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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Wednesday 31 December 2008

from ISKCON Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Thanking Srila Prabhupada

This has been a very short but sweet visit to Melbourne, Australia, a mere two-and-a-half days of preaching. But Krishna has kept me pretty busy with five lectures and a fair amount of one-on-one preaching for my aspiring disciples. Plus there is my normal routine of morning sadhana, writing Thought for the Day, and trying to keep up with my voluminous correspondence. There is nothing within the entire existence which is sweeter and more enlivening than to be fully engaged 24/7 in practicing and teaching the science of Krishna consciousness. Bowing down at the lotus feet of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and constantly begging for his mercy I, his lowly servant Sankarshan Das, am thanking him again and again for this wonderful life that he has given me.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Ecstatic Melbourne Home Program
29 December 2008






Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Will the Animals Eat Us?

Prabhu I have been constantly trying to guide my colleagues towards Krishna Consciousness, but they still don't accept me telling them to stop eating meat or chicken. They just argue that it is stupidity to stop eating these animals, that if we don't eat them, they will eat us, that the animals will increase in numbers, and they will attack us.

Please guide me.

Kind Regards, Hari bol

Renoo

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Answer: In Their Next Lives They Will

To say that we must kill and eat the animals so that that they will not multiply in number and attack and eat us is ludicrous. It is we who are force breeding them to produce them in massive numbers so we can kill them and eat their flesh. Besides that, have you ever heard of a carnivorous cow? Cows eat grass. What to speak of human flesh, they do not consume any type of meat.

That someone would seriously put forward such arguments shows that they are completely out of touch with reality. Their meat eating has made their brains dull.

Of course, in another sense these animals will eat us. According to the stringent law of karma, if we eat meat, in the next life and in many lifetimes after that we will become animals again and again to be eaten by those very same animals that we consumed. This is why the Sanskrit word for meat is mamsa (literally "me he") indicating that those animals whom we kill and eat will in the future kill and eat us. First it is me eating he. Then it is me being eaten by he. Me he, mamsa, flesh.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 30 December 2008

from ISKCON Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

We Can Live in the Spiritual World

It's wonderful to be staying here again at ISKCON Melbourne. It is especially sweet because Melbourne is one of the places of Srila Prabhupada's transcendental pastimes. When he came here 1974 he declared on Tuesday 25 June:

"So you can be in the material world or the spiritual world as you desire. If you want to remain in the spiritual world, this temple is the spiritual world. We are not living in Melbourne. This temple is not Melbourne. It is Vaikuntha. It is Vrindavana."

It is simply up to us which world we want to live in. If we choose to try to be an independent enjoyer, then we must live in the material world, which is so full of stress and anxiety. And if we choose to live as Krishna's servants to let Him enjoy us, we will then live in the spiritual world free from all anxieties tasting ever-increasing happiness.

The choice is ours. What do you choose?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada in Melbourne, Australia




Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Gita As It Is Emphasizes Guru?

I have read the Bhagavad-gita many times but have yet to read the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. What is the difference? And how come it seems to stress having a spiritual master so much in the "As It Is" edition when I don't believe I have ever read it in the many translations that I own.

Thank you very much.
God bless.

Travis Gardineer

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Answer: Because Krishna Emphasizes Guru

There is only version of the Bhagavad-gita, and that is the Bhagavad-gita spoken by Krishna. Lord Krishna clearly states in Bhagavad-gita 13.8-12: ācāryopāsanaṁ, that approaching in spiritual master is one of the items of knowledge and that not approaching a guru is ignorance.

Therefore any Gita translation which accurately translates the Sanskrit must bring forward the necessity of having a bona fide spiritual master. If they do not do so, that edition, according to Sri Krishna, is in ignorance.

If other authors are using the popularity of the Bhagavad-gita to present their own philosophy that a guru is not required, we are not interested in such so-called Bhagavad-gitas. Instead we are interested in what was actually spoken by Krishna to Arjuna because it is this pure, accurate presentation of the Bhagavad-gita that will deliver us from the cycle of birth and death, not other editions which change the words of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 29 December 2008

from ISKCON Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Hamilton Program

6:40AM-28 December. We are at the Auckland Airport awaiting our flight to Melbourne. The program last night in Hamilton, New Zealand was simply wonderful. It was a great pleasure for me to meet our ISKCON temple president in Hamilton, Sriman Abhay Charan Prabhu, and so many wonderful devotees. Not knowing on what verse I should speak, I simply randomly opened the Bhagavad-gita to see which verse would appear. The verse was Chapter 4, Text 34:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te j˝ānaṁ
j˝āninas tattva-darśinaḥ

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master.
Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him.
The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you
because they have seen the truth."

---Bhagavad-gita 4.34


This divine instruction given by Lord Sri Krishna serves as a potent reminder how important it is that each of us has a spiritual master. Without a guru we are nowhere just like a homeless street dog. When we do have a spiritual master and we fully surrender ourselves unto him our pathway back to home, back to Godhead is sure and certain.

I lectured for about an hour on this key verse. Many of the members of the audience have not yet taken shelter of a spiritual master. I hope that my explanation of Lord Krishna's instructions has inspired and motivated them so that they will now make the most important step of their lives by taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Krishna's Offering
in ISKCON Hamilton's Deity Kitchen



ISKCON Hamilton Ecstatic Hari Nama Party





Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Don't Say "Follow the Path of Krishna"

Your good self always mentions the words Supreme Lord, Supreme Person, etc, etc. Have you experienced the extreme feeling of the Supreme Lord once? Have you ever got the darshan of Krishna? Just don't say, "Follow the path of Krishna and that is the darshan." I am talking about the perfection, as I believe in perfection. I am in search of a human being who has conversation or darshan or great feeling with Supreme Lord.

Dr. G.S. Narang


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Answer: Don't Say "Don't" to Sri Guru

Krishna says that when we approach the spiritual master that we should inquire submissively. If the disciple tells the spiritual master not to answer his question in a particular way which is not to his liking, this is not a submissive inquiry, and it will not allow for the transmission of transcendental knowledge from the spiritual master to the disciple.

The bona fide spiritual master is always in direct contact with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And he has the power to give Krishna to his submissive disciple, not to the demanding one. So my best advise to you is that you should learn how to approach Sri Guru in the mood of loving service and complete submission because it is only in this mood that the transmission of spiritual realization will take place.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 28 December 2008

from on the road to Hamilton, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Take the Leadership

The time is now for those who are Krishna conscious to take the positions of leadership on all levels throughout the world. That leadership taking will not be by force. Rather it will be by ideal character and exemplary behavior. The misguidance of those persons who are addicted to sense gratification is creating an ever more unbearably calamitous situation for the planet earth. It is only when those who are purely Krishna conscious take the positions of leadership throughout the world that the dangerous ocean of Kali will subside and there will be a revival of the happy, peaceful, and prosperous Vedic age, the Caitanya Era, which has been predicted to last for 10,000 years in the early days of the Kali Yuga. That era began in 1486 with the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and has been expanded all over the world by the empowered preaching of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, our beloved spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Spiritual or Material Goals?

Please advise on how we should spend our energy on material advancement and spiritual advancement. I feel that I cannot ignore material goals and advancement. Also, it is widely believed that its all a dream and we need to play our part (in the material world) as destined. I am at a cross roads and do not know what would be right path to pursue.

regards
sudarsan

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Answer: Spiritualize All Goals

Rise early before the sunrise and spend the predawn hours on spiritual cultivation. Then in the service of Krishna you may cultivate material progress in full swing and offer the result to Krishna.

You have your choice of two destinies:
1. Material destiny
2. Spiritual destiny

If you only cultivate material progress you will be destined to remain in the cycle of birth and death sometimes as an animal, sometimes as a plant, sometimes as a fish, sometimes as an insect, sometimes as a bird, and sometimes as a human being. But if you choose the path of spiritual cultivation, you will be destined to regain your original position in the spiritual world.

