Thought for the Day

Featuring realizations and selected correspondence of
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Saturday 30 June 2007

from Houston Airport (IAH)
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Today's Thought:

Inquire from the Spiritual Master

For those who are serious about attaining perfection on the self-realization path there is no greater teaching than the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In this greatest of all guidebooks Lord Sri Krishna gives all the information necessary for one to quickly and easily attain the topmost platform of expanded consciousness, pure love of God. One of the Gita's most important principles is described in Chapter Four:

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


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

Because of the importance of being able to inquire from the spiritual master and receive answers, the spiritual master works very hard to answer thoroughly and lovingly all sincere inquiries that are put forward to him. If the disciples take full advantage of this mercy of the spiritual master, they will quickly gain a clear understanding of the Bhagavad-gita and be able to properly follow its sublime guidelines.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Bhava and Prema...

In the Bhagavad-gita Chapter 4, Text 10 Srila Prabhupada says:

"The last stage of devotional life is called bhava, or transcendental love of Godhead".

In the same purport, according with the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu(1.4.15-16) bhava is defined as the preliminary stage of transcendental love of God. Real love for God is called prema, the highest perfectional stage of life.

Could you explain why in the same purport we call bhava both the preliminary stage and the last stage of devotion in the same purport?

What is the difference between bhava and prema?

Is it enough to reach bhava to love God?

Thank you kindly for your every day e-mails, best way for me to have Krishna katha (topics of Krishna).

Respectfully your humble servitor.
J. Raul Cardenas

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Answer: Nectar and Highly Condensed Nectar...

Bhava and prema are both considered to be on the final stage. Bhava is the beginning of that final stage, when ecstatic emotion fully awakens within the heart.

In this regard Srila Prabhupada explains bhava as follows:

"The bhava stage is manifested by eight transcendental symptoms, namely inertness, perspiration, standing of hairs on end, failing in the voice, trembling, paleness of the body, tears in the eyes and finally trance. "  purport to SB 2.3.24

The difference between bhava and prema is described as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

samyan-masrnita-svanto
mamatvatisayankitah
bhavah sa eva sandratma
budhaih prema nigadyate


"When that bhava softens the heart completely, becomes endowed with a great feeling of possessiveness in relation to the Lord and becomes very much condensed and intensified, it is called prema [love of Godhead] by learned scholars."--Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 23.7

Since bhava is love of God in its preliminary stage, once one attains bhava he should continue advancing to prema, the perfection of bhava.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 29 June 2007

from ISKCON Vancouver, Canada
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Today's Thought:

Saved from Material Existence

A devotee of the Lord is never afraid. He is always free from fear because he is always protected by the Lord. Even if he is living in the blazing inferno of this material existence, he is never scorched by its flames as he is always under the protection of the cooling mercy of Lord Sri Krishna. He takes full advantage of the association of the spiritual master, who is the mercy manifestation of the Lord.

Any person who is burning in the flames of material existence can be blessed with the rain of mercy of the Lord through the transparent medium of the self-realized spiritual master. Simply by his words, the spiritual master enters into the heart of the suffering person and injects transcendental knowledge, which alone saves him from the all-devouring fire of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do We Know God Exists?


I have a question for you. How do we know God exists? How can you prove it?

Thanks,

Aratidia

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Answer: How Could God Not Exist?

I am very happy that you are inquiring how we can know that God exists. My question for you is, "How could God cannot exist?"

Are you the Complete Whole, the Total Existence? Or are you a part of it? Because you are not the Complete Whole and are only a part of it, you are only conscious of the pains and pleasures in your body. The Complete Whole, the Total Existence, on the other hand, is conscious of the pains and pleasures within all living beings.

How can we deny the reality of the Complete Whole, the Total existence, when we are living within it at every moment? That would be a most preposterous proposition. Only a mindless fool would deny the existence of the Complete Whole. So we must first, on the basis of common sense observation, accept the reality of the Complete Whole, the Total Existence.

And the next step is then to understand the nature of that Complete Whole. It is described as follows in the Sri Isopanisad:

om purnam adah purnam idam
purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya
purnam evavasisyate

"The Personality of Godhead is perfect and complete, and because He is completely perfect, all emanations from Him, such as this phenomenal world, are perfectly equipped as complete wholes. Whatever is produced of the Complete Whole is also complete in itself. Because He is the Complete Whole, even though so many complete units emanate from Him, He remains the complete balance."
--Sri Isopanisad Invocation

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 28 June 2007

from ISKCON Vancouver, Canada
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Today's Thought:

The Greatest Opportunity


On Tuesday 26 June 2007 here in British Columbia, Canada I spoke on the science of self-realization at Simon Fraser University. I explained to the students how of all the sciences the self-realization science is the most important, that there should be a self-realization department in every university throughout the world.

After all, how can a student meaningfully map out his career plans when he does not even know who he is? This is one of the most asinine aspects of our modern so-called educational system. We expect the students to get all excited about a career, but we do not give them even the foggiest idea about who they are. And then we wonder why they bring a gun to campus and start shooting everyone in sight. It's time we start putting the horse before cart.

Therefore I took the invitation I received to speak at Simon Fraser University as the greatest opportunity to help bring about a brighter future for the human society. I pray that my explanation of the self-realization will have a profound impact on their lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Mercy Killing Justified?

Could you please enlighten me on what the scriptures say about killing of animals generally and more specifically to put an end to their suffering?

In the West animal shelters humanely euthanize dogs and cats. Is this right from the spiritual point of view?

If it is wrong to practice mercy killing, then what is the justification to see the prolonged suffering of the animal? Do animals have karma?

Thank you and Hare Krishna!

Rajen

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Answer: Humane Killing?

It is a very noble ideal to want to relieve living beings from their suffering. If we have a desire to do this, it is very nice. But we must learn how to do it properly so that we do not prolong their suffering or increase their suffering. Every living being in each species has an allotted amount of suffering and enjoyment it is meant to experience in that species. Once that is finished, they then move on to the next higher species on the evolutionary ladder. In this way they gradually move up to the human form in which they revive their original divine consciousness and once and for all escape the cycle of birth and death.

Euthanasia simply postpones their misery and delays that time when they can become completely free from all suffering by becoming a self-realized soul. Therefore if we really want to do good for others we should give them Krishna consciousness, not euthanasia. We should let them hear the holy names of the Lord and taste Krishna prasadam. These are beneficial for the spiritual emancipation of all souls whether they are embodied in a human form, an animal form, or a plant form.

If someone came to kill you humanely would you accept it?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 27 June 2007

from ISKCON Vancouver, Canada
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Today's Thought:

Self-Realization is Practical

Here in Burnaby, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver, is a most sublime community of highly advanced transcendentalists, devotees of Lord Krishna. To be here living in their association for several days is a most enlivening experience. At 4:30am we all gather in the temple (pictured above) to celebrate the most auspicious mangal arati ceremony, worship Tulasi devi, chant our daily quota of 16 rounds on japa beads, offer guru puja, and study the Srimad Bhagavatam. Then everyone takes breakfast together and proceeds on to their daily duties either doing service at the temple or working at outside jobs to cover their maintenance and give financial support to the temple. This is self-realization in practice by an entire spiritual family of devotees. Self-realization is not mere theorizing. It is practical, just like these devotees here are doing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Vegetarian Diet Clarification...

First let me introduce my self I am a Muslim, resident of India and working for a software company. I have been regularly getting your Q & A mails from my colleague and I have really developed keen interest towards teachings and concepts about consciousness. The most interesting thing about your messages are that is very universal in appeal and scientific and this got me hooked on to it.

I request you to clarify and enlighten further on your answer on the topic of "Why should an individual should consume vegetarian food".  And i quote your specific sentence which i feel is specific to a sect or religion and thus does not apply to everyone "So if we want to be pure in our eating, we must first offer our food to the Lord before we consume it".

I am not convinced by the answer you provided here as i feel it is specific for the people who are members or followers of ISKCON. And according to me this is not a non sectarian and scientific explanation to convenience a person who is not associated to ISKCON.

My colleague could not give me an convincing reply which he usually gives and has thus asked me to contact you.

I find all your other explanations and examples very scientific and universal except the one mentioned above. I am sure you will help me to understand your explanation.

Thanking you in anticipation.
Best Regards,

Tanveer

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Answer: Compassion is Non-Sectarian...

I am very happy to hear that you are appreciating our presentation of the science of God. One of our leading saints is Namacharya Srila Haridas Thakur, who comes from your Muslim community.

Compassion is a universal non-sectarian principle. If you think eating an animal is an act of compassion just imagine if you were the animal and someone came to kill you and eat you.

