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

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Tuesday 31 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Time to Revolutionize Planet Earth...

Things have gotten too far out of hand. Madness now reigns supreme in every sphere. The time has come now more than ever for a spiritual revolution to uplift the global consciousness, to deliver the masses who are suffering the disease known as bodily consciousness. People are foolishly trying to base their happiness on the interaction between the senses and the objects of the senses. But this is a losing proposition. They can never have happiness in this way. If we want actual peace and happiness throughout the world, there must now become fully manifest a global spiritual awakening. The purpose of my life is to play some role in helping to bring it about. I am requesting that you should also fully dedicate your life for this effort. There is no greater, more exciting, more fulfilling life than this--to dedicate yourself fully to reviving your dormant Krishna consciousness and trying to inspire everyone else to do the same.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Social Divisions in the Bhagavad-gita


One's occupational duty is prescribed in Bhagavad-gita, i.e., duties of brahmana (priestly-intellectual class), kshatriya (warrior-administrator class), vaishya (farmer-mercantile class) and sudra (worker class). In the present day scenario is it possible to allot duties like that? If not, how it will the Vedic teachings be applicable? This is one side.

Also in present days though everybody says that there should not be any caste or creed, at the same time violence breaks out because of caste conflicts. How does the Bhagavad-gita explain this?

Subbiah

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Answer: According to Natural Inclination...

Occupational duties are understood in the Bhagavad-gita according to one's natural qualities. It is not that one's occupational duties are dictated by one's birth. One who has the natural qualities of a brahmana (priestly-intellectual class) is meant to act in that capacity. And the same thing holds true for those who are inclined to act as military men, businessmen, farmers, or workers. There should be no caste/class distinction on the basis of birth. Such artificial caste consciousness is not in accordance with the Vedic scriptures. The Vedic wisdom analyzes one's social position according to his qualities and his activities, not according to his birth or a label placed on him by society.

When people artificially try to base social position on birth there will be naturally be so much fighting and class struggle. But if everyone is engaged according to their natural tendencies and talents everyone will be happy with their position within the social structure. This is the real meaning the Vedic varnashram system.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 30 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Transcendental Existence...

Why rot in this material existence when you can live in transcendental existence at every minute? In transcendental existence all material miseries are conspicuous by their absence. In other words, there is no birth, no death, no old age, and no disease. There is simply an eternal existence full of knowledge and full of bliss in the association of the Supreme Lord and His eternal associates.

Some people such as atheists and skeptics object to the idea of transcendental existence. They say that it is not possible to experience bliss unless you also experience misery. But they are thinking in a very limited way in terms of relative happiness. They do not understand what is transcendental happiness. In this regard they are like the fox who after repeatedly and unsuccessfully trying to jump high enough to taste the grapes concluded that they must be sour.

There is no need for sour grapes philosophy. The bona fide spiritual master teaches his disciples how to taste the sweet nectar of transcendental existence at every minute. One simply has to attentively hear and submissively follow the instructions of the spiritual master. By doing so, one becomes gradually solidly situated in transcendental existence and remains there forever.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Rooting Out Sinful Desire...

On one of your websites I read the following instruction:

"Root out the desire to commit sins. A sin is an action that is not connected to the Supreme Lord; something done for the gratification of the senses. Acting only for the pleasure of the material body brings you further from practical realization of your factual identity as an eternal spirit soul (separate from the temporary material body)."

But how do I root out that desire?

Thanks already and may God bless you,

Ludo

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Answer: Fully Occupied Heart...

You have to completely fill your heart with spiritual desires in the service of the Lord. If the hotel of your heart is fully occupied with hearing, chanting, remembering and serving the Lord, when material lusty and greedy desires come looking for a place to stay they will find that there is "no room at the inn". They will find instead a big sign that says, "No Vacancy" and will have to go somewhere else looking for a place to reside.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 29 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

The Brightest of all Futures..

There is no brighter future than an eternal existence in the spiritual world with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In that abode there is no birth, no death, no old age, no disease, no taxes, and no terrorism. We are all actually eternal citizens of that transcendental abode who somehow or other got sidetracked somewhere along the line. If we take full advantage of Krishna's most merciful manifestation in the form of His holy names, we can easily qualify ourselves to re-enter our eternal home. Simply utter these names with love and devotion as much as possible on a regular daily basis. Your life will never the be the same:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Overcoming Boredom...


I want to know how to overcome boredom.

Thanks in advance

John

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Answer: Through Delightful Bhakti...

If you want to overcome boredom, all you have to do is absorb yourself in Krishna consciousness twenty-four hours daily. If you do so, I can assure you that you will never ever ever be bored because there is nothing more enlivening and exciting than Krishna consciousness. This is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

ato vai kavayo nityam
bhaktim paramaya muda
vasudeve bhagavati
kurvanty atma-prasadanim


"Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead, with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self." --Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.22

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 28 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Beyond Time and Space...

The empiricists doubt or deny the existence of the transcendental dimension which exists beyond time and space. In this connection they are like the owl philosopher who closes his eyes in the daylight and denies the existence of the sun. Anyone who is brave enough to expand their consciousness beyond the limitations of time and space can take to the process of Krishna consciousness and positively experience the awakening of their original divine consciousness beyond the confines of time and space. This is confirmed in the Narada Pancaratna as follows:

dik-kalady-anavacchinne
krsne ceto vidhaya ca
tan-mayo bhavati ksipram
jivo brahmani yojayet

"By concentrating one's attention on the transcendental form of Krishna, who is all-pervading and beyond time and space, one becomes absorbed in thinking of Krishna and then attains the happy state of transcendental association with Him."

In other words, through the ultimate self realization process, Krishna consciousness, one constantly associates with the supreme person, in the transcendental dimension which lies far, far beyond the confines of time and space.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Avoid Bigotry?

The "solution for terrorism" topic you discussed in yesterday's "Thought for the Day" is an exciting proposition, but for whatever reason I have a hesitancy and fear that whatever ideology is preached will ultimately end in sectarianism and terrorism of some kind. Most of us cannot rise beyond the designations of even an organization that says, "Don't have any designations!" Christianity is the perfect example.

What is your insight on how to avoid bigotry and religious fanaticism on the part of those of us neophytes who may in the future become over zealous to spread our own "absolute truth?"

Aaron

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Answer: Perfectly Realize the Absolute Truth...

I appreciate very much the deep thoughtfulness of your question. This is always a danger we face in ISKCON of turning our position of rejecting all material designations into another type of material designation. This is why we carefully train our students to understand that love of God knows no boundaries. Whether someone worships Allah, Krishna, or Christ, if they do it perfectly, they are properly situated on the transcendental platform.

We are teaching the science of bhakti which is equally applicable to any and all religious traditions. By perfecting the science of bhakti within any tradition one will achieve the perfection of that tradition by becoming a perfect Muslim, a perfect Krishnite, or a perfect Christian, etc.

There is no such thing as "our own" Absolute Truth. As soon as we think "our own" we descend to the realm of relative truth. There can only be one Absolute Truth, and a person is spiritually perfect to the degree that he has realized that one Absolute Truth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 27 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Is Terrorism Inevitable?

It is sad to see that terrorism is becoming more and more loosed upon the world. But this is not at all surprising. Given that the human society is training everyone to live on the animalistic platform of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending--it is inevitable that, just like in the jungle some of the animals will be ferocious, some human beings will naturally come out as terrorists.

There is really no way around it. It cannot be prevented through military readiness. Terrorists will always find a way to beat the system. However, if the human society can be elevated beyond the animalistic platform of sense gratification to the enlightened platform of Krishna consciousness, terrorism will be relegated to a page in the history books because no one will desire to be a terrorist in the first place.

The problem with accomplishing this is that the current leaders of the human society are themselves terrorists. They are terrorizing the babies in the abortion clinics and they are terrorizing the cows in the slaughterhouses. They simply utilize the citizens to further their own selfish aims. As you sow, so shall you reap. As long as the leaders continue their terrorizing agenda, the citizens will continue to pay the price of being terrorized. There is nothing else to do except to expand the Krishna consciousness movement more and more until that day comes when the citizens demand Krishna conscious leaders. Then we will see a terror free world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Realize the Truth?

I have been following your course. And yes it's very comforting when you give some advice and guidance.

But does there really exist a road, a path to reality? Can a disciplined, goal oriented mind ever be free to come face to face with Reality? Shouldn't freedom of the mind be at the beginning and not at the end of the journey? But then why do we search? What are we looking for?

If we have an idea of it, then there will be no research. If we can recognize it, means we have seen it before. So what we will find will be a projection, the will, the desire of the mind and not the truth.

Can there be a middle man between you and the truth? Can God be found through someone else? Is it not the understanding of oneself the "road" to God?

