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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Monday 31 December 2007

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Reconnecting with Krishna


Even though this material world is a special reconnection facility arranged by the Lord for those who have become disconnected from Him, due to ignorance 99.99% of the world population is misusing this wonderful facility to become even more disconnected from Him. Hence we see a planet that is being plunged into an ever-increasingly chaotic condition. But if we will simply utilize this world in the proper way according the instructions given in the Bhagavad-gita, we will achieve a state of unlimited happiness, and upon leaving this body we will rejoin Lord Krishna in His eternal pastimes in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do People Treat You Like God?


I have looked at your web site and seen your pictures and I have to say:

Wow! People treat you like a god, don't they? You sit in the midst of flower petals and on a raised platform. Why is that? Are you above the people you teach? Why do place the pictures of the gurus of old on the altar? Do you worship them as deities?

Thank you,

Dennis

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Answer: Guru is Given Same Respect as God

Just as a policeman, even though just an ordinary citizen like you or me, is respected as being the government when he is on duty, similarly the spiritual master, even though he is also a living being like you or me, is given the same respect that we give to God because his duty is to act as God's representative.

The spiritual master never feels that he is above the people that he is teaching. Rather he considers himself below them. He sees them as his masters because he has to serve them by delivering them back to the spiritual world. He feels completely unqualified and unfit to sit on an exalted seat. But as a matter of duty he is required to accept the respectful obeisances and loving service being offered to him by his disciples. He has this duty because Krishna orders His devotees to learn the science of bhakti by taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master to whom they are to give the same honor and respect that they would give to Krishna, if He were personally present.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Sunday 30 December 2007

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Getting the Real Taste


Sometimes we hear that a person begins Krishna consciousness with great enthusiasm and enlivenment and then gradually it becomes dry and tasteless for him. What this means is that the person was never properly connected with the process. Because real Krishna conscious is ever-increasingly nectarean anyone who is properly practicing it will never lose their taste. If someone loses their taste it means that he was only tasting a shadow of Krishna consciousness mistaking it for being the real thing. The way to avoid this pitfall is to place ourselves under the guidance of someone who is factually experiencing Krishna consciousness, who can teach us how to factually experience it also. This person is described in the revealed scriptures as being the bona fide spiritual master. Srila Rupa Goswami, the great authority of the bhakti science, states the first step on the pathway of Krishna is to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is There Really Unlimited Bliss in Krishna Consciousness?


In your daily "Thought for the Day" you often speak about "unlimited nectar of Krishna consciousness and the reservoir of unlimited happiness". While I certainly have experienced to a certain extent the kind of happiness and bliss when one performs activities of devotional service, I am moved to ask how can you experience unlimited nectar or delve into the reservoir of unlimited happiness. Do you really feel SO MUCH of happiness all the time (unlimited reservoir) that at times it becomes difficult to contain it? I know that for one who remains 24 hours a day engaged in Bhakti, it is always blissful but to go to such lengths as employing terms such as "unlimited" & "reservoir", is it not hyperbolic?

Another query that cropped up in my mind is the following. You mention in a "Thought for the Day": "If they want to restore balance to the earth's atmosphere, the first thing they must do is close the slaughterhouses and the abortion clinics. And then by the wide scale introduction of nama-sankirtan, congregational chanting of the holy names of God, the fire of lust and greed burning in the hearts of the human society with become gradually cooled down and the entire planet will gradually be transformed into a paradise. At that time a new sustainable economic system based on the cow, the bull, and family farms will naturally emerge."

Do you mean to say that if everyone starts chanting the holy names of God, the economic system will revert to the cow, bull and family farms leaving aside the tractor, the automobile and all the sophisticated technological advancements of our time? I think this is pretty unrealistic as there are other non-regressive solutions to the Global Warming problem as I have pointed out earlier.

Your humble student,
Nitin

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Answer: "Unlimited Bliss" is an Understatement

We should not consider the glories of Krishna consciousness to be a hyperbole, an extravagant exaggeration. The amazing descriptions of Krishna consciousness given in the revealed scriptures are not imaginary, nor are they exaggerated. The scriptural descriptions regarding the unlimited bliss of Krishna consciousness are perfect and complete. If a devotee is not experiencing Krishna consciousness in this way, it simply means that he is not very advanced in Krishna consciousness. He is only a beginner.

Even though the amazing descriptions of Krishna consciousness seem unbelievable to one who is in conditioned consciousness, the fact is that even the most amazing descriptions are grossly understating the factual inconceivable glories of Krishna consciousness.

One who is licking the outside of a jar of honey may doubt the the amazing descriptions he hears from others regarding the sweetness of the honey. But if he were to open the honey jar and put his tongue into the jar, he would gain factual confirmation of the truthfulness of all the amazing descriptions of the honey's sweetness.

Whatever percentage of bliss I am experiencing has nothing to do with how much bliss is there waiting to be experienced by us in the unlimited ocean of bhakti. As far as I am concerned I am only tasting a few miniscule drops of that inconceivably and unlimitedly sweet ocean. But even a few drops of that ocean of bhakti is enough to bring peace and happiness to the entire world. Therefore even though I consider myself to be completely unfit and unqualified, I have fully dedicated my life for trying to bring about the complete respiritualization of the human society by sharing whatever little bit I have realized about Krishna consciousness with everyone.

If everyone becomes Krishna conscious, we will see a natural gravitation towards a more sustainable economic system based on living in harmony with the earth instead of exploiting and raping the earth. This is not to say that we will throw away our technological advancement. What it means is that we will instead utilize our technological advancement for creating a socio-economic system which is in perfect harmony with the laws of God and nature instead of so grossly opposed to these laws as is the case with our present socio-economic system, which is creating a hell on earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 29 December 2007

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Feeling Sheltered in the Prabhupada House


It's always a special treat to be a guest lecturer at ISKCON's temple in Melbourne, Australia. The biggest perk is to be allowed the privilege of staying in the same house where my spiritual master, ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, stayed when he would come to Melbourne back in the 1970's. Powerful spiritual masters such as Srila Prabhupada remain permanently present in the places where they resided, especially when those places are being lovingly maintained as worshipable shrines by their followers like what is being done here at the Prabhupada House in Melbourne. The spiritual master is the eternal shelter for his disciples, so naturally the more the disciple can feel the divine presence of his spiritual master, the happier he becomes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The Prabhupada House, Melbourne

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Dovetail with the Supreme Consciousness?


Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Thank you for your daily email course. Your emails are very inspiring and educational.

My question is this: How can I dovetail my consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness, always, everywhere, and under any circumstances? Please explain this to me in detail.

Your servant,

Savitri Devi Dasi
Pennsylvania, USA

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Answer: By Always Pleasing Guru and Krishna

The way to perfectly dovetail your individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness is to think, speak, and act in a way that is pleasing to the spiritual master and Krishna in all times, places, and circumstances. This is learned by taking training from the spiritual master and advanced Vaishnavas. It is also learned by reading and carefully applying the writings of ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in your life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 28 December 2007

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Dispenser of Mercy


Today we are heading out from Sydney to Melbourne. What an ecstatic life this is, to be a traveling dispenser of mercy! The entire planet is burning in a blazing fire of materialism. And Krishna consciousness is the beautiful dark blue rain cloud saturated with tons of water, which can completely extinguish this blazing fire of material existence. I cannot even begin to conceive how fortunate I am to have received this unlimited mercy from my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He blessed me unlimitedly with the science of Krishna bhakti and ordered me to make this knowledge available to the entire human society. Therefore I always remain busy answering an endless stream of emails and circling the globe again and again to share this inconceivably wonderful mercy as much as possible with everyone that I meet.

Here's a video of a recent kirtan I led in Sydney. Check it out:

http://www.backtohome.com/video/Sydney_Kirtan.wmv

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Dispensing the Mercy in Sydney

Appreciative Audience in Sydney

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the Doer?


Namaste. If we ourselves are not the doer, then we are so many puppets on strings pulled by God. We have no free will. Who, in fact, is the doer in my local field of activity? Is it me, or is it the Cosmic Puppeteer? I don't mean to sound offensive. I am simply confused. Please help me to understand the true nature of this reality, that of the doer in the field. Love always...

Tommi

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Answer: Supreme Doer and Subordinate Doer

Both you and God are the doers. He is the supreme doer because He is the master programmer who has programmed both the spiritual world and the material world. And you are also the doer, the subordinate doer, because you have full freedom to flip between the two different channels at will. You are the subordinate doer because although you have complete total freedom to choose which program you want to be tuned into, it is God who makes the programs, not you.

Everyone is acting under the direction of God. That's a fact. But we have a choice how we want to be a directed. In a state the citizens have a choice of being law-abiding citizens or criminals. If they choose to be law-abiding citizens they voluntarily co-operate with the laws of the state and enjoy the full benefits of citizenship. But if they choose to be criminals, they are brought under the stringent control of the state by being placed in the prison.

