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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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 March 2008

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

Final Countdown


After many weeks of preparation for our fourth around-the-world-preaching tour we are finally down to the last hours before departure. There are so many minute details that must be attended to. If one of them is missed it can cause great havoc. Therefore it is with great sobriety that we are spending the final hours before departure carefully minding all of the details.

All this trouble is definitely worth it. It is such a wonderful, fulfilling adventure to be spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, said his disciples should do twice as much as he did. So since he traveled eleven times around the world for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement, my duty is circle the globe at least 22 times for the same purpose. I have my work cut out for me. After completing this fourth tour in July I will have to do at least 18 more. What could be more worthwhile?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

World Tour Begins Today.....
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On this most auspicious day, when Sankarshan Das Adhikari begins another around-the-world lecture tour, a wonderful opportunity awaits you. You can help to make it a grand success by your tax-deductible contribution. Lord Krishna will shower His mercy upon you!


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guru Before Initiation?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

Is a spiritual master considered as a spiritual master only if the devotee is initiated? Or can we take shelter of a spiritual master even without being initiated and later get initiated?

I consider you as my spiritual master. I would love to meet you. I live in Hyderabad.

Youre aspiring servant.
Shweta

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Answer: Guru-Disciple Relationship Begins with First Meeting

From: Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas, USA

My Dear Shweta,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

One's relationship as a disciple of his or her spiritual master begins from the very first meeting. That meeting can be face to face, or it can also happen by reading his written words. Accepting a guru is a matter of the heart. When we know that we have found our spiritual master and we fully dedicate ourselves to him, this is called practical initiation. The formal initiation ceremony then naturally follows in due course of time.

This is what happened in the case of Srila Prabhupada. He first heard Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura speak one evening in 1922 on a rooftop in Ulta Danga, Calcutta. It was at this first meeting in which he realized that he had met his eternal spiritual master. From then on he always remembered his spiritual master. And then in 1933 he was formally initiated as a disciple. So for eleven years he was practically already initiated, even though the ceremony had not been held yet.

So if you are feeling that I am your spiritual master and you are fully dedicated to carrying out my instructions, practically you are already initiated. And your formal initiation will naturally come in due course of time.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 30 March 2008

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

Good Fortune Throughout the Universe


If we want to factually come out of the darkness of ignorance and misery into the full light of spiritual knowledge and bliss, we must be under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. I remember quite well the dark, dreary life I suffered through for so many long years before I was blessed with eternal shelter at the lotus feet of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It was really tough before I became his disciple. I wouldn't want to wish such a meaningless, confused existence upon anyone. But this is where the entire human society is situated at the present moment. They are not under a guru's shelter.

Krishna was really kind to bring me in contact with Srila Prabhupada. I wish that everyone throughout the world can be equally fortunate to be blessed with the shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. Therefore I now offer to Lord Krishna the following powerful mantra from the Srimad Bhagavatam for the deliverance of all the fallen, conditioned souls:

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


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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Be Happy in an Upset World?


Dear Master Teacher,

Thank you for you kindness in spreading Krishna Consciousness world wide. I am in need of such help please work with my ignorance and answer these questions:

Is Lord Vishnu an incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna? And what is the significance?

How does one learn of their past life and mission in this life?

How can I be happy if the whole world is upset about one thing or another?

What does your name mean?

I think it would be great if you could put some videos of instruction on www.YouTube.com. It would be good, I am sure, so please consider this.

Sunday my house flooded because of a broken water heater. I think God is having fun with me. Please advise, I will keep on chanting and my goals are reached!

Would you be kind enough to give me the list of things I should and should not be doing. I only want to be involved with divine past times.

Hare Krishna!

Cheryl

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Answer: Seriously Take Up Krishna Consciousness

From: Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas, USA

My Dear Cheryl,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

According to the authoritative descriptions in the revealed scriptures Lord Sri Krishna is the original form of Godhead. All other incarnations are His expansions. So the four-armed Lord Vishnu is an incarnation of Krishna for the purpose of universal management. Just as a wealthy, powerful businessman hires managers to run his business for him, Krishna expands from Himself in various Vishnu forms to take care of universal management. This frees Him for enjoying at home in His eternal abode with His intimate devotees.

You have been in the cycle of birth and death for millions of lifetimes, therefore what you were in your previous lifetime is not very important. What is important is that you should fully qualify yourself in this lifetime for going back to home, back to Godhead by fully surrendering yourself unto Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

Even though the entire world is in a chaotic disturbed condition, if you will seriously take the process of Krishna consciousness, you will become solidly situated on the transcendental platform far, far beyond all the sufferings of material existence. You will enter into a world of unlimited, ever-increasing happiness.

Sankarshan means "one who attracts all living beings." It is a name for the Supreme Lord. Das means servant. Hence Sankarshan Das means "the servant of He Who attracts all living beings."

There are already quite few videos of me on www.Youtube.com. Simply type in "Sankarshan" in the search box and many of my videos will come up.

Whatever happens to us is God's arrangement to try to induce us to voluntarily return to His service. The Lord is pained to see that we are suffering in this material existence. Therefore He is trying to convince us to come back to home, back to Godhead. The spiritual master is petitioning on His behalf.

Here are our basic principles:

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

If you can follow these principles, you will become very strong in spiritual life and will become solidly situated in great transcendental happiness.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 29 March 2008

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

Society in the Ditch


A society that is not guided by a spiritually enlightened class of brahmanas is a headless society. How can we expect peace and prosperity in such a society? It is not possible. Sadly, this is the current state of affairs on this planet. We are a headless society. It is a society of the blind leading the blind. When a blind man leads another blind men, where do they both end up? In the ditch. Unless and until the human society takes advantage of the guidance of spiritually enlightened teachers it is doomed to failure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Bathing Required Before Chanting and Reading?

I enjoy reading the question and answer part of your daily email. Every time I open my email and see the subject "Ultimate Self Realization Course" I go into a meditative state and realize again that God is there. Your daily email has become an anchor in my life.

Some religions like Islam require a special washing before praying. They say that if you pray without this washing, the Angels won't approach the praying person. It is as if that person did not pray at all. Is it better to wash before reading the Bhagavad-Gita or chanting Hare Krishna?

Thank you a lot for being there for us.

Best regards,

Fadi Nohra

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Answer: Chanting and Reading are a Form of Bathing

From: Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas, USA

My Dear Fadi,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Although it is always best to bathe first before performing devotional activities like chanting or reading the scriptures, if there is some situation that makes is impractical to bathe, you may still read the Bhagavad-gita and chant Hare Krishna. These activities are themselves a form of bathing because they cleanse the dirt out of your mind.

It is my great pleasure to be here for you to provide you a place where you can fully connect with Lord Sri Krishna.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 28 March 2008

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

The Most Valuable Treasure


We are in the last stages of preparing for over three months on the road traveling for spreading Krishna consciousness around the world. It is not easy to simultaneously tie up all the loose ends here at our headquarters and at the same time make sure everything is perfectly arranged for each stop along the way. But it is a wonderful opportunity to fully absorb myself 24 hours a day in Krishna consciousness. Who could ask for anything better than this? Being Krishna conscious is more valuable than being the wealthiest or most powerful person on this planet or in this universe. I would not trade it for anything!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Life's Problems Solved?

How will dedication and devotion solve all the problems of human life?

Your student

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Answer: By Devotion to the Supreme Lord

Devotion to the Supreme Lord solves all the problems of life because it reconnects us with our original all-blissful enlightened state of consciousness in which we were in perfect harmony with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When we are fully in sync with the Supreme Person everything that happens to us is auspicious and wonderful. We will taste the unbounded mercy of the Supreme Lord at every second.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 27 March 2008

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

Highest Level of Spiritual Perfection


Unlimited happiness is there within you. You cannot find it in the external world of birth and death. So don't even bother trying. The science of self-realization is the process of arousing that unlimited happiness within you. This self-realization is gradually developed through different levels of awakening culminating in the highest stage known as Krishna consciousness. The beauty of the Krishna consciousness process, as we are teaching you according to the great acharyas, is that anyone at any level can adopt this process and quickly ascend to the highest level of spiritual perfection.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guru Does Not Guide Me. I am Lost.

