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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Sunday 31 August 2008

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

Perseverance Furthers

In the ancient Chinese wisdom we find the concept, "Perseverance furthers." This gem of ancient knowledge is fully and most applicable when we apply it to Krishna consciousness. Perseverance is the stubborn tenacity to always remain fixed in Krishna consciousness no matter what the material energy may throw at us. It means to never abandon the ship of Krishna consciousness no matter how rough the ocean storm of material existence may become. The more we persevere the more we advance on the path of bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Our Duty?

Hare Krishna,

According to what I have been told, dharma is not a kind of faith but is duty. So what is our dharma, our duty, to perform at the present moment?

Thank you very much,

Daniel

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Answer: Surrender Right Now

Krishna clearly tells what is our dharma in the Bhagavad-gita:

sarva-dharman parityajya
mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo
mokshayishyami ma sucah


"Abandon all other duties and just surrender unto Me.
I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear."
--Bhagavad-gita 18.66

So at this very moment as you are reading these words you must abandon all other considerations and fully surrender yourself to doing whatever Krishna wants you to do for now and for all of eternity. This will is revealed through the transparent via medium of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 30 August 2008

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

Think "Outside of the Box"

The biggest mistake we make is to analyze and do everything in terms of our material conditioning. In other words we foolishly allow our thoughts, words, and deeds to continue manifesting themselves within the "I am this body" box. We thus lock ourselves into identification with a particular family, a particular gender, a particular race, and a particular nationality. In this way we remain locked into the miseries of this material existence: miseries caused by the mind and body, miseries caused by other living beings, and miseries caused by natural disturbances. The trick to genuine spiritual enlightenment is stop thinking in this "I am this body" box. We have to train ourselves to instead think outside this box on the liberated spiritual plane, i.e. "I am a spirit-soul, the eternal servant of Krishna." If we always remind ourselves who we are actually are, and we manifest our thoughts, words, and deeds accordingly, we will witness a gradual, steady awakening of the pure spiritual awakened Krishna consciousness within our hearts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Immunized Against Falling Again?


I would like to take advantage of the answer that you gave on the origin of the soul, to reveal to you a doubt that follows me down the years. Only because of faith, I have managed to forget it. But only now, reading your answer, has it has again come to my mind.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita:

"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." Bg 4.9

I always had the doubt about what Krishna means by "does not take his birth again in the material world." Does this mean that we are already immunized against another fall into the material world? If the answer is yes, if we did come from the spiritual world, why did we fall in the first place? And how can we make sure not to fall again?

Thank you very much. I know your answer will be welcome and satisfactory.

Your servant in Krishna consciousness,

Viswambhara dasa

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Answer: We Will Not Fall Again

The answer is very simple. Krishna describes that those in this material world who become perfect and go back to Godhead will not return to this material world. Whereas those who have made the mistake of falling into maya and have undergone the cure to free themselves of the material mentality are immunized against falling into maya again, those who have never experienced the hell of material existence may foolishly make this mistake. We fell here due to a misuse of our independence. If we take complete 100% shelter of guru and Krishna, we will not fall again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 29 August 2008

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

Back to Atlanta

Today we are returning for tasting and spreading more of the nectarean rays of Lord Caitanya's benediction moon in Atlanta, Georgia. The city of Atlanta and the ISKCON temple there are both very much blessed because Srila Prabhupada stayed at the Atlanta Hare Krishna temple for several days in 1975. During that historic visit I was most fortunate to be initiated by Srila Prabhupada as a brahmana when he personally placed my brahmana's thread on my body. I can never forget the auspicious experience of receiving Srila Prabhupada's blessings for the execution of a brahmana's duties, which are especially to become highly learned in the Vedic wisdom and distribute that most sublime wisdom throughout the world for the deliverance of the fallen, conditioned souls from the clutches of illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Atlanta Hare Krishna Temple


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Soma-rasa?


From the last six months I am reading "Thought for the Day" and chanting Hare Krishna as much as possible, like at home, while driving, and while working. I am really feeling a positive change, and I want to advance more. I have read the Bhagavad-gita and also I am now reading the Sama Veda. In the Sama Veda soma-rasa is mentioned so many times. But I do not understand what is this soma-rasa. It is available in the Kali Yuga? .

Praveen (Spain)

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Answer: Here's Something Better

Soma-rasa is a type of intoxication which is consumed by the demigods in the heavenly planets. Sometimes, we see as in the example of Nalakuvara and Manigriva, who were cursed to take birth as trees, how the demigods get into trouble by indulging in intoxication.

Therefore instead of being interested in drinking soma-rasa beverage, the devotees prefer the ultimate intoxication of chanting as much as possible:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 28 August 2008

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

Remain Always Enthusiastic


When I first took shelter of and surrendered to my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, back in 1971 in Austin, Texas he was not personally present to perform my initiation ceremony. So the ceremony was instead conducted by His Holiness Vishnujana Maharaja. As is the custom at the time of initiation I collected some donations to present to my spiritual master. This is called guru dakshina. Since Srila Prabhupada was in London I was obliged to mail him my donation. This was a great opportunity for me to write my spiritual master. Inspired by the preaching mood of Vishnujana Maharaja I wrote him a letter in which I expressed my desire to spread the Krishna consciousness movement. Within several weeks I received the most wonderful, enlivening reply from Srila Prabhupada dated 7 September 1971 in which he stated:

"I can see also that you are a very sincere and enthusiastic boy and are anxious for spreading this movement. Those are first class qualifications for making advancement in Krishna Consciousness. So continue enthusiastically as you are doing and Krishna will surely bless you."

By his causeless grace, Srila Prabhupada had planted the seed of sincere, enthusiastic bhakti within my heart, and now he was bestowing upon me the benediction that if I would maintain this enthusiasm, Krishna would surely bless me. I put my complete faith in his words and have done so continually for the last 37 years. And I am experiencing how by doing so I am constantly reaping the harvest of Lord Krishna's most sublime, wondrous blessings. Anyone who seriously and joyfully follows this pathway will experience the same result.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Says We Never Return


You say, "When we foolishly desired to be in illusion, instead of holding us back in the spiritual world against our will, like an affectionate father, Krishna facilitates our desire by letting us experiment with the illusion of being the center of existence." Then why does Krishna say in the Gita that once we are in the spiritual world, we never return to this material world?

Cordially,

Ashley Vishwanath

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Answer: Once Burned, Twice Shy

Just as it is said, "Once burned, twice shy", once we realize our mistake of giving up an eternal existence full of bliss and knowledge in the spiritual world in exchange for rotting in the cycle of birth and death in the material world and then work diligently to regain our original position in the spiritual world, we will not make the same mistake again. This is why is it said that once we return to the spiritual world we will never come back to this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 27 August 2008

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

Don't Waste Your Human Form of Life


This human life is achieved only after the greatest difficulty of transmigrating through 8,400,000 different species of life. Now that you have gotten after millions and millions of years this rarest opportunity to attain spiritual perfection kindly do not miss this opportunity. Dedicate yourself fully to the self-realization process under the guidance of guru, devotees, and scripture. Attain the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead. Regain your original position in the pastimes of the Supreme Lord in the spiritual sky. This is my humble request to you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is This a Contradiction?

I am afraid that I don't understand correlation between the two different editions of "Thought for the Day" which are mentioned below. Please help me to understand them. They are:

1. Monday 18 August 2008--Never Accept Defeat
2. Saturday 16 August 2008--Lose a Battle But Win the War

Best regards,

Kamesh Kumar S.

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Answer: Failure: the Pillar of Success

Sometimes despite one's best effort one may sometimes lose a battle with Maya. Not accepting defeat means that one should arise from one's temporary setback to fight again with Maya and keep pushing through until one wins the war because especially in spiritual life failure is the pillar of success.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 26 August 2008

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

Staunchly Determined


If one wants to be successful in going back to home, back to Godhead in this very lifetime, he must be staunchly determined to keep himself 24/7 fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness. Just as during a war, a nation must always remain vigilant for sudden unannounced attacks from their enemy, a devotee must always be on guard against sudden incursions from the material energy into his consciousness. At any second a lusty, angry, or greedy thought can enter and take root like a cancer in one's consciousness and grow to mammoth proportions quickly destroying one's Krishna consciousness. So one must be very determined to never allow Maya to gain even the slightest foothold within one's heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Urgent Appeal--Attacked by Lust


Right now I do not have much association of devotees. My hearing is not proper, and my chanting is also not proper because it is done while I am traveling. I am feeling very down, and meanwhile lust is attacking me like anything. My old bad habits are also tempting me, and I am not able to control such situation. So please explain how to fight in such situation. I am feeling very down.