So we have a choice. Do we want to voluntarily place ourselves under the Lord's direction, or do we want to try defy His authority and be placed under the stringent control of His material energy? In either case we are under the Lord's control. But the devotee chooses voluntarily to serve the Lord and thus relishes an eternal life full of knowledge of bliss while the non-devotee chooses to defy the Lord and thus suffers birth after birth in the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 27 December 2007

from Sydney, Australia

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Special Announcement:
Ecstatic New Kirtan Video from Sydney:
http://www.backtohome.com/video/Sydney_Kirtan.wmv

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Today's Thought:

Kirtan Nectar


If you want to really get tuned in and get your soul fully turned on you have to get into kirtan. (Kirtan is group chanting of Vedic mantras.) Silent meditation, although much better than absorption in material sense gratification, will not take you to the ultimate perfectional stage. No matter how much you try to quiet your mind down it keeps whispering to you this thought, that thought, so many thoughts. It is only when your mind has something completely transcendental to grab onto, which is more powerful and more attractive than your material thoughts, that you can truly lift off from the material plane and enter fully into the spiritual stratum.

Here's a video of a recent kirtan I led in Sydney. Check it out:

 http://www.backtohome.com/video/Sydney_Kirtan.wmv

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Leading Kirtan in Sydney

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Can I Trust?

Your Grace,

I am very confused and unhappy after reading stories in the ISKCON homepage about the confusions following His Grace's departure from this mundane existence. On one hand, I am content to increase my devotional activities on my own, but on the other, the scriptures tell us that we must accept Guru to fully understand the scriptures and we must associate with devotees to advance in the science of self-realization. Who can I trust in the Hare Krishna movement? Who are genuinely following the traditions of Bhakti devotion?

I really need your help.

Hare Krishna

Your student

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Answer: Whoever is Honestly Delivering the Message of Srila Prabhupada

I understand your confusion. When a great acharya departs there is naturally going to be some difficulties in the movement he created. This is true of every great spiritual movement in the history of the world. However, in the case of ISKCON the good news is that there are tens of thousands of sincere souls all over the world who are sincerely trying to carry on Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON mission to the best of their ability.

I am constantly traveling to various ISKCON centers around the world. I am witnessing first hand the difficulties and the wonderful successes of the movement. On the whole I am quite optimistic about the future of this movement. Srila Prabhupada is still here with us in the form of his instructions and within the hearts of those who are sincerely trying to follow his instructions.

As far as I am concerned if you are looking for someone you can trust and take shelter of, you are welcome to take shelter of me. I promise that I will not cheat you or exploit you in any way. I will simply purely pass on to you the knowledge, the bliss and the loving compassion that I have received from Srila Prabhupada. I do not consider myself to be great. I simply see myself as the DHL man who is honestly delivering to you the wonderful teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada exactly as I have heard them, understood them, and realized them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 26 December 2007

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Diving into the Ocean of Bliss


In Sydney there are unlimited opportunities for diving into the ocean of unlimited bliss by sharing the bliss of Krishna consciousness with others. There is such a huge community of sincere souls here who are eager to advance themselves along the path of Krishna bhakti that I could easily be giving thirty lectures a week in the Sydney area, if I only had the time to squeeze them all in. With such a strong demand we are now thinking how we can come to Australia twice a year instead of once a year.

Why is Krishna consciousness so unlimitedly blissful? The reason is that it reconnects us with our original, natural, pure state of consciousness which is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. One does not need to add anything to one's consciousness to be unlimitedly blissful. One simply has to remove all the clutter that has been imposed upon it by the materialistic society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Bhagavad-gita Lecture and the Sydney Skyline

Timeless Wisdom Enlivens the Soul

Sharing the Nectar Expands it Exponentially

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Extroverts and Introverts


Please clarify:

There are two kinds of humans in the world: introverts and extroverts. As much as I know introverts like to live a reserved life without bothering for external matters of the world. They mind their own business and do not interfere in outside matters. On the other side, extroverts like to mix with more and more people and take much interest in external matters also other than their personal matters.

I have been more an introvert type of person and I feel happy with this kind of life only. But many people who could not understand my way of living used to say that there is something wrong with my mindset. Even my teachers in schooldays, my guardians, etc. used to consider me a mentally ill person. Now I am 28 years old. I am working in an engineering company since the last 6 years. Now people have started feeling that there is nothing wrong with me but it is just a kind of nature of introverted people.

According to you, is an introvert type of person a mentally ill person? If an introvert person is fulfilling all of his worldly duties, has no disputes with anyone and happy with his life, then what is wrong with it? And even then if some people misunderstand him, then how should he handle them?

Your student

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Answer: Just Be A Devotee

Extroverts and introverts are both good if they are devotees of Krishna. And they are both bad if they are not devotees of Krishna. We are not concerned whether someone is an introvert or an extrovert. We simply want to see that everyone is a devotee of Krishna.

The pure devotee is the topmost extrovert and topmost introvert both at the same time. He is relishing the sweetest happiness within himself at every minute without any dependence on outside circumstances. And at the same time, because of his intense compassion upon the fallen conditioned souls, he is trying to bring about a spiritual revolution to save the suffering humanity from the clutches of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 25 December 2007

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

When Will We Have Heaven on Earth?

Early in 1971 I was living in Austin, Texas hankering to become a self-realized soul. Understanding that Jesus Christ was a self-realized soul, I embarked upon a program of daily Bible study to try to figure out what was it that made him self-realized, so that I could do the same thing and also become self-realized. Day after day I would read the Bible, but still I could not see what was the formula for self-realization. But one most glorious morning the essence of the mood of Jesus, which made him the self-realized soul that he is, was revealed to me. That morning I read in the Bible where Jesus states, "Father, not my will, but Thy will be done." I was so excited. I knew that this was it. You should forget about doing what you want and simply always from now on do only what God wants.

But now I had a problem. I did not know what God wanted me to do. I was waiting for a voice from the sky to give me my assignment and my instructions, but no voice was coming. So what to do? I was bewildered. But one day it was revealed to me through the mouth of a child although I could not hear God, still He was able to hear me. So I began praying regularly, "Dear God, please guide me how I can become your perfect servant."

Finally one day my prayer was answered. And it was clear that it was the answer. His Holiness Vishnujana Swami came to Austin and taught me the science of bhakti, the science of how to become a perfect servant of God. Under his wonderful guidance and with his divine blessings I became a disciple of the greatest devotee of Krishna who has ever graced the planet earth with the touch of his lotus feet. I am speaking of none other than my eternal spiritual father and spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

So I am ever grateful to Lord Jesus Christ. It was my fervent prayers inspired by him begging for God's guidance which opened the door for me to leave behind the hellish quagmire of this material existence. It was Jesus who showed me the way out of the world of death. He saved me.

So when the so-called Christians tell me that I will go to hell unless I accept Jesus, within my heart I laugh because I know that I am doing exactly what Jesus wants me to do. And I wonder when they are going to become real Christians by doing what Jesus wants them do by giving up their sinful activities.

The time has indeed come for the Christians to really accept Jesus instead of constantly crucifying him by their unrestricted indulgence in sinful activities. Christ reaffirmed the Biblical principle "Thou shalt not kill" but the Christians are killing thousands and millions of innocent animals every day in their slaughterhouses all over the world. "As you sow, so shall you reap." As long as we continue killing, we will continue being killed. And while proudly refusing to hear from the bona fide spiritual master we continue wondering why everything is going amuck in the world.

If we will truly accept Jesus by always acting for the pleasure of God by always acting for the welfare of all of His creatures, we will have heaven on earth. When will that day come?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are You Self-Realized?


Do you have self-realization, and who is your guru?

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely, Dr. Lˇpez-Bonilla,
Mexico City, Mexico

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Answer: You Can Become Also

By the causeless mercy of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I have realized what is the individual self and what is the Supreme Self. And if you like I can guide you how to also become a self-realized soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Monday 24 December 2007

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Bliss in Govinda Valley


Our 2006 retreat in Govinda Valley was so ecstatic we never thought that it could be any better. But our 2007 Govinda Valley retreat burst through the stratosphere and took us sailing right into the Spiritual Sky. The sweet sublime atmosphere of Govinda Valley became so deeply imprinted in our hearts that it was like we had been living there eternally.

The return to Sydney on Sunday afternoon had a very surreal feel to it. Our modern day cities are such an unnatural, unhealthy way to live. Something has to be done about this. As a human society we cannot survive if we go on living this way. We have to learn how to get back to a more natural healthy God conscious way of life. This what the bhakti movement is all about. If you are not already into it, make your commitment today to be a member of the bhakti movement for the respiritualization of the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

More Bliss in Govinda Valley

Retreat Participants

Exotic Birds Serenaded Us

Challenged by Mock Atheistic Arguments

Cliffside Lecture at the Beach

Those Newly Committed to Chanting 16 Rounds
Blissfully Pose with Sankarshan Prabhu

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Happens to the Sinful at Death?