Meat eating is allowed in the Bible, the Koran, and in the Vedas but under restriction. This is for those low class persons who lack compassion so that they can gradually make some spiritual advancement. But the saintly class of men always show compassion to all living beings and give up the consumption of flesh and blood.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 26 June 2007

En route to Vancouver,  BC,  Canada
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Today's Thought:

Don't Cheat Yourself


You've come too far in the evolutionary process, the transmigration of the soul through 8,000,000 different species, to waste this rarest of all opportunities, the human form of life. Don't allow yourself to become sidetracked by the fulfillment of material desires. Your material desires are going to get fulfilled anyway by the arrangement of nature. Does the elephant in the African jungle have to make any big arrangement for fulfilling his desires? No, he does not have to. Whatever he needs is already there by God's arrangement. So do you think God is more partial to the elephant than He is the human being? So instead of putting all of your energy into fulfilling your material desires, put the bare minimum into this instead. The balance energy should then be invested in the activity of awakening your dormant enlightened consciousness, your Krishna consciousness, Christ consciousness, Allah consciousness, or Buddha consciousness. In this way your human life will not be wasted. You will attain the supreme perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can We Kill Plants?

Respected Sir,

We know that Krishna wants us to offer him vegetarian food because He does not want us to kill any living entity. But since plants have life too how can we kill plants?

Yours faithfully,

Naveen

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Answer: We Cannot Unless...

Killing plants is also sinful. The karmic reaction for killing a plant is that you have to become a plant. Someone could ask then, "If by eating anything you get a karmic reaction, shouldn't we then fast until death so we avoid accumulating any karma?" Even if one does that he will still accrue karma by breathing, because every time we inhale we kill so many microbial germs. So what to do?

Krishna gives us a way out of the never-ending wheel of karma. All we have to do is surrender unto Him by following His instructions. He tells us that if we offer Him with love and devotion those foods which He has allotted for us (vegetarian foods), that such eating is sinless and will free us from all our past sins. The souls of any plants that are offered to Krishna receive the special benediction of being accelerated on their evolution to the human form.

We cannot get the same result from offering Him meat, fish, and eggs because He has not authorized us to offer Him foods from these categories.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 25 June 2007

from Denver, Colorado
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Today's Thought:

Backlogged on Emails

Due to having my computer inoperable for a couple of days last week and to being on the road on another lecture series, I am extremely backlogged on answering my emails. I cannot rush through them answering them simply with a quick comment. I must deeply consider the needs of the inquirer and reply in the most thoughtful, complete, and compassionate way possible. So it will take some time for me to catch up. This is an opportunity for all those who are waiting for answers to develop the quality of patience, one of the greatest virtues on the pathway of spiritual perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Mind and Intellect...

As always,  am very grateful for helping us get close to Krishna with your wonderful thought for the day. Could you please explain the difference between intellect and intelligence...and also the difference between mind and intellect? I sincerely appreciate your response and thank you for your time.

Your humble student,

Uma

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Answer: Driving Instrument and the Driver...

Intelligence and intellect are synonyms. The relationship between the mind and the intelligence is described in the following verses:

atmanam rathinam viddhi
sariram ratham eva ca
buddhim tu sarathim viddhi
manah pragraham eva ca

indriyani hayan ahur
visayams tesu gocaran
atmendriya-mano-yuktam
bhoktety ahur manisinah


"The individual is the passenger in the car of the material body, and intelligence is the driver. Mind is the driving instrument, and the senses are the horses. The self is thus the enjoyer or sufferer in the association of the mind and senses. So it is understood by great thinkers." --Katha Upanisad 1.3.3-4

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 24 June 2007

from Vail, Colorado
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Today's Thought:

Spiritual Unity Conference in Vail

On Friday evening 22 June here in Vail, Colorado I was the opening speaker at a spiritual unity conference. The noble goal of the conference, expertly organized by Andrew Waters (one of our readers), was to promote unity in an age of increasing fragmentation and conflict. Although I addressed the issue of global conflict resolution explaining how the respiritualization of the entire human society was the only practical means for achieving this end, the other speakers (a Buddhist, a Christian, and a Muslim) did not tie in their presentations with the goal of the conference.

We were told such things as the purpose of life is unknowable (by the Buddhist), we have to wait 50,000 years to enter into Paradise (by the Muslim), and that killing animals is not prohibited by God (by the Christian).

But if we don't know our purpose as the Buddhist explained, how can we function at all, how can we do anything? We would be like a ship without a rudder. The Vedic wisdom clearly and intelligently describes the purpose of our existence. This is practical.

And if God is compassionate and merciful, as our Muslim speaker explained, why would He make us wait for 50,000 years to enter paradise? A Krishna conscious person can enter into paradise immediately even while he is still living within his present material body. The Muslim gentleman also said that we should kill animals in such a that they do not suffer. But that is not possible. Being killed is a miserable experience. It does not matter whether the knife is sharp or dull.

How we can establish that God does not prohibit killing, as the Christian minister explained, when God directly states in the Bible, "Thou shalt not kill"? How can we ever have global conflict resolution as long was we continue to cruelly inflict suffering upon the innocent animals in the slaughterhouses? It is not possible. What goes around, comes around. As you sow, so shall you reap.

It was very clear to see from this conference that if we are actually going to bring about global conflict resolution, we certainly have our work cut out for us. But because Krishna is indeed the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His teachings, if widely disseminated and clearly understood, will in fact respiritualize the entire planetary society. We have simply to continue practicing and presenting His sublime teachings with sincerity and with intelligence to everyone. Everyone will be the winners.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Vegetarian / Non-Vegetarian...

Respected Sir,

Respectfully it is submitted that the verse your good self quoted from the Bhagavad-gita according to my understanding emphasizes on the love and devotion towards Krishna. And if things such as a leaf, flower, fruit or water are offered with love and devotion it is acceptable to Him instead of heavy or expensive food or items without any spirit of love and devotion. And just to show of the world, even if the vegetarian food is offered without the spirit of love and affection it is not acceptable to Him as Krishna only sees the heart and not the show offs. Moreover He does not say not to offer or ban the consumption of meat, fish, or eggs. I think if this stuff is also offered to Him with love or devotion He will not refuse it. After all, these are His creations made for the benefit of humanity.

Thanks and regards,

Azhar

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Answer: Meat is Prohibited...

If Krishna had wanted us to offer Him meat, fish, and eggs, He would have asked for them. He specifically requested foods from the vegetarian category. This point is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

na dadyad amisam sraddhe
na cadyad dharma-tattvavit
muny-annaih syat para pritir
yatha na pasu-himsaya

"A person fully aware of religious principles should never offer anything like meat, eggs or fish in the sraddha ceremony, and even if one is a ksatriya, he himself should not eat such things. When suitable food prepared with ghee is offered to saintly persons, the function is pleasing to the forefathers and the Supreme Lord, who are never pleased when animals are killed in the name of sacrifice."  --Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.8

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 23 June 2007

from Vail, Colorado
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Today's Thought:

Be First Class

In the Vedic social system there are four classes of men. The brahmanas (priestly, intellectual class) are considered first class. The ksatriyas (warrior, administrator class) are considered second class. The vaishyas (entrepreneurial, productive class) third class, and the sudras (worker class) fourth class. It does not matter where one is situated according to one's occupation, if one is transcendentally situated on the platform of devotional service to the Supreme Person, one is automatically considered to be a brahmana, a first-class human being, because anyone situated in devotional service automatically realizes what is Brahman, the Absolute Truth.

In this connection the Srimad Bhagavatam describes as follows:

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


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

So there is no need to work one's way up the social ladder. All we have to do is become Krishna conscious. Then immediately we become a narottama, a first class human being.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Offering Hotel Food to Krishna...

You are delivering me out from this material world very fast by your beautiful lessons. After reading the questions and answers about the vegetarian diets that should be first offered to Krishna with love, my doubt is when a person takes vegetarian food from a vegetarian hotel sometimes prepared by nondevotees, can he offer the food to Krishna with love? If he can, what will be his prayer for offering?

Thanking you,

Harikrishnan

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Answer: Better to Avoid Such Foods...

As far as possible one should avoid taking even vegetarian food that has been prepared by nondevotees because the consciousness of the cook goes into the foodstuffs. If we eat food cooked by devotees, that food helps us to become Krishna conscious. But, if we eat foods cooked by non-devotees this pollutes our consciousness.

Although I am flying regularly all over the world and the airlines nowadays have vegetarian dinners available, I never take the meal offered to me by the airlines. I am satisfied to eat whatever prasadam* that I am able to bring on the airplane with me.

If under emergency condition you are sometimes forced to eat in a restaurant, it is better to simply take salad because that has not been cooked. If you have no other option for getting your meal, then you should beg Krishna's forgiveness, chant the Hare Krishna mantra, and beg the Lord to accept it. But this must be avoided as much as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

*Editor's note: Prasadam is vegetarian foods that have prepared by devotees and offered to Lord Krishna with love and devotion. Krishna instructs in the Bhagavad-gita that devotees should only eat prasadam.
 
Friday 22 June 2007

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

Renounce the World or Save the World?

There are two classes of transcendentalists: those whose only desire is to renounce the world and those whose endeavor is to save the world.

Those who are simply trying to renounce the world undergo great penances and austerities in their attempt to do so, but in spite of this, they often fall from the rigid path because of deep-seated difficult-to-overcome material desires.