The Ego cannot be suppressed and substituted with Spirituality. It is only through the understanding of the Self that we will let go, without any preconceived ideas. I feel that the Gita can only be understood by a mind that has rid itself of all that it has accumulated. We have to go beyond the mind, and this can only come about through understanding and passive observation. The Gita cannot be interpreted by a thinking mind, as all knowledge no matter how vast will always be limited. Thoughts come from memory, from all that we have accumulated.

So will chanting Krishna's name suppressing all other thoughts liberate me?

Surendra

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Answer: Dovetail Through Chanting...

Here are your questions with answers:

Question: But does there really exist a road, a path to reality?

Answer: Yes, why not?

Question: Can a disciplined, goal oriented mind ever be free to come face to face with Reality?

Answer: Yes, why not?

Question: Shouldn't freedom of the mind be at the beginning and not at the end of the journey?

Answer: Yes, but you have to understand what is actual freedom of the mind, not the so-called freedom of a wild, uncontrolled mind.

Question: But then why do we search?

Answer: If you have lost something, you need to search for it. You have lost your original enlightened state of consciousness, therefore you must search for it. But if you meet someone who can tell you precisely how to revive it, there is no need for further searching. You simply have to follow his instructions. That's all. You will quickly attain enlightenment.

Question: What are we looking for?

Answer: Perfect realization of the Absolute Truth. This is original natural energy of the living being. It is called Krishna consciousness, and is also known as Christ consciousness, Allah consciousness, etc. It is attained by dovetailing your individual consciousness with the universal consciousness. Just as a bicycle rider traveling at ten miles per hour can become one in speed with a car by grabbing onto it and not letting go, we can attain our original enlightened consciousness simply by dovetailing our individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.

Your comment: If we have an idea of it then there will be no research. If we can recognize it, it means that we have seen it before. So what we will find will be a projection, the will, the desire of the mind and not the truth.

Our response: No research is necessary. The Absolute Truth is already there within you. You have seen it before and you will be able to recognize it. It is not a projection. It is the original underlying reality of all existence. Right now you are caught up in mental projections. You have to become free from mental projections by dovetailing your individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.

Question: Can there be a middle man between you and the truth?

Answer: If you are lost, can someone who knows the way give you directions? That person does not stand between you and your destination. His directions are the means of attaining your destination.

Question: Can God be found through someone else?

Answer: See the answer above. God is found through the mercy of God. If He chooses to send His mercy delivered to you by His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, that is His business. You cannot dictate to God what shall be His means of delivering you. He decides that, not us.

Question: Is it not the understanding of oneself the "road" to God?

Answer: Yes, but you must understand what is the actual nature of the self, not a pseudo-self that has been imposed upon you by the material world.

Your comments: The Ego cannot be suppressed and substituted with Spirituality. It is only through the understanding of the Self that we will let go, without any preconceived ideas. I feel that the Gita can only be understood by a mind that has rid itself of all that it has accumulated. We have to go beyond the mind, and this can only come about through understanding and passive observation. The Gita cannot be interpreted by a thinking mind, as all knowledge no matter how vast will always be limited. Thoughts come from memory, from all that we have accumulated.

Our response: Genuine spirituality revives the original ego which has been suppressed by the material world. What is that original ego? "I am not this body. I am the eternal spirit-soul, the eternal servant of God." It is a fact that we have to give up all preconceived ideas and that the Gita can only be understood by a mind that has become free from all accumulated dirt. But if you use your mind to try to go beyond your mind, you will find that you are still stuck on the platform of the mind. Even if you are thinking that you must turn off your mind, you are still on the mental platform because you are thinking that you have to turn off your mind. So such a system of passive observation although helpful to a point will in the ultimate issue be unable to deliver you to the transcendental platform.

Question: So will chanting Krishna's name suppressing all other thoughts liberate me?

Answer: You do not need to make any separate endeavor to suppress all other thoughts. All you have to do is absorb yourself fully in chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra according the prescribed method. This will automatically dovetail your individual consciousness with the universal consciousness and thus liberate your mind from all the material thoughts that have polluted it in your millions of lifetimes in the cycle of birth and death. You will revive the original dormant enlightened consciousness that has been sleeping within you since time immemorial. You will enter into an eternal state of bliss of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 26 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

What Am I Doing?

Sometimes I wonder, "What am I doing with my life? Am I really doing the right thing?" But if I carefully and thoughtfully consider the options, it is again reconfirmed that there is no other meaningful course of action than the one I am taking.

Why should I dedicate my entire life to only serving a rotting material body and to a culture which enslaves people in such a meaningless existence? This does not make sense at all. Serving the needs of the actual self, the eternal spiritual being who resides within the body is what makes real sense to me and nothing else.

The atheists will criticize me for being a stupid person of faith, but I clearly see that they are the ones who are guilty of blind faith, not me. I can easily understand the scientific proof for the existence of the soul and the Supreme Soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does God Desire?

I have heard many people say, "God wants this" or "God wants that." Does God actually have desires at all? I would rather hear from a Vedic authority and I believe you are one of those. Please dispel my doubt.

Thank you.

Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: God Desires Unlimitedly...

Since everything originates in God, and since desire is the one of the factors of existence, we can understand that desire must exist within God. And since He is the Supreme and surpasses all others we can understand that His ability to desire is unlimited. He desires unlimitedly.

We can hear directly in the Bhagavad-gita from Krishna Himself where He describes clearly so many desires that He has for us to engage in His service. Of course, it is not that He needs our service. He desires for us to serve Him so that we become benefited. Here is an example:

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah


"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me." --Bg 9.34

And this is just one of the many, many verses in Krishna expresses His desires.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 25 July 2007

from the Atlanta, Georgia airport
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Today's Thought:

The Same Old Wine in a New Bottle...

We've just arrived a few minutes ago in the USA. Even though materially speaking there is a gulf of difference between Peru and the USA, spiritually speaking both countries are in the same category. So what we are seeing is nothing but the same old wine in a new bottle. The citizens of both countries are deeply engrossed in bodily consciousness considering themselves to be male, female, American, or Peruvian. The actual reality is that we are eternal spiritual beings in quality one with God, and are therefore naturally meant to serve Him eternally with love and devotion. Any nation which can fully adopt the principles of God consciousness or Krishna consciousness will become a paradise on earth. It does not matter whether they are rich, poor, or in the middle.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can the Absolute Vibrate?


Recently, I posted Srila Prabhupada's purport on the Maha Mantra to one of David Icke's message boards in an effort to encourage others to chant "Hare Krishna". As you know, Srila Prabhupada's purport begins with the statement, "The transcendental vibration established by the chanting of Hare Krishna...is the sublime method for reviving our transcendental consciousness."

Someone replied with an objection to the idea of "transcendental vibration", quoting David Icke as follows:

"This entire reality is based on polarity. When we accept this as real, and who we are, we disconnect from the consciousness of the One in awareness of itself. There are no polarities in Oneness and so no vibration. There is only one One and it has nothing with which to resonate."

Perhaps I should provide you with the entire quote the person who objected:

"Yes this world is made up of different energy fields vibrating amongst each other. Yes those energy fields affect us all, but I know also that all of this is an illusion and if it vibrates it's not Oneness including those energy fields. I can't recall anything specific David said about the Vedic mantra chant. But you need only read "The Biggest Secret" up to his latest book "Infinite Love is the Only Truth Everything Else is Illusion" to see how he explains how religions were created to enslave your mind. Speaking of which I hold in my hand "Infinite Love is the Only Truth and Everything Else is Illusion" page 190 and I quote, 'This entire reality is based on polarity. When we accept this as real, and who we are, we disconnect from the consciousness of the One in awareness of itself. There are no polarities in Oneness and so no vibration. There is only one One and it has nothing with which to resonate.' You Are Infinite Love. So the Absolute, by definition, does not and can not vibrate."

How to respond to this? I will be most happy to post your response, naming you as the source and posting a link to your website, if you give me permission.

Karl

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Answer: Reality With Love...

To say that only Love exists all by itself is an absurdity. Love is a relationship between two beings. Even the title of his book indicates how much he is in illusion. If they want a reality of undifferentiated oneness, they must be prepared to live in a reality completely devoid of love. They can have it. I will take a reality with love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 24 July 2007

From Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

New Chapter for the Human Race...

At 7:00am on 24 July 2007 morning we are scheduled to fly out of Lima and return via Atlanta, Georgia to our headquarters in Austin, Texas. This week in Peru has truly been another one of those amazing unforgettable experiences that I have tasted on the pathway of Krishna consciousness. As soon as we connect with Krishna we enter into the dimension of transcendental bliss far, far beyond the miseries of material existence. I pray for the day when the leading people on this planet all realize how auspicious it is to be Krishna conscious. That day will mark the beginning of a glorious new chapter for the human race.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Evening Lecture at Lima's Wilson Avenue Temple

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Responsible Nondoer?

In Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 2, verse 47, Krishna tells Arjuna, "You have a right to perform your prescribed duty, but you are not entitled to the fruits of action. Never consider yourself the cause of the results of your activities, and never be attached to not doing your duty."

Since I am not the cause of the results of my activities, how is it I am considered to be responsible for those actions?

Bruce

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Answer: Responsible for Choosing Maya...

We have a choice whether to act under the influence of the material energy or the spiritual energy. If we place ourselves under the material energy, we are carried along helplessly on the roller-coaster of material existence. However, because we voluntarily chose the material energy over the spiritual energy we have to take responsibility for everything that we do while under its influence. Just like if someone becomes very intoxicated they may become completely unaware of what they are doing. But still they are responsible for everything they do in that intoxicated state.

So the best thing is to embrace a life of full freedom in the Lord's service by taking complete shelter of the Lord through the agency of His spiritual energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 23 July 2007

from Chosika, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Wealthy Peruvian Devotees...

22 July 2007--I'm here for the day in Chosika, Peru where I gave the morning Srimad Bhagavatam class to the assembled devotees at the local ISKCON temple. The second part of the class was a lively question and answer session with a stream of questions that kept coming like a flowing river. At ten a.m. when I arbitrarily called the class to a halt many devotees came forward and continued asking questions. This enthusiasm to hear about Krishna consciousness is the wonderful quality of the devotees here in Peru. Materially they do not have much. Peru is a very poor country. But spiritually they are some of wealthiest people in the whole world because they are so eager to hear about the science of Krishna consciousness and put what they hear into practice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Questions and Answers in Chosika, Peru

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be A Sincere Devotee?

I try everyday to surrender my life to Krishna, but I keep on postponing it. So I need Krishna to grant me favor in order to fully neglect this world of illusion.

Your student

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Answer: By the Mercy of the Devotees...

Krishna has already given you the favor to become free from the world of illusion by bringing you into contact with His devotees. Now you must simply take full advantage of the association of the Lord's devotees by learning from them what is the science of bhakti and how to successfully execute it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 22 July 2007

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Today's Thought:

Transcendental Bliss in Lima


In spite of my being very sick and staying in a cold, damp but rainless and heavily polluted place, Lima, Peru, where the sun and sky is never visible and the surrounding mountains hidden in smog are completely desolate devoid of vegetation, and in spite my room being next door to a construction site which exposes me to constant barrage of machine noise throughout the day, by the mercy of my beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, I am tasting transcendental bliss because I have so much facility for teaching the local people how to be truly happy by reviving their dormant Krishna consciousness. This brings the greatest joy to my heart.

My main concern along with keeping up with my daily lecture assignments is how I can catch up on my email correspondence so that my sincere students and disciples throughout the world can as soon as possible get the guidance they seek for their spiritual advancement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 



Lima, Peru Air Pollution

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Strict Initiation Requirements...

I would like to know from you why any person wishing to get initiated from you or any other guru in ISKCON is subject to pre-conditions for getting initiated. A person who is showing interest in Krishna bhakti should be trusted by the guru outright and be immediately accepted as a disciple. By such a policy many newcomers will come to Krishna consciousness. With tough pre-conditions in place a real devotee is discouraged from Krishna bhakti.

Your servant,

Rajendra

Mumbai, India

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Answer: An Inspiration for the Serious...

Just as every university has entrance requirements, similarly there are also certain requirements for becoming initiated by the bona fide spiritual master. The candidate must be solidly fixed in chanting at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala daily and following these four regulative principles:

1. No illicit sex life
2. No intoxication
3. No meat eating
4. No gambling

These above items must be followed strictly throughout the entire life of those who have taken initiation. Therefore those who want to be initiated must clearly demonstrate their determination to remain fixed in these for life.

Most so-called gurus nowadays give initiation very cheaply without requiring their disciples to observe a daily vow of chanting God's names or following the above-mentioned regulative principles. Such so-called initiation is cheap and meaningless and does not enable the students to attain spiritual perfection. Sometimes ISKCON is criticized for its strict requirements, but actually ISKCON is to be glorified for having such strict requirements because this is a symptom of ISKCON's legitimacy.

Those who are sincere enough to want initiation will also be sincere enough to demonstrate that they can follow their initiation vows for life. We could give initiation very cheaply to anybody and everybody, even to strangers who walk in off of the street. But such cheap initiation will not help the people to advance in Krishna consciousness. Therefore instead of cheap initiations we test those who request initiation to make sure that they are fit candidates for a lifetime of strictly following their initiation vows.

In this connection my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has explained:

"One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding."

So the only real requirement is a genuine desire for spiritual life. If one has that sincerity, he will be happy to demonstrate his ability to follow the regulative principles.

In a similar way as high-level universities like Harvard and Oxford with tough entrance requirements attract a large number of highly qualified applicants from all over the world, those spiritual masters who do not water down or cheapen the process of Krishna bhakti attract many sincere and dedicated disciples from all over the world.

If one is serious about a life of complete surrender to Lord Sri Krishna, he will humbly submit himself to what the Lord's representative, the spiritual master, instructs him to do. He will not find fault with the spiritual master, if the spiritual master asks him to wait for some time before the initiation ceremony.

If one is serious to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, the eternal bond between the disciple and the spiritual master begins from the first moment the disciple accepts the instructions of his spiritual master as his very life and soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 21 July 2007

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Is the Highest Truth Personal or Impersonal?

Sometimes some of my readers put forward the argument to me that the highest conception of the supreme is formless and impersonal. They argue that the personal conception of God is a mental crutch to help the neophyte transcendentalist fix his mind on the supreme until he is advanced enough to keep his mind fixed on the impersonal, formless supreme. However, these sort of arguments do not hold any weight at all if we consider the words of Krishna as spoken in the Bhagavad-gita 7.7:

mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani-gana iva

"O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread."

If we try to present a truth higher than the person Krishna, we are speaking against the authority of Bhagavad-gita. If we try this, we are foolishly presenting ourselves as someone who thinks they know more than God Himself. This is philosophically a very dangerous position to take considering how much we are ignorant of even those things that are going on around us here in this material world. Therefore it is best that instead of speculating that we know something more than God, we should take advantage of the knowledge Krishna has revealed to us in the Bhagavad-gita and thus immediately come to the platform of spiritual enlightenment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Destruction of Criminal Tendencies...

Is there any research institution to reduce and eventually achieve the destruction of all criminal tendencies in human beings?

Sevak,

Damodar

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Answer: ISKCON...

Yes. There is an institution dedicated to the eradication of all criminal tendencies in human beings. That institution is known as ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

However, it should be noted that no research is required. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna appearing as His own devotee has already revealed the method. This is a verse composed by Him, which describes the cleansing effect of chanting the holy names of God:

ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam
sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranam vidya-vadhu-jivanam
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam


"Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord Krishna, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and stop the miseries of the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of Krishna expands the blissful ocean of transcendental life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step."

Simply by spreading the chanting of the holy names of God all over the world we can put a complete stop to crime and terrorism.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 20 July 2007

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

What You Meditate On...

Some .people are like honey bees always looking for the honey. They always try to find the good in a thing. Others are like flies, always looking for the sores. They want to find what is wrong with something. Those who always absorb their thoughts in what is bad tend to manifest bad qualities in their own character because that is what they are always thinking about. Conversely those who always absorb their thoughts in what is good tend to manifest good qualities. In other words, you become like that upon which you meditate. This is why the devotees always choose to absorb their minds on Krishna, the Supreme Good and develop all saintly qualities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question:  Continuing to Sin and Feeling Ashamed...

I was following the regulations of the Vedic lifestyle but recently I started smoking again and having occasional drinks. I still don't eat meat. There have been occasions in the past few years that I've had illicit sex but not nearly the way I used to. I was just wondering if I continue to the best of my ability will there come a time when I no longer will want these things. I feel very scared that because I make these mistakes that I'll never be able to have peace and to have a relationship with Krishna. I'm sorry if I've offended you. Please give me any guidance you can.

Your student

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Answer: Pick Yourself Up...

When you fall down, pick yourself up and keep practicing Krishna consciousness. Eventually you will become so strong that you will never fall down.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 19 July 2007

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Executing Acharya's Duties


My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, has very nicely described that the characteristics of an acharya, a bona fide spiritual master are as follows:

1. He knows the conclusions of the shastras (revealed scriptures).
2. He follows in the footsteps of his predecessor acharyas.
3. He endeavors to preach the ultimate self-realization science (Krishna consciousness) all over the world.

And then after enlightening us as to what is a acharya he ordered us, his disciples, that we must become acharyas. So now on his order I am endeavoring by his mercy to do just that.

