Thought for the Day

Featuring realizations and selected correspondence of
His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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His Divine Grace
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Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

On the order of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, Sankarshan Prabhu has dedicated his life for the most urgent work of spreading Krishna consciousness all over the world. The more that Krishna consciousness spreads, the more that the suffering, scarcity, and hate on this planet will be replaced with bliss, abundance and love. This is a golden opportunity for us to do the highest good for all living beings and receive the special blessings of the Lord. Therefore we should, as much as possible, sacrifice our time, energy, and resources to assist Sankarshan Prabhu in his most important work. If you would like to help out to any extent, little or big, kindly inform Sankarshan Prabhu of your desire.

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Saturday 31 January 2009

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

Transition to Pure Krishna-Centeredness

We can achieve unlimited energy, freedom, and bliss if we will stick tightly to this path of awakening our original divine nature. It is only due to our conditioned existence of misidentifying the body with the self that we are presently in a suffering condition. In other words, we do not have to suffer at all. Suffering is simply an artificial situation experienced by the soul when he dreams that he is the center of existence. Therefore all we have to do to get out of suffering condition is to master the art of being Krishna-centered instead of self-centered. Because we have been completely self-centered for millions of lifetimes it takes some time to overcome our self-centered natures. But if we will take shelter of a purely Krishna-centered spiritual master, by his grace we will gradually transition from gross self-centeredness to pure Krishna-centeredness and thus achieve the perfectional stage of spiritual enlightenment, 100% pure love of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




No One is More Lovable than Krishna
Because No One Can Reciprocate Love Better than Krishna


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Scripture Confirms Lord Caitanya's Avatarship?

̇There are many Hindu organizations, and each of them has there own avatar! The ISKCON devotees consider Caitanya Mahaprabhu as an avatar. In what scripture do you find that your avatar's name is written?

Shampad

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Answer: What Scripture Doesn't?

We do not care for this organization or that organization. Nor do we care for any particular sect of religion such as Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. We simply care what the authoritative sastras and the great acharyas say.

Lord Caitanya's avatarship is directly or indirectly confirmed in practically every scripture in the world. Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, the author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, most emphatically stresses that Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Krishna Himself. He is not an expansion of the prakasa or vilasa forms of Sri Krishna. He is the svayam-rupa, Govinda. Apart from the relevant scriptural evidence forwarded by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami, there are innumerable other scriptural statements regarding Lord Caitanya's being the Supreme Lord Himself.

For example to cite a few:

(1)From the Caitanya Upaniṣad (5):

gauraḥ sarvātmā mahā-puruṣo mahātmā mahā-yogī
tri-guṇātītaḥ sattva-rūpo bhaktiṁ loke kāśyati.


"Lord Gaura, who is the all-pervading Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appears as a great saint and powerful mystic who is above the three modes of nature
and is the emblem of transcendental activity. He disseminates the cult of devotion throughout the world."

(2) From the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.7 and 3.12):

tam īśvarāṇāṁ paramam maheśvaram
taṁ devatānām paramam ca daivatam
patim patīnām paramam parastād
vidāma devam bhuvaneśam īḍyam

"O Supreme Lord, You are the Supreme Maheśvara, the worshipable Deity of all the demigods and the Supreme Lord of all lords. You are the controller of all controllers, the Personality of Godhead, the Lord of everything worshipable."

mahān prabhur vai puruṣaḥ
sattvasyaiṣa pravartakaḥ
su-nirmalām imām prāptim
īśāno jyotir avyayaḥ

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Mahāprabhu, who disseminates transcendental enlightenment. Just to be in touch with Him is to be in contact with the indestructible brahmajyoti."


(3) From the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (3.1.3):


yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukma-varṇaṁ
kartāram īśaṁ puruṣaṁ brahma-yonim

"One who sees that golden-colored Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord,
the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, is liberated."


(4) From Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.5.33-34 and 7.9.38):

dhyeyam sadā paribhava-ghnam abhīṣṭa-dohaṁ
tīrthāspadam śiva-viri˝ci-nutaṁ śaraṇyam
bhṛtyārti-haṁ praṇata-pāla-bhavābdhi-potaṁ
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam


"We offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Him, the Lord, upon whom one should always meditate. He destroys insults to His devotees. He removes the distresses of His devotees and satisfies their desires. He, the abode of all holy places and the shelter of all sages, is worshipable by Lord Shiva and Lord Brahmā. He is the boat of the demigods for crossing the ocean of birth and death."

tyaktvā sudustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīṁ
dharmiṣṭha ārya-vacasā yad agād araṇyam
māyā-mṛgaṁ dayitayepsitam anvadhāvad
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam

"We offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of the Lord, upon whom one should always meditate. He left His householder life, leaving aside His eternal consort, whom even the denizens of heaven adore. He went into the forest to deliver the fallen souls, who are put into illusion by material energy."

Prahlāda said:

itthaṁ nṛ-tiryag-ṛṣi-deva jhaṣāvatārair
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat-pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo 'tha sa tvam


"My Lord, You kill all the enemies of the world in Your multifarious incarnations in the families of men, animals, demigods, ṛṣis, aquatics and so on. Thus You illuminate the worlds with transcendental knowledge. In the Age of Kali, O Mahāpuruṣa, You sometimes appear in a covered incarnation. Therefore You are known as Tri-yuga [one who appears in only
three yugas]."

(5) From the Kṛṣṇa-yāmala-tantra:

puṇya-kṣetre nava-dvīpe bhaviṣyāmi śacī-sutaḥ.

"I shall appear in the holy land of Navadvīpa as the son of Śacī-devī."


(6) From the Vāyu Purāṇa:

kalau saṅkīrtanārambhe bhaviṣyāmi śacī-sutaḥ.

"In the Age of Kali when the saṅkīrtana movement is inaugurated,
I shall descend as the son of Śacī-devī."


(7) From the Brahma-yāmala-tantra:

atha vāham dharādhāme
bhūtvā mad-bhakta-rūpa-dhṛk
māyāyām ca bhaviṣyāmi
kalau saṅkīrtanāgame

"Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world
in the garb of a devotee.
Specifically, I appear as the son of Śacī in Kali-yuga
to start the saṅkīrtana movement."


(8) From the Ananta-saṁhitā:

ya eva bhagavān kṛṣṇo
rādhikā-prāṇa-vallabhaḥ
sṛṣṭy ādau sa jagan-nātho
gaura āsīn maheśvari

"The Supreme Person, Śrī Krishna Himself,
who is the life of Śrī Rādhārāṇī
and is the Lord of the universe in creation, maintenance and annihilation,
appears as Gaura, O Maheśvarī."

And the list goes on and on....

Kindly take advantage of the mercy of Lord Caitanya. Join His most blissful movement of singing and dancing the names of God in great ecstasy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 30 January 2009

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

Revival of the Happy Bhagavat Dharma Days

The time has come for the world's leaders to realize and honestly admit that they do not know how to solve the world's problems. But the difficulty is that for their own selfish purposes they are attached to the power, prestige, and perks that go along with their posts. Hence they are not willing to give up their precious posts and hang on to them as long as possible even up to the point of death. Because the voters are ignorant they repeatedly and foolishly elect such unqualified persons to be their leaders, and then they are forced to suffer further mismanagement. If we want actual peace and happiness on this planet we must accept the guidance of those who are fully enlightened in atma-tattva, the science of the self. We must elect as our leaders those persons who have realized and are dedicated to Lord Sri Krishna or to those persons who are willing to be guided by Krishna conscious men. Then and only then will we experience a revival of the happy days of Bhagavat-dharma, pure Krishna conscious culture, on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ratha Yatra Festival Revives Bhagavat Dharma
on New York City's 5th Avenue


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Afraid of Identity

What should one do if he is afraid of his true identity? I know this question seems foolish, but as you are very kind to everyone I hope you can explain something about how we should not be afraid of realizing our real self.

Tadas

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Answer: Reactivate and Celebrate Your True Identity

You have a raised a very significant question. Thank you very much.

Because in the course of having a personal sense of identity we have suffered so many trials and tribulations we may sometimes think that it would be better if we did not have an identity at all. This is the philosophy of thinking that identitylessness is superior to identity. When we subscribe to this philosophy and we hear that we have an eternal true identity we become afraid thinking that it would better to merge or disappear into oneness or nothingness.

