Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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His Grace Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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An Appeal for Your Help

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

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Sunday 30 September 2007

from the ISKCON Temple in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Lord Caitanya's Mercy


Lord Caitanya's mercy is alive and well. It's flourishing all over the universe. One simply must learn how to connect with it. His sweet mercy is readily available for those who take shelter of the holy names of God:

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

Lord Caitanya is Krishna Himself. He appeared 500 years ago in what is now West Bengal, India, and He bestowed what no other incarnation of God has ever freely given, pure love of God. Once you solidly connect yourself with His mercy, you will be blessed with a taste for loving and serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. So if you want to be successful in spiritual life, you can easily be successful if you will simply beg for the mercy of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna's Blessings Before Initiation?

Respected Sir, may your blessings always be on me. Sir, does Lord Krishna bless His chanter even before His chanter is initiated?

Warm regards,

Sunil

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Answer: Krishna Showers His Blessings Upon All

Krishna showers His blessings upon all those who approach Him with love and devotion. Those who are not yet connected with Him through the medium of the bona fide spiritual are guided by Krishna within the heart to come into contact with a bona fide spiritual who will guide them how to become pure devotees of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 29 September 2007

from the ISKCON Temple in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Happy Every Day


Krishna consciousness is so nice that you can be happy every day, no matter what is going on around you. Such a state of consciousness is what everyone is hankering and endeavoring for, but they never fully achieve it because they are going about it in the wrong way. People think that by becoming wealthy, powerful, or famous that they can achieve a position of uninterrupted happiness. But nothing could be further from the truth. We see again and again the examples of people who achieve wealth, fame, and power but who are extremely miserable in that position.

If we want factual happiness all we have to do is turn to the Srimad Bhagavatam and follow its principles. By engaging in unalloyed devotional service, we will taste the sweetest nectar at every minute:

ato vai kavayo nityam
bhaktih paramayā mudā
vāsudeve bhagavati
kurvanty ātma-prasādanīm


"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

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difficulty with Spouse


I've been reading your emails since the beginning of this year, and I find it very inspiring. It is slowly changing my way of thinking for the better. I am now more conscious about my actions than before. I recently decided to abstain from eating meat, but the problem is that my spouse is having a problem with this. She does not want to accept this change of mine. How do I make her understand that all I am doing is following your teachings to improve my lifestyle? Please help because this change of mine seems to be causing a strain in my relationship. I hope my question makes sense to you. If not, please ignore it and forgive me.

Best regards,
Your student,

Prajan

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Answer: If She Truly Loves You...

We take to the Krishna consciousness because it is the only way to become fully happy, free from all suffering. However our family members may become unhappy with us when we adopt such an unfamiliar lifestyle. If that happens, we can ask them if they want us to be happy or not. Even if they do not want to follow this wonderful blissful pathway themselves, if they truly love us they will allow us to practice it so that we can become happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 28 September 2007

from the ISKCON Temple in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

When Things Go Wrong

Things don't always go right in this material world. In fact, all too often things go wrong, sometimes quite wrong. How are we supposed to deal with this when it happens? The best thing to remember is that everything is happening for a transcendental purpose. When the reverse conditions come we should simply think how to use the situation as best as possible in Krishna's service. As soon as we take this mood we will see how even the most extreme reverse conditions are actually a blessing from Krishna. In this way we can always be nicely situated in Krishna consciousness in all circumstances and make steady advancement into the realm of pure devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Tackle Evil Doers?

Please clarify that in this dense Kali Yuga how should noble people deal with evil-doers? Sri Krishna would just finish the wicked people, but we cannot do so. Then what should we do?

Amit

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Answer: First Conquer the Evil in Your Heart

First conquer the evil in your own heart.

Once you've done that Krishna will empower you to teach others how to conquer the evil in their hearts. The whole world will be saved.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 27 September 2007

via mobile phone on the road to Riga
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Today's Thought:

Adding the Missing Ingredient


26 September 2007--Today we head out on the highway from Sillamae, Estonia to Riga, Latvia. This traveling for spreading the ultimate self-realization science is truly ecstatic. It is a living meditation. The deeper you get into it, the sweeter it gets. And the sweeter it gets, the more you become inspired to go even deeper and deeper into it ad infinitum.

Of course this unlimited gold mine of nectar is not only available to itinerant preachers. It is also fully and equally available to anybody in any walk of life. It is simply a matter of adding the missing ingredient, Krishna, to the recipe of your life.

Krishna bhakti is an unlimited ocean of nectar. You can dive deeper and deeper and deeper into it for all of eternity. Wherever you are, no matter what your occupation is, you can dive deeper and deeper into the ocean of bhakti each and every day. Simply chant these names and regain your original eternal identity:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Adding the Missing Ingredient
in the Sillamae, Estonia Public Library

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why So Many Religions?

I wanted to ask that why Lord Krishna made so many religions despite the fact that liberation from cycle of birth, old age, disease and death can only be obtained by chanting Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

Abhinav

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Answer: There is Only One Religion

Krishna has not made so many religions. There is only one religion, to reconnect with God. It does not matter if one is designated as a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, or a Jew. If he is reconnected with God, he has attained the perfection of religion. The word "religion" comes from the Latin word "religare", which means to reconnect. Reconnecting with God is reconnecting with God. It has nothing to do with this label or that label.

The attempt to make religion the exclusive property of this group or that group is a bastardization of religion. It is not actual religion. This a concoction of materialistically minded men. It is not what has been given to us by God.

We never say that one can become delivered only by chanting Hare Krishna. In this connection Lord Caitanya has authoritatively described in His Siksastakam prayers:

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitah smarane na kālah
etādrśī tava krpā bhagavān mamāpi
durdaivam īdrśam ihājani nānurāgah


"O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them."

Although the Hare Krishna mantra is recommended in the Vedas as the most powerful and effective of all mantras, we never say that it is the only mantra.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 26 September 2007

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Fly Hare Krishna Airlines

The kirtans we have been having here in Finland and Estonia these days are really glorious. In fact they are super glorious, truly far out of this material world. Hare Krishna is the ultimate airplane because it takes you quickly and easily out of the dimension of birth and death into the realm of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. All you have to do is fully absorb yourself in Hare Krishna kirtan, and before you know it you are flying free in the Spiritual Sky. There's no way I can fully describe it to you. If you really want to understand what I am talking about, there is only one thing for you to do. You must dive deeply and fully into ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan. Then and only then will you know what I mean. Get a musical instrument like a harmonium or a mridanga drum. Or you can use a guitar. Or if you have nothing else just clap your hands. Gather as many people who would like to chant with you as possible, and then take off for the ultimate airplane ride of your entire life:

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: Bhagavad-gita in the UN?

Is it possible to raise this subject of the eternal religion given by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita in the UN assembly in the present world scenario for global peace with the assistance of your esteemed organization? Both my friends, David (a Christian) and Mohammed (a Muslim), favor such a situation. Please express your views.

With best regards,

Damodar B.

