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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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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Monday 30 April 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Passing the Final Exam

Sooner or later we all have to face the prospect of leaving our present material body behind. This experience is commonly known as death. For most people death is something which is very much feared. For the self-realized souls, however, it is the most exciting moment when one is granted the opportunity for promotion into the spiritual world, that place where birth, death, old age, and disease are conspicuous by their absence.

What determines whether we get promoted or whether we have to repeat the course by remaining within the cycle of birth and death? That depends on our consciousness at our final exam, the moment of death.

If our thoughts are purely absorbed in thoughts of the Lord and His service, this is our way of solidly expressing our desire to be with Him in His eternal abode. In this state of consciousness upon leaving our present body we will definitely find ourselves waking up with the Lord and His eternal associates in the spiritual sky.

If, however, our mind is holding onto material desires, the Lord will allow us to take birth again in this abode of birth and death for the fulfillment of those desires.

So where we go is definitely up to us. If we would like to attain the spiritual world, we can begin to prepare ourselves right now by spiritualizing all of our desires through the ancient science of bhakti yoga, Krishna consciousness. This is practiced under the expert guidance of the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas. If we will carefully and diligently practice the bhakti yoga science our promotion into the spiritual world is guaranteed.

So why not seriously take up this path? You've got nothing to lose except for all of your anxieties. And you've got an eternal existence full of bliss and knowledge to gain.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where Am I Heading?


Whenever I am indulged in any activity that is in some or other way related to Krishna, I experience immense happiness, pleasure and comfort which I could never experience otherwise. However, at the same time, there is some voice inside me which says .."You are doing these activities for seeking happiness to your own self and not for Krishna. So in turn you are selfish and actually offending the Lord".. Why am I facing such a dilemma? Please explain.

Your lowly servant,

Sukshma

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Answer: Back to Your Original Existence...

You should be prepared to execute whatever duties you are given for Krishna's service by the spiritual master, never mind whether they are pleasing or displeasing to you. You should be neither attached to or averse to your own happiness and unhappiness. The devotee is not concerned for his own happiness. He simply wants to see that Krishna is pleased. But because the devotee is part and parcel of Krishna, he naturally becomes pleased when Krishna is pleased.

There is nothing wrong to become happy by serving Krishna because happiness is the natural result of devotional service to the Lord. But you should not become carried away by such happiness thinking that now you have become great. You should rather offer that joyful energy back into the Lord's service to improve the quality of your service to Him more and more and more. In this way you will be heading solidly back to your original existence, which is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 29 April 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Transcendental Recording Studio Session


It's 5:35 p.m. on Saturday 28 April 2007. Today I went with a group of devotees from our Riga temple to a recording studio here in Riga to record some kirtans and bhajans. It is was a very uplifting and purifying experience to be intensely absorbed for three hours with a group of devotees in chanting and hearing the glories of Lord Sri Krishna and the process of devotional service. Krishna describes in the Bhagavad-gita how enlightening and enlivening this is:

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

The above verse is certainly corroborated by our personal experience. Theres is nothing more sweet and wonderful than being absorbed in hearing and chanting the Lord's glories in the association of His devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

I Wish I Could Join Your Preaching Tour...


Every day I read about your spiritual journey across Europe and I feel very happy. Your day to day update on your preaching activity is very inspiring. The photos that you are sending to us are just wonderful. I see devotees singing, smiling and full of positive energy. It looks as they are self satisfied and happy. Such photographs are rare to be found in our daily news papers and magazines, which only advertise about happiness.

All I wish is that I could join you in your preaching tour hearing and glorifying Lord Krishna and His devotees.

Your servant,

Prashant

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Answer: Everyone is Welcome to Join Our Tours...

Thank you very much for your sweet words of appreciation of my humble attempt the serve the orders of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

It is truly a fact that there is unlimited nectar out here on the pilgrimage trail as we share the nectar of Krishna consciousness with souls who are thirsty for it all over the world.

You and anybody else who would like to join me on all or part of any of my tours is most welcome. If thousands of us can constantly travel together all over the world for bringing in the Golden Era of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it will be a new chapter in world history.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 28 April 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

We Don't Have to Live in a Jungle


We are living in the Kali Yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy. It's an age of cheating and exploitation. Everywhere people are simply trying to take advantage of each other. Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for his sincere attempt to do the highest good for the suffering humanity and Hari Das Thakur was severely beaten in 22 market places for the same reason. Even though we claim to be a highly advanced civilization with our ever-more sophisticated technology, the sad reality is that the world is becoming more and more chaotic. It's becoming more and more of an uncivilized jungle. In this connection poet Yeats has written:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world

Because people's hearts are becoming more and more polluted with lust, anger and greed, the entire atmosphere is becoming more and more polluted. The air is polluted, the water is polluted, the atmosphere is full of disturbing sounds. It is becoming more and more difficult to find a beautiful serene atmosphere in which one can feel peaceful and happy.

But in some ways the current situation is a real blessing. The external chaos serves as a reminder that this is not is our real home. No matter how you cut it, this material world is a place of birth, death, old age, and disease. Therefore learned and thoughtful men go within to connect with the transcendental dimension situated far, far beyond time and space. This is where the actual pure happiness exists.

The timeless Vedic wisdom describes a transcendental realm presided over by Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, the original divine couple. In that realm there is no birth, no death, no old age, and no disease. That realm is well within the reach of anyone who is willing to lay aside all preconceived notions and open their hearts to the enlightening teachings and practices clearly described in the essence of the Vedic wisdom, the Bhagavad-gita. By coming into contact with the bona fide spiritual master, the bringer of perfect wisdom from that amazing transcendental realm, and by submissively inquiring from him and serving him with love, we are blessed with perfect guidance of how to permanently enter into that transcendental existence never to suffer again in the world of birth, death, old age, and disease.

I was most fortunate to come into contact with such a teacher. He blessed me with this knowledge and this pathway and instructed me that I should make this available to everyone throughout the world. Kindly take advantage of this and make your life supremely successful!


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If Guru is Not Bona Fide?


Referring to your mail dated 25 April 2007, I have two questions about the Guru.

1. How can we know if our Guru is a bona fide one?
2. Can we accept another Guru if our Guru is not a bona fide one?

Your lowly servant,

Amrita

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Answer: Reject Him and Accept a Bona Fide Guru...

If the spiritual master purely repeats the words of Krishna as given in the Bhagavad-gita without any addition or subtraction, he is bona fide. Sadly nowadays it is very rare to find such a bona fide guru. Most of the so-called gurus present some concocted ideas which differ from the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna, the original spiritual master.

If your guru is not bona fide, you must reject him and take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 27 April 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Living in Paradise at Every Minute


It's 6:39 a.m. on Thursday 26 April 2007. I just had a wonderful realization while I was attending the morning program at our nectarean temple in Riga, Latvia. I realized that by the mercy of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I am living in paradise at every minute, and this will continue getting ever-increasingly sweeter and sweeter for all of eternity. And this in spite of an aging body that is gradually deteriorating and will sooner or later drop dead! I had always hoped for such a life, but never knew how to attain it. It was only after taking shelter of the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master that it became a practical reality.

In this connection it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

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


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

I advise you, my dear readers, that if you want to taste the ultimate nectar at every minute, kindly take hint from the paradisial discovery that I have made and do the needful for reviving your lost divine consciousness. Do not postpone this. This should be your number one priority right now!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Ecstatic Tartu Send-Off
(left to right: Bhaktin Helis, Bhakta Igor, Bhakta Phillip,
Ahaituki Bhakti devi dasi, and Bhakta Lennart)



Ecstatic Riga Arrival

 

Thursday 26 April 2007

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Finding the Fountain of Youth


It's 9:55 a.m. on Wednesday 25 April 2007. This is our last day in Tartu on this preaching tour. It's always a wonderful treat to stay with the Krishna conscious college students at their center here (pictured below).

I joined this movement 36 years ago when I was their age, and I don't feel like I have aged a day since then. By the grace of my spiritual master I have the same idealism, enthusiasm, and optimism that I had when I was a 22 years old youth. The only difference is that now I am even more optimistic, idealistic, and enthusiastic than I was then.

