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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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Thursday, August 31, 2006

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

Radhastami, the Most Sacred Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani


Today is the most sacred appearance day of Srimati Radharani, the dearmost of all of Lord Sri Krishna's devotees. On this day devotees fast until noon and then break their fast by partaking of a prasadam feast of varieties of foodstuffs offered with love and devotion to Srimati Radharani.

This topmost of all devotees is very kind upon the other devotees. When she mercifully recommends to Krishna to notice the service of a particular devotee, He will immediately bestow His mercy upon that most fortunate soul. Therefore we should always beg her merciful blessings that she may tell something good about us to her beloved Lord, Sri Krishna. In this mood we should always call out for her mercy first before uttering the name of Krishna. We first of all call out to Srimati Radharani by uttering "Hare." And then we say, "Krishna."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do Different Religions Exist?


Why do these different religions exist? Why did they ever came into form? if Krishna is The Supreme, why doesn't He exist everywhere in same form?

His devotee,

Ankita

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Answer: Real Religion is One...

Religion is one, to love God. But because human beings are on the platform of misidentifying the atma or the real self with this rotting bag of material elements known as the material body, they have concocted so many so-called religions based on bodily distinction.

That one Supreme God is realized in varying degrees according to one's level of devotion.

This is compared to a mountain. From a great distance the mountain is perceived as a large object way out there on the horizon. When you get closer you can see some of the details on the mountain. You can see that they are areas of trees and that there are areas of rocks. But when you actually come to the mountain and you are climbing on it, you can then see every detail, that here is a pine tree, here is a flower,  etc.

Realizing God way off in the distance is called Brahman realization. Realizing Him as you are getting nearer to Him is called Paramatma realization. And realizing Him in full is called Bhagavan realization. These three types of realization are described in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj jnanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate


"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramatma or Bhagavan."----Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

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

The Sixty-Four Qualities of Lord Sri Krishna


There has been some confusion in the minds of some of our readers lately how God can manifest different degrees of His potencies in His different incarnations. They find it undemocratic that one form of Godhead would display more qualities of Godhead than another form of Godhead. But the Supreme Lord is not obliged to be democratic. As the supreme controller and as the original fountainhead of all that exists, He has the free choice to distribute His qualities in varying percentages to His various forms as He sees fit.

It was mentioned several days ago in the "Answers According the Vedic Version" section of "Thought for the Day" that the four-armed Vishnu (Narayana) has 97% of the qualities of God. (This was a mistake of our typist. The actual number is 93.75%.) This distinction between Narayana and Krishna has become a controversy for some of our readers, who have protested against our making such distinctions. They think that we are arbitrarily making some judgment based on personal whim or bias. But this is not a fact. We are strictly speaking according to the conclusion of the Vedic literatures as confirmed by Srila Rupa Goswami.

Srila Rupa Goswami, who is an eternal associate of the Lord Sri Krishna in the spiritual world, descended along with Him 500 years ago when Sri Krishna came to this material world in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He lived as a simple mendicant in Sri Vrindavan Dham in India, and after thoroughly researching the Vedic scriptures compiled many transcendental literatures for the deliverance of the suffering humanity. Chief amongst these is the Bhakti-Rasamrita Sindhu, in which he has the listed 60 qualities of Lord Narayana as follows:

(1) beautiful features of the entire body
(2) marked with all auspicious characteristics
(3) extremely pleasing
(4) effulgent
(5) strong
(6) ever youthful
(7) wonderful linguist
(8) truthful
(9) talks pleasingly
(10) fluent
(11) highly learned
(12) highly intelligent
(13) a genius
(14) artistic
(15) extremely clever
(16) expert
(17) grateful
(18) firmly determined
(19) an expert judge of time and circumstances
(20) sees and speaks on the authority of Vedas, or scriptures
(21) pure
(22) self-controlled
(23) steadfast
(24) forbearing
(25) forgiving
(26) grave
(27) self-satisfied
(28) possessing equilibrium
(29) magnanimous
(30) religious
(31) heroic
(32) compassionate
(33) respectful
(34) gentle
(35) liberal
(36) shy
(37) the protector of surrendered souls
(38) happy
(39) the well-wisher of devotees
(40) controlled by love
(41) all-auspicious
(42) most powerful
(43) all-famous
(44) popular
(45) partial to devotees
(46) very attractive to all women
(47) all-worshipable
(48) all-opulent
(49) all-honorable
(50) the supreme controller.
(51) changeless
(52) all-cognizant
(53) ever fresh
(54) sac-cid-ananda (possessing an eternal blissful body)
(55) possessing all mystic perfections.
(56) He has inconceivable potency.
(57) Uncountable universes generate from His body.
(58) He is the original source of all incarnations.
(59) He is the giver of salvation to the enemies whom He kills.
(60) He is the attractor of liberated souls.

Srila Rupa Goswami describes that all these transcendental qualities are manifest wonderfully in Supreme Lord. He also states that besides these sixty transcendental qualities, Krishna has four more, which are not manifest in the Narayana form of Godhead, what to speak of the demigods or living entities. They are as follows.

(61) He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes).
(62) He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead.
(63) He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute.
(64) He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation.

With the addition of these four exceptional qualities which are found only in Krishna, to total comes to sixty-four. Srila Rupa Gosvami gives evidences from various scriptures about all sixty-four qualities present in the person of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

The simple math is that if we divide sixty by sixty-four, we come out with 93.75%.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: Grading Lord Narayana is Far From Logical...


Thank you very much for your detailed and explanatory mail.

Each form of the Lord is defined with so many different qualities in our scriptures. This as I understand is to make a common man realize that his personal traits / qualities match with some God's specialty, so that the Self in him is to be considered the all powerful identity with the God.

In your explanation, you had given a reference of Srila Rupa Goswami's scripture, in which he considers Lord Krishna as Bhagavan, the Supreme Godhead possessing all qualities and in which he grades Lord Narayana as having less qualities. This is far from logical and is Rupa Goswami's perception only.

Anyway, thanks for your time and explanation.

With Pranams

Your student

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Response: Try to Understand the Sublime Subtleties of the Transcendental Science...

The atma, or the real self who resides within the body, is the same with God in quality, but quantitatively different. Just like because you are from India you are considered to Indian, but you are not considered to be India. India has many major cities scattered throughout it. It is not that those Indian cities are scattered throughout you. So in the same way, the individual being since he is part of God is considered "Godian" (possessing the qualities of God--namely eternity, knowledge, and bliss) but is not considered to be God Himself. I sincerely hope that this is clear to you.

You have stated that the distinction made between Lord Narayana and Lord Krishna is Rupa Goswami's perception only, that is it not logical. But, if I may beg to humbly point something out to you. This is your perception only.

An eternal associate of the Lord such as Srila Rupa Goswami, who has descended along with the Lord from the spiritual world for the purpose of delivering the fallen, conditioned souls is not subject to the four defects of material existence. His teachings are not his mere perceptions based on speculative knowledge. They are true without any tinge of defect.

In this connection it is stated in the Svetasvatara Upanisad:

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


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

In this Kali Yuga it is sometimes hard for us to put our full faith in the words of the bona fide spiritual master. This is because we have been repeatedly cheated by so many bogus so-called spiritual masters. We have to be very careful when we do come into contact with a bona fide not to judge him with our own conditioned consciousness. If we do this, it is a great offense against an exalted soul and greatly hinders our spiritual progress.

So kindly apply your intelligence to understand the sublime subtleties of the transcendental science that are being so kindly revealed to us by Srila Rupa Goswami.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

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

Why Do You Exist?


Do you know why you exist? You did not manifest yourself out of nothing. You exist because Krishna or God is emanating you from His transcendental body. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita. Why is He emanating you? He wants the pleasure of having a loving relationship with you. So the very purpose of your existence is to have a loving relationship with God. This is why unless you develop love of God you can never be happy, no matter how much material success you may enjoy. And this is why if you purely, totally love God you will be unlimitedly happy, no matter what is your situation in this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can You Award Percentage Marks to the Great Personalities?


