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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An Appeal for Your Help

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

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Thursday 31 May 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

If They Only Knew

If the people of this world only knew what is the sublime taste of reawakening their dormant enlightened consciousness what a wonderful loving, peaceful atmosphere would be all-pervading on this planet. But because they are in ignorance, the entire world is being dragged into an increasingly more chaotic quagmire. They are blinded by sense desire into thinking that gross and subtle material pleasures are the all in all, that there is nothing more this. But these pleasures do not satisfy us. At best they only give us a temporary sense of titillation which goes away quickly. If however, one comes to transcendental platform, Krishna consciousness, he or she attains a pleasure which is unlimited, never ending, and ever increasing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guarantee of Not Falling Twice?

We are all eternal servants of Krishna and have lost our sense of identity due to misuse of independence. Hence we are in the material world. Krishna promises in the Bhagavad-gita that once, through the process of bhakti, we return back to the spiritual world there is no return to the material world.

What is the guarantee that we will not misuse our independence again after reaching spiritual planets just as we did before and came down to this material world although we were eternal servants of Krishna?

I humbly submit myself to you for clarification.

Your humble servant

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Answer: Possible, but Highly Unlikely...

There is no guarantee that we will not again misuse our independence. However, it is highly unlikely that we will. Once burned, twice shy. A child may stick his hand in the fire once in spite of being warned by his parents. But having been burned, is it likely that he will stick his hand in the fire again to become burned again? Although possible, it is highly unlikely.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 30 May 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

Your Life Will Be Ecstatic!

We are not meant to live selfishly and irresponsibly. In this human form of life we are meant to live for the welfare of al living beings. How do we do that? We should make ourselves spiritually perfect and then engage in the supreme welfare activity of the spiritual enlightenment of all living beings. Such a life of selfless service is millions and billions of times more satisfying than a life dedicated to sense gratification. In fact, there is really no comparison at all. "Millions and billions of times more satisfying" is simply a crude approximation to give us a rough idea of the difference between material sense gratification and Krishna consciousness. It does not come even close to an accurate comparison of the difference. The only way to really comprehend the difference is to personally taste the supreme nectar of Krishna consciousness. This taste defies classification and intellectualization. If you want to know it and understand it, you must taste it. There is no other way to realize it. So try tasting it today. Chant these names with pure love and devotion:

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


You'll be glad you did! Your life will be ecstatic!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

I Want to to Merge with Krishna...

Respected Sir,

My humble salutations to you. Sir, I am in a very pathetic condition due to Krishna's wish. I wanted someone who could give me light hence joined your esteemed course.

Sir, I know what I want to ask may show my ego but that is the truth. I want unison with Krishna. I don't have any other wish except for merging with Him completely.

Kindly, provide light and forgive me if I said something wrong.

Regards and humble salutations,

Your student

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Answer: Serving Him is the Ultimate Perfection...

Kindly allow me to enlighten you with the transcendental wisdom that is revealed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. Our pathetic condition in this material existence is not due to the wishes of Krishna. It is due to our foolish misuse of our independence.

Your desire of unison or becoming one with Krishna is a desire which is against the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. In that most esteemed of all holy books Sri Krishna states that we are all eternally existing as individuals. Therefore the desire for unison is unnatural and impossible and will keep you always in a state of frustration. The actual goal of spiritual liberation is not a state of unison with God. It is rather a state of harmony with God. In that perfectional stage both you and God exist side by side in a state of perfect loving relationship.

So now if you want to come out of all varieties of suffering conditions within this material existence, all you have to do is fully surrender yourself unto Lord Krishna as His eternal servant according to the instructions that He gives in the Bhagavad-gita. This will make you completely satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 29 May 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

Illuminating like the Sun

One of the symptoms of the present Age of Kali is that day by day the quality of forgiveness is disappearing more and more from the human society. Formerly what was forgiven now becomes a reason to fight and kill somebody. Even the slight disagreement can turn into a ghastly murder scene.

If one wants to advance in spiritual knowledge, he must develop the quality of forgiveness because without this quality one's mind can never become sufficiently peaceful to be fully absorbed in chanting the holy names of the Lord. Therefore one should excuse the offenses of others; he should not hold grudges against others within his heart.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains:

"The duty of a brahmana is to culture the quality of forgiveness, which is illuminating like the sun. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is pleased with those who are forgiving."
--purport to SB 9.15.40

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Overcome Lust...

How can we over come lust? Can you tell me the process of overcoming this lust?

your servant

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Answer: Beg Krishna...

The only way to overcome lust is to realize that the pleasure of bhakti is millions of times greater than the pleasure of lust, and then to beg Krishna to save you from lust with great intensity every time the lusty desires come.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 28 May 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

We Need One World Religion

What the world needs now more than ever is one religion that is intellectually powerful enough to convince even the atheists that there is God and broad enough in its perspective to acknowledge God's presence in all religious traditions. The problem with religions nowadays is that they lack sufficient intellectual strength and they also lack broadminded perspective. Therefore people are taking more and more to atheism.

Such a world religion cannot be something manufactured by a human being. It must be the original pure form that religion had when it was originally given by God to mankind before it was tampered with by politically minded individuals who decided to use the power of religion for exploiting others.

So how we will find that pure essential teaching that is the actual world religion? For that we must look to God Himself. Where has He spoken directly to mankind in full detail in a broad inclusive way that applies to everyone in all times, places, and circumstances? This He has done in the Bhagavad-gita. What He has presented in the Bhagavad-gita does not exclude anyone who is sincerely trying to awake the dormant love of God within their heart. The science of God as presented in the Bhagavad-gita includes all genuine lovers of God on the highest platform of human evolution. Therefore we request that all those who are seeking one world religion that will unify the entire world into one peaceful and happy global family should look to the Bhagavad-gita. They should carefully study, understand, and implement its sublime teachings. The entire planet will be transformed into a paradise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Absent-Minded or Focused Japa?

Can japa be chanted absent-mindedly (such as when doing other work) or must it be with one-pointed mindfulness in order "to count"?

What is authentic japa....silent or aloud?

your Catholic devotee

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Answer: Focused is More Beneficial...

Although highly focused japa is more beneficial than absent-minded japa, whether japa is absent-minded or a highly focused meditation, in either form it is beneficial. It is simply a matter of degrees of benefit.

Those who take initiation vows commit themselves to 16 rounds of highly focused japa every day on their japa beads. (Each round is 108 repetitions of the Hare Krishna mantra.) This minimal amount of focused japa is necessary for one who wants to completely purify his consciousness from all the dirt accumulated over millions of lifetimes.

Japa means to chant aloud but softly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 27 May 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

Blessings in Disguise

As long as we are in this material world we are going to face one difficulty after another. That is the nature of this material world. It is a place of difficulties. If we are going to advance steadily on the transcendental path of perfection we have to remain steady in our practice of Krishna consciousness through all varieties of difficult and non-difficult situations. This is why we take a vow to every day without fail chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on our japa beads and to faithfully follow the four regulative principles of freedom: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, and no gambling. Remaining true to our vows keeps us solidly fixed on the path, no matter what may be happening in the world around us. In this way we can always remain solidly fixed in transcendence and gradually, gradually realize how each and every difficulty is actually nothing more than a blessing in disguise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Karma Counter Set to Zero?

I have very recently enrolled in this program of self-realization. However I have associated with devotees for nearly 6 months, chant 16 rounds, and occasionally attend the weekly program at local ISKCON centre.

In one of the recent Bhagavatam Class, lecture was there on Text 3:30:34 reading as "........and when one is purged of sins, he is again reborn as human being".

I want to know whether when one is born as human being, are all his sins are purged? Is the counter of Karma reset to zero? And if so , then why disparities?

Kindly enlighten.

Regards

Ramesh

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Answer: Only By Krishna Consciousness...

The verse you are referring to states:

adhastan nara-lokasya
yavatir yatanadayah
kramasah samanukramya
punar atravrajec chucih


"Having gone through all the miserable, hellish conditions and having passed in a regular order through the lowest forms of animal life prior to human birth, and having thus been purged of his sins, one is reborn again as a human being on this earth."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 3.30.34

This purging does not mean he is completely free from all sinful reactions. It means that he is purged enough to qualify for a human. And then as a human being he undergoes further purging. If he takes to Krishna consciousness, he will then become 100% purged and then be qualified to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 26 May 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

Dealing with Pain

How does one deal in an enlightened Krishna conscious way with chronic pain? The first thing is that one should never panic in any circumstance, no matter how extreme. One should always remember that Lord Krishna is fully in control and that He has a plan and a purpose for everything. If we find ourselves in a condition of extreme pain, we should try to alleviate it by all available means and at the same time we have to be tolerant of that which cannot be relieved by remedial measures without allowing our minds to become disturbed. By cultivating such a peaceful spirit of equanimity we will be able to take complete shelter of Lord Sri Krishna's holy names even under the more dire circumstances. This taking shelter of Krishna's names will be our ultimate deliverance from all anxieties of this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Anti-Christ...

Please help me to understand your intent. I am split because of what I have been taught thus far in my life. On the one side I have been taught that in the end we will have a new world order or one world order with one religion and one ruler (the anti-Christ). The anti-Christ will be charming. He will talk of peace and love. Then the anti-Christ will kill many.