Because Krishna is eternally young, His devotees also experience eternal youthfulness. The famous Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon, was searching for the fountain of youth, but he never found it. By the grace of my spiritual master I have discovered the true fountain of youth: Krishna consciousness.

Who wants to get old and die? Not me. I'd rather live in eternal youthfulness. Krishna consciousness is the way to do just that.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Blissful Hare Krishna Student Center--Tartu, Estonia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Waste Time Chanting Hare Krishna?


Do you know that Kalki Bhagavan is now available in India? He says that He is the Kalki Avatar of Lord Krishna incarnated on this earth along with his wife. He is doing miracles and giving initiation to the aspirants and removes all the vasanas (desires) and enlightening them all over the world. When Lord Krishna is within the reach of every one here why chanting of Hare Krishna Mantra 16 rounds every day and wasting time? Why are you making a world tour for to spread Krishna consciousness when Krishna Himself is physically available here?

N.J. Chandra Sekhar

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Answer: Don't Waste Time With Bogus Incarnations...

The incarnation of God is understood according to the revealed scriptures, not according to the bogus claims of unscrupulous pretenders. According to the authorized revealed Vedic scriptures, Kalki Avatar will not appear for another 427,000 years. His specific activities are clearly predicted in the Srimad Bhagavatam. He will wield a sword and ride on a horse named Devadatta. He will travel over the earth exhibiting eight mystic opulences. Displaying his unequalled effulgence and riding with great speed he will kill the demons by the millions. If your so-called Kalki was the actual Kalki this would be the topmost news story on the planet earth. That I have only heard about him from you and not from the news media clearly indicates that this is not the real Kalki Avatar.

Your so-called Kalki Avatar may be healing the sick, but doctors do that also. Does that mean that the doctors are God?

We are following the authorized system of the most recent incarnation of God on this planet, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, as confirmed in the revealed Vedic scriptures. That you would criticize us for wasting time by executing the Yuga dharma, the prescribed duty for this age (chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra), sadly indicates how much you have been misguided by this so-called Bhagavan (incarnation of God) and his followers.

I am sorry to have to speak such strong words to such a good and dear soul as yourself. But you have been very much misled and I hope that my words may help to get you back on the proper path. Please do not take that my words are spoken in anger. They are clearly not. I am speaking to you with sincere love in my heart for helping you to become free from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 25 April 2007

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

The Next Step in Evolution


Through the process of transmigrating lifetime after lifetime we have gradually come to the human form. This is the actual process of evolution. Now that we have achieved the human form we are meant to evolve to the next step in evolution. We are meant to become spiritually perfected beings and escape the cycle of birth and death once for all. The bhakti yoga system, Krishna consciousness, when practiced properly under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master will allow us to do just that.

On Tuesday 24 April 2007 I got the opportunity to lecture to a hall full of students at Estonia's University of Tartu on what is the next step in evolution and how to achieve it. My followers in Tartu arranged for the hall and advertised my lecture. I lectured and then answered the many questions that the students had. Some of the students were so enlivened by our presentation that after the program they followed us back to our preaching center for further instructions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sriman Sankarshan Prabhu Lectures on the Next Step in Evolution at the University of Tartu

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can the Guru Be Wrong?

I understand that the guru is not omniscient, that he is not the same as Krishna, and that he is a representative of Krishna. Sometimes my limited understanding disturbs me. For example: My guru might not know what is beyond the wall of his room but Krishna knows and sees everything. As such Krishna is full in Knowledge and guru is limited.

My question is that is there a possibility that a guru or his teachings may be wrong or His instructions may be wrong?

Kindly enlighten me.

Your insignificant servant

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Answer: The Bona Fide Guru is Never Wrong...

Although the guru is not omniscient because he has a direct connection the Supreme Omniscient he is as good as the Supreme Omniscient. Therefore I always can understand and feel how my spiritual master is watching over me, blessing me, and guiding me at every minute.

The bona fide guru does not invent his own teachings. He simply repeats the instructions of Krishna without any adulteration. Therefore there is never any flaw in his teachings. If he concocts his own message or presents a message which is not in accordance with the Vedic literatures, he is not bona fide and should be rejected.

Such a bogus guru will do us more harm that good. We must be careful to only take shelter of the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master otherwise our spiritual life will be a total disaster.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 24 April 2007

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Appearing on Estonian National Television


23 April 2007--This morning I appeared live on a talk show on Estonian National Television. The timing was perfect. We did the puja for Sri Sri Radha Damodar, went to the TV station for my live appearance, and returned to the temple just in time for to attend Srila Prabhupada's Guru Puja and for me to give the morning Srimad Bhagavatam Class. The show's host Kaileen Mägi asked very nice questions that gave me the perfect opportunity to explain the process of Krishna consciousness in a nutshell. She also asked me about the e-course, which enabled me to announce to the huge viewing audience how to sign up for our course. Immediately new subscribers joined my course from all over Estonia and they continued joining all day.

It is a very wonderful and satisfying feeling to be able to touch so many peoples' hearts with the sublime mercy of Lord Sri Krishna.

If you would like to see and hear the live talk show, you may do so by going to the following:

http://www.backtohome.com/video/estonia/Estonian_TV.wmv

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Live Without the Word "I"?

I have a doubt in my mind, which I wish to get clarified from you. Please guide me.

When we say we are part of the great God we always say, I am a part of God (aham brahmasmi). But in reality who am I? If we say always 'I, me, and mine', then it is a word, "self". Some gurus say we should leave aside the word "I". When we say, "I am a part of God.", "I" always comes. Can we live without the word "I"?

May be my question is incorrect, but please clarify.

Praveen

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Answer: Awaken the Real "I"....

The gurus who say to eliminate the word "I" are incomplete in their knowledge. They do not know that along with the false "I" there is also a real "I". The false "I" is "I am this body." The real "I" is, "I am the eternal spirit-soul, servant of Krishna."

To try to completely eliminate "I" is not practical. It is artificial. It will not solidly situate one on the spiritual platform. The best it can do is to give one a sense of temporary relief. But then after some time one will come back to the false "I".

It is only when one becomes situated solidly on the platform of the real "I" that one will never fall back again into the trap of the false "I". Under the cloud of the false "I" one thinks, "I am male. I am female. I am American. I am Indian. I am white. I am black. I am old. I am young." And so many other false things. It is only when one fully reawakens his eternal servitor relationship with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that he can become completely free from the false sense of "I". As soon as the false sense of "I" is there, there will also be a false sense of "mine." And one becomes completely entangled in the cycle of birth and death.

If one will regularly chant the Hare Krishna mantra with love, he will fully reawaken the dormant real "I" which has been sleeping within the heart since time immemorial. He will enter into an eternal existence which is full of knowledge and full of bliss.

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 23 April 2007

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Tallinn's Holy Names Temple


Nestled peacefully away from the city streets on the interior of a city block in central Tallinn, Estonia is the Sri Sri Harinama Mandir, the Temple of the Holy Names. The temple building was originally constructed as a prayer house in 1922 and has now been returned to its original purpose by the Hare Krishna movement. People of all persuasions are invited to come and take advantage of the sublime spiritual atmosphere of the temple to pray for peace and upliftment. It has been my residence for three days and also the site for a series of lectures I have been giving on the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. Such temples serve as an oasis fort those who are dying of thirst in the vast desert of material existence. Wherever the holy names of the Lord are being regularly chanted that place becomes transformed into the spiritual world. And whoever takes advantage of such an elevated spiritual atmosphere becomes transported into immortality.

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sri Sri Harinama Mandir in Tallinn, Estonia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Final State of Realization?


What are the symptoms when one advances in Krishna Consciousness?

What is the final state of realization?

What should a devotee aspire for when he remains steadfast in Krishna consciousness?

What kind of mellow does a devotee relish at the final state of realization i.e. when he chants Suddha Nama, the pure name?

What are the moods of the great Vaishnava Acharyas while chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra?

Also can all the devotees be as perfect as Srila Prabhupada?

If one can not attain that perfection, can he still attain the highest abode of Goloka Dhama.

Can you please give some insight what Srila Prabhupada has instructed his disciples and what the ideal devotee should aspire for after he comes to Krishna consciousness?