It is not always easy to preach the science of Krishna consciousness all over the world. Just like I am now in Lima, Peru. Upon arriving here I immediately fell very sick. This makes it very difficult for me to do my duties of giving two lectures daily and keeping up with my correspondence. But yet I must carry on in my sincere endeavor to obey the instructions I have received from my spiritual master. I know that by his mercy it is possible for me to successfully execute my duties. So now, falling at his feet and begging for his mercy, I carry on with my work.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Equal to Everyone?


Thank you for answering my questions the last time.

I have been so fascinated by Srila Prabhupada's books and now your good job that I have taken to Krishna Consciousness. But my husband doesn't seem to like it. He is so engrossed in material things that he says he doesn't believe in Krishna Consciousness. I do my japa and go to the temple, but he doesn't like it. My question is I am here today in this Krishna consciousness because of Krishna's mercy so why is my husband an obstacle? If Krishna made me Krishna conscious why not my husband? Please help me.

Your student

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Answer: Some Take His Mercy, Some Don't....

Krishna is equally bestowing His mercy upon everyone so that they can all take to Krishna consciousness and return home, back to Godhead. This is compared to the rainfall, which comes down everywhere without discrimination. But when the rain falls on a large hard rock it simply rolls off and does not penetrate that rock. And when the rain falls on the soft soil it enters into that soil, thus enriching and nourishing it. In the same way while those who are soft hearted allow the mercy of Krishna to enter into their hearts, those who are hard-hearted do not.

What makes one hard hearted? Indulgence in sinful activities.

Then what can be done to soften the hearts of those who are hard-hearted to give them a higher taste so they will give up sinful activities and chant the holy names? We must be soft-hearted towards them by giving them our loving kindness in the form of feeding them Krishna prasadam (vegetarian food offered to Lord Krishna with love and devotion) and telling them about their beautiful Lord Krishna who will save them from all of their miseries. It is a special benediction of Lord Krishna that the mercy of His devotee can act even more powerfully than His mercy alone. So you should always be very, very merciful to your husband and save him from his entanglement within the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 18 July 2007

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Blissfully Dealing with Obstacles


In material consciousness, problems can be devastating and overwhelming to such an extent that people sometimes have nervous breakdowns and even go so far as to commit suicide. But for those who are fixed in Krishna consciousness there is no such thing. Why is that? Because for one who is fixed in Krishna consciousness, the topmost platform of spiritual realization, every problem, no matter how great, is an interesting, exciting challenge, another obstacle to successfully deal with in the Lord's service. Just as some people solve puzzles as a recreational sport, the Lord's devotees take relish in dealing successfully with the problems and obstacles of material life because when anything material is engaged in the Lord's service it regains its original spiritual nature.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is there Stress?

Why do people experience stress?

Anil

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Answer: Environment is Unnatural...

People experience stress because they are trying to be happy in an unnatural environment. Just as a fish out of water is naturally stressful because he is in an unnatural environment, similarly the eternal spirit-soul, who is part and parcel of God, is in an unnatural environment here in this material world and therefore experiences so many types of stress.

But just as soon as the fish is placed back in the water he becomes instantly enlivened and energized. And in the same way as soon as the living being is reconnected with his eternal spiritual nature by the mercy of guru and Krishna becomes immediately energized and freed from stress.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 17 July 2007

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

Sharing the Ultimate Bliss in Atlanta


There is nothing sweeter than the bliss of Krishna consciousness except for sharing the bliss of Krishna consciousness, because when you share the bliss of Krishna consciousness that bliss becomes magnified millions and billions of times. Lord Sri Krishna has blessed me with such an opportunity here in Atlanta. I flew in on Friday afternoon and shortly thereafter went to give a lecture. On Saturday I gave three lectures. On Sunday I gave two lectures plus I met with a group of individuals to explain further the techniques of this supreme self-realization science. Now it's Monday at noon. I gave a lecture this morning and now I am trying to catch up on my writing before catching an 11:30pm overnight flight from Atlanta to Lima, Peru for another nectarean week of sharing the supreme bliss with those who are eager to hear it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Sharing the Ultimate Bliss at
the ISKCON Atlanta Sunday Feast Program
on 15 July 2007


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Krishna Consciousness Decrease One's Self-Confidence?

I have been reading your answers, since a long time and I am satisfied with them. My question is: It is said whatever you do, do it for the Lord and completely depend upon the Lord for its results. But my father says this will decrease your self-confidence level. Is this correct? Please help me in solving my question.

Ashish

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Answer: Krishna Consciousness Increases Self-Confidence Unlimitedly...

I am very happy that you have been appreciating our distribution of transcendental knowledge.

You have presented an interesting question put forward by your father: Will doing everything for Krishna and depending on Him for the results decrease one's self-confidence?

The answer is that doing everything for Krishna and fully depending on Krishna increases one's self-confidence unlimitedly.

In this material world everyone has a certain degree of self confidence proportionate to their ability to judge things intelligently and act successfully. But because they are always acting and thinking under the constraints of the material modes of nature there is always a limit to their self-confidence. In this material world even the most highly successful man eventually meets with failure in the form of disease, old age, and death.

The Lord's devotee is an entirely different position. Because he has taken complete shelter of the Lord, he is no longer under the restrictive influence of the material nature. Therefore, he can act with unlimited self-confidence to accomplish what no ordinary mortal can accomplish. We see this practically in the example of Arjuna, Hanuman, and the all the great acharyas (fully enlightened, divinely-empowered, saintly teachers) in Vedic history. And if we will follow in the footsteps of these great acharyas, we will also become unlimitedly empowered to accomplish what no ordinary mortal can accomplish.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 16 July 2007

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

Transforming Your Home into the Spiritual World


One of the essential items for advancing in Krishna consciousness is that one should live in a holy place like Vrindavan or Dvaraka. For most people it is not practical for various reasons to pick up everything and relocate to India to reside in Vrindavan or Dvaraka.

So how will the sincere practitioner of the bhakti yoga system fulfill this requirement to live in a holy place? He can do this by transforming his home into a holy place.

How to do this? Here are some pointers:

The home should be full of things that remind one of Krishna. The bookshelves can be filled with the most potent transcendental literatures, the writings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The walls can be adorned with transcendental paintings and posters so wherever you walk you are reminded of Krishna. A room or a corner of the house can be set aside as the temple room. In that room or area exclusively set aside for Krishna, you can make a Krishna altar on which all of one's food is offered to Lord Krishna before being eaten. The altar can be regularly decorated with fresh flowers. You can chant one's daily quota of Hare Krishna japa while sitting peacefully in front of the altar. If you get sleepy you can stand up or pace back and forth.

The next step is to invite's your friends over for kirtan, philosophy, and prasadam. Cook a wonderful vegetarian feast and offer it to Lord Krishna with love and devotion. After your guests arrive, teach them how to chant the mahamantra and hold kirtan. Explain to them the wonderful transforming knowledge of Krishna consciousness and then lovingly serve them the prasadam (food that was offered to Krishna) to their full satisfaction. In this way make your home a place of transcendental activities where people gather regularly to uplift their consciousness to the transcendental platform.

In this way, even in your own home, you will not feel that you are living in this material world. You will feel that you are living in the spiritual world. You will not only feel that you are in the spiritual world. You will be in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Recognize a Guru?

You have thoroughly explained the qualities of a bona fide guru. But how to recognize them and surrender our self to that person who will ultimately lead us to Lotus Feet of Krishna?

Regards:

H S Mishra

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Answer: He Only Repeats Krishna's Words...

The spiritual master can be easily be recognized by seeing that person whose only business is to repeat the words of Krishna without any addition or subtraction to everyone that he meets.

Surrendering to him can also easily be accomplished. All you have to do is inform the spiritual master that you want to be his disciple and then ask him what he wants you to do. Disciple means one who disciplines himself by always meditating upon and following the instructions that he receives from his spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 15 July 2007

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

The Science of Self-Discovery


There is nothing more important than self-discovery. If we do not even know who we are, how can we make a meaningful utilization of our existence? It will not be possible. Because the modern day civilization is based on mere guesswork regarding the nature of the self, therefore we see that everywhere throughout the world there is chaos and uncertainty. Even though we hanker for eternity, in a state of ignorance we base our sense of identity on a temporary bag of material elements. Therefore in spite of so much technological advancement in regards to the manipulation of material elements, we are still very much dissatisfied.

The solution for this quagmire is that we must now focus our energies on the ultimate science, the science of self-discovery. So how do we begin? We begin from the simple point of our own awareness of our existence.

You know that you exist because you are aware of your existence. The next step is to analyze what is the nature of your existence. We see that in spite of so many transformations of the material elements which constitute the material body, there is a constancy of consciousness. In other words you can remember experiences you had when you were a small child even though the cells which constitute your present body are different from the cells which constituted your small child's body. The body is a constantly changing factor while simultaneously the consciousness is a constant factor. This simple observation immediately indicates to the thoughtful observer that he and his body are different. He is not the body.