It is interesting to read your answer to the question of a 14 year old boy awarding percentage to great personalities like Lord Shiva and Lord Narayana, that they possess only a certain percentage of the qualities of God.

How can you as the spiritual master, a human being, award marks to the super natural power prevalent in these great personalities? Are there such percentage marks in any part of the Vedas?

With pranams

Your student

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Answer: I Cannot. But the Vedic Literatures Do...

The spiritual master has no personal authority to concoct some grading system for the great personalities like Lord Krishna, Lord Narayana, and Lord Shiva. He is potent as a spiritual master because he simply repeats what is given in the authorized Vedic literatures without any addition or any subtraction.

As clearly explained by Srila Rupa Goswami in the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu compiled from researching the Vedic scriptures--Lord Narayana has 60 of out 64 of Krishna's qualities and Lord Shiva possesses 55 out of Krishna's qualities. In other words the complete list of qualities of Lord Krishna are only partially found in Lord Narayana and are even less found in Lord Shiva.

For example, one quality possessed by Krishna is that He attracts all living entities with His flute playing. We have never seen any scriptural reference to Lord Narayana or Lord Shiva playing a flute. This flute-playing quality to attract all living entities by the sound of His flute is only found in Krishna. Krishna possesses all qualities in full. Others only have them in part.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, August 28, 2006

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

May Everyone Now Awaken


Hearing my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, singing the prayers to the six Goswamis I am carried away into another dimension of existence far, far beyond the crazy, confused sufferings of the modern so-called advanced civilization. I am reminded that right now the eternal pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna and His pure devotees are going on in the Spiritual Sky. Anyone and everyone can taste this sweet bliss of Krishna consciousness right now, if they will simply submissively hear from Krishna's pure devotee.

Why does the general world population have to be continually dragged on and on deep in the sleep of maya? There is so much unnecessary ignorance and suffering going on at every minute all over the world. May everyone now awaken from their deep slumber of illusion and realize the eternal truth of the self and the Supreme Self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Isn't Lord Vishnu the Ultimate Godhead?


I read all your daily thoughts for the day. I am a bit confused about Vishnu and Krishna. If Krishna is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, isn't Lord Vishnu then the ultimate godhead?

Please enlighten me....

Hare Krishna

Primrose

Trinidad

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Answer: Yes, But...

Yes, Lord Vishnu is certainly the ultimate Godhead, but we have to understand exactly Who is Lord Vishnu and how He is the ultimate Godhead. He is the ultimate Godhead because He is the source of all that exists. Everything emanates from Him. All material universes, all living beings, and all forms of Vishnu emanate from Him. There are millions and millions of Vishnu forms emanating from the original Vishnu form. That original Vishnu form is known as Krishna.

Just as one candle can be used to light another candle, which can then light another candle, which can then light yet another candle millions and millions of times--Krishna is the original form of Godhead and multi-millions of Vishnus are His expansions. Everything that exists is an emanation from Krishna. He is the original source of everything as confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad-gita:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate


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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

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

What We Must Do


The present world population is presently very much in the depths of illusion regarding the actual nature of the self. Practically everyone misidentifies themselves with their gross material body. Because of this misidentification they invest their entire energy in serving their own body and the bodies of their near and dear ones. Such bodily service, although required, does not satisfy the actual need of the self. Therefore in spite of all material advancement people are very frustrated and confused.

If we want actual happiness we require genuine spiritual enlightenment to awaken us from the false platform of bodily consciousness. Such enlightenment cannot be concocted or imagined. It must be taught to us by a person who has actually attained it. This person is known as the bona fide spiritual master.

Because so many cheaters nowadays are falsely posing themselves as spiritual masters, it has become very difficult to find a bona fide spiritual master. And because we have been misled so many times, even if we do find one, it is very difficult for us to put our faith in him. But we must find a bona fide guru and put our faith in him if we want factual deliverance from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Relationship Between Shiva and Vishnu?


Can you explain to me the relationship between Shiva and Vishnu? Some sources say, "Shivaya Vishnurupaya Shivarupaya Vishnave--Shiva is the same as Vishnu and Vishnu is the same as Shiva." And some other sources say that Shiva is a servant of Vishnu, that he carries out the will of Vishnu. Can you explain this?

R.S.Vaidyanathan
(Age: 14)
Hyderabad, India

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Answer: Like Milk and Yogurt...

I am very happy to note that at such a young age as 14 you are very keen to become learned in Vedic wisdom. You should perfect your understanding the Vedic wisdom and become a pure devotee of Lord Krishna.

It is not true that Shiva is the same as Vishnu and that Vishnu is the same as Shiva. The real fact, according to the revealed Vedic wisdom and the great enlightened teachers, is that Shiva and Vishnu are simultaneously one and different just like milk and dahi (yogurt.)

How is that so? Milk can be transformed into yogurt, indeed yogurt is nothing but a transformation of milk. But while it is true that milk can be transformed into yogurt, it is not true that yogurt can be transformed into milk.

So Vishnu is like milk and Shiva is like yogurt. Shiva is nothing but a transformation of Vishnu, but he cannot be transformed into Vishnu.

Lord Shiva possesses 84% of the qualities of Bhagavan, Lord Vishnu 97%, and Lord Krishna is 100% Bhagavan.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

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

Reaching Out to You


I have been inconceivably blessed by Lord Krishna, by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, and by the followers of His Divine Grace. They have truly saved me from a hellish, extremely depressing existence and brought me into the realm of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. I am therefore eternally indebted unto them.

Srila Prabhupada has ordered me that just as I have been saved, it is now my duty to fully dedicate myself to saving others. Somehow or other, by Lord Sri Krishna's grace, I stumbled onto the idea of spreading Krishna consciousness on the internet and been experiencing amazing success far beyond what I could have imagined.

Tasting this most sublime nectar and seeing how much everyone in this world is entrapped in so many varieties of suffering conditions I am feeling very, very sorry for them. I am therefore very happy that I have been blessed with the means of reaching out to everyone and gifting them with the ultimate happiness, Krishna consciousness.

Therefore on his order I am now reaching out to share with you the inconceivable blessings that I have received from Srila Prabhupada. Kindly accept this humble offering of love and make your life perfect in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Always Remember Krishna?


You have pointed out how to have Krishna consciousness at every minute even while engaged in performing ordinary duties such as working a job or running errands.

Please give me practical tips so I can remember Krishna all the time. When I am free it is easy to remember, but in stress or under work pressure or totally engrossed in work I forget. At such times how can I remember the Lord.

You have said to surrender all things to Lord. Offering our food first to the Lord so that it becomes transformed into prasadam is one part. But how do we engage other activities in Krishna consciousness? Please give me the practical way to do this.

With Regards,

Saurabh Bcanerjee

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Answer: Offer the Result of Your Work to Krishna...

The most important thing is to rise early in the morning and chant 16 highly focused rounds of the Hare Krishna Mantra on japa beads. In this way your spiritual "battery" will be fully charged and you will easily be able to remember Krishna all day long.

To engage other activities in God's service is easily done. All you have to do is offer the fruits of those activities to the Lord. Do not claim anything as your own. Give everything to the Lord. For example, if you are earning money, that money should be utilized in Krishna's service, not for sense gratification. This means that you should spend your money in such a way that your Krishna consciousness and the Krishna consciousness of your family members is enhanced, not inhibited. Also a portion of those earnings should go for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. You can support your local ISKCON center, or you can also directly support our missionary activities at: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/donate

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

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

Depending on Krishna in All Circumstances


23 August 2006-6:10am

In this world we face many dangers. In fact, the Srimad Bhagavatam describes this as a world in which there is danger at every step. We can see this practically. This morning one hour ago while taking a morning walk I was run off the road by a driver who purposely harassed me. He was driving his truck straight at me at approximately 40 miles per hour driving down the wrong side of the road. I was forced to jump out of the way to save myself from possible death. I suspect that it was done out of hate because I dress differently than the average American citizen.

