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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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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Wednesday 31 January 2007

Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

It's a Bright New World


Krishna Consciousness is the one switch that turns on the entire world. For anyone who takes seriously to the pathway of Krishna Consciousness, the entire world becomes completely transformed. Such an enlightened soul no longer lives in this material world, even though he externally appears to be doing so and even though he can deal with the material world in the most expert manner.

Krishna Consciousness is so extraordinarily wonderful that the only reason someone would not want to wholeheartedly adopt this pathway is sheer ignorance. Therefore those who become enlightened in Krishna Consciousness dedicate their lives fully to enlightening the entire world in this sublime and most perfect of all sciences.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Real Hindu Name for ISKCON...


May I know the real Hindu name for the ISKCON sect that is known among Bharatias (followers of India's traditional Vedic culture) in India?

I am sorry to disturb your kind grace,

Ramchandra

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Answer: Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Prabhupada Sampradaya...

According to the principles of the ancient culture based on the Vedic scriptures, ISKCON can be described as the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Prabhupada Sampradaya. This is the disciplic succession which begins with Lord Krishna Himself, Who fully revealed Himself to Lord Brahma. Then in the lineage of Lord Brahma was the great Acharya named Madhvacharya. Then further along the lineage Krishna reappeared to reconfirm the great potency of this lineage. He reappeared in this lineage 500 years ago as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the great leader of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Then the 11th in the line from Sri Caitanya is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON. His followers are the 12th in the line from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. His followers and the followers of his followers constitute the present day ISKCON. In the future there will be many more generations of followers. ISKCON will create millions of acharyas to bring back the happy days of Vedic dharma to this planet for the next 9,500 years.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 30 January 2007

Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Insider's Secret


Sometimes we hear it said that our fate is unalterable, that nothing can be done to improve our situation and the world situation, and that we might as well just resign ourselves to our fate. While this is true according to the law of karma, it is also a fact that our personal fate, the fate of others, and the world fate can be transformed if we know the ultimate insider's secret, which enables us to transcend the karma chakra.

What is that?

The secret of transforming our fate is to understand that there are two distinct dimensions of consciousness. In the material dimension we are completely locked into our fate because in the material dimension the law of karma operates with perfect unyielding precision. We reap exactly what we sow, nothing more, nothing less. However in the spiritual dimension we are no longer bound by our fate. In that dimension we enjoy full freedom and can overcome the influence of the karmic laws to transform our destiny. The really nice thing about existence is that we are completely free to choose in which dimension we would like to operate: the material dimension or the spiritual dimension.

While the material dimension appears very attractive because of its instant-gratificatory nature, it pales in comparison to the sublime spiritual dimension of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. One must have maturity of understanding to appreciate the more subtle spiritual dimension. And one must be humble enough to receive the blessings of the bona fide spiritual master to enter into the spiritual dimension. If we take advantage of the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master, he will give us the key that unlocks the door to the spiritual dimension. After having entered and tasted that dimension fully, we will never want to come back to this material dimension of temporality, ignorance, and illusion in which we are stringently bound up in the wheel of karma.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why the Hare Krishna Mantra?


My question today is this:

Since all of Lord Krishna's many names, forms and other attributes are considered nondifferent, why is the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra recommended for chanting/singing as if it were more important than any other mantra?

Thank you. Love always...

Tommi.

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Answer: Hare Krishna is the Most Fully Potent...

Even though it is a fact that each and every name of God has the full potency to deliver us from this material existence, still there is a difference between fully potent, more fully potent, and most fully potent. This is why it is clearly enjoined by Lord Brahma as he is quoted in the Kali Santarana Upanishad:

hare krsna hare krsna
krsna krsna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare

iti sodasakam namnam
kali-kalmasa-nasanam
natah parataropayah
sarva-vedesu drsyate


"In all of the Vedic literatures there is found no better method for freeing ourselves from the sinful contamination of the age of Kali than chanting these sixteen names: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare."

The Sanskrit language is crystal clear. It leaves no doubts as to the intended meaning. It is pointedly stated "natah parataropayah--There is no better method."

Because we are in a very diseased state of consciousness at the present time in the Kali Yuga, the spiritual master prescribes for us only the most potent medicine. When one is extremely sick only the most potent medicine will do. The drug store is full of many varieties of bona fide medicines. But when we are very sick we take only that medicine prescribed for us by our physician knowing fully well that we need to follow his prescription in order to recover quickly from our disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 29 January 2007

Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

The Revival of Transcendental Vision



Sometimes we feel that it is hopeless when we see how the present world population is completely covered over by the darkness of ignorance, completely out of touch with the transcendental nature of the self and its relationship with the Supreme Self. But we should never feel it is hopeless.

Why?

The reason is that light destroys darkness and darkness cannot destroy light. Take a tiny lit candle into a large completely dark room and you will see that immediately the light of the candle spreads everywhere. Now take a can full of darkness and take it outside on a bright, sunny day and open it to spread its influence. You will see that immediately the darkness is completely destroyed by the light.

Therefore the light of transcendental knowledge is destined to drive away the darkness of ignorance. That transcendental torchlight of knowledge is carried by the spiritual master to rescue us and the entire world from the darkness of ignorance. Therefore we offer our respectful obeisances unto him with this wonderful prayer from the Gautamiya Tantra:

om ajnana-timirandhasya
jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena
tasmai sri-gurave namah


"I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master, who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes, which were blinded by the darkness of ignorance."

The spiritual master's duty is to open the disciple's eyes of knowledge. When the disciple's transcendental vision is revived, he will be able to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead everywhere because the Lord actually is everywhere.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Consciousness After Death...


I am in confusion about the nature of conciseness after death. People from the Mayavadi/Advaita camp have told me that after death a person's ego/mind dies and merges with God. I do not want to believe this but I feel that I do not grasp the differences between the ego, mind and soul. It's not that I doubt the survival of the soul but I have a hard time refuting those who say that conciseness ends at death. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Your servant,

Randy Kasper

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Answer: You Exist for a Good Reason...

Why should we take someone's opinion when God Himself, the ultimate authority, under whose direction everything is happening has clearly stated the eternal existence of the living being?

Here are Lord Krishna's words:

na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param


"Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be." --Bhagavad-gita 2.12

If your ultimate perfection were to merge into God, why would you ever exist as a separate being to begin with? What purpose would your temporary illusory sense of separate existence serve? It would serve no purpose.

The eternal separate identity of the living being does make sense. The two-ness allows for an exchange of love between the Lord and the living beings. Do you think God wants to live in a world without love and without any association?

The Mayavadis say that everyone is one, but then they immediately contradict themselves by making a distinction between being Maya and Brahman.

The soul is the actual person, the actual self. The mind and the false ego are two of the subtle coverings of the self. The mind is the channel for our sensual desires. In this regard Srila Prabhupada describes it as, "the pivot of the active sense organs." The false ego is that which foolishly misidentifies with a rotting material body. The real ego is the soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 28 January 2007

Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

Planning the Preaching for 2007


Now is a very exciting time because we are mapping out our preaching strategy and schedule for the year 2007. If you would like your city to be included in our 2007 preaching schedule, now is the time to let us know so we can see if we can fit it in.

The fact is that there is so much that needs to be said about Krishna and so many places where His glories desperately need to be heard that even if we could go to millions and billions of places to spread the name and fame of Lord Krishna, it would not even begin to be sufficient to satisfy the need.

So what can be done? We simply have to fully dedicate ourselves from now until our last dying breath that every moment we will try our level best to broadcast Lord Sri Krishna's glories to the widest possible audience in the most effective and attractive way. And we must convince as many people as possible to also dedicate their lives fully for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Religion?


What is religion? And why do we not consider the Hare Krishna movement as religion?

Thank you very much.

Ameeta

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Answer: We are Religion, but Not a religion...

There are two ways of understanding the term "religion", in the absolute sense and in the relative sense. The relative sense is the common everyday use of the term. For example, people often ask, "What religion do you belong to?" In this relative usage, the term presupposes the existence of many different religions.

