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Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada


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Saturday 30 September 2006

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Back to Home, Back to ISKCON Helsinki

Every time we return to ISKCON Helsinki we feel like we are returning to our home. The devotees here are so nicely absorbed in hearing, chanting, and remembering the Lord that as soon as one comes into their presence one feels as if he has re-entered his eternal home.

Such places as this where the Lord is always being glorified are described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.6.3:

na yatra sravanadini
rakso-ghnani sva-karmasu
kurvanti satvatam bhartur
yatudhanyas ca tatra hi


"My dear King, wherever people in any position perform their occupational duties of devotional service by chanting and hearing, there cannot be any danger from bad elements. Therefore there was no need for anxiety about Gokula while the Supreme Personality of Godhead was personally present.

This same principle of auspiciousness can be expanded to cover the entire world. Therefore our mission is to absorb the entire world in hearing and chanting the Lord's sweet transcendental glories.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Name All Gurus from Caitanya Up to You...


I would like to know who is your guru and who is the guru of your guru.

If possible please name me all the gurus in disciplic succession since Caitanya Mahaprabhu up to you.

Are you a Member of the ISKCON┤s Governing Body Commission?

Please receive my respects,

Mario E. Rodriguez

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Answer: Twelfth from Lord Caitanya...

I am a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the disciple of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur.

Our disciplic succession up to myself and my Godbrothers is as follows:

1. Lord Caitanya
2. Rupa Goswami, Svarupa Damodar, Sanatana Goswami
3. Raghunatha Das Goswami, Jiva Goswami
4. Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami
5. Narottam Das Thakur
6. Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur
7. Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Jagannatha Das Babaji
8. Bhaktivinode Thakur
9. Gaurakisora das Babaji
10. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur
11. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
12. Disciples of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Some critics have complained that Srila Prabhupada wanted the disciplic succession to stop with him, that he did not want his disciples to continue the disciplic succession. But nothing could be further from the truth. He clearly told us, his disciples, during an arrival lecture on 18 May 1972 in Los Angeles, California, USA:

"My Guru Maharaja is tenth from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I am eleventh, you are the twelfth."

I am not a member of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission (GBC). I have been requested not to be a member of the GBC so that I can focus my energies 100% on counseling my students in the science of bhakti without having to divert my time and energy for managerial issues.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday 29 September 2006

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Resolution for All Conflicts


If you throw your rock into a pond and I throw my rock into a pond, the waves of your rock will clash with the waves of my rock. However, if we both throw our rocks into exactly the same place, there will be no clash. This is what we now need in our modern day society. We need to find out what is the common central point that we all can rally around.

There is a source for all that exists. We are all emanations from that original source. Therefore the original source of all energies is the common central point for everyone and everything. If we can simply re-harmonize ourselves with that source, we will all become peaceful and happy. It is therefore up to the world leaders to find out what is that original source and connect themselves and their followers with that original source. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna reveals that He is that original source for all that exists.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Has Pastimes?


Krishna is atmarama, in a self satisfied stage. But one of the primary reasons behind doing his pastimes is to increase his own pleasure. If Krishna is atmarama, then why he wants more pleasure?

Tarun
India
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Answer: To Please His Devotees...

The fact is that Krishna is atmarama; He is fully self-satisfied. He does not require anything else beyond Himself to be satisfied. He is fully self-sufficient because His very transcendental existence is total bliss. Therefore He is not in need of anything. But out of His unlimited kindness upon His parts and parcels, the living entities, to enable them to be fully happy, He allows them to serve Him in multi-varieties of ways: in neutrality, as a servant, as a friend, as a parent, or as a conjugal lover.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 28 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

On the Nectarean Road Again


Today it is onward from Sofia, Bulgaria to Helsinki, Finland. The nectar we've tasted here in Sofia in the association of the devotees has truly been beyond this world. All we can do is thank Lord Krishna for so kindly giving us this opportunity to travel and preach on his behalf. There is truly no taste like Krishna consciousness anywhere in the three worlds. When the world finally wakes up and discovers this, it will be the dawning of a new age of peace and prosperity for all. May that day come soon. May that day come soon.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Self Realization and Self Knowledge...


What is the Difference Between Self Realization & Self Knowledge?

Your aspiring humble servant,
(Bhakta) Rajesh Narayana
Dubai, U.A.E

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Answer: Knowledge in Action...

Knowledge of the self means to know that the self is pure spirit-soul and is the eternal servant of God.

Realization of the self is to be practically engaged in devotional service under the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master. In short, realization is knowledge in action.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday 27 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

How to Recognize a Pure Devotee?


The association of a pure devotee of Krishna is indeed very rare. If we are somehow or other fortunate enough to receive such transcendental mercy, it is the greatest boon. How do we recognize such a great personality in a world that is so full of sophisticated cheaters and con men? By carefully studying the twenty-six qualities of the pure devotee given in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita we can understand who is a pure devotee and thus know from whom we should learn the transcendental science of self-realization.

The twenty-six qualities of the pure devotee are as follows:

(1) He is very kind to everyone. (2) He does not make anyone his enemy. (3) He is truthful. (4) He is equal to everyone. (5) No one can find any fault in him. (6) He is magnanimous. (7) He is mild. (8) He is always clean. (9) He is without possessions. (10) He works for everyone's benefit. (11) He is very peaceful. (12) He is always surrendered to Krishna. (13) He has no material desires. (14) He is very meek. (15) He is steady. (16) He controls his senses. (17) He does not eat more than required. (18) He is not influenced by the Lord's illusory energy. (19) He offers respect to everyone. (20) He does not desire any respect for himself. (21) He is very grave. (22) He is merciful. (23) He is friendly. (24) He is poetic. (25) He is expert. (26) He is silent.

I was fortunate to meet and take shelter of a pure devotee, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. His mercy has completely transformed my life far, far beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I was seeking spiritual enlightenment, but I was blessed with that which minimizes the value of liberation from the repetition of birth and death, pure Krishna bhakti. Krishna bhakti cannot be realized intellectually. It can only be realized by being blessed by the dust of the feet of Krishna's pure devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Does One Get Initiated?


I read that since Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is still alive through all his teachings that he still qualifies as a spiritual teacher. You can learn from him by reading his books and listening to his lectures. Is this a fact? If so, how could one get initiated?

Daniel

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Answer: As a Disciple of Srila Prabhupada's Disciple...

Yes, Srila Prabhupada is fully potent to instruct, bless, and inspire us through his books and through his disciples. His instructions will be the guiding principles for the entire Vaisnava world for many thousands of years. He is teaching us the science of pure Krishna bhakti in a more powerful and effective way than has ever been done before in the history of the universe.

Regarding initiation, the most important step of one's formal entrance into the world of Krishna consciousness, his instruction to us was that after his disappearance the new followers that join his movement should become the disciples of his disciples.

So in this regard, when you feel you are ready to commit yourself to being an initiated follower of Srila Prabhupada's movement, you may choose one of his disciples to accept as your initiating guru. You may contact that guru or your local ISKCON leader and reveal your desire to be initiated. They will then instruct you on how to prepare yourself for initiation. Since I am one of the initiating gurus, you may inquire from me, or you may inquire from your temple president or from any one of my many Godbrothers who are also initiating gurus.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday 26 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Experiencing Blissful Reality As It Is


It is very common for people to try to escape reality because they consider it to be cruel and inauspicious. They would rather close their eyes to the obvious miseries of birth, death, old age, and disease and live in a concocted dream world built upon the unstable platform of material society, friendship and love. They feel very safe and secure in their sand castle existence until the tide finally comes in and washes it away into the sea of the birth and death.