This incident serves to illustrate not only the dangerous nature of this material world. It also shows the wicked mentality of the persons who inhabit this planet right now. This is confirmed as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

iccha-dvesa-samutthena
dvandva-mohena bharata
sarva-bhutani sammoham
sarge yanti parantapa


"O scion of Bharata, O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, bewildered by dualities arisen from desire and hate." Bhagavad-gita 7.27

What to do? We are living in a dungeon of demons.

There's only one thing to do. We have to purify our hearts by total, complete unalloyed surrender at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, and we have to revolutionize this planet by making as many people Krishna conscious as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Spiritual Advancement Without a Guru?


Is it possible to attain self-realization or advancement in spiritual life without a guru? Is is possible to attain spiritual bliss by living the present way as a Grihastha, a householder?

Sateesh

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Answer: Without a Guru, We are Nowhere...

We must a have guru. Guru is required because Krishna orders in the Bhagavad-gita that we must accept a guru. This is practically speaking how we will surrender ourselves to Lord Krishna. Because Krishna has ordered us to do so, without surrender to the spiritual master, Krishna's pure representative, there is no question of actually surrendering to Krishna. This means that without a guru, we are nowhere. Before accepting a guru the only advancement we can make is advancing to the point of realizing the absolute necessity of accepting a guru and actually doing that.

But you can remain a grhastha, a householder. That is all right. Arjuna was a householder and he became perfect by surrendering fully to Krishna. You may remain comfortably situated with wife and children, that is all right. But you cannot be a grhamedhi, a materialistic sense-gratificatory householder. You must strictly following the religious principles prescribed in the scriptures for householders. Then there will be no difference between you and a sannyasi, a renunciate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

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

Live Your Life to the Fullest Extent


We should never forget that this human form of life is very, very rare. It has been obtained after transmigrating through 8,000,000 different species of life. It is that rare form which affords us the opportunity to become self-realized and thus escape the cycle of birth and death. An intelligent person maximizes the golden opportunity of human birth by fully absorbing himself in Krishna consciousness at every minute even while he is engaged in performing ordinary duties such as working a job or running errands.

Don't waste this opportunity by engaging unnecessarily in activities of material sense gratification. Simply take whatever sense gratification is required to keep body and soul together. Invest the balance of your energy in the awakening of your original divine consciousness. Live your life to the fullest extent at every second by intensely embracing the process of Krishna consciousness. I can assure you that you won't regret it. I guarantee that you will attain the supreme perfection of existence and become situated in your original, eternal identity far, far beyond the confines of time and space. Come on and join this journey now. The great enlightened teachers are eagerly awaiting that day when you will become serious about being who you really are, instead of who you are not. The only thing that is holding you back is your false ego. So kick out the rascal false ego today and fully surrender yourself right now to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, right now. Okay?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Would Krishna Like Us To Do For Him?


I understand that we are the eternal emanations of Krishna and that we are His eternal servants. We serve Krishna in this life by serving His devotees, obeying the Spiritual Master, following the regulative principles, chanting, spreading Krishna consciousness.... But how did Krishna want us to serve Him before we rebelled and entered the material world, and how will we serve Him again when we attain the spiritual sky? In other words, what would Krishna like us to do for Him?

Thank you.

Your student

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Answer: Faithfully Follow His Instructions Given in the Bhagavad-gita...

You will find out how to serve Krishna in your original spiritual identity only after you become a 100% pure devotee. In the meantime to qualify yourself to reach that stage you should fully surrender to following the instructions that Krishna gives in the Bhagavad-gita. You cannot artificially jump to the stage of knowing your original service and identity in the Spiritual World.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

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

The Lord's Inconceivable Mystic Power


Simultaneously the Lord is present in everything and not present in everything. This is inconceivable for the common man. God is everything, but at the same time it is not that everything is God. When the sunshine enters our room we say that the sun has entered because the sunshine and the sun are the same. But yet they are different. Otherwise we would be burned to a crisp when the sunshine enters our room. So Krishna is different from this material manifestation, while at the same time everything is resting on Him. This is called, "yogam aisvaram", the mystic power of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: You Have Not Proved that God Exists...


You said (by way of proof) that the fact that we exist is proof that God exists. A little more thought would tell you that the fact that we exist only proves that WE exist, not that God exists.

Sudeep

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Response: How Your Existence Proves God's Existence...

The Vedic conception of God is that God is the source of all that exists. This is why I claim that our existence proves God's existence. In other words I am making the point that we cannot exist without having a source for our existence. I make this claim because we are not self-manifested. If you can manufacture yourself out of nothing, then you have some rational grounds for defeating my argument.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, August 21, 2006

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

Penetrating to the Inner Core of Religion


As long as we remain stuck in the exterior of religion we are bound to have conflicts. What is that exterior? "I am a Christian. I am a Jew. I am a Muslim. I am a Hindu." In other words, bodily consciousness. We have to go beyond the exterior trappings to the sublime mystical inner core of religion. "I am an eternal spiritual being qualitatively one and quantitatively different from the Supreme Lord."

As long as we remain selfish and greedy we can never penetrate to the inner core. We will always remain entrapped in the external coverings. Therefore, if we want to truly realize God, it is of the utmost importance that we develop saintly qualities.

What are the saintly qualities? A true saintly person does not maintain his body by the cruel slaughter of animals. He does not indulge in various types of intoxication. Nor does he waste his time in frivolous activities. He is not sexually promiscuous. He prefers to absorb his consciousness 24 hours daily in hearing, chanting, and remembering the transcendental name, fame, form, pastimes, teachings, entourage, and paraphernalia of the Supreme Godhead.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: I Cancelled My Subscription Because You Are an Imposter...

You are inane and superficial. A lot of metaphysical jargon cannot help liberate anyone from birth and death. As to your answer to "does god exist", wow! what an incisive "proof"! How can you presume to know anything more about the mysteries of life and death than the other laboring millions of people? Millions of imposters like you have existed and will exist throughout time. Yet humanity goes on despite you, not because of you.

Sudeep

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Response: I Will Accept That I Am an Imposter If You Can Prove It...

Thank you very much for providing us your comments. We appreciate very much that you have taken the time and trouble to inform us as to why you are canceling your subscription to our e-course.

You have attacked our presentation as metaphysical jargon. But if I may humbly point out to you, your method of argument is not thoughtful. Your argument is on the level of "give the dog a bad name and hang it." In other words you have not put forward any substantial argument to defeat our philosophical points. You have simply thrown a negative label, nothing more.

The fact is that we are not simply spitting out as you say "metaphysical jargon." Everything we present is based on the revealed knowledge which has been ever so carefully handed down from the ancient times from the great sages of India.

Who am I? I make no claim to personally know anything. I am simply the humble messenger of the previous acharyas who are fully realized in the Absolute Truth.

If you want to discredit me, I will fully agree with you. I have no counter argument because I consider myself to be nothing. But there is one credit I do take. That credit is that I am sincerely and honestly presenting the version of the great acharyas of India without any addition or subtraction.

If you want to defeat me on this point, you will have to prove that I am changing the message that has been carefully passed down from master to disciple from the ancient times. If you want to prove that I am an imposter you will have to show that I am deviating from the previous acharyas. This you have not done yet. Therefore at least for the time being, you have no right to label me as an imposter.

You will only have a right to label me as imposter if you can prove that I am deviating from the previous acharyas. If you can prove to me that I have indeed deviated from them, I will accept that I am imposter and will submit myself to you for rectification.