On the path of spiritual cultivation, your material progress is automatically included. And on the path of material cultivation there is no spiritual progress. Therefore those who are intelligent pursue the path of spiritual progress and are fully happy and prosperous in this lifetime and for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 27 December 2008

from ISKCON--Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Oasis in the Desert

There is no point in relocating to a better neighborhood in order to become happy because this entire material world is a bad neighborhood. All one has to do to become truly happy is learn how to dive deeply into the ocean of bhakti, which is readily available everywhere for those who are learned and expert in the bhakti science. And one achieves that learning and expertise by studying the Bhagavad-gita as it is, by associating with the saintly devotees of the Lord and by submissively inquiring from and serving the bona fide spiritual master.

Here at ISKCON's Auckland, New Zealand there is a wonderful opportunity to learn this above mentioned art of how to dive deeply into the nectarean all blissful ocean of bhakti. This is one of wonderful oases in the vast desert of this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sri Sri Radha Giridhari
the Deities of Auckland, New Zeland



Ecstatic Kirtan at ISKCON Auckland




Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Self-Realization for All People?

As a self-realized teacher, I assume that you want all people to be self-realized. How come some people cannot become self-realized? What do they do if they fail to achieve self-realization? Do they continue toward achieving self-realization?

Henry

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Answer: If They Take Shelter of the Bona Fide Spiritual Master

Yes, because my spiritual master has given me the duty of delivering the suffering humanity from the clutches of birth and death, I therefore want to see that the entire world population will achieve Krishna consciousness, the topmost platform of self-realization. My entire life is dedicated to this purpose.

There is no such thing as some people not being able to become self-realized. Everyone can awaken their dormant enlightened consciousness if they are willing to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master. If someone fails in their attempt, it simply means that they were not willing to make the effort to surrender to a bona fide spiritual master.

Those who are not on the self-realization path will, by the influence of the materialistic age of Kali, go further and further from that path. But those persons who seek the Absolute Truth will be brought into contact with a bona fide spiritual master by the Supreme Lord, Who is situated within their hearts. The spiritual master will then fully enlighten them in the transcendental self-realization science and solidly situate them on the pathway to perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 26 December 2008

from Sydney, Australia International Airport
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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna

5 December 2005--Australia is progressing nicely in Krishna consciousness. Today when we entered the security area for our departure to New Zealand one of the officials said "Hare Krishna." Then we turned a corner and proceeded further to the carry-on luggage screening machine where two minutes later another official said "Hare Krishna." I happily informed him that Australia is the best country in the world because the people here are so Krishna conscious.

That place where the holy name is constantly being uttered is non-different from the spiritual world. Of course, Australia is far from that. But from experience this morning at the Sydney airport I can see that it is off to a very good start.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Self-Realization in One Hour?

Since we want to help everyone attain self-realization, why don't we do it immediately. Purush Dada Bhagavan can give self-realization to people in one hour. How can we go about giving self-realization to people immediately since to prolong the time would make them suffer?

Henry

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Answer: One Hour Guru is a Cheater

Anyone who promises one hour self-realization is a cheater. We do not do this. We honestly give you the authorized self-realization process that has been approved and carefully passed down by the great acharyas. One-hour self-realization is like a diploma mill that can give you a fake PHD for $25. If you want a genuine PHD, you have to work for it. And if you want genuine self-realization, you have to work for it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 25 December 2008

from North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Association of Sādhus

The most important ingredient in the self-realization recipe is the association of sādhus, the saintly devotees of the Lord. By their association we can see that the process of Krishna consciousness works, that it is real, not imaginary. The sādhus are very merciful. In fact they are veritable oceans of mercy. By their auspicious blessings we can achieve the perfection of human life, going back to home, back to Godhead. We can regain our original identities in the amazing pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The wonderful qualities of the sādhus are described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

titikṣavaḥ kāruṇikāḥ
suhṛdaḥ sarva-dehinām
ajāta-śatravaḥ śāntāḥ
sādhavaḥ sādhu-bhūṣaṇāḥ

"The symptoms of a sādhu are that he is tolerant,
merciful and friendly to all living entities.
He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures,
and all his characteristics are sublime."

--Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.21


We should mould our daily and weekly activities in such a way as to get the association of sādhus, the Krishna conscious people, as much as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can't Chant

I have been your disciple since last one year. You have advised me that chanting is the best way to worship Lord Krishna. But I am finding myself a complete failure for taking this commitment. I am not not finding the slightest interest in chanting. Please guide me is there any other way.

Thanking you,

Amit Gupta

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Disciple Means 16 Rounds...

Discipline means discipline, disciplined by the order of the spiritual master. Therefore, since you have not yet surrendered to chanting, you are not yet my disciple. If you were my disciple, you would follow my instructions to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna japa daily around the beads and to strictly follow the four regulative principles:

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

Chanting is the only way in this age as confirmed in the Brihad Naradiya Purana:

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

"In this Age of Kali there is no other means, no other means,
no other means for self-realization than chanting the holy name,
chanting the holy name, chanting the holy name of Lord Hari."


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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Wednesday 24 December 2008

from North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Sublime Early Morning

The early morning before sunrise is the best time for chanting Hare Krishna because at that time the mode of goodness is very prominent. Once the sun comes up and the material society is once again stirred into action the mode of passion becomes predominant. And then after sunset when people flock to various establishments for enjoying so-called night life the mode of ignorance becomes predominant. Devotees are not interested in staying awake late into the night. They prefer to take rest as soon as possible so that they can rise as early as possible to take the greatest advantage of the early morning hours. In this connection Lord Sri Krishna explains as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

yā niśā sarva-bhūtānām
tasyām jāgarti saṁyamī
yasyām jāgrati bhūtāni
sā niśā paśyato muneḥ

"What is night for all beings is the time of awakening for the self-controlled;
and the time of awakening for all beings is night for the introspective sage."
Bhagavad-gita 2:69


Devotees intelligently take advantage of the modes of nature to facilitate their absorption in chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Those who are initiated chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day on japa beads. The best time for chanting those rounds is the early morning before sunrise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Chanting Hare Krishna Japa


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Self-Realized?

How do I gain self-realization, and how long does it takes?

Henry

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Answer: Follow Bhagavad-gita's Instructions

By strictly following Lord Krishna's instructions as spoken in the Bhagavad-gita, you will quickly and easily become self-realized. How quickly you will attain this supreme perfection of existence will depend on how quickly you can implement all of Krishna's instructions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 23 December 2008

from North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Golden Era of Spiritual Enlightenment

Since I have started this e-course at the end of 2002 I have sent out 36,000 individual emails. It is not always easy to keep up with my correspondence. At the present time I am running about five days behind on answering my emails. I am constantly receiving emails from all over the world. Mostly sincere souls are inquiring how to understand properly the science of Krishna and/or how to successfully practice it. Sometimes I get emails from envious people who scold and chastise me telling me that I am wrong. They think they have better knowledge than what has been spoken by God Himself and carefully handed down by the great sages from time immemorial. What I am teaching is not wrong because it is not my opinion. It is the opinion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, as He clearly reveals it in the Bhagavad-gita. And because it is the knowledge coming directly from God it is all auspicious. It bestows the ultimate benefit upon the suffering humanity. I am praying for that day when they will accept this knowledge. It will mark a new era of world history, a golden era of spiritual enlightenment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answering Emails on World Tour




Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Rational?

Hare Krishna,

How should we tell the mind to think rationally and not emotionally?

Thank you very much,

Sujata

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Answer: See Through the Eyes of Scripture

By seeing everything through the eyes of the scriptures.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 22 December 2008

from North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Last Session of Our Govinda Valley Retreat

21 December 2008--We had the last session of our ecstatic Govinda Valley retreat at the nearby beach by the bottom of a cliff with the prominent roar of the pounding surf in the background. Everyone was in jovial spirits to be inquiring and hearing on the transcendental topic of Krishna consciousness. The devotees asked many, many questions. It was ecstatic to satisfy them with the wonderful answers I have learned from my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. After the question and answer session I sang for them in English two Krishna conscious songs with the accompaniment of a guitar. The first song was "Turn On Your Soul", a song of my own composition, and the second song was Uselessly, an English version of the song Hari Hari Viphale by Narottam Das Thakur. We all had the greatest time celebrating the sublime nectar of Krishna consciousness, and we are now eagerly awaiting our next Govinda Valley retreat in 2009.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Window to the Spiritual World Retreat
Govinda Valley, Australia--21 December 2008







Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Covered by Yogamaya?

