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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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On the order of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sankarshan Prabhu has dedicated his life for the most urgent work of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. The more that Krishna consciousness spreads, the more that the suffering, scarcity, and hate on this planet will be replaced with bliss, abundance and love. This is a golden opportunity for us to do the highest good for all living beings and receive the special blessings of the Lord. Therefore we should, as much as possible, sacrifice our time, energy, and resources to assist Sankarshan Prabhu in his most important work. If you would like to help out to any extent, little or big, kindly inform Sankarshan Prabhu of your desire.

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Tuesday 31 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Last Day in the Blissful Baltics


Tomorrow after a month of sharing the ultimate nectar in the Baltic States we are continuing on with our world lecture series tour with a brief lecture stint in the USA and Mexico before we move on to the Middle East, India, Australia, and the Fiji Islands. It's amazing how the unlimited nectarean ocean of Krishna consciousness continues to expand more and more.

Some people argue that it is not possible for the unlimited to become even more unlimited. Such people are bewildered in their understanding because they are trying to understand the unlimited by mental speculation. They have not personally tasted or experienced the unlimited.

If you would like to experience a sweet sample taste of the unlimited ever-expanding nectarean of ocean of Krishna consciousness, check out this loving farewell we received here in the Baltic states:

http://www.backtohome.com/video/farewell.wmv

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If Chanting Were Meaningless...


I would just wonder. I mean, if your message was all wrong. If chanting were meaningless.

Minc

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Answer: Chanting Cannot Be Meaningless...

Chanting is obeying the order of the Source of existence, so it cannot be meaningless. But of course if existence itself were meaningless that would be another matter. But existence itself cannot be meaningless, it must be meaningful, otherwise it cannot exist. So there is no question of existence being meaningless. Nor is there, therefore, any question of chanting as per the Source's order being meaningless.

In other words it is meaningless to speculate that chanting might be meaningless. So instead of meaninglessly wasting your time with meaninglessness, you should better spend your time meaningfully by chanting Hare Krishna as much as possible. If you do so, you will fully realize the meaning of existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 30 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

The ISKCON House

Now throughout the world as more and more violence is erupting everywhere, there is a great cry for peace. Everyone wants world peace, but nobody knows how to achieve it. The League of Nations was formed to bring about world peace, and it failed. The United Nations was formed to bring about world peace, and it has also failed. So what to do?

In this connection it is encouraging to note the comment of an astrologer in India who saw a photograph of our beloved Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. When he saw a photograph of Srila Prabhupada's face he said that this person can build a house in which the entire world can live peacefully. When a disciple informed Srila Prabhupada of this comment he said, "Yes. That is my mission, to build a house in which the entire world can live peacefully."

So can Srila Prabhupada do this? Yes, he has already done so by founding ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It is a house in which the entire world can live peacefully.

How?

The world population simply must be educated in the sublime knowledge given by Srila Prabhupada in his books. This means that we must flood this entire planet in an ocean of Srila Prabhupada's books and that we, his followers, must be living examples with our every thought, word, and deed of what is described in Srila Prabhupada's books. If each one of us can manifest such a wonderful pure devotional service mood, everyone will be attracted to our qualities and will want to read Srila Prabhupada's books so that they can develop these qualities also. In this way the entire world will become peaceful and happy. It will be the full manifestation of a new era of peace and prosperity for all, the Caitanya Era.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Initiation for a Married Person?


Can a married person be your initiated disciple?

And please may I know the spiritual significance and difference between Radhaji and the gopis?

Thank you

Your student

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Answer: We Make No Distinction...

We make no distinction between married and non-married. As long as someone is able to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mantra daily on beads and follow the four regulative principles:--no illicit sex life, no meat eating, no intoxication, and no gambling--we are happy to accept them as our initiated disciple.

Out of all the gopis, Radharani is the chief gopi. She is Krishna's favorite.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 29 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Departing from Kaunas


It's 6:23 am on Saturday the 28th of October 2006. This morning after I give the Srimad Bhagavatam class and we take breakfast, we are being driven north to Riga, Latvia where I will spend several days giving lectures before proceeding on to Amsterdam, the USA, and Mexico for more speaking engagements.

For the last week and a half we have been traveling and preaching in Lithuania and in Russia. It has really been super sweet and exciting. There is no greater adventure than this. The quality and quantity of loving appreciation we have received from the Russian and Lithuanian devotees is enough to make even the most stone like heart melt in transcendental bliss.

Srila Prabhupada told us that the whole world could become Krishna conscious within five days. So with great hope I carry on traveling and preaching trying to serve as a catalyst to help bring about the direly needed global respiritualization. May that day come soon. May that day come soon.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Came as a Fish?


Please accept my humble obeisances. What has me curious is why Krishna came to earth as a fish? Was there a specific reason?

Thanks,

Matthew

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Answer: To Protect the Vedas

Your question is answered in the first verse of the Dasavatar Stotra as follows:

pralaya-payodhi-jale dhrtavan asi vedam
vihita-vahitra-caritram akhedam
kesava dhrta-mina-sarira jaya jagadisa hare


"O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a fish! All glories to You! You easily acted as a boat in the form of a giant fish just to give protection to the Vedas, which had become immersed in the turbulent sea of devastation."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 28 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:  

Breaking through the Veil of Illusion into the Realm of Eternal Truth

Beyond the veil of illusion lies the all-perfect, all-beautiful, and all-wonderful eternal reality, the Eternal Truth. The Eternal Truth can never be covered by ignorance because it is millions of times more powerful than ignorance. Just as a small amount of light can dissipate a large quantity of darkness, while even a large quantity of darkness can do nothing but be absorbed by the light---Eternal Truth is many, many times more powerful than ignorance. Therefore it is actually not a difficult thing to break through the veil of illusion, to break out of the realm of illusion into the realm of Eternal Truth. We simply must take advantage of the light of transcendental knowledge emanating from the lotus mouths of the great acharyas, spiritual masters who teach perfectly by their example, such as my Guru Maharaja, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Here is Srila Prabhupada sitting in his full transcendental splendor in his deity form on the Vyasasana at ISKCON's Kaunas temple:



Narottam Das Thakur has sung, "My only desire is to my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth." It is certainly a fact. All we have to do is to fully absorb ourselves in hearing the teachings of our spiritual master. From this one activity of submissive hearing from our Guru, all spiritual perfection evolves naturally within the heart of the disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Thinking About Krishna Enough?


Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita whatever you do, do as an offering to me, so I would like to know how to do this. I hear from many devotees, that the way to make the offering to Krishna is to think of Him, but still it does not seem enough. If all I have to do is think of Him, I would have long ago been pure. And if you think of Him what exactly do you think about....His lotus feet, His form, His name?

I think the secret to Krishna consciousness is not only in thinking about Krishna, but something more. You have to completely engage your being in His service. All your senses especially should become purified by associating with devotees and learning from them how to chant and how to offer everything to Krishna in a loving and humble mood. It is not about thought alone to my opinion.

You say that you are happy, and you are happy on the absolute platform. My question is therefore, can you be any more happy than that, or does your happiness come to a stop. You sometimes write of unlimited happiness and of diving into more and more nectar. So I would like to know if when someone is happy on the absolute platform, does he need the happiness to grow more and more, or is he satisfied with the happiness he gets from his spiritual activity? Also I would like to know how did you get to this absolute platform? Did you get moments of happiness in doses in the beginning? Or did you completely jump from suffering to an unlimited state of happiness?

with many more questions to ask

your student and servant

Indu pati das

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Answer: If You Think Favorably...

You are right in understanding that simply thinking about Krishna is not enough. Kamsa was always thinking about Krishna, but He was a big demon. There are two ways to think about Krishna: pratikula and anukula. Pratikula is unfavorable like Kamsa, always inimical towards Krishna. And anukula is favorable like Arjuna, always loving Krishna. So we must always think about Krishna in a favorable way. Favorable means we are always thinking about how wonderful are His name, fame, form, pastimes, abode, entourage, paraphernalia, and teachings. And we are always thinking of we can glorify and serve our Lord with love. If one is thinking always in this way, naturally he will serve the Lord nicely 24 hours daily with their mind, body, and words.

