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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Saturday 31 May 2008

from Brisbane, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Solution for Drought


There is a great increasing concern nowadays about the impending petroleum crisis, how we as a global society are quickly running out of petroleum, even though the world civilization functioned successfully without petroleum for thousands of years. But when it comes to water shortage we are dealing with something far more dangerous indeed. A human being can survive without petroleum, but he cannot survive without water. Food crops can be grown and harvested without petroleum, but they cannot survive without water.

When we landed at the Brisbane, Australia airport I was warned by a prominent sign not to use much water because Brisbane is experiencing a drought. This is not the most encouraging way to be welcomed to a city. And even here at the ISKCON temple there is a government mandated warning sign posted in the bathroom limiting us to four minute showers.

But since I've arrived and we've had some enthusiastic kirtans, as I write this, it is raining like anything. In fact it is raining so nicely that are happily being forced to dry our clothes inside instead of outdoors.

Krishna assures us in the Bhagavad-gita that if we simply perform yajna or sacrifice we surely will get rain. And the prescribed yajna for this age is the congregationally chanting of the Lord's sweeter-than-honey holy names:

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

So if the people here are really serious about putting a permanent end to their drought, they should regularly perform sankirtan, the congregational chanting of the Lord's holy names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Australian Drought Devastation

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Such a Sole Purpose in Life?

Dear Gurudeva,

Why is our sole purpose in life to love and serve Krishna? I find it demeaning because it's like giving birth to a child and telling the child that his/her only purpose in life is to serve the parents.

Peter

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Answer: Choose Your Own Purpose

Krishna does not tell us we have to love and serve him. He gives us the free choice, to love him or leave him. We can choose whatever option suits us the best. He showers us with His loving affection and then allows to decide whether we want to reciprocate His love or reject it.

Similarly, a child can remain at home with his loving parents or he can run away and become a hippy sleeping in the bushes. That is his free choice. The parents do not force the child to love them. They simply try to inspire the child to love them by showering him with loving affection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 30 May 2008

from New Govardhan, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Back to the City


29 May 2008--After two wonderful days out here in the clean air and open spaces of New Govardhan with the wonderful devotees, ecstatic kirtans, enlivening classes, cooing peacocks, and contentedly mooing cows, we are returning to the city, in this case Brisbane, Australia, for the all-important task of pushing forward the Krishna consciousness movement. The entire world is suffering due a lack of Krishna consciousness so we cannot just think of our own enjoyment forever remaining in the paradise of New Govardhan. We have to go to where the people are to give them Krishna consciousness, to give them the opportunity to get the information they need for escaping the cycle of birth and death and returning to their original state of enlightened consciousness in the transcendental existence far, far beyond the realm of repeated birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Beautiful New Govardhan Panorama

Flowers at Dawn

Peaceful New Govardhan Cows will not be Slaughtered

New Govardhan Beckons Us to Return

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do You Have Any Children?


Dear Guruji,

Please accept my most humble pranams!!

Guruji, being a grihastha for most of your life, do you have any children of your own?

Your Servant,
Darshu

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Answer: Family of Fifty-six and Growing

Married couples in Krishna consciousness are certainly encouraged to have children and raise them in Krishna consciousness for their becoming delivered from the cycle of birth and death. This is a glorious service. My wife and I, however, have always been the most inclined to the life of missionaries and have thus put 100% of our energies into preaching Krishna consciousness to the society in general. In spite of not having any children in the normal way that Krishna conscious couples have children, we now have the most wonderful sons and daughters in a family that spans the globe. By preaching we have been blessed with a much larger family than we could have had by sex life. We are now blessed with a family of fifty-six initiated disciples so far and the number just keeps growing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 29 May 2008

from New Govardhan, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Turn on the Whole World


Our mission is to turn on the whole world to Krishna consciousness because Krishna consciousness is the one switch that will immediately illuminate the entire world. At the present moment the entire world is in the darkness of ignorance. People have no idea who they are, where they are coming from, where they are meant to go, and how they are to get there. They are simply wandering aimlessly in the cycle of birth and death foolishly dedicating all of their energy to serving their material body, the covering of their actual self, instead of serving their actual self, the spirit-self, which is factually served through the sublime method of serving the Supreme Self, just as we water the leaves and branches of a tree by watering its root.

Some people argue that there is no Supreme Self. But everywhere we see that different persons possess varying amounts of the opulences such as power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame. Since we all possess varying quantities of these six types of opulences, it is quite reasonable to understand that somewhere there is a person who possesses more of these opulences than anyone else. That person is the Supreme Person. If someone wants to deny the existence of the Supreme Person, he will have to scientifically demonstrate that every person possesses exactly the same quantity of power, beauty, renunciation, wealth, and fame. Of course, this he will not be able to do. Therefore we can understand that there necessarily must be a Supreme Person.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sri Sri Radha-Govardhandhari
the All-Merciful Deities of New Govardhan

Ecstatic Home Kirtan...

with the Blissful New Govardhan Chanters

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Karmic Reactions


I have a question considering karmic reactions.

Are we suffering only because of wrong actions in previous lifetimes, or are we also suffering of karmic reactions we have produced in this present life?

Your eternal servant,

Susanna

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Answer: Both from Present and Previous Lifetimes

We are suffering reactions both from the misdeeds of this lifetime and from previous lifetimes. But if we will fully surrender ourselves unto Lord Sri Krishna, He will take away all of these sinful reactions. We will not have to suffer the reactions of misdeeds from this lifetime or from previous lifetimes. This is the ultimate good deal. If we are intelligent enough to realize this, we will take full advantage of it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 28 May 2008

from New Govardhan, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Back to New Govardhan


It is 27 May 2008 at 11:16 am. We have just flown overnight from Hong Kong and are due to land in one hour in Brisbane, Australia where my disciple, Syamasundar Das, will meet us and drive us to the beautiful, rural ISKCON community known as New Govardhan. New Govardhan is situated in a beautiful mountainous area of Australia laden with forests, rivers, and tropical fruits. It is a wonderful place for getting some sunshine, fresh air, and beautiful vistas. However, I am not going there for fun in the sun. I am going to there to lecture on the amazing transcendental science of Krishna consciousness, which transports the serious practitioner far, far beyond this material existence into the most amazing transcendental abode known as the paravyoma, the spiritual sky. The beauty and the majesty of that paravyoma far exceeds any of the most idyllic wonder spots of this material world. And there you will find that birth, death, old age, disease, terrorists, and escalating food and petrol prices are conspicuous by their absence. If you would like to go there, contact your friendly travel agent (a devotee of Lord Krishna) to book your ticket right way.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Krishna's Wondrous Creation at New Govardhan

New Govardhan Rainbow

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: An Easy Way to Love Krishna?

I am delighted to receive your response. I am blessed today and ever after. I have understood every word of your letter and will try to proceed in that direction. It surprises me that to develop spontaneous love for our real Lord, our real Supersoul of which we are a part we have to follow so many rules and regulations. Whereas for this worldly relationship we just get involved so easily.