Those who are brave enough and intelligent enough to reject the so-called security of the mass psychosis are candidates for realizing truth in its original pure form. This highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth annihilates all the miseries of material existence and enables one to enter into reality as it is, a reality which is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How is Devotion Different from Love?

You always mention that we have to chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra with love and devotion. Could you please explain what is the meaning of devotion and how is it different from love? Also, what is the meaning of devotional service, and how is it different form loving devotional service? Also, what is the meaning of Bhakti Yoga?

Also, while chanting the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, what are we supposed to think apart from listening to the Maha Mantra?

I am very much confused with all these and would be glad to hear your explanations on the same.

Your Servant,

Bhakta Pradeep

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Answer: Devotion is Love in Practice...

Devotion is love in practice. Love is a strong affection or admiration for someone. Devotion is when we are willing to do something for our beloved, that we do not simply passively admire our beloved.

Devotional service is the practical result of devotion. If you are devoted to someone, you will naturally serve them. Devotional service is automatically loving devotional service because wherever there is devotion, love must automatically be there. Bhakti yoga is devotional service.

There is no need to think about anything else. All you have to do is focus your mind on clearly pronouncing and hearing the Hare Krishna Mahamantra:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 25 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Happy in All Circumstances

This material world always presents us with all kinds of experiences. Some are pleasant. Some are mediocre. And some some are just down right horrible. The wonderful thing about Krishna consciousness is that you can be happy in all circumstances, no matter what. To achieve this state of transcendental consciousness one has to always think, speak, and act in a way that is fully pleasing to the Lord. By practicing this art one will learn to appreciate everything one experiences as the special mercy of Lord Sri Krishna and thus never be disturbed in any situation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Our Relationship with Krishna Be Changed?

Does the devotional relationship each living entity has with Krishna ever change - e.g. can the living entity change from loving and serving him as a mother to that of a friend or conjugal lover?

Is there any degree of difference in the sound omkara and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra?

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

If no, then why is it advised by Lord Caitanya to chant the Mahamantra rather than the syllable om?

Thank you for your kindness,

sincerely

your student

Rebecca

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Answer: Yes, There is Full Freedom in the Spiritual World...

Because there is full freedom in the spiritual world, if one chooses to change his relationship with Krishna, he is free to do so. This is confirmed by my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

One who is not able to chant the personal name of God, may chant Om instead and still receive transcendental benefit. However, the personal name of God is more effective for attracting His mercy, just like the difference between someone addressing you, "Hey, you" or someone addressing you "Rebecca." You will naturally be more favorably inclined towards someone who addresses you in a more personal way.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 24 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

There is Nothing Sweeter than Krishna Katha


The perfection of the ears and the tongue is to engage them in the topics of the Lord, Krishna katha. There is truly nothing sweeter or more relishable than this. It is so sweet that one can continue in this way for hours and hours without feeling tired. That day when the world wakes up to the nectar of Krishna katha will be the beginning of a golden era of peace and prosperity for all.

The wonderful glories of Krishna katha are described by the Lord Himself in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

mac-citta mad-gata-prana
bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam
tusyanti ca ramanti ca

"The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me." Bhagavad-gita 10.9

Do yourself a favor. Find someone who is willing to engage with you in Krishna katha and start churning that ocean of unlimited nectar today!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Relishing the topics of Krishna in the association of devotees
in Sofia, Bulgaria--22 September 2006

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is Krishna?...


Please tell me who is Krishna? I am new with understanding self realization. When I pray (chant) (meditate) I am speaking directly to God, also son Jesus and Holy Spirit. But in your chants you are calling on other names Please tell me who they represent, and why you call upon them.

Thank you

Lydia

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Answer: that Supreme Person Who is the origin of all that exists...

Krishna is the most perfect and complete name for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that Supreme Person Who is the origin of all that exists. He is known by different names according to different languages. In English He is called "God." In Sanskrit He is called "Krishna."

In English we call water "water." In Spanish it is known as "agua." Whether we refer to it as water or as agua, the substance is the same. Similarly whether we address the Supreme Person as God, Krishna, Allah, or Jehovah, etc. the person is the same. What matters is not the particular name we use. What matters is that we approach Him selflessly with pure love.

Each and every one of the unlimited names for God describe different of His various attractive qualities. The name "Krishna" is most perfect and most complete because it refers simultaneously to all of His attractive qualities and therefore contains all of the other names for God within the two syllables "krish" and "na."

We chant His name with love calling for Him to deliver us from the repetition of birth and death by accepting us as His eternal servants.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 23 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Initiating New Disciples into Our Spiritual Family


Yesterday here in Sofia, upon the recommendation of the president of ISKCON's Sofia temple I accepted four new disciples. The new disciples are as follows:

Nitaicandra das, Gauracandra das, Guru Nistha devi dasi, and Prema Manjari devi dasi.

Initiation is the most auspicious step that one can take in one's life. It is the moment that the aspiring devotee fully enters into transcendental existence. If the disciple takes their initiation vows and always executes them seriously, their spiritual perfection is guaranteed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Premamanjari devi dasi's Initiation Ceremony
in Sofia, Bulgaria   22 September 2006

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Help Me Get Out of Maya...


I am facing one major problem for the last one week. I need your help. I beg to you to help me out of this mess. I feel like i am getting into the clutches of maya (illusion) again and again. I beg to you, please help me out please give me a good concrete solution.

If Krishna says that if there is Godhead then there is no maya, then why am I getting into the clutches of maya?

I beg you to please help me out.

A fallen soul

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Answer: Increase the Quality and Quantity of Your Chanting...

If you are being overwhelmed by the influence of the illusory energy, you simply have to increase the quality and quantity of your chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, and by the power of Krishna's transcendental mercy you will be delivered.

Chant these names as much as you can with the full attention and devotion:

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


The result will be amazingly sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday,  22 September 2006

 from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Ever-Increasing Enthusiasm

It's foolish and completely unnecessary to suffer in this material existence.  All you have to do is reconnect yourself with your original spiritual nature.  The easiest way to do that is by chanting the holy names of God with love and devotion. The holy names of the Lord are so wonderful that the mere sound of the holy name--Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare---everlastingly increases the enthusiasm of the chanter.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:  Do You Sightsee?

I was wondering: do you ever get to sightsee the places that you travel to preach?

Nisha Bhatt

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Answer:  We Are the Ultimate Sightseers...

We certainly naturally see whatever sights are along the way wherever we go for preaching work. And we appreciate the amazing wonder of Krishna's material creation. When there are so many amazing sights in this material world, we can hardly begin to imagine how amazing must be the spiritual world.

But we do not go out of our way for any mundane sightseeing. For example I have been regularly going to India for the last 25 years. Every time I go to India I go to Vrindavan, which is very close to the famous Taj Mahal. But in all these many visits I have never gone to see the Taj Mahal because it has nothing to do with Krishna consciousness. Even one time I went for preaching in Agra, the very city in which the Taj Mahal is located. But still I did not think it worth my time and energy to see the Taj Mahal.

The most beautiful sight wherever I go is the smiling faces of Krishna's devotees and the beautiful form of the Lord's deity forms in the temples. This is the ultimate sightseeing, to have the darshan of Krishna and Vaisnavas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 21 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

There's a Way Out of Here



Have you had enough of this material existence? Do you dread getting sick, getting old, and dying? Are you intensely yearning for an alternative, another system of existence, a way out of this inauspicious situation?

If so, the good news is that there is way of out of here. There is a pathway of unlimited devotion available to you right now that will quickly and easily take you out of this distressful place. But you must be willing to carefully follow the directions that we will give you.