I have a spiritual guru. I love him since childhood. When I was kid or in teenage he communicated to me and answered a few of my questions in my dreams. But now he doesn't contact me when I need him the most.

I pray to him to contact me as contacting and talking to him physically is very difficult because there are many people around him all the time.

Kindly tell me how can I talk to him. How can I find the answers to my problems in life? I stepped on the spiritual path in my early stages because I had my guru who invoked me and guided me on this path. Now he's staying away from me and I am LOST NOW.

How do you comment on this?

Regards,

GSM

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Answer: You Need a New Guru

My Dear GSM,

Please accept my blessings.

Since you have no way of contacting him it is better that accept another guru who can give you the guidance you need. A guru who does not guide you is a guru in name only. The real guru is the one who guides you at every step along the pathway to spiritual perfection.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 26 March 2008

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

The Necessity of Guru

Some people argue, "What is the necessity of having a spiritual master when God is there? Why can't I just have God directly as my guru just as Arjuna did?" The answer is that we are not standing face to face with God as Arjuna was. Of course since God is omnipresent, He is certainly present with us. That's a fact. But in our present state of conditioned consciousness we can neither hear Him nor see Him. So how we will receive instructions from Him for our deliverance from birth and death? To this question someone could answer, "Since God is present in the form of scriptures, if we simply follow the instructions in the scriptures, we will become delivered." This a valid principle. And in the scriptures we find that over and over again we are instructed to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master. It is also enjoined in the scriptures that unless one has a spiritual master he is not qualified to study the scriptures. The scriptures guide us in this way because if we approach scriptures with our conditioned consciousness, we can easily misunderstand them. Therefore a bona fide spiritual master is required to help us properly understand the scriptures. In short, the will of God is revealed to us through the transparent via medium, the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where is Independence?

Dear Teacher,

Please clarify my ignorance.

We generally say that without the Lord's permission even a blade of grass will not make a move. We also understand that the Lord is the one Who controls the thinking process of Jivatmas, the living beings. Krishna states, "By me one gets forgetfulness, by me one gets remembrance." This means to me that the Lord has full control over our minds and that He directs all our actions.

My questions is: If the Lord creates the circumstances and gives us the mind to react in a particular way, where is our independence to decide to do good or bad? And then if we react how are we karmically bound by that?

In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in the Eighteenth chapter, " Now I have told you the most confidential knowledge and now it is up to you to decide what to do." Does it mean that the decision is not directed or influenced by the Lord?

It is difficult to understand for my mind. Please guide me.

Hare Krishna,

Srinivasa Murthy

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Answer: Krishna Gives You Independence

Krishna does not control the thinking process. He facilitates it. He provides you with the sort of thinking that you desire. If you desire to be His devotee He will empower you to always be mindful of Him. If you desire to forget Him, He will give you so many atheistic arguments to convince you that He does not exist.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 25 March 2008

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

Overcoming Obstacles


There are many, many obstacles we face on the pathway to perfection. One has to patiently and cool-headedly deal with them one at a time in a careful, qualitative manner. In this way one will gradually surmount all obstacles and obtain the supreme perfection, pure Krishna bhakti. However, if one becomes impatient and does not want to have to deal with the obstacles, he may become frustrated and give up the process altogether. Just like when we bake a cake we start off by combining all the ingredients. Then after placing it in the oven we have to patiently wait while the cake gradually bakes. If we expect it to immediately bake and take it out of the oven after a few minutes, we will ruin the cake. Similarly in Krishna consciousness, the ultimate self-realization system, we must carefully apply the system to the best of our ability and patiently await the results. If the results are not what we were supposed to get, we did something wrong. We have to then re-examine our practice and correct what we are doing wrong. In this way if we carefully execute the bhakti yoga system our ultimate success is guaranteed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Job Lost Due to Destiny or Speech?

Dear Master,

Please advise me whether or not an individual has control over his words when he speaks. This is the third time I have spoken out and lost my job. Afterwards I very much regret it. It is due to my destiny, or is it due my speech?

Best Regards

Raju

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Answer: Your Speech Creates Your Destiny

You cannot blame destiny for your uncontrolled speech. In fact, it is the other way around. You create an auspicious or inauspicious destiny for yourself depending on how you speak. If you speak in a way that is pleasing to Krishna, you create for yourself a most auspicious destiny, and if you speak in a way that is not pleasing to the Lord, you are creating an inauspiciousness destiny. So the choice of destinies is yours.

The secret of controlled speech begins with your mind. You need to practice the art of absorbing your mind in Lord Sri Krishna on a regular daily basis by the chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra every morning before you begin your day's activities. It is recommended for this purpose that you should chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala. If you will fix your mind every day in this way, naturally your speech will be very nicely controlled and your future will be very, very bright.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 24 March 2008

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

Beyond the Hype


In this world everyone is looking for pleasure, but due to ignorance 99.99% of the people try to derive their pleasure from the interaction between the senses and the objects of the senses. This is a false platform because the body is not the actual self. It is simply a covering of the self. They do not realize that the actual pleasure is experienced only in the relationship between the self and the Supreme Self. Thus they fruitlessly waste their entire lives investing their time, intelligence, and energy pursuing goals that are not worth pursuing. And they end up at the end with nothing except an increased karmic debt which obliges them to enter into hellish situations in the lower species to burn off their karmic reactions.

Those who are fortunately enlightened in the Vedic wisdom are blessed with a vision that allows to see beyond the hype. Such liberated souls invest their consciousness in the self-realization process. They focus their energies on reawakening the dormant Krishna consciousness that is sleeping within. As their Krishna consciousness becomes more and more awakened they experience more and more happiness, and out of a genuine sense of compassion they derive the ways and means to awaken the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can a Devotee Function in this World?

In the introduction to the Bhagavad-gita Srila Prabhupada says that the false ego means thinking that "I am the lord of all that I survey". Theoretically this is very easy to understand, that I am not this body. But in our day to day lives we are forced to think that we are the lord of all we survey. I have seen that if I don't think like this I cannot function in this material world.

Please let me know how to simultaneously get rid of the ego and still be able to function.

Your servant,

Swaroop Kishan

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Answer: Offer it to Krishna

If you see all that exists as the energy of Krishna and then endeavor to engage everything in Krishna's service, you will be more successful at engaging it than someone who operates on the false premise of himself being the Lord of it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 23 March 2008

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

The Greatest of All Miracles


In Los Angeles on December 18, 1973 my spiritual master, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, ordered his disciples to become gurus and to deliver the whole world. With on order like this sitting on our heads how can we ever feel that we have fully carried out our duty? In other words, we cannot rest easy until every man, woman, and child on the face of this planet have seriously taken up the pathway of spiritual perfection. How is it possible that we can bring about such a seemingly impossible spiritual revolution on this planet? It can only happen by the inconceivable grace of Lord Sri Krishna. We certainly we do not have the potency for ushering in such an unparalleled transformation of world history. But we can pray and endeavor to be the fully surrendered servants in the hands of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna so that they may use us as their instruments for bringing about this greatest of all miracles.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: Hare Krishna is Just Another Religion

I am being straightforward here in explaining what I think about all I have gone through with you and other authors. After reading everything you write, reading various Hare Krishna books by Prabhupada I still think Hare Krishna is just another religion.

All religions:

Have a framework that is the same
Talk like other religions
Promise big
Blame the past and sins
Never use any 'common' logic whatsoever
Only use 'their' logic, which is nothing to do with logic at all
Here Hare Krishna becomes just another illogical religion. This is sad. The reason is obvious in our reply.

