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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Tuesday 30 September 2008

from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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Today's Thought:

Do You Want the Real Nectar?

The material world promises us the real nectar but does not deliver the goods. Instead we end up getting dished out heaping portions of birth, death, old age, and disease. Intelligent persons ask why. They understand that there is something inherently wrong about so much suffering when the natural tendency of every living being is to enjoy. They understand that somewhere, like the Garden of Eden, real happiness must exist in its original pure form, and they seek to realize that happiness. When they are fortunate they come into contact with a bona fide spiritual master, who takes them back to that garden.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does "Godhead" Mean?


Please explain what is meant by "Godhead." While reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is, I come across it many times, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Naren

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Answer: Bhagavan

Godhead is the English equivalent of the Sanskrit word "Bhagavan." Godhead means possessing all power, all beauty, all renunciation, all wealth, and all fame. So the Supreme Personality of Godhead means that person who who possesses all power, all beauty, all renunciation, all wealth, and all fame. That person is none other than Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 29 September 2008

from Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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Today's Thought:

Enthusiasm is Required

In any field of activity one must be very enthusiastic if he wants to be successful. It does not matter whether one is a businessman, a politician, an artist, an athlete, a scientist, or a scholar. Without enthusiasm one cannot not be successful. The same principle applies on the path of devotional service. Unless one is very enthusiastic for realizing the supreme truth he will not able to break out of the drab, hum drum so-called comfort zone of this material existence.

So what does it mean to be enthusiastic? In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains, "Enthusiasm means action, but action for whom? The answer is that one should always act for Krishna." So we should always stay active in Krishna's service by engaging in any one or any combination of the nine different types of devotional service:

1. hearing the name and glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead
2. chanting His glories
3. remembering the Lord
4. serving the Lord's feet
5. worshiping the Deity
6. offering obeisances unto the Lord
7. acting as the Lord's servant
8. making friends with the Lord
9. surrendering oneself fully to the Lord

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Thinking of Krishna at Every Minute

You teach us to remember Lord Krishna in all our thoughts and works at every moment. But physiologically our brain cannot think of two things simultaneously. It can think of only one thing, either the Lord or something else. Kindly clear my ignorance.

Sudhir

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Answer: If You Love Someone, You Will Always Remember Them

You have asked how is it possible to think of Krishna while simultaneously thinking of something else. Kindly note that if you truly love someone you will always remember that person no matter what you are doing. In this regard I have seen how in the corporate offices the workers will keep a picture of their wife and children on their desks to inspire them to perform their occupational duties very nicely. By remembering their beloved family members while they work hard all day at the office they are given a sense of purpose and meaning as to why they are engaged in that job. This remembrance energizes them in duties and helps them to become steady, dedicated employees. In fact it is for this very reason that employers like employees who have families.

So in the same way that one can work hard all day by remembering his family, one can also work with the greatest enthusiasm by always keeping Krishna in his heart while engaged in so many varieties of activities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 28 September 2008

from Brugge, Belgium
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Today's Thought:

The Simply Wonderful Solution

The other day while reading that most enlightened of all treatises, Srila Prabhupada's edition of the Srimad Bhagavatam, I came across the simple solution for every single difficulty being experienced by the modern day society:

"Now this sankirtana movement has already been started by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. People should take advantage of this great sacrifice and join in the Society's activities; then there will be no scarcity. If sankirtana-yajna is performed, there will be no difficulty, not even in industrial enterprises. Therefore this system should be introduced in all spheres of life -- social, political, industrial, commercial, etc. Then everything will run very peacefully and smoothly."--from purport to SB 4.19.7

It's too bad the modern day leaders are missing out on this point. Every single obstacle can easily be overcome through the wide scale introduction of the sankirtana yajna, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Can I Get Answers from Within?


Prabhu, thanks for replying to my e-mail. Tears are in my eyes while writing to you. You are clearing the doubts of Krishna devotees even in your hectic schedule. Even though you have nothing to gain from me you are helping me out of my confusions. Srila Prabhupada rightly asked you to spread Krishna Consciousness in this world. You are the chosen instrument of Krishna for spreading Krishna Consciousness in this time.

Prabhu, when will I have my guru prapti so that I can get answers from within? My vision is clear that I have to go to the supreme spiritual abode, Sri Goloka Vrindavan. But I am also very clear that until Lord Krishna shows me His grace I will be unable to achieve my destination. Pray to Krishna for me. I am a forgotten soul. I want to serve Him eternally. May He provide me all necessary knowledge and means to serve Him.

Srila Prabhupada gave you opportunity to serve him as you were entitled. Please now give me the opportunity to serve you even if I am not entitled. That will be your greatness.

Rajan das

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Answer: When You Are Fully Compliant with the Instructions from Without

Although it is fact that I am, as you say, a chosen instrument of Srila Prabhupada for spreading Krishna consciousness, anybody who would like to give his life for the same purpose will also become such a chosen instrument. So what I am doing is not my great credit. Rather, it is the great credit of Srila Prabhupada. If I have any credit, it is simply that I am obeying his instructions. This is the secret of whatever success I am having in spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world.

You are eager to have full access to the guru within so that you can receive from him all answers and direction on how you can achieve the kingdom of God. This is a first class desire. But kindly note in this regard that you can only connect to the guru within to whatever degree you have connected to the guru who has manifested externally before you. Therefore to have your desire fulfilled you must fully connect with the guru without, the external guru, by becoming fully compliant with his instructions.

If you would like to serve me, what will please me the most is that you become a pure devotee of Lord Krishna and fully dedicate your life for serving the mission of Srila Prabhupada. So, kindly now dedicate yourself heart and soul to becoming perfect in Krishna consciousness and sharing this mercy with everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 27 September 2008

from ISKCON Radhadesh, Belgium
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Today's Thought:

$700 Billion Band-Aid

Now in the USA the leaders are planning a $700 billion bailout of the devastated US banking system. But their proposed solution is a band aid solution only. It does not deal with the underlying cause of the economic chaos. Their idea is to prop up valueless paper money with even more valueless paper money.

The modern day economic system is based upon putting our faith in valueless paper money. We are willing to work hard in exchange for it because we have faith in its future purchasing power. In other words, we have faith that in the future others will also have faith in this valueless paper money to give us something of value in exchange for it. But if somehow or other that faith is disrupted, the entire global economic system will be greatly endangered. And if that faith is destroyed, the world's economic system will experience a complete collapse leading to a total break down of the world civilization. Mere anarchy will be loosed upon the world.

