is not the point. The point is that we must revive our original loving relationship with the Supreme Person, the source of all that exists.

Because His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada has shown himself to be the most highly realized master in this universal science of the soul I enrolled in his training program while I had the chance. I grabbed it in 1971 while the getting was good.

This is a decision which I have been celebrating for the last 35 years. By his grace I have achieved the greatest good fortune. Now if you like I can bestow that greatest good fortune upon you. Would you like it?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, June 12, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Wake Up to Reality


We've had our heads buried in the sand long enough. It's time we wake up to the reality that is there within us and outside of us at every minute. We've been duped by the deluding influence of the material energy long enough. It's time now for us see things as they really are.

How will we realize the Absolute Truth? Can we perceive it and comprehend it with our imperfect senses? No. Can we understand what it is by speculating with our imperfect minds? No. Can we personally experience with purified senses and a purified mind? Yes.

Therefore we must purify our senses and minds of the pollution that has clouded them for countless eons by the purificatory process given to us by God Himself. That process is known as bhakti yoga or devotional service. And that is what we are teaching you in this course. Kindly take our instructions very seriously and your life will become perfect. We guarantee it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Could Your Cosmology Be Correct?


I was listening to one of your lectures when you said the light from stars is just a reflection of our sunlight. How can this be? There could be no life out there then. The planets that you call stars would be too cold to sustain life. Our sun can only sustain life on earth which is only 93 million miles away. The stars are many light years away. Also stars emanate radiation, something you would not get from a mere reflection. Please clarify this.

Your careful listener,

Volkmar

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Vedic Cosmology is the Most Consistent...

I appreciate very, very much that you are my careful listener.

With the utmost of respect for your sincerity I would like to help you understand fully my position on the Vedic Cosmology. I've tried to make it clear in what follows:

You haven't been to the other planets, therefore to know about outer space you have to accept the statements of the material scientists. I haven't been to the other planets either. For me to know about outer space I must also accept the statements of the scientists. The difference is that I have chosen the Vedic scientists and you have chosen the material scientists.

Why have I chosen the Vedic scientists over the material scientists? Because they are consistent. For thousands of years their cosmology has accurately predicted all solar and lunar eclipses. They know what they are doing. They have never modified their cosmology, not for many thousands of years. I like this consistency.

Your scientists are constantly modifying their views because they are groping in the dark. They don't know for sure what is what. One prominent astronomer admitted to me that when his astronomical theory would be defeated that it would be the progress of science. Such theories that will be defeated in the future are not science. They are nescience.

I choose to accept the version of solid scientists whose science is not clouded with nescience as opposed to the shaky scientists whose textbooks have to be revised every few years. Our science books are thousands of years old and will never have to be rewritten.

I hope I have made my position clear.

Thank you once again for being my careful listener.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

There is No Such Thing as Nothingness


Don't let them fool you. They are trying really hard to. The cosmologists have convinced themselves and are trying to convince us that in the beginning there was nothing--no time, space, matter, or energy. They say that there was then a quantum fluctuation from which everything sprung. They base this philosophy on the premise that in the beginning was nothingness.

But their philosophy is flawed from the very beginning because there is no such thing as nothingness. If there was nothingness, there could be no quantum fluctuation to pull something out of the hat of nothingness.

We can easily observe that a thing comes from another thing, which in turn comes from something else. If we follow the chain of causality back, back, back, until we come to that cause that has no other cause, we have arrived at the cause of all the causes, the original source of all that exists.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna reveals that He is that original source.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Should a Child Curb His Material Tendencies?...

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

When a man is a child he has a tendency to enjoy life by playing sports, watching movies, eating sweets, traveling just for fun, etc. Do you think it is necessary to curb such a tendency?

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The Boy Prahlad Maharaja Has Prescribed Bhakti from the Start...