Your insignificant servant,

Debogiri

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Answers: Pure Love of Godhead...

Here are your nice questions with answers:

Question: What are the symptoms when one advances in Krishna Consciousness?

Answer: The devotee will manifest the following symptoms:

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

Question: What is the final state of realization?

Answer: Krishna prema, pure love of Godhead.

Question: What should a devotee aspire for when he remains steadfast in Krishna consciousness?

Answer: To always faithfully carry out the instructions received from his spiritual master.

Question: What kind of mellow does a devotee relish at the final state of realization i.e. when he chants Suddha Nama, the pure name?

Answer: When we chant pure Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, then we are elevated to the platform of transcendental love.

Question: What are the moods of the great Vaishnava Acharyas while chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra?

Answer: They are relishing the direct association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Question: Also can all the devotees be as perfect as Srila Prabhupada?

Answer: Yes, if they will fully surrender to Lord Sri Krishna.

Question: If one can not attain that perfection, can he still attain the highest abode of Goloka Dhama.

Answer: One can attain that perfection. This is required for entering into Goloka Dhama, the Lord's supreme abode.

Question: Can you please give some insight what Srila Prabhupada has instructed his disciples and what the ideal devotee should aspire for after he comes to Krishna consciousness?

Answer: Srila Prabhupada instructed us to become spotlessly pure devotees of Krishna. This is what we all must aspire for, complete total surrender at the lotus feet of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 22 April 2007

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Attaining Ultimate Success


In this material world everyone wants to be successful. But the difficulty is that they do not actually know what is success. They measure success in terms of money, power, and prestige. But such things do not solve the four-fold miseries of birth, death, old age, and disease. Actual success is that which delivers one from the cycle of birth and death. This success is achieved by those who master the self-realization science.

So how can we easily master the self-realization science? The answer is that we have to associate with those who are already highly advanced on the self-realization path. Those persons are the devotees of the Lord. In the company of such exalted transcendental personalities our dormant Krishna consciousness is easily awakened. We will find ourselves blissfully and naturally engaged in the activities of liberated souls, such as diving deeply into hearing and chanting the transcendental glories of Lord Sri Krishna.

On our recent visit to Sillamae, Estonia for three days all we did was dive deeper and deeper into the transcendental nectar of Krishna's glories in the association of some of His wonderful devotees. The feelings of love and happiness simply became sweeter and sweeter and sweeter the more that we engaged in Krishna katha, the topics of the Lord. When the time finally came for us to leave we felt as if we had been eternally living with the devotees of Sillamae engaged in the relishing the sweet mellows of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Gaurasundar, Nityalila, Olga, and Garuda Bid Us Farewell from Sillamae, Estonia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Appreciation: Beautiful Journey...


Thank you so much for those beautiful pictures and wonderful words. Those resonate so much with me. This course is a beautiful journey, and I 'm so glad to continue it. Thank you again.

Sylvie

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Response: Back to the Spiritual World...

I am very happy that you are enjoying the journey. If you stick tightly with me, I can take you back to the spiritual world where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 21 April 2007

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Torchlight of Ultimate Knowledge Illuminates the Sillamae Public Library


My spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, blessed me with the torchlight of ultimate knowledge and instructed me that I should travel all over this dark world to bring that torchlight of knowledge to all those who are blinded by ignorance. Public libraries are supposed to be places of knowledge. Unfortunately they are mostly filled up with books which glorify the flickering tidings of the material existence and thus keep the readers entangled in the cycle of birth and death. It is very rare to find a true book of transcendental knowledge in a public library. Therefore when the Sillamae devotees informed me that I was scheduled to give some publicly advertised lectures at the Sillamae public library I was delighted. What more appropriate place to reveal the truth that will set the hearers free?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sankarshan Prabhu Leads Kirtan and Lectures
at the Sillamae Public Library

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did We Leave Krishna?

Please accept my humble obeisances, dear Maharaja.

I have a question for you. When we say that Krishna is the reservoir of all pleasure, that it is all blissful in Vaikuntha, and that life there is free from all miseries, from where did our desire come to live apart from Krishna? Why did we have a doubt where there is no place for doubt? Why did the question come into our mind to be apart from Him when we were always experiencing the ecstatic pleasures of His blissful mercy?

2) Since Krishna accompanies us as the Supersoul through our millions of transmigrations in the cycle of birth and death I am wondering why He Himself wants to suffer being within this material existence? If He is all powerful, why does He not just clear our doubts and restore us to our original existence instead of suffering with us in the millions of lives that we take?

I will wait for your answers....thanks a lot

your servant,

Gaurav

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Answer: Misuse of Independence...

Because Krishna is unlimitedly independent and because we are part and parcel of Him, the quality of independence also exists in us a to a small degree. Independence can be used or abused. This the meaning of independence. If we abuse it, we are imprisoned by the material nature. If we utilize it properly, we are delivered to our original liberated position in the spiritual sky. The choice is ours. Krishna does not force us because if we were forced, we would only be prisoners in the spiritual world without any love for the Lord. Therefore without a mood of loving service one cannot enter into the spiritual realm.

When Krishna comes to this material world He does not suffer. He clears the doubts of all those who submissively hear His message of the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna does not force His message upon us. This is love. The parent does not push the child by brute force. He gives His love to the child and if the child so chooses, he can reciprocate with the love of the parent by loving him back.

In this connection Lord Sri Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita:

iti te jnanam akhyatam
guhyad guhyataram maya
vimrsyaitad asesena
yathecchasi tatha kuru


"Thus I have explained to you knowledge still more confidential. Deliberate on this fully, and then do what you wish to do."--Bhagavad-gita 18.63

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 20 April 2007

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Brilliant as the Sun


My quarters here in Sillamae overlook the Gulf of Finland. This morning while I was doing my writing the sunrise gradually manifested. I was immediately reminded of that sun which is even more brilliant than the sun which rises every morning. That sun is the Srimad Bhagavatam. When Lord Sri Krishna departed from this planet 5,000 years He remained in this world in the form of the Srimad Bhagavatam to dissipate the dark ignorance and illusion of this age of Kali so that people could become truly happy.

This is nicely described in the following verse of the Srimad Bhagavatam:

krsne sva-dhamopagate
dharma-jnanadibhih saha
kalau nasta-drsam esa
puranarko 'dhunoditah


"This Bhagavat Purana is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krishna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purana."--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.43

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunrise on the Gulf of Finland

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Bless Me to Understand...

I am very much attracted your way of teaching. Please bless me to understand your teachings.

Ranjith

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Answer: Become a Devotee...

I am very happy to learn that you are attracted by our teachings. The secret of success in the matter of fully realizing the knowledge that we are presenting is to become a devotee of Krishna like Arjuna. Krishna told Arjuna that because you are my devotee, therefore you can understand these teachings:

sa evayam maya te 'dya
yogah proktah puratanah
bhakto 'si me sakha ceti
rahasyam hy etad uttamam


"That very ancient science of the relationship with the Supreme is today told by Me to you because you are My devotee as well as My friend and can therefore understand the transcendental mystery of this science." --Bhagavad-gita 4.3

The first qualification for understanding our teachings is that you must become the devotee of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 19 April 2007

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Nectar Flow


We are now in Sillamae, Estonia relishing the sweet nectar of Krishna katha which is flowing like the Ganges River on its way to the sea. Krishna katha means the hearing and chanting of the transcendental name, fame, form, entourage, and paraphernalia of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this material world people take sense gratification as the ultimate goal of existence, but yet they can only enjoy their senses for a brief few minutes. Consequently they are often frustrated and bewildered by their lack of permanent happiness. This is because they are trying to enjoy on the false platform of bodily consciousness. Because we are not the body there is no actual pleasure on the bodily platform. There is only the illusion of pleasure. If we want actual pleasure we must come to the transcendental platform. That platform is attained and maintained by complete, total absorption in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sankarshan Prabhu Distributes the Sweet Nectar of Krishna Consciousness in Sillamae, Estonia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: There is No God Except Allah...


This is to refer to your email that you are slightly mistaken and badly misunderstanding.