Are you helping him to come about?

If so, are you on the side of evil?

I am not trying to accuse or insult, I truly want to understand your organization's intent for the world. Do you think the anti-Christ might be using you without your knowledge? I do not want to help the evil one in anyway.

On the other side of my thoughts, I can see how beautiful and wonderful it would be to have world peace and unity. However, because God created all peoples, one must respect all of our diversities He created. Life would be so boring if we all were the same. Peace is on the inside of each of us because Jesus left His peace within us individually. He taught that it was not in this world. We will always have pain and suffering but with His peace and promise we can overcome.

Please know that I love all living things and I love peace and goodness. I just truly need to know the answers to my questions.

Peace be with you

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Answer: Bringing Christ's Principles Back to the Center...

Thank you very much for your sincere inquiry. I wish everyone would be willing to make a sincere inquiry before they pass judgment.

We want to bring the principles taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ, i.e. pure love for God, back to the center of the human society.

If we are accused of being anti-Christ for doing this, our accusers are anti-Christ.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Response: Good Feelings...

Thank you for your response and for not getting defensive to my sincere questioning.

I do receive good feelings from the messages and lessons from you and yours. I have always wanted to help others find peace. I have never understood war and the cruelty I see all around me.

Thank you for your answer.

Your Friend
 
Friday 25 May 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

Dreaming of a Global Spiritual Renaissance

As I travel through so many major population centers around the world I am saddened to see how much the human society is lost in the mire of delusion. They have strayed so far away from human existence that it is downright shocking to see their grossly ignorant mentality. I want to reach out and help them, but they do not understand. It is only an extremely rare soul who can actually comprehend the merciful and enlightening message of the Bhagavad-gita. One has to be very fortunate to understand this transcendental message.

On the order of my spiritual master I am trying to do whatever I can, along with his other followers, to bring about a global spiritual renaissance, even though it seems from the material point of view that the odds are hopelessly against such a thing ever happening. Such a life, of living for the welfare of all on the order of the Lord and his pure devotee, is most exciting and fulfilling. But I will never be fully satisfied until I see this entire planet fully embracing the process of Krishna consciousness. Until then my heart bleeds to see the unnecessary misfortune of those who are completely captivated by illusion. I am praying for their deliverance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sankarshan Das Adhikari Plants the Seeds
of Spiritual Renaissance in Sillamae, Estonia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Succeeds Srila Prabhupada?

I have a question related to the discussion below ...

Guru Nanak after testing many of his disciples selected Guru Angad as his successor and announced it before everyone by placing his hands on him and declaring Guru Angad as his representative and successor.

Did Srila Prabhupada also select a person who represents him and is his successor, or is it that any of his disciples who are following the regulative principles could be a Guru and initiate disciples? Even in the disciplic succession from Lord Krishna to Srila Prabhupada (mentioned in Bhagavad-gita) only one guru is mentioned at each step. Or is there a chain of gurus at any of the steps?

Your Student

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Answer: Those Who Strictly Follow Him...

Srila Prabhupada instructed that all of his disciples who are strictly following him would become gurus. He gave this instruction to us many, many times. For example, here is one such instance from a lecture he gave in Hyderabad:

"So we got this information from His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and that knowledge is still going on. You are receiving through his servant. And in future the same knowledge will go to your students. This is called parampara system. Evam parampara praptam. It is not that you have become a student and you'll remain student. No. One day you shall become also guru and make more students, more students, more. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mission, not that perpetually... Yes, one should remain perpetually a student, but he has to act as guru. That is the mission of Caitanya Mahaprabhu."
--Lecture -- Hyderabad, December 10, 1976

Apparently you have not read the Guru Parampara list very carefully. There are many instances in our Guru Parampara when there was more than one present acharya listed. The Guru Parampara is like a tree. From the trunk comes many branches, and from each branch comes many sub-branch each with many sub-branches.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 24 May 2007

from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Today's Thought:

Who Wants to Suffer?

I am seated here in the at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam spending the last few minutes of my Spring 2007 European lecture tour reflecting on what an ecstatic two-and-a-half months this has been and writing "Thought for the Day" so I can upload it before I board my flight for the USA.

This tour has been truly phenomenal! It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how blissful it becomes to practice and spread Krishna consciousness, it just keeps getting more and more blissful all the time. This phenomenon of the ever-increasing unlimited nectar of Krishna consciousness has me absolutely convinced that someday the entire world will take to this process. After all, who wants to suffer when they can be happy?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sankarshan Das Adhikari Gives Class in Riga, Latvia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Necessary to Chant in Lotus Posture?


I am a 17 year old and I want to start chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on japa beads. But I cannot put myself into the yogic lotus posture, and I cannot even do the Japanese posture. When I try to these postures I cannot concentrate because I feel a very big pain. So what i should do? It is necessary to chant in the Lotus posture?

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Answer: Sit Straight But Comfortably...

Although it is recommended to sit straight while chanting japa because it helps you to fix your mind on the Hare Krishna mantra, it is not necessary to go into a formal posture such as the lotus posture. Sit comfortably and focus your energy on fully absorbing your consciousness in the all-attractive sound of Lord Sri Krishna's names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 23 May 2007

from Bruges, Belgium
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Today's Thought:

Self-Proclaimed Messiah?

The other day I received an email in which the writer accused me of being a self-proclaimed messiah. Perhaps he was thinking that because so many people all over the world look up to me as a spiritual guide that I must be promoting myself as someone who is very great. But the real fact is that I do not at all consider or claim myself to be great or to be a messiah, savior of the world. I am simply the humble servant of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He has given me a message which carries the potency to deliver the entire world, and he has instructed me to make this message as widely known as possible all over the world. I am trying my level best to obey his order. It is only by Srila Prabhupada's grace that thousands of people all over the world are taking advantage of my humble attempt to spread the teachings of Krishna. In this connection I cannot take any credit. If I have any credit at all, it is simply that I have always dutifully obeyed the instructions which I have received from my spiritual master. This is my only claim.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Americans Took Krishna Consciousness and Not the Indians?

I have question that is linked up with "Thought for the Day" from 22 May 2007. I am referring to the below extract written by you:

"He (Srila Prabhupada) tried for years and years in India to attract people to join this movement but not one person came. But after arriving in America in 1965 within one year he was able to successfully launch ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is now powerfully pushing forward a worldwide spiritual revolution."

Is there any specific reason for the Hare Krishna movement getting firm grounds in USA as compared to India? Please let me know, because I always marvel at this miracle. I know it is beyond my reach of understanding, but I will try to grasp as much as I can.

Your humble servant,

Sukshma

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Answer: Americans Were Materially Frustrated...

The reason that the Hare Krishna movement was able to take its original root in America instead of India was that at the time in the 1960's a large segment of the youth of America had become completely frustrated with the advanced materialism of the Western world and were looking for a spiritual alternative. At the same time in India everyone was interested in how they could advance materially to become like the Western countries. Srila Prabhupada's arrival in America could not have been timed better. This was the perfect arrangement of Krishna. Srila Prabhupada arrived just at the right time and in the right place to meet those persons who were the most enthusiastic to receive his message.

When Srila Prabhupada took the American youths to India and the Indian people saw that the Americans were taking up Krishna bhakti, they become inspired like anything and came forward with great enthusiasm to assist and join Srila Prabhupada's movement. Now that ISKCON has become solidly established in India, the current generation of Indians are realizing how India's traditional Vedic culture is far, far more important than any advancement of material civilization.

In this connection there is andha-pangu-nyaya, the logic of the blind man and lame man. On their own each of them is useless. But when the lame man with his good vision gets on the shoulders of the blind man who has strong legs, combined together as a team they become very effective. So India has spiritual vision, but is materially lame. And the Western world has material strength, but is blind in spiritual vision. If there is a combination of Western material advancement with India's Vedic wisdom, the entire world can live happily in a new era of peace and prosperity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 22 May 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Heading Back to the USA

After 2 and a half months here in Europe we are heading back to our headquarters in the USA. The USA is a very special place on this planet because it was the USA that gave Srila Prabhupada the facility to start the Krishna consciousness movement. He tried for years and years in India to attract people to join this movement but not one person came. But after arriving in America in 1965 within one year he was able to successfully launch ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which is now powerfully pushing forward a worldwide spiritual revolution. Just as America has in many fields led the world, it is also America which has led the world on the pathway of Krishna consciousness, because it was the American devotees who traveled all over the world on the order of Srila Prabhupada and established this movement in every corner of the globe.

Here in this photo you can see Srila Prabhupada, a brave lone preacher, introducing his movement to the youth of America in 1966 in New York City's Tompkins Square Park:

It is always with a sense of appreciation that I consider how America has rendered such nice service to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. It is a great credit to the American people that they were the first who seriously heeded the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where Do I Begin...

Dearest Guruji,

Lately I have been straying away from becoming completely in bliss with God. I always tell myself I will have more time in the summer when school is out. I feel like I have no time. I feel a struggle between living in the material world and trying to surrender to God. I know it is my own material thoughts that tell me I have no time and I will get to it to the summer. But I want to start now. I want to be in complete bliss and complete happiness. But where do I begin? Why do I feel so restless? How do I know what will ease my restlessness?