On the other hand there is Religion in the absolute sense. In this sense, Religion means the scientific process of reconnecting ourselves with the Supreme Person. For the sake of clarity in this description I am spelling Religion in the absolute sense with a capital "R" as "Religion." And I am spelling religion in the relative sense with a small "r".

Every religion to be bona fide must teach Religion. If it does so and its followers develop pure love of God, it is considered first class. However if it does not teach Religion, its followers cannot develop pure love of God and it must hence be considered as not legitimate. When Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita to give up all varieties of religions and surrender to Him, He is saying to give up religion and accept Religion. So ultimately we must come to the point of perfecting our relationship with the Supreme Person free from any kind of sectarian consideration.

The concept of many religions is a manmade concoction. God has given us one Religion, to love Him. It is man, under the influence of Maya or illusion, who has invented the idea of this religion, that religion, so many religions. The real fact is that Religion is one, to become a lover of God. It does not mean to belong to this sect or that sect.

So in the above context we can understand that the Hare Krishna Movement is Religion. It is not a religion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 27 January 2007

Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

A Backlog of Unanswered Emails


The time is 6:55 pm on Friday the 26th of January 2007. I have gotten quite far behind on answering my emails and today I am making an all out effort to catch up. I have spent the entire afternoon on this endeavor and am almost caught up. There is nothing that disturbs me more than getting behind on answering the important questions that are coming to me everyday from my readers around the world.

Just as according to the teachings of Krishna it is the duty for the student to inquire from the spiritual master, it is also the duty of the spiritual master to answer the sincere inquirers to their full satisfaction. This places a great burden of responsibility on me. I am regularly praying for my spiritual master's blessings that I can successfully execute my duty.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do We Need Initiation?


My question is: "Why do we need a initiation process by a guru for the advancement in spiritual life?"

With all my humble respect to you,

Sugumaran

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Answer: Only a Liberated Soul Can Liberate Us..

The absolute necessity of initiation by a spiritual master is confirmed in the Vedic injunctions as follows:

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet

"In order to understand the transcendental science, one must approach a bona fide spiritual master." -- Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12

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


"Therefore any person who seriously desires real happiness 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

Without a guru we are nowhere. It takes a liberated soul to get us out of the cycle of birth and death. A conditioned soul cannot become liberated unless he takes shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 26 January 2007

Los Angeles, California
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Today's Thought:

The Spiritual Master's Unlimited Love


The spiritual master is the pure representative of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna, out of His unlimited compassion for those souls who are lost in the cycle of birth and death, sends the spiritual master to us to relieve us from our suffering in this material existence. Since the spiritual master purely represents the unlimited compassion of the Lord, he is empowered by the Lord to give us unlimited loving kindness. Therefore there is nothing more auspicious than coming in contact with a bona fide spiritual master. Such a blessing is described as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija


"According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Krishna. By the mercy of both Krishna and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service."---Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 19.151

The miseries of material existence can only be removed by the mercy of the Lord, who sends His bona fide representatives to enlighten human beings and thus save them from all calamities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Please Help Me...


I am facing a great hardship in chanting. I can listen to or do kirtan (group singing of the holy names) for 24 hours, but whenever I try to chant with beads my mind wanders and I am unable to concentrate on mantra.

Please help me in getting rid of this problem.

Thanks,

Your Servant

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Answer: Disciplined Early Morning Chanting...

The key to focused japa chanting is to rise early in the morning and finish one's daily quota of japa chanting before sunrise. This time of the day is known as Brahma-muhurta. It is a very spiritual time of the day when it is very easy to keep one's mind fixed on the holy names. At this time of day the mode of goodness is predominate. This is why it is so easy to chant during this time period. Once the sun comes up the atmosphere shifts into the mode of passion, a time for activity and productivity, and it is very difficult to sit and peacefully meditate on the holy names. If for some reason you cannot complete your japa before sunrise, then you must finish it before you take your morning meal. If you make this serious commitment and stick to it every day, you will be able to train your mind how to stay absorbed nicely during your japa chanting. It is simply a matter of training and practice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 25 January 2007

from Los Angeles, California
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Today's Thought:

Supreme Nirvana in New Dwaraka


I am writing this on 24 January 2007 at 10:45 am at the Los Angeles International Airport. Krishna has kindly blessed us with an ecstatic stopover in Los Angeles on our way back to our home base in Austin. We spent about 20 hours in New Dwaraka, the Los Angeles temple and community, of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. The devotees here are staunchly dedicated to blessing the fallen souls of this age by the wide scale propagation of Krishna consciousness all over the world. To be in the presence of such great souls is a very inspiring and enlivening experience. May I always be so fortunate.

Sometimes some of my readers complain when I describe what I am doing. They say that I should simply stick to describing the science of self-realization. But they do not realize that I am teaching the science of self-realization not only by my words. I am also teaching it by my activities. The secret of rapid advancement along the pathway of self-realization is to associate with highly advanced transcendentalists such as the members of ISKCON's New Dwaraka community. If you want to quickly attain what Krishna describes in the Bhagavad-gita as the supreme nirvana, then you should associate as much as possible with great souls such as these.

yunjann evam sadatmanam
yogi niyata-manasah
santim nirvana-paramam
mat-samstham adhigacchati


"By meditating in this manner, always controlling the body, mind and activities, the mystic transcendentalist attains the ultimate peace, the supreme nirvana that abides in Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 6.15

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Altar in New Dwaraka (Los Angeles ISKCON) temple room


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Advance?


You've said that you must inquire submissively from a self-realized soul. But because of confusion I don't know what to ask them. I feel that I've met a self-realized soul, but I still don't believe that they can help me because of my own limitations. I feel that there are things inside myself that block me from having a true relationship with anyone. What can I do to make advancement at this stage?

Your student

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Answer: Approach Guru in Mood of Arjuna...

Arjuna was confused when he approached Lord Sri Krishna, the supreme self realized being. But after approaching the Lord he became free from all confusion. Therefore, if you want to be free from all confusion, all you have to do is approach the guru, self-realized soul, in the same way that Arjuna did. Here's how he inquired from the Lord:

karpanya-dosopahata-svabhavah
prcchami tvam dharma-sammudha-cetah
yac chreyah syan niscitam bruhi tan me
sisyas te 'ham sadhi mam tvam prapannam


"Now I am confused about my duty and have lost all composure because of miserly weakness. In this condition I am asking You to tell me for certain what is best for me. Now I am Your disciple, and a soul surrendered unto You. Please instruct me."--Bhagavad-gita  2.7

The self-realized soul can definitely liberate you from your entangled position within this material existence. He is specifically empowered by Lord Krishna to do this. All you have to do is to fully surrender unto him, just as Arjuna fully surrendered unto Lord Sri Krishna. This will solve all of your problems very easily.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 24 January 2007

from Los Angeles, California
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Today's Thought:

Arrival in the USA


It's now 5:22pm on 23rd January 2007. We arrived at 1:50pm this afternoon here in the USA at Los Angeles. Of all the nations on the face this planet, this particular nation is very special. Srila Prabhupada said that India was his motherland and the USA was his fatherland. Why did he so much appreciate this country? Because out of all the nations on the face of this planet it was here that Srila Prabhupada was given the best facility for starting and expanding his movement all over the world. He said that because of America's leading position in the world, if even 1 percent of the American nation takes to Krishna consciousness, the whole world will be changed for the better. Next to India, our Ultimate Self Realization Course is the most popular in the USA. This gives me great hope for the future salvation of the human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If  One Has No Information about Krishna Consciousness...


In a recent "Thought for the Day" you wrote that God gives us everything we need, but because we do not follow him we are suffering. But what if one's karma is such that one is not able to get any information about Krishna-Consciousness or anything spiritual? Is such forced suffering in which we cannot even free ourselves, no matter how much we would want to, just another kind of karma?

Thank You

Jukka

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Answer: Krishna Will Send Him a Guru...