Why isn't there an easy way to love Krishna, to be lost in His thoughts at every moment?

Once again thanks, Gurudeva, for your kind reply and suggestion.

Anuradha

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Answer: Sincerely Chant Hare Krishna

Why do you think the process of Krishna consciousness is difficult? There is in fact a very easy way to love Krishna and be lost in His thoughts at every moment. We simply have to sincerely chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra. If Krishna sees that someone is sincerely chanting Hare Krishna, He will help. He is within everyone, and He can understand whether one is sincere or not. Krishna helps a sincere devotee internally and externally. Internally He helps as paramatma by giving intelligence
from within. Dadami buddhi-yogam tam. Externally He helps as His representative, the spiritual master. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:

guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"By the grace of Krishna, one gets a bona fide guru, and by the grace of the guru, one gets Krishna." (Cc. Madhya 19.151)

Thus the sastras have given us a very easy way to be absorbed in love of Krishna. That is this sublime process of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 27 May 2008

from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airport
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Today's Thought:

Tasting Nectar in Klang, Malaysia


On Sunday evening 25 May, our host, Vignesvara, drove us 45 minutes outside of Kuala Lumpur to Klang, Malaysia where there is a wonderful ISKCON center. There was a glorious kirtan, out of this world prasadam, and the devotees received my lecture very nicely. We studied from the Bhagavad-gita how the living entities in this material world are fallible while those in the spiritual world are infallible. I was very happy to meet some subscribers to my e-course who were in attendance at my lecture. This is a very common and wonderful experience I often have when making my around-the-world lecture tours. I meet persons who are regularly reading and very much appreciating my humble attempt to serve the mission of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, through this e-course. I take this as the great kindness of Srila Prabhupada upon me, that he has sent me so many souls who are eager to hear from me the science of Krishna consciousness. This gives me the greatest opportunity to be fully absorbed 24 hours a day in hearing about, describing, and remembering that supreme all-attractive personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Devotees Honor Prasadam at ISKCON Klang

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Reach to Krishna?

Master,

I am thirsty for reaching Lord Krishna, but I feel so far away from Him. I read everything you send me. It sounds so easy, so simple, yet it is so hard. I feel so bad about myself.

Osman

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Answer: Follow the Standard Process

Don't feel bad. You should feel happy that Krishna has blessed you with the pathway back to Him. Now all you have to do is walk that pathway step by step under the guidance of the spiritual master, the scriptures, and the saintly teachers.

If you will follow the standard process as described in the Bhagavad-gita, you will find that it is not at all difficult to awaken your dormant Krishna consciousness. Just like baking a cake may seem like a difficult task, but if we simply follow the recipe, it becomes easy.

Are you reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 26 May 2008

from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Today's Thought:

Acharya Controversy Resolved

The other day someone sent me an email indicating that because I am acting as an acharya I am most sinful and that at the time of death I will go to hell to be punished by Yamaraja for my heinous crime of acting as an acharya. So am I guilty as charged or am I innocent?

That I am acting as an acharya is a fact. So this is not the issue. The issue is this: Is my acting as an acharya authorized by my spiritual master, or I am doing it without my spiritual master's authorization? If one acts as an acharya without his spiritual master's authorization, it is a great offense. But if one acts as an acharya with his spiritual master's authorization, it is the most auspicious and glorious activity.

So am I am authorized by Srila Prabhupada to act as an acharya or am I not authorized by Srila Prabhupada to act as an acharya? This is the question.

In a lecture delivered in Mayapur, West Bengal, India on April 6, 1975 Srila Prabhupada instructed us, his disciples, that he wanted and indeed preferred for us to become acharyas. The duty of the disciple is to always please his spiritual master. So when the guru instructs, "This is what I want, this I what I prefer." the loyal disciple surrenders himself unto pleasing his spiritual master by doing what his spiritual master wants him to do. This means that his disciples should in fact become acharyas. He also cautioned us not to become premature acharyas that we only should act as acharyas when we become mature.

So what does it mean to become mature? Srila Prabhupada has perfectly and precisely answered this question by giving us this wonderful definition of spiritual maturity from Srila Rupa Goswami:

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo vishaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prithivim sa sishyat


"A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind's demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world."
Nectar of Instruction 1

For the last 37 years since I surrendered at the lotus feet of my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I have engaged my mind, words, anger, tongue, belly, and genitals only in the Lord's service. Thus according to his divine instructions I am qualified to act as an acharya and am duty bound to do so. Therefore I am not going to hell to be judged by Yamaraja. I am returning to the eternal abode of Lord Sri Krishna to serve Him forever in ever-increasing transcendental bliss and my disciples are coming with me.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Developing Yogic Powers


Dear Sankarshan Das Adhikari

It was very nice to meet you again in Riga city on May 19. I have some question for you. I have heard about deep conditions of sub-consciousness when it is possible to walk on the water. Also I have heard that meditation masters in far East can sleep in the air above 0.5 meters from ground. Is it possible in really deep meditation?

Yours faithfully
Lauris

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Answer: I Teach the Supreme Yogic Power

I was also very happy to meet you in Riga on 19 May. And I very pleased that you have written me with your questions. Now I shall try to answer them in a manner that will be most beneficial for your spiritual awakening.

What you are describing are yogic powers. They can be developed by anybody who studies them under a qualified yogi. But they are not very important. They are not important because even if you develop them you will still remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death. The most important yogic power you can learn is how to elevate yourself beyond this material existence. That yogic power I can teach you.

What good is sleeping 0.5 meters above the ground? I can sleep thousands of meters above the ground by flying on an airplane.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 25 May 2008

from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Today's Thought:

Bowing Down Controversy

Yesterday I wrote about bowing down, and I showed a photograph of devotees bowing down to our founder-acharya, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. Today I received an email from one of my readers who cancelled his subscription because in his view we should only bow down to Krishna and no one else. He has written me as follows:

"I am interested in the Bhagavad-gita and Lord Krishna. I do not want to know about anything else or anybody else. You show people bowing to your Prabhupada, not to Lord Krishna, and I do not feel comfortable bowing to a person. I bow only to the creator of the universe."

But bowing down to Krishna means to follow the instructions of Krishna. Without following the instructions of Krishna there is no meaning to bowing down to Krishna. Krishna instructs in the Bhagavad-gita that we should bow down to the spiritual master with humility, submission, and surrender. So if my disgruntled former reader was truly understanding what it means to bow down to Krishna, he would accept the instructions of Krishna and bow down to the spiritual master. He claims that he only wants to know the Bhagavad-gita, but he does not know the first thing about the Bhagavad-gita.

Sadly, such ignorance and misunderstanding is very widespread and common at the present time. Therefore I have fully dedicated my life for giving the world population the proper understanding of the Bhagavad-gita. Whether they want to surrender to Krishna or not, that is up to them. But at least they must have the proper understanding of what is being taught in the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Controversial Photograph of
Devotees Bowing Down to Srila Prabhupada

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What to Tell an Atheist?

I want to ask a question:

What do I tell a person who is materialistic and searches me out to debate on the existence of God?