So what is our protection against such an uninviting future? Instead of basing our socio-economic system upon humankind's unpredictable faith in useless paper currency, we should base it on those things which have actual value: tangible goods such as land, cows, water, grains, fruits, vegetables, wood, etc. This is why the traditional global economic system which has flourished for thousands and thousands of years on this planet, based on God-centered self-sufficient family farming is a far more stable and sustainable economic system.

So are we going to witness now the complete collapse of the world economy and human civilization? By Krishna's grace it will not happen, if and only if we take the present turn of events as our wake up call to bring the human society back to a simple, natural economic system based on seeing everything as the property of God and utilizing everything in His service. So I am hereby requesting the world leaders on all levels to kindly note the formula for peace and economic stability given by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita and to rethink and readjust their priorities. That formula is given as follows in Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 5, Text 29:

bhoktaram yajna-tapasam
sarva-loka-mahesvaram
suhrdam sarva-bhutanam
jnatva mam santim rcchati

"If one wants to enjoy real peace and prosperity,
He should recognize Me as the supreme enjoyer,
the supreme proprietor of everything,
and the ultimate well-wishing friend of all living beings."

The time has come now to fully mold our lives around the above words of the Lord and become free once and for all from the pangs of the material miseries.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Hare Krishna or Hare Rama First?



Hi Sir,

With full respect to Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada my question is:

The Mahamantra described in the Kali Santarana Upanisad is given as follows:

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

But ISKCON is mainly chanting the Mahamantra as follows:

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

Sir, another thing is that Lord Sri Rama is the first incarnation, not Sri Krishna. That's why Rama Nama has to come first. Sir, I think you can clear this doubt. Should we chant the Mahamantra following the Kali Santarana Upanisad, or should we chant it the ISKCON style?

Please take it an positive sense.

Expecting a reply.

Thanking you,

Sheejith K.C

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Answer: Hare Krishna First is the Authorized Way

There are two different editions of the Kali Santarana Upanisad. The one which lists the Mahamantra as beginning with Hare Krishna is the authoritative edition. Also in reconfirmation of this fact, when God Himself appeared on this planet 500 years ago in the form of Lord Caitanya, He chanted the Mahamantra beginning with Hare Krishna. So the answer is that we are not asking anybody to follow the so-called ISKCON style of anything. ISKCON is not a religious cult. ISKCON did not come up with it owns style of chanting. ISKCON is composed of those persons who strictly follow the scriptures and the previous acharyas, the great saintly teachers who molded the Vedic civilization for millions of years.

Although Lord Rama appeared before the appearance of Krishna in which Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna, there is a previous appearance of Lord Krishna described in the Bhagavad-gita in which Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita to the sun god, Vivasvan. This prior appearance of Lord Krishna in this material world occurred long before the appearance of Lord Rama. So if you want to base your Mahamantra chanting preference on which of the two appeared first, you will chant:

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

Of course, if in spite of this you still prefer to chant.....

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

.....that's alright, because either way once you get rolling it's exactly the same Mahamantra alternating back and forth between Hare Krishna and Hare Rama. Or should I say, "between Hare Rama and Hare Krishna"? Do you get the point?

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 26 September 2008

from ISKCON Sofia, Bulgaria

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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Spam Blocker

In this world our consciousness is brutally being spammed on a daily basis by the material energy. In order for us to function peacefully and happily, a highly effective spam filter is required. That spam filter is Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness empowers us to see things as they are beyond all the illusions, deceptions, and hype that we are being bombarded with at every minute. It is learned and mastered through contact with authorized scriptures, bona fide spiritual masters, and genuine devotees of the Lord. The more one takes advantage of these three types of association, the more his spam filter will become powerful until it becomes so powerful and perfect that it is finally able to block out 100% of the spam.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What are Transcendental Senses?


Please tell me, what are transcendental senses? Do humans have them? If so, what are they called? And how do they operate? Thank you.

Love always

Tommi

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Answer: Our Original Senses

Our senses are originally transcendental, but when they become covered by lust, greed, anger, and envy they are called material senses. When those same senses become free from the contaminations of lust, greed, etc. they regain their original transcendental nature enabling the purified soul to directly perceive God everywhere within and without. This wonderful state of purified consciousness is described as follows by Lord Brahma in his Brahma Samhita:

premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

--Brahma Samhita 5:38

"A saintly person who has anointed his eyes
with salve of love of Godhead by devotional service
always sees the Lord's transcendental form of Shymasundara."

The easiest way to render such devotional service and awaken one's divine original senses is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra with love on a regular daily basis.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Thursday 25 September 2008

from ISKCON Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Amplified Illusions

Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita how the knowledge of the Absolute Truth is understood through the system of disciplic succession. This means that if we want to understand this knowledge, we must take it as it has come down perfectly to us over the ages through an unbroken line of spiritual masters beginning with Krishna Himself. To most people this principle will seem archaic and old fashioned because we live in the modern age of scientific advancement. But it should be noted in this connection that science is still not perfect. All science is doing is allowing us to amplify our already imperfect senses. Thus we end up with little more than amplified illusions. It is not able to give us perfect knowledge. This is the why the science textbooks are constantly having to be revised. Practically they are obsolete by the time they make it into the hands of the students. Thus it is better that we take the unchanged perfect knowledge coming from Krishna, that person Who is the source of everything. That knowledge has been carefully handed down from one acharya to the next for thousands of years and is as fully potent and available to us right now as it was 5,000 years ago on the chariot when Krishna spoke to knowledge to Arjuna.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Freedom?


Please accept my humble obeisances!

What is freedom?

Thank you very much.

Hari bol

Maria

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Answer: Freedom Means...

Freedom means back to home, back to Godhead, no more birth, death, old age, and disease in this miserable material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Wednesday 24 September 2008

from ISKCON Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Daunting Challenge

23 September 2008-Skopje, Macedonia--Yesterday I finally got connected to the internet by going to a cafe with a free internet zone. As I had no vehicle, Jordan, one of the local ISKCON members, had to take time off from his job to take me to the cafe. Today my normal system, using a Blackberry as a modem, which is supposed to be always operable according to T-Mobile, my service provider, is even worse. Yesterday we could connect with the emails although the speed was so slow that we could not download one. Today I cannot access my emails at all. This is one of the austerities of traveling and preaching all over the world. At our home base in Austin I have no trouble. But getting online on the road can sometimes be the most daunting challenge. It pains me knowing that although so many of my students and disciples have written me seeking spiritual guidance, I am restricted by internet problems from being able to reply to them in a timely manner.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: With My Attachments, How Can I Engage in Pure Devotional Service?

