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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Saturday 31 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Illegal Happiness


On Thursday 29 March 2007 I gave a presentation on this sublime, ecstatic self-realization science to a classroom full of students at Sofia University. The students loved it and asked for further information. Many of them came out into the hallway after the lecture to inquire further about this liberating process. There was only one person who did not like it. This was the teacher. She was very disturbed that I made a presentation that was so appealing to the students. She told me, "You have made it too popular."

I have to admit that it is very difficult for me to present Krishna consciousness as some dry boring academic pabulum. Every word of this philosophy is overflowing with unlimited oceans of nectar. To package it as some insipid trivia tolerable to the envious would be very, very difficult.

When I explained what had happened to Stanu Prabhu, one of our local devotees, he told me that during the communist era here in Bulgaria a group of devotees had gathered illegally in a house to have to a Krishna consciousness program. The neighbors complained to the police after the program. Their complaint was that all the people came out of the meeting looking so happy. This mood of happiness being illegal is still hovering over Bulgaria at Sofia University. We hope to change that.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What are the Qualities of a Pure Devotee?


Honestly as a new comer into the Krishna Movement reading your "Thought for the Day" on a daily basis through the Internet gives me a great deal of joy and sense of belonging. It instructs me to strive and get closer to the Lord God Krishna, the greatest experience ever since I was born. My little question is: What are the good characteristics of a pure devotee(s)? I will be glad to know this from you my Lord.
Your Obedient Servant,

Nze

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Answer: There are Twenty-six Qualities...

I am very happy that you are feeling inspired by my humble attempts to serve the mission of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. The 26 characteristics of the Krishna's pure devotee are described as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita (Madhya Lila 22. 78-80):

krpalu, akrta-droha, satya-sara sama
nidosa, vadanya, mrdu, suci, akincana
sarvopakaraka, santa, krsnaika-sarana
akama, aniha, sthira, vijita-sad-guna
mita-bhuk, apramatta, manada, amani
gambhira, karuna, maitra, kavi, daksa, mauni


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

Silent means he only talks about Krishna and he does not advertise himself as a great devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 30 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

They Say, "Don't Talk of God."


In academic institutions all over the world it is now taboo to talk about God. You can deny His existence all day long. That is okay. But if the professor tries to glorify Him, he runs the risk of losing his teaching position. There is no mood of open-minded inquiry. There is a clear bias against God or anything spiritual. Spirituality is automatically assumed to be mythological. Such educational institutions cannot deliver their students from nescience. Rather they keep them in a state of ignorance. If the educational institutions want to actually provide their students with a true higher education they must give them the opportunity to hear and inquire about the self and the Supreme Self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:  Krishna is mightier than this "physical form"?

I have a perplexing problem and cannot relate the two within my mind. In the secular church, all of my life I was taught that "God" / Krishna had no form but was this brilliant white light....so beautiful that we could not look upon Him with our naked eye. This of course explains "pure awareness" to me. It makes much sense.

Now, within the Bhakti Yoga teachings, I learn that Lord Krishna took form in many ways and incarnations. We have pictures of Him. At the same time we are not to attach ourselves to the physical for we are not of this body. I, at this point cannot "attach" myself to any one picture of Lord Krishna no matter how beautiful because of this earlier teaching. He is mightier than this "physical form". In a sense I would say this helps lead me away from physical attachment -- period. Perhaps if I can keep my eye on this, then I can "detach" my mind from the shell and begin to realize that this is not the soul that resides within.

Yet, I must hold the photo's of Lord Krishna upon my altar and accept them as "Him."

Forgive my ignorance, but I seem to be going through a state of confusion. Is there anyway in which you could help clear this up for me ?

Your student,

Laura

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Answer: Krishna's Form Is Metaphysical Or Transcendental...

You have stated that Krishna is mightier than His physical form. In this connection please try to understand that Krishna's form is not physical or material. Rather it is metaphysical or transcendental. There is no question of Krishna being mightier than His form because He and His form are one and the same. Krishna's form does not in way limit or restrict Him. That form is the source of all the exists.

Since Krishna's form is not material, rather being fully spiritual, to meditate on His form does not cause bodily identification. It liberates the devotee from bodily identification. The brilliant white light is the beautiful aura emanating from His transcendental form. In the Sri Isopanisad we find this prayer in which the devotee prays as follows:

pusann ekarse yama surya prajapatya
vyuha rasmin samuha
tejo yat te rupam kalyana-tamam
tat te pasyami yo 'sav asau purusah so 'ham asmi


"O my Lord, O primeval philosopher, maintainer of the universe, O regulating principle, destination of the pure devotees, well-wisher of the progenitors of mankind, please remove the effulgence of Your transcendental rays so that I can see Your form of bliss. You are the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead, like unto the sun, as am I." Sri Isopanisad Mantra 16

The devotee does not want to be blinded by the brilliant white light. He prays to see the form from which that light is coming. This is the perfection of the eyes. Krishna's form is not physical. It is metaphysical. But this does not mean that He is formless. He has a form which is completely spiritual.

The Mayavadis teach that God is formless. But this is not a fact. The Lord has a form composed of eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 29 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Beyond Conjugal Attraction


In this material world there is nothing more glorified and promoted than the sexual attraction felt between a man and woman. There are thousands of love songs, poems, and novels glorifying this attraction. We think that there is nothing that can satisfy us more than having an intimate and dedicated lover. But this is actually not the fact. We can never become fully satisfied in a conjugal relationship. That which will actually satisfy us is to re-establish our original loving relationship with Krishna or God. By serving the supreme conjugal lovers, Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, we will relish total complete satisfaction and no longer feel the need for our own conjugal relationship.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Innocence in the Material World?


I have a question concerning karma. Since everyone on the material platform is suffering the results of his activities, karma, how is it there can be innocence in the material world? What I am asking is, since the laws of karma are cruel yet exacting in carrying out justice to the sinful living entities, is there any innocence in the material world? Or, is it as one of my teachers would say, "Everyone gets their just deserts."?

Humbly,

Bruce

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Answer: Ultimately, There is None...

Strictly speaking there is no innocence in this material world. This explains why even a little baby can be born with birth defects. Of course, there is relative innocence here. Relatively speaking, compared to adults, little children are quite innocent. Gradually as they grow up and engage in more and more sinful activities such as meat eating they lose that childhood innocence and become more and more jaded. Strictly speaking even children are not completely pure. They are also enjoying and suffering their karma, the results of their activities from previous lifetimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 28 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

The Merciful Nature of the Vaisnavas


In this material world everyone is suffering in the ocean of birth and death. They are being constantly smashed by that ocean's waves upon the rocks of the threefold miseries. The devotees of the Lord are very much pained to see everyone in such a suffering condition. Therefore they fully dedicate their lives for spreading the science of Krishna consciousness all over the world. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, very much encouraged me to always be in this mood of compassion for those who are thus suffering.

Lord Krishna and Balarama, in a mood of intense compassion, have appeared in this world as Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda to relieve the drowning souls from their misery by blessing them with the transcendental science of Krishna consciousness. In this connection it is stated:

vande sri-krsna-caitanya-
nityanandau sahoditau
gaudodaye puspavantau
citrau san-dau tamo-nudau


"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krishna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all."
--Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila 1.2

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Disobey God's Orders?


Why must we spread Krishna consciousness? Why preach the glories of the Gita to the world? Did Krishna not himself say:

idam te natapaskaya
nabhaktaya kadacana
na casusrusave vacyam
na ca mam yo 'bhyasuyati


"This confidential knowledge may not be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Me."

Basically, only Krishna's devotees may read from the Gita, and hear its infinite wisdom. Yet, you travel the world telling every man and his dog about Krishna.

I understand in the very next text it says:

ya idam paramam guhyam
mad-bhaktesv abhidhasyati
bhaktim mayi param krtva
mam evaisyaty asamsayah


"For one who explains the supreme secret to the devotees, devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me."

This following text speaks highly of discussing the glories of God, however it ONLY applies to discussing it with his devotees... only his devotees may hear or read the knowledge contained within the Gita.

God would rather people come to Him on their own accord, this is his benevolent nature and His gift to us of free will and free choice. So why ignore this message which came directly from God Himself? Why do you preach?

I look forward to your reply

Haridhan

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Response: Why are You Disobeying God's Orders?

