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Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada


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Monday, July 31, 2006

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

Sense Gratification is Not Worth It


Why lust after the cheap thrills of material existence such as sex, money, and power, when one can relish the unlimitedly satisfying pleasure of Krishna consciousness instead? Sex pleasure lasts for few minutes only. So why should I become a slave of it? Money and power come and go. So why should I absorb my life fully in obtaining them? This is not very intelligent.

In this connection the Srimad Bhagavatam states:

tasyaiva hetoh prayateta kovido
na labhyate yad bhramatam upary adhah
tal labhyate duhkhavad anyatah sukham
kalena sarvatra gabhira-ramhasa


"Persons who are actually intelligent and philosophically inclined should endeavor only for that purposeful end which is not obtainable even by wandering from the topmost planet [Brahmaloka] down to the lowest planet [Patala]. As far as happiness derived from sense enjoyment is concerned, it can be obtained automatically in course of time, just as in course of time we obtain miseries even though we do not desire them."
---Srimad Bhagavtam 1.5.18

So it is better to endeavor for the supreme purposeful end of spiritual perfection, pure Krishna bhakti. Once you gain this, you will see that nothing even remotely compares with it and that it can never be lost. Attaining pure Krishna bhakti is the ultimate security and the only real security.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Where Do You Get Your Information?


I appreciate your comments. But where do you get your information about God? What source do you turn to for information about what God is like, what God desires, etc?

thanks...

Mike

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From the Ancient, Authoritative Vedic Literatures of India...

We are not giving our own opinions about God. We are presenting to you, our readers, the authorized descriptions about God given in the ancient, authoritative Vedic literatures of India, especially the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Therefore what we are speaking is full of great wisdom and spiritual power. These words of Vedic truth have the potency to deliver the entire world from nescience, if they will only hear what we have to say. That is our prayer.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

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

Who Would Not Want to Become Krishna Conscious?


Krishna consciousness is so unlimitedly fulfilling and satisfying that it cannot be compared to any system of spiritual perfection that exists anywhere throughout the vast span of the total existence. It is truly and absolutely wonderful in all respects. Anybody who would not want to become Krishna conscious is either crazy or grossly misinformed. If someone is on a sinking ship and is informed where to go to get a safe position on a lifeboat, he would be a total complete idiot not to take advantage of this most important information.

This is the position of the modern so-called civilization. They are headed on a destruction course towards a total breakdown of the social order. We are giving them everything they need to know to completely reverse the situation and create a heaven-on-earth atmosphere throughout the world. But they are so stubborn in their false pride and egotism that they do not listen to us.

I ardently hope that someday soon they will wake up and realize that they should listen seriously to the bona fide spiritual master, who can easily solve all the problems of the modern disintegrating civilization, both on the individual and collective levels.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

What Color is Krishna?


Namaste. I have a question concerning Lord Krishna's physical appearance.

Was He blue in color as many paintings show, or was He blackish as some verbal descriptions indicate? Thank you. All my love.

Tommi

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Bluish-Blackish Like a Dense Rain Cloud...

Krishna is bluish-blackish like a dense rain cloud.

His beautiful form is described in the Brahma Samhita:

venum kvanantam aravinda-dalayataksam-
barhavatamsam asitambuda-sundarangam
kandarpa koti kamaniya visesa-sobham
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is adept in playing on His flute, with blooming eyes like lotus petals with head decked with peacock's feather, with the figure of beauty tinged with the hue of bluish-blackish rain clouds, and His unique loveliness charming millions of Cupids."
--Brahma Samhita 5.30

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, July 29, 2006

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

Transforming this World into a Paradise


Last Thursday I visited the shop of a mobile phone merchant from Lebanon with whom I had previously done business. I asked him how his friends and family were doing in Lebanon, if they were safe. He explained to me that they lived in a small mountainous village of 4,000 people in the north of Lebanon and that although the bridges surrounding the village had all been destroyed by bombing raids, the people had not been injured or killed. I expressed my relief.

Then I introduced the topic of why we have conflicts in this world. I explained it is due to a false sense of proprietorship that we needlessly fight with one another. He immediately agreed and told the story of many years ago when he was standing one day on the family farm in Lebanon with his father he said, "This is our land." His father immediately corrected him, "Did you ever hear me talk like that?" The father pointed out to his young son that we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing. "So how we can we claim that the land belongs to us?" I expressed my appreciation for his father's wisdom.

This is the fact. We come with nothing. We leave with nothing. But yet in the middle we claim, "I am the owner," and we fight to the death for no purpose.

The real owner is Krishna or God. All we have to do is acknowledge His proprietorship and engage everything in His service. The whole world will become a paradise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Can We Recognize a Bona Fide Spiritual Master?


How can we get to know that a person is the bona fide spiritual master? What are the qualities of a bona fide spiritual master and how can we recognize him?

Deepak Kumar
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His Words Extinguish the Blazing Fire of Material Existence...

You can get to know if a person is a bona fide spiritual master or not by carefully hearing what he teaches and comparing it with what Krishna teaches in the Bhagavad-gita. The bona fide spiritual master will never deviate from the teachings of Krishna. Not in his thoughts. Not in his words. And not is his actions.

The bona fide spiritual master is that person who, by his words, can penetrate into the heart of the suffering person and inject transcendental knowledge, which alone can extinguish the blazing, miserable fire of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, July 28, 2006

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

Make the Entire World Happy


How much inconceivable happiness I have been blessed with by the mercy of my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada! He has blessed me to be able to savor the sweet flavor of Krishna consciousness, devotion to Lord Krishna, at every minute.

But this is not for me alone. He wants me to share it with the entire world. What a daunting challenge! How can I possibly convince everyone throughout the entire world to try tasting the ultimate nectar, Krishna consciousness? It seems completely overwhelming and impossible.

But I am not alone. There are at least a million followers of Krishna consciousness all over the world. We are working together as a team to bring about a complete respiritualization of the planet earth. If you are not already on our team, we invite you to join us today. We guarantee that you will taste the sweetest nectar at every minute.

If you would like to find out what you can do to help contact your nearest ISKCON center or send us an email: sda@backtohome.com

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Will Maya Succeed Ultimately?


I have been told that at a particular point of time in future (I do not remember the exact number of years) that Maya (the material energy) will take over this universe completely. I understand this has been mentioned even by Srila Prabhupada in one of his books.

If this is true, then is it not contradictory to the understanding we have that Krishna's perfect arrangement is to bring all back to Him through the reformatory nature of this material existence and that sooner or later everyone will decide to go back to home, back to Godhead?

Looking forward to your reply.

A devotee

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Maya's Influence is Cyclical Only, Not Ultimate...

The influence of Maya, the material nature, goes through cycles. Just as we have four seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall, winter, there are four different yugas (ages): Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga, and Kali Yuga. The Satya Yuga is 100% spiritual. The Treta Yuga is 75% spiritual and 25% materialistic. The Dvapara Yuga is 50% spiritual and 50% materialistic. And the Kali Yuga is 25% spiritual and 75% materialistic gradually becoming 100% materialistic.

So at the end of Kali Yuga the entire atmosphere will be completely materialistic. But as winter is followed by spring, there will another Satya Yuga, a golden era of spiritual enlightenment, which will come after the Kali Yuga.