Respected Sir,

May your blessings always be on me.

Sir, is it true that Lord Krishna covers Himself with Yogmaya?, If yes, why does He do so?

warm regards,
Sunil


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Answer: No. Krishna's Devotees Are Covered by Yogamaya

It is not that Krishna is covered by yogamaya. Rather it is instead Krishna's devotees who are covered by yogamaya. In Goloka Vrindavan, the topmost planet of the spiritual sky, which is inhabited by the Lord in His original form of Krishna and His most intimate devotees, the Lord puts the devotees under the spell of yogamaya so that He can have multi-varieties of intimate relationships with them. If they were to realize that He is the Supreme Person, they would treat Him with great awe and reverence and the intimacy would be lost. Therefore the Lord covers them with His yogamaya so they can think that He is one of the village boys and treat Him as such. However, even though they do not realize that He is God, His qualities and pastimes are so amazing that all of the inhabitants of Goloka Vrindavan are always engaged in hearing, chanting, and remembering His transcendental name, fame, form, pastimes, entourage and paraphernalia with greater intensity than the devotees on the other spiritual planets who do realize that He is the Supreme Person.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 21 December 2008

from Govinda Valley, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Window to Spiritual World

20 December 2008--Krishna has blessed me with the most auspicious opportunity. I am here in sublime, serene Govinda Valley, Australia with 37 sincere souls who have signed up to get away from the rat race spending the weekend in a spiritual revitalization retreat with me for discovering the world that exists beyond their material senses. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, has opened a window for me to that spiritual world and now on his order and by his mercy I am to open that same window for those who have come to attend this retreat. Two days of exciting seminars, kirtans, spiritual association, and delicious prasadam await us as we embark on a transcendental journey to the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Window to the Spiritual World Retreat
Govinda Valley, Australia--19 December 2008






Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Surrender to Krishna?

I know you are busy but if you find the time to answer some questions about the Gita it would be much appreciated. Many questions pop up as I read the Gita. For example:

1-Who is a bona fide spiritual master? Is this the same as what the impersonalists call enlightenment?

2-What does "to meditate on the lotus feet of Krishna" mean?

3-What does "lording it over material nature or the material creation" mean ?

4-How do you surrender to Krishna ? What does it mean?

Thanks for your time!

Mike

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Answer: Follow Krishna's Instructions Given in the Bhagavad-gita

A bona fide spiritual master is described as follows in the Mundaka Upanisad:

tad-vij˝ānārtham sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham

"If one wants to become self-realized, he must approach a spiritual master
who is learned in the Vedic knowledge and fixed solidly in Krishna consciousness."

--Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12

The enlightenment of the impersonalist is of an inferior quality to that of devotee because while the devotee enters permanently into the spiritual sky never to return to the land of birth and death, the impersonalist escapes the cycle of birth and death only temporarily. After some time of floating as a spiritual particle in the spiritual sky, the impersonalist comes down again to enter into the cycle of birth and death.

Meditating on Krishna's lotus feet means to fix one's mind on the feet of Krishna. The reason that we do is this is that we are humbly bowing down in submission before the Lord at His feet.

Lording it over the material nature means thinking that one is the proprietor of those things which in actuality belong to the Lord, such as one's body and one's wealth.

Surrendering to Krishna means to follow the instructions that He is giving in the Bhagavad-gita such as chanting His holy names, only eating Krishna prasadam, and accepting a guru.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 20 December 2008

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

I Can Help You

The time is now for us to fully dedicate ourselves for the deliverance of the entire planet earth from ever-increasing degradation. If we want to be potent deliverers of the suffering humanity, we must first of all deliver ourselves by fully surrendering ourselves unto Lord Krishna under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master.

This is what I did in 1971. And then my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ordered me that I should also become a spiritual master and initiate thousands of disciples all over the world. So if you are looking for shelter and guidance for how you can attain spiritual perfection and for how you can play an instrumental role of the deliverance of the suffering humanity, by the mercy of my spiritual master I can help you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: You Have Nothing to Say Against Terrorism?

Namaste,

Jai Shree Krishna!

After this big terror attack, I am surprised you have nothing to say. In just last five hundred years, we have lost Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Goa to brutal religions. Now Kashmir, Kerala, North East of Bharat, 1/2 of Gujarat, Bengal, Hyderabad is almost gone. There will be no place to live for Sanatan Dharmis or Hindus, Jains or Sikhs or Buddhists to live. For Jews there is Israel, but for us there will be no land. If people like you ignore the problem we all will disappear like the ancient Egyptians. And You have nothing to say? Hope you can guide us.

Jai Shree Krishna!,

Kaushik

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Answer: I Am Saying, But Are You Prepared to Follow?

Formerly Indian culture or Vedic culture encompassed the entire planet earth. Because of sinfulness the people of India gradually lost their kingdom. And it is shrinking more and more due to ever-increasing sinfulness. I have been visiting India regularly for the last 30 years, and it is shocking for me to see how much it is deteriorating by drifting more and more away from its original culture, pure Krishna bhakti as explained in the Bhagavad-gita. If we want to restore India to its former predominance on this planet, the Indian people must once again become qualified spiritual leaders by fully absorbing themselves in pure Krishna bhakti under the capable guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. Are you ready to step forward to set the example by completely surrendering your life for the re-spiritualization of planet earth under my guidance?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Friday 19 December 2008

from Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Prayer for World Deliverance

Our dearmost Lord Sri Krishna, at the present moment the entire human population is deeply engrossed in ignorance and passion and suffering greatly because of it. By the unlimited kindness of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the entire world has been blessed with the pathway of deliverance back to the original home of all living beings in the spiritual sky. Unfortunately only a very small fraction of the world population is aware of this. Those of us who have been blessed with the knowledge of this pathway of pure Krishna bhakti understand that even though we are most undeserving we still have received this greatest of all good fortunes. And all around us we see this world full of lost souls who are most pitiably completely entangled in the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, our most beloved Lord Krishna, we are begging you to use us as Your instruments for as soon as possible delivering them by bringing them to their original, natural, fully enlightened state of consciousness as Your eternal servants.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srimad Bhagavatam Class in Pune, India
17 December 2008






Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Armed with a Machine Gun?

How long should we remain tolerant and engage ourselves in the Hare Krishna mantra in the world full of rogues, greedy people and terrorists? In the event of Mumbai carnage I am unable to control my anger and hate towards people who kill others in the name of some barbarian religion originated in the middle of a desert thousand years ago. Should we still remain engaged in Hare Krishna mantra sixteen rounds a day when our backyard is burnt, our brothers are tortured and killed and mothers and sisters lose their dignity? Isn't it the right time to wake up with Hare Krishna mantra in heart and sword (or a machine gun in the present age) in the hand to defend dharma? Shouldn't we spread this message worldwide before another massacre happens?

Rajarshi

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Answer: No. Armed with Hare Krishna

If you are powerful enough to control the government then you can and should use violence against the criminal element. It is the government's duty to do this. But if you try to take the law into your own hands and directly take to violent action yourself, you will be treated by the government as a criminal, and you will be arrested and prosecuted. Another option would be that you join the anti-terrorism unit of the police or of the military. This could give you the direct opportunity to battle it out with terrorists.

But as I have previously explained, the actual cause of terrorism is our karma. Because we as a world society are inflicting terrorism upon the innocent animals in the slaughterhouses and upon the innocent children in the abortion clinics, we are now being terrorized as a karmic reaction. The only real solution for terrorism is that we have to stop engaging in it ourselves. Then we will see how the terrorism menace has been defeated.