The boy Prahlad Maharaja, who is one the greatest spiritual authorities in the history of this universe, said that from the very beginning of life one should cultivate pure devotional service:

sri-prahrada uvaca
kaumara acaret prajno
dharman bhagavatan iha
durlabham manusam janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam

"Prahlada Maharaja said: One who is sufficiently intelligent should use the human form of body from the very beginning of life -- in other words, from the tender age of childhood -- to practice the activities of devotional service, giving up all other engagements. The human body is most rarely achieved, and although temporary like other bodies, it is meaningful because in human life one can perform devotional service. Even a slight amount of sincere devotional service can give one complete perfection." Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.1

If we are at all serious about spiritual perfection we should follow his instructions no matter what our age.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought:

Krishna Welcomes All

Krishna does not care what kind of body we have. If we are sincere about becoming a devotee, He happily and lovingly accepts our service at His lotus feet. He is our loving father. His desire for us to return to His eternal kingdom is many times stronger than our desire to go there. It does not matter if we are black or white, male or female, young or old, American or Indian, rich or poor, highly educated or illiterate, expert or inept. Simply Lord Krishna wants to see if we are sincere about surrendering at His lotus feet. If we have sincere devotion He will gladly open the door for us to enter His eternal spiritual kingdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Do I Choose My Guru?


I have a doubt how is a spiritual master is chosen. Does a spiritual master choose his disciple or it is vice versa?

1] I have a confusion now because a person can have only one spiritual master I think. I'm so fortunate that I came across a nice spiritual master through this course. but your being in other part of the earth I don't have an opportunity to associate with you directly. Here in Chennai there is one spiritual master named Banu Maharaja, whom I have met. I have also read a book of one spiritual master named Bhakti Vikasa Swami Maharaja. I like his book so much, and now I have a confusion as to who is my spiritual master, or from whom I should take initiation.

2] I have one more doubt. I have read books of Prabhupada saying whatever one does either good or bad it is according to one's desire. But this Kali Yuga has been shaped by Lord Sri Krishna as an age of quarrel and disagreement. It looks to me contradictory because this Yuga itself is shaped as though one will commit mistake because its God's will but whatever bad things one does only he is responsible. In this regard, whether the individual's will or desire prevails or the supreme soul's desire predominates?

3] It is said that Kali yuga has a period of 432,000 years and already 20,000 years has been over. In the Bhagavad-Gita it is said that Lord Krishna spoke this profound knowledge 5000 years ago. So this 5,000 years comes within this 20,000 finished period of Kali yuga. Was Bhagavad-Gita spoken in Kali Yuga?

Your student

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Whoever Inspires Your Krishna Consciousness the Most...

It is Krishna Who brings together the spiritual master and the disciple. I encourage you to take association as much as possible of all the wonderful gurus that we have in ISKCON. You can do this through hearing their lectures, reading their books, having darshan with them, etc. (My lectures are available at: http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com)

All of the gurus will inspire and uplift you. Out of all them there will be one who will emerge as the one who inspires you the most. This is the one that you should accept as your initiating guru.

It is by our desire that we do good or bad, not Krishna's desire. The Kali Yuga is not all a disadvantage for those who want to be godly. In fact this Kali Yuga is the best of ages for those who want be Krishna conscious because in this age salvation is much easier.

Kali yuga has only passed 5,000 years. It began after Lord Krishna departed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, June 9, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought:

Solve All Problems by Harmonizing with the Original Source

Everything that exists all comes from one original source. This is described in the Vedic wisdom as follows:

janmady asya yatah

"The Absolute Truth is the one original source from which everything emanates."

There is one easy solution for all problems that exist throughout the entire universe. All we have to do is harmonize with that original source. This art is learned from one who has already mastered the art of doing this. Such a person is known as a bona fide spiritual master.

I was blessed with the greatest good fortune of coming in contact with such a bona fide spiritual master who gave me complete shelter at his lotus feet and complete training on how to harmonize myself fully with that Absolute Truth. That spiritual master is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Until we as a human society can come back to a state of harmony with that original source, all of our attempts to solve our individual and collective problems will be futile. Therefore everyone should take advantage of the mercy and the teachings of a bona fide spiritual master to bring happiness to everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Am I Not Free From All Anxieties?


Hare Krishna, Please accept my respectful humble obeisances.

In your today's question/answer with the Chinese boy you have claimed the following:

"If you strictly follow these guidelines, you will be able to remain fixed in Krishna consciousness and thus fully happy 24 hours a day:

1. No illicit sex (sex other than for procreation)
2. No meat eating (including fish and eggs)
3. No intoxication (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes)
4. No gambling
5. Chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra every day on chanting beads:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
6. Only eat Krishna prasadam (food which has been first offered to Lord Krishna)
7. Regularly study authorized scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam
8. If possible in your area, to solidify your connection with Krishna become an active participant in community of ISKCON devotees

If you can strictly follow the above items, all of your material desires will become transformed into pure spiritual desires and you will thus become free from all anxieties."

