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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His Grace Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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An Appeal for Your Help

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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Sunday 31 December 2006

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Playing the Ultimate Sport


Just as the taste of a small child who loves playing marbles gradually transforms as he grows older into a taste for playing other sports such as baseball or basketball, similarly those who take to the transcendental self-realization pathway will find that their sporting propensity gradually and naturally evolves into a taste for what can be described as the ultimate sport.

So, what is that ultimate sport?

Most sports involve one party competing with an opposing party to try to exert the most control over a ball. Whichever party can succeed at doing that emerges from the game as a winner. In this regard the ultimate sport is no exception.

At the present moment the gigantic ball, planet earth, is being controlled by those who are in the darkness of ignorance. Because of this the present world society has been plunged into a very, very precarious situation. Therefore, the ultimate sport is to enlighten the world with transcendental knowledge.

The Vedic injunction in this connection is "tamasi ma jyotir gama--Come out of the darkness into the light." Those who embrace spiritual perfection as their life's goal and fully dedicate themselves to the enlightenment of the world society experience a thrill at every moment as they engage in the ultimate sport of battling it out with the forces of darkness to firmly establish spiritual enlightenment as the guiding principle for human existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Melbourne, Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

Sankarshan Das Adhikari playing the ultimate sport of pushing forward the self-realization science while flying from Sydney to Melbourne on 30 December 2006.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is More Important?


What is more important: to love Krishna or to take knowledge about Krishna?

Abhijit

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Answer: To Know Him is to Love Him...

Love of Krishna is the ultimate perfection of existence, but knowledge of Krishna is essential because it helps us to love Him. To know Him is to love Him. How can you love somebody you don't know?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 30 December 2006

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Tasting the Nectar in Sydney


These past few days of associating with the devotees of Krishna in Sydney have been some of the sweetest and happiest days of my entire life. There is such a wonderful devotee community here. Simply by associating with the devotees here one dives into an ocean of unlimited nectar that keeps expanding more and more ad infinitum. This same mood can be created anywhere in the world where there is the congregational chanting of the holy names. If you do not have such a community in your area to plug into, you can create one by inviting everyone to join with you in the sweet kirtan:

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



Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Melbourne, Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Brain Audit?


I am very grateful to you that because of your order I am getting up in the morning and chanting the rounds now at 4:00am. But when I chant I remember my previous day activities and what wrong thoughts I had thought in the previous day. It looks as if I am auditing my brain software and reviewing it. Is this all right?

Your humble servant

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Answer: First Japa and Then Brain Audit...

It is nice that you are spontaneously auditing your brain to see if it is functioning in a Krishna conscious way. But you should bring your mind back to focus 100% on the sound of the names and do your brain audit after you finish your rounds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 29 December 2006

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

They Must Become Eager to Hear.


The modern day society has made tremendous advancement in so many fields of technological knowledge. But in spite of so much impressive progress there is one area in which it is completely in the dark ages. In spite of so many rapidly advancing fields of knowledge, we still do not know who we are.

The most basic foundational understanding of reality on which everything else is based is nothing but a big question mark.

Who am I? I don't know.

When a student enrolls in the university he is asked what he wants to major in. But if he doesn't even know who he is, how can he possibly make a meaningful decision of what he wants to do with his life? No wonder people are so frustrated and confused.

The time has come now for the world population to become educated in the science of the self. We have the knowledge and are prepared to teach them. Now it is up to them to become eager to hear.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Attain Transcendental Bliss?


What kind of bliss is experienced by one who is situated on the transcendental platform? How can one be situated on that platform in all times, places and circumstances.

Aspiring to be Your eternal insignificant servant,

Kunal

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Answer: Chant Hare Krishna and Taste Krishna Prasadam...

On the transcendental platform the devotee experiences unlimited bliss which goes on increasing exponentially forever. Such bliss vanquishes all material attachments and nullifies all the miseries of material existence. The pure devotee of Krishna tastes the sweetest ecstasy at every minute by constantly remembering the name, fame, form, pastimes, entourage, teachings, and paraphernalia of that wonderful Lord, Who possesses unlimited power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame. For such a devotee there is no such thing as material existence, and the so-called bliss of merging with and becoming one with God is like a fig compared to the vast ocean of transcendental bliss in which he is constantly sporting.

To achieve this exalted state of perfect consciousness one must seriously execute the bhakti-yoga system under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master beginning with regularly chanting the holy names of God:

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


and tasting Krishna prasadam, vegetarian foodstuffs offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 28 December 2006

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Bliss Just Keeps on Coming

If one seriously takes up Krishna consciousness as his only business, he will taste the sweetest nectar at every minute. Not only will the nectar be sweet. It will be ever-increasingly sweet for all of eternity.

So how do we do that? How do we enter into the state of complete, total absorption in Krishna consciousness? The key is the association of the Lord's devotees. The more we associate with the Lord's devotees, the more we will experience the sweet taste of Krishna consciousness. This means that we have to arrange our lives in such a way that we can associate with the Lord's devotees as much as possible. If we do this, the bliss will just keep on coming wave after wave after wave.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Please Krishna?


My dear Prabhuji, you always tell that one must always act for Krishna's pleasure. Could you kindly tell us how to act for Krishna's pleasure?

With all respects,

Kishan

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Answer: Follow His Instructions...

If you obey Krishna's instructions in the Bhagavad-gita He will be very pleased with you. For example, in Chapter 9, verse 34 Lord Sri Krishna states:

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah


"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."

So if you want to please Krishna, you simply must always think about Him in the mood of being His devotee. You must bow down offering your respectful obeisances to Him, and fully absorb yourself in Him. In this way, if you will take the Lord's teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and apply them practically in all times, places, and circumstances, the Lord will be very, very pleased with you and He will take you back to His eternal abode in the Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 27 December 2006

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Sufficient Supply of Devotional Service


Srila Prabhupada one time stated that the ISKCON centers are not in this material world. They are not in Los Angeles, New York, etc. They are in Vaikuntha, the spiritual world. We are experiencing this practically here in Sydney where we are presently intensely engaged 24 hours daily in the service of the Lord. Even while living in the material world the devotee experiences living in the spiritual world at every moment because devotional service and the spiritual world are non-different.

One of the wonderful qualities of devotional service is that there is no shortage of its supply. There is plenty of it to go around. If every man, woman, and child on the planet Earth decided to immediately absorb themselves 24 hours daily in devotional service, we could supply them enough of it to completely fulfill their desires.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Should I Believe about God?


I am a believer in God. I believe that there is a power that is controlling this world. But I do not know what I should believe and how I should show that belief.

Is it in the form of a human being or something else?

For showing my belief towards that power am I offering a lamp in the morning and evening.

Thanking you,

Bhavani

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Answer: You Must Go Beyond Belief...

Your relationship with the Supreme Controller must go beyond the level of believing to the level of knowing. We can know that Supreme Controller because He reveals Himself fully in the Bhagavad-gita as the Supreme Person, Lord Sri Krishna, with His all-attractive personal form. The best way to show Him our love is to constantly chant His holy names:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 26 December 2006

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

A Perfect Situation

Here in Sydney Mataji and I are being driven from one preaching engagement to another day after day. This is the greatest opportunity to share the mercy of Krishna with many, many souls. Lord Krishna is desiring very strongly that all the living beings who are trapped here in this material world should come back to Him as soon as possible. Therefore there is no easier way to please Him than to enlighten these trapped souls in the science of Krishna. This is the greatest service that can be rendered to the fallen souls, the greatest service that can be rendered to the Lord, and the greatest good we can do for ourselves.. What a perfect situation!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can't We Simply Rely on the Direction of God Within?


