Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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

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Friday 29 February 2008

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

Take a Guru


According to the Vedanta-sutra it is the duty of everyone who has attained a human birth to inquire about the absolute truth. And if we are intelligent enough to rise beyond the animal platform by such inquiry, we are further advised that we should not speculate, that we must instead approach a guru. We are advised thus because the absolute truth can only be revealed to us by someone who has already realized it himself.

But who to accept as our guru? This can be really confusing because nowadays there are so many persons being touted as gurus. So how do we know which one to accept? Obviously we have to approach that person who has genuinely realized the absolute truth, not someone who is pretending that he has realized the absolute truth. But since we are not yet realized in the absolute truth how will we be able to discriminate because he who has actually realized the absolute truth and someone who is dishonestly claiming he has realized the absolute truth? To be able to make this discrimination we must carefully study the Bhagavad-gita as it is, because it is in the Bhagavad-gita that Krishna gives us everything we need to know to be able to recognize the bona fide spiritual master and to know what we do when we are so fortunate as to come into contact with a bona fide spiritual master.

If upon finding the bona fide spiritual master, we take complete shelter of him, all of our life's problems will be solved, and at the time of our passing out of this body we will enter into the eternal pastimes of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Human Society Kill Cows?


Please accept my humble obeisances.

My name is Shane Burnham, I attend the temple in Vancouver, Canada. I am a friend of your disciple, Raghunatha Das. Please excuse any ignorance I may exhibit in my question. I'm still new in respect to being Krishna Conscious.

Krishna says to protect the cows. Now, obviously we haven't. That is evident in the display of slaughterhouses all over the world. I wonder if Krishna told us to protect them because He knew that slaughterhouses for cows were a possibility. If we as a society, as the human race, can murder such a peaceful animal such as the cow, what does that say about us? What does it say that we let that happen? The cow is the most peaceful of animals. The fact that we let cows or any other animal be lined up and slaughtered like we do says that we as a race, as a species have failed. That is probably why Krishna told us to protect them. If we did protect them, then there would be no slaughterhouses of any animals. Slaughtering peaceful animals such as cows, who give us milk shows that we are a fallen species...below cows, below pigs even.

Thank you.

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Answer: Because We Have Become Lower Than Animals

It is a fact that Krishna is a perfect knower of past, present, and future. Therefore when He describes the duty of cow protection in the Bhagavad-gita we can understand that He knew how much the cows would be tormented and tortured in this horrendous age of Kali. The way we treat cows shows that we as a human society have degraded ourselves to the most abominable and despicable state of being. You have rightfully concluded that we are now a fallen species lower than the animals.

I will be returning to Vancouver as soon as another opportunity arises for me to come there. I hope to meet with you at that time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 28 February 2008

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

On the Road Again


After a hiatus of several weeks here at our headquarters at Bhaktivedanta Ashram we are back on the road today this time to Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I will be speaking at a university, some temples, and some home programs. After these few days for the most part we will remain in Austin up until our next around-the-world tour, which begins on 31 March with a lecture tour in Germany and then on to many other countries around the world. It's a wonderful, enlivened, surcharged, happy feeling to be out on the road spreading Krishna bhakti around the globe. The breaks are good for our health and also are a choice time to ruminate on how we can make our preaching tours more spiritually powerful and effective.

I hope to meet you all somewhere out there as I am traveling here and there. Please check out my lecture schedule below and try to rendezvous with me. I would love to meet you! Let me know that you are subscriber to my e-course.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Meaning of "Devotee"

What is a meaning of the term "devotee"?

Your student

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Answer: Someone Fully Devoted to Krishna

A devotee is someone who is fully dedicated to Krishna or God. Such a person is on the highest level of spiritual perfection. Those who are serious about awakening the dormant love of God within their hearts do not consider themselves to be devotees yet, in the full sense of the term. Rather they see themselves as persons who are striving to become devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 27 February 2008

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

Tolerance in the Face of Dualities


Now that our April-June world preaching tour is confirmed and ticketed we are looking to finalize our September-January world preaching tour. After many days of work and making so many arrangements we were informed by the airline that the booking that THEY made was not according to THEIR rules and they cancelled it. Now after being misguided by an inattentive airline booking agent we are starting all over again practically from scratch to devise our itinerary. In Krishna's service there are many ups and downs. We have learned from Lord Krishna and from the previous acharyas that one has to tolerate these dualities without being disturbed. Today's upheaval was a great opportunity to apply the Lord's teachings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof that No One Devolves?


Namaste. I don't know chapter and verse, but somewhere in the Gita, Lord Krishna says, "I preserve what they have and I carry what they lack."

Doesn't this prove that we never can degrade ourselves and evolve into lower species of life? But rather, that we are always advancing, or at least staying at the same karmic level? Please clarify my doubt.

God bless you for your kind service over the years.

Love always...Tommi

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Answer: Only True for Devotees

You have omitted the first half of the verse. Krishna says that He does this for those who worship Him with exclusive devotion meditating on His transcendental form. Those who do not fully absorb themselves in His loving devotional service do not obtain the same result. In other words, you obtain whatever you meditate upon. If you are fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness you attain the Lord's abode. If you meditate on sense gratification you obtain a body which has better facility for sense gratification than the human body, namely the body of an animal. Krishna is completely fair. Man proposes and God disposes. You get whatever your absorb your consciousness in because by this you are showing the Lord exactly what you want.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 26 February 2008

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

Bringing the Senses Under Control


We can either be the controller of our senses or we can be controlled by our senses. The controller of the senses is known as a goswami, a master of the senses. A godasa, servant of the senses, is that person who is being manipulated by his senses.

The senses have no intelligence of their own. Simply they are always itching for gratification. If our life is spent only in catering to our senses we will never find lasting peace and satisfaction. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna explains how the senses burn like fire and are never satisfied. No matter how much fuel we may feed to a fire it keeps on demanding more and more fuel. It never becomes satiated no matter how much fuel we feed to it. So the best program is to give our senses only as much as they require to keep body and soul together. The remaining portion of our energy should be absorbed in hearing, chanting, and remembering the glorious name, fame, pastimes, entourage, and paraphernalia of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead. This will bring us true, lasting happiness because it will reconnect us with our actual selves.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Desire for Profit Material?


In a recent "Thought for the Day" you have mentioned "Desire for profit." What does it mean? Today a shopkeeper sells his product for profit. Today people save their extra money in the share market, which is based on profit. I am donating a small portion to support your spreading of Krishna consciousness. And for my personnel emergencies I am saving some money. Is saving money for future needs a material attachment?

I am interested in making this birth my last birth. So kindly enlighten me.

A fallen soul,

Your student

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Answer: Who is the Profit For?

I very much appreciate how you have repeatedly contributed monetarily for assisting our mission of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. Lord Krishna certainly blesses you for this.

The desire for profit is in itself neither good nor bad. It is simply a matter of how one utilizes that profit which determines the result. If one accumulates profit and spends it on material sense gratification, he is paving his royal road to hell. But if he is accumulates profit for the Lord's service, his desire for profit is transcendental. In this connection a Krishna conscious businessman can aspire to be the wealthiest businessman in the entire world for the sake of engaging as much as possible of the world's wealth in the service of the Lord.