In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is described that people who are sinful are punished by Yamaraja, the God of Death, in his abode Yamaloka. But in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna says that as soon as a soul leaves a body he enters into another body. So how is that he gets his punishment in Yamaloka? Who gets the punishment--the soul or the material body?

Your student

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Answer: Yamaloka En Route to Next Body

Both things are true. The soul does enter into another body at the time of death. And he also is taken to the abode of Yamaraja to be punished for his misdeeds. He first enters the abode of Yamaraja in his subtle body--composed of mind, intelligence, and false ego--where he is punished and then after being sufficiently punished he is assigned to his next gross body. The soul experiences the suffering due to his misidentification with the gross and subtle material bodies.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 23 December 2007

from Govinda Valley, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Spiritual Revolution


My life's goal is to try to bring about a world-wide spiritual revolution by teaching everyone how to revolutionize their consciousness by reconnecting with their original, natural pure state of perfect harmonious loving relationship with the source of all existence, the Supreme Person. That Supreme Person is known variously throughout the world by different names such as Krishna, Govinda, Allah, and Jehovah. No matter by what designation we address Him we must learn the art of approaching him in pure selflessness instead of with our selfish desires. This change of consciousness from selfishness to selflessness is what will someday completely revolutionize the course of human history.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Beautiful Govinda Valley

Exotic Wild Parrots Outside the Window

Flying the Hare Krishna Mantra

Revolution Revealed

Tasting the Bliss

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Everyone Krishna's Servant?

You said, "Jivera 'svarupa' haya -- ksnera 'nitya-dasa", which means that in his own original form the jiva soul is situated as the eternal servant of Krishna. Considering that when he is conditioned the jiva due to his false ego will not accept that he is the eternal servant of Krishna or God, does this principle also apply for those living beings who are in a conditioned state of consciousness? Kindly explain this.

Sriganesh

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Answer: Yes

Even the conditioned souls are the eternal servants of Krishna. It is simply that they have forgotten it. That's all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 22 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

A Perfect Life

Would you like to live a perfect, stress free, ecstatic, exciting existence? If so, you have come to the right place. Self-realization is not adding something to your consciousness. Rather it is the subtraction from your consciousness of all those things that are distracting you from being who and what you really are, the eternal servant of Krishna or God. Just as water in its natural state is pure and clean, the consciousness is naturally pure and clean. And just as impure water can be purified and returned to its original natural state, the consciousness can also be purified and returned to its original natural state. That purification process is known as the yoga system. And according to Lord Sri Krishna as spoken in the Bhagavad-gita, the perfection of the yoga system is the bhakti yoga system.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Eager Hearers of the Bhakti Science in Sydney

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Find Guru?

Can you have more than one guru ?

How you can find guru?

How you can get faith and increase faith in guru and God?

Jayprakash

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Answer: You Already Have

While we have only one initiating guru, we may have an unlimited number of instructing gurus.

You do not need to go looking for a guru. You have already found one.

The way to increase your faith in guru and God is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra on a regular daily basis.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 21 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Fully Connected with Everything


Just as the sun lights up everything in the daytime, so the consciousness of one who awakens his dormant love for Krishna becomes completely illuminated. This is so because Krishna is the source of all existence and because all that exists is nothing but His energy. The point is that just as when watering the root of a tree all the leaves and branches become watered, when you become fully connected with Krishna you become fully connected with everything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting Hare Krishna Recommended by Krishna?

Greetings great guru,

I am wondering, if chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is the best way to achieve liberation, why didn't Lord Krishna tell us that in the Gita?

Thanks, Ted

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Answer: Yes, by Words and Actions

This is why Krishna specifically orders in the Bhagavad-gita that we should be chanting His names 24 hours daily and why He personally appears in the Kali Yuga to demonstrate for us the best means of chanting His names:

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

God Himself has personally taught us both by words and example that we should always chanting the Hare Krishna mantra as much as possible, but the human society is so unfortunate that they ignore His wonderful instructions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 20 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Christchurch, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Hitting the Bhakti Trail Again

Wednesday 19 December 2007--After a few wonderful days of sharing the unlimited nectar of Krishna consciousness here in New Zealand, we are hitting the bhakti trail again this time back to Australia for a exciting lineup of lectures in Sydney, Govinda Valley, Melbourne, and Canberra. Simply by reconnecting with the original pure nature of the self we can access a reservoir of unlimited happiness. There is so much happiness contained in that reservoir that there is enough to overflow the hearts of every man, woman and child on the face of this planet and drown the entire human population in an ocean of ecstasy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sharing the Bhakti Bliss
in Christchurch, New Zealand

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Solution for Global Warming


The world is complaining increasingly about global warming. This morning I was stunned to read an article on the subject - about the dangerous future our posterity will have. Do you see anything improving? Do you have any suggestions from the scriptures? It disturbs me. I think 'go seva" (serving the cow) and agriculture is a partial solution out of this difficult situation.

Regards
B H Sharma

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Answer: Global Cooling

Because of the ever-increasing volume of sinful activities the natural balance of the earth's atmosphere is being more and more disrupted. No matter how much they may reduce or offset the carbon dioxide emissions, as long as the sin emissions continue to spiral out of control the world will be unavoidably plunged into an ever-increasingly nightmarish situation. This is all going on under the stringent control of the law of karma.

If they want to restore balance to the earth's atmosphere, the first thing they must do is close the slaughterhouses and the abortion clinics. And then by the wide scale introduction of nama-sankirtan, congregational chanting of the holy names of God, the fire of lust and greed burning in the hearts of the human society with become gradually cooled down and the entire planet will gradually be transformed into a paradise. At that time a new sustainable economic system based on the cow, the bull, and family farms will naturally emerge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 19 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Christchurch, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Revelation


The ultimate revelation of Absolute Truth is given by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. This is why there is nothing more enlivening than traveling all over the world to reveal to as many people as possible the Absolute Truth as it is revealed in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. This knowledge can and will solve all of the problems that are tormenting the world: terrorism, crime, disease, poverty, famine and even the much promoted global warming problem. This science of the Absolute Truth revives the original enlightened consciousness of the living being empowering him to be what he actually is: an eternal spiritual being, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Revealing the Bhakti Science
in Christchurch, New Zealand

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Avoid Sex Thoughts?


Please accept my humble obeisances,

Maharaja, I travel every day to my office by train. Sometimes my mind is not fixed on Krishna because it becomes absorbed in thoughts of sex. How can I avoid these bad thoughts? Kindly guide me.

Your servant

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Answer: Pray to Krishna. He's More Attractive

If your mind is thinking of sex, you should pray to Krishna to save you from such disgusting thoughts by blessing you with a wonderful taste for chanting His unlimitedly sweet holy names. And then with great feeling you should chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra:

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

Because thinking of Krishna is more enlivening than any amount of sex pleasure, if you will simply bring your mind back to Krishna, you will feel completely satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 18 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Christchurch, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

On the Radio


On 17 December 2007 I appeared on the Plains FM radio station 96.9 here in Christchurch, New Zealand. I was interviewed about my around-the-world lecture tour and the purpose of human existence. It was a great opportunity to reach out to a large audience with the liberating message of Krishna consciousness. The wide scale propagation of this Krishna consciousness message is the only solution for the problems of the suffering humanity.

It was a taped show, and will be aired on 23 December at 10:30am New Zealand time. It will also be available for download after it is broadcast. The website of the radio station is:

http://www.plainsfm.org.nz/Home

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

On the Radio in Christchurch, New Zealand

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Kindly Help

Why do I always feel depressed? I do read your thoughts everyday and to some extent I get some strength but only for a temporary phase. I have lost my appetite and feel my life is not worth anything. I feel weak and sleepy always. I try to wake up at 5.00 in the morning but always end up waking up late. I am 33 and not married and this makes me feel more depressed. I do Krishna seva (devotional service to Lord Krishna) every day, but still my mind is not at peace. How can I live a worthy life and get out of this materialistic world?

Kindly help,

Your student

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Answer: Formula for Happiness

Although it is very nice that you are doing Krishna seva, that you are still not satisfied indicates that you not practicing Krishna consciousness in a completely pure way. In other words, there must still be some tinges of self-centeredness in your service. What you have to do is completely put yourself in the shelter of Krishna accepting whatever situation he gives you as His mercy. Instead of thinking of your own happiness always think of how you can make Lord Krishna happy by your mood, your words, and your service. If you will fully adopt this attitude, you will become completely satisfied and happy. It is only when we put ourselves in the mood of unflinchingly loyal servants that we can truly be happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 17 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Christchurch, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Accepting a Spiritual Master


The most important decision we will ever make in our lives is the acceptance of a spiritual master. When it comes to getting married, we are very cautious while accepting our partner thinking it over 100 times because it is a lifetime commitment. Since the guru/disciple relationship is an eternal relationship, how much more careful must we be when choosing a guru?

The neophyte may think that he will just be a devotee of Krishna without becoming a disciple of Krishna's representative, the spiritual master. But this sort of philosophy will not stand in the light of Krishna's teachings. This is because Krishna orders in the Bhagavad-gita that we must accept a guru from whom we inquire submissively and to whom we must render loving service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Activism Good?