This pathway will take you quickly and easily out of the dense forest of delusion. That one should follow this pathway is confirmed as follows in the Mahabharata:

mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

"One should traverse that trail blazed by the great spiritually enlightened souls." Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117)

You must be prepared to courageously give up all of your pre-conceived ideas and put your faith in those who have higher knowledge. When you are ready to follow, we are ready to lead you out of this chaotic material world into that realm where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What are the Qualities of the Four Social Orders?


I would be glad if you can kindly explain to me the mechanism of the Vedic system of four social and spiritual orders known as Varnashrama. It is said, "janmana jayate sudra-By birth everyone is a sudra (uncultured worker class)." But I have heard from one of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's lectures that if a man is born in a sudra family and if he is qualified with the 18 qualities of brahmana (highly cultured priestly class) then he is a brahmana.

What are those qualities that make someone qualified as a brahmana, a ksatriya (administrative-military class), a vaisya (farmer-mercantile class) or a sudra?

Kindly enlighten me with this information.

R.S. Vaidyanathan

Hyderabad, India

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Answer: Krishna Describes Them in the Bhagavad-gita...

The qualities that make one a brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, or sudra are listed in the Bhagavad-gita as follows in Chapter 18, verses 41 through 44:

brahmana-ksatriya-visam
sudranam ca parantapa
karmani pravibhaktani
svabhava-prabhavair gunaih


"Brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy."

samo damas tapah saucam
ksantir arjavam eva ca
jnanam vijnanam astikyam
brahma-karma svabhava-jam


"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness -- these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work."

sauryam tejo dhrtir daksyam
yuddhe capy apalayanam
danam isvara-bhavas ca
ksatram karma svabhava-jam


"Heroism, power, determination, resourcefulness, courage in battle, generosity and leadership are the natural qualities of work for the ksatriyas."

krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam
vaisya-karma svabhava-jam
paricaryatmakam karma
sudrasyapi svabhava-jam


"Farming, cow protection and business are the natural work for the vaisyas, and for the sudras there is labor and service to others."

Thus it is very clear that the original Vedic system of social divisions was based on qualities and activities, not on birth. In modern day India the varnashram system has become very much distorted and has been bastardized into the so-called caste system. If modern day Indians would simply carefully read and follow their own holy book, the Bhagavad-gita, all social problems in India would quickly become solved. But because Indian society has for so many centuries been misguided by the caste-conscious so-called brahmanas, the entire Indian society has been plunged into chaos.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday 20 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Don't Let Maya Steal Away Your Mind


The material nature, Maya, is there to test our determination for becoming Krishna conscious. Just as we have to be vigilant to protect our belongings from being stolen by thieves, we must also be very careful to not let Maya steal our minds.

Last Monday when we were passing through the Brussels airport on our way to Bulgaria, a thief made two attempts to steal our luggage. He casually approached our luggage as if it were his own with the intention of walking away with it, if we did not notice him. By Krishna's grace he was unsuccessful in both of his attempts because each time he was noticed.

In this same way we must always be vigilant for the attack of the illusory energy, Maya. We must be aware when we are being attacked by non-Krishna conscious thoughts so we can take immediate action to protect ourselves by chanting the holy names of the Lord:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How I Can Do Full Time Devotional Service?


I am an employee. I have a family and one kid also. The kid is 1 year old. My wife and I are both very keen in preaching. We want to put ourselves in the loving devotional service all the time because the people in general are in such a dull and ignorant condition. I have lost interest in doing a job. Can you suggest me the way?

Your servant

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Answer: By Following in the Footsteps of Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur...

It is indeed wonderful that you and wife would like to be full time preachers of Krishna consciousness. There is truly no greater need than the spreading of Krishna consciousness all over the world. Indeed, the entire world is suffering because of one problem and one problem only: the lack of Krishna consciousness.

However, since you are married with a one year old child, the best option will be for you to set the ideal example of earning your livelihood as a responsible grihastha (married man), supporting the Krishna consciousness movement financially, and donating your spare time to assist in the preaching work.

This ideal example will qualify you as a powerful preacher and a full time devotee. In this way you will be following in the footsteps of our great acharya, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, who worked a job, raised a family, and powerfully preached the message of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday 19 September 2006

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Purification of the Consciousness


Just as water falling from the rain clouds is pure but becomes muddied after contacting the earth, similarly our original state of consciousness is pure. It is simply due to contact with the material nature that we have become illusioned and distressed. And just as water through a process of purification can be returned to its original pure state, our consciousness can also become purified through the authorized system of bhakti yoga as described by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.

Anyone who takes this purification process very seriously will find a tremendous improvement in their consciousness and will achieve the ultimate benefit of going back to home, back to Godhead upon leaving their present body. If you have not already seriously committed yourself to the process of bhakti yoga, kindly do so today. You will attain the supreme success!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Did Lord Rama Appear?


Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared 5 centuries ago, Lord Krishna appeared 50 centuries ago. Are there time records of the appearances of Lord Rama, Lord Nrisinghadeva and so forth?

Mr N Preethpaul

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Answer: Mahabharata Gives Us A Hint...

We can understand something about when Lord Ramacandra appeared by consulting the Mahabharata (Santi-parva 348.51-52) as follows:

treta-yugadau ca tato
vivasvan manave dadau
manus ca loka-bhrty-artham
sutayeksvakave dadau
iksvakuna ca kathito
vyapya lokan avasthitah


"In the beginning of the millennium known as Treta-yuga this science of the relationship with the Supreme was delivered by Vivasvan to Manu. Manu, being the father of mankind, gave it to his son Maharaja Iksvaku, the king of this earth planet and forefather of the Raghu dynasty, in which Lord Ramacandra appeared."

From these verses we can understand that Lord Ramacandra appeared in the dynasty of Maharaja Iksvaku, the son of Manu. Manu heard the Bhagavad-gita from Vivasvan at the beginning of Treta Yuga, some 2,005,000 years ago.

In this way through scriptural research we can learn more about the different incarnations of Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 18 September 2006

uploaded from Brussels, Belgium
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Today's Thought:

The Bliss Just Keeps On Coming


After an ecstatic week of spreading Krishna consciousness in Germany and several days in Belgium, we are flying from Brussels, with a stopover in Budapest, down to Sofia, Bulgaria for ten more days of spreading the waves of Lord Caitanya's benediction moon, this time in Bulgaria.

There is surely no greater pleasure than spreading this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. It is the ultimate taste. It is so enlivening that we are willing to accept all varieties of difficulties and great expense also for the privilege of being able to do so.

Why is it so enlivening? This is explained as follows by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the first verse of His famous Siksastaka prayers:

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam


"Glory to the Sri Krishna sankirtan, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtan movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious."

There is an ocean of unlimited bliss available for the devotees to eternally immerse themselves in. This is not an ordinary ocean. An ordinary ocean is contained with certain fixed boundaries, but this ocean of transcendental bliss is ever-expanding.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does Krishna Prescribe to Fight Lust?


I would like to know how to fight against the greatest enemy of mankind, namely lust. Krishna says that the senses, the mind, and the intelligence are sitting places of lust. Even though it is 90% possible to fight against lust while we are awake and Krishna conscious, lust seems to be unconquerable while in dreams. In sleep I utterly fail.

Your student

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Answer: purify Your Love...

Our nature is to love. When that love is selfish, it is lust. When it is selfless, it is pure love. Love become pure selfless love when it offered 100% in the Lord's service.