On the other hand, those who are trying to save others from illusion by spreading the science of devotion all over the world, even though often undergoing difficulties, taste an inconceivably sweet nectar, which completely dwarfs all forms of worldly pleasure. Therefore such spiritual revolutionaries are already liberated from all material desires.

So by comparative analysis we can easily see it is better to dedicate our lives fully to global respiritualization because by doing so, one attains the platform which includes and goes beyond mere renunciation of this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof of Gita's Legitimacy?


In most of the lectures of ISKCON, the writings of the Gita are taken to be absolute truth. I wanted to ask, "What is the proof of the Gita's legitimacy?".

Abhinav

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Answer: There Are Many Proofs...

There are many ways to understand the authenticity of the Bhagavad-gita.

The first point is that it was directly spoken by the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. This makes it automatically more authoritative than any other words that have ever been spoken in all eternity.

The fact that this most famous of all conversations was dictated by Vedavyasa, the compiler of the Vedic wisdom, and written down by Ganesh, adds even more weight to its credibility.

Also the fact that that the renowned acharya, Sripad Sankaracharya, who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva, has written a commentary on the Bhagavad-gita, lends more weight to its credibility.

And then, the fact that Krishna Himself appearing in the form of His own devotee, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, also accepted and promoted the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, gives it even more weight.

Further evidence is that the most empowered acharya in history for spreading spiritual enlightenment all over the world, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has also reconfirmed the legitimacy of the Gita and stressed its absolute importance.

And the reality that by carefully following the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita one becomes qualified to directly meet God face-to-face, eye-to-eye, absolutely proves that it is not only bona fide, but also most highly effective.

There are many more ways to substantiate the authority of the Bhagavad-gita. What I have given here is the mere tip of the iceberg. If you would like to delve deeper and deeper into the topmost science of Bhagavad-gita, I humbly request you to carefully study Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 21 June 2007

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

Divine Awakening


We should never allow ourselves to be so caught up in the nitty-gritty of every day existence that we forget what is the purpose of all of this. There is far more to existence than what most people comprehend. A passionate life of material progress, no matter how successfully executed, will ultimately prove to be a source of frustration for us because everything material that we have accumulated will eventually be taken away. We cannot keep anything. So why should we work so hard for something that we cannot keep? It does not make sense. We should instead focus our energies on attaining that which lies far, far beyond this temporary material existence. We should instead focus our energies on awakening our original eternal divine consciousness, our Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Free Will or Krishna's Plan?

All glories unto you! Thank you once again for reminding me of matters most important, every day, tirelessly, and mercilessly hacking away at the nonsense clouding my intelligence.

Maharaja, it is completely miraculous... how specifically your discussions fit perfectly into what I am seeking. Yes, that seems to be Krishna's plan, He gives me the exact instruction to clear my doubts, through you, my teacher.

But, in this context, I have a question:

1. We have free will, we choose to go closer to Krishna or away from Him, do things for Him or for ourselves...

2. All that happens is Krishna's plan, and nothing is by chance.

How can one reconcile the above 2 points? If I have free will, then Krishna doesn't have a plan because if my will is really free, how would He know what I'm going to do? If he has a plan, and my so-called free will is only a facet of His plan, then my will is under His control, not really free.

Please clear my ignorance with the kindness of your instruction.

Humbly,

Milind

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Answer: Both...

Both points are true. Everything is happening by Krishna's arrangement, and at the same time we have the free will to be part of Krishna's plan or to rebel against Krishna's plan. Of course, even if we try to rebel we are still under His plan. We are just under a different aspect of it. We can voluntarily agree to be the under the wonderful spiritual nature, which is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. Or by stubbornly trying to be independent we can be under the control of the material nature and experience instead temporality, ignorance, and misery.

Just as a nation has a system of government under which all of its citizens live. Everyone is under the national government. At the same time everyone is free to obey the laws or disobey the laws. Those who choose to disobey the laws are still under the law. They must go to the prison and be subjected to a most unpleasant set of laws. Those who voluntarily agree to abide by the laws of the state live a happy life full of so many freedoms even though it is all done within the context of the state laws.

So we have a choice, whether we would like to be law abiding citizens of God's eternal kingdom, or whether we would to try to prove that we are so-called independent and end up in the prison of material existence until we come to our senses and realize we should get out of this nasty place and go back to our original home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 20 June 2007

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

What Could Be Better than This?

No matter how hard we try to enjoy this material world we can never be fully satisfied because we are in prison. How happy can you be when you are in prison? The only real happiness you can have while you are in prison is to be in process of getting out of prison. That's why if you want actual happiness, factual happiness, you must take seriously to the self-realization path. You do not really have any other choice. Anything besides that is simply a continuation of your prison existence. And that is not a very hopeful option.

The good news is that if you are at all serious about the self-realization path, the Lord within your heart will bring you into direct contact with a bona fide spiritual master who will then enlighten you with transcendental knowledge and show you the way out of this quagmire. You will be led by the spiritual master into higher and higher dimensions of transcendental bliss for all of eternity. What could be better than this?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Considered Chanting?


Is saying the Hare Krishna maha-mantra while working or performing chores also considered chanting or is it only when using the beads?

Your humble servant

Jaya

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Answer: Vibrating the Holy Names on Your Lips...

In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna says that we are to chant His names 24 hours a day. Whether we chant with beads or without beads it is still considered chanting. However, if we want to realize the full benefit of the holy names for completely freeing our hearts from all material desires, we must devote at least two hours daily to intensely chanting the holy names on japa beads without diverting our consciousness to anything else. In this connection Srila Prabhupada states in his Caitanya-caritamrita purport:

"Although Madhavendra Puri was not interested in eating and sleeping, his interest in chanting the maha-mantra was as acute as if he were an aspiring transcendentalist rather than a paramahamsa. This means that even in the paramahamsa stage, one cannot give up chanting. Haridasa Thakura and the Gosvamis were all engaged in chanting a fixed number of rounds; therefore chanting on beads is very important for everyone, even though one may become a paramahamsa. This chanting can be executed anywhere, either inside or outside the temple."
---from purport Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 4.125

So whether one is a paramhamsa, a highly elevated transcendentalist or a beginner everyone is meant to take advantage of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra or any other bona fide names of God on chanting beads, japa beads.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 19 June 2007

from Houston, Texas Airport (IAH)
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Today's Thought:

The Pre-eminent Acharya


Out of his unlimited compassion upon the illusioned souls of this world the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna comes here again and again to deliver them from delusion. He enlightens them in the science of how they can regain their original identities as eternal inhabitants of the spiritual world. And even when the Lord does not personally come He mercifully sends His representatives, the bona fide spiritual masters, who carry His divine potency (Krishna-sakti), and teach the bhakti science for the deliverance of the entire human society.

Although throughout the ages there are many such divinely empowered spiritual masters, from time to time a very special acharya will appear. Such an acharya is addressed by the title "Prabhupada", the master at whose feet all masters sit. Such a pre-eminent acharya is my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Parivrajakacharya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Tridandi Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada accomplished what no other acharya has ever accomplished. He was able within the brief time span of eleven years to spread the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. Previously it was only spread throughout India. This was accomplished five centuries ago by the Supreme Lord Himself appearing in the form of His own devotee, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Even though in 1977 Srila Prabhupada physically departed from this mortal world, he remains fully present with us in the form of the society he started, ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Because he has fully endowed ISKCON with his own divine potency for delivering the entire world from chaos, it is his ISKCON which will go down in history for having saved the world from its darkest hour of despair. Just as Srila Prabhupada is the pre-eminent acharya of this age, so his society, ISKCON, is the pre-eminent spiritual institution for bringing about a consciousness-awakening revolution on this planet.

Kindly take advantage of this Krishna consciousness movement today for your own enlightenment and the enlightenment of all others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Will Krishna Remove Obstacles?


My obeisances to Sankarshan Das Adhikari and all his pupils and all Vaisnavas! All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I want to preach Krishna Consciousness and because of your blessings and the infinite mercy of Krishna people are getting japa beads and they are starting their spiritual life.

Many appreciate me, but some try to stop me. Will Krishna help me from these obstacles and allow my humble duty to proceed?

Hare Krishna

-Gayathri

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Answer: If You Strictly Follow...

If you remain firm in your determination to be Krishna conscious and spread it to others, Krishna will remove all obstacles from your pathway. This is confirmed as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

yatra yogesvarah krsno
yatra partho dhanur-dharah
tatra srir vijayo bhutir
dhruva nitir matir mama


"Wherever there is Krishna, the master of all mystics, and wherever there is Arjuna, the supreme archer, there will also certainly be opulence, victory, extraordinary power, and morality. That is my opinion."  ---Bhagavad-gita 18.78

In other words, if you remain always strict in your practice of Krishna consciousness by chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads daily and always avoiding the four pillars of sinful life (illicit sex life, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling) you will be empowered by Krishna to spread His sweet mercy to many, many souls who are currently drowning deep in the ocean of delusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 18 June 2007

from ISKCON Columbus, Ohio
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Today's Thought:

The Supreme Cannot be Devoid of Selfness


Self-realization means not only to realize who you are. It means to also realize Who is the Supreme Self. Since the individual self only exists in relationship with the Supreme Self, there is no way to become self-realized which does not include realizing the Supreme Self.