But if we will take complete shelter of the Lord under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master each of us will experience the reawakening of our original, blissful, enlightened identity as the eternal servant of Lord Krishna in any one of five primary rasas or relationships. And in this enlightened state of consciousness we will be very happy and satisfied resituated in our true identity. This happiness is millions and billions of time greater than the temporary sense of happiness one may experience by embracing identitylessness.

So there is nothing to be afraid of. Take Krishna's shelter and guru's guidance and become fully happy by flipping the switch to reactivate and celebrate your true identity, the eternal spirit-self.

How to flip that switch? Chant Hare Krishna with love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 29 January 2009

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

Otherwise Civilization is Doomed

Because the modern day civilization is based on the principles of exploitation and greed and is thus not in harmony with the underlying principles of existence it is doomed to failure. Our present social system is inauspiciously based on the artificial platform of material sense gratification. Therefore it is gradually disintegrating. If we want true cohesion, peace, and happiness in our global society, we must re-introduce the principles of the spiritual nature of self and a God-centered society. Therefore the greatest necessity of the modern day is that there arise throughout the world a class of spiritually enlightened teachers who can guide the people in general how to realize their eternal identities as spirit-soul servitors of the Supreme Person. This is the mission of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna consciousness. We are calling upon all sincere souls who want to realize the highest truth and engage in the highest welfare for human society to join with ISKCON in fulfilling this mission.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Training Session at ISKCON Retreat
Govinda Valley, Australia

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Religion Merely a Set of Beliefs?

My Dear Gurudeva,

I was watching a debate on television once on whether creationism should be included in the school syllabus. It was a real life court case where one side wanted the inclusion of a theory called 'Intelligent Design' along with the theory of evolution. The side against the inclusion of the 'Intelligent Design' theory won the case hands down as they tried to prove that the theory of 'Intelligent Design' which suggested the hand of an intelligent agency in the creation of the species today was not science and was like inclusion of religion in the syllabus, while evolution with the strong backing of genetics and a lot of experimental proof is science.

This case may be subjective for the interpretation of the word science itself may be subjective. But, recently a lot of the things that I've come across have raised a lot of questions in my mind and has also got me questioning my belief in the Supreme. It has made me think that after all this may just be a set of strong beliefs, of a generation that did not have the knowledge of the science behind the many phenomena in this world. The texts could be merely texts that hold value in controlling of one's mind and thereby behavior and attaining peace with oneself and the world, the various rituals a tried and tested mode of attaining a more controlled psychological state. I'd like if you have something to say in this regard.

With deep respect,

Sakshi

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Answer: Religion is the Perfection of Science

The first thing is that we must scientifically analyze whether or not there is a Supreme. First we can ask if everyone has the same amount of strength. Then we can ask if everyone has the same amount of beauty. And then we can inquire whether everyone is equally renounced. Then we can inquire further if everyone has the same amount of knowledge, wealth, and fame. The answer in regards to each of these six qualities is, "No." What does this tell us? This tell us that somewhere there is a person who excels everyone else in the possession of these six opulences. That person is supreme, so there must necessarily be a Supreme. There cannot not be a Supreme. The only way there could not be a Supreme would be if everyone had exactly the same quantity of power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame. And since that is not the case, there must be a Supreme.

Genuine religion is more scientific than the so-called science of our modern times. It is most scientific because it enables us to directly experience at every moment the Supreme Person, the source for all of existence. Modern science is a hodgepodge of theories which come and go like the change of the seasons, but actual science and religion is to have perfect knowledge of and a perfect relationship with the Supreme Person, the absolute source of all energies, and of all of his energetic manifestations, which constitute the totality of existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 28 January 2009

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

Waking Up from Dreamland

Srila Prabhupada describes this material world as a dreamland because under the guidance of the material scientists people here are dreaming that there is no God in control, that everything is going on here by a random combination of material elements. They think that if matter combines in a certain way consciousness manifests. But where is the proof for this theory? Has any scientist ever created a conscious being out of dead matter? They have not done so, and they will not able be to do so because the conscious beings are the creations of God, the supreme conscious being.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Waking Up the Public From Dreamland
at a University in Lithuania, 2008


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Christianity and Krishna Consciousness

Can you explain how a practicing Christian can embrace the teachings of the Gita, i.e. Krishna consciousness, while remaining a Christian at heart? I would appreciate your reply.

JB

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Answer: No McDonald's Hamburgers

As Krishna is God, the Father, and Christ is God, the Son, there is no difference in the teachings. lt is the same teaching presented from two different perspectives. Krishna says, "Surrender unto Me," and Christ says, "Father, not My will, but Thy will be done."

But kindly note that as the Bible commands "Thou shalt not kill", the Christians need to refrain from the heinous activity of flesh eating in order to bring themselves into a proper relationship with God. This is a necessary prerequisite for entering the kingdom of God because since it is a vegetarian place, as confirmed in the Bible, anyone who has a desire to eat meat would not be satisfied there. You will not find any MacDonald's hamburger stands in the kingdom of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 27 January 2009

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

Jubilantly Join in the Supreme Celebration

There is a great celebration going on right now all over the world. Lord Krishna's devotees are singing and dancing in the ecstasy of Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement, and they are inviting you to join them in this ocean of jubilation. Lord Krishna has appeared in His most merciful form of Lord Caitanya to show by His example how we can easily become His pure devotees through the sublime process of singing, dancing, and feasting. What could be more enlivening? Simply by immersing ourselves in Lord Caitanya's blissful celebration we can quickly and easily achieve the topmost spiritual perfection.

Take advantage of this special opportunity. Join today in the ecstatic singing and dancing going on at your nearest Hare Krishna center. If there is not one near you why not invite the devotees to your town to open a Hare Krishna center there? Lord Caitanya predicted that this ecstatic Hare Krishna singing and dancing would spread to every town and village all over the world, and now we are amazed to see how wonderfully His prediction is coming true.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do You Believe in God

Somebody asked me the following question and I could not properly answered him. The questions is, " Do you believe in God? If yes, why? If no, why not?"

Please answer this question.

A Siva Prasad

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Answer: No. We Know God.

Our position is NOT a position of believing in God because we KNOW God. We know His name, His address, His associates, and His activities, and so many details regarding His qualities, and characteristics. We also know what is the pathway that will take us directly to His transcendental abode. Those who do not have scientific knowledge of God are advised to believe in Him, but we do not require such sentimental belief.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 26 January 2009

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

Pure Chanting Bestows the Ultimate Benefit

There is a great power in purely chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. In this regard Srila Prabhupada describes as follows in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila 7.83:

"A sincere student aurally receives the holy name from the spiritual master, and after being initiated he follows the regulative principles given by the spiritual master. When the holy name is properly served in this way, automatically the spiritual nature of the holy name spreads; in other words, the devotee becomes qualified in offenselessly chanting the holy name. When one is completely fit to chant the holy name in this way, he is eligible to make disciples all over the world, and he actually becomes jagad-guru. Then the entire world, under his influence, begins to chant the holy names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra."

In other words when one becomes pure in his chanting he becomes empowered to make the entire world Krishna conscious. This is truly wonderful! What could be more sublime? This means that every devotee can do something tangible for delivering the world from its ever-increasingly problematic condition. Simply by mastering the art of pure chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra Krishna's devotee can deliver the entire world from its distressful situation. This is all happening by the inconceivable mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When we chant purely we are not only benefitting ourselves. We are also rendering the highest service to all living beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: A Better Age at the End of Kali Yuga?

I received the Saturday "Thought Of The Day", and it was about the Kali Yuga. Funnily enough, I just read in a book about the Kali Yuga, and now I received the e-mail thought about Kali Yuga!

I do have a question. Do you believe we are near the end of this Kali Yuga, and if not, when do you think the end will be? Also, what will (or is supposed to) happen at the end of the Yuga? Will we be in a new age, a better one? Is it the end for the Earth?