So now the ball is in your court. It is up to you to prove that I have deviated from the previous acharyas or to offer me an apology for your impertinent remarks.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

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

What Do You Want?


Do you want to remain in the repetition of birth and death, or would you like to be liberated from it? The choice is yours. If you want liberation you will have to give up some things you would rather not give up and accept some things you would rather not accept. This is called austerity or sacrifice.

Just like, for example, if you want to take a dream vacation to the Fiji Islands, you will have to save every possible penny by cutting back on all of your unnecessary expenses. You will have to give up some of your usual petty luxuries in order to enable yourself to be able to set aside the money required for your excursion. If you are not willing to sacrifice in this way, the chances are that your dream vacation will always remain just that, a dream only.

So in a similar way, if we want to make attaining the supreme spiritual perfection a reality, we will have to practice the art of giving the senses only what they need for keeping body and soul together and not a pinch more than that. In this way our vital energy will be freed up for dovetailing our individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness, and we will quickly achieve the ultimate platform of spiritual enlightenment, pure Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does God Exist?


Kindly give me the answer for the following questions.

Does God exist?
If so, where does He exist?

With regards,

Ramaswamy Pillai

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Answer: Of Course...

Yes, of course God exists. How could He not exist? If He did not exist, nothing could exist and you wouldn't exist to be able to ask me if He exists. The fact that you exist to ask me if He exists proves that He exists.

He exists in His own abode, in the hearts of all living beings, within every atom, and between the atoms. Because everything is His expanded energy, there is nowhere that He does not exist, and at the same time He is beyond everything.

Srila Prabhupada describes Krishna in this way:

"There is nothing but Sri Krishna, and yet nothing is Sri Krishna save and except His primeval personality."

So now you should qualify yourself to meet God face-to-face, eye-to-eye. In this way you will never be confused ever again wondering if God exists and where He exists.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

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

The Nectar of Devotion is an Ocean of Bliss



In today's world there is so much lying materialistic propaganda. This makes it all too easy to be carried away by illusion. Therefore it is recommended in the Srimad Bhagavatam that to get out of illusion and stay out of illusion we should study the Srimad Bhagavatam every day and serve that person whose life is completely dedicated to spreading transcendental knowledge all over the world.

nasta-prayesv abhadresu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
bhaktir bhavati naisthiki


"By regular attendance in classes on the Bhagavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact." Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18

This is my modus operandi, my method of operation. I hear or give a class on the Srimad Bhagavatam every morning, and I have fully dedicated my life to serve my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, by serving his mission. His mission is to completely re-spiritualize the planet earth by inundating it in a tidal wave of pure love of God.

In this way my heart is becoming purified of all contamination and loving service to Lord Sri Krishna is becoming solidly established in my heart. There is truly nothing sweeter or more exciting than this. It is the ultimate attainment. You can taste the same nectar that I am tasting, if you will also fully surrender yourself to the above instruction from the Srimad Bhagavatam. I invite you that if you have not already entered into this ultimate enlightened lifestyle that you kindly do so today. If you want to know how, I am prepared to personally give you all guidance, blessings, and inspiration.

The nectar of devotion is an ocean of bliss. Can you taste the nectar?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Can We Kill Animals for our Pets?


Is it correct to feed animals, such as pet dogs, that eat meat? Isn't it that one HAS to kill animals for the pet to eat because the pet usually cannot do the killing himself?

Thank You,

Jukka

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Utilize Vegetarian Options or Let Them Procure Their Own Food...

If the animal kills and eats his own food there is no karma. But if you kill an animal or pay someone to kill an animal to feed your pet, for you there is karma.

This is not a major problem because nowadays there are many vegetarian options available for feeding pets. If you want to keep a pet, you may utilize one of the vegetarian options that are currently widely available.

However it should be noted in this connection that in the Vedic culture pets are kept outside where they can utilize their natural abilities to procure their own food.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, August 18, 2006

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

Terrorist Attack at ISKCON Center in Manipur, India


On the evening of 16 August 2006 at our ISKCON center in Imphal, Manipur, India terrorists wreaked havoc upon the appearance celebration of Lord Krishna by exploding a hand grenade during a dramatic presentation of Lord Krishna's Rasa Lisa, killing four devotees and injuring 36 others, including His Holiness Bhaktisvarupa Damodar Maharaja, one of ISKCON's spiritual masters. Such actions are sickening and deplorable and are unfortunately becoming more and more common in today's rapidly deteriorating so-called world society.

It is intolerable to see so much cruelty and suffering going on all over the world. Senseless violence and terror are being unleashed more and more upon the poor souls of this age. A thoughtful person will naturally question why such things are going on and what can be done to stop them from happening.

In an animal-filled jungle we can always expect to find ferocious, dangerous animals like lions and tigers. Similarly in a world where 99.99% of the world population is focused on the animalistic activities of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, we can always expect to find ferocious terroristically-minded men tormenting others. The only way to stop such terrorism is to elevate the society in general beyond the animalistic platform to the platform of self-realization. In other words, everyone needs to realize that life is meant for perfecting our existence, not for simply carrying on like animals totally absorbed in eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. If human beings can simply realize the importance of self-realization, naturally terrorism will come to an end.

The solution is very simple. If the government leaders would simply agree to follow our instructions, we can stop terrorism and solve all the world's problems. But what can be done? They refuse to hear us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Can I Become Truly Satisfied?


I recently read that we can not give up desire, but rather change what we desire after. I have been falling into a depression because I see the effects of my material choices. Each time I please any of my senses with material things I am left with a temporary satisfaction and feel empty thereafter. However, I find myself making the same decisions. How can I get over this?

If I may ask another question, Is there another sense that we have that we are not aware of? Is love the sense of the soul? One that can lead the other senses to a common goal? I apologize for my ignorance.

Thank you so much,

Your student

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Engage Your Senses in the Service of the Proprietor of the Senses...

The way to conquer over being a foolish slave of our senses to engage them in the loving service of the Lord. The senses desire satisfaction. We cannot deny them. Therefore we must give them the satisfaction they desire by engaging them in the service of the Lord. The eyes hanker to absorb themselves in the form of the opposite sex. But such meditation simply increases our lusty desires and our sense of frustration. If these same eyes are engaged in gazing upon the beautiful form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we then become completely, fully satisfied without any sense of guilt or frustration.

You have asked, "Is there another sense that we have that we are not aware of? Is love the sense of the soul? One that can lead the other senses to a common goal?" The sense of love is the key that solves all problems. The difficulty is that in this material world what we call love is in fact more or less simply lust. In other words our so-called love in this world is very self-serving. Our so-called love is practically speaking a business deal. I'll scratch your back, if you scratch mine. But this is not real love. This is simply another form of sense gratification masquerading as love.

Love becomes the solution to all problems when we perfect our love by freeing it from all tinges of selfishness. This perfection of love is known as Krishna consciousness. Until love becomes all-inclusive it remains limited and to varying degrees self-serving. This is why we must expand love to its ultimate level. When we water the root of the tree, all the leaves and branches are nourished. When we fully give our love to the root of existence, it becomes purely distributed to all living beings.

When we develop a strong sense of love, a mood of selfless service, for the Supreme Lord then we execute all activities both spiritual and mundane absorbed in remembrance of Him. The challenge is to develop the actual loving sense. Modern man has struggled very hard to reach the moon, but he has not struggled very hard to develop his love for God. This sense of love of God can be awakened if we engage in the nine activities of devotional service as listed by Sri Prahlada Maharaja in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam


"Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)." --Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23

Out of these nine processes the easiest is hearing the Bhagavad-gita from a realized person. This hearing will turn one's thoughts to the Supreme Being. By becoming absorbed in Lord's remembrance naturally one's dormant sense of love for the Lord will be awakened. To remember Him is to love Him.