Anyone who is sincerely seeking the highest truth beyond all suffering will be blessed by coming in contact with a devotee of the Lord, who will then reveal the Truth to him. In other words the Lord within knows the person's desire to realize the highest truth and thus sends the spiritual master to plant the seed of bhakti within their heart. Anytime someone wants to become free from their karma, all they have to do is desire that freedom and then obey the instructions of the spiritual master who is sent by the Lord to deliver them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 23 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Special Announcement:

Today Sankarshan Das Adhikari will be in Los Angeles for one day only! If you are in the Los Angles area and you would like to meet him, you may call 1-512-366-0178 any time after 3pm today to arrange a meeting. Before flying to Texas on 24 January he also most likely be giving the morning lecture at the ISKCON temple at 3764 Watseka Avenue starting around 7:00am on 24 January. All are invited to attend. There is no charge.

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Today's Thought:

Fiji Farewell

It is 11:20am on 23 January 23, 2007. I am here in Suva, Fiji making last minute preparations for our departure. Today we fly out from Fiji at 11pm and amazingly enough arrive on the same day in Los Angeles at 1pm. This means we arrive in Los Angeles ten hours before we leave Fiji! Is this due to any mystic yoga feat? No. It is because we are crossing the international date line going in an easterly direction.

I carry with me many sweet memories of connecting with Krishna by associating with His devotees and His holy names here in this beautiful paradisial land by the sea. The good people, pleasant weather, clean water, clean air, and abundance of naturally growing fruits, flowers, and vegetables make this an ideal place for living a simple, happy life of complete absorption in Krishna consciousness.

Jairam Prabhu, the temple president of our main temple in Suva, has already invited us to return in January of 2008. So we are already starting to make our plans to do so. This is a very fertile land not only for fruits, vegetables, and flowers. It is fertile for cultivating the seeds of bhakti in the hearts of its residents. Indeed, Srila Prabhupada once said that Fiji could become the first Krishna conscious country in the world. May that happen. It would be the greatest example for the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sankarshan Das Adhikari elucidates the innermost secrets of self realization at a farm house in Taveuni, Fiji on 15-16 January 2007.

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With arrivals and departures like this, who would ever want to leave? But duty calls. We have been ordered to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get that Higher Taste?


Now I am trying to surrender to Krishna. It is not easy, because of remembering my old habits. How to get that higher taste for Krishna, to forget dark pleasures?

What to do to better understand Prabhupada's books? How can I get more inspiration to read?

Thank you for everything.

Kaspars

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Answer: Serve Those Who Have It...

I am very happy that you are trying to surrender to Krishna because this is the purpose of our existence, to be fully surrendered unto Lord Sri Krishna.

The easy way to get a strong taste for Krishna consciousness, strong enough to overpower all of our old material tastes, is to lovingly serve those devotees who have a very strong taste for Krishna consciousness.

By getting this strong taste you will naturally be inclined to read Srila Prabhupada's books more and with that increased reading will come increased understanding.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 22 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Tasting the Supreme Happiness, a Thrilling Adventure at Every Minute

There is no life like the Krishna conscious life because it is a thrilling adventure at every moment. There is nothing boring about Krishna consciousness. As one dovetails all of one's thoughts, words, and deeds with the Supreme Consciousness, one enters into the ultimate happiness as one gradually unlocks one's divine consciousness that has been sleeping within one's heart since time immemorial. Thus one attains the zenith of expanded consciousness, higher even than what is attained by the Brahmavadis, who strive to merge with the Supreme, or the yogis, who develop the eight types of mystic powers.

Especially exciting is to take up the revolutionary mission of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. Even if one is circumstantially not able to do that, if he will assist those who are, he will experience the same inconceivably nectarean result.

Why is it so nectarean? Because the more you give Krishna, the more you get Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sankarshan Das Adhikari expounds the Krishna science at Suva's ISKCON temple on 14 January 2007.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Krishna and His Expansions the Same Person?


Could you please tell me whether the various expansions of Lord Krishna are each a separate personality, or are they all the same One, the same person?

Thank you.
Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: Simultaneously One and Different...

The answer is that they are advaita, they are non-different. They are one and the same person, yet at the same time that one Supreme Person manifests Himself as different personalities for the sake of unlimitedly expanding His enjoyment.

For example, Lord Balarama is Krishna Himself, yet He is manifested as a different person so that Krishna can enjoy having a brother. In this material world many people enjoy having a brother. So would we think that the God is lacking something, that He cannot enjoy having a brother? No. God cannot be lacking in any way. Therefore even though everything that exists is nothing but His own personal expanded energy, He manifests it full of unlimited variety of personal relationships for the unlimited expansion of His personal pleasure.

The Lord manifests two types of expansions. The integrated expansions, such as Lord Balarama and Lord Ramacandra, are the same person as Krishna. The separated expansions are the living entities such as us. We are distinct individual persons. We are not Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 21 January 2007

from Labasa, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Spreading the Mercy of the Holy Names in Labasa


Every Sunday morning after the morning program at ISKCON's Labasa temple, the devotees go singing the Hare Krishna mantra and dancing in ecstasy in the neighborhoods of Labasa. To distribute the holy names of Lord Sri Krishna is the ultimate welfare activity because the chanting of Krishna's names brings one permanent relief from all the sufferings of material existence. The all-merciful names enable one to become from all forms of stress and anxiety and enter into the eternal pastimes of the Lord in His eternal abode, the Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Global Rise of the Mahamantra?


I really enjoyed what you recently wrote about if the world leaders took to Krishna Consciousness that the problems of the world would dissipate. I pray for this and believe it will happen. What a wonderful place of so much meaning this earth will be.

I was wondering if you could enlighten me with any Vedic knowledge circulating around this? Many Christians are stating that we are in 'The end of days' or 'The last days' approaching the 2nd coming of Christ, which seems legitimate as the Bible prophecies (especially Revelation) seems to indicate signs of this. The Mayan and New Age prophecies also talk of a big change in the year 2012. Whilst in India I heard a friend speak of a Golden Age in Kali-Yuga! Would any of this have anything to do with a full global rise of the Maha Mantra?

Love & Light

Andy

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Answer: Hare Krishna Golden Era is 2nd Coming...

It is stated in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 26:

saj-jana, durjana, pangu, jada, andha-gana
prema-vanyaya dubaila jagatera jana


"The Krishna consciousness movement will inundate the entire world and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman, a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind."

The Golden Age in the Kali Yuga (the Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy) is the same thing as the rise of the Mahamantra that you mentioned.

The second coming predicted by the Christians is actually happening right now in the form of the Krishna consciousness movement.

We don't have to wait for 2012 for the big changes. The big changes have been happening ever since 1965 when Srila Prabhupada arrived in America. Those who are fortunate will enter into this Golden Era of Lord Caitanya and experience ever-increasing bliss and knowledge. Gradually this Golden Era will expand more and more, and everyone will enter into it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 20 January 2007

from Labasa, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Sweet Nectar of Devotee Association


Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that the devotees of the Lord derive great bliss and satisfaction by gathering together to hear about, discuss, and glorify Him. We have practical experience of this on a regular daily basis. There is truly nothing more ecstatic than to be in the association of the Lord's devotees engaged in devotional activities. In the photo below we have just arrived on the Fijian Island of Viti Levu after flying over from several nectarean days of sharing Krishna consciousness with the wonderful devotees of Taveuni. While driving through the mountains from the airport at Savusavu on the way to Labasa (pronounced Lambasa) we stopped by the side of the road to share a wonderful picnic of Krishna prasadam together. The spiritual master is very pleased when he sees that the devotees are gathering together to take Krishna prasadam.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Obedience to Guru Predestined?


Is whether or not I put sincere effort in following the instructions of the spiritual master predestined by my past karma, or is it according to my free choice? I mean sometimes I am able to put sincere effort and sometimes I am not.

your servant

Rama Rupa Chaitanya das

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Answer: Obedience to Guru Transforms Destiny...

To what extent one is obedient to one's spiritual master is not predetermined by one's karma. It is totally up to you right now how much you will be surrendered to following the instructions of your spiritual master.