Your Grace,

I read that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada talked about the blue Kachina in the past. Would Comet Holmes be it since it became very visible for astronomers and is blue?

I feel very distressed with all the wars and injustices happening on this physical plane and have been involved in peace activism for the last 4 1/2 years. It is not easy to remain neutral. Is the apparition of the blue sun a positive sign for peace?

I am thinking about abandoning all forms of peace or political activism. But is it the right thing for me to do at this moment to stop all this and only concentrate on the spiritual life? It is so tempting! But I want to do "the right thing".

I previously looked into many philosophies and religions but never met anyone related to the Krishna Consciousness. I would appreciate any advice from you because I feel that you are a real guru. I am at the point to even wonder if all this activism I already have done is God's will! I thought it was, but I could be wrong. I am only one voice after all. I never had been interested in the affairs of this world until 9/11 and everything that has followed after this date. My interest was triggered only by this event, because seeing it on TV, I had a strong feeling of knowing where it had originated from. The feeling has been confirmed as fact since then.

Forgive me for the long e-mail.

Your new student,
Marie

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Answer: Absolute Activism is Essential

Ultimately we need not concern ourselves on the astronomical and/or astrological level. Simply by connecting with Krishna, under whose influence everything else is taking place, we take care of everything with one stop shopping.

There is no question of neutrality. There are two forces at work: the forces of light and the forces of darkness. If we want for there to be an enlightened world, we must take the side of the forces of light.

The relative activism will always be going on: this cause, that cause, so many causes. There are so many causes, and most of them are good. But on this level you can never adequately and effectively support all of the good causes. However, if we come the level of absolute activism on the causal level by watering the root of the cosmic tree, then immediately we become the perfect and best supporter of each and every good cause throughout the entire universe, even on the higher planets. Through Krishna consciousness you become empowered to act with unlimited potency for the deliverance of all from all varieties of suffering conditions. Therefore spreading Krishna consciousness is the supreme welfare work.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 16 December 2007

from Christchurch, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Dear to Everyone


A devotee of the Lord is dear to everyone because everyone is dear to him. It is natural that if someone truly loves us that we will be also be inclined to love them in reciprocation. This is how the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) was started single-handedly in 1966 by our most beloved Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Those who received the loving kindness of Srila Prabhupada were so inspired that they wanted to serve him in any way they could. And when, in this way, they gave their love to Srila Prabhupada, he would give them even more love and they would become even more inspired to serve him even more. And then on his order the followers of Srila Prabhupada spread out all over the world giving that love to as many people as possible, thus laying the ground work for this ever-expanding ocean of loving kindness known as the Hare Krishna Movement. This ever-increasing ocean of love just keeps on expanding more and more and more. One day it will become so much expanded that it will engulf the entire universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Scripture Our Guru?

Can someone consider sastra (the scriptures) as their guru ?

Thank you,

Hare Krishna

Jayprakash

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Answer: Scripture Not a Guru Substitute

Our first birth is from our mother and father. Our second birth is from the guru, who is our second father, and from the Vedic scriptures, which are our second mother.

In conceiving a child both the father and mother play distinct non-interchangeable roles. Similarly on the pathway of self-realization the spiritual master and the scriptures both play distinct non-interchangeable roles.

The scriptures are like a mega pharmacy which contains hundreds and thousands of different kinds of medicines. The spiritual master is like the skilled physician who has realized the essence of the Vedic scriptures and can specifically prescribe for each individual disciple a customized program which is the most suitable for that individual disciple.

When we go to the pharmacy we come with the prescription we have received from our doctor. Similarly when we approach the Vedic wisdom we do so under their guidance of our spiritual master. This is how we are able to come to a proper understanding of the scriptural knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 15 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Creating a New Enlightened World Civilization


Since the modern day self-centered global social order is gradually disintegrating more and more to the eventual point of complete, total anarchy, if we want to have in the future any kind of civilization remaining on this planet, the time has come to begin laying the groundwork for a new enlightened world civilization. Such a civilization must be based on the common unifying principle for all living beings. It cannot be based on any sort of self-centered and thus divisive conception, either concentrated or extended. Since we do all in fact emanate from one common source, it behooves us now to scientifically understand what is that common origin and to also understand how we can all live in a state of perfect harmony with that common origin. It is on this principle that we must now build the new enlightened world order.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Should I Relish the Nectar or Focus on Duties?

How do you handle keeping this continual physical daily balance when your consciousness, because of its spiritual intoxication, will not come out of the Divine attention? For example, when we may be preparing a meal or doing other duties and although we may call our consciousness constantly into the physical now and specially knowing that what we are doing is for the Divine therefore we must do it beautifully with full loving attention, still the consciousness suddenly skips away again to dance with the Divine and relish the nectar we receive thereof. Which is the better? Am I doing the right thing by calling my mind back from the Divine presence so often?

Samantha King.

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Answer: Focus on Pleasing Krishna

Your question is nicely answered by the example of a great devotee of Krishna named Daruka. This devotee had the rare privilege of being one of the Lord's personal associates when He was on this planet 5,000 years ago. One day when Daruka was fanning Lord Krishna with a chamara fan, he was filled with so much ecstatic love that his consciousness was being carried away into an ocean of bliss. His mind became so surcharged with bliss that various ecstatic symptoms also became automatically manifested in his body. But Daruka was so serious about doing a first class job of fanning the Lord that he checked all of these ecstatic love manifestations so that he could continue doing his service for the Lord in the best possible way. In other words, he was more interested in giving the Lord happiness than he was in tasting it himself.

Of course there is a vast difference between the unlimited ocean of ecstatic emotions experienced by Lord Krishna's personal associates such as Daruka and ourselves. But still even for us neophytes who may sometimes get a little sneak preview of spiritual emotion, the same principle applies. We do not want to selfishly enjoy whatever spiritual bliss may mercifully be bestowed upon us. We prefer to offer the energy that bliss gives us back into the Lord's service. This is the secret of how to rapidly advance in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 14 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Brisbane, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Blessed Opportunity


Krishna is blessing me recently with the opportunity to assist many more sincere souls in attaining the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead. Here in Brisbane I performed a third initiation ceremony within a five day period. Bhakta Sheamus has now taken shelter of me as his spiritual master and has been renamed as Syamasundar Das. Syamasundar is a name for Krishna and Das means servant. I am very happy to do whatever is necessary to help anyone who is eager to escape the cycle of birth and death in this very lifetime and regain their original position in the spiritual world. There is nothing more wonderful than when someone makes the commitment through the initiation ceremony of sticking solidly to process of bhakti yoga for their entire life. Such vows if accepted and followed with all sincerity and determination, empower the initiates to fully absorb themselves in Krishna consciousness and to thus relish the sweetest happiness throughout their lives and achieve the supreme perfection at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Bhakta Sheamus Becomes Syamasundar Das--
Initiation Ceremony in Brisbane, Australia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Devotion to Krishna or Vishnu?

Is Krishna the avatar of Vishnu, or is Vishnu the avatar of Krishna? I am a devotee of Vishnu since my childhood. Do I have to now change my devotion? Usually now when I chant Hare Krishna, when I close my eyes, I see the form of Vishnu. I face many problems on the Krishna path. Please guide me.

Mintu

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Answer: There is No Difference

There is actually no difference between Vishnu and Krishna. He is exactly the same Supreme Person. When that Supreme Person is in the office taking charge of the universal affairs He is called Vishnu. And when that same Supreme Person is at home having intimate dealings with His friends and family members He is called Krishna. Krishna is a more intimate personal name, and Vishnu is a more formal, official name for the same Supreme Person.

So whether Krishna's or Vishnu's form comes to your mind when you chant does not matter. Simply fully absorb your mind in the transcendental sound vibration of:

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

and regaining the association of the Supreme Person Krishna or Vishnu in His eternal transcendental kingdom is assured.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 13 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple, Brisbane, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Approaching God Directly


According to the Vedic wisdom, if we want to connect with God, we must do so, not directly, but through the via medium of the bona spiritual master. But then from the same Vedic wisdom we can understand that one can also directly approach God by chanting His name or bowing down before His deity manifestation. So how could both things be true? Is this not contradictory? Factually there is nothing contradictory in the revealed scriptures, although there may sometimes appear to be contractions for those who do not have an enlightened perspective.

Because Krishna directly orders that we should approach Him through His devotee, even if we approach Him directly in a mood of complete surrender at His lotus we must channel our devotion to Him through the via medium of the bona fide spiritual master. This is confirmed in the Adi-Purana where Lord Krishna is speaking as follows to Arjuna:

ye me bhakta-janah partha
na me bhaktas ca te janah
mad-bhaktanam ca ye bhaktas
te me bhakta-tama matah


"Those who are My direct devotees are actually not My devotees, only those who are the devotees of my devotees are factually My devotees."