Some seekers of spiritual enlightenment mistakenly theorize that the Supreme is devoid of personality, that it does not have selfness or selfhood. But nothing could be further from the truth. Since we see that so many personalities exist throughout the creation, we can understand that just as a gold-yielding goldmine must necessarily possess gold, similarly the ultimate fountainhead of all energies, from which all of these selves emanate, must also necessarily possess selfness.

Therefore genuine self-realization means to reconnect with that original Self, the Supreme Self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Tools for Improved Chanting?


Sometimes while repeating Maha-Mantra I make a lot of aparadhas (offenses) and I feel not good because of it. I cannot understand why one day all with my japa is ok but another day it seems to be terrible however there is not any visible reasons. Are there some additional tools which help to make my repeating of the Maha-mantra clearer?

Your servant

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Answer: Serve Pure Vaisnavas...

I am very happy to hear that you are endeavoring to improve the quality of your chanting. Because your taste for chanting has not yet become mature you sometimes become very distracted from chanting. The Srimad Bhagavatam gives the perfect answer to your question as follows:

susrusoh sraddadhanasya
vasudeva-katha-rucih
syan mahat-sevaya viprah
punya-tirtha-nisevanat


"O twice-born sages, by serving those devotees who are completely freed from all vice, great service is done. By such service, one gains affinity for hearing the messages of Vasudeva."
----Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.16

In other words, if you will as much as possible serve pure Vaisnavas the Hare Krishna mantra will naturally be experienced by you in an ever-increasingly wonderful way. The Hare Krishna mantra will gradually become so amazingly sweet that your mind will naturally gravitate towards it 24 hours daily just as the River Ganges naturally flows to the Bay of Bengal.

So whenever you take the opportunity to associate with and serve those who are purely practicing the science of bhakti, you must take advantage of this. This will greatly facilitate the awakening of the dormant bhakti which is currently sleeping within your heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 17 June 2007

from ISKCON Columbus, Ohio
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Today's Thought:

Initiation in Columbus


On the morning of Saturday 16 June 2007 here in Columbus, Ohio at ISKCON's Krishna House center another most fortunate soul was initiated into our Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Prabhupada Sampradaya. I accepted Bhakta Josh, a college student who is preparing to become a teacher, as my duly initiated disciple. Henceforward he is to be known as Jagannath Das.

There is nothing more auspicious than that moment when we fully surrender to Lord Krishna by taking complete shelter of his authorized representative, the bona fide spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada explains that if we firmly stick to our initiation vows, from the very moment of our initiation our deathlessness begins.

I am now serving as an initiating guru for thirty-four devotees and that number is gradually growing. Today after initiating Jagannath Das I remembered that simply wonderful time back in 1971 when I fully surrendered myself at the lotus feet of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He gave me the name Sankarshan Das, and instructed me to make my life perfect by fully dedicating it to doing the highest welfare work of giving Krishna consciousness to others. By his mercy I have been given the opportunity to absorb my life fully in this highest of all missionary activities. I remain ever indebted to him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Chanting On New Initiate's Japa Beads

Fire Sacrifice Ceremony for Initiation

Blissful Jagannath Das


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Krishna Reward Us for Raising Our Children to Be Kind to Others?


I was wondering if someone spends a lot of time teaching their children and caring for them and even being "proud" of their progress, is this a self-serving, materialistic goal or does Krishna look favorably upon this? I am a father of two small sons and I try not to look upon them as accomplishments or trophies but I am happy to be their father and hope that I win Krishna's favor by being good to them and teaching them how to be kind to others. Is there a reward for this?

Chris

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Answer: The Ultimate Kindness...

Raising children to be kind to others is an activity in the mode of goodness. Such a mood is a favorable mood for progressing further to the transcendental platform, but it is not a substitute for it.

The duty of the father is to raise the children in such a way that they will not take birth again. Being kind to others is very nice, but it obliges us to take birth again to be repaid for the kindness that we gave to others in our previous lifetime. However, if we give to others the ultimate kindness of Krishna consciousness, we will be delivered from the cycle of birth and death and the people we give Krishna consciousness to will also be delivered. Therefore Krishna consciousness is the ultimate kindness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 16 June 2007

from the Houston, Texas Airport (IAH) en route to Columbus, Ohio
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Today's Thought:

If You Want Actual Relief


The perfection of consciousness is to see everything in relationship with the Supreme Lord. Such a vision is not artificial because everything, being the Lord's emanated energy, is naturally related with Him. In this regard Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 10.13.53 as follows:

"...everything is part and parcel of Krishna and is acting and moving by the supreme desire of Krishna. This understanding, this consciousness, is Krishna consciousness."

What a wonderful vision this is! This means that nothing is happening by chance. Everything is happening under the divine direction of the all merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore if we constantly take shelter of Him, we have nothing to fear under any circumstances. This same point is made in the Bible:

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me."

As soon as we start to see everything in relationship with the Supreme Lord, we become naturally blissful and full of love for all beings:

yas tu sarvani bhutany
atmany evanupasyati
sarva-bhutesu catmanam
tato na vijugupsate


"He who sees systematically everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within everything never hates anything or any being." --Sri Isopanisad Mantra 6

To perfect this self-realization science is the perfection of our existence. While technological advancement can make things more convenient for us in this world, it will never put a stop to the repetition of birth, death, old age, and disease. If you want relief from these four miserable conditions of material existence, you must wholeheartedly dedicate yourself to the self-realization process.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:  How to Know What Krishna Wants?


I am 100% convinced that only vegetarian foods can be offered to Lord Sri Krishna. Although, while reading your reply, a number of questions kept arising in my mind.

In my current state, my consciousness is not yet 100% devotional. It is surviving due to the fact you have emphasized that with spiritual gain follows material gain.

While chanting my mind is running through the house, to the chores and other things. Is this any good?

Secondly, how can I know what Lord Krishna wants from me?


with regards

Anant

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Answer:  From the Spiritual Master, Scriptures, and Saintly Devotees...

I always recommend that my students complete at least 16 rounds of japa mala before sunrise because during this sattvic period of day the mind is far less likely to become distracted by thoughts of the day's activities.

We know what Krishna wants us to do by consulting with the spiritual master. Just like if you go to work for a company, how do you know what the owner of the company expects of you in your job? You are trained by your immediate supervisor how to do everything in such a way that the owner is pleased. In the same way, we have to learn how to please Krishna by all of our thoughts, words, and deeds through the training that we receive from the spiritual master, the sastras (scriptures), and the Lord's devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 15 June 2007

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

Tuning in to the Supreme


The ether is full of thousands of subtle waves. Just consider all of the TV shows, radio shows, and mobile phone conversations that are being transmitted through the atmosphere at every minute. It's inconceivable, but yet with the suitable reception equipment you can watch so many TV shows, hear so many radio programs, or participate in so many telephone calls. Similarly with the proper equipment properly utilized you can tune into the supreme live broadcast from the spiritual world and even enter into it and become a part of it. You already have the proper equipment, your consciousness. Now all you have to do is learn how to properly utilize your consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna is In and Not In Everything?


In the 13 June 2007 "Thought for the Day" you quoted this verse:

yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na pranasyati

"For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me." --Bhagavad-gita 6.30

But in BG 9.4, Lord Krishna says:

maya tatam idam sarvam
jagad avyakta-mūrtina
mat-sthani sarva-bhutani
na caham tesv avasthitah


"By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them."

So should we also consider that Krishna is not in everything simultaneously? Please help me understand the differences between these 2 verses.

Thank you very much.

Your aspiring servant,

Bhaktivinode das

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Answer: Here's How...

Yes, it is a fact that Krishna is within everything and not within everything, both at the same time.

It may appear contradictory that Krishna in one verse says that He is everywhere and in another describes that He is not present within the living beings. We also know from other verses that Krishna is present within all beings as the Supersoul.

So what could Krishna possibly mean when He says that He is not within the living beings?

He is saying that although He is everywhere, He is simultaneously aloof from this material creation. This is something like a wealthy factory owner who has set up the managerial systems in his factory so expertly that every employee feels his presence and does his job expertly even though the factory owner is aloof from the day to day activities on the assembly line while he is somewhere else engaged in other activities such as meeting with dignitaries, etc. Of course any employee who is very keen to have a personal relationship with the owner can, by sincere service, become his intimate associate and even be allowed to participate in the owner's private family affairs.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Thursday 14 June 2007

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

Ultimate Happiness


The entire material world is working under the principle of material sense gratification, subtle and gross. This is the motivating factor for everything, inspiring everyone to work hard. But someone who is fixed in Krishna consciousness is inspired to work even harder for the ultimate happiness of pleasing the Supreme Lord. Such transcendental happiness is not imaginary. It is more tangible than any amount of material happiness. It is described as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

bahya-sparsesv asaktatma
vindaty atmani yat sukham
sa brahma-yoga-yuktatma
sukham aksayam asnute

"Such a liberated person is not attracted to material sense pleasure but is always in trance, enjoying the pleasure within. In this way the self-realized person enjoys unlimited happiness, for he concentrates on the Supreme." --Bhagavad-gita 5.21

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Support for Vegetarian Diet
...