Willing to learn and learn,

Your student

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Answer: Rise Early and Chant...

The key is that you have to prioritize your spiritual life. Your material life comes and goes with the birth and demise of of your material body. But your spiritual life is eternal. Therefore your spiritual life is always more important than your material life.

Just like if you have a bird in a cage which is more important, the bird or the cage? You are a spirit-soul. You are like the bird. Your material body is like the cage. Your first business is to see that the bird is well fed. Once you make sure the bird is healthy, then you can see about polishing the cage.

Begin by rising early every morning taking your bath and chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on japa beads. This will fix your mind in Krishna consciousness so that you can then engage in your ordinary daily duties while at the same time remaining fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness.

Your feelings of restlessness are natural because you are neglecting your primary duty. Now if you seriously take up this chanting process all of your restlessness will go away and you will become completely peaceful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 21 May 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Spreading the Ultimate Nectar in Latvia

Saturday 19 May 2007 was an especially nectarean day. After giving the morning lecture at the temple I then traveled to the outskirts of Riga where we did a program with kirtan, lecture, and prasadam at the home of a bank executive. Then immediately after that program we traveled to a distant city known as Cesis where a public hall had been rented for an advertised Vedic culture program. The hall was packed with an eager audience who had never been exposed before to Vedic culture. As I began my lecture I was doubtful whether or not they would warm up to such a high level subject matter. They responded very favorably with many intelligent questions and they swarmed our book table at the end of the lecture to purchase Bhagavad-gitas.

There is one secret I have learned. The more we distribute the nectar, the more we taste the nectar. Therefore I always like the distribute the ultimate nectar of Krishna consciousness as far and as wide as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sharing the Nectar of the Holy Names at a Home Program

Sharing the Ultimate Philosophy,  Srimad Bhagavad-gita

Distributing the Supreme Bliss in Cecis, Latvia

Bhagavad-gita, the Key to Unlimited Happiness

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Nine Different Types of Bhakti...

You spoke about nine different types of devotional services. Can you explain those please?

Anil Dutt

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Answer: Listed by Prahlad Maharaja...

The nine different types of bhakti are listed as follows
by Prahlad Maharaja in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam


1. Hearing about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu.
2. Chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Vishnu.
3. Remembering them.
4. Serving the lotus feet of the Lord.
5. Offering the Lord respectful worship.
6. Offering prayers to the Lord.
7. Becoming His servant.
8. Considering the Lord one's best friend.
9. Surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)
--Srimad Bhagavatam 7.5.23

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 20 May 2007

From Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Deliverance from the Existential Quagmire

I can never forget how much I was suffering in this material world before I got the shelter of the lotus feet of my eternal spiritual father, my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I was tortured by the meaningless of my existence and was intensely desiring to find a way out of this seemingly hopeless existential quagmire. Since that glorious day when I realized that there would be nothing more beautiful and wonderful than to give my life fully to Srila Prabhupada I have tasted nothing but the sweetest happiness.

Later on I found out that by taking complete shelter of the bona fide spiritual master that I had acted in full accordance with the Vedic injunction which is stated as follows:

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


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

So my best advice to any of my readers who are serious about achieving real happiness is that they should do exactly as I have done. They should seek out and take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master by initiation. Such a course of action will elevate them to the plane of unlimited happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Only Devotees Utilize Free Will?

I have subscribed to your daily "Thought for the Day" since one year. You have helped to shed the ignorance in me. Thank you for showering so much mercy on me and all others who are reading your daily Thought for the day. I appreciate you valuable service.

I have a question in regard to the question put forward by Sandeep Gera:

How is it possible that only devotees utilize free will? I was under the impression that all souls have both free will and are also in the grip of the karma chakra.

Please kindly help me to understand this.

Thank you,

Deepa

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Answer: Everyone Uses or Misuses It...

Everyone has free will, and they utilize it either to fully manifest their freedom as spiritually liberated beings by surrendering to Krishna or to suspend their freedom by allowing themselves to be slaves of Maya, the material nature. Those who use their free will to come the spiritual platform achieve an eternal life full of knowledge and full of bliss. Those who abuse their free will in a futile attempt to imitate God end up becoming slaves of the material energy helplessly dragged from one situation to the next according to predestination as dictated by the stringent law of karma.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 19 May 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Mission Impossible


We have been given a mission by our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, to save the suffering humanity from the ignorance of material consciousness. When one sees how deeply entrenched the modern day civilization is in ignorance, one can easily conclude that it would be impossible for the world to be saved from such deep, deep ignorance. But possibility or impossibility is not an issue when it comes to the orders received from one's spiritual master. One must simply meditate upon and worship his orders and try one's very best to successfully carry them out. Then by the grace of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna even the most impossible thing can easily become possible.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada states:

"A Krishna conscious being is always engaged in planning how to take all of suffering humanity back home, back to Godhead. Even if one is not successful in reclaiming all the fallen souls back to Godhead, still, because he is Krishna conscious, his path to Vaikunthaloka is open. He personally becomes qualified to enter the Vaikunthalokas, and if anyone follows such a devotee, he also enters into Vaikunthaloka."  --from purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.12.36

So a devotee is detached from the results of his activities, but he still tries his level best to bring about the enlightenment of the suffering souls of this world and leaves the results up to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Clarify God's Position...

Srila Prabhupada said that God is not Muslim, Christian, or Hindu, that God is God. Can you please clarify this?

Best regards,

Your very low servant

Daniel

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Answer: God's Mercy is for All...

Just as the sun is not American, Russian, German, or Australian, in a similar way we cannot tie God down to a particular designation. He is Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe. He is not described as only being the Lord of the Christians, the Muslims, or the Hindus. He is the God of all. Just as the sun shines everywhere, similarly God manifests His mercy upon all. Therefore He can be addressed by all of His names such as Allah, Christ, or Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 18 May 2007

via mobile phone from the road to the Latvian border
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Today's Thought:

Blissful New Gokula

On 16 May 2007 our sweet, humble driver, Gediminas, drove us from Vilnius to the northern side of Lithuania just south of the Latvian border. We were on our way to visit the rural devotee community, New Gokula. It is amazing to see how there are so many different pockets of devotees scattered throughout Lithuania. It's very easy to feel very much at home in this country.

The harsh Lithuanian winter had disappeared and given way to Krishna in the form of His always most welcome manifestation, the flower-bearing spring.

rtunam kusumakarah

"Of seasons I am flower-bearing spring."
Bhagavad-gita 10.35

We left the main highway for a remote road and then after some time took an even a more remote road. I noticed a beautiful home off in the distance and thought that must the devotees' home. Sure enough. Gediminas turned off and we approached a series of beautiful buildings custom built under the direction of the devotees. They were all expertly put together from squared off logs. Below is the temple building as seen in the early morning just before sunrise. In the background is the water and furnace building. Not shown are guest houses, one already completed and another one under construction.

There is a wonderful natural feel to the buildings with the real wood everywhere inside and outside. New Gokula is so nicely situated in the countryside with a forest on one side and beautiful flowers everywhere on the other side. This sublime atmosphere makes it very easy to peacefully absorb the mind in the supreme meditation, the Hare Krishna mahamantra.

I gave an evening lecture on the Bhagavad-gita and a morning lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam. Both were well attended and many, many questions were asked about this ultimate self-realization process, Krishna consciousness.

There is truly nothing sweeter than to be in the association of saintly persons who are sincerely trying to revive their dormant loving relationship with the Supreme Person.

As we carry on with our worldwide preaching activities we will always carry in our hearts the sweetest memories of these few hours we spent in New Gokula, Lithuania. Whether we remember Krishna or we remember His devotees, either way we remain fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness and qualify ourselves for entering into the supreme abode at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Free Will or Karma?


Is whatever we do because of our previous actions, is it due to our free will, or is it a mixture of both?

For example: One person, Kamal, goes to a temple to donate some money as charity, and other person, Madan, goes to some place and robs a bank. So was Kamal's decision to give charity due to his activities in his past life or did he use his free will? And was Madan's decision to rob a bank due to his activities in his past life or his free will?

Please explain this.

Hare Krishna

Sandeep Gera

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Answer: Devotees Utilize Their Free Will...

As long as we act for material sense gratification we are under the stringent grip of karma chakra. But when we are engaged in any one of the nine types of devotional service we are acting on the platform of free will.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 17 May 2007

via mobile phone from the road in Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Free from all Calamities

On 16 May 2007 in Vilnius, Lithuania I lectured on one of my favorite verses in the entire Vedic wisdom. In this amazing verse Queen Kunti, the aunt of Lord Krishna, reveals the most amazing secret of how to become completely transcendental to all of the calamitous conditions of this calamity ridden material existence. Her technique is so powerful that it can awaken you into another realm of consciousness in which all calamities you were experiencing will be seen as nothing more than a bad dream that you once had when you were still asleep in the realm of material consciousness. In this prayer she addresses Lord Krishna:

vipadah santu tah sasvat
tatra tatra jagad-guro
bhavato darsanam yat syad
apunar bhava-darsanam


"I wish that all those calamities would happen again and again so that we could see You again and again, for seeing You means that we will no longer see repeated births and deaths."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.25

The trick is to appreciate every calamity as a great blessing to help you feel ever-increasingly dependent on Lord Sri Krishna. By mastering this art you will no longer be afraid of calamities. Rather you will welcome them. That calamity you thought was about to devastate you will evaporate and you will realize that you are an eternal fully death-proof spiritual being in quality one with that Lord Who is lovingly protecting you at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sriman Sankarshan Das Lectures
in Vilnius, Lithuania

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can a Catholic Serve Krishna?

Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I receive your daily messages and I like them a lot. I am not a devotee, but I have contact with the devotees in Panama. I attend all the Sunday feasts and I do devotional service in the temple. I would like to know if, being Catholic, I can serve Krishna without giving up my religion.

My nephew has been a devotee for 9 years, and by his influence we are visiting the temple for years. Everyone at home is a vegetarian.

Awaiting your answer,

Yadira

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Answer: You'll Become the Best Christian...

You do not have to give up your Christian religion to practice Krishna consciousness. In fact, by practicing Krishna consciousness you will become the best Christian.

Lord Jesus Christ is the ideal Vaisnava. He was willing to forgive those who were crucifying him. We worship Lord Jesus as our Guru.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 16 May 2007

From Vilnius, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

The Brilliant Krishna Sun

Since there are no facilities available for our staying at our Vilnius temple, we are staying just outside of Vilnius at the home of Ashvini Kumar Das and his wife, Yamuna devi dasi. We are situated in the middle of a beautiful forest area and are commuting twice daily to the temple in central Vilnius so I can give the morning and evening classes.

It is very easy to remember Krishna when seeing the natural beauty. The wonderful sunrise this morning immediately reminded me of the beautiful, wonderful dawning of Krishna consciousness that gradually arises in the heart of the devotee who carefully and steadily chants the holy names of the Lord under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

Even though we find the morning sunrise to be very beautiful, it is nothing compare to the arising of Krishna consciousness within the heart. Krishna consciousness is the one switch that when flipped on immediately turns on the entire world.

So what is the world waiting for? Everyone is invited to experience the ultimate dawn at every minute by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra with love and devotion:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Is the Greatest God?

I have two questions.

1. Who is the greatest God that there is no one greater than He? Is it Ishvara or Krishna or someone else?

2. Which practices should be done to get spiritual freshness and comfort?

Hassan

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Answer: The Greatest Possessor of Opulences...

Ishvara means controller and there are many controllers, small and big. Of all the controllers the supreme controller is Krishna. Therefore He is known as Parameshvara (the Supreme Ishvara.) In so far as any other candidates for the position of God is concerned, the great sage Parasara Muni has given the job description. He has clearly given the definition of God. The Supreme Person must possess such a great quantity of power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame that no one can equal or excel him. This supreme possessor of all opulences is God. By comparative analysis of all great personalities it can easily be seen that no one but Lord Krishna possesses sufficient opulences to qualify for the position of God.

The simple practice for attaining spiritual peace is to regularly chant the holy names of God:

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

Kindly take up this process of chanting and you will personally experience how Krishna is God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 15 May 2007

from Vilnius, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Consciousness Revolution Takes Root in Lithuania


The times are changing. There is a consciousness revolution taking place right now on planet earth. People are sick and tired of the same old birth, death, old age, and disease. They want something better. More and more people are refusing to be held back from their constitutional birth right of eternity, knowledge, and bliss by the bogus propaganda of blind materialists.

This consciousness revolution is happening on the cutting edge of world history. It is the biggest news event happening anywhere in the universe, but the foolish media is so much steeped in illusion and confusion that they do not have any idea of covering it. This is the hottest thing happening, but yet it amazingly remains unknown. This is why Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that this is raja-guhyam, the most secret of all secrets.

Here in Lithuania I have been very much relishing the powerful spiritual awakening that is taking root around Krishna's holy names and the Bhagavat philosophy. So many people have been steadily and enthusiastically attending my kirtan-lecture sessions. May the seeds of this amazing consciousness revolution spread everywhere and powerfully germinate in every, town, city, village, and hamlet throughout the entire world as soon as possible!


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Consciousness Revolution Manifests
at Vedic Culture Center in Kaunas, Lithuania

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why All Came to Be?

I have been pondering over some questions lately.

Should all the living beings seek for the devotional love for the Supreme?

Understanding from the Buddhist point of view everything is included in one and one is included in everything, then why all this came to be?

Who and why was Love created? And since it takes two for a loving relationship - isn't this a form of dualism?

Forgive me for my misunderstanding,

Anna

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Answer: All Exists Eternally for the Pleasure of the Supreme Person...

Yes, devotional love for the Supreme is that for which all living beings should seek. This is not a matter of blind faith or blind following. It is a matter of proper understanding of how we can restore our original, natural consciousness which we had before we became conditioned by illusion and entered into a life of suffering in the cycle of birth and death.

You have mentioned that in the Buddhist point of view that everything is included in one, but the philosophy of oneness is another philosophy separate from Buddhism. In Buddhism the highest philosophical principle is zero or void. Buddhism accepts "zeroness" as the Supreme Truth, not oneness.

You are wondering why everything exists. If everything were one, there would be no need for anything at all to exist except for homogenous oneness. The fact that we see so many varieties before us negates the very conception that everything is one because such a conception gives us no logical way to explain what we are experiencing.

The conception of the Supreme Person Who wants to expand His enjoyment by expanding innumerable living beings from Himself for the purpose of enjoying loving relationships with them provides a solid logical basis for understanding reality. This paradigm, which is elaborately described in the Vedic wisdom, can neatly, in one package, account for all aspects of reality as we know it and give us access to being elevated to a higher level of reality far beyond our current range of perception.

Some people consider dualism to be a bad word because they have suffered so many anxieties here in this dualistic material world. But just consider the word harmony which implies peacefulness and unity. Harmony means that there are two or more things that resonate well together. They are separate, but there is no clashing between them. If all is one, harmony cannot exist because there must be different things or persons to harmonize with each other. The perfection of existence is not to merge into oneness with the Supreme. The perfection of our existence is to enter into a state of perfect harmony with the Supreme. In that perfectional stage one reciprocates transcendental love with the Supreme Personality of Godhead for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 14 May 2007

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

On the Road in Lithuania

On Saturday 12 May 2007 after I gave the morning Srimad Bhagavatam lecture at our Kaunas center, we traveled for three hours by car to Visaginas, a remote city 200 kilometers away where there is a strong, enlivened community of devotees. I led Hare Krishna kirtan and gave them a class on the Bhagavad-gita (10.7). Following the class there were many questions from the devotees regarding how to successfully practice Krishna consciousness while at the same time taking care of their material duties. I explained to them that the key is to rise early in the morning and chant their 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra during the brahma-muhurta hour, the early predawn time, when the mode of goodness is predominant and it is very easy to absorb oneself in chanting and hearing the holy names of the Lord. To be able to do this steadily one has to go to bed as early as possible the night before. They were especially appreciative of my coming to guide them in their practice of Krishna consciousness because I am the only spiritual master who has come Visaginas in the last five years.

I am humbled and inspired by their sincere desire to advance in Krishna consciousness. May Lord Krishna bless the Visaginas devotees with all happiness and success in their practice of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Teaching Bhagavad-gita in Visaginas, Lithuania

Vaisnava Farewell from Visaginas Devotees

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Fate of Non-Followers...

What do you say is the fate of those many people who do not follow the regulative principles of the Hare Krishna movement?

Tommi

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Answer: Love of God Does Not Awaken...

It is not a matter of this movement or that movement. If we are actually going to become pure lovers of God we must give up material sense gratification. This is also confirmed in the Bible as follows:

"You can't serve both God and Mammon."
Matthew 6:24

Love of God will not awaken in our hearts if we do not agree to follow the basic religious principles of mercifulness, cleanliness, austerity, and truthfulness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 13 May 2007

by mobile phone from the road in Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Turn Your Home into a Temple

One of the regulative principles for those who want to advance on the self-realization path is that they must live in a holy place like Mathura or Vrindavan. So what to do if you are tied down to a job and family situation and cannot manage to pull up stakes and re-locate to one of India's holy places? How will you make spiritual advancement living in the middle of a materialistic city? The answer is quite simple. All you have to do is turn your home into a temple by establishing an altar for Lord Krishna and making it the center of your life.

We recently had the pleasure at staying in such a home temple in Russia. Every morning before sunrise we all rose before four am, took our morning showers, and chanted our japa. Then at five am we all assembled before the altar (pictured below) and sang the Guruvastakam prayers and the Hare Krishna mantra. Whatever meals were taken were first offered to Lord Krishna on the altar.

You can also do this in your home. Start off with a simple altar consisting of a photograph of Srila Prabhupada, Sri Panca Tattva, and Sri Sri Radha Krishna. Rise early and chant your japa before your altar. Offer all of your meals there. Such a system will make it very easy for you to keep your mind always where it is supposed to be, fixed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Home Altar in Kaliningrad, Russia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Please Dispel my Confusion...

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

I offer to you my respectful obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

First I would like to thank you for being my lifeline out of the material confusion of this life. The lessons from your e-course, and the thoughtful words from your daily email with pictures, video and audio are very wonderful to me and quite precious.