Your servant

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Answer: Transform Lust into Bhakti

You have to see lust philosophically for what it is and not be bewildered or overcome by it. It is described as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

sri-bhagavan uvaca
kama esha krodha esha
rajo-guna-samudbhavah
mahasano maha-papma
viddhy enam iha vairinam

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead said:
It is lust only, Arjuna, which is born of contact
with the material mode of passion and later transformed into wrath,
and which is the all-devouring sinful enemy of this world."
--Bhagavad-gita 3.37

In his purport to the above verse Srila Prabhupada describes:

"When a living entity comes in contact with the material creation, his eternal love for Krishna is transformed into lust, in association with the mode of passion. Or, in other words, the sense of love of God becomes transformed into lust, as milk in contact with sour tamarind is transformed into yogurt. Then again, when lust is unsatisfied, it turns into wrath; wrath is transformed into illusion, and illusion continues the material existence. Therefore, lust is the greatest enemy of the living entity, and it is lust only which induces the pure living entity to remain entangled in the material world. Wrath is the manifestation of the mode of ignorance; these modes exhibit themselves as wrath and other corollaries. If, therefore, the mode of passion, instead of being degraded into the mode of ignorance, is elevated to the mode of goodness by the prescribed method of living and acting, then one can be saved from the degradation of wrath by spiritual attachment."

From Srila Prabhupada's brilliant purport we learn that lust is nothing more than love for Krishna in contact with the mode of passion. So you have to purify your passionate tendencies. Instead of being passionate to enjoy material sense gratification, you should be passionate to advance yourself in Krishna consciousness. In this way you can gradually transform your lust back into its original state, pure love for Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 25 August 2008

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

Sri Vyas Puja


Here at Bhaktivedanta Ashram today is Sri Vyas Puja, the most auspicious appearance day of my spiritual master, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It is no accident that Srila Prabhupada appeared the day after Krishna's appearance day. It is a special arrangement of the Lord to see that His pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada, is especially honored in a way that is befitting his position, which is as good as that of the Supreme Lord Himself. Of course, it is not that the spiritual master is God. It is rather that he is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Not Follow a Path Appropriate for Your Birth?


Hare Krishna!

In your previous email I read that worshiping even Shiva or Brahma is not the same as surrendering to Krishna. But then you say that devoting to Jesus or Allah or Krishna is the same? This has confused me. Are you saying that chanting 108 rounds of Allah's name everyday will have same result as chanting Krishna's name? In that case, since you were born Christian, why did you chose to worship Krishna over Jesus or Allah which would be closer to you being of Abrahmic descent?

Hare Ram!

Ankush

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Answer: Why Rebind Yourself to Your Source of Bondage?

While it's true that God is one, this does not mean that everyone is God. There are two concepts here. One is fully surrendering oneself unto the Supreme Lord. The other is approaching the demigods for the fulfillment of material desires. There is a gulf of difference between these pathways.

The path of full surrender to the Lord Supreme is the path of pure bhakti. It is also known as nivritti marga, the path of decreasing material enjoyment to the point of nil. The other path of worshipping the demigods for the fulfillment of material desires is known as pravitti marga, the path of increasing material enjoyment.

Although chanting the Hare Krishna mantra is the most beneficial of all mantras for achieving the supreme perfection of pure bhakti, one can also chant the names of God as given in other scriptures and gradually achieve the same goal which is achieved quickly by chanting the Hare Krishna mantra.

There is no question of choosing Krishna over the God Who Christ and Mohammed taught about. There is only one Supreme Lord. The demigods such as Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva are in a lesser position. They are servants of God. I am chanting Hare Krishna because although it is not the only way to realize God, it is the quickest and most effective means of achieving spiritual perfection.

One's choice of a pathway back to home, back to Godhead has nothing to do with one's birth. Simply one should find a bona fide spiritual master and seriously follow his instructions. That's all. Taking our bodily designation as a determining factor regarding our pathway choice is counter-productive because such an approach rebinds us to the very thing that we are trying to become liberated from.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 24 August 2008

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

Sri Krishna Janmastami


Here at Bhaktivedanta Ashram today is Janmastami, the most auspicious appearance day of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. What greater mercy could the Supreme Lord have upon us than to so kindly appear 5,000 years ago amongst us, moving about on this planet with us in a form that is visible for all to see? And even though during His later pastimes here Krishna was quite elderly, by material standards having many grandchildren, still he always maintained the body of a 16-20 years old youth. This is God's potency. He is not subject to the restrictive laws of this material nature. This is confirmed as follows in the Brahma-samhita:

advaitam acyutam anadim ananta-rupam
adyam purana-purusam nava-yauvanam ca
vedesu durlabham adurlabham atma-bhaktau
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is inaccessible to the Vedas, but obtainable by pure unalloyed devotion of the soul, who is without a second, who is not subject to decay, is without a beginning, whose form is endless, who is the beginning, and the eternal purusha; yet He is a person possessing the beauty of blooming youth."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Another Name for Krishna?

To a question by a devotee, the explanation you gave was that Christ is the son of Krishna and that Allah is another name of Krishna. This is a little odd. Why should Krishna be known with another name?

With best regards,
your humble sevak,
Damodar B.

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Answer: Unlimited Names

It is indeed odd that you find it odd for God to another name besides "Krishna." You are not thinking very deeply. If even an ordinary man of this world can have many names, why God can only have name? For example, an ordinary man of this world can be called by so many different names depending on whether he is addressed by his wife, his child, his friend, his parent, or his boss. Is it reasonable to think that a person of this world can exceed God in any way? No, it is not at all reasonable. Therefore since God is unlimited, He can have hundreds and millions names.

Since Krishna is the Supreme Lord any name which refers to the Supreme Lord, even if it is from outside of the Vedic culture, can still be accepted as a name for Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 23 August 2008

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

Scientific Religion


Genuine religion is scientific. It not based on dogma and blind faith. Science means to know things as they are free from illusion or confusion. And real religion means to fully connect oneself in perfect harmony with the supreme truth, the origin of all existence. So science is perfect knowledge of the truth and religion means to act in perfect accordance with that knowledge. Therefore they are in perfect harmony with each other. The perfect religionist must also necessarily be the perfect scientist. And the one who is perfect in scientific understanding must also necessarily be a perfect religionist.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Spiritualize the Entire Planet?

Regarding your e-mail on spiritualizing the entire planet, do you really think that this is possible in this day and age? We are living in the age of Kali, which lasts 432000 years. This is the age of lies, deceit, hypocrisy, and pretence? How can we wish or hope for something that is realistically impossible at this time? It is true that we will be able to get a few people to follow the spiritual path and act spiritually, but to think that the entire planet can become spiritually enlightened is surely unrealistic thinking.

Living Virtuously,

Veeren Rampersad

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Answer: By God's Grace Anything is Possible

Of course, from a material point of view it is completely impossible that this entire planet could be inundated in a spiritual revolution. Such an idea is most unrealistic. But our scriptures predict that such a thing will happen. Therefore we have to understand that by God's grace even the impossible can become possible.

In this connection you may consider the words of Krishna Das Kaviraj as given in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

saj-jana, durjana, pangu, jada, andha-gana
prema-vanyaya dubaila jagatera jana

"The Krishna consciousness movement will inundate the entire world and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman, a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind."
---Caitanya Caritamrita Ādi 7.26

So the question is, "Should we trust our imperfect senses or trust the Vedic scriptures?" Of course, one could argue that trusting the Vedic scriptures is not being scientific. But when we see the repeated accuracy of the Vedic scriptures, which have again and again correctly foreseen the future, we can intelligently and reasonably put our faith in their predictions.