But I am a full time brahmacari (celibate monk) at the ISKCON Juhu Temple and am following all items mentioned above. Still I am not free from anxieties and am having infinite material desires. Could you explain why?

Regards,

Bhakta Pradeep

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You Have Not Yet Perfected Your Chanting...

You have not yet become free from all anxieties because your chanting has not yet become pure. There are three stages of chanting:

1. Offensive stage (the starting point)
2. Clearing stage (offenses are gradually cleared away)
3. Offenseless stage (when all offenses are cleared away)

In order to reach the stage of complete freedom from anxiety in which all of your material desires have been transformed into spiritual desires you must come to the offenseless stage. The way to do that is to carefully avoid committing the following offenses:

(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 a bona fide 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 wants to constantly taste the sweetest nectar of pure enlightened anxiety-free consciousness must carefully guard against the above offenses in order to quickly achieve the supreme success, pure love of Krishna, Krishna prema.

I can absolutely guarantee you that when your chanting becomes completely pure you will taste the sweetest nectar at every moment. You will constantly experience Krishna within everything and everything within Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, June 8, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought for the Day:

Everyone Should Practice Krishna Consciousness

For a healthy, energized, vibrant, ecstatic, enlightened existence everyone should practice Krishna consciousness. There is no reason for anyone to remain entangled in the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease. This human form of life is meant by God's arrangement to be an opportunity to return to the paravyoma, the eternal Spiritual Sky situated far, far beyond this material existence. If we waste our human form simply to try squeeze out some sense enjoyment from that which is not ultimately enjoyable, it will be the greatest loss of a golden opportunity and thus the greatest tragedy.

Why should anyone punish themselves unnecessarily? Everyone can easily adopt the principles of Krishna consciousness and make their lives sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Many Arms Does Krishna Have?


In the book Teachings of Lord Caitanya it is mentioned that Krishna exhibited His own six handed form to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. Incidentally Krishna is actually two handed isn't He in His personal form in Goloka as Syamasundara?

Could you please explain this to me, eagerly awaiting your reply!

Kishna
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Krishna Has Unlimited Arms...

Krishna's original form is two-handed, but He has also has His four-armed Vishnu forms, and His six-armed Sad-bhuja form as well. In this Sad-bhuja form two arms are of Lord Krishna, two arms are of Lord Ramachandra, and two arms are of Lord Caitanya.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, June 7, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
 

Special Announcement
All lectures from the Spring 2006 European Lecture Tour are now online at:
http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/Lecture_Pages/2006_spring_european_lectures.htm


Today's Thought for the Day:

The Solution for All Ills


Sometimes we hear the objection that Krishna consciousness is utopian, that it cannot really do what we say that it can do, i.e. solve all the problems of the world on both the individual and collective levels. But the fact is that Krishna consciousness can indeed solve all problems. This is because each and every problematic situation that exists within the universe is simply a manifestation of our original problem of rejecting Krishna. Simply by returning to Him, all problems are immediately solved.

A child may be crying, crying, crying. So many attempts to pacify the child are futile until the child is placed on the lap of its mother. Then the child immediately becomes pacified. All of his problems are solved. In the same way all we have to do is awaken our long forgotten Krishna consciousness. Everything will become perfect.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

I Cannot Be Krishna Conscious at Work...


How can people concentrate on two things at a time? I mean work as well as self realization. If work needs complete devotion, then thinking about God is ruled out.

Padma

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Yes You Can, Here's How...

When we play the two headed mridanga drum the left hand and the right are playing separate beats, but yet they are perfectly coordinated to make a nice pleasing sound. In a similar way by practice you can keep your Krishna consciousness going on very nicely while at the same time you expertly perform the occupational duties at your job.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought for the Day:

Meeting Krishna Face to Face

We are teaching here the ancient, time-honored system known as bhakti yoga by which the sincere practitioner can purify his or her consciousness more and more until finally reaching the point of seeing Krishna or God face to face, eye to eye. Those who are skeptical of our claim are welcome to experiment with our process to see if it works or not. We gaurantee that anyone who seriously adopts our process in full will in due course of time be able to directly see Krishna or God, face to face.