Spiritual happiness is unlimited and ever-increasing. You may wonder how is it possible for the unlimited to increase. But just consider the example of the infinite hotel. There is an infinite hotel with an unlimited number of rooms and and an unlimited number of guests. Every time a new person comes to check into the hotel the person in room number one moves to room number two, the person in the room number two moves to room number three, etc, etc. In this way even though there is an already unlimited number of guests, more and more guests can be added to the infinite hotel. In this way unlimited happiness can go on increasing more and more for all of eternity. It never becomes boring or hackneyed.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains:

"A devotee is inspired by the Supersoul within the heart to advance in devotional service in a variety of ways. The devotee does not feel hackneyed or stereotyped, nor does he feel that he is in a stagnant position. In the material world, if one engages in chanting a material name, he will feel tired after chanting a few times. However, one can chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra all day and night and never feel tired. As chanting is increased, it will come out new and fresh."
(from the purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.30.20)

One comes to the platform of absolute happiness in a gradual way just like a gradually manifesting magnificent sunrise on an enliveningly sweet spring morning. The key is that you have to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and under his guidance chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. In this way you will gradually enter that ocean of unlimited happiness that has been there within your heart since time immemorial.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday 27 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

The Rigors and Rewards of Life on the Road


Life on the road has its austerities. For example, one can get sick and with constant moving with no fixed habitat, it is very difficult to recover. There are so many varieties of unforeseen circumstances that are sometimes difficult to deal with. Such things as travel arrangements, accommodations, meals, internet connections, and laundry can easily become a problem. We simply have to tolerate whatever difficulties that arise without being disturbed.

But the pay off is having enhanced facility for spreading the science of Krishna. Wherever I go I am given honor and respect as a preacher of the science of Krishna consciousness. My lectures are advertised in advance by the local devotees and are well attended sometimes to over-capacity audiences. Out of the many sincere souls who hear me speak, some become so inspired by my humble attempt to serve the mission of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, that they request if they can become my disciples. If they are recommended as qualified by their local ISKCON authorities I will then accept them as my spiritual son or daughter for achieving the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead. There is no more satisfying feeling than helping a sincere soul achieve the topmost destination.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Many Have You Initiated?


Can I ask you among the many students you write to, how many devotees have been initiated by you? Do you ever feel that there will come a time when you will not be able to write personally because of overwork? Also, can you tell me what is the significance of fire during the initiation ceremony?

Just to let you know, I appreciate your correspondence.

Kind regards,

Your student

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Answer: I Do Not Give Cheap Initiation...

I do not give initiation cheaply. To receive initiation one must be highly qualified. Therefore, I have only so far initiated 31 of my students.

I may reach a point of overwork. It does not appear that it is going to happen any time soon.

Lord Vishnu appears in the form of the initiation fire to burn up the sins of the new initiate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 26 October 2006

from Vilnius, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Greatest Service to the Suffering Humanity


The root cause of all suffering is a lack of Krishna consciousness. Every single living being throughout the vast totality of existence is part and parcel of the supreme person, Lord Sri Krishna. In this material world 99.999% of the living beings are in complete ignorance of their factual identities and are thus unnecessarily suffering in the cycle of ever-repeating birth, death, old age, and disease. If they can simply come to their senses by remembering who they actually are and thinking, speaking, and acting always in harmony with their actual true nature, they will be unlimitedly happy in all times, places, and circumstances. Therefore there is no greater service that one can render to the suffering human than to dedicate one's life to reawakening the dormant Krishna consciousness that is sleeping in the hearts of all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Did God Look Like?


What did God look like the very first time he incarnated himself on earth? Was it his two armed version with skin like the color of clouds?

Why is it still so difficult to break free from maya even when a strong attempt is being made?

What do you think Krishna would say if you asked him what you should do if you are struggling with depression and anger?

Erin

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Answer: He Was a Gigantic Fish

The first incarnation of Krishna within this universe is described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

om namo bhagavate mukhyatamaya namah sattvaya
pranayaujase sahase balaya maha-matsyaya nama iti.


"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is pure transcendence. He is the origin of all life, bodily strength, mental power and sensory ability. Known as Matsyavatara, the gigantic fish incarnation, He appears first among all the incarnations. Again I offer my obeisances unto Him." SB 5.18.25

It is difficult to break free from maya because we have been conditioned to be her slave for millions and millions of lifetimes. Becoming Krishna consciousness is to declare war against maya, the illusory energy. If your endeavor to break free from maya is not successful even when a strong attempt is made, you must make even a stronger attempt. And if that is not successful, you must make even a stronger attempt. In this way you must make your attempt stronger, stronger, stronger, stronger, until finally you break free from the clutches of the material energy.

Depression and anger are the symptoms of a person who is under the influence of the material modes of passion and ignorance. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna orders us to be transcendental to the influence of the three modes of material nature.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday 25 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Video Clip:
Expounding the Science of the Soul in Russia
http://www.backtohome.com/video/russia.wmv


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Today's Thought:

The Famous Kaunas Send-Off

One of our all-time favorite places to visit on our around-the-world and European preaching tours is the ISKCON center in Kaunas, Lithuania. Why is that? It is because of the famous Kaunas send-off. When we depart from the temple the devotees assemble on the drive way and crank up a super-enlivened kirtan. Then as our car heads down the drive way to the street, they serenade us singing and dancing with unbridled enthusiasm until our car disappears in the distance down the street. In the clip below you can see yesterday's super send off:

                      http://www.backtohome.com/video/Kaunas-sendoff.wmv

In yesterday's send-off one of the lady devotees, Nareshwari devi dasi, and a little devotee boy expressed their affectionate desire that we not leave by grabbing hold of the car making a show of trying to prevent us from leaving by holding the car back. Of course, it was an affectionate show only. They did not succeed in stopping the car. But their expression of loving attachment to our association captured our hearts. We will include surely Kaunas on our next European preaching tour in the spring, and we will never forget these sweet loving devotees.

We will fulfill their desire.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Kaunas Send-off Photos:

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Achieve Spiritual Perfection?


How can I achieve spiritual perfection ?

Priytosh

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Answer: Take Shelter of a Bona Fide Guru...

I am very happy that you have inquired from me regarding how you can achieve spiritual perfection. To inquire in this way is the purpose of our human existence. Otherwise, if we simply engage in eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, we are no better than the animals, and factually we become lower than animals.

It is the current population of non-spiritually inclined human beings who have turned this planet into a virtual hell. It does not have to be this way. It can be like a heavenly planet here. It is naturally meant to be that way. But because we have become totally engrossed on the material, bodily platform we are not able to taste the sweet nature of the spiritual reality which is the origin and underlying principle of everything. Therefore your inquiry is most glorious.

The answer to your question is given by Srila Rupa Goswami, one of the most highly realized and advanced spiritual masters in the history of the universe. He was on this planet 500 years living in Sri Vrindavan Dham researching the vast Vedic wisdom and compiling highly enlightened literatures for the upliftment of the fallen mankind. His answer is presented as follows in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu:

adau gurvasrayam

"The first business of a person who who wants to achieve spiritual perfection is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master." From the spiritual master the disciple receives transcendental knowledge and is engaged in spiritual disciplines for his purification and deliverance from the ocean of repeated birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday 24 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Initiation: Formally Entering the Path

If we are at all serious about attaining spiritual perfection and returning to our original home in the spiritual world, we need to become masters in the science of bhakti. Our formal entrance to the path of bhakti is the moment we take initiation from a bona fide spiritual master. Just as someone who wants to earn a college degree solidly dedicates himself to the process when he formally registers in the university, the person who is fully committed to achieving spiritual perfection takes initiation from a bona fide spiritual master and under his expert guidance makes solid spiritual process through the various stages leading up to full spiritual perfection.