Of course, it may take many thousands of years for the above prediction to fully manifest. But at least we can begin planting the seeds of that future spiritual revolution now for the benefit of the future generations. And if we strive very diligently to make that spiritual revolution happen as soon as possible, what is the harm? At least our lives will have been fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness, and all those whose lives we touched will have been greatly benefited. And who knows? Krishna can do anything. If our desire to see global re-spiritualization is strong enough, Krishna can make it happen even during our lifetimes. There is nothing more virtuous than dedicating ourselves 24/7 for the deliverance of all living entities from the cycle of birth and death. This is the highest level understanding of living virtuously.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 22 August 2008

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

Re-Spiritualization of this Entire Planet


Here in the ambrosial atmosphere of Bhaktivedanta Ashram where we are blessed with the association of Sri Sri Radha Damodar and so many wonderful, sincere devotees I am feeling myself to be most fortunate. I humbly pray to my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, for his blessings that I can be perfectly pure in my practice of Krishna consciousness and that I can always be fully absorbed in serving his mission of bringing about the complete re-spiritualization of this entire planet as soon as possible. There would certainly be nothing more wonderful than to see the entire planet become Krishna conscious during my lifetime. Even though such a transformation seems completely impossible, still my heart steadfastly yearns for it and I beg Lord Sri Krishna for His special mercy of seeing it happen during my lifetime and for the privilege of being allowed to play a part in making it happen.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Clap and Dance?

I preached about Krishna Consciousness to a friend and he started coming to our temple, for about 2 months. There is one thing that he can't accept is the clapping and dancing in front of Sri Krishna. He says prayers should be performed very seriously and with attentive mood. Please guide me how to convince him and provide a explanations on why we have to clap and dance.

Thanks a lot for all your blessing's and guidance.

Hare Krishna

Your humble servant

Shanker

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Answer: The Highest Form of Prayer, Meditation, and Worship

This clapping and dancing, the performance of sankirtana (congregational chanting) is not mundane. In this age it is the highest form of prayer, meditation, and worship. Those who are highly advanced in spiritual realization dedicate their lives to be absorbed in sankirtana as much as possible for the achieving the supreme spiritual perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead. This is confirmed as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

krishna-varnam tvishakrishnam
sangopangastra-parshadam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair
yajanti hi su-medhasah


SYNONYMS

krishna-varnam -- repeating the syllables krish-na; tvisha -- with a luster; akrishnam -- not black (golden); sa-anga -- along with associates; upa-anga -- servitors; astra -- weapons; parshadam -- confidential companions; yajnaih -- by sacrifice; sankirtana-prayaih -- consisting chiefly of congregational chanting; yajanti -- they worship; hi -- certainly; su-medhasah -- intelligent persons.

TRANSLATION

In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.

--Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32

I hope this convinces your friend to dive into the sweet ocean of sankirtana rasa.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 21 August 2008

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

Beware of Bluffers


This material world is plagued by a profusion of charlatans, bluffers who pretend to know things as they are, but who in fact are only speculating. Because our modern day civilization is being conducted under the guidance of such fools and rascals, this planet has become so much degraded that it is becoming more and more uninhabitable with each passing year. Instead of taking our guidance from such misguided persons we should instead understand the difference between reality and illusion from those persons who have actually seen the truth. Otherwise, it is simply a matter of the blind leading the blind with both the leader and the follower ending up in the ditch.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Different Versions of Gita


I have a copy of the Song of God Bhagavad-Gita, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, Intro. by Aldous Huxley.

Is this different from the Bhagavad-gita As It Is version?

Thank you.

Dianne

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Answer: As It Is, and As It Is Not

The Bhagavad-gita edition that you mentioned presents an incorrect description of the Supreme Truth which is not in accord with the actual teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. It takes advantage of the Bhagavad-gita's popularity to present a view which is contrary to the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. This occurs in a section entitled "The Cosmology of the Gita." This section describes the Supreme Truth as Brahman without existence or attributes. In this way the Prabhavananda-Ishwerwood edition presents a Supreme Truth which is impersonal. This directly contradicts the personal conception of the Supreme Truth, which is clearly described as follows in Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 10:

arjuna uvaca
param brahma param dhama
pavitram paramam bhavan
purusham sasvatam divyam
adi-devam ajam vibhum

ahus tvam rishayah sarve
devarshir naradas tatha
asito devalo vyasah
svayam caiva bravishi me

"Arjuna said:
You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth.
You are the eternal, transcendental,
original person, the unborn, the greatest.

All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita,
Devala and Vyāsa confirm this truth about You,
and now You Yourself are declaring it to me."

--Bhagavad-gita 10.12-13

In short, the Bhagavad-gita clearly reveals that the Supreme Truth as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, not as non-existing attributeless Brahman. The Prabhavanand-Isherwood edition is covering the clear statements of truth given in the Bhagavad-gita with the cloud of mental speculation.

If we want to understand the Bhagavad-gita as it was originally given to Arjuna, we should simply take what is directly stated by Krishna without trying to add some indirect interpretation of its meaning. Interpretation is only necessary when things are unclear. Just like if I tell you that I live in a house on the river, it will be unclear whether my house is on the bank of the river or it is a houseboat floating on the river. So some interpretation or further clarification will be required. But if something is clearly stated, there is no need for interpretation. When Bhagavad-gita clearly states that the person Krishna is the Absolute Truth, why do they explain the Absolute Truth differently as non-existing, attributeless Brahman? Such speculation should not published under the name of Bhagavad-gita. If they want to independently speculate that is their business, but they should not do so in the name of Krishna's immortal, timeless words of wisdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 20 August 2008

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

Unfailing in all Circumstances


The key to success on the self-realization path is to simply stay on the path always heading in the right direction. No matter how slowly one may be progressing, if he will simply remain on the path, sooner or later he is guaranteed to achieve the goal. Therefore the most important characteristic for spiritual progress is steadiness. In other words, one has to always accept those things that are favorable for his Krishna consciousness and always reject those things that are not. In a very detached way one has to cut away from his life whatever stands in the way of his quickly achieving the ultimate goal. Krishna assures us that by adopting this mood of unfailing devotional service that we will immediately attain the transcendental platform:

mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena
bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitan
brahma-bhuyaya kalpate


"One who engages in full devotional service,
unfailing in all circumstances,
at once transcends the modes of material nature
and thus comes to the level of Brahman."
--Bhagavad-gita 14.26

Who is that person who after hearing this would not like to take full advantage of Lord Sri Krishna's liberating mercy? Only a person who is unwilling to open his mind.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Only Krishna?

Are not Christ (the son of God) and Allah (the universal) the same as Lord Krishna? Why not surrender to them? Why only to Lord Krishna just because I am born as a Hindu?

Awaiting your reply.

Hare Krishna

Rajeev

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Answer: Why Not? He is the Supreme Person

Krishna is God, the Father. Jesus Christ is His son. Allah is another name for Krishna. God is one, but He has many names. No matter what you were born as, you are still meant to surrender to that supreme person who is the source of existence. That person is Krishna, but He goes by many other names as well.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 19 August 2008

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

The Sweet Nectar of Krishna's Names


If we want to taste the sweetest, most inconceivably sublime nectar, all we have to do is take complete shelter of Lord Krishna's most wonderful and merciful holy names. Of course since God is unlimited He has unlimited thousands, millions, and billions of names. But out of His unlimited names the Vedic scriptures in the Kali Santarana Upanishad specifically recommend that we chant one particular mantra because it is the most powerful and effective mantra for achieving spiritual perfection in the present highly degraded age of Kali. That mantra is as follows:

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

Since the more we give our undivided attention to these sweet names, the more intensely we connect with them, it is advised that we should rise early and chant our daily quota during the most peaceful, undisturbed time of the day before sunrise. If we will regularly chant the Hare Krishna mantra in this way on a daily basis, we will rapidly advance on the pathway of pure bhakti and gradually qualify ourselves to regain our original identities as inhabitants of that wondrous eternal spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Moon and Cloning


I was going through the book "Easy Journey to other Planets." It says that on the moon there is life and is being ruled by a demigod named Candra. Please show some light on this phrase as the moon has already been explored by mankind and there was no life found on the moon.

Secondly our scriptures say that soul is unborn and indestructible. But nowadays scientists are making the clone for animals, so how is this possible as soul is unborn?

Please show me light and shower your blessings.

Thanks,

Haribol!
Gaurav Gupta

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Answer: Landing without Clearing Customs

Even though one may physically enter a country, if he does not have a visa he will not be allowed to clear customs. So if even by the force of mechanical rocket some astronauts were able to land on the moon planet, without the permission of Candra, the presiding deity of the moon, they would not be allowed the enter into the precincts of the highly advanced civilization there. And even if the astronauts actually landed on the moon, they only examined a very small portion of it. So you cannot rightfully argue that the moon has been explored by mankind. It certainly has not.