I was listening to one of your seminars on pure devotional service. You stressed that we should cultivate that mood within ourselves. I am very much attached to my family members and to the bodily concept, and I am not in a position to think that this material world is like a blazing forest fire. How then can I take up pure devotional service? Every time I think of taking it up I feel that it is like unnatural, external, artificial conditioning, and this causes me a a great sense of insecurity.

Your servant,

Nimit

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Answer: Offer Your Attachments to Krishna

It is very nice that you are sometimes thinking of taking up pure devotional service. You should not let your feelings of attachment for your body and your family stand in the way of your seriously taking up Krishna consciousness. Simply you should see that your body, home, and family members are given to you by Krishna to be engaged in His service. If you think and act in this way, your material attachments will not be an impediment for your spiritual advancement.

You have been artificially, unnaturally conditioned by the external energy to identify yourself with the temporary material body. This conditioning has forced you to take millions of births and deaths in this material existence sometimes as an animal, sometimes as a plant, and sometimes as a human being. In each and every lifetime you were forced by the laws of nature to suffer in so many ways. But life is not meant for suffering. Life is meant for enjoyment. So now take advantage of your rarely achieved human form of life to return to your original, natural, unconditioned state of consciousness in which one experiences an eternal existence, full of knowledge, and full of bliss by engaging in the pure devotional service of Supreme Person, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Tuesday 23 September 2008

from ISKCON Skopje, Macedonia
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Today's Thought:

Struggling in the Lord's Service


Although the preaching has been really sweet here in Skopje, the internet connections have been a real nightmare. Even though I have five or six options for connecting to the internet, none of them have panned out. Hours and hours of time has been spent trying to find some way to download my email and upload "Thought for the Day". It's been uncanny to see how I have met with one failure after another failure after another failure. In Krishna consciousness we do not allow ourselves to become disturbed by such situations because we know that nothing can happen without the Lord's sanction. We simply continue in our efforts to be successful in the Lord's service and depend on Him for the results. If this message has come to you at the normal time, you can understand that by Krishna's grace the problem was solved.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Answers According to the Vedic Version:
Question: When is the Time for Self-Realization?


Is there a way to find our past karma? We are in a transient stage where we don't know our past karma nor we know that there is a rebirth. How will we know that the time has come to attain moksha or self-realization? Does this mean that only a guru can help me to realize that path?

Roma Ahhuja

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Answer: Right Now, Regardless of Karma

There is no karma for when you will become self-realized. According to the laws of karma we will be eternally entangled in the cycle of birth and death. Self-realization is when you escape the clutches of karma. It is only achieved by the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master, and the time for it is right now.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Monday 22 September 2008

from ISKCON Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Spiritually Rewarding

It's 6:15am on Sunday 21 September. We have just returned late last night from Sliven, Bulgaria where I gave three lectures in conjunction with the wonderful Ratha Yatra festival that was celebrated there yesterday. We did not get to take rest until midnight, but still we were up this morning by 4am to attend mangala arati and do the daily puja for Sri Sri Radha Damodar. Later this morning we head out for Macedonia where I will be delivering the Sunday Feast lecture at the ISKCON center in Skopje. Traveling and preaching is not always easy. But it is very spiritually rewarding to be sacrificing all comforts for the sake of pushing forward the sankirtana movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Accepting a Guru For Sake of Having a Guru

What is the difference between the siksha guru and the diksha guru? Can only serious persons choosing the path of nirvana take diksha? Or can a worldly person who wants to have guru just for the sake of guru be entitled for that? Does the guru impart the same kind of knowledge to both categories? Or does he give the most confidential knowledge only to selected disciples? Please clear my doubts regarding that.

Dandvat to u

Rajan Das

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Answer: Do Not Take Guru Like a Dog

There is little difference between the siksha and diksha guru. Both of them are full manifestations of the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Both of them purely impart the knowledge and mercy coming down from Krishna through the chain of disciplic succession. The one difference is that diksha guru formally initiates the disciple into spiritual life and becomes his eternal spiritual authority.

The spiritual master is only for those who are serious about escaping the cycle of repeated birth and death. Accepting a guru in name only has no value. There is no sense in accepting a guru as a matter of fashion just as someone may keep a dog. Guru means where you fully surrender yourself without argument. Otherwise do not accept a guru.

The spiritual master gives the same knowledge to all, but it is only realized to the extent that the disciple fully surrenders himself at the lotus feet of guru and Krishna. Without surrender we will never realize the full import of the Vedic wisdom as explained to all by the spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 21 September 2008

from Sliven, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Conquering Anger


Our first program in Sliven, although sparsely attended, was very much appreciated by those who did attend. A very sincere lady inquired about how to conquer over anger. I explained to her that anger is the result of wanting things for ourselves. As long as we base our happiness on getting the things that we want we are sure and certain to face frustration and anger when we do not get what we want. But if instead of being "me centered" we become God centered, then we no longer become frustrated and angry. All we have to do is always try to please the Lord by our every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances. Then our minds automatically become peaceful and happy. No matter what happens we can always act for the Lord's pleasure. It does not matter whether we face gain or loss, victory or defeat. We can always think, speak, and act for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in all situations. This is the secret of how to never be overcome by anger.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



First Program in Sliven


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Mood When Chanting


Dear teacher:

Please accept my most humble obeisances.

On one hand we are advised to chant in a prayerful mood, which is like we are hanging on the cliff calling help by vibrating Krishna's holy names, we are begging Krishna's mercy to save us. On the other hand we should chant for Krishna's pleasure, not for our salvation or pleasure. The two seems contradictory together, what mood should we take when chanting?

Your most humble servant,

Yechen Zhang

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Answer: The Lord is Pleased by Your Cry

There is no contradiction. It gives great pleasure to the Lord when we cry out to Him to save us from this material existence by engaging us in His pure devotional service.

Whenever something seems contradictory the way to analyze it is to take both points to be true and try to understand how both of them can be simultaneously be true. In other words, instead of being in a doubtful mood, be in a faithful mood. In this way you will easily and quickly advance in transcendental understanding. And of course, whenever you are not able to make sense of something you are most welcome to inquire from me.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 20 September 2008

from the road to Sliven, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Unbelievably Crazy Mess


It's 2:45 pm on 19 September 2008. We are now on a four hour drive from Sofia, Bulgaria to Sliven, Bulgaria where I will be giving a lecture in a public hall tonight, and there will be a Ratha Yatra festival tomorrow. It's very enlivening to be traveling all over the world to present the science of bhakti for the benefit of everyone. We've got to try our best to revolutionize this planet. Because it is lacking in Krishna consciousness it has become an unbelievably crazy mess. Krishna consciousness can solve all the problems of the world if the people can learn about it. Therefore we must try our level best to teach everyone this sublime science.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Writing Thought-for-the-Day En Route to Sliven


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna's Descent is Not Its True Being?