Thank you for your time and wisdom,
Jenna

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Answer: Join the Better Age Right Now

The Kali Yuga will not end for another 427,000 years. A pious age known as the Satya Yuga will follow it. So we are in for a long dark ride. However there is a 10,000 years Golden Era of Lord Caitanya which happens in the midst of Kali Yuga. It began 500 years ago and will gradually transform the world into a paradisial atmosphere. Are you willing to help us bring in the Golden Caitanya Era? If so, kindly dedicate yourself as a volunteer to help us spread the Krishna consciousness movement to every town and village.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 25 January 2009

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

More Tolerant than a Tree

Lord Caitanya says that in order to be able to constantly relish the Lord's holy names we have to be more tolerant than a tree. So let us consider just how tolerant a tree is. No matter what people may do to a tree the tree will not protest. Someone may carve their initials in its bark. Someone may cut off some of its branches. Someone may even come to kill the tree by cutting it down. But in all conditions the tree will simply stand there and take it. And through all of this the tree goes on rendering service without any discrimination regarding who is worthy of being served and who is not worthy of being served. In the summer the tree tolerates the intense heat of the sun to be able to provide cooling shade to persons who take shelter under his branches. And in the winter his wood is used to keep people warm. If we can develop qualities like the tree, we will be able dive unlimitedly into the sweet nectarean ocean of Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu
The Most Munificent Incarnation of God


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is My Mission?

I am a star child. I am a Gnostic, and I am asexual. I often feel bad because the material world hurts me. I feel like a lonely, unappreciated stranger. I don't want children and family. All as I need is friendship in a perfect spiritual relationship, but I don't find it. Why I am a star child? What is my mission?

Your student


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Answer: Surrender to Krishna

Although within this material world we are under the influence of the demigods, the controlling deities of the stars, our actual identity is that we are the children of Krishna or God. So even though under astrological influence it appears that we are star children, the fact is that we are children of God.

A Gnostic is a jnani, one who knows the truth. So if you were a real Gnostic, you would not feel lonely. But that's all right. I can train you how to become a real Gnostic.

Being asexual is very good. In fact asexuality is the ideal type of sexuality to have because the other types of sexuality drag one's mind to the carnal material platform on which one cannot advance spiritually.

You don't have to worry anymore about finding perfect friendship because you will not find a better friend than Krishna. He's with you at every minute. Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that He is the best friend of every living being.

Also in the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna gives you your mission, which is to fully surrender yourself unto Him. This and only this will make you happy. You will be completely fulfilled and always joyful. So now you should learn from our course how to fully surrender yourself to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 24 January 2009

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

Flying Above the Storm

There are four different yugas or ages, which rotate like the seasons of the year in a cyclical fashion: Satya yuga, Treta yuga, Dvapara yuga, and Kali yuga, the present age. Satya yuga is like the spring. Treta yuga is like the summer. Dvapara yuga is like the fall. And Kali yuga is like the winter. So out of the four yugas the Kali yuga is the worst. It is in this Kali yuga that we experience the nastiest karmic weather. The religious qualities such as austerity, cleanliness, and mercy are conspicuous by their absence and whatever slight tinge of honesty is left is precariously tottering on the brink of extinction being put to death by the unabashed lies of cheating politicians.

So how are we to experience peace and happiness in the midst of such a nasty karmic storm? Just as an airline pilot whose plane enters into a dangerous storm will take his airplane to a higher altitude to escape it, we simply have to take the airplane of our consciousness to a higher altitude by taking shelter of Guru and Krishna. On that higher spiritual plane we will find a most sublime and wonderful existence where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Sanatana Dharma Sectarian?

I have a question regarding the difference between sanatana-dharma and sectarian religions.

Sectarian religion is founded upon faith. Sanatana-dharma is the eternal function of the eternal being in relationship with the Supreme Lord. To say that sanatana-dharma is an eternal religion, doesn't that require faith? Believing that it is an eternal religion, doesn't that require belief? I understand that you could say that regardless of whether someone believes it or not, sanatana-dharma is still their eternal function. A person only accepts something if they believe it though. Could you please elaborate so that I may further understand? The more I think about it, the more complicated it appears.

Craig

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Answer: It Is Pure Sectarian-less Religion

Dharma literally means "intrinsic nature." And sanatana means "eternal." So sanatana dharma is the eternal intrinsic nature of something. For example the sanatana dharma of water is liquidity and the sanatana dharma of chili peppers is hotness. So what is the sanatana dharma of the living being? His sanatana dharma is service. Everyone has the propensity to serve. Therefore people serve their nation, their community, their family, etc. And if they can find no one to serve, they will get a dog so that they can serve the dog. The perfection of such serving propensity is to serve the root cause of all existence, i.e. to serve God. Just as by watering the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished, by serving God we are able to perfectly serve everyone. So this serving God is the real sanatana dharma. This can be executed by anyone in any religious tradition. A Hindu can do it. A Muslim, a Christian, a Jew. It does not matter how one may be designated externally. If he is purely serving God without any ulterior motives, he has become perfectly situated in sanatana dharma.

So sanatana dharma is not another sect of religion. It is the pure essence of religion when religion becomes completely free from all material designations and material motives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 23 January 2009

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

Suffering is for Fools

Since unlimited bliss is the constitutional position of the living beings it is only those who are ignorant of their actual identity who suffer. Therefore it behooves everyone who is desiring a life of the greatest possible happiness to revive their dormant Krishna consciousness. Of course, if someone prefers suffering over happiness, there is no need to revive their Krishna consciousness. If one chooses to do so, he can remain perpetually in the miserable cycle of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease. Everyone has a free choice. If one would like to revive his eternal unlimitedly blissful nature, he can do so. Or if he prefers perpetual suffering, that option is also fully available for him.

Which option do you choose?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are the Vedas Bona Fide?

Hare Krishna,

I would like a ask few very simple questions.

Why should we believe the Hindu Vedic scriptures? How are they bona fide? Some people asked me, "How can you believe in what someone wrote thousands of years ago?" Were the Vedas for controlling the society by making the people fearful so that they would stay within their limits?

Prateek

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Answer: Yes Because They Come from Krishna.

The Vedic scriptures are not Hindu. Hindu is a word coined by the Muslims. It does not appear in the Vedic scriptures.

The Vedas are bona fide because they are coming from God Himself as confirmed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham


"By all the Vedas, I am to be known.
Indeed, I am the compiler of Vedānta, and I am the knower of the Vedas."
-Bg 15.15

The fact that the Vedas are millions of years old and that they are still just as powerful and effective today as they were in ancient times proves their credibility.

The ancient Vedic civilization was controlled and directed by the Vedic scriptures as explained by the Vedic sages and implemented by the Vedic kings. It was not at all a fearful society. In fact it was quite to the contrary. It was a society completely free from fear, not like today's society where you cannot trust anybody. We can't even get on airplane without being searched for weapons.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 22 January 2009

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

Prioritizing Krishna Consciousness

As long as we have material bodies we will have so many duties to fulfill in order to maintain them nicely in a healthy state. But if we take bodily maintenance as the only purpose of our existence, we will remain stuck on the animal platform and will not be able to attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. So if we are actually serious about liberation, we have to always remember that we are not these bodies and fully engage them very nicely in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this way by always prioritizing Krishna consciousness while in the midst of our material duties we will make steady progress on the path of self-realization, and we will become fully qualified someday to enter into that wondrous spiritual sky where life is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge.

Won't you come along?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Sri Radha Krishna in the Spiritual Sky


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is this World the Greatest Obstacle?

I daily read your emails which I receive from you. thanks for these.

I know that what you write is what Lord Krishna has said thousand s of years back. But still we are suffering. We are not on the path of suggested /ordered by Lord.

As I am a Sikh, I read Guru Granth Sahib, which also says the same things. I read holy Bhagavad-gita, Ramayana, and other sacred granths. I try to follow the things that the gurus say. But Mr. Das, it is true that the world in which we are living is the greatest obstacle on the path of super consciousness?

Regards

Dr. G.S.

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Answer: No. It's Our False Sense of Proprietorship.

The world we live in is not an obstacle on the path of super consciousness. The actual obstacle is our false sense of proprietorship, our lording-it-over mentality. This is what we must give up.