Regarding cloning, the soul always remains unborn. But if Krishna sanctions, the unborn soul may enter into a cloned body. Kindly read the following article on cloning for more information:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/cloning/

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Monday 18 August 2008

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

Never Accept Defeat


Before 5,000 years ago in the Vedic times the ksatriyas were especially noted for their chivalry and heroism. Even in recent times within the last few centuries the royal order of kings in Rajasthan were also noted in this way. Such royal order would never accept defeat. They would either win the battle or they would die in the battle. They would never flee the battlefield or surrender to the enemy.

This is a historical example in this connection. There was a Rajasthani king named Yasomanta Sena, who was the commander-in-chief of Emperor Aurangzeb. In one fight he was defeated, and he came back to his home. When his wife heard that her husband had been defeated and that he had returned home she asked the caretaker to close the door of the palace. When Yasomanta Sena came there and saw that his palace door was closed he sent a message to the queen, "Why you have closed the door? I have come home." When messenger came to the queen and informed her that the king has come and he is asking for the door to be opened, the queen replied, "Who is the king? Yasomanta Sena. Not this man. Yasomanta Sena cannot come home being defeated. Yasomanta Sena will either be victorious in battle or he will lay down his body there dead. So the man who has come must be an imposter. He is not King Yasomanta Sena." So she refused to open the door. This is the ksatriya spirit.

This same sort of do or die determination has also been many times demonstrated by those who are on the path of bhakti yoga. During the communist era when the Soviet government was trying to destroy the Krishna consciousness movement in the Soviet Union, some or our devotees accepted death at the hands of the demons rather than giving up Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Complaint: You Ignore Krishna


Please accept my humble obeisances.

I am not satisfied with your writing and giving lectures about Krishna consciousness. You just talk about everything ignoring Sri Krishna. When Srila Prabhupada lectures every word contains about Krishna. He always refers everything related to Krishna. Your lectures talks about the solutions without explaining and describing about Sri Krishna.

Don't accept this email by any wrong means for disturbing you. Just we like to hear only about Krishna in your every lecture and discussion.

From Sidharth,

Bangkok

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Answer: Real vs. Pseudo Krishna Consciousness

Before you make such complaints you should properly understand what is Krishna. I am surprised that you would write me in such a way. I have been accused many times over the last 38 years since I fully dedicated my life to spreading the glories of Lord Sri Krishna all over the world. But it is most surprising to be told that I am ignoring Krishna.

In my writing and in my lectures I directly say the name "Krishna" thousands and thousands of times. For example, in this short email of three paragraphs I am stating Krishna's name more than a dozen times. In addition to this, in each and every word I am presenting the teachings of Krishna. Since the teachings of Krishna and Krishna Himself are one and the same, I am doing nothing except glorifying Krishna in each and every word. So you cannot rightfully say that I am ignoring Krishna. I am connecting my readers with Krishna in each and every word that I write.

We have to be very careful to avoid the trap of only wanting to hear about the person Krishna and His pastimes to the exclusion of His teachings. This is known as sahijiyaism, and is very detrimental for our spiritual progress. If we want to factually be connected with Krishna we must fully understand and implement the teachings of Lord Krishna as given in the Bhagavad-gita. This is real Krishna consciousness not the pseudo Krishna consciousness of only wanting to hear about the person Krishna and not taking any interest in His teachings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 17 August 2008

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

Restoring Bhagavat Dharma


Things nowadays throughout the entire world have gotten extremely off track and are spiraling downwards increasingly every day. We are plagued by incompetent leaders at every stratum of the global society who do not recognize the supreme proprietorship of the Lord and thus futilely try to exert their own so-called lordship instead over that which factually belongs to Krishna. This creates a very incompatible situation for the citizens of planet earth, not only for the human citizens but for the non-human citizens as well such as plants, trees, fish, birds, and animals. The planet earth is therefore crying for that day when enlightened spiritual masters will again be recognized as the factual leaders of the human society and the happy days of Bhagavat Dharma will be restored throughout the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Self-Realized?


Guru Maharaja,

How does one become self-realized?

Padma

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Answer: Approach a Spiritual Master

One simply has to approach a bona fide spiritual master, hear from him, inquire from him, and serve him. This is confirmed in the Mundaka Upanishad where it is ordered that if one wants to become self-realized, one must approach a spiritual master:

tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
--Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12

In this verse the word "evabhiagacchet" means that one MUST approach a spiritual master. So there is no question of it being optional; it must be done. And one must carry out the order of the spiritual master and the order of the sastra, or scripture. When you follow without considering whether it is convenient or inconvenient, simply because it must be done, that is called tapasya. And such tapasya will quickly elevate you to the self-realization platform.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 16 August 2008

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

Lose a Battle But Win the War


It is expected that in the war against maya that the neophyte devotee with sometimes have difficulty and experience setbacks. However this should not at all be a source of discouragement for him. If he will learn how to intelligently capitalize on whatever mistakes he has made, those experiences instead of being setbacks will be stepping stones on his path to perfection. He should never become discouraged and think that losing a battle here or there means that he will lose the war. Even the greatest conquering heroes in world history sometimes lost a battle. If they had let that discourage them, they would have never achieved the great success for which they became famous. Because they did not let that defeat discourage them, they continued fighting with determination and proceeded steadily forward to ultimate victory.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Origin of the Soul


I've been reading your stuff for a little while, now and then. I don't understand something. I also have a book I've been reading, named "Jaiva Dharma". This book is written by a person named Bhaktivinode Thakur. It says there that the soul did not fall from the spiritual world, that it came from the tatastha sakti, and that the soul, called jiva, was never in the spiritual world. Do you believe in Bhaktivinode Thakur? Why would anyone want to be envious of God, if there is so much happiness in the spiritual world? It makes more sense what this Jaiva book says. What book do you study to present your conclusion?

Thank you,

Shirley

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Answer: The Soul Originates in Krishna

I have noted your question with care, and I shall also reply with care according to the revealed knowledge of the great mahajanas, the great realized souls who have carefully passed down to us the timeless Vedic wisdom. I beg you to kindly read and try to understand the full import of my reply.

We do not simply read one book and then take it out of context due to not being properly guided by a bona spiritual master. Nor do we doubt the words of any great Vaisnava Acharya such as Bhaktivinode Thakur. In the Prema-pradipa, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur states:

"When he is imprisoned in the material world, the spirit soul does not lose his original spiritual form, the form he had in the spiritual world of Vaikuntha. However, because of contact with matter the imprisoned soul loses the memory of his original spiritual form in Vaikuntha. Still, his original spiritual form does not cease to exist. The soul's faith, desire and happiness are then directed toward matter. The soul's rasas, which were originally manifested in the spiritual world, are then perverted and reflected into the pains, pleasures and various other states in the material world."

I have not read anywhere in Bhaktivinode Thakur's writings found the concept that the jiva was never in the spiritual world. The Jaiva Dharma is written in Bengali language. Perhaps you are reading a version that was not properly translated. Nor have you provided me a verbatim quote. You have merely paraphrased according to your own understanding.

You are wondering why anyone would be envious of God when there is so much happiness in the spiritual world. It is not difficult to understand. If an inhabitant of the spiritual world sometimes thinks that maybe I could be even more happy than I am now if I were God Himself, he finds himself immediately in the material world, where he is given a chance to try being the center of the universe to see how he likes it. And then when he realizes how foolish such a desire is, he immediately wakes up from his foolish dream and resumes his eternal service to the Lord in His ecstatic pastimes.

The tatastha shakti refers to the border line between the spiritual and material energies. It is translated into English as the "marginal energy." When one arrives in the material energy he has certainly come from the tatastha shakti because that is the crossing point between the spiritual and material energies. Just like if someone enters the USA, his crossing point is the border. But if we ask him where he is from, he cannot rightfully say that he is from the border. No, he has come from another country to enter the US and has merely crossed the border to do so.

We can easily understand our origin by hearing from the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna Himself who clearly states in the Bhagavad-gita that everything emanates from Him:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate

"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds.
Everything emanates from Me. "
Bhagavad-gita 10.8

So our ultimate origin is the transcendental body of Lord Sri Krishna, Who eternally resides in the spiritual world. Try to understand that since we originate from Krishna Who is in the spiritual world, we also must necessarily be originally situated in the spiritual world as His emanations. If an automobile manufacturing plant is located in a particular country, the cars that it produces are also naturally from the same country in which the manufacturing plant is situated, even if they are exported to a different country.