This query is to one of your replies to the question wherein asked what is a better diet, vegetarian or non- vegetarian.

I am 99% satisfied with your answer. The remaining 1% I request you to clarify my doubt. All your replies are supported by a purport from the Bhagavad Gita with the appropriate verse number? Can you give me the purport from the Bhagavad Gita where Lord Sri Krishna's menu is given clearly eliminating non vegetarian foods?

Your humble unintelligent devotee,

Anant

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Answer: Bhagavad-gita Verse and Purport...

Here is the verse and purport:

patram puspam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami prayatatmanah


"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." Bhagavad-gita 9:26

Purport by Srila Prabhupada

For the intelligent person, it is essential to be in Krishna consciousness, engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, in order to achieve a permanent, blissful abode for eternal happiness. The process of achieving such a marvelous result is very easy and can be attempted even by the poorest of the poor, without any kind of qualification. The only qualification required in this connection is to be a pure devotee of the Lord. It does not matter what one is or where one is situated. The process is so easy that even a leaf or a little water or fruit can be offered to the Supreme Lord in genuine love and the Lord will be pleased to accept it. No one, therefore, can be barred from Krishna consciousness, because it is so easy and universal. Who is such a fool that he does not want to be Krishna conscious by this simple method and thus attain the highest perfectional life of eternity, bliss and knowledge? Krishna wants only loving service and nothing more. Krishna accepts even a little flower from His pure devotee. He does not want any kind of offering from a nondevotee. He is not in need of anything from anyone, because He is self-sufficient, and yet He accepts the offering of His devotee in an exchange of love and affection. To develop Krishna consciousness is the highest perfection of life. Bhakti is mentioned twice in this verse in order to declare more emphatically that bhakti, or devotional service, is the only means to approach Krishna. No other condition, such as becoming a brahmana, a learned scholar, a very rich man or a great philosopher, can induce Krishna to accept some offering. Without the basic principle of bhakti, nothing can induce the Lord to agree to accept anything from anyone. Bhakti is never causal. The process is eternal. It is direct action in service to the absolute whole.

Here Lord Krishna, having established that He is the only enjoyer, the primeval Lord and the real object of all sacrificial offerings, reveals what types of sacrifices He desires to be offered. If one wishes to engage in devotional service to the Supreme in order to be purified and to reach the goal of life -- the transcendental loving service of God -- then one should find out what the Lord desires of him. One who loves Krishna will give Him whatever He wants, and he avoids offering anything which is undesirable or unasked. Thus meat, fish and eggs should not be offered to Krishna. If He desired such things as offerings, He would have said so. Instead He clearly requests that a leaf, fruit, flowers and water be given to Him, and He says of this offering, "I will accept it."

Therefore, we should understand that He will not accept meat, fish and eggs.

Vegetables, grains, fruits, milk and water are the proper foods for human beings and are prescribed by Lord Krishna Himself. Whatever else we eat cannot be offered to Him, since He will not accept it. Thus we cannot be acting on the level of loving devotion if we offer such foods.

In the Third Chapter, verse thirteen, Sri Krishna explains that only the remains of sacrifice are purified and fit for consumption by those who are seeking advancement in life and release from the clutches of the material entanglement.

Those who do not make an offering of their food, He says in the same verse, are eating only sin. In other words, their every mouthful is simply deepening their involvement in the complexities of material nature. But preparing nice, simple vegetable dishes, offering them before the picture or Deity of Lord Krishna and bowing down and praying for Him to accept such a humble offering enables one to advance steadily in life, to purify the body, and to create fine brain tissues which will lead to clear thinking. Above all, the offering should be made with an attitude of love. Krishna has no need of food, since He already possesses everything that be, yet He will accept the offering of one who desires to please Him in that way. The important element, in preparation, in serving and in offering, is to act with love for Krishna.

The impersonalist philosophers, who wish to maintain that the Absolute Truth is without senses, cannot comprehend this verse of Bhagavad-gita. To them, it is either a metaphor or proof of the mundane character of Krishna, the speaker of the Bhagavad-gita. But, in actuality, Krishna, the Supreme Godhead, has senses, and it is stated that His senses are interchangeable; in other words, one sense can perform the function of any other. This is what it means to say that Krishna is absolute. Lacking senses, He could hardly be considered full in all opulences.

In the Seventh Chapter, Krishna has explained that He impregnates the living entities into material nature. This is done by His looking upon material nature.

And so in this instance, Krishna's hearing the devotee's words of love in offering foodstuffs is wholly identical with His eating and actually tasting. This point should be emphasized: because of His absolute position, His hearing is wholly identical with His eating and tasting. Only the devotee, who accepts Krishna as He describes Himself, without interpretation, can understand that the Supreme Absolute Truth can eat food and enjoy it.

--end of quote--

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 13 June 2007

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

Staying Cool in the Face of Calamities


This material world is a place of calamities. There's nothing we can do to change that. It will always be a place of calamities. But there's one thing we can do. We can change the way that we perceive and how we deal with the inevitable calamities.

For example, there is a young devotee named Caitanyananda Das in Helsinki, Finland who is dying of cancer. Instead of becoming morose, he is becoming enlivened that now the time will come soon when he can personally serve Lord Sri Krishna in His eternal abode, Goloka Vrindavan.

So what can we do when calamities come to us?

If we see everything in relationship with the Lord and always remember that His loving hand is behind everything that happens, that there is a divine purpose for everything, then we will be in the proper position to remain cool-headed even the face of the most devastating calamities. By careful study and practical application of the Vedic wisdom under the able guidance of a qualified teacher, we will learn how to see everything in relationship with the Lord and never be disturbed in any circumstance. In this connection Lord Sri Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na pranasyati


"For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me." --Bhagavad-gita 6.30

Always remember this and your life will be inconceivably sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: No Vegetarian Verses?

Sir, respectfully I have certain reservations on the non usage of meat or eggs by Krishna devotees. I hereby submit my reservations as follows:

I did not find any verse banning the usage of meat etc in the Bhagavad-gita. Your good self also did not mention it but only mentioned about sacrificing food. The animals, birds etc are also the holy blessings of God like vegetables and fruits for the mankind to take advantages of it.

I have been a student of history, and have read that when the Aryan tribe migrated to India after a snow storm in Germany and were going through a period of starvation, the tribal elders feared that people might end up their live stock by eating it, and to save it they, by a religious decree, declared cow as Devimata to avoid its slaughtering and banned the use of meat as a food religiously, and to date it is being carried on.

Salam and Regards,

Azhar

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Answer: Krishna Clearly Instructs...

In the Bhagavad-gita chapter three, text 13 Krishna clearly states that devotees only eat foods which have first been offered in sacrifice. Then in chapter nine, text 26 Krishna lists which are the types of foods that He will accept. He only mentions foods from the vegetarian category. He does not mention mention meat, fish, or eggs.

The history you have read about the Aryan migration from Europe originates from the erroneous speculation of Western scholars who could not accept that such an advanced culture as the Aryan culture could have its origins outside of Europe. They have dated the Aryan migration thousands of year after the Aryan civilization was already flourishing in India as evidenced by the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 12 June 2007

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

The Greatest Welfare Work


There are so many kinds of welfare activities going on throughout the world. But in most cases, the welfare being dispensed is only temporary. The greatest difficulties of birth, death, old age, and disease are not being solved by the welfare organizations. No matter how much help people are given, if they are still caught up in the cycle of birth and death, the welfare they received remains incomplete.

This is why the greatest welfare activity is to reconnect the illusioned soul with his actual eternal identity as a servant of God. There is no greater altruism or humanitarianism than this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Significance of 108 Beads?

What is the significance of 108 beads in a single round of japa? For so long I have not come across the answer to this question. I am eager to know.

Hare Krishna!

Your Servant,

Akshay

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Answer: 108 Gopis...

The 108 beads represent Krishna's 108 chief gopis.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 11 June 2007

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

There's a Way out of Here!

Are you sick and tired of the miseries of material existence? Has birth, death, old age, and disease gotten you down? If so, I've got the ultimate good news for you. There's a way out of here. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, showed me the way out, and told me to turn the entire world onto this topmost of all secrets. You can enter into the spiritual world right now, even while you maintain your material body in this world. You simply have to see everything in relationship with the Lord and engage everything in His service. If you do so, as you enter deeper and deeper into this mood of devotion you will see the entire world become transformed right before your very eyes. It's as simple as that. Take it or leave it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Sectarian or Non-Sectarian?