Since I started High School I have a girlfriend who is an atheistic materialist. She says that advanced systems don't believe in God because religion is for the bourgeoisie.

Abraham

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Answer: When Has Something Ever Come from Nothing?

Ask her if she thinks there is an origin to the universe or if it just popped out of nothing. If she says it popped out of nothing, ask her where is the empirical evidence that at anytime in the history of the universe anything has popped out of nothing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 24 May 2008

from Osaka, Japan
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Today's Thought:

Bowing Down


In the Vedic culture bowing down is part of one's regular daily life. It is a way of showing great respect. One regularly bows down to one's superiors such as one's parents and one's spiritual master. Also upon entering and leaving the temple one bows down to the Lord. Outside of the circle of devotees we nowadays rarely see this bowing down. So this morning here in Japan I was pleased to see that in this country this custom of bowing down to offer respect is still going on. We had to go to the Japan Airlines customer service desk to get our boarding passes reprinted. When we were finished and were walking away from the counter the two Japanese ladies who had serviced us both bowed down. Now if we can just get everyone to bow down to Krishna the entire planet will become non-different from the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Devotees Bow Down to Srila Prabhupada

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Krishna Give Pain to Us?


I understood that we are responsible for our presence in the material world. But why must Krishna employ very painful treatment such as death, old age, disease etc so that finally we are convinced that we are His servants? Why not a milder treatment?

Krishna has programmed the material world so subtly that even if we slightly engage in sense gratification, we are immediately bound. Are such rules just for the benefit of conditional souls, so that when everyone are aware of this, they don't create disturbance in the material world?

very humbly and patiently waiting for your reply!

Kishan

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Answer: Krishna Gives Pleasure. We Create Pain.

You have understood correctly that we are responsible for our presence in this material world. After all, it was we who chose to leave Krishna's association because of a desire to be God ourselves. But you have wrongly concluded that Krishna employs painful treatment to convince us that we are His servants. To revive our memory of our original identity He comes here and delivers the message of the Bhagavad-gita. And to make it even more attractive for us He blesses us with bliss by displaying His transcendental Vrindavan pastimes.

The material world is given to the living beings in accordance with their desire to enjoy separately from the Lord. What they want is what they get. It is not that Krishna wants the souls in this world to become bound up within the modes of material nature. His only desire is that they should be released. It is they who have bound themselves up tightly within the modes of nature. Krishna personally comes again and again to deliver them. And He also acts through the agency of the bona fide spiritual master to deliver the fallen, conditioned souls.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 23 May 2008

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Global Enlightenment


We are fully dedicated to the spiritual enlightenment of the entire human society. Because the entire world civilization is based on the false premise that we are this body we are facing so many unsolvable problems. If we want peace at all, a new outlook we must call, that we are not these bodies, that we are instead pure spirit-souls in quality one with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and constitutionally meant to always render loving service unto Him. If we can simply understand and realize who we are and then act fully in this enlightened capacity, the entire world atmosphere will become quickly and easily transformed into a very wonderful and pleasing atmosphere for everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Avoid Onions and Garlic?

Why we should avoid onions and garlic? I know that onions and garlic are not meant to be eaten by the devotees of Lord Sri Krishna, as they cannot be offered to Him. But I want to know why both scientifically and on the basis of scriptures.

Thanking you in advance

Regards

Alok

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Answer: They Have a Bad Smell

It is simple common sense thing. Onions and garlic have a bad smell. How could we think of offering such foul, low class things to the Lord?

This is confirmed in Manusmriti 5.5 as follows:

lasunam caiva palandu abhaksyani

"Garlic and onions are unworthy of eating."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 22 May 2008

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Always Unfazed


In this material world there are so many dualities. Sometimes we are honored. Sometimes we are dishonored. Sometimes we are healthy. Sometimes we are sick. Sometimes we are wealthy. Sometimes we are poor. Sometimes we are young. Sometimes we are old. Sometimes we are born. Sometimes we die. If we allow ourselves to become affected by these dualities, we will never have peace of mind. Therefore Krishna advises that we must tolerate these dualities without being disturbed. The easy way to rise beyond all these dualities is to fix our mind in Krishna consciousness. And then once we are situated in the eternal bliss of Krishna consciousness, the dualities will no longer faze us because we will situated far, far beyond them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did Krishna Create the Universe?


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

I have a small question to ask you, which one of my friend asked me and I could not reply him. The question is: Why did Krishna made this universe?

Waiting for your response with keen interest.

Thanks,
Your humble servant,
Anurag Gupta

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Answer: For Our Satisfaction and Education

This universe in which we are situated is one of millions and billions of universes which together constitute this material world. The material world is created by the Lord as a facility for those who desire to live separately from Him as independent enjoyers. In this world they can satisfy their desire to live separately from the Lord and at the same time they can be educated how to regain their original eternally blissful positions in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 21 May 2008

from the road to Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Never Humdrum

It never ceases to amaze me how living a life in harmony with the Supreme keeps getting sweeter and sweeter and sweeter, on and on and on, ad infinitum. The ecstasy of Krishna bhakti never gets maxed out because there is always an unlimited capacity for the heart to grow and mature further and further into an ever-increasingly loving, intimate relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. What this means is that the devotee's life is experienced at every second as the greatest, thrilling, vanguard adventure on the cutting edge of world history in the making. In this way a life of Krishna consciousness is never dull, drab, or humdrum.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

"Who Are You?" Lecture
Riga, Latvia 19 May 2008

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Counter this Argument?


Hare Krishna.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Please accept my obeisances.

Argument for the the existence of the soul

1) The cells in your body are constantly changing and so the body is in a state of constant flux. Yet, you remember experiences of being a child, boy, etc. You have a sense of changelessness in regards to your person.

Argument against this

1) Sure, the body is constantly changing, and so the mind element is constantly changing as well to keep up with this. Therefore, the brain cells that make up our minds are constantly replacing themselves, allowing us to experience a sense of changelessness. This is mother nature's way of allowing our consciousness to evolve. There is nothing mystical about it that leads us to conclude that a soul is responsible for our sense of being. It is simply a product of a chemical state that we are experiencing a semblance of changelessness. This is actually a necessary component of the evolution of consciousness in an intelligent life form. Otherwise, how could structure or intelligence be produced without a "ground of being" (if you will) from which to originate from. The evolution of intelligence requires a stable structure in which to evolve itself. This structure is guaranteed by mother nature's establishment. That which you regard as "changelessness" in a human being's personhood is actually a fundamental pre-requisite for the formation of intelligence.

How do you counter this argument?

Sincerely,

Sophia

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Answer: With Simple, Clear Logic

The first flaw in this argument is that it assumes that the brain and mind are the same when in fact they are different. The mind is a subtle element which exists outside of the confines of the brain.

But even if for the sake of argument we assume that the brain is the mind, this argument still falls apart. Here's how:

Everyone has the common experience of a sense of changelessness in spite of so many changes of body and mind. This is clear first hand scientific data to prove the non-material nature of the self.