I first became aware of Krishna Consciousness on the internet in religious chat rooms where a nice devotee introduced me to your e-course. Now I share the little that I know and tell others about your course as well. Now to my problem:

I encountered a devotee online who was speaking very nicely in a room and then when he discovered I also was a devotee he started sending me messages to meet me I suppose. He asked me if I knew what the most important thing is in Krishna Consciousness. I said to think always of Krishna. He said the most important thing was "guru tattva siddhanta", to find true spiritual master, as taught by Lord Caitanya in his 7 day discussion with Ramananda Raya. Then this devotee tells me to read a book "The Final Order". I told this devotee that I will ask my spiritual teacher about that book. Anyway, I then mentioned your name to him as being my teacher. Then he told me that only Prabhupada was spiritual master and that I should read the book before asking you about it. I then told this devotee that since "he" was not Prabhupada, that his opinion would be no better or worse than yours, and so why only listen to his suggestion, so I said I will ask you first about it.

This devotee was saying that if we get the wrong spiritual master that we will make no progress spiritually, so it is important to follow Prabhupada first. Then he tells me that Prabhupada's books have all been rewritten and changed without permission and so are not trustworthy and that his organization had to go to court to be able to print Prabhupada's original books unedited.

I only want to make nice spiritual progress, please Krishna with loving service, and be some time liberated from the cycle of birth and rebirth in this material illusion. This whole discussion he gave me about false gurus, etc made me most disturbed and not knowing how to answer. I even have some depression about it. In the past depression has lead to intoxication and I only desire to be situated in a nice place of spiritual understanding.

I don't want to put my head in the sand of ignorance but what to do? Even if he says you are false master what harm can be done from following your nice teachings which are full of only love for Krishna and chanting and regulative principles? You have proven yourself to me over and over to be good and true and nice and compassionate and caring so I go to you for answer first. I know that ISKCON has had some rascals in it but that doesn't mean all is bad. Please assist me, gracious Master.

Your servant,

David

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Answer: I Teach According to Srila Prabhupada...

From: Kaunas, Lithuania

My Dear David,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

I have received your email and have noted the contents carefully.

This person who has advised you that only Srila Prabhupada is the guru is presenting a philosophy different from that which was taught by Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada instructed us that after his departure those of his disciples who are strictly following his instructions should also become spiritual masters and initiate disciples.

Srila Prabhupada personally encouraged me that I could become a spiritual master and trained me how to be properly qualified to do so. So now on his order and with the blessings of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission (GBC) I am initiating disciples all over the world.

Because you are sincerely trying to awaken your dormant Krishna consciousness, the Lord within your heart has given you good intelligence to see through the misleading words of this person.

This person has advised you well that by getting the wrong spiritual master you will make no spiritual progress. This is why you should not listen to him. Anyone who presents a philosophy different from the previous acharyas (great spiritual masters) is not authorized to guide us how to become Krishna conscious.

Srila Prabhupada engaged his disciples from the very beginning in editing his books. English was not his native language, and he wanted to make sure his books would be grammatically correct. The editing that was done on his books was on his order. The disciple is supposed to obey the order of his spiritual master. If he orders the disciple to edit his books, the disciple is not supposed to refuse his order. He must surrender and edit his spiritual master's books to please his guru.

There have been some persons in ISKCON who have not properly executed their duties. When these things happen ISKCON's Governing Body Commission corrects the situation by a program of rectification or by removing them from their post. Just because there is sometimes a counterfeit note does mean that the entire currency should be rejected. That would be foolish and impractical.

Kindly continue progressing in Krishna consciousness under my guidance. I am guiding you 100% in line with the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. You can easily confirm this yourself by carefully studying his books and teachings either in their polished edited form or their unpolished unedited form. Srila Prabhupada has ordered you to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master and you are surrendering to Srila Prabhupada's order. This makes you a first class follower of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

The person you encountered is a member of a devious sect known as "ritviks" who propound a bogus philosophy known as "ritvik" philosophy. In spite of the fact that they teach that only Srila Prabhupada can be the spiritual master, they fail miserably when it comes to following his instructions. The have a formed an organization they call IRM (ISKCON Reform Movement) which could be more appropriately understood as standing for "ISKCON Ruination Movement".

I am hoping this meets you in the best of health
and in an ecstatic mood.

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 12 May 2007

From Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Introducing the Lithuanians to Their Forgotten Identity


On Thursday evening 10 May here in Kaunas I spoke to a gathering of Lithuanians at a publicly advertised lecture in a meeting hall. The hall was packed to capacity. It was a golden opportunity to teach them what they have forgotten--who they are and how to be who they are. After an ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan I lectured for 45 minutes and then answered many questions from the interested audience. There is nothing more wonderful and attractive than Krishna and Krishna consciousness. Anybody from any culture or any walk of life who opens their mind to hear this king of all philosophies explained in full by an experienced devotee cannot help but be attracted. Krishna consciousness reconnects the conditioned soul with his eternal identity that has been forgotten since time immemorial.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

"Know Who You Are, and Be Who You Are."

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Don't You Travel to Poor Countries?


I have seen in your travel itinerary that you always travel in only affluent and rich countries of Europe, America, Asia and Oceania and exclude Latin America, Africa, Middle East and China.

May I know the reason behind it or do you think that spreading Krishna Consciousness in those parts will not yield any results?

Yours truly,

Veerendra

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Answer: I Only Travel to Poor Countries...

I go wherever I am invited. Apparently you are not that aware of my itinerary over the years. I have been three times to Latin American and am going again this July. I regularly travel to many places that are not that affluent such as eastern Europe, Russia, and India.

Insofar as results is concerned, I am experiencing nice results no matter wherever I go. In every part of the world--both rich, poor, and in the middle--there are people who are very interested in becoming Krishna conscious.

Anyone who wants me to come to their part of the world is welcome to invite me. Simply they have arrange for my lectures and accommodations. And as my missionary activities are funded solely by the donations of my students, when someone invites me they are requested if possible to contribute towards my air fare.

All one has to do is write to: worldtour@backtohome.com

We will see if we can work their country into an upcoming tour.

Also, kindly note in this connection that in the highest sense there is no such thing as a dichotomy between rich and poor in this world. Because everyone is lacking in Krishna consciousness, everyone is poor. In this sense I am always traveling to spread the highest truth in countries that are very poor.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 11 May 2007

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Transcending the World of Calamities

Nobody likes calamities, but yet calamities are being repeatedly forced upon us by the stringent laws of material nature. We don't like to hear or admit this, but the fact is that these calamities are coming to us one after another as reactions from our previous sinful activities.

This principle is known in the Vedic literatures as the law of karma. It is described in the Bible also: As you sow, so shall you reap. Even Sir Isaac Newton has presented it in his third law of motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

So what can we do about these calamities? Can we stop them? Or do we just have to somehow or other tolerantly suffer through them?

The answer is, "Both." There is no doubt that we have to patiently endure the reactions to our previous sinful activities. But at the same time while we are doing that, we can live our lives in such a way as to gradually become completely liberated from all kinds of karmic reactions. This is done by completely surrendering to Krishna. The Lord confirms this in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah


"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear." Bhagavad-gita 18.66

So there is no need to be a fatalist thinking that there is nothing that can be done to alter your fate. You can now take your destiny completely into your own hands by full surrender at the lotus feet of that inconceivably attractive Lord Sri Krishna. Such a life is a life of full freedom completely transcendental to this world of calamities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Devastating Tsunami Wreaks Havoc on Coastal City

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Can I Taste the Nectar of Pure Love?

From Sichuan, China

Dear teacher,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

More or less I have attained the peace of mind through bhakti-yoga, even though I live in such a terrible atmosphere. But I still don't love God. When can I rise to the stage of pure love for God as introduced in Sri Caitanya's Siksastakam?

Why can't neophyte devotees love God immediately when they are engaged in devotional service?

Your eternal servant,

Zhang Lei

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Answer: You Can Begin Right Now...

I am very, very pleased with you for your sincerity. I know that you are presently living in a situation in which it is very, very difficult to practice Krishna consciousness. May Lord Krishna bestow His special mercy upon you to help you through your present difficulties.

The perfectional stage of pure love of God is the ninth step and the culmination of the Krishna consciousness pathway. It takes time to reach that stage. We have been in the cycle of birth and death for millions of lifetimes and are thus very, very covered by the contaminating influence of the three modes of material nature. Therefore we cannot expect to become 100% pure devotees immediately.

The nine steps of bhakti are described as follows in the Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.4.15-16):

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-
sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syat
tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas
tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayam premnah
pradurbhave bhavet kramah


"In the beginning one must have a preliminary desire for self-realization. This will bring one to the stage of trying to associate with persons who are spiritually elevated. In the next stage one becomes initiated by an elevated spiritual master, and under his instruction the neophyte devotee begins the process of devotional service. By execution of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master, one becomes free from all material attachment, attains steadiness in self-realization, and acquires a taste for hearing about the Absolute Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. This taste leads one further forward to attachment for Krishna consciousness, which is matured in bhava, or the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life."

Here are the above steps given in a list form:

1. Sraddha--faith, the preliminary desire for self realization
2. Sadhu-sanga--associating with devotees
3. Bhajana-kriya--initiation by the bona fide spiritual master and adopting the practices of bhakti
                                      yoga under his direction
4. Anarta-nivriti--freedom from material attachment
5. Nistha--steadiness in self-realization
6. Ruci--taste for hearing about Krishna
7. Asakti--attachment for Krishna consciousness
8. Bhava--preliminary state of love of God
9. Prema--pure love of God.