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Answer: This Knowledge Can Save the World

We will be most happy to share this enlightened knowledge with the world leaders, if they will allow us the opportunity to do so. This knowledge of the Supreme Person and how we can perfectly harmonize with Him does not belong to a sectarian religion. It is the perfection of science and philosophy.

If the world leaders will simply open-mindedly hear from us, all the world's problems will easily be solved. All of humankind will be able to live in perfect harmony with each other and with the environment. There will no more fear from terrorism, global warming, financial collapse, or any of the thousands of other problems that are presently plaguing the human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 25 September 2007

from Sillamae, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

My Only Duty

In this world everyone gets persecuted, and those who are trying to be the Lord's devotees are no exception. I am sometimes very strongly criticized for my dedicated attempt to serve the mission of my spiritual master. But because I have complete faith in my spiritual master and the instructions I have received from him, I do not let these critics disturb my enthusiasm for doing my duty of cultivating pure Krishna consciousness within my heart and trying to spread it all over the world.

My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, one time advised a disciple who was being discouraged by criticism to be callous to that criticism. Of course if I am being rightly criticized, I will take the correction and adjust my behavior and attitude accordingly. But if I am being wrongly criticized, why should I take it? I will not. Those who wrongly criticize me will just have to be content with their criticism because I am not going to give up my duty to try to please them. My only duty is to please my spiritual master, not those who are envious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Happiness of the Lord


How can we definitely know when the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased with our service? We became happy by serving the Lord, but it does not necessarily mean that the Lord is also happy with our service. Please help me to realize the happiness of the Lord.

Jyoti

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Answer: Please His Pure Representative

Just as the proper way to water the branches and leaves of a tree is to water the tree's root, in the same way the only way that we can be happy is to make the Lord happy. In other words, we are like the leaf and Krishna is like the root.

Because Krishna is still very remote and distant for the neophyte devotee, the scriptures state that to please Lord Krishna one simply has to please his pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master. When one pleases his spiritual master, Krishna is pleased. This is the amazing potency of the system of disciplic succession.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 24 September 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Supreme of All Delights

Early this morning we hit the road again for Krishna. This time the road will be water. We will make a three hour journey by boat crossing the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn, Estonia and will then be traveling another two hours by car to a small Estonian town named Sillamae near the Russian border. In Sillamae there is a wonderful small community of Krishna devotees who gather regularly in residences to hear and chant the glories of Lord Sri Krishna. I am eagerly awaiting diving into this supreme of all delights in the company of such wonderful transcendentalists.

We can experience in Sillamae that Krishna consciousness does not depend on temple buildings. It simply depends upon an enthusiasm to hear and chant the glories of the Lord. But of course, temples of Lord Krishna in which bona fide spiritual masters teach are the ideal place to get a taste for this topmost nectar.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: 4 Regs

My question is one regarding the four regulative principles. Specifically no intoxication. I have had much success with the other three but continuously struggle with the last. Please advise what the best way to defeat this problem is.

Your Humble Servant,

Robert

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Answer: The Supreme Intoxication

If you can dive more deeply into the supreme intoxication, hearing and chanting the glories of Lord Sri Krishna, you will lose all interest in low class types of intoxication.

Just imagine if I gave you $100,000. That would be very enlivening for you, would it not? But if I said that now you must return the $100,000 to me, this would no doubt be disappointing. But then if I said I will give you one billion dollars in exchange for the $100,000, you could very easily give up the $100,000.

So whatever intoxication you are attached to right now is a measly $100,000. It is mere pocket change compared to the one billion dollars worth of pleasure that can easily be experienced through the supreme intoxication of chanting:

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

One realization I have also had is that if we casually described the four regulative principles as the "4 regs" as you did in the subject line of your email, it makes it harder to follow them. If we instead always respectfully refer them as Srila Prabhupada always described them as "the four regulative principles", by this act of honoring them it becomes much easier to follow them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 23 September 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Simply Be Honest


If we can simply be honest with ourselves, we can solve all problems of our existence. We have to admit that we don't really know where we've come from, where we are going, and what is the purpose of our existence. And we have to sincerely seek to discover these things. If we can simply make an honest effort in this regard, the Complete Whole Supreme Person will reward us unlimitedly, and we will be blessed with perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth.

If on the other hand, we choose to hide ourselves in the so-called comfort of dishonesty by refusing to even consider the purpose of our existence, we will be rewarded by nature with a miserable, ignorant existence lifetime after lifetime. Only a greatly unfortunate soul, when offered the choice between a life of enlightenment and life of illusion, would opt for a life of illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Inaction in Action?

Please explain me what is the meaning of Bhagavad-gita 4.18: "One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities."

Abhinav

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Answer: Attaining True Inaction

"Action in inaction" refers to the impersonalists, whose goal is to become free from karma by completely stopping all activities. But the so-called inaction of the impersonalists is not doable. Even by their very breathing they are continuing to act in this material world. Even though they think that they are being inactive, still they are active. They are still accruing karma.

"Inaction in action" refers to the devotees of the Lord. Even though they are very active in this world, because they offer the fruits of all their activities to the Lord, they do not accrue any karma at all. So it is only the Lord's devotees who achieve the true position of inaction, i.e. freedom from all karmic reactions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 22 September 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

The Supreme Connoisseur


There is no one more expert at enjoying than Krishna. He has the best of everything. He has the right to enjoy everything because He owns everything. No one can compete with Him in the matter of proprietorship and enjoyment. No one even comes close. He is truly the supreme connoisseur.

There are those, however, who try to compete with Him in enjoyment. Even though they cannot be successful, they imagine themselves to be enjoying on the highest level. They come to this material world as false lords and try to exert their proprietorship over that which is merely slipping through their fingers.

Those who are spiritually enlightened do not try to compete with the Lord. Rather they choose to participate with Him in His enjoyment. Thus they enjoy on an equal level with Him. They attain a state of consciousness known as desirelessness. This state is defined as follows by Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī in his Sandarbha:

bhajanīya parama purusa sukha mātra sva sukhatvam

"One should feel happy only by experiencing the happiness of the Supreme Lord."

By relishing the happiness of making the Lord happy the devotee also becomes the supreme connoisseur.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Will I Attain Higher Heights?

I have been following Your guidance for over a year now and carefully reading Thought for the Day. I am quite amazed at Your ability to publish ever fresh ideas and observations in Your newsletter.

If I keep following and obeying, studying and chanting, will I be able to reach anywhere near those heights in thought? I reckon this sounds like a vain aspiration but really higher thoughts and higher levels of consciousness are something I desire. I feel I can become closer to understanding God in that way. How can I think like you?

Thank you for your patience with me after all this time...

Hare Krishna,

Your slow-learning student

Brenda Lee R.

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Answer: If You Do What I Have Done.

Yes, you will be able to advance in Krishna consciousness to very high levels where you will be having at every minute ever-fresh realizations about Lord Krishna and your relationship with Him. This is not only possible; it is guaranteed that this will happen to you, if you will carefully chant your 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day and strictly follow the regulative principles of freedom.