So if you really want to be the most effective for putting a stop to terrorism, you should fully purify yourself of all of your past karma by taking complete shelter of Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. And then with your guru's blessings you should fully absorb yourself in preaching the message of Krishna consciousness all over the world. This and only this will bring a permanent stop to terrorism. As long as the world population is in the jungle of animalistic consciousness it is sure and certain that some of the animals will be ferocious. It is only when we elevate the entire human civilization to the human platform by the wide scale propagation of the Krishna consciousness movement that terrorism will be in the history books only and not in the newspapers.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 18 December 2008

On the road to Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

No Stress Success

On Tuesday 16 December I gave a seminar entitled "No Stress Success" to the owner and employees of Emptoris Technologies, a high tech company in Pune, India. I explained to them that the secret of no stress success is to harmonize ourselves with the underlying reality upon which everything exists. In other words we have to go with the flow of that underlying reality. What confuses us and has gotten our entire world civilization into a state of disharmony is that we have taken the eddy or counter flow of material sense gratification to be the actual flow and have foolishly aligned ourselves with that eddy instead of the actual flow of existence, which is to harmonize ourselves through loving service with the Supreme Source of all existence, the Supreme Person.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




"No Stress Success" Seminar
at Emptoris Technologies, Pune, India

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who to Follow?

I am still a student all religions and am having a hard time finding a clear path to follow. I would define the following as a theological debate so it doesn't concern me as much. But out of my ignorance I still see it as a possible threat to my salvation. Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the light no man comes to the Father except through me." And Paul says that under no other name can a man be saved. Krishna says, "I am the source of all material and spiritual universes. Everything emanates from me. Knowing this the wise engage in my devotional service and worship me with all their hearts." And again he says they resolve deep within side them self to seek me alone.

Is there any end to my suffering as to who to follow? Is there an answer to this question as to who's name I should accept as the supreme name of God?

Thank you so much,

Travis Gardineer

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Answer: The Spiritual Master is One

The answer is simple. You should follow the bona fide spiritual master, that person who leads you to the Supreme Truth. There is no alternative.

The Supreme Truth is one. It cannot be two. If it is two, it is not the Supreme Truth. The one Supreme Truth has been revealed by many great spiritual masters throughout history presented by each of them in a manner just suitable for the particular time, place, and circumstances under which they spoke. So you can follow any one of these great teachers and realize the one Supreme Truth. Simply you must be sincere that you want to fully surrender yourself to the Supreme Person, the source of all existence.

When Jesus says there is no other way he means that that there is no other way besides what he is teaching, the path of pure devotion. We could not agree more. Any spiritual master who is presenting pure bhakti is the only way. This is why it is sometimes said that the spiritual master is one although the persons may be many.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 17 December 2008

from Pune, India
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Today's Thought:

The New World Order

The modern day world civilization is crying and dying. Having lost its soul it is gradually withering away into oblivion. But all is not hopeless. A new world order, a new enlightened culture is arising to bring peace and prosperity to everyone in all corners of the globe. It is the revival of the original Vedic culture, which thrived for millions and millions of years on this planet before the advent of the age of Kali 5,000 years ago. Those who are well-informed are now resituating themselves in the resurgence of that most sublime Vedic culture, which is now being manifested all over the world in the form of the Krishna consciousness movement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Bhagavad-gita Lecture in Pune, India





Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Chocolate is Avoided?

I have one question in my mind:

Why are the initiated disciples and the neophytes who trying to qualify themselves for initiation prohibited from eating chocolate and ice cream?

Your servant,

Kalyan

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Answer: Not Favorable for Krishna Consciousness

Those who are serious to get out of the cycle of birth and death by going back to home, back to Godhead in this very lifetime strictly follow the regulative principles of freedom for the purification of their consciousness. In this regard there are certainly dietary restrictions for sanctifying the consciousness and empowering the devotee to absorb his mind 24 hours daily in transcendental meditation on Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Because chocolate contains caffeine, an intoxicant, therefore devotees do not take it. Intoxicants are avoided because they make it difficult to keep the mind fixed on Krishna.

Another point is that when we eat we are affected by the consciousness of the person who prepared the food. Therefore our principle is to only eat foods prepared by devotees. If we eat foods prepared by nondevotees, this will have a negative effect on our consciousness. And if we eat foods prepared by devotees, this will have an uplifting purifying effect on our consciousness.

Chocolate ice cream should be avoided because it contains chocolate. But other flavors of ice cream can be offered to Krishna and taken as prasadam by the devotees if the ice cream is made by devotees. Ice cream prepared by non-devotees should be avoided so that we are not affected by their material consciousness and also for the reason that the non-devotees often put eggs into ice cream.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 16 December 2008

from Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Deep Within the Ocean of Bhakti

If we want to be relieved from all anxieties and free to love all living beings with a pure heart, we need to dive deep within the ocean of bhakti, the ocean of pure love of Krishna or God. This is where we will all find the real nectar of existence. All programs for achieving happiness in this material world will ultimately prove to be a failure because we have nothing to do with these material coverings known as our material bodies. They are simply garments that we wear from some time and then discard when they become worn out. If we hear submissively from the bona fide spiritual master, by his mercy we will be carried deep, deep, deep within the ocean of bhakti where life is inconceivably sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Self-Will versus God's Will

I have several friends who talk a lot about "self-will versus God's will". What, in fact, is the will? How can we know what is God's will for us? How can we harmonize the two (apparently) conflicting wills?

Thank you.
Love always...Tommi

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Answer: The Same on the Perfectional Stage

Doing what we want to do is our will. Doing what God wants us to do is executing His will. Sometimes people foolishly think that they are God and that therefore by doing what they want to do they are executing God's will. Nothing could be further from the truth. God's will is revealed to us through the medium of the bona fide spiritual master. All we have to do to know and execute the will of God is place ourselves fully under the direction of the bona fide spiritual master.

In material consciousness we foolishly think that we can be happy by doing what we want to do, not necessarily what God wants us to do. But when we become spiritually awakened we realize that we can only become happy by doing what God wants us to do. When we are in material consciousness there is a difference between our will and God's will. But when we become fully spiritually enlightened our will and God's will become one and the same although the personalities still remain two.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 15 December 2008

from Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

Turn on the Entire World to Krishna Consciousness

Krishna consciousness is not something foreign or external. It is not imaginative ecstasy or cultism. The most sublime Krishna consciousness is lying there dormant within the hearts of all living beings. Therefore we do not require to impose it on anyone. Simply we must provide that suitable situation in which their natural original consciousness can be revived. Our mission is to turn the entire world onto Krishna consciousness. So we want to create that sublime atmosphere on this planet in which everyone can awaken and fully realize their eternal full-of-knowledge and full-of-bliss Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: I Used to Be More Attracted to Krishna

All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Today I woke up a little late and I did not chant my rounds. But I will chant them during the day. I have a question. I had a period some time ago when I was more attracted to Krishna than now. I don't know what happened why I don't feel so attracted anymore. Does this happen to a real devotee too? Is this normal?

With all my respect,

Amira

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Answer: Go Deeper into the Names

It is a natural for a neophyte devotee to go through phases of sometimes feeling more attracted to Krishna and sometimes less attracted to Krishna. This is because the neophyte is still under the influence of the modes of material nature, which are always competing with one another for supremacy. When the mode of goodness is more prominent the devotee will feel more attracted to Krishna. And when the modes of passion and ignorance are more prominent the devotee will feel less attracted to Krishna. The way to conquer over this dualistic nature of the material energy is to go deeper and deeper into the sound of Krishna's holy names. Chant intensely like a child crying out to her mother for help. This will gradually elevate your consciousness more and more beyond the modes of material nature so that you will eventually become steady in feeling attracted to Krishna and no longer have to experience the duality of sometimes being attracted to Krishna and sometimes not being attracted to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 14 December 2008

from Mumbai, India
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Today's Thought:

The Cure for Terrorism

We are here for the weekend in Mumbai, India, the site of the recent terrorist attacks. Security is extra tight here in an attempt to prevent another attack. We feel safe knowing that we have the ultimate security of Krishna. It is shameful that people have become so degraded in this age that in the name of religion they engage in all sorts of demoniac activities. They are so covered over by the material energy that they consider their sinful activities to be acts of righteousness. Whether it is the mass murder of turkeys in the name of giving thanks to God, as is done for Thanksgiving Day in the USA, or the mass murder of human beings in the name of religion, the disease is the same. They are acting against the laws of God. Whatever goes around, comes around. If we do not like being the victims of terrorism, we should be careful not to inflict terrorism upon others. That day when we stop terrorizing the unborn babies and the innocent animals, especially the cows, will be that day when we see that the terrorism menace subsides. Terrorism cannot and will not be stopped until we stop inflicting terrorism upon the innocents who are under our control.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Site of Recent Mumbai Terrorist Attack



Hare Krishna Land
Oasis in the Mumbai Desert

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did God Create a World of Miseries?