If someone walks into a bank to rob it, he is a thief. And if someone else walks into that bank and says, "I renounce this bank", he is a madman because the bank does not belong to him in the first place for him to renounce it. So it is not that we have to renounce this world thinking that it is an obstacle. We simply have to see this world as the property of God and utilize it fully in His service. In this way we will become completely free from the actual obstacle, which is our false sense of proprietorship.

Our fallacy is that even though we come into this world with nothing and we also leave it with nothing still we come foolishly in the middle and falsely claim that it belongs to us. This is my land; this my is wealth; this my house; this is my wife; this is my car, etc. This is maya. Nothing belongs to us. Everything belongs to God. One who utilizes everything in God's service has achieved the perfection of super consciousness, pure Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 21 January 2009

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

Krishna Conscious Leadership for a New Enlightened World Order

What this planet needs is Krishna conscious leadership. When the people of the world will live their lives in accordance with the instructions of Krishna's pure devotees the entire world will become peaceful and happy. Therefore in 1966 in New York City at 26 2nd Avenue His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness to provide the world with such Krishna conscious leaders. Those persons who would like to take leadership roles for the deliverance of the suffering humanity from an ever-increasingly deteriorating and chaotic world order should join the Krishna consciousness society as soon as possible and become trained in the principles and practice of pure devotional service. Then they should fully dedicate their lives for introducing the entire world to the sublime process of Krishna consciousness. The result will be a new highly enlightened world order.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Original ISKCON Temple
26 2nd Avenue, New York City


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are You a Guru?

Mr. Sankarshan, could you please prove to me when and in which letter Prabhupada said that you can initiate disciples? Previously you were not a devotee, and now suddenly you have became a highly advanced uttama adikari. It is really a laughing stock. Can you explain to me, will you take your disciples back to Krishna?

You wrote that you are Prabhupada's disciple and not mine. Again you are making joke, brother.

So are you a guru? Do you know the actual definition of guru? I would like to test you. Please refer to all previous gurus and write to me clearly what kind of person can be a guru.

Of course you are disobeying our spiritual master. I have clear proof in the text below. Read the text below and give your comments:

"The newly initiated devotees are disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the above eleven senior devotees acting as His representative. After the Temple President receives a letter from these representatives giving the spiritual name or the thread, he can perform the fire yajna in the temple as was being done before. The name of a newly initiated disciple should be sent by the representative who has accepted him or her to Srila Prabhupada, to be included in His Divine Grace's 'Initiated Disciples' book."

Thank you

Your servant,

Sarasa Kanai Das

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Answer: Yes, by the Mercy of Srila Prabhupada

I do not require to give you any proof. When the spiritual master gives his disciple an order, the disciple does not have to get the approval of another person such as yourself to execute the order of his spiritual master. The guru/disciple relationship is a highly personal affair. I was personally trained by Srila Prabhupada. But someone who was not personally trained by him may not be able to always properly understand what Srila Prabhupada meant by a particular instruction because of his not having had that personal training from Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada gave instructions in many ways: in lectures, in conversations, and in letters. Letters were only one of the ways that he gave instructions. Srila Prabhupada repeatedly instructed his disciples that they should become gurus. For example on 17 December 1973 in Los Angeles he instructed us, "Just become perfect in the understanding of this science and become guru and deliver the whole world." And there many, many such instructions.

I will definitely take my disciples back to Godhead by the divine potency invested in me by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Although I am just a messenger boy for Srila Prabhupada, because I am purely following and delivering his message without deviation his full potency is acting through me.

Regarding your claim of my disqualification due to my previous non-devotee background you are quite ignorant of what is stated in the revealed scriptures. Kindly allow me to enlighten you in this regard that in the Padma Purana it is stated:

sat-karma-nipuno vipro
mantra-tantra-viśāradah
avaisnavo gurur na syād
vaisnavah śva-paco guruh

"A scholarly brahmana expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge
is unfit to become a spiritual master without being a Vaisnava,
but if a person born in a family of a lower caste is a Vaisnava,
he can become a spiritual master."



Srila Prabhupada says that even if one is not an uttama adhikari (the highest level devotee) he can still be a spiritual master if he strictly follows his guru's orders. So whether someone is an uttama adhikari or not is not an issue. Simply we have to see if that person is strictly following the instructions he received from his spiritual master. Then and only then is he qualified to be guru.

Another point is: How is it that you think you are qualified to judge whether somebody is an uttama adhikari or not? It takes someone who is advanced in Krishna consciousness to recognize who is actually advanced in Krishna consciousness.

And still another point is: Do you think that Srila Prabhupada was such an impotent spiritual master that he could not create at least one pure devotee, uttama adhikari, out of his many thousands and thousand of devotees? Do you think that Srila Prabhupada is not powerful enough to create at least one disciple who can carry on the unbroken line of disciplic succession?

I am not joking. I am talking very seriously. It is a fact that I am Srila Prabhupada's disciple and not your disciple. He personally encouraged me that I could be a spiritual master and you are telling me that I cannot be a spiritual master. So should I listen to my spiritual master or should I listen to you? The choice is obvious.

Guru is clearly defined by Lord Caitanya as one who knows the science of Krishna:

kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya
yei krishna-tattva-vettā, sei 'guru' haya

"It does not matter whether a person is a vipra [learned scholar in Vedic wisdom]
or is born in a lower family, or is in the renounced order of life
-if he is master in the science of Krishna,
he is the perfect and bona fide spiritual master."

--Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 8.128



Because I have been expertly trained by Srila Prabhupada and commissioned by him to act in the capacity of guru, I am fully qualified to act as a guru for the deliverance of the fallen, conditioned souls back to home, back to Godhead.

The quote from the letter you have cited, which by the way was written by my Godbrother and close associate Tamal Krishna Maharaja on 9 July 1977, describes the system for Srila Prabhupada's initiating disciples during his last year when he was physically present on this planet and was indisposed due to chronic illness but still accepting disciples. The actual history which you are not aware of is that on 18 October 1977 Srila Prabhupada said that he would no longer accept disciples and he turned the duty of initiating disciples completely over to his disciples. In 1977 he made it clear to us that the new devotees after his departure would the disciples of his disciples. He made it even more emphatic by telling us that they would be his grand disciples. What could be more clear?

So, in short, you do not have any idea what you are talking about. You were not a member of this movement when Srila Prabhupada was physically on this planet and personally trained me and his other disciples to know exactly what we needed to do to successfully carry out his orders. You were not an eye witness to these most momentous events in human history. You are a johnny-come-lately who came onto the scene after the fact who wants to reinterpret what actually transpired according to your own limited imagination.

By criticizing those who have fully dedicated their lives for spreading this sankirtana movement all over the world you are committing the greatest offense, which is known as Vaisnava aparadha. Unless rectified this offensive mentality complete nullifies whatever spiritual progress we may have made. Therefore for your benefit I humbly request you to beg forgiveness for the many offensive remarks that you have made.

I am sure that you are sincere soul and that it is just that you have been misguided by those persons who are envious of the bona fide spiritual masters that Srila Prabhupada has created by his divine potency. Because I know you are a good soul, I can understand that it is my duty on behalf of Srila Prabhupada to try to bring you to the correct understanding of his teachings. I am hopeful that you will take to heart these valuable instructions which I have sincerely given you. It is in a mood of genuine concern and compassion that I am taking the time and trouble to explain these things to you in detail. I pray to Krishna that you may be able to properly understand them.

Hoping this meets you well,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 20 January 2009

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

Ride the Waves to Krishnaloka

In this world everyone is looking for the sweetest pleasure that they can find. But no matter how hard they look they never find complete total satisfaction. Therefore we recommend that everyone throughout the entire world should try diving into the sweet ocean of Hare Krishna kirtan because there is truly nothing more sweet and enlivening than this. When we chant Hare Krishna and dance in ecstasy we can feel how we are riding the waves of transcendental bliss out of this world of unlimited suffering into the Lord's most amazing abode known as Krishnaloka.

All the pleasures of this material world become reduced to insignificance for one who dives into the ocean of unlimited nectar:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Srila Prabhupada Leads the Devotees
Chanting and Dancing in Ecstasy


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can I Hear from This Guru?