Indeed God is known by many different names in this world and one of the name is Krishna. But my point is that these names are adopted / attributed by the human himself. The word Allah is the original and personal name of the Supreme One adopted by Himself in His Yogamaya. It is badly misunderstood that Allah word is adopted by Muslims as that name was being used before the birth of Muhammad by the people. But no one called Him as Krishna before the birth of Krishna. No one called Him by the word Krishna. In fact Allah is the word of God's personal language Suryani. That language is spoken by the Angles and 1st mankind Adam and Hawa in paradise.

I am hoping this will take you to the straight path that there is no God except Allah, to the absolute truth, and to a better understanding about the name of Supreme Personality of God who came in different forms such as Muhammad, Riaz, and Krishna.

Yours truly,

Raja Imran Inayat

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Answer:  Kindly Situate Yourself on the Straight Path...

We are not confused about the names of God. Since God is unlimited, He can have unlimited names. Therefore we can accept that Allah is also a name for God. And since any one of His millions of names validly designates Him, we can also accept that there is no God except for Allah.

Your statement that the name of Krishna is a manmade name is not correct. In the spiritual world the Supreme Lord is called by many different names including the name Krishna. Also your statement that no one referred to the Supreme Lord as Krishna before His birth is completely false. What is the proof? At the beginning of the creation 155 trillion years ago Lord Brahma composed the following prayer:

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


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

Your idea about Krishna being born is also incorrect because Krishna is never born. He simply appears to take birth 5,000 years ago in the prison of Kamsa. That's all. He is just like the sun that is always shining in the sky. When our portion of the earth is situated opposite the sun, we cannot see it, but it is still shining. The sun appears to us at sunrise and disappears from our vision at sunset. But it is still shining brightly. Similarly, Krishna always exists. When He sometimes becomes visible to us we say that He was born. But actually He is never born because He is eternally existing.

The Vedas predate the Koran by thousands and millions of years. In the Vedas it is clearly described how Sanskrit is the spoken language of the spiritual world. It was spoken in the spiritual world even before this cosmic manifestation came into being.

I appreciate your desire that I should be on the straight path. That is my desire also. If you would like to teach me how to be on it, I will welcome your good advice. But in this regard kindly note that in order to be able to do so you first need to get on it yourself. That should be your first step.
'
Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 18 April 2007

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Crossing the Ocean of Material Existence


As I write this, it is 8:14 am on Tuesday the 17th of April 2007. We are sailing across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki, Finland to Tallinn, Estonia on the cruise ship Nordlandia. It is a three-and-half hour cruise in a private cabin which affords me a good opportunity for focusing well on reading and writing. While sailing the ocean I am reminded of the following most wonderful verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam:

samasrita ye pada-pallava-plavam
mahat-padam punya-yaso murareh
bhavambudhir vatsa-padam param padam
padam padam yad vipadam na tesam


"For those who have accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Murari, the enemy of the Mura demon, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf's hoof-print. Their goal is param padam, Vaikuntha, the place where there are no material miseries, not the place where there is danger at every step." --- Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.58

Krishna's lotus feet are the most suitable cruise ship for crossing over the ocean of material existence. They are so amazing that as soon as you take shelter of them the unlimitedly vast ocean of material existence shrinks down to the amount of water contained in hoof print of a calf and one can easily, effortlessly cross over this insurmountable ocean of illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sankarshan Prabhu Writes "Thought for the Day" While Crossing the Gulf of Finland


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Mithra a God-Man?


I have recently heard of a Persian god-man named Mithra. His story and that of Jesus Christ are almost identical. Now I am confused.

Whom to believe (in)? Thank you.

Love always...

Tommi

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Answer:  All Incarnations Are Predicted in the Vedas...

All the bona fide incarnations of God are predicted in the Vedic literatures. Nowadays it has become a fad to put forward some ordinary human being as God. But this cheating business is condemned in the Vedic literatures.

If you listen to anyone and everyone, you will always remain confused. This is why Lord Krishna tells us to surrender at the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master. The bona fide guru is that person who only speaks according to the authoritative Vedic wisdom. He does not introduce any incarnations of God that are not predicted in the Vedic literatures for the purpose of misleading the innocent public.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 17 April 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Another Day, Another Adventure


Today we are heading out for a new chapter in our ever-increasingly ecstatic traveling and preaching all over the world program. Since last Thursday we have been diving into a ocean of unending bliss here at the ISKCON center in Helsinki, Finland. This place is a real oasis in this desert of material existence. There is a wonderful crew of devotees here under the guidance of Sriman Tattvavada Prabhu, a former Finnish military officer. There is such a warm family feeling here that whenever I return here I feel like I have come home. Even when I am not physically here, I am connecting myself with this transcendental abode by remembrance. Their most merciful Lordships Sri Sri Gaura Nitai preside here over Finland bestowing unlimited mercy upon the Finns.


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." Caitanya-Caritamrita Adi 1.2

So as we cruise the Gulf of Finland this morning on a ship to Tallinn, Estonia my heart will be full with sweet memories of the uplifting Krishna consciousness atmosphere that we have so much relished here at ISKCON Helsinki.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Solution to Stop Suffering?


What is the solution to stop suffering?

I understand it is necessary to stop all my desires and focus only on God/Krishna by chanting his holy names, associating with other devotees etc. Fair enough - it really makes me happy to tune into Krishna consciousness.

But adapting my life so that Krishna becomes my only desire is not very practical. I desire to move myself to a meeting in Brussels. I desire to buy clothes for my children. I desire so many things, because if I don't, they do not spontaneously materialize. Well... sometimes they do, but often they don't. :-)

The thing is - now we are here in this material world anyway, why not make the best of it? Why not lead a Krishna conscious life AND be a famous pop star like George Harrison? Why are devotees directed to a lifestyle that is so alienated from modern society? Especially because we are told so little about life in the spiritual world.

Doesn't Sanatan Dharma need to be updated constantly into a vibrant lifestyle, celebrating the Supreme Personality of Godhead in all His manifestations?

Why don't we place more emphasis on the coming golden age and how it will be for the average soul?

Your somewhat confused servant

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Answer: Guru's Guidance...

You have properly understood how to put a stop to suffering by becoming fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness. But you are having difficulty realizing how to make this a practical reality when you deal with your day to day existence.

In this regard, kindly try to understand that you do not have to give up your material desires. All you have to do is spiritualize your material desires by connecting them with Krishna. For example, if you can become a famous pop star that is very nice. It is a mistake to give up one's material talents. They simply should utilized in the service of Krishna.

Devotees have an option of living a monastic life of full time preaching and worship. Or if they prefer they can live a secular life working in the material society offering the fruits of their work to Krishna. Either path is valid. But both paths should be carefully tread under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master. Then there will be spiritual success.

Sanatan Dharma, the eternal occupational duty of surrendering ourselves at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, is always high tech. Therefore it does not require to be updated. This is a fact because Sanatan Dharma exists in its pure form completely beyond the realm of time. Therefore it is just as fresh and new now in 2007 as it was 5,000 years ago when Krishna revealed it to Arjuna.

What we emphasize the most is how the individual can fully enter into the Golden Age right now by fully surrendering unto Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 16 April 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Gradual Reawakening of the Enlightened Self


There is a common misconception that spiritual enlightenment comes like a flash of lightening out the sky. This is not the case. The way spiritual enlightenment happens is just like the gradual rising of the sun within the sky of one's heart. If ones seriously sticks to the ultimate self-realization path, the bhakti yoga path, by remaining steadily engaged in Krishna consciousness, he will experience the factual gradual reawakening of his original enlightened consciousness. He will revive his original identity that he once had before he fell into material existence. This is the special mercy of Lord Sri Krishna upon that person who is sincerely trying to surrender to Him. Lord Krishna confirms this as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

tesam evanukampartham
aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava-stho
jnana-dipena bhasvata


"To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance." Bhagavad-gita 10.11

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Vishnu, the Source of Krishna?

Sir, why is Lord Krishna's name greater, more powerful than Lord Vishnu's names though Lord Vishnu is source of Lord Krishna?

Warm regards,

Sunil

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Answer: No. Krishna, the Source of Vishnu...

It is a very common misconception in India that Vishnu is the origin of Krishna. This indicates how much how out of touch modern day Hindus are with their own scriptures.