You are saying that it is an act of disobedience to the instructions of the Lord to preach the message of the Bhagavad-gita all over the world. You have misunderstood the point that the Lord is making because you have taken it out of context. This statement must be understood in context with the Lord's other statement that all the ignorant people of the world should be engaged in devotional service. He makes this statement in the following verse of the Bhagavad-gita:

na buddhi-bhedam janayed
ajnanam karma-sanginam
josayet sarva-karmani
vidvan yuktah samacaran


"Let not the wise disrupt the minds of the ignorant who are attached to fruitive action. They should be encouraged not to refrain from work, but to work in the spirit of devotion."--BG 3.26

It is in the light of the above statement that we must understand what may appear to the uninformed observer to be the Lord's restriction of not explaining Bhagavad-gita to the ignorant. If you read carefully the Lord's prohibition you will see that it is not a prohibition against the spreading of Krishna consciousness. Rather it is prohibition against spreading the more confidential aspects of Krishna consciousness to the general ignorant population. Just as children are introduced to mathematics at the elementary level of "one plus one equals two" not on the advanced level of calculus, which would merely confuse them, similarly the general population should introduced to Krishna consciousness from the beginning point, not it's more confidential aspects, which will only confuse them.

In obedience to the Lord's instructions I always tailor my lectures to make them suitable for the particular audience. If the people are newcomers to Krishna consciousness, I speak to them in an introductory non-confidential fashion, and if they are already devotees, I can go deeply into the amazingly sweet confidential aspects of Krishna consciousness. However, if according to the Lord's order we engage even the newcomers in acts of devotion, they can quickly become purified and become qualified to hear about the more confidential aspects of Krishna consciousness. The easiest way to engage the ignorant in acts of devotion is to let them enjoy the sweet sound of Hare Krishna kirtan. Everyone enjoys some nice rhythmic and melodic musical sounds. So if we can satisfy their desire to hear nice attractive music by making attractive kirtan, they quickly become qualified to hear more advanced spiritual topics.

This is why we always precede our lectures with enlivened kirtan to uplift their hearts of our audience before we begin speaking. Even I have traveled to the Muslim world and introduced Hare Krishna kirtan in a public meeting. The people were so enlivened by the kirtan that they became very eager to learn more about the transcendental process of Krishna consciousness. When the people become attracted and eager to hear more and more about Krishna this means that they have been transformed into devotees by the magical power of the kirtan and are now qualified for more confidential knowledge.

In the ultimate analysis, everyone is at heart a devotee of Krishna because everyone was originally with the Lord in the spiritual world before falling into material existence. Therefore explaining Bhagavad-gita philosophy to the devotees ultimately means explaining Bhagavad-gita to everyone. But because the general ignorant population may become offensive or belligerent if explained the confidential aspects of spiritual knowledge, the preacher applies careful discretion regarding what he reveals and to whom he reveals it. He only gives them so much as they can accept in a joyful positive way. He does not give them that which will cause them confusion. This is the real meaning of Krishna's prohibition of not explaining confidential knowledge to the ignorant.

You have stated:

"God would rather people come to Him on their own accord, this is his benevolent nature and His gift to us of free will and free choice. So why ignore this message which came directly from God Himself? Why do you preach?"

You are saying that God would rather have the people come to Him, but you are ignoring the most basic and obvious fact that Krishna Himself took the time and trouble to come to us by appearing within this material world to deliver the message of the Bhagavad-gita. To reconfirm this principle of the absolute necessity of spreading Krishna consciousness Lord Krishna reappeared 500 years ago as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and ordered us to tell everyone we meet about the teachings of Lord Krishna.

Lord Krishna is unlimitedly compassionate, and so are His devotees. This is why they do not remain silent while the ignorant masses are continually being smashed by the repetition of birth and death. When there is an epidemic, compassionate doctors rush to the scene to inoculate everyone to save their lives. Similarly the Lord and His devotees manifest compassion upon the ignorant masses by broadcasting widely the transcendental teachings of the Bhagavad-gita.

You are saying, "Why disobey God's orders?" One should not disobey God's orders. Lord Caitanya has ordered that everyone who has taken birth in the holy land of India should make their life perfect and spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. If you were born in India and are not spreading Krishna consciousness, I could thus ask you why you are disobeying God's orders.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 27 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

What is that Mark on Your Forehead?


Our clearing of passport control for departing yesterday from Romania took quite some the time because the official had a very difficult time locating our arrival stamps to verify that we had legally arrived in Romania. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Our passports are very fatty with extra pages added twice by the US government. There are over one hundred arrival and departure stamps from our practically constant travel all over the world.

The advantage of the long delay was that one of other officials in the booth had the opportunity to strike up a conversation with me. She inquired, "What is that mark on your forehead?" I explained to her this is the marking of one who has conquered over death, and that if she likes I can teach her how to conquer over death. She was amazed by my statement. And then another border agent who was sitting beside her immediately spoke up asking if this is a religion. I explained that it is not a religion, that we are instead presenting the science of God. I then offered her my card and she accepted it. I wanted her to have the ability to get the further information that is available to her by signing up for this e-course.

It is fact. We are not presenting a dogmatic religion. We, perhaps for the first time in history, are making available on a wide global scale the science of God completely free of any sectarian bias. This is the original form of pure theism.

Do not think that because some external trappings are there such as tilaka, the clay marking on the forehead, that this is a particular sect of religion. Do not think that because we chant some particular names of God that we are therefore sectarian. Just because God has unlimited names does not mean that you can therefore not address Him by any particular name. He is person and He likes to be personally addressed. Persons do not like to be treated like impersons. One can choose to address Him by any one of His many millions of names. The secret of spiritual success is that one must call out to Him with genuine love in the heart. God is unconquerable, but He happily agrees to be conquered by those who call out His names in love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Faithlessness and Reputation...


Thank you for your ever ongoing mercy.

Although I am feeling much better, my faith can drop to zero in seconds, it happens just out of the blue, and is causing great anxiety to whether this will be temporary, or that I will just lose the battle.

You wrote me about the concern you have for your reputation. My mind is totally confused about that. Can you please explain why this is important for a spiritual master? Is it because it can have negative effects on the preaching?

Your servant

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Response: Arise Thou and Fight the Battle...

You must guard your faith as your most important asset. The key to keeping faith is seek out and take shelter of the association of those persons whose faith is very strong. These persons are known as the devotees of God. If you will always remain in the shelter of the Lord's devotees you will be protected from the deadly disease known as faithlessness. By regular contact with the Lord's devotees you will regularly be inoculated against the dread disease of faithlessness and will never succumb to it

No matter how many setbacks you may face at the hands of the material energy, if you will continue to fight the battle against it, you will never be defeated. Krishna guarantees the ultimate victory of all those who remain in the fight against maya.

Therefore, arise thou and fight the battle, valiant warrior! You will ultimately emerge victorious. Even if you lose many battles, you are guaranteed to win the war.

Lord Caitanya has taught one should not desire material reputation. So personally the spiritual master does not care a fig for his reputation. But because of his compassion for the suffering souls of this material world, the spiritual master has a desire to successfully attract everyone to hear the message of Krishna. For this purpose it is very good if the spiritual master has a good reputation. Therefore the spiritual master always carefully conducts his activities in such a way that he will have the best possible reputation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 26 March 2007

from Timisoara, Romania
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Today's Thought:

Timisoara Public Hall Lecture


Last Saturday afternoon (24 March 2007) the Timisoara devotees arranged a public lecture for me in a hall in downtown Timisoara. Flyers had been put up all over town advertising that I would be giving a presentation on Krishna consciousness. It was wonderful to see an entire hall filled up with people eager to learn about Krishna consciousness. When I led Hare Krishna kirtan, the people joined in, filling the hall with the sweet sounds of Krishna's names. After lecturing for almost an hour, I then opened the floor for questions. The questions kept coming non-stop for almost another hour until I brought the program to a close and invited everyone to go the book table. The book table became a crowded scene while the people patiently waited their turn to purchase the book or books of their choice. I then spent almost another hour signing books purchased by the guests. As soon as I get access to a broadband internet connection the lecture will be uploaded for all those who would like to hear it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Chant on Beads?


What is the significance of chanting "Hare Krishna" on beads? Sometimes I chant without beads.

Mitesh

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Response: To Ensure the Greatest Absorption...

Chanting on beads is very important. Lord Caitanya, Who is Krishna Himself appearing in the form of devotee, also chanted on beads. This the practice of all the great acharyas, spiritual masters who teach by practical example. The beads add extra depth to the process of chanting and enable the devotee to fix his mind fully in loving meditation on the holy names.

The beads are also a means of counting how many mantras are uttered on a daily basis. Every devotee is to make a fixed vow of how many mantras he will utter on a daily basis and remain fixed in that vow without fail. We ask each and every one of our initiated students to chant at least 16 rounds daily of Hare Krishna japa. This equates to a minimum of 1,728 repetitions of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra every day.

Of course, we are meant to chant Hare Krishna as much as possible 24 hours daily, either on the beads or off the beads. But our daily vow of at least 16 rounds must be chanted on the beads to ensure the greatest absorption.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 25 March 2007

From Timisoara, Romania
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Today's Thought:

Can You Taste the Nectar?