It's not that it is just 90% possible to fight lust when you are awake. It is 100% possible. Not only is it possible to fight lust. One can definitely 100% defeat lust by taking seriously to the pathway of Krishna consciousness.

When your waking consciousness is 100% immersed in Krishna bhakti, your dreaming consciousness will naturally mirror it and your dreams will be filled with thoughts of Krishna. This requires steady dedicated practice, but it most definitely attainable for those who are very serious about spiritual life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 17 September 2006

uploaded from Brussels, Belgium
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Today's Thought:

Is Krishna Consciousness Selfish?


Some people consider it selfish or self-indulgent to take up the pathway of Krishna consciousness. But this is not a fact. Why is this accusation not a fact? This point we need to carefully consider.

We have a natural tendency to serve. It is our intrinsic, inseparable nature. In Sanskrit this intrinsic nature is called dharma. Since our nature is to serve we need to see how we can serve in the most perfect and complete way. When we water the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished. This is the perfection of watering a tree. In the same way we need to find a way of rendering service that will automatically distribute our loving service to everyone and everything.

That way of rendering service is known as God consciousness or Krishna consciousness. When we serve Krishna or God our service is automatically distributed to everyone throughout the vast entirety of existence. This devotional service does not neglect anyone or anything. Therefore it is the perfection of service. Any other forms of service are only partial and are therefore incomplete.

In conclusion, we can understand that Krishna consciousness is the perfection of selflessness. It is pure unadulterated love on the highest possible level.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: My Love is Not Accepted. What to Do?


I am your student please help me.

"Kill me or protect me." I read that, but I think that although I am trying to dedicate my life for Krishna consciousness, I am not able to get Krishna consciousness.

Sometimes, although I know that it is not real happiness, I am an addict for the materialistic world. Sometimes I am an addict for some girls. I think that love is great, but the last time that girl is not giving me her love. She is searching after someone else.

I give my real love, but everybody is not accepting my love. What can I do? Please give an answer. I am waiting for your reply.

Your student

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Answer: Give Your Love to Krishna for Perfect Reciprocation...

The only place you can give your love and be fully satisfied is to Krishna. If we try to give and receive love only in this material world it is sure and certain that we will be frustrated. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that if you give all of your love to Him, He will personally protect whatever you have and personally deliver to you what you may be lacking.

So now just try to fully give your love exclusively to Krishna. When you water the root of the tree all of the leaves and branches are nourished. In this way, when you give all of your love to Krishna, your love becomes fully and perfectly distributed to all living beings and you become unlimitedly happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 16 September 2006

uploaded from Brussels, Belgium
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Today's Thought:

We've Got to Revolutionize this Place



Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur used to say that this material world is not a fit place of residence for a gentleman. That the world is becoming increasingly populated with rogues and rascals is becoming more and more blatantly obvious even to the most casual observer.

This is why we really do not see any other option except for dedicating our entire life's energy up until our last dying breath to the revolutionization of this place. If the people can somehow or other become Krishna conscious, all the problems of the world will be solved.

But this work cannot be done alone. We very, very much need your help. Kindly join with us. Fully dedicate your life now for perfecting your consciousness and for the spiritual revolutionization of the entire planet earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Will I Become Free from Difficulties?


I so much would like to have a friend. This never-fulfilled desire always makes me lament. I am so lonely. If I could only have few friends, or even one, to whom I could reveal my heart and feel at home and also advance in Krishna consciousness. But every relationship I have had before just made me feel dirty.

I need to learn more how I can apply Krishna conscious knowledge. I read so much, but I do not know what to do with my life to make it somehow useful and satisfying. What can I do? What will bring change?

I am always waiting that some wonder will come and change my life, and I will become happy and never face any more difficulty, but it never comes. What is wrong with me, why in spite of so much struggle I do not see any hope that my difficulties will ever end?

Your student

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Answer: When You Flip On the Switch Within Your Heart...

If you want to receive friendship, you must give friendship. You need to place yourself on the giving end. You must give of yourself before you are worthy to receive.

You will only suffer, if you are not Krishna conscious. If you are Krishna conscious, you will not suffer in any condition. You should accept whatever situation Krishna arranges for you and try to be fully surrendered in that situation.

Do not think of trying to change your situation. Simply you must change your consciousness. You keep wanting to change your external circumstances, instead of your internal circumstances. Simply focus on the within, and the without will take care of itself automatically.

The wonder you are awaiting is at your fingertips right now. You simply have to flip on the switch of Krishna consciousness within your heart. Simply you must affirm, "My Dear Lord Krishna, from this moment on I belong to You and nobody else. Please bless me that I can henceforward be fully absorbed in Your pure devotional service with my every thought, word, and deed for all of eternity."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday 15 September 2006

uploaded from Belgium
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Today's Thought: Krishna, Kill Me or Protect Me, As You Like

Yesterday, before heading to the airport in Berlin, I took a short nap to refresh myself. Just before waking up I was dreaming that if Krishna wants to protect me, nobody can kill me; and if Krishna wants to kill me, nobody can protect me. Then as soon as I woke up, I prayed to Krishna that He can kill me or protect me as He likes, that I am fully and completely under His protection and direction.

This mood of complete dependence on the Lord is the simple and easy way to always be peaceful and happy. The trick is that we have to train ourselves how to always remain in this consciousness by being nicely engaged 24 hours a day in devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:   Shouldn't Vacancies of the Material World Be Filled?

When a person crosses from the material world to the spiritual sky a vacancy is created in this material world. Shouldn't somebody fill the vacancy in order to keep this material world in the right form?

Will everybody who follows Krishna Consciousness attain the spiritual, non-material world?

Sateesh

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Answer: If Everyone Goes Back to Godhead, It Would Be Wonderful...

Everybody who follows the pathway of Krishna consciousness will attain the spiritual world. You don't have to worry about vacancies here in this material world. It is a prison only. If all the prisoners become reformed and the government has to close down the prison, it will be a great improvement. This material world is the prison portion of the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 14 September 2006

Uploaded from Berlin before taking off for Brussels
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Today's Thought:

A Thrilling Adventure 24 Hours a Day


By fully dedicating my life to spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world, there is no question of idle time or a dull moment. There is so much work to do to awaken the dormant Krishna consciousness within the hearts of all, that 24 hours a day is just not enough time to get the work done. In Krishna consciousness life easily becomes transformed into an endless, ever-increasingly thrilling adventure.

Why only read about, hear about, or watch movies about the real and imaginary adventures of others? By taking up the life of propagating Krishna consciousness to everyone we meet, we can live inside our own exciting adventure movie at every second.

In this supreme lifestyle sleeping, although necessary to keep up the health, becomes a source of frustration as we see how much time is being wasted every day. Eating Krishna prasadam (vegetarian foodstuffs offered with love and devotion to Lord Sri Krishna), although a source of great spiritual enlivenment and energy, also becomes an impediment, if too much is consumed, because the digestive process sucks energy away from the brain diverting it to the stomach.

When we develop a taste for telling others about Krishna, we experience the highest ecstasy of spiritual life. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that there is no one more dear to Him than the one who tells others about Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do We Make Love with God?


If Krishna is the enjoyer of all senses, when we make love with someone do we make love with God?

Your student

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Answer: Krishna Does Not Enjoy the Material Senses...

The senses are not actually enjoyable, although the conditioned souls under the influence of the illusory energy consider them to be enjoyable.

Krishna's enjoyment has nothing to do with the material senses. Nor can we factually enjoy the activities of the material senses. The only thing that is actually enjoyable is to engage our senses in the service of Krishna, the master of the senses.