This argument you have presented tries to throw a monkey wrench in the gears of what is an easily perceived common sense observation. Science and philosophy is supposed make it easy to see the truth, not cloud it with confusion. Therefore the argument you have presented is neither philosophical nor scientific.

The argument admits the constantly changing nature of the mind and the body, and tells us that our sense of changelessness is an illusion created by a mind that changes itself to keep up with the changes of the body. This is a gigantic leap of faith we are expected to make here. An intelligent person avoid such leaps of blind faith.

Where is the proof that such perfectly synchronized changes of the mind to match the body could ever be precisely executed step by step at every minute? And even if they could be, where is the proof that they would create an illusion of changelessness? There is no common sense practical observation we can make to support such a contention.

The fact remains that in spite of so many changes of mind and body, we all can remember experiences we had decades ago. How could a changed body matched by a changed mind allow a person to relive within his mind experiences he had in the past? The only logical explanation is a non-material self which exists beyond time and space. Careful, clear logic points to the existence of a changeless self existing separately from the changing brain, mind, and body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 20 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Initiations


One of the most auspicious features of our 2008 spring tour of Europe is that we have held four initiation ceremonies bringing eight new members into Srila Prabhupada's family. I initiated two disciples in Germany, one in Estonia, two in Latvia, and three in Lithuania. There is nothing more auspicious than the moment of initiation because that is the moment when the disciple fully enters into eternity. Then if he or she faithfully executes their initiation vows, they remain eternally in their deathless position as servants of Krishna. At initiation the disciple vows to chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads as well as strictly avoiding illicit sex life, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Ecstatic Initiation Ceremony
in Kaunas, Lithuania 18 May 2008

Initiates (front row left to right):
Rupanuga Das, Sankirtan Das, Krishna Caitanya das, Abhinanda Das (2nd Initiation)
Vygintas (seated behind and between Sankirtan and Krishna Caitanya.
He was given formal shelter, the step prior to initiation)

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Auspicious Names


Hare Krishna!

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Please accept my humble obeisances, Maharaja.

I am so very grateful for your service to Sri Sri Radha Krishna.

Please help me to understand the auspiciousness of Krishna's name. My name is Kristina and I have heard that every letter of Krishna's name is auspicious. I have been called Krishna by mistake many times by devotees and non-devotees alike. Can it be because of the potency of Krishna's name? Can this hold any benefit for myself or others? Please educate me, Gurudeva! I am but a neophyte and thirsty for the nectar of your wisdom.

Humbly your das, das, anu das...

Kristina Schreidl

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Answer: You Are Indeed Fortunate

There is nothing more auspicious than the name of God. In fact, the name of God is God Himself appearing in the form of transcendental sound vibration. When the name of God is uttered with love, the Lord personally appears. Even when it is accidentally uttered there is great benefit.

Once a Muslim was being killed in the forest by a wild pig. Muslims do not eat the flesh of the pig because they consider it to be condemned. So as he was being killed he uttered in his Urdu language the word "haram", which means "condemned." But because even unintentionally he uttered the name of God "Ram" when he said "haram" at the time of his death, he achieved the spiritual world. So the holy name of God is so powerful that even if it is uttered accidentally or unintentionally, one can achieve spiritual perfection.

So you are indeed fortunate to have such a name as Kristina. That your name is almost the name of Krishna is very auspicious. In fact if we leave out the "ti" from your name, your name becomes Krisna, which is almost the same as Krishna. Therefore whenever someone says your name, they are almost uttering Krishna.

Kristina means a follower of Christ. And since Christ is another way of saying Krishna, Kristina means a follower of Krishna. It is also auspicious that many times when calling your name people say Krishna instead of Kristina. So now you should capitalize on all of this special mercy that Lord Sri Krishna has bestowed you by fully surrendering yourself unto Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 19 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Finishing Up Our Baltic Tour


Today we are beginning the finish up of our Baltic tour. It has been several weeks of incredibly sweet nectar spreading Krishna consciousness here in the Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Oblast (Baltic portion of Russia). My disciple Damodar das will be driving us today to Riga, Latvia. Tomorrow he will be driving us from Riga, Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia from where we will travel by ship to Helsinki for a two day layover before we fly out to Malaysia.

No matter how sweet Krishna consciousness becomes it amazingly becomes more and more sweet. We are looking for people who would like to dedicate themselves to striving their very best to become ideal examples of Krishna conscious devotees. Such Krishna conscious persons will have a powerful impact on the global consciousness for counteracting the influence of the Kali yuga and nudging the world step by step into the golden age of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Loving Farewell in Vilnius, Lithuania

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Divine Powers in Human Form?


As it is known, Lord Sri Krishna performed various pastimes in His lifetime which no ordinary human can perform. He killed so many demons sent by Kamsa when He was just a newly born baby. Then He subdued the Kaliya serpent after going into the Yamuna river. He lifted Govardhan Hill for 7 days and 7 nights on his finger. He killed his powerful Uncle Kamsa who had become a threat for even the demigods. In Mahabharata, He displayed His universal form to Arjuna, etc. etc.

Although He was the Supreme Lord, He was in a human form during His lifetime. So how could He use His supernatural powers while He is appearing in a human form? I am not saying against anything. I just cannot dare so. But sometimes I get a doubt that when Krishna was in a human form, how could He use His divine powers?

Thanking you,

Amit

Delhi, India

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Answer: Krishna's Inconceivable Potency

You do not understand the inconceivable powers of God. Even within a human form He can exhibit all supernatural potencies. This is the meaning of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 18 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Visa to Goloka in Visaginas


On 17 May 2008 we headed out on all day trip to Visaginas, Lithuania where there is a small group of very wonderful devotees. It was a three hour drive from Kaunas, which gave me a lot of time to catch up on my emails. (Going and coming I was able to complete 71 emails and almost get caught up.) The devotees fed us a wonderful lunch and for the evening program they had rented a hall and publicly advertised my lecture. We got a packed hall. I explained to the audience how we can make the entire world prosperous and peaceful by the wide scale introduction of the Krishna consciousness movement. I then invited them to join us by purchasing our books and attending our regular meetings in Visaginas. Many people purchased our books. Some of them traveled all the way to Kaunas to hear my lecture there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Introducing Krishna Consciousness in Visaginas, Lithuania

Visaginas Farewell

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Soul and Conservation of Energy


I am inquiring about a question that came to me in a physics lecture regarding the law of conservation of energy in physics and religion, and if they can be reconciled. Is this "law" not stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita as reincarnation? The soul as energy and death is just a transference of that energy that changes form. If the scientists say that energy can change form, can not the energy of the person? Even if one does not believe in the soul, when one considers the energy that makes a person alive, where does it go? And so by looking at this one can see that it is proven that there is a soul?

Please correct me in my mistakes in understanding the scriptures.