There is nothing sweeter than hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord in the association of His devotees because this reconnects us with our real natures as the eternal servants of Krishna. Nothing artificial is required to experience this supreme happiness at every moment. You already have it there within you. Simply you must tap into that reservoir of bliss within. We have come here to Timisoara, Romania for this purpose and this purpose only, to dive into this sweet ocean of Krishna consciousness. Therefore we are relishing our short visit here like anything. Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita the ecstatic nature of hearing and discussing topics regarding Him. He clearly describes in the tenth chapter as follows:

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

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

Whether we chant Hare Krishna kirtan, as seen below in Timisoara:


Or whether we discuss the philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, as also seen below in Timisoara:


The nectar is oh so relishable! Can you taste it now?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proper or Improper Thrill?


When I spread the awareness of Krishna Consciousness amongst my friends and relatives I get a thrill that wow I have done such a nice thing. Is enjoying such a thrill correct or wrong?

Warm regards,

Sunil Vaswani
from Mumbai, India

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Response: All Credit Goes to Guru and Krishna...

It is natural to feel ecstatic when spreading Krishna to others. There is nothing that pleases Krishna more than when we broadcast His glories to those who have forgotten Him. And when Krishna is greatly pleased, it is natural that the devotee will also naturally feel great transcendental pleasure. There is nothing wrong in feeling this pleasure.

However, one should not allow such transcendental pleasure to become mundane pleasure by thinking oneself great for having attracted someone else to Krishna. We should always remember that is only by the undeserved grace of Guru and Krishna that we can attract someone else to Krishna consciousness. Therefore we should always give all credit to Guru and Krishna, not taking any credit for ourselves. If we foolishly try to take the credit our ability to attract others to Krishna will go away. And our happiness will also go away.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 24 March 2007

from Timisoara, Romania
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Today's Thought:

On the Krishnanet in Romania


We arrived here in Romania yesterday after flying in from Sofia, Bulgaria via Milan, Italy. We were greeted at the airport by the leader of the local ISKCON center, Sriman Murari Krishna Prabhu. While riding in the car from the airport I asked him how he joined the Krishna consciousness movement. He explained to me how he joined right here in Timisoara in 1990 just after communism loosened its grip on Romania.

For the first time open religious meetings could be held. Devotees were traveling across Romania holding programs in many locations to openly present the ultimate self realization science, Krishna consciousness, to people who had for long been held under the totalitarian grip of Communism. He purchased an English Bhagavad-gita As It Is and was so impressed that here was spiritual knowledge being presented in a scientific way that he immediately joined the movement and has been active ever since. In addition to being the temple president of the ISKCON Timisoara temple he is also a full time computer science professor at the local university.

The devotees received us very warmly and as usual my first business was to see how I could not connect to the internet here. After an aborted attempt at high speed and an expensive emergency download via my mobile phone we opted for dial-up. It's slow. But it's affordable and reliable.

Always better than the Internet is the Krishnanet. You can connect any time, any place with no hassle. And once you're online with Krishna you're connected with everything and everyone. All you have to do to connect is to chant Hare Krishna or remember Lord Krishna. Is there anything more sublime than this?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Think of Krishna?


I offer my dandavats unto your lotus feet.

I am an regular reader of your "Thought for the day". In most of your mails you have mentioned that we must always think of Krishna. But I wonder how this is possible. As a student one has to think how to excel in studies. Once out of school he has to think of getting into a good job. After getting into a good job he thinks of getting a good position and so on. Once he is in a good post, he starts think of getting married. Once married, he likes to have children and starts thinking how to maintain them. In this way a person is always thinking of different things in his life. Now the question is how can one think of Krishna, when he has so many other engagements and thoughts?

I would be very happy if you instruct me on these issues.

Hare Krishna,

Thanks and regards,

Your Student

Prashant

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Response: Offer Everything to Krishna...

The only way you can think of Krishna while doing so many things is to do them for Krishna. Doing them for Krishna means that whatever fruits are gained as a result of those activities should all be offered to Krishna. In this fact if you factually offer the results of all your activities to Krishna, you can easily think of Krishna no matter you may be doing, whether as a student, a career man, or a family man.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 23 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories of Macedonia


Early this morning we are heading out for Romania on Alitalia Airlines transiting through Milan, Italy. Still fresh in our minds is the wonderful visit we had to Skopje, Macedonia. Wherever we can taste the sweet nectar of devotee association we are empowered to enter into the spiritual world far, far beyond the miserable ocean of birth and death.

Although due to illness we made a last minute change to our plans, and although we came less conveniently for them on the week days instead of on the weekend, still the devotees went all out to make our visit as pleasant as possible. Upon arrival our hearts were warmed by the beautiful sign they made for us:

It was very inspiring to see how nicely they were worshipping these beautiful deities of Sri Gaura-Nitai:

At the end of our all-too-brief visit they begged us to return again soon and gave us the sweetest transcendental send-off by serenading us with a Hare Krishna kirtan:

Inspired by the wonderful association I was very enlivened to answer many emails as we headed up into the mountains to cross the border back into Bulgaria:


More and more sweet transcendental adventures are awaiting us and all those who serious take up the pathway of Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Regarding Divorce...


I am working in a legal firm in Malaysia. I found lately there is a rise of divorce cases in Malaysia. I would like to hear from you why there is so much of failure in marriage. Can Krishna consciousness help to overcome this problem?

Hare Krishna

Your humble student,
Renuka Nair

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Response: Develop Actual Pure Devotion...

Failure in marriage is becoming more and more common nowadays because we are more and more basing marriage on the principle of sense gratification instead of duty. They marry based on sense attraction, but the senses, by their very nature, always demand newer and newer objects of sense gratification. Therefore sense gratificatory-based marriages are very likely to end in divorce.

On the other hand marriages that are accepted in a spirit of duty to the Supreme Lord will never break and they will continue to become sweeter and more mature with the passing of time.

In short, God consciousness is the principle that holds everything together. As soon as we give up God, everything starts to fall apart including the institution of marriage.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 22 March 2007

from Skopje, Macedonia
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Today's Thought:

From the Drab to the Sublime


7:00PM-21 March 2007-Yesterday after riding in a tiny Russian-made car for what seemed like forever we finally got out of Sofia into the mountains of Bulgaria. We were heading up, up to a mountain pass that marked the border between Bulgaria and Macedonia. There our ride stopped because our car did not have the proper papers to cross the border. The border station was the emptiest most isolated border station I've ever seen anywhere in the world. There was hardly anyone there. The duty shop with its duty-free liquor did nothing to dissipate the drabness.

Border Control Outpost between Bulgaria and Macedonia

We walked with our luggage through the Bulgarian and Macedonia border control to the Macedonian side where the Macedonian devotees were waiting to drive us down to Skopje. When the Macedonian border authority saw that I had extra pages in my passport they examined it minutely as if it was counterfeit. I explained that the US Government had twice added extra pages to my passport because I am traveling so much all over the world. All you can do at moments like this is to give it your best shot to deal with the obstacles and then depend on Krishna for the outcome. For a moment there I thought they were going to decide that our passports were not legitimate and not allow us to enter into Macedonia. But by Krishna's grace everything worked out favorably and we continued walking about another 100 yards where a Macedonian devotee couple, Sanatana das and Sundari devi dasi, met us and drove us down to Skopje in their car.

We were taken to our place of residence in Skopje with a nice devotee family. In the evening I was driven to the temple to lead kirtan and give a lecture to the assembled devotees. The sweetness of the sublime transcendental gathering made up for whatever austerities we had undergone on our way to get there.

SDA leads Kirtan

Assembled Devotees of Skopje, Macedonia

SDA Giving Lecture at ISKCON Temple in Skopje, Macedonia


There's no doubt about it. Krishna consciousness elevates your consciousness beyond this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Regarding Christ and Krishna...


Namaste. I was raised as a Christian, in fact a Catholic, but now I am so in love with Krishna that I think I may be doing Jesus a disfavor. Do you think that he minds that I am so into Lord Krishna? Isn't his "job" to bring us to the Father, to Krishna? I am a little confused about to whom I should owe my allegiance. They are both avatars, forms of Godhead, equal in all respects. So, maybe I am worrying about nothing. I can still pray to either, or both; although my favorite Deity is still Lord Krishna. Please comment. Thank you. Love always...Tommi.

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Response: Develop Actual Pure Devotion...

Lord Jesus Christ is most pleased with you that you have approached his father, Lord Krishna because, as you say, his job is to bring everyone to Krishna. There is no question of whether you should have allegiance to one or the other. If you are devoted to Jesus, he will lead you to Krishna. And if you are devoted to Krishna, He will order to worship His pure devotees such as Lord Jesus Christ.

That they are both avatars is a fact. Avatar means one who descends into the material world from the spiritual world. But because they are different types of avatars they are not equal in all respects. Lord Jesus is known as a saktyavesh avatar, an associate of the Lord who was ordered by the Lord to come here to spread love of God. And Lord Krishna is Avatari, the source of all the Avatars.