If you want to be able to think like me, you should do the same thing that I have done. You must fully surrender yourself to Guru and Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 21 September 2007

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Sharing the Bliss in Helsinki


20 September 2007--Helsinki, Finland. We arrived here yesterday after taking a three hour boat ride across the Gulf of Finland. Today is Radhastami in Finland, a wonderful occasion to remember and call out for the mercy of Srimati Radharani. This afternoon the rain let up and the sun beautifully appeared. This gave us a wonderful opportunity to take the holy names of the Lord out onto the streets to share with the people of Helsinki. Armed with khartals (small hand cymbals), mridanga drums, a portable sound system, and a crew of enthusiastic singing and dancing devotees we headed out in procession in mid-afternoon downtown Helsinki. By the power of Krishna's wondrous holy names the entire atmosphere of Helsinki became transcendentally surcharged.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Helsinki Harinam Party Shares the Bliss

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Life's Financial Requirements


Please clarify that what are the necessary financial requirements in life, along with spiritual advancement.

Amit

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Answer: Plain Living and High Thinking

Just as a train runs on two rails, we require not only Krishna bhakti. As long as we have a material body, we require some means of livelihood. The idea is to keep your material necessities as simple as possible so that you can focus your energies on developing your Krishna consciousness.

Our motto in life should be, "Plain living and high thinking." But instead we have invented a culture of so-called high living with no thinking. This is our greatest misfortune.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 20 September 2007

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Is Krishna Consciousness Scientific?

Nowadays especially, if something is not scientific people do not want to accept it. So is Krishna consciousness scientific, or is it just a matter of blind faith?

If my chemistry teacher tells me that H20 = water, is that scientific or is it simply a matter of belief? This formula is accepted as scientific because it is verifiable in the laboratory. I can go to the laboratory and personally prove the scientific truth of this formula by combining two parts of hydrogen with one part of oxygen and producing water. And no one will criticize me for accepting the truth of this formula, even if I do not personally prove its authenticity in the laboratory, because it has been proven in the laboratory countless numbers of times.

Similarly Krishna consciousness is verifiable in the laboratory. Our formula is that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna has been personally realized countless numbers of times throughout history by persons who have developed pure love for Him. And I can also personally realize Krishna if I develop pure love for Him. So "Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead" is just as scientific as "H20 = water."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is Self-Realized?


Can we say or define that the self realized person is one who is transcendental to the three modes of material nature because he has completely surrendered himself at the lotus feet of lord Krishna?

Please be kind to remove my ignorance.

Sanjay M. Bhagtani

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Answer: The Fully Surrendered Person

Yes. That is correct. The fully self-realized person is that person who has taken complete shelter at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Srimad Bhagavatam states that the self-realization of those who have no regard for the Lord's lotus feet is imaginary.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 19 September 2007

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Consciousness, the Missing Link


Modern scientists are trying to find evidence in the fossil record to prove that human beings and apes both evolved from a common ancestor. But to date they still have not been able to do so. It is an interesting situation that the scientific community blindly accepted Darwin's theory and then was obliged to go out and find the evidence to prove that his theory was correct. Even though they still have not come up with the evidence, they still tenaciously cling to the so-called truthfulness of Darwin's theory.

If they are truly interested to find the missing links between the species, we can enlighten them in this regard. The missing link connecting one species to another is consciousness. Whatever consciousness one has upon a leaving a particular body, that consciousness will carry him to his next body. He can evolve to a higher form. He can devolve to a lower form. Or he can remain at the same level. If he makes his consciousness perfect by absorbing it in Krishna, he escapes the evolutionary cycle of birth and death and re-enters his original home in the transcendental spiritual sky to enjoy an eternal existence, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Chant?

I am chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day very easily, which is very surprising.

What should one think of while doing japa to stop the mind from flickering to worldly topics instead of hearing the chanting?

Are there any offenses to avoid while chanting japa? If on any particular day I feel I can chant more than 16 rounds, should I do so? Should one chant more on festival days?

Thanks,

Your humble servant and student,

Simran

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Answer: Like a Child Crying for Mother

While chanting japa one should keep his mind fixed on the sound of Krishna's name. And you should utter the names in the mood of a small child calling out for his mother. The ten offenses to be avoided are:

(1) To blaspheme the devotees who have dedicated their lives for propagating the holy name of the Lord.
(2) To consider the names of demigods like Lord Siva or Lord Brahma to be equal to, or independent of, the name of Lord Vishnu.
(3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master.
(4) To blaspheme the Vedic literature or literature in pursuance of the Vedic version.
(5) To consider the glories of chanting Hare Krishna to be imagination.
(6) To give some interpretation on the holy name of the Lord.
(7) To commit sinful activities on the strength of the holy name of the Lord.
(8) To consider the chanting of Hare Krishna one of the auspicious ritualistic activities offered in the Vedas as fruitive activities (karma-kanda).
(9) To instruct a faithless person about the glories of the holy name. (Anyone can take part in chanting the holy name of the Lord, but in the beginning one should not be instructed about the transcendental potency of the Lord. Those who are too sinful cannot appreciate the transcendental glories of the Lord, and therefore it is better not to instruct them in this matter.)
(10) To not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names and to maintain material attachments, even after understanding so many instructions on this matter.
(It's also offensive to be inattentive while chanting.)

Whenever possible you should always chant extra rounds beyond the required 16. Especially on festival days this is nice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 18 September 2007

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Maya's Propaganda Machine


Would you like to have an eternal existence full of knowledge and bliss? Or would you prefer a temporary existence full of ignorance and misery? Anybody in their right mind would obviously choose an eternal existence full of knowledge and bliss. So why then does 99.99% of the world's population opt for temporality, ignorance, and misery? This is due to the expert marketing job of the material energy. The material nature is such an effective propaganda machine that it convinces us that temporality, ignorance, and misery is actually eternity, knowledge, and bliss. And it also convinces us that the real eternity, knowledge, and bliss is in fact temporality, ignorance, and misery. So in this way bewildered by the influence of the material nature, we are not able to see our way out of the dense forest of delusion. And we remain entangled for countless lifetimes in the repetition of birth and death.

Therefore those who are factually spiritually enlightened fully dedicate themselves for the purpose of the saving the illusioned souls from their imprisonment within the material nature by propagating the ultimate self-realization science all over the world. They sincerely try to liberate everyone from their ignorance and misery by introducing everywhere the science of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Your State of Realization?

Sir, you have written:

"Regarding the state of pure mind/Buddha nature, please note that there are three stages:

1. Pure mind (Brahman realization)
2. Purer mind (Paramātmā realization)
3. Purest mind (Bhagavān realization)"

Which state of realization you have been able to achieve?