Therefore one should live simply and not extravagantly. So while covering his basic comforts and saving for future needs, such as retirement, he can give as much financial support as possible for the re-spiritualization of the world society. If one utilizes profit in this way, he is transcendentally situated. His activities of acquiring profit will not entangle him in the cycle of birth and death. And if he focuses his life exclusively on serving the Lord his perfection of going back home, back to Godhead is guaranteed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 25 February 2008

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

Appeal to the World's Leaders


The Srimad Bhagavatam instructs that no one should become a leader unless they can deliver their dependents from the cycle of birth and death. In other words a leader is responsible not only for the current situation of his dependents; he is also karmically responsible for the destination they will achieve in their next birth as a result of following him. If a leader is not Krishna conscious, he is doing to greatest disservice to his followers because by his influence they are being driven down to the lower species in their next birth. He is also hurting himself because he will have to go there with them. Therefore we are appealing herewith to all the world's leaders to take up the path of spiritual emancipation for their own benefit and the benefit of their followers.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Balance Spiritual and Material Duties?


Dear Guru Maharaja,

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to your Grace and all others in line of devotion. Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet.

I am told that Radharani and Radhika are somewhat 'competing' for Krishna's attention. But from my understanding they are the same, just different from different past times. So if they are the same [just different expansions], why this 'competition'?

In the purport to Chapter 10 Text 17 of the Bhagavad-Gita, Srila Prabhupada talks about "yoga-maya". Another devotee had tried to explain this concept of yoga-maya to me, but I am still having difficulty understanding it. So, what exactly is yoga-maya?

In the material world maya comes in many forms such as lust. and lust can be for many things. What is the best way to control this desire of lust [sexual, over-eating, lust for power etc.]?

Also, I am having difficultly balancing my spiritual practices [such as chanting and reading books like the Gita] with my prescribed duty as a high school student. I read somewhere that we are not supposed to give up our prescribed duty to practice Krishna Consciousness. Yet, my school work interferes with my spiritual practices, as do my spiritual practices keep me from my school work. I always try to put my spiritual practices [or at least my japa] before this other duty, is this the correct thing to do?

I often become very frustrated with situations that come up in my life, and then will get discouraged from Krishna Consciousness through my own self-doubt. This self-doubt often leads to other negative feelings like depression and anxiety. Is there something I can do to transform this self-doubt into something I can use for Krishna's service?

Thank you so much for your time, I have so many questions and it means so much to me that you continue to answer them and lead me to Krishna's light.

Always your humble servant,

Bhaktin Geri-Lynn

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Answer: The Transcendental Sandwich

Radharani and Radhika are two names for the same person so there is no competition. There is however competition between Radharani and another gopi named Candravali. This competition is a special arrangement of the Lord to make the pastimes in the spiritual world more sweet and more relishable. It is not like any competition in this material because it is all meant for giving pleasure to Krishna.

We usually refer to the Lord's illusory energy as Maha-maya. However, even though it is material because it comes from the Lord, it is still considered spiritual and is sometimes is also called Yogamaya. This Yogamaya is the deluding potency of the Lord that bestows forgetfulness of the Lord on those who desire to forget Him.

Lust means a desire to gratify your senses. The senses are cruel masters because even though you may gratify them, they are still not satisfied. Just like if you scratch an itch it will simply become worse. It will not go away. But if instead of trying to gratify your senses you try to satisfy Krishna, because you are part of Krishna when He becomes satisfied you will automatically be satisfied. This is the simple, easy way to conquer over lust. Simply always think, speak, and act in a way that will be pleasing to Lord Krishna. In this way you will become completely free from the disturbance of lust and will be fully absorbed 24 hours daily in blissful Krishna consciousness.

Try to rise early and chant your prescribed number of rounds every day as your first duty. Once you have completed them you can read scriptures for a few minutes and then fully absorb your day in your academic studies. Then again before taking rest at night you may again read for few minutes from the scriptures. This is known as the transcendental sandwich program. You sandwich your worldly duties within Krishna consciousness.

Bring all of your doubts to me. Describe them to me and in detail and I shall evaporate them with the shining lamp of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 24 February 2008

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

Are You Ready for Unlimited Bliss?

The entire world is suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness. Does that mean that you have to suffer with them? No. It does not. If you are willing to be daring and step out from the crowd to realize your eternal, spiritually enlightened nature, all you have to do is follow our simple guidelines. The results are guaranteed. If you will simply always put Krishna in the center of everything you do, you'll be amazed at how your consciousness will be transformed. We will train you how to do it. Are you ready?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free from Attachment?


What is the meaning of attachment?
What are the types of attachment?
How can I get free from attachment?
Why was the material nature created by Lord Krishna?
What was the purpose, since He knows that the material world is so miserable?

Your servant,

Aditya

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Answer: Attach Yourself to Krishna

Attachment means accepting things for one's own sense gratification. There are gross attachments such as illicit sex life, meat eating, intoxication and gambling. There are also subtle attachments such as the desire for profit, adoration, and distinction.

If you will simply attach yourself to Krishna all of your gross and subtle material attachments will naturally go away.

Krishna had to provide the material nature because we foolishly desired a place where we could forget the Lord. It was not because of His desire. It is because of our foolish desire that this material world exists. Now if we will desire to return to His transcendental abode, He will rescue us from the cycle of birth and death and take us back to our original home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 23 February 2008

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

Reconnect with Your Actual Self


Why would you want to be anything other than what you actually are? Does this make sense? It would be crazy to try to be something that you are not. It would be a useless waste of time. So why spin your wheels going nowhere? Find out who you really are and how to become fully situated in that real identity. This is the real goal of human life. This is known as the science of self-realization, and it is taught by the perfectly self-realized spiritual master. Seek out such a spiritual master and learn from him the science of how to be who are actually are. He will reconnect you with your actual self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Which Guru Should I Choose?


I would like to get your answer to this question. I have been thinking about my initiation, but I have some doubts as to how to pick my guru. The devotees who are guiding me have helped me to stay in association with the devotees, showing me the rules and standards of the temple, and the necessary information that I must know. On top of this, I am guided also by the Bhagavad-gita and many other books that I must read. But I would like to ask you, since you are a guru, how can I know or understand which one is the guru that I must chose? I would like to take initiation next year when I will be 15 years old. Please tell me the right age.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Please excuse me for bothering you.
Respectfully,

Bhaktin Camila

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Answer: The One Who Takes Care Of You Most

Your question is very nice. It is not at all a botheration. Please feel free to bring all of your questions to me so that I help you to be properly situated on the pathway to spiritual perfection.

If you are serious now to dedicate your life to Krishna under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, your age is quite suitable for taking initiation.