On Sunday October 22, 2006 in Kaunas, Lithuania it was my great pleasure to accept as my new disciple, Andriejus Radčenkowe, a Lithuanian college student, who is working on a masters degree. At the time of initiation, it is the system that the initiate is awarded with a new name, a spiritual name, to remind him of his eternal spiritual identity as a servant of Krishna and of Lord Krishna's devotees. I have named Andriejus as Abhinanda Das. Abhinanda is the elder brother of Nanda Maharaja, the foster father of Lord Krishna. And Das means servant. The name Das or Dasi (the feminine version) is added to the end of the spiritual name so that the disciple is always reminded that he is the servant of God and His devotees.

This is an auspicious new beginning for Abhinanda Das. I am reminded of that most auspicious day of 12 August 1971 when I was accepted as the disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I encourage all of my students to become very serious about attaining spiritual perfection and to qualify themselves for and accept initiation. This will enable them to quickly advance on the path of bhakti for attaining the ultimate perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead.

The qualifications are as follows: You must be strictly fixed in chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa beads, and you must strictly avoid illicit sex life, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sankarshan Das Adhikari (at far left)
awards initiation to Abhinanda Das (at far right)

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Same Effect by Chanting Jesus or Allah?


To classify Krishna consciousness as non-sectarian simply because we say to chant the name of God and you'll come to Krishna's abode through service, devotion to the spiritual master, and adherence to the regulative principles, seems to be an over-simplification of the process. In fact the regimented lifestyle that devotees are asked to live under the guise of service is most certainly dogmatic.

I spent time in a monastery as a much younger man, and I've lived in a Krishna temple recently. But I've always had trouble with this statement. I mean wouldn't the same effect be gained from chanting Allah or Jesus? And if so why is there so much deity worship?

David

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Answer: Whatever Process is Most Conducive...

Spiritual awakening is a tangible experience. It is not something artificial or dogmatic imposed on the brain. In fact to identify as a member of a certain sect is the exact opposite of Krishna consciousness.

For one who is not awakened, the practices of the awakened and the awakening may sometimes appear to be dogmatic. But this is due to ignorance only.

There is one Complete Whole of which each and every one of us is a part. The process of re-harmonizing ourselves with that Complete Whole is neither sectarian, nor is it dogmatic. As long as we remain in our present dissonant state of consciousness, we can not properly understand things as they are. Therefore me must seriously adopt an awakening process under the direction of those who are awakened.

Whether that Complete Whole is understood as Christ, Allah, or Krishna does not matter, as long as one factually becomes perfectly dovetailed with Him. One who is eager to awaken his dormant enlightened consciousness will naturally enthusiastically adopt whatever practices are most conducive for quickly bringing him into direct contact with God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 23 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Video Clip:
Expounding the Science of the Soul in Russia
http://www.backtohome.com/video/russia.wmv

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Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories of Krishna Consciousness in Russia


22 October 2006, 5 am  Kaliningrad, Russia--

In one hour we are departing from Russia, heading back to Kaunas, Lithuania. We will carry with us the sweetest memories of being here with the Russian devotees. It is so wonderful that Krishna Consciousness can now be freely practiced in Russia. Just a few years ago it was a crime which could cost you your life, or get you into prison, a concentration camp, or a psychiatric hospital.

Yesterday we had the sweetest, most blissful celebration of Govardhan Puja where I lectured for one and half hours, we offered arati to Sri Sri Gaur Nitai, we danced around a replica of Govardhan Hill made out of halava and a variety of sweets, and we then relished Krishna prasadam. As we left this joyous celebration many of the devotees followed us to our car serenading us the entire way with Hare Krishna kirtan. Then as we pulled away they begged us to come back again soon.


Farewell from Russia

We will fulfill their desire.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Were the Brahmanas Biased?


Recently, I was explaining about Krishna Consciousness to my father and about the difference in reading from authorized sources and other sources. He asked me, "Why in all the Vedic literature, the position of Brahmanas been placed superior to other castes? All the scriptures have been written by brahmanas, and isn't it possible that there is a bias?"

I request You to please enlighten me.

Your servant,

Ankit

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Answer: True Brahmanas Have Equal Spiritual Vision...

The true Brahmanas of the ancient Vedic culture were not caste conscious. They were eager to elevate everyone to the platform of knowing what is Brahman and how to always live in Brahman.

Later on after the beginning of the Kali Yuga the Brahmana class become corrupted by caste consciousness. They were no longer understood what is Brahman nor how to live always in Brahman. They simply wanted honor, distinction, and material facilities for their so-called position of superiority. It is this corrupt so-called Brahmana class that has spoiled India.

Our educational program is to re-introduce the original pure brahminical culture and restore India to her former glory.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 22 October 2006

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Sharing the Ultimate Nectar in Russia


For a long time I have had the desire to spread the science of Krishna consciousness in Russia. Even without my actively pursuing the fulfillment of this desire, it came to me automatically by the arrangement of the Lord. Last spring when I was in Lithuania I was invited to preach in Russia by Vishvavasu Prabhu, a devotee who often teaches the bhakti yoga science in Russia. I immediately accepted his invitation. This nice devotee made all arrangements of transportation, meals, accommodations, laundry service, internet connection, and preaching engagements for me. All I have to do is chant Hare Krishna and talk about Krishna. What could be more enlivening?

The people here in Kaliningrad, Russia are in desperate need of Krishna consciousness. Without knowledge of the soul they are lost, completely drowned in the whirlpool of repeated birth and death. I am noticing on the streets the very common sight of people, even young girls, walking down the street with bottles of beer in their hands. They intoxicate themselves in order to try to find some happiness, but still they remain miserable. If they would just try the ultimate nectar, the supreme intoxicant, Krishna consciousness, they would become fully satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sharing the ultimate nectar in Kaliningrad, Russia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are You an Awakened Teacher?


I have come across your email address from a link at Yahoo! Answers in regards to reincarnation. Are you an awakened teacher, or a path walker, or scholar? My interest is to learn and to shed myself of all.

Peace

Daniel

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Answer: Recognize the Awakened Teacher by His Symptoms, Not by His Claims...

Regarding your inquiry if I am an awakened teacher, kindly note that the bona fide spiritual master does not consider or advertise himself as such. The bona fide spiritual master is recognized by his actions and by his words. His actions and his words are 100% in harmony with the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna as presented in the Bhagavad-gita.

Although I am walking the pathway tread by previous great spiritual masters, I do not consider myself to be a highly learned scholar. I am simply the humble servant of my spiritual master, deputed by him to spread the Supreme Knowledge to a suffering world.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 21 October 2006

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Detained at the Russian Border


20 October 2006--11:30 am.   My premonitions of trouble at the Russian border turned out to be well warranted. Even though we had bona fide double entry visas issued by the Russian embassy in Washington, DC USA, the border officials did not want to let us enter Russia. They took our passports away from us and kept Mataji and I standing for over an hour on the sidewalk in the cold without even a place to sit down. I knew we were in a battle with the material energy, and I started chanting prayers to Lord Nrisimhadeva, the protector of the devotees from the harassment of the non-devotees.


The scene of our border detention

Finally they called us into an office to interrogate us. The uniformed official wanted to know why we wanted to enter Russia. He wanted to know where we were staying and how long we would stay. I gave him all the information he requested.

I did not know what was the problem, why they were hesitating to allow us in. There was a language barrier also. I speak only one word of Russian and the official spoke very little English. Foreseeing possible border crossing difficulties I had had the foresight to obtain two days previously the mobile phone number of the devotee, Vishvavasu Das, who would meet us at the border. He was a Russian citizen and was expert in knowing how to deal with the Russian mentality. I gave the official Vishvavasu's phone number and asked him to call him. The official spoke with him for couple of minutes and then left the room. When he returned he smiled slightly and wished us a good trip. So I knew our problems were over.