You can be neglectful and suffer the consequences, or you can be fully obedient and reap the supreme reward of going back to home, back to Godhead at the end of this lifetime. The choice is fully yours, no matter what your past karma may be. The spiritual master is giving you the opportunity to become liberated from the predestining influence of the laws of karma. This is his special mercy upon the disciple. It is fully up to the disciple whether or not he will take complete advantage of the guru's mercy. The choice is fully yours. Now what will you do?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 19 January 2007

from Labasa, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

It's Time to Take Over the World for Krishna


The present slate of the world's leaders have very clearly demonstrated their total complete incompetence for relieving the citizens from the suffering conditions of material existence. Human life is meant for realizing the highest truth and thus becoming eternally liberated from all miseries. But these so-called leaders are not even liberated themselves. How, therefore, can we expect them to be able to liberate others?

Therefore the time has come now, more than ever before, to introduce Krishna conscious leadership in every town, village, city, and nation throughout the world so that people everywhere can become truly liberated and happy. Let all those who have taken leadership positions now become truly qualified by taking seriously to the self-realization path so that they will become delivered and they can guide those who are under their guidance how to also become liberated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Bhagavad-gita is Translated?


I do not understand why the Bhagavad-gita is translated into several languages rather than reviving, promoting and propagating Sanskrit, the very language of Bhagavad-gita. Is it possible to develop a typewriter with Sanskrit's Devanagari script? The phonetic qualities, the grammar of this unique language cannot be translated or converted in any other languages.

If one could grasp the Bhagavad-gita in its own language, the translations of the Gita would have been of no importance. It is better to be late than never, as goes the saying. One must try to learn the language of Bhagavad-gita to study the art of living. Can ISKCON do something in this regard?

With best wishes and high regards,

Damodar V. Bale

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Answer: Guru Transmits Full Potency of Gita in Any Language...

It's nice that you are so much appreciating the most beautiful and perfectly constructed Sanskrit, the mother of all languages. Sanskrit script is called "devanagari", which literally means "in the cities of the demigods", because Sanskrit is the language that is spoken by the demigods in the upper planets. Not only that, it is also the language spoken in the spiritual world and is therefore an eternal language which never changes.

However, when the pure devotee spiritual master presents Bhagavad-gita as it is in any language, the full potency of the Bhagavad-gita comes through. Just as it does not require any particular language to recognize thunder, there is no particular language required for understanding the teachings of Krishna, provided one hears submissively from the bona fide spiritual master and lovingly renders him service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 18 January 2007

from Taveuni, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Departing from Heavenly Taveuni


This morning we fly out from Taveuni to another Fijian Island. This time we will be spending several days sharing the wonderful nectar of Krishna consciousness with the devotees on the Island of Vana Levu in the city of Labasa (pronounced Lambasa). Our visit to Taveuni was the most exhilarating opportunity to appreciate Krishna's amazing craftsmanship in creating this practically celestial island and then to marvel at how inconceivably millions and billions of times more wondrous must be His Goloka Vrindavan planet situated in the topmost region of the Spiritual Sky. This truly staggers the imagination.

The sweet, loving hospitality of the Taveuni devotees has been matchless. We have never been made to feel more at home anywhere else in our travels all over the world. Each day I visited a different home, and at each visit I was offered a traditional foot bathing ceremony, guru puja, and sumptuous feast of the most delicious Taveuni grown fruits and vegetables. With such hospitality one can never feel that he is away from home. Rather one feels great relief and satisfaction like a traveler who has finally gotten back to the security and serenity of his home after a long, strenuous, and dangerous journey.

In the Vedic culture, it is customary to bathe two or three times daily. Yesterday we had the nice opportunity to take our mid day bath in the crystal clear waters coming down from the mountains at Tavoro Falls.

After a refreshing mid day bath, we then proceeded to the home of Hari Das Prabhu for a wonderful feast of Krishna Prasadam.

Even though Hari Das Prabhu and his family live in a simple tin shack they have the most wonderful view from their front yard. The year round weather with its refreshing ocean breezes is so nice that they do not require heating or air-conditioning.

There is no reason that the entire earth cannot be restored to the paradisial atmosphere that it once had. All we have to do is to put Krishna back in the center of our every thought, our every word, and our every deed. If we do so, gradually the entire atmosphere on this planet will change, and it will become like the Satya Yuga.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why God Created Misery?


Sometimes I feel that God may be a sadist or incapable. If He is an almighty, He could have created the world without depressions & suicides. What for He created this world?

Regards,

P. Sanath Kumar

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Answer: He Did Not. We Did...

How can God be a sadist or incapable? To think that the Lord could be sadistic or incapable is foolishness. The fact is that God is unlimitedly kind and also unlimitedly powerful. The evils that exist in the world such as depression and suicides are created by us by our foolish unwillingness to serve the Lord. God has made everything perfectly for our happiness, but we have foolishly turned our backs on Him, trying to be Lords ourselves in this material world and suffering because of it. If we would just agree to surrender to Him, all the suffering conditions that we have created will immediately go away.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 17 January 2007

from Taveuni, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Tasting the Real Paradise while in Paradise


It is certainly a very joyful experience to be here on Taveuni, a remote South Pacific island paradise. The fresh ocean breezes, million dollar views, lush tropical forests full of fruits and flowers, pristine flowing mountain streams, etc. Such an atmosphere that reminds us of the spiritual world is in the mode of goodness, sattva guna. It is a wonderful relief from the tamasic (ignorant) and rajasic (passionate) atmosphere of the polluted modern day world civilization. But this mode of goodness atmosphere does not on its own bring permanent, lasting satisfaction. That's why the people who reside here are hankering to go somewhere else such as New Zealand or Australia.

If we want to experience the actual paradise, the actual platform of pure, unlimited happiness, we must come to the spiritual platform. The real paradise is found in the association of great transcendentalists, the Lord's devotees, who are 24 hours daily engaged in hearing, chanting, and remembering the transcendental names, fame, forms, pastimes, entourage and paraphernalia of the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

I am fortunate to be in the midst of such loving, caring transcendentalists, great devotees, who are very eager to spend every spare minute in Krishna conscious activities. I am unlimitedly blessed to be getting sadhu-sanga (the association of great saints) and thus tasting the real paradise during my short visit to this material paradise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is Krishna Blackish?


I have heard many reasons for Krishna to be blackish, but what is the actual reason?

Bhavesh

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Answer: Because He Likes It...

The color of the Lord has not been imagined by an artist. It is described in authoritative scripture. The color of the Lord is not poetical imagination. There are authoritative descriptions in the Brahma-samhita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita and many of the Puranas of the Lord's body, His weapons and all other paraphernalia.

Why does somebody prefer a certain color of shirt? It is a matter of taste. Krishna is the supreme controller and supreme enjoyer. He is free to manifest any color according to his preference and taste. He is not obliged to follow anyone else's rules and regulations. He can be whatever color He wants to be, and He chooses the bluish-blackish complexion because that is what is most pleasing to Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 16 January 2007

from Taveuni, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Tasting Transcendental Bliss in Taveuni


We are spending three days on a remote Fijian island known as Taveuni. And even here on Taveuni we are in a remote place. After arriving in a small propeller-driven airplane we landed on a very short landing strip which was just at the edge of the ocean. The terminal was a small shed. There was no conveyor belt for the luggage. We claimed our luggage from a cart that had been wheeled the thirty yards from the airplane to the tiny shed. We were greeted with respectful obeisances by a contingent of Krishna's devotees who gave each of us (myself, Vishnupriya Mataji, and Jairama Prabhu) a flower garland. Finally after a grueling but beautiful drive along the often bumpy gravel road along the coast we arrived at our remote quarters.

It's so remote that there is no running water and no electricity. We are staying with a farmer and his family who are devotees. The house is very simple, practically no more than a tin shack, but the atmosphere is very, very sublime. You wouldn't believe the kirtan we had last night with a living room full of devotees from the surrounding area. It was enough to make you practically jump right out of your skin. (Yes, it was recorded and will be made available soon, if the recording came out okay.)