I have noted that you have included the words "need to be free again" in your email address This is a very nice statement of the factual reality. It means that previously the person was free, but that now he is no longer free and is feeling the need to be free again. You've hit the nail right on the head! You were originally in a state of perfect freedom in the spiritual sky, and now you can return back home, back to Godhead to your original free state through the most sublime ultimate self realization process.

I hope this helps to clarify this matter and that you are in the best of health and an ecstatic mood.

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 15 August 2008

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

Warrior or Worrier?

It is oftentimes said that the best defense is a good offense, and in the self-realization process this is certainly most precisely and undoubtedly true. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, said that we have to declare war against maya, the Lord's illusory energy. By taking this aggressive position of attacking the material energy we will make steady advancement in driving it out of our hearts. Actually we have no choice in this connection. Maya has already invaded our hearts and taken over our consciousness. The only way we can get a foothold on the spiritual platform is to defeat maya with the weapon of transcendental knowledge. As soon as we assume this aggressive warrior stance, life becomes an exciting adventure of advancing steadily in Krishna consciousness. But if we remain in a weak feeble position wondering whether we should take Krishna consciousness seriously or not, the anxieties of material existence will continue to weigh heavily upon our hearts. Instead of being ecstatic transcendental warriors, we will be frustrated worriers.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Meaning of My Dream?

Yesterday you came in my dreams. I'm explaining to people that you send messages via e-mail about Lord Krishna through a course called "Ultimate Self Realization." I had the luck to talk to you at least through dreams, and you talked to me like you know me from before. Please be kind to explain the meaning of the dream.

Hari bol,

Your humble servant,

Meera

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Answer: Guru is Calling You to Surrender to Krishna

When the spiritual master appears in your dreams this is his special mercy upon you to induce you to take up seriously the process of Krishna bhakti for gaining salvation from the cycle of birth and death. The spiritual master is calling you to now fully surrender yourself to Lord Sri Krishna. This is the meaning.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 14 August 2008

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

Scientists or Dogmatists?

By consulting a dictionary we can understand that someone who holds a viewpoint which is based upon insufficiently examined premises is a dogmatist. In other words instead of basing his understanding on sound observation, reasoning, and analysis, he blindly accepts things without due consideration. And on the other hand, a scientist is someone who after careful observation, investigation, and consideration possesses factual knowledge of things as they are as distinguished from ignorance, illusion, or speculation.

So my question is: According to the above definitions are the modern day scientists actually scientists, or are they dogmatists?

The modern day scientists cling tightly to the idea that life comes from matter. But yet there is not even one scientifically verifiable example of a living thing being produced from dead matter. The concept that life arises from a chance combination of material elements is mere speculation. It has simply been pulled out of the air. The real situation is quite different. We see everywhere around us that life comes from life. We see that living beings are produced by other living beings. Based on simple empirical observation we can easily see that the concept "Life comes from life," is a valid scientific principle and that the concept "Life comes from matter," lacks scientific validity. Therefore we can rightfully and positively conclude that the so-called scientists are in fact dogmatists. They are not scientists at all, although through the art of sophisticated word jugglery they are very expert at posing themselves as such.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Constant Problems?

I am regularly reading your "Thought for the Day" without fail. Every day when I go on the Internet I first of all read your ultimate self-realization email. When I read your words I feel very energized and blessed by Krishna to increase my Krishna consciousness. But why is Lord Krishna giving me constant problems?

Your servant,

Vanga

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Answer: Constant Blessings

You are mistaken in thinking that Krishna is giving you constant problems. You must transcendentalize your vision to see how Krishna is giving you constant blessings, because every apparent problem is another opportunity to increase your surrender unto Lord Sri Krishna more and more and thus become more and more blissful in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 13 August 2008

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

Blissfully Dealing with Adversity


Things go wrong in this world all the time. This is why this place is known as the material world. If things went right here all the time, this would be the spiritual world, not the material world. We can, however, by an adjustment of our consciousness always live in the spiritual world even though we are still physically situated in the material world. That adjustment is that we have to see everything, and I am mean absolutely everything, as the special mercy of Krishna or God upon us to help us purify our consciousness so we can return to Him as soon as possible. If we see everything in this light, we will always feel blissful even though facing sometimes the most difficult, devastating calamities. This is what the science of Krishna consciousness is all about. It teaches us how to always blissfully deal with adversity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did We Fall?

Physical body is my pain! Somewhere in my soul I know that this material world is not my real home. Here I feel strange and very bad.

Why did we fall down from the spiritual world. What wrong did we do in the spiritual world?

With respect,

Violeta

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Answer: We Were Envious of God

Originally we were in the kingdom of God, but when we became envious of the Supreme we found ourselves here in the material world making a futile attempt to be the center of the universe. But there is no reason to despair. The Lord is our loving father. All we have to do is surrender ourselves to Him, and He will gladly bring us back to our original home in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 12 August 2008

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

Remaining Compassionate

In this world of envious, agitated people we repeatedly experience abuse from those who are trying to lord it over us. What should we do when this happens? The most important thing is to always protect our Krishna consciousness. If a dog barks at me, will I bark back? No, I will not because I understand that he is simply a dog and is therefore lacking any understanding of what is proper behavior and what is improper behavior. Envious, angry people are often looking for a fight and will try to provoke our anger so we will descend to their platform and fight with them. When this happens we should be compassionate upon them by keeping our cool and repaying their envy and anger with Krishna conscious love. Lord Caitanya says that if we remain always more tolerant than a tree, we can chant the holy names of the Lord constantly. Just consider how tolerant a tree is. It endures so many severe weather conditions but goes on continually rendering the service of providing shade, fruits, and flowers no matter what difficulties it must face. Similarly one who is advanced in Krishna consciousness shows the same symptoms of always acting for the welfare of others without being disturbed by their immaturity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Guru Deserved?


Thank you for inspiring me in my spiritual life. Please answer this question for me:

If a devotee takes refuge in a bona fide spiritual master, is it because he deserves it?

Your student,

Jagat Pavitram Das

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Answer: His Shelter is Causeless Mercy

When a jiva soul is blessed with the refuge of a bona fide spiritual master this does not happen because he deserves it. It is the causeless combined mercy of guru and Krishna upon him. Causeless mercy means that he did not deserve that shelter as the result of any previous activity. This greatest of all good fortunes was thus causelessly bestowed upon him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 11 August 2008

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

The Supreme Adventure


Who wants to live a dull, drab 9 to 5 sort of existence, squeezing whatever pleasure they can out of a temporary, miserable material body, when one can instead taste the most exciting, adventurous life of a spiritual revolutionary at the vanguard, the cutting edge, of world history? Only those who are uninformed would make the mistake of not living a life overflowing with the sweetest nectar. Therefore those who are so fortunate to have received the unlimited mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu make their lives perfect by solidly situating themselves on the path of bhakti and then inviting everyone else to also experience the supreme adventure by devoting themselves to the Supreme Person.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Present Now?


Hare Krishna!

Please guide me...

Is Krishna present now? If yes, in what avatar?
If not, then why not? Where is he?

With reverence,

Rishi Kumar Aggarwal
New Delhi

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Answer: See Him Everywhere

Krishna is undoubtedly present everywhere at this very moment. In His expanded form, the Supersoul or Paramatma, He is within every atom and also between the atoms. This is compared to TV show broadcast waves, which are present everywhere in the atmosphere of a big city. But unless you have a TV set tuned in to the proper channel, you will not be able to see or hear the TV show.

Similarly, even though Krishna is present everywhere as the Supersoul, only those who are self realized, i.e. only those have a properly functioning TV set within their hearts can perceive Him. The spiritual master is the TV repairman who awakens us to self-realization so that we become empowered by devotion to see Krishna everywhere within and without.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 10 August 2008

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

Freedom from the Shackles of Illusion


We cannot sit idly by and allow the human population to be so grossly misguided. We have to speak up and speak out against the Godless gross ignorance and extreme selfishness that are becoming more and more predominant in the human society. We should no longer allow the misguided fools and rascals to pressure us to joining them in a life of sense gratification. Of course, since misery enjoys company, they are always going to pressure us to join them in the shackles of illusion. But fools rush in where angels fear to tread. We are not doing them or ourselves any favors by remaining shackled along with them. The best thing we can do for the suffering humanity is to first ourselves become liberated from serving our senses by complete absorption in serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead and then to fully dedicate our lives for delivering them from the shackles of illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: No Spiritual Master


Hare Krishna,

Please accept my pranams. I am now in the first stage of taking serious actions towards Krishna consciousness. Though I have been praying almost 20 years, I don't think I am entirely Krishna conscious.