I have read from one book of Radha Soami Beyas in India that in the Bhagavad-gita Krishna descends by his divine prakriti and that this descent is not its true being, that it is only apparent. Please clear my doubts regarding that.

Rajan Das

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Answer: Krishna Is Not An It

It is very offensive to refer to Krishna as it. How would you like it if people starting referring to you as it? Krishna is a person. He is the original person from Whom all other persons emanate.

Krishna directly states in the Bhagavad-gita that He personally comes to this world to re-establish religious principles. And these commentators who are envious of His supremacy say He does not actually come, that His descent is only apparent, that it is not His true being.

They say that it is not His true being because they consider His true being to be impersonal oneness. Their philosophy is known as Mayavadi philosophy because they say that the form of Krishna is maya, an illusion. They do not accept that Krishna has a form and a personality. But the Vedic wisdom solidly and repeatedly affirms that Krishna has a form and personality.

Do not waste your time reading such bogus books that will do nothing except confuse you. If you want to get the proper information for escaping the cycle of birth and death, you should simply read Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. Then you will get the proper understanding.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 19 September 2008

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Pleasant Surprise at Passport Control


When we landed the other day at the Sofia, Bulgaria airport we proceeded as usual to passport control to get our passports stamped in order to legally enter into Bulgaria. Some of the agents were handling EU passports and some were handling non-EU passports. So we dutifully got in the queue for non-EU passports. But then we noticed that a young woman who was working an EU-only booth was calling us over to clear customs at her desk. After we handed her our passports I was thinking how amazing it was that she was smiling at us so nicely. Traveling regularly around the world we have cleared customs literally hundreds of times. The agents are sometimes nice and sometimes not so nice. But this one was exceptionally nice, and I could not figure out why. After she finished stamping our passports she handed them back to us and said, "Hari bol", and I could immediately understand how nicely our movement is spreading in Bulgaria.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is Srila Prabhupada the Greatest Spiritual Master in History?


Hare Krishna!

Thank you very much for your response, it helped me understand part of my previous doubts. I would like to ask you to please answer my second question, if possible:

Do you also consider for example Jesus or Mohammed great spiritual masters, and if so, why do you consider Srila Prabhupada to be greater than them?

Val

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Answer: Srila Prabhupada Delivered the Highest Level Understanding to the Entire World

Jesus and Mohammed are both great spiritual masters. Srila Prabhupada exceeded them by distributing all over the world a much more highly advanced understanding of the science of God. If you will carefully read all of His books, you will understand why Srila Prabhupada is the pre-eminent acharya in the history of the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Thursday 18 September 2008

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Is it Worth It?

After sleeping on an all-night flight on Malev Airlines from New York to Budapest on an airline seat which did not recline to a proper sleeping position I woke up with excruciating back pain. Even though my sleep was deep, because my posture was not proper my back was thrown out of alignment. And now, as I write this, even more than 24 hours after my arrival in Sofia I am still feeling pain in my back. Such difficulties could make me doubt why I take such time, trouble, and expense to travel all over the world when I am already reaching a global audience every day from the internet. But such doubts were allayed when we experienced the loving greeting of the Bulgarian devotees at the airport. And my desire to travel and preach all over the world in spite of all difficulties was reconfirmed. As the sweet holy names of Rupa Manohar Prabhu's kirtan vibrated throughout the airport terminal we felt how we entering into the spiritual world. The entire scene became Krishna conscious as the people all over the terminal turned to their attention to the kirtan and our arrival.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Hare Krishna Kirtan Greeting at Sofia, Airport
(Rupa Manohar is on the right playing the accordian.)


Below is a Video Clip of the Arrival Kirtan:
http://www.backtohome.com/video/Sofia-airport.wmv
 


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Karma or Free Will?

Hare Krishna

All Glories!! I have a couple big big question's which have been bothering me for a couple of weeks now.

If I'm walking down the street and see a person getting attacked by another person, do I just leave the person alone as it's that person's karma to get beaten up? If I do step in and help this person, am I just a tool of his good karma? Which is it, his karma or my free will to step in and help him? And my decision to help him, has it come about because of the good activity the other person performed previously to get the good karma of me helping him? In that case does that remove my free will?

Your help with getting my head around this is greatly appreciated.

Many, Many Thanks

Richard P.

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Answer: Devotees Exercise their Free Will

Try to do something to save the innocent victim. One time in Australia there were some women trapped in a burning building. The devotees were getting ready for a Ratha Yatra festival and had a big canopy that was to be used on the Ratha Yatra cart. They took that canopy and ran to the site holding it open and had the women jump into it. The following news story from Melbourne, Australia's widely-read afternoon newspaper The Herald tells the story. The paper dedicated practically its entire front page to that morning's rescue. A three-quarter page photograph showed the devotees holding the canopy outside the burning building. Although, in their previous encounter, the news media had been unable to understand the disciples' love for their spiritual master, the rescue had been something that everyone could relate to. The article, entitled, "Krishnas Catch Leaping Women," described the dramatic event:

Three women jumped from a first floor window as fire raced through a city building today. They jumped into a twelve foot square canvas tarpaulin held in the street below by members of the Hare Krishna Movement. Three more women climbed down a ladder from the top floor of the three storey building ... The Hare Krishna followers rushed to the scene when they heard screams. One, who said his name was Steve, 19, said they were in the Hare Krishna building two doors away. "There were three women, all about 19 or 20, sitting on a first floor window ledge screaming for help, so we grabbed a canvas tarpaulin and held it out for them to jump into," he said.

One of the girls said "Someone yelled 'fire', and we raced to the window to find smoke everywhere. One of the girls smashed the window and the Hare Krishna followers held out a big piece of canvas so we could jump. I was petrified," she said.

Five women were taken to hospital for treatment for cuts, abrasions and smoke inhalation.
--------------------

If a devotee acts in Krishna's service it is outside of the dictates of karma. It is an exercise of his free will to facilitate that person having the opportunity to go back to home, back to Godhead in this lifetime. If someone is rescued from a fire or from a thief by a Krishna conscious person, they will always remember that person who rescued them. This appreciative remembrance of a devotee will be very favorable for them to awaken their dormant Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 17 September 2008

en route to Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

The Philosophication of Disgrace


Our modern day society is very expert in the philosophication of disgrace. While engaging in the most abominable activities in flagrant disobedience of the laws of nature and the laws of God they justify their inauspicious deeds by inventing so many "isms". In the name of capitalism, socialism, communism, etc so many abominations are wreaked upon the poor suffering humans and animals of this world. The time has come to cut through the hard knot of bogus philosophy and establish firmly that philosophy which distinguishes realty from illusion for the welfare of all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Escape Black Magic?