The intensely materialistic atmosphere in the Kali Yuga is a special benediction for those souls who would like to escape the cycle of birth and death. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.36 as follows:

kalim sabhajayanty arya
guna jnah sara-bhaginah
yatra sankirtanenaiva
sarva-svartho 'bhilabhyate


"Those who are advanced and highly qualified and are interested in the essence of life know the good qualities of Kali-yuga. Such people worship the Age of Kali because in this age one can advance in spiritual knowledge and attain life's goal simply by chanting the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

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

Krishna Consciousness is the Real Nectar



Don't waste your time trying to enjoy this material existence. It is nothing more than a mirage. There is no real enjoyment here. All you will end up with is frustration and disappointment. If you want actual enjoyment all you to have to do is become Krishna conscious. Krishna consciousness is the real nectar because you get tuned into the actual blissful, eternal reality far, far beyond the temporary, miserable nightmare known as material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Are We Imperfect and So Egotistical?


Since Krishna is perfect, we being part and parcel of Him are also perfect by nature. So how did we become imperfect?

Why are people so egotistical? I notice that wherever I go, people are so egotistical. Why is this?

Bhakta Steve

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This Is Part of Lord Krishna's Perfect Arrangement...

The perfection of Krishna's creation is that He gives the living beings free will to love Him or leave Him. Love cannot be forced. It must be voluntary. Therefore without this free will it would be impossible for love to exist.

A creation without love would certainly be missing something. It would not be satisfying. To the extent that love is manifested, to that extent there is happiness. Without love there can be no happiness.

Happiness depends on love, which depends on free will. Since Krishna is an enjoyer by nature, He wants to taste the enjoyment of loving relationships with us, His part and parcel expansions. Therefore He gives us free will to act as we please, either in His service or outside of His service.

Since free will exists, there must exist the possibility that it can be misused. Otherwise there is no free will. As long as there exists the possibility of misuse, there must also exist a certain degree of probability. If we apply even the most infinitesimal degree of probability against the infinite number of living beings who inhabit the spiritual world, we end up with an infinite number of living beings who fall from the spiritual world. Krishna's perfect arrangement is to bring them all back to Him through the reformatory nature of this material existence. Sooner or later everyone here will get tired of the unrelenting repetition of birth, death, old age and disease. Sooner or later everyone will decide to go back to home, back to Godhead never to return to this reformatory covered existence.

In this material world everyone is egotistical because this the place where all the egomaniacs are sent by God in order to learn how to become humble and return to His kingdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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

Peace Formula for a World in Turmoil

Just as a well-governed state runs smoothly on the principle of law and order, similarly the universe is under the supervision of the stringent laws of material nature. When we live in harmony with these laws, peace and prosperity are enjoyed by all, but when we violate these laws great havoc and chaos are the result.

The biggest mistake of our modern civilization is that we encroach upon the property of others claiming it as our own. This violation of the laws of nature is the greatest disturbance to the natural harmony. It causes us to suffer so many varieties of unfavorable karmic reactions.

If we want actual peace and prosperity for all, we must now learn to harmonize ourselves with the governing principles of the Supreme Lord. This will bring automatic tranquility to everyone throughout the world. Instead of falsely claiming proprietorship over what is ultimately the Lord's property, we must now acknowledge Who is the actual owner and engage everything in His service. This one adjustment to the modern civilization will bring about a complete transformation in a deteriorating social order.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

What Will Kalki Avatar Be Like?


Please tell me more about the Kalki Avatar 427,000 years from now. What will He/She be like? Will it be the end of the world then?

Bimal

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Lord Kalki Will Usher a New Golden Age...

When the age of Kali has almost ended, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will incarnate. He will appear in the village Sambhala, in the home of the exalted brahmana Vishnuyasa, and will take the name Kalki. He will mount His horse Devadatta and, taking His sword in hand, will roam about the earth killing millions of bandits in the guise of kings. Then the signs of the next Satya-yuga will begin to appear.

Srila Prabhupada explains the Kalki Avatar as follows:

"At the end of this age, Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Kalki. According to the Vedas, Kalki will appear 427,000 years from now, and His mission will simply be to kill. Lord Krishna gave instructions in the form of Bhagavad-gita, but Lord Kalki will not give any instructions. At the end of Kali-yuga people will be so degraded that they will not be able to understand any instructions; therefore the only recourse will be to kill them. One who is killed by the Lord attains salvation. This is one of the Lord's all-merciful qualities; whether He protects or kills, the result is the same. Thus Kalki will appear at the last stage of Kali-yuga and annihilate everything, and after that time, Satya-yuga (the Golden Age) will begin again."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

written on 23 July traveling by car from Monterrey to Saltillo, Mexico
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Today's Thought:

Realizations on the Road to Saltillo


What is the purpose of this human existence? Are we meant to simply gratify our senses until they stop functioning at the time of death? What kind of pointless existence would that be? Who wants to spend their entire life's energy simply serving the needs of a rotting lump of blood and flesh? The fact is that there is an underlying spiritual existence beneath this desert of material existence.

We have a choice. We can remain dying of thirst in the desert of delusion foolishly identifying ourselves with that which we are not, these material bodies. Or we can go deep within and connect with our actual nature and taste unlimited bliss at every minute. The choice is ours. Nobody can force us to become self-realized.

On the road from Monterrey to Saltillo, Mexico we are seeing a small sample of a world in which everyone is asleep to the spiritual reality. It's a very sad and pathetic to see such a world where everyone is slaving for nothing. May the entire world now become awakened to Krishna consciousness so that everyone can be happy.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Krishna's Dynasty and His Incarnations...


1) If Krishna had over 100,000 children, do their descendants live today? How do we identify them? Are these descendants enlightened or miserable human beings?

2) Many spiritual persons, even though they themselves may not claim so, their devotees say are incarnation of Krishna or Shiva etc. Is there any scriptural evidence of Krishna / Shiva living amongst us in the present day? Is there any soul that has the consciousness equal to that of Krishna / Shiva?

Sridhar

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Departed Dynasty and Dangerous Deception...

Krishna arranged for the complete annihilation of His dynasty before His departure. Therefore none of His descendents are in this material world. In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains, "The Yadu dynasty was annihilated by the will of the Lord because its members had to return home with the Lord. The annihilation of the Yadu dynasty was a material show created by the Supreme Lord; otherwise the Lord and the members of the Yadu dynasty are all eternal associates."
(purport to SB 2.4.20)

The bona fide spiritual master will never allow his disciples to promote him as an incarnation. According to the authorized scriptures the last incarnation was Lord Caitanya 500 years ago and the next one is Kalki Avatar 427,000 years from now. Any claims made now that someone is an incarnation are completely false. For want of religious government such cheating bogus incarnations are engaged in their dangerous deception and the innocent people are being misguided. It is a very, very sad state of affairs at the present moment.

No living entity of this world can have consciousness equal to that of Lord Krishna or Lord Shiva. We should immediately reject any claims to the contrary.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, July 24, 2006

from Monterrey, Mexico
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Today's Thought:

Living the Ultimate Adventure at Every Minute


Why live a dull drab life of mediocrity when you can live the ultimate adventure at every minute on the cutting edge of consciousness expansion and global enlightenment? By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu you can simultaneously revolutionize your own consciousness and revolutionize the world by strictly following the pathway of Krishna consciousness and blessing those who are in the darkness of illusion with transcendental knowledge. Simply you must learn the art of properly practicing and presenting this ultimate science under the guidance of the revealed scriptures, the Lord's devotees, and the bona fide spiritual master.

The bona fide spiritual master is very merciful upon his disciples. He gives them all blessings, all encouragement, all good guidance, and all inspiration to become solidly fixed on the pathway of bhakti yoga, Krishna consciousness. By his non-stop loving kindness his disciples steadily advance on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead and the world atmosphere becomes more and more purified.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Difference Between God's Names?


In "Thought for the Day" you wrote that there is a difference in the results of chanting different names of God. Does this then mean that chanting Allah or Christ will not be the same as chanting Hare Krishna? This would mean then that you do not get the same result by chanting any name of God.