If you say that God exists within all of us, then we can take guidance from Him at any moment. So isn't it true that we don't need a guru?

How do we explain that study of the Vedas is not for armchair speculators, that it is instead for the formation of character?

Veda

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Answer: God Within Directs Us to Guru...

The Lord who is residing within our hearts is speaking to us in the Bhagavad-gita. He is telling us that we must approach the guru, who is externally manifested. Therefore we cannot claim to be following the internal guru if we are neglecting to follow the external guru. The guru within is externally manifested as the guru without to teach how to perfect our relationship with the guru within.

Vedic wisdom is not simply some interesting philosophical concepts. It details a practical system which must be put into action in order to be fully realized.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 25 December 2006

from Govinda Valley, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Epitome of Sweetness


The epitome of sweetness is to reconnect with our original pure spiritual nature. Here at Govinda valley during our weekend Soul Revival Retreat from 22-24 December we have had a fabulous opportunity to dive deep into the nectarean ocean of transcendental bliss. What a wonderful feeling to rise early in the morning, take bath, and fully absorb ourselves on the absolute platform of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. By chanting and hearing of the unlimited names, fame, forms, and pastimes of the inconceivably beautiful Lord in the association of devotees we experience the choicest, most pristine nectar. This stimulates the revival of our original spiritual identities. In such a state of mind stress and anxiety become conspicuous by their absence.

Here's a video clip from the last session of our ecstatic Soul Revival Retreat:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com
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Beautiful, serene Govinda Valley just over the hill from the Pacific Ocean.


Farewell session of Soul Revival Retreat:

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guarantee of Salvation?


You have stated in the recent lesson in the Ultimate Self Realization Course that a person has to overcome Maya and leave aside the animal life, which relates to the material enjoyments.

Now my question to you is that a person who becomes Krishna Conscious or for that matter follows the path of Spiritualism, what is the guarantee that he will attain Moksha or salvation from the cycle of life and death? As nobody knows what happens after death, there is no guarantee or assurance of the same.

With Warm Regards

Shripad

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Answer: Krishna Guarantees...

The guarantee is given by Lord Sri Krishna. That all-attractive Lord states in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita:

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so 'rjuna


"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." ---Bhagavad-gita 4.9

So on the absolute words of Lord Sri Krishna we can understand that if we fully absorb ourselves in Krishna consciousness, we are 100% guaranteed to enter the spiritual world, the abode of Lord Sri Krishna, when we leave our present body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 24 December 2006

from Govinda Valley, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Soul Revival Retreat


23 December 2006--This weekend I am here in serene Govinda Valley in a beautiful forest near the ocean south of Sydney at a wonderful retreat center where I am taking 25 young people on a spiritual journey to revive the dormant enlightened consciousness within their hearts. This event has been advertised as a soul revival retreat.

We arrived here yesterday by car and after a comfortable night's rest began a rigorous day of seminars, classes, workshops, and personal meetings. This morning I presented a japa meditation workshop followed by a class on how one can practically apply the principles of the Bhagavad-gita in one's daily life. Then after breakfast we had another session in which I described what kind of bliss is experienced by one who is situated on the transcendental platform and how to be situated on that platform in all times, places and circumstances.

Whenever there was a break between sessions I would met with persons who wanted to meet with me personally. Then after lunch I gave the students an inside look at "Thought for the Day", its history, how it is composed, and some of its highlights over the years. Our last session today was a question and answer session. The participants came up with the toughest possible questions that negatively minded outsiders such as reporters might ask a devotee of Krishna. This Krishna consciousness philosophy is so perfect that I was able to deal with every possible objection against Krishna consciousness and solidly establish it as the topmost knowledge within existence.

Here at Govinda Valley there is a beautiful river flowing through a natural forest teeming with varieties of wildlife including exotic birds:

Whenever I could squeeze in few minutes I would work on my correspondence or "Thought for the Day":

The participants in the retreat were a delight to be with. There is nothing like the association of those who are sincerely traversing the pathway of spiritual perfection:

Here is an aerial view of the lodges and meeting hall at Govinda Valley:

Tomorrow we wrap up our soul revival retreat with a half day of transcendental activities including a class and question and answer session as well as a kirtan and prasadam picnic on the Pacific Ocean beach.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Chant Translated Vedic Mantras"


I did not believe in religion, nor did I believe in India's Vedic scriptures. This was due to a lack of knowledge and unawareness of scriptures. But after knowing the facts of the cosmology and Einstein's theory of relativity and the theory of big bang explained by physicist Stephen Hawking, I began to realize my existence in the universe. I am trying to understand this now through Bhagavad-gita. And now as the days are passing I am becoming more and more conscious. This is all the mercy of God upon me.

My question is, according to the scriptures, for performing perfect meditation or rites, understanding with concentration is essential. If one can not understand Sanskrit can he perform it by translation?

Vasant Maheshwary

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Answer: No Translation is Required...

Thunder does not require any particular language to understand. Similarly the Hare Krishna mantra is powerful and will act whether or not one is conversant with the Sanskrit language. Therefore everyone should chant the Hare Krishna mantra as much as possible everyday for realizing the Supreme Truth.

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 23 December 2006

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Diving Deep in the Ocean of Bliss


22 December 2006--We are now in Sydney's ISKCON center, having just spent the night here. Just as I described yesterday, we are now in a sublime transcendental atmosphere of pure goodness staying in a wonderful ashram full of devotees who are 24 hours daily engaged in the service of the Lord.

There is wonderful kirtan (congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra) happening regularly here, uniting everyone in ecstatic celebrations of transcendental bliss. Gorgeous deity worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna is being conducted around the clock to inspire the mood of bhakti within the heart. Delicious vegetarian foods are prepared with love and devotion and then offered first to Radha and Krishna. Because they are offered to the Lord, by His mercy the foodstuffs are transformed from material energy into spiritual energy and then distributed to the devotees and guests to nourish the body and revive the spiritual consciousness of the soul. There are classes twice daily also. Since arriving here yesterday afternoon I have already given two lectures.

This is Krishna consciousness in action. How sweet it is!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

Devotees and guests taste the ultimate bliss
by engaging in Hare Krishna kirtan
at Sydney's ISKCON center.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Krishna Wear a Peacock Feather?


Please explain why Lord Krishna loves to wear the peacock feather on his head. I have asked several devotees but they did not explain it to my satisfaction.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Hare Krishna

Vinnie

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Answer: Because He Likes It...

Krishna wears a peacock feather to decorate His head because He is very fond of the peacock feather. He likes the peacock feather very much. He considers it to be very attractive and wonderful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 22 December 2006

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Best Atmosphere


21 December 2006--I am writing this in the back seat of a van that is being driven by Caitanya Das from New Govardhan to the Goldcoast airport, from where we will be catching a flight to Sydney. It has been so wonderful to be in New Govardhan in the peaceful, serene mountains with the fresh air, wide open spaces, breath taking views, and a beautiful flowing river. It is certainly very enlivening to spend some days in God's country. But there is nothing less auspicious about our next stop, a Krishna temple in Sydney, even though it is in a crowded, congested city.

How can that be?

An enlivening peaceful country setting is in the mode of goodness. A city scene where people are running here and there for making and spending money is in a lower mode of nature, the mode of passion. And a derelict skid row type atmosphere where everyone is trying to dull themselves out with alcohol and/or drugs is in the lowest mode, the mode of ignorance. But a temple of the Lord where the devotees are engaged 24 hours in His service is the absolute best of all atmospheres. Such an atmosphere is completely beyond the modes of material nature. It is transcendentally situated in pure goodness. The material mode of goodness is always mixed with some traces of passion and ignorance. But pure goodness is 100% free of even the slightest tinges of passion and ignorance.