You informed me in the last mail that black magic does exist. Then why doesn't God destroy it completely from this world? Does this black magic affect the unfortunate souls? Is there no escape from it? Does one come under the influence of black magic due to his karma?

Roma Ahhuja

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Answer: Come Under the Spell of the Supreme Magician

Krishna fulfills the desires of those living beings who want to disobey Him. But He does it in such a way that they are eventually convinced to return back to Him. This includes those who desire to practice black magic.

One cannot come under the effect of black magic unless one is obliged to do so by his past karma. But even in this situation one can escape the effects of black magic by taking complete shelter of Krishna, the Supreme Magician. His spell of bhakti counteracts all other spells.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Tuesday 16 September 2008

en route to Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Birth of a New Era


Five hundred years ago in what is now West Bengal, India, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared in this world. He is none other than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna Himself, Who manifested Himself in the form of His own devotee in this material world for the deliverance of all living beings from the clutches of birth and death. The process of deliverance that He taught is very simple. One simply has to sing and dance in transcendental ecstasy the holy names of God and feast on the delicious remnants of multi-varieties of foodstuffs which have been offered with love and devotion to Krishna. What could be easier and more enjoyable? What powerful, self-controlled austere yogis take many, many lifetimes to attain can be attained in one lifetime through this sublime process of singing, dancing, and feasting. Who will object to taking advantage of this amazing powerful system for quickly and easily attaining spiritual perfection? Until 1965 Lord Caitanya's movement was only being practiced in India. But at that time, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta traveled to America and in 1966 founded ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, for making this sublime process easily accessible for everybody in every part of the world. ISKCON now has hundreds of centers all over the world. Everyone is invited to participate in the activities of their nearest ISKCON center for making rapid progress on the pathway of spiritual perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Conquer Over Depression?


I have a question. If a person is suffering from depression and it is not easy to move on. How does that person relate her/his life to Krishna Consciousness and move on? What are the steps to be taken to overcome depression? Sorry if this question is more about personal development, yet I hope you can help me with something.

Your student

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Answer: Use It as the Stepping Stone to Unlimited Happiness

The easiest way for one to conquer over depression is to see it in a positive way as the stepping stone to unlimited happiness. Depression is actually the special mercy of Krishna to help us detach ourselves from the illusory, so-called enjoyment of this material world, which entangles us in the repetition of birth and death. According to the Vedic culture, human life actually begins when we inquire, "Why am I suffering?" So to have a life without any suffering would in this sense be more of a curse than it would be a blessing. So we should feel blessed if depression comes, taking it as an impetus to become solidly connected on the transcendental platform.

In the material world there are many techniques for conquering over depression. But all of them are more or less a waste of time. If one wants to truly conquer over depression once and for all, he or she must fully surrender at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna and thus attain an eternal existence, full of bliss, and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 15 September 2008

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

Begging for Krishna's Mercy


Today my wife and I are flying out from Austin, Texas as we begin our fifth around-the-world spreading Krishna consciousness tour. Personally I have no qualification for promulgating Krishna consciousness all over the world. But I am making this humble attempt on the order of my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I know that by his grace even an illiterate fool can deliver eloquent, potent, and inspiring Krishna consciousness lectures. Therefore humbly submitting myself at his lotus feet and begging for his mercy, I embark on this humble attempt to serve the mission of Lord Sri Krishna. I pray that many, many souls all over the world will be inspired to fully surrender themselves at Krishna's lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: All Techniques or One Technique?

I enjoy reading your "Thought for the Day" and the question and answer part. They enlighten my way and enrich my knowledge.

Before I had the chance to know you I practiced meditation and prayed daily with either the Holy Bible, the Holy Koran, or the Rig Veda 9th & 10th Mandala. Now I have added to my daily prayers the Hare Krishna prayer that you teach. Every prayer has its one energy. I can feel the energy in my body. Do you think it is wrong to make all of these prayers together? Or is it better to focus on one and leave the others?

Best regards,

Fadi Nohra

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Answer: Act Under Spiritual Master's Directions

The drug store has many medicines. And they are all good. But when we go to the drug store which medicines do we purchase for curing our disease? We procure those medicines that were prescribed for us by our physician. This is the best utilization of the drug store for relieving  of our illness. Similarly in spiritual life the same principle is followed. There are so many legitimate means of elevating our consciousness described in the scriptures of the world. But to utilize efficiently and effectively we follow the directions of the bona fide spiritual master. The bona fide spiritual master is described in the Upanisads as that person who has heard and mastered the Vedic wisdom and is solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness 24 hours daily.

So, in conclusion, the proper course of action for you will be to place yourself under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master and act strictly in accordance with his guidelines.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Sunday 14 September 2008

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

Escaping Hurricane Samsara


Saturday Morning 13 September 2008: Here in Austin, Texas we are close to but just outside the periphery of Hurricane Ike, which is, as I am writing these words, slamming into Texas with high water surges and high velocity winds of great destructive power. In a day or two the weather will be back to normal, but the storm of this material existence, Hurricane Samsara, will continue raging on with no abatement. Just as one can escape the flood waters of a hurricane by moving to higher ground, one can escape the hurricane of this material existence by the process of Krishna consciousness, which permanently situates the devotee on the higher ground of the spiritual platform where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Hurricane Ike Ravages Texas Coast

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Agni My School's Leader?


The leader of the so called spiritual school, in which I've been initiated as a healer, says that he is Agni, the god of fire. And he stated that every second word in the Vedas is about him. Is there something known about this, that Agni is really here on earth?

I thank you in advance for Your wisdom.

Michael

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Answer: Ask Him to Transform into a Pigeon

Agni one time manifested himself in the form of a pigeon. So you may request the leader of your healing school to prove that he is Agni by demonstrating to you a transformation of himself into the form of pigeon. If he is not able to do so, you can understand that he is not actually Agni, that he is simply bluffing and cheating by claiming that he is Agni.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Saturday 13 September 2008

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

To Actually Be a Disciple

My spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami circled the globe fourteen times for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. This is an incredible accomplishment considering that this was done when he was in seventies and eighties. On April 2nd, 1972 in Sydney, Australia he told us, his disciples, that if we were to be actually considered his disciples we must do three or four times as much as he has done. This means that if I am actually to be considered his disciple I must do from forty-two to fifty-six around-the-world preaching tours. My upcoming world tour commencing on 15 September 2008 will be my fifth tour. This will leave another fifty-one to be done. If I can do two every year, I will be in my mid-eighties by the time I will be able to fulfill this instruction I have received from my spiritual master. Feeling myself most unfit and incompetent all I can do is to bow down at his lotus feet and beg for his empowerment that I can actually become his real disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Caused the Big Bang?