Seeing Krishna is the perfection of the eyes. This seeing is available only to those who have anointed their eyes with salve of love of Godhead. This is described by Lord Brahma in the 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 in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love." Brahma-samhita 5.38

Seeing God is not something cheap. One must become completely cleansed of all material desires. Only when Krishna is pleased by the unalloyed love of His devotee does He reveal Himself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How to Always Remember Krishna...


My Dear Teacher,

Can you give me some guidance?

Firstly, my relationships: I'm 17 years old. I live in a noisy town. I have some loyal and honest friends, I love them very much. But my relatives are not that good. They fix their eyes on mass of material things, they are somewhat proud and selfish. The need for material profits is so official. How I wish I could change them. God is almighty, but why don't he change them?

Secondly, my yoga practicing: When I'm chanting Mantra, I feel peaceful. But while I'm doing other things, Mantra won't turn up in my mind. How to always remember Krishna? And how to get Krishna's mercy? And how to change material desires into spiritual love?

I hops to hear from you soon. Thanks a lot.

Yours faithfully,

A Chinese boy

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Follow these Guidelines Strictly...

It is nice that you would like for your relatives to become Krishna conscious, but your first business is that you should become 100% absorbed in Krishna consciousness. Once you are fixed in Krishna consciousness you will naturally be able to attract so many of your friends and relatives to Krishna consciousness.

Krishna or God does not interfere with the free will of the living entities. He gives them the free choice to love Him or to leave Him. Most people choose to love Him. They remain eternally with Him in the spiritual world. This material world is the place for those people who chose to leave Him. That's why it is difficult to find a pure lover of God here. We are fortunate that Krishna comes here from time to time and also sends His pure devotees here to save us from our illusion and our false pride.

If you strictly follow these guidelines, you will be able to remain fixed in Krishna consciousness and thus fully happy 24 hours a day:

1. No illicit sex (sex other than for procreation)
2. No meat eating (including fish and eggs)
3. No intoxication (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes)
4. No gambling
5. Chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra every day on chanting beads:
                     Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
                     Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
6. Only eat Krishna prasadam (food which has been first offered to Lord Krishna)
7. Regularly study authorized scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam
8. If possible in your area, to solidify your connection with Krishna become an active participant in a community of ISKCON devotees

If you can strictly follow the above items, all of your material desires will become transformed into pure spiritual desires and you will thus become free from all anxieties.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, June 5, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought for the Day:

Reconnecting with Our Source


If you want to be who are you, then you have to be connected with your source. If you are out of sync with your source, there's no way you can be happy. This is the basic problem that has devastated practically the entire human civilization. Almost no one knows who they are, and most people have no interest at all in knowing who they actually are. If we try to explain it them, they will think that we are crazy.

The fact is that we are not these bodies. We are instead eternal spirit-souls qualitatively one with God.

The highest welfare work we can perform is to first of all fully awaken ourselves spiritually. And then when we are properly fixed in the divine, enlightened consciousness we should share it with others. This knowledge and its practical application can solve all the problems of the world, individually and collectively.

Kindly take this knowledge seriously. Study it and apply it with full earnestness. Your life will be sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How to Know Truth Through the Spiritual Master?


From the standpoint of logic, how can one know "truth" through the spiritual master?

Your eternal servant,

Praveen

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Try Him, You'll Like It...

Try him. This experience is beyond logic. It want you to fully comprehend this, you must experience it. Can you understand the taste of ice cream without tasting it? No. If you want to know the taste of ice cream, you must taste it. Similarly, if you want to understand how Truth can be realized by the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master, you must follow the instruction of Lord Krishna given in Chapter Four of the Bhagavad-gita:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, June 4, 2006

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought for the Day:

Light Your Fire and Become Ultimately Cool

You can choose to either remain asleep in the clutches of illusion or to awaken your dormant enlightened consciousness. The choice is totally up to you. Nobody else can decide for you. If you want to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death, you will have to adopt some spiritual disciplines. You will have to bring your senses under control. You will have to conquer over your false pride and over lust, greed, and anger.

There's no way you can do this artificially by trying to deny your material desires. You will be a failure. Your life will become a frustrated mess.