Krishna is described as the master of the senses. It is not correct to understand Him as the enjoyer of the senses.

The animal propensities of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending are all being conducted within the realm of the Lord's external energy. Lord Krishna is situated far, far beyond the scope of the external energy. He is situated within His eternal, all blissful internal energy. So it is not that when a person is having sexual union, the so-called love making of this material world, that they are having sex with God.

Attachment for the so-called love making is a hard knot in the heart that keeps one entangled in the cycle of birth and death. Therefore we must detach ourselves from this sort of love-making business.

Of course, if we are married and we desire to raise some Krishna conscious children, we can, with the blessings of our spiritual master, attempt to plant the seed of a human being within the womb of our wife through the authorized system of spiritual sex life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday 13 September 2006

From the road in Germany
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Today's Thought: The Vast Desolate Wasteland

We are seeing first hand what a vast desolate wasteland is this material existence. Where is that place where you can connect with your actual eternal nature? Everywhere the illusion of material existence is being reinforced. All the thoughts, words, and deeds of the people are simply reinforcing the false notion, "I am this body." Therefore no one is actually happy.

Sometimes people imagine that they are happy. They foolishly take the illusion of happiness to be real happiness.

We want to wake them up to give them the real happiness, but they are so much enamored by the illusory happiness that they cannot hear our message. What to do? We must simply keep trying to wake them up, hoping and praying that someday they will heed our message and thus be delivered from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Sinful Activities from Krishna?


Since Krishna is the cause of all causes, is He the cause of all sinful activities such as murder, rape, illicit sex, etc.?

Thank you for your wonderful work in the service of your spiritual master.

Your student,

Tobenna

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Answer:  We Are the Cause of Our Sinful Activities, Not Lord Krishna...

We are the cause of our sinful activities, not Lord Krishna. When we decide not to live in harmony with the Lord and thus deviate from our original pure spiritual nature, we engage in all varieties of sinful activities. But we are never satisfied, no matter how much we may endeavor to enjoy.

It is very nice that you are appreciating my humble attempt to serve my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. But in this connection please note that I can take no credit for what I am doing in his service. It is only by his grace that I have somehow or other been engaged in the ultimate lifestyle, Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday 12 September 2006

Today's Thought:

Realizations on the Train across Germany


10 September 2006--1:40pm
We are now traveling by train across Germany from Leipzig to Hamburg. The trip is for over three hours, so I am happy to have to some precious quality time for Krishna conscious writing. Looking out on a world that is completely enwrapped in illusion I am thinking deeply and praying to Krishna to please bless me with the proper words to attract the people to take complete total shelter at His lotus feet. I am also begging Him to bless me with the means of attracting them to read the words.
Of course, it is not that my words can save anyone. It is because I am honestly without any adulteration conveying the teachings of Lord Krishna as I have heard them from my spiritual master, that I have great hope that I may be able to do something to push forward this Krishna consciousness movement begun 500 years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Origin of the Jiva...


There are some questions that have always been haunting me since I started understanding myself through Srila Prabhupada's ultimate guidance. The questions are, "From which abode does the jiva (the individual spiritual being) come into existence?" and "Immediately after the jiva comes into existence, out of four types of rasas (relationships of servitude, friendship, parenthood, or conjugal), in what kind of rasa is he situated?"

Your servant,

Parashuram

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Answer: He is an Eternal Emanation of the Lord...

There is no time that the jiva, the individual spiritual being comes into existence, because he always exists as an eternal emanation of the Lord. This is confirmed in the 2nd Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita that there was never a time that the jiva did not exist.

Each individual being has his own unique rasa or relationship with the Lord. Just as there are no two snow flakes that are exactly alike, there no two jiva souls who have exactly the same rasa or relationship with the Lord. According to their particular relationship they have their particular eternal place of residence either in Goloka Vrindavan (the topmost planet of the spiritual world where the Lord is served with great intimacy) or on one of the unlimited number of Vaikuntha planets where the Lord is served with great awe and reverence.

Forgetting their eternal relationship as a servant of the Lord, they foolishly struggle to be happy in a dungeon of demons, but no matter how much they may appear to be happy and successful here, they are ultimately frustrated. Therefore the sane person takes shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna and returns to his eternal position in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 11 September 2006

Today's Thought:

Do Not Fruitlessly Spoil Your Life

Give up all notions of trying to enjoy this material world. Any attempt to do so is guaranteed to be a failure. Why waste your time uselessly beating your head against the rock of the material energy when you can instead easily enter an eternal existence of bliss and knowledge right now by sincerely chanting the holy names of God?

Understanding this simple truth does not require a doctorate degree. It simply requires s little common sense. The difficulty is that in today's modern so-called sophisticated society everyone considers themselves to be very intelligent when the real fact is that they are lacking even basic common sense. Therefore they foolishly and fruitlessly waste their entire lives in serving the senses of their temporary material bodies. At the end, when their body is finished by death, they have nothing to show for their lifetime of dedicated service to their senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:
Can a Person Start a New Religion?

Can a person who is not one of the twelve great Mahajanas (exalted souls) start a new religion in addition to the ones existing like Islam, Christianity?

Also is Hinduism a religion? The Supreme court in India has remarked about Hinduism as a way of life.

Regards,

Your Student

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Answer:
There is No Such Thing as a New Religion...


There is no such thing as starting a new religion. Religion is one, to love God, and it is given to us by God. No man, even a great Mahajana, can start a new religion. When the great Mahajanas come they simply present according to time, place, and circumstance the one eternal universal religion.

Hindu is a word coined by the Muslims to describe those living east of the River Sindu. It is not an accurate word to describe any particular religious system. Religion cannot be divided into Hindu, Christian, Muslim, etc. Either one is a lover of God or not. The external designations of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc. are superfluous to the living being.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 10 September 2006

Today's Thought:

Sadhu Sanga is the Sweetest Nectar

The austerities of living on the road are more than compensated by the sweet nectar of sadhu sanga (devotee association) that we taste every day. Traveling from one ISKCON temple to another ISKCON temple all over the world, we are swimming in an ocean of the most merciful devotees of the Lord. Even Krishna, the Supreme Lord of all that exists, finds that there is nothing more desirable than the association of His devotees. This is confirmed His statement given in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

sadhavo hrdayam mahyam
sadhunam hrdayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti
naham tebhyo manag api


"The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them."
---SB 9.4.68

Many of our readers live in isolated places, far from the nearest ISKCON center. They often times wonder how they can taste the sweet nectar of devotee association as much as possible. The answer is that they should visit their nearest ISKCON center whenever they have the opportunity and that they should invite the ISKCON devotees to visit them as much as possible. The preachers of ISKCON are always eager for traveling whenever there is an opportunity for preaching. So all one has to do is arrange some preaching programs for the devotees in one's locale and the devotees will be very happy to come.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:
Qualification for Preaching Krishna Consciousness...


Is it true that , to preach krishna consciousness , one must be a good public speaker?

Regards,

Sunil R. Vaswani
from Mumbai, India

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Answer:
Guru's Mercy is the Only Requirement...


No. It is not true. As it is stated,

mukam karoti vacalam
pangum langhayate girim
yat-krpa tam aham vande
sri-gurum dina-taranam

"By the mercy of the guru, even a dumb man can become the greatest orator, and even a lame man can cross mountains."

All you need to preach is the mercy of Sri Guru. This is the only qualification.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 9 September 2006

Today's Thought:

Ratha Yatra Festival in Leipzeg, Germany


Today is the Ratha Yatra festival in Leipzeg, Germany. There is no more merciful happening than Lord Jagannatha's Ratha Yatra festival. On this day Lord Krishna (Jagannatha) along with His brother (Baladeva) and sister (Subhadra) appear in the public so that anyone and everyone can get their darshan.