Regarding which guru from whom you should take your initiation: Choose that guru who takes the most care and concern to guide you personally on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead. There is nothing more important for the disciple to experience than the loving kindness of his or her spiritual master. So whichever guru is willing to help you the most on your path to perfection is the one from whom you should take your initiation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 22 February 2008

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

Expand Your Good Fortune Unlimitedly


We see all over the world that people are very eager to expand whatever good fortune they have to a greater and greater extent. Unfortunately their understanding of good fortune is incorrect. They are thinking in terms of temporary material things. Why not accumulate one's good fortune in eternal spiritual things? This is called real intelligence. Any material fortune I may accumulate is here today and gone tomorrow. But whatever spiritual fortune I may be blessed with will stay with me for all of eternity.

If you will chant Hare Krishna every day, you will expand your good fortune more and more and more without limit, and you will never lose it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Krishna Can Have a Personal Form?


I am somehow able to understand the universal form of lord Krishna that the whole universe, all the living beings, demigods and everything rests upon Him just as the pearls are strung on a thread. But I am not able to understand his personal form as Shyamasundara, blackish-blue in color with flute in his hand.

Now I am reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is Ninth chapter. I am kindly requesting you to give the way to understand his personal form. What do I have to do to realize his personal form in my mind?

Venkatesh

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Answer: He Cannot Be Without Anything

Is God limited or unlimited? He must be unlimited, otherwise how He can be God. Therefore He cannot be without anything.

If you can have a personal form, do you think the unlimited God is under some limit that does not allow Him to have a personal form? Just try to understand that you cannot be greater than God. God must at least have everything that you have and of course much, much more without limit. So if you can have a personal form, it is logical to understand that God must also have one. The difference is that you are limited by your personal form while God is not limited by His personal form.

He can be in one place doing something while simultaneously He is everywhere, but you can only in one place doing something. This is the difference between you and God. Now do you understand?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 21 February 2008

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

The Ultimate Drug


Nowadays many persons are taking different types of dangerous illegal drugs to try to uplift their consciousness so that they feel better. But this is a big mistake. They are turning to something material to try to free themselves from the pain of material existence. By doing so they simply prolong their difficulties in the cycle of birth by becoming even more entangled within the material nature. If they want relief from the miseries of material existence, they must realize that by its very nature material existence is miserable, and that therefore there is no material adjustment for making it blissful. The easy solution for this quagmire is to elevate one's consciousness beyond this material existence into the spiritual stratum. The easy system for doing this is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra. This should be done on a regular daily basis. By doing so one will gradually become completely transcendental to all the miseries of material existence and will taste the sweetest happiness at every minute. This is the ultimate drug.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Interest for Chanting?

I believe in God, but I am not doing the chanting right now. Previously I was chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra daily, but for the last one year I have not chanted a single round. However I do visit the temple on all occasions such as disappearance days and appearance days. I keep the Ekadasi fast and the four regulative principles also. At my home my wife chants 16 rounds, my daughter chants 6 rounds. But I do not take interest to chant. Please suggest how I can get the interest for chanting.

Sanjeet

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Answer: Chant Now, Interest Will Come

Interest or no interest you must chant. It is the order of the Supreme Authority, Lord Sri Krishna, as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita. If you will surrender to Krishna's order and chant the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads at least 16 rounds daily, you will develop such a strong taste for chanting that you will never want to ever again give up the chanting.

It is compared to a person with jaundice who is instructed by his physician to treat his jaundice by taking sugar candy. For one who has jaundice, sugar candy tastes very bitter. But yet he takes it on the order of his physician because taking sugar candy is the way to become cured from jaundice. What happens as he begins taking it is that it gradually tastes less bitter and less bitter until finally it starts to taste slightly sweet and then more and more sweet until it finally becomes very sweet and his jaundice is cured. The chanting works like sugar candy to cure the jaundice-like disease of material consciousness.

So now you are suffering from a jaundice-like condition in which the chanting has no taste for you. But if you will chant anyway on the order of Krishna, gradually the sweet taste will come and you will wonder how you could have ever been so foolish as to give up chanting the Lord's unlimitedly sweet holy names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 20 February 2008

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

Can You Taste the Nectar?

The nectar of devotion is an ocean of bliss. Can you taste the nectar? All you have to do is dive in. Don't sit passively on the shore as a spectator. Take up the practices of bhakti. Chant the Hare Krishna mantra on a daily basis. Offer all of your food to Krishna before eating (no meat, fish, or eggs allowed). Give up consciousness-lowering activities such as illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. For transcendental synergy associate as much as possible with those persons who are on the pathway of Krishna consciousness. Adopt these guidelines and be amazed as you experience your bhakti (devotion) growing by leaps and bounds. You'll be tasting the sweetest nectar every day. And it will just keep getting sweeter and sweeter.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Nectar or Poison in the Beginning?


Some people say that Krishna consciousness is poison in the beginning and unlimited nectar at the end; while some say Krishna consciousness is ever-increasing nectar from the very beginning. Which is right?

As to my experience, Krishna consciousness is nectar because to some extent I can taste it and feel peaceful, and in the meantime it is austerity because the nectar I taste is not enough to attract my heart, so I have to forcibly fix my mind on Krishna, this is somewhat painful. I have to have strong faith to carry me thru the difficult times. What to do about this?

Your eternal servant,

Yechen Zhang

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Answer: Ever-Increasing Nectar

Krishna consciousness is ever-increasing nectar from the very beginning. Apparently someone is getting Krishna consciousness confused with happiness in the mode of goodness, which is described in the Bhagavad-gita.

Happiness in the mode of goodness is the kind of happiness which is poison in the beginning and nectar at the end, not Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is different. It is sweet from day one as soon as you seriously take it up. Krishna conscious happiness is completely beyond the modes of material nature. It is situated on the pure transcendental platform.

For a neophyte devotee, however, often his practice will be in the mode of goodness instead of completely on the transcendental platform. Therefore he will sometimes experience difficulties in his practice of Krishna consciousness.

If you are still having trouble in your practice, it is because you are not yet purely on the transcendental platform beyond the modes of material nature. You have not yet become spontaneously attracted to Krishna. Don't worry. This is normal for a beginner. You simply must continue with your practice of chanting at least 16 rounds daily and following the four regulative principles, even if it sometimes feels like an austerity. Stick to this process just like a patient who faithfully takes his medicine as prescribed by his doctor, even though it may taste bitter.

In this way, if you will dutifully follow the spiritual master's instructions, you will gradually reach that stage of spontaneous attraction to Krishna. Then the allurements of the material nature will fade away into insignificance. If you will continue bringing your mind back to thoughts of the Lord, even if by force, gradually that day will come when you are spontaneously absorbed in Krishna consciousness 24 hours a day just as a young man is spontaneously attracted to beautiful girls.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 19 February 2008

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

My Life's Dream


There's no way I can measure how much I am indebted to my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He has saved me from a hellish, nightmarish existence in the cycle of unlimited births and deaths. How much my heart was burning in agony before I was blessed with his sublime shelter. I was so distraught. It was horrible. I remember wandering the streets of Austin, Texas in a state of total bewilderment simply crying in grief with no one I could communicate with to explain the depth of my despair. Was it anything in particular that was disturbing me? No. It was the pain of meaningless existence itself that was piercing my heart like burning arrows.