Thank you,

Jukka

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Powerful and Most Powerful...

Chanting any name of God will purify your heart and bring you closer to Him. But the names of Krishna and Rama have extra potency that enables the chanter to make more rapid advancement. This is why we encourage everyone to chant these names on a regular daily basis completing at least 16 rounds daily on japa beads before sunrise:

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


All of God's names are powerful, but the Hare Krishna Mantra is most powerful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

from Monterrey, Mexico
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Today's Thought:

You are Either Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem


Looking out on a world that is asleep in the lap of Maya or illusion and is passionately embroiled in flagrantly violating every law of nature in the book, I can't help but feel a horrible pain and anxiety in my heart. When I see that the world leaders are completely throwing human decency out the window and leading their followers into utter chaos, my blood starts boiling. This is intolerable madness. Something has to be done. We cannot allow this nonsense to keep going on.

Practically everyone in the entire society is living, acting in such a way that they are gliding down to the animal kingdom in their next lifetime according to the stringent laws of karma. How can we peacefully stand by and allow them to so seriously hurt themselves? We must do something now to save them, to wake them up. We must tell them who they are really are and how they can be who they are really are. The entire world is suffering due to a lack of this knowledge known as atma tattva, the science of the self. It is our duty to enlighten them.

We must lay aside our egotism and selfishness and do something to get the world society going back in the proper direction. In short, we must revolutionize this planet right now. We have to act immediately, today. There is not a moment to delay. We have to somehow or other by the grace of Lord Krishna find out the ways and means to attract the people on this planet to come to the platform of Krishna consciousness. Simply by this easy process of Krishna consciousness every man, woman, and child on the face of this planet can live in full happiness, peace, and prosperity. So what are we waiting for? If we actually love our fellow human beings we must do something to save them from their present perilous condition.

Kindly act now. Do not hesitate. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of problem. Dedicate your heart and soul to the Krishna consciousness movement today. We are ready to engage you for your entire lifetime in assisting our mission. All you have to do is volunteer.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Can I Get Reference from Scriptures?


I am a regular reader of your "Thought for the Day." You were asked a question regarding the chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranam, the thousand names of Vishnu. You wrote, "By chanting the name 'Rama' one time you get the same benefit of chanting the thousand names of Lord Vishnu one time." And you also wrote, "But by chanting 'Krishna' once you are getting the benefit of chanting Rama three times."

I want to know where exactly these benefits are quoted in scriptures. Can you give me the references from scriptures for the above mentioned statements?

Madhav

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Here are the Authorized Scriptural References...

Since we do not speak from our own imperfect imagination and always simply present instead what is clearly described in the authorized Vedic scriptures, we will be happy to provide you with the scriptural evidence regarding the benefits of chanting the names "Krishna" and "Rama" compared to the benefits of chanting the Vishnu-Sahasranam, the thousand names of Lord Vishnu.

In the Brihad-Vishnu-Sahasranam-Stotra in the Uttara-khanda of the Padma Purana (72.335) we find the following words that were spoken by Lord Shiva to his wife, Durga Devi:

rama rameti rameti
rame rame manorame
sahasra-namabhis tulyam
rama-nama varanane


"O Varanana, I chant the holy name of Rama, Rama, Rama and thus enjoy this beautiful sound. This holy name of Ramacandra is equal to one thousand holy names of Lord Vishnu."

In the Laghu-bhagavamrita (1.5.354) by Srila Rupa Goswami we find the following verse quoted from the Brahmanda Purana:

sahasra-namnam punyanam
trir-avrttya tu yat phalam
ekavrttya tu krsnasya
namaikam tat prayacchati


"The pious results derived from chanting the thousand holy names of Vishnu three times can be attained by only one utterance of the holy name of Krishna."

That being said we now sincerely hope that you are chanting at least 16 rounds daily on japa mala beads of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

from Monterrey, Mexico
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Today's Thought:

Why Am I Traveling and Preaching All Over the World?


It's 6:13 am on Friday, 21 July 2006. I just flew in last night from Austin, Texas, USA and am now in Monterrey, Mexico. I'm here to give a series of six lectures on the science of Krishna consciousness and to give personal association and counseling to my students in this part of the world. I am sitting with my laptop computer in a cool open area just behind the temple room on the second floor of our ISKCON Monterrey center.

I sometimes question why I am living such a life of globally traveling and preaching having to tolerate so many inconveniences. I sometimes think that perhaps I should stay in one place comfortably and connect with my students all over the world solely through the internet.

But then I remember what my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, told an inquirer in London. He said, "Because when you make a spiritual master you have got personal touch. Not that in air you make a spiritual master. You make a spiritual master concrete." If my disciples and students only get my association through cyberspace where is the concrete personal touch?

Also in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna explains:

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

If I am not at least sometimes physically present for my followers how will they approach me for inquiries and service? To personally meet one's guru is an essential aspect of the guru/disciple relationship.

This makes it clear to me that I cannot properly execute my duties as a spiritual master merely by teaching in cyberspace. I must also make myself personally available to my students and disciples. It is my duty to take whatever trouble is necessary to see that my students and disciples all over the world are advancing very nicely in Krishna consciousness. It's for their sake that I am performing this austerity of traveling and preaching all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Did Krishna Have Any Daughters?


In response to today's "Thought for the Day", you informed Ravi that Krishna begot ten sons from each of his 16,108 wives. Why is it that Krishna begot only sons? Why didn't he beget daughters?

Your humble student,

Nithin
 

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Krishna Had 16,108 Daughters...

Krishna did not only beget sons. He begot daughters also, more than anyone else. No one can compete with Him. He had 16,108 daughters, one by each of His queens. This is confirmed by the great Vaisnava Bhagavatam commentator, Srila Shridhara Swami.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, July 21, 2006

from Monterrey, Mexico
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Today's Thought:

Delivered by the Mercy of Lord Caitanya

May the entire world now become delivered by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the incarnation of Godhead Who appeared in India in 1486 in the form of His own devotee. There is no reason for people to go on suffering any longer in the bitter, frustrating struggle for material existence. Lord Caitanya is more merciful than any other avatar because He is freely bestowing love of Godhead upon all. No other incarnation has ever done this before.

All the suffering souls of this age have to do to become liberated is take advantage of the unlimited mercy of Lord Caitanya by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and dancing in ecstasy. Their lives will become sublime. All anxiety will disappear and their hearts will be filled with bliss. So let everyone in all corners of the world now become awakened by the sublime, unlimitedly sweet mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Krishna Did Not Have Any Kids?


Though Lord Krishna had eight wives, why did He not have any kids. I am a beginner in the Quest for spiritual freedom. I am still in my material consciousness. But this question had been bothering me for a while.

Thank you.

Ravi

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No Kids? He Had Over 100,000...

Krishna had 16,108 wives of whom 8 were prominent, namely Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Nagnajiti, Kalindi, Laksmana, Mitravinda and Bhadra. . By each wife He had ten sons. Therefore he had a total of 161,080 sons.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

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

The Supreme Success Secret



The secret of living a fully happy, successful life is to approach a bona fide spiritual master and under him learn the science of Krishna consciousness. This amazing Krishna consciousness science will drive away all illusion and all confusion, just as the sun drives away the darkness of night.

One who does not have a spiritual master is not properly situated. No matter how well he may appear to be situated in the material world, his future is uncertain. At any minute his apparent ordered existence can descend into chaos. And he has no idea where he will go upon leaving his body.