Srila Prabhupada told us in 1970 that anyone who gets Their darshan will not take birth again in this material world. So just see how powerful is Their darshan! Of course the attainment of this boon depends upon the quality of how one takes Their darshan. But we know one thing for sure. Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra are unlimitedly powerful and merciful. And we try to conduct the Ratha Yatra Festival in such a way to try to inspire everyone who is fortunate enough to see Their Lordships to see them with love and thus qualify themselves to go back to home, back to Godhead at the end of their present incarnation in this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:
Regarding the Guru-Disciple Relationship...


When you take a guru and he has accepted you, does that mean it is for life? What happens if your guru dies before you? Does he remain your guru after death? Or does the devotee seek another guru ?

Please advise.

Kind regards,

Glen

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Answer:
Guru-Disciple Relationship is Eternal...

When you take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master by initiation you become his disciple for all of eternity. Even if he dies before you do, if you remain dedicated to following his instructions, the guru-disciple connection will remain tightly intact for all of eternity.

Just like my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, is now departed, but because I am faithfully executing his instructions I am tangibly experiencing how he is still very much with me, blessing me and guiding me along the pathway of Krishna consciousness. When I return to the spiritual world, I will see him again, hear him speak again, and receive personal instructions from him again. The guru-disciple relationship is never broken for the disciple who remains loyal to his guru. It is not that I am looking for another spiritual master in the physical absence of my guru. He is fully with me, guiding me at every step.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday 8 September 2006

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Today's Thought:

Krishna Takes Good Care of His Devotees


Sept 7th, 2006--Berlin, Germany

By Krishna's grace I have finally been reunited with my luggage after many days of austerity. The fact is that if we always take complete shelter of Krishna that He will always take good care of us. Sometimes Krishna puts His devotees into apparent difficulty to enable them to increase their feelings of dependence upon Him.

In Krishna's Vrindavan lila we see again and again how Krishna plunged the Brijabasis (the inhabitants of Vrindavan) into an intense ocean of anxiety just to increase the intensity of their love for Him and feelings of dependence upon Him.

The pastime of Krishna saving the Brijabasis from an all-devouring forest fire is narrated in brief by Srila Prabhupada as follows:

"Since it was almost night and all the inhabitants of Vrindavan, including the cows and calves, were very tired, they decided to take their rest on the riverbank. In the middle of the night, while they were taking rest, there was suddenly a great forest fire, and it quickly appeared that the fire would soon devour all the inhabitants of Vrindavan. As soon as they felt the warmth of the fire, they immediately took shelter of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, although He was playing just like their child. They began to say, 'Our dear Krishna! O Supreme Personality of Godhead! Our dear Balarama, reservoir of all strength! Please try to save us from this all-devouring and devastating fire. We have no shelter other than You. This devastating fire will swallow us all!' Thus they prayed to Krishna, saying that they could not take any shelter other than His lotus feet. Lord Krishna, being compassionate upon His own townspeople, immediately swallowed up the whole forest fire and saved them. This was not impossible for Krishna, because He is unlimited. He has unlimited power to do anything He desires."

So whenever we are in distress we should capitalize on it fully by taking it as an opportunity to increase our feelings of dependence upon the Lord. In this way we will never be overwhelmed by distress and we will easily and blissfully enter into that wondrous Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Brahma and Paramatma...

How is Brahman different from Paramatma?

Apurva

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Answer: Perfect and More Perfect...

Brahman is the impersonal aspect of the Supreme. It is the shining effulgence which emanates from the Lord's transcendental body. The Paramatma is the four-armed form of the Supreme Lord Who is dwelling within your heart, within the heart of all living beings, within every atom, and also between the atoms.

Brahman realization is considered perfect and Paramatma realization is considered more perfect. The Brahman realized soul realizes the eternity aspect of the Supreme. The Paramatma realized soul realizes the eternity and knowledge aspects of the Supreme. Beyond Brahman realization and Paramatma realization is Bhagavan realization, which is said to be most perfect. One who achieves Bhagavan realization realizes all three aspects of the Supreme: eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

There is a very nice story in this connection. Formerly in India there were no trains. The trains were introduced by the British. So one village was included on the new train route. The tracks were laid, the station was built, and the villagers were curiously waiting for the first train to arrive so they could see what is this thing that is called a train.

Finally late one evening the first train arrived. One villager who was waiting on the edge of town saw the train from a distance coming down the tracks approaching the village. He came running into the village declaring he had seen a train. He said that a train is a bright moving light. Another villager who lived near the station saw the train. He declared that the train has many, many cars connected together that are all identical. Another villager was there at the station when the train stopped. He examined the train carefully and said that there was one car with an engineer that pulled the entire train and he described in detail what each of the cars were like.

Each of the villagers had seen the same exact train and had described honestly what they saw. Yet each of them had a different experience according to how closely they were able examine the train. In the same way there is one Absolute Truth, but it is understood differently as Brahman, Paramatma, or Bhagavan according the degree of closeness of the realized yogi.

The nondual but yet variegated nature of the Supreme is confirmed 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

We train our students how to achieve Bhagavan realization. When one realizes Bhagavan, their realizations of Brahman and Paramatma are automatically included without any extra endeavor.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 7 September 2006

from Berlin, Germany
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Today's Thought:

Humility on the Road


Sept 6th, 2006--Berlin, Germany
Humility is the most important quality we need to develop if we are going to attain spiritual perfection. Lord Krishna has kindly put me in a very humbling position. My clothes were lost by the airline when flying to Europe on September 2nd. Now for many days I have practically no clothes and as the type of clothing I wear is not readily available at stores in the western world. I am having to beg and borrow clothing from other devotees.

Not only has my clothing been lost. My chargers for my mobile phone, digital camera, and mp3 recorder for recording my lectures have also been lost. I was able to record my first two lectures here in Berlin, but now my mp3 recorder's battery has gone dead, and I cannot record any more lectures. My mobile phone is dead and nowhere here in Europe have we been able to find a store that carries the proper charger.

I accept this as the mercy of Krishna, as it very easy to become proud when I am so much revered, honored, and loved by my many students and disciples all over the world. He is forcing me to remember that I am always full dependent on his mercy for everything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof for Krishna's Form

While I was talking with my friend, she asked me, "How will you prove that God has a specific deity form? How will you assure that He has that particular form of Krishna with his flute in His hands, bluish black color and wearing ornaments?"

Sharmila

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Answer: Krishna Proves It

Krishna proves that He has a form by revealing Himself to those who worship Him with love. He reserves the right not to expose Himself to those who are envious.

If she is envious of God there is nothing that you will be able to say that will turn her towards the Lord. Krishna reveals Himself only to those who approach Him with love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Traveling and preaching in Europe
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Today's Thought:

Passing the Tests


September 5th, 2006--Amsterdam, the Netherlands:
Maya, the material energy, has really tested our determination to engage in a five month around-the-world lecture tour. We could, after all, simply live peacefully and comfortably at our ashram in Austin, Texas, USA.

Due to one complication after another it took us two days of living in airports and airplanes to finally arrive tired and dirty in Amsterdam. After we arrived we discovered that all of my luggage had been lost. I would have nothing to wear except the clothes on my back. We went to the ticketing office to pick up our around-the-tickets and were informed that because ticketing rules the around-the-world ticket I had reserved could only be purchased in London. Therefore we had to immediately fly to London on the next available flight to purchase our tickets there.