Now for the last thirty-seven years of my life, since Srila Prabhupada so mercifully blessed me with the supreme gift of Krishna bhakti, I have been tasting the sweetest bliss. And this bliss just keeps on increasing more and more. There's so much bliss in Krishna consciousness that there's nothing else that makes sense to me except to try share it with the entire world. How much they are desperately needing this Krishna consciousness! If only somehow or other by Lord Sri Krishna's grace I can convince them to take it up, this will be the fulfillment of my life's dream.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

My Spiritual Master: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Develop Awe and Reverence?

Yesterday in your "Thought for the Day", in the question and answer section one of the questions your student asked you was, "Should one chant with intimacy or with awe and reference?

Your reply was, "Intimacy with the Lord is there only in the liberated stage. Our present relationship with the Lord should simply be one of awe and reverence. In order for Arjuna to become liberated, he had to lay aside his intimacy as the Lord's personal companion and humbly hear the message of Bhagavad-gita in a state of pure awe and reverence."

My question is what is the meaning of being in a state of pure awe and reverence and how does one develop and act in it?

Your servant,

Rebecca

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Answer: By Faithfully Serving Krishna

While in our present conditioned stage of consciousness there is an intimacy of master and servant in our relationship with the Lord, but we cannot have the intimacy of a friend, parent, or lover with Him. Our present position must always be awe and reverence. This means that we must humbly bow down at the Lord's lotus feet and accept whatever orders He gives us as our very life and soul. The recommended way to develop this awe and reverence is to fully surrender ourselves unto the lotus feet of His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, and faithfully carry out whatever instructions the spiritual master gives us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 18 February 2008

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

You've Got to Be Free


You've got to be free to taste the bliss.
You've got to be free or nectar you'll miss.
You've got to be free to break through the sky
And enter that land where nobody dies.
You've got to be free. Yes, you've got to be free.

You've got to free, no longer enmeshed
In crazy identity with rotting flesh.
Throw away the madness
And embrace the gladness
It's time to be free. It's time to be free.

Revive your true nature as eternal spirit soul.
Make pure love of God your one and only goal.
Call in today and book your ticket
On the next flight to Goloka. Make sure not to miss it.
You've got to be free. You've got to free.
Yes, you've got to be free. You've got to be free.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. The spiritual master is your friendly travel agent.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Attain Peace of Mind?


I have never had peace of mind I have a feeling that I can never have till I die whether or not I pray to God. There is no change in my situation even after chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra morning and night. Can you advise something which will act like a miracle and give me peace of mind instantly. I am of a feeling that it is not too long for me to become atheist. I request you to advise me what to do. I am seeking your guidance as a last resort.

Regards,

Rao

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Answer: Simply Try to Please Krishna

Instead of trying to find satisfaction for yourself, simply try to satisfy Krishna or God. As soon as you stop thinking about your own happiness and just try to make Krishna happy, you will feel how your heart becomes flooded with unlimited happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 17 February 2008

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

It's Time for Revolution

With no solution for snowballing pollution,
world civilization spirals towards dissolution.

The leaders are cheaters. Who wants to follow upstarts?
It's time we take guidance from those with pure hearts.

Things have gotten so bad I just can't stand it.
It's time we band together to revolutionize this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. There's a bright new dawn
for everyone who embraces the
mood of personal and global
respiritualization.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Krishna Take Care of Atheists?

Could you please explain to me what benefits an atheist gets from Sri Krishna? When a pure devotee prays to Krishna for help, He is able to hear it. But when a non-devotee suffers misery, will Krishna help him without expecting a prayer from him? Imagine a situation where we are unable to make the atheist Krishna conscious. Will Krishna help him still?

Yours humbly,

A little Student

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Answer: Krishna Cares for Everyone

Just as the theists receive all help from Krishna, so do the atheists. He supplies everyone with their necessities of life. He bestows His mercy equally upon all, theist and atheist alike. This is compared to a loving parent who takes care of all his children, even the errant ones.

The difference between an atheist and a theist is that while the atheist does not acknowledge and reciprocate with Krishna, the theist does. The theists give Krishna their love and thus taste the sweetest happiness in reciprocation with Him. And the ignorant, ungrateful atheists remain miserable in their miserliness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 16 February 2008

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

Always Be Transcendental


No matter happens to you in this material world, always be transcendental. In this world there will always be dualities: good and bad, beautiful and ugly, honor and dishonor, etc. Not allowing ourselves to be carried away by these dualities, we should simply remain always absorbed in the mood of serving the Lord with love. If we base our happiness on this, we will always be happy. Nothing will ever be able to bring us down.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Seemingly Inauspicious


During this winter holiday, I am reading Nectar of Devotion. When I read that in Krishna's pastimes 5,000 years ago, some pure devotees even displayed some seemingly inauspicious qualities -- namely envy, fear, anger, presumption, proud, etc, etc. E. g. Satyabhama displays her envy over Rukmini, other gopis sometimes displayed their envy over Radharani. Etc. But these qualities are supposed to be inauspicious. Why did they display these sentiments?

Your humble servant

Yechen Zhang

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Answer: But Actually Most Auspicious

In the pastimes of the Lord there are unlimited varieties of experiences and tastes. There are five primary and seven secondary rasas or tastes that are experienced between the Lord and His devotees. All of these rasas are great great reservoirs of transcendental pleasure for the Lord and His devotees, even the seemingly inauspicious ones.

For example, sometimes Krishna puts His pure devotees into a fearful situation just so their feelings of dependence on Him become intensified and so that He can personally rescue them from their fearful situation. Just like one time there was forest fire in Vrindavan and the devotees were very much afraid that they would be consumed in its flames. But they took complete shelter of Krishna and He relieved them from the danger of the forest fire. There are countless other examples for all of the rasas.

The rasas experienced in the spiritual world are listed as follows:

Primary Rasas:
1. neutrality (passive adoration)
2. servitorship
3. friendship
4. parenthood
5. conjugal love

Secondary Rasas:
1. comedy
2. compassion
3. fear
4. chivalry
5. ghastliness
6. wonder
7. devastation

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Friday 15 February 2008

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

Krishna Consciousness Revolution


Today, 14 February 2008, there was another mass shooting in the USA. A frustrated person shot 18 people in a lecture hall during a class on a university campus and then shot himself dead. As I am writing this, five deaths have so far been reported. Why are people so frustrated that they do such things? What has gone wrong with the human society that such events are becoming quite common?

The reality is that we have lost our sense of identity. We do not know who we are. This is why people are so frustrated. We are thinking that we are these bodies. It is this false sense of identification that is the very source of our frustration. We want to live forever, but we are foolishly misidentifying ourselves with a perishable lump of matter. All we have to do is realize who we really are and then act fully in terms of that realization. This will bring an immediate end to all frustration and bring a new era of peace, happiness, prosperity to the entire world.