So we are headed now, to the sublime ISKCON center in North Sydney. Just as we tasted the incomparable sweetest nectar at New Govardhan, now we will also taste similar ultimate nectar at the ISKCON center in Sydney.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com


Sankarshan Das Adhikari Answers Emails While Relishing the Sublime Atmosphere of New Govardhan, Australia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Experience the Soul?


Sir, I am Chetan Krishna Chaudhari. I attended your speech in Nerul about Lord Krishna. I have many questions will you please answer them?

I know man has a soul, but I want to know how to experience the soul as we can never experience the soul in day to day life.

Thank you for reading and everything.

Regards

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Answer: By Proper Understanding and Practice...

I am very happy to hear that you attended my lecture and will also be happy to answer your questions. Even though you mentioned many questions, you only asked one. Please do not hesitate to let me know what other questions you may have.

Your question regarding how to experience your spiritual existence is very nice. If at the present time you do not experience your eternal, full of bliss and knowledge, spiritual existence, it is because you are still misidentified with your temporary material body. So the first step is that you have to understand that you are not your body. Your body is just like a garment that you are wearing or an automobile that you are driving around in. It is not you. The next step is that you must engage yourself in activities that are on the spiritual platform. In the age the most potent activity that we can engage in for this purpose of the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra:

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


If you will rise early every morning before the sunrise, take your bath, and chant at least 16 rounds of this mantra on japa mala beads before you begin your work day, your consciousness will quickly and easily become situated on the spiritual platform. And gradually over time if you steadily continue this process every day, you will reach the point that you can keep your consciousness solidly fixed on the transcendental platform 24 hours a day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 21 December 2006

from New Govardhan, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Last Day in New Govardhan

20 December 2006--Every day spent in this sweet transcendental abode, New Govardhan, becomes more and more relishable. Therefore it is with pangs of sadness that we will be leaving here tomorrow for our flight to Sydney. Of course an endless road of transcendental adventure awaits us. But still who would want to leave behind such a wonderful place as New Govardhan--a place of saintly devotees, stunning deities, a beautiful temple room, cows, peacocks, flowers everywhere, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, rainbows, a river, and much much more?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com


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Scenes from New Govardhan, Australia
 

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can New Govardhan be in Australia?

Kindly explain how New Govardhan can be created in Australia? Lord lifted Govardhan in Vrindavan, and that is the original Govardhan. He did not lift it in Australia so how can New Govardhan be recreated in Australia.

Kindly excuse my absolute ignorance

Your servant

Anupam

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Answer: By Celebrating the Lord's Pastimes...

To call this place New Govardhan is not at all inappropriate. This name was personally approved by one of the greatest spiritual masters in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In a letter to Hari-sauri Das, dated 1 May 1977, His Divine Grace stated regarding this property where I am staying, "Yes, the name 'New Govardhana' will be very appropriate for your farm."

Because the devotee of the Lord always carries the remembrance of the Lord's pastimes within his heart, wherever he goes he is always living in the Lord's holy dham. By remembering Krishna the lifter of Govardhan hill here, this place becomes transformed into Govardhan.

Anyone who understands the secret of transcendental meditation will appreciate how this place has become transformed into New Govardhan by being engaged in Krishna's service. Although this may not make any sense from the mundane point of view, it is easily understood and realized by those who are on the transcendental plane.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 20 December 2006

from New Govardhan, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Secret of Pure Chanting

Krishna kindly appears as Nama Avatar, the name incarnation. He fully manifests Himself in the form of His names to enable the lost souls of this age of Kali to easily attain spiritual perfection by chanting His names with love. We become realized in the Absolute Truth to the extent that we are able to chant His names with purity. Therefore the most essential aspect of the self-realization process is to be able to perfect our chanting of the holy names.

This is easy to say but not always so easy to do. So how can it be made easy? What is the secret of success in regards to chanting purely the holy names of the Lord?

In this regard Srila Prabhupada would often quote the English maxim, "If you love me, love my dog." Srila Prabhupada explains that the devotee of the Lord is like the dog of God. The Lord is more interested to see how much we are loving His devotee than He is to see how much we are loving Him. Therefore the insiders' secret in regards to perfecting the holy names is to cultivate sweet loving relationships with the Lord's devotees. To the extent that we love the devotees of the Lord, to that extent we will be able to absorb ourselves in the pure chanting of Krishna's holy names, and to that extent He will personally reveal Himself to us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know there is God?


Just by observing things carefully around me, how can i or anyone know that there is God, that His presence can not be denied, and that He is constantly watching me?

Your student

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Answer: By Observation and Analysis...

You can observe that every machine requires an operator in order to function. From this you can surmise the gigantic universal machine also requires an operator.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 19 December 2006

from New Govardhan, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Entering the State of Pure Bliss


There is one thing that nobody likes. That is suffering. So how to get out of the suffering conditions that are being constantly hurled at us by the material energy? How can we enter into the state of pure bliss free of any inebriety? This requires a purification of consciousness.

Just as water in is original state is pure but becomes contaminated by coming in touch with a contaminated atmosphere, the original pure consciousness of the living being becomes contaminated by coming into contact with the material atmosphere. It is this contamination which is the actual cause of whatever sufferings or miseries we undergo in this material existence. Hence all we have to do to get free of the suffering is to be from free contamination. This is why it is so important to regularly chant the Holy Names of God:

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



Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Connecting with You...


How do I connect to you?

Poonam

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Answer: Submissive Inquiries and Service...

Connecting with me is not difficult. If you will follow my simple instructions to always chant the holy names and follow the regulative principles of freedom according to the bhakti yoga system (Krishna consciousness) you will always be connected with me in all times, places, and circumstances.

It is very nice that you are inquiring in this way. Krishna emphasize in the Bhagavad-gita the benefit of being connected with the spiritual master through submissive inquiry and service. The benefit is that the spiritual master will bless you with transcendental knowledge and realization.

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


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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 18 December 2006

from New Govardhan, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Transcendental Atmosphere of New Govardhan


17 December 2006--One of my readers objected that I sometimes describe what I am doing in "Thought for the Day". But Krishna consciousness is not dry philosophy. It is wisdom, practical application of the topmost knowledge. In a chemistry course we go to the lecture and learn that H2O equals water. And then we go the laboratory and in a test tube we actually do it. We combine 2 parts of hydrogen with one part of oxygen and sure enough we get water in our test tube. So when I describe practical activities in Krishna consciousness this is simply to demonstrate its sweet transcendental nature in action. This is the proof of its authenticity.

Yesterday we were blessed with the sublime opportunity of coming to New Govardhan in the beautiful mountains near the Australian coast south of Brisbane.

Here there is a wonderful community of devotees who come together every day to chant the Hare Krishna mantra, to worship the beautiful deities Sri Sri Radha Govardhandhari,

to read and the discuss the sublime Srimad Bhagavatam, and to take together Krishna prasadam. Krishna prasadam is not ordinary food. It is vegetarian foodstuffs which have been cooked and offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion.

Soon after arriving in our mountain top lodge a beautiful rainbow appeared rising up from down in the valley.

And then when we went to temple for darshan we were enlivened to see the beautiful peacocks who regularly stroll about the temple grounds. Lord Krishna is especially fond of the peacocks and always wears a peacock feather in His hair.

When we make Krishna the center of our lives everything becomes sublime, peaceful, and happy. This is what the whole world needs to do now. They need to the follow the example of the New Govardhan community and make their lives perfect.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Importance of Tilaka...


I am a regular reader of your "Thought for the Day." It is interesting and informative. Can you explain the importance and significance of the tilak and the chandan mark applied on the nose.

Thanking you in advance,

Yadugiri

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Answer: Purification of the Body...