The actual fact is that Krishna is the original Supreme Personality of Godhead. All other incarnations emanate from Him.

It is very clearly stated by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate


"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me." Bhagavad-gita 10.8

Lord Brahma states in the Brahma-samhita:

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


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

It is furthermore stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

ete camsa-kalah pumsah
krsnas tu bhagavan svayam


"All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Sri Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead." --SB 1.3.28

Some people think that because the Lord first appeared as Vishnu within the prison of Kamsa and then took the form of baby Krishna that Vishnu is His original form. This is not a fact as confirmed by the authoritative Vedic literatures. Krishna spoke to His mother Devaki shortly after His birth revealing to her why He had manifested the Vishnu form:

etad vam darsitam rupam
prag-janma-smaranaya me
nanyatha mad-bhavam jnanam
martya-lingena jayate


"I have appeared in this Vishnu form just to convince you that I am the same Supreme Personality of Godhead again taken birth. I could have appeared just like an ordinary child, but in that way you would not have believed that the Supreme Personality of Godhead had taken birth in your womb."
--SB 10.3.44

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 15 April 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Forever Free from Suffering


Nobody wants to suffer, but nobody knows how to achieve permanent relief from their suffering. The good news is that permanent relief is available for those who are desirous of having it. Therefore there is no reason to continue suffering. One should simply has to take advantage of the mercy of the Lord and become delivered once and for all from all the sufferings of material existence. That mercy is available in the form of His holy names:

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


If one regularly chants these holy names with love and devotion one will gradually experience the complete total reawakening of his or her eternal enlightened consciousness and become forever free from suffering.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Worship only Krishna?


I have been praying to Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Lord Rama and the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna since childhood. Should I forget the rest and worship only Krishna?

Mr N Preethpaul

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Answer: Watering the Root Waters the Entire Tree...

When you water the root of a tree, all the leaves and branches are automatically nourished. Watering the leaves and branches will not be effective in giving the tree the water it needs. If you want the tree to get sufficient water, you must water the root. Only by watering the root will the tree be healthy. If you neglect to water the root, the tree will die.

According to the Vedic scriptures, there is a clear distinction between the Supreme Lord and the demigods. Lord Krishna is the original form of the Supreme Lord. Lord Vishnu and Lord Rama are His expansions. The demigods are highly elevated devotees of the Lord who serve the Lord within this material world. There is no need to worship the demigods separately. When we serve the Supreme Lord, the demigods are automatically satisfied.

So the answer to your question is yes. You may give up all other forms of worship and simply fully surrender yourself to Krishna. This is why Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita that we should give up all other duties and simply fully surrender ourselves to Him. However if you are not able to do this, you may continue to worship the demigods for the purpose of begging them to bless you that you can fully surrender yourself to Lord Krishna.

You may worship any and all forms of the Supreme Lord as any worship of the Supreme Lord is effective for delivering us from this material existence. Just like when we chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra we are both worshiping Lord Krishna and Lord Rama. But demigod worship is described by Lord Krishna as the activity of those who have lost their intelligence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 14 April 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Reawaken Your Dormant Enlightened Consciousness

There is no reason to cheat yourself any longer out of the unlimited bliss and knowledge that is your constitutional birth right. All you have to do is reawaken the dormant enlightened consciousness that has been sleeping within you for countless eons. This process of divine awakening is not an artificial imposition on the mind. Rather it is the cleansing away of the artificialities that have been imposed and accumulating within the mind for millions and billions of lifetimes.

Even though the process of becoming more and more illusioned is extremely complicated, the process of becoming liberated is extremely simple. All one has to do is regularly, solidly connect himself with the source of all existence. Through this connecting therapy gradually one is restored to one's original completely pure nature. This connecting process is known as the yoga system.

Some types of yoga are more suitable for previous ages when the earth was very peaceful and the human lifespan was thousands of years. In this present disturbed age of Kali, when the lifespan is very short, the most suitable yoga system is the bhakti yoga system. Through the system anyone in any situation can reawaken their dormant enlightened consciousness simply by chanting the holy names of God. For this purpose there is no form of chanting which is more potent than the Mahamantra, the Great Chanting for Deliverance:

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



Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sankarshan Prabhu Arrives at ISKCON Helsinki

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Chant Hare Krishna First?

Why is the Mahamantra chanted in this order?

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

In other words, why is the name "Krishna" chanted first before the name "Rama", when Lord Rama appeared in this world before Lord Krishna appeared?

Thanks for sending me "Thought for the Day."

Santosh

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Answer: Because Krishna is First...

It is not a correct understanding that Lord Rama appeared before Lord Krishna. According to the Mahabharata (Santi-parva 348.51-52) Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to the sun god at the beginning of the Treta Yuga. The sun god, Vivasvan, spoke it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn spoke it to Maharaja Iksvaku, the forefather of the Raghu dynasty, in which Lord Ramachandra appeared. Therefore Lord Krishna appeared before Lord Rama did.

Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that He appears again and again whenever irreligion becomes predominant. It is not that He comes only once.

Over and beyond these points, it is clearly stated in the Bhagavad-gita, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and the Brahma Samhita, that Krishna is the source of all other incarnations. Since Rama, therefore, is an incarnation of Krishna, it is quite appropriate that we first chant Hare Krishna and then Hare Rama.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 13 April 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

The Deliverance of all Living Beings


A devotee of the Lord has no interest in enjoying this material world. He fully realizes that it is simply a place of suffering. Because his only interest is serving Krishna, the most suitable abode for his residence is the spiritual world. Since he is fully absorbed 24 hours a day in Krishna's service he is guaranteed to enter into the spiritual world at the time of death and resume his eternal relationship with the Lord. But as long as the devotee remains in this world, because of his compassionate nature, he is very eager to bless all the souls of this world with the sublime process of Krishna consciousness. He cannot tolerate the pain and suffering being undergone by the living beings here. Therefore he fully dedicates himself to enlightening as many people as possible with the transcendental self-realization science. Thus his every minute is dedicated to bringing about the deliverance of all living beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Caste System and Idol Worship...


Does the caste system have any religious sanction in Sanatan Dharma, the Vedic culture?

Why do the followers of Sanatan Dharma worship idols? Can't we achieve the same goal without any idols? Which form of worship is superior-Nirguna or Saguna?

These two are the most trusted weapons of Christians and Muslims against Hindus.

I have many more questions I will ask you from time to time.

Thanks,

Kishore

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Answer: Divine Varnashram and Deity Worship...

The original divine caste system, known as daivi varnashram, is prescribed in the Vedic literatures. That divine caste system is no longer being practiced. In the Kali yuga it has become perverted into a different form, which is known as the demonic caste system (asuri varnashram). The original divine caste system meant that everybody in the society was nicely, happily engaged in earning their livelihood in a way that was just suitable to their nature. This system was degraded into a system in which one's social position was based on one's birth, not one's natural qualities.

Nowadays people claim an exalted status as a brahmana when actually they do not possess any of the qualities of brahmana as they are described in the Bhagavad-gita. It is the caste-conscious brahmanas of India who spoiled the caste system by insisting that they were brahmanas simply on the basis of their birth. The actual quality of a brahmana is described as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

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


"Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, knowledge, wisdom and religiousness -- these are the natural qualities by which the brahmanas work." Bhagavad-gita 18.42

The actual brahmanas do not selfishly, proudly make an artificial show of these qualities. Rather they act as selfless teachers. Without accepting any salary they dedicate their lives fully for teachings others how to develop these brahminical qualities for achieving the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead.

The Supreme Truth is both saguna (with qualities) and nirguna (without qualities). Saguna means that it is full of all transcendental qualities, and nirguna means that is completely free from any mundane qualities. In other words, God is not without form. He undoubtedly possesses form. But His form is not like your form, that is subject to birth, death, old age, and disease. The Lord's form is eternally youthful, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. This is why Krishna is described in the Brahma Samhita as nava-yauvanam, an ever-fresh youth.