In the prema stage there is constant engagement in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. So, by the slow process of devotional service, under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, one can attain the highest stage, being freed from all material attachment, from the fearfulness of one's individual spiritual personality, and from the frustrations that result in void philosophy. Then one can ultimately attain to the abode of the Supreme Lord.

You are wondering when you will attain prema. You should set your sight on attaining the third step as soon as possible, bhajana-kriya. Once you do that you will become very jolly and will make steady progress on the path to perfection.

You are also wondering why as a beginner on the pathway you cannot love God immediately. But you must be feeling some degree of love of God. Otherwise why are you spending so much time and energy practicing Krishna consciousness. You are certainly not getting paid to do so. Therefore you must be acting out of love. Higher stages of almost pure and completely pure love await you, but even at the present you must have some sense of loving Krishna.

For example, when you see a painting of Krishna, don't you find Him to be beautiful? This is love. Now you simply have to strengthen your feelings of love more and more to the perfectional stage by going through the nine steps under the guidance of the spiritual master and the Vaisnavas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 10 May 2007

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Hearing is the Secret

The secret of how to quickly and easily advance along the pathway of self-realization is to hear the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam from the proper source. What is that proper source? That is the bona fide spiritual master, the spiritual master who is coming in an authorized line of disciplic succession from Lord Sri Krishna. Even if one has no other qualification, if he can simply attentively and submissively hear the transcendental message of the Gita and the Bhagavatam from the bona fide authority very soon the Supreme Personality of Godhead will become established within his heart.

This is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat


"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhagavat Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."---Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.2

So if you want to realize the highest truth, do yourself a favor. Regularly hear the transcendental Vedic wisdom from the bona fide spiritual master. You will relish like anything the supreme bliss. It will gradually become more and more manifested, the more you go on hearing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Devotees Submissively and Attentively Hearing the Wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita in Kaunas, Lithuania

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Please Guru?


If a disciple does not know what his spiritual master wants, what should he do in order to please his spiritual master?

Your servant,

Sankar

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Answer: Inquire and Render Service...

Your question is very nice, because the secret of success in spiritual life is to successfully carry out the orders received from one's spiritual master. In order to do this it is compulsory that the disciple must know what his spiritual master wants him to do. The method is very simple. All you have to do is ask him.

Do not speculate what you think the spiritual master wants. You must directly ask him so that you can know for certain what he wants. Then you should faithfully do your best to serve his orders. In this way you will achieve the supreme perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 9 May 2007

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Global Conflict Resolution in the Age of Conflict


I was recently invited to speak on global conflict resolution at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, USA. Due to already having a lecture booked in Vail, Colorado on the same day I had to decline the invitation. This topic is most important because the present age of Kali, in which we are so deeply immersed, is the age of conflict. Conflict pervades the society on all levels. Persons and nations cannot get along peacefully with each other. Atrocities that were formerly unthinkable have practically become a daily affair in today's conflict torn world. There is so much fear now that you cannot even carry water anymore on an airline flight because the authorities are afraid that it might be some kind of explosive liquid. The scenario is not improving. In all likelihood things will continue getting worse.



What is the solution for such conflict? If you throw your rock in a pond and I throw my rock in the same pond, the waves from our respective rocks will eventually clash with each other. But if we each throw our rock in exactly the same spot, there will be no conflict. There will instead be perfect harmony. So we all must "throw our rocks" in exactly the same spot. This will bring true peace and harmony.

The common central point for all living beings is the original source of all energies, that source from whom we all emanate. That common and original source is God.

Therefore if we want to end all local and global conflict we must all make God the center of our very existence. Actually He already is. The difficulty is that we have forgotten this. All we have to do to end all the conflicts throughout the world is to always be conscious of God. The science of how to do that is known as Krishna consciousness. This science must be taught throughout the entire world so that everyone becomes expert in this science.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Mind and Intelligence...

I am surprised to learn that the mind and intelligence are two different things. But what is that difference? How to recognize one from the other? Thank you. Love always.

Tommi

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Answer: Feeling and Deliberation...

The mind is the instrument for feeling different material experiences, and intelligence is the deliberative instrument which ponders the pros and cons of a thing and can change everything for the better.

Now you must use your intelligence to fully understand what is this sublime science of Krishna consciousness. If you do so, you will find it to be strikingly wonderful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 8 May 2007

from Kaliningrad, Russia to Kaunas, Lithuania via mobile phone on the road
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Today's Thought:

On the Road in Russia


It is now 7 April 2007. It is 12:36pm. We are on the road now from Kaliningrad, Russia to the border crossing that will take us back into Lithuania. It has been a wonderfully uplifting experience to be here with the Russian devotees. We have very much opened our hearts to each other. It was an experience I will never forget. We are even starting to learn a little Russian.

This is our ninth country on our Spring 2007 European Lecture Tour. We've got one more to go, Belgium, before we head west across the Atlantic Ocean for a summer of sharing the ultimate nectar in North America. There is truly no sweeter life than traveling all over the world for spreading the topmost benediction of Krishna consciousness to a world that now needs it more than ever. I am ever indebted to my spiritual master for blessing me with the ultimate lifestyle, spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sankarshan Prabhu Instructs a Soon-to-Retire Russian Gentleman to Dedicate the Remaining Portion of His Life to Preaching Krishna Consciousness

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When ISKCON is Accused of Being a Sex and Drugs Haven...

I get totally inspired by the way you preach all around the world. I would like to follow your foot steps. I have one problem:

What should I do when someone speaks very badly about Krishna or ISKCON? There are people around me who do that very often. There is a person who always says in almost all the foreign countries people go to ISKCON only for sex and drugs.

I show deaf ears to him but it hurts me very badly when some one speaks something wrong about Krishna or ISKCON. What should I do at these situations? Please guide me.

Your obedient servant

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Answer: Tell Him This...

Tell him if ISKCON were a haven for sex and drugs, we would be the most popular movement in the entire world. But because we strictly prohibit our members from illicit sex and intoxication we have a very small membership. Many people purchase costume jewelry, and only a few people purchase diamonds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 7 May 2007

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Our Gentle Nudge


This morning (6 April 2007) after observing Mangala Arati and Tulasi puja I still had two rounds to go to complete my daily vow of chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on my japa beads. I was thinking that a brisk morning japa walk in the cool morning air would be both enlivening for my consciousness as well as good for my health. When I expressed this idea to go to my host, Gopinath das, all the devotees present at his apartment decided to come with me.

So it was quite a jolly scene: a large group of Vaisnavas sporting their traditional tilak and garb with bead bags in hand chanting the holy names like a transcendental bee hive. Gopinath told me that it was the first time a spiritual master had ever walked the streets of Kaliningrad. We ventured into a wealthy neighborhood where every house had a big dog and all of sudden all we could hear was dozens of dogs barking from all directions. We decided to turn around and seek a more serene street for our morning walk. When I told Gopinath that the wealthy neighborhood was "Sabakaloka", which means a planet of dogs, he had a hearty laugh. (Sabaka is the Russian word for dog, and loka is the Sanskrit word for planet.)

It felt really good to be one of a large contingent of devotees enthusiastically displaying Vaisnava dress, tilaka, bead bags, and mantra chanting for the benefit of a suffering Russian society that is still so deeply steeped in illusion and misery. Such cultural expressions have a profound uplifting impact on the materialistic civilization to gently nudge it in the direction of spiritual awakening. May that day come soon. May that day come soon!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sankarshan Prabhu Expounds Gita Science in Russia

Early Morning Walk in Kaliningrad

Coining the term "Sabakaloka"

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Impossible for Everyone to Become Krishna Conscious?


So do you agree with the fact that it is impossible to make everyone on this planet Krishna-Conscious?

Thank You,

Jukka

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Answer: Everyone Will Become...

Lord Krishna does state in the Bhagavad-gita:

manusyanam sahasresu
kascid yatati siddhaye
yatatam api siddhanam
kascin mam vetti tattvatah

"Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth." --Bhagavad-gita 7.3

This tells us clearly that only a small handful of the world population will become Krishna conscious. But then Krishnadas Kaviraj states in the Caitanya Caritamrita:

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


"The Krishna consciousness movement will inundate the entire world and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman, a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind."--Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 7.26

He is saying that everyone will become Krishna conscious. So is this a contradiction? From the mundane point of view it does certainly appear to be a contradiction. But then when we consider that Lord Caitanya is even more merciful than Lord Krishna, we can begin to understand how it is possible that by the mercy of Lord Caitanya that which is impossible can become completely possible.

There are rules, and there are exceptions to rules. The rule is that only a small percentage of the human population becomes spiritually awakened. But in this most amazing Caitanya Era, which began in 1486, it is possible and conceivable and predicted that the entire human population will become inundated in the tidal of Lord Caitanya's mercy by becoming Krishna conscious.