What you need to do instead is light the fire of spiritual desire within your heart. You have to strike the match that will light a spiritual bonfire within your heart.

What is that match?

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

The fire of Krishna bhakti will not scorch you. It will make you cool, ultimately cool. There is nothing more cool than becoming Krishna conscious. In fact, there is nothing else that is truly 100% cool.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Does God Have Different Rules for Different Religions?

Why do people fight in the name of religion? To stop doing such deeds, what are Krishna's thoughts, as well as what do you feel about it? If God is one, then why Islamic people are so cruel for their religion? Why does god differentiate between Hindu, Muslim or Christian? Why does He have different rules for different religions?

What is the difference between religion, peace and love?

With regards,

Sangita

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There Are Not Different Religions...

People who fight in the name of religion do so in complete ignorance of what is the meaning of religion. Religion means to obey the laws of God. It does not mean to exploit others. A devotee, a lover of God, does not even want to harm an ant because he sees every living being as a dear child of God.

God does not differentiate between religions because there is no such thing as different religions. It is man who has concocted these different so-called religions. God has given us one religion, to develop our pure love for Him.

True religion means to become a true lover of God and all of His creation. Only someone who comes to this platform can experience real peace. This is described by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati


"Only that person who knows Me to be the Supreme Enjoyer, the Supreme Proprietor, and the Supreme Friend can experience true peace." Bhagavad-gita 5.29

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, June 3, 2006

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Offered with love to ISKCON Founder-Acharya:
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

An inspirational newsletter of the Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM)
Broadcast daily to thousands in over one hundred countries
(Countries listed at http://www.backtohome.com/countries)

We are fully dedicated to helping you fully awaken your eternal
spiritual identity, which is full of knowledge and full of bliss.

If you are not yet a subscriber to our free e-course,
you can join right now at: http://www.backtohome.com



His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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Today's Thought for the Day:

Krishna Consciousness is Never Boring


(uploaded for us from Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA)


In this material world everyone is trying to enjoy unlimitedly. But the difficulty is that everything we try to enjoy eventually becomes over time less and less enjoyable. Then we try to switch to another object of enjoyment and again we are frustrated.

If we are ever going to be fully satisfied, we need to find an object of enjoyment that becomes more and more enjoyable without end. Luckily there is something that we can enjoy unlimitedly. That something is a someone named Lord Sri Krishna. Krishna is not an ordinary person like you or me. Krishna is God. He is the source of all that exists. Our enjoyment of Krishna is experienced by selflessly serving Him. Through this process known as pure devotional service we can taste unlimited happiness at every minute.





His Grace Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari



This unlimited bliss is described by the incarnation of God known as Lord Rishabadeva as follows:

nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke
kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye
tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam
suddhyed yasmad brahma-saukhyam tv anantam


"Of all the living entities who have accepted material bodies in this world, one who has been awarded this human form should not work hard day and night simply for sense gratification, which is available even for dogs and hogs that eat stool. One should engage in penance and austerity to attain the divine position of devotional service. By such activity, one's heart is purified, and when one attains this position, he attains eternal, blissful life, which is transcendental to material happiness and which continues forever."

This is first verse in Chapter Five of the Fifth Canto of the supremely beautiful and enlightening Srimad Bhagavatam. I heartily encourage you to dedicated your entire life to studying and applying the teachings of the Srimad Bhagavatam. If you do so, I can absolutely guarantee you that your life will be unlimitedly sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Is There Any End to the Evil in the World?...

I am surrounded by people who are greedy for material things and are getting evil to get more and more of them. Sometimes they do evil things to hurt the others. We see and realize the bad things they are doing to others but we cannot do anything. Is there no end to these evil-minded people and their doings?

Your student,

Uma

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The Best Shot at Conquering Evil...

The living entity has the free will to be either selfless or selfish. One who chooses the miserly path of selfishness will never find peace or satisfaction in this life or the next. The selfless lovers of God are pained greatly in their hearts to see the needless sufferings of those who choose the path of selfishness. They are also disturbed to see the sufferings that that selfish persons inflict upon others.

Therefore these loving souls selflessly dedicate themselves to inspiring the selfish souls to take up the liberating path of selfless service to God.