Understanding that you are not your body is a negation of the false conception of the self, but it still does not tell you who you are. Try to understand yourself as consciousness, or more precisely as a consciousness-possessing being. The science of self-discovery is a process of fully awakening the dormant enlightened consciousness. In other words, at the present moment in this human form of life we are only approximately 10% awakened. The science of self-discovery teaches us how to awaken the other 90%.

So how do we do that? This is accomplished through a process of dovetailing the individual consciousness with the superconsciousness or God. By connecting our individual consciousness with the superconsciousness we gain our own empirical verification of the existence of the superconsciousness. The techniques of how to do that have been carefully handed to us through the ages by saintly enlightened teachers who have perfectly dovetailed their individual consciousness with Krishna or God, the superconsciousness. This process is known as yoga, the science of linking or yoking with the superconsciousness. Of all the various yoga systems described by great realized souls of the past the most highly recommended yoga system for this age is bhakti yoga, the yoga of divine love consciousness.

Why is that?

When you fall in love with someone, you can do nothing but think of them 24 hours day. So if we can develop a loving relationship with Krishna, the superconsciousness, this will be the quickest and easiest way to always remain in an enlightened state fully connected with the Supreme 24 hours a day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Meaning of Birth and Death...


Can you explain what is the real meaning of death and also what is the meaning of birth?

Anil

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Answer: Like Trading in an Old Car for a New Car...

Krishna explains birth and death in the Bhagavad-gita:

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato 'yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire


"For the soul there is neither birth nor death at any time. He has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. He is not slain when the body is slain."--Bhagavad-gita 2.20

From this we can understand that birth and death are something external to the living being. Just like one trades in an old car and buys a new car, he gives up one body (death) and takes on a new one (birth).

At the time of conception the soul enters into the mother's womb by means of the semen injected by the father. Then within the womb his body gradually develops and after nine months he comes out at the time of birth. After some time when the body becomes old, worn out, and useless he leaves the body to take on another one according to his karma. If, however, one becomes enlightened in the science of Krishna consciousness, he does not take birth again. He revives his original spiritual body, which is eternal, ever youthful, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. He thus no longer suffers the miseries of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 14 July 2007

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

When All Hell Breaks Loose


Things do not always go on pleasantly in this material world. Sometimes all hell breaks loose. Just imagine if you were in the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001. Or just imagine if you were in an automobile going into a head-on collision. Like it or not, we all live in a world of calamities. So what are we supposed to do when we find ourselves in a calamitous situation?

The starting point for dealing with calamities is to always remember that you are not your material body. Like a garment that you can wear today and discard tomorrow, this body is simply a covering of the actual self, the eternal spirit soul. What this means is that these nightmarish situations are going on in a dream state only. Your factual existence is somewhere else.

Spiritual enlightenment or Krishna consciousness is the process of waking up from the bad dream. You simply have to remember that you are the eternal servant of Krishna and stay factually tuned into that reality by always remaining absorbed in Krishna conscious thoughts, words, and deeds twenty-four hours daily. This art can be learned and mastered in the association of devotees under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

If you have seriously cultivated enlightened consciousness in this way, the next time all hell breaks loose, you will see it for what it is, a movie on the screen of material existence. And you will be able to flip the channel to the other program (an eternal life full of bliss and knowledge in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead), even while at the same time you deal expertly with the calamity that is at hand. This is the amazing nature of Krishna consciousness. If you would like to taste it, you can. You simply have to adopt the path of devotional service with full earnestness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting for Material Success...

Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

I've heard that the spiritual energy from chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra can be utilized in a materialistic way. Does it mean that someone can repeat "Hare Krishna" in order to reach his own material goals and be successful?

Your servant,

Anja

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Answer: Not Good, Not Necessary...

The Hare Krishna maha-mantra is undoubtedly the most powerful method of approaching and connecting with God. Any method of approaching God can be properly utilized for reviving our dormant enlightened consciousness, our Krishna consciousness. Or it can be improperly utilized by petitioning the Lord to give us better facility for sense gratification. Unfortunately nowadays mostly we see that people are approaching God to improve their material facilities.

This is less intelligent because God is going to give us our material facilities anyway. Because He is our loving father He will make sure that our material needs are met. Therefore the intelligent person petitions the Lord for the revival of his Krishna consciousness.

This is the best benediction to seek. Instead of begging for better facilities in a disaster zone, why not beg for that pure consciousness that qualifies one to be liberated from the disaster zone by being transferred to that place which is eternal, full of knowledge and bliss, where there is never any shortage of facilities? This is real intelligence. This is Krishna consciousness.

To use the holy names for material advancement is a nama-aparadha, an offense against the holy name. Our success or failure is going to come to us anyway as a result of our past pious and impious activities. So there is no sense in try to manipulate our karma by chanting the names of God. The smart thing to do is elevate your consciousness beyond the success/failure karmic dimension by pure chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. This is the ultimate and eternal success.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 13 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Beyond Sex Pleasure


In this material world sex is undoubtedly the number one rated pleasure. People go mad over satisfying their sexual desires. But for a realized transcendentalist, sex pleasure is not of much interest. It is not very important because he is enjoying pleasure on a much higher level. He has fully realized that he is not his body and is relishing the sweetest nectar of a loving relationship with the supreme person, the source of all existence, at every minute.

Because his pleasure is completely transcendental to his material body and because sex is a pleasurable sensation which is experienced in the body, the transcendentalist prefers not to be brought back down to the lower level of bodily sense pleasure by sex indulgence. In other words, because sex brings him down to a lower level where the pleasure is of an inferior quality, he naturally avoids it. It is not that he is feeling frustrated from abstinence. He enjoys abstinence because it frees up his consciousness to absorb himself more deeply in Krishna consciousness, the reservoir of all pleasure. Of course, when such a transcendentalist wants to produce offspring he joyfully utilizes sex for its original natural purpose, procreation. Such procreational sex is a holy sacrament as confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Worshipping Lord Shiva...


Respected Sir,

I have met you in Sofia, Bulgaria and have registered for self realization course after the meeting.

I am reading emails received everyday on Self Realization and Krishna Consciousness which are very helpful in clearing the ignorance of my mind. Now I eagerly wait everyday for new email which makes me more conscious towards Krishna.

I have one humble query :

I am a firm believer in God and God is helping me whenever I require help. Before meeting you I was worshipping Lord Shiva as the supreme God and Ma Durga. I was having respect for Krishna also and Ram Avatar also. It is also emphasized that God is one and names are different. But for worshipping and concentrating on becoming conscious I was adopting Shiva as supreme God and worshipping Shiva. Now also I worship Shiva.

After reading your emails regularly, I am finding that Krishna is Supreme God , may be Shiva is also one form of Krishna. In Hindu mythology, there is concept of Brahma, Vishnu , Mahesh where Vishnu has taken avatar as Krishna. In Ramayana when Lord Rama (Avatar of Vishnu) was starting to conquer Ravana, He worshipped Lord Shiva at seashore.

Because my knowledge is not complete , I am getting confused and would request you to clear my ignorance and so that I can concentrate on God for Self Realization and can make progress on this way.

Best Regards,

Sanjiv

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Answer: As the Greatest Devotee...

I am very happy to hear from you after having had the pleasure of meeting you at our ISKCON center in Sofia, Bulgaria. I look forward to seeing you again on my next visit there at the end of October.

I appreciate very much the sincerity and genuineness of your inquiry. According to the Vedic wisdom whenever we are confused about matters of spiritual truth and our ultimate duty, we must approach the spiritual master. This point is substantiated by the statement and example of Sri Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita:

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


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

Kindly note that we are not concerned with Hindu mythology. We are concerned with the authoritative knowledge given in the Vedic scriptures. In those literatures we learn the following:

Lord Shiva is one of the great Vedic authorities and is no doubt therefore worshipable. We are not only meant to worship such great personalities. We are also meant to learn from and follow their instructions. This is the highest form of honoring and worshipping them.

When Lord Shiva was asked by his wife what is the highest form of worship, he replied that the worship of Lord Vishnu is the highest. (Lord Vishnu is Krishna's expanded form Who engages in affairs of the universal management.) So according to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu or Lord Krishna is the Supreme. This was also confirmed by Lord Shiva when he appeared as Shankaracharya. At that time he taught the people to worship Krishna.