My question is: Why did God create this material world that He knows is temporary and full of miseries when the ultimate purpose of everything He does is His own sweet pleasure and enjoyment?

Aditya

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Answer: To Facilitate the Return of His Beloved Children to a Life of Unlimited Bliss

The sole purpose of Krishna's creating this material world is to facilitate those living beings who have foolishly misused their independence by abandoning an eternal life full of bliss of knowledge in Krishna's service in the spiritual sky. Krishna wants to enjoy a loving relationship with them, but as love cannot be forced, He gives them the free choice to love Him or leave Him. When they choose to leave Him, He mercifully provides a means for them to simultaneously satisfy their desire for independent enjoyment while at the same getting the impetus to return to their constitutional all-blissful servitorship position in His eternal kingdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 13 December 2008

from Hong Kong, China
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Today's Thought:

Hope for this Suffering World

Hong Kong is a dazzling neon city which especially comes to life at night. Allured by its glitter, hordes of people come here from all over the world to enjoy their senses. It is a marketing Mecca where you can get anything you want except for genuine happiness. You can purchase an authentic Rolex watch or just outside on the street you can buy a Rolex copy watch that looks just like the real thing. Everywhere the city screams out, "Money, money, money." But the whole city and the whole material world, which it so graphically represents, are empty and hollow. There is no substance to them. They are all show and no go. Luckily there is some relief. There is an oasis in this vast desert. There is an ISKCON center in Hong Kong where you can connect with the Supreme Person, the source of all existence and realize your true identity as His eternal servant. As soon as you enter into Hong Kong's ISKCON center, you feel that you have entered into another world, a safe transcendental haven where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. And you know that there is now hope for this suffering material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Hong Kong Night Life


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Recognize a Bona Fide Guru?

Dear Gurudeva,

In respect to finding a bona fide spiritual guide: How would I know or what would I look for that would tell me this person who is representing themselves as a bona fide spiritual guide who represents the Bhagavad-gita that they are indeed genuine, knowledgeable, accurate, intuitive, and correct on their interpretation of the Bhagavad-gita?

I understand that the version that A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada published is the correct version, but how do I know that the spiritual master has not twisted Srila Prabhupada's words with his own fertile imagination and is leading me astray?

Grim

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Answer: He Presents Bhagavad-gita As It Is

The first point to be understood in this connection is that the bona fide spiritual master does not give his own interpretation of the Bhagavad-gita. He simply presents verbatim what was given by the previous acharyas without any addition or subtraction. This system of faithfully passing down what was given by the predecessor acharyas is know as the guru parampara system. It is an age old system coming from Krishna Himself and has existed since time immemorial.

So to discern the bona fide spiritual master all you have to do is scrutinizingly study Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is. If you will carefully and repeatedly study this greatest of all books, you will gradually gain a understanding of exactly what is meant by Lord Krishna in each an every verse. In this way, armed with crystal clear understanding you will be able to easily recognize who is a bona fide transmitter of transcendental knowledge and who is not, who is a bona fide guru and who is not.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 12 December 2008

from Hong Kong, China
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Today's Thought:

"I am in Great Pain."

In India spiritual life is still very much appreciated. This can often lead to very interesting conversations when we interact with the Indian people. On Thursday 11 December 2008 when we were preparing to board a flight from Delhi to Hong Kong at the security checkpoint I was being frisked by a security guard.

The guard asked me, "Where are you from?"

I responded, "From the USA. But actually only my body is American. My actual self is the atma, and it is not American."

He said, "That is true of everybody," and I replied, "Yes, everyone is an atma, an eternal spiritual being."

Seeing my tilaka and shaved head with sikha he could understand that I was practicing Krishna bhakti. With great joy he asked me, "How long have you been doing this?"

I said, "Since 1971."

He said, "That means you have been practicing this for thirty-seven years."

"Yes," I replied.

Then in expectation of a very positive answer he asked, "How then do you feel?"

I paused for second to consider how to answer him in the clearest and most profound way. He was expecting to hear how blissful I am feeling. So I very much surprised him when I replied, "I am in great pain because all I see all around us a world in which the human population is suffering like anything due to forgetfulness of their loving servitor relationship with Krishna or God. Therefore I have fully dedicated my life for bringing about the spiritual enlightenment of the human population."

Now in afterthought as we are preparing to land in Hong Kong, as I write these words I am realizing that the pain the Vaisnavas feel is not ordinary pain. It is their compassion upon the illusioned souls. The more they feel such compassion, the more they feel pain. And the more they feel compassion upon the fallen, conditioned souls, the more that Krishna becomes pleased with them. And the more that Krishna becomes pleased with them, the more they become blissful.

So just see this most amazing amazing phenomenon! The more the Vaisnavas feel the pain of love lamenting the plight of the souls who have forgotten their relationship with Krishna, the more they become blissful. For such Vaisnavas more pain means more bliss.

Therefore even though the Vaisnavas feel themselves totally unqualified to spread Krishna consciousness to those who are in the darkness of ignorance, they beg Lord Krishna for the boon that they can abandon all desires for sense gratification and be fully absorbed 24 hours daily in helping the suffering souls of this world discover true happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Obtain a Guru?

I am presently reading Bhagavad-gita, it is a fascinating book. But I haven't yet been able to obtain a spiritual master. What can you advise me?

Thank you for your time.

Martin Carlos Mendoza de los Santos

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

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Answer: Guru Has Already Been Obtained

When you are inquiring from that person who is fixed in Krishna consciousness and who is presenting the message of the Bhagavad-gita as it is without any distortion you have already obtained a bona fide spiritual master. So there is no need for you to look any further. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita:
tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te j˝ānam
j˝āninas tattva-darśinaḥ

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master.
Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him.
The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you
because they have seen the truth."

---Bhagavad-gita 4.34


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 11 December 2008

en route to Hong Kong, China
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Today's Thought:

Revolutionary Impact

I am praying that I can have a revolutionary uplifting impact on the modern day society. Abandoning the God-centered principle and embracing the greed-centered principle, the society has run very far amuck, and is running further and further off the track with each passing day. I know that I can inspire others to give up greed and absorb themselves in love of God only to the extent that I have done so and not beyond that. Therefore in complete humility I am bowing down at the lotus feet of the all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, and begging Him to bless me with 100% pure devotional service so that I can have the greatest possible revolutionary impact on the human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is It Possible to Change the Guru?

Dear Gurudeva,

I am already initiated by a bona fide spiritual master. But due to my bad luck I am not able to communicate with him. Please guide me

Shardha

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Answer: Only if He is Bogus, Not if He is Bona Fide

If your diksha guru, the spiritual master who initiated you, is as you mention bona fide, you can never give him up or change to another guru. Your eternal existence must be fully dedicated to serving him by successfully carrying out the instructions that he has personally given you and that he has given in general to all of disciples. The disciple can have only one diksha guru.

While you may have only one diksha guru or initiating guru, you may have an unlimited number of siksha gurus, instructing spiritual masters. The siksha guru is someone whose instructions help you to connect with your initiating guru. Although the diksha guru and the siksha guru are described in the revealed scriptures as equal manifestations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, you must always accept your diksha guru as your ultimate and final authority.

However, if someone has been initiated by a spiritual master who is not bona fide, one should give him up and take his initiation instead from a bona fide spiritual master. The world is presently full of bogus spiritual masters, charlatans who are not competent to deliver their disciples back to the spiritual world. Therefore one should be very cautious to find out a bona fide spiritual master, a spiritual master who presents the Bhagavad-gita as it is, who does not twist it according to his own fertile imagination.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 10 December 2008

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Last Day in Vrindavana

Today is our last day in Vrindavana. These days in Vrindavana have afforded us the greatest opportunity to directly connect with Krishna here in His most sacred abode, which is non-different from Him. Coming into contact with Vrindavana means coming into contact directly with Krishna. And there is not much more to be stated in this connection. Every particle of dust here is more valuable than the wealth of Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods. Simply by breathing the air of Vrindavan one becomes relieved of the resultant reactions from millions of lifetimes of sinful activities. Simply by gazing upon the trees, bushes, cows, and the river Yamuna one becomes reconnected with one's original identity as the eternal servant of Krishna. One then has to then beg Krishna to become fully absorbed for all of eternity in pure devotional service to His lotus feet.