In regards to tilaka, Srila Prabhupada explains,

"Every devotee should take his bath early in the morning and decorate his body with tilaka...the twelve tilaka marks on the body are sufficient as auspicious decorations to purify the body."
 


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 17 December 2006

from Brisbane, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Experience


Why live an ordinary bland existence full of so many anxieties, when we can live on the cutting edge of adventure at every minute? We are not meant to suffer. Suffering is an artificial imposition on the all-blissful consciousness of the living being. It is simply due to the ignorance of bodily identification. Simply by realizing that we are not these bodies and by engaging in the activities of our actual selves as eternal spiritual beings we will taste the true ananda or bliss of spiritual existence at every minute.

Of course, it is not always as easy as it sounds. This is because we have become very much accustomed to being in illusion. For millions of lifetimes we have identified ourselves as being the particular material body that we were inhabiting in that particular lifetime. So it takes time to come out of the illusion. We have to be patient. However if we are determined and always remain enthusiastic, then our perfection is guaranteed to manifest in due course of time. For those who persist on this pathway the reward is unlimitedly great.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to See Krishna...


I'm from a brahmin family that belongs to Brij. We have a temple of Shri Radha Krishna in our home to which we worshipped very carefully as best as possible. I already follow all these rules. Sometimes I feel Krishna everywhere with me. I feel a small boy whose face is filled with Makhan (butter) and He is laughing playing with friends everywhere He is. But it is not always. I want to feel this all the time. I want to see Krishna. I want to talk with him personally. This is my life's motive.

Please tell me the best way to get this.

Hare Krishna
Sharvan

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Answer: Take Shelter of Guru...

The best way to make your spiritual life complete is take complete shelter of the bona fide spiritual master. Then by his mercy you can perfect your existence and see Lord Krishna within and without at every minute.

This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jijnasuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam


"Therefore any person who seriously desires the ultimate spiritual perfection must seek a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of the bona fide guru is that he has realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and is able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, should be understood to be bona fide spiritual masters."
-- Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.21

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 16 December 2006

from Kuala Lumpur Airport, Malaysia
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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna at 30,000 Feet


15 December 2006, 8am -- This morning when I arose in the early predawn I was on a flight from Mumbai, India to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The stewardess noted the Vaisnava tilak on my forehead and said, "Hare Krishna." This is what I like to hear. She told me that she sometimes visits ISKCON temples in India as well as in Malaysia. As soon as we utter this great chant for deliverance the atmosphere becomes transformed from material into spiritual. Therefore we should always be chanting these holy names of God:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Crossing Over to Different Religions...


I am a humble devotee of Lord Sri Krishna by the grace of our Acharya Sri Madvacharya, and I have been receiving your course Ultimate Self Realization for the past few days.

I feel very happy that your path of devotion also matches with the Dvaita(duality) principle which is the practical way of today's life. It is heartening to see that ISKCON has active members of different races and cultures and that it spreads the message of our Krishna all over the globe. But it is disheartening to note that some people who have been born and brought up in the disciplined way (Brahminical way) in India get lured by the materialistic so-called ecstasy and forget God and sometimes get converted to other religions. I would like to know your perceptions about this cross over.

With lots of respects,

Sudha Jagannathan

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Answer: Crossing Over to Irreligion...

Actually there is no question of crossing over to different religions. Why is that? Because religion is One, to love God. If you truly love God, you are truly religious. It does not matter how you designate yourself. And if you love material sense gratification more than God, you are irreligious no matter what label you may give yourself.

For one who realizes the true essence of religion there is no such thing as crossing over from one religion to another. Such a concept has no meaning. It is an absurdity for one who actually attained the true platform of religion. Those who have crossed over from one religion to another were not on the platform of true religion. They were already crossed over to irreligion and have simply crossed over from one version of irreligion to another version of irreligion.

Such poor souls need to be brought back to the actual position of religion so that they can escape the cycle of birth and death and regain their original, though now lost position, in the eternal pastimes of the Lord. We have to bring all those who have crossed over to irreligion back to their original position of Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 15 December 2006

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

The Most Wonderful Lifestyle


14 December 2006, 3pm -- Last minute packing and meetings are going on. We leave for the Mumbai airport at 8pm for a late night flight to Kuala Lumpur followed by a second flight to Brisbane, Australia.

What a golden opportunity I've been given! The whole world is a chaotic mess without enlightened consciousness, and I am so fortunate that I have been blessed with the knowledge than can liberate everyone from their suffering condition. Plus I have been given the opportunity to travel and spread this science all over the world for the ultimate benefit of all living beings. This is the great kindness of my spiritual master upon me. I cannot imagine any lifestyle more wonderful than this!


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me in Australia should send me an email as soon as possible to see if a meeting can be arranged. sda@backtohome.com

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Vishnu & Krishna...


Explain in detail difference between Lord Vishnu & Lord Krishna.

Abhijit

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Answer: Krishna is the Original Vishnu...

Vishnu is the "Personality of Godhead" category. All forms of God are Vishnu, i.e. They are in the Vishnu category. The original fountainhead of all incarnations is Krishna. He is therefore the original Vishnu.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna states:

atha va bahunaitena
kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam
ekamsena sthito jagat


"But what need is there, Arjuna, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire universe."
Bhagavad-gita 10.42

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 14 December 2006

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Departing India


Late this evening we are flying from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a a brief transit stop and then on to Brisbane, Australia. India has, as usual, been a very enriching and enlivening experience for us. Here in the land of Krishna, even though rampant materialism is manifesting more and more everywhere, there is still a deep seated all-pervading presence of Krishna consciousness, like an underground river, flowing very strongly. One simply has to tap into it by seeking out and taking shelter of the association of realized transcendentalists. Then one can experience that beautiful, timeless culture that is India.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me before I fly out this evening can do so. To make an appointment you may call 2620-6860 and ask for room #119. If no one answers you can call my mobile phone instead: 932-270-5677

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Spiritual Master Have Free Will?


I have read that the Spiritual Master waits in the universe, till the last disciple is delivered and he also states that only if the disciple is following the regulative principles seriously, he will remain as spiritual master for him, otherwise the disciple will not get any protection.

So, how do we understand that Spiritual Master will have to take birth again in this material world? And if it is so, then is it not that the Spiritual Master is bound to our wishes and aspirations without having a free will of his own?

Arun Ramakrishnan

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Answer: Free Will Fully Absorbed in Bhakti...

That the spiritual master remains in the material universe until all of his disciples are delivered is confirmed in a letter that Srila Prabhupada wrote to Jayapataka Maharaja in 1969. This special kindness of the spiritual master is reserved for those of his disciples who are strictly following the regulative principles, not for those who have given up following his instructions.

We are to understand his taking birth again as an act of great mercy upon his sincere disciples who are having a hard time. This does not mean the spiritual master no longer has a free will. Any jiva soul has the free will to choose Krishna or Maya at any time. The spiritual master is also a jiva soul, but he is a jiva soul who has fully absorbed himself in devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 13 December 2006

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

The Ever-Dancing Credit


The humble disciple never thinks himself the doer of whatever wonderful things he has accomplished in the service of the Lord. He always gives all credit to his spiritual master for his spiritual success. In transcendental circles credit is something that never stays in one place. The disciple gives all credit to his spiritual master. But his spiritual master also does not want the credit. He gives the credit to his spiritual master, who then gives it to his spiritual master, who then in turn gives it to his spiritual master, etc, etc. In this way the credit finally ends up being offered to Krishna. But Krishna also does not like to keep the credit. He gives the credit back to His devotees. In this way the credit never stays in one place. It always keeps dancing from one to another to another.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me while I am in Mumbai is welcome. I will be here until tomorrow (14 December). Check the schedule below to see where and when I will be lecturing. You can also make an appointment to meet with me privately. To make an appointment you may call 2620-6860 and ask for room #119. If no one answers you can call my mobile phone instead: 932-270-5677

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Vedic Evidence for Cycle of Birth and Death?