In the 11 September 2008 edition of "Thought for the Day" you mentioned that the reason of the big bang is described in the Vedic scriptures. Please tell me what caused the big bang or give me reference where I can find that.

Thank you very much.

Your servant,

Ameeta

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Answer: The Glance of Mahavishnu

In terms of Vedic science we can accept the Big Bang theory as valid by understanding what modern science describes as the primordial initial dense condition of the universe to be the mahat-tattva, the total material energy. While the modern day scientists have still not been able to figure out what caused the Big Bang, we Vedic scientists understand that it was cause by the glance of Mahavishnu upon the mahat-tattva.

Srila Prabhupada describes this as follows in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 9.5.5:

"The word sudarśana means "auspicious vision." From Vedic instructions we understand that this material world is created by the glance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead (sa aiksata, sa asrjata). The Supreme Personality of Godhead glanced over the mahat-tattva, or the total material energy, and when it was agitated, everything came into existence. Western philosophers sometimes think that the original cause of creation was a chunk that exploded. If one thinks of this chunk as the total material energy, the mahat-tattva, one can understand that the chunk was agitated by the glance of the Lord, and thus the Lord's glance is the original cause of material creation."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Friday 12 September 2008

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

The Center of Existence


This material world is a reformatory for those who consider themselves to be the center of existence, who think that everything revolves around them. Our having taken birth here indicates that we were guilty of this transgression of the laws of nature. So now if we want to regain our original position in the spiritual world, we must realize that we are not the center. We must realize the existence of a supreme person who is the actual center of existence. That person is described by various names in various scriptures. The Vedic literatures, which describe Him with the most precision and the most detail, especially refer to Him as Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are We Like Images Projected on a Screen?


Hare Krishna, Gurudeva,

Many many thanks for your immediate kind attention and reply. However I am right now confused about our position.

Does "Krishna is eternally emanating us from himself" means something similar to a film being continuously projected on screen by the projector? I believe that we are individuals existing separately.

With deep reverence,

Your servant,

Nishikant

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Answer: We Are Separate But Dependent

The living entities have a separate existence, but at the same time their existence is fully dependent upon the Lord. They do not exist independently from the Lord. They are not self-manifested. They are God-manifested.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Thursday 11 September 2008

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

Who Needs the Super Collider?

Yesterday on 10 September 2008 CNN announced:

Scientists cheer atom smasher success

CERN, Switzerland (CNN) -- Scientists Wednesday applauded as one of the most ambitious experiments ever conceived got successfully underway, with protons being fired around a 27-kilometer (17-mile) tunnel deep beneath the border of France and Switzerland in an attempt to unlock the secrets of the universe.

The Large Hadron Collider -- a $9 billion particle accelerator designed to simulate conditions of the Big Bang that created the physical Universe -- was switched on at 0732 GMT to cheers and applause from experts gathered to witness the event.

---------------------------------------------

While we certainly admire the enthusiasm and expertise of these scientists we simultaneously lament that they do not take help from the Vedic wisdom, which has already unlocked the secrets of universe and which describes exactly what caused the Big Bang. If the scientists will simply humble themselves to learn from the enlightened Vedic sages, the entire world will experience a cultural and scientific revolution the like of which has never been experienced in the annals of human history. All the problems of the world will be solved. Everyone will become peaceful and happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Since We Are Eternal, How Can Krishna Be Our Creator?

Gurudeva, kindly enlighten me on following two slokas:

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."

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."

In the first sloka Lord Krishna says He is the source of everything while in the second sloka He says every one always existed. If everyone existed eternally then how is it that Lord Krishna created us and that He is the source.

With deep reverence,

Your Servant,

Nishikant

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Answer: We Are His Eternal Emanations.

Since Krishna is our source and we are also eternally existing this means that Krishna is eternally emanating us from Himself. We exist by dint of the fact that Krishna is emanating us. And this has been going on eternally.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Wednesday 10 September 2008

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

The Real Proprietor

We have to realize that we own nothing, that everything we possess is the property of the Supreme Lord. If we always keep this vision strong in our consciousness and utilize everything only for His enjoyment, we will be solidly situated on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead. In order to develop and maintain this vision we require the ongoing inspiration and support of a bona fide spiritual master, the Lord's devotees, and the sacred Vedic literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. Therefore we should fully surrender ourselves at the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master, always associate with and serve the Vaisnavas, and regularly study the most authorized presentation and explanation of the Vedic literatures, the writings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna?


Whenever I am in discussion with my Indian friends of Hindu background about Lord Krishna being the Supreme Personality of Godhead I get shunned as they believe Lord Krishna is one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. In other words they consider Lord Krishna and demigods like Lord Shiva, Durga Devi, Lord Ganesha as equal. How can I explain to them that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Question 2 - My best friend goes to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. She says that the Hare Krishnas promote homosexuality. I don't think so or have not heard of this. What do I say to her? She says its a sin to associate with Hare Krishnas. I would like to help her to realize Krishna.

Thank you

Devi

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Answer: Confirmed by All Vedic Authorities.

You can say that you have no personal bias in the matter, but that the great Vedic authorities have all stated that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So, if we are to accept the version of the great Vedic authorities, we have to accept that Krishna is the Supreme Lord.

And then you can quote the following verses from the Srimad Bhagavad-gita:

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

The Krishna consciousness movement is not a cult. It is a revival of the ancient culture which flourished for thousands and millions of years on this planet before the advent of the Kali yuga 5,000 years ago. The Vedic culture is strictly against any form of illicit sex, whether homosexual or heterosexual because it destroys one's ability to realize that he is not the body and attain the perfectional stage of consciousness on the spiritual platform. In the Vedic culture sex is only utilized for its natural purpose, i.e. producing children. Any other form of sex pleasure which is non-reproductive is off limits and is naturally avoided. This includes non-procreational heterosex, homosex, and also masturbation. This restriction is not artificial repression, but it comes naturally for one who has gotten the higher taste of Krishna consciousness.