By Krishna's grace once we got to the KLM ticketing desk in London there was no problem. As soon as the agent swiped our credit card immediately two sets of around-the-world tickets came rolling out of the printing machine. After three grueling days of being tested whether or not I really wanted to travel and preach Krishna consciousness all over the world for the next five months, to hear the screeching of that printing machine spitting out our tickets was the sweetest music I had ever heard.

Srila Prabhupada one time said that there is no question of glorious victory without strong opposition. Finally getting our tickets after three days of hell was the sweetest nectar.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does "Without Anxiety for Gain and Safety" Mean?


I am having difficulty understanding the verse in Gita where Krishna tells Arjuna that he should be beyond anxieties for "gain and safety." How does this relate to life in the world where one is always concerned with just that, "gain and safety"? One is always concerned with balancing ones check-book, providing food for oneself and others, driving safely and protecting ones body, etc. etc. So, in the regular state of human affairs, is one not to be concerned with "gain and safety"? I am particularly concerned with the safety issue, because I work in a capacity wherein I drive a vehicle transporting people to their jobs, and while in a way I understand that one should not be overly concerned with the possibility of an accident, for Krishna has promised all protection, still, one must be alert not to cause or be involved in an accident.

And, regarding the protection Krishna promises Arjuna in 18.66 of Gita, I realize that the protection is concerning ones sadhana and the safety and security of the soul, and the protection He will give so we can render devotional loving service unto the pure devotee.

But in practical affairs in this world of samsara, how does one strike a happy balance between being beyond the anxieties for safety and being aware, as Srila Prabhupada says, "padam padam vipadam," there is danger at every step?

Sincerely,

Bruce Gatten

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Answer: Do the Needful and Depend on Krishna...

Making proper arrangements for safety and being in anxiety about it are two different things. You do your best, and then depend on Krishna. Just like now I am flying to Europe. I have my seat belt on. This is a recommended safety procedure. However, this does not guarantee the I will arrive safely tomorrow morning in Amsterdam.

I have taken all the safety precautions that are reasonable, but this material world remains a dangerous place in spite of my safety arrangements.

I know that I will not die unless and until Krishna sanctions it. I put myself fully in His hands, that He is welcome to take my life whenever He wants to. Therefore, because I am fully dependent on Him I am not in anxiety. But at the same as a matter of duty, I take whatever precautions are within my power. For the other things that are beyond my control, I depend fully on Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday, September 5, 2006

On the road to Europe
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Today's Thought:

Tolerating the Hassles of Material Existence


September 3rd, 2006--Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA:
We certainly tasted the hasslesque nature of material existence on our flight (Northwest Airlines 44) from the USA (Minneapolis) to Europe. After we had been airborne for several hours the aircraft did a 180 degree turn and headed back to Minneapolis because of mechanical difficulty. Instead of returning to the main airport in Minneapolis, we landed around midnight at a small airport in Duluth, Minnesota where we were greeted by a half a dozen emergency vehicles with their red-lights blinking. Fireman appeared outside the plane with special suits to protect themselves in case our plane erupted into flames. Once a portable staircase was wheeled up to the aircraft the firemen entered our cabin. There did not appear to be a terminal at this remote airstrip. We spent the entire night on the plane. We were informed after the problem was solved that we would continue now on to Europe. We taxied to end of the runway readying for take off and then we stopped. I dozed off and dreamt that the plane was moving forward only to awaken and see that we remained sitting still. Finally after what seemed an eternity we were informed that we would be returning to Minneapolis instead heading on to Europe. Finally after sitting longer in Duluth as the light of dawn started to manifest we took off for Minneapolis.

So here we are in the Minneapolis airport getting to board another flight to Europe, realizing that all of the hell we go through in the material existence is a actually a special blessing to help us realize that material world is not our home. Our actual home is the 100% hassle-free spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Name Missing from the Disciplic Succession List?


There is a disciplic succession in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita As It Is. But in this list the name of Sri Ramakrishna is not included. Why ? Is he not eligible to be considered a guru? Your kind answer in this regard would be highly appreciated.

Hare Krishna

Ashis Paul

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Answer: Must Be in Unbroken Disciplic Line from Krishna Himself...

For anyone to be included in a disciplic succession list they must be coming from an unbroken line of gurus beginning with Lord Sri Krishna Himself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday, September 4, 2006

from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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Today's Thought:

Prayer for the Mercy of Srila Prabhupada


My dear Srila Prabhupada, now that I have embarked on another global preaching tour, I am begging your mercy that I may be able to serve you very nicely in all times, all places, and all circumstances wherever I may travel all over the world during the next five months. By your mercy I have understood that there is nothing more vital for the well-being of the world population than Krishna consciousness. I personally have no qualifications to be your and Krishna's representative. But yet by your causeless mercy you have engaged me in this service. In spite of my innumerable disqualifications, it is my duty to depend fully on your mercy and do my level best to be a first class devotee and first class preacher.

Therefore I am simply falling down flat on the ground at your feet and begging your blessings that I can successfully manifest pure Krishna bhakti in my heart at every minute and spread the science of Krishna bhakti all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do We Know that We Can Be Delivered?


I am trying to understand the process of becoming Krishna consciousness. How do we know that we will be taken out of the cycle of life and death? Just because someone tells us, does that really mean it will happen? I am trying to do the best I can, but sometimes its hard when surrounded by difficult obstacles and an inquiring mind. In this life want to accomplish so much: traveling, learning all that I can learn, and and achieve spiritual enlightenment. please help me understand.

Always learning but slightly confused,

Your student

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Answer: Nothing is More Solid than Krishna's Promise

You can know for sure that you will be taken out of the cycle of birth and death if you fully surrender yourself to Lord Sri Krishna, because Krishna promises this in the Bhagavad-gita:

ye tu sarvani karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
ananyenaiva yogena
mam dhyayanta upasate

tesam aham samuddharta
mrtyu-samsara-sagarat
bhavami na cirat partha
mayy avesita-cetasam


"But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Prtha -- for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death."
Bhagavad-gita 12.6-7

If you want to achieve spiritual perfection, you cannot take it as just another one of the things you are interested in. Rather, you must pursue it as the sole purpose of your existence.

An inquiring mind is not an obstacle. It is a great asset. Inquire submissively and serve the orders of the bona fide spiritual master. The Truth shall be revealed unto you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday, September 3, 2006

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Above the Clouds of Illusion


Having slept a scant 3 hours the night before our first flight from Austin to Minneapolis, I began the flight with a nap. I awoke to find that we were cruising at 35,000 feet looking down on a spectacular panorama of clouds that stretched as far as the eye could see in all directions. It was such a solid structured plane of clouds that it appeared as if we were flying over a land of ice such as Antarctica. It immediately struck me that Krishna consciousness is like this. By the mercy of guru and Krishna the devotee is situated far, far above the clouds of illusion.

What are the clouds of illusion? They are described by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita in three categories: goodness, passion, and ignorance.

tribhir guna-mayair bhavair
ebhih sarvam idam jagat
mohitam nabhijanati
mam ebhyah param avyayam


"Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible." Bhagavad-gita 7.13

By carefully following the pathway of ultimate self-realization, Krishna consciousness, the devotee gradually comes into direct contact with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus enters into eternal enlightened existence. The practical system for attaining this is that one should strictly follow the regulative principles of Krishna consciousness and chant at least sixteen rounds daily of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on japa beads without fall. This will solidly situate the sincere practitioner above the clouds of illusion. Thus he will become perfect in spiritual understanding and he will achieve the highest perfection of human life in unlimited happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do We Know that We Can Be Delivered?