I was listening to one scholar's lecture about comparative religion and some points he mentioned need your authentic clarification. They are:

There is nowhere in Vedas mention of the cycle of birth and death. The only mentioned is that there is birth after death (only once), but not a cycle of birth and death.

What is the time given in the scriptures about the time of the advent of Kalki Avatar?

I would really appreciate your answers based on the scriptures.

Hare Krishna

Murali

Doha, Qatar

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Answer: It is Clearly Given...

Scholars are not qualified to understand the Vedic wisdom. The Vedic wisdom can only be understood by someone who is in a mood of devotion. The scholar wants to establish himself as a scholar by squeezing out some new conclusion, which he will then try to defend by his concocted arguments. The devotee has no such agenda to try to gain some reputation for himself by establishing a new conclusion. He simply wants that the conclusions given directly by Lord Sri Krishna are honored and worshipped throughout the world for the deliverance of the suffering humanity from the jaws of repeated birth and death.

It is clearly stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam that there is a cycle of birth and death. In the following verse the cycle of repeated birth and death (samsrti-cakravalam) is explicitly mentioned:

tasmad rajo-raga-visada-manyu-
mana-sprha-bhayadainyadhimulam
hitva grham samsrti-cakravalam
nrsimha-padam bhajatakutobhayam iti


"Therefore, O demons, give up the so-called happiness of family life and simply take shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Nrsimhadeva, which are the actual shelter of fearlessness. Entanglement in family life is the root cause of material attachment, indefatigable desires, moroseness, anger, despair, fear and the desire for false prestige, all of which result in the repetition of birth and death."
----Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.14

Kalki Avatar will appear just before the end of the Kali Yuga 427,000 years from now.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 12 December 2006

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Going through Hell for the Nectar

This material world is a place of unlimited difficulties. Therefore whether we pursue a life of material advancement or a life of spiritual advancement, we will be forced to deal with so many hellish situations. So what is the difference between material life and spiritual life?

The difference is that while on the material path the difficulties never go away, not even after millions and billions of lifetimes, on the spiritual path this is our last lifetime to face these difficulties. The spiritual path takes us completely beyond the confines of this rotten material world.

In spite of all the difficulties a devotee undergoes trying to serve Krishna in this material world, he has one heck of a good time trying to revolutionize this misguided material world with the pure teachings of the Bhagavad-gita as long as he is here.

Coming from the USA, I thought I knew what was the meaning of traffic jam until I experienced an "endless-nightmare" Mumbai traffic jam (as seen below) to get to a preaching program. One has to allow plenty of time to get where one wants to go.

But once you get there, you realize that there is nothing more sublime than sharing this ultimate nectar with those who are eager to receive it. In the photo below I am explaining Bhagavad-gita philosophy at one of the many student centers located throughout Mumbai.

On Sunday I spoke Bhagavad-gita to a capacity audience of many hundreds at our Mira Road temple, pictured in the two photos below.

I could never stomach my previous irrelevant existence. How much I am indebted to my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, for blessing me with this life of unlimited nectar.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me while I am in Mumbai is welcome. I will be here up until 14 December. Check the schedule below to see where and when I will be lecturing. You can also make an appointment to meet with me privately. To make an appointment you may call 2620-6860 and ask for room #119. If no one answers you can call my mobile phone instead: 932-270-5677

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Chant with Love?


Once you said that I must chant with love. But sometimes it is very difficult to concentrate, many thoughts running in mind during all the chanting 16 rounds. And also sometimes it seems that I have no love or it doesn't come out.

What to do?

Kaspars

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Answer: Revive the Dormant Volcano...

If you love someone and are trying to serve them, you will naturally do everything possible to concentrate your mind on giving them first class service, in spite of all distractions. Everyone has pure love of God. It is like a volcano deep within the heart. Just as some volcanoes are active and some are dormant, for a liberated soul love of God is active and for a conditioned soul love of God is dormant. The secret of success for those who would like to activate the dormant volcano of love of God within their hearts is to sincerely chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra every day on japa beads while strictly follow the regulative principles:

1. No illicit sex
2. No intoxication
3. No meat eating
4. No gambling

If you remain in the company devotees, always chanting, and following the regulative principles, the natural pure of love of God within your heart will naturally become fully re-activated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 11 December 2006

ISKCON Mira Road, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

A Gold Mine of Nectar


Here in Mumbai ISKCON's world-transforming activities are flourishing so much that there are 25 different ISKCON centers scattered throughout the Mumbai area. No other city in the world can boast so many ISKCON centers. It is not surprising then that I am experiencing Mumbai as a gold mine of unlimited opportunities for sharing the ecstatic nectar of Krishna consciousness. Since we have arrived we have simply been going from preaching program to another preaching program to another preaching program. And we are only visiting a small percentage of the centers. I am simply thinking how wonderful it is that so many people here are so seriously taking this process of reviving their dormant Krishna consciousness. Every city of the world should be like this.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Overpopulation and What to Do?


Do the scriptures tell us why there is overpopulation? And what we are to do about it?

John

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Answer: How to Relieve the Earth's Burden...

According to the conclusions derived from the Vedic scriptures even if the entire population of planet earth was only 1 person, if that person were not Krishna conscious, that would be overpopulation. And conversely, even it we had ten times the present world population, but all those persons were purely Krishna conscious, there would be no overpopulation.

Someone may try to write off this analysis as religious fanaticism, but to the contrary, factually speaking, this is most scientific. When a person is in state of perfect harmony with God and the universe his presence has an uplifting, purifying effect on the entire universe. There is no question of him having a polluting effect on the universe.

All we have to do to relieve the earth from her tortuous burden is to become pure devotees of Krishna and teach everyone else how to do the same.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 10 December 2006

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

At the Right Place at the Right Time with the Right Attitude


Somehow or other after suffering in the cycle of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease for countless billions of lifetimes I found myself at the right place, at the right time, with the right attitude. I was standing there in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, USA on Sunday 27 June 1971 hearing a public lecture given by the most empowered spiritual master in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahansa Parivrajakacharya Astotttara Sata Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Since the beginning of my freshman year at college in the fall of 1965 I had been very seriously seeking spiritual enlightenment. However, for over five years I had been repeatedly disappointed in my quest because I had encountered so many false teachings and so many false masters, one after another. How did I know they were false? Because they did not give me any relief from my suffering condition.

But still I had not given up my faith that there was a discoverable meaning to my existence, a way to pull out of the depressing, dark quagmire of delusion. So I continued searching and searching and searching for the light of spiritual realization, which I was sure must be there somewhere.

The Lord did not ignore this intense conviction burning in my heart. He arranged everything for me perfectly on that day when I had finally learned sufficiently to approach the spiritual master with humility by bowing down at his feet and offering myself as his servant. When I finally understood the proper mood, Krishna rewarded me that I could finally meet my eternal master, Srila Prabhupada.

His words of wisdom deeply penetrated my heart and pulled me out of this material existence. They inspired to fully dedicate myself to serving him and Lord Sri Krishna. His instructions continue to bless, protect, and guide me to this very day and shall continue to do so for all of eternity.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why a Person Feels Helpless?


1) Why a person feel helpless in front of God's decisions?

2) Why is it very difficult for a person to forgive that human being who hurts his/her inner soul?

Chhavi Sharma

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Answer: Such Feelings are Born Out of Ignorance Only...