We are surrounded by a forest of wild growing fruit trees at the foot of a beautiful green mountain. The breezes blowing off of the Pacific are absolutely sublime, just as Krishna describes the Bhagavad-gita:

pavanah pavatam asmi

"Of purifiers I am the wind."
--Bhagavad-gita 10.31

The internet connection here is really bad. It's the worst I've seen anywhere in the world. (And I have seen a lot of them.) This morning so far I have tried to get on the internet four times and each time after 20 seconds I was disconnected. So there is no question of uploading any of the photos of the breathtaking beauty or the super-ecstatic Krishna consciousness activities. If you get this "Thought for the Day" today consider it to be by the mercy of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is God Formless?


You have tried to negate Shankaracharya's interpretation of Veda as distortion. This is not right. After all, the ultimate form of worship is formless Nirguna Brahman. It is all about awareness and consciousness. The means can be any method. The Guru's guidance is to be followed.

Venugopal

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Answer: Simultaneously With and Without Form

You have nicely stated that the guru's guidance is to be followed. So why do then you argue with the Guru's guidance? You are contradicting your own words.

I am not negating Shankarcarya's interpretation of the Vedas as distortion. Shankaracarya is an incarnation of Shiva. It is he himself who negates his interpretation of the Vedas as distortion. I am simply repeating what Shankaracarya has himself stated about his nirgunistic teachings.

Lord Shiva was ordered to incarnate as Shankaracarya and introduced a misinterpretation of the Vedic literatures that was similar to Buddhism for the purpose of defeating Buddhism and reintroducing Vedic culture back into India. Then, in keeping with the Lord's plan, other acharyas came who gradually presented the full and complete understanding of Vedic wisdom. That Shankaracarya (Lord Shiva) knew that his nirgunistic presentation of Vedic wisdom was misleading and incomplete is confirmed by his own statement to Goddess Durga as is quoted below from the Padma Purana:

mayavadam asac-chastram
pracchannam bauddham ucyate,
mayaiva vihitam devi
kalau brahmana-murtina


"[Lord Siva informed goddess Durga, the superintendent of the material world:] 'In the Age of Kali I take the form of a brahmana and explain the Vedas through false scriptures in an atheistic way, similar to Buddhist philosophy.'"

Therefore your statement, "This is not right.", is not right.

You are stating, "After all ultimate form of worship is formless Nirguna Brahman." But this is half-hen logic. Brahman is both saguna and nirguna (with qualities and without qualities). Why do you only want to worship half of Brahman? This is incomplete.

When it is said that Brahman is nirguna (without qualities), this means that Brahman is completely devoid of any material qualities. And when it is said that Brahman is saguna (with qualities), this means that Brahman is full of unlimited varieties of spiritual qualities. These two concepts are not contradictory. Brahman is simultaneously overflowing with oceans of spiritual qualities, and at the same time is completely devoid of all material qualities.

How can we understand this? Isn't a saintly person full of all saintly qualities and at the same time devoid of all type of sinful qualities? If it is possible for a human being to be with and without qualities, certainly God can simultaneously be with and without qualities.

Perhaps you are unaware of the philosophical synthesis of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. The followers of the formless Nirguna Brahman hold to the philosophy of advaita (oneness.) And the followers of the Saguna Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth with form, hold to the philosophy of dvaita (two-ness). Sri Caitanya amalgamated both philosophies into what is the ultimate philosophical perfection, that the Supreme Absolute is simultaneously, inconceivably one and different. To take either half of Brahman only is incomplete. We should not be the like the farmer who only wanted the half of the hen that lays eggs and did not want the half of the hen which eats.

Half-hen logic kills the hen. Similarly to perceive only oneness or only duality is also incomplete. It is trying to put a limit on God. Those who have achieved the highest stage of spiritual enlightenment perceive the Absolute as simultaneously with spiritual form and without material form.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 15 January 2007

from Taveuni, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Nothing More Auspicious


I cannot even begin to comprehend the extent of my good fortune that I have been engaged as a messenger of my beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, for spreading the message of Krishna all over the world. There is nothing more auspicious than the liberating teachings of the Bhagavad-gita except for one thing. And what is that? To be blessed with the opportunity to spread the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita all over the world.

Somehow or other, out of His infinite kindness, Krishna has allowed me, in spite of my innumerable disqualifications, to be engaged full time in traveling and distributing the sublime teachings of the Bhagavad-gita all over the world. Not only that, He has blessed me with thousands of dedicated readers in over one hundred countries. This greatly encourages me to continue writing and sharing via the internet the wonderful realizations that I am constantly being blessed with regarding Krishna consciousness, the ultimate self-realization science.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Misfortune...


When a material or spiritual misfortune happen to us, should we take it as a sign that we are committing offences be it material or spiritual?

Your fallen servant,

Ameeta

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Answer: No Such Thing for a Devotee...

A devotee of the Lord humbly accepts all misfortune as the reactions due to him for his past misdeeds. And at the same time he perceives all forms of fortune and misfortune as being the greatest good fortune because he sees how the Lord is bestowing unlimited mercy upon him at every step.

Whether he is suffering the reactions from his past misdeeds or being rewarded for his past pious activities, he takes either as the blessings of Krishna to help him come closer and closer to Him. There is a beautiful verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam that helps us to understand this properly:

tat te 'nukampam su-samiksamano
bhunjana evatma-krtam vipakam
hrd-vag-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jiveta yo mukti-pade sa daya-bhak


"My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim." --Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 14 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Krishna's Mercy Floods the Suva Market


Yesterday Krishna's mercy flooded the Suva Market when dozens of devotees armed with the sweet sound of Krishna's holy names and pots full of Krishna prasadam for free distribution showed up there. As soon as the devotees began chanting a crowd of onlookers immediately gathered around us some of whom joined us in chanting the holy names. The devotees blessed me with the opportunity to lead the kirtan. It was so uplifting and enlivening to sing the unlimitedly sweet Hare Krishna Mahamantra for the deliverance of the souls who happened to be at the right place at the right time to be blessed with the sweet sound of Krishna's holy names:

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

May the entire universe become flooded these nectarean transcendental sound vibrations.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Jesus the Only Way?


My name is Alok and I am doing my M.C.A in Christ College in Bangalore. I have been on a search for God from the past 2 years. People say that God is in us, and we need not search. The Bible says to seek God with all your heart and all your soul. I am a brahmin, and in this search I have been in with Jesus and Shri Krishna, and I have a bit of knowledge about the Quran. My doubt is, "Will all these paths lead to the same God? Or is it according to what the Bible says that one can reach god only through Jesus Christ?".

Alok

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Answer: A Label Will Not Save You...

The ultimate perfection of all spiritual paths is to develop pure love for God. Therefore love for God is the original pure essence of existence. Anything else besides pure love for God is either helping us to attain it, or taking us further away from it.

There is only one true path of spiritual progress. And that is whatever is taking us closer to pure love of God. Anyone who teaches that is the way. Since Jesus Christ is teaching pure love for God, we certainly accept that his path is the only way. But he is not the only one who is teaching the only way. Anyone who is teaching us the only way is the only way. Therefore we can joyfully and gratefully accept the wonderful loving guidance of all the great masters. They are all teaching us how to develop pure love for God.

The difficulty nowadays that so many people claim to be saved simply by designating themselves as the followers of this path or that path. Spiritual perfection is not such a cheap thing that I can simply label myself as a this or a that and expect to be saved.

We see in practically every case that the "rubber-stamped" so-called followers have not understood or captured the essence of the path they claim to be following, to develop pure love for God. We see that they remain completely entangled in their material desires with hardly a pinch of genuine love for God.

And they tell us that they are saved and that everyone else is going to hell. In this regards there is a nice Bengali saying:

pagale ki na bole, chagale ki na khaya

"A madman, what does he not speak? And a goat, what does he not eat?"

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 13 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Awed by the Dawn, Praying for the Dawn


It's 6:50am here in Suva, Fiji. I am awed by the natural beauty of the dawn that is happening around me at this minute in this tropical, picturesque land. And I am praying for the full blown manifestation of the spiritual dawn, the Caitanya Era, for the enlightenment, the spiritual upliftment of the billions of lost, bewildered souls who are wandering around in this Kali Yuga in a state of gross ignorance and misery.