This process of Krishna consciousness is not difficult. However, one must learn it from an experienced person. This is described in the Mundaka Upanishad:

Tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet

"To realize the transcendental science one must approach a person who is already fixed in the practice of Krishna consciousness."---Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.12

By doing this, a strong sense of love of God will awaken in your heart and all of your senses will be satisfied only when they are engaged in Krishna consciousness. You will no longer be attracted to the cheap temporary thrills of this material existence.

This matter is summarized in this wonderful verse from the Narada Pancaratna:

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


"One should be free from all material designations and cleansed of all material contamination. He should be restored to his pure identity, in which he engages his senses in the service of the proprietor of the senses. That is called pure devotional service."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

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



Sri Vyas Puja--
The Most Holy Appearance Day of
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Today is the most auspicious day. It is the appearance day of my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It is he who stands out in history more than any other spiritual master, for it is only he who has spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world.

I am unlimitedly indebted to Srila Prabhupada for rescuing me from this quagmirish material existence and engaging my entire life's energy in pushing forward the Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. This is Srila Prabhupada's unlimited kindness upon me. He has truly raised me from the dead. Were it not for him I shudder to think what sort of condition I would be in at this very minute. All I can do is to try to show him my appreciation by eternally engaging my every thought, word, and deed in service that pleases him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Can I Know I Am Expressing Myself as a Spirit-Soul?


Namaste. My question today concerns identity. I know intellectually that I am jivatma (spirit-soul) and that mind, intelligence and ego are of the subtle material realm. Practically, though, I am having trouble discerning the spiritual me from the material me. How can I know without doubt that I am expressing myself as a spirit-soul and not as an ego?

Thank you

Tommi

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By Seeing If You Have Pleased the Spiritual Master...

You can know that you are expressing yourself as a spirit-soul and not with the "I am this body and mind" ego, by seeing if you have pleased the spiritual master. Therefore guru is required.

Ego is not bad. Ego simply means identity. What is bad is the false ego, "I am this body and mind." What is good is the real ego, "I am the eternal spirit-soul servant of Lord Sri Krishna."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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

Sri Krishna Janmastami

Today is Sri Krishna Janmastami, the most holy appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna. He appeared about 5,000 years ago in Mathura, India. We say appearance day and not birthday because Lord Krishna did not take birth in this material world like an ordinary human being. He is eternally existing in His original form in the Spiritual World. Sometimes out of His causeless mercy He appears within this material world for the purpose of blessing the fallen souls who are entrapped here by displaying His divine pastimes to attract them back to their original positions as His eternal servants in the Spiritual World.

Krishna is the most merciful personality in all of existence. Indeed love itself exists only because Krishna manifests it out of His infinite kindness. Janmastami is that most special day when we receive enhanced potency to connect with Sri Krishna's love and taste the unlimited bliss of reawakening our love for Him. We highly encourage you to observe Janmastami by spending the evening at your nearest ISKCON center. The list of centers can be found here:

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

On this holiest of all days the devotees fast until midnight engaging their time as much as possible all day long in hearing and and chanting about the Lord and engaging in the Lord's service. Just prior to midnight an opulent feast is offered to Lord. Then at midnight an arati is offered to the Lord with the accompaniment of ecstatic kirtan. After the arati ceremony, the devotees partake of the feast of Krishna prasadam relishing the sweet flavor of Lord Krishna' unlimited mercy. All glories to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Can Realize that Everything Belongs to Krishna?


We know that everything belongs to Krsna. But under illusion I think that I am independent. So how can we realize that everything belongs to Krsna?

Please help me.

Hare Krsna

Sandeep Gera

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Only By Complete Surrender...

The only way to realize practically that everything belongs to Krishna is to offer everything you have to Krishna. This is done by fully surrendering yourself unto Lord Krishna's representative, the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

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

Is Krishna Consciousness Relevant?


The average materialist would consider the activities of Krishna consciousness to be a foolish waste of time. They would think that the time a devotee spends chanting Hare Krishna every day could be better spent by sleeping, reading the newspaper, or watching television.

So why do we do this? Is it meaningful? Is it relevant?

The fact is that there is nothing more meaningful and relevant than the activities of Krishna consciousness. The entire world civilization is plunged into the deep, dark ocean of illusion. Because they don't know the purpose of the human form of life practically everything they do is a royal waste of time.

The only things that are really worth doing are those things which connect us with our actual identity. As long as we think, speak, and act in a way that is not consistent with the reality of who we actually are we must necessarily feel empty and frustrated.

As soon as we do all of our activities for the pleasure of Lord Sri Krishna, we feel an immediate upliftment, an immediate transformation of consciousness. If you don't believe, just try it. Give this process of Krishna consciousness a sincere try and you will be absolutely amazed and enlivened.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why So Few Krishna Conscious Devotees?


Why is it that only a minute percentage (about 2-3%) of the world population is Krishna conscious?

Sunil R. Vaswani
from Mumbai, India

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Make Others Fortunate...

I wish it were 2-3%. The actual statistic is that only a very, very small fraction (less than one per cent) of the world population is Krishna conscious. Just as many people purchase costume jewelry and only a small percentage purchase diamonds, similarly Krishna consciousness is accepted only by a very small percentage of the world population. This tendency is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

manusyanam sahasresu
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah


"Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth."---Bhagavad-gita 7.3

One has to be very, very fortunate to become Krishna conscious. It is a special gift that is rarely achieved. Now that you have received it, you must dedicate your life to becoming perfect in Krishna consciousness and making others fortunate by spreading this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, August 14, 2006

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

Focus on Purity


Nowadays there is an ever-increasing interest in purity...pure water, pure air, a pure environment. But we should never forget that real purity begins in the mind. The mind is the subtle platform while water, air, and the environment are on the gross platform.

The gross platform is simply a manifestation of the subtle platform. If our minds are polluted, naturally the environment will be polluted. And if our minds are pure naturally the world around us will become pure.

The process for purifying the mind is simple and easy. All we have to do is regularly chant the holy names of the Lord with love and devotion:

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


Dive into the ocean of nectar of today. Don't remain in the dense, dark Age of Kali for one minute longer.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Perfectly Distributed Love...


1. How do I practically give all my love to Krishna?

2. By doing so how will I purely love my family members? (if possible, please give a practical illustration.)

Your student,

Bhakta Pradeep

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Here's How...

The practical method for giving all of your love to Krishna is to fully surrender yourself at the lotus feet of Lord Krishna's pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master, conducting all of your life's activities solely under the spiritual master's direction.

When you channel love purely in this way, it is then automatically distributing through Krishna to all living beings throughout the total existence. This of course includes your present family members.

In this state of Krishna consciousness you will see your family members as they actually are. You will see them as pure spirit-souls, part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You will see how they are lost in the cycle of birth and death. You will do everything possible to try to deliver them from their entanglement within Maya. In this way you will give them the purest love possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

from Houston, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

We Can Stop Terrorism Now


The present world society is very much besieged by terrorism, and people are bewildered to understand why this is happening. Anyone, however, with even a rudimentary understanding of the law of karma can easily understand what is the cause of terrorism and what is the actual solution.

Because we are so much terrorizing cows and other animals in the slaughterhouses and because we are so much terrorizing our own unborn children in the abortion clinics, it is natural that our karma will be that we must also be terrorized. This is confirmed in the Bible: "As you sow, so shall you reap." It is also confirmed by the laws of physics: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

If we want at peace at all, we have to completely revamp our modern day society. The only way we can put a stop to terrorism is that we have to stop committing it ourselves. Instead of cruelly murdering our four-legged brothers and sisters for devouring their flesh, we can subsist on fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains offered with love and devotion to Lord Sri Krishna. Instead of cruelly murdering our own children, we can allow them to take their human birth and lovingly give them the ultimate gift, Krishna consciousness. It is not an easy thing to get the opportunity for human birth. It is only obtained after transmigrating through millions of births. To deprive someone of their human birth after they've come so close to getting it is the greatest crime that one can commit against another living being.