So if we are really serious about approaching God in complete submission to His will, we will follow His direction to approach Him through the via medium of His devotee, the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Initiation Lecture in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be the Best in Both Worlds


Dear Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances. I hope you are fine. I have some questions for you:

1) Does dependency on Krishna's mercy make you negligent in performing your duties? A state of pessimistic thinking arises in my mind about this world and performing my duties. When you concentrate on Krishna every time how can you do your work ? What is in this material world is so much important for us. We need everything: a good life, good job, and all material comforts. Sometimes I think am I doing too much of bhakti and losing my mind because of this state of vairagya (detachment) which one achieves. This state of satisfaction makes one uncompetitive and useless in this material world. If its not true, then what is wrong with me? How to be best in both worlds?

2) In scriptures it is written that if we light a lamp in Kartika our past sins are washed out, or if we read Bhagavad-gita just once thoroughly, our past sins are vanished. So why then is it that even gurus are suffering from some illness? I have also seen that many devotees are having problems. So if by law of karma they are suffering, what is the reason of their suffering? Their sins should have already washed out. I sometimes find myself in trouble when I read in the Bhagavad-gita where Krishna assures that He takes care of His devotees. Why is it so that in this society most of the pious people are suffering and unhappy, while all rascals are enjoying and having power and control? Where is the law of karma? I cannot clearly see it.

Hope you will definitely guide me in this regard, and thank you very much for your time.

Hare Krishna,
Your servant,

Gaurav Padgilwar

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Answer: Simply Become Krishna Conscious

When Arjuna surrendered to Krishna he became the best both spiritually and materially. One therefore never becomes the loser in any way by taking to Krishna consciousness. There is no one more competitive than a devotee of the Lord because he wants to take over the entire world for Krishna by bringing about the greatest most all-encompassing spiritual revolution that has ever occurred in the vast span of human history.

Depending on Krishna does not make one negligent in one's duties. Rather it is just the opposite. One who performs all of his duties for Krishna wants to do all of them perfectly for the satisfaction of the Lord. Those who connect with Krishna by remembering Him while they perform their activities become empowered with the Lord's special shakti to accomplish in the execution of their duties that which others, the nondevotee class, are not able to accomplish.

One who is fully surrendered to Krishna cannot ever be lacking in any way material or spiritual. Because he engages everything in the service of the Lord, the Lord gives him unlimited facility to engage more and more of the Lord's energy in the Lord's service.

One cannot lose his mind by doing bhakti. Our minds are already lost because we have neglected bhakti. Our detachment is not to walk away from the world. Our detachment is to offer the entire world to Krishna instead of taking it for our own sense enjoyment.

The spiritual master may appear to be suffering when his body is sick, but because he does not identify himself with his body seeing it only as a valuable tool to be used in the Lord's service, he does not experience the misery of being sick. He remains instead always blissful in ever-expanding Krishna consciousness.

The devotee of the Lord becomes free from his past sinful reactions at the time of initiation. That is a fact. But to help him successfully complete his pathway of spiritual perfection the Lord still gives him token, minimized reactions for his past misdeeds to keep him always sober with his mind solidly fixed on spiritual perfection.

We see in the society in general that oftentimes the pious men suffer while the sinful men enjoy. It does not seem right to us. But if we see what is going on behind the scenes, it will make perfectly good sense. The sinful men were previously pious men. Instead of offering the results of their past pious activities in the Lord's service, they are greedily trying to enjoy these results themselves. Therefore they will soon be cast down into a very hellish suffering condition. The pious men who are suffering are burning off the reactions to their past sinful activities. If they faithfully worship the Lord always thanking Him for so mercifully minimizing their sinful reactions and if they continue acting strictly in accordance with the great saintly teachers and the revealed scriptures, soon they will exhaust their past stock of sinful activities and they will be allowed to enter into the all-blissful eternal existence in the Spiritual Sky where all forms of suffering are conspicuous only by their absence. With this realization glowing in their hearts they blissfully execute their duties and prepare to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 12 December 2007

from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Today's Thought:

Bitter Sweet Flavor


After a brief one day stop to initiate a new disciple and give a lecture in Kuala Lumpur, we are now heading on to Australia. In spite of so many impediments being thrown in my pathway by the material energy I am moving forward. There is a special sweetness to Krishna consciousness in the material world. In the spiritual world there is simply pure bliss with no experience of the miseries of birth, death, old age, and disease. But the unlimitedly sweet Krishna consciousness when tasted in this material world is experienced along with the miseries of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Although I abstain from chocolate now, preferring it's caffeine-free substitute carob, when I was small boy and was not yet Krishna conscious I used to take chocolate. There were two choices of Hershey's chocolate bars available in those days back in the 1950's in the USA. There was sweet chocolate and there was bitter sweet chocolate. I always preferred the bitter sweet chocolate because its flavor was somehow or other much more appealing to my sense of taste.

In a similar way I am now relishing the bitter sweet nectar of Krishna consciousness experienced within the context of the miseries of material existence. I am sure that the flavor of Krishna consciousness in the spiritual world is unlimitedly sublime. But I am equally sure that the bitter sweet flavor of Krishna consciousness experienced in this material world is also unlimitedly sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proper to Eat a Lot of Prasadam?


Dear Master Sankarshan Das Adhikari

When I go to eat prasadam here in the ISKCON-temple of Helsinki, why can I and other people eat it as much as we want and not to eat only little like prasadam is supposed to be eaten?

Thank You

Jukka

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Answer: Eat Enough to Become Addicted

One who is fully absorbed in pure bhakti activities twenty-four hours a day relishes so much nectar from serving Krishna that his bodily demands naturally become reduced. He becomes so completely addicted to Krishna consciousness that he becomes naturally free from the bodily tendencies such as overeating or oversleeping.

However, most people who live outside the temple do not offer their food to Krishna before eating it. Thus according the Bhagavad-gita they are eating only lumps of sin. When such persons come to the temple we encourage them to eat as much as they can possibly hold so that when they leave the temple they will be so full they will not want to eat anything available outside the temple, which is generally not offered to Krishna. And then we invite them to come back regularly for taking more Krishna prasadam. In this way we are trying to free people from the bad habit of eating unoffered foods by getting them fully dedicated to only eating Krishna prasadam.

So kindly take Krishna prasadam to your full satisfaction whenever you come to the temple. And do come often! In this way you will become completely, totally addicted to Krishna prasadam. And we hope that you will also begin the process of offering your meals first to Lord Krishna when eating at home (no meat, no fish, no eggs).

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 11 December 2007

from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Today's Thought:

Ultimate Elixir


As we were leaving Vrindavan for Delhi I could feel that a new virus was coming on. By the time we got to Mumbai its symptoms became fully manifested. It was an especially hideous virus. When I woke up on Sunday morning there was a large quantity of encrusted mucus stuck to my eyelids and my eyes were blood red. That day I had to travel at a considerable distance within Mumbai for giving lectures at Mira Road and Navi Mumbai. However, giving those lectures and reciprocating with the wonderful devotees took me completely away from the diseased state my body was in. It was sweet, sweet nectar. But then at end of the day after the exhaustion of packing and so much traveling with a sick body, we had to go the airport for a late night flight to Malaysia. So much time had to be spent standing at the airport waiting for this and waiting for that.

After the overnight flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as we were landing my ears could not clear the pressure due to heavy mucus blockage. Therefore even as I write these words my hearing is almost completely turned off. So here I am with red puffy eyes, a tired sick body, with mucus blockage giving me earaches and deafness. But in spite of all of this I am simply amazed at how wonderful is Krishna consciousness. There is a very sweet special kind of elixir that one can taste while doing the austerity of fully absorbing one's entire life in the respiritualization of the entire human society. This elixir is more valuable than all the opulence of the entire material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: No Questions

My Siksha Guru,

There are no questions. Just thanks.

Karl.

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Answer: One Question We Must Ask

Even if we have no questions to ask of the spiritual master, there is one question that we must ask him, "How can I serve you?" This was the only question my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, ever asked of his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati.

Thanking verbally is very nice. But the perfection of thanks is to dedicate ourselves to serving the spiritual master by assisting him in his mission of inundating the entire world with a tidal wave of Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 10 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple--Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Heading Out from India


After two weeks of connecting with Krishna here in India, the original home of the worldwide Krishna consciousness culture, I am heading out once again as Krishna's ambassador on my worldwide Krishna consciousness lecture tour. Although the traces linger on, it is sad to see how modern day India has almost completely lost its connection with its own glorious heritage. But still everyone here has Krishna consciousness in their blood. That's why so many people all over India are joining the Krishna consciousness movement and also why our e-course is more popular in India that it is anywhere else in the world. Here in Mumbai our movement has three thriving centers and a fourth one is now being established. It is especially enjoined in the scriptures that those who have been born in the holy land of India should make their life perfect by becoming solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness and that they should then fully dedicate their lives for spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. When only one Indian, my spiritual master--His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, did this, the results were startlingly revolutionary. Now if every Indian will do this, within a very short time the original world wide Krishna consciousness culture will be re-established, and the entire world will become peaceful and happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Morning Class at Mira Road Temple

Sunday Feast Lecture at Kharghar Center

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Engage my Knowledge?