If you want certainty, if you want absolute security, there is nowhere else you can get it except by perfecting your relationship with Krishna or God. The bona fide spiritual master is the only person who is qualified to properly and fully train you in this. Therefore his blessings are an absolute necessity for a happy, fulfilled, sane existence. We cannot, from our conditioned state of consciousness, figure out how to attain spiritual enlightenment on our own. It must be bestowed upon us by the sweet loving grace of the bona fide spiritual master.

Seek one out. Approach him. Learn the science of Krishna consciousness from him. You will be exceedingly glad that you did.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Is Chanting the Vishnu Sahasranam Compulsory?


I have a query relating to Vishnu Sahasranam, the Thousand Names of Lord Vishnu.

A few days back I had a person coming to my house and we were engaged in talks about Krishna, scriptures etc. He told me that Bhagavad Gita is the compilation of slokas (verses) that have been spoken by God Himself. However Vishnu Sahasranam has been spoken by Bhisma and was listened to by the Lord. Hence he told me that Vishnu Sahasranam is special. Moreover as it has several names of the Lord it develops devotion in our minds. So his conclusion was that even if we do not read Gita it doesn't matter, but Vishnu Sahasranam is must. Now my question is: Does reading Gita develop devotion to Lord and draw us nearer to Krishna?

With the present lack of time and demanding work pressures we are not able to do everything. Considering Gita as the Lord's words and the ultimate scripture I have been reading the Gita and chanting 16 rounds. Apart from this if I do find time I do listen to Vishnu Sahasranam. But I am not able to chant it. Please let me know if there are differences in the results in spiritual progress in reading Gita versus the Vishnu Sahasranam.

My humble namaskarams,

Sri Vidya

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The Benefit of 27,648 Repetitions of the Vishnu Sahasranam...

Where is his scriptural evidence that chanting Vishnu Sahasranam (the thousand names of Lord Vishnu) is a must while the Gita is optional? This is the not the conclusion of the revealed scriptures. Vishnu Sahasranam is special, but Bhagavad-gita is even more special.

Chanting God's names without a mood of surrender to Him will not bring one to deliverance from the cycle of birth and death. That mood of surrender must be learned from the Bhagavad-gita.

If he feels that Vishnu Sahasranam is a must then let him chant it every day. But he must also carefully study and implement the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita if he wants to derive the full benefit from chanting the Vishnu Sahasranam.

You don't require to chant Visnu Sahasranam. By chanting the name "Rama" one time you get the same benefit of chanting the thousand names of Lord Vishnu one time. When you chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra you are chanting the name of Lord Rama 6,912 times. This means every time you have completed 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra you are getting the same benefit as chanting the Vishnu Sahasranam 6,912 times.

But by chanting Krishna once you are getting the benefit of chanting Rama three times. So chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is even more beneficial than 6,912 repetitions of the Vishnu Sahasranam. By chanting Krishna's name 6,912 times you get the benefit of 20,736 repetitions of the Vishnu Sahasranam. So this is a total benefit equivalent to 27,648 repetitions of the Vishnu Sahasranam. So considering the great spiritual benefits of chanting the Vishnu Sahasranam we cannot even begin to understand the unlimited spiritual benefits of chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra every day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

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

Flip On Over Right Now to the Spiritual Sky

There are two channels within reality. One is known as the Spiritual Sky and the other is known as the Material Sky. Everybody has a free choice which channel they would like to tune into. If you are getting tired of the Material Sky, we suggest that you try flipping over to the Spiritual Sky channel to see if you like the programming there better. All you have to do to flip the channel is chant these sacred sound vibrations with faith, love, and devotion:

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

You will discover a wonderful world where life is eternal, full of bliss, knowledge. What are you waiting for? Flip on over right now to the Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Are Srila Prabhupada's Teachings a Myth?


Namaste. Not to be offensive, but how can I know for certain that Prabhupada's writings/teachings are not "just another myth"? Why should I cling to Krishna when there are so many other gods and goddesses crying out for my attention?

Thank you for your kind service and for giving me an opportunity to share and learn.
All my love.
Your friend,

Tommi.

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Worship the God of Your Choice...

It is not a question of Srila Prabhupada's writings/teachings. It is rather a question of Krishna's teachings in the Bhagavad-gita. This is because Srila Prabhupada is not presenting his own teachings. He is simply presenting the teachings of Krishna without any adulteration, without any addition or subtraction. Krishna clearly states in the Bhagavad-gita:

yanti deva-vrata devan
pitrn yanti pitr-vratah
bhutani yanti bhutejya
yanti mad-yajino 'pi mam


"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me will live with Me."
Bhagavad-gita 9.25

You are welcome to cling to any god or goddess of your free choice. But you should know you will attain the abode of whichever god or goddess you cling to. Krishna also explains:

antavat tu phalam tesam
tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam
devan deva-yajo yanti
mad-bhakta yanti mam api


"Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet."
--Bhagavad-gita 7.23

The pantheon of gods and goddesses are situated within this material existence. If you cling to one of them you will attain a residence on a planet that will be destroyed at the time of the universal destruction. If, on the other hand, you cling to the Supreme Personality of Godhead you will attain residence on the Krishnaloka planet, which will never be destroyed.

So you can decide whether you would like temporary shelter or permanent shelter, and then worship the god of your choice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

from New Talavan, Mississippi, USA
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Today's Thought:

Serving with Love

In this material world when we render service we expect to receive something in return: some form of sense gratification such as sex, money, power, or prestige. This means we are not completely pure in our desire to serve others. We are interested in serving ourselves. We may get the material things we are after through this method, but we will not get lasting satisfaction. It is only when we come to the platform of pure selflessness that we can find that happiness which we have been hankering after for many millions of lifetimes.

The method for reawakening pure selflessness within us is known as bhakti yoga or Krishna consciousness. By opening our heart fully to the Supreme Person whose pure love is showering down upon all living beings at every second, our love is then perfectly and purely channeled to all living beings throughout the totality of existence and we will experience the sweetest unimaginable happiness at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Is Same-Sex Sexual Union Justified?


Is making love with same sex justified in the Vedic literature? If not, why?

His devotee

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Real Love Making...

Sexual union is God's arrangement for producing God conscious children. Any sexual activities outside of procreation divert our consciousness away from life's ultimate goal: achieving the platform of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. They do this because they strongly pull us back into false identification with our material bodies. It is this false bodily identification which is the root cause of all our problems both individually and collectively. To become spiritual enlightened we must become situated in our spiritual identities far far beyond the narrow confines of bodily consciousness.

Why should we, simply for the sake of a few seconds of flickering pleasure, trade eternity, knowledge, and bliss for an endless existence of birth, death, old age, and disease in the cycle of birth and death? Those who indulge unnecessarily in sexual pleasures are clearly in a state of ignorance. A wise man never diverts his energy in such a foolish way. He achieves the platform of divine love in which he purely reciprocates love with the Supreme Lord at every minute and bestows unlimited love upon all living beings at every minute.

So who is making real love? The sense gratifier or the pure lover of God?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, July 17, 2006

from Birmingham, Alabama, USA
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Today's Thought:

We've Got to Make a Revolution



This material world has everything we need for everyone to have a peaceful, happy, successful life except for one thing: Krishna consciousness. Because that one ingredient is lacking practically the entire world has been cast into an ocean of anxiety and illusion. Therefore, if we have any compassion at all in our hearts from our suffering brothers and sisters on this planet, we have got to make a revolution for the spiritual awakening of all living beings.

How can we sit idly by ignoring the unimaginably horrible atrocities that are being committed every day on this planet? A sensitive caring being cannot tolerate the madness that is going on every day on this planet as a common everyday affair. He or she is impelled by their conscience to do something about it.