That Krishna or Vishnu is the Supreme is confirmed throughout the Vedic literatures. Therefore although we should certainly worship and adore Lord Shiva, we should do so in the mood of worshipping him as the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna, not considering that Shiva is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This proper worship of Lord Shiva as the greatest of all of Krishna's devotees is more pleasing to Lord Shiva than mistakenly worshipping Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

I hope that this cleared this confusion up for you. If things are still unclear to you, kindly let me know.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 12 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Revving Up the Spiritual Energy


If you want to be situated on the transcendental platform relishing the sweet bliss of eternal cognizant bhakti existence at every moment, you've got to devote some quality time every morning to revving up the spiritual energy within you. The reason this is of the utmost importance is that when we sleep at night we go deep into the mode of ignorance. Therefore the first thing to do upon rising is to get situated on the transcendental platform. The easiest, quickest way to do that is as soon as that alarm clock goes off utter a transcendental sound vibration such as, "Hare Krishna." Then take your morning bath, purify your body and consciousness by marking your body with tilak (sacred clay), and sit down in front of your altar absorbing yourself deeply for one-and-a-half to two hours in chanting the holy names of God on japa beads. If you get sleepy, you can chant while standing or even while pacing back and forth. It is also recommended that you should sing the beautiful Gurvastakam prayers (see footnote) every morning before the sunrise. If you will faithfully do this every morning, you will feel spiritually revved up and ready to ecstatically and confidently face whatever obstacles the material energy may throw at you throughout the day. Plus you will become qualified to attain the transcendental service of Lord Sri Krishna in Vrindavan at the time when you permanently leave this body at death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Footnote: You can hear and read the Gurvastakam at:

http://www.backtohome.com/Gurvastakam

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Enlighten Others?


Thank you very much for this wonderful clarification about religion and faith. I had read other versions of the same terms but this one is simple and clear. However I have a question regarding so-called 'religious conversion'. People of every religion (going by the legal definition rather than a philosophical definition of religion) blame other religions of conversion. In fact it has become the cause of hatred and bloodshed in many parts of the world.

How will you reach such people to explain this wonderful truth and convince them?

Jai Shri Krishna

Regards,

Raviraj

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Answer: Four Ways to Help Spread Truth...

If you want others to realize these sublime truths of the science of Krishna, you must fully dedicate your life, according to your own capacity, for helping us to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. For the greatest effect, you should give the maximum amount of energy possible for this purpose.

There are four ways you can dedicate your energy:

1. Give your life: You can dedicate your entire life to serving this mission by becoming an initiated disciple.
2. Give your money: You can help us by donating financially to help us cover the expenses of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.
3. Give your intelligence: Engage your intelligence in helping us to awaken others to the science of bhakti.
4. Give your words: Tell everyone you meet about Krishna.

If possible do all four of the above. If that is not possible, do three of them. If that is not possible, do two of them. And if that is not possible, do at least one of them. In this way engage yourself in the topmost activity of assisting this mission of delivering the world population from ignorance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Atlanta, Georgia Lecture Schedule for His Grace Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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July 13, 2007 Friday
1:00 p.m : Arrival at Atlanta Airport

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July 13, 2007 Friday
7:00 p.m: Lecture program at Raghupathy and Jeya's residence.

Address: 304 Tree Corners Parkway, Norcross, GA 30092 Ph: 770-263-4734. Please call!

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July 14, 2007 Saturday
11:00 a.m: Lecture at "Center for Self Discovery" for Yoga class members. To attend this program please contact: Anandini Mataji 404-201-1697

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July 14, 2007 Saturday
6:00 p.m: Lecture at Jayanthilal Bhavans residence. Address: 3214 Hayleys way, Conyers, GA 30013
Ph: 770-968-7937. Open Program

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July 15, 2007 Sunday

11:00 a.m : Lecture at Vrishabhanu Das residence.

Address: 2315 Hiawassee Drive, Duluth, GA 30097
Ph: 678-557-8758. Open Program

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July 15, 2007 Sunday
5:30 p.m: Don't Miss the Sunday Feast Lecture at the Atlanta ISKCON Temple!!

Address: 1287 S. Ponce de Leon Avenue SE, Atlanta
Ph: 404-377-8680. Open Program

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July 16, 2007 Monday
Open day for private consultations (by appointment only)
Request an appointment: vdd@backtohome.com
 

Wednesday 11 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Reviving the Real Self

There is nothing sweeter and more sublime than reviving one's original divine consciousness. Why suffer unnecessarily in the nightmare of material existence? We are not these material bodies, but yet we dream that we are. Therefore we think ourselves subject to birth, death, old age, and disease. If we can awaken our sense of spiritual identity by realizing who we actually are, the eternal servants of Krishna or God, and acting on that platform, we then enter into that sublime transcendental dimension far, far beyond the suffering conditions of this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Regarding Skepticism...

Since we are all skeptical on some certain things, how can you say that we cannot be skeptical?

Thanks

Hayden

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Answer: Handy and Impediment...

Skepticism is handy when dealing with the material energy, but it is an impediment when we are dealing with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 10 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Revival of Vedic Culture


In the last 5,000 years since the beginning of the Kali Yuga (the Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy) many, many civilizations have come and gone. Before that there was a period of 3,772,000 years during which one civilization, the Vedic civilization, flourished throughout the earth bestowing peace and prosperity upon all. Now, by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Who advented Himself in 1486, and by the divine mercy of His most empowered representative, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, that Vedic civilization is being revived all of the world. You are welcome to join us in this most ecstatic spiritual revolution for the benefit of all living beings on this planet.

Your first step is to revolutionize your own consciousness by awakening your dormant Krishna consciousness. The next step is to spread Krishna consciousness to others as far as possible. In this way you will be doing the greatest good for yourself and the highest welfare work for all others. You will experience unlimited happiness, and you will be empowered to give unlimited happiness to everyone else also. There is no greeting feeling than this. Why not join us today?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Religion and Faith...

I think you are doing a very good work just like Srila Prabhupada. Somebody asked me some questions and I was unable to answer them. Could you please help me?

My questions are:

1) What is religion and what is faith?
2) Is Krishna Consciousness a faith or a religion?
3) How many forms of religion exist?

Your humble servant

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Answer: Real Religion is Beyond this Faith or that Faith...

It is nice that you are appreciating my humble attempt to push forward Krishna consciousness all over the world. But please try to understand in this connection that I can take no credit for what I am doing. Whatever I am accomplishing is all by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada. If I have any credit, it is simply that I am faithfully carrying out the instructions I received from Srila Prabhupada.

Religion is generally taken to be a kind of faith that develops according to time and circumstances. Just like someone may I say that I am member of the Christian religion, the Islamic religion, etc. But that is not the real meaning of religion.

The English word "religion" comes from the Latin word "religio", which means "reverence." Religio is a combination of the Latin "re", which means "again" and "ligare", which means to reconnect (as in the English word "ligament). So the actual meaning of "religion" is to reconnect with God, the source of our existence.

Just as we reconnect with another human being through love, the reconnecting process with God is through loving service to Him. This reconnecting process is completely transcendental to any conception of this religion or that religion. Thus, real religion is to completely surrender ourselves unto the Supreme Person. It is completely transcendental to this faith or that faith. Therefore Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita:

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


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

Krishna is not telling us to abandon religion. He is telling us how we can fully embrace real religion by rejecting all pseudo-religion that is masquerading as religion and fully surrendering ourselves to Him.

Krishna consciousness is actual religion because it is teaching us simply to surrender to the Supreme Person. It is not a kind of faith. A Krishna conscious person recognizes the validity of all the different names for God. He does not say that the Supreme Being can only be known as Krishna.

Just as there is only one sun in the sky although it has hundreds of different names according to different languages, actual religion is one, to become a lover of God, whether this universal science is taught in Vedic terms, Christian terms, or Islamic terms.

The final test if someone is actually religious is that they are no longer attracted by any type of material sense gratification and that they have become completely endowed with all saintly qualities. One does not become religious by adopting this label or that label and condemning all those who have not accepted the same label. One becomes actually religious by abandoning the labels and fully giving oneself to the Supreme Person, Krishna, or whatever authorized scriptural name one chooses to address Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 9 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Solution for all Problems

The basic underlying problem of life is death. If this one problem can be solved, immediately all other problems become automatically solved. One may have so many financial problems: a hundred dollar problem, a thousand dollar problem, and a ten thousand dollar problem. But if he has a billion dollars, all of his financial problems are immediately solved. Therefore the intelligent person seeks first the solution to life's underlying problem, the problem of death. After attaining deathlessness by the complete revival of his eternal, blissful, knowledge-full existence, he then glides effortlessly through every one of the so-called problems of life. They all become a piece of cake.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: In Defense of Skepticism...

Without a bit of skepticism how would you find the truth in things? After all one should not be to gullible, as there are a lot of bogus things.

Science is not like the dogma of most religions, which is defined as (1) a doctrine or system of doctrines proclaimed true by a religious sect or (2) a principle, belief, or statement of an idea or opinion, especially one that is authoritatively, sometimes arrogantly, asserted as Absolute Truth. So I like to try and keep a balance, if you know what I mean, and not to be too gullible.

Skepticism is very helpful in understanding things better, as you get both sides of the story. What do you think of the saying, "A lot of good can come out of bad."? For instance some bad things that have happened in my life have pointed me in the right direction. Skepticism is like that in a way. Without bad how would you understand the purity of good or the spirit, so without skepticism it would be a lot more difficult to find the truth.