So, there is no question of engaging in homosex in the Krishna consciousness movement. Our philosophy is stop sex completely, although we allow temporary license for those who are having sex for trying to produce Krishna conscious children. Otherwise all forms of sex are strictly prohibited.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Tuesday 9 September 2008

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

The Biggest Blunder


People are often puzzled why a soul who is situated in the spiritual world would trade his position of eternity, knowledge, and bliss for temporality, ignorance, and misery in this world of birth and death. The answer is quite simple. Every living being has independence to act freely as he chooses. For example, many people who are looking for spiritual enlightenment sign up for my e-course. In fact more and more people are joining every day from all over the world. Through this course they are being offered the greatest opportunity to attain the topmost spiritual perfection and return to their original position in the spiritual sky. But yet we see that sometimes for no good reason people drop out of the course. Why do they do this? Because they have independence they are free to do as they wish, even though they may be making the biggest blunder. In a similar way, sometimes a soul misuses his independence and enters this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Desire for Happiness Pure Bhakti?


Hare Krishna,

Dandavat Pranam.

I like your daily messages very much. I have a question. If you can answer it that it will greatly help me. It is in reference to your message that to be happy we need to take up pure devotional service. But to take up devotional service for being happy, is that pure bhakti?

Your servant,

Nimit

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Answer: No, But Pure Bhakti Gives Supreme Happiness

Although to take up devotional service for being happy is no doubt a praiseworthy goal, it is certainly as you have asked not pure bhakti. The pure devotee does not care for his own happiness. His only desire is to make Krishna happy by his every thought, word, and deed. Even if he has to suffer great trials and tribulations in the Lord's service, if the devotee can make the Lord happy by his endeavor, he feels great satisfaction within his heart.

In this way the devotee is 100% dovetailed with the happiness of Krishna and he enjoys unlimited happiness on a level equal with the Lord's happiness. The key to attaining this state of unlimited happiness is to give up the desire for personal happiness, replacing that desire with the sole desire of making Lord Sri Krishna happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 8 September 2008

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

Particle Expands a Spiritual Body

Whether in the spiritual sky or the material sky, the spirit-soul always remains an indestructible, indivisible, subatomic particle of eternal, full-of-knowledge, full-of-bliss anti-material energy. Just as in the material world that particle expands a material body, in the spiritual world that same particle expands a spiritual body. When we are in this material world we are like oil in a mixture of oil and water. But in the spiritual world we are like oil in oil. While the impersonalists want to remain as spiritual particles in the spiritual world, the devotees of the Lord want to develop spiritual bodies so that they will have full facility to serve their beloved Lord, Sri Krishna in many different types of relationships.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Does Krishna Eat?


My questions are:

How does Krishna eat? How does He think? And how does He work?

Mahendra

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Answer: With Great Delight

Krishna is always relishing with great delight the wonderful foodstuffs lovingly being offered to Him by His devotees. He especially appreciates the offerings presented to Him by Srimati Radharani. She is such an expert cook that she never makes the same preparation twice for her beloved Lord Krishna.

In regards to thinking, just as the Lord's devotees are constantly absorbed in loving thoughts of Him, He is always constantly absorbed in loving thoughts of His devotees. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

sadhavo hridayam mahyam
sadhunam hridayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti
naham tebhyo manag api

"The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart,
and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee.
My devotees do not know anything else but Me,
and I do not know anyone else but them."

--Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.68

And in regards to working, Krishna doesn't have to work because He is richest man in all of existence. He owns everything. Even though he simply plays the flute, still everything is going on perfectly under His direction conducted by His various energies.

This is the meaning of God. Do you understand now what is God?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

Sunday 7 September 2008

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

Take a Strong Position


Sometimes neophyte devotees think that being humble means to silently acquiesce to whatever is going on around them. But this is not at all case. Humility means to be fully submissive to the will of Krishna or God even if this means that you have to take a strong position relative to what is going on in this material world. A devotee speaks out strongly against those things which are happening in defiance of the instructions of Lord Sri Krishna as given in the Bhagavad-gita. This is real humility, not some of everything-is-okay mentality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is God?

In Bangladesh we see many gods. But who is the real God, and how can I know?

Sanjay

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Answer: The Origin of all Existence, Sri Krishna

Before we can know Who is God we first must understand what is the meaning of God. God means that person who is the origin of all existence. If we thoroughly research the Vedic wisdom, we will clearly see that the origin of all existence is none other than Sri Krishna as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, the Brahma-Samhita and other Vedic literatures.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 
Saturday 6 September 2008

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

Your Personal Realization


In the ultimate self-realization science, Krishna consciousness, we do not impose any dogmas upon you. Rather we give you the tools and techniques by which you can personally realize and experience the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. At the present moment the conditioned souls are blinded by the covering fog of the illusory energy. But by the brilliant sun of Krishna consciousness the fog will be burned away and they will be able to clearly perceive the Supreme Person, Who is the source and maintainer of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Will You Accept Me as Your Servant?


Hare Krishna

All glories unto you.

When will you be so kind as to accept me as your servant for ever?

Ashutosh

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Answer: Now, On Srila Prabhupada's Order

Actually I do not feel qualified to accept anyone as my servant because I am nothing more than the lowly servant of the greatest spiritual master in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. As far as I am concerned everyone should fully absorb themselves in the service of Srila Prabhupada. But as His Divine Grace has instructed me that after his departure I should personally accept servants, on his order and only because of his order I will happily accept your service without delay.

Whatever service is offered to the spiritual master is not accepted by him on his own behalf. In a way somewhat similar to a tax collector accepting taxes on behalf of the government the spiritual master accepts the service of his disciples on behalf of his spiritual master and the predecessor acharyas. This is known as the system of disciplic succession. This system is described by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita as the means by which we receive transcendental knowledge. This is an ancient, ancient system which has no beginning point in the annals of cosmic history.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Friday 5 September 2008

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

Are You Exasperated?

Are you exasperated or enraged by the modern day society? If not, you should be because it is being conducted in gross violation of the laws of God. Even though a devotee of the Lord has found perfect peace and harmony in his relationship with God, and even though he is a very kind, loving, and tolerant person, he is completely intolerant of a world situation which is every day becoming more and more godless. He therefore dedicates his life for bringing about a revolution in this world's grossly misdirected human civilization.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: To Whom Should I Surrender?

Thank you for your answer about question what is our duty. But now I would like to know about my case, I don't have a spiritual master. To whom should I surrender and what does it mean to surrender?

Your servant,

Vanja

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Answer: To Srila Prabhupada and His Representative

It very nice that you are inquiring about how to surrender and to whom to surrender. To surrender to Lord Krishna is the perfection of existence. It automatically liberates you from the cycle of birth and death and enables you to regain your original position in the spiritual sky.

The greatest spiritual master in history is of course His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. If you read his books and follow his instructions, you will get a first class start on the pathway of bhakti (devotion), the pathway of surrendering to Lord Krishna. The best way to get fixed in following Srila Prabhupada's teachings is to participate regularly in the activities of your nearest ISKCON center.