Even the big, big leaders are completely bewildered in the matter of distinguishing reality from illusion. Thus the entire planet earth has been cast into an ocean of confusion. In this deluded state no one knows who they are, where they have come from, what is their ultimate destination, or how to achieve their ultimate destination. Somehow or other I have come into contact with a bona fide spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Because of his causeless mercy upon me I have now come into the direct service of the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. And I have been instructed to share what I have received with the entire world. The Ultimate Self Realization Course(TM) is my humble attempt to do so. I hope that you find some benefit in it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chant Hare Krishna, Not Hare Rama...


Lord Krishna is the Godhead. He is supreme. Then why in the Mahamantra does the name of Lord Rama appear? Repeated chanting of the first line only, I feel should be more effective to put an end to this cycle of birth and death.

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

Any response please.

Your student

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Answer: Do Not Invent Something New...

Don't try to invent something new. What has been given to us by the acharyas is perfect. Rama is also a name for Krishna. It means "the Supreme Enjoyer." It also refers to Lord Balarama, Lord Ramachandra, and Lord Parasurama, Who are all different forms of Krishna.

The mantra as it is was personally chanted by Lord Krishna when He appeared in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Plus, it has been chanted since time immemorial by countless numbers of fully realized souls. Chanting only the first half of the mantra and leaving out the rest of it will greatly diminish its transcendental potency.

The Kali Santarana Upanisad says there is no better means of self realization in this age of Kali than the chanting of:

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


Therefore I am humbly requesting you to chant:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 12 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Tasting Pleasure in Distress


In the Srimad Bhagavatam 2nd Canto, 8th Chapter, Text 6 it is stated:

dhautatma purusah krsna-
pada-mulam na muncati
mukta-sarva-pariklesah
panthah sva-saranam yatha


"A pure devotee of the Lord whose heart has once been cleansed by the process of devotional service never relinquishes the lotus feet of Lord Krishna, for they fully satisfy him, as a traveler is satisfied at home after a troubled journey."

This choice verse reconfirms the all-blissful nature of Krishna consciousness. Even if the Lord's devotee has to undergo all sorts of distressful circumstances, he finds great pleasure by doing so, if by undergoing them he can please the Lord. He can tolerate all disturbances, just as a traveler tolerates an arduous journey to reach the safety and comfort of his home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Absolute Truth Impersonal?


Of late I've come across many swamis and gurus in India who establish that the Absolute Truth is impersonal and what Sripada Sankaracharya has philosophized is the essence of Vedanta.
This has bewildered me, and I'm now in a fix as the philosophy of ISKCON, which I follow, is against this . Kindly guide me as it is troublesome to focus in devotional life with such questions.

Yours sincerely,

Bhakta Harish

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Answer: God Cannot Be Formless...

Sripad Shankaracharya presented a distorted version of Vedanta Philosophy as a preaching tactic to attract the Buddhists back to Vedic culture. He was so successful at doing this that Buddhism, although started in India, is almost completely non-existent in India.

There is not much difference between the Buddhist "all is zero" philosophy and the impersonal "all is one" philosophy because both of them are impersonal. But then after defeating Buddhism that same Shankaracharya instructed his followers:

bhaja govindam bhaja govindam
bhaja govindam mudha-mate
samprapte sannihite kale
na hi na hi raksati dukrn-karane


"You intellectual fools, just worship Govinda, just worship Govinda, just worship Govinda. Your grammatical knowledge and word jugglery will not save you at the time of death."

He instructed them to give up impersonalism and take to the real path of bhakti. But unfortunately they did not agree to follow their guru's instructions.

Mayavadi philosophy says that God has no form. They say that Krishna's form is Maya. This is why we refer to them as Mayavadis, because they hold to the principle that Krishna's form is Maya.

But this philosophy is absurd. How can the original source from which all forms are coming be formless? Can we extract gold from a goldless mine?

No.

If gold comes from the mine, the mine must possess gold. Similarly, since all varieties of forms emanate from God, God cannot be formless.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 11 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Outclassing the Material Culture


Even though Fiji is no doubt one of the most beautiful places on the planet earth, there is something here which is far more wonderful than its beauty. What is that? It is the warm hospitality we received from the Fiji devotees. In this regard the Fiji devotees are especially noted for the wonderful prasadam they serve to their guests. ("Prasadam" means vegetarian foodstuffs which have first been offered to Lord Krishna with love and devotion.) Srila Prabhupada one time stated, "They are cooking very nice in Fiji." The Fiji islands are blessed by an amazing variety of fruits and vegetables, many of which grow here in the wild without any cultivation. While visiting Fiji it is astounding to see how many varieties of tantalizing dishes the devotees are offering to Lord Krishna.


When I am offered a huge platter with more than twenty unforgettably delicious preparations it is the best I can do to sample a little of each one. The materialists will spend big money to eat in a fancy restaurant. But just by being devoted to Lord Krishna and eating only the remnants of what has been offered to Him, the devotee can enjoy eating better than any king. In all ways, Krishna consciousness culture outclasses the material culture.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Enlightened Sex?


It is said that sex brings one's consciousness to the bodily level and is thus bad for Krishna Consciousness. Why is it then possible for a Buddhist to have sex and still stay enlightened?

Thank You

Your student

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Answer: Only For Enlightened Children...

We do not say that sex is bad for Krishna consciousness. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna declares that He is that sex life, which is executed in full accordance with religious principles. But regarding sex life which is not so executed, nobody can have such illicit sex and stay enlightened.

Simply belonging to a religion and adopting a title as a Buddhist or Christian or a Hindu does not make one an enlightened spiritual being. One must actually fully awaken the divine consciousness within by complete total surrender at the Lord's lotus feet under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master. Only then can one be enlightened. And then one can only remain enlightened if they indulge in sex for producing enlightened children under the guidance of their fully enlightened spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 10 January 2007

from Lautoka, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Become Dutiful and Become Beautiful


The soul in his original pure nature is beautiful beyond description. He is eternally youthful, full of bliss, full of knowledge. When he falls down into material existence that gorgeous luster becomes covered by thousands of layers of lust, anger, greed, laziness, fault-finding, pride, etc. But when he resumes his original duty of service to the Supreme Lord, he regains his original attractive qualities. This is confirmed in the Kasi-khand portion of the Skanda Purana as follows:

"In the country known as Mayuradhvaja, the lower-caste people, who are considered less than sudras, are also initiated in the Vaishnava cult of devotional service. And when they are properly dressed, with tilaka on their bodies and beads in their hands and on their necks, they appear to be coming from Vaikuntha. In fact, they look so very beautiful that immediately they surpass the ordinary brahmanas."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Keeping on the Path...


I subscribe to your daily mail and am most impressed by your question and answer section. It is of great help to people who cannot meet you directly but get your answers to the difficult questions one might face in while engaged in sadhana (the daily practice of Krishna consciousness activities).

My question is: When I am away from the devotees of Krishna and am not able to keep company with the devotees, how do I keep myself on the path of Krishna Consciousness? For the mind is so worldly that it reverts back to its old ways before I realize it.

Thanking you in anticipation of your answer,

a Krishna devotee,

Siddharth

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Answer: Always Keep Company with Devotees...

You must always keep company with the devotees within your heart by always remembering the instructions they have given you, and by always remembering their sweet qualities and activities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 9 January 2007

from Lautoka, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Auspicious Krishna Conscious Government


In 1976 when Srila Prabhupada was visiting Fiji he said that it could become the first Krishna conscious country in the world. To have a Krishna conscious government would be the most wonderful blessing that any nation could ever have. If even one country on the face of this planet earth could have a Krishna conscious government, the atmosphere of the entire planet earth would be transformed. If Fiji could be so fortunate, it would naturally become the leading country for the entire planet Earth.

Just since my arrival here a few days ago, a new prime minister has been sworn in. My request to the new prime minister is that he should carefully study Bhagavad-gita As It Is and guide the people of Fiji according to its principles. If he does so, it will mark the beginning of a new era for the entire planet earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does this Saying Make Sense?