It was amazing the way you were delivering the lecture (1st Dec, 9 am class) in the ISKCON Temple, Vrindavan.

I am a software Engineer working as a System Analyst in a software company. I have been in the practice of Krishna consciousness for the last 4 months. Now sincerely doing 16 rounds japa (quantitatively) and reading books, attending kirtan, Bhagavatam lectures. I have registered for your e-course.

Please guide me, as I am just at the beginning stage, how I can I use my education/domain knowledge in the service of the Lord. I have basic level BBT (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust) books like Reincarnation, Life comes from Life, My Best Friend, Easy Journey to Other planets, etc.

Also you mentioned about the online counseling. Please let me know the process for that. Is there also any chat support on your website, or is it just by email?

Hari Bol!!
Many Thanks,

Piyush Kathuria

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Answer: Use It for Spreading Krishna Consciousness

I was very happy to meet you after my lecture in Vrindavan and to learn that you signed up for my e-course. It is a great accomplishment that you are now every day chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on your japa beads and that you are also reading Krishna consciousness books, attending kirtans and Bhagavad-gita lectures. In this way you should absorb yourself more and more in Krishna consciousness so much so that your entire existence becomes offered in Krishna's service. In this way you will quickly attain the stage of supreme happiness and become fully qualified for going back to home, back to Godhead.

If possible, you may use your technical training to assist me in getting a higher natural ranking for my web sites in the major Internet search engines. This will be a great service because it will enable more and more people to be introduced to Krishna consciousness.

The best way to get counseling is to send me your questions by email. I look forward to receiving your inquiries.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 09 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple--Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Two New Disciples


Here at ISKCON Juhu on 8 December in the auspicious presence Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari I initiated two new disciples. Daniel and Magda, an elderly couple from Belgium are now Dasaratha Das, and Mandakini Devi Dasi. Immediately from the moment of initiation the disciple attains deathlessness, immortality. And if the disciple remains true to the initiation vows, deathlessness remains as his or her eternal asset. The vows required for initiation are to chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mahamantra on japa beads and to strictly follow the four regulative principles:

1. No illicit sex (Sex is only for procreation.)
2. No intoxication (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes)
3. No meat eating (including eggs and fish)
4. No gambling

While some may find these rules to be extreme or unreasonable, what ones factually gets instead of identification with birth, death, old age, and disease is the most amazing reawakening of one's original natural pure state of consciousness, which is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. This perfectional state of consciousness is known as Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Initiating Two New Disciples in Mumbai

Dasaratha Das (on the left)
Mandakini Devi Dasi (on the right)

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Arguments for Meat Eating


I would firstly like to thank you for all the nectar you are sharing with us. The photos are soooo full of life:))

I've got one question:

I have a family friend studying in the UK. He is a Hindu working for McDonald's. He has been telling me that he gets free food, and that the cheese they use there is beef based, and that also he started consuming beef. He has been arguing the following:

1. Why Muslims, Christians, and Jews can eat beef while Hindus cannot?

2. Also if everyone would turn vegetarian, there will be an overpopulation of cattle, cows, hens, etc...

3. Herbivores have flat teeth and carnivores have pointed teeth. But humans have both. So it is a clear signal that we humans can eat both, as humans can easily digest non vegetarian food.

4. Even plants and trees are living entities. But still we pluck and eat the fruits and vegetables.

I told him that cows are Krishna's favorites and that they provide milk so they are our mothers. I also told him that Krishna Himself says that consumers of beef will have to go through this repeated cycle of birth and deaths and be born 5000 times more as the worse lowly species. Then, he told me, "What is the proof that Krishna said all this? Bhagavad-gita was spoken so many years back and at that time there was no copyright. Maybe the one who wrote it is wrong and has interpreted Bhagavad-gita in his own way."

I did try my best, Maharaja. Please excuse me if I did any offense. Please advise me how I should answer him.

Thank You,

Your Servant,

Renu

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Answer: Arguments Against Meat Eating

Here are your questions with answers:

1. Why Muslims, Christians, and Jews can eat beef while Hindus cannot?

Answer: Everyone can eat meat if they want to. But they will take the karma of becoming animals and being slaughtered and eaten by the very same animals that they ate. It does not matter how they designate themselves as Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu etc. Everyone is treated equally without any discrimination by the stringent laws of karma.

2. Also if everyone would turn vegetarian, there will be an overpopulation of cattle, cows, hens, etc...

Answer: The cattle are being artificially bred to support the beef eating industry. It is very simple to separate the cows and bulls into separate pasturing grounds.

3. Herbivores have flat teeth and carnivores have pointed teeth. But humans have both. So it is a clear signal that we humans can eat both, as humans can easily digest non vegetarian food.

Answer: Humans have two carnivorous teeth as a concession for the meat eaters. That's a fact. But besides that, their entire digestive system is herbivorous. When a human eats meat, it is very unhealthy because the rotting meat turns from fermentative into putrefactive while still present in the intestinal system. The carnivorous animals have a very short intestinal system to get the meat out before it turns putrefactive. It is because of meat eating that we see so much colon cancer in the human society.

4. Even plants and trees are living entities. But still we pluck and eat the fruits and vegetables.

Answer: Therefore we are forbidden to consume even fruits and vegetables unless they are first offered to Krishna to free us from the karma of killing them. We cannot offer meat to Krishna because He specifically instructs us to offer Him vegetarian foods, not meat foods.

I told him that cows are Krishna's favorites and that they provide milk so they are our mothers. I also told him that Krishna Himself says that consumers of beef will have to go through this repeated cycle of birth and deaths and be born 5000 times more as the worse lowly species. Then, he told me, "What is the proof that Krishna said all this? Bhagavad-gita was spoken so many years back and at that time there was no copyright. Maybe the one who wrote it is wrong and has interpreted Bhagavad-gita in his own way."

Answer: The words of Krishna spoken 5,000 years ago have been passed down carefully without any adulteration through an unbroken chain of disciplic succession. Besides that, the proof of the pudding is in eating. When he finds himself in the animal kingdom being readied for slaughter for as many times as there are hairs on the body of the cow that he eats, he will get his proof. But by then, it will be too late. It is more intelligent to learn by hearing than it is by being sent repeatedly to the slaughterhouse. But less intelligent fools are stubborn. They will only learn the hard way.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 08 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple--Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

How to Taste Unlimited Nectar at Every Minute


It's an open secret. The more you spread the nectar, the more you taste the nectar. So if you want to taste unlimited nectar, you should dedicate your total existence to giving the ultimate nectar to every man, woman, and child on the face of this planet. You've got nothing to lose except for your anxieties and the greatest treasure of all to gain. Plus all those persons whose lives you touch will eternally remain grateful to you for turning them on to the ultimate nectar and thus saving them from the repetition of birth and death. It's a good feeling. This is called love.

And what is that ultimate nectar?

The ultimate nectar is being reconnected with your original eternal identity as an eternal being, full of bliss and full of knowledge in the association of the supreme source of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sharing the Nectar in Mumbai
with Four-Year-Old Boy Named Kirtan.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Does Krishna Instruct Us?

From Chongqing, China.

Dear teacher:

I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

Is the Lord always giving us instructions in the heart at every minute? I find that we can judge one thing right or wrong simply by hearing from the innermost of the heart. For example, when I want to buy something that is not needed while at the same time I do not want to waste the money, but I really want to buy that thing, so I hesitate. But when I hear from deep in the heart, I remember Krishna, then I explicitly understand that the thing is not worth buying, and so I go away. This matter makes ask:" Is Lord Krishna always giving us instructions at every minute?" And is it that when we always remember Krishna, whatever we do is under His will, His instruction?

Your eternal servant,

Yechen Zhang

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Answer: Through the Spiritual Master

If we always carefully try to do everything for the pleasure of Krishna, Krishna from within the heart will give us the intelligence how to always do things properly. But because the neophyte's heart is not completely pure, sometimes he takes the whims of his mind to be the instructions of Krishna. Or sometimes he knows something is wrong but does it any way because he is pulled so strongly by his senses that he cannot resist it.

Therefore we need to always act under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master to always make sure that we are acting in accordance with Krishna's will. When we are not sure whether or not something is Krishna conscious, we should inquire from the spiritual master.