When are you going to dive into this ocean? You have been sitting on the shore long enough.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 6 May 2007

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Transcendental Knowledge for the Russians

Now we are in Kaliningrad, Russia for an ecstatic weekend of distributing transcendental knowledge. The local population is going about their activities in complete ignorance of the transcendental reality which is easily within their reach if they will simply open their ears to hear about it. Because of false pride, however, practically no one is interested. Sadly, this is the nature of this material world. Because of pride and ignorance, in spite of everyone's hankering for a life full of happiness, hardly anyone is actually finding it. So we have come to Russia hoping to be of service to those who are sincerely seeking spiritual awakening.

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Sri Krishna very nicely explains the benefit of transcendental knowledge:

na hi jnanena sadrsam
pavitram iha vidyate
tat svayam yoga-samsiddhah
kalenatmani vindati


"In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has become accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge within himself in due course of time."--Bhagavad-gita 4.38

Kindly take advantage of the wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita. Your life will become unlimitedly sublime!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Chant 16 Rounds Daily?

I keep on enrolling people to your course. I really want people to follow your sayings.

Please advise me how can I become fully Krishna conscious. I chant, but I can never finish 16 rounds. I am so tired with people and politics in my organization, I am so disturbed that I can not concentrate. How can I become little tough to handle these? I feel so tired that I keep sleeping till 7:00 AM. How will people like us, who are drained out in the office, find the time and inner quietude to be able to chant 16 rounds daily? Please help me.

Sincerely yours

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Answer: Early to Bed, Early to Rise...

Thank you very much for introducing others to our course. This knowledge can save the entire world from all varieties of miseries. There is truly nothing more valuable than this knowledge.

The key for increasing the quality and quantity of your chanting is to go to bed as soon as possible as soon as you get home from the office in the evening. The earlier you go to bed, the earlier you can get up. When you rise early and chant before you begin your work day, your mind will not be cluttered with thoughts of the office politics. You will be in much better situation for fully concentrating your mind on the sweet sound of Lord Sri Krishna's names:

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


In this way if you will chant 16 good quality rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra before leaving for the office, your spiritual battery will be fully charged and you will never feel drained no matter how hectic your day at the office may become.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 5 May 2007

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

An Ocean of Bliss in Lithuania


Our brief overnight stop in Kaunas, Lithuania on our way to Russia was the sweetest nectar. The warm hospitality of the Lithuanian devotees is second to none in the entire world. The surest and quickest way to advance in Krishna consciousness is to engage in the six kinds of loving exchanges with the Lord's devotees. And there is no better place in the entire world to do this than in Kaunas, Lithuania. The six loving exchanges as listed by Srila Rupa Goswami as follows:

dadati pratigrhnati
guhyam akhyati prcchati
bhunkte bhojayate caiva
sad-vidham priti-laksanam


"Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasada and offering prasada are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another." --Nectar of Instruction: 4

After several days of super sweet Krishna conscious association in Russia we will be coming back for an entire week of nectarean loving exchanges in Kaunas, Lithuania.

Stay tuned in for more reports from the ocean of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sriman Sankarshan Prabhu Arrives in Lithuania

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What if Sankarshan Prabhu Gives Us Misinformation?

I feel that Sankarshan Prabhu should spend more time in India and understand the basic Hindu teachings by listening to the various spiritual masters before he spreads the same all over the world. Although he is doing a great job, what if after doing all that he preaches wrong and sends the incorrect message of Bhagavad-gita?

Vipon

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Answer: I Only Speak the Pure Message of Krishna...

I appreciate very much that you feel I am doing a great job. I have also noted your concern that you fear that I may sometime speak something which is against the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. In this connection you may rest assured that I have fully surrendered myself at the lotus feet of the world's leading Bhagavad-gita authority, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He has carefully imparted unto me the innermost understanding of the Bhagavad-gita as confirmed by the great acharyas who have guided India's Vedic civilization throughout the ages.

Thus I never give my own opinion regarding the message of the Bhagavad-gita. I have no other activity than to repeat the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita without adulteration exactly as spoken by Lord Sri Krishna to Sri Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra 5,000 years ago because I have been carefully trained by my Guru Maharaja to never add anything or subtract anything from this topmost knowledge spoken by Lord Sri Krishna.

In this way what I teach to my students is perfectly in line with the Bhagavad-gita. Of course, in this connection I can take no credit whatsoever. I am simply the humble servant who is delivering the message of Lord Krishna as confirmed by the greatest spiritual masters of Indian history. I cannot take any credit for the purity of the message I am delivering because all credit goes to my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, who has enlightened me with the perfect knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita and ordered me to spread it all over the world. If I have any credit at all in this regard it is simply that I am always strictly following the instructions given to me by my spiritual master and repeating whatever he has told me without any deviation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 4 May 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

On the Road to Russia


I am writing this "Thought for the Day" it is 5:49 a.m. on 3 May 2007 in Riga, Latvia. This morning we are departing Riga for an overnight stop in Kaunas, Lithuania from where we will proceed on to Kaliningrad, Russia tomorrow. It is with great happiness that I am going to Russia. The happiness is that we now have the opportunity to spread the Krishna consciousness movement in Russia. Formerly during the communist era it was not so. Our movement was at that time completely underground and being pursued vigorously by the KGB (Soviet secret police). Our devotees at the time were being very cruelly persecuted. Some of them were tortured and some of them died as a result of this mistreatment by the Soviet authorities.

That our devotees risked their very lives to practice Krishna consciousness is a great testimony to their unflinching faith in our Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and in Lord Sri Krishna. When I met one of our devotees who had been tortured by the communists and asked her about her experience, she could not even speak about it. The memories were too painful.

Here is a picture of His Grace Sriman Sacisuta Das, who was tortured to death in prison for the crime of being Krishna conscious:

The following moving video footage is from 1988 when 25 Hare Krishna devotees were in Soviet prisons for the "heinous crime" of chanting Hare Krishna. The Hare Krishna children in Australia made an appeal to the soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, to please release the Soviet Hare Krishnas:

http://www.hkussr.com/website/cg026childrenofkrishna88.wmv


The following brief history how the seed of Krishna consciousness was planted on Russian soil is told by the Russian devotees:

During the eleven years of his preaching in the West, Srila Prabhupada [Founder Acarya for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON] traveled around the world fourteen times. Among other countries he also visited Soviet Russia which at that time was behind the Iron Curtain. The four days visit of Srila Prabhupada to Moscow in 1971 miraculously brought many changes to that country of atheism.

During his visit he discussed philosophy with Prof. Kotovsky, a Soviet scholar of Hinduism, but most significantly met with one young, educated Russian boy who later became his first and only initiated disciple from the Soviet Union, Ananda Shanti. This Russian boy single-handedly started preaching the eternal message of Bhagavad-Gita, and in this way the teachings of Srila Prabhupada became known to the hundreds and hundreds of Soviet people, so much so that in the beginning of the 1980's the KGB declared ISKCON one of the greatest threats to the Soviet nation. In this way, the war was declared............the war of the totalitarian state against the handful of first devotees of Krishna in Soviet Russia.

The KGB started massive persecution campaigns against the first followers of ISKCON. For their belief, around hundred of the first Russian devotees were thrown into prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals. They underwent tremendous sufferings and tortures, but kept their strong, unflinching faith in Lord Krishna and His words in
Bhagavad-Gita.

One of them, Sarkis Ohanjanyan was only 21 when he was put in prison. His only "guilt" was that he believed in God, chanted the Hare Krishna mahamantra and refused to eat meat. One and a half years later he died in the winter of 1986 in a labor camp out of malnutrition and tuberculosis. Before departure he was chanting on the beads made from the prison bread, and had applied tilaka on his body with the toothpaste.

Olga Kiselyova was put in prison in 1983 when she was pregnant. Her "crime" was that she helped in translating the
Bhagavad-Gita into the Russian language. After undergoing tortures and long, arduous interrogations she delivered a baby girl Marika in prison who died only two months later.

Amala Bhakta Das father of 5, was sentenced for 5 years of labor camps, and was only released on the personal plea from Nancy Reagan.

These are only a few stories among many. Early devotees in Russia sacrificed their health, freedom and sometimes even life for the preaching and for the service to Srila Prabhupada.

Hare Krishna devotees around the world started a campaign of protest against religious persecution in the USSR. As a result, in 1988 all Soviet Hare Krishna devotees were released by Mr. M. Gorbachev and the new era of religious freedom in Russia had begun.
[end of narration]

As I reflect back on the sacrifices made by these great heroes of the Krishna consciousness movement who have given me to privilege to be able to preach Krishna consciousness in Russia I simply humbly bow down at their feet in prostrated obeisances and beg them to allow me to be their humble servant for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Mirror of the Mind?


What is the meaning of Mirror of Mind?

Humbly waiting for your reply!

Your student,

Kishan

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Answer: Your Consciousness...

Mirror of mind refers to your consciousness. At the present moment in our conditioned state of consciousness the mirror of the mind is covered with many, many layers of dust accumulated over many, many millions of lifetimes. The process of freeing the mirror of the mind from the dust is to regularly chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra as much as possible every day:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 3 May 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Waking Up from the Dream

This material existence is a dream. Even though it has a reality, it is not at all what is appears to be. In this material world we are dreaming "I am this body." We are thinking ourselves to be of a particular gender, race, and nationality. But actually our gender, race, and nationality have nothing at all to do with our actual self. They are simply coverings hiding our actual self.