I came across the following saying:

"Helping hands are better than praying lips."

Does this make sense or is it an excuse for escaping the mode of submission to the Almighty by prayers?

Please enlighten me on this ignorant query.

Your student,

Darshu

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Answer: Lips Praying and Hands Helping...

On the surface this statement may appear to be very nice to say that helping hands are better than praying lips. But if we delve into it a little deeper we see that it is incomplete. Why?

For our basic survival we depend upon rain both for drinking and for food production. Without rain the human society would die. What we can do with our hands for producing rain? Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that rain comes as a result of yajna (sacrifice). What is the prescribed yajna for this age? The chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra:

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


So the ideal formula for a healthy life is to first pray with the lips chanting Hare Krishna at least 16 rounds daily on our japa beads in the early morning pre-dawn hours. This will bring the rain. Then we use our helping hands to milk the cows and to till the soil for producing food. We should not think that we can simply survive by the effort of our helping hands. We depend on God for the rain. Therefore we should always put first things first by first praying with our lips and then engaging our helping hands in taking full advantage of the gifts of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 8 January 2007

from Sigatoka, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Dare to Be Transcendental


In this material world we are under a great pressure from friends, family, and the society in general to conform to that which is considered normal, a futile life of material sense gratification. In this connection it is said, "Tis folly to be wise in that place where ignorance is bliss." If we break out of the normal social pattern and take seriously to the pathway of self-realization we are considered to be crazy. But we have to consider who is actually crazy: the person who focuses his life's energy on his eternal spiritual identity or the person who devotes everything to a temporary lump of stool, urine, blood, pus, mucus, etc.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting in One Sitting?


Is it okay if i chant the 16 rounds of the maha mantra on the beads throughout the day, or should it be done all at once on one sitting? I find it hard to do it all at once, but am trying my best.

Thank you,

Kamal

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Answer: Easier and More Potent in the Early Morning...

The rounds can be chanted any time of the day, but it is more much potent and easier also to focus the mind on the Lord's names in the early morning hours before sunrise. If sitting for a long time is a problem, you may stand or walk while chanting your japa.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 7 January 2007

from Sigatoka, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Gift of Love to the World


By one stroke, Krishna consciousness solves every problem of life. It is such a wonderful thing. Let the entire world now fully adopt the sublime pathway of Krishna consciousness and become fully peaceful and happy. Everyone and anyone in all situations of life can experience deep meaning and purpose and complete freedom from anxiety if they will simply seriously take up this sublime practice under the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We don't charge any money for teaching them. This is our gift of love to world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Selfish or Selfless Service?


I enjoyed meeting you recently in Mumbai at the BACE evening programs. I have a question that has been sort of troubling me for a while regarding love for Krishna.

I think what I'm basically asking is: Am I selfishly serving Krishna because I want something in return (happiness) or am I experiencing happiness from trying to serve Him selflessly?

Your servant

Bhakta Mick

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Answer: Advancing Towards Selflessness...

Your question, "Am I selfishly serving Krishna because I want something in return (happiness) or am I experiencing happiness from trying to serve Him selflessly?", is very nice.

In the beginning we come to Krishna desiring happiness. This is unavoidable because we have no conception of pure devotional service. But then by the association of guru and Vaisnavas we gradually come to understand that pleasing Krishna is better than trying to please ourselves.

For someone who is on the path of progressive spiritual advancement, it is a combination of both serving Krishna for our pleasure and serving Him for His pleasure, that gradually transforms into deriving unlimited happiness by only thinking of Krishna's pleasure. This is the supreme happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 6 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Custom Designed Rectification Program


Every single living entity throughout the total existence has a wonderful, beautiful personal relationship with God, the ultimate source of all energies. Even if we deviate from our original pure happy position of service to Him and fall into a position of forgetfulness here within the material world, He mercifully provides us with the medicine that is fully potent for reviving our original enlightened consciousness. That medicine is the Hare Krishna Mahamantra:

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


Each one of us has our unique situation within this material existence. No matter what our position may be, each one of us has a custom program designed by God for our rectification and deliverance from the clutches of material existence.

So there is no reason to lament our current position or hanker for something else. All we have to do is revive our dormant Krishna consciousness by regularly chanting the Mahamantra every day. We will see how much of a blessing our current situation is to help us dive deeper and deeper into the sweet ocean of Krishna's holy names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Report: Surprise in Prague...


I'm just reporting this little experience that for me has been a great surprise full of pleasure!!!

I've just been in Prague with my boyfriend, Krishna Das. We spent a little holiday in this city and a good 31st eve.

On the 31st, while walking near the city center, we met a little crowd of devotees. They were chanting the Mahamantra loudly and they crossed the city in this way, earning the people's attention and curious gazes.

 

Chanting the Holy Names in Ecstasy in Prague


What did they convey to people? Happiness for sure!!!.. and something more!! The taste of an enlightened transcendental happiness!

Our holiday has been better after this meeting, but first of all we felt blessed by it.

(Written in the hope of sharing this feeling with you or more.)

Let me thank Krishna and his devotees all around the world! And the ISKCON centers which are enlightened-peace oases!!

Sorry if I've made any mistake with the language...

Thank you of all your work!!

Hare Krishna!!

Erica

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Response: Your Words are Beautiful...

I am very happy to hear how much you were enlivened by meeting the devotees who were singing and dancing in the streets of Prague. This ecstatic Hare Krishna singing and dancing is the topmost blessing for the suffering humanity because it floods the entire world with the soothing rays of Lord Caitanya's benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It is the pure essence of spiritual enlightenment. It exponentially increases the ocean of transcendental bliss and enables us to dive unlimitedly into the nectarean ocean of pure Krishna prema (love of Godhead) that we are hankering for in our heart of hearts at every second.

The way you have used the English language is beautiful!

Thank you very much.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 5 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Beyond So-Called Enjoyment

The most important thing we need to do is purify our consciousness of the tendency to be the enjoyer. We cannot be the enjoyer because our actual position is that we are the servant. It is when we agree to take the position of servant that we can actually enjoy. The perfection of being a servant is to become the servant of God because just as when we water the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished, when we give loving service to the Supreme Person, the root of everything, we then give the best loving service to everyone and everything. We even end up also giving the best service to ourselves because we are also part of everything.

This is the secret of how to derive unlimited happiness at every minute and becoming completely immune to all forms of distress. Instead of trying to enjoy independently, we simply must dedicate ourselves to giving enjoyment to God. The result will be that we will enjoy on an equal level with the Supreme Enjoyment. In other words we will taste the supreme enjoyment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Balancing Materialism and Spiritualism...


I am new to Krishna Consciousness, at least in this birth. I attended your lecture and questions-and-answers session when you visited the Nerul, Mumbai Bhaktivedanta Academy of Cultural Education. I am developing faith and love in Krishna.

I want to ask you about how to make a practical balance between materialism and spiritualism. I understand that the human birth is for developing love and devotion to Krishna and in elevation to Him, getting back to Godhead. But aren't our material requirements equally important?

If we get materially inclined, then we spend most of our time in earning for our material needs. So how to make a balance? Shall we suppress and curb down our material needs?

Another question I want to ask: Why is chanting 16 rounds on japa beads prescribed? If I have faith in Krishna and I just take His name once a day won't it give me bhakti & mukti.

Please enlighten me...

your student,

Rupesh

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Answer: Emphasize Spiritual Life...

I am very happy to hear that you attended my lecture when I spoke at Bhaktivedanta Academy of Cultural Education in Nerul, Mumbai, India.

The principle of balance between spiritualism and materialism is presented in the ancient Vedic scripture, the Sri Isopanisad:

vidyam cavidyam ca yas
tad vedobhayam saha
avidyaya mrtyum tirtva
vidyayamrtam asnute


"Only one who can learn the process of material knowledge and that of transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality." -- Sri Isopanisad Mantra 11

Since we are already solidly situated in material life from the day we were born, our balancing is to now give more emphasis to development of our spiritual life. We must now focus our energies on awakening our dormant Krishna consciousness.