So what is the world waiting for? Why doesn't everyone take advantage of this knowledge and become liberated right now? They are steeped in ignorance. So somebody needs to distribute this knowledge to them. It is simply a matter of getting the good news around to everyone in a compelling in a convincing manner. That's all.

So who is that somebody who will distribute this supreme knowledge? That someone is you. Tell everyone you meet about Krishna consciousness. Be a part of the solution, the Krishna consciousness revolution, not a part of the problem, the status quo.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proper Chanting


I am always very pleased to receive your daily emails, thank you very much.

I have heard it said that if one chants the name of God with the proper mood, just one utterance is sufficient - but also if one chants with offences he can chant for many lifetimes without getting anywhere. Also, that one is bound to begin chanting with offences but continued chanting leads to offenseless chanting.

Some people say that the reason we chant Hare Krishna so much is so there is more chance of uttering the Holy Name once with the right mood - and that it is only chanting with the right mood that does us any good.

So when you say to us 'to chant our prescribed number of rounds so that we get the spiritual strength to combat the material energy' - are you just referring to offenseless chanting? Is it that my offensive chanting is giving me any spiritual strength at all?

Sometimes I tell myself, 'just chant Hare Krishna as much as you can and this will bring you to the perfect stage' - but I get quite disheartened when I hear it said that 'you can chant for many lifetimes and not get anywhere'. I actually find it quite easy to turn myself into a chanting machine that chants Hare Krishna all day long because I have hope that it will do me good, but then I am told it will do me no good unless I do it with the right mood.

How do I know if I have the right mood? How do I establish this right mood? Should I approach the Holy Name with reverence or with intimacy?

Thanking you always for your patience and wisdom,

Alex

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Answer: With Determination and Patience

Chanting Hare Krishna is not like rolling the dice, that if I roll them enough times I will get the numbers I want, that if I chant enough times I will finally by luck say the holy names once in the proper mood and get liberated. No. Chanting is not like that. It is matter of gradually improving the quality of our chanting so that we can consistently chant in an ever-more pure mood.

As soon as one sincerely takes up the process of Krishna consciousness there is some degree of purity in his chanting, even if it is only 1%. This purity is the source of his spiritual strength. As he continues chanting that degree of purity continues increasing 1%, 2%, 3%, gradually, gradually until that most glorious moment when it becomes 100%. Once has to patiently chant understanding that he is burning of the reactions of millions of lifetimes of sinful activities.

Regarding the proper mood for chanting, consider this example:

If you fell over the edge of a cliff and had luckily caught hold of a branch on the way over, how sincerely and pleadingly would you call for help? Chant in this mood and Krishna will personally reciprocate with you.

Intimacy with the Lord is there only in the liberated stage. Our present relationship with the Lord should simply be one of awe and reverence. In order for Arjuna to become liberated, he had to lay aside his intimacy as the Lord's personal companion and humbly hear the message of the Bhagavad-gita in a state of pure awe and reverence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 14 February 2008

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

The Ultimate Pleasure


There is nothing sweeter than Krishna consciousness. Even God Himself, Who is the Supreme Connoisseur, the Supreme Enjoyer practices Krishna consciousness to increase His own enjoyment. Nobody enjoys on an equal level with God. But still He takes the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to become His own devotee and thus relish the ultimate pleasure of being a "Hare Krishna", a pleasure higher even than being God Himself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Distracted at the Time of Death


What are some of the different ways that one can be distracted from the thought of the Lord at the time of death?

Pinki

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Answer: You Get What You Think About

Whatever our minds are focused on throughout our lives is what they will naturally gravitate to at the time of death. It is not that I can live a materialistic life with a plan to utter the names of God at the time of death and expect be transferred to His kingdom. The time of death is a very disturbed time. It will not be possible to re-direct our minds at that time. We have to train our minds now by deeply, intensely absorbing them on a daily basis in chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra.

If in this lifetime I was always thinking of sex, I will think of sex at the time of death and acquire a body with more facility for sex than what is available in the human form of life, such as the body of a pigeon or a monkey.

If in this lifetime I was always thinking of my house, then I will think of my house at the time of death and come back as a mouse or a cockroach in the same house.

If in this lifetime I was always very enlivened to eat meat, I will think of steak or fried chicken at the time of death and come back as cow or a chicken to be slaughtered and eaten.

I could go on and on listing the different types of thoughts and what kind of body they take us to. But what we really have to do is always keep our minds fixed on Krishna. By doing this we are guaranteed to attain His eternal kingdom at the time of death and not take birth again in this miserable material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 13 February 2008

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

Relegating the World's Water Woes to the History Books


For years the rapidly vanishing supply of fossil fuel has been a matter of grave concern for a world society which is becoming more and more dependent on it for its daily functioning. But now a new shortage is becoming more and more of a problem: the shortage of water. It wasn't that long ago that the entire world functioned quite well without fossil fuel depending on ox power and horse power. But when in history has the world functioned well without water? A recent study has revealed that one-third of the world population now faces some form of water shortage. And along with water shortage comes desertification. More and more, once fertile land is now becoming transformed into desert.

So what is the solution? That easy solution is given by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

annad bhavanti bhutani
parjanyad anna-sambhavah
yajnad bhavati parjanyo
yajnah karma-samudbhavah


"All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains. Rains are produced by performance of yaj˝a [sacrifice], and yaj˝a is born of prescribed duties." Bhagavad-gita 3:14

If we can introduce sankirtana-yaj˝a, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, on a wide scale, there will naturally be sufficient rainfall all over the world and the world's water woes will be nicely relegated to the history books. Scholars will then study that time when the world's population was misguided by foolish leaders and unnecessarily suffered so many varieties of difficulties.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

One third of the world population is currently facing an ever-increasing water shortage.
When will it hit you? Better do something now before it is too late.

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Japa Beads?

When we chant (Japa), is there any special significance to using the Japa beads?

Thank you for your time.

Your Aspiring devotee

Uttara


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Answer: Greatly Enhanced Chanting

The chanting beads greatly enhance the meditational quality of chanting the holy names of God. For one thing, they bring another one of the senses into the meditational experience, namely the sense of touch. Also the great acharyas have prescribed that we must chant as a minimum a set number of repetitions of Krishna's holy names every day in order to derive sufficient spiritual strength for conquering over all material desires and reviving our original and eternal spiritual identities as servants of Krishna. The chanting beads enable us to count how many times we utter Krishna's names so we can make sure that we have covered our minimum daily chanting quota.

At the time of initiation the spiritual master chants on our beads to sanctify them. When we chant on our initiation beads we derive direct blessings from our spiritual master via the medium of our japa beads. Touching our beads is non-different from touching his lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 12 February 2008

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

Blessed by the Most Compassionate Spiritual Master


By the grace of Lord Sri Krishna I have been blessed with the shelter of the most compassionate spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Even though I am highly unqualified and unfit to approach such an exalted saintly person, Srila Prabhupada has so kindly granted me shelter at his lotus feet. And he has also blessed me and his other disciples with the mission of re-spiritualizing the entire human society. Thus the purpose of my existence on this planet is to continue expanding my own Krishna consciousness more and more while simultaneously absorbing myself fully in pushing forward the Krishna consciousness movement more and more and more for the deliverance of the suffering humanity from the all-devouring jaws of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

My Most Beloved Spiritual Master:
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Krishna Conscious at Work?