It turned out that they were completely bewildered by my wearing a dhoti instead of pants and therefore did not want to let me enter the country. Vishvavasu Prabhu tactfully explained to him that as my wife was from India, I sometimes dressed like an Indian. This was reasonable to the officials and they decided to allow me to enter.

Srila Prabhupada compares border officials to barking dogs who do not want you walking on what they consider to be their street. The fact is that this entire planet is the property of God and that we are all God's children. But we foolishly claim God's property to be our own establishing artificial borders and restricting the motion of God's children.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why "Lotus Feet"?


1. What is the meaning of "lotus feet"?
2. When Krishna created the material world for those who want to enjoy independently why did He create suffering in it? He could have created a world with no suffering just like the spiritual world for those who wanted to enjoy independently.

Madhav

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Answer: They Enable Easy Crossing Over the Material Ocean...

Krishna's feet are called lotus feet because they enable one to easily cross over the vast ocean of material existence as confirmed in the following verse:

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

Just as a fish can never be satisfied out of his natural habitat, the water, the material world must necessarily be a place of suffering because it is not our nature to enjoy independently from God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday 20 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Preaching Krishna Consciousness in Russia

19 October 2006--4 am. Srila Prabhupada stated that preaching in the snows of Russia is sweeter than mangos. Having tasted the nectar of preaching Krishna consciousness all over the world, I've always wanted to preach in Russia. Today we are getting the chance. Today we going to Russia.

My host, a Russian citizen, a devotee named Vishvavasu, has warned me about possible difficulties while crossing the border as we are leaving Russia. The border guards are known to apply the rules and regulations inconsistently utilizing their position to harass people and even extort bribes. Out of precaution against harassment we are leaving Sri Sri Radha Damodar behind to be worshipped for several days at our Kaunas temple where they will share the altar with Sri Sri Nitai Gauracandra and be fed very nicely.

I do not know what kind of difficulties I will face leaving Russia with my laptop computer, camera, and MP3 recorder. I am simply taking what I need for preaching and depending on Krishna to protect me from the harassment of non-devotees. If I was to always live comfortably avoiding all difficult situations, I would miss out on so much transcendental excitement and adventure. Srila Prabhupada taught us to be daring and active for spreading this Krishna consciousness all over the world, and I am trying my best to obey him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Will Following Krishna Affect my Life?


I am a south Indian, who is a Lord Shiva follower. How will following Lord Krishna affect my life?

Kalai

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Answer: Marvelously...

It will effect your life marvelously. By worshipping Lord Krishna you will give the greatest pleasure to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is a devotee of Krishna. Therefore nothing gives him greater pleasure than to see that you are devotee of Krishna.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam we find the following statement by Lord Siva:

yah param ramhasah saksat
tri-gunaj jiva-samjnitat
bhagavantam vasudevam
prapannah sa priyo hi me


"Any person who is surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, the controller of everything -- material nature as well as the living entity -- is actually very dear to me."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 4.24.28

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 19 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Back to Home, Back to Kaunas

There is no one more dear to the Lord than His devotees who have dedicated their lives for spreading His glories all over the world. Nor will there even be anyone more dear. Therefore there is no sweeter taste than the association of Lord Krishna's devotees. This is the benefit of traveling to meet with the saintly people at holy places of pilgrimage scattered across the globe. At each stop we get to plug into the sweet, sweet ocean of sadhu sanga (devotee association) and become unlimitedly surcharged with transcendental bliss. Especially here in Kaunas, Lithuania we are relishing the greatest happiness in the association of the Lithuanian devotees.


ISKCON Kaunas Ecstatic Send off Kirtan

In this enlivening association we feel that now we have returned to our eternal home. This is the nature of devotee association. It takes us back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Only Krishna and Rama in the Mahamantra?


Why does the Hare Krishna Mahamantra not contain the name of any other incarnation except for Krishna and Rama?

Your Servant,
Tarun
Sanawad, India.

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Answer:  The Name "Krishna" Includes All Incarnations...

Krishna is not another one of the incarnations of God. He is indeed the very source of all the unlimited incarnations of God. Every name of God indicates another one of His attractive features. The name "Krishna" means "all-attractive". Therefore it includes all the other names of God within it. By one utterance of "Krishna" one receives the automatic benefit of having chanting all of the names of God. In this connection it is indicated in the revealed scriptures that by chanting the name "Krishna" one time, one receives the benefit of uttering three thousand names of Lord Vishnu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday 18 October 2006

from Kaunas, Lithuania
 

Last Monday, 16 October 2006 was

the Appearance Day
of His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Read homages written for this occasion at the following:
http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com/Offerings/Vyasapuja06/index.html

Watch a video clip from the celebration:
http://www.backtohome.com/video/vyas-puja-06.wmv


Today's Thought:

Can You Taste the Nectar?


Loving service to the Supreme Person is an ocean of bliss. Can you taste the nectar? If you can, consider yourself most blessed and fortunate. And if you not, you need to find out how, because you are missing out. The formula for tasting the nectar is given in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

susrusoh sraddadhanasya
vasudeva-katha-rucih
syan mahat-sevaya viprah
punya-tirtha-nisevanat


"O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16

The more we develop the inclination to hear about Krishna from those who are completely pure, the more we will taste the sweet nectar of Krishna consciousness at every moment. Seek out the company of those who are pure in their spiritual life and take shelter of them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Which Gita Verse?


I exchange a few email with my business customers daily. I like to flash one Bhagavad-gita verse daily to my clients. Is this okay? And if yes, which verse should it be, which people can understand easily.

Hare Krishna

Murari Lal

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Answer: Use This One...

I am very happy to learn that you want to distribute the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita to your clients because there is no greater welfare work for the benefit of the suffering humanity.

This is the verse that you should distribute:

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


"Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform --do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 9.27

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday 17 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Back on the Road of Adventure to Kaunas, Lithuania

After an ecstatic nectar-surcharged week of Krishna katha (hearing and chanting the glories of Krishna) in Riga, Latvia, Mataji and I are now heading out on the road of adventure once more. This time our destination is Kaunas, Lithuania. Wherever we go our business is the same, to dive deeply into that sublime, soothing, enlivening ocean of absorption in the name, fame, forms, pastimes, entourage, abode, teachings, and paraphernalia of that inconceivably sweet and wonderful Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

The entire world is suffering because of one scarcity only. What is that scarcity? They are unnecessarily suffering in so many, many varieties of ways simply because they are lacking in Krishna consciousness. This does not have to be a problem because we have an ample supply of Krishna consciousness to completely fulfill the Krishna conscious needs of all living beings throughout the entire universe. Simply they must lend us their ears. Then we shall be able to deliver them from all of their unlimited anxieties.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I See Krishna?


I want to see Krishna and talk to him. How can I see Krishna?

Siva

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Answer: Anoint Your Eyes with the Salve of Love...

If you want to see Krishna you must fully surrender unto Him. Then that day will surely come when you will see Him face to face, eye to eye. This is described in the Brahma Samhita as follows:

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


"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Syamasundara, Krishna Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love." --Brahma Samhita 5.38

You must anoint your eyes with salve of love. That salve is obtained by submissively hearing the topics of the Lord and rendering humble service to the Lord's servants.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 16 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Pure Love is the Real Happiness


The real and natural position of complete happiness is pure love. That pure love means pure absorption in the loving service of the Supreme Person. When we exclusively channel all of our love to that Supreme Person, it is automatically and perfectly distributed to all living entities throughout the vast span of the total existence.

The difficulty we have, which keeps us bound up in the cycle of repeated birth and death, is that we pursue loving relationships which are tainted with selfishness. We enter into what we call loving relationships for the sake of getting something for ourselves. Such greedy consciousness leaves us tinged with a miserable feeling of dirtiness. Even though widely touted in this world as love, such a mentality is nothing more than covered lust.