Material requirements are important but they are not as important as the spiritual requirements. What is more important: to feed the bird within the cage or to polish the cage? Feeding the bird is more important. So this body is just a cage for the spirit-soul who is seated within. Along with keeping the body fit we must more importantly focus on keeping our consciousness fixed on the Lord.

On the material side we should accept the basic comforts for keeping body and soul together. There is no need for extravagance. The balance time and energy saved by plain living should be utilized for high thinking on the transcendental subject matter of the relationship between the individual being and the Supreme Being.

It's a fact that one pure utterance of the Hare Krishna Mantra is sufficient for our liberation. But at the present moment we cannot currently chant with complete purity. Therefore we must practice everyday by chanting at least 16 rounds. By this daily practice, gradually our chanting will improve and we will one day be able to utter the holy names with 100% purity. Even after reaching that stage one will continue chanting on the japa beads to set a proper example for others who are trying the perfect their chanting.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 4 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Tasting and Spreading the Real Paradise in the Fiji Islands

ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, provides the most essential facility of spiritual revival in its hundreds of centers that are located throughout the world. There is no greater need at the present moment throughout the world than the revival of the love of God that is currently sleeping in the hearts of everyone. If this propensity can be awakened, the entire atmosphere of the world can be transformed into a paradise.

I am now visiting as a guest lecturer at ISKCON's center in Suva, Fiji (pictured below) and am tasting the sweetest nectar here in the association of the great devotees who are running this temple.

After my arrival here yesterday I met with temple leaders Jairam Prabhu and Visvanath Prabhu, who gave me the schedule (listed below) of my lecture tour up until 23 January. There are many nectarean adventures awaiting me in the spreading of Krishna consciousness throughout the Fiji Islands.

The Fiji Islands are promoted by numerous airlines and travel agencies as being a paradise on earth, but I am living in the real paradise in the association of the Lord's devotees engaged in the activity of bringing the real paradise of Krishna consciousness to a world population that is suffering greatly without it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


2006-2007 Around-the-World Lecture Tour

4-6 January

Suva, Fiji

6-8 January

Sigatoka, Fiji

9 January

Tauva, Fiji (tentative)

10 January

Rakiraki, Fiji

11 January

Ba, Fiji

12-14 January

Lautoka, Fiji

15 January

Suva, Fiji

15 January

Depart for Taveuni, Fiji

16-18 January

Taveuni, Fiji

19-21 January

Labasa, Fiji

22-23 January

Suva, Fiji

23 January

Depart Fiji

23 January

Los Angeles, California, USA

24 January

Austin, Texas, USA


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Check Spiritual Progress?


How do I know whether I am fully Krishna conscious? How can i check it?

Your Student

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Answer: See If You Have these Qualities...

The more you become advanced in Krishna consciousness you will have nothing to speak about or hear about other than Krishna. You will lose all attraction for the things of this world and gradually you will more and more experience Krishna within everything and everything within Krishna.

Another sign is that the more you become full with Krishna consciousness, the more you will see how fallen you are. In other words, you will become more and more humble.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 3 January 2007

from Suva, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

God's Paradise on Earth


This morning I awoke on board an Air Pacific flight which was en route from Melbourne, Australia to Fiji. My eyes opened around 3:30am, and I began my usual morning routine of chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on my japa beads. My japa beads are very special because they were personally chanted on by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada when he accepted me as his disciple on 12 August 1971.

A cooling, soothing almost full moon was setting in the west while simultaneously the effulgent sun was beginning to make his appearance in the east. The cabin was dark. All the non-devotee passengers were fast asleep. The holy names were very sweet.

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


We had been flying in the dark sky for over four hours over the Pacific Ocean and now, as the sun was beginning to illuminate the scene below, we made land, we crossed the shoreline of Fiji's main island, Viti Levu.


Upon landing and clearing customs we were greeted by Sriman Jairama Prabhu, the president of our Suva, Fiji temple, who then drove us 197 kilometers along the coast from the international airport in Nadi to Suva, the first stop on our Fiji islands lecture tour.

As I was breathing in the fresh unpolluted air, I was appreciating the natural beauty created by Krishna. On the left were forests, rivers, and mountains and on the right was the beautiful coastline.


Krishna has given us such a nice world to live in. He has given land with all varieties of fruits and vegetables. He has given us the bulls for tilling the soil and cows for the miracle food, milk. Why have we been so foolish to spoil it by our lust and greed? I pray that someday the entire world population will wake up and realize that we simply must put God back in the center where He belongs. If and when that day comes, the entire planet will be like a paradise and everyone will live in peace and harmony. Until that day comes we must keep on working for it and praying for it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Aim of Our Life?


From a long time I am stuck up with a question in my mind. Please help me finding out the answer. I want to ask, "What is the aim of our life? How should we live our life?"

I shall be highly thankful to you if you can resolve my query.

Yours sincerely,

Ram Khandelwal

New Delhi

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Answer: To Realize God...

The aim of life is to realize God. To accomplish this you must live your life according to the guidelines of Guru, Sadhus (the saintly persons), and sastra (the scriptures).

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 2 January 2007

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Praying for the Mercy to be an Actual Disciple


My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, one time stated that by traveling and preaching all over the world he was manifesting double the energy of his spiritual master for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement. He then said, "So you must have four times more energy than me. Then you are actually my disciple."

At the present moment I am very strongly feeling the presence of Srila Prabhupada because I am writing these words in the house where Srila Prabhupada would stay when he came to Melbourne. Therefore at this most auspicious moment I am praying for his mercy that I can be his actual disciple by accomplishing at least four times as much as he did for spreading this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world.

Of course I know that on my own I have no potency. It is only by his mercy that I may be able to do something wonderful to please him and be his actual disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Srila Prabhupada's room at the ISKCON temple in Melbourne, Australia is preserved as a museum just the way it was when he stayed in it in the 1970's.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Differences Between Krishna, Narayana, and Vishnu...


Would you please kindly explain the differences, if any, among Sri Krishna, Sri Vishnu and Sri Narayana? Since Sri Krishna is the source of all, Sri Krishna would be the source of Sri Vishnu and Sri Narayana if they are not the same as Sri Krishna.

Thanks for your on-going dedication in answering the submissive inquiries.

Best Regards,

Dipesh

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Answer: God at the Office, God at Home...

Krishna is the source. They are His expansions.


God at the office is Narayana or Vishnu. He is engaged in official duties of universal management. But God at home is Krishna. He is simply enjoying intimate pastimes with His most confidential devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 1 January 2007

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Expounding the Supreme Science in Melbourne


My visit to Melbourne has been jam packed with numerous golden opportunities to expound the supreme science to audiences who are very eager to drink deeply from the nectarean reservoir of transcendental wisdom. There is truly nothing more enlivening to hear and explain this topmost knowledge. This point is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita:

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


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

So if you are looking to experience the supreme happiness at every minute, my best advice is that you find the ways and means to always be engaged 24 hours a day or as much as possible in hearing, chanting, and remembering the transcendental names, fame, forms, pastimes, entourage, and paraphernalia of that Supreme Person Who emanates from Himself everything that exists. I am speaking of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sankarshan Das Adhikari expounding the supreme science in Melbourne, Australia


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: 1,728 Mahamantras?


I was wondering. Is one round of chanting on the japa beads done 108 times so that 16 rounds would actually mean chanting the Hare Krishna mantra 1,728 times? Thank you for your help.

Matthew

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Answer: Deeply Dive Daily...

On each bead we chant the entire Mahamantra:

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

Therefore each time we chant around the 108 beads we chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra 108 times. Every initiated devotee chants around the beads at least 16 times daily. Your math is correct. 16 x 108 = 1,728. So every day the initiated devotees chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra at least 1,728 times. In this way they deeply dive daily in that sweet nectarean ocean of nama-rasa, the taste of the name.

So now you must make your life perfect by giving up bad habits and chanting at least 16 rounds every day according to the expert guidance of guru, sadhus (saintly advanced devotees), and sastra (scripture). Your life will be inconceivably sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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