1. Krishna gives us free will
2. We can use it against Krishna (though it is bad..)

This makes 'us' stronger than Krishna. And, in my view, impossible. Krishna is the ultimate. If you say you can use the free will given by Krishna, against His will, your logic has some 'ozone holes'.

Love to hear from you

James

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Answer: You Do Not Understand What is Religion

I appreciate very much that your statement, "Krishna is the ultimate." This means that you have gotten a very good realization.

However, when you say "just another religion" you are automatically buying into the misconceptions that there are many religions. The word "religion" comes from the Latin word "religare", which means to reconnect. The essential truth is that one is either connected with God or not connected with God. Just like if you want your lamp to illuminate your room, it has to be connected to the electricity. Being connected with the electricity is being connected with the electricity. There is no question of a Christian connection, a Muslim connection, a Jewish connection, or a Hindu connection. If you are connected with God or your lamp is connected with the electricity, you get illumination.

Real logic must exist outside of the confines of sectarian dogma. I challenge you to lay aside all of your prejudices and biases and become purely logical.

Just as a master taking his dog for a walk gives the dog some free rein to play around by supplying him with a long leash, similarly Krishna or God has given us a long leash to allow us some facility to express what we consider to be our independence. But as soon as we reach the end of our leash we can immediately see that we are not at all independent. We are under the stringent laws of God. Just as the leashed dog is always under the control of the master who can rein in him at any time, we are always under the control of Krishna or God. Because we are on a long leash sometimes we foolishly think that we are independent. But actually we are never independent. We can be reined in at any time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 22 March 2008

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

Don't Take Shelter of a Titanic Civilization

In this material world there is danger at every step. Even if we make all arrangements to be safe and happy here, there is no guarantee of our safety and permanent happiness. In this connection there is the famous example of the Titanic. On April 15, 1912 this luxurious ocean liner, which was said to be unsinkable, embarked upon her maiden voyage with 2228 passengers and crew members aboard. After hitting an iceberg in the northern Atlantic she completely sank in a matter of hours leaving only 705 survivors and 1523 dead. Everyone thought themselves safe and happy enjoying the Titanic's luxurious atmosphere. But then within a matter of seconds their floating paradise was transformed into a sinking hell.

We are not saying that you should become pessimistic about life. That is not the point at all. What we are saying is that you should learn the science of how to solidly reside within the catastrophe-proof dimension, the transcendental platform where birth, death, old age and disease are conspicuous by their absence. This plane is attained by the process of surrendering unto Lord Sri Krishna under the expert guidance of a bona fide spiritual master and the revealed scriptures. It is only on this liberated platform that you can be fully safe. As long as you take shelter of the titanic material civilization you are subject to devastation at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The "Unsinkable" Titanic

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is this the End of Kali Yuga?

Dear Acharyaji,

Please clarify:-

According to the Vedas, the Kali Yuga will last for a total of 432,000 years of which 5,000 have already passed. But many great saints are predicting that the end of Kali Yuga has come now because the sins and crimes have already reached the highest possible level. What do you say on this matter?

Amit

India

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Answer: We're Just Getting Started

Those who are actually saintly do not speculate. They base their statements on the revealed scriptures. According to the authoritative statements of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the end of the Kali Yuga will be much, much worse than it is now. The entire human race will be reduced to the level of cannibalistic pygmy men who do not live past the age of 25. The method of survival in that time will be to kill and eat your fellow man because all other forms of food will be practically unavailable.

So in terms of crimes and sin it will be much worse than it is now. This is how the earth planet will be 427,000 years from now at the end of the Kali Yuga. The good news is that there is a 10,000 years Golden Era which was introduced 500 year ago by Lord Caitanya. During this period the influence of Kali Yuga will gradually decrease and the entire world will be inundated in a tidal wave of Krishna consciousness. After these 10,000 years are over, Kali Yuga will then come in with full force. Those who are intelligent will get themselves out of the cycle of birth and death now by taking advantage of the Krishna consciousness movement so that they will not have to experience the hellish atmosphere at the end of the Kali Yuga.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 21 March 2008

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

Today is Gaura Purnima!

This most auspicious of all days is known as Gaura Purnima, the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It was on this day in 1486 in what is now Mayapur, West Bengal, India that the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna appeared in the form of His own devotee, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya is known as the Golden Avatar, and He inundated the Indian sub-continent with the transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krishna mahamantra creating an unprecedented spiritual revolution which has now expanded beyond the borders of India in the form of ISKCON for inundating the entire world in a tidal wave of love of God.

Srila Rupa Goswami, one of the Lord's most confidential devotees who was taught continually by Him for ten days, wrote this beautiful prayer in praise of Lord Caitanya:

namo maha-vadanyaya krishna-prema-pradaya te
krishnaya krishna-caitanya-namne gaura-tvise namah


"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya, who is more magnanimous than any other avatar, even Krishna Himself, because He is bestowing freely what no one else has ever given-pure love of Krishna."

Krishna demands that we must surrender to Him in order to obtain His mercy. But Krishna in His most merciful form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu makes no such condition. He simply freely bestows Krishna prema, pure love of Godhead, on everyone who comes in contact with Him. Therefore if we beg Lord Caitanya for His special mercy, our pathway back to home, back to Godhead will become very smooth and easy.

On this day the devotees fast until moonrise, the time of the Lord's appearance, and then partake of a sumptuous feast offered to Lord Caitanya on this most auspicious occasion. We encourage you to attend your nearest ISKCON center this evening to participate in the wonderful festivities. Or if you live too far away you may observe Gaura Purnima in your own home by fasting all day and cooking a sumptuous feast for Lord Caitanya to be offered to Him at the time of the moonrise.

The feast should consist of fruits, vegetables, milk products, and grains. There should be no meat, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, or mushrooms. Make an opulent feast plate for Lord Caitanya and lay it before His photograph. (You can use the image given below for this purpose.) You may recite the above quoted prayer to offer it to Him. While the Lord is partaking of the offering you should serenade Him with an ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan. Then after giving Him sufficient time to enjoy His feast, you should partake of the offered foodstuffs with great delight.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
The Golden Avatar

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Jesus Suffered to Free People from Sins?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

Your daily thoughts are very inspiring and they help me to be more enthusiastic! I'm sure you are fully dedicated to this process and it truly works. Maybe I will see you in Finland!

One thing I'm wondering is that why Jesus Christ was sacrificed to allow a chance to people to get free from their sins by repenting them? If you can also get free from sins 'just' by surrendering to the Supreme Father through a loving devotion?

Thank you so much for your service to all conditioned souls, Srila Prabhupada and Krishna!

Looking forward to your reply..

May God bless you. Hare Krishna!
-Petteril

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Answer: All Spiritual Master Accept the Sinful Reactions of their Disciples

It is not only Lord Jesus Christ. All spiritual masters mercifully accept the sinful reactions of their disciples to help them advance on the pathway of devotion. They do so on behalf of Krishna. Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that if you surrender to Him that He will free you from all of your sinful reactions. So the spiritual master is a medium through which Krishna absorbs the sins of those who fully surrender unto Him.

I hope to see you in Finland.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 20 March 2008

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

Reconnect with the Reservoir of Unlimited Bliss


You have a reservoir of unlimited bliss within you. All you have to do to taste unlimited nectar at every minute is to tap into it. How? You can easily tap into it with the Hare Krishna mahamantra pipeline. You can chant Hare Krishna at any time, at any place, whenever you feel a need to reconnect with that all-auspicious reservoir. So there is no reason to ever feel miserable or confused. All you have to do is chant Hare Krishna, and you will be immediately reconnected with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Who is a reservoir of unlimited pleasure. Chant these names often. Chant them regularly. Your life will be unlimitedly sublime.