We can stop terrorism now. Are we willing to pay the price of giving up our sense gratification? This is my strong challenge to the leaders of the world society and to the population in general. They can accept or reject my advice. That is up to them. I hope they will take it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Do People Have to Suffer So Much?


What I do not understand is why people have to suffer so much. I can understand that we do many wrong and terrible things ourselves during our lifetimes, but still if God is so loving how can God allow so much pain, illness and suffering?

Thank you,

Hare Krishna

Yvonne

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We Do Not Have to Suffer...

God is only good and beautiful. He is Krishna, the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead. He wants that we experience nothing but unlimited joy. We do not have to suffer. It is completely unnecessary. The only reason we suffer is due to our mistake of misusing our free will by engaging ourselves in sense gratification rather than the Lord's service. This is why the bona fide spiritual master mercifully takes the time and trouble to come and enlighten us with transcendental knowledge. If we can submissively hear from the bona fide spiritual master and follow his instructions, we can very quickly become relieved from all the suffering conditions of this material existence. The best book to read in order to get a clear understanding of these matters is the Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

from Houston, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Explosion-Proof Soul

While finalizing our air travel arrangements for our upcoming around-the-world lecture tour, we were informed that there was a terrorist plot to commit mass murder upon air travelers by causing a series of mid-air explosions on different jetliners flying over the Atlantic ocean from Britain to the USA. Such news is not at all surprising for those who are learned in the Vedic wisdom. That the material world is a dangerous place is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam


"For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf's hoof-print. Their goal is param padam, Vaikuntha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step." Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.58

By taking shelter of Lord Krishna we can easily cross over this dangerous place. Indeed this now-more-than-ever dangerous world becomes reduced to insignificancy for those who fully place themselves at the Lord's lotus feet.

The fact remains that the time of my death can not and will not be determined by a terrorist. The time of my death remains always under the control of God. There is a very nice Bengali saying in this connection:

rakhe krsna mare ke
mare krsna rakhe ke


"If Lord Krishna protects a person, who can kill him? And if Krishna desires to kill someone, who can protect him?"

So a devotee has nothing to be afraid of. He executes due caution to protect himself from danger, while understanding fully well that ultimately everything is in the hands of Krishna. A devotee feels always safe and secure knowing that Krishna, the Supreme Controller, is always protecting his explosion-proof soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

When Does the Spiritual Master Take Complete Responsibility?


I have a small doubt regarding accepting a Spiritual Master.

In ISKCON, a person who is interested to take diksha (initiation) from a Guru, should first of all take shelter from him and then slowly proceed towards taking diksha. When exactly, does the Spiritual Master take the complete responsibility of his disciple, at the time of giving shelter or at the time of giving diksha?

Your servant in Krishna Consciousness,

manoj kumar

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When the Disciple Surrenders...

In the Bhagavad-gita Arjuna submits himself unto Lord Sri Krishna as follows:

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."
Bhagavad-gita 2.7

Here we see the mood of full surrender to the spiritual master. When the disciple is like this, the spiritual master can take full responsibility for delivering his disciple back to home, back to Godhead.

The spiritual master takes responsibility for delivering the disciple according to the degree of surrender of that disciple. One's degree of surrender is a matter of the heart. It is not a matter of merely sitting for an initiation ceremony.

The answer in short is that the spiritual master takes responsibility when the disciple surrenders.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, August 11, 2006

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

Return to the Unlimitedly Sweet Spiritual Sky


Just as a blazing fire and wet wood are incompatible, similarly material sense gratification and Krishna consciousness go ill together. We can't really mix them. Material sense gratification means to gratify the material senses beyond what is necessary to keep body and soul. In this connection it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

kamasya nendriya-pritir
labho jiveta yavata
jivasya tattva-jijnasa
nartho yas ceha karmabhih


"Life's desires should never be directed toward sense gratification. One should desire only a healthy life, or self-preservation, since a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's works."--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.10

If we sincerely try our best to follow this instruction, we will have a peaceful, happy life and at the end of this body we will return to our original home in the unlimitedly sweet Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Love Only For Krishna?


In one of your emails you said to love Krishna and no one else. Does that mean that if we were to become Krishna conscious we wouldn't love our family members?

Thank you for your time,

Daniel
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Perfectly Distributed Love...

It is only when you fully give all of your love to Krishna that you can purely love your family members. By channeling all of your love to Krishna it then becomes perfectly distributed to all living beings, just as by watering the root of a tree all the leaves and branches become nourished. If you try to water the leaves and branches separately, they will not get sufficient water.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

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

The Key to Eternity, Knowledge, and Bliss


On November 25, 1966 His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was just beginning his International Society for Krishna Consciousness. At that time it was only four months old. In his own written hand on that day he posted the following notice outlining to his original followers the basic rules and regulations that they should follow for the purpose of awakening their dormant Krishna consciousness. These basic principles are just as essential today as they were in 1966.
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Notice:
All initiated devotees must attend morning and evening classes.
Must not be addicted to any kind of intoxicants including coffee, tea and cigarettes.
They are forbidden to have illicit sex-connections.
Must be strictly vegetarian.
Should not extensively mix with non-devotees.
Should not eat foodstuff cooked by non-devotees.
Should not waste time in idle talks nor
Engage himself in frivolous sports.
Should always chant and sing the Lord's Holy names.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
____

Thank you,

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Acharya.

International Society for Krishna Consciousness
26 Second Avenue
New York, NY

Dated Nov. 25, 1966

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Here is a copy of the original notice. You can download and save this for your own archives of Krishna Consciousness treasures: http://www.backtohome.com/notice

Those who are not enlightened in Krishna consciousness may find these to be constrictive and intrusive. But those who are realized in transcendental knowledge appreciate how these principles form the very key that unlocks the door to eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Is It Wrong to Ask Krishna for Material Benefits?


In connection to what has been posted on today's "Thought for the Day" I have a question. Is it wrong to ask Lord Sri Krishna for a material benefit or anything at all? Is it not our dependence on Him that makes us seek Him for everything? (I am including material and spiritual benefits here by mentioning everything) Kindly clarify my doubt.

My humble namaskarams,

Sri Vidya

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Krishna Automatically Fulfills Material Needs. Better to Ask for Bhakti...

Our dependence on Krishna is a fact. But this does not mean that we have to approach him for the fulfillment of our desires. This self-centered mood of wanting to use Him for the fulfillment of our desires is the root cause of our entanglement in the cycle of birth and death.

Just as a parent naturally makes sure that his children are well fed, Krishna is already taking care of our material needs. Did we ever have to ask our parents if they would feed us? No, of course not! Because they love us, they always made sure that we were well fed. So why do we think that we have to petition God for the fulfillment of our needs? This is our less intelligence.

Ask not what Krishna can do for you. Ask what you do for Krishna. This is how we should be praying. We should simply be thinking how we can serve God with love 24 hours daily.

This is the mood of pure bhakti. This is how we will become liberated from the unlimited sufferings of this material existence. Only this pure bhakti mood will satisfy the yearning of the soul. Nothing else. Begging God to give us this and that will leave us feeling dirty-hearted and unsatisfied even if we get our prayers answered.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

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

The Krishna Consciousness Renaissance

Struggling hard for nothing is the asinine quality of our modern civilization. There is so much completely unnecessary endeavor. God has given us everything we need to be happy. But because we have invented our own ideas of what we need to be happy, we struggle like anything to fulfill our artificial desires. We have constructed an entire world civilization based on the principle of material sense gratification, the philosophy that we can be happy by satisfying the demands of the gross material body and the subtle mind, intelligence, and ego.