If there is no opportunity to inquire from the spiritual master in a given situation, we should pray to Krishna to help us make the proper decision that will be pleasing to Him and then use our best judgment. Best judgment means that you should accept whatever is favorable for your Krishna consciousness and reject whatever is unfavorable for your Krishna consciousness. And then when there is an opportunity you should check with the spiritual master to make sure that you made the right decision.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 07 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple--Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Anxieties a Million Miles Away


After a two hour flight from New Delhi and the congested hustle bustle at Mumbai's airport we have arrived at the sublime spiritual sanctuary of the ISKCON temple in Juhu, Mumbai. The spiritual oasis we are experiencing at ISKCON Juhu, is so powerful that it feels as though the entire universe is engulfed within it. It is amazing to see how well this large temple with its hundreds of monks is so nicely organized with its help desks, multi-departments and multi empowered managers. The main Deities are Radha-Rasabihari and they are very, very beautiful. Simply entering into this temple one can feel how all of his anxieties are going a million miles away. This is Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Landing In Mumbai

ISKCON Juhu Mumbai Marble Temple

Temple Room

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Prasadam Thrown Away?

Your Grace,

As a humble beginner in Bhakti devotion, I already become aware of tiny sunshines of connection with the spiritual sky poking through this dense material covering. I have become so happy since being inspired by your website to read over and over the Bhagavad-gita, to do japa at least one round every day and to begin to learn the Sanskrit also. But I realize that my next step is to make contact with devotees.

My question today is about prasadam. There is one point that I would like confirmation on. As I understand it, small portions of each food that is to be consumed should be correctly offered with prayer at the altar. Are these small portions also to be consumed? Or are they offerings that should be discarded?

Hare Krishna

Robin

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Answer: Prasadam Should Always Be Honored

I am very, very pleased with your progress in Krishna consciousness. Kindly continue advancing yourself in this way along the transcendental pathway back to home, back to Godhead and you will achieve the supreme perfection of existence, pure love of Godhead.

The special portions placed directly on the altar become the most potent manifestation of Lord Sri Krishna's mercy. They are so special that they have a special title also. All the food that it is offered to Krishna is call prasadam, but the portion put on the Lord's plate is called maha prasadam to signify its uniqueness. Maha means great.

Maha prasadam should be eaten with great devotion and relish. It must never be thrown away. Generally instead of using the word "eat", we use the word "honor" to describe the consumption of Krishna prasadam. Partaking of Krishna prasadam is a holy sacrament. It is not ordinary eating.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 06 December 2007

from ISKCON Temple--Juhu, Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Oasis Hopping


En route from Vrindavan to Mumbai, India for several days of spreading the ultimate nectar of Krishna bhakti there, we stop overnight in India's capital, New Delhi, at ISKCON's celebrated Glory of India temple. This temple's grand opening several years ago was a super gala event attended by the then prime minister of India. It is a very popular place of worship and place of education for the people of New Delhi. The devotees and guests were very enlivened to chant the Hare Krishna mantra and hear detailed information about the science of pure devotion.

It's really wonderful how I can circle the globe hopping from one Krishna consciousness center to another city after city, country after country. There is a cultural revolution going on. May it spread more and more all over the world to relieve the suffering population from the clutches of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Spiritual Oasis:
ISKCON Temple, New Delhi, India

Mahamantra Bliss

Hall Full of Eager Hearers

Revealing the Topmost Secrets of
the Self Realization Science

Answering Questions after the Lecture

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does 108 Chants Equal 16 Rounds?

I posted a question to you raising a concern that I am unable to chant in the morning due to the nature of my work. But ever since I posted that question, I was able to wake up early in the morning before 5:00 AM and finish off 108 times chanting before sun rise. I also started taking Krishna prasadam. Though I miss chanting on one or two days in between. I am sure it is only due to grace of you and Krishna that I am waking up early, as I never used to do.

My question now is: I have a rudraksha bead at home, and I am using it to chant Hare Krishna mantra 108 times, as it takes that many times to complete one round. Is this equivalent to chanting 16 rounds daily?

Yours Sincerely,
An Aspirant

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Answer: 16 Times 108 is 16 Rounds

I am very happy that you are rising early and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra 108 times before sunrise. This is very good news!

Regarding your chanting on the rudraksha beads, it is most pleasing to Lord Krishna if we chant His holy names on sacred Tulasi beads. If you go to your nearest ISKCON center there you will find tulasi beads available for purchase at a nominal price. You may continue chanting on the rudraksha beads in the meantime, but you should replace them was soon as possible with tulasi beads.

Chanting around the string of beads one time completes 108 repetitions of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. This is equivalent to chanting one round of japa. Those who are initiated by a bona fide spiritual master into the bhakti path make a lifetime commitment to chant at least 16 rounds a day. 108 repetitions of the mahamantra is one round. 1,728 repetitions is 16 rounds.

Now you are chanting one round on most days. This is a great beginning. Now try to make a firm commitment that EVERY day you must complete one round. Once this is solid, you can increase to two rounds every day. In this way gradually you can bring yourself to the point of chanting at least 16 rounds daily, and, if you can agree to follow some basic moral principles along with your chanting, you can become an initiated disciple of the bona fide spiritual master and become empowered for achieving spiritual perfection in this very lifetime.

Please keep me posted on your progress. I want to see that you become fully happy in this lifetime by complete surrender at Lord Sri Krishna's lotus feet and that you can regain your original eternal identity in the spiritual world and thus escape the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 05 December 2007

from the ISKCON Temple in Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Heroes of the Global Transformation

Life is very short; it can end at any minute. So there is no time to waste. As long we have the power to speak we must do everything within our power and, with God's help, beyond our power to bring about an all encompassing world-wide spiritual revolution. Mother Earth is crying in agony while the ever-increasingly overwhelming imbalance of the natural order continues worsening and worsening without any solution in sight.

The modern day politicians are completely useless when it comes to solving the problems. In fact it is because of their unenlightened misguidance that the entire world is in chaos. So we would be extremely foolish to wait around for them to rectify the situation.

Therefore, we must now take the full responsibility for planet earth within our hands by fully dedicating ourselves to spreading the enlightening knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita to every man, woman, and child in every town, village, city, and hamlet throughout every corner of the world. We must, each and every one of us, become living embodiments of the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. If we act in this way, the nightmare will be soon over and the entire world will become transformed into a paradise.

It will be a great story for your grandchildren how you were one of a small handful of daring pivotal spiritual revolutionaries who stuck their neck out to spread the enlightening knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita to a completely illusioned world. Those visionaries who now rise to this opportunity will be noted in the annals of history as the heroes of the global transformation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Sewer System Instead of Worship?


I am trying to understand the vast differences you described in the conditions inside the Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Temple and the streets in town. I lived in Bahrain for several years and was witness to the Indian and Pakistani work camps where I understand even these dire conditions are better than in most of India.

My question is: Would it not be a loving and prudent thing to do if one would take the money being invested in jewels for decoration and invest in a proper sewer system so the many could live in cleaner conditions instead of just a few?

I realize that the 'poor' will always be with us however how can one ask or expect them to raise their level of conscientiousness when they have so many dire unmet needs?

Striving to understand,

Peggy
Texas USA

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Answer: Temple is First Priority

In our temples we use costume jewelry to avoid the problem of thievery. We also do wide scale free food distribution of sanctified nutritious delicious vegetarian foods.

Spending money on sewage systems is a good idea. However, kindly note that we need good sewage systems on both the subtle and gross levels. The temple cleans the sewage out of the mind and the sewage plant cleans the stool and urine out of the water. Unless their minds are cleaned, the people will stubbornly hold onto their dirty habits. Even if we introduce the most modern high-tech sewage systems, we will not be successful in introducing cleanliness unless we first teach them how to purify their consciousness. This is why the first priority is the temple, the subtle sewage system, and then the sewage plant on the gross level.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 04 December 2007

from the Krishna Balarama Temple in Sri Vrindavan Dham, India
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Today's Thought:

Never Leave Vrindavan

Every visit to Sri Vrindavan Dham is the most purifying and uplifting experience. Just to be here breathing the air and contacting the sacred dust is an elixir for the soul. This the eternal home of Lord Sri Krishna here in this material world. Krishna's pastimes are eternally going on here at every minute. And my spiritual master said that Vrindavan is his home. So as Krishna's devotee and as the spiritual son of my Guru Maharaja, I certainly also take Vrindavan as my home.

So why don't I stay at home here in Vrindavan? My spiritual master ordered his disciples to spread Krishna conscious all over the world. By surrendering to this order I am always in touch with the sacred dust of Vrindavan. By this surrender Vrindavan becomes eternally manifested within my heart and I never set foot outside of its sacred groves.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Temple at Kusum Sarovara
in Vrindavan, India

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Computer Games Materialistic?

When you were in Riga, Latvia in October 2007 I went to your lecture, and I really liked it. And you said if we have some questions then write to your e-mail. So here is my question:

When we play computer games does our consciousness become more materialistic? It seems that when I am playing those computer games I become more materialistic and uncreative. Is it possible?

Yours sincerely

Lauris

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Answer: Elevate Your Consciousness

If we want to attain the kingdom of God at the time of death, we must train ourselves always to be Krishna conscious, i.e. to always be absorbed in thoughts of God.