Hare Krishna,

I have taken mantra diksha (initiation) from a guru in an Ahmadabad ashram, who gives pravachan (spiritual teachings) throughout India. But I read your emails every day because I like them very much. So according to you, is it fine to hear the teachings of this spiritual master? Hundreds of thousands of people hear from him and believe in him.

Please guide me.

Santosh

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Answer: Only If He is Bona Fide

Just because a guru is popular does not necessarily mean that he is bona fide. We have to see if he presenting the Vedic wisdom properly in the same way that it has been presented by the great acharyas throughout the ages such as Narada, Asita, Devala, and Vyas.

Because we are presently in the Kali Yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, we see that there is predominance of bogus gurus, who although expert in the art of attracting large numbers of followers are not in the least bit qualified to deliver their followers from the cycle of birth and death. So we cannot judge the authenticity of a guru based on his popularity. We must simply see if he is Krishna conscious and he is presenting the Vedic wisdom strictly according to the descriptions given in the Vedic literature and confirmed by the great saintly teachers of the past.

If he is deviating, we should abandon him immediately so that we will not be misled. And then we should seek out and take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, one who is fully Krishna consciousness, who is presently the Vedic wisdom as it has been carefully handed down throughout the ages by the great acharyas. This is how we will be successful in escaping the cycle of birth and death and to returning to our original home in that wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 19 January 2009

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

Beware of Cheating Gurus

Nowadays there is a popular so-called guru who is teaching that Guru, God, and the Self are synonymous. That he has a huge following all over the world is not at all surprising because we have all come to this material world due to our polluted desire to be God. If someone comes along and tells everyone that they are God, this will naturally be attractive to those who are less intelligent. People will think, "Wow! Guruji will make me God. What a great guru he is!"

But a thoughtful person will not accept such a philosophy understanding full well, "If I were God how could the all-powerful Supreme Person be dragged down into the world of birth, death, old age, and disease to get stuck in a daily struggle for his existence? That would not be possible." Such an intelligent person will understand that he is not God, and he will seek out a bona fide spiritual master who can teach him how to become a perfect servant of God and thus genuinely become liberated from material existence and return to his original eternal, fully-blissful, and fully-wise identity in that wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Hear from a Bona Fide Guru

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Our Original Form?

What is our original form?

How do we fall into cycle of birth and death from our original form in spiritual sky?

Please enlighten me.

Your servant,

Prema

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Answer: Eternal, Full of Bliss, and Full of Knowledge

We were originally in the spiritual world in forms purely composed of eternity, knowledge, and bliss participating in the eternal pastimes of Krishna. Because we foolishly desired to be the Lord instead of serving the Lord, Krishna gave us a chance to try thinking ourselves to be God here in this material world. Now that we've stuck our hands in the fire and gotten badly burned in the cycle of birth and death, if we are fortunate, we will realize what a stupid mistake we made, and we will take the remedial measures for getting back to our original all ecstatic identities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 18 January 2009

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

Mangala Arati

A Krishna conscious day begins early in the morning. The devotee rises by 4 am, takes bath, puts on devotional clothing ( a sari or a dhoti) applies tilaka to the body, and then celebrates at the temple or at home the mangala arati ceremony while singing the Gurvastakam prayers, the eight prayers glorifying the spiritual master. These beautiful prayers composed by the great Vaisnava acharya Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur are so full of spiritual power that anyone who chants them aloud with great care and attention, during the period before sunrise known as the brahma-muhurta obtains direct service to Krishna, the Lord of Vrindavana, at the time of his death. Because they are eager to attain Krishna's association the devotees make sure to celebrate mangala arati every day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. The Gurvastakam Prayers are as follows:

Text One

samsāra-dāvānala-līdha-loka-
trānāya kārunya-ghanāghanatvam
prāptasya kalyāna-gunārnavasya
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy.
Just as a cloud pours water on a forest fire to extinguish it,
so the spiritual master delivers the materially afflicted world
by extinguishing the blazing fire of material existence.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master,
who is an ocean of auspicious qualities.

Text Two

mahāprabhoh kīrtana-nrtya-gīta-
vāditra-mādyan-manaso rasena
romā˝ca-kampāśru-taranga-bhājo
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

Chanting the holy name, dancing in ecstasy, singing, and playing musical instruments,
the spiritual master is always gladdened by the sankīrtana movement of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Because he is relishing the mellows of pure devotion within his mind, sometimes his hair stands on end, he feels quivering in his body, and tears flow from his eyes like waves. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.


Text Three

śrī-vigrahārādhana-nitya-nānā-
śrngāra-tan-mandira-mārjanādau
yuktasya bhaktāmś ca niyu˝jato 'pi
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

The spiritual master is always engaged in the temple worship of Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Krishna. He also engages his disciples in such worship. They dress the Deities in beautiful clothes and ornaments, clean Their temple, and perform other similar worship of the Lord.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.


Text Four

catur-vidha-śrī-bhagavat-prasāda-
svādv-anna-trptān hari-bhakta-sanghān
krtvaiva trptim bhajatah sadaiva
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

The spiritual master is always offering Krishna four kinds of delicious food [analyzed as that which is licked, chewed, drunk, and sucked]. When the spiritual master sees that the devotees are satisfied by eating bhagavat-prasāda, he is satisfied. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.

Text Five

śrī-rādhikā-mādhavayor apāra-
mādhurya-līlā guna-rūpa-nāmnām
prati-ksanāsvādana-lolupasya
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

The spiritual master is always eager to hear and chant about the unlimited
conjugal pastimes of Rādhikā and Mādhava, and Their qualities, names, and forms.
The spiritual master aspires to relish these at every moment.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.


Text Six

niku˝ja-yūno rati-keli-siddhyai
yā yālibhir yuktir apeksanīyā
tatrāti-dāksyād ati-vallabhasya
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

The spiritual master is very dear, because he is expert in assisting the gopīs,
who at different times make different tasteful arrangements for the perfection
of Rādhā and Krishna's conjugal loving affairs within the groves of Vrndāvana.
I offer my most humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master.


Text Seven

sāksād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair
uktas tathā bhāvyata eva sadbhih
kintu prabhor yah priya eva tasya
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

The spiritual master is to be honored as much as the Supreme Lord,
because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord.
This is acknowledged in all revealed scriptures and followed by all authorities.
Therefore I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master,
who is a bona fide representative of Śrī Hari [Krishna].


Text Eight

yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo
yasyāprasādān na gatih kuto 'pi
dhyāyan stuvams tasya yaśas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

By the mercy of the spiritual master one receives the benediction of Krishna.
Without the grace of the spiritual master, one cannot make any advancement.
Therefore, I should always remember and praise the spiritual master.
At least three times a day I should offer my respectful obeisances
unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master.




Mangala Arati Kirtan



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Women Inherently Inferior to Men?

I have just found your website and am so grateful for the opportunity to read your answers to questions that have been plaguing me for weeks. Thank you so much.

I have just started reading The Bhagavad Gita As It Is, and am currently studying the introduction. In it, Prabhupada states:

"What is material nature? This is ...explained in the Gita as inferior prakrti, inferior nature...Prakrti is always under control, whether inferior or superior. Prakrti is female, and she is controlled by the Lord just as the activities of a wife are controlled by the husband. Prakrti is always subordinate predominated by the Lord, who is the predominator."

This passage troubles me greatly. Is Prabhupada saying that women are inherently inferior to men? Does the Bhagavad-gita teach this view? I know I am only in the introduction, but I very much want to understand. I want to immerse myself in Krishna consciousness and feel that this very well could be the path I have been searching for years. However, as a woman, it disturbs me to think that this idea could be embedded in the teachings of Krishna and of the founder of ISKCON. Any assistance you could provide would be most appreciated.

Hare Krishna!
KLM

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Answer: Not If They Are Krishna Conscious

I am very happy that Krishna has sent you to me so that I can be of service to you in your spiritual life.

Souls who are embodied in female forms are not inherently inferior to souls who are embodied in male forms. The soul is something different from the bodily covering which is merely a temporary garment worn by the soul. According to our karma we are sometimes embodied in male forms and sometimes embodied in female forms.