Dear Guru, I am struggling with the fact that I haven't met a spiritual master who can guide me. So Krishna guides me. What advice do you have for me to improve my devotion?

Kirtie

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Answer: Follow this Process

My Dear Kirtie,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Don't worry. I can now guide you how to attain spiritual perfection and thus become delivered from the cycle of birth and death.

You have rightly understood your need for a spiritual master. And it is also nice that you are taking the guidance of Sri Krishna. If we accept Krishna as our guide, we must then follow the instruction He gives us in the Bhagavad-gita to approach a spiritual master, hear and inquire from him, and serve him.

My best advice to you is that you must carefully study the Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and that you should regularly chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra:

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

Once you have established studying and chanting as a regular daily routine, you may inquire from me further.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 9 August 2008

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

Who Are Our Leaders?

Who are our leaders? Our leaders are those persons who show us how to end the repetition of birth and death. Anyone who cannot show us how to escape this material existence is not qualified to be our leader. Because the modern day world society is presently being led by unqualified men who have no idea what is the purpose of human existence, the entire world society has been plunged into a rapidly deteriorating quagmire which is at best only a show of a human society. It's time we stop following the pathway of those who are in darkness and follow the golden road of unlimited devotion as chalked out by the acharyas, the great saintly teachers. This and only this will make us happy and rectify the chronically problematic world situation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Qualification for Going Back to Home


I have been told by some senior devotees in ISKCON that If I get initiated and seriously and sincerely to the best of my ability follow the sadhana bhakti path, chant my 16 rounds daily etc, that at the end of this life I will go back to Godhead -Goloka Vrindavan.

Did Srila Prabhupada say this, and where in sastra is the confirmation of this statement?

Hare Krishna

Your servant,
Kalpana

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Answer: Follow this Process

Yes, what you have been told is confirmed by Srila Prabhupada. In his purport to Bhagavad-gita 18.57 he explains:

"If one gets a bona fide spiritual master and acts according to his direction, then one's perfection of life in Krishna consciousness is guaranteed."

It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

mat-karma-krin mat-paramo
mad-bhaktah sanga-varjitah
nirvairah sarva-bhuteshu
yah sa mam eti pandava


"My dear Arjuna, he who engages in My pure devotional service, free from the contaminations of fruitive activities and mental speculation, he who works for Me, who makes Me the supreme goal of his life, and who is friendly to every living being--he certainly comes to Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 11.55

One may wonder how the above verse is a confirmation of Srila Prabhupada's statement. This is very easy to understand. Because the spiritual master engages the disciple in following exactly this instruction of Krishna, Krishna guarantees that by following the spiritual master's instructions that the disciple will attain Krishna.

So, are you now ready to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 8 August 2008

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

True Eloquence


Truth is by its very nature eloquent. It is all beautiful and all wonderful in its simplicity. It does not require to be laboriously analyzed in volumes and volumes of dense and ponderous philosophical tomes. It, like a dazzling sunrise on a flower-fresh spring morning, is a wonder to behold. It is close to us as our very selves. We do not have to spend millions and billions of dollars on outer space exploration to fully connect with and realize the source of all existence. We simply have to open our hearts to that Supreme Person from Whom everything is emanating at every minute, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

In this connection it is very aptly stated in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

"mitam ca sāram ca vaco hi vāgmitā" iti

"Essential truth spoken concisely is true eloquence."

--CC Adi 1.106

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: 16 Rounds Immediately or Gradually?

I will try to follow your advice and develop myself spiritually. Should I start directly with 16 rounds or gradually increase it? And I will also try to be in touch with you thru your daily thoughts.

Regards,

Your student,

Krishnan K M

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Answer: Immediately If Possible

The best thing is to immediately begin chanting at least 16 rounds every day. After all, life is short. We can die at any time. So the ideal thing is to take fully to Krishna consciousness as quickly as possible to give ourselves the best shot at going back to home, back to Godhead in this very lifetime.

Of course if chanting at least 16 rounds every day is not possible in the beginning, rather than not chant at all one may adopt a lesser number and then gradually increase. But kindly note in this connection that even though Krishna consciousness is a gradual process we should not make it any more gradual than it has to be.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Thursday 7 August 2008

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

Are You in Maya or in Krishna Consciousness?

We have a choice at every minute to either be in the material energy or the spiritual energy. To be in maya means to be under the influence of the material energy. And to be in Krishna consciousness means to be under the influence of the spiritual energy. If we want to stay out of maya and always be in Krishna consciousness, we have to very aggressively stand up to and counteract the all-pervading influence of maya. In this grossly materialistic age of Kali the influence of maya is everywhere. Practically every song, every movie, every magazine, every book, every university course, every web site, every conversation, etc. is being conducted under maya's influence. Therefore in order to be successfully situated on the transcendental platform one has to himself become a powerful spiritual influence upon the materialistic atmosphere rather than be powerfully influenced by it. In other words, one has to become spiritually empowered by taking complete shelter of guru, Krishna and Vaisnavas. In this way one will become a beacon, an illuminating influence, in the dark night of Kali and will not be pulled down into maya. Just as a doctor remains healthy even while associating with so many sick people, the devotee of the Lord does not become contaminated by his regular interactions with the material energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do I Reply?


I am troubled today. I have a college classmate who insists that in my pursuance of Krishna Consciousness I am losing my identity. I beg to differ. I feel I am finding my identity. I used to think I was a crippled, middle-aged woman but through your grace and studying Bhagavad-Gita I have found that I am instead an eternal spirit soul encased in a physical body. And this physical body isn't even really alive. As soon as I leave it, it will rot and corrupt.

My classmate says that I am being misled, but I believe it is the first time in my life I have truly been led to truth. How do I reply to her? I have tried to explain but obviously didn't do a very good job because she won't budge from her position.

Thank You so much for Your time and attention... Hari Bol!

Your student,

Brenda Lee Riley

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Answer: What is Her Conception of the Self?

Just because she did not budge from position does not necessarily mean that you did not do a good job of explaining to her. Some people are so intellectually constipated that even if your explanation is perfect in all ways, they will not budge even one millionth of an inch from their position.

You have not been misled. You are awakening your actual sense of identity, which has been sleeping within you for your entire life, but was covered over by false materialistic propaganda.

Ask her what is her conception of the self. If she explains her identity in relationship to her body, point out to her that even though the chemicals and molecules that constitute her body are changing at every second, she has a sense of identity going all the way back to her babyhood. This sense of identity which stands beyond so many changes of the body is the real spiritual self that you have discovered. If she takes the body as the self, it is she who has been misled.

If she says that you are misled because you have not accepted Jesus, you can explain that you follow Jesus better than the modern day Christians because you strictly follow all religious principles. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not kill", but all over the world the Christians are running gigantic slaughterhouses cruelly murdering thousands and millions of innocent animals. So who is being misled? Those who don't even follow their own scriptures or those who do follow their scriptures? Those who connect with their actual self or those who do not do so?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Wednesday 6 August 2008

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

The Big Bang

Many scientists tell us the origin of the universe is a big bang. If there is an explosion in our neighborhood, the police will come to investigate to see what was the cause of the explosion. If we tell them that the explosion came spontaneously out of nowhere, they will not believe it. They will want to know who caused the explosion. Therefore it is nonsensical to consider that the supreme source of all that exists is a big bang. Therefore we refuse to accept such dogma. Man is meant to use his rationality to seek out the ultimate cause of all existence. He is not meant to blindly accept such irrational theories.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: There is Nothing Except God


Hari Om,

It was really funny to read your answer. With due respect I beg to differ. Two days back also I wrote about this. I will be repeating this since I am quoting straight from scriptures. There is no difference between Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu or Lord Brahma. None of them are demigods the way you have written. They are the symbolic representation of one truth, one reality Brahman. Everything in this world are HIS manifestations. In Hinduism people think there are millions of gods. Those who have studied some Puranas know that there is ONLY ONE God. But those who have studied scriptures-- Vedas and Upanishads go one step further and would say there is ONLY GOD nothing else.

So everything we perceive are His expression only. Since Vedas and Upanishads are the valid means of authority and Bhagavad-gita is in essence Upanishads only, so it is wrong to say in any other way. Since you believe in Lord Krishna, HE is Supreme. I believe in Brahman and so to me Lord Ganesh, or Lord Shiva or Lord Krishna are one and the same and are supreme. So please don't send wrong message through your answer. It is very painful.