But nothing could be further from the truth, because the body is not us, nor are the mind, intelligence, and false ego us. The real self is the eternal spiritual being who dwells within the subtle and gross material bodies. It's only when we focus on satisfying the needs of the real self that our world culture will arise out of the present Dark Age into the light of the Krishna Consciousness Renaissance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Can God Make a Rock That Is So Big That He Cannot Lift It?


I have been presenting the Vedic viewpoint on a questions and answers forum over the internet in recent weeks, one question that I am sure you have encountered many times, is the paradox that some atheists present in a question, in an attempt to defeat the establishment of an omnipotent God, the question presented is a meaningless one, that contradicts itself in a paradox, for example "Can God make a rock that is so big, that he could not lift it?' or "Can God write a sentence so long, that he cannot read it" and recently due to the "Homer Simpson" society that we live in " Can God make a burrito so hot, that he couldn't eat it?

The short answer to these question's is No, or another answer is that this would produce an infinite regression of causality, or another answer is that the limited cannot understand the limits of the unlimited, because there aren't any. The question is of course circular reasoning, when an immovable object meets an irrepressible force what happens? In the spiritual world, I understand that one plus one equals one and one minus one equals one. Is there anyway to defeat this somewhat challenging question in another way?

With much respect and affection.

Your servant,

Bhakta Michael Gatt

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God Can Do Anything Conceivable or Inconceivable...

The fact is that God CAN make a rock that is so big that He cannot lift it. And then He can also lift it. In other words He can lift it and He cannot lift it simultaneously. This amazing nature of God is described very nicely in the Sri Isopanisad Mantra 5 as follows:

tad ejati tan naijati
tad dure tad v antike
tad antar asya sarvasya
tad u sarvasyasya bahyatah


"The Supreme Lord walks and does not walk. He is far away, but He is very near as well. He is within everything, and yet He is outside of everything."

In this connection our ISKCON Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada describes as follows:

"Here is a description of some of the Supreme Lord's transcendental activities, executed by His inconceivable potencies. The contradictions given here prove the inconceivable potencies of the Lord. 'He walks, and He does not walk.' Ordinarily, if someone can walk, it is illogical to say he cannot walk. But in reference to God, such a contradiction simply serves to indicate His inconceivable power. With our limited fund of knowledge we cannot accommodate such contradictions, and therefore we conceive of the Lord in terms of our limited powers of understanding."

So in conclusion we can understand therefore that there is absolutely nothing that is impossible for the Lord to accomplish. If God does not possess inconceivable potency, there is no meaning to His being called "God." The fact is that Lord Krishna has acintya shakti, inconceivable power to do anything and everything both within our conception and even far, far beyond what we can conceive of in our wildest imagination.

The atheist who thinks that he has trapped and defeated the theist by such asinine arguments does nothing except to make an ass out of himself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, August 8, 2006

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

Deeply Relishing the Full Nectar of Existence


In this world everyone is looking for enjoyment, the best enjoyment that they can possibly experience. But the fact is that no one is really satisfied. Everyone lives with a sense of frustration that they are not tasting the full nectar of existence.

We invite all such frustrated souls whoever they be and wherever they be throughout the vastness of this universe to seriously take up the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

In this connection it is explained in the Kali Santarana Upanishad as follows:

"At the end of Dvapara Yuga, Narada, after traveling the world, approached Lord Brahma and asked him:

'How may I overcome the (evil effects of)  Kali Yuga?'

Brahma said: 'You have asked me an excellent question. I shall reveal to you the secret of all Vedas, by which you will cross over the (ocean of) samsara filled with the bad effects of the Kali Yuga. This secret must be preserved and protected. By merely uttering the names of the Primeval Purusha, who is Bhagavan Narayana, one is freed from the clutches of Kali.'

Narada asked again: 'What are those names of Narayana?'

Brahma said:

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

This collection of sixteen names (of Narayana) destroys the evils of the Kali Yuga. I don't see any other effective means (of liberation) in the Vedas.'"

So if you want to overcome all the inauspicious qualities of the dangerous ocean of the Age of Kali, kindly dedicate your life fully right now to purely chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra every day without fail. In this way you will deeply relish the full nectar of existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Wish Not Granted Is a Dilemma for Me...


I have a very serious topic to discuss. We always hear success stories about the wishes granted to us by the Almighty, which is followed by thanksgiving. I want to know that suppose you have pledged something very dear to you and the wish is not granted within a time frame and in a way you have 'missed the bus'. What do you do about your vow? It is a dilemma for me . Do advise me on this.

Seeking your blessings.

Jai Shree Krishna

Vandana

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Make God's Wishes Your Wishes...

The mistake we make when we approach God, is that we approach him with our wish list of what we want. This is the wrong approach. The proper way is that we should approach the Lord to see what He wants of us. We must give up our self-centeredness and becoming fully and purely God-centered. In such a state of mind all our desires will be fulfilled and we will feel complete peace and satisfaction at every minute for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, August 7, 2006

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

The Epitome of Mellifluousness


Nothing is more mellifluous or full of sweetness than Krishna consciousness. Indeed it is the epitome of mellifluousness. Nothing is more full of sweetness. It is oozing with unlimited oceans of nectar enough to unlimitedly satisfy every one throughout the entire universe.

Unfortunately at the present moment there is a great scarcity of Krishna consciousness throughout the world. It is very difficult to find it. It is the rarest commodity.

If you somehow or other find yourself having access to Krishna consciousness, you are one of the most fortunate persons in the entire universe. Don't waste your opportunity. Dedicate yourself fully to complete awakening of your dormant Krishna consciousness while you have the chance. Then you will have first hand experience of just how mellifluous (full of sweetness) Krishna consciousness actually is.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Can I Make Progress in My Chanting?


I want to know what we have to do while chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. I am chanting it for one year, but I am not able to get any development either materially or spiritually. How can I make progress in my chanting?

Your student

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Here's the Secret...

Your problem is that you are thinking only of what you can get out of the mantra. You should be thinking of how you can please Krishna by chanting His names with love. If you do this, you will immediately feel the benefits. Try to take this mood of humble servant and you will be amazed by what you experience.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, August 6, 2006

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

Wonderful Krishna Consciousness


How wonderful is this process of Krishna consciousness. By attaining Krishna we achieve the highest perfection of spiritual existence, the supreme state of spiritual enlightenment. It is called Bhagavan realization. It surpasses and includes all previous stages of spiritual awakening. In this stage of Krishna consciousness one becomes qualified to re-enter the spiritual world and never come back again to the material world, which is so full of suffering and in which we have to always be fearful of death.

This is confirmed by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows

mam upetya punar janma
duhkhalayam asasvatam
napnuvanti mahatmanah
samsiddhim paramam gatah


"After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection."
Bhagavad-gita 8.15

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Chant the Name of Lord Rama?


This movement is mainly about Krishna Consciousness. Why then do we add the name of Lord Rama in the Hare Krishna Mahamantra?

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

Is there any particular significance or connection for adding the name of Lord Rama?

Rohini

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"Rama" is Also a Name of Lord Krishna...

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is known both as Krishna, the All-Attractive one, and as Rama, the Supreme Enjoyer. The name Rama refers not only to Lord Rama. It also directly refers to Krishna in His aspect of being the Supreme Enjoyer.

Sankarshan Das Adhikar

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Saturday, August 5, 2006

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

The Perfection of Love


In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna states:

ananyas cintayanto mam
ye janah paryupasate
tesam nityabhiyuktanam
yoga-ksemam vahamy aham


"For those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form -- I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have." Bhagavad-gita 9.22

It's a fact that we face so many difficulties in this material world, one after another, after another. The key to completely conquering over this ocean of difficulties is to accept Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as the only object of our affection. This is the meaning of exclusive devotion. I love Krishna and no one else.

As soon as we agree to do this we will see how our love will flow perfectly through Krishna to all living beings throughout the entire universe. This is the perfection of love and the only state of being that will fully satisfy us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How to Increase Faith and Conviction?