I would like to know how to be Krishna conscious at work. How does one achieve perfection in the discharge of one's duties?

Your eternal servant,

Acharya Das

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Answer: Offer the Results to Krishna

It is very nicely explained in the Bhagavad-gita chapter 18, text 11 how to be Krishna conscious at work:

na hi deha-bhrita sakyam
tyaktum karmany aseshatah
yas tu karma-phala-tyagi
sa tyagity abhidhiyate


"It is indeed impossible for an embodied being to give up all activities. But he who renounces the fruits of action is called one who has truly renounced." -- Bhagavad-gita 18.11

Srila Prabhupada explains the above verse as follows in his purport:

"It is said in Bhagavad-gita that one can never give up work at any time. Therefore he who works for Krishna and does not enjoy the fruitive results, who offers everything to Krishna, is actually a renouncer. There are many members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness who work very hard in their office or in the factory or some other place, and whatever they earn they give to the Society. Such highly elevated souls are actually sannyasis and are situated in the renounced order of life. It is clearly outlined here how to renounce the fruits of work and for what purpose fruits should be renounced."

Since the fruit of our work is income, how we spend that income will either make our Krishna consciousness or break our Krishna consciousness. The idea is that we should live as simply as possible so that we can donate as much as possible of our earnings for expanding the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. This will automatically bring us perfection in the discharge of our duties.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 11 February 2008

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

Enlightened Leadership for a Troubled World


The current day generation of leaders are completely incompetent and unfit to lead the world. Because they are ignorant of the self and its relationship with the Supreme Self they are not even qualified to properly live their own lives, what to speak of guiding the lives of others. In the Vedic times the leaders were not only politically powerful but were also great saints. Such enlightened leadership is desperately needed all over the world at the present time. It is our goal to train up such a class of enlightened leaders based on the principles of the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Did Arjuna Surrender to Krishna?


When Arjuna, the great friend and disciple of Lord Krishna sees the big Kaurava army in the Kurukshetra battle field, suddenly feels faint at the thought of fighting and killing his kith and kin, acharyas and gurus. In that confused state of mind he seeks the advice and guidance of his mentor, Lord Krishna, imploring His counsel. That is when Krishna unfolds the magnum opus, the Bhagavad-gita in 700 verses to Arjuna giving him the most confidential knowledge on dharma and the three yogas. Only at the very end of His narration Lord Krishna reveals the final secret of "Surrender" unto Him as the best recourse to attain the eternal bliss or "Moksha".

My question is "Is there any evidence in the Bhagavatam or the Mahabharata to support that Arjuna took Krishna's best advice of surrender?" Kindly enlighten me on this.

Krishna dasa,
Sampath Kumaran

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Answer: He Obeyed Krishna's Order to Fight

Yes. It is proven in the Mahabharata that Arjuna surrendered unto Krishna's order to fight the battle. He fought very heroically and along with his brothers defeated the enemy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 10 February 2008

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

Be All That You Can Be on the Vedic Path


Why be anything less than what we can actually be? Why limit ourselves or hold ourselves back from realizing our full potential? In this human life we have a special facility for realizing the highest truth and escaping the cycle of birth and death. Why should we accept anything else as our life's goal? That would not be very intelligent. We can easily attain this goal if we simply follow the Vedic pathway, which has been blazed by the previous acharyas, the great spiritual masters. There will be no limit to what we can experience or attain. This is the pathway that we are guiding you along in the ultimate self realization course.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Chant Hare?


In the Hare Krishna mahamantra what is the meaning of "Hare"? Is it not more productive if we just repeat the name of Godhead Himself: Krishna, Krishna, Krishna?

Brigadier N S S Krishna, VSM ( Retired )

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Answer: For an Inside Connection with Krishna

In a similar way that we approach a big man through his secretary, Krishna is also approached through the medium of His spiritual energy, Hare. Actually Hare is the vocative form of the word Hara. Hara is our mother and Krishna is our father. This spiritual mother is none other than Srimati Radharani. When we chant Hare we are praying for Her blessings that we may get the mercy of Krishna.

If we try to bypass Srimati Radharani to directly get Krishna's mercy, we will not be successful. Therefore it is enjoined that we should first chant Hare and then Krishna. If we do so, Srimati Radharani will make sure that Lord Sri Krishna bestows His blessings upon us.

This is one of the insider's secrets on the path of bhakti. Those who approach Krishna directly do not receive the same caliber of blessings as those who approach Him through the mercy of Srimati Radharani.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 9 February 2008

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

Fight with Determination


Becoming Krishna consciousness means that we have to do battle on a daily basis with the material energy. In order to be successful in this struggle we must fight with great determination. We have the six material senses including the mind that must be conquered. If we can subdue our senses by keeping them always engaged in Krishna's service, we will emerge victorious as conquerors over the material energy and will be able to enter into the sublime atmosphere of the spiritual world.

How do we keep them engaged in Krishna's service? This process begins with the tongue. If we can utilize our tongues as far as possible only for glorifying the Lord and partaking of vegetarian foodstuffs that are offered to Him with love and devotion (prasadam), we gradually will become highly advanced in Krishna consciousness and always taste the sweetest pleasure. This principle is confirmed by Srila Rupa Goswami:

atah sri-krsna-namadi
na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
sevonmukhe hi jihvadau
svayam eva sphuraty adah


"Material senses cannot appreciate Krishna's holy name, form, qualities and pastimes. When a conditioned soul is awakened to Krishna consciousness and renders service by using his tongue to chant the Lord's holy name and taste the remnants of the Lord's food, the tongue is purified, and one gradually comes to understand who Krishna really is."
--Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.234)

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Surrender?

The last line of a recent Thought for the Day message is, "Just to surrender to Krishna."

What does it mean literally to surrender? What is the procedure to surrender? How will I know that I am surrendered?

How does the spiritually advanced person who is surrendered -- walk, talk, sit, behave etc? How do I differentiate between a surrendered and non surrendered person.

What do I have to do physically or mentally or emotionally to surrender to Krishna?

Your servant.

Prafull

PS. I enjoy your email everyday and learn lot of things. Thanks for that, taking so much time to email.

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Answer: Follow Guru's Instructions

We surrender to Krishna by putting ourselves fully under the orders of Krishna's representative, the bona fide spiritual master. The spiritual master will let you know whether you are surrendered or not.

The fully surrendered soul is free from anxiety and full of compassion desiring to give Krishna consciousness to everyone. He accepts whatever instructions he receives from his spiritual master as his very life and soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 8 February 2008

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

Save Yourself--Save the World


Some people want to save the world, but they never take the time and trouble to learn the proper method for saving themselves first. Therefore their efforts to save the world are useless. How can they save the world when they cannot even save themselves?