Idol worship, worshipping a form that is not authorized in the scriptures, is condemned in the Vedic scriptures. Only the authorized deity form of the Lord, in which the Lord has agreed to manifest His divine presence, should be worshipped. When the bona fide spiritual master invites the Lord to appear as the deity in any one of his multifarious manifestations, such as Krishna, Rama, Narayana, or Nrsimhadeva, the Lord kindly appears at the request of His pure devotee. Such worship of the authorized deity form of the Lord should never be considered to be idol worship, the worship of a false god. Rather it is the present day material civilization which is guilty of idol worship by building an entire so-called civilization based on the hedonistic principle of material sense gratification. They have made an idol out of their material bodies, and they spend their whole lives worshipping such false gods. It is therefore the so called religionists who are guilty of idol worship, not the followers of Sanatan Dharma, the Vedic culture.

In this age of Kali the Vedic scriptures prescribe that simply by chanting the holy names of God one can achieve all perfection:

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


But the spiritual master also engages his disciples in the authorized deity worship in the temple because this helps them to purely chant the holy names of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 12 April 2007

via mobile phone while en route to Aachen, Germany
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Today's Thought:

Sharing Good Fortune with All

There's a lot of nescience out there in the material world. Those who are fortunate are released from it. Those who are not so fortunate are knowingly or unknowingly simply awaiting that opportune moment when they will become fortunate enough to also become released from it. Those who are fortunate are constantly immersed in the compassionate mood of how to make the unfortunate fortunate. Up until their last dying breath when they most fortunately make their departure from this unfortunate abode they do everything possible to flood this world with unlimited good fortune.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sharing Unlimited Good Fortune in Hannover, Germany


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Dhotis and Saris?

Today I read "Thought for the Day" and the answer to the person who asked the reason for the Indian clothes and Indian names. Personally I love seeing people dressed like that and with names which all have a meaning connected with Krishna.

Can you please explain how it helps facilitate their Krishna consciousness? I did not understand that part.

I have heard a follower say that a sari is a spiritual dress and it should never touch the ground and that is Vaishnava etiquette. But why is a sari a spiritual dress? And is a dhoti a spiritual dress too?

Is there a book which I can read on Vaishnava etiquette? I would like very much to learn more.

Sincerely,

Gita

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Answer: Spiritual World Acculturation...

Sometimes people mistakenly think that saris, dhotis and devotional names are Indian. The real fact is that these are the culture of the spiritual world. Because Indian culture was formerly strongly connected with the culture of the spiritual world, saris, dhotis, and devotional names were also the fashion of the ancient Indian culture.

The ultimate self-realization science, Krishna consciousness, is process of reviving one's original eternal identity as a resident of the spiritual world. Just as one who is going to relocate to a foreign country can prepare himself nicely for going there by practicing the language and culture of that country, one who would like to achieve the spiritual world can practice the culture of the spiritual world even while residing here in the material world by chanting Hare Krishna and by adopting the style of the spiritual world.

It is not the system to choose a spiritual name for yourself. The spiritual name is given by the spiritual master at the time of initiation. Srila Prabhupada revealed to us that a devotee's spiritual name is so potent that if he can simply remember his own spiritual name of the time of death, he will attain the supreme spiritual perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead.

The best guide book on Vaisnava etiquette is the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita. In it you can read how the followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu associated with each other in an amazingly transcendental way that was totally beyond this material world.

And, although if you become solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness you will feel that you are never touching the ground, there is no rule that a sari or dhoti cannot touch the ground.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 11 April 2007

from Dortmund, Germany
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Today's Thought:

My Mission


World's burdened by confusion,
People drowning in delusion.

Blessed with light,
Must give my might
To set them right.

Got to drive away illusion,
Bring about the fusion
of the living being with his true self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Makes More Progress?


There are devotees who stay in the temple and attend all aratis of the day. They also chant the prescribed number of rounds on their japa mala beads every day regularly study the Srimad Bhagavatam.

There are also devotees who do not stay in temples who do the prescribed chanting every day and study the Srimad Bhagavatam. These devotees also follow the regulative principles like the devotees in the temple.

Is there any difference in the spiritual progress between these two types of devotees?

Warm regards,

Sunil Vaswani
from Mumbai, India

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Answer: Whoever is the Most Devoted...

Although the temple atmosphere is the most favorable atmosphere for spiritual advancement, even more favorable is one's devotional attitude. Whoever has the most devotional attitude will make the most spiritual advancement, whether they live in the temple or outside the temple. Of course, there is no doubt that the temple atmosphere is the best place for cultivating a devotional attitude. But if one can have a powerful devotional attitude even while living outside of the temple there will be no impediment for his rapid spiritual progress.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 10 April 2007

from Köln, Germany
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Today's Thought:

Does Life Have Meaning?


Modern day atheistic scientists claim that life has no meaning, other than the meaning we give to it. But if life is ultimately meaningless, why would we feel a need to give it meaning? If existence were meaningless, we would not hanker for meaning. Just as our thirst for water indicates the existence of water, similarly the desire for meaning indicates the existence of meaning.

Before we go jumping on a philosophical bandwagon we should carefully and intelligently consider whether or not sound reasoning is being applied. Our PhD-titled friends proudly proclaim that they are scientists, but so far as I have seen they are blindly accepting Charles Darwin as their savior and propounding another version of dogmatic religion of which are they are the self-proclaimed high priests.

In this connection there is a Bengali saying:

Pagale ki na bole chagale ki na khaya

"What a madman will not speak, and what a goat will not eat?"

These fellows laugh at the idea of a Supreme Being who gives meaning to existence. They find a meaningless existence in which we invent life's meaning to be immensely preferable. But how can we invent life's meaning? We did not invent life, so how can we invent it's meaning? Just as the manufacturer of an item knows the purpose of that item, we will find the meaning of existence only by connecting our consciousness with the source of our existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sharing the ultimate nectar in Köln in the presence of
the unlimitedly merciful Lords Sri Sri Gaura Nitai

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Be Culturally Different?


Why is it necessary to have Indian names to join ISKCON? I find you have also Indian sounding name.

Is it not okay to assimilate ISKCON into the local culture. I see the same thing for dress. Why should somebody wear a dhoti or sari? I feel the best thing to do is to change the mind not the outer appearance. In India, where Hindu way of life is more common it is really very odd when we see a bearded Muslim man or veil clad Muslim woman. I feel religion should not shown by outer appearance but through the mind, thoughts and actions. It would be really fine to see a Sanatan dharmi clad in jeans and with names like Jack, George or Jill in the local American people instead of Indian names and with sari and dhoti.

Regards,

Kishore

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Answer: Totalitarianism or Freedom?

A person does not have to change his name or his dress to practice Krishna consciousness. However, a person who is very serious about advancing in Krishna consciousness will arrange every aspect of his life such a way to facilitate his Krishna consciousness as much as possible. If some persons find that accepting Krishna conscious names and Krishna conscious clothing will facilitate their advancement in Krishna consciousness, why should they be restricted from doing so? Why do you want to impose your cultural preferences upon others? If you can have your cultural rights, why others should be denied their cultural rights? A culture in which one is not allowed to accept what is favorable for their Krishna consciousness is a totalitarian regime. Whereas a culture which allows one to freely practice Krishna consciousness is a culture of freedom. Why are you advocating totalitarianism?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 9 April 2007

from Hohenstein, Germany
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Today's Thought:

On the Road for Krishna In Germany

7 April 2007-2:00PM
It is no doubt delightful to be on the road once again for Krishna here in Germany. There are so many centers, pockets of Krishna consciousness, here that we are never able to cover all of them in any one tour. Indeed, this is our third or fourth tour and we still have not covered all of them.

Bhakta Eddy is our blissful driver, taking us wherever we need to go in his camper van. Today after two ecstatic days of diving into the ocean of unlimited nectar at ISKCON's Heidlberg center we are en route to Hohenstein where I will be addressing a large gathering of devotees to share with them this supreme nectar. There is truly nothing more ecstatic than spreading the ultimate science of Krishna consciousness all over the world. Someday the entire world will be completely inundated in the ocean of Krishna bhakti. These are the early pioneering days of that inundation, a most exciting time to live on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 



Our Blissful Driver, Eddy:

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Effectiveness of Guru's Instructions...


I'm not your initiated disciple, but I aspire to be. Are the replies I receive from Your Grace fully effective even though I am not yet initiated?