If one feels helpless, this is ignorance. The Lord's pure devotees never feel themselves helpless. They are always feel how they are under the full protection of the Lord even in the most dangerous circumstances. If we feel helpless it means we do not trust the Lord to take care of us. God helps those who help themselves. The best help we can give ourselves is to develop full faith and trust in the Lord.

Persons who cannot forgive are infected by pride.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 9 December 2006

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Completely Revolutionizing the Planet Earth


In the ancient Vedic wisdom, especially the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam, we have the seeds for bringing about the complete respiritualization of planet earth. This is not at all astonishing or extraordinary because these texts of revealed spiritual knowledge come to us from a previous time when the entire earth planet lived in peace and harmony as one nation. Nothing new has to be invented. All we have to do is learn from the lessons of the past when the earth was like a paradise compared to what it is now.

       Bhagavad-gita                 and             Srimad Bhagavatam            


Therefore there is nothing more important that the wide scale reading of the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Such reading must be from editions that do not obscure the meaning with personally motivated interpretations. We must read from editions of these great books that simply present them as they are without any interpretation.

Such pure editions are available by the mercy of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, my beloved spiritual master. If you have not already read these books, kindly do so as soon as possible. And then tell everyone you know about them, and ask them to tell everyone that they know about them. In this way, let's make a revolution to transform this insane world into a spiritual paradise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does "Sankarshan" Mean?


I was just wondering what is the meaning of your name "Sankarshan". Please enlighten. Also please tell me in which country/temple are you based?

Hope you will not mind asking personal questions instead of spiritual ones.

Your servant,

Harish

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Answer: One Who Attracts All Living Entities...

It is a fact that when we approach the spiritual master we are especially meant to inquire about how to advance ourselves in Krishna consciousness, rather than personal questions. But since you have inquired I will try to answer to your full satisfaction.

Sankarshan means one who attracts all living entities. This of course refers to the Supreme Lord. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, has given me the name Sankarshan Das, which means the servant of Sankarshan. Even though I am the mere servant of Sankarshan I am praying for His blessings that I can attract all living entities to Him.

Of course they are already attracted to Him. But in this material world they are attracted to His illusory energy rather than to Him directly. Just as a hungry man cannot be satisfied by trying to eat the reflection of food, no one in this material world can be satisfied, no matter how hard they try to enjoy the Lord's illusory energy. Therefore my prayer is that I can attract them directly to the Lord away from His illusory energy. The illusory energy is especially manifested in the forms of illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. The Lord Himself is manifested in the form of His holy names:

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

My world-wide preaching activities are headquartered at the ISKCON center in Austin, Texas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 8 December 2006

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna Land--Heaven on Earth


After an ecstatic week of tasting the sweet nectar in Sri Vrindavan Dham now we are relishing the sublime heaven-on-earth flavor of Hare Krishna Land at Juhu, Mumbai, India. This temple was personally established by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada after a great struggle with a business man who sold us the land and through clever cheating tactics tried to take it away from us. It is a thriving temple with spectacular deity worship, an auditorium for performing devotional arts, a popular restaurant, a guest house, and large number of resident brahmacaris (monks) who are very, very saintly in their behavior and very enthusiastic for sharing the supreme benediction, Krishna consciousness, with everyone.

A pujari offers arati to Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari
 

Original twin tower guesthouse.
 

New guesthouse.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Anyone who would like to meet with me while I am in Mumbai is welcome. I will be here up until 14 December. Check my schedule to see where and when I will be lecturing. You can also make an appointment to meet with me privately. To make an appointment you may call 2620-6860 and ask for room #119. If no one answers you can call my mobile phone instead: 932-270-5677

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Tell All the Ways to Please the Lord...


I am chanting 16 rounds for the last 1 year 9 months and following regulative principles. I want to know how the Lord can be pleased. Tell me all the ways through which lord can be pleased. Please explain me as elaborately as you can. I would be very thankful to you.

Sandeep Gera

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Answer: How Many Grains of Sand Are on the Beach?

If I could tell you how many grains of sands there are on the beach, I still could not tell you how many ways there are to please the Lord. They are innumerable. However they are sub-divided into nine different categories as follows:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam
iti pumsarpita visnau
bhaktis cen nava-laksana
kriyeta bhagavaty addha
tan manye 'dhitam uttamam

"Prahlada Maharaja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) -- these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Krishna through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge."  - SB 7.5.23-24

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 7 December 2006

from Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Farewell to Vrindavan


With a natural transcendental melancholy in the heart, today I leave the Lord's transcendental abode, Sri Vrindavan Dham at 5:30am. We are catching a flight to Mumbai to spend a wonderful week with the devotees of Lord Krishna there. Of course, I am very happy for the wonderful Krishna conscious adventures that lie ahead. But there is always that desire in a corner of the heart to remain forever in Vrindavan.

Even though Lord Krishna left Vrindavan to go to Mathura, it is described that He never sets food outside of Vrindavan because His heart is always in Vrindavan. I am praying for the unlimited mercy of Lord Sri Krishna, Vrindavan-natha (the Lord of Vrindavan) that He will grant me eternal residence as the servant of the servant of His servants in His supreme pleasure grove. Even if He desires for me to serve Him in separation by always traveling and preaching throughout the world, I pray that my heart may always be totally absorbed in Vrindavan consciousness, Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guru Suffers for Disciples' Karma?


I have a question I have been needing to ask you for a long time.

I have a response to around 50% from you to the e-mails I have sent you. I need to know why that is. Forgive me for asking such questions. Is it because some of my e-mails are not getting through, or is it because you are overloaded with so many e-mails you can not possibly respond to all of them, or is it because my questions are too foolish to warrant a reply? If this is the case, it does not offend me, only I would like to know so I can refrain from asking such questions in the future. However I am extremely grateful that I have receive a 50% response from you, that you would ever respond to an illusioned soul such as myself at all is on the highest scale of compassion.

I take every word you give me as nectar as I know it as come down from your spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, which has come down from the disciplic succession from Krishna.

I have a couple of questions if you wish to answer:

Can the spiritual master suffer physically because of the Karma he takes on from his disciples?

Is the Spiritual master still affected by the actions and karma of his disciples once he leaves the material world?

Thank you for your rare kindness,

Sincerely

Your student

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Answer: Guru's Body Does Suffer...

I answer every single email I receive from you. If you are not getting an answer, I did not receive your email, so kindly send it to me again.

Yes, the spiritual master can be afflicted with suffering to his material body from the karma of his disciples. This is why the disciples must strictly follow the vows they have taken at the time of initiation so that they will not put their spiritual master into difficulty.

The spiritual master's connection and responsibility for his disciples does not end when he leaves this material world. If the disciple falls into spiritual difficulty, the spiritual master has to take birth again in this material world to deliver his disciple. This is all the more reason why the disciple must strictly follow the vows taken at the time of initiation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 6 December 2006

from Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Supreme Nectar of Govardhan Parikrama


5 December 2006, 7:26pm--We have just returned to our quarters at Vrindavan's Bhaktivedanta Ashram after having completed Govardhan Parikrama. It was an amazing transcendental experience. It's a 14 mile sacred walk around Govardhan Hill, which we did barefoot out of respect for the sanctity of every square inch of the holy soil. Govardhan is glorified as follows in the sacred writings of Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami:

O Govardhan, O king of mountains,
O hill whose nectarean name-the best of Hari's servants flows from the moonlike mouth of Sri Radha,
O hill that the Vedas declare to be the tilaka marking of Vraja, please grant me a residence near to you.

Above is Govardhan Hill.