It is most important to note in connection with entering into Sri Vrindavana Dhama that according to the sastras one can only enter into this transcendental abode by the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master. If one is in material consciousness, he only experiences a shadow of the holy dhama. It is by the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master, who is the revealer of Sri Vrindavana Dhama, that we are allowed to factually enter into the sacred precincts of Sri Krishna's transcendental abode. We cannot enter into Vrindavana Dhama by purchasing an airplane ticket to Delhi and hiring a taxicab from the airport. We can however purchase a ticket to Vrindavana for the price of unflinching faith in the words of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Hinduism Inculcates the Caste System?

Why does the Hindu religion inculcate the caste system when one of its first teachings is that each living entity is equally divine, irrespective of the body he or she dwells in?

Karthik

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Answer: Vedic System is Based on Qualities, Not Birth

The first point to understand is that the word "Hindu" does not appear in the Vedas. It was a term with a derogatory tone that was coined by the Muslims to describe the religion of those persons who lived east of the River Sindu, which was pronounced by them as "Hindu." The actual Vedic religion is known as varnashram dharma, the system of four varnas and four ashrams.

The second point to understand is that in the Kali yuga the caste system that has evolved is a deviation from the original system of four varnas and four ashrams described in the Vedic literature. While in the caste system one's position in the society is determined according to one's birth, in the varnashram system one's position in the society is determined according to one's qualities and activities.

This is confirmed as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ


"According to the three modes of material nature
and the qualities and work associated with them,
the four divisions of human society are created by Me."

--Bg 4.13


Note that Krishna specifically states "guna-karma." Guna means qualities, and karma means work. In other words one's social position is measured according to one's qualities and actions, not according to his birth. If Krishna had wanted the system to be based on birth, He would have directly stated "janma", which means birth, instead of specifying "guna-karma", qualities and activities.

This caste system was propounded by the brahmana class when they became materialistic in order to sew up their position on the top rung of the social ladder even though they did not possess the exalted brahminical qualities to make them worthy of this position.

While is it true that every living entity is inherently equally divine, in this materialistic conditioned life the divine qualities are covered by the three modes of material nature. And according to one's degree of covering, he is naturally inclined to manifest the qualities and activities of a person who situated in one of the four divisions of the human society:

1. Worker class (sudra)
2. Agricultural-mercantile class (vaisya)
3. Warrior-administrative class (ksatriya)
4. Priestly-intellectual class (brahmana)

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 9 December 2008

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Going Through Hell for Krishna

This material world is a hellish place. It is the land of birth, death, old age, and disease. And since we are currently serving Krishna here in this material world it is natural that we will be exposed to these fourfold miseries. This is why Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that we have to be tolerant of the dualities of pain and pleasure experienced within this material world.

For example, in my own experience, I have suffered for the last forty-five years from an injury to my ears which occurred when I was over-exposed to the sound of loud rifle fire when I was a teenager taking military training in high school. Because of this my hearing is impaired and my ears are easily hurt by any loud sounds. Even though I often wear ear plugs as a protection, it is still not always sufficient to protect my ears, and I sometimes suffer from earaches and increased deafness.

So what to do? I could stay in one place in a quiet atmosphere and be freed from so many material miseries stemming from my damaged ears and the other complications of traveling. But by the grace of Srila Prabhupada, so many devotees all over the world are enlivened and enthused when I come to their countries and preach to them. Especially my disciples all over the world are greatly encouraged by my personal presence. And when I am able to serve the devotees and my disciples in this way it gives me great transcendental happiness, which far more than compensates for the hell I go through while traveling. Therefore because it is for Krishna's service, I tolerate this hell. It is well worth it because in this way I can experience the ultimate pleasure of spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. This proves that Krishna consciousness is indeed the real higher taste.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Sri Radha Krishna--the Lords of Vrindavana


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does God Choose to Exist?

Continuing the previous question, about God's omnipotency: Why does God choose to exist? And why does He emanate the universes and worlds? He could simply not exist, and nothing else would exist.

Thank you,

Catalina

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Answer: For His Own Sweet Pleasure

God chooses to exist for His own sweet pleasure.

That being accepted, one may then wonder that since He is atmarama or self-enjoyer why does He expand from Himself the material and spiritual worlds filled up with innumerable living beings? Of course, He is not obliged to do so. He could just remain alone. But because His nature is to enjoy, He chooses to expand His enjoyment unlimitedly by expanding from Himself innumerable living beings so that He can enjoy loving relationships with each and every one of them. This is why we have to love Krishna. It is only way that we can fulfill the purpose of our existence and thus become satisfied and happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 8 December 2008

from the road to Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
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Today's Thought:

The Most Wonderful Discovery


It's 6:45am on 7 December 2008. We are traveling in a motor vehicle from Vrindavana to Karoli, Rajasthan for the most auspicious darshan of Madana Mohana. I have just completed chanting 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala, and the dawn is beginning to manifest on the eastern horizon. This is a nice peaceful time of the day for writing "Thought for the Day." Feeling very much blessed by the presence of Krishna in His holy dhama, this morning as we were leaving the Vrindavana area my mind flew back to that most wonderful time in Denver, Colorado, USA back in 1968 when Krishna so wonderfully entered my life in the form of a beautiful poster. That poster of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna was so inspiring that I immediately knew that I must worship this all-attractive Lord Krishna and offer all of my food to Him before eating. And in due course of time that all-merciful Lord sent me a bona fide spiritual master to teach me the innermost secrets of how to become perfect in love with Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Radha Krishna Poster I Found in 1968



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Other Gurus Are Not Like You?

My obeisances to you!

Why are other gurus not intellectual and not having the thirst to give Krishna consciousness practically, poetically, and wonderfully like you?

Your servant,

Gayathri

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Answer: I Am Simply the Humble Servant of My Spiritual Master

From: En route to Jaipur, Rajasthan

My Dear Gayathri,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I make no claim to the exalted position of guru. I am simply the humble messenger delivering to others what I have heard from my spiritual master. In regards to your inquiry it is natural that every bona fide guru will intellectually, practically, and poetically present the science of Krishna to his disciples and to the general public. It is only the charlatans who are not up to the standard. No amount of propaganda can turn a charlatan into a bona fide spiritual master. He must be genuine to properly convey the Absolute Truth.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 7 December 2008

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

On the Road to Jaipur for the Mercy

Today we are heading out from Vrindavana to Karoli and Jaipur for having the darshan of the three principle deities of Vrindavana: Govinda, Gopinatha, and Madana Mohana. In the 17th century due to the demoniac atrocities of the Muslim tyrant, Aurangzeb, these deities had to be transferred out of Vrindavan for safe keeping before he could destroy them. It is a grueling journey of several hours by automobile, but is well worth the trouble because this journey gives us the most sublime opportunity to get the mercy of these three principle deities who Srila Prabhupada describes as being the life and soul of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Worship of Madana Mohana frees us from material desires and re-establishes our forgotten relationship with the Personality of Godhead. Worship of Govinda strongly establishes us in transcendental service to the Lord. And worship of Gopinatha, the Lord of the gopis, is for achieving the perfectional stage of devotional service. So today taking their darshan we will beg for their mercy that we may be solidly situated in devotional service and attain pure Krishna prema.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Madana Mohana in Karoli, Rajasthan, India


Radha Govinda in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India


Radha Gopinatha in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can There Be A Supreme God?

Hare Krishna!

I encountered an argument from my friend. I wish to seek you guidance to be able to answer it.

"God can do anything (omnipotent), and God is indestructible. If God is omnipotent, then God has the ability to destroy Himself. If God is indestructible, then He cannot destroy Himself. If so, God cannot be omnipotent. So how can I believe there is this Supreme God? "

Please guide me, so that I can answer this to my friend.