Through the bona fide bhakti yoga system one can gradually purify one's consciousness transforming it from a self-centered consciousness to a God-centered consciousness. The perfection of such consciousness is to reach a point where every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances is 100% dedicated to pleasing the Lord, even if the devotee must suffer so many personal difficulties to serve his Lord.

This enlightened consciousness of pure love enriches us with a happiness that is thrilling beyond all description. It lies within the reach of everyone. But if we want it, we have to dedicatedly work for it. We must sincerely make the endeavor under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master. By his blessings we will then achieve the supreme perfection of existence, pure Krishna prema.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Doesn't Krishna Appear?


There is a lot of discussion about when Krishna's incarnation of Kalki Avatar will make His appearance on earth. We see now that after Lord Krishna made his appearance and then departed 5,000 years ago that mankind has gone from bad to worse with no apparent limit to how much injustice and immorality can become manifested around us. Why doesn't Krishna make an appearance now to put an end to all this? I know that it has already been stated in the Vedas that the age of Kali yuga is going to last for another 427,000 years and this is bound to happen. But isn't all this going beyond tolerance? Isn't there a need for God to intervene to make man realize his purpose for being here and how misguided he is?

Please do let me know.

Nehal
Mumbai, India

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Answer: He Has Appeared...

You are absolutely correct in understanding the dire need for the Lord to appear. He has mercifully done so at the present time by manifesting Himself in the form of the Hare Krishna Movement. Kindly take advantage of this by fully dedicating your life to this movement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 15 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Conquer Envy and Taste the Supreme Nectar



Our most dangerous enemy is envy. Envy is when we cannot tolerate someone else being ahead of us. Our original envy is to be envious of God. It is that envy of God that originally brought us into this rotten material existence, and it is that envy, which if not conquered, which can keep us here suffering forever. So if we are at all intelligent, we will do whatever it takes to completely free ourselves from the influence of envy. We really do not have any choice if we want to ever taste genuine happiness.

Envy is based on foolishness, the foolishness that the way to be happy is to be in a superior position. We do not realize that our greatest happiness is to be a subordinate position. This fact is demonstrated practically by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is situated in the topmost position in all of existence, the position of supreme enjoyment. But He is amazed to see that His devotee, Srimati Radharani, His subordinate, is relishing more pleasure in her subordinate position than He is in His superior position. Not to be outdone, that Supreme Lord, then assumes the mode and complexion of Srimati Radharani by taking the subordinate position of being a devotee of Krishna, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

So to increase His supreme enjoyment the Supreme Personality of Godhead assumes the subordinate position. We should take lesson from this and adopt the non-envious mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Our happiness will expand exponentially.

Just see the divine rapture of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in the painting below:

If you want to taste the supreme nectar, take hint from the sublime example of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and give up your envy to become a fully surrendered devotee of Lord. You've got nothing to lose except for your temporality, your ignorance, and your misery. Try it. You'll absolutely love it! We guarantee it 100%!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna in the 5th Dimension?


I once heard from a speaker at my local ISKCON center that, according to the Sri Brahma-Samhita, God or Krishna is situated in the 5th dimension, yet I find no such clear reference in that text - which I've read numerous times. Elsewhere I've read that the fifth dimension is where one comes face to face with Gopal Krishna in Braj (Vraja Dhama). Is this your understanding as well?

Thank you.

Charles

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Answer: How to Enter the Fifth Dimension...

Srila Prabhupada very simply describes Krishna consciousness as the fifth dimension after the previous four dimensions of dharma (religiosity), artha (economic development), kama (sense gratification), and moksha (impersonal liberation).

As soon as one becomes initiated by the bona fide spiritual master taking his instructions very seriously, he immediately enters the fifth dimension of eternity, knowledge, and bliss, far, far beyond the three dimensional mirage reality of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 14 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Serving the Supreme Love Affair


The most popular subject matter in this world is the love between a man and woman. Everyone is attracted by a good love song or love story. The Beatles became rich and famous by expertly catering to this attraction. From where do we get this tendency?

Since God is the origin of everything, we can reason that this male/female attraction must also be there in God. And by studying the authoritative Vedic literatures we discover that this is indeed a fact. The original boy/girl relationship is between Lord Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani. In this connection the great Vaisnava acharya, Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur, describes that adi-rasa, the original taste, is the love between a man and a woman and that this adi-rasa originates in Krishna.

Back in 1968 I was a 21-year-old college student living in Denver, Colorado seriously seeking spiritual enlightenment. I had been misguided and frustrated by so many bogus so-called teachers, thinkers, and gurus. But when Bob Dylan wrote that there must some kind of way to get out of this place of confusion and no relief, I was convinced that it must be true. Therefore I was searching, searching, searching for the ultimate answer. Then one day I discovered and purchased a poster of this image of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna:


I had read in the Bhagavad-gita that Krishna would personally accept vegetarian foodstuffs that were offered to Him with love. So I took this poster home and made an altar placing this beautiful painting in the center of it. Then whatever I ate I would first offer it to Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and I would in great ecstasy chant Hare Krishna sitting meditatively in front of this sublimely beautiful couple.

What impressed me the most about this extraordinary depiction of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna was the tender, affectionate, worshipful way that Radharani was meditating through her eyes on her darling boyfriend. How sweet, how wonderful, how pure is the love expressed in the lotus eyes of this innocent young girl for her beloved Sri Krishna! My fascination with how wonderful is this love of Radha for Krishna eventually led me to lotus feet of the greatest spiritual master in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has mercifully saved me from the ocean of birth and death.

In the material world the highest taste is adi-rasa, the love affair between a man and a woman. But even higher still is to serve the love affair between the original lovers, Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. This is exemplified by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Who although Krishna Himself, adopts the position of being Krishna's devotee. He thus exponentially expands His unlimited pleasure of being the Supreme Person by becoming a servant of the Supreme Person. We too can taste this inconceivably unlimited happiness through following in the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by fully surrendering ourselves as the servants of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why a Peacock Feather?


Why does Sri Krishna have a peacock feather on his head ?

Sunita

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Answer: Krishna Likes It...

Krishna wears a peacock feather on His head because He likes it. His wearing a peacock feather is described as follows in the Brahma Samhita:

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


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

"Barhavatamsam" means "with a peacock feather on his head."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday 13 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Enlightened Global Leadership


At the present moment our world society is suffering from a devastating vacuum in global leadership. Today's typical leader is more interested in what he can take than in what he can give. This creates a very unbalanced situation which then filters down through all the levels of our global village creating unnecessary misery and anxiety for everyone. Even those who have managed to manipulate themselves to the top, and who are exploiting the system for their own aggrandizement, are not satisfied.

So what can be done to rectify a situation that has gotten so far out of hand? We need ideal men and women of character who can provide global leadership by their mere example, whether or not they hold a big title or a big position. Such leaders are described as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

yad yad acarati sresthas
tat tad evetaro janah
sa yat pramanam kurute
lokas tad anuvartate


"Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues." Bhagavad-gita 3.21

If such a class of saintly persons can now emerge on this planet, they will naturally provide the new standard of enlightened global leadership that our ever-increasingly fractured world needs now more than ever.

You, my dear reader, are invited to join the ranks of those who pursue pure God-centeredness as the ultimate goal of their existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become an Initiated Disciple?


How do I become initiated by a bona fide spiritual master?

Respectively yours,

Andrew Tullett-Court

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Answer: Inquire From and Serve the Spiritual Master...