It is a fact that by surrendering unto Lord Krishna that you have nothing to worry about. By doing so you will become a perfect follower of Christ. Whether you approach the spiritual world through Krishna or Christ, either way you are in good shape. But you must develop actual pure devotion, not the pseudo devotion, which is nothing more than covered materialism and is being deceptively peddled as pure devotion these days in the age of Kali.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 21 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Finally Heading out to Macedonia


It's 5:25am on 20 March 2007. We were originally slated to travel to Macedonia last weekend, but due to my being very sick I could not travel. But today I am feeling much better, so we are heading out at 10am this morning by car to the Bulgaria/Macedonia border. We will cross the border on foot and the Macedonian devotees are supposed to be there with a car to drive us to Skopje. It is supposed to be 4 or 5 hours of total travel time.

This is my first time to enter Macedonia. Srila Prabhupada has given us the mission to inundate the entire world with Krishna consciousness, so it's always enlivening to expand my preaching circuit to include more and more countries.

Sometimes when I fall sick I wonder why I am taking so much trouble with this aging body to travel and preach Krishna consciousness all over the world. But as the ultimate goal of human life is to become Krishna conscious, and as the more one gives Krishna the more he gets Krishna, it is therefore quite fitting and appropriate to travel widely for giving Krishna to as many people as possible all over the world. The personal inconveniences melt away in the sweet ecstasy of hearing and chanting the glories of that ever-sweet Lord who is constantly being glorified and worshipped with the sublimest music and the choicest poetry.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Objection: Statement Was Narrow Minded...


You stated that anyone who is not surrendered to Krishna is classified as a barbarian. That's a very, very narrow minded statement, considering we are living in a world full of other religions, and that not all religions are so secular to treat Krishna and Jesus and Allah and Jehovah as forms of the same God.

Forgive me, for I am small and you are learned. Krishna also tells intelligent people not to disturb ignorant minds. You make such statements and ordinary, common people (who cannot do parallel thinking and understand it sentence by sentence) take you to be a Barbarian yourself. So, I humbly request you to speak in the language of common people please.

Thank you, God Bless all.

Pallavi

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Response: Universal Truth is Not Narrow Minded...

I am surprised that you found the statement to be narrow minded because all the scriptures of the world assert that those who do not surrender to God are considered uncivilized or barbarian. The Bible refers to them as heathens. The Koran refers to them as infidels. And the Bhagavad-gita refers to them as naradhamas, low-class barbarians. Whether we use the Christian term, the Muslim term, or the Vedic term they all reach the same conclusion that those who turn away from God are uncivilized or barbarian. What I spoke was not my statement. I was simply repeating that which is universally concluded in all scriptures.

You are saying that I should not speak this way because it will disturb the minds of the ignorant. But so far nobody has expressed disturbance except for you. Since you are obviously an intelligent person, not from the ignorant, easily disturbed class, I found it amazing that you were disturbed.

One of my advanced students was simply wondering if those who are considered barbarian can also surrender to God. I simply replied to him that even such persons can be transformed by the power of God's holy names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 20 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Transcendental Existence

Even though I've been very, very sick for the last several days I've been using it to my best advantage. Sickness is a natural time when one can become more introspective and deeply thoughtful. It is therefore a golden opportunity for those whose lives are fully dedicated to transcendental realization. Such days wonderfully serve as graphic reminders of the miserable nature of material existence and are golden opportunities to intensity one's mediation on Lord Sri Krishna and the transcendental existence He is offering to all of us. That sweet transcendental realm is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. It is far, far removed from the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease in which we are currently rotating lifetime after lifetime. If we can simply fully utilize this one lifetime in Krishna's service, we will easily enter into that sweet transcendental existence in which we never have to get sick again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Blue Because He is Vast?


Maybe Sri Krishna is pictured as blue because He is as vast as the blue ocean and as vast as the blue skies. Could this be the reason?

Nisha

Singapore

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Answer: No. He Desires to Be Blue...

I am very happy to hear from you, as you are one of my very dear students who is rendering me tangible service to assist me in my mission.

Srila Prabhupada amazed us, his disciples, when he told us about Krishna's color. He told us that because the sky is a reflection of Krishna's bodily effulgence; therefore it is blue.

In other words, it's that not we imagine Krishna as being blue because He is vast like the sky or the ocean. No, it's the other way around. Because the sky and ocean are reflections of Krishna, therefore they are blue. Everything originates in God. All of the colors of the rainbow are present in Him. He can be any color that He desires to be. He manifests a bluish complexion because that is what He likes the best and that is what His intimate devotees like the best.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 19 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Honoring Krishna Prasadam in Bulgaria


Wherever we travel around the planet earth, whenever we are in the association of the devotees (which is all the time except when we are in transit), there is always that most special and wonderful treat awaiting us, Krishna prasadam. Krishna prasadam means those foodstuffs that have been offered to Krishna with love and devotion.

If you love someone truly, you will not serve Him those things He refuses to eat. Since Krishna refuses to eat meat, fish, eggs, onions, and garlic, we do not offer Him these things. We instead offer Him multi-varieties of delicious foodstuffs prepared from fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains according to traditional Indian recipes as well as the recipes of the many countries and cultures scattered across the globe.

When offered to the Lord with love and devotion the foodstuffs become transformed from matter into spirit and purify the souls of those who eat them. Such foods are called Krishna prasadam, the mercy of Krishna, because respectfully honoring them enables one to become free from all sins committed in millions of lifetimes. Before eating, devotees are enlivened to repeat this wonderful prayer of Bhaktivinode Thakur to put themselves into the proper mood for worshipfully accepting the Lord's mercy:

sarira avidya-jal, jodendriya tahe kal,
jive phele visaya-sagore
ta'ra madhye jihva ati, lobhamoy sudurmati,
ta'ke jeta kathina samsare
krsna bado doyamay, karibare jihva jay,
sva-prasad-anna dila bhai
sei annamrta pao, radha-krsna-guna gao,
preme dako caitanya-nitai


"O Lord, this material body is a lump of ignorance, and the senses are a network of paths leading to death. Somehow or other we have fallen into this ocean of material sense enjoyment, and of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable. It is very difficult to conquer the tongue in this world. But You, Lord Sri Krishna, are so very kind to us that have given us this nice prasadam just to help us conquer the tongue. So now let us take this prasadam to our full satisfaction and glorify Your Lordships, Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, and in love call for the help of Lord Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda."

Those who have strictly adopted the path of ultimate self-realization do not put anything into their mouths except for Krishna prasadam, the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Stanka Prepared and Now Serves the Prasadam
 

Sankarshan Prabhu Prays Before Honoring Prasadam


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Don't You Behave Ordinarily?


I'd like to know the need of enforcing one into spiritual realization by ISKCON devotees. If one wants spiritual realization he will eventually come. So what is the need to dance on the streets like madmen shouting, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna."?

Love of God should be within heart. So why is it that ISKCON is making a show of spiritual realization by chanting on streets and what not?

This is just an enquiry about your ideology. I am not questioning your legitimacy. i just want to know what is the need for enforcing bhakti.

Yours sincerely

Student

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Answer: Mercy is Extraordinary, Not Ordinary...

Some people argue, "When there is drought the people come to the well. The well does not go to the people." But the real fact is that in times of severe drought those who are very merciful dig irrigation ditches so that everyone can receive profuse water.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 18 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Tolerating the Dualities


This material world is a world of dualities. Sometimes it is hot. Sometimes it is cold. Sometimes we are healthy. Sometime we are sick. Sometimes we are glorified. Sometimes we are criticized. A Krishna conscious person recognizes the seasonal nature of this material world and does not allow these dualities to disturb his mind. He sees the hand of Krishna at every step realizing how the Lord's mercy is always manifested through all varieties of circumstances.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is Krishna Pictured as Blue?


Why is it in all the pictures (that I've seen) of Krishna, He's blue in color?

Chayse
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Answer: Because He is Blue...

Krishna is depicted as blue because He is blue.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 17 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

The Perfection of Love

Some people argue that we should simply love everyone, that there is no need to love God. We should love everyone except for God? Why should we leave Him out? How rude! He is the one Who is providing with all of our necessities since time immemorial. Why we should not love him also?

His position as the maintainer is confirmed as follows in the Katha Upanishad:

nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman


"There is one supreme eternal amongst the plural eternals and one supreme conscious being amongst the plural conscious beings. The difference between the singular and the plural is that the singular is maintaining the plural and the plural are being maintained by the singular."
--Katha Upanishad 2.2.13


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting and Exams...


What is the good time for chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra? In time of student's examination, how many rounds is compulsory? My exam is very near. How should I adjust time for chanting and also for my study?

Please guide me,

Aditya

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Answer: First Chant, Then Study...