And there is another class of persons who are very eager to save themselves but do not care about saving others. This is also an imperfect position because compassion is one of the symptoms of a spiritually awakened person. If he is not compassionate, he must necessarily not be awakened. Such persons argue that the thirsty come the well, it is not that the well goes to the thirsty. But the proper understanding is that during times of extreme drought those who are merciful dig irrigation ditches to supply water to those who are desperately in need of it.

So the proper position is that we should first save ourselves by fully surrendering at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna and then dedicate our lives fully for giving Krishna consciousness to everyone that we meet. This is our philosophy: Save yourself-Save the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting Speed


What is the correct speed of chanting?

Sunil

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Answer: Most Important is Quality Hearing

Regarding the proper speed for chanting japa, Srila Prabhupada has described:

"Chanting japa should be done early in the morning with full concentration preferably during the *Brahma Muhurta time. Concentrate fully on the sound vibration of the mantra, pronouncing each name distinctly and gradually your speed in chanting will increase naturally. Do not worry so much about chanting fast, most important is the hearing."

Therefore focus on quality hearing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

*Editor's Note: Brahma Muhurta is the time beginning an hour and a half before sunrise

 
Thursday 7 February 2008

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

How to Taste the Bliss


The more we can engage ourselves in talking about and hearing about Krishna, the more we will become ecstatic, the more we will taste the bliss of Krishna consciousness. Therefore those who are intelligent arrange their lives in such a way that they can engage 24 hours daily in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. They attend classes on Krishna consciousness as much as possible. After initiation they also try to give classes whenever possible. Even when having ordinary conversations they try to as much as possible introduce the topic of Krishna.

mac-citta mad-gata-prana
bodhayantah parasparam
kathayantas ca mam nityam
tushyanti ca ramanti ca

"The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me." Bhagavad-gita 10.9

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free from Suffering?


How does one become free from the dualities of suffering of attachment? For example you see it is very common for people nowadays to jump in front of trains, commit suicide and random degrees of violence due to this, i.e. wife, girlfriend leaving them etc. How does one become free of something that appears to be so real?

Your Humble Servant,

Bhakta Michael

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Answer: Through Krishna Consciousness

To get free from the dualities we have to realize the completely temporary nature of the entire material situation that each of us finds ourselves in. Whether I am a king or a pauper it is nothing to get excited about or depressed about because it is only a temporary situation that will very soon change according to the laws of nature.

The only position of permanent happiness is to realize that I am not this body, that I am the eternal servant of Krishna, and then to engage myself fully and completely in His service. As soon as we enter into this state of consciousness, known as Krishna consciousness, we will become relieved from the all the sufferings of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 


URGENT!

Help Our World Wide Mission
 


Sankarshan Das Adhikari Explains Krishna Consciousness
on a Popular Radio Show in Monterrey, Mexico

The entire human population is suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness. Therefore there is no greater welfare work than spreading Krishna Consciousness all over the world. Krishna greatly blesses those who fully dedicate themselves to this activity. However, those who are not free to do full time missionary work due to family, job, or other commitments can also receive the same blessings by supporting those who are in the field preaching. So why not advantage of this special opportunity to receive the special blessings of Lord Sri Krishna today?

 

Wednesday 6 February 2008

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

Japa: the Ultimate Meditation


If you want to taste the sweetest nectar, rise early in the morning and chant sixteen rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads before the sunrise. You will be directly communing with God Himself in His most holy name incarnation. And if you will carefully lay aside all other thoughts simply putting your full concentration on pronouncing and hearing the Hare Krishna mantra in a loving mood, you will have one of the most amazing experiences of your entire life.

In this connection Srila Rupa Goswami has stated,

"I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krish-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert."

So give japa chanting a serious try. You'll be glad you did!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Hare Krishna Movement Authorized?

1.How are we sure of the authority of the Vedic body of knowledge when there are so many possibilities of interpolation in it?

2.The Manu Smriti is completely against the low castes and women, so how are we to treat it as a law book from GOD?

3. How is the Bhagavad-gita treated as a Sruti if it comes in the Mahabharata which is a Smriti?

4.The original Vedas (barring the Upanishads, Puranas, and the Mahabharata) do not mention a Personality for God. These are the scriptures which are assumed to be Sruti. The mention of the personal features of God comes only in non Sruti scriptures (considering the Bhagavad-gita as non Sruti). It is also argued that Sruti are more authoritative than Smriti.

Since the basis of the Hare Krishna movement is the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavata Purana, and the Caitanya Caritamrita (all non Sruti) how do we justify our position vis a vis these arguments?

Please forgive any offenses on my part for asking such questions

Sincerely in search of truth,
Ashutosh

Editor's note: Sruti refers to the original four Vedas, and Smriti refers to the Vedic corollary literatures.

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Answer: Yes, According to All Vedic Wisdom

I appreciate very much that you have sincerely inquired to gain a correct understanding of these issues and clear up your doubts. Krishna instructs that we must approach a spiritual master for getting a clear understanding of the Absolute Truth. Without hearing from a bona fide spiritual master we can never through mere speculation come to a proper understanding of the sublime Vedic wisdom.

We have to hear the Vedic wisdom from a bona fide spiritual master because he presents it as it is purely according to the explanations of the great acharyas who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years. If we hear the version of speculative scholars who have zero access to its proper understanding, we are sure and certain to be confused.

You are wrong in thinking that the Manu Smriti is against women and children. The Vedic culture recognizes the vulnerability of women and children to being exploited by unscrupulous men and makes full facility to protect them from harm. It is the modern day so-called advanced civilization which is committing every day the grossest atrocities against women and children.

It does not matter if Bhagavad-gita is Sruti or Smriti. It is the words of God Himself, Lord Sri Krishna, from Whom all the Vedic wisdom comes. Therefore it is the highest authoritative knowledge. Krishna declares in the Bhagavad-gita that He is the compiler of the Vedic wisdom and that all of the Vedic wisdom points to Him.

You are also wrong in stating that the original Vedas do not mention a personal God. Here are some quotes from the original Vedas which do indicate the personal nature of God:

In the Atharva Veda it is said:

yo brahmanam vidadhati purvam yo vai vedams ca gapayati sma krsnah

"It was Krishna who in the beginning instructed Brahma in Vedic knowledge and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past."

The Atharva Veda also states:

eko devo nitya-lilanurakto bhakta-vyapi bhakta-hrdy antar-atma

"He is the one Supreme Lord, always attached to His eternal pastimes, extending Himself to His devotees, and present as the Supreme Soul within the hearts of His devotees."

In the Rig Veda (1.22.20) it is stated:

om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah

"The demigods are always looking to that supreme abode of Vishnu."

Another point is that everywhere throughout the Vedas we find the syllable "om", which is the sound representation of Krishna.

It is a wrong conclusion to think that Sruti is more authoritative than Smriti. Rather it is Smriti which has made Sruti comprehensible. And it is the spiritual master who empowers us to perfectly realize the conclusions of the Vedic knowledge composed of both Sruti and Smriti.