Kishan

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Answer: According to the Degree of Surrender...

The instructions of the bona fide spiritual master are always fully potent. But their impact upon the heart of the disciple varies according to the degree of his surrender. For example, they become even more effective for the disciple after initiation because at that time the disciple is fully surrendered to executing whatever order he receives from the spiritual master. Of course, if the student is fully surrendered even before initiation, the spiritual master's instructions will be fully effective even before initiation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 8 April 2007

from Heidlberg, Germany
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Today's Thought:

Worldwide Peace and Prosperity


Everyone is desiring that there shall be worldwide peace and prosperity, but the difficulty is that everyone is also ignorant of the means of achieving it. They strive for peace through politics and diplomacy, and they endeavor for prosperity through economic development. But these methods will always ultimately prove to be in ineffective because unless we address the root cause of turmoil and poverty all of our attempts for establishing peace and prosperity will always remain superficial at best.

The root cause of the anomalies that afflict the human civilization is that we are not in a loving, harmonious relationship with the source of our existence. Rather we have an antagonist relationship with the origin of our being. The bhakti yoga science is perfect system given by God Himself to bring us back into a perfect state of harmony with Him, the source of our being. The time has come for all intelligent, thoughtful, and sensitive persons to engage themselves in the bhakti yoga system for the upliftment of themselves and the suffering humanity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why do Deity Worship?


Why do deity worship? When one chants Hare Krishna or any holy names of the Supreme Lord this is equivalent to deity worship as the holy name is non different from the deity.

Susheel

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Answer: It Empowers Your Chanting...

In the Kali-yuga the yuga dharma is chanting the holy names. That alone is sufficient for self-realization. Even though the deity and the holy names are non-different, deity worship is also accepted because it helps one to become purified for properly chanting the Lord's holy names. It empowers your chanting.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 7 April 2007

from Heidlberg, Germany
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Today's Thought:

Sharing the Nectar in Ostringen


The more we give Krishna to others, the more we get Krishna. Therefore I am always looking for opportunities to share this ultimate nectar with as many people as possible. This is why I am practically always traveling and preaching all over the world. There is truly nothing more sublime and wonderful than awakening the dormant Krishna consciousness which is currently sleeping within the heart and helping others to do the same.

On our first full day in Heidlberg one of the devotees asked me if I wanted to attend a home program that evening. I immediately without any hesitation accepted the invitation. We drove from Heidlberg to a nearby town named Ostringen to the home of a pious Indian lady named Kanti. There was a wonderful gathering of persons there eager to hear about Krishna, chant His holy names, and relish Krishna prasadam (foodstuffs offered to Lord Krishna with love and devotion). We spent the entire evening diving deeper and deeper into the ocean of transcendental bliss before finally wrapping it up to return to the temple to take rest to begin another day of diving even deeper into the ocean of unlimited nectar.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Switching to the Mahamantra?


I have been chanting the mantra given by my spiritual guru. But lately I have found that I feel more comfortable in chanting the Mahamantra. Can I change my chanting totally to Mahamantra? Please do advise.

Hare Krishna

Kusum

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Answer: Yes, it is the Supreme Mantra....

In the Vedic wisdom the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is described as the topmost means of attaining spiritual perfection. Therefore your teacher should have advised you in this regard. Yes, you may switch over to chanting the Hare Krishna mantra instead of what you are currently chanting. Whatever benefit you may receive in chanting other mantras is automatically included when you chant Hare Krishna. The difference is that the Hare Krishna mantra not only gives you the benefit of the other mantras. It gives millions and billions of times more benefit beyond that.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 6 April 2007

from Heidlberg, Germany
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Today's Thought:

Going Nowhere Fast


We have now arrived in Germany. My disciple Hari Kripa devi dasi and her husband Eddy picked us up yesterday at the Frankfurt airport. I was amazed at how fast we covered the 80 kilometers from Frankfurt to Heidlberg. It is no small wonder when we consider how fast one is allowed to drive here on Germany's Autobahn. We were driving sometimes at over 100 miles per hour (160 Kilometers per hour). And even while we were cruising at such high speeds that would be unthinkable in the USA, cars were passing us like we standing still.

High speed travel can no doubt be used in the service of Krishna. I am regularly flying here and there all over the world. But if we travel at such high speeds simply for the purpose of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending what are we accomplishing? We are simply going nowhere fast down into the lower species of life. What is the value of life in the fast lane if all we are doing is accelerating our devolution? Human life is meant for evolution. Not devolution.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Cruising the Autobahn

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Achintya Bhedabheda Tattva...

What is the meaning of "achintya bhedabheda tattva"?

Nalaka Weerasuriya

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Answer: Simultaneously One And Different....

Acintya Bhedabheda Tattva means that the Absolute Truth is simultaneously, inconceivably one and different. Just as a drop of the Atlantic ocean is qualitatively one with the Atlantic Ocean and quantitatively different from it, the living being is qualitatively one with God and quantitatively different from God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 5 April 2007

from the Sofia, Bulgaria Airport
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Today's Thought:

Satisfying the Spiritual Master


In the Gurvastakam Srila Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur describes that the key for making spiritual progress is to satisfy the bona fide spiritual master. By adopting this principle in one's life magic happens. One feels a complete transformation of consciousness as he is transported to the plane of Krishna consciousness, the spiritual dimension beyond the cycle of birth and death. This most essential aspect of the self-realization process is precisely described in this beautiful 8th verse of the Gurvastakam:

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto 'pi
dhyayan stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam

"By satisfaction of the spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead becomes satisfied. And by not satisfying the spiritual master, there is no chance of being promoted to the plane of Krishna consciousness. I should, therefore, meditate and pray for his mercy three times a day, and offer my respectful obeisances unto him, my spiritual master."

Mr. Skeptic challenges that there is no such thing as the plane of Krishna consciousness. But we counter challenge Mr. Skeptic that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Anyone who wants to verify the existence of the transcendental plane of Krishna consciousness can easily do simply by satisfying the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Departing Sofia, Bulgaria

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Narada Still Come to Earth?


I wish to say thanks for your "Thought for the Day" and the pictures. Does the great sage and liberated space man Narada Muni not come to this planet any more, or does he only come here for devotees?

Hare Krishna

Jayraz

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Answer: That's Up to Him...

Narada Muni can appear anywhere according to his sweet will and to anyone that he chooses. We should not assume that he is no longer coming here. He can appear whenever he wants to devotees and he can also appear any time he chooses to the non-devotees, just as he appeared to Mrigari, the hunter.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 4 April 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Ever-Expandingly Wonderful


After nearly a month of spreading the ultimate self realization science, Krishna consciousness, in the Balkans we are heading out for Germany. There have been so many highly memorable life-enhancing adventures that we have experienced here. It is amazing that no matter how sweet Krishna consciousness gets there is always room for it to become sweeter and even sweeter. This is the nature of transcendental existence. It is ever-expandingly wonderful. In material life everyone is looking for unlimited happiness, but no matter where they discover happiness they find that soon the well runs dry and there is no happiness left. Only Krishna consciousness can provide happiness that never dries up.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Sri Vishnu Sahasranam...


Am I correct in my assumption that it is permissible for me to chant the Sri Vishnu Sahasranam, the thousand names of Lord Vishnu?

Your student,

Laura Harrison

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Answer: Incredible Leveraging Power of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra...

Although it is okay for you to chant Sri Vishnu Sahasranam, it is better that you chant the Hare Krishna Mantra.

Why?

Because according to revealed scriptures one utterance of Rama is equal to 1,000 repetitions of the names of Vishnu, and 1 utterance of Krishna is equal to 3 utterances of Rama. This means that if you say Krishna one time you get the benefit of chanting 3,000 names of Vishnu. Considering how long it takes to get all the way through the Vishnu Sahasranam one time, you can see that it is much more spiritually beneficial to simply focus on chanting Hare Krishna.

If you simply utter the Mahamantra one time:

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


You will get what benefit?

4 Ramas = 4,000 names of Vishnu
4 Krishnas = 12,000 names of Vishnu

Therefore one Mahamantra equals 16,000 names of Vishnu.