Srila Prabhupada has given us the formula how we can solve all of the world's problems. He has given us the Krishna Consciousness Movement as a vehicle for practically implementing his formula. Therefore we must fully dedicate our lives to the Krishna Consciousness Movement, manifested in the form of ISKCON, to bring about the much desired re-spiritualization of the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Qualifications of a Disciple...


What are the qualification and responsibility of a disciple.

Why do we follow the four regulative principles?

Sugumaran

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Faithfulness and Obedience...

The qualification for being a disciple is to have full faith in one's guru. The disciple's responsibility is to be fully obedient to whatever instructions he receives from his spiritual master.

We follow the four regulative principles to make our minds peaceful so we can fully absorb ourselves in chanting the holy names of God with complete love and devotion:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Editor's note: The four regulative principle are: 1) No illicit sex life, 2) No intoxication, 3) No meat eating, and 4) No gambling.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

from Birmingham, Alabama, USA
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Journey to Unadulterated Happiness



Even though this material world is a place of suffering, we sometimes imagine that we are happy. When our suffering becomes diminished we take this to be happiness. But this is not actual enjoyment. Even in our times of enjoyment our bliss is tinged by the deep-seated anxiety of our knowing that sooner or later our happiness will be finished. This tinged happiness is not true happiness. True happiness is 100% tinge free and it never comes to an end.

If we want true happiness we must come to the transcendental platform far, far beyond the sufferings of this material existence. These material sufferings are caused by the body and mind, by other living beings, and by natural disasters. By the science known as bhakti yoga we can gradually enter into that supreme state of untinged, unadulterated happiness.

If you have not already begun your journey to that realm of pure bliss, you are invited to begin your ultimate journey today by taking up the sublime process known as bhakti yoga.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Can't Somebody Explain the Koran As It Is?

My wife is a Muslim but she is chanting 16 rounds now and reading Srila Prabhupada's books. I am reading a lot about Islam, and certainly there is lots to be learned. Can't somebody truly explain the Koran as it is and make this world a better place?

In Your Service,

Bharat

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Lord Caitanya Has Already Done That and Now So Should You...

I am very happy to hear that your Muslim wife is so nicely adopting the universal non-sectarian nectarean process of Krishna consciousness. The great acharya (spiritual master who teaches by example) of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra, Haridas Thakur, was also coming from a Muslim family. That did not stop him from becoming Namacharya, the greatest chanter of the Lord's holy names.

You are hoping that someone can explain the Koran as it is and make the world a better place. This has already been done 500 years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This He did in a famous conversation with a Muslim scholar. The Lord explained as follows:

"The Koran accepts the fact that ultimately there is only one God. He is full of opulence, and His bodily complexion is blackish. According to the Koran, the Lord has a supreme, blissful, transcendental body. He is the Absolute Truth, the all-pervading, omniscient and eternal being. He is the origin of everything. Creation, maintenance and dissolution come from Him. He is the original shelter of all gross and subtle cosmic manifestations. The Lord is the Supreme Truth, worshipable by everyone. He is the cause of all causes. By engaging in His devotional service, the living entity is relieved from material existence. No conditioned soul can get out of material bondage without serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Love at His lotus feet is the ultimate goal of life. The happiness of liberation, whereby one merges into the Lord's existence, cannot even be compared to a fragment of the transcendental bliss obtained by service unto the Lord's lotus feet. In the Koran there are descriptions of fruitive activity, speculative knowledge, mystic power and union with the Supreme, but ultimately all this is refuted and the Lord's personal feature established, along with His devotional service. The scholars of the Koran are not very advanced in knowledge. Although there are many methods prescribed, they do not know that the ultimate conclusion should be considered the most powerful. Seeing your own Koran and deliberating over what is written there, what is your conclusion?"

The saintly Muslim replied:

"All that You have said is true. This has certainly been written in the Koran, but our scholars can neither understand nor accept it. Usually they describe the Lord's impersonal aspect, but they hardly know that the Lord's personal feature is worshipable. They are undoubtedly lacking this knowledge. Since You are that very same Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, please be merciful upon me. I am fallen and unfit. I have studied the Muslim scripture very extensively, but from it I cannot conclusively decide what the ultimate goal of life is or how I can approach it. Now that I have seen You, my tongue is chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. The false prestige I felt from being a learned scholar is now gone."

I am requesting that you kindly fully dedicate your life for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. You should be that person who explains the Koran as it is and makes the world a better place.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

from Birmingham, Alabama, USA
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Source is Loving


If we connect with the ultimate source of all that exists far, far beyond this material existence, we will find that that Supreme Absolute Truth is the most beautiful wonderful person and is full of unlimited compassion. There is no need to remain in a bewildered condition floundering around within the the threefold miseries of material existence. All we have to do is take advantage of the unlimited mercy of that sweet Supreme Personality of Godhead. He will rescue us from all forms of illusion and anxiety.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Did We Leave the Spiritual World?


I am told we are embodiment of the divine. Therefore I presume we were not originally in the cycle of birth & death. That being the case, why did we separate ourselves from our liberated position. Why did we separate ourselves from such a blissful situation in the spiritual world to come to this material world? What prompted us to make this decision?

In all your discourses you keep saying that going back to Godhead should be our only goal. What is the guarantee that if we go there we will not separate ourselves once again from Lord Krishna once again?

I am confused. Please clarify.

Regards,

S. Sridhar

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We Misused Our Minute Independence...

Originally we were situated with Krishna in the spiritual world far, far beyond the miserable cycle of birth and death. But because we are part and parcel of the Supreme Independent Personality of Godhead we also possess a minute portion of independence. Because we misused that independence we have found ourselves in this miserable condition. Now all we to do is properly utilize our independence by engaging it in the service of Lord. In this way we will regain our original all-blissful eternal position in the spiritual world.

Once burned, twice shy. Once we return to our original liberated position we will not be so foolish to return to this miserable place again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, July 14, 2006

from Tallahassee, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

It's Time for a Global Spiritual Awakening


It's very clear. The world society is off the track. It's not properly grounded in reality. That's why there is so much chaos going on everywhere. The world leaders are trying to run a society on the false premise of bodily identification. When the leaders are themselves misguided and confused, what can we expect to be the mentality of the people in general?

Enough is enough. I can't stand it. Something has to change. We must loudly and clearly broadcast the message of ultimate spiritual awakening, Krishna consciousness, to every man, woman, and child across the entire planet. Let everyone now fully become spiritually awakened so that everyone can become peaceful, prosperous, and happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Bombay Bombs Bewilderment ...


I am extremely grateful to you for all the wonderful ways of showing us the path to our beloved Krishna. The the bomb blasts in Bombay, with so many innocent lives taken, have left a lot of my friends with unanswered questions:

1. The scriptures say that nothing in this world moves (not even a blade of grass) without God's grace. If that's true, then why does God give these people the strength to put the bombs in the trains?

2. Were the innocent people who were killed already destined to have that happen in their lives?

I am sorry to bother you with all these silly questions. I know that Krishna has nothing to do with all the evil doings, but am not able to answer these questions that people ask me. I sincerely appreciate your response and your time.

Hare Krishna

Uma

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Putting a Stop to the Terrorism...

For terror to be inflicted on citizens who are simply engaged in their everyday activities of livelihood is a grossly sinful activity. Those persons who commit such violence must suffer severe karmic reactions for each and every person they killed and maimed. Indeed they will also suffer karmic reactions for all those people who were psychologically terrorized by the terrorist attack. The terrorists face very severe sinful reactions.