With regards,
M. Venugopal

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Answer: Consult Bhagavad-gita

Those who are actually self-realized do not advertise themselves as such. To understand where someone stands spiritually requires that you must first become knowledgeable in the science of bhakti as described by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. So my best advice to you is that you carefully study Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the greatest of self-realized teachers. By doing so you will then be able to discern who is spiritually realized and who is not and to what degree they are spiritually realized.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 17 September 2007

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Importance of Proper Association


In the present age it is becoming increasingly difficult to become spiritually enlightened. This is because of the deteriorating influence of the present age of Kali, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy. In this age very few people are interested in spiritual life. And of those who are, because of insufficient guidance, even fewer are fortunate enough to be properly situated on the pathway of spiritual perfection.

Nowadays we see that many people want to concoct their own pathway of spiritual perfection. But only a liberated soul can show us the way out of bondage, not a conditioned soul. Therefore if we are serious about becoming delivered from the cycle of birth and death we must be careful to choose the association and guidance of those who are factually liberated from the cycle of birth and death, not the so-called guidance of those who are still in the grip of Maya or illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Non-Physical Form?

Namaste.

I am having a hard time with "transcendental". Does this word mean basically "non-physical"? If so, then how is it that Krishna has/is a transcendental body? I have always equated "body" with "form". I am schooled as an artist but also have mystical inclinations. How can something non-physical have a form?

Please help me to clear up this confusion.
Thank you.
Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: Spiritual Form is Permanent, Material Form is Temporary

Transcendental means beyond this material existence. Krishna's body is transcendental because it is not composed of material elements. It is instead composed of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. This is confirmed as follows in the Brahma-Samhita:

iśvarah paramah Krishnah
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahah
anādir ādir govindah
sarva-kārana-kāranam


"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krishna. He has a body which is composed of eternity, knowledge and bliss. He has no beginning, for He is the beginning of everything. He is the cause of all causes." --Brahma-Samhita 5.1

Even the Bible confirms that God has form because it says that man is created in the image of God.

Why do you think that something non-physical cannot have form? The spiritual elements also have tangibility. In fact they are more tangible than the material elements because the material elements come into being at a certain time and then are destroyed at the time of universal devastation. While countless phases of creation, maintenance, and destruction are going on for the material elements, the spiritual elements of eternity, knowledge, and bliss are always existing in an undisturbed way. Therefore spiritual form is permanent, and material form is temporary.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 16 September 2007

from London Heathrow Airport
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Today's Thought:

Is Anything Real?

15 September 2007. While I was standing in a long queue waiting to clear customs at London Gatwick airport I spent some quality time blissfully chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra on my japa beads. Then, since I had arrived in the home of the Beatles, I thought deeply about the concept "nothing is real", which they popularized in one of their songs.

To say that nothing is real is an absurdity because if nothing is real, the statement "Nothing is real" is also unreal and therefore has no meaning. Even the mere utterance of "Nothing is real" articulates the reality of a philosophical principle. In other words the principle "Nothing is real" cancels itself out and therefore cannot be accepted as true. And if we consider the other philosophical position that something is real, the statement "nothing is real" is of course untrue.

So, no matter how you look at it, it cannot be true to to say that nothing is real. Therefore we can logically conclude that something is real. And to discover what is that something is the purpose of the human existence. This is confirmed as follows in the Vedānta-sūtra:

athāto brahmā jij˝āsā

"Now that you have come to the human form of life you must inquire about what is real."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are All Great Teachers Avatars?

A question that has been burning in me the past months is this: Are all the great spiritual teachers of the world [Christ, Buddha, Mohammed, etc.] avatars of Krishna? And if so, what kind of attention should we pay to their teachings? Should we honor them and learn from them as well?

Thank you for your guidance,
Namaste,

John Gilliam

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Answer: Avatar or Shaktyavesh Avatar

All the great teachers of the world are either incarnations of God or pure devotees of God. In either case they are equally venerable or worshipable because the pure devotee of God is meant to be worshipped on the same level with God. Because the pure devotee is fully invested with the shakti or energy of Krishna for uplifting the global consciousness, he is known as a shaktyavesh avatar.

The various incarnations and pure devotees appear again and again throughout history for the purpose of re-establishing religious principles. They sometimes speak the full truth, sometimes partial truth, and sometimes focus on sub-religious principles, as in the case of Lord Buddha.

If you will carefully study the Bhagavad-gita as it is, you will understand the full truth and then see how all the incarnations and pure devotees taught their students in such a way to bring them closer to the highest truth.

Sometimes the great teachers present principles which are against the higher principles of Vedas for the purpose of regulating sinful men so that they gradually come to the ultimate standard of pure devotion. So in terms of what principles and teachings to embrace and which ones to leave aside, by studying and following the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita you will realize everything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 15 September 2007

from Detroit, Michigan, USA
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Today's Thought:

So Sad and So Glad

Traveling to Europe I am getting a good opportunity to witness first hand the mental state of the present day human population. It is indeed sad to see how deeply they are steeped in illusion. Their consciousness is absorbed in family affairs and in the current events of this material world. Even though every living being is the eternal servant of Krishna, they have become infected by the disease of forgetfulness and thus they misidentify themselves with their material bodies and take more interest in the materialistic way of life than in Krishna consciousness.

My spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, explains in this connection:

"This world of maya is called durāśraya, which means 'false or bad shelter.' One who puts his faith in durāśraya becomes a candidate for hoping against hope. In the material world everyone is trying to become happy, and although their material attempts are baffled in every way, due to their nescience they cannot understand their mistakes. People try to rectify one mistake by making another mistake. This is the way of the struggle for existence in the material world."

Although this makes me very sad, I am simultaneously most glad that, even though I am most undeserving, I have been blessed by my spiritual master with my own deliverance from this illusory consciousness and the means by which the entire world can be delivered. That means is the wide scale global propagation of Krishna consciousness. What could be a more exciting and fulfilling life than spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Everyone Cheated by Their Mind?

I have read your articles everyday for two months. I really admire what you do, for what you believe. I have to confess that I'm not good at English writing so you must forgive me if I can not express my opinion correctly.

Your thoughts very much inspired me, however when I try to do as you said to approach the Krishna consciousness I just see my own mind in an unspeakable clean empty.

I think that people with different religions can only find different shapes of God according to what he of she believes. And this is why the world needs many different religions. Because our pure or true mind (or soul) will automatically show the picture a person eager to see. I'm not disagreed with what you believed. I just wonder: Is everyone being cheated by one's own mind by what is seen is one's own mind shows to him or her?

Under this theory, there is only one truth which is our pure mind (sometimes called the Buddha nature).