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

Try it now!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: From a Pickled Student


Oh Master, I wish I knew what to do! I wish I knew what God wants me to do. I am so bewildered at the moment, One day of the week I am a Hare Krishna, the next day a born-again Christian, the next day a Jehovah's witness, the next day a Christian mystic, and the next day a yogi! What will I be next I don't know.

It is Gaura Purnima this Friday and it is also Good Friday - what do I do? I have said to my friends at the Hare Krishna center that I will go there and celebrate with them, I've said to my pastor friend that I'd go to the Good Friday service at the Christian Fellowship. I've said to my Jehovah's witness friend that I'd go to their Memorial dinner at the Kingdom hall. And I've said I'd go to the service at the little church in my village as well. None of these people know that I have any dealings with the others, I've got myself into a complete pickle and I do not know what I am going to do.

All I want is to find out what God wants for me, and in doing so I've been asking everyone who looks like they might know and following their direction. But I am being torn in so many different directions. I cannot see myself committing to one particular path without going against another and upsetting one of my teachers and a lot of people (and possibly God). I am seriously thinking about retiring to the forest!

I have got so mental about it all and now I am in a state. I pray to God to help me, but I cannot see His help. Why am I in this situation? What do I need to learn?

Thank you so much for your logical explanations to the principles of Krishna consciousness. But it is not helping because my mind can refute all of your explanations (and everyone else's as well). It is stupid for me to argue with you, I see myself doing it and see how it leads nowhere.

I need something completely different, can't you just wave your magic wand and bestow your mercy on me, so that I can understand these things in my heart?? (pleeease)

Your desperate student

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Answer: Take these Words Submissively

You are bewildered by the designations. This is an external consideration. The solution for your problem is to go deep within the self-realization process beneath the superficial level of designations. The point is that someone who is deeply or fully realized is automatically the best Christian, the best Jehovah's witness, the best yogi, the best Hare Krishna, etc all at the same time.

It is very simple. God wants your full surrender. As confirmed in both the Bible and the Bhagavad-gita. There should be no confusion in your mind in this connection.

For those who are caught up in external designations there will appear to be so many conflicts between paths. These persons who see such conflicts are not self-realized. On the other hand, those who are actually realized see the one path that is expressed by all the great spiritual masters of history, the path of pure devotion to the Supreme Person.

If you want to feel God's help, you simply must increase your feelings of total dependency on Him. Kindly note the example of Draupadi in this connection. When she was being disrobed by the Kurus she held onto her sari with one hand and called out to Krishna with the other. In that position she was still being disrobed. But when she realized that her own strength was useless and she raised both arms to Krishna, He then supplied her with an unlimited sari and she fully protected. She could not be disrobed even by powerful ksatriyas who could defeat thousands of enemy soldiers.

So if you are not feeling God's help it means that you are still thinking that you can pull yourself through this material quagmire by your own strength. It is only when you realize that you are completely helpless, that you have no shelter and no protection except for the Lord---that you will then feel the full protection of the Supreme Person.

You have asked me to wave the magic wand of mercy to bless you with transcendental understanding. This is a very nice request. I am doing that. But the transmission of transcendental understanding is a two sided process. The transmitter must be potent and the receiver must be submissive. Otherwise nothing will happen. So try to take submissively into your heart these words of transcendental wisdom, and Krishna will bless you with the seed of bhakti in your heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 19 March 2008

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

Lord Caitanya's Rising Moon Mercy


The rising moon of Lord Caitanya's mercy is now inundating the entire universe in a tidal wave of Krishna prema. If you want to be happy, if you want to be free, all you have to do is catch that wave of mercy and let it carry you all the way back to home, back to Godhead. I caught that wave in 1971 and I have been riding it ever since. If you have not yet caught that wave I am now inviting you to dive into the ocean of unlimited devotion and catch that wave of Lord Caitanya's rising moon mercy. You will experience so much joy you will feel like you heart is breaking into a million pieces.

Would you like an easy way to catch that wave? Watch the following video:

http://www.backtohome.com/video/Rising-Moon.wmv

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Understand the Gita?


My questions are:

1.) How can we attain the depth of Bhagavad-gita?
2.) What are the methods to get the real meanings?
I'll be grateful for the answers.

Regards,

Syed Ather-ul-Haq

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Answer: By Surrender to Krishna

Krishna explains that they way to understand the inner meaning of the Bhagavad-gita is to become His devotee. If we simply approach the Bhagavad-gita intellectually, we will never gain a complete understanding. But as soon we surrender to Krishna, immediately by His grace we gain a complete understanding of His teachings.

If you would like to learn how to surrender to Krishna, I am fully prepared to teach you how to do so.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 18 March 2008

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

Coming to the Transcendental Platform


How do we come off of the material plane and become solidly situated on the transcendental plane? This is essential if we want to become actually happy because the material plane, in spite of all its phantasmagorical propaganda, has nothing of any lasting value to offer us. In the ultimate analysis, although bottled in so many varieties of seemingly attractive ways the material nature boils down to nothing more than the same old wine of birth, death, old age, and diseases. The way to get off the material plane is simply to take shelter of Krishna. He will save us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Attain Equanimity?

I have a question. We know that Hare Krishna devotees chant a minimum of 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra every day. If we get really busy at work , how do we still do the chant for the prescribed rounds? Is it okay on those days to do less than 16 rounds and add the missed rounds to our backlog so we can make them up on free days?

Also one more thing: Our mind fluctuates depending on circumstances. We are in a good mood one day and irritated other day. On bad days, how do we do our sadhana, as our mind is not steady and we might not do chanting/praying with that much fervor as "good mood" days?

How do we keep equanimity in all these circumstances-good or bad? Krishna has instructed us in the Bhagavad-gita about this, but it is very difficult to follow. Do enlighten me as I regularly pass through these stages.

Hare Krishna

Ambrish

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Answer: Practice Krishna Consciousness as a Matter of Duty

Under emergency conditions one can make up missed rounds on the following day. The best thing is to rise early and complete all rounds before leaving the house.

Do you stay home from your job when you are in bad mood? No, you go to work every day out of duty. In the same way, you must always be steady in your sadhana, your devotional practice. By this steady practice of Krishna consciousness, you will gradually reach a stage in which you are never in a bad mood ever again. Just as you must practice equanimity to keep your job, you must also practice equanimity to advance steadily on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Monday 17 March 2008

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

Want to Be a Hero?

As I sit here writing "Thought for the Day" in my room on Sunday afternoon 16 March 2008 at the Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas USA, I am looking out on a world that is completely absorbed in ignorance. No one knows where they are coming from, where they are meant to go, nor how they are to get there. Practically all the members of the human population are running around aimlessly like dogs chasing their tails going here, going there with no real purpose in life other than the gratification of the temporary senses. They are simply trying to keep themselves busy so they don't have to think about death. What the world needs now more than ever are heroes who are willing to sacrifice everything for realizing and spreading the Supreme Deathless Truth to a world that now desperately needs it more than ever at any other time in world history. Are you willing to live the heroic life of total dedication to the Supreme Absolute Truth?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do We Worship Idols?


Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances, my sincere thanks for your daily inspirations and for all that you have done for me and many others via the internet. It is wonderful having a guru with whom you can communicate with day or night and from anywhere in the world.

Please explain what is the difference between our deity and idols? Are they not idols too since we worship them?.

Why do we do like this when it is stated in the bible that one should not worship idols? I have read some amounts of this subject in the book Krishna Consciousness and Christianity, but I am not really clear on the subject.

Excited to finally meet you in Atlanta in July 2008.

Thank you
Sami

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Answer: Krishna Appears as the Deity

An idol is an unauthorized form which someone concocts according to their imagination. A deity is an authorized form which is fashioned according to the directions given in the revealed scriptures and by the acharyas.