Your servant,

Asoka devi dasi

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Answer: The Same Principle

You have understood correctly. The eternality of the soul and the conservation of energy are indeed the same principle.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 17 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

The Supreme Adventure


The secret of spiritual success is to live your life in such a way that it is completely filled up with Krishna. Make all of your life's goals Krishna conscious, and then fully dedicate yourself to achieving all of them. This is thousands of times more enjoyable and satisfying than being even the most successful sense gratifier in this world. Design your day in such a way so that at every moment you are somehow or other connecting with Krishna. Be creative. Have fun. You are embarking on the supreme adventure. It will do nothing but get better and better for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Accept Guru Out of Sentiment?

A common saying is "Listen to your heart." But, how can the heart be trusted as long as you are under the modes of material nature and are a conditioned soul subject to the 4 defects? The modes of nature extend to the heart, and so listening to your heart could be acting upon lustful propensities born out of the mode of passion.

This idea, of course, is extended to the field of accepting a spiritual master. Persons seek spiritual masters that appeal to their heart. But, according to the 4 defects, it appears that one should seek out a spiritual master who is highly knowledgeable according to Vedic scriptures and ignore the plea of the heart, which is bound to be dirty due to association with the modes of nature. Is this correct reasoning?

Sophia

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Answer: No. Accept Guru Based on Knowledge

Your understanding is correct. A sentiment of the heart is not sufficient for recognizing who should be our guru. We see that often people are sentimentally attracted to a person who is completely unqualified to be a spiritual master. Therefore, according to the authoritative injunction of the Mundaka Upanishad, we should instead accept as our guru that person who is fixed in Krishna consciousness, highly learned in the Vedic scriptures, and expert in presenting the Vedic conclusion in defiance of all opposing arguments. This is the person who is most qualified to take us back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 16 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Bliss in Kaunas

The ocean of Krishna bhakti is so unlimitedly sweet and deep that there is no limit to how much you can relish it. Here in Kaunas, Lithuania we are diving deeply into that ocean. There are unlimited waves of ecstasy in that ocean and each wave is more amazing than the wave that came before it. The key to remaining always in this ocean is not allow any selfishness, lust, or greed to enter into your heart. You've got to always remain in a loving, giving, sharing, caring mood. This is not difficult when we always remember and try to model ourselves after the wonderful, unlimitedly loving example of our most beloved Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Hare Krishna Mantra a Placebo?


Dear Gurudeva,

Is the Hare Krishna mantra a placebo (it works because the person doing it thinks it is going to work)? My friend asked me this and I wasn't sure what to say to him. He asked why it isn't a placebo.

Hare Krishna,

Ashwin

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Answer: No, it Universally Beneficial

The Hare Krishna mantra acts whether one thinks it will act or not. Therefore it is not a placebo. Thus even an animal or a plant, who have no conception of what is the Hare Krishna mantra, are benefited by coming in contact with the Hare Krishna mantra. It is beneficial for all, believers and non-believers as well.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 15 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Vast, Deep Vedic Wisdom


Here in Kaunas my disciples have arranged a wonderful series of lectures in different colleges and halls. I have spoken on how to solve the environmental crisis, how to develop fully one's talents, how to make the entire world peaceful and prosperous, how to enter permanently and immediately into a land of transcendental bliss, and many other topics. It was enlivening for me to see halls packed to capacity for my lectures and to see so many customers for our transcendental literatures at the end of the lectures. Our Vedic wisdom is so vast and so deep that it touches upon and indeed perfects every field of knowledge that exists within the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Speaking on Solving the Environmental Crisis

Happy Book Customers after a Lecture

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Pleasure from Power?

How can I derive pleasure from power? I have started believing in power. How can I have the power to make wealth so I can make promotion to my donation? How can I also have power to encounter the world and overcome them through power?

Joseph

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Answer: Pleasure Only by Surrender

As long as you strive for power, you will never have it, and you will never be happy. You will only become powerful when you agree to surrender fully to the Lord and let His power act through you. Only through surrender to the Lord can you derive real and lasting pleasure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 14 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Beyond this Universe


Beyond this universe, beyond the realm of time and space there exists another dimension, a land of unlimited bliss and knowledge, where everyone lives an eternal life free from the pangs of birth, death, old age, and disease. One does not have to wait for death to enter into that transcendental realm. One can enter into it right now by fully entering into the highest stage of enlightened consciousness, known as Krishna consciousness. This consciousness is to be learned by taking completely shelter of Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. There is no reason to live one temporary term of misery and illusion after another such term again and again ad infinitum. If one will adopt the simple process of bhakti yoga under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, he will quickly regain his eternal all-blissful, full-of-knowledge existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Watch a Nectarean Video Clip Now!

Kirtan from Russia

http://www.backtohome.com/video/Russian-kirtan.wmv


(photo from the video)


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: How to Recognize One's Guru?


It is said in the Vedic scriptures that the highest level of spiritual perfection, devotion to Lord Krishna, can be achieved only by the mercy of Radha and Krishna or a spiritually qualified master who has realized Radha and Krishna. So how can a person recognize his guru or spiritual master?

Please guide me,

Sincerely,

Naresh Naik

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Answer: Krishna Will Reveal Him

When you are ready to fully surrender to Krishna, He will send you a guru and you will easily recognize him because Krishna will guide you that here is your guru. The key is that you must be ready to fully surrender to Krishna because it is only when you are ready to fully surrender to the Lord that He will tell that you have now found your guru.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 13 May 2008

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories of Russia

12 May 2008--Today we are leaving Russia heading back to Lithuania. As I write these words we are being driven by Lila Avatar Prabhu from Kaliningrad to Sovetsk, where we will walk across the border by crossing the bridge over the Neman River to be picked up by my Latvian disciple, Damodar Das. These few days in Russia were truly the sweetest nectar. We had the most enlivening kirtans, the most enlivening classes, and the most enlivening association. Now with joyful anticipation we are already planning our next visit in October from the 17th through the 20th. This is how life should always be, filled to the brim with ecstatic Krishna consciousness. And this indeed is how it can always be. All we have to do is make a little endeavor each day to plug ourselves into Krishna, just as a lamp becomes illuminated when it is plugged into an electrical outlet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Extra Special Nectar!

Hare Krishna Kirtan from Russia with Love (Video):

http://www.backtohome.com/video/Russian-kirtan.wmv

Sweet Transcendental Russian Farewell

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Why Are Pure Devotees Ridiculed?

Why are pure devotees ridiculed? Why do people talk badly about them? Why does God Himself suffer ridicule and endure torment from envious persons? As the Supersoul, He can inspire within the heart of anyone or any being kindness. So, why does He allow His Devotees and Himself to suffer?

I am confused because I thought that pure devotees could attract and deliver everyone in the service of God. I thought people would naturally be drawn to pure devotees...but, it appears that is not the case. I do not understand. Nor, do I understand why devotees quarrel among themselves. What does it matter where you go to worship the Lord, whether it is at Anne's house or Frank's house? If you feel more comfortable worshiping at Anne's house, then why does Frank get upset?