Once you have begun the path of bhakti, the next step for becoming solidly situated will be for you to take initiation from one of Srila Prabhupada's disciples. If Srila Prabhupada were still physically present on this planet you would of course take your initiation directly from him, but as he is no longer physically present the etiquette is to take initiation from one of his disciples who is physically present on this planet.

This initiation can be accepted from me or any one of my Godbrothers who is also initiating disciples. From that point onwards your initiating guru will take full responsibility working in harmony with your nearest ISKCON center to make sure you are properly engaged in surrendering yourself fully to Lord Krishna according to the perfect instructions given by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of our movement, ISKCON.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Thursday 4 September 2008

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

Don't Be Bamboozled

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur once said, "The modern world is a society of the cheaters and the cheated." And we can see how true his observation is. Everywhere people are being bamboozled by pretentious so-called leaders into identifying themselves with their bodies. Thus misguided they waste their entire lives in service to their material bodies only to be rewarded with another material body after giving up the present one. They transmigrate from one set of suffering conditions to another set of suffering conditions. So instead of allowing ourselves to be cheated by the false propaganda of the materialistic bamboozlers, we should hear from the enlightened sages who are so kindly teaching us how to become free from our bodily entanglement and attain an eternal existence, which is full of knowledge and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Pravritti Marg Take Us to God?


I would like to know if the pravritti marg of bhakti (devotion) can take us to the God. Also, how many religions in your opinion teach nirvritti marg? Thank you for your guidance.

~Ankush

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Answer: It Keeps us Apart from God

Pravritti marg is not the path of bhakti or devotion. It is the path of approaching God to fulfill one's material desires. Pravritti marg, the path of increasing sense enjoyment does not take us to God. In fact, even though in pravritti marg we approach God, because we approach Him to fulfill our material desires those material desires always remain as a curtain separating us from the Lord. It is nirvritti marg, the path of decreasing sense enjoyment through devotional service, that endears us to the Supreme Person, the source of all existence, and enables us to escape the cycle of birth and death to regain our former positions in His transcendental pastimes in the sublime spiritual sky.

In all the religions we see that pravritti marg is predominant. Therefore Krishna advises us to abandon all religions and simply surrender to Him. In other words, Krishna is advocating nirvritti marg. Of course, nivritti marg can be practiced by anyone in any religious tradition. But the leaders within the various religions are grossly misguiding their followers by promoting pravritti marg instead. Therefore there is a crying need for genuine spiritual leaders on this planet. The Krishna consciousness movement is trying to fill this void.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Wednesday 3 September 2008

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

Pure Krishna Bhakti is the Way


If we want to be fully happy, the way to achieve this is pure Krishna bhakti. To whatever extent we mix sense gratificatory desires into bhakti, to that extent we will experience anxiety. Therefore those who are fully intelligence desire pure bhakti and nothing else. The Vedic wisdom promotes pure bhakti. And all the great acharyas, the great spiritual masters who have guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years, have all promoted pure bhakti. So it is very clear from many different angles of vision that pure bhakti is the way to go for getting out of the cycle of birth and death, for achieving the perfectional stage of perfect spiritual enlightenment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: Your Logic is Subjective


This logic of your philosophy is subjective and personal. Just tell me it is not such, and I will be surprised.

servant of the devotees and of the guru,

Indu

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Answer: You Are In For a Big Surprise

Subjective philosophy means relative to an individual's personal preconceptions about reality. In other words subjective philosophy is not real philosophy. It is simply a jugglery of words. It is so called logic for supporting one's own views. Thoughtful persons therefore lay aside all preconceived ideas so they can objectively, in a pure philosophical way, see things exactly as they are.

Since you think that our philosophy is subjective, you are then in for a big surprise. If something is purely based on logic, it must be objective. The logic of our philosophy is simple. We can objectively observe all around us that all machines have operators. We can also see how the universe functions as a machine. Therefore we can objectively and logically conclude that the universe has an operator. What is the difficulty for you to understand this simply objective logic? You need to toss out your subjectivity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Tuesday 2 September 2008

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

Upcoming World Tour


Now we are making the final preparations for our next Krishna consciousness world tour. In this material world many people make world tours, but they usually do them for some sort of sense gratificatory purpose. Our mood is different from that of an ordinary tourist or businessman. We have no material motive for our tour. We are making our tour in a mood of humble service to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to assist him in his mission of inundating the entire world in a tidal wave of pure Krishna bhakti. This is the topmost necessity of the modern day human society. The whole world is suffering due to lack of Krishna consciousness. We want to help them to become happy. This is our mission.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Perfection?


Namaste. What is perfection? How can it be achieved? I have so many friends who say, "I'm not perfect and never will be." What a sad and sorry fate. With this attitude, what is there to look forward to? Thank you for caring so much and for helping people change their lives for the better.

Love always,

Tommi

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Answer: Being Restored to Our Original State of Consciousness

Just as rain water is pure but becomes muddied by mixing with the earth when it falls to the ground, similarly our original perfect state of consciousness becomes polluted by contact with the material atmosphere. And just as contaminants can be filtered out of polluted water to restore it to its original pure state, similarly our polluted consciousness can be restored to its original perfectly pure state by the filtering process known as the bhakti yoga system.

Those who have a defeatist attitude will indeed always remained defeated because they have relegated themselves by their attitude to the position of perpetually being defeated. And those who are willing to bravely throw off their conditioning of bodily consciousness and take shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna, will be rewarded with liberation from all material miseries.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 
Monday 1 September 2008

from Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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Today's Thought:

Save the World Now

We are seeking persons who want to make their lives spiritually perfect and are willing to help bring about the deliverance of the suffering humanity from the clutches of illusion. The human society is currently heavily polluted by selfishness manifested in the form of lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion, and envy. The Krishna consciousness movement is fully dedicated to turning the tide of the times, restoring the human society back to its former glory when the Vedic age was fully manifested on this planet. You can help us by serving through any one of or any combination of the following four ways:

1. Life
2. Money
3. Intelligence
4. Words

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Real?

Greetings my name is Travis Gardineer. I love Krishna and the Gita, but I have read recently that He never even existed in real personage. What facts if any are there that can put my heart at ease that He was real?

Warm regards

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Answer: Evidence Proves His Existence

Someone can claim that George Washington never existed, but there is a lot of evidence in the form of written records to clearly prove that he is in a fact a historical person. Similarly someone may foolishly claim that Krishna never existed, but there is a wealth of historical evidence to the contrary. We have a great volume of written records describing in detail what He said and did.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
 

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