Pranams.

Sukanya

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Answer: There is God and Us

From: Bhaktivedanta Ashram--Austin, Texas USA

My Dear Sukanya,

Please accept my blessings.

With all due respect to your good self, we beg to poignantly point out the discrepancies in your philosophical arguments.

You have stated that it is funny to read our answer, but we see how funny your statements are because while you claim to be quoting from scriptures, you do not give even one sastric reference. We back up our statements with direct sastric quotes, while you merely express your opinion. So it is quite funny that you would find our answer funny. This means you are finding the sastras to be funny. Actually to ignore the sastras and give more importance to mental concoction, as you are doing, is not funny; it is sad because the mental speculator remains entangled in the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Your first point is that there is no difference between Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu because they are all nothing more than symbolic representations of the one reality, Brahman.

Here you are denying the existence of personality. If even these greatest personalities of the universe have no separate personal existence, this means that none of us have any separate personal existence. This would mean that everything is simply one. But if it were in fact all one, how can you disagree with us? If it were all one, you would be forced by the absolute oneness of things to agree with everything that we say. The fact that you disagree with us immediately negates your argument of undifferentiated oneness.

Plus, if there were no difference between Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu, we would not find the following statement in the Rig Veda:

om tad vishnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah

"The demigods are always looking to that supreme abode of Vishnu."
--Rig Veda 1.22.20

If the demigods and Vishnu were one and the same, the Rig Veda would not make this distinction.

You also state that none of them are demigods. This is also not a fact. Of course, that Vishnu is not a demigod is confirmed in the above verse because His abode is described as the supreme abode. But that Shiva and Brahma are demigods is confirmed in the following verse from the Varaha Purana:

narayanaḥ paro devas
tasmaj jatas caturmukhah
tasmad rudro 'bhavad devah
sa ca sarva-j˝atam gatah


"Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
and from Him Brahma was born,
from whom Shiva was born."

That Krishna (the original form of Vishnu or Narayana) is the Supreme Lord is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita (10.8) where the Lord says:

aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah

"I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts."

Here is a correct description of the Supreme Lord, given by the Lord Himself. The words sarvasya prabhavaḥ indicate that Krishna is the creator of everyone, including Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. And because these three principal deities of the material world are created by the Lord, the Lord is the creator of all that exists in the material and spiritual worlds.

In the Atharva Veda (Gopāla-tāpanī Upanishad 1.24) it is similarly said:

"He who existed before the creation of Brahma
and who enlightened Brahma with Vedic knowledge
is Lord Sri Krishna."

Similarly, the Narayana Upanishad (1) states:

"Then the Supreme Person, Narayana, desired to create all living beings. Thus from Narayana, Brahma was born. Narayana created all the Prajapatis. Narayana created Indra. Narayana created the eight Vasus. Narayana created the eleven Rudras. Narayana created the twelve Adityas."

Since Narayana is a plenary manifestation of Lord Krishna, Narayana and Krishna are one and the same. The Narayana Upanishad (4) also states:

"Devakī's son [Krishna] is the Supreme Lord."

The identity of Narayana with the supreme cause has also been accepted and confirmed by Sripada Sankaracarya, even though Sankara does not belong to the Vaishnava, or personalist, school.

The Atharva Veda (Maha Upanishad 1) also states:

"Only Narayana existed in the beginning, when neither Brahma, nor Shiva, nor fire, nor water, nor stars, nor sun, nor moon existed. The Lord does not remain alone but creates as He desires."

You mention that Brahman is the one truth, the one reality and that everything in this world are HIS manifestations. You are telling us that persons are not really real, that they are just symbolic representations of Brahman. If you are quoting from scriptures as you say you are, where are the verses to back up your points? You have not produced them. In discussions of Absolute Truth we must quote the authoritative references. Otherwise if I simply give my opinion and you give your opinion, the debate with go on endlessly without any conclusion.

We must understand what is the Brahman from the authoritative scriptures, not from mental speculation. Brahman is described in the revealed scriptures as the transcendental effulgence emanating from the body of Lord Sri Krishna. In the Bhagavad-gita Sri Krishna states:

brahmano hi pratisthaham

"I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman."
--Bhagavad-gita 14.27

And in the Brahma Samhita, Lord Brahma states:

yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-
kotisv asesa-vasudhadi vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

"I worship Govinda (Krishna), the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman mentioned in the Upanishads, being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless, truth."
--Brahma-samhita 5.40

You are correct in stating that there is only one God. But when you say that only God exists and nothing else, you are quite wrong. The eternal individuality of God and the living entities is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

na tv evaham jatu nasam
na tvam neme janadhipah
na caiva na bhavisyamah
sarve vayam atah param

"Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings;
nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."
--Bhagavad-gita 2.12

You have stated, "Since Vedas and Upanishads are the valid means of authority and Bhagavad-gita is in essence Upanishads only, so it is wrong to say in any other way."

But where is the proof? How can the Bhagavad-gita not be authoritative when it is accepted by all the great sages of India, even Sankaracharya, the founder of the impersonalist school? You may disagree with all the great Vedic authorities, that is your prerogative. But that does not mean that we are going to be misguided by such foolish speculations.

You mention, "Since you believe in Lord Krishna HE is Supreme. I believe in Brahman and so to me Lord Ganesh, or Lord Shiva or Lord Krishna are one and the same and are supreme.. So please don't send wrong message through your answer. It is very painful."

You may be speaking on the platform of your belief, but we do not speak on such a platform. We are speaking from the solid ground of Vedic authority. To say that all the gods are one and the same, that they are all supreme is not a fact as confirmed by the many authoritative verses quoted above. Besides that, if all gods were the supreme, there would then be no Supreme God. Supreme means one without a second. Just like for example, how many supreme courts are there in India? There can only be one. Otherwise, if there more than one, it is not the supreme court. To say that everything is the supreme is a round about way of saying there is no supreme. In other words, it is simply covered atheism.

The fact that is that all different branches of Vedic wisdom are authoritative because they are all coming from Krishna as confirmed here:

vedais ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedanta-krd veda-vid eva caham

"By all the Vedas, I am to be known. Indeed,
I am the compiler of Vedanta,
and I am the knower of the Vedas."
--Bhagavad-gita 15.15

We are sorry that you are feeling pained by the Vedic conclusion. But still it is our duty to present it as it is. It may not be pleasant when the doctor tell us that we have a serious disease, but it is his duty to honestly inform us. So in this well-wishing mood of sincere service we are informing you that you have been misguided by impersonalist philosophy which emphasizes the impersonal nature of God over the personal nature of God.

In the final analysis, we can see that God is both personal and impersonal, but that His original personal nature is more important than His impersonal aspect. Actually it is a matter of common sense. We always see that personality predominates over impersonality. For example, how many persons do we know who are impersonal? There are many. And how many impersons do we know who are personal? None. Therefore God must ultimately be a person Who also has an impersonal aspect, not an imperson Who has a personal aspect.

I hope that this clarifies in your mind what is the ultimate Vedic conclusion and that this meets you in the best of health and in an ecstatic mood.

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 5 August 2008

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

Closeness to Srila Prabhupada


Last Sunday a guest at our weekly Sunday Feast program inquired from me how close I was to my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. In spiritual life we do not measure closeness to the spiritual master by physical proximity. Actual closeness is measured by how much one is dedicated to always remembering and executing the orders that he has received from his spiritual master. This is because the spiritual master is more powerfully present in his instructions than he is in his physical presence.

Physically I had scant association with my spiritual master. But I was most fortunate to have received from him very sublime instructions that I have totally embraced as my very life and soul. Thus from the very beginning of my devotional life in 1971 I have been blessed with the utmost mercy of always being closely connected with my spiritual master.

For example, on 7 September 1971 he wrote me from London the following instruction:

"I can see also that you are a very sincere and enthusiastic boy and are anxious for spreading this movement. Those are first class qualifications for making advancement in Krishna Consciousness. So continue enthusiastically as you are doing and Krishna will surely bless you."

I realized my good fortune in receiving such an instruction, and thus I fully dedicated myself to always remain enthusiastic about Krishna consciousness and the Krishna consciousness movement no matter what may happen. And by so doing I have always been blessed by Lord Sri Krishna with being tightly connected with my beloved spiritual master. This is real closeness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Poison in the Beginning?