Sophia

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Answer: They Become More Glorified

Just as soldiers become decorated, glorified heroes by acting courageously in active combat during wartime, similarly when Krishna's pure devotees face ridicule and harassment in the course of preaching Krishna consciousness this is Krishna's special arrangement so that his pure devotees can become more and more worshipped and glorified in the human society. Krishna is more pleased when His pure devotees are worshipped than when He is worshipped. Therefore He makes special arrangements so that they can become famous in the human society.

Krishna is never disturbed by the ridicule of anyone. When a large caravan passes, who cares for few small barking dogs?

Even though Krishna is the Supreme Controller, He allows every living being the choice of surrendering to Him or rebelling against Him. Krishna wants our love, and our love can only be given to Him voluntarily. It it cannot be extracted by force. This is the nature of love.

Pure devotees are empowered by the Lord to bring everyone to the sweet reservoir of Krishna consciousness. But just as we can lead a horse to the water but we cannot force it to drink, it remains the choice of the living beings whether or not they will drink the sweet water of Krishna consciousness.

Those who are advanced in Krishna consciousness never quarrel amongst themselves. It is only the neophyte devotees who sometimes quarrel amongst themselves. As soon as one becomes an advanced devotee he sees everything as the property of Krishna and thus there is no need to fight over anything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 12 May 2008

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

The Best of Everything


In Krishna consciousness we are not lacking in anything. We have the best music, the best food, the best clothing, the best philosophy, and the best friends. We get the best possible life style in this world, and then at the time of death we attain the supreme destination of going back home, back to Godhead. When one fully dives into Hare Krishna culture he enters into an eternal existence, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. Anyone with even half a brain who understands what is the difference between material consciousness and Krishna consciousness will always opt for Krishna consciousness because it is far, far superior to material consciousness in every conceivable and inconceivable way. Therefore out of kindness upon the suffering souls of this world, who are blinded by the darkness of ignorance, the members of the Krishna consciousness movement should now through educational and cultural conquest take the leadership role on this planet for the deliverance of all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The Best Music

The Best Philosophy

The Best Friends

The Best Food

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: How and When Can I Get Initiated?

Dear Master,

My respectful obeisances unto you.

I want to take initiation from you into the Krishna consciousness movement. I love Krishna and Rama, and I chant every day Their holy names. I will be happy if Your Grace will give me initiation here in Greece. Please tell me, dear Master, how and when I can get initiated.

Ioannis Prevenas in Greece

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Answer: Qualification and Recommendation

I am very happy to hear that you would like to become an initiated disciple in our Krishna consciousness movement and that you would like to get your initiation from me.

Your decision to fully surrender yourself to a bona fide spiritual master is certainly a most wise decision because as Srila Prabhupada explains:

"Transcendental life begins when one accepts a bona fide spiritual master."
--from the purport to Bhagavad-gita 13.8

Acceptance of a bona fide spiritual master is the doorway into transcendental existence. If we faithfully abide by our vows taken at the time of initiation, this is our ticket into the spiritual world. The vows taken are to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa beads and to strictly follow the four regulative principles:

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

One must be strictly following these principles for at least one year before they can be initiated and must have taken shelter of the prospective guru for at least six months. At initiation one promises to follow these principles for the rest of their life.

You are requesting to know how and when you can get initiated. Once you have met the above requirements all that is required is that you have your local ISKCON temple leader email me a letter of recommendation. Upon receipt of that letter I can then initiate you at the first available opportunity. If there is no ISKCON center in your area, another arrangement can be made for your recommendation.

Since I am regularly traveling twice a year to Macedonia, which is just adjacent to Greece, you can easily travel by bus to Macedonia and your initiation ceremony can be performed there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 11 May 2008

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Bhagavatam Class


10 May 2008--I am relishing every minute here in Kaliningrad, Russia as the sweetest nectar. This morning's Srimad Bhagavatam class enabled all of us, speaker and hearers alike, to dive deeply into an unlimited ocean of bliss and sport enthusiastically in its waves. It was so enlivening and there were so many sincere questions coming from the devotees that I considered the idea of continuing the class all day long letting it roll uninterruptedly into the evening's class. But then remembering that I am one week behind on answering my emails I opted to end the class on time and return to my quarters for a day of writing before the evening lecture.

I offer to you, my beloved readers, this following verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam which can be recited daily for the deliverance of the entire world from chaos:

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."
SB 5.18.9

Stay tuned into Krishna. Tomorrow there will be more nectar coming to you from Kaliningrad, Russia.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Ecstatic Devotees after Bhagavatam Class

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Surrender or Remembrance?

Is it anywhere mentioned in the scriptures that if we surrender unto Krishna, that the Lord Himself will take us to Him, although we fail to think of His form at the time of death? Or is a must that every bhakta must remember the Lord at the time of death?

Very humbly and patiently awaiting for your reply!

Your student,

Kishan

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Answer: Surrender Means Remembrance

If you are fully surrendered to Him, you will naturally think of Him at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 10 May 2008

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Smooth Crossing


9 May 2008--Kaliningrad, Russia.
Our crossing into Russia was the smoothest ever. After Damodar Das drove Mataji and me for one and half hours from Kaunas, Lithuania to the Russian border we then crossed by foot with our luggage across the wide Neman River. It was a beautiful spring day. Our trek across the bridge was made easy by the help of Damodar and Madhuri who joined us on the walk to help us with our luggage until just before the customs check. Within minutes we cleared customs and there on the other side of the gate were Gopinath Das and Lila Avatar Das waiting to drive us to Kaliningrad. Now having reached Kaliningrad and having gotten some prasadam and a little rest, I am ready for an evening lecture.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Crossing into Russia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Proof of Spiritual World?

How can one know for sure there is an eternal spiritual world? Could you tell me the meaning of Hare Krishna mantra and who has brought forth this mantra? Can we recite other mantras along with this?

Thanks

Raju

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Answer: Go There and Experience It

The easy way to know for sure that there is a spiritual world is to go there and experience it first hand.

The Hare Krishna mantra is a prayer to the Lord and His energy that they kindly engage us in their service. It was personally delivered to us by Lord Sri Krishna Himself in His form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu 500 years ago when He appeared on this planet. Along with chanting the Hare Krishna mantra we also chant this mantra to Lord Caitanya and His associates:

sri krishna caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri advaita gadadhara srivasadi gaura bhakta vrinda

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 9 May 2008

from ISKCON Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Back to Russia


Today is a very sweet day because today we are crossing the border into Russia. There is a lot of red tape and we have to walk across a long bridge with our luggage. But it is well worth it. There is no story more heart warming than the story of the Soviet Hare Krishna devotees who suffered unspeakable persecution including imprisonment and death at the hands of the cruel godless former communist regime to establish the Krishna consciousness movement in Russia. Here is their story told by them:

PLANTING THE SEED OF KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS ON THE RUSSIAN SOIL

During the eleven years of his preaching in the West, Srila Prabhupada [Founder Acharya for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON] traveled around the world fourteen times. Among other countries he also visited Soviet Russia which at that time was behind the Iron Curtain. The four days visit of Srila Prabhupada to Moscow in 1971 miraculously brought many changes to that country of atheism.