The best time is in the early morning hours before sunrise. First chant 16 rounds, then study for school. You will have much better comprehension and retention of your studies.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 16 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Wonderful Krishna Consciousness


Krishna consciousness is so wonderful that in spite of facing so many difficulties in this material world one can always remain in a jolly mood. This is because Krishna consciousness is completely beyond this material world. It does not matter what one's situation may be. Either in happiness or distress one can relish great transcendental happiness within one's heart.

That day when the world wakes up and realizes what is this sublime process known as Krishna consciousness, peace and prosperity will be enjoyed by everyone in all nations of the world. Even the animals will become jolly..

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Speed of Spiritual Progress...


Dear teacher,

I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

(1) Living in such a family, I can not live peacefully, the whole house is filled with TV noise and materialistic trifles. People are engaged in sinful actions. I feel upset sometimes. I hope I can be freed from the family bondage as quickly as possible.

In such a terrible circumstances, I try my best but I progress very slowly. Why? Does atmosphere have an effect on one's consciousness?

What determines the speed of spiritual progress?

(2) Since childhood, I want to be a single without marriage all my life. Now I still want to perform celibacy to fully dedicate myself to Krishna. But such a celibate life will incur censure from relatives in China. If one do not marry, criticism from others will get him down. I very much want to live a celibate life. Will Krishna help me to achieve this aim?

3) When we say "Human life is rare, don't waste it." does it include barbarians? Can they surrender to God? Does Vedic scripture identify them as animals or humans?

Your servant from China

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Answer: Depends on Your Enthusiasm...

It is natural to slowly progress in such an atmosphere because it does have a very negative effect on your consciousness. But because you are sincere and it is not currently practical for you to leave home, Krishna from within is helping you to be Krishna conscious in spite of being in such a materialistic atmosphere.

The speed of your spiritual progress is determined by how enthusiastic you are to make spiritual progress. The more you chant Hare Krishna and read Srila Prabhupada's books, the more rapidly you will advance in Krishna consciousness.

Yes, Krishna will help you to live a celibate life.

Anyone who does not surrender to Krishna is classified as a barbarian. Only if they will somehow or other surrender to Krishna do they become considered an actual human being. Even the lowest barbarian-minded person can become a devotee of Krishna, if he will agree to chant the holy names:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 15 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Always Stay Plugged In


According to Newton's first law of motion, "An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion." If we apply Newton's law to our practice of Krishna consciousness we will make steady progress on our pathway to spiritual perfection. One of the most important keys to advancing steadily in Krishna consciousness is that we should always stay plugged into the process.

As soon we disconnect ourselves from the process it becomes harder to pick it up again. In other words, Krishna consciousness generates more Krishna consciousness, and a lack of Krishna consciousness generates further ignorance of Krishna consciousness. We simply have to make a conscious effort to always keep ourselves on the path. If we do so, the momentum of our present and past Krishna consciousness will empower our spiritual progress.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Genuine Religion?


Since many years I keep asking myself which religion is the genuine religion. Which one is vague? For the believers the question about the genuine religion is very personal.

For you it is Krishna Consciousness. For others you are just a dangerous sect.

For the Pope it is the Roman Catholic Church. For others it is the biggest Mafia on earth.

For the Imams it is Islam. For others it is just a huge terroristic movement, and even within their religion there are clashes over clashes due to the question which branch might be the genuine one.

For the Dalai Lama it is Buddhism. For others the Dalai Lama is a woman hater /suppressor.

For many scientists it is Atheism.

For John Travolta and Tom Cruise it is Scientology.

If we pick up a good soul out of these different religions we could say that their religion is really genuine. (Mother Teresa, Dalai Lama again, Srila Prabhupada, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, truly holy people...). Following their footsteps would definitely be correct. So what is the characteristic sign of a genuine religion? Is it not too personal for each and everyone? I think we would have less crisis in this world if we had only one religion. Why is that, that God gives us so many choices of different ways to His kingdom?

And again I ask myself, do we need a religion at all? If we follow the 10 Commandments, Jesus' footsteps, the Koran (which is basically and originally a peaceful guidance for daily life), the Bhagavad-gita or whatsoever just as a basic daily routine wouldn't that be sufficient? Do we need to worship any Source? And is it necessary to be brainwashed (let's say it with George Harrison's words) by any genuine or vague religion in order to follow their specific rules which actually cause so much pain and anger since centuries? Of course it is no harm in believing in a God...but wouldn't it be enough to live a civilized life with respect and tolerance for each other (take the Freemasons principles for example)? As you said, the search for God is the search for the source. Do we have to believe in a source? No, we have to be aware of the source and respect it, the best way to worship the Source is not to spoil and destroy its "fruits"!

With my best regards,

Michel

PS: A pity that we cannot discuss personally

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Answer: That Which Awakens Pure Love for God...

Genuine religion is that which awakens pure love of God. There is only one religion, to awaken pure love for God within the heart. God has given us this one religion, but man has spoiled it by inventing this religion and that religion. This is why the Bhagavad-gita tells us to give up these so-called religions and simply awaken pure love for God.

Being conscious of the source is essential because to avoid pollution everything must be re-cycled back to its source. If we do not offer the energy back to the source of its emanation, we end up polluting the entire universe in an unlimited varieties of ways. And conversely, if we do offer back all of the energy to its source, we create a pristine, harmonious atmosphere throughout the entire universe.

We say that we want to love everyone, but we want to leave out that person from whom everything is coming. Why should we leave Him out? He's a person too. But if we can give our love to that person who is the root of the entire existence, our love will automatically be distributed to all living beings throughout the universe, just as when we water the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished.

You are welcome to come and discuss with me personally anytime you like.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 14 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

No Feeling More Beautiful and Wonderful


I am tasting the real bliss here in Bulgaria. The nectar here is very, very sweet. I am leading Hare Krishna kirtan and lecturing twice daily on the ultimate self-realization science to a temple room full of eager hearers and inquirers. Not only that, posted on the wall beside me is the most sublime picture of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, the same picture that originally attracted me to become a devotee of Krishna in the fall of 1968 when I was living in Denver, Colorado. Simply gazing at that picture I can feel how I am entering into timelessness.

Here is a copy of the picture:


 

Just see the love in Radharani's eyes for Sri Krishna. She is the living embodiment of the highest perfectional stage of pure love for Krishna. We can pray for her mercy that Krishna will bestow the supreme perfection of pure love for Krishna upon us also. This is the perfection of Krishna consciousness. There is no feeling more beautiful and wonderful than pure love for Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do We Need an Outer Guru?


Several years ago I went off in search of my guru. A friend of mine told me, "Jesus is your guru." If we have the Holy Spirit as a guide, why do we also need an "outer" guru?

Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: Telecommunication Link Required...

Because you are not pure enough to receive direct transmissions from Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit within, you therefore require the telecommunication link of the the external bona fide spiritual master.

Just like if someone was standing in front of you, you could speak directly to him. But if he was at a great distance you would require the telecommunication link of a telephone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 13 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Flying High in the Spiritual Sky


The platform of liberation from material existence is not difficult to achieve. All you really have to do is to find out what Krishna wants you to do and then do that. Finding out what Krishna wants is also not that difficult. All you have to do is to carefully study the Bhagavad-gita and inquire from Krishna's representative, the bona fide spiritual master. In this way if you constantly keep your mind focused in the midst of all activities on always thinking, speaking, and acting in that manner which is most pleasing to Krishna, you will be flying high in the spiritual sky at every minute. You will never again touch down in this temporary, miserable, illusory material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Roam the World Seeking God?


If God is within us why roam around the world in search? Please explain.

With Regards,

Rishi Kumar Aggarwal,
Chartered Engineer, Delhi

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Answer: Realize God at Home...

It's a fact that God is within us. He dwells within us in the form of the four-armed Paramatma, the Supersoul. But we are not able to perceive and hear Him because at the present moment our consciousness is completely covered over by the three modes of material nature. This point is confirmed as follows by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

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


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

Since we have been covered by these modes since time immemorial it is no easy task to become free from their influence. However, if we will surrender ourselves to God according to the instructions He gives us in the Bhagavad-gita, the Lord will deliver us from the covering influence of the modes of material nature and reveal Himself to us according to the degree of our surrender.

daivi hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te


"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."---Bhagavad-gita 7.14

Therefore, you are right in stating that there is no need to roam all over the world seeking God. All we have to do is surrender unto Him at home as He instructs us to in the Bhagavad-gita. In this way our lives will be successful. The method He gives for realizing Him is to approach the bona fide spiritual master, inquire submissively from him, and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can empower us to realize God because he has seen the truth.

Since the entire world is suffering greatly due a lack of God consciousness, that person who has realized God voluntarily leaves aside the comforts of home life and accepts the austerity of traveling extensively all over the world for enlightening people in this most sublime transcendental science of how to realize God. There is no greater kindness, no greater compassion than this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 12 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Who Would Not Be Attracted?