Physically the female form is weaker than the male form. And we see practically that impious men take advantage of this to sexually force themselves upon women. Therefore women are meant to be protected by pious men. It is on this physical level that the womanly form is considered inferior in the sense that it is of inferior strength. Again this says nothing about the soul, the actual person who is residing in that body.

The highest form of distinguishing who is superior and who is inferior is on the basis of who is the most advanced in Krishna consciousness. If a woman is more Krishna conscious than a man, she is superior to him. And if she is less Krishna conscious, she is inferior. No one has to remain inferior. Everyone has the equal opportunity to become superior. Those who are superior will take advantage of the opportunity offered to them in the human form of life for spiritual emancipation, and those who are inferior will not take advantage of their highly developed human consciousness preferring instead to imitate the animals by absorbing their lives in sense gratification: eating, sleeping, mating, and defending.

Kindly inform me if this has clarified this matter for you, or if it still requires further clarification.

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

Always your well-wisher,
Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Saturday 17 January 2009

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

No One More Loving and Lovable

In the introduction to the Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Srila Prabhupada explains, "Our real love is continuous and unending, but because that love is reflected pervertedly in this material world, it lacks continuity and is inebriating. If we want real transcendental love, we have to transfer our love to the supreme lovable object -- the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is the basic principle of Krishna consciousness." Why is Krishna described as the supreme lovable object? There are many reasons. One reason is that no one else can reciprocate love with us so perfectly and completely as Krishna. Even though He knows absolutely everything about us including all of our selfish, sinful activities over millions of lifetimes, still He agrees to overlook and forgive all of that if we will simply surrender ourselves to Him. He provides us with our existence itself as well as with all of our necessities. He is ready, willing, and very eager to fully give Himself to us. All we have to do is give ourselves to Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Keep a Steady Mind?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances to you!

How do we keep a steady mind in Krishna Consciousness in the wake of the multitude of tragedies, human greed and destruction around us. Especially disturbing is when innocent children die or are seriously injured in war. Also disturbing is when we hear of murder, incest, rape and abuse. Thank you.

Hari bol!

Your servant,

Sridevi

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Answer: Channel Disturbance into a Revolutionary Lifestyle

Someone who is fixed in Krishna consciousness will naturally be very, very disturbed about the horrible atrocities which are becoming more and more of a daily occurrence on this troubled planet. Therefore he fully dedicates his life for bringing about a spiritual revolution to save the people from the horrors. By channeling his feelings of frustration into positive revolutionary action his mind becomes solidly, undeviatingly situated in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 16 January 2009

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

Realizing the Absolute Truth

Absolute truth does exist, and it can be fully realized. But unfortunately those who realize it are very few. The vast majority of people remain illusioned and unfulfilled because they stubbornly hold onto the misconception that they are the center of the universe. And thus sadly their lives are thrown down the drain completely wasted in the maddened pursuit of material sense gratification. They never realize the full potential that human life offers to them.

Those who would like to throw off the shackles of illusion and realize the Absolute Truth should seek it with a completely open mind. If they hold on to a preconception of what is the Absolute Truth, that preconception will distort their vision and prevent them from realizing the Absolute Truth. Their vision of reality will be twisted around their prejudice. So pure objectivity is required. If one is daring enough to throw all prejudices and be prepared to accept whatever he may discover, the Absolute Truth will be revealed to him in due course of time, and he will enter into an eternal life, full of bliss, and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Not Separate from Anything?

If Krishna is in and through every atom and every part of the atom, even the neutrino, then He cannot be separated from anything. How can we say that my personality is separate from His personality if He cannot be separate from anything? We would be stating an untruth to say that Krishna is separate from me in personality.

John

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Answer: Emanator Separate from Emanated

It is a fact that because Krishna is everywhere you are not separate from Him. Since you are nothing other than His energy you are non-different from Him. At the same time there is a distinct difference. He is the energetic emanator of all that exists, while you are His emanated energy. He is all pervading, while you are localized. You are conscious of the pains and pleasures of your body, and He is conscious of the pains and pleasures of everyone's bodies. So there is no untruth if we state that you are simultaneously one with and separate from Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 15 January 2009

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

Please Come Back

This message is for you.

Krishna is calling us to come back to our eternal home in the spiritual sky. The spiritual master is His messenger. We should never misunderstand the message which is being delivered to us by the spiritual master, that it is something of this material world and is thus tinged with lust, anger, and greed. No, the message delivered to us by the spiritual master is a message of pure love. Because we are still covered by lust, anger, and greed we sometimes think that the spiritual master's message is tinged by lust, anger, and greed. But this is not a fact. The spiritual master's words are actually not his words. They are Krishna's words. Therefore we should put our full faith in the words delivered to us by the spiritual master and come back to our original identity in the spiritual sky.

Accept the mercy of Krishna delivered by the spiritual master and reconnect with your eternal Lord, Sri Krishna, today.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Invites Us to Return Home


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna in an Atom?

Where does Krishna exist in an atom?

Manmohan

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Answer: Smaller than the Neutrino

It is stated in the Bhagavad-gita:

puruṣaḥ sa paraḥ pārtha
bhaktyā labhyas tv ananyayā
yasyāntaḥ-sthāni bhūtāni
yena sarvam idam tatam

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is greater than all,
is attainable by unalloyed devotion.
Although He is present in His abode, He is all-pervading,
and everything is situated within Him."

-Bhagavad-gita 8.22


Therefore we can understand that since Krishna is all-pervading He exists in every part of the atom. And since He is also described in the Bhagavad-gita as being smaller than the smallest, we can also understand that even after going down to the smallest, tiniest particle within this material existence we will find that Krishna is smaller than that particle and is dwelling within it.

If we accept the modern day theory that the smallest particle of matter is the neutrino, this would mean that Krishna is smaller than the neutrino and is situated within every neutrino.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 14 January 2009

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

Flood the World with Bhakti

Today's world is flooded with an ocean of problems: terrorism, crime, economic collapse, epidemics, starvation, global warming, pollution, etc, etc. The underlying cause of all the world's problems is spiritual. We, as a global society, are not living in harmony with the Supreme Person. We are out of sync with the Supreme, and therefore everything has been thrown out of balance. The good news is that because there is this one root cause for all difficulties the solution is very simple. All we have to do is reconnect with our source, the Supreme Person, through the easy, sublime process of bhakti or devotional service. We must get back once again into a state of perfect co-operation with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. Therefore the most burning, pressing need of the day is that we must flood the entire world with Krishna consciousness. We are calling upon everyone to join us in this most urgent and important task. If you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Increasingly Problematic World


Flood It With Krishna Consciousness


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Existence a Fixed Match?

My Dear Guruji,

I have a confusion. On one hand it is known that after 427,000 years the world will be in its worst state, and on the other hand you talk about reviving everyone to their original identity. When everything is pre-decided and it is known that it is going to be like this after these many number of years, what are we doing here? Are the Krishna conscious people completely aware of something that is inevitable and trying to defy it? You say you want to revive the world, but you know that will not happen till Kalki avatar is here, which is 427,000 years later. In a way, it just makes me think that if it is all pre-decided, our karma is also decided. So people (at least some of them) will keep taking births and keep getting bound in their bad karma (which is pre-decided) and the cycle of life and death until 427,000 years from now. Also, some souls are bound to get strayed by material desires and take birth till 427,000 years from now. Its like a fixed match to me. Please clarify.

With deep respect.

Your shishya,

Sakshi

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Answer: Everyone Has a Free Choice

Even though the Kali Yuga will become more and more powerful degrading the world's atmosphere more and more for the next 427,000 years until Kalki Avatar comes to annihilate the demoniac population and usher in a golden saintly era known as the Satya Yuga, there is also a 10,000 year era of Krishna consciousness which began 500 years ago with the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

So at the present time there are two influences at work concurrently. While the influence of Kali is making the world situation more and more demoniac, simultaneously the influence of Lord Caitanya manifested as the Krishna consciousness movement is become more and more spiritually powerful providing shelter from the Kali yuga to an ever-increasing number of souls who are seeking relief. Gradually there will be so many souls joining the Krishna consciousness movement that the Kali Yuga will go into remission until the end of the 10,000 year Caitanya Era at which time it will fully re-emerge until Lord Kalki's advent.