Your question, "How do I become initiated by a bona fide spiritual master?" is glorious because it is enjoined in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam


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

Our first birth is from our mother and father, and our second birth is from our spiritual mother, the Vedas, and our spiritual father, the spiritual master. The method for becoming initiated is described by Lord Krishna as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

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

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

We simply have to approach the spiritual master with submissive inquiries and a humble service attitude and reveal to him that we would like to take shelter of him by initiation. He will then guide us exactly what we need to do to become his fully surrendered disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 12 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Taking Shelter of the Internal Energy

At the present moment we are very much entangled in the external energy. The nature of the external energy is that it is temporary, full of ignorance, and full of misery. There is another energy of an entirely different nature. That energy is known as the internal energy. By proper training from a bona fide spiritual master anyone can master the science of how to situate themselves in the internal energy, which is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Such withdrawing from the external energy to the internal energy is described by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

yada samharate cayam
kurmo 'nganiva sarvasah
indriyanindriyarthebhyas
tasya prajna pratisthita

"One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws its limbs within the shell, is firmly fixed in perfect consciousness."
Bhagavad-gita 2.58

The human life is meant for such perfection of consciousness because no matter how expertly we may situated ourselves in the external energy, we can never be satisfied. All attempts to achieve complete happiness within the external will be a miserable failure. This is a fact because we are qualitatively one with the internal energy. of the same nature as the internal energy, not the external energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can You Give a Glimpse of the Spiritual Realm?

I want to sincerely say thanks for your continuing shining example of a front-line warrior carrying the torchlight of knowledge to the world where the fallen conditioned souls have no hope other than the blessings and guidance of the compassionate Vaisnavas. I am also benefiting immensely from the strength and directness of your words and instructions.

I read that one of your fortunate followers was asking about the scenery on your travels. Perhaps you could give us a quick glimpse into the scenery of the spiritual realm - our destination, Goloka Vrindavan, as described by our previous guru parampara.

In gratitude,

Sahadeva das __/\o_

aspiring Krishna bhakta for 25yrs

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Answer: Meditation on Goloka Vrindavan...

Your request is glorious. That supreme spiritual abode, known as Goloka Vrindavan, is wonderful millions and billions of times greater than anything we can even begin to try to conceive of in our wildest imagination. Just as the lotus flower is the epitome of serenity and beauty here in this material world, that transcendental Goloka Vrindavan is the topmost lotus of all places of residence within the totality of existence. It is indeed the embodiment of the ultimate sweetness.

Lord Brahma had a vision of Goloka Vrindavan and described it as follows:

"There exists a divine lotus of a thousand petals, augmented by millions of filaments, in the transcendental land of Goloka. On its whorl, there exists a great divine throne on which is seated Sri Krishna, the form of eternal effulgence of transcendental bliss, playing on His divine flute resonant with the divine sound, with His lotus mouth. He is worshiped by His amorous milkmaids with their respective subjective portions and extensions and also by His external energy [who stays outside] embodying all mundane qualities."

Every cubic inch of that all wondrous transcendental abode is brilliant with the most dazzling splendor. It it magnificent, ever-fresh, and a place of unceasing enlivenment for all those who are so fortunate as to reside there. The source of its divine flavor is none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna, Who forever resides there engaged in unlimited varieties of all attractive pastimes.

That all merciful original person is described as follows by Lord Brahma in the Sri Brahma-samhita:

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

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

By hearing about, describing, and remembering that topmost planet in the Spiritual Sky we gradually develop more and more of an inclination for residing there, and thus qualify ourselves to eventually be transferred there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday 11 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Revolutionary Realizations on the Road to Riga


What a mess this world is! It's a jungle which is becoming more and more dangerous with every passing year. Insanity is becoming more and more of an everyday affair. We see leaders who are not even qualified as human beings, what to speak of being qualified to lead us. And we are expected to work hard to maintain the crazy status quo. What could be more ridiculous?

Therefore we are now calling for a worldwide spiritual revolution to completely reform the entire human society. Kindly join with us now to uplift the global consciousness. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

We are not speaking of revolution of guns and bullets. We are speaking of a revolution of enlightened consciousness which now must sweep the earth. We really don't have any other choice. We must now establish the common spiritual center for all living beings or witness the complete gradual disintegration of the human civilization.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sankarshan Das Adhikari writing "Thought for Day"
on the road to Riga, Latvia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Did Evolution Take Place?


My first question is: Did evolution take place? Also if it did not take place and we did not come from Neanderthals, homo habilis, etc., then what is the explanation for the skulls and fossils discovered by scientists?

And a question regarding homosexuality: Since, if we have sexual relations, it should be with someone of the opposite sex to raise Krishna conscious children, what if you adopt a baby and raise it to be devoted to Lord Krishna?

Daniel

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Answer: Yes, But Darwin Requires Further Evolution...

Yes. There is evolution, but not the sort of concocted evolution theorized by Charles Darwin. There are 8,400,000 different types of species including 400,000 different kinds of human beings. So it is natural to find different kinds of fossils and skulls buried in the earth. But to this date the so-called scientists have still not unearthed any skull or fossil that stand as evidence of an evolutionary transformation.

The actual evolution is an evolution of consciousness through the process of transmigration of the soul lifetime after lifetime from lower life forms to higher life forms. In other words, the species are already there from the very beginning. The soul gradually takes higher and higher life forms according to the law of evolution. The scientists have some more evolving to do before they will be able to understand what is the actual meaning of evolution.

Sexuality is for reproduction. Since homosexuality does not produce children, it is impractical. If one adopts a baby to raise it in Krishna consciousness, this is a very nice service to Lord. Since the baby has already been produced, sexuality is not required.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday 10 October 2006

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Secret of Success


Last Sunday, the 8th of October 2006, I was requested in Tallinn, Estonia to speak on a verse of the Srimad Bhagavatam, which contains the most important point of instruction, the essential formula for achieving success. In this world 99.99% of the population end their lives in failure instead of success. Why is that? No one would opt for failure. So why is it that practically everyone is a failure? This is due to ignorance only. Therefore there is no greater welfare work than the dissemination of transcendental knowledge to the unknowing souls of this age.

By the grace of my beloved spiritual master I have been blessed with this sublime transcendental knowledge and with the order to spread it all over the world. It is because of his order that I am making it available to you through our weekly lessons and "Thought for the Day." Here is an mp3 recording of the lecture:

http://www.backtohome.com/audio/success.mp3

Hear it carefully and implement the instructions given. We gaurantee that your life will be a 100% success.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Be Purely Krishna Conscious in Our Present Body?


Srila Prabhupada says, we should pray to Krishna this way, "Dear Lord, please come quickly and bring me to your place."

How are we to understand, "your place"? Can we be purely Krishna conscious without leaving the body? Or must we be transferred to Goloka Vrindavan (the topmost planet in the spiritual world) to fully associate with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Thank you.

Bruce Gatten

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Answer: Yes. You Can See Krishna Face to Face...

When we pray to Lord Krishna to take us back to His place, we are asking Him to take us back to the spiritual world. But it is also a fact that if we become purely Krishna conscious even within this body, Lord Krishna will personally reveal Himself to us. We will be able to see Him face to face.

This is described as follows by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.11.10:

"Similarly, the living entities, who are molecular parts of the whole spirit, are separated from the Lord by the artificial covering of maya, illusory energy. This illusory energy, or the curtain of maya, has to be removed, and when it is so done, the living entity can see the Lord face to face, and all his miseries are at once removed."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 9 October 2006

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Back to Riga, Latvia

Today we hit the preaching trail for Riga, Latvia. It's so amazing how the activity of hearing and chanting about Krishna elevates our consciousness beyond this bleak material existence. I remember how much I was suffering before I was blessed with Krishna consciousness. It was a horrible, intolerable existence. Now by the grace of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I have uninterrupted access to a reservoir of unlimited bliss and knowledge forever. How much I am indebted to him for saving me from this rotten material existence? I don't think it is possible that I can ever possibly pay him back. But still I must try by dedicating my entire existence to sharing this mercy I have received from him with all of the fallen, suffering souls of this age.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can You Detail the Serene Scenery?