Whether they will end their selfishness or not is up to them. All that can be done is that the pure devotees of God try to inspire them by their perfect examples and try compassionately to uplift them by sharing with them the enlightening words of wisdom from the revealed scriptures.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, June 2, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought for the Day:

Don't Waste Your Human Form of Life


We all have to earn a living. That's a fact. There are hundreds and thousands of ways to earn a living. Some people earn their living as a shopkeeper. And some people earn their living as corporate executives.

Simply earning a living will not liberate us from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore if that's all we do, we are simply wasting our precious time. This is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam
visvaksena-kathasu yah
notpadayed yadi ratim
srama eva hi kevalam


"The occupational activities a man performs according to his own position are only so much useless labor if they do not provoke attraction for the message of the Personality of Godhead." Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.8

The birds also earn their living by flying out from their nest every day to gather worms. What is the difference between gathering worms and gathering dollars? There is not much difference, if the only purpose of your existence is to maintain your material body.

The difference that does exist between mankind and the animals is that human beings have advanced intelligence for understanding who they are and what is the purpose of their existence. This is why in addition to earning their livelihoods they must also side by side, and even more importantly, cultivate Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness means the reawakening of the original divine awareness that has been lying there dormant within the heart for countless eons of lifetimes.

Those who are actually intelligent take up a regular daily practice of the "yuga dharma", the prescribed method for self-realization for this age given in the ancient Vedic literatures. What is that method? That method is mantra meditation, regularly chanting the holy names of God with love. By starting your day every morning with a solid program of chanting, your spiritual batteries will become fully charged and you will be solidly connected with Lord Krishna throughout the entire day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. We hope that if you have not already done so, you will join with us in earnest by regularly chanting the Hare Krishna mantra every day. You will taste the sweetest nectar if you chant with love. We gaurantee it!

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Questions and Answers:

How to Be Krishna Conscious on the Job?


If I may ask, I want to know one thing. Whenever I have holidays I visit ISKCON or read books written by ISKCON Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada. However, as soon as the week starts and the usual office chores begin, I find my self lost again and feel that again I am not in control of the situation and losing my mental balance. Is there some way to regulate the mind such that even in our daily job activities we find peace? Or is it that we have to leave our home or get detached from the outside world if we need to find salvation.

I know I am taking too much of your precious time by writing long mails, but my mind is at times troubled with too many questions and I don't know whom to ask. Please bear with me.

Thanks and regards,

Nehal

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Here's How...

There is no need to artificially renounce this world and go to the forest to find peace. If you will strictly follow the guidelines listed below you will be able to keep your spiritual batteries fully charged so that you can always remain in Krishna consciousness even when you are in the material atmosphere of your workplace:

1. No illicit sex (sex other than for procreation)
2. No meat eating (including fish and eggs)
3. No intoxication (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes)
4. No gambling
5. Chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra every day on chanting beads
6. Only eat Krishna prasadam (food which has been first offered to Lord Krishna)
7. Regularly study authorized scriptures such as Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Srimad Bhagavatam
8. Become an active participant in a community of ISKCON devotees
9. Take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, June 1, 2006

Broadcast from the ecstatic road back to Godhead at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought for the Day:

How Beautiful Is the Source of all Beauty?

Throughout this material world we can experience so many beautiful and attractive things: sunrises, mountains, forests, flowers, waterfalls, etc.



In regard to these Lord Sri Krishna states in the 10th Chapter, Text 41 of the Bhagavad-gita:

yad yad vibhutimat sattvam
srimad urjitam eva va
tat tad evavagaccha tvam
mama tejo-'msa-sambhavam

"Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendour."

In this regard when the see the beautiful aspects of this material world we can know that they are simply small, insignificant fragments of the unlimitedly splendorous Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. If the sparks of His splendor are so wonderfully beautiful, we can just imagine how beautiful is He from Whom all of this emanates.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Offering Food to Krishna...

I know when offering food to Lord Krishna we are suppose to put the food on plates used only for that purpose and shouldn't eat directly out of the offering plate. However can I place the plate that I eat from on the offering plate (Krishna's plate) and offer like that.

Thanks,

Bala

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Always Keep Your Plate and Krishna's Plate Separate...

No, you should not. The plate that you eat from should never be in touch with the plate that you use to offer food to Lord Krishna. It should be always be kept separate from all of the utensils that you use for eating.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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