So the Hare Krishna Movement is most authorized. It is making for the first time in world history the full import of the Vedic wisdom available to the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 5 February 2008

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

Is Ignorance Bliss?

There is a saying: It is folly to be wise in that place where ignorance is bliss. We can see practically how true this is. In this world 99.99% of the population is deeply engrossed in the ignorance of misidentification with their material bodies. Everywhere we see propaganda promoting the illusory concept that one can be happy by material sense gratification. And what do people think about those who take to the path of self realization? They consider them to be foolish. So it is a fact that real wisdom is taken to be folly in that place where ignorance is bliss.

We then have a choice. We can go along with flow of the material society and be a fool and a rascal like everyone else, or we can dare to be different even at the risk of being considered weird or crazy. One has to consider what is ultimately beneficial for one's eternal well being and then do the needful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does Your Name Mean?


What does your name mean?

Kripa-siddha Das

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Answer: Servant of He Who Attracts All Living Beings

My name, Sankarshan Das, was given to me by my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on August 12, 1971, the day that he accepted me as his eternal disciple. Sankarshan is a name for God, and Das means servant. This particular name for God, Sankarshan, means "He Who attracts all living beings." So I am the servant of that Supreme Personality of Godhead Who attracts all living beings throughout the totality of existence. It is a very wonderful and special name for God. I am praying to that all-attractive Supreme Person, Sankarshan, that all living beings throughout the universe will now become attracted to join this Krishna consciousness movement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Monday 4 February 2008

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

Unlimited Inspiration


The more we learn to connect with Krishna in all that we think, speak, and do, the more and more we will become inspired. There is no limit to how strongly we can become connected with Krishna, and thus there is no limit to how much inspiration we can derive from His association. One simply has to practice the process of Krishna consciousness with patience, determination, and enthusiasm. In this way one is guaranteed to be successful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Everything Pre-Determined?


Is all that is happening in this world as per a pre-determined plan? If everything is pre-planned then what role do we play? Do human beings have free will, i.e. the freedom to act according to their own will?

Regards,

Shaji Isaac

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Answer: Choose Your Program

There are two channels, material and spiritual. Every living being has the choice which channel he wants to tune into. Both channels have preset programs. But everyone is free to flip back and forth as they choose.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 3 February 2008

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

Don't Get Carried Away


In every day life we experience so many ups and downs. Some things excite us and some things depress us. If we want to escape this emotional roller coaster we have to come to the transcendental platform beyond the dualities, not allowing ourselves to be carried away by either mood. The English word "mood" is related to the word "mode". From the Bhagavad-gita we learn that there are three different modes: goodness, passion, and ignorance. We are advised to elevate our consciousness to the transcendental position beyond these modes of nature by absorbing ourselves fully and completely in the devotional service of Lord Sri Krishna. The key is to remain equipoised, always seeing everything in relationship with Krishna. This may not be an easy thing to do in the beginning. But with practice it gradually becomes easier and easier until it becomes a natural habit.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Best Serve?

One thing I have always dreaded was the end of your e-course. The thought of not having your guidance day after day put much sadness in my heart and caused me much anxiety. Of course you have offered guidance in other ways, but just the thought produced such feelings in me. I want to be always connected to you in vani (instructions) or vapu (physical presence) , most importantly vani, as that is what you stress as most important in a disciple-spiritual master relationship. So therefore by all means I beg you to guide me how to best serve you, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna!

Your aspiring servant,

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Answer: Serve with Love

You do not have to dread the end of my e-course. The spiritual master lives forever by his divine instructions and the disciple lives with him. If you take complete shelter of my instructions, you will have my guidance, blessings, and association for all of eternity.

The best service you can render to me, Srila Prabhupada, and Lord Krishna is to try develop your love for Lord Krishna. Whatever you do in the Lord's service always try to do it with love, not mechanically like it is some kind of chore. Do your service as if it is the greatest blessing, because that is indeed what it is.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Saturday 2 February 2008

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

Surrender Right Now!

There are so many difficulties that we must face practically on a daily basis. Because of so much stress and anxiety it is hard to keep ourselves always fixed on the transcendental platform. From all sides we are being bombarded relentlessly by the Lord's illusory energy, Maya. So how to get out of this trap? There's got to be some kind way of here. Krishna or God is not so cruel as to leave us stranded in the cycle of birth and death. He has given us Himself as our personal rescuer. It we will simply take shelter of Him our difficulties will gradually evaporate away into oblivion. This is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavad-gita:

daivī hy esa guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te

"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it." --Bhagavad-gita 7.14

So why prolong your misery for one minute longer? Surrender unto Krishna right now!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is God?


Who is God? I would appreciate if you can answer this question for me. Currently I am taking philosophy and this is a question that I have to answer. Thank You.

Respectfully,

Ommadatt

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Answer: The Source of All Existence

The word "god" means controller. Just like there is a god of the rain, a god of the sun, etc. Just as the sun god is the controller of the sun, you are the controller of your body. In this sense you are also a god.

But when we speak of "God" with a capital "g" we are referring to the Supreme God over all that exists. When we try to figure out who God is we should understand that God is the source of existence. Just as the sun emanates its rays all over the universe, similarly God emanates the total existence from His transcendental body.

So if we want to know who God is, we simply have to find out who is that person who is emanating all that exists from Himself. God has made it easy for us. We do not have to go on an extensive God hunt. He has revealed to us in the Bhagavad-gita that His name is Krishna and that He is the source of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 1 February 2008

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

How to Never Be Lost


Krishna wonderfully explains in the Bhagavad-gita (6:30) that those who see Him in everything and see everything in Him are never lost. So this a wonderful vision that we can cultivate: how to see everything in Krishna and Krishna in everything.

In this connection we should understand that nothing exists outside of Krishna because all of existence is nothing more than His expanded energy. Nothing can exist without it being emanated from Krishna. Nothing and no one can exist independently of Him. In other words we are totally dependent upon Him for everything, even for our very existence. Therefore out of gratitude we should voluntarily engage ourselves in His service. This is known as Krishna consciousness, and it automatically revives one's original all blissful, all knowing eternal identity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Only 64 Qualities of God?

I am finding it very nice and interesting to read all of your articles with different descriptions and answers to the questions posed. I thank you once again from my bottom of my heart.

I have a question which was asked by my brother and I was unable to answer it. The question is : What are the different unlimited good qualities of God?

And my question is: Why is it that only 64 qualities of God ( Krishna ) are being listed whereas He is reservoir of unlimited good qualities.

Awaiting your answer.

Your student,

Praveen P Joshi

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Answer: 64 Qualities, Only a Sample

Even if I could count how many grains of sand there are on the beaches of the world, I would still not be able to enumerate even an infinitesimal fraction of the unlimited qualities of Krishna. The list of 64 qualities mentioned in the Nectar of Devotion are simply the tip of the tip of the tip of the iceberg of Krishna's unlimited qualities. They are listed to give us at least a sample conception of God's unlimited qualities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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