Hayden.

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Answer: Skeptical of Skepticism...

Skepticism is the philosophical position of doubting everything. In terms of not being duped by false teachings it is certainly helpful to a certain point. But just as the existence of counterfeit money indicates the existence of real money, falsity indicate that somewhere there is actual truth.

If one is overly skeptical regarding money, he will never be able to accept money from anyone due his paranoia that all money is counterfeit. This is a highly unrealistic impractical position. Similarly if is one is overly skeptical regarding knowledge, he will never be able to accept anything as truth. But since truth exists, to take the philosophical position of the skeptics, to never accept anything as truth, would be ridiculous.

Science proposes to give us truth. But yet we do not see a consensus of opinion among scientists. What one scientists says is true, is said by another scientist to not be true. So how we will arrive at the truth? This is the most important question we can ask in this human form of life. Therefore the Vedanta Sutra enjoins:

athato brahma jijnasa

"The purpose of the human form of life is to understand what is the Absolute Truth."

So how will we arrive at the Absolute Truth? We are living within it at every minute. Therefore the Absolute Truth of existence can never be extinguished although it may be temporarily covered by ignorance. If we are very sincere to reconnect ourselves with that Absolute Truth, the Supreme Absolute Truth, dwelling within us, it will bring us in contact with a bona fide spiritual master who will then fully reveal that Absolute Truth to us. When it comes to a direct experience of the Absolute Truth, skepticism would be a great hindrance for the progressive development of our intelligence. Therefore under such a circumstance it would be extremely foolish to hold on to our skepticism. Under such a circumstance skepticism must be abandoned.

The philosophy of skepticism dictates in the ultimate end that one must also doubt the validity of skepticism. When one reaches the precincts of the Absolute Truth to hold onto the crutch of skepticism is a gross violation of the principle of skepticism.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 8 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Conquering Anxiety

A Krishna conscious person is someone who has completely conquered over anxiety. Such a person has completely surrendered to Krishna and completely depends on Krishna for everything. Therefore he is totally fearless, 100% anxiety free.

How does someone who is currently in a state of anxiety become anxiety free? The answer is very simple. He must completely surrender himself to Lord Krishna. The difficulty is that we want to be free from anxiety, but we do not want to surrender to Krishna. This is called cheating. We want to purchase the diamond ring, but we do not want to pay for it. This will not work. If we want the diamond ring, we must pay for it. If we want to become completely free from anxiety, we have no choice except to completely surrender ourselves at the Lord's lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Have You Seen Krishna?

Sankarshan Das Maharaja, my respectable namaskarams to you.

My father is aware of Lord Krishna since 27 years. He does his best in serving God. So he kept my name as Krishna Prasad. I also like Krishna very much. I know that Krishna is God and I believe Him very much. I have lot of confidence on Him. I never lose my confidence in Him in any situation. In the same way He also helps me like that. But I have some questions. I asked my father, "Have you seen Krishna?" He answered, "No, but Krishna helps me in many ways."

I want to know if you have seen Krishna directly or not. If you saw Him, you have talked to Him. Because I am studying your e-mails since two years. I am satisfied with your answers. I asked so many people who are in Krishna bhakti, "Have you seen Krishna?" All answers are same. They all say, "No." I want now a person who is alive who has seen God. I know that your spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, could see God at every minute.

So I want for my guru a person who has seen Krishna. I want to become his follower. But I do not want want to leave home. I want to remain at home and serve Krishna at my best. I also want to see Krishna as early as possible.

Thanks,

Krishna Prasad

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Answer: You Are Asking the Wrong Question...

You are mistakenly thinking that seeing Krishna is the qualification for being a bona fide spiritual master. The demon Kamsa saw Krishna, but he was not a guru, nor was he even a devotee. The actual qualification for being a spiritual master is to only repeat the words of Krishna without any addition or subtraction. Nowhere in the scripture does it say that one is required to see Krishna in order to be a spiritual master. You should not invent your own requirements regarding who is a bona fide spiritual master. You should leave this up to authoritative directions given in the Vedic scriptures. In this regard kindly note what the Srimad Bhagavatam states about the bona fide spiritual master:

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


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

You may remain at home and become a first class devotee, but only if you are willing to conduct your home life strictly under the guru's guidance.

Of course, by dint of his devotional service, the spiritual master perceives everything within Krishna and Krishna within everything. This is a natural by-product of his full absorption 24 hours daily in the Lord's service. But this is not the yard stick by which you determine who is a spiritual master. Anyone can falsely claim that they are seeing Krishna. Therefore you must judge the guru's qualifications by the above verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam. And when you find him you must take complete shelter of him by initiation. Is this clear?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 7 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Re-Introducing the Sublime Vedic Culture


Thousands of years ago the Vedic culture flourished all over this planet. It was a very sublime culture centered around the spiritual enlightenment of all living beings. When the materialistic age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the Kali Yuga, began give thousand years ago, that Vedic culture gradually disappeared. Now we are faced with a world culture which is grossly materialistic. Even though millions and millions of people claim devotion to any of variety of spiritual paths, they mostly approach God for the purpose of getting better facility for material sense gratification. Such superficial spirituality does little good to uplift the global consciousness and often does more harm than good. So now there is no greater need in the human society than to re-introduce the Vedic culture, the culture of spiritual enlightenment, all over the world. This will bring about the desired peace, happiness, and prosperity that is greatly desired by everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Lord Rama Has a Separate Form?


I originally thought that Lord Rama and Lord Krishna are same. But in the purport of Bhagavad-gita Chapter 15, verse 7 verse it is stated that Lord Rama is personal expansion of Lord Krishna. So there must be separate vigraha (form) of Lord Rama as they are not same. Please explain.

Abhinav Gupta

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Answer: Krishna Manifests as Rama...

Krishna manifests as Rama. So Rama is the same Krishna. This is just like a lit candle which can have its flame transferred to a 2nd candle. It is the same flame although it is appears to be a different flame. Krishna is the "original flame" Who also manifests Himself as Lord Rama.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 6 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

The Other Side of Reality


There is far more to reality than meets the eye. Beyond the screen of the material energy is a vast spiritual existence where life is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. In that abode there is no birth, no death, no old age, and no disease. There the Lord and His devotees are engaged in the sweetest, most nectarean activities for all of eternity free from any kind of disturbance. We are originally from that place, but we have fallen down into this world of birth, death, old age, and disease and have been entrapped here for so long that we have forgotten our original identity in that most amazing transcendental existence. Now all we have to do is reconnect with our original nature under the guidance of enlightened transcendentalists. By their mercy we will awaken.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Loving God...

How is it possible to have a relationship with God?

I do the chanting and read the books and associate with the devotees and follow the principles and offer my food, but I have no relationship with God, let alone a loving relationship.

Surely, to develop a relationship with someone there needs to be personal interaction and two-way communication. So, how is it possible to have a relationship if I cannot see any reciprocation from God?

Why do you love God? What is it about Him that you love? How do we know for sure that God loves us? (and how to see this in our lives not just some scriptural quote)

What do the intimate loving affairs of Radha and Krishna have to do with us?

How do I enjoy life?

Your servant,

Alex

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Answer: By the Mercy of Guru and Krishna...

Here are your very nice questions with answers:

Question: How is it possible to have a relationship with God? I do the chanting and read the books and associate with the devotees and follow the principles and offer my food, but I have no relationship with God, let alone a loving relationship. Surely, to develop a relationship with someone there needs to be personal interaction and two-way communication. So, how is it possible to have a relationship if I cannot see any reciprocation from God?

Answer: When you offer your food you are directly offering it to God. When you chant Hare Krishna you are directly addressing the Lord and His energy to engage you in Their service. In this way you should be developing a personal loving relationship with the Lord. You must always introspectively observe your thoughts, words, and deeds to make sure that they are pleasing to the Lord. Don't do these things impersonally. Do them for the pleasure of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna reciprocates by returning the offered foods back to us in the form of prasadam. He reciprocates with the chanting by showering us with transcendental bliss.

Question: Why do you love God? What is it about Him that you love?

Answer: I love Krishna because He is so beautiful and so wonderful and so absolutely amazing and because He bestows upon me the highest happiness.

Question: How do we know for sure that God loves us? And how to see this in our lives not just from some scriptural quote?

Answer: I can feel the bliss He is showering upon me at every minute.

Question: What do the intimate loving affairs of Radha and Krishna have to do with us?

Answer: They are an invitation for us to become intimately involved in those loving affairs.

Question: How do I enjoy life?