No matter how you cut it this material world is a bad bargain. We struggle like anything to serve the bodily demands throughout our entire lives only to be rewarded with old age, disease, and death. But the good news is that there is a precise scientific technique available to us to make the best use of this bad bargain. That technique is known as the science of Krishna consciousness.

Those with higher level understanding, the enlightened sages, see this material existence as the greatest blessing because it is a wonderful facility for reviving our eternal all-blissful, all knowing identity in the spiritual sky. Who would not be attracted to such a utilization of the human form of life? Only those who are completely ignorant.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

SDA Reveals the Topmost Knowledge 
to a Packed House in Sofia, Bulgaria

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Could We Be Envious of Krishna?


I have read in your questions and answers that we were spirit souls and fell into the material world due to being envious of Lord Krishna. It is mentioned in Bhagavad Gita that those who have transcended the three modes of nature will be eligible to enter the spiritual world. When our consciousness is originally pure, how could we be envious of Lord Krishna? My understanding is that those souls who always think of only Lord Krishna can reach the Supreme abode - Goloka Vrindavan. Kindly dispel my ignorance.

I have got very high amount of appreciation for you for the task you have taken up in propagating this Krishna Consciousness movement. You are so much blessed by Lord Krishna, Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada for doing this splendid work to awaken the spiritual identity of the fallen souls.

Best regards,

Aspiring to be a humble servant,

Sreedhar

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Answer: Love Means Freedom...

You have asked, "When our consciousness is originally pure, how could we be envious of Lord Krishna?" In this connection simply consider that love is voluntary. It cannot be forced. Krishna wants our love, but He does not force us to love Him. Therefore He gives us a free choice: "Love Me or leave Me."

If free choice actually exists there must be a possibility of abusing that free choice. If there is no such possibility, there is no free choice. Since possibility of abuse exists, there must be some degree of probability of abuse. If there is zero probability of abuse, there is no possibility of abuse, there is no free choice, and love cannot exist. So since some degree of probability must necessarily exist, even if it is infinitesimal, if we apply that most minute percentage of probability against the infinite number of living entities in spiritual world we end up with an infinity of living entities in the material world.

If this still does no answer your question to your full satisfaction, don't worry. Just qualify yourself fully for going back to home, back to Godhead, and then you will understand everything perfectly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 11 March 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Let's Revolutionize this Place


After being cheated in London by Air France, being forced to pay an extra $250 for check-in luggage that my ticket allowed to check in at no charge, I was again reminded of the cheating nature of this material world. I even showed the Air France representative the printed terms and conditions of the ticket which explicitly stated that I was allowed to check in the 2nd piece of luggage at no charge, but it was to no avail. She staunchly would not budge. I had to pay up or not take my luggage on the airplane.

The saddest thing about the modern day situation is that the injustice I endured is nothing compared to the inconceivably horrible injustice inflicted every day upon the cows and unborn children who are being mercilessly slaughtered. Therefore we have to revolutionize this place, by loudly broadcasting the liberating knowledge of the spirit-soul and its relationship with the Supreme widely throughout the entire world so that the people can become liberated from the illusion of bodily consciousness and its resultant anxiety, and the animals can also live peacefully and happily.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Love of God...


How one could know that he is in love Of God? Please explain it for the sake of love of God.

Imran

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Answer: No More Material Attractions...

If one has actually developed love of God he will no longer be attracted to anything in this world. He will fully surrender himself for the rest of his life to only execute the will of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 10 March 2007

In route to Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Unearthing the Divine Treasure


The supreme excitement is making Krishna consciousness available to the non-Krishna conscious world. Of course, everyone already possesses Krishna consciousness because it is their innermost nature. But it is currently in a non-manifest state.

In other words, the fortune of gold is buried within the pauper's back yard, but he does not know that it is there. He is currently suffering in poverty unnecessarily. Therefore, the greatest welfare work is to enlighten the mass of people regarding their unknown, un-tapped-into nature so they can fully unearth the divine treasure that is buried ever so deeply within them. This will enable them to become fully happy and excited about existence. That person who brings the supreme excitement to them will also naturally experience the supreme excitement at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can We Do Something Wrong?


My question is: If everything what we do is as per the wish of God, then why is that we do something wrong in our life?

Shilpa

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Answer: By Not Following the Bhagavad-gita...

It is not a fact that each and every thing we do is as per the wish of God. The Lord has fully revealed His wishes to us in the Bhagavad-gita. It is up to us whether or not we will act according the Lord's wishes. If we are intelligent enough to act according to His wishes by following the instructions He is giving us in the Bhagavad-gita, we will experience the sweetest, happiest, most peaceful life. If however, we choose to ignore His divine instructions, no matter how we may be situated in this material existence, we will be miserable.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 9 March 2007

In route to Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Fly Hare Krishna Airlines


Even though in this material world we sometimes hear or sometimes think that certain things are first-class, the actual fact of the matter is that nothing here is first-class. Everything here is tenth-class at best. Even if we purchase that thing which is said to be first class, we will sooner or later experience its deficiencies. However the qualification of first-class is applicable in one instance. That instance is described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

yah svakat parato veha
jata-nirveda atmavan
hrdi krtva harim gehat
pravrajet sa narottamah

"He is certainly a first-class man who awakens and understands, either by himself or from others, the falsity and misery of this material world and thus leaves home and depends fully on the Personality of Godhead residing within his heart."---SB 1.13.27

Of course one can remain at home and still realize Krishna. But such staying at home requires the same spirit of renunciation as adopted by those who leave home. One must mentally renounce the false sense of proprietorship that 'this home is mine', 'these family members are mine', etc. One has to see one's home and family as the property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and engage them 100% in the service of the Lord.

In this way if one fixes himself in the first-class position of Krishna consciousness, he is guaranteed entrance into the abode of Lord Sri Krishna, known as Krishnaloka or Goloka Vrindavan, where everything is truly first-class.

So if you are interested to go to that destination, get in touch with your transcendental travel agent today. Reserve your seat on the next flight. Passengers are taking off at every moment on the Mahamantra:

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


Fly Hare Krishna Airlines. It will get you there on time and in grand style.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Happens to Atheists?


I have joined your course just a day before. I am reading your thought of the article, and I have a question:

What happens to them who do not accept Lord Krishna as the Supreme Personality. I am referring to the people who are atheists.

Koil

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Answer: Everyone Gets Exactly What They Want...

You are most welcome to be a part of our course.

Krishna is the supreme benevolent person. He gives everyone exactly what they want. Those who want to serve Him with love are given the facility to do just that in His eternal planet, Goloka Vrindavan. The atheists, who desire to completely forget that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, are given to facility to do just that in a world in which is His supremacy is ignored and denied, this material world of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 8 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

If My Wishes Could Be Fulfilled


If we my wishes could be fulfilled, I would wish that every single living being throughout the entire material existence may become a pure devotee of Krishna right now so that they regain their original and eternal identity and become forever free from illusion and anxiety. Someone may argue that I am cruelly trying to impose my religion on others who should be left alone to be what they want to be. But this is not a fact.

Every single living entity throughout the totality of existence is already a pure devotee of Krishna. It is just that they have forgotten it. Just as the moon is always full but sometimes to our vision is seen as full, sometimes only partially seen, and sometimes not seen at all---similarly all living beings eternally have a loving personal relationship with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is just that they are not now realizing it or only partially realizing it.

In other words spreading the Krishna consciousness movement for everyone's deliverance from illusion is not imposing anything on anyone. It is the ultimate welfare activity to free everyone from the unlimited impositions they have been bombarded with since time immemorial.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is True Love?...


Love is precious. What is love? Could you explain it in your words in detail what is true love?

Imran

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Answer: When You Love God...

True love is when you love God, because when you love God your love goes automatically to everyone, just as when you water the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 7 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

As Easy as Anything


If we humble ourselves before the Lord submitting fully unto Him that from now on we will simply do what He wants us to do, not what we want to do, the self-realization process will become as easy as anything. We will make very rapid progress on the pathway of Krishna consciousness.

In all aspects of our existence, we simply have to know whether or not the Lord is satisfied by our thoughts, words, and deeds. This is the only technique we need to learn. Once we have mastered this simple method will never any experience any more obstacles. We have to give up our own schemes and simply execute the will of the Lord as revealed to us in the Bhagavad-gita and by the Lord's representative, the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Qualification to Be Accepted as a Disciple...


In your last letter you have requested me to develop pure unadulterated love of Lord Krishna. I am sincerely attempting to do this. I am chanting 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads. I am trying to serve devotees regularly. I am regularly donating a portion of my income to Krishna conscious services. I am reading Srila Prabhupada's books and offering my food to Krishna before I eat. I am also attending a number of temple programs, including lectures of visiting sannyasis, and associating with devotees as much as I can. I realize that in order to obtain unadulterated love of Krishna I also need to surrender fully to a bona-fide spiritual master. Is there anything else I need to be doing to become qualified to be accepted as a disciple of a bona-fide spiritual master?