The Lord wants every living being to surrender to Him in a pure spirit of pure loving service. But as love cannot be forced, it must be voluntary--the Lord gives each and every living being the freedom to love Him or leave Him. If the living being chooses to leave Him, the Lord allows him to do it in such a way that sooner of later the living being will want to return to Him. When the living being chooses to deviate from the Lord, he places himself within the stringent grip of the law of karma. Karma obliges the living being to suffer and enjoy all the results of all his pious and impious activities. As long as one tries to enjoy independently from the Lord, he must strictly suffer and enjoy the results from absolutely everything he has done in this lifetime and in previous lifetimes. Whether one is an inflictor or victim of terrorism, one is tightly bound up within the law of karma. In this way we can understand that everything is predestined by our karma.

The good news is that we can shake off of the influence of karma by fully surrendering ourselves at the Lotus Feet of the Lord. The Krishna consciousness movement is trying to educate the entire world society how to get relief from the sharp arrows of karma by taking shelter of that all-merciful Lord Sri Krishna. This will bring an immediate stop to all forms of terrorism and usher in a new age of peace and prosperity for all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

from Tampa, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Nectarean, Non-Sectarian Krishna Consciousness

Do you want to become a spiritually enlightened being situated far, far beyond all the suffering conditions of this material existence? If you want to taste the ultimate inconceivable nectar, which is your constitutional birth right, at every minute you have to surrender to Krishna. Sorry. There is no other option.

You may object saying that you are fed up with religious sects and are not prepared to join another one. The good news is that becoming Krishna conscious does not require joining a sectarian religion. All you have to do is completely submit yourself to doing whatever Lord Krishna wants you to do in all times, places, and circumstances. Krishna is not a member or the leader of a sectarian religion. He is the source of all that exists. Surrendering fully to Him does not make you a sectarianist. It makes you a fully enlightened spiritual being who relishes inconceivable knowledge and bliss at every second for all of eternity.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, you should take our instructions most seriously and reap the supreme benefit.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

What is Krishna Enjoying?

We all know that Lord Krishna is Supreme Personality of Godhead, He is the origin of everything. He is the supreme enjoyer. But what is He enjoying? Would God feel lonely if He hadn't created us?

Zhang Lei

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Krishna Enjoys Everything...

Krishna enjoys everything. He enjoys being Himself. He enjoys wearing a peacock feather in His hair. He enjoys his relationship with Nanda Maharaja and Mother Yasoda. He relishes His pastimes
with the cowherd boys and the cowherd girls. The list is unlimited of the ways He enjoys and the relationships He enjoys.

There is no question of Krishna's being lonely because He has been eternally emanating us from Himself to enjoy loving relationships with us. When we say that God created it does not refer to a specific moment in time. It describes the relationship between us who are being eternally manifested by Him and He, the eternal manifester or creator of all that exists.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

from Tampa, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Turn On Your Soul and Taste the Bliss

There is only one thing that makes sense in this temporary material existence. We have to revive our actual identities as the eternal servants of the Supreme Lord. We are not meant to remain in a state of illusion futilely trying to squeeze as much pleasure as possible out of these temporary material senses. We are meant to flip that switch which will turn on our souls and indeed will turn on the entire world. What is that switch?

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

Give this Hare Krishna mantra chanting a sincere try under the guidance of the Lord's devotees, and we can assure you that you will be absolutely astounded that so much pleasure could exist anywhere within the vast span of existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Does One Approach a Spiritual Master?


Could you please give me further understanding about the role of devotee and spiritual master. I'm wondering how one approaches a spiritual master and how one knows definitely that he should approach a spiritual master? In what way does one serve a master? Should you wait rather for a spiritual master to approach you? Is there any verses in the Srimad Bhagavatam or the Bhagavad-gita that may further clarify this area for me?

Thank you,

Erin

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According to the Instructions of the Vedic Scriptures...

Krishna's instruction is that you should approach a spiritual master. He does not say that you wait for the spiritual master to approach you. He also describes how to approach a spiritual master:

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


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

The Srimad Bhagavatam describes why you should approach a spiritual master:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam


"Any person who seriously desires real happiness must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation." Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21

You can serve the spiritual master by taking care of his personal needs, assisting him in his preaching work, and by devotedly obeying whatever instructions he gives you.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

from Tampa, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Far Beyond the Razzle Dazzle of Material Existence

I am here in Tampa, Florida grateful at having almost three days off from traveling to catch up on a backlog of emails that have been waiting to be answered. I am also feeling very grateful that I have been saved from the madness of this material existence. Krishna consciousness is such a completely serene, sublime lifestyle far beyond the razzle dazzle of this material existence. Or should we say far beyond the razzle dazzle of this material NON-existence? Material life is like that. It's a death-like state of semi or non-existence in which you don't even know who you are and because of ignorance you are powerless to be who you are. I wouldn't trade all of the wealth of world for what I have now by the mercy of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Spiritual Perfection in One Lifetime?


You told me that it takes a yogi many lifetimes to achieve spiritual perfection, but the scripture told us that if one remembers Krishna when he dies, he will come to Krishnaloka--the spiritual cosmos. I feel puzzled. Can you clarify it?

Yours,

Zhang Lei, from China

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By surrendering to Krishna, the devotee becomes the topmost yogi ...

A devotee is far more spiritually advanced than a yogi. For a yogi it takes many births to achieve perfection, but a devotee can attain spiritual perfection in this very lifetime. By fully surrendering to Krishna the devotee immediately becomes the topmost yogi and become qualified to go back to Krishnaloka upon leaving his present body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, July 10, 2006

from Tampa, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Always Taking Shelter of Lord Krishna's Lotus Feet

If we want to be happy, we must always be fully dependent on the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna at every minute. This material world is always a world of uncertainty. Of this we can be absolutely certain. In this material world calamity can befall us at any minute. There is no material situation which can give us genuine peace of mind. The best thing, therefore, is to always place ourselves in that position where we get full shelter and protection, at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna. He is our most kind and benevolent loving father. Therefore He will naturally always give us complete and perfect protection. He has the power to do that because He is the supreme controller. Everything is acting and moving under His direction throughout the entire cosmos.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Was God There Before Anything Else?


I have 2 questions:

1. Why was there God before anything else? This question is from one of my sons and I'm not even sure that it can be answered. One of his brothers said that you wouldn't answer it because it's disrespectful.

2. Are there any repercussions for shifting karma or does Krishna allow you to play God to a certain point. I'm not speaking of myself. I know someone who is delving into this and actually does it for healing purposes including removing other entities, etc. Personally I feel that this is dangerous business because you are working with the individual spirit soul. She believes that we are God. That is Mayavadi philosophy, isn't it?

Thank you for your time in answering all my questions. I am extremely grateful.

Your student

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Krishna is Never Alone...

God was not there before anything else. He is eternally manifesting us, the living beings, from Himself for the purpose of enjoying loving relationships with each and every one of us.

Krishna will allow us to think that we are God, but He will never allow us to be God. Yes, the Mayavadi philosophers think that they are God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

from Miami, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Saving the Deteriorating Human Civilization

There is a basic underlying order to the cosmos. We are are currently out of sync with our perfectly ordered cosmic origin. Therefore we are drifting further and further into chaos. This will gradually bring about the complete deterioration of the human civilization. What will save us is to follow the enlightened guidance of a realized master who knows perfectly the art of dovetailing the individual consciousness with the supreme cosmic consciousness. Such enlightened guidance is currently available. If the population in general, or even if just the leading thinkers on this planet will take advantage of it, the human civilization can easily be saved.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Is Unlimited Bliss Impossible?