When we wake up from the sleep of material existence and become reconnected with our original, eternal identity which exists far, far beyond the prison of birth, death, old age, and disease, we will then taste the actual happiness of existence in a state of perfect harmony with God. In this connection Srila Bhaktivinode describes how Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is calling out to us to awaken us from our millions of lifetimes old slumber:

jiv jago jiv jago gauracanda bole
kota nidra jao maya-pisacira kole

"Wake up, sleeping soul! Wake up! Why are you sleeping on this lap of maya, the illusory energy? Get up!"

It's time we heed His call and come out of the nightmare of material existence into an eternal life, full of bliss, and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Lord Caitanya is Imploring Us, "Wake Up from the Dream of Material Existence."


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Feel Krishna?


I have been reading all your mails and they are truly what Krishna would have liked you to say to us. I feel that way at least.

How can I feel Krishna? Can I see him if possible? How can all my sins be washed away? Again and again I commit sins which Krishna does not want me to do. How can I get out of this material world that I do not want to be part of?

Bimal

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Answer: Read Bhagavad-gita Seriously...

I am very happy that you are feeling that I am speaking to you according to the Lord's desire. Actually this is a fact. In our Krishna consciousness movement We do not invent our own teachings. We simply deliver to our students the pure teachings off Krishna exactly as they are spoken by the Lord in the Bhagavad-gita. We do not add or subtract anything.

Therefore, because our words are the words of Lord Sri Krishna, they are fully potent to deliver our students from the clutches of birth and death.

You have asked how you can feel Krishna. If you will read the Bhagavad-gita very seriously you will feel how Lord Krishna is present before you and is instructing you.

In regards to seeing Krishna, Lord Brahma describes as follows in the Brahma-samhita:

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

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

The process for washing all your sins away is described by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
moksayisyami ma sucah


"Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."--Bhagavad-gita 18.66

If you want to stop sinning you must get a higher taste. We take to sinful activities as a less intelligent form of enjoyment. But those who are highly intelligent can easily stop sinful life because they derive unlimited pleasure from chanting the holy names of God:

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

Your final question is how can you get out of this material world. If by Krishna's grace one is fortunate enough to come under the shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, by the mercy of Krishna he receives lessons on how to execute devotional service to the Supreme Lord. In this way he receives a clue of how to get out of his continuous struggle up and down within the material world. Therefore the Vedic injunction is that one should approach a spiritual master. The Vedas declare:

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet

"If you want to realize the transcendental science, you must approach the bona fide spiritual master."--Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12

Similarly in Bhagavad-gita (4.34) the Supreme Personality of Godhead advises:

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


"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth."

Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.3.21) gives similar advice:

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

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

Similarly, Visvanatha Cakravarti, a great Vaisnava, also advises:

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasadah

"By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the mercy of Krishna."

This is the same advice given by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu:

guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"By the mercy of Guru and Krishna one receives the seed of bhakti."--Caitanya Caritamrita Madhya 19.151

So, this is essential. To get out of this material world one must come to Krishna consciousness. This is achieved by taking shelter of a pure devotee. Thus one can become free from the clutches of matter go back home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 2 May 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

The Revolutionary Srimad Bhagavatam

The most revolutionary knowledge which has ever been revealed within this universe is carefully preserved in the ancient text known as the Srimad Bhagavatam. That beautiful Bhagavatam is full of choice poetic descriptions of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and His pure devotees. In that sweet Srimad Bhagavatam is recorded a conversation which took place thousands of year ago between the great sage Srila Narada Muni and his disciple, Srila Vyasadeva, who is famous for being the compiler of the Vedic wisdom. Narada Muni mercifully enlightens Vyasadeva in the following words:

tad-vag-visargo janatagha-viplavo
yasmin prati-slokam abaddhavaty api
namany anantasya yaso 'nkitani yat
srnvanti gayanti grnanti sadhavah


"That literature which is full of descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, forms, pastimes, etc., of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a different creation, full of transcendental words directed toward bringing about a revolution in the impious lives of this world's misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though imperfectly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest."--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.11

The revolutionary impact of the Srimad Bhagavatam has not diminished with age. It is just as powerful and potent for completely revolutionizing the human society as it was 5,000 years ago. Simply what is required are people who are purely practicing it and teaching it throughout the world.

On the order my spiritual master I have fully dedicated my life for traveling and preaching all over the world to enlighten as many people as possible in the true meaning of the Srimad Bhagavatam. I know that by the divine power of the Srimad Bhagavatam that if I simply present it purely as it is without any adulteration that there will in fact be a powerful positive impact for the respiritualization of the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sriman Sankarshan Das Teaches
Srimad Bhagavatam in Riga, Latvia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is God Nothing?


God's available to all those, who seek him in the earnest way. It may be immaterial if we seek him as Lord Krishna, Vishnu, God, Allah, Jesus or "Nothing." (Nothing also emanates from Him, if He is almighty.)

You have every right to enlighten/correct me, if my conception is lacking.

Your student,
Suraj

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Answer: No, Because Nothing Does Not Exist...

While you are right that God can be approached either as Krishna, Vishnu, God, or through His pure devotee, Lord Jesus Christ, your idea that we can seek God as nothing is incorrect.

Nothing cannot emanate from the Supreme because the substance nothing does not exist. Everything that emanates from the Supreme is substantial. It has substance. It is something. Otherwise it could not emanate from the Supreme.

In other words, there is no such thing as the substance nothing. It only exists only as a concept. In that sense, on the conceptual level, nothing is not nothing; it is indeed something. So in conclusion we can understand that there is no such thing as nothing, since even nothing is something.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 1 May 2007

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Using Your Talents for Krishna


Whatever material talent we have should be utilized in Krishna's service. In this connection Srila Prabhupada states, "Whatever capacity you may have, either you are a scientist or a lawyer or an engineer or a rich man, a capitalist, whatever you may be. Your duty is to utilize your talent for Krishna consciousness. That's all. That is perfection."

A nice example of this is my student, Ugis Polis, here in Riga, Latvia. He is very talented in radio broadcasting and is using this for Krishna. He began his radio career in Riga at the age of 13 on a children's radio program and soon became a radio journalist interviewing other children for special short features. As he grew up he had his own program. At that time Latvia had only one radio station, the state radio station. Ugis got his big break when the Russians took control of the Latvian state radio station and the Latvian government realized it would be to Latvia's advantage to license private radio stations. When the first license was granted in 1991 it went to Ugis. He took his station on the air in 1992.

As I am writing this, it is April 30, the fifteenth anniversary of Ugis' radio station, European Hit Radio, first going on the air. It is one of the most popular radio stations in all of Latvia and has broadcast towers throughout the nation. Since his programming is restricted by government regulations, he uses the advertising portion of his broadcasts to promote various Krishna consciousness programs such as Hare Krishna Food for Life free food distribution, festivals, and special lectures given by devotee speakers. In this way, through advertising, he is introducing a major segment of the Latvian population to the idea that Hare Krishna Food for Life is the nation's leading charity and that Vedic knowledge will solve life's problems. Thus he is making a major contribution to the spreading of Krishna consciousness in this eastern European former Soviet bloc nation.

Ugis chants 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and follows the four regulative principles of freedom: 1) No illicit sex, 2) No meat eating, 3) No intoxication, and 4) No gambling. At the same  time, he manages European Hit Radio with its large staff and is launching two new stations.

I encourage all of my students to see Ugis' example and find the ways and means that they can be solidly fixed in the practice of Krishna consciousness by good sadhana and by utilizing their talents and abilities in the service of Krishna. If more and more people can do this, it will bring in a new era of peace and happiness for the entire global society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can't Kalki Be a Healer?


In regards to a question sent to you by the devotee, N.J. Chandra Sekhar, about Kalki Avatar, is it not possible that when Kalki comes, He will be a healer instead? The Lord Kalki could come to make peace between all people and to help the lost souls find the right path rather than destroying the false kings.

I'm not saying I believe that this man who claims to be Kalki Avatar is the real thing. I am just saying when it was prophesized that Lord Jesus would be born, the Jews predicted a military leader, someone to bring a war and lead the Jews to a glorious age. Instead quite the opposite happened. Jesus was born and he brought a message of love and non-violence with his turn-the-cheek belief and thus Judaism was reformed.

So would it not be possible when Kalki finally does come, that He will not be what we expected him to be, that He will instead be a passive man Who will not bring harm to any of His children and Who loves us even more dearly than Jesus did?

Your student,

Haridhan

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Answer: Vedic Predictions Are Always Accurate...

There cannot be any discrepancies in the Vedic predictions. Therefore Kalki Avatar will indeed appear at the end of the Kali yuga 427,000 years from now and annihilate the demons. The predictions are so accurate that His father's name and His village name are also predicted. The planet earth will at that time be in a state of total chaos. The entire human population will be reduced to the size of pygmies and they will all be cannibals engaged in killing and eating each other. Kalki Avatar's killing will be an expression of His unlimited love because anyone who is killed by Him receives immediate salvation. Because their brains will be too dull to comprehend transcendental knowledge, instead of preaching to them the Lord will mercifully deliver them by killing them. And then after they are annihilated a new golden age, the Satya Yuga, will begin.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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