I was wondering if you could go into detail about the things you see while you are on the road. I was reading "Thought for the Day" and found myself wondering what the landscape was like where you are. It would be nice to ponder some of the serene scenery that you describe as a road to meditation. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your travels and please take care.

Laura

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Answer: Unsurpassable Internal Scenery...

Thank you very much for your kind, loving sentiments.

I appreciate very much your suggestion how to make our daily thoughts more interesting. You would like for me to describe the scenery along the way. What's happening is that the internal scenery is so much more beautiful than the external scenery that I naturally gravitate towards that which is more beautiful and that is what you end up hearing about in "Thought for the Day."

Just like here in post Soviet-era Estonia the external scenery is rather bleak, but the sweet nectar we are tasting here in the association of the Estonian devotees is unlimited.

Here's a couple of shots taken on 7 October 2006 as we were departing from Sillamae, Estonia on our way to Tallinn:


The experiences we get by chanting together with the devotees are more beautiful and magnificent than all of the beautiful scenery in this entire amazing universe magnified to the ten millionth power.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 8 October 2006

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

We Want to Take You Home


There is no need for you to rot any longer in the cycle of birth and death. You are an eternal spiritual being, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. Currently you are misidentifying yourself with your material body, which is temporary, full of ignorance, and full of misery. For you to remain in this deluded condition is an unnecessary waste of your time and energy taking you nowhere.

We would like to get you out of this material existence. If you will agree to come with us, we will take you back to home, back to Godhead, back to your original home in the eternal spiritual sky. You will regain your original identity and relationship with the Supreme Person. And you will taste unlimited happiness for all of eternity in unlimited varieties of loving pastimes with God and His eternal devotees.

Does this sound too good to be true? You may find it unbelievable because you have been so much conditioned by this material existence for so many millions of lifetimes. But I can assure you that it is absolutely true. Do not doubt it for a minute. We will take you home, if you are willing to go.

Of course, we are not going to pressure you. We are simply giving you the invitation. Now you can do what you like. We hope you make the right decision.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Self-Realization Without a Guru?


I have already started chanting mantra to fix myself on transcendental platform without obtaining it from a bona fide spiritual master only by reading from your web site.

Does this qualify me to get self realization?

Your student from India

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Answer: Without Guru Mantra is Impotent...

If you are taking instructions from me, you are already connected with a bona fide spiritual master. Because I am connected with a bona fide spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and I am purely passing on to you whatever he has given me, I am also a bona fide spiritual master.

If you are serious about self-realization, you must now follow the standard pathway as described by the great acharyas (spiritual masters who teach by example.) You cannot concoct your own path. Just as I have been blessed with self-realization by fully surrendering myself unto the bona fide spiritual master, now you must also fully surrender yourself unto the bona fide spiritual master, if you want to attain the self-realization platform.

You cannot become self-realized without taking shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, even if you are chanting a bona fide mantra. This is confirmed as follows in the Padma Purana:

sampradaya-vihina ye
mantras te nisphala matah


"Unless you are initiated by a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, the mantra that you might have received is without any effect."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 7 October 2006

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Living the Ultimate Adventure at Every Minute


We are not meant to live a drab, fearful existence. We are meant to live the ultimate adventure at every minute. This does not have to remain a mere dream. This can be an ongoing practical reality. All we have to do is tap into the unlimited reservoir of Krishna bhakti (devotion to Lord Krishna.)

The thoughtful observer may ask, "Why devotion to Lord Krishna? Why not devotion to Lord Jesus or Lord Shiva?" The answer is that according to the authoritative Vedic wisdom, Lord Sri Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all that exists. Just as by watering the root of the tree all the leaves and branches are nourished, by giving our love to Krishna it is perfectly distributed to everyone and everything throughout the vastness of existence.

Simply by fully dedicating our lives to the pure chanting of Krishna's holy names, we will taste the sweetest nectar at every minute and will thus with one simple stroke transcend all the miseries of material existence for all of eternity.

There's no better deal than this. This is truly the ultimate adventure. You can take it or leave it. If you are smart, you will take it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Devotional Service Destined?


The life of each and everybody is destined. How he lives and what sufferings he is supposed to face, everything is destined.

In this regard my questions are:

1) Is the devotional service also destined to the soul? And is his spiritual master also destined when he takes birth?

2) Is it possible to render more service to the spiritual master than what he was destined to render in this lifetime?

your servant

Rama Rupa Chaitanya das

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Answer: Devotional Service is Beyond Destiny...

In this material world we are all very much restricted by destiny. According to our karma we must suffer or enjoy within our allotted quota and cannot go beyond that. However, if one surrenders himself fully unto Lord Sri Krishna, he comes out of the constraints of destiny and enters into a life of full freedom in which he is completely free from any sort of karmic restrictions.

When the living being chooses to surrender to Krishna is not under the law of destiny. It is the free choice of the living being when he wants to come out of the clutches of destiny. Serving Sri Guru is not under the law of destiny. Therefore one can increase one's service to Sri Guru unlimitedly without any restrictions of destiny.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Friday 6 October 2006

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

On the Road to Sillamae

I am currently riding from Tartu to Sillamae, Estonia in the back seat of a devotee's car with my laptop computer on my lap composing "Thought for the Day." Looking out at the Estonian countryside rolling along through the window, I am wondering how much of an impact we can have on this country, the most atheistic nation in the European Union. Somehow we must convince these innocent souls that they are not their bodies, that they are instead eternal spirit-souls, the eternal servants of the Supreme All-Attractive Personality.

I then pray, " Krishna, please help us to be successful. Only You are powerful enough to free the people from their gross ignorance. Only by your grace can we awaken the sleeping souls of Estonia and this entire planet to the remembrance of who they actually are. Please help us!"

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can Christmindness and Krishna Consciousness Be the Same?


I understand your explanation on Christmindness and Krishna Consciousness but disciples / followers of Christ eat meat, drink wine, and have sex for pleasure. How can Christmindness and Krisjna Consciousness mean the same thing?

Your student

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Answer: The True Christminded/ Krishna Consciousness Person is Free from Sense Gratification

The simple point is that those who are addicted to material sense gratification are not actually Christminded. The true Christminded/Krishna conscious person is naturally completely detached from all forms of material sense gratification because he is experiencing a higher taste in his revived loving relationship with the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Thursday 5 October 2006

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Anti-Matter and the Expansion of Consciousness

On October 3rd in Tartu I gave a lecture at the University of Tartu. The lecture was entitled, "Breakthrough in Science--Anti-Matter and the Expansion of Consciousness." One never knows what size and sort of audience to expect when a hall is reserved and advertising is done. But this lecture must have been at the right place at the right time with the right topic. The hall was packed. People were bringing in chairs from the outside to sit in the aisle. I spoke and answered questions for an hour and and a half and the questions kept on coming without end. Finally I brought it to a close so we could introduce our books and distribute Krishna prasadam to the students. Both were very well received.

Instead of describing the lecture to you I'll let you hear it yourself through the following:

http://backtohome.com/audio/antimatter.wav



Audience members heard with rapt attention.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Christ/Christmindness...


I have emailed before with a question, and you were so prompt and kind to return an answer.. thank you.... I had mentioned in my last email that I was new to self realization. I desire to meditate and manifest more each day to become closer to God. I understand that there are so many different (denominations) in this world. I am a Christian. So I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, who was made man, suffered, died, buried, and rose from the dead, and will come again. Christmindness is taught in Self realization. But who is Christ to self realization's teachings. Is He recognized as 'The' Son of God? Could you please explain your beliefs in the matter?

Thank you,
Lydia

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Answer: Christmindness and Krishna Consciousness are the Same

It is not a question of belief. It is a matter of proper understanding. Belief can change from one thing to another. But when we understand and perceive reality as it is, there is no question of changing. Our knowledge then becomes solid wisdom.