I am confused. Sometimes in your Thoughts for the Day and lectures you are very non-sectarian. You tell people that it is for their benefit to turn away from material life and towards God (especially by chanting His names). You say that it doesn't matter what particular names of God you chant. You say it doesn't matter whether you are a Hindu, Jew, Christian, Muslim etc... just chant the name of God that He is known to you. But then other times you say that one MUST chant these particular names in this particular order in this particular way, this many times, at this particular time of day.

It seems that your spiritual teachings on the surface are non-sectarian, but on closer examination they appear or seem very sectarian and full of 'particulars'.

Also I cannot find anywhere in the Bhagavad-Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam where it specifically mentions the Hare-Krishna mantra or the regulations regarding how it should be chanted, or the regulations regarding food etc.

I believe you are correct when you talk of the need to sort out the current mess of world religions. Also I believe you are correct when you say that Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita presents religion in it's pure form. But, it seems to me that all the 'particulars' that you present just limit the character and scope of the Gita. All these 'particulars' and rules and regulations seem so mechanical, bizarre and love-less.

What happened to good old Jesus saying "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself."?

You advise me to read Prabhupada's books as he has made Krishna so easy to understand, but when I read them I am just baffled by things like "internal potencies", "plenary portions", and "simultaneous oneness and difference".

Sorry for such a negative email. But I cannot silence my mind on this matter. Please help.

Apologies,

Your sincere servant

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Answer: Don't Be a Jack of All Trades, and a Master of None...

I am very pleased that you have honestly presented your doubts to me. This Vedic science must never be accepted blindly, it must understood in the light of full intelligence.

It's a fact that any process that brings one to love of God is first class. It doesn't matter whether it is Krishna consciousness, Christ consciousness, or Allah consciousness. But at the same time we must remember that to be jack of all trades and a master of none will not be effective in bringing us to the perfectional stage. Therefore whichever approach we choose, we must intensely absorb ourselves under expert, qualified guidance to come to the same perfectional stage through that pathway. No matter which face of Mt. Everest you choose to scale, you must do it expertly under competent guidance or you will fail.

We never say that it is only by Krishna consciousness that one can achieve spiritual perfection. But at the same time we are teaching the techniques of spiritual perfection for those who have chosen the pathway of Krishna consciousness. If one thinks our presentation as something sectarian, he may apply the same principles we are teaching to Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. We have no objection, because if the practitioner is sincere and takes proper guidance, he will undoubtedly attain the perfectional stage of pure love of Godhead.

As a spiritual seeker in 1971 studying the Bible trying to understand Christ and God's desire for me, Jesus Christ revealed to me that I should take to the pathway of Krishna bhakti as a disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. So that makes me simultaneously a Christian and a Krishnite. I did not at the time see any teachers of any tradition who were giving a training program for attaining the perfectional stage that was even remotely as advanced as what was being taught by Srila Prabhupada. And even now I still do not know of any teachers who are giving as perfect of a system of spiritual awakening as what Srila Prabhupada is giving.

This of course, does not mean that there are not other systems of spiritual advancement out there. We recognize anyone who has achieved pure love of God, no matter how they got there. Of course, it's not that someone can be accepted as a pure lover of God while at the same time they are addicted to material sense gratification. If they have actually become spiritually perfect, they will have no attraction for anything of this world.

The specific techniques that we teach our students for awakening the dormant love of God within their hearts are not concocted. They are coming straight from the Vedic wisdom. For example, even though the Vedic wisdom prescribes than any name of God can be chanted for achieving spiritual perfection, the Kali-santarana Upanishad recommends that the most sublime method is the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra:

hare krishna hare krishna
krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama
rama rama hare hare

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


"After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age than the chanting of Hare Krishna." --Kali Santarana Upanisad

Krishna instructs us in the Bhagavad-gita that we should always be chanting His names. So even if we cannot do it constantly due to practical constraints like working a job or sleeping at night, we should always try to chant as much as possible, the more the better. However, this instruction of the Lord does not mean that chanting Hare Krishna is the only way. There are hundreds and millions of names of God. Any of these names are sufficient for delivering us from the cycle of birth and death. When God Himself, Krishna Himself appeared in the form of His devotee (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) and taught that any name of God was powerful, He personally preferred and chanted the Hare Krishna mantra for the same reason as given in the Kali Santarana Upanisad. The name Krishna is most powerful because it contains all of the other names of God within it.

The diet that we recommend for our students is according to the instructions of Lord Krishna given in the Bhagavad-gita. In the Gita Krishna instructs that we should partake of the foodstuffs that have been first offered to Him, and when He lists what items are acceptable offerings He only includes vegetarian items in the list.

If we don't realize that Krishna is a person, then the rules do feel mechanical and loveless. But if we understand that Krishna is a person, the instructions He gives us are wonderful tools by which we can express our love for Him. Just imagine if you had a very kind friend living with you who paid all of your bills. He constantly supplied you with all varieties of wonderful foods. Your kitchen was never lacking in anything. So on your friend's birthday you became very inspired to honor him by cooking for him a special dinner just according to his tastes. You carefully noted what he likes to eat and what he doesn't like to eat. And then you carefully prepared a dinner just according to his liking. This careful attention of cooking according to his pleasure was not loveless or mechanical. It was instead exactly the way you were able to show your love and appreciation for all the kindness your friend was giving you.

So Krishna is that friend. He is the one who is supplying us with all of our food. So our love for Him is to carefully note what He likes and does not like and then cook for Him precisely according to His tastes.

I love Christ's words, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself." These words of Christ are the very motto of my life. If I truly love Krishna, then I will obey His instructions. I cannot claim to be a lover of God, if I disobey His instructions. Obedience is a sign of love. And just as in love of myself I make sure to live my life in such as a way that I will quickly regain my eternal identity in the spiritual world, I show the same love to others by teaching them how to do the same thing. This is why I have started the Ultimate Self Realization Course. This is my love for all of my beautiful and wonderful brothers and sisters throughout the world. I have discovered the key to unlimited peace and happiness. If I truly love my neighbor as myself, I must then share this great treasure of love of God with the entire world.

Insofar as individual concepts such as "internal potencies", "plenary portions", and "simultaneous oneness and difference", I am ready to answer all of your questions to your full satisfaction, through emails, telephone, or personal meetings. My only duty is to make sure that my students fully comprehend the science of self realization. Kindly note that it is a science. It is not a religion. H2O equals water is not a religious belief. It is a scientific fact. There is nothing that I am teaching that is a religious belief. Everything that I am teaching is a scientific fact.

In the regard to the above three concepts that are unclear to you I shall try to make them understandable:

The Lord has two potencies. The external potency is this material existence and the internal potency is the spiritual existence.

Plenary portion means that the Lord has expanded from Himself incarnations of God such as Lord Rama who are also fully potent as God Himself. Plenary means with full potency just a plenary session of a legislative body includes all its members. And portion means a part of something. So a plenary portion means God has expanded from Himself a portion, an incarnation, who is fully invested with all the powers and potencies of God.

Simultaneous oneness and difference can be easily understood by this example. You and I are both human beings. So we are one. But at the same time I am American and you are British. So we are different. So with the exception of God Himself, everything that exists is His expanded form. So in that sense everything is God and everything is One. But because there is the expander God and the expanded God, there is a difference also. A mundane example...I can record one of my lectures onto an MP3 file. That file can be copied hundreds and millions of times without losing any of its quality. Each copy is a plenary or full copy. So all copies are one. But there is also a difference. There is one copy in my MP3 recorder from which all over copies have come. That is the original copy. So Krishna is the original and everything that exists is His expanded energy.

Does this make the concept of simultaneous oneness and difference more clear now? Please email me all of your doubts and questions and I will try my best to answer them to your full satisfaction.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 10 June 2007

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

Killing the Six Enemies


Lord Krishna is already seated within our hearts, but because our hearts have been conquered by six different enemies we cannot perceive Him. The intelligent person therefore adopts a process of killing off these six enemies so that he can fully re-establish his lost loving relationship with the Lord. The six different enemies are as follows: Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Lobha (greed), Moha (illusion), Mada (madness), and Matsarya (envy).

When a devotee of the Lord becomes disinterested in and aloof from material association, his real position of bhakti is manifested, and he naturally becomes uninterested in material enjoyment. When the six enemies are killed by such aloofness one is freed from material contamination, and the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears within the heart. In other words, when one awakens his natural Krishna consciousness, Lord Krishna appears.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free From Anarthas?

What are the types of anarthas we have in our heart? How do we recognize them? And how to get rid of them fast and completely?

Your servant,

Monika

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Answer: Take Shelter of Guru...

Anarthas are classified as thirst for material objects (asat-trsna), miserliness of the heart (hrdaya-daurbalya) and offense (aparadha).

The category of thirst for material objects is divided thus:

Craving for material objects in this world (such as illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling), craving for heavenly sense pleasures in the next life, desire for mystic yoga powers, and the desire for liberation in Brahman.

Miserliness of the heart may be analyzed as attachment to trifling things unrelated to Krishna, deceit, envy of someone else's progress, and longing for position and fame.