I have just been discussing, with one of the members of our spiritual seekers group. I told him that Krishna consciousness is easy if we follow the instructions of Guru, Sastra and Sadhu, that our success is then assured. But he claims that it is not easy for anyone. What are your thoughts on this?

I can feel the advancement that I am making, but I am being told that it is impossible for anyone other then a pure devotee to feel unlimited bliss. Why then when I am following your instructions do I feel so happy?

Your lowest servant

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Bliss According to Our Degree of Bhakti...

It's a fact that only the pure devotee can feel unlimited bliss. But anyone who is sincerely taking up Krishna consciousness from the very beginning will feel immediate relief from material distress. They will immediately taste transcendental bliss as soon as they take up the all-auspicious path of Krishna consciousness.

The more we advance in Krishna consciousness, the more we experience transcendental bliss. When our bhakti becomes unlimited, our bliss is then unlimited. In short, we experience bliss according to our degree of bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, July 8, 2006

from Miami, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Loving Relationships with Devotees

Lord Krishna says that one who claims to be His devotee is not His devotee. He says that the one who is the devotee of His devotee is His actual devotee. This is why it is absolutely essential for our spiritual lives that we make strong loving relationships with the devotees.

The more we become devoted to Krishna's devotees, the more we become automatically advanced in Krishna consciousness. And it is especially important that we find one devotee that we can totally, completely dedicate ourselves to. This is our spiritual master. Regarding the spiritual master Srila Prabhupada writes:

"Krishna as the Supersoul is seated within the heart of the living entity, and when the living entity is serious, the Lord directs him to take shelter of His representative, a bona fide spiritual master. Directed from within and guided externally by the spiritual master, one attains the path of Krishna consciousness, which is the way out of the material clutches."

To be sane every human being requires to feel that he is loved and to develop the capability to purely give love. The difficulty is that in this material world everyone's ability to purely love is more or less covered with selfishness. The pure devotee of Krishna is that person who has become perfectly selfless in his ability to receive and give love. The association and blessings of such a pure devotee is the most essential ingredient for someone who wants to become spiritually perfect and thus escape the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

I Am Unable to Understand...


I would be very grateful if you could kindly answer this question of mine. It is:

1) Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport to Bhagavad-gita Chapter 2, verse 12: "The Mayavadi argues that the plurality mentioned in this verse is conventional and that it refers to the body. But previous to this verse such a bodily conception is already condemned. After condemning the bodily conception of the living entities, how was it possible for Krishna to place a conventional proposition on the body again?"

I'm not sure what Srila Prabhupada is saying in these lines. What is the convention that he is talking about? I've looked up the word "convention" in the dictionary, however I am still unable to understand.

Your servant,

Jashodev

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The Meaning is Clear...

Thank you very much for your sincere endeavor to carefully read and fully understand each and every word of our beloved Srila Prabhupada's purports to the Bhagavad-gita. There is nothing more essential for our spiritual lives than to understand and fully implement the instructions given by Srila Prabhupada in his books.

Conventional means "ordinary" or "in the ordinary material sense." In our ordinary every day worldly existence we experience a sense of individuality in relation to our individual material bodies. The Mayavadi philosopher foolishly concludes that because we have a sense of individuality in our conditional existence that we must therefore have no sense of individuality in the liberated state.

There is no Vedic evidence for this false theory. This is like saying that the way to cure a headache is to cut off your head. The Mayavadi philosophy is that if your individual existence is painful you should end it. The Vaisnava philosophy is, "Don't end it, mend it." Purify your sense of individuality by reawakening your eternal original spiritual individuality as a servant of God. This is the supreme perfection of existence, not an artificial denial of your individuality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, July 7, 2006

from Miami, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Transcending and Transforming the Material World

The highest level transcendentalists are the devotees of the Lord. Through the process of bhakti yoga they become situated far, far beyond the clouds of illusion which have completely engulfed the modern day materialistic society.

Even though they are fully enlightened and happy in a state of consciousness completely free from lamentation and fear, they are nonetheless fully dedicated to the spiritual transformation of the entire human society. In other words they are never content with simply their own liberation. They can never rest easy until all living beings are delivered from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Is Meditation Necessary?


We understand Krishna Consciousness as remaining in love/thoughts of Lord Shri Krishna all 24 hours while we are doing our routine work, job etc etc. In such a situation is it necessary to practice meditation i.e. sitting in specific posture for some time? Else how do we measure our spiritual progress on a daily basis?

Although some visions, sounds etc may encourage the devotee in spiritual progress but we know that this is not the real progress. The real progress lies in "The Eternal Bliss", which is the goal of every devotee.

Vipon Malhotra

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Without Japa Meditation We Cannot Remember Krishna...

Just as you cannot make calls on your mobile phone unless its battery is sufficiently charged, unless you chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala every day you will not be able to fix your mind on Krishna while you are doing your routine work.

You can measure your daily spiritual progress by how many rounds of japa you complete every day. Each round (mala) that you chant brings you that much closer to Krishna.

The real progress is when you have no desire in your heart except to please Lord Krishna. That is perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, July 6, 2006

from Orlando, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Theme Park

We have arrived now in Orlando, Florida, USA, the home of the world famous Disney World, the place were Mickey Mouse is king. We have not come here for sightseeing. We have rather come here for the purpose of speaking to the local residents on the science of the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. Our mission is to awaken all the sleeping souls on the face of this planet to their original blissful, all knowing spiritual identities. We want to save them from the miserable condition that impels them to try to escape into the make-believe world of cartoon characters.

If our minds are absorbed in cartoon characters what will be our fate? We can be sure at least that we will not attain the Spiritual Sky. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna explains that we attain our next birth according to our consciousness at the time of death. So what we need are theme parks that are centered around Lord Krishna. Such theme parks will automatically uplift the consciousness of those who visit them helping to qualify them for entrance into the ultimate theme park, Goloka Vrindavan, in the Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Are there Challenges to the Authentic Vedic Literatures?


I have heard a lot about Christian Bible transcripts, translations, and scholarly studies being challenged by Gnostic gospel writings. I am sure you have heard about it in the news the last 6 months. My question is: Are there writings in India that challenge the true Bhagavad-gita, Upanishads and other Vedic writings?

John

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Not of Any Significance...

I do not know about the authenticity of the Christian scriptures. But I do know that the Vedic scriptures are 100% authentic. They have been carefully preserved and passed down for thousands of years. Their authenticity was re-affirmed a mere 500 years ago by the Supreme Lord Himself when he appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

India does have its share of mental speculators who challenge the authority of the authentic Vedic scriptures. But who are they in comparison with the great Vedic commentators?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006

from Seminole, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Incompetent Guidance/ Competent Guidance


In this material world we find many, many personalities who are willing and eager to teach us and lead us in various ways: teachers, doctors, writers, political leaders, etc. Although they may be very competent and qualified to guide us in many ways concerning the many aspects of this material existence, they are completely incompetent to guide us in matters of the spirit-soul and its relationship with the Supreme Spirit Whole and to elevate ourselves from this material existence into the eternal all-blissful spiritual existence.

Why are they so incompetent? Because they are themselves completely lost in the wilderness of this material existence. How can they lead us? Their futile attempts to do so are a classic case of the blind leading the blind.

So we have to be intelligent to find the proper persons or persons who can lead us out of the quagmire of this material existence. They are the ones from whom we should take our instructions. If we want to become spiritually enlightened, we must take our guidance from those who are spiritually enlightened, not from those who are still in the darkness of ignorance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Does Chanting Free Us from Getting Sick or Having Accidents?

Does sincerely chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra guarantee a life free of illness, accidents, and such miseries, or does it give us the strength to deal with the inevitable?