Christ is God, the Son, and Krishna is God, the Father. The word Christ comes from the Greek word Christos, which comes from the Sanskrit word Krista, which is another way of saying Krishna. So whether we say Christmindness or Krishna consciousness, we are actually talking about the same thing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Wednesday 4 October 2006

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Regaining Your Original Identity

My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, has given me the greatest and most inconceivable gift. He has given me the pathway of how to quickly and easily achieve spiritual perfection. He has asked me not to hoard this most valuable gift. He has ordered that I must freely share it with everyone. Therefore, on his order, my life is 100% dedicated to helping you revive the dormant enlightened consciousness that is there within you at every second.

You are not meant to suffer in the repetition of birth and death. Your human life is meant for reviving your original pure consciousness and regaining your original identity in the spiritual world. Your original identity is nicely described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

yat-sevayagner iva rudra-rodanam
puman vijahyan malam atmanas tamah
bhajeta varnam nijam esa so 'vyayo
bhuyat sa isah paramo guror guruh


"One who wants to be free of material entanglement should take to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and give up the contamination of ignorance, involving pious and impious activities. Thus one regains his original identity, just as a block of gold or silver sheds all dirt and becomes purified when treated with fire. May that inexhaustible Supreme Personality of Godhead become our spiritual master, for He is the original spiritual master of all other spiritual masters."
---Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.48

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Aren't There Many Enlightened People?


Please help me to understand. How do we know that 99.99% of people are lost and in a state of illusion? There are surely many good people from many different backgrounds, whether they be Hindu, Muslim, Christian etc. Are there not many enlightened people in the world?

Forgive me for asking. But I do not understand.

Kind regards,

your student

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Answer: No. Their Number is Very Rare...

The fallen nature of the souls in the present age of Kali are described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:
 
prayenalpayusah sabhya
kalav asmin yuge janah
mandah sumanda-matayo
manda-bhagya hy upadrutah

"O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed." Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.10

By noting the difference between goodness and spiritual enlightenment it is easy to discern that practically the entire world is in a state of illusion. How many enlightened newspapers are distributed and read? How many enlightened movies are a box office success? How many enlightened books are on the best seller list? How many enlightened government leaders are leading their nations in such a way that all of their citizens are becoming enlightened? If spiritual enlightenment was common there would a dramatic difference in the world atmosphere. The world would be practically free from terrorism and crime.

There is a distinct difference between being good and being enlightened. The quality of goodness is known as sattva guna and is the highest position within the material modes of nature. Those who are in the mode of goodness take birth again in this material world. Although they are in a very advantageous position to cultivate spiritual enlightenment, if they do not seriously do so, they must remain in the cycle of birth and death.

That very rare number of souls who come to the spiritually enlightened platform are situated in what is known as suddha-sattva or pure goodness. Such souls are 100% free from all the qualities of material existence and do not take birth again. The rarity of spiritual enlightened persons is described by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

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

Spiritual enlightenment has nothing to do with one's designation as a Hindu, Christian, or Muslim. It is simply a matter of whether or not one has become completely sold out to the Lord as evidenced by his complete detachment from all forms of material sense gratification.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Tuesday 3 October 2006

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Back to Tartu, Estonia


We returned yesterday afternoon to Tartu, Estonia. With only 16% of Estonians believing in the existence of God, this country is the most atheistic within the European Union. Theism, however, is thriving very nicely at Tartu's Hare Krishna center run by university students who attend the University of Tartu.

We come here twice a year as part of our Spring European Lecture Tour and our Around-the-World Lecture Tour each fall. It is very encouraging and enlivening to see these future leaders so enthusiastically embracing Krishna consciousness. They have arranged for me to give a lecture today on the campus.

Here is an online video clip available for your enlivenment:
http://www.backtohome.com/video/Tartu_Kirtan.wmv

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Ego an Attitude We Should Avoid?

What does ego mean in human beings? Is it something we should accept or something we should avoid?

At times I hear from others that self-respect and ego are the same. They say that loosing our egotistic consciousness is detrimental for our self respect.

I humbly request your explanation on this matter, whether ego is something we should avoid or we should base ourselves on it.

Thank you,
Yours sincerely,

S. Ganeash
Malaysia

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Answer: We Must Accept Real Ego and Reject False Ego...

Ego means identity. In itself it is neither good nor bad. It is what you do with it that will either make you or break you. False ego means false identity, to consider the body to be the self. Real ego means to identify yourself as the eternal spirit-soul, part and parcel of God. Real ego gives unlimited joy. False ego gives unlimited misery.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Monday 2 October 2006

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Program in Hameenlinna, Finland

As we head out today by boat across the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn, Estonia I am remembering the wonderful Krishna consciousness program we had last Friday night here in Finland in the town of Hameenlinna.

For about a week a team of Finnish devotees lived near Hameenlinna in a temporary base rented for the occasion. Each day they distributed Krishna consciousness literatures in the area and invited everyone to the Friday night program. Mataji and I had flown in from Bulgaria on Thursday afternoon and were driven out to the preaching base early on Friday morning before sunrise so I could give the morning Srimad Bhagavatam lecture to the devotees.

That evening we then were driven to the public library in the center of Hameenlinna for the program. Sure enough at 7pm, the scheduled time for the program to start, the hall quickly filled up with people who came to attend the event. It was an ecstatic cultural experience for everyone, as they experienced the music, history, philosophy, dress style, and cuisine of India's amazing Vedic culture. On the feedback form many guests expressed their great appreciation for their evening's experience.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Appreciation from Satisfied Reader...

I just happened to fall upon your website. Of course I had to log on and sign up for your free course on self realization. It has only been a week and I just wanted to let you know that I am so excited about you and your course. Every morning before work and before the family wakes up I read your thoughts for the day. It is such a nice feeling to start my day after reading your words. As a matter of fact I am a strict follower of Lord Krishna, but I have yet to hear from anyone as knowledgeable as what I have read on your website. It is definitely my good luck to have come across your website. Thank you very much and I look forward to learning more from you everyday!

Radha Rani
Houston,Texas

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Response...

I am very happy that I can be of service to you in your spiritual life. I sometimes come to Houston for preaching the science of Krishna bhakti and I hope to personally meet you the next time I come.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sunday 1 October 2006

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Speaking Out Boldly Against the Madness


In this world where 99.99% of the people are under the spell of illusion it is the duty of the realized souls to speak out boldly against the madness of material existence. If the enlightened souls do not do anything to save the fallen population, these unfortunate souls will surely glide down into the animal kingdom in their next lifetimes.

Actual love and compassion means to save these poor misguided souls from losing the human form and becoming degraded to the animal species. The difficulty is that in their madness they do not realize what is the love and compassion of the great saints. In this foolish condition they persecute and even sometimes torture and kill those who are selflessly trying to save them. Therefore there is no one more dear to the Lord than those who risk everything to try to spread His glories all over the world. There will never be anyone more dear to the Supreme Person.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Take Prasad?


What are the benefits one gets when one takes prasad and why should one take only prasad?

Navin

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Answer: For Release from All Kinds of Sins...

The remnants of foodstuffs that have been offered to Lord Sri Krishna are known as prasadam or prasad. The Sanksrit word "prasadam" literally means "mercy." When we offer the proper foods to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion He accepts them and by His mercy transforms them from matter into spirit. Such foods are indeed the Lord's mercy and are therefore called prasad or prasadam.

In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna explains the benefits of taking prasadam:

yajna-sistasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
bhunjate te tv agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat


"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin." Bhagavad-gita 3.13

If we eat foods other than prasadam, even purely vegetarian foods, we are eating only sin. Such eating will oblige us to take birth after birth in this material world and should therefore be strictly avoided. Anyone who is serious about the escaping the cycle of birth and death should become a strict Krishnaterian by only eating Krishna prasadam.

Such a diet is very tasty, very nutritious, and quite affordable also.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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