Your Servant
Prateek

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Answer: Because He Wants to Exist

Even though God is indestructible, because He is omnipotent He most certainly could destroy Himself if He wanted to do so. Because He is unlimitedly powerful He can do anything and everything even in defiance of the laws of logic. But He is not under your dictation that He has to destroy Himself to prove His omnipotency. If He chooses to remain ever-existing, that is also an exercise of His omnipotency. And in the Gita He states that there was never a time that He did not exist, nor in the future will there ever be a time when He will cease to be. So He has chosen to use His omnipotency to exist forever and never destroy Himself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 6 December 2008

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

How to Enter Vrindavana

It is indeed wonderful to be here in Vrindavana, the holy land of Krishna, manifested here on the material plane, perceivable by our blunt material senses. Even though physically one may be in Vrindavan, unless he is blessed by the dust from the feet of a bona fide spiritual master he cannot actually enter into Vrindavana, the spiritual abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Without bhakti he can only approach the shadow of Vrindavana. Taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master is the ticket that allows us to enter into this wonderful land which contains the doorway to that unlimitedly sweet dimension of pure selflessness in the wondrous spiritual sky where the inhabitants live eternally in blissful youthfulness in the direct association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Sacred Yamuna River in Vrindavana

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Guru a Seer of the Truth?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances,

Kindly note the following verse translation by Prabhupada:

puruṣaḥ prakṛti-stho hi
bhuṅkte prakṛti-jan guṇan
karaṇaṁ guṇa-saṅgo 'sya
sad-asad-yoni-janmasu

--Bhagavad-gita 13.22

Translation: "The living entity in material nature thus follows the ways of life, enjoying the three modes of nature. This is due to his association with that material nature. Thus he meets with good and evil among various species."

My point is I think Prabhupada has mistaken "yoni" for "species" instead of "womb". Somewhere else in Bhagavad-gita he translates "yoni" as "womb". So the translation of the verse would be "Thus he meets with good and evil having taken birth in a womb".

However in the purport to the verse, Prabhupada clearly states "Under the influence of material desire, the entity is born sometimes as a man, sometimes as a beast, as a bird, as a worm, as an aquatic, as a saintly man, as a bug. This is going on." My question would be here: What kind of person would have a material desire to be a bug? How can one desire to be a beast?

What is your opinion on this?

And I would like to say maybe Prabhupada was mistaken about transmigration of the soul through 8,400,000 species. It looks ghastly a concept, what would one have done to deserve incarceration in the animal kingdom or plant kingdom?

Also I would like as ask what qualifies a Guru's opinions to be the best? How do we know you or Srila Prabhupada are free from defects and have absolute answers to our questions? In other words, how do we know you are Seers of Truth?

Kindly explain Guruji, this concept seems impossible to accept.

With many thanks and dandavats.

Nithin

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Answer: Yes, Because He Only Repeats What is Given in the Scriptures

From: Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

My Dear Nithin,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

As bugs are attracted to dirty places, a person who is habituated to dirtiness is cultivating the mentality suitable for being a bug in his next life. Similarly someone whose only interest is the animalistic propensities of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending with no interest in awakening his dormant Krishna consciousness is preparing himself for an animal birth in his next life.

So, Srila Prabhupada is not mistaken. You are mistaken. You are thinking that he is wrong and you are right. Srila Prabhupada does not speak from the platform of mental speculation as you are speaking. The bona fide spiritual master simply repeats verbatim what is given in the revealed scriptures. The transmigration of the soul through the 8,400,000 species is repeatedly confirmed throughout the Vedic literature. For example, in the Bhagavad-gita (2.24) it is explicitly stated sarva-gataḥ, the soul is situated everywhere:

acchedyo 'yam adāhyo 'yam
akledyo 'śoṣya eva ca
nityaḥ sarva-gataḥ sthāṇur
acalo 'yaṁ sanātanaḥ

"This individual soul is unbreakable and insoluble,
and can be neither burned nor dried.
He is everlasting, present everywhere, unchangeable,
immovable and eternally the same."

This clearly indicates that soul is present both in the human form and in the animal and plant forms. The scientists don't want to face up this reality because if they were to do so, they would realize that because of their neglecting their duty of surrender to the Lord their future is very dark. They are headed for the lower species in their next life.

You cannot understand how a human being could desire to be an animal, while all around us we see that so many human beings are already living like animals and preparing themselves for animal bodies in their next lives. A popular songwriter has even sung, "Dogs run free, why not me?".

The bona fide spiritual master never gives his opinion as you are doing because he knows that the senses and speculative mind will always be imperfect sources of knowledge. Therefore he only accepts the authoritative knowledge given by Krishna to be the truth and he only speaks according to this truth. Therefore his knowledge is perfect.

Whether we understand the Sanskrit word 'yoni" to mean "womb" or "species", the end conclusion is the same because in each species we take birth in a different type of womb.

In conclusion, if you want to awaken your dormant enlightened Krishna consciousness and escape the cycle of birth and death, you have to stop speculating and learn to put your full faith in the authoritative words of Guru and Krishna. As it is stated in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 6.23:

yasya deve parā bhaktir
yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ
prakāśante mahātmanaḥ


"Only unto those great souls who have unflinching faith
in both the Lord and the spiritual master
are all the imports of Vedic knowledge
automatically revealed."

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 5 December 2008

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Enough Monkeys in Vrindavana

We should not try to jump over the heads of the previous acharyas thinking that we have some new understanding the Vedic wisdom which contradicts what has been so carefully handed down to us from the great saintly teachers of the past. There are already enough monkeys in Vrindavana who go jumping over from one place to another place. If we do not follow the explanations of the previous acharyas we are like branches cut off from the tree. In other words, we wither up and dry and die. Because we are conditioned souls our knowledge is imperfect. But if we hear from liberated souls, our knowledge becomes perfect.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Mischievous Vrindavana Monkeys


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Recognize One's Guru

In your response today you had mentioned that our first birth from our mother and father is not very significant, and that without our second birth, which is from the spiritual master and Vedas, we remain on the animal platform. Pardon me for my question, but some of us are not yet initiated, we have not taken our second birth, but we do follow the four regulative principles. Should death come what will happen? Will we come back as animals or what? How does one find a spiritual master? And how does one recognize his/her spiritual master?

Thank you,

Devi

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Answer: Who is Giving You the Best Guidance and the Most Mercy?

From: Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

My Dear Devi,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Anyone who has seriously taken up the bhakti path will be guaranteed at least a human birth in their next lifetime. But to achieve the perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead requires that one should be an initiated disciple of a bona fide spiritual master.

Srila Rupa Goswami describes as follows the first five items required for practicing Krishna consciousness:

(1) Accept the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.
(2) Become initiated by the spiritual master and learn how to discharge devotional service from him.
(3) Obey the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.
(4) Follow in the footsteps of great acharyas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master.
(5) Inquire from the spiritual master how to advance in Krishna consciousness.

Srila Prabhupada was one time asked in Melbourne, Australia in 1975 if it is possible for a person to return to the spiritual world without taking initiation from a bona fide spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada replied, "No, that is not possible. "

Therefore to be on the safe side one should take initiation as soon as possible. To find a spiritual master, see who is that guru physically manifested on this planet who is giving you the best guidance and the most mercy for going back to Godhead as soon as possible. Once you find him you should fall down at his feet and beg for initiation.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 4 December 2008

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Tasting Sweet Bhakti Rasa in Vrindavan

In this material world there are so many varieties of tastes. For example people derive taste from sex, from money, from power, and from prestige. But these tastes are temporary, and they become bitter in the end. If one wants to enjoy a taste that never becomes bitter, a taste that becomes sweeter and sweeter and sweeter for all of eternity, he needs to come to platform of Krishna consciousness. Especially here in Vrindavan, the home of Lord Sri Krishna in this material world, it is very easy to get a taste of bhakti rasa, the nectarean juice of Krishna consciousness. One simply has to come here in the humble mood of a pilgrim and immediately upon entering this place, he will feel transcendental ecstasy which is amazingly sublime.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari





ISKCON's Beautiful Krishna Balarama Temple
in Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why are You Preaching Krishna, Not Jesus?

To: Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Greetings in the name of Jesus.