Just as we can save the trouble of going to the post office by depositing our mail in a nearby post box, Krishna--even though situated far, far away in the spiritual world--makes Himself easily available to us by fully manifesting Himself in the form of the Deity.

The biggest idols nowadays are sex and money. The entire world population is running madly in the worship of these false gods. If they want to end this idolatry, they can easily do so by getting the higher taste of Krishna consciousness.

Just as you are looking forward to meeting me, I am also looking forward to meeting you when I am in Atlanta the first week of July.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Sunday 16 March 2008

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

Don't Waste a Single Moment


Every minute is unlimitedly precious. We cannot buy back even one minute of lost time, even if we possess all the world's wealth. Therefore time should not be squandered in unnecessary sense gratification. We should instead fully dedicate our every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances to awakening our dormant Krishna consciousness and the Krishna consciousness of others. This is the proper utilization of the human form of life, nothing else. This scrupulous use of our limited time in this body assures us of entrance into the transcendental kingdom of God at the time of our passing from our present body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Free Airline Tickets? Not Hardly!


With ever-increasing fuel prices airfares have only one thing to do: take off.


It would be nice if the airlines gave free tickets to those who travel for spreading Krishna consciousness. But this is not the case. Airfare is the biggest expense of those who regularly traverse the globe for trying to save the suffering humanity from its bewildered condition.

If you would like to see that Sankarshan Das Adhikari can continue to travel around the world for inspiring the Krishna consciousness of others, kindly contribute something today to help cover the cost of his 2008 around-the-world preaching tours. He is doing two this year!


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Attached to Krishna?


In the 15 March 2008 "Thought for the Day" you wrote the following..

"The way to make sure that you will remember Krishna at the time of death is to train yourself to always remember Him at every moment as you go through your life. Whatever consciousness you cultivate on a moment to moment basis is the kind of consciousness you will automatically have at the time of death. If a student attends the lectures and hears them nicely and also does all of his assigned homework on time he will be in a good position to perform well at any moment that his teacher gives him a pop quiz. Death is a pop quiz. It we absorb ourselves every day in chanting, hearing, and reading as much as possible about Krishna, when death comes our minds will naturally turn to the Lord and we will easily attain His eternal kingdom."

Regarding chanting at the time of death, I have a little story...

When I was a teenager I went to a party with my friends, and one friend, Oli, consumed a really large quantity of LSD. He took so much LSD that it triggered inside of him the experience of dying (as he later told us). It is interesting because during this "dying" experience he did nothing but run around the garden in circles chanting the names of people he was attached to. He had a crush on a girl called "Imogen" and also a crush on a girl called "Sophy". So he was just running around chanting, "Imogen! Imogen! Sophy! Sophy!" being chased by a police officer, 2 paramedics and about 4 of my friends.

I tell you this story because it really demonstrated to me how the mind cries out to what it is attached to at the time of death. I also understood from this that there is no chance of intellectually deciding who you will call out to at death, that the intelligence is quite inoperative and that it is what/who we are deeply attached to in our heart that we spontaneously call out to. Is this the case?

If this is the case, then I am in big trouble because I have no emotional attachment to Krishna whatsoever. Although intellectually I know to call on Krishna when I am in fear of my life. I do not find that chanting Hare Krishna gives me any emotional attachment to Krishna, although on an intellectual level Krishna is at the top of my mind. How is it that my friend Oli so easily became perfectly attached to Imogen and Sophy, but I, even with lots of effort, am not even remotely attached to Krishna? I feel it is because I do not know Krishna as a real living person who is in my life. How do I come to know this? I find it very difficult to see and understand that Krishna has anything to do with my life.

Alex

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Answer: Beg this Benediction from Someone Who is Attached to Krishna

You have realized very wonderfully that you must now become attached to Krishna. Krishna does not bestow such feelings of attachment very easily upon the fallen, conditioned souls because He becomes under the control of those who are attached to Him. If you want to receive this supreme benedictions of all benedictions, you must sincerely beg Krishna for it and continue doing so until He finally answers your prayers.

The following verse describes the state you need to attain:

satam ayam sara-bhrtam nisargo
yad-artha-vani-sruti-cetasam api
prati-ksanam navya-vad acyutasya yat
striya vitanam iva sadhu varta


"Paramahamsas, devotees who have accepted the essence of life, are attached to Krishna in the core of their hearts, and He is the aim of their lives. It is their nature to talk only of Krishna at every moment, as if such topics were newer and newer. They are attached to such topics, just as materialists are attached to topics of women and sex." SB 10.13.2

The insider's secret for awakening your dormant Krishna bhakti is the get the mercy of a person who has already awakened his dormant love for Krishna. This is described as follows by Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur in the concluding lines of his song, "Ohe! Vaisnava Thakura":

krsna se tomara, krsna dite paro,
tomara sakati ache
ami to' kangala, 'krsna' 'krsna' boli',
dhai tava pache pache


"Krishna is yours; you have the power to give Him to me. I am simply running behind you shouting, 'Krishna! Krishna!'"

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 15 March 2008

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

Carefully Preserving the Vedic Science


The Vedic knowledge, Krishna consciousness, has been very carefully passed down in its original pure form from the very beginning of the universe 155 trillion years ago when Lord Krishna revealed it to Lord Brahma. Unlike modern science which is constantly being revised by scientists who are trying to perfect it, the Vedic science has always been perfect. For example, while the scientists are still in the process of trying to count all the species, the Padma Purana tells exactly how many species there are.

jalaja nava-laksani
sthavara laksa-vimsati
krmayo rudra-sankhyakah
paksinam dasa-laksanam
trimsal-laksani pasavah
catur-laksani manusah


"There are 900,000 species living in the water. There are 2,000,000 nonmoving living entities [sthavara] such as trees and plants. There are 1,100,000 species of insects and reptiles, and 1,000,000 species of birds. As far as quadrupeds are concerned, there are 3,000,000 varieties, and there are 400,000 human species."

Therefore instead of trying to define science, the Vedic scientists focus their energies on the realization and practical implementation of the Vedic science.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Relating with Krishna Passively?


Hare Krishna,

I have been reading the Bhagavad-gita for a while and I have to say that it is the most informative book that I have ever read! But I had a few questions on the soul. I know that His Divine Grace always says that we have a relationship with Krishna; passive, active, friend, parent and lover. Can someone have a relationship with Krishna in a passive mood and how would they interact with Him? Also when a person dies, how can they be sure that they will remember to chant as I have heard that it is very painful to die? Do the Vedas state what happens when a person dies? Thank you for being on the net and open for questions. I hope that you can come to Baton Rouge one day.

Thank you,

Bethany B.

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Answer: According to the Devotee's Natural Ecstasy

There are certain souls who associate with Krishna in a passive way. One is example is the rock that Krishna sits on to eat His lunch. The rock is a devotee and he serves Krishna in a passive way. Of course every devotee possesses a human form, but they assume different forms to play different roles in the pastimes of Krishna. Each devotee is free to serve Krishna in whatever way He is most inspired. Some devotees find that there is nothing more relishable than being the rock which Krishna sits on or the tree which Krishna takes a nap under, and they therefore choose to serve Krishna in this passive way in the spiritual world. This not a matter of force. It is matter of their own natural inclination.

The way to make sure that you will remember Krishna at the time of death is to train yourself to always remember Him at every moment as you go through your life. Whatever consciousness you cultivate on a moment to moment basis is the kind of consciousness you will automatically have at the time of death. If a student attends the lectures and hears them nicely and also does all of his assigned homework on time he will be in a good position to perform well at any moment that his teacher gives him a pop quiz. Death is a pop quiz. If we absorb ourselves every day in chanting, hearing, and reading as much as possible about Krishna, when death comes our minds will naturally turn to the Lord and we will easily attain His eternal kingdom.

When a person dies his consciousness carries him to his next body either material or spiritual. This is compared to the air which carries aromas.