During his visit he discussed philosophy with Prof. Kotovsky, a Soviet scholar of Hinduism, but most significantly met with one young, educated Russian boy who later became his first and only initiated disciple from the Soviet Union, Ananta Shanti. This Russian boy single-handedly started preaching the eternal message of Bhagavad-Gita, and in this way the teachings of Srila Prabhupada became known to the hundreds and hundreds of Soviet people, so much so that in the beginning of the 1980's the KGB declared ISKCON one of the greatest threats to the Soviet nation. In this way, the war was declared............the war of the totalitarian state against the handful of first devotees of Krishna in Soviet Russia.

THE YEARS OF STRUGGLE FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

The KGB started massive persecution campaigns against the first followers of ISKCON. For their belief, around hundred of the first Russian devotees were thrown into prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals. They underwent tremendous sufferings and tortures, but kept their strong, unflinching faith in Lord Krishna and His words in Bhagavad-Gita.

One of them, Sarkis Ohanjanyan was only 21 when he was put in prison. His only "guilt" was that he believed in God, chanted the Hare Krishna mahamantra and refused to eat meat. One and a half years later he died in the winter of 1986 in a labor camp out of malnutrition and tuberculosis. Before departure he was chanting on the beads made from the prison bread, and had applied tilaka on his body with the toothpaste.

Olga Kiselyova was put in prison in 1983 when she was pregnant. Her "crime" was that she helped in translating the Bhagavad-Gita into the Russian language. After undergoing tortures and long, arduous interrogations she delivered a baby girl Marika in prison who died only two months later.

Amala Bhakta Das father of 5, was sentenced for 5 years of labor camps, and was only released on the personal plea from Nancy Reagan.

These are only a few stories among many. Early devotees in Russia sacrificed their health, freedom and sometimes even life for the preaching and for the service to Srila Prabhupada.

Hare Krishna devotees around the world started a campaign of protest against religious persecution in the USSR. As a result, in 1988 all Soviet Hare Krishna devotees were released by Mr. M. Gorbachev and the new era of religious freedom in Russia had begun.

****************

So remembering the above story as I cross the river today into Russia, I will be feeling so grateful to Lord Krishna for the privilege of being able to openly preach the glories of Krishna in Russia.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srila Prabhupada in Moscow--June, 1971

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: How to Regain Faith?

Respected Maharaja,

I have noticed that after having my faith developed into Krishna consciousness, my problems have increased. I am not sure whether to believe in the Supreme Personality at this point. Unfortunately, I am being led into doubtfulness of the Supreme Personality. Please help me regain my faith in Krishna.

Awaiting your answer,

Yours sincerely,

Sarita

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Answer: Transform Suffering into Bliss

A devotee accepts all suffering as the special blessings of Krishna to help him overcome the reactions to his past misdeeds. In this way the suffering is no longer suffering. It becomes another form of transcendental bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 8 May 2008

from ISKCON Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Back to Our Original Home


We're back in Kaunas, Lithuania now relishing the sweet, loving association of the devotees here. It's amazing how we can travel to so many different places in the world where the devotees are enthusiastically practicing Krishna consciousness and in each and every location feel that we have returned to our home. Why is it like this? The reason is that wherever Krishna is the center that place is not in the material world. Such Krishna centered places are existing in the spiritual world. So whenever we enter such an atmospheres we are re-entering the spiritual world, our original home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Kaunas, Lithuania--Radio Show Interview
7 May 2008

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Three Questions


I have improved my chanting of japa. What are the other expectations?

Is there more than one type of energy of Krishna?

I understand I must submit to a spiritual master. Do I require to be directly in contact with him?

Viraj

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Answers:

Improving the quality of chanting Hare Krishna on your japa beads is for the ultimate purpose of developing your love for Krishna. So you can measure your progress by how much you are becoming attracted to Krishna and disinterested in material sense gratification.

Krishna has two basic energies: the material energy and the spiritual energy. By our very nature we must serve one of these two energies. If we choose to serve the material energy we must suffer temporality, ignorance, and illusion. And if we choose to serve the spiritual energy, we will enjoy an eternal life, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Even if you are not in the personal presence of your spiritual master, if you are fully obedient to carrying out his orders, you will be always feel his presence, his blessings, and his guidance. You will never feel that you are separated from him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 7 May 2008

from ISKCON Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Capitalizing on Calamities

In this world there will always be calamities. They are an unavoidable concomitant factor of material existence. Learned transcendentalists wisely deal with these calamities in such a way that they are not disturbed by them. Rather they utilize them in such a way as to enhance and strengthen their position in transcendental Krishna consciousness. Just as an expert businessman uses both an up market and down market to enhance his business, the expert transcendentalists ride all varieties of waves of the material existence in such a way to carry them faster and further along the pathway of spiritual perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is Krishna Reluctant?


Krishna Himself can take all souls to Him by empowering their free will towards Him. Why is He reluctant?

-your servant

-Gayathri

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Answer: It's We Instead Who Are Reluctant

Krishna is not reluctant to bring us back to His eternal abode. He is most eager to do so. It is we who are reluctant to go there. But if Krishna were to manipulate our free will, it would no longer be free will. Free will means our decision to go back to Godhead or remain in the cycle of birth and death must be totally up to us.

If Krishna were to take us prisoner by psychological kidnapping and thus force us to return to His abode, we would be not be there out of love. We would instead be there out of coercion. Such a situation would not be pleasing to the Lord or to us. In this connection, just imagine if you kidnapped someone and forced them to marry you against their will. Do you think that would make for a happy marriage?

Krishna wants us to return to His abode much more than we want to return there. He wants us to come of our own free will due to reviving long lost loving relationship with Him. Therefore He never interferes with our free will. He simply does everything He can to attract us to choose devotional service to Him over a foolish, wasted life of sense gratification in this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 6 May 2008

from ISKCON Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Super Ecstatic Home Program


On Sunday 4 May 2008, Ananda Govardhan Prabhu organized the most ecstatic home program in the outskirts of Riga. The large living room of the home was full of guests and we were all blessed with the most enlivening and uplifting opportunity to dive deeply into the Hare Krishna kirtan and Bhagavad-gita philosophy. Such events a very encouraging sign of how Krishna consciousness can inundate the world even where there are no temples. Every home can become a temple. Simply we must gather together and chant the sublime holy names of the Lord:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

May 4, 2008--Home Program in Riga, Latvia

Ecstatic Chanting

Ecstatic Chanters

Ecstatic Philosophy

Ecstatically Distributing Bhagavad-gita

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Consciousness a Philosophy?

Why is Krishna consciousness a philosophy?