With my best regards,
Yours sincerely,

David Yang

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Answer: Perfection of the Pure Mind

I am very happy to hear from you of your admiration for my beliefs. But in this connection I humbly beg to point out to you that what I am writing is not my beliefs. What I am presenting is the timeless knowledge of existence, which has been carefully transmitted by great fully realized spiritual masters since time immemorial. Anyone who would like to become fully realized in this ultimate knowledge can do so simply by taking advantage of the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

As long as we take the Supreme according to our imagination or mental speculation we remain within the realm of impure mind. Therefore we should not allow ourselves to be cheated by the impure mind. We should instead take advantage of the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master who ushers us into the realm of pure mind, which is described in the following verse of the Bhagavad-gita:

"In the stage of perfection called trance, or samādhi, one's mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This perfection is characterized by one's ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness, realized through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact."
---Bhagavad-gita 6:20-23

Regarding the state of pure mind/Buddha nature, please note that there are three stages:

1. Pure mind (Brahman realization)
2. Purer mind (Paramātmā realization)
3. Purest mind (Bhagavān realization)

These are described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam yaj j˝anam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti śabdyate


"Learned transcendentalists who know the Absolute Truth call this nondual substance Brahman, Paramātmā or Bhagavān."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.11

If one becomes Bhagavān realized, this is the highest, most complete realization of the Buddha nature. Such a most perfectly realized soul fully surrenders himself at the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 14 September 2007

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

Krishna's Wonderful Compensation Program


Today I am heading out to Tallinn, Estonia for a month long lecture tour in eastern Europe. Krishna has blessed me with the greatest opportunity to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, both through traveling lecture tours and through the internet. There is certainly no greater happiness than sharing the supreme science of bhakti with everyone that we meet. This reconnects everyone with their original spiritual identity, which is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. There is no reason for even one person on this planet to be in a suffering condition. Simply everyone must revive their dormant Krishna consciousness, and they will relish the sweetest pleasure within their hearts at every minute. The more we distribute the bliss, the more we experience the bliss. This is the wonderful compensation program of Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Survives Death?

Namaste. My question today is: Whenever we die, what part or parts of us will survive?

Thank you again for all your kind, humble and wise service to humanity.

Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: The Particle of Subatomic, Indestructible, Pure Anti-Material Energy

The answer is that we do not die. Simply the material body perishes, while the spirit-soul remains. You are the spirit-soul The body is not you. It's just something that you are passing through. The spirit-soul, is a particle of subatomic, indestructible, pure anti-material energy qualitatively one with God. This is the real you. It is not destroyed at the time of death. It simply travels to a new body according to his consciousness at the time of death. Or if one is in a state of pure Krishna bhakti at the time of death, that spiritual particle remanifests his original spiritual form in the spiritual world and gives up the transmigration from one body to another in this material world to become an eternal associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His unlimited pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 13 September 2007

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

How to Personally Realize God

The only thing you have to do if you want to attain the supreme happiness is open your heart to the Supreme Person, the source of all existence. He's definitely out there. He is not a figment of your imagination. In fact He's more real than everything else because everything exists only by dint of His desiring it to exist.

Of course, we cannot realize Him simply by twisting our brains this way and that through mental speculation. We can only realize Him when He so kindly reveals Himself to us. This He has most kindly done in His famous conversation with Arjuna 5,000 years ago in India at a place known as Kurukshetre, which is still there even today. You can go there and visit that place. This most glorious of all conversations, known as the Bhagavad-gita, has been recorded and passed down to us in its original pure form by a great disciplic succession of enlightened spiritual masters. If you will simply, sincerely and carefully, follow the instructions given in the authorized Bhagavad-gita, that Supreme Person will also personally reveal Himself to you just as He did 5,000 years ago to Sri Arjuna at Kurukshetre.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why One World Religion?

Why should we have one world religion?

Can't we live peacefully together and have our own religion if we take a vow of non-violence?

Ludo

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Answer: There is Only One Religion

It is not a question of why we should have only one world religion. Factually speaking, there is only one religion, to become a pure lover of God. Whether someone approaches this one religion as a follower of Christ, Buddha, Krishna, or Allah is a matter of personal preference. But there is in fact only one religion.

True saintly persons are always non-violent by nature. They do not want to even harm an ant. What to speak of hurting a cow. Someone who causes harm to innocent creatures cannot be accepted as religious regardless of what designation they may accept such as Christian, Hindu, Muslim, etc.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 12 September 2007

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

Conquering the Mind


Even though we can't see it or touch it, our mind is either our best friend or our worst enemy. Our state of mind will make us either highly successful and happy or it will drag us down into a miserable quagmire. If we make the mind our best friend by bringing it completely under control, we will be blessed with supreme success. And if we allow it to run wild, our life will be an utter disaster since we will be forced by the laws of nature to glide down to the animal kingdom in our next lifetime.

So how do we bring it under control? This is the most important question. Krishna gives us a hint in the Bhagavad-gita:

yatha dipo nivata-stho
nengate sopama smrta
yogino yata-cittasya
yu˝jato yogam atmanah


"As a lamp in a windless place does not waver, so the transcendentalist, whose mind is controlled, remains always steady in his meditation on the transcendent self." ---Bhagavad-gita 6.19

So the secret of success is that we have to keep the mind always focused on Krishna, the transcendent self. The Krishna conscious mind is the perfectly controlled mind.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do We Love God?

My most humble question is: How do we love God?

It is easy to love a person or a thing that we see, but since we cannot see God, how do we love Him? Also how do we know that he is reciprocating with our love? I do not doubt His existence but would like to know how to relate to Him.

Many thanks in advance for your very kind guidance.

With most humble respects

Anil

Mumbai, India

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Answer: By Engaging in His Service

You already have love of God lying dormant within your heart. All you have to do to revive it is engage yourself in His service. You can see God, if you are willing to develop the eyes to see God. This is confirmed in the Brahma Samhita as follows:

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


"When one's eyes are anointed with the unguent, the salve of love of Godhead, he can see Krishna everywhere within and without."--Brahma-samhita 5.38

How is that salve applied? You must repeatedly hear the glories of the Lord through the mouths of His pure devotees.

If you sincerely give your love to Krishna you will feel how He is reciprocating with you. In this regard the Lord speaks as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

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

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."--Bhagavad-gita 9.26

So sincerely offer your vegetarian foods to Krishna (no meat, fish, eggs, onions or garlic allowed) with love and when you partake of the remnants of the offering you will feel how Krishna is reciprocating with you in each and every bite.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 11 September 2007

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

One World Religion

There is no reason for humanity to be divided into different religions that are constantly fighting with one another, because religion is one, to become a lover of God. There is one Supreme Being of Whom we are all a part. It does not matter if we are designated as Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist. We are all still coming from the same place, the Supreme Person. Human life is meant for getting to know that Supreme Person intimately well and thus naturally developing more and more love for Him. One should adopt whatever means is most practical and effective for becoming fully absorbed in loving service to Him. That state of full absorption in His service is known as samadhi or Krishna consciousness. Throughout the world everyone should be encouraged and trained how to become fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guru's Willingness to Initiate Disciples In Spite of Taking Their Karma


When a guru initiates does he take the karma of his would be disciple? Is that the reason many gurus are not very willing to initiate? Sometimes the aspiring disciple has to wait for 5 years and more to get initiated.

Some gurus are willing to initiate easily, some are not. Why is it so? What happens if a disciple chants his prescribed 16 rounds and follows all the regulative principles say for 6 months, gets initiated, and after sometime breaks the regulative principles and stops chanting the prescribed number of rounds?