This sacred mountain descended from the spiritual world to a place called Salmali Dvipa in the ancient, ancient times. And then millions of years ago, at the beginning of the Satya Yuga, Govardhan was brought to the Vraja Mandal, the Vrindavan Dham area, by a sage named Pulastya Muni. 5,000 years ago Lord Krishna personally ordered the residents of Vrindavan to worship this hill and then revealed that Govardhan was Himself.

To this very day Govardhan is being regularly worshipped by the residents of Vrindavan. Every rock on the hill is considered to be a deity of Krishna. 500 years ago when Lord Caitanya visited Govardhan out of respect He refused to walk on Govardhan accepting it as non-different from Lord Sri Krishna.

The first thing to do when you begin the sacred parikrama is offer your obeisances laying down flat like a stick on the ground. This helps to put us into the proper humble frame of mind a pilgrim. When we offer obeisances in this way it is called "dandavat". "Danda" means stick and "vat" means "like."


(Editors' note: In the photo above we see the author, offering his respectful dandavats on the side of the road as he begins his Govardhan Parikrama in Radha Kunda village.)

After proceeding for some distance we come to beautiful Kusum Sarovara, the beautiful face of Govardhan. Kusum means flowers and sarovara means lake. According the Brahma-vaivarta Purana the great sage Astavakra Muni did penance on its banks while waiting for the appearance on earth of Radha and Krishna. It is said that while having Their darshan he gave up his mortal coil. Formerly surrounding this lake there was a beautiful forest known as Puspa Van (forest of flowers). Within this forest Srimati Radharani and Her girlfriends used to pick flowers.


(above is pictured Kusum Sarovara)

After Kusum Sarovara we proceeded onwards to Manasi-ganga. Manasi-ganga was called to Vraja (the Vrindavan area) by Krishna Himself so He could take bath in the Ganges without having to leave Vraja.

Once Nanda Maharaja, mother Yasoda, and the residents of Vrindavan heard a wonderful story about the glories of the River Ganges. They heard that Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu, had once captured a large snake near the banks of the Ganges. While he was flying away with the snake in his claws, the tail of the snake accidentally touched the water of the Ganges. Immediately the snake changed into a four-armed form like the residents of Vaikuntha (the spiritual world). Hearing about the wonderful story and the potency of bathing in the Ganges, all the residents of Vraja decided that they would make a pilgrimage to the River Ganges and take bath.

Seeing the arrangements being made for the journey, Krishna informed Nanda and Yasoda that there was no need to go out of Vraja itself. However, Nanda Maharaja and the other Vrajavasis thought that Krishna was just a small child and did not fully understand the matter. But Krishna kept insisting and finally Nanda Maharaja relented. Accompanied by all the inhabitants of Vrindavan, he followed Krishna to the middle of Govardhan Hill.

When Krishna arrived at the shore of Manasi-ganga, Ganga Mata, the river Ganges personified, suddenly appeared from the water and offered prayers to Lord Krishna. When all the inhabitants of Vrindavan saw Ganga Mata they offered their obeisances unto her. Then, led by Nanda Maharaja, they all took their holy bath in the Manasi-ganga.


Above is Manasi-ganga.

After Manasi-ganga and Govardhan Village we came the village of Aniyora. Here is a video clip of Aniyora

http://www.backtohome.com/images/2006-2007 WT/ghill/aniyor.wmv

After Aniyora there was a wonderful cooling, moistening rain and we enjoyed a Krishna prasadam picnic on the side of Govardhan. From there we continued our walk around Govardhan until just after sunset.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Special thanks goes to Sriman Rajasekhara das Brahmacari whose book, "The Color Guide to Govardhan Hill" provided many of the details given in the above description.


Above is a bull seated at the foot of Govardhan.
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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Total Consciousness Pure?


I read in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

" ... the Total Consciousness is that of the gigantic Virata-rupa, and the same consciousness is exhibited in individual persons.... "   (SB: Canto 3 - Chapter 6 - Text 7 )

Please, I have a question to ask you: Is this Total Consciousness spiritual? Is it pure consciousness?

Yours in the service of Lord Sri Krishna.

Rupa Raghunath Das

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Answer: It Is the Shadow of Pure Consciousness...

The total consciousness is not purely spiritual. The total consciousness is the shadow of pure consciousness. It is pure goodness with the slight addition of the material mode of passion. It is from the point of total consciousness that activity is generated.

For further information regarding the total consciousness you may consult the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.5.27.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 5 December 2006

from Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

The Sublime Glories of Sri Vrindavan Dham


Sri Vrindavan Dham is a very special place to engage in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. Here in this location where every square inch is permeated with the nectarean flavor of the Lord's transcendental pastimes all devotional activities take on deeper and richer dimensions of sweetness. Everything becomes enhanced.

Sitting here in my quarters writing "Thought for the Day" I am thinking how fortunate I am to be staying in the exact location of the Lord's loving pastimes with His most intimate devotees. Every particle of dust in this most holy abode is more valuable than than all the wealth of the entire universe multiplied billions, trillions, and quadrillions of times. Srila Prabhupada expounds the glories of Sri Vrindavan Dham as follows:

"Vrindavan-dham is nondifferent from the Lord because the name, fame, form and place where the Lord manifests Himself are all identical with the Lord as absolute knowledge. Therefore Vrindavan-dham is as worshipable as the Lord. "

There is nothing more wonderful than to wake up every morning and realize, "I'm in Vrindavan!" This is the epitome of all places of residence throughout the entire totality of existence.

Were it not for this urgent mission of awakening the dormant Krishna consciousness within the hearts of all, I could simply remain comfortably here in this abode which is non-different from the spiritual world. But because of this mission to bless everyone with the topmost spiritual perfection I am always traveling and spreading this sublime Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Offensive Chanting or No Chanting?


Which is better chanting with offense or not chanting at all?

Thank you very much.

Your humble servant,

Ameeta

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Answer: The Way to Offenseless Chanting is...

There are three stages of chanting:

1. Offensive stage
2. Clearing stage
3. Offenseless stage

One must reach the offenseless stage in order to be delivered from the cycle of birth and death. If one does not chant at all they will be nowhere spiritually and will remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death.

Srila Prabhupada explains, "As one practices chanting this sound vibration, one passes through three stages of development: the offensive stage, the clearing stage and the transcendental stage."

So it is natural that in the beginning our chanting will be offensive. This should not stop us from chanting. We should simply make our best effort to clear off our offenses as soon as possible. In short, it is millions of time better to chant offensively, than it is to not chant at all because offensive chanting is followed by the clearing stage, which is then followed by the offenseless stage, at which point we attain spiritual perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 4 December 2006

from Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Krishna and Balarama Temple in Raman Reti


To be staying here in Sri Vrindavan Dham where Lord Sri Krishna enacted His unlimitedly sweet transcendental pastimes 5,000 years ago is the greatest blessing. This place is a transcendental abode, an embassy of the spiritual world, existing right here on the planet earth. Srila Prabhupada explains that this place is so special that even the dust of Vrindavan is Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada established a beautiful temple here in the Raman Reti area of Vrindavan where Krishna and Balarama would play as cowherd boys with their friends. Raman Reti means "enjoyable sands." Because of the location Srila Prabhupada decided to feature Krishna and Balarama as the predominating deities of the temple and named it the Krishna Balarama Temple (pictured below.)


Here are Krishna and Balarama on the central altar:


Krishna and Balarama are described as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

eka-i svarupa donhe, bhinna-matra kaya
adya kaya-vyuha, krsna-lilara sahaya


"These two are one and the same identity. They differ only in form. Lord Balarama is the first bodily expansion of Krishna, and He assists in Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes."

I pray for their mercy that I can be strongly fixed in Krishna consciousness and that you, my readers, may all become delivered by Their mercy from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Become More Wicked for Liberation?