Offense may be divided into offenses to the holy name, offenses to Krishna Himself (sevaparadha), offenses to Krishna's devotees, and offenses to other living entities. By these anarthas, the influence of the holy name becomes obstructed and the full transcendental nature of the name is not manifested.

The way to cleanse the heart of all anarthas is take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master by initiation and under his guidance strictly abide by the following principles:

1. No illicit sex (sex other than for procreation)
2. No meat eating (including fish and eggs)
3. No intoxication (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes)
4. No gambling
5. Chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra every day on chanting beads
6. Only eat Krishna prasadam (food which has been first offered to Lord Krishna)
7. Regularly study the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and the Srimad Bhagavatam

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 9 June 2007

From the Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

There's Nothing More Cool

In this material world people are interested to do whatever is considered the most cool, whatever is the most fashionable, the most hip. They are after the coolest music, the coolest fashions, and everything else that is the most hip.

But who can compete with Krishna or God in this department? There is nothing more fashionable, more trendy than the pastimes of God. In fact Krishna openly declares in the Bhagavad-gita, "I am the Supreme Enjoyer." But yet in spite of this, Krishna is amazed when He sees that Srimati Radharani is enjoying more than Him.

nija-premasvade mora haya ye ahlada
taha ha'te koti-guna radha-premasvada


"Whatever pleasure I get from tasting My love for Srimati Radharani, She tastes ten million times more than Me by Her love."--Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila, 4.126

Not to be outdone, Krishna assumes the golden complexion and the devotional mood of Srimati Radharani so that He can expand His enjoyment ten million times. He takes the form of a Hare Krishna devotee. He becomes Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

So even though the coolest thing of all is to be God, it is even more cool to a Hare Krishna devotee. So if you want to be really "in", hook yourself up with the hippest trend of them all. Become a Hare Krishna devotee. Join the "in crowd" today.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Vegetarian?


Always me and my friends have a talk session on which is better--being vegetarian or non-vegetarian. And they always argue on one point. They say, "Plants and animals both have life in them. Then what's the difference? We can eat both plants and animals."

So please guide me how can I explain to them the difference!

Shruti

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Answer: We Are Not Vegetarians...

It's a fact that plants and animals both have life. So whether I can kill and eat a plant or an animal I am a murderer. So what is the difference then between being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian? There is actually is no difference.

Why then do Krishna conscious devotees follow a vegetarian diet? This question is answered as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

yajna-sistasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbisaih
bhunjate te tv agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat


"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin." --Bhagavad-gita 3.13

In other words all kinds of eating is sinful unless the food is first offered to Krishna before eating. So if we want to be pure in our eating, we must first offer our food to the Lord before we consume it. So what kind of foods should we offer Him? If we truly love Him, we should obviously offer Him what He asks for. He requests that we offer Him foods from the category of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains. If He had wanted meat, fish, and eggs, He would have asked for them. But He did not. Therefore we can understand how to please Him by offering Him what He has requested. And since we only eat what He eats first, devotees of the Lord are naturally vegetarians, or more accurately stated...devotees of the Lord are naturally Krishnatarians.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 8 June 2007

From Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

Reality is Simply Wonderful


Although we face so much horror and ugliness in this material world, if we go deep into the spiritual energy, we will experience that on the ultimate level reality is simply wonderful. There is nothing which is outside of the Lord's all-merciful arrangements. Everything is going on under the energy of the all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna. When we fully connect with Him through loving devotion, we will never be devastated by the suffering conditions of this material existence ever again.

Of course, this is easier said than done. But it is doable if we take help from authorized books of Vedic wisdom such as the Bhagavad-gita. It's up to us whether we want to prioritize this or not. If we like, we can prioritize making money and spending it for sense gratification. Or we can make developing pure love for God the number one goal of our lives.

The insider's secret in this connection is that if you prioritize spiritual advancement, your material advancement will be automatically included, while on the other hand if you prioritize material advancement, you will be lacking in spiritual progress.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do Animals Know God?

I am so thankful for the letter Ankita has written to you expressing concern for the bloodbath that takes place in the animal kingdom. I have been wanting to write to you about this for some time but didn't know how to pose my concern.

I understand your reply but it hasn't really satisfied my sorrow. I guess I want to understand how to take the killings into perspective. It's true, you can't turn on a non-fiction television channel without seeing documentaries that show the cruelty and harshness and predator over prey situations. I hurt so badly inside, I can't switch the channel quick enough.

Even when I am not watching it I am aware of what is going on and the immense sorrow I feel for what I see as pain and suffering and fear is overwhelming.

How do I use the Bhagavad-gita's words to help me not to feel sorrow for this?

I try to say to myself, "Well, in the next life, this innocent animal will come back stronger, or loved and happy." Is this correct? How do the animals know God?

Thanks again for keeping me sane,

Kat

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Answer: By Evolution of Consciousness...

Because of your nice saintly qualities you are finding the inevitable suffering of this material world to be intolerable. There is no material solution for these miseries. The only solution is a spiritual solution. Everyone has to be killed today or tomorrow by the stringent laws of the material nature. The plants also have consciousness and are not happy about being killed.

Therefore Krishna tells us to get out of this miserable place and come back to His abode. This is the only real solution.

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah
punar avartino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate


"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again." ---Bhagavad-gita 8.16

There is a natural evolutionary system that gradually brings every living being to the human form of life in which he can realize God and return to the Lord's eternal abode. This is the good news. Everyone gets a chance to become liberated from this world of death.

The saddest thing is after the living being evolves to the human form and does not utilize it for self-realization. In such a case he is forced by the laws of nature to head back down to the animal kingdom where he awaits his chance to again become a human being.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 7 June 2007

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

Most Confidential Service

Back in 1971 I was blessed with the opportunity to surrender myself as a disciple at the lotus feet of that greatest of all spiritual masters, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. After careful study and due consideration I realized that this was the greatest opportunity I had ever been blessed with in millions of lifetimes and I happily agreed to become his disciple. In those days I learned from his disciples how to sing a beautiful song early every morning in his honor. That song is known as the Gurvastakam (eight prayers glorifying the spiritual master). The seventh prayer is as follows:

saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair
uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh sri-caranaravindam


"The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord. This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities. Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master, who is a bona fide representative of Sri Hari [Krishna]."

What is that most confidential service of the Lord in which he is engaged? That is delivering all the conditioned souls from the clutches of maya. There is no service to the Lord more dear and confidential than this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof of the Spiritual World?


I wanted to know the proof of whether really there is any spiritual world and its topmost planet, Goloka Vrindavan. Sometimes I suspect its existence. I am sorry for my foolishness but still want some proof so that my mind will be clear.

Thank you,

Vishal

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Answer: From the Reports of Others...

How do you know for sure that there is a place called Russia? Have you ever been there? Perhaps not. But you know for sure that it exists from the reports of others who have been there.

In the same way, how do we know for sure that the spiritual world and Goloka Vrindavan exist? From the reports of others who have been there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 6 June 2007

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

We'd Love to Take You Home

You are very special to us. You are one of Lord Krishna's most dear children. Somehow or other you have wandered far away from home having become totally lost in the cycle of birth and death so much so that you no longer even remember your actual eternal identity. We were similarly lost as are you, but were rescued from the deep, dense dungeon of delusion by the mercy of Krishna and his pure devotee, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Now on his order we have accepted the duty of trying to convince you to return with us to your and our original home in the spiritual world.

Are you willing to come? We certainly hope so. In this connection Lord Sri Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita:

a-brahma-bhuvanal lokah
punar avartino 'rjuna
mam upetya tu kaunteya
punar janma na vidyate


"From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My abode, O son of Kunti, never takes birth again." ---Bhagavad-gita 8.16

The time has come for a worldwide spiritual renaissance by the wide scale dissemination of this revolutionary knowledge. We sincerely hope that you will agree to be a take advantage of it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why God Didn't Do Better?

I get very upset when I look at the animal kingdom. It affects me so badly when I watch documentaries on television. If God is beauty and He has made everything so beautiful on this earth, then why animals need to kill one another for their survival?

Yes, I agree everything is balanced because of these food chains, but I am not happy with the food chains. God is the source of intelligence. Why couldn't He come up with a different plan where there would be no blood mess?

His devotee

Ankita

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Answer: He Did, but We Didn't Accept It....

God does have a different plan, the spiritual world. But we are such rascals we have not agreed to accept His plan. We wanted to manufacture our own plan. Hence we have a world where one living entity is food for another type of living entity:

jivo jivasya jivanam

"One living being is food for another." --Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.47

Now if we will utilize our God-given free will, we can leave behind this world of violence and enter into the all-peaceful spiritual world forever.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 5 June 2007

From Bhaktivedanta Ashram at Austin, Texas
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Today's Thought:

The Unlimited Treasure Within


Buried deep within your heart is everything that you've been looking for since time immemorial through millions and millions of births. You don't have to go anywhere. You've already got everything you need for an eternal, blissful, fully cognizant existence. Simply you must learn how to awaken your actual self by reconnecting with the Supreme Self.