I will happy to come to Baton Rouge. You simply have to arrange some preaching and some accommodations for me there and I will come as soon as I get the opportunity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 14 March 2008

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

By Air, Sea, Car and Foot


We're getting ready to head out on another around-the-world preaching tour on 31 March. We will be traveling by air, sea, car, and even by foot when we enter Russia. We need to do whatever it takes to spread the message of Krishna all over the world. The world population is suffering like anything without Krishna consciousness. If we have any compassion upon our fellow citizens of Planet Earth, we must get this message out to them loud and clear so that they can awaken from the slumber of material sense gratification and revive their eternal all-blissful identities as pure spirit-souls in quality one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Training?

Greeting of peace and love,

In the spiritual thought of today, you mentioned that you can help those who are looking forward to change the world of today through training. I would like to be part of that training eagerly, however I am living in the West Bank- Palestine, and all the training you mentioned happened very far away from me. Do you have any suggestions? I really would like to make progress with myself first to be the example. I have the zeal and I am on the path with other spiritual devotions but I can say that the acquirement is not to my aspiration.

Your student
in Palestine-West Bank, Ramallah

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Answer: Here's What You Need to Do

I am very happy that you would like to be trained how to live your life in such a way that you can be instrumental for bringing positive change in the world. I wish there was a lot more people like you on this planet! You are the future hope of your country.

The simple method is that you have to live your life in such a way that you are totally in harmony with Krishna or God.

Here are some of the basic things you need to be doing:

1. Vegetarian diet (Offer the foods to God before eating.)
2. Sex only for procreation
3. Avoid intoxicants including coffee, tea, and cigarettes
4. Avoid gambling including lotteries
5. Chant the names of God every day. Any names of God can be uttered according to any religious tradition. The Vedic scriptures however recommend that the most powerful and effective method for chanting is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra:

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

If you can strictly follow the above items you become more and more purified in your consciousness and naturally you will have an uplifting impact on your country and the entire world. So I urge you to seriously adopt the above principles as far as you are able and keep me posted regularly on your progress. You should also write me with whatever questions you have.

Do you have a copy of Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada? This is the most important book for you to read if you want to become spiritually perfect.

I wish you the best of luck in your practice. I am with you every step of the way as you try to purify your consciousness and the consciousness of the world.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 13 March 2008

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

Beyond the Quagmire Cocktail


This material world is heavily polluted by the three modes of material nature. At every step we are having to deal with a quagmire cocktail composed of varying mixtures of these three modes: goodness, passion, and ignorance. Under their influence we become carried away by passion for material sense enjoyment and thus completely ignore the needs of the real self, the spirit-soul who is within the body. Lord Krishna very expertly describes our predicament in the Bhagavad-gita while at the same time mercifully giving us the way out:

tribhir guna-mayair bhavair
ebhih sarvam idam jagat
mohitam nabhijanati
mam ebhyah param avyayam

daivi hy esha guna-mayi
mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante
mayam etam taranti te


"Deluded by the three modes [goodness, passion and ignorance], the whole world does not know Me, who am above the modes and inexhaustible. 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." -- BG 7.13-14

If we will simply surrender ourselves fully to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, we will quickly and easily be able to become free from the contaminating effects of the three modes of nature. We will become qualified to enter into the sweet, all-blissful, all-effulgent, eternal transcendental atmosphere of the spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Gain Faith?

In regards of my devotional practice I would like to ask:

1. I have detected that I have very weak faith in the process of Krishna Consciousness. How to gain faith? Some say that it is given by Lord only as His mercy? Is this true?

2. How to pray to Lord Krishna properly? I mean via who the prayer is to be done? And does the request about mercy for other people take place in our tradition? How to accomplish it properly?

3. What is the way of realizing the scriptures?

Your servant in Lithuania

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Answer: Serve Those Who Have Great Faith

Gain faith by serving those who have strong faith. It is a fact that we develop faith by the mercy of Krishna. By serving those who are advanced in Krishna consciousness we attract the mercy of Krishna so that He will bless us with strong faith.

You may pray to your spiritual master and to Srila Prabhupada. You may also directly pray to Lord Krishna and Lord Caitanya. You should pray that you will become delivered from the clutches of maya by developing pure love for Krishna. You can also pray for the empowerment to be successful in giving Krishna consciousness to others.

If you have unflinching faith in your spiritual master and in Lord Krishna, you will realize all the imports of the Vedic wisdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 14 March 2008

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

Relishing Unlimited Happiness

If we minimize our material sense gratification to the level of our need and not our greed, and if we then engage our senses in the service of the Hrishikesha, the master of the senses, Lord Sri Krishna, we will then enter into a sublime, divine state of consciousness known as Krishna consciousness. This enlightened state is the highest stage of perfected consciousness. In this purified state of consciousness one relishes unlimited happiness within himself at every minute. This state of being is available for anyone who would like to attain it and carefully and faithfully follows the instructions given in the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why are Eggs not Allowed?


I have recently begun to practice the 4 regulative principles at home, as you suggested in your last email to me. My chanting is not yet up to 16 rounds. My question is, why are eggs considered a "no-no"? They are not alive, not even fertilized, so I am not taking my brother's or sisters life by eating them. Please explain the Vedic version of this issue. Thank you kindly.

Love always...Tommi

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Answer: They are Another Form of Flesh

An egg is considered in the same category with meat and fish because it is another form of flesh. Such foods are mentioned as prohibited in the Srimad Bhagavatam 7.15.7:

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


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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 11 March 2008

from the road to Austin, Texas, USA
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Today's Thought:

Take Over the World for Krishna


How about pulling off the greatest coup in the history of the world? Would any of you like to a part of it? I am not speaking of a violent revolution. I am speaking of a cultural revolution in which the entire world becomes attracted to the enlightened lifestyle of pure love for the Supreme Person and all of His children. The world is dying for a such a revolution to take place. The only thing lacking are the qualified leaders to spearhead such a revolution. How about you? Would you like to be living at every minute on the cutting edge of the greatest paradigm shift that has ever manifested in the history of the universe? If you want it, you can have it. There's nothing stopping you. We'll train you how. You simply have to agree to take the training. That's all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Your Religious Belief?


Dear teacher:

I offer my respectful obeisances unto you.

If someone ask you: "What is your religious belief?" or "Which god do you believe", how do you answer him in a most conclusive and simple way? Such question is difficult to answer because it is not a matter of "belief" or "which", it is about Absolute Truth. It seems like that a blind man asks a normal man: "Do you believe in the existence of sunshine?" Such question is foolish, but how to give a answer? If you answer: "I believe in Vaishnavism", then it seems like it's some sectarian religion. Not good.

Your most humble servant,

Yechen Zhang,

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Answer: None, I am a Knower of the Absolute Truth

If someone asks, "What is your religious belief?, you can tell that you do not have any religious belief. You can explain them that you are a knower of the Absolute Truth. If they ask you what is the Absolute Truth, you can explain to them that the Absolute Truth is that from which everything emanates.

If they ask you which god you believe in, you can tell them that there is no question of this god or that god. Just as there is only sun in the sky, similarly God is one. Just as the one sun is called by different names according to different languages, God is referred to by different names in different languages.

You can tell them that God gave us one religion, to surrender fully unto Him in pure love. It is man in his foolish imperfection who has concocted this idea of different religions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 10 March 2008

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

Get Trained Up or Step Down


Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that the saintly kings were educated in the science of the Bhagavad-gita. Because these leaders were properly trained in this way there was peace and prosperity throughout the entire human society. In fact their leadership was so powerful and sublime that nature reciprocated with them by providing their kingdom with pleasant climatic conditions, the proper amount of rainfall, absence of disease, etc.