So for each individual it is not a fixed match. Everyone has the free choice whether they would like to remain in Kali's camp and take birth after birth in an increasingly demoniac world or they would prefer to relocate to Lord Caitanya's camp and get out of this material world at the earliest available opportunity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 13 January 2009

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

Turning Selfishness into Selflessness

Because we chose to be selfish we were given a place where we could indulge in selfishness. But while such indulgence can give a quick short term sense of happiness, it cannot give any deep, long term sense of happiness. Therefore in the ultimate issue no one is satisfied by selfishness. For true lasting happiness one must master the art of selflessness. The difficulty in mastering this art is that we too often mistake extended selfishness to be selflessness and thus do not attain true selflessness. We think that by serving our nation we are being selfless, but we serve our nation merely as an extension of our false ego. Because I am a member of this nation, therefore this nation is great, and I want to serve it. This a round about way of again merely serving myself. It is only when we reach the point of serving the root cause of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that we become truly selfless by truly serving everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does God Have an Image?

We know that God is in everyone's heart, we practice to worship deities ritually.

Some questions:
- Why God has image?
- Why God is Krishna?
- Is image important for us to remember God? Can't we just aware that God is in our heart?
- Why we need to worship deities?

Please help me to solve my confusion.

your servant,

Ana

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Answer: Formlessness Cannot Manifest Forms

Since God the origin of all existence and since within existence we can perceive that there are umpteen billions and billions of forms, we can understand that God must also have an image or form because formlessness cannot manifest forms.

That God has a form or image is confirmed as follows in the Brahma samhita:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Krishna,
who has a body of eternity, knowledge and bliss.
He has no beginning, for He is the beginning of everything.
He is the cause of all causes."
--Brahma-saṁhitā (5.1)


God has been defined by the great sage Parasara Muni as that person who possesses the greatest quantity of power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame. If we analyze all of the great persons throughout history, we will see that no one can equal or excel Krishna in possession of the above named opulences. Therefore according to the test of Parasara Muni we can rightfully conclude that Krishna is God.

If you want to be aware of God within your heart, kindly note that He is present in your heart with a transcendental form. He is not formless or impersonal within your heart.

The qualification for entering into the kingdom of God at the time of death is that we must have developed a taste for serving Him. Therefore out of His unlimited kindness Krishna manifests His divine presence in the form of the deity so that we can develop a taste for serving Him here in His deity form and thus be qualified to be transferred back to home, back to Godhead at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 12 January 2009

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

Planning Our Next World Tour

We are back now at Bhaktivedanta Ashram preparing for our next world tour which will begin in late March after Gaura Purnima. We still have not planned our first stop in Europe. Due to the routing rules of our around-the-world tickets we are restricted to certain cities. If you are in one of the following cities and would like me to come there for lecturing, kindly inform us as soon as possible so we can consider the feasibility of our coming there.

The possible cities are:

London
Manchester
Paris
Frankfurt
Brussels
Milan
Zurich
Madrid

Email to: requestlecture@earthlink.net


Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Liberated by Sankirtan?

My dear Srila Gurudeva!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

You said in one lesson entitled "The Time Has come to Completely Respiritualize the Entire Planet" that even the plants and animals are uplifted by Lord Caitanya's Sankirtan Movement, the congregational chanting of Lord Sri Krishna's holy names. Are they liberated by the Sankirtan?

Yours,
Nithin

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Answer: Sankirtan Liberates Everyone

Any plant or animal who is exposed to the transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krishna mantra is greatly purified. By being purified his evolution to the human form, in which he can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death, will come much sooner than it would have if he had not come into contact with the Hare Krishna mahamantra. And once he comes to the human form, he will become even more purified if he again hears the sound of Krishna's name from the mouth of His devotees. By repeatedly hearing the holy names he will eventually be sufficiently purified to reawaken his dormant Krishna consciousness and thus will fully surrender himself at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna and become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore all over the world devotees should have kindness upon the countless jivas who are caught up in samsara by as much as possible and in as many places as possible publicly singing the sublime Hare Krishna mantra as loudly as possible so that all living beings can become liberated as soon as possible:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 11 January 2009

from the Los Angeles Airport
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Today's Thought:

Memories of an Ecstatic Preaching Tour

10 January 2009--This is the last day of our fall 2008 around-the-world preaching tour. Fraught with adventure, sometimes exhilarating sometimes harrowing, as usual it has been a truly enlightening, edifying, and uplifting experience. The more we give Krishna, the more we get Krishna. Therefore there is truly nothing sweeter than being fully absorbed in serving the mission of Lord Caitanya to bring about a complete total respiritualization of the entire human society. Our tour encompassed 5 continents and 17 countries (USA, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Peru). We deepened many existing loving relationships with so many wonderful souls and began many new relationships in our humble attempt do whatever we can to bring about a revival of the original Vedic culture which thrived for 3,772,000 years on this planet up until the advent of the Kali Yuga 5,000 years ago.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


--A Few Tour Highlights---


Airport Arrival Kirtan in Sofia, Bulgaria



Bhaktilata devi dasi Initiation in Russia



Vyas Puja Celebration in Lithuania



"No Stress Success" Seminar
at High Tech Corporation in Pune, India


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: No Bliss in Chanting

Hare Krishna, Srila Gurudeva.

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

I am beginning to understand that the root cause of all difficulties, with my being on the platform of the mind, is that I cannot taste the bliss of chanting. I see that I am not focused on hearing the mahamantra when I am chanting and most of the time I do not feel bliss in chanting. What to do ?

Thank you for your kindness to answer me.

Your servant,
Bhakta Ivo

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Answer: Get Bliss by Giving Bliss

There is nothing more important than developing a taste for chanting Lord Sri Krishna's names. If this taste is developed, one will automatically lose his taste for all forms of material sense gratification and will become fully qualified for going back home, back to Godhead. The secret of success in chanting is to not try to get taste from the names. In other words instead of trying to get taste from the names try to give taste to Lord Krishna by sincerely calling out His names with love. Try to chant in such a way that Lord Krishna will greatly relish your chanting. The reason this technique is effective is that we only derive taste from our chanting to the extent that Krishna relishes our chanting. So if we focus on giving taste to Krishna through our chanting instead of trying to get taste from the names, we will happily discover that we are developing an incredibly wonderful taste for Krishna's names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 10 January 2009

from ISKCON New Dvaraka, Los Angeles
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Today's Thought:

Begging to Transmit the Supreme Benediction

Yesterday during the morning program in our Los Angeles temple Bhakta Richard asked me which place I was going to next to bestow benediction upon the people. I replied to him that I am praying to be able to do this. I have to pray for it because even though I have been ordered by my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, to spread the supreme benediction of Krishna consciousness, I feel myself quite unfit to do so. Therefore my only hope is to beg Srila Prabhupada that in spite of my innumerable disqualifications that he kindly empower me for this most important task.

mukham karoti vācālaṁ
pangum laṅghayate girim
yat kṛpā tam aham vande
śrī-guruṁ dīna-tāraṇam

"I offer respectful obeisances unto my beloved spiritual master,
the deliverer of the most fallen, by whose mercy
a lame man can cross over a mountain
and a dumb man can deliver eloquent speeches."

By his blessings anything is possible. So now may he fully utilize me as his instrument for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




ISKCON Los Angeles


Srila Prabhupada Deity at ISKCON Los Angeles


Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarkadish, the Deities of Los Angeles


Sri Sri Radha Damodar Worshipped in Los Angeles


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Not Able to Concentrate

Dear Sir,

I am a neophyte but loving devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. I am 15 years old. I have read the Bhagavad-gita As It Is completely only once. I have applied some of the teachings mentioned by Srila Prabhupada as and when I had read them.

I have started chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra 108 times every morning before leaving for school. But during the chanting process, I am not able to concentrate and keep my mind fixed on the Lord. I can't even guarantee if I have chanted it 108 times. My mind wanders all about thinking about many things. What could be the problem, Sir? Please advise.