"Where were you born?" - a question from Amit Gupta of Delhi, India and your answer to him was brilliant. Since you were a Christian once, it is very interesting to note that a Christian can turn from Jesus to Krishna. In my case I have turned from religion of Hinduism to Jesus.

The Bible says, "Unless one is born again, he can not enter the kingdom of God." This is a spiritual birth, and secondly it says, "I am the truth, I am the way and I am the life." The incarnation of Lord Jesus is very recent, just 2500 yrs ago, and he clearly says in the Bible, "I am the only answer to all the temptation of this world," as he has defeated this satanic world temptation by his own sacrifice of blood and re-deemed his people back to the Godhead. By only believing in Jesus and following his commandment and through repentance the sins are forgiven and eternal life is promised. How great is this that we get another chance in life for forgiveness and promise for eternal life. If I interpret right - Krishna's teachings on karma will let the soul rotate in 4.8 million yonis (species) but is never liberated. This means suffering now and again after dying.

In John 3.16 says " God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have an eternal life". No other religion has today shown that what God did for mankind to save from destruction. I just wanted to ask you, why are you preaching Krishna (the past) and not Jesus (the present)? I have witnessed the power of Jesus healing the sick from diseases and sickness, breaking yoke and bondages, casting out demons and uniting families. Signs and wonders are still happening as shown in the Bible.

I just wanted to share your thoughts. You are a good man and I pray for the almighty God to show his glory into you and give you a path of truth and eternal life.

God Bless You

Kind Regards,

Raj


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Answer: There is No Difference of Opinion Between the Father and the Son

From: Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

My Dear Raj,

Please accept my blessings.
All glories to Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you very much for your sincere appreciation of our humble attempt to spread love of God on this planet.

Since Jesus is God the Son, as revealed in the Holy Bible, and Krishna is God the Father, as reveled in the Bhagavad-gita to try to separate them is artificial because there is no difference of opinion between the father and the son.

Being born again (dvija) is a concept from the Vedas, which was simply repeated by Jesus. Jesus spent the years between the ages of twelve and thirty in India associating with yogis and saintly teachers. This is where he learned the different yogic siddhis such as walking on water.

Jesus is speaking from the platform of Guru. We agree 100% that Guru is the only way that we can come to God. This again is a Vedic principle which was simply repeated by Jesus. It is only through the mercy of the spiritual master that we can approach God the Father.

Christ says in the Bible that he has more to reveal but that his followers are not ready for it yet. That more was revealed 500 years ago when God the Father personally appeared on this planet as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to inaugurate the Krishna consciousness movement, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God.

When Christ comes again he will come as a member of the Krishna consciousness movement. So I wholeheartedly encourage you to join with us in inundating this entire planet earth in pure love of God by the congregational chanting of His holy names. It does not matter if we chant the name of Krishna or Christ. God has hundreds and millions of names and they are all powerful for delivering us from the cycle of birth and death. Jesus is his first name and Christ is his surname or last name because that is the name of his father. The word Christ comes from the Greek word Christos which is derived from Krishna, the Sanskrit word for God.

You mention the 4.8 million species. The actual number is 8.4 million not 4.8 million. Regarding the repetition of birth and death, you have not properly understood the teachings of Krishna. This is why the so-called followers of Christ have been able to convert you. Krishna teaches that by surrendering to Him one is immediately freed from rotating through the 8.4 million species and is delivered straight to the eternal kingdom of God.

If you are looking for miracles, you will find far greater miracles in the Krishna consciousness movement than you will find in the so-called Christianity. But kindly note in this connection that there is no greater miracle than delivering a fallen, conditioned soul back to his original, eternal identity in a loving relationship with the Supreme Lord in that wondrous spiritual sky.

I am very happy that you revealed your heart to me. Now kindly take these words of wisdom and achieve the true perfection of Christ's teachings, pure love of God, by joining with us in the Krishna consciousness movement.

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

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 3 December 2008

from ISKCON, Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Beyond Pain and Misery

In this material world we are always being attacked by various kinds of pains and miseries. If we want to become free from their pinching effect, we must come to the spiritual platform. The spiritual platform is not some kind of imaginative ecstasy or mental adjustment. No. It means to become fully absorbed twenty four hours a day in loving service to Lord Sri Krishna under the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master and the revealed scriptures. It is only when we give up material sense gratification and fully absorb ourselves in devotional service that we can become free from the material miseries. As long as we continue to indulge in material sense gratification it is sure and certain that we will be pierced by the sharp arrows of the material miseries

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guru is Krishna Himself?


Maharaja, I am having a little trouble understanding this point and how it all comes together. Can you please elaborate?

I understand that the spirit soul is part and parcel of the Supreme Lord. In "Thought for the Day" for 11/27, you gave the quote from the C.C. Adi Lila:

"Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Krishna Himself."--Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 1.58

And I have always seen that the bona fide spiritual master is the representative of Krishna. Can you please explain how all of this comes together?

Your servant,

Tiffany

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Answer: Guru is as Good as Krishna

The spiritual master is the external manifestation of the Supersoul. Even though he is a jiva soul, because he purely represents Krishna he is as good as Krishna Himself. When he gives us an instruction it carries the same weight as if Krishna personally gave us that instruction.

Here is a mundane example. Let's say that your next door neighbor is a police officer. One day if you are speeding and you happen to be caught in the radar trap that he has set up for speeders, it is his duty to act as the government and issue you a ticket. When he orders you to pull over your car, you must do so because when he is on duty as a police officer he is the government. If you disobey his order to pull over, you are disobeying the government and you are subject to arrest. So in the same way that the government agent, even though an ordinary citizen, is as good as the government, the spiritual master acting under the authority of Krishna is as good as Krishna Himself. Krishna manifests Himself through the spiritual master for engaging you in His service and delivering you back to home, back to Godhead. Is this clear?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 2 December 2008

from ISKCON, Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

I Just Can't Stand It

Things have gotten so outrageous
I just can't stand it.
There's nothing to do now
Except revolutionize the planet.

People going crazy
For self-realization they're lazy.
With clouded minds hazy,
But I don't let that phase me.

People so full of fright
All they can do is fight.
But discerning wrong from right
I keep my mind in the light.

Hopeless government resolutions.
There is no solution.
For ever-increasing pollution
Except for a Krishna love revolution.

Got to live for that
There's nothing else to do
Krishna and Srila Prabhupada
Will pull the whole world through.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Young and Old Souls

Please tell me. What is the difference between young and old souls?

Rodrigo

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Answer: All Souls are the Same Age

There is no such distinction as young and old souls because every soul is the same age, an infinite number of years old.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 1 December 2008

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Ten Thousand Disciples

On March 7, 1976 in Mayapur, India Srila Prabhupada instructed that he wants all his disciples to become gurus. He said that he wanted each disciple to make thousands of disciples just as he did and in this way spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. "You each be guru," he said. "As I have five thousand disciples or ten thousand, so you have ten thousand each. In this way, create branches and branches of the Caitanya tree." Therefore in humble obedience to my spiritual master I am trying my best to make thousands of disciples all over the world to please him. And I can see that Srila Prabhupada has mercifully sent me so many sincere souls all over the world to engage in his mission. I am praying for his full blessings that I may be successful because it is only by his grace that I can do anything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Others Take Advantage of One's Humility

Srila Gurudeva,

Thanks for the newsletter and your pearls of wisdom. Your answer about humility prompted this question. How do we handle when humility and unconditional love are taken for granted by others and such a situation brings us pain, when those qualities are seen as signs of weakness and mocked upon, when they are taken advantage of by many in this material world?

Thanks and Regards
Shalini

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Answer: Make a Show of Strength

As I have previously explained there was one time a cobra who became a devotee of Narada Muni. Before he became a devotee he was a cause of great fear for the villagers. But when he became a humble devotee has was no longer a threat. Some naughty children took advantage of his humility and used to harass him with sticks. He became distraught not knowing what to do, and he approached his spiritual master for guidance. Narada then told the snake that whenever the children came to harass him, he should expand his hood and raise his head up as if prepared to strike. He said the sight of this would scare the children away.

So in a similar way, if a devotee is being harassed because of his humility, he should make a show of strength in order to deter those who are harassing him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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