Kindly instruct me on this matter.

Your aspiring servant

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Answer: Now Notify the Spiritual Master...

It sounds like you are doing very nicely. The next step is to notify the spiritual master that you would like to take shelter of him for becoming his disciple. He will then guide you further.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 6 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Who Should Be My Guru?


Choosing a guru is the most important decision that one makes in one's entire life. The ramifications of selecting our guru are even more far reaching than the results of who we accept as our husband or wife, because our spouse is for only one lifetime while our guru is for all of eternity. So on what basis should we make our decision?

This most important decision should not be made capriciously or whimsically. Armed with clear scriptural knowledge we should seek out that person who fully embodies the Vedic wisdom. The Mundaka Upanishad clearly enlightens us regarding the necessity of accepting a guru and who we should accept as our guru:

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham


"If one is actually serious about understanding the supernatural, transcendental science of self-realization, one must approach and take complete shelter of the bona fide spiritual master. His qualifications are that he has complete knowledge of the Vedic wisdom and that he fully embodies it by being solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness." --Mundaka Upanishad 1.2.12

We should not make the mistake of judging the spiritual master based on where he was born or in what order of life he is situated. The only thing we should see is how much he is fixed in Krishna consciousness. By taking complete shelter of him all the imports of Vedic knowledge will be revealed to us and we will attain the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Atheism and God Consciousness...

You stated in yesterday's "Thought for the Day" that believing in God blindly is also atheism. How come? I did not get this point of yours.

But, Srila Gurudeva, I am really impressed with the way you answered those questions. I also want to preach this science of Krishna, but most of the time I am defeated.

Thank you,

Your student

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Answer: Solid Understanding of God is Required...

I did not say that blindly believing in God is atheism. You should carefully read what I have written and try to understand it deeply. If you will read transcendental writings with careful, clear comprehension it will become very easy for you to defeat those who come to attack God.

It is very good that you have inquired on a point that is not clear to you. This is the way to get solid understanding.

Here's exactly what I said to Michel:

"Why do you want to blindly believe in God? That is practically in the same category as atheism."

The point is that whether I blindly reject God or I blindly accept God, I am in a weak position. The person who blindly accepts God out of some sentiment can easily reject God also. The proper thing is to come to the position of transcendental knowledge where God is understood scientifically and solidly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 5 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Easy Journey to the Spiritual Sky


Why remain in the miserable cycle of birth and death when instead you can at every second be on an easy, ecstatic journey back to your original eternal identity in that wondrous Spiritual Sky? It is only out of ignorance that someone would opt for the cycle of birth and death.

We struggle like anything with our space programs to put man into outer space at the expenditure of billions and billions of dollars. But what do we accomplish? How far are we able travel towards the ultimate destination? It is clearly a matter of going nowhere.

In this connection my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, stated that while the scientists go to the moon but are disappointed in their attempts to stay there and live, the devotees make an easy journey to other planets and ultimately reach the topmost planetary system, the Spiritual Sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Mankind Need a God?


Thank you for your answers! Especially the sentence "The only switch one can make is between religion and irreligion" impressed me.

I am still in an inner conflict with religions in general. How much I want to believe in a God, how much do I want to switch!

We have to ask ourselves why the word God was created. Was it created because mankind had no answers to many questions and situations which happened around him many thousands of years ago? Were natural catastrophes which could not be explained by simple human beings maybe the starting point in believing in some supernatural powers those days? Like the Sun? The moon? We know that the Sun was personalized by tribes like the Aztecs, Mayas...The Egyptians had chosen animals as Gods (Horus etc.).

You have Krishna, we Christians have Jesus, Mother Mary, God. We have the knowledge in present days to explain many, many things with chemistry, physics, biochemistry and molecular biology.

Can't it be accepted that nature just exists? That it always existed? That everything can be explained scientifically?

Can't it be accepted that there are more than three dimensions? Mathematically it is proven that there are more than eleven dimensions (Prof. Hawkins).

Why do we have to combine everything with God? What I mean to say is: Can't we just accept that nature is just simply nature and that chemical processes just happen ? Why does everything which we can't explain today has to be put into a context with some God?

Who guarantees that Jesus was God's son? Wasn't he just a freak of his time? A "simple" Bodhisattva? A man who could use man given energies better than others? Same goes for Buddha, but I am not sure about Mohammed...Take the monks of Shaolin for example: They can bundle their energies in a way which makes us Westerners just speechless. Their looks or just a fingertip (energies) can kill even without touching us.

How much I wish I could believe in a God. And I feel very miserable that scientific questions always cross and question my wish. Sometimes knowledge is really bad! No wonder that simple people can believe more than well educated people...and can be manipulated better by the clerics, too!

Still, some questions are left unanswered I know and it is easy to wipe out those question marks with religious arguments. Maybe our knowledge is not yet developed far enough to fully understand nature. Simple. The question of the soul and its origin will be solved one day, I am sure. Maybe you are right, maybe Science! Maybe Science is religion, or religion is science (as Krishna consciousness).

Do you have an answer why mankind needs a God? I don't want to be blasphemous at all...I also need something to believe in but I just can't believe in something which is not visible or explainable....I know what Jesus said to Thomas....but still....!

Best of regards

Michel

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Answer: Just Try to Manufacture Your Eatables in a Factory...

Here are your questions with answers:

Question: We have to ask ourselves why the word God was created. Was it created because mankind had no answers to many questions and situations which happened around him many thousands of years ago?

Answer: God is an English word. In Sanskrit the word is Bhagavan, one who is most complete in the possession of opulences. It is natural. Everyone possesses a certain amount of opulences. That person who possesses the most is known as Bhagavan. It is not a contrived conception. There will naturally be some person who is more complete in the possession than others because no one possesses the same amount of opulences.

Question: Were natural catastrophes which could not be explained by simple human beings maybe the starting point in believing in some supernatural powers those days? Like the Sun? The moon?

Answer: No. Lord Brahma personally saw Krishna and the entire spiritual world. He simply described what he experienced that's all.

Question: Can't it be accepted that nature just exists? That it always existed?

Answer: Yes, but what caused it to come into existence? Those who are true scientists want to know these things.

Question: That everything can be explained scientifically?

Answer: Yes, everything can be explained scientifically. That's a fact. But the so-called scientists bully us into blind acceptance of their theories which are never proven and have to be revised every few years because they incorrect.

Question: Can't it be accepted that there are more than three dimensions?

Answer: Why not?

Question: Why do we have to combine everything with God?

Answer: God means the source. Since nothing comes from nothing, there must be a source.

Question: What I mean to say is: Can't we just accept that nature is just simply nature and that chemical processes just happen?

Answer: True scientists want to know what makes things happen. They are not content to simply say that things happen. Newton wanted to know why the apple falls from the tree.

Question: Why does everything which we can't explain today has to be put into a context with some God?

Answer: Everything that exists is manifested from its source. This is a simple scientific truth.

Question: Who guarantees that Jesus was God's son?

Answer: Who is not God's son?

Question: Wasn't he just a freak of his time?

Answer: He certainly was considered a freak. That's why he was crucified.

Question: A "simple" Bodhisattva? A man who could use man given energies better than others?

Answer: Do you consciously keep your heart beating? That energy is coming from another place. You have no control over it. Therefore there are energies that are not man given.

Why do you want to blindly believe in God. That is practically in the same category as atheism. You should aspire to be someone who realizes the ultimate truth which underlies all of existence.

Question: Do you have an answer why mankind needs a God?

Answer: Of course, we do. Just try to manufacture your eatables in a factory and see how far you get.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 4 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Back to Europe


Now that we have honored and celebrated the most ecstatic appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it is time to focus our energies on the upcoming 2 1/2 months of traveling throughout Europe for distributing the ultimate self-realization science. We will first go to Bulgaria, then to Germany, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and finally to the Netherlands. Everywhere we go we see that people are hungry for this topmost knowledge and the practical system of how to fully realize it. Of course, at the present moment it is still a very, very small percentage of the human population who are interested in reviving their dormant Krishna consciousness. But I am sure that the numbers will grow and the world atmosphere will gradually change for the better. We simply must continue undaunted in purely presenting the ultimate theistic science for the benefit of all living beings throughout the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Our Form in the Spiritual World?


When you say we enjoy or experience the bliss in Krishna's Abode I want to know what will be our form or senses to experience that bliss as we will not have any physical body or senses that we use in this material world?

Thank you for your patience and answers.

Your Student,

Veena

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Answer: Eternity, Knowledge, and Bliss...

You have asked me, "What will be our form or senses to experience that bliss as we will not have any physical body or senses that we use in this material world?"