It is said that if one does a wrong one has to bear the results of it. But if one lets down a guru, it is a bigger offense. What happens in that case?

Thanks,
Your humble servant and student,

Simran

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Answer: His Special Mercy

Yes, the spiritual master does take the karma of those that he initiates. Therefore the spiritual master has to be cautious and make sure that the candidate can be strong and steady in his practice, that he will not fall down.

Sometimes the spiritual master will be very lenient and give someone initiation even if they are not very fixed up, just for the purpose of helping them to get fixed up. This is his special mercy that is sometimes given in specific circumstances. This is totally up to the spiritual master if and when he wants to give such special leniency.

If one takes initiation and then deviates from his initiation vows, the spiritual master will have to suffer by undergoing such things as bad dreams and diseases. The disciple who deviates from his spiritual master will find it impossible to advance on the pathway of spiritual perfection until he can realign himself with the orders received from his spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 10 September 2007

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

Beyond Illusion


As long as we base our understanding of reality on what we perceive through our imperfect senses, we can never know things as they are. We will always be more or less in a state of illusion. And because of being in illusion we will make so many mistakes. And if in spite of these mistakes we consider our vision of reality to be perfect, we are cheating both ourselves and others. Therefore we must base our understanding of reality on something other than our imperfect senses. We should base our understanding of reality on the knowledge that is revealed to us by the source of reality, i.e. Krishna or God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Explaining Krishna Consciousness to Christians

On Sunday 9 September 2007 I spoke to a hall full of Christians at First United Methodist Church, in Georgetown, Texas. They very eagerly, respectfully, and joyfully heard my half hour lecture on the philosophy and practices of Krishna consciousness. Then for twenty minutes up until the end of the allotted time I answered their many sincere questions. I was able to directly experience how relevant and attractive the philosophy of Bhagavad-gita is for the entire world. If we can simply give everyone the opportunity to hear what is the science of Krishna, we can gradually attract the entire world.




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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Advance with No Association?

You have kindly said that under proper guidance and spiritual association one should reawaken one's original love for Godhead. But what if in certain circumstances one cannot associate with the devotees? This is my first question.

My second is: How can one begin devotional service unto the the Lord? It seems very difficult to regulate the mind, to keep it from hovering and getting attracted to material pleasure. Take the example of intoxication. It is possible for me to avoid tea and coffee for not more than 2 or 3 or 4 days. Consistency in keeping a spiritual attitude is practically a very, very difficult task. So please kindly suggest a permanent solution for this problem of mine.

Hare Krishna,

Your's Obediently,

Anand

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Answer: Take Full Advantage of Whatever Association You Do Have

If you are away from devotee association, you should take more advantage of whatever association you do have. You have the association of Srila Prabhupada through his books. You have the association of Krishna through His holy names. You have Krishna prasadam. My association is also there through my recorded videos and lectures and through my e-course. You may also personally inquire from me and be guided by me. If you take full advantage of whatever association you now have, Krishna will see your sincerity and He will give you more and more association.

The beginning of devotional service is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra and taste Krishna prasadam. If you absorb your tongue in this way, you will get a higher taste and naturally lose your taste for the lower taste of tea, coffee, and other unnecessary things.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 9 September 2007

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

Glorifying Krishna


Krishna instructs us in the Bhagavad-gita to always be glorifying Him 24 hours a day. Therefore for those who are devoted to Him there is nothing to do except to constantly glorify Him. One type of glorification is on the lips only, to say that Krishna is great, but fail to follow His instructions. That sort of glorification is not very important. The real glorification is to be engaged 24 hour in executing the orders of the Lord. So what has the Lord ordered? He has appeared 500 years ago as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and ordered us to inundate this entire world in a tidal wave of Krishna bhakti. So if we are actually serious about glorifying Krishna, we must obey His order and sacrifice everything for bringing about a complete spiritual revolution on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Complaint: Forgive Me If I Am Wrong


Respected Guruji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. I am reading your mails daily and they guide me a lot spiritually. Sometimes, I feel the issue of bona fide master is taking more importance than is necessary. Forgive me please. We have accepted you as our Guru unconditionally and we seek to gain more knowledge from your mails. I wish there is more about Sri Krishna, more from Bhagavad-gita and more from Srimad Bhagavatam in your mails so it will keep us thinking only about Krishna till the next day when we can read some more of the loving God. Forgive me if I am wrong. But my request is on behalf of all those devotees who have accepted you as their bona fide spiritual master.

Thank you,
Yours obediently,

Chitra

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Answer: You Are Forgiven

Our business is to do nothing but glorify Krishna 24 hours daily. The teachings of Krishna are just as much Krishna as His pastimes, names, and qualities. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita:

acaryopasanam

"One should worship an acharya, a spiritual master who knows things as they are." Bhagavad-gita 13.8

So whether we describe Krishna's pastime of lifting Govardhan Hill or elaborate on His instruction that one must take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, it is the same. It is artificial and incorrect to make a distinction between the instructions of Krishna and the pastimes of Krishna because they are both on the same absolute level. So you are wrong, but I forgive you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 8 September 2007

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

Follow Exactly

The perfection of consciousness is to become fully Krishna conscious. This is the original, natural, pure state of being that we all enjoyed before we fell into this material existence. Now through following the sublime teachings of Krishna as given in the Bhagavad-gita, we can regain our original, pure state of consciousness. The key is that we have to follow the instructions of Krishna exactly as He gives them to us. It is not that we can manufacture our system of so-called spiritual emancipation. Such a concocted program will keep us in the repetition of birth and death. Only the exact process given to us by Krishna can save us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Much Chanting?

Do I chant my beads 16 times a day? I thought it was just once a day?

Valerie

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Answer: 1,728 Mahamantras

Those who have accepted initiation vows chant the Hare Krishna mantra 1,728 times daily:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


We have chanting beads with 108 beads. We go 16 times around the beads daily.

16 x 108 = 1,728 repetitions of the Mahamantra

Since you are not yet initiated, you may chant whatever amount you are easily able to accomplish on a daily basis. But the more you chant, the faster you will make spiritual progress.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 7 September 2007

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

Preparing for World Lecture Tour


Now that the Janmastami and Vyas Puja celebrations have been joyfully celebrated, it is time for me in the next week to make the final preparations for my 2007-2008 world tour, which is detailed in the schedule below. [see
Itinerary] The self-realization process is practical. It is not mere theory. We are meant to rise early every day to chant the holy names of God and study the revealed scriptures. Then, as much as we are able, we are meant to engage in practical activities for the deliverance of the suffering souls of this age from illusion. Krishna has very kindly blessed me with the facility to dedicate my full time as a traveling transcendental missionary in this regard. I pray for his blessings that my endeavor will be a grand success.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Everybody is Confusing Me


There are many disciplic traditions claming authenticity for themselves. But many of them are rivaling each other. How to find what which is genuine and authentic?