Because computer games do not increase our Krishna consciousness, it is better not to waste our time in such a frivolous way. The time you spend playing computer games could be much better spent chanting Hare Krishna, studying the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Therefore it is better that you leave aside the computer games and engage instead in activities that will directly elevate your consciousness beyond this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 03 December 2007

from the Krishna Balarama Temple in Sri Vrindavan Dham, India
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Today's Thought:

Stark Contrasts in Vrindavan


Life in Vrindavan is a life of stark contrasts. We daily witness in the Krishna Balarama temple the unparalleled beauty of Sri Sri Krishna Balarama, Who are dressed daily in an unending variety of jewelry and outfits. And then, when we walk out of the temple into the town, we see the street hogs foraging through the garbage for some morsels of food to eat. Of all the animals we see in Vrindavan, the hog is the fattest because he thrives on eating the human stool which is readily available everywhere because of Vrindavan's open sewer system. Seeing Vrindavan's "sanitation engineers" executing their daily duties is a sobering reminder of the stringent law of karma. Those who have no discrimination in the matter of eating are given in their next life the body of hog so they can enjoy eating anything and everything with no sense of discrimination. Therefore one is advised to follow the instructions given in the Bhagavad-gita that our diet should consist entirely of vegetarian foodstuffs which have been offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Beautiful Krishna Balarama

Vrindavan Sanitation Engineer

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Origin of India's Vedic Culture


I met one person who was claiming that it is a historical fact that there are older cultures in India then Vedic culture. He said that Vedic culture came to India with nomads from the mountains and before that in India there was some traividya culture, with farmers, and we can still see some remnants of that in South India where even the languages are not based on Sanskrit and people look different. How am I suppose to understand this and explain to him that Vedic culture is the original one?

Hoping one day to be the servant of your servants,

Bhaktin Laura

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Answer: Historically Rooted in India

The concocted idea that Aryan culture came from outside of India has been tossed around by the mundane scholars for a long time. Because the original Indologists were European Christian missionaries paid by their respective governments to establish the superiority of Christian European culture, they purposefully concocted the Aryan invasion myth to propagate the idea that the advanced Vedic culture originated in Europe. This is a blatant example of cultural chauvinism.

The Vedic histories confirm that the Vedic culture is eternal. It has no beginning point in the pages of history. Within this universe we see it going back to the very beginning of the universe when Lord Brahma was enlightened with Vedic wisdom while sitting atop a lotus flower.

In the recent history within the last 5,000 years there is conclusive evidence to prove that the Vedic culture was thriving in India. It was not introduced into India by an invasion from Europe. The battlefield of Kurukshetra, the place where Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita 5,000 years ago is still there in India near Delhi. There is even a train station named Kurukshetra. According to the Aryan invasion myth, the Vedic culture was not present in India 5,000 years ago. If that was so, how could Krishna present the Vedic wisdom to Arjuna in India?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 02 December 2007

from the Krishna Balarama Temple in Sri Vrindavan Dham, India
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Today's Thought:

Sublime Srimad Bhagavatam

This morning (1 December 2007) I gave the morning Srimad Bhagavatam lecture at the Krishna Balarama Temple. There was a wonderful gathering of devotees in attendance who were enthusiastic to drink deeply the nectar of the Srimad Bhagavatam. It was a wonderful opportunity to share some of my ever-expanding realizations about the science of Krishna consciousness.

We follow a traditional system, a standard format, of delivering the Srimad Bhagavatam class according to what we learned from ISKCON's Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. First we sing the beautiful bhajan (devotional song) by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur known as Jaya Radha Madhava.

This song is a window to the spiritual world. By entering deeply into its sublime rasas (tastes) those who are highly advanced transcendentalists can actually use it as a portal to enter into the spiritual world. And even for the neophytes it serves an as extremely uplifting and energizing devotional meditation.

After singing Jaya Radha Madhava, we repeatedly recite the verse of the day in the original Sanskrit language to become purified by the its transcendental sound vibration. Then the speaker reads aloud its English translation and its purport (inner meaning) as explained by Srila Prabhupada. From there the speaker gives a lecture revealing his personal realizations of the science of bhakti in the context of that day's verse.

 

At the conclusion of the lecture the speaker then asks if there any questions. (There usually are some. Sometimes they can go on for over an hour.) When the question and answer session is over and the class ends, sometimes members of the audience come forward to express their appreciation of the class or to ask further questions.

There is truly nothing more sweet and nectarean than studying the Srimad Bhagavatam in the early morning hours in the company of similarly-minded souls. The Srimad Bhagavatam itself instructs us that we must study it every day and serve those persons whose very life is the Srimad Bhagavatam:

nashta-prayeshv abhadreshu
nityam bhagavata-sevaya
bhagavaty uttama-sloke
bhaktir bhavati naishthiki


"By regular attendance in classes on the Bhāgavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact."  --  Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.2.18

If you want to hear Srimad Bhagavatam classes they are conveniently loaded for you to either stream or download. You will find them at

www.spiritual-revolutionary.com             Click on       "Audio".
 

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Did Govardhan Have Potency Before?

Did Govardhan Hill have any potency before Lord Shri Krishna lifted it ?

Your servant,
Pramod
(India)

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Answer: Potency Enhanced by Krishna's Touch

Govardhan Hill certainly had great potency from the very beginning because he was originally in the spiritual world and descended to the earth just for the purpose of participating in Sri Sri Radha Krishna's pastimes. He first appeared in Salmali Dvipa where he was accepted as king of the mountains. Later he was brought to Vraja Mandal (Sri Vrindavan Dham) by the sage Pulastya. So Govardhan's great spiritual potency was already there even before being lifted by Krishna. But after being lifted by Krishna, Govardhan's spiritual potency was enhanced by millions and billions of times.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 01 December 2007

from the Krishna Balarama Temple in Sri Vrindavan Dham, India
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Govardhan Memories

Now we are swimming in the memories of yesterday's Govardhan Parikrama. Yesterday six of us did the transcendental trek, Govardhan Parikrama, together. Since Govardhan Hill is one of Krishna's incarnations, gazing upon Govardhan is non-different from directly seeing the form of God. The sacred walk around the hill is accepted by Krishna as direct worship of Him. So the Govardhan Parikrama is an incredible way to be fully absorbed in loving devotion to the Supreme Person for the seven hours it took us to complete our parikrama.

We began in the early morning chill at 6:00 am. Our first stop was Manasi Ganga, the sacred pond created by Lord Krishna. To purify ourselves we took Manasi Ganga's sacred water upon our heads and then continued on our transcendental journey.

Manasi Ganga, our First Stop

One of the first things we saw was a man who was doing his Govardhan parikrama in a very slow way that will take many months to complete. In one spot he offers his obeisances flat on the ground 108 times. He then moves on the next spot and again offers 108 obeisances. He counts his obeisances by moving the 108 rocks that are at his feet to the spot in front of his head. We can imagine at this pace how long it will take him to travel the 14 miles around Govardhan! The austerities we were experiencing by walking barefoot paled to insignificance when we saw the austerities this devotees was accepting in his worship of Govardhan.

Once we cleared Govardhan town we were able to leave aside the traffic and the hard concrete pavement for the more serene remote footpath.


We eventually reach Aniyor village. This village is named after the pastime when Krishna assumed the form of Govardhan and was eating all of the offerings that the Braja-vasis, the inhabitants of Vrindavan. were bringing to Him. No matter how much they brought Him, He was still not satisfied and kept calling out, "Aniyor, aniyor", which means "Bring more. Bring more." Finally when a tulasi leaf was also offered He became satisfied. And now even 5,000 years later this village retains the name Aniyor in memory of this pastime.

Describing Krishna's Aniyor Pastime in Aniyor Village

After some time we arrived at the sacred Govinda Kunda, the spot where Indra, the king of heaven worshipped Lord Krishna after realizing what a mistake he had made by sending the devastating storm to Vrindavan. There we gazed in wonder upon the beautiful Govinda kunda and Govardhan.
 

After Govinda Kunda we stopped for a delightful picnic sitting on a log at the foot of Govardhan.

Finally we looped around and began our journey on the opposite side of the hill. There were delighted to see a herd of Krishna's cows.

Krishna is the original cowboy. But He is not like the cowboys in Texas who herd the cows to the slaughterhouse. Krishna lovingly herds the cows treating them as his affectionate friends. How could we kill and eat a living being for whom we feel genuine affection? It is not possible. The world has a great lesson to learn from Krishna's Vrindavan pastimes, how to love and care for the cows.

Finally by 1:00 pm we returned to our starting point where our driver was patiently waiting for us to drive us back to the Krishna Balarama Temple in Vrindavan town. Now it is time to start thinking about Govardhan Parikrama for 2008!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Advance?

I am a married man and belong to Brahmin community and I am from Andhra Pradesh, India. How can I advance in spiritual world as I am a married man?

With thousands of pranams,

Siva Prasad.

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Answer: Chant under Guru's Guidance

If one chants the Hare Krishna mantra under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master it is does not matter whether he is married or single. In either case he can achieve the supreme destination.

Therefore those who are serious for about becoming liberated from the cycle of birth and death fully take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master through the process known as initiation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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