Sir, is it true that Krishna Consciousness in the beginning is poison? If yes, is there any way by which a person can pass through the phase of poison easily?

Warm regards,

Sunil

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Answer: Krishna Consciousness is Nectar All the Way

Krishna consciousness is nectar in the beginning and even more nectar as you progress. It is only happiness in the mode of goodness that is poison in the beginning and nectar in the end. In other words, if you practice bhakti purely 24 hours day, free of any material motives, you are already situated on the transcendental platform, which is bliss in the beginning and even more bliss as you advance on the bhakti path.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 4 August 2008

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

What are You Zealous About?

Recently we had the experience that one of our subscribers dropped out of our course because he found it to be zealous. According to the definition given in the dictionary, zealous means possessing impassioned eagerness. Based on this definition we can see that everyone is zealous about something. Some people are into sports. Others are into music. Everyone has their own particular brand of zealousness. He was disturbed that we are zealous about Krishna consciousness. But if somebody else can be zealous about surfing in the ocean on a surfboard, what is the wrong if we are zealous about surfing in the ocean of transcendental bliss by taking shelter of the Lord's holy names? It is philosophically flimsy to consider one form of zealousness bad, while another form of zealousness is considered good.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Vishnu or Krishna is Original?


We were having a discussion the other day about Vishnu and Krishna. I believe that Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, but someone else said that Vishnu is an incarnation of Krishna. Please could you shed some light on this.

Your servant,

Kalpesh

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Answer: Krishna is the Original Vishnu

We do not base our understanding of the relationship between Vishnu and Krishna on belief or opinion. We base it on the authoritative description given in the revealed scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Krishna directly states in the Bhagavad-gita that everything comes from Him. This includes the four-armed Lord Vishnu. In the Brahma-samhita, Lord Brahma states that Krishna is the origin of everything, the cause of all causes. In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated that Krishna is the original form of God.

The term "Vishnu" also sometimes refers to the specific category of the Personality of Godhead. In this sense, Krishna is the original Vishnu. And that particular Vishnu with two hands Who plays the flute is indeed the origin of everything. Hence, Krishnites are also known as Vaisnavas, devotees of Vishnu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 3 August 2008

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

The Ultimate Bright Future


No one else awaits a brighter future than Lord Sri Krishna's devotees. The entire human society is destined to suffer old age, disease, and death again and again birth after birth after birth. But Krishna's devotee is exempted. He is allowed to enter into a realm where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. Such a fortunate soul is not content with merely his own salvation. He is greatly pained to see the entire society being smashed on the rocks of birth, death, old age, and disease. Therefore he fully dedicates his life until his last dying breath to saving as many souls as possible from the hellish quagmire of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why No Onions and Garlic?

I am confused why garlic and onion are not allowed. I was in the Fiji Islands a few weeks ago, and I visited the Hare Krishna temple, where I learned that onions and garlic should not be in our diet. But no one in the temple was able to give the reasons behind it.

Please enlighten my thoughts on it.

Learning bhakti,

M. Singh

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Answer: Not Offerable to Krishna

Many of our readers are habituated to eating onions and garlic and do not understand why devotees of Lord Krishna strictly avoid eating them.

Our reason for not taking onions and garlic is very simple. It is not at all complicated. According to the instructions very clearly given in the Bhagavad-gita, devotees of Lord Krishna are meant to eat only the remnants of food offered with love and devotion to Lord Sri Krishna.

yajna-sishtasinah santo
mucyante sarva-kilbishaih
bhunjate te tv agham papa
ye pacanty atma-karanat

"The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin."
--Bhagavad-gita 3.13

And since great acharyas such as His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada have confirmed that Lord Krishna does not accept offerings containing onions and garlic, the obvious conclusion is that devotees cannot take garlic and onions because Krishna says that partaking of foods that are not acceptable is eating only sin.

The above reason is sufficient to convince the devotees to strictly avoid onions and garlic. The non-acceptability of onions and garlic is also confirmed as follows in the Manusmriti 5.5:

lasunam caiva palandu abhaksyani

SYNONYMS
laśunam--garlic; ca--also; eva--certainly; palandu --onion; abhaksyani--are not eatable.

TRANSLATION
Garlic and onions are unworthy of eating.

Also in the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna advises against pungent foods such as onions and garlic:

katv-amla-lavanaty-ushna-
tikshna-ruksha-vidahinah
ahara rajasasyeshta
duhkha-sokamaya-pradah


"Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease."
-- Bhagavad-gita 17.9

Further confirmation that onions and garlic are not offerable to Krishna is how bad they smell. A simple stroll through the produce section of a grocery store also can help us understand why we should not offer them to Krishna. As soon as one gets near the onions and garlic one can easily detect a strong foul aroma.

It the person who is cooking is accustomed to giving food an extra zing by adding onions and garlic, they can use hing (asafoetida) instead.

The final conclusion is that when we satisfy Krishna by offering Him foods according to His satisfaction and take as our only eatables those offered foods, we will be fully satisfied in our eating and will advance very nicely towards spiritual perfection by such sacrificial eating.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 2 August 2008

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

Get Up with Determination and Fight


To become Krishna conscious in a materialistic society means that you have to go against the grain. You have to dare to be different. This not always an easy thing to do because there is a tremendous amount of pressure being exerted upon us to conform to the life of sense gratification that 99.99% of the world population is caught up in. It is sometimes said that misery enjoys company, and this is certainly true in regards to the materialistic civilization. This is why Srila Prabhupada explains that to become Krishna conscious we have to declare war against the material energy. The difficulty is that sometimes, like Arjuna, we become lethargic, unwilling to fight the battle. At times like these we can take encouragement from Lord Krishna's instruction to Arjuna:

uttistha kaunteya yuddhaya krta-niscayah

"O son of Kunti, get up with determination and fight."
--Bhagavad-gita 2.37

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Pray?

It is said that whenever we start praying we must first pray to Lord Ganesh. Please solve my this confusion how should I start my prayers. And also tell me about the position of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga. Is Vishnu different from The Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna? Because it is mentioned in Bhagavad-gita As it is.

Suresh Kumar

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Answer: In Full Surrender to Krishna

So many things are said by so many different people. If one bases his life on these so many things that are said, his life will be a confused mess. Therefore, one should simply base his life on the words of the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna as He clearly speaks in the Bhagavad-gita, and not worry about the thousands and millions of other things that are said.

Krishna does not prescribe that we worship the various demigods such as Ganesh, Shiva, or Durga. In fact He states that those who worship the demigods have lost their intelligence. There is no need to go here and there for this and that. If we simply fully surrender ourselves to the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna, all of our problems will be solved immediately. There is no need for any other type of worship.

The four-armed Vishnu is an expanded form of the original two-armed Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. Therefore, He is also the fully worshipable Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Friday 1 August 2008

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

Curing the Terrorism Disease


Millions and billions of dollars are currently being wasted every year in an attempt to curb down the terrorism disease, which is menacing more and more the human society. This horrendous waste of energy is going on because the government leaders have no understanding at all of what is the cause of terrorism.

When a human being does not try to awaken his dormant enlightened consciousness he is on the platform of an animal. This is the state of the modern day animalistic civilization. We live in a world that is 99.99% populated with animals. In a world of animals it is natural that some of them will be ferocious like the lions and tigers. If we want to put a stop the terrorism the only solution is to elevate the world society to the human platform by teaching them the ultimate self-realization science. As soon as this is done we will see that immediately that the terrorism disease will be cured.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

911 Terrorist Attack

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Poison in the Beginning?


In the "Thought for the Day" of 13th July you have observed that "happiness in the mode of goodness is poison in the beginning and nectar at the end". Why should it at all be poison in the beginning? Kindly enlighten me on this.

Ramanuja Dasa

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Answer: Contamination of Passion and Ignorance

In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna describes happiness in the mode of goodness as poison in the beginning and nectar in the end. Of course, in one sense it is not actually poison. It simply appears as such to one who is still contaminated by the modes of passion and ignorance.

For example, in the beginning of practicing Krishna consciousness rising early every morning by 4 am to attend mangala-arati may appear like poison, if the neophyte devotee is habituated to sleeping in every day until 7 am. But once he becomes accustomed to rising by 4 am he will experience it as the sweetest nectar and never want to give it up.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Editor's Note: Mangala-arati is the first worship service of the day as observed by devotees of Krishna either in the temple or in their home.
 

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