Sometimes, people become so wicked that they are personally vanquished by the Lord, resulting in instant liberation.

Since most of us are by nature so very wicked, isn't it easier to continue to become more and more wicked until the Lord delivers us? What stops people from using this perverted logic to continue committing wicked deeds?

Milind

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Answer: Easier by Krishna Consciousness...

It's a fact that there are two ways of becoming liberated. One can fully surrender to the Lord or be a demon that is killed by the Lord.

However in this connection it should be noted that only the the big, big demons who possess great mystic powers are killed directly by the Lord. Small time, every day demons are not. The demoniac class of men in today's society are not powerful enough to warrant being killed by the Lord. Therefore the easiest way to become liberated is to become fully Krishna conscious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 3 December 2006 aina

from Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Under the Weather in Vrindavan

2 December 2006--Today I am very sick. It was something I ate. In Vrindavan we take everything as the mercy of Krishna. It does not matter if it is good, bad, beautiful, or ugly from the material point of view. We understand that Krishna has a purpose for everything He does. Whatever Krishna does is all right. We simply must utilize every circumstance we find ourselves in to surrender more and more at His lotus feet. We must absorb ourselves 100% in doing everything for His pleasure, His satisfaction. This and only this will make us happy and satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Origin of Living Being...

I have a question. I am confused about it. I heard that we are part and parcel of Krishna, but that still we and Krishna are different, that we (the atmas) and Krishna (the Paramatma) cannot be of the same identity. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that there is no time when we do not exist, nor is there a time when He does not exist. But the atma should also have a source from where he comes. So why we are different from our source? Actually I want to know about the origin of the jiva, the individual living being.

Vijay Sharma

Delhi, India

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Answer: Simultaneously One and Different...

Even though the complete whole and its part are one, there is a difference. Just like you are part of India, therefore you are one with India. However there is vast difference in the population of you, namely one, and the population of India, many, many millions.

The jiva is eternally being emanated from Lord Sri Krishna. Therefore Krishna is his source. But there is no time when he did not exist because Krishna has always been emanating the jiva and He will eternally continue to do so.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 2 December 2006

from Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Vrindavan Parikrama


1 December 2006--Today I circumambulated the sacred town of Vrindavan. This town of 5,000 temples is the site of many of the most intimate pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. Five hundred years ago this area was a forest on the bank on the sacred river Yamuna. Lord Caitanya visited here in 1515 with the purpose of locating the lost holy places associated with Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental pastimes. Lord Caitanya wandered through the different sacred forests of Vrindavan in a spiritual trance of divine love, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, sometimes dancing in ecstasy, and constantly chanting the holy names of Krishna. By His divine spiritual power, He was able to locate all the important places of Lord Krishna's pastimes in and around the present town of Vrindavan.

The path around the town is called in Hindi "Parikrama Marga", which means "circumambulation path".

I both begin and end my parikrama by offering full dandavats (falling flat like a stick on the ground) in the sacred dust on the side of Parikrama Marga. The first major holy site along the trail is Kaliya Ghat. Here there is a kadamba tree that is over 5,000 years old. During Krishna's presence here this kadamba tree was standing on the bank of the Yamuna River. Krishna jumped from this tree into the Yamuna to subdue the gigantic Kaliya serpent who was polluting the Yamuna with his poison.

The next major holy site is the Madan Mohan Temple. This famous temple was the first temple to be built in Vrindavan. It was constructed under the direction of Sanatana Goswami on the hill known as Dvadasaditya Hill. It was on this hill that Krishna came to warm up in the sunshine. He was feeling chilled after having spent so much time in the water with Kaliya serpent. At that time twelve forms of the Aditya (Surya, the sun god) appeared here as twelve blazing suns in order to prevent the Lord from catching a cold. "Dvadasaditya" means "twelve Adityas."

After stopping off at Imli Tala, the remnants of an over 5,000 year-old tamarind tree associated with Lord Krishna's and Lord Caitanya's pastimes, we came to Kesi Ghat.

This is the place where Krishna killed the Kesi demon, who appeared in the form of gigantic horse. This is also the most famous bathing ghat in Vrindavan. An arati to Yamuna Devi is held here every evening. This Kesi demon was a friend of the evil king Kamsa, who was trying by so many means to kill Krishna. By this demon's mystic powers he assumed the form of a giant horse, and in wild and angry mood, entered Vrindavan where he found Lord Krishna playing by the bank of the Yamuna river with His cowherd boyfriends. He attacked the Lord to kill Him but ended up instead receiving the great benediction of being directly killed by the Lord.

By taking this 6 mile walk of two or three hours one is able to pay proper respect to the holy abode of the Lord. One washes away innumerable sins accumulated over many, many lifetimes by worshipping literally thousands of holy places.

I am only mentioning a few highlights here. There is much I cannot tell you here in this brief description. You must come someday and personally experience Vrindavan. It will help you connect with the eternal Vrindavan Dham, which exists forever in the wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Does the Soul Get Realization?


At what moment after death does the soul realize that he has wasted his life? Is there any moment when he regrets not giving his life to Krishna Consciousness? Does this realization come after entering into the womb of another living entity?

Your humble servant,

Ameeta

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Answer: In the Human Form...

He may not come to any realization for millions of lifetimes depending on how sinful he was. It is a very sad situation. This is why we have to inundate this entire planet with Krishna consciousness.

If the living being was pious enough to get another human birth, it is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam that after seven months he prays to the Lord to be released from the horrible situation that he is in. In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains, "As long as the child is within the womb of his mother, he is in a very precarious and horrible condition of life, but the benefit is that he revives pure consciousness of his relationship with the Supreme Lord and prays for deliverance. But once he is outside the abdomen, when a child is born, maya, or the illusory energy, is so strong that he is immediately overpowered into considering his body to be his self."

Therefore you should consider yourself most fortunate to have a human birth and be conscious of your relationship with Krishna. Now fully take advantage of this very rare opportunity you have been blessed with and make your life perfect by complete surrender unto the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 1 December 2006

from Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Special Mercy at Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi


30 November 2006--Today I rose before 3am to take bath, chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on my japa beads and attend the Arati at 4:10am at Srila Prabhupada's samadhi. Srila Prabhupada's samadhi is the beautiful marble temple where Srila Prabhupada's transcendental body was laid to rest after his departure from this world in 1977.

At this place, the holiest spot in the entire universe, one can very strongly feel the presence of Srila Prabhupada. So when I was requested by the senior devotee present to lead the kirtan, the congregational chanting, of the Gurvastakam (eight prayers glorifying the spiritual master), I took it as the greatest blessing. I poured my heart and soul into that kirtan trying to fully express to Srila Prabhupada my loving devotion to him and to beg his blessings that I can powerfully spread this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. The feelings were so sweet and wonderful.

There is truly nothing more wonderful than to be here in Sri Vrindavan surrounded by loving devotees and the sweet transcendental abode of Lord Sri Krishna's pastimes. Just by breathing in the air of Vrindavan one becomes purified of millions of sinful activities accumulated over millions of lifetimes. Just by touching the dust of this holy land one becomes blessed with Krishna prema, love of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Does the Soul Feel Pain?


The soul cannot be killed by any means. But will the soul feel difficulty or pain when the body is harmed?

Sateesh

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Answer: Enlightened Souls Are Transcendental to the Pains and Pleasures of this World...

The soul feels difficulty or pain, if he identifies with the material body. To the extent that he is realized in his eternal spiritual identity he becomes aloof from the pains and pleasures of the material body. The sensations are still there for a realized soul, but he is not disturbed by them. Because the self-realized soul is fully situated in the Lord's internal energy, for him the pains and pleasures of this world are just something happening out there in the external energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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