In your answer to me you said that the Srimad Bhagavatam is the most important. Does that mean that the other Puranas are less important, or that they are not correct?

The Shivites claim that some other Puranas are more important. The Vedantists claim that the Upanishads are more important than the Puranas. Oh! everybody is confusing me.

Kumaresh

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Answer: Clear Understanding of Vedic Wisdom

In the Vedic civilization there are four authentic, authorized sampradayas (lines of disciplic succession) and they are all in agreement with each other. They do not dispute the authenticity of each other. Anyone who rivals these sampradayas is not acting in accordance with Vedic authority.

There is no doubt that all of the Vedic wisdom is fully authentic and authoritative. Even though all medicines are genuine, if we take the wrong medicine it can make our disease worse. Therefore medicine must be taken under the careful and expert guidance of the qualified physician. Similarly the Vedic injunctions have to be understood and applied under the guidance of the expert spiritual master. It is not that if we take medicine without proper guidance that we can become healthy, nor can we become spiritually enlightened if we try to figure out the Vedic wisdom on our own.

If in line with the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita we accept the authority of Lord Sri Krishna, and we also accept the authority of the great spiritual masters who have guided India's Vedic civilization since time immemorial, we will not be confused.

To an untrained student who is not yet initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, the Vedas can be confusing, as you are now experiencing. This is why it is enjoined that one not study the Vedas until one has taken shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. One reason for this is that the Vedas are full with many statements that appear on the surface to be contradictory.

For example in addition to giving information to those on the highest platform of sattva guna, the Vedas also provide guidance for those who are in the lower modes of material nature. For instance, there is one Purana that guides those who want to eat meat how they can offer a goat to goddess Kali. They are required to whisper a mantra in the goat's ear that now I am killing you to eat you, but in the future you will kill me and eat me. Such Vedic injunctions are to meant to encourage those who are addicted to meat eating to give it up. Such Vedic injunctions are not meant to encourage meat eating.

This is why we have to approach the Vedas under the guidance of the great Mahajanas, not through our own mental speculation. If we take the guidance of the great Mahajanas, those enlightened spiritual masters who have guided the Vedic society since time immemorial, we will properly understand the meaning and purpose of all the Vedic injunctions and we will be able to see what is the inner purpose of all the Vedas, i.e. to become Krishna conscious. This point is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna Himself in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo

"By all the Vedas, I am to be known." -- Bhagavad-gita 15.15

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 6 September 2007

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

Divine Dining


Learned transcendentalists realize that the tongue needs to be brought under control. They understand fully well that one becomes diseased and diverted from the path of spiritual realization if one takes more food than is necessary to keep body and soul together. Therefore they restrict themselves to a simple sattvic diet of of fruits, vegetables, milk products and grains. But they don't stop there. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that we should only eat foods which have first been offered lovingly to Him. Therefore the highest level transcendentalists always offer their foods to Krishna before eating. Unless an eatable has first been offered to Krishna with love, they will not put it in their mouth. These devotees cook for Krishna. They don't cook for themselves. They make Krishna the tastiest, most nutritious meals, and then after offering to Him, they partake of the remnants of the Lord's offering. Such divine dining is the perfection of the tongue. By such eating one becomes freed from all sins and one's original dormant Krishna consciousness become revived. Everyone enjoys savoring many varieties of culinary delights. The devotees, who partake only of the remnants of God's meals, enjoy their eating more than anyone else in the world. One who takes to the transcendental pathway of Krishna consciousness enjoys the best of everything in this world and in the next.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Finding the Absolute Guru


Sir, I do read your lessons more or less regularly. I do not follow rituals rigorously, but Krishna and Rama is my belief.

Now-a-days media presents thousands of gurus shining all around. Some offer salvation in secret chambers and in other secret ways. Some offer salvation the corporate way.

Most of these gurus have salvation to offer, most exchanged for a fee, and of course some devotion.

But after a pursuit, it is seen that they are only good managers, good orators, etc, but not the one who can free us from anxiety.

In such a blitzkrieg doesn't it become more difficult for an ignorant person to find an absolute guru?

Sorry for intruding with my stupidity.

Thank, you, Sir!

Suraj

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Answer: Recognizing the Absolute Guru

What you are saying is true. In the modern day Kali Yuga society we are certainly bombarded by a myriad of false teachers. It is thus very difficult to find a bona fide guru. But if in spite of Krishna mercifully sending us the bona fide guru, we are not able to recognize him, that is the greatest misfortune.

You see, there is nothing more fortunate than coming into contact with a bona fide spiritual master. So how unfortunate is that person who even having achieved the greatest good fortune does not recognize it and allows that supreme opportunity to slip through his fingers.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 5 September 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Special Notice: Srila Prabhupada Vyas Puja

This is the appearance of our most beloved Founder-Acharya, my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He appeared on this day in Calcutta, India in 1896. He is the topmost of the Lord's devotees and was especially empowered by Krishna to do what no other acharya has ever done, spread pure Krishna bhakti all over the world. Celebrate his appearance by fasting until noon. Cook him a wonderful, opulent feast (no meat, fish, eggs, onions, or garlic) and offer it to him at noon by placing a nice serving of preparation before his photograph. Then after giving him sufficient time to partake, you may partake to your full satisfaction.

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Today's Thought:

At His Lotus Feet


I offer myself eternally as a servant at the lotus feet of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, my eternal spiritual master and spiritual father. In 1971 he saved me from countless rotations in the cycle of birth and death by accepting me as his duly initiated disciple. Since that wonderful day, when I fully dedicated my eternal existence to him, I have been tasting the sweetest nectar engaging myself and others in his service and spreading the sublime Krishna consciousness science all over the world.

It was only Srila Prabhupada who gave us access to that science, because it was only he who presented to us the Bhagavad-gita exactly as Krishna spoke it to Arjuna. Although there are hundreds of other Gita editions, I have personally seen how the other translators twist the words of Krishna to suit their own concocted vision of reality. But Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is contains no such distortions. From him we receive the pure unadulterated teachings of Lord Sri Krishna with their full transcendental potency. Therefore I eternally bow in obeisances at his lotus feet thanking him for his unlimited loving kindness to accept such a wretched soul as myself as his disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can the Jiva Fall Twice?

My question refers to Bhagavad-gita, 8.16 and 8.21. Does it not in these two verses suggest that once the jiva attains the spiritual world it will not fall again? I can almost understand that the jiva can fall originally, but how can it fall from, "that place, which having attained it, one never returns."

Thank you for your patience.

Bruce

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Answer: Once Burned, Twice Shy.

Here are the wonderful verses you quoted:

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


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

avyakto 'ksara ity uktas
tam ahuh paramam gatim
yam prapya na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama


"That which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns-- that is My supreme abode. "--Bhagavad-gita 8.21

So the rule is that those who fell to the material world and then return back to Godhead do not fall a second time. "Once burned, twice shy." Although the living entity is certainly free to fall again, he will not do so after having experienced how miserable is this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 4 September 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Special Notice:

Today is Janmastami

This is Janmastami, the most auspicious appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna. On this day devotees fast until midnight and break their fast by honoring a sumptuous feast that is offered to Lord Krishna at midnight, the time of His appearance. Anyone who observes Janmastami makes great spiritual advancement.