Lord Sri Krishna very nicely describes in the Bhagavad-gita:

yo 'ntah-sukho 'ntar-aramas
tathantar-jyotir eva yah
sa yogi brahma-nirvanam
brahma-bhuto 'dhigacchati


"One whose happiness is within, who is active and rejoices within, and whose aim is inward is actually the perfect mystic. He is liberated in the Supreme, and ultimately he attains the Supreme."
---Bhagavad-gita 5.24

By carefully applying the bhakti-yoga system you can internalize or spiritualize your every thought, word, and deed. If you will fully thus absorb yourself on the transcendental plane, even while engaged in normal every day activities such as school or work, your spiritual perfection of going back home, back to Godhead is assured.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Consciousness Austerity or Joy?


Is Krishna Consciousness a practice in austerity or joy and happiness?

Your humble servant,
Ameeta

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Answer: It's Both...

The answer is that it is both. Krishna consciousness is simultaneously austere and supremely joyful. It is described in the Srimad Bhagavatam that austerity is the wealth of those who are renounced from this world.

Just as a businessman becomes more and more enlivened the more that he accumulates wealth, similarly the Krishna conscious person relishes the austerities of practicing Krishna consciousness as the sweetest, most sublime nectar.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 4 June 2007

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

Become a Superman

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche coined a term "superman" (▄bermensch in German) to describe a human being who has overcome all flaws and become perfect. This concept however was nothing new. It has existed in its perfect form for thousands of years in India's Vedic culture. The Vedic term used for the superman is the Sanskrit word "goswami", which means "master of the senses." Srila Rupa Goswami states that the senses are under the influence of six types of pushing agents: the tongue, the belly, the genitals, the mind, words, and anger. He explains that anyone who can conquer these becomes a goswami, who is empowered to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. The world is in great need of such supermen and superwomen who can give the best service to the suffering humanity. Make your plan today to become such a superman by adopting the principles of self-realization that are so perfectly outlined in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita As It Is.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know Our Rasa?

How shall we know our rasa, our eternal relationship with Krishna in the spiritual world? Can we desire to know while we are still in this material body? Can we feel it?

Gayathri

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Answer: Cultivate Pure Bhakti...

Some are curious to know what is their rasa, their eternal relationship with the Lord in the spiritual world. In this connection there is a saying, "Curiosity killed the cat." Why is a strong statement made regarding what seems like a very spiritual desire, to know one's rasa.

The reason is this:

We must first focus our desire on becoming Krishna's pure devotees. Then after attaining pure devotional service our rasa, our eternal relationship with the Lord will be revealed. If we try to realize our rasa before we attain pure devotion, we will not be able to attain pure devotion, and thus we will never be able to realize what is our rasa.

In this connection Srila Narottam Das Thakur has written:

rupa-raghunatha-pade hoibe akuti
kabe hama bujhabo se jugala-piriti


"When shall I be very much eager to study the books left by the six Goswamis? One has to learn of the conjugal loving affairs of Radha-Krishna through the teachings of these six Goswamis."

If we want to know the intimate details of Sri Sri Radha Krishna's pastimes, including what is our eternal spiritual identity, we must cultivate pure bhakti, pure devotional service, by first humbly submitting ourselves as disciples at the lotus feet of the six Goswamis of Vrindavan and all the great Vaisnava Acharyas.

It is only in this way that we will gradually, as we advance ourselves along the pathway of pure devotion, ever be able to understand the intimate details of the spiritual world and our relationship with the Lord there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 3 June 2007

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

Achieve Unlimited Success

In this material world everybody wants to be successful, but the difficulty is that we do not understand what is actual success. There is a saying, "He who dies with the most toys wins." Even though the saying is in jest it factually describes the standard of success that most of us cling to in this material world. Just like a child who has more toys than another child may feel that his large stock of toys makes him greater than other children, in the same way people measure success by how much material opulence one is able to have under his control.

But nothing could be further from the truth. What is the good of accumulating so many "toys" of material opulences? All this does is give us a false sense of success which prevents us from achieving the actual success of reviving our eternal spiritual identity which exists far, far beyond the stringent clutches of the wheel of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Hatred Wrong?

Respected Sir,

May your blessings always be on me.

Sir, is hatred against fellow human beings wrong?

warm regards,

Sunil

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Answer: The Enlightened Love All...

Anybody who hates their fellow human beings is in a state of illusion because those who are enlightened with spiritual vision never hate anyone. This is confirmed as follows in the Sri Isopanisad:

yas tu sarvani bhutany
atmany evanupasyati
sarva-bhutesu catmanam
tato na vijugupsate

"He who sees systematically everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within everything never hates anything or any being."  --Sri Isopanisad Mantra 6

But why do you mention only human beings? A Krishna conscious being loves everyone including the animals and therefore does not eat them. One cannot eat the object of his affection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 2 June 2007

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

Flying High on Automatic Pilot

If you want taste the full nectar of immortality at every moment you've got to make transcendental consciousness a habit. It has to become 2nd nature. The way to do that is known as sadhana bhakti, following the regulative principles of devotional service. By accepting the vow of regulative principles and remaining true to your vow, the awakening of your original enlightened consciousness will become established as an irrevocable fact.

You have to be free of sinful activities such as illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling, and you have to chant every day the holy names of God. By being fixed in these practices, you will become habituated and addicted to always remain in a pure state of enlightened consciousness, Krishna consciousness. You'll reach such an exalted state of consciousness that you will always be flying high on automatic pilot, far far beyond the the cycle of birth and death, on the unlimitedly sweet transcendental plane.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Has God Forsaken Us?


Sir, I am writing to you personally with tears running down my cheek. I am living in a state of Tamil Nadu in India unfortunately ruled by a man who proclaimed himself as the wiper of Brahmins from the state. He claimed or branded us Brahmins as Aryans who came and spoiled the native Dravidian people teaching them to worship imaginary gods like Rama and Krishna.

Few months back there was some conflict over a statue of a man called Periyar, who once preached in fact unprintable words against us and asked every native Tamil to go all out to destroy us. During his living (He died at the age of 94 in 1975) he motivated youths in the late 60's and 70's to put garlands made of chappals (sandals) and shoes on the deities of Lord Krishna and Lord Rama (a great offense) and to cut the sacred thread worn by the Brahmins.

Slowly we are denied basic education by openly being told to do the job of Lord Krishna of being a cowherd. We Brahmins are denied basic education. What Hitler did to Jews now we are being bullied by these people. Our population is now dwindling many of our people now in US and other European countries. But less fortunate people like me are really undergoing this turmoil. My elder brother in spite of scoring 95 percentage of marks denied further education as we have to score 98 percentage or more and he committed suicide by falling in front of speeding express train.

As you are well versed with our Vedas and Bhagavatam, we chant mantras in Sanskrit. Now Sanskrit is slowly prohibited from schools and colleges. I myself sometime feels like committing suicide. I am sorry to disturb you with my agony but I find a perfect person in you and with confidence I wish to share my agony. If your good self feels bad or disturbed kindly pardon me. Has God forsaken us? Kindly Help me or suggest me what to do.

God be with you and bless you.

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Answer: God Has Blessed Us...

God has not forsaken us. Rather He has blessed us.

These are the symptoms of the Age of Kali. The Lord, out of His infinite kindness upon us, has blessed us with a way to counteract the inauspicious symptoms of this most materialistic of all ages. That method is the Sankirtan Movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

So why be discouraged? What good will that do? Channel your frustration into helping push forward Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan Movement for bringing about a global spiritual revolution. Contact your nearest ISKCON center and report for duty. The time is right for a worldwide spiritual renaissance.

Go to: http://iskcon.com/worldwide/centres/index.html  to locate your nearest ISKCON center.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 1 June 2007

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

How to Tolerate the Turmoil

It's not easy to live in this material world, especially in this turmoil ridden age of Kali. Throughout the globe we now see more and more conflicts going on because people can no longer keep their selfish exploitative natures under control. In this regard it has been noted by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur that this material world is not a fit place for a gentleman.

So what to do if we find ourselves in the midst of a global atmosphere that goes completely against our inner nature? How will we cope with such an incompatible situation?

The answer is that we have to get ourselves completely together spiritually so that instead of being dragged down by the material atmosphere of the world that surrounds us we can manifest an uplifting influence on the global society. In short, become Krishna conscious and spread it. This is our only real option!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Perfection Before Preaching?

Must we become spiritually perfect before we engage in the supreme welfare activity of the spiritual enlightenment of all living beings --not before?

If this is so, then how are we to share our Krishna consciousness until reaching the state of perfection?

Your student

Laura Harrison

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Answer: Share Whatever You Have Realized...

Whatever you have realized about Krishna you must share with others. Then Krishna will give you more realization. And then when you share that, he will give you even more realization. In this way, your Krishna consciousness and your spreading of Krishna consciousness will go on increasing unlimitedly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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