If you chant one round of japa, you will get the benefit of chanting 108 x 16,000 names of Vishnu. And if you chant 16 rounds of japa, you will the benefit of chanting 27,648,000 names of Vishnu.

Thus we can understand the great leveraging power of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 3 April 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Austerities of a Missionary on the Road


Life as a missionary on the road always has its difficulties. Unregulated eating and sleeping can lead to sickness. Unexpected calamities arise to make traveling sometimes very inconvenient. Sometimes I wonder, "Why I am doing this? I could be living comfortably in the USA."

But when I see how Krishna has blessed me with the opportunity to spread His merciful holy names and teachings all over the world I become happy. When I see how much people are being uplifted and enlivened by my humble effort to share this nectar my heart feels great satisfaction, and I know that all of the austerities of a missionary's life on the road are well worth it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Puzzled about Bhagavad-gita...

Dear teacher.

I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

Krishna says, "There is no possibility of one's becoming a yogī, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough."
--Bhagavad-gita 6.16

I find something contradictory. Srila Rupa Gosvami slept only 2 hours a day. Haridasa Thakura even didn't eat Krishna-prasadam until he finished his routine of chanting daily 300,000 holy names. I think they have set a good example of serving Krishna 24 hours a day, and I want to learn from them. But this verse of Bhagavad-gita doesn't approve of this sleepless life. Please clarify it.

Sravanam (hearing) is an important part of devotional service. Does it include reading? I am used to reading scriptures and your "Thought for the Day". Is this a kind of sravanam? And does it include listening to a Kirtan video?

Your eternal servant

Zhang Lei

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Answer: To Each His Own...

To each his own. One man's food is another man's poison. What is too much or too little for one man may be different for another man. This is why every devotee needs to be guided by a bona fide spiritual master. In this way he can receive practical guidance to understand what is the proper amount of eating and sleeping to best facilitate his spiritual life. Even though great transcendentalists can get by with practically no eating no sleeping, if you try to artificially imitate them you will fall down.

Reading is a silent form of hearing. Listening to a kirtan video is also hearing. Hearing your own japa chanting is also another form of hearing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 2 April 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Attaining Deathlessness by Initiation


The human life is a special facility given by God for the living entity who is caught up in the cycle of birth and death to become liberated from that precarious position. No matter how much entangled one may be within this spider web of material nature, if he takes seriously to the bhakti yoga path he can in this one lifetime be delivered back to his original deathless identity in the spiritual world. The first step for the person who wants this deliverance is to accept a spiritual master. This point has been established as follows by Srila Rupa Goswami, the greatest authority on the science of self-realization, in his most famous self-realization guidebook, the Bhakti-Rasamrita Sindhu:

adau gurvasrayam

"To attain the liberated self-realization platform, the very first step is that one must accept a guru, a spiritual master."

The acceptance of the spiritual master is marked by the initiation ceremony. At the time of initiation the disciple vows to chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra and to strictly follow the regulative principles: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, and no gambling.

Here in Sofia on Saturday 31 March 2007 I accepted two very sincere souls, a husband and wife, as my disciples. At the time of initiation we give each initiate a new name, a spiritual name by which they will be known for the rest of their lives. The husband was given the name Narada Muni Das, and the wife was given the name Naradi Devi Dasi. Narada Muni is the name of a great sage who travels all over the universe spreading the Hare Krishna Mantra. When he assumed a feminine form for understanding the conjugal pastimes of Lord Krishna he was known as Naradi. If the disciples faithfully honors the vows taken at the time of initiation, their eternal state of deathlessness is attained on that very day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Meaning of Dharma...


I beg you to explain the meaning of the Sanskrit word Dharma. Does it mean religion only?

With best regards,

Damodar

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Answer: Intrinsic Nature...

Dharma means that which cannot be separated from a thing, i.e. its intrinsic nature. Just like the dharma of water is liquidity.

The dharma of the living being is to serve. He cannot avoid this nature. If he has no one else to serve, he will keep a dog for serving the dog. The perfection of dharma is to serve that person by whom serving we can automatically serve everyone. That person is God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 1 April 2007

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Lecture Escapes Sabotage Attempt


On Friday 30 March 2007 I was scheduled to give an advertised public lecture in a hall at Sofia University. The disturbed professor, who was described in yesterday's "Thought for the Day", decided to take it on herself to sabotage my lecture. She sent me an email, lying to me that my lecture had to be postponed because an important event had been scheduled for that room. She did not mention anything about my lecture being rescheduled. This was simply her sneaky tactic to cancel my lecture. As it turned out there was no other event. It was simply her fabrication. The hall scheduled for my event was sitting there empty. Bhakta Todor, the student who had arranged for me to give the lecture, was very clever. He told me that I should still give the lecture. He sent me to another empty hall on the campus while he stationed himself at the original advertised hall and sent all the people who arrived for my lecture to the new location. In this way the lecture still went on covertly without the knowledge of the envious professor who tried to sabotage it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Contradictory Statement?


In the 2nd canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, while giving purport to Text 7, Srila Prabhupada writes as follows:

"In the Vedas it is said that persons who are attached to demigods to the exclusion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are like the animals that follow the herdsman even though they are taken to the slaughterhouse."

The Vedas consist of various demigod worships to attain manifold worldly things. The Rig Veda is dealing with the worship of Lord Indra. How come in the same Veda, there appears such a statement, which seems to be contradictory? One place of the Vedas, it is recommending to worship demigods and in other place, it is saying that people who follow this are like animals.

Or does it mean that people who worship demigods without any devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead are like animals? In this context, is it proper to worship demigods if one has an understanding that Krishna is the Supreme Lord? Then, one question arrives here that if one has the realization that Krishna is the Supreme, in that case, why does he have to worship other demigods.

Also, it is mentioned by Srila Prabhupada that while Lord Krishna was present in the earth before 5000 years, He used to worship demigods and visit temples of demigods to show the common man how to lead a house holder life. Could you kindly clarify?

Sincerely,
Murali K V

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Answer: Vedas are Not Contradictory...

It is a fact that demigod worship is for those who are less intelligent. This is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah
prapadyante 'nya-devatah
tam tam niyamam asthaya
prakrtya niyatah svaya


"Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures." --Bhagavad-gita 7.20

Those who are advanced in intelligence simply worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. Demigod worship is sometimes recommended for those who are less intelligent because this instills within them the idea that there is a higher authority to whom they should offer worship. Included in the proper procedures of demigod worship is the worshipping of the Supreme Lord. If the demigod worshipper becomes even slightly advanced in Vedic understanding, he will learn that whatever boon the demigod is offering to his worshipper is actually coming from Krishna. It is simply coming through the medium of the demigod. Therefore he will eventually transfer his worship from the demigod to the supreme Lord, Sri Krishna.

In this regard, please try to understand a simple crude example. In the retail business if the merchant can get a cheaper price for the goods he sells, he will make a bigger profit. So if he purchases his goods directly from the manufacturer instead of from a middle man, a distributor who marks up the price, he will get a much cheaper price and make a much bigger profit.

So why should we take our boons from a middle man? The intelligent thing is to go directly to the manufacturer of all that exists and get our boons from Him. This will bring about much greater profit. Just as purchasing from middlemen is standard business procedure for businessmen who are not very expert or advanced in the art of business, similarly demigod worship is recommended in the Vedas and even by Krishna's example as a standard operating procedure for those who are very expert or are less advanced. But Krishna also mercifully reveals in the Bhagavad-gita how one can easily rise beyond this less intelligent, less fortunate position and achieve the topmost boon of pure devotional service.

Once one realizes that Krishna is the Supreme Lord and takes to His worship he automatically worships all the demigods just by worshipping Krishna, just as by watering the root of a tree all the branches and leaves are nourished. The demigods are ultimately more pleased when we worship Krishna than when we worship them.

In short, just as the government advises against cigarette smoking but still allows it under restriction for those who cannot give it up, the Vedas recommend against demigod worship but still allow it for those who are not able to give it up. Just as the government's program is through restriction and instruction to gradually get all the cigarette smokers to give it up, the Vedic system is that through restriction and instruction the demigod worshippers should all give up demigod worship and simply worship Vishnu or Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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