You will have a particular form composed of eternity, knowledge, and bliss in the spiritual world, a form such as a cowherd boy or a cowherd girl. You will have fully spiritual senses in a fully spiritual body that never gets sick, never gets old, and never dies. You will enjoy life forever in the service of Krishna experiencing the most beautiful and wonderful things for all of eternity in unlimited varieties of loving pastimes with Lord Krishna and His unlimited devotees. You will see, hear, feel, smell, and taste just like you do here, but in a way that is completely free of the difficulties experienced in the material world such as birth, death, old age, and disease.

The Mayavadi philosophers cannot imagine a happy state with functioning senses. Therefore they say that after liberation one becomes senseless. This is a compared to a sick man in the hospital who is nauseated by the thought of eating. But once he recovers his health, he regains his appetite and is very happy to enjoy eating many varieties of foods. While very ill he could not consider eating, but once recovered he completely forgets the disgust he formerly felt for eating when he was very sick.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 3 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Special Mercy on Gaura Purnima


Today is the most auspicious day of Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It was on this day in 1486 that Lord Caitanya appeared in what is now known as West Bengal, India. He is the most merciful of all the incarnations of God. In His other manifestations He made the condition that first of all you must surrender to me before receiving My mercy. But in this most merciful manifestation of Lord Caitanya there is no such condition. Simply He bestows pure love of Godhead upon everyone without making any distinction between who is qualified and who is not qualified. Therefore we pray in this way:

namo maha-vadanyaya krsna-prema-pradaya te
krsnaya krsna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah


"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya, who is more magnanimous than any other avatar, even Krishna Himself, because He is bestowing freely what no one else has ever given -- pure love of Krishna."

This day is celebrated by fasting up until moonrise, at which time a sumptuous vegetarian feast is offered to Lord Caitanya, the remnants of which are then distributed to the devotees. It is a day for increased chanting and hearing of the glories of the Lord. In the evening time all the devotees gather together for kirtan (congregational chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra) and for hearing discourses on the glories of Lord Caitanya.

If you are in the Austin, Texas area you are invited to our program at 10700 Jonwood Way starting at 6pm. Call 512-835-2121 for further information. In other parts of the world please consult the following directory:

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

Take this opportunity to get the special blessings of Lord Caitanya and feel your spiritual consciousness take off like a rocket.

If you'd like to make a special offering for Gaura Purnima, you can do so at the following:

Gaura Purnima Offering

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Temple Worship Idol Worship?


The Bible says that we shouldn't bow down to any graven or molten image/idol of God. It says God thinks that worshiping an idol is bad. Wouldn't temple worship fall under this category of idol worship?

Best regards,

Your servant

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Answer: Krishna Appears in a Visible Form...

"Graven image" or "molten image" means something formed according to our own imagination. Such concocted forms of worship are also condemned in the Vedic literatures. The authorized deity form of Lord Krishna in the temple is not concocted according to imagination. It is strictly based on the scriptures and confirmed by the Spiritual Master. It is not an image of Krishna. It is Krishna Himself kindly appearing in a form that is visible to us. Just as God appears in the Old Testament in the form of burning bush, Lord Krishna appears in the authorized deity form within the temple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 2 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Avoid the Path of Self-Deception


Nowadays it has become very fashionable to concoct one's own pathway of self-realization. Take a little from here, take a little from there, stir it around with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Shake it up, shake it down, shake it all around. Let it sit overnight. And then, lo and behold out comes your own personally concocted pathway of self-realization? No. You have just manufactured your own custom designed pathway of self deception.

If you want the actual pathway of self-realization, the pathway which will factually liberate you from the cycle of birth of death, you must follow that trail that has carefully blazed through the wilderness of ignorance by the great saintly teachers of the past. This is confirmed as follows in the Mahabharata:

mahajano yena gatah sa panthah

"One should traverse the trail chalked out by the previous great acharyas."
---Mahabharata, Vana-parva (313.117)

These great acharyas, fully self-realized spiritual masters, also did not concoct their own path. They took their information from their predecessor acharyas, who took their inform from their predecessor acharyas, all the way back, back, back until we come to the original spiritual master, God Himself, Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

This true pathway will liberate anyone who sincerely follows it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Could We Have Originated in the Spiritual World?


The philosophy some how does not fully satisfy me.

If we came to this Mrityuloka, the world of birth and death, because we wanted to be independent enjoyers - enjoyers independent of the Lord, then what is the guarantee that after all these efforts when we get back home - back to Godhead, we will not again make the same mistake?

Again, Srimad Bhagavatam speaks of the state of `sada pashyanti surayaha', ie. a state from where the living entity, the jivatma only sees light, light and light. Never again, can Maya then suppress him under her might.

If once we were in the spiritual sky, how did the jivatma, the living entity, come under Maya? If we say that the jivatma was under Maya from the very beginning, and has never had the great opportunity of divine light, then that makes sense.

But if we say, that the jivatma was once in the spiritual sky and subsequently came down to the world of birth and death, Mrityuloka, to undergo this torture, then I am afraid the same history may be repeated. We may go to the Kingdom of God and again opt out of it. Kindly give in your comments.

Yours in the services of Lord Krishna,

B H Sharma

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Answer: Go There, and You Will Then Fully Understand...

Philosophy alone will never satisfy us because it can never take us to the platform of transcendental realization. If you want full satisfaction you must absorb yourself daily in chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, at least 16 rounds daily, with complete love and devotion. If you do this, all the imports of the Vedic wisdom will be fully revealed to you.

There is no absolute guarantee that one would not make the same mistake twice of falling into material existence, just as we cannot absolutely guarantee that a child will not stick his hand in the fire a second time after burning himself the first time he stuck his hand in the fire. But the odds of that happening are very, very small. They are practically nil.

The mantra you have quoted is not from the Srimad Bhagavatam. It is from the Rig Veda 1.2.22.20. It means that those who are advanced in transcendental realization always look to the lotus feet of the Lord. It does not establish the impossibility of someone's leaving the Lord's transcendental abode. If out of curiosity or envy they lay aside their transcendental realization to taste the forbidden fruit of taking the Lord's position of supreme enjoyment, they will certainly lose their attraction for the Lord's lotus feet and will become attracted instead to the Lord's illusory energy known as Maya.

If even a simple child is unlikely to stick his hand in the fire twice, why the living entity, the jivatma, who falls into this material existence cannot gain good sense from his torturous experience in the cycle of birth and death? If a child can learn, why the jivatma cannot learn?

It is a fact that one is always free to opt out of the kingdom of God because the devotees there are not slaves. They have full freedom. They may make the mistake once out of curiosity of wondering what it is like on the other side of existence, but it is extremely unlikely that they would make the same mistake twice.

The living being came under the influence of Maya by the misuse of his minute independence. If the potential for misuse were not there, we cannot say that the living being has any independence. And if the jiva has no independence, there is no meaning to his existence. Love can only be expressed by a living being who possesses independence. Without independence he is nothing more than a robot. It is not possible to have loving relationship with a robot.

This is why Krishna has given us independence. We can choose to love Him or to leave Him. He leaves it up to us to decide which we want. To understand how or when we fell into this material existence is a very difficult subject matter. The easiest program is to fully qualify yourself to regain your original position.

One major difficulty with this philosophy that we were not originally in the spiritual world is that time does not exist in the spiritual world. This means that once you attain it there will be no time that you were ever not there. In the other words, it will be impossible for you to have ever not been there. What this means is that actually we are always there. It's just that right now we do not realize this. We are currently suffering from amnesia.

Once you regain it, you will then understand everything perfectly. If you are shot with an arrow, what is your first business? To understand where the arrow came from? No. Your first business is to get the arrow out of your chest. Then you can investigate where it came from in full detail. Right now you are pierced by the arrow of conditioned consciousness. Become free from this by total surrender at Lord Krishna's lotus feet, and then you will understand everything perfectly. In short, go there and you will then fully understand.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 1 March 2007

Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Steadiness Through Thick and Thin


What should one on the pathway of self-realization do when the well of inspiration runs dry? Should he take a break from spiritual life and engage in material sense gratification? Or should he tolerate the uninspired phase and continue faithfully executing Krishna conscious activities? If one is serious to awaken his dormant Krishna consciousness, there is no choice other than to execute the second option.

If we out of frustration with our lack of spiritual progress engage once again in material sense gratification, all we are doing is pouring water on the fire of bhakti that we have been trying to light within our heart. This will make it harder for us to resume our Krishna conscious activities.

The best policy, therefore, is to always remain steadfast in our devotional activities through thick and thin. This steadiness will quickly bring us to the desired goal of pure Krishna prema.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Abodes...


How is Krishna's abode different from this material world?

You student

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Answer: Gulf of Difference...

There is a gulf of difference between the spiritual world and the material world. While this material world is an abode of temporality, illusion, and misery, the abode of Krishna is a place of eternity, knowledge, and unlimited bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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