Such ideal leadership is inconceivable in these so-called advanced times. What are we advanced in? We are simply advanced in nescience because at the present time we are plagued with the leadership of selfish, greedy men who hang onto their posts as long as possible for the sake of their own personal sense gratification. Because of the improper leadership of such unenlightened men, the entire planet earth has been plunged into an ever-increasingly chaotic condition. The natural environment is disturbed by blizzards, drought, tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, pestilence, famine, etc. And the society is so disturbed that people sometimes become so frustrated that they go on killing sprees.

In light of the above we are therefore calling upon the current slate of world leaders to either get properly trained up in the science of the Bhagavad-gita or to step down from their positions and allow spiritually enlightened leaders to take their place.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Appreciation: Definition of Causeless Mercy


You are the definition of causeless mercy! I really need your association and shelter.

Your servant

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Reply: Mercy of My Guru Maharaja

Thank you for your words of appreciation. I humbly accept them on behalf of my Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada. I am nothing but his humble servant. But if you are able to connect with his causeless mercy through me, this is the proof of his inconceivably great spiritual power, that he can empower a useless dog to act as a spiritual master and deliver his mercy to others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 9 March 2008

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

Invigoration at the Vanguard


The Krishna consciousness movement is the global awakening inaugurated 500 years ago by Lord Sri Krishna Himself appearing in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After remaining in a seed-like state for many centuries this movement has now burst out of its covering and is spreading like anything all over the world in the form of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna consciousness. To be part of this movement is the most stimulating and invigorating experience because such a life puts one at the vanguard, the forefront, of the most astounding paradigm shift the world has ever seen. The entire world civilization will be gradually transformed, uplifted, and enlightened by this Krishna consciousness movement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Service Futile Without Guru?


Dear Guru Maharaja,

I read in one of the verses in the Gita that : "Out of the millions of people endeavoring for Krishna Consciousness only a few actually make it".

But then, in the today's "Thought for the Day" you have written: "If one is strictly following the rules and regulations of his order of life and is chanting Hare Krishna and strictly following the four regulative principles, he is fully qualified for going back to home, back to Godhead upon leaving his present material body".

Also, I've read that if one doesn't have a spiritual master all his devotional service is futile. Is this true ?

Thank you!
Looking forward to you're reply.
Hare Krishna!

Shweta

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Answer: Service is Qualification for Finding Guru

You have slightly misunderstood the Bhagavad-gita. This is why you are confused. The verse reads:

"Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth." Bhagavad-gita 7.3

Achieving perfection refers to the preliminary stage of impersonal liberation. Those who take seriously to the bhakti path are those rare souls who know Krishna in truth. These souls will all surely be delivered back to home, back to Godhead.

It's not true that one's service is futile if he does not have a guru. The service one renders before he takes shelter of a spiritual master is very valuable because it qualifies one to find his guru, surrender at his lotus feet, and learn how to serve him purely for becoming delivered from the vicious cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Saturday 8 March 2008

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

Clearly Discernable Reality


The beauty of the Vedic pathway is that by following it one gains a clearly discernable view of reality. While the scientists are dancing like dogs from one theory to another theory to another theory, those who are on the Vedic pathway, the pathway of the great acharyas, are seeing reality exactly as it is without any of the haziness which springs forth from imperfect senses or mental speculation. Because they are able to see the path clearly in front of them the followers of the Vedic system do not waste their time in stupid activities which distract them from attaining the ultimate perfection as soon as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Real Love Between Devotees?

Can there be real love (not material love) between devotees? Or is such pure love just between Krishna and His devotees? Do a husband and wife in Krishna consciousness love each other with real love or material love (kama)?

Your aspiring servant,

Urtė

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Answer: Yes, Because Krishna is the Center

Just as there is real love between Krishna and His devotees, there is also real love between one devotee and another devotee because they are both trying to please Krishna in the way that they associate with each other. This is also true of a devotee husband and wife.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 7 March 2008

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

First Things First


Our problem is that we have our priorities wrong. That which is most important, i.e. our spiritual perfection, we tend to postpone. And that which is less important, i.e. our bodily activities, we tend to give the first priority. Simply understanding that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that we should fully surrender to Him, is not in itself sufficient in itself for liberation. We have to practically engage our mind, body, and words in His service as our regular daily business. Otherwise Krishna consciousness will remain for us as a dream only that is never realized.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Free of False Ego?


The first covering of soul is false ego. To remove it is very very difficult. Whenever we do some good work like preaching, immediately we think that I have done this i.e. we always try to give the credit to ourselves instead of giving to spiritual master or Lord Krishna. False ego is one of the powerful representation of Maya devi. Will you please guide me how to come out of illusion, as it seems to be very difficult.

I am very much grateful to you for such nice course of self realization. It is really great debt on me which I can never be able to pay back.

Your servant,

Yogiraj

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Answer: Through Surrender to Guru

The easy way to conquer false ego is to fully surrender oneself at the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master giving him full credit for all of one's accomplishments and taking full blame for all of one's faults.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 6 March 2008

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

Conscionable Human Existence

If something is wrong we should not ignore it or tolerate it. By doing so we become ourselves implicated in that injustice. As it is said, "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem." Therefore conscionable human existence necessitates that we must stand firmly in opposition to what is wrong, fully dedicating our mind, body, and words for rectifying it.

Then the obvious question remains:

What is the effective way to challenge and defeat the improprieties of the world?

If we try to solve the world's problems one at a time in a piecemeal fashion, we will become very frustrated. But if we understand that the underlying cause of all problems is a lack of Krishna consciousness and dedicate our lives fully for pushing forward the Krishna consciousness movement, we will have happy, fulfilling, adventurous lives doing the highest welfare work for all living beings. In this way each and every one of us can make a real difference on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Increase Faith?


Hare Krishna.

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Gurudeva, how can I increase my faith in Krishna, guru, and the Vaisnavas?

How can I download you lectures?

Kirtanananda

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Answer: Through Loving Service

The way to increase your faith in Krishna, guru, and Vaisnavas is to absorb yourself as much as possible in their loving service.

For downloading my lectures you may go to:

http://www.spiritual-revolutionary.com

and then click on "Audio."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 5 March 2008

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

Solidly Positive


Even though we may sometimes be inclined to gloss things over and think that this world is nothing but wonderful, the reality is that this is a world of danger where disaster can strike at any minute. Therefore those who are wise do not base their happiness on this material existence. They look beyond this material dimension to the transcendental existence far, far beyond the clutches of birth and death. There they find actual peace and satisfaction in the association of the Supreme Person and His eternal associates. Thus the perfection of positive vision is to see both the negative and positive aspects of reality so that one can solidly situate himself fully in the positive energy. Without the ability to distinguish between these two energies, one will not be able to situate himself solidly in the positive energy, the spiritual energy. This is confirmed in the Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 11 as follows:

vidyam cavidyam ca yas
tad vedobhayam saha
avidyaya mrityum tirtva
vidyayamritam asnute


"Only one who can learn the process of nescience and that of transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is More Advanced?

Some of the community leaders in our spiritual society feel that only a married man or married woman is eligible for attaining higher consciousness or eligible for going back to Godhead. Is being a strict brahmacari (celibate monk) greater than a devotee who is married man? Kindly share your knowledge on this topic.

Some of them argue that donating to Krishna conscious while indulging in sinful activities will not hamper their spiritual growth.

Does Krishna see a man's financial eligibility or a poor mans spiritual growth? According to you, who is greater a donor or a practitioner? Kindly share your knowledge on this topic at your convenience.

Hare Krishna

Anil Kumar

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Answer: Whoever is Most Surrendered

Everyone should be a strict practitioner of Krishna consciousness: married and monks both.

It does not matter whether one is a married man living with wife and family or whether one is celibate monk living in an ashram. If one is strictly following the rules and regulations of his order of life and is chanting Hare Krishna and strictly following the four regulative principles, he is fully qualified for going back to home, back to Godhead upon leaving his present material body.