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Today's Thought:

Well-wishing Friend of All


We have no greater friend than the devotee of the Lord. Why is that? Krishna declares Himself in the Bhagavad-gita as the best friend of all living beings, and His devotee is His pure representative. Therefore just as Krishna is the best friend, His devotee is also the best friend because in all ways he simply acts as the Lord's messenger. So there is nothing more beneficial for our spiritual life than to take shelter of the Lord's devotee. By doing so we come into immediate contact with the Lord and all of our anxieties of material existence are quickly extinguished. The devotee is the well-wishing friend of all. He fully dedicates his life for sharing Krishna with the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Janmastami Prayer


My obeisances to you!

Shall we pray on Janmastami for everyone to become a pure devotee of Krishna?

Gayathri

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Answer: First Save Ourselves, then Others

Praying on Janmastami for everyone to become a pure devote is very nice. But we must not forget that if we want such praying to be potent, we must first become fixed up in pure devotional service ourselves. So our first business is to fully absorb ourselves in purely chanting the Hare Krishna mantra regularly at least 16 rounds every day under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master. After fixing our minds in this way in the mood of pure bhakti we may then chant the following prayer for the benefit of all living beings throughout the universe:

svasty astu visvasya khalah prasidatam
dhyayantu bhutani sivam mitho dhiya
manas ca bhadram bhajatad adhoksaje
avesyatam no matir apy ahaituki

"May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other's welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Sri Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him. " -- Srimad Bhagavatam SB 5.18.9

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 3 September 2007

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

Attaining Perfect Balance


In the modern day society we are all out of balance, both individually and collectively. We do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Therefore we act in so many ways that are against the laws of nature and inevitably have to face the unfortunate karmic results of our misdeeds. How much we are in need of enlightened guidance!

But when seeking such guidance we are most unfortunately victimized by so-called gurus, counselors, leaders, and teachers who occupy their prestigious positions only for the sake of name, fame, and gain. By following the guidance of such unenlightened fools things become even more out of balance than they were previously and our lives become more and more disoriented and miserable.

However, if we are fortunate to come into contact with a bona fide spiritual master, and if we submissively hear from him and sincerely apply the science of the Absolute Truth, our lives will become completely transformed. We will come into a blissful state of perfect balance in 100% harmony with the Supreme Person. The nightmare will be over. We will wake up to our eternal all-blissful, all-knowing identity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Master Self-Realized?

How does one know that the spiritual master he is choosing is self realized or not? Are you self realized?

Anil

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Answer: He Must Be

The spiritual master must be self-realized because if the spiritual master is not self-realized, he is not a bona fide spiritual master. The guru's duty is to teach his disciple how to become self-realized. If he is not self-realized, how can he teach his disciple to become self-realized? Such a so-called guru is a cheater, not a teacher. We must carefully avoid such cheaters and find out the bona fide spiritual master.

So how do we know that the spiritual master is bona fide? The bona fide spiritual master never advertises himself as such. Therefore we have to understand the bona fide spiritual master by his symptoms as described in the revealed scriptures.

tasmad gurum prapadyeta
jij˝asuh sreya uttamam
sabde pare ca nisnatam
brahmany upasamasrayam

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 2 September 2007

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:       Wake Up to Reality

Don't remain in illusion dreaming that this material world is a place of happiness. There is happiness here, no doubt. But that happiness is only temporary. It does not last. Therefore even the happiness of this world is tinged with anxiety. If we want actual happiness, we have no solution except to come the spiritual platform. We have to wake up to the reality beyond the dream of material existence. It is there and there only that we will find true, lasting happiness. Sadly most people cling tightly to illusory happiness refusing to give it up and thus can never taste real happiness. Hopefully some day everyone will realize the blissful truth which lies beyond this miserable material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: On Gurus


Namaste. It is my understanding that a guru is one who guides the initiate into a meaningful relationship with God. Do you acknowledge that there are gurus in the world who are not ISKCON devotees?

Thank you.
Love always...
Tommi

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Answer: Whoever Has Fully Realized God

Anyone who teaches their students how to attain pure love of God can be accepted as a bona fide spiritual master. Being a bona fide spiritual master has nothing to do with being a member of a particular organization. It depends on being a fully God realized being. The Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was situated on the highest platform of God realization. Anyone who is fully surrendered to his instructions and has properly assimilated his teachings is qualified to guide us how to become spiritually perfect. This does not meant that others who are not his students are not qualified. Simply we have to see if the person has fully realized God. This is the criterion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 1 September 2007

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

Where are the qualified leaders in today's society? It is very easy to find leaders who occupy a post to serve their own purpose. But it is very difficult to a find even one leader who is dedicated to working for the deliverance of his constituents from the cycle of birth and death.

This is the actual duty of a leader. He must be qualified to deliver his followers from the cycle of birth and death. Otherwise his leadership is srama eva hi kevalam, a useless waste of time. We need leaders who can liberate us from birth and death. This is real leadership. Until such leaders emerge on the face of this planet, we shall continue experiencing an ever-more disintegrated and chaotic global society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Homosexual on Self Discovery Quest


I am a homosexual man and I am battling with spirituality because I keep on thinking it is sinful being who I am. The thing is that I did not chose to be attracted to the same sex. I am reading quite a number of books on a quest to discover who I am.

Can you please advise?

Kind regards,

Vinton

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Answer: Beyond Sexual Orientation

Actually whatever sexual orientation a person now has is in fact chosen by him according to his past karma. It is not by accident or chance that someone is heterosexually inclined or homosexually inclined. It is according to their previous life's activities.

But in this connection it is very important to understand that whether someone is homosexually inclined or heterosexually inclined, either type of sexual inclination is based on a false identification with the material body. It is this false sense of bodily identification which has been keeping us entangled in the cycle of birth and death for millions and billions of lifetimes suffering countless repetitions of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Therefore the Vedic culture teaches us that whatever our sexual inclination is we have to give it up. We must come the higher platform of realizing our identity beyond this material body as a pure spirit-soul eternal servant of God. The self-realization process gradually brings one to becoming asexual, free of sexual inclination.

Our original state of consciousness is pure love for God. But when we come in contact with the material mode of passion that pure love becomes transformed into lust. Whether we are homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, or zoosexual we are keeping ourselves entangled in countless sufferings due to our a false sense of identifying with a rotting bag of stool, urine, pus, vomit, blood, guts, and bones.

My best advice to you is that you should now try now to awaken your original divine enlightened consciousness, your Krishna consciousness, by regularly chanting the holy names of God as much as possible:

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


If you do so, you will experience such unlimited bliss that you will realize that all sorts of sexual orientations are nothing but different sorts of nightmares only. You will gradually reach a state where you can personally associate with God face to face, eye to eye.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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