I am trying to understand the process of becoming Krishna consciousness. How do we know that we will be taken out of the cycle of life and death? Just because someone tells us, does that really mean it will happen? I am trying to do the best I can, but sometimes its hard when surrounded by difficult obstacles and an inquiring mind. In this life Iwant to accomplish so much: traveling, learning all that I can learn, and and achieve spiritual enlightenment. please help me understand.

Always learning but slightly confused,

Your student

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Answer: Nothing is More Solid than Krishna's Promise

You can know for sure that you will be taken out of the cycle of birth and death if you fully surrender yourself to Lord Sri Krishna, because Krishna promises this in the Bhagavad-gita:

ye tu sarvani karmani
mayi sannyasya mat-parah
ananyenaiva yogena
mam dhyayanta upasate

tesam aham samuddharta
mrtyu-samsara-sagarat
bhavami na cirat partha
mayy avesita-cetasam


"But those who worship Me, giving up all their activities unto Me and being devoted to Me without deviation, engaged in devotional service and always meditating upon Me, having fixed their minds upon Me, O son of Prtha -- for them I am the swift deliverer from the ocean of birth and death."
Bhagavad-gita 12.6-7

If you want to achieve spiritual perfection, you cannot take it as just another one of the things you are interested in. Rather, you must pursue it as the sole purpose of your existence.

An inquiring mind is not an obstacle. It is a great asset. Inquire submissively and serve the orders of the bona fide spiritual master. The Truth shall be revealed unto you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday, September 2, 2006

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

Embarking on Our Re-Spiritualization Tour


This morning we are heading out before dawn on our world tour for the re-spiritualization of the human society. I am praying to Lord Krishna that He will kindly make my consciousness perfectly pure and clean so that I may peacefully worship Him and successfully spread the ultimate peace, Krishna consciousness, all over the world. In this connection my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, has given us the perfect instructions:

"Srimad-Bhagavatam and bhagavata-dharma are meant for persons who are completely free of envy (parama-nirmatsaranam). Therefore Prahlada Maharaja prays in this verse, khalah prasidatam: 'May all the envious persons be pacified.' The material world is full of envious persons, but if one frees himself of envy, he becomes liberal in his social dealings and can think of others' welfare. Anyone who takes up Krishna consciousness and engages himself completely in the service of the Lord cleanses his mind of all envy (manas ca bhadram bhajatad adhoksaje). Therefore we should pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva to sit in our hearts. We should pray, bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimhah: 'Let Lord Nrsimhadeva sit in the core of my heart, killing all my bad propensities. Let my mind become clean so that I may peacefully worship the Lord and bring peace to the entire world.'"
---from Srila Prabhupada's purport to SB 5.18.9

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did Krishna Send Christ and Mohammad?


Why was Christ and Mohammad sent by Krishna to teach religion when He alone could have taught the science of God to people all over the world through the way we understand from the Vedic literatures?

His devotee,

Ankita

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Answer:
Elementary and Advanced Level Understandings of the One Absolute Truth...


Throughout history we see that Krishna sometimes personally comes and also sometimes sends His pure devotees to assist Him in spreading dharma, the pure original essence of religion. It is not that He has to personally do all the preaching by Himself. At certain times in history He or His servants reveal dharma in a more covered way because that is all that the population can take at that time. And then later on when the atmosphere is more conducive, He reveals the complete understanding of dharma. We are most fortunate to be living at a time when the full understanding of the Vedic wisdom has been made available by Lord Sri Krishna by sending His pure devotee, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to this world to write so many volumes of books in which the Supreme Absolute Truth is described so very clearly and completely.

The Bible and Koran are teaching the same principle we find in the Vedas, complete total surrender unto the will of the Supreme Person. However, they are both presenting the one truth, the one universal religion on a more elementary level. This is compared to the difference between a pocket dictionary and the unabridged dictionary. Both are true, but the unabridged dictionary goes into full details while the pocket dictionary does not. Similarly the Bible and the Koran give an introductory understanding of God while the Vedic literatures give the full, complete understanding. Just as beginning math students are taught 1 + 1 = 2, and advanced math students are taught calculus, Krishna directly and indirectly reveals the Absolute Truth according the comprehending capacity of the people.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday, September 1, 2006

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

Crossing Over the Ocean of Obstacles


Tomorrow we are heading out on our 2006-2007 World Lecture Tour. Because this is such a major assault against the material energy, that highly deceptive inferior energy has placed many obstacles in our path. We have had to systematically deal with one impediment after another, patiently but determinedly and enthusiastically working our way through the quagmire. Still we do not know what further obstacles we will face once we embark early tomorrow morning.

There is one thing though that we do know for sure. That is if we take complete shelter of Krishna, He will surely protect us in all circumstances. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Show Me That This Is Not a Cult...


I've been hearing for many months from many people that this religion is a cult. I never entertained the thought and discarded it from my mind. But more and more I've been becoming concerned about this thought. More doubt and uncertainty has been wrapping itself around my mind. This religion has a few of the major qualities that it takes to be a cult. I'm a 12 year old American looking for spiritual fulfillment and happiness (which this religion promises). There's nothing I want more than to be an eternal servant of the real God (which I'm unsure Who is), and to attain spiritual perfection. But I'm unsure if this is the right direction.

I want to believe this is the right way to go, but there is an enormous amount of confusion in my mind that can only be lifted by a true representative of the real God. I don't want to waste my time, effort, and money on what may be the wrong path to follow.

Please lift this doubt from my mind. I politely ask that you show me that this is not a cult. Convince me like your life depended on it. If you can, I'll endow as much energy as I possibly can into being 100% Krishna conscious. But if you can't convince me, I'll consider canceling my subscription.

Sincerely,

Daniel

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Answer: Only Cheaters Label Genuine Religion as a Cult...

In a world that is full of cheaters, when genuine religion is introduced the cheating so-called religionists will label it as a cult, a false religion. It is not proper to judge what is proper religion by popular votes. We take the word of God and the great spiritual masters of history to understand what is genuine religion.

I understand that you are not sure that Krishna is God and are therefore hesitant to fully surrender unto Him. To alleviate your confusion you have to understand what is the proper definition for God. God is that person Who is the source of all that exists. Krishna clearly confirms that He is indeed the source of everything in the Bhagavad-gita. He says:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah


"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts." Bhagavad-gita 10.8

It is not that only Krishna declares that He is God. It is also declared by Lord Brahma as follows:

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


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

Arjuna reconfirms Krishna's divinity as well:

arjuna uvaca
param brahma param dhama
pavitram paramam bhavan
purusam sasvatam divyam
adi-devam ajam vibhum
ahus tvam rsayah sarve
devarsir naradas tatha
asito devalo vyasah
svayam caiva bravisi me


"Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala and Vyasa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me." Bhagavad-gita 10.12-13

Every other religious system in the world has some conception of God. The difference between the this Krishna consciousness system and the other systems is that in Krishna consciousness we have clear, concise, precise, exact information about God. We know His most intimate names. We know the names of His close associates. We know exactly where He lives. We know exactly what His activities are, etc. In other religious systems they are lacking in this detailed knowledge of God. They have only a vague understanding at best. Without clear knowledge of God, it is very difficult to achieve the perfection of existence, pure love of God. But if one has all detailed knowledge about God, about His unlimited power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame--it becomes very easy to develop pure love for Him and return to His eternal kingdom at the time of death.

If you are still having doubts regarding the authenticity of our process of self-realization, kindly let me know and I shall try my level best to destroy your doubts with the shining torchlight of transcendental knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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