Whether one is householder earning money and donating to the temple or a renounced monk living in the temple, both must strictly follow the regulative principles of Krishna consciousness. Krishna does not distinguish between someone who is earning money and someone who is renounced from money. He simply sees who is fully surrendered at His lotus feet. The disciple should simply fully surrender himself to his spiritual master and follow whichever pathway his spiritual master prescribes for him: a moneyed man or a renounced man. Neither position is good or bad in itself. The real standard of advancement is to see who is the most surrendered to strictly following the regulative principles of the bhakti yoga system.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 4 March 2008

from the Philadelphia Airport
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Today's Thought:

Become Guru and Deliver the Whole World

Sometimes I am criticized harshly for accepting disciples. My critics say that I have no authority to do so. But such accusers are ignorant of the system by which one becomes authorized to become a spiritual master. The system is that one can become guru when he is ordered to do so by his spiritual master. And that order was indeed given by my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. His Divine Grace commanded me and my Godbrothers, "Become guru and deliver the whole world."

Of course, I do not consider myself worthy of occupying such an exalted spiritual position as guru. But as a disciple I am duty bound to try to successfully carry out to the best of my ability whatever instructions I have received from my spiritual master. By faithfully acting on his order I become empowered to properly execute whatever service he has given me. So in this mood I humbly accept the duty he has given me and my Godbrothers, depending fully on his mercy and the mercy of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Living in Two Worlds at the Same Time?

While reading "Thought for the Day" for March 3, 2008 a question sprung to my mind. You said that a liberated soul can be in the spiritual world and the material world at the same time. How does this happen? I have been reading somewhere that only Krishna can expand himself to be in more than one place at a time as only He is omnipresent.

Thank You,

Amesh Sooklal

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Answer: Only Pure Devotees Can Do So

My Guru Maharaja, Srila Prabhupada, has answered your question in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, 7th Canto, Chapter 4, Text 34 as follows:

"From authoritative scripture it is learned that Prahlada Maharaja still lives in Vaikunthaloka as well as within this material world on the planet Sutala. This transcendental quality of existing simultaneously in different places is another qualification of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhutah: [Bs. 5.37] the Lord appears in the core of everyone's heart, yet He exists on His own planet, Goloka Vrindavana. A devotee acquires qualities almost the same as those of the Lord because of unalloyed devotional service. Ordinary living beings cannot be so qualified, but a devotee can be qualified like the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not in full but partially."

This is truly amazing information revealed to us by Srila Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 3 March 2008

from the New Jersey Turnpike
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Today's Thought:

The Inward Journey


Even though I am regularly traveling all over the world, I do not see that this material world is all that interesting. Wherever I go I see the same old things happening to everyone: birth, death, old age, and disease. Whether someone is born, gets sick, gets old, and dies in Europe, America, or on a South Pacific island, the experience known as material existence is more or less the same. It's miserable.

But what I do find extremely interesting is the process of traveling within to the realm of spiritual awakening. The inward journey is unlimitedly interesting because it is there that one can discover one's true self far, far beyond the temporary covering known as the material body and its concomitant miseries. Krishna describes the wonderful perks available to those who travel within in the Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 5, text 24 as follows:

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


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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Science and Religion are One



Sankarshan Das Adhikari reveals the unity of science and religion
at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, USA


The human society cannot see the unity of science and religion because today's so-called science and religion are both bogus.  When science and religion are properly understood they will be seen as one and a new enlightened civilization will become manifest on this planet.  Kindly help us transform this vision into reality!


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Disciples Remain with Guru?

I had a dream that I remember very well. I was sitting near you and you said to me: "Do not disappoint my preaching team. We are traveling life after life and preaching for the benefit of the world." (I remember that we talked more, but I remember just this.) Maybe it's just my mind's imagination.

So my question: Does the spiritual master travel life after life with his disciples and preach about Krishna consciousness, or does the spiritual master continues his preaching alone while his disciples go back to spiritual world?

Your eternal servant,
Vygintas

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Answer: Disciples Live Eternally with Spiritual Master

Whether the spiritual master travels lifetime after lifetime to deliver the fallen, conditioned souls of this material world or whether he immediately returns back to Godhead is up to Lord Krishna. And we do know from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada that the disciples eternally live with their spiritual master. The advanced disciple is not much concerned about whether he goes back to Godhead or not. He simply always wants to remain in the company of his spiritual master assisting him in his mission of delivering the fallen, conditioned souls. Of course, such a completely surrendered disciple is immediately qualified to go back to home, back to Godhead and lives as a liberated, deathless soul even while he is situated within his material body.

A very amazing point in this connection revealed to us by Srila Prabhupada is that a devotee of the Lord can live simultaneously in the spiritual world and in the material world. So with this information from Srila Prabhupada we can understand that it is possible for the spiritual master and his disciples to simultaneously be in the pastimes of the Lord in the spiritual world while simultaneously traveling and preaching throughout the material universes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 2 March 2008

from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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Today's Thought: Like Torrents of Rain in the Monsoon Season

At the present moment there is nothing more urgent for the ongoing welfare of planet earth than the introduction of Krishna consciousness in every town, village, city, and hamlet. Such an enlightened educational program will bring great relief to the suffering humanity from all types of distress. And there is no greater adventure than dedicating one's life for this mission. Indeed, it is the ultimate thrill. Whether one is tied down in one place with job and family or whether one is free to travel and preach Krishna consciousness all over the world, one can still dedicate one's life fully for inundating this planet with Krishna bhakti.

The first step is to become solidly situated in Krishna consciousness yourself. Then start sharing your experience with everyone. The more you share the mercy of Krishna consciousness with others, the more you will taste it yourself. If you will as far as possible liberally distribute this mercy with everyone you meet, Krishna will shower His mercy upon you like torrents of rain during India's monsoon season.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are We in School or Prison?


Namaste.

My question today is this:

In our present condition, are we in a prison, a school, a little of both or something else altogether? Please believe me, I don't mean this in jest. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to write me.

Love always...
Tommi

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Answer: That Depends on You

Whether you are in school or prison depends on you. At the present moment we are prisoners with the option of becoming students. If we refuse to take the lessons being so kindly given to us by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, we remain as prisoners. But if we agree to take the training being offered by Krishna and His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, we become students. And upon graduation from training we will then be admitted into that transcendental dimension where birth, death, old age, and disease are conspicuous by their absence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Saturday 1 March 2008

from Interstate 76 en route to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
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Today's Thought:

When Religion is Science is Religion

On the mundane plane we distinguish between science and religion taking science to be that which can be proved by observation and experiment and religion to be that which is accepted as a matter of faith. But when one comes to the transcendental plane and realizes the factual meaning of science and religion, he can clearly see that there is no difference between science and religion. Science means to know things as they are. And religion means to reconnect oneself with the absolute truth. The only way to completely know things as they are is to be reconnected with the absolute truth. And when you are fully reconnected with the absolute truth everything becomes completely lucid just as when the sun lights up everything in the daytime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Find a Teacher?


Peace and love! Please can you help me, how does one find their teacher? Is it just a case of turning up at an ashram and asking, or is it more subtle? Do you have to just be at the right place at the right time? Please could you give some guidance in my quest, as I relish the chance to become my true self. I hope you reply.

Yours sincerely,

Jim

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Answer: See the Teacher that Krishna Has Already Sent You

There is no question of my not replying to such a sincere seeker as you.

Finding your guru is not a matter of chance or luck of just happening to be at the right place at the right time. You simply must have the sincere desire to find your guru, because when the seeker is sincere, God will send him his guru. Krishna is seated within your heart as the caitya guru. When He sees that you are ready to surrender yourself fully at His lotus feet, He manifests externally as the spiritual master who guides you how to become His pure devotee.

So there is no need for you to go around looking for a teacher. Simply try to open your eyes and see the teacher that Krishna has already so kindly sent you to take you under his wing and deliver you back to the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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