I want to know how a person can increase his faith that he is not the body, but is instead a pure spirit soul. How can we increase our faith and conviction and advance in Krishna consciousness?

Sandeep

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By Following Strictly the Bhakti Path...

The way to increase your faith is to strictly follow the principles of sadhana bhakti as follows:

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. Associate with and serve the devotees of Lord Krishna as much as possible

In this way you will gradually become liberated from conditioned consciousness and personally experience all the truths that are mentioned in the Vedic scriptures. Your faith will become perfect.

If you have personally experienced water by seeing it and tasting it, you will have full faith that it exists. Similarly, by personally experiencing the truths of Krishna consciousness, you will have unflinching faith in them.

So now strictly and fully take up the bhakti path and you will personally realize all the truths contained in the Vedic wisdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, August 4, 2006

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

Remaining Happy in All Circumstances


This world is a place of ups and downs. Sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down. To always be buffeted by the waves of this material nature is not a very pleasant situation to be in. There is is a better way. It is called Krishna consciousness.

Krishna consciousness places us beyond the ups and downs of this material world. The happiness of Krishna consciousness has nothing to do with the happiness and distress of this material world. It is completely transcendental. When one is situated in pure Krishna consciousness, he is completely impervious to all the variegated circumstances that are encountered in this world. He relishes sweet transcendental nectar at every step of his existence no matter what is going on around him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Are We Responsible for Our Karma?


Is our karma destined by the almighty? Are we responsible for our karma?

Rima

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Yes, We Are Responsible...

Man is the architect of his destiny. He has created his karma by his willful rebellion against the supremacy of God. And now he must take all the reactions. But if he will utilize his free will to again harmonize himself with the Lord, he can bring to a quick close the endless chain of karmic reaction.

In this connection Krishna assures in the Bhagavad-gita:

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

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

So all we have to do is to surrender fully to Krishna. He will free us from all of our karma.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

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

Dare to Know Who You Are


In this world of ignorance of the self it takes a great act of courage to step away from the mass psychosis of bodily consciousness and seek knowledge of the actual nature of the self. Except in very rare cases, our teachers, friends, and parents discourage us from putting time and energy into the pursuit for self-knowledge, thinking that making money is more important.

But what good is all the money in the world if you don't even know who you are? It is far better to be a wise poor man than a rich fool because the wise man will live his life in such a way that he will not take birth again. The fool, on the other hand, even if he is rich, will squander his energy on useless pursuits that deepen his entanglement in the cycle of birth and death.

Of course there is no harm in becoming materially successful if we engage that success in the Lord's service. The key of success is simply to engage absolutely everything we have in the Lord's service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

How Can the Lord Be Controlled?


One thing you have written has troubled me. You wrote about Lord Krishna being controlled by those who love him. This troubles me because according to my understanding it's impossible to control the Supreme Lord!!

Please clear my query.

Hare Krishna,

Your student

Mahima

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Only by Love...

It is a good thing that you have approached the spiritual master to clear your doubt. This is the recommended system given by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. It is not that we should blindly accept things. When something is not understood, we should approach higher authorities to get the matter cleared.

It's a fact that for a conditioned soul it is certainly impossible to control the Lord. It's also impossible for a conditioned soul to understand how someone could control the Lord. But a liberated soul who has completely surrendered himself unto the Lord can definitely conquer the Lord by his love. Do you not know the example of Mother Yasoda who was able to bind Lord Krishna around the waist with ropes in His childhood Damodar pastimes?

My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, gives an example to help our understanding in this connection. The example is of the one of the prime ministers of the British Empire, how he has controlled by the love of grandson:

"There is a story about Prime Minister Gladstone. He was prime minister, so many people come to him. So one man came and the doorman said, 'He is now busy. Wait.' So he was waiting for one hour. Then he became impatient; he wanted to see what this gentleman is doing. So he saw that he has become a horse, and his grandchild is driving him. So why the prime minister had become a horse to take his grandchild on his back and enjoy? Is he a horse? This is out of love, enjoying. He was not wasting time. The other visitors were waiting. This is love."

In the same way if one through complete surrender, pure loving devotion. becomes an intimate associate of God, the Lord will sometimes agree to be controlled by that devotee in the intimacy of loving exchange. In the material world such things are inconceivable, but for the liberated souls in the spiritual sky such inconceivably amazing pastimes are regular daily affairs.

If you still find this incomprehensible, all I can say is that you should go back to the spiritual world so that you can experience such intimate loving dealings between the Lord and His devotees first hand. Then you will definitely be convinced.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, August 2, 2006

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

Breaking Open the Storehouse of Love of God


Krishna only rarely blesses a living being with pure love for Him. Why? Because anyone who develops pure love for God has the power to control Him. Therefore Krishna is very, very careful regarding upon whom He bestows the ultimate spiritual perfection, pure love for God. He only very rarely gives out this supreme benediction.

But in His form as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, He is far, far more merciful. As Lord Caitanya He breaks open the tightly restricted storehouse of love of God, plunders it, and freely distributes its contents to all the suffering, illusioned souls of this world. Lord Caitanya makes spiritual perfection easily within the reach of everyone.

All you have to do to connect with the mercy of Lord Caitanya is to chant these names with great love and devotion:

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

If you are not already doing so immediately add an hour or two of ecstatic chanting to your daily routine. You will experience unlimited nectar!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Isn't It Better to Sing the Name of Jesus with Love?


Isn't it better to sing the name of Jesus with love than to chant the Hare Krishna mantra without love?

Regards,

Vitra

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If You Truly Love One, You Will Automatically Love the Other...

How can someone love the son without the loving the father? Or how can someone love the father without loving the son?

If someone thinks that they only love the son and not the father, their love for the son is imaginary. It is not real. Such pseudo love is not accepted by the son, nor is it accepted by the father.

Similarly, if someone thinks that they only love the father and not the son, their love for the father is also imaginary, not real, and not acceptable by either the father or the son.

God, the Son, in the form of Jesus Christ, taught that we must love his father. Therefore if we actually love Jesus, we will obey his order to love his father, Lord Sri Krishna. God, the Father, Lord Sri Krishna teaches us to love everyone, especially His pure devotees such as Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore if we actually love Krishna, we must also love Lord Jesus Christ.

If you truly love one, you will automatically love the other. Is this clear to you?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006

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

It's High Time for a New Paradigm


Enough is enough. It's time to put a stop to bodily consciousness. It's the root cause of all the suffering that is going on in this material world today on all levels of the social strata. The rich are suffering due to bodily consciousness. The poor are suffering due to bodily consciousness. And the middle class is also suffering due to bodily consciousness. Everyone is suffering due to bodily consciousness.

For the peace and prosperity of all we desperately need to replace bodily consciousness with Krishna consciousness, the understanding and realization that I am not this body and am instead a pure spiritual being servant of God, eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. There is an urgent need for this awakening now to occur within the hearts of all. We must now vigorously introduce the Krishna consciousness paradigm in every town, village, and hamlet throughout the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Questions and Answers:

Why Krishna in Different Colors?


I still have a question on Krishna's color and I have attached three photos of Krishna painted black, White and bluish. As a painter, I know a bluish-black and have seen some paintings of Krishna in that color and I think we should always maintain the standard bluish-black color to avoid any confusion. I remember getting confused by a black picture and on enquiry I was told that it was Krishna.

Thank you for your great work in the service of Srila Prabhupada.

Your student,

Tobenna

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Marble Deities are Not Painted...

The photos you sent me showed one form of Krishna painted blue. This a special form made for an exhibit at ISKCON's museum in Los Angeles.

The other two forms were marble deities of Krishna that were not painted. One deity was made of white marble and the other deity was made of black marble. Traditionally marble deities of Krishna are not painted. Therefore Krishna will have whatever color happens to be the natural color of the marble.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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