Answer: By adopting wholeheartedly basic principles of bhakti given by Srila Rupa Goswami (as listed in the Nectar of Devotion) as follows:

How to Discharge Devotional Service:

(1) Accept the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.
(2) Become initiated by the spiritual master and learn how to discharge devotional service from him.
(3) Obey the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.
(4) Follow in the footsteps of great acharyas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master.
(5) Inquire from the spiritual master how to advance in Krishna consciousness.
(6) Be prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. (This means that when we are engaged in the devotional service of Krishna, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept.)
(7) Reside in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvaraka or Vrindavana.
(8) Accept only what is necessary, or dealing with the material world only as far as necessary.
(9) Observe the fasting day on Ekadasi.
(10) Worship sacred trees like the banyan tree.

These ten items are preliminary necessities for beginning the discharge of devotional service in regulative principles. In the beginning, if a neophyte devotee observes the above-mentioned ten principles, surely he will quickly make good advancement in Krishna consciousness and enjoy life like anything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 5 July 2007

from Dallas, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Tasting the Sweetest Water


This material existence is a vast desert because the actual water we require, namely a loving relationship with the Supreme Person Who is the very source of our existence, is very difficult to find here. Instead of our clearly perceiving the desert-like nature of this abode we are bewildered by Mayadevi's incredibly sophisticated mirage which deludes us into thinking that this material existence is the all-in-all and can thus satisfy all of our desires. If we want the actual water, we must take care not to be enticed by the mirage into running after a life of material sense gratification. We must take information from the acharyas, the great fully realized saintly teachers who give us precise instructions how to find the oasis in which we can unlimitedly taste the sweetest, purest water of love of Godhead and eternally relish an eternal existence, full of bliss and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Formlessness...

It is generally believed that as one progresses (with continuous blessings and guidance of a bona fide guru) in the self realization path from the Deity form of worship, towards non-form worship (meditation) and ultimately to a state devoid of any sound and form that is a subconscious form of worship. What is your opinion on this school of thought?

Srimathy Surya Prabha Murthy

Tiruchy -14, Tamilnadu , India

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Answer:  Supreme Form Beyond Formlessness...

You described the school of thought known as Impersonalism in which one initially fixes the mind on the form of God as a temporary material crutch but then gradually gives up the idea of God with form and tries to merge into the formless Brahman. This system is based on the false premise that God has no form. Such a self-realization system may give one temporary relief from the suffering conditions of this material existence, but will ultimately fail to give the practitioner lasting relief because God ultimately has personality and form and so do we in our liberated condition.

We may try to deny form and personality for some time, but we will eventually find this position to be very dry and unsatisfying. The pain of failed relationships may drive us into solitude, but because the nature of a human being is to associate with others, we will eventually try again to build meaningful relationships with others. So instead of denying God's form and personality we should learn about Him from the spiritual master, from great saintly teachers, and from bona fide scriptures.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 4 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Warrior or Worrier


You have one of two choices. You can either fight the illusory material energy or you can be a victim of it. So if you want to be free from all anxieties, make your declaration of war right now that you will no longer tolerate any kind of illusion within your own heart or anywhere else. Make this a solid determination for this very moment and from now on for all of eternity. And then approach a bona fide spiritual master to fully enlighten you in the topmost science, the science of the Absolute Truth. Your anxieties will vanish. You will achieve unlimited happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the Real God?

What is the differences between Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and others? Who is the real God?

Thanks & regards

Sasidharan

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Answer: The Source of all Existence...

There is not much difference between Christians, Hindus, Muslims, etc nowadays because practically everyone is approaching God for the fulfillment of their material desires.

God is the Supreme Person. He is the Source of all existence. Whether we address Him as Krishna, Christ, or Allah, He is the same person. It does not so much matter by what name we address Him. What does matter is that we approach Him to fully surrender at His lotus feet, not for the fulfillment of our material desires. This is the unique program of the Krishna consciousness movement. We are effectively training people all over the world how to fully surrender at the Lord's lotus feet in the mood of completely pure devotion.

Kindly take advantage of this Krishna consciousness movement and surrender yourself fully at Lord Sri Krishna's lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 3 July 2007

from Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Transforming Matter into Spirit


It's 11:30am on Monday 2 July 2007. We are flying back to Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas after a super-ecstatic lecture tour which had me presenting the ultimate self-realization science in six different locations. I was the opening speaker at a spiritual unity conference in Vail, Colorado. Next were lectures at a home program in Boulder, Colorado and at Denver's Hare Krishna temple. Then we flew to British Columbia, Canada where I delivered a series of lectures at Vancouver's Hare Krishna Temple and spoke on the Srimad Bhagavatam at a home gathering in Saranagati, a rural Vedic community a four hour drive from Vancouver up in the mountains. The tour was capped off with a lecture series at Tucson, Arizona's Caitanya Culture Center.

There is no doubt about it. Krishna has blessed me with the greatest opportunity to spread the ultimate self-realization science all over the world at a time in history when it is needed more than ever. Now more than ever the world is in desperate need of spiritual enlightenment to save it from the destruction course in which it is presently so inescapably entangled. Therefore I am praying to Lord Krishna and to my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, that my humble attempt to bring this highest knowledge to the leaders and general population of the world will be successful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Getting God's Love?


Is it possible to have material desires and also get God's Love?

Manohar

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Answer: In Different Forms...

Everyone is getting God's unlimited love at every minute. Those who have material desires are getting His love in the form of the fulfillment of their material desires according to their karma. Those who have no material desires are getting His love in the form of the supreme reward of the Lord's direct association at every minute. So each of us decides what is more attractive to us, the Lord's material energy or the Lord Himself. In this connection Lord Sri Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita:

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah


"As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pritha." ---Bhagavad-gita 4.11

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 2 July 2007

from ISKCON, Tucson, Arizona, USA
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Today's Thought:

Transforming Matter into Spirit

This entire material existence is the energy of God. Therefore, it is actually spiritual. It has become material, however, because we are utilizing it for our own selfish purposes. If this material existence can be engaged instead in the service of God, it will be amazingly transformed into the kingdom of God.

So how to do on this practical level? Lord Krishna answers this as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

yat karosi yad asnasi
yaj juhosi dadasi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kurusva mad-arpanam


"Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform -- do that, O son of Kunti, as an offering to Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 9.27

The practical application of this instructions is absolutely ecstatic. Anyone who applies these teachings at every minute will feel how they are always living in the direct association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to be Centered?

Can you tell me how I can center myself, when I travel so much? Like you, I do a lot of traveling, and you are so centered. I have tried to attain serenity but cannot connect to my center, when not in my chamber. I have so enjoyed and recognized so much of your teachings on the Walk of Enlightenment, Please continue.

As always, your student, Elizabeth.

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Answer:  Know Who You Are & Be Who You Are...

Centering is very simple. You have to tune into your actual self. In other words, you simply have to know who you are and be who are. Always remember that you are not your body, that you are the eternal servant of God. Carefully study the Bhagavad-gita to hear directly from God Himself exactly how He wants you to live your life. Strictly abide by His instructions. If you do this, you always feel enlivened like anything because you will be perfectly centered at every minute with your every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances.

This above technique is equally effective whether you are traveling or remaining at home because it has nothing to do with your surroundings and everything to do with your relationship with God.

Apply this technique with determination, patience, and enthusiasm. Your life will be inconceivably sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 1 July 2007

from ISKCON, Tuscon, Arizona, USA
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Today's Thought:

An Oasis in the Desert

It is wonderful stop, on our 2008 World Lecture Tour, to be here at ISKCON's Tucson, Arizona center where I am giving a series of lectures on Krishna consciousness, the ultimate self-realization science. It is amazing how the devotees, who began their project in 1987, have created such a wonderful heavenly atmosphere in the middle of the arid Arizona (arid-zona) desert. They have here on their property in the middle of Tucson a thriving, highly-acclaimed-by-the-media, vegetarian restaurant called "Govinda's Natural Foods Buffet" and a wonderful Hare Krishna temple.

In case you are wondering how this relates to the science of awakening your enlightened divine consciousness, kindly note that using one's sincerity and intelligence for establishing centers like this is one the quickest and easiest ways to be recognized by Krishna and to be blessed by him with tremendous spiritual advancement. If you are not able at the present time to establish such a center, you should assist someone else who has.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Garden

Entrance


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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Deathlessness?


What does deathlessness mean? Please explain.

Uma

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Answer: Deathlessness Means...

Deathlessness means a state of consciousness in which one is no longer subject to the laws of birth, death, old age, and disease. The person who has attained deathlessness no longer identities in any way with his or her material body. Such a realized person does not think, "I am a man", "I am a woman", "I am an American", "I am in Indian", or any such other thoughts in relationship with the material body. They are fully immersed in realizing and living the life of total devotion to Lord Sri Krishna 24 hours a day with their every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances. Such a life of devotion is not interrupted by the demise of the material body, just as a satellite going into outer space is not interrupted by the dropping off of its launch vehicle.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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