Nishant Dilip Bavishi

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Chanting Frees Us Permanently from All Forms of Misery...

A sincere and steady chanter of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra will still get sick, get old, and die. But this will be his last term of imprisonment within this world of misery. And because he knows that he is soon being permanently released from birth, death, old age, and disease he finds that he is easily able to tolerate them without being disturbed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, July 4, 2006

from Gainesville, Florida, USA
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Today's Thought:

Living for the Deliverance of the World

My beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, entrusted his disciples with the responsibility of saving the earth planet from its present most dangerous position. What qualifications do we have to attempt such an inconceivably awesome task? We feel that we have none. But we must sincerely try our best to execute whatever orders we have received from our spiritual master. Therefore on his order we are living for the deliverance of the entire world.

We are trying our best to fully devote every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances for the deliverance of the world society from the clutches of birth and death. This may be possible or it may be impossible. But in either case it is our duty to fully dedicate ourselves to trying to make it happen. Of course, by the mercy of Krishna even that which is completely impossible can become fully possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Am I Living in the Spiritual World or in the Material World?

Sometimes it is becoming difficult to know whether I am living in spiritual world or material world. Sometimes I feel very spiritual and sometimes very material. Why this world is so contradictory?

Your sincere servant,

Advaita Chandra Das

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How to Always Live in the Spiritual World...

In this connection you should understand that in the ultimate issue there is only one world, the spiritual world. Within that spiritual world there is a covered portion known as the material world. Even while living in this material world if a living entity's consciousness becomes uncovered by the mercy of Guru and Krishna, that living entity is no longer living in the material world. He is living in the spiritual world.

That you are feeling sometimes spiritual and sometimes material means that your consciousness is not yet fully uncovered. You are still under the influence of the three modes of material nature. If you will stick very tightly to the process of Krishna consciousness, especially the regular chanting of at least 16 rounds of japa, following our four regulative principles (no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, no gambling), and using all of your free time for preaching Krishna consciousness, I can assure you that very soon the covering cloud of Maya will be burned away by the brilliant Krishna sun and you will always feel that you are in the spiritual world.

There is nothing contradictory within the vast dominion of God. It is only when our consciousness becomes covered that we perceive things as contradictory.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, July 3, 2006

from New Panihati Dham, ISKCON Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

Remembering that Most Auspicious Day in 1975


It's 9:45am on Sunday 2 July 2006. We are on the road now from Charleston, South Carolina to New Panihati Dham, ISKCON's center in Atlanta, Georgia where I will be giving the lecture at today's Sunday Feast Program.

It was in New Panihati Dham during the celebration of the most auspicious appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, March 2, 1975, that I was blessed with the greatest good fortune of receiving my brahminical initiation in a private darshan with one of the greatest spiritual masters this world has ever seen, my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada very mercifully placed the sacred brahmana thread on me, uttered the sacred Gayatri mantra for me to hear, and made me a brahmana. This was certainly his causeless mercy because I am certainly far from qualified for this most exalted post.

The duty of a brahmana is to enlighten his followers and the people in general by perfect knowledge and a perfect example. He knows the highest truth as revealed in the Vedic wisdom and acts as a spiritual master for the other sections of the society teaching the science of complete surrender unto Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By following the enlightened leadership of the brahmanas the entire human society will become peaceful, happy, and prosperous.

Feeling myself most unqualified for this most elevated position I simply to pray to Srila Prabhupada that by his mercy I may be able to properly execute the duties he has given me.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Is Suicide the Ultimate Solution?


If a person commits suicide, what is the future of such a person? Will he suffer more that what he is suffering now? Most of the people do it to get out of the problems forever. What's the ultimate solution for our problems if not suicide?

Hare Krishna,

Vishal

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Surrender to Krishna is the Ultimate Solution to All Problems...

Many people foolishly commit suicide thinking that it will be the ultimate solution to all of their problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. Suicide opens the door to the most unbelievably hellish, nightmarish existence worse than anyone can even imagine. The ghost has all the desires for bodily sense pleasure that he had when he was previously incarnated in a gross physical body. But he does not have the gross senses with which to fulfill those desires. Therefore he must constantly search for weak-minded persons in gross bodies whom he can overpower, taking over their bodies so that he can enjoy gross sense pleasure vicariously through their senses.

But in spite of all his attempts he is never satisfied. He simply becomes ever-increasingly more and more frustrated. Thus, someone who commits suicide simply increases their suffering even more. They are forced by the law of karma to take birth as a ghost for a very, very long time. They will be much, much more miserable as a ghost than they were in the body in which they committed suicide.

The ultimate solution for all varieties of suffering conditions is to fully surrender oneself unto Lord Krishna under the expert guidance of scriptures, devotees, and the bona fide spiritual master. If you will surrender fully in this way, all of your desires for peace and happiness will be fully satisfied, and at the time of death you will not have to return to this world of birth and death. You will enter into the eternal spiritual sky where life is full of bliss and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, July 2, 2006

from Charleston, South Carolina, USA
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Today's Thought:

There is a Way Out of Here

Last night in Charleston, South Carolina just as the sun was getting ready to set in the west, I was pondering the wonderful mercy of Almighty God. Even though we are presently caught in a hellish material existence in the cycle of birth and death, by the grace of that sweet Supreme Lord there is a way out of here. Anyone who wants to get out the quagmire can do so. All we have to do is desire to attain the transcendental platform. Then that benevolent Lord Who is seated within our hearts will bring us into the contact of a bona fide spiritual master who will then lead us out of our entrapped position into the eternal all-blissful Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Can the Pure Devotee's Prayers Deliver All Souls?


If a pure devotee of the Krishna who deeply satisfies the Supreme Lord prays that every living entity, every individual soul will love God unconditionally, will it happen, or would that be impossible due to the free will of persons who desire to serve Maya?

Josh

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Such Prayers Have a Powerful Influence...

The living entities always have their free will, and at the same time the prayers of the pure devotees for the deliverance of all living entities from the cycle of birth and death have a powerful influence to attract the hearts of all living entities to the devotional service of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, July 1, 2006

from Charleston, South Carolina, USA
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Today's Thought:

As Within, So Without


Krishna consciousness is what we need both externally and internally. The more we manifest it within our hearts through regularly hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, the more we will naturally manifest it externally by inspiring those we associate with to also surrender to Krishna. And the more we focus our energies on spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world, the more it will become powerfully present in our hearts. So on this simple principle of "as within so without" we can steadily advance at every minute on the self-realization path.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada has given us a wonderful Vedic mantra: bahir nrisingho hridaye nrisinghah

"Let Lord Nrisinghadeva sit in the core of my heart, killing all my bad propensities. Let my mind become clean so that I may peacefully worship the Lord and bring peace to the entire world."

If we will follow this pathway seriously we will taste the sweet nectar of Krishna consciousness at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

What is Desirable?


What is the composition of the atma, the soul?

What is the abode of the atma after liberation from the cycle of birth and death?

What is desirable - To take birth again and again and to remain in Krishna Consciousness (dualism) or to aim for liberation and remain like a dot in the universe? (Here "dot" denotes atma?)

Yours in the Lord,

Vipon Malhotra

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Returning to the Kingdom of God...

The atma is composed of eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

The abode of the atma after liberation is residence in the Kingdom of God as the Lord's eternal servant.

You are wrong to categorize Krishna consciousness as dualism. It is simultaneous oneness and difference. You are also wrong to think that liberation means to become like a dot in the universe. The "dot in the universe" liberation conceived by the impersonalists is imaginary. Real liberation means to reawaken one's original eternal identity as a servant of God. This is what is actually desirable, nothing else.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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