Marisol

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Answer: The Perfection of Philosophy

You are wondering, "Why is Krishna consciousness a philosophy?" To understand the answer to this question you must first understand what is the meaning of philosophy. Philosophy means finding the ultimate cause. As Vedanta-sutra very reasonably says, athato brahma jijnasa: human life is meant for understanding the ultimate cause. Since the process of Krishna consciousness enables one to perfectly understand that the ultimate cause of all existence is Krishna, it is therefore the perfection of philosophy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 5 May 2008

from ISKCON Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Most Auspicious Turning Point


On Saturday 3 May 2008, the most auspicious ceremony was held at Riga, Latvia's Hare Krishna temple. Two devotees were initiated by me and two devotees received formal shelter from me. The new initiates were Guru Das, owner of two of Latvia's leading radio stations, and Damodar Das, his highly trusted assistant. Vita, the wife of Guru Das, and Madhuri both took formal shelter, the preliminary step to initiation. It was a celebration of great spiritual bliss for everyone--initiates and the temple room full of guests alike. The atmosphere reverberated with cheers of joy when I gave the initiates their new names and formally accepted them as my disciples. The ancient Vedic fire sacrifice ceremony (agni hotra yajna) performed in conjunction with the initiation created an awe-inspiring atmosphere. This initiation ceremony marks the most auspicious turning point for those who have taken initiation and for those who are preparing for initiation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

May 3, 2008--Initiation Ceremony in Riga, Latvia

Vita Takes Formal Shelter:

Madhuri Takes Formal Shelter:

Guru Das Accepts Initiation:

Damodar Das Accepts Initiation:

Fire Sacrifice Ceremony:

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: New Form in the Spiritual World?

When we go back to Krishna on His Goloka Vrindavan planet in the spiritual world do we get a different form or do we remain in the same form as we have right now?.

Hare Krishna

Nikhil

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Answer: Yes, an Amazing Transcendental Form

The form you have now is simply a covering, a garment, that is being worn over your actual spiritual form. When you re-enter the spiritual sky you will leave your material form behind and be manifested only in your spiritual form. The forms in this world are imperfect, in that they are subjected to birth, death, old age, and disease. But the forms in the spiritual world experience no such impediments. They are eternal, ever-youthful, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. Why drive an old junk car when you can drive a brand new Rolls Royce instead?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 4 May 2008

from ISKCON Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Greatest Hits in the Universe


While radio listeners all over the world are tuning in to hear the greatest hits in different musical genres, Krishna conscious persons are hearing every morning the Srimad Bhagavatam class. These Bhagavatam classes are truly the greatest hits in the entire universe. There is nothing more powerful, enlivening, or exciting than the daily recitation of the glories of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No matter how big of a hit the previous morning's Srimad Bhagavatam class was, today's class is even a bigger hit. How can this be? Once we are fully connected in love with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the topmost enjoyer in all of existence, we enjoy ever-increasing pleasure on an equal level with Him at every moment. There is no easier or more sublime way to lovingly connect with Him than to attend the morning Srimad Bhagavatam class every day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srimad Bhagavatam Class in Riga, Latvia

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Change our Destiny?

According to my horoscope, I will enjoy life ruthlessly. After marriage, I will continue extra marital affairs, and all those things which are not favorable for spiritual life. My desire is to continue with spiritual life and completely surrender to the spiritual master's orders. Will these astrological predictions affect me? I am troubled with this thought. Please help me. My main question is: Can we change our destiny, which is predestined?

Your student

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Answer: Create a New Transcendental Destiny

Don't worry. It does not matter what your horoscope is. As soon as you surrender fully to a bona fide spiritual master, your fate is immediately changed. So now you simply must make your surrender complete by becoming solidly fixed in our principles and taking initiation. This will create a new transcendental destiny for you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 3 May 2008

from ISKCON Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

The Supreme Nirvana


Here in Riga we are getting a very nice turn out every day at both the morning and evening classes. It is so enlivening to describe the amazingly sublime glories of Lord Sri Krishna that once we dive into this ocean we don't want to come out. This is real happiness. This is nirvana-paramam, the supreme nirvana. The whole world is hankering to taste such nectar. Now we have to teach them how to swim in this ocean.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Conquer Depression?

I am an avid reader of this course. I am in a problem. I frequently I find myself in depression. I try to overcome it, but I am not getting any permanent solution. I know that without proper guidance I cannot get rid of it, so please guide me.

Indira

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Answer: Transform It Into Transcendental Bliss

If you will accept whatever depression you are experiencing as the special mercy of Krishna to help you become detached from the false, illusory happiness of this temporary material world, your depression will become transformed into transcendental bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Friday 2 May 2008

from ISKCON Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Life on the Road


I can think of nothing sweeter than being on the road for spreading the glories of Lord Sri Krishna all over the world. When we make Krishna the center of all of our relationships, there is no limit how much they can become deeper and sweeter. So all over the world I am tasting ever-increasingly wonderful relationships with so many great saintly Krishna conscious persons. This ever-expanding network of Krishna conscious relationships, in which the members of the Krishna consciousness movement participate, will grow more and more and more until it eventually engulfs the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the Next Spiritual Master?


In the Bhagavad-gita As It Is Srila Prabhupada stresses the importance of following the bona fide spiritual master and the line of disciplic succession, which starts with Krishna and runs up to himself. Please forgive my ignorance for not being aware of the current situation with ISKCON. I am aware on some level there seems to be area of dispute on the way the organization should be run now that Srila Prabhupada has left his body to join Krishna. My questions is: Who follows His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada as the next in the line of disciplic succession? Please forgive my ignorance on such matters.

P.E.

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Answer: The Faithful Disciples

When you are saying that the disciplic succession runs only up to A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada your statement is incorrect. The disciplic succession does not stop with Srila Prabhupada. He instructed us, his disciples, that we are the next in the line of disciplic succession after him. He told us this as follows in an arrival lecture given on 18 May 1972 in Los Angeles:

"My Guru Maharaja is tenth from Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I am eleventh, you are the twelfth. So distribute this knowledge. People are suffering."

So the next in the disciplic line are all of those Srila Prabhupada disciples who are faithfully following his instructions. For those who have obeyed Srila Prabhupada to remain within ISKCON, there is no dispute as to how ISKCON should be run. The only dispute exists among those who disobeyed Srila Prabhupada by leaving the spiritual shelter of the wonderful ISKCON that he created. Disobeying the instructions of one's spiritual master is tantamount to spiritual suicide. So we are always hoping and praying that those who have left us will revive their spiritual lives by rejoining us. We are awaiting their return with open arms ready to warmly, lovingly embrace them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 1 May 2008

from ISKCON Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Flood the World with Krishna's Glories


There is nothing sweeter than the transcendental glories of Lord Sri Krishna. The more that His glories are vibrated and heard throughout this world, the more the people of this planet will become peaceful and happy. Therefore as much as possible Krishna's glories must be loudly broadcasted in each city, town, and village throughout the globe through every means of communication. This and only this will bring permanent peace and happiness to the suffering people of this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Desire to Change Things?


If all of creation is existing in accordance with God's plan, then what is the point in desiring to change things? Why should we worry about the small trials of man?

my sincere appreciation,

Corvas

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Answer: We Create Hell or Paradise

God's plan includes giving us free will to serve Him or not. When we choose not to, we turn our lives into hell. When we choose to serve Him, we turn our lives into paradise. Therefore if we are intelligent, we will choose to serve Him and turn this world into a paradise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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