Your true student,

Naresh

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Answer: Beg for Krishna's Help

You should count the number of your chants on japa mala beads. By completing one round on the beads you will have chanted the Hare Krishna mahamantra 108 times.

Before you begin chanting beg Lord Krishna to help you keep you mind solidly fixed on the mantra while you are chanting. Pray sincerely and beg that He bless you in this way. Then chant with intense concentration carefully pronouncing and hearing each and every syllable of the mahamantra. In this way, if you endeavor very seriously to fully absorb your consciousness in the sound of Krishna's names, He will surely help you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 9 January 2009

from ISKCON New Dvaraka, Los Angeles
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Memories of Peru

It was very heart warming to experience the loving feelings of the Peruvian devotees. In so many ways they gave us their love during the few days that we were in Peru. Even though materially very poor, they are spiritually very rich. It amazed me how on such short notice with no formal advertising how simply by mere word of mouth they could pack a hall two nights in a row to hear my seminars on pure devotional service. Such sincere souls who are endeavoring to awaken their dormant love of God are very, very dear to Lord Krishna. They are also very, very dear to me. I look forward to my return visit to Lima, Peru in January of 2010.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sweet Airport Farewell from Peruvian Devotees


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Identification with the Supreme

My dearest Srila Gurudeva,

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

It is said in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad:

nava-dvāre pure dehī
haṁso lelāyate bahiḥ
vaśī sarvasya lokasya
sthāvarasya carasya ca

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is living within the body of a living entity, is the controller of all living entities all over the universe. The body consists of nine gates [two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, one mouth, the anus and the genitals]. The living entity in his conditioned stage identifies himself with the body, but when he identifies himself with the Lord within himself, he becomes just as free as the Lord, even while in the body."
(Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.18)

What actually does it mean "identifies himself with the Supreme"? I am a little confused by this statement. Bhakti philosophy is that we are servants of the Lord. It is Mayavadis who claim that they are God and identify with Him. Could you please explain the difference between devotee's understanding for "identification with Supreme" and mayavadi's understanding for the same.

Maybe we should feel at every moment that we are part and parcel of Krishna, that we are His instruments. This is the right understanding for "identification with Supreme". Am I correct?

Your humble servant,
Hayagriva Das

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Answer: Qualitatively One, Quantitatively Different

I am very pleased with you that you have understood correctly. Since we know that we are not Krishna, identifying ourselves with the Lord means identifying ourselves as being qualitatively one with the Lord, not quantitatively one. In other words, Krishna is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge and so are we. In this sense we are one with Krishna. But we cannot claim to occupy the position of Krishna as being the source of everything.

Although the drop of ocean water possesses the same chemical characteristics as the entire ocean, it is certainly not the entire ocean. It is instead only a tiny fragmental portion of the entire ocean. So we are one with Krishna just as the drop of ocean is one with the ocean. And we are different from the ocean, just as we can float a battleship on the ocean of water, but not on the drop of water.

While the Mayavadis erroneously claim that we are one and the same as the Supreme Person, by careful analysis we can discern this is not true and that we are instead are simultaneously, inconceivably one with and different from the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 8 January 2009

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Wake Up from the Nightmare

There's no reason to suffer in material existence any longer. All we have to do to become free forever from all suffering is take complete shelter of Lord Sri Krishna, the original person, the source of all existence. He is our ever well-wishing benefactor. He wants only the best for us because His love for us is unlimited. Even if we are caught up in heavy apparently unsolvable anxieties such as being eaten by a tiger, if we completely surrender ourselves to Lord Krishna, we will wake up from our nightmare and realize that it was only a dream. There was no tiger about to devour us. We will see that there is Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. And there is His devotees. We will see that we are also one of His devotees and we can joyfully serve Him and His devotees for all of eternity in a state of ever-increasing ecstasy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lima Nightmare


Waking Up into the Spiritual Sky
(final Lima lecture-6 January 2009)



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free from Attachment?

What do I do when I feel strong attachment to persons which sets me back spiritually?

Lalita Mani

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Answer: Become More Spiritually Attached

It is natural for us to be attached. Therefore we cannot give up being attached. To free ourselves from those attachments to those persons who impede our spiritual progress we simply have become more and more attached to those persons whose association is beneficial for our Krishna consciousness. This means we need to associate as much as possible with Krishna's devotees. The more we are attached to the association of Krishna's devotees, the more we make spiritual advancement. In other words, a lower taste can easily be given up when we get a higher taste.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 7 January 2009

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Relief from Hell on Wilson Street

My last two evenings Lima before departing for Los Angeles were spent giving in two parts a seminar on pure devotional service at our ISKCON Wilson Street Temple in Lima, Peru. After enduring the hell of downtown Lima and Wilson Street at the height of rush hour and finally arriving at the temple, I had no idea how many people would be willing to go through that same hell for attending a seminar on pure devotional service. Much to my pleasant surprise the hall was packed and buzzing with excitement. As soon as the kirtan began the Kali Yuga chaos which encircled us became conspicuous by its absence. And as we dove deeper and deeper into the topic of pure devotional service it became clearer and clearer how we can always live a happy, fulfilled life by taking complete shelter of Lord Sri Krishna's lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Going Through Hell on Wilson Street


Endless Stream of Buses Emitting Toxic Fumes on Wilson Street


Relief from All Distress on Wilson Street


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Am I?

What am I? Am I the soul only or the subtle body and the soul? Please enlighten me.

Your servant,

Rajeshkumar

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Answer: Soul Covered by Gross and Subtle Bodies

You are the soul, but you are presently covered by two types of bodies: the gross body and the subtle body. The gross body is composed of earth, water, fire, air, and ether. And the subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence, and false ego. Beneath these two coverings is the actual self, the soul. The gross body is given up at the time of death when you accept another gross material body according to the state of your consciousness at the time of death. The subtle body goes with you birth after birth until you become completely free from its clutches and go back to the spiritual sky for reviving your original spiritual form. The gross body is given up at the end of each lifetime in exchange for a new gross body either as a human being, a plant, or an animal. And the subtle body travels with you through your millions of births until it is finally given up at the time of your spiritual emancipation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 6 January 2009

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Better than Sex

Here in Lima we have had some of the most ecstatic kirtans of all times. In some countries my audiences are rather inhibited about getting into kirtan with many taking it as some kind of spectator sport. Not so in Lima! Here my audiences enthusiastically dive with me into the unlimitedly sweet nectarean of ocean of kirtan rasa to drink as deeply as possible its inconceivably sweet nectar. I love this because kirtan is a synergistic experience. The more the other chanters dive into it, the deeper I can dive into it. And the deeper I dive into it, the deeper the entire audience can dive into it. In this way the intense sweetness of the kirtan can go on and on and on going deeper, deeper, deeper, deeper, sweeter, sweeter, sweeter, with no limits. And this can go on for hours! People who think sex is the greatest fun don't know what they are missing until they can relish deeply the amazing flavor of Hare Krishna kirtan. That day when the entire world realizes what is Hare Krishna kirtan will be the day when all the problems of the world will be solved, and every man, woman, child, and animal will live in perfect peace and prosperity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Diving Deep into the Nectarean Kirtan Ocean


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Should I Pray?

Coming from a Christian background I have a certain idea of what faith and prayer implies. I sense it has a somewhat different meaning in the Bhagavad-gita and in Krishna consciousness. Could you talk a little bit about what prayer and faith means in the Gita? For instance, I am not sure of what to pray for because of the law of karma. Should I be praying at all? And is faith only a belief that Krishna is the Supreme Person?

Thanks!

Mike

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Answer: Pray Only to Satisfy the Lord's Desires

Prayer is one of the most essential items on the path of Krishna bhakti. But we must pray that we can satisfy the Lord's desires, not that we pray to Him to ask Him to satisfy our desires. If we pray in this self-centered way, we will never become spiritually perfect. If we pray only for satisfying the Lord's desires, the Lord will personally fulfill all of our desires.

Faith is unflinching trust in something sublime. Therefore faith applies to all the wonderful aspects of the spiritual reality that exists beyond our temporary material bodies

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 5 January 2009

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Giving Love in Lima

Everybody wants to be loved. The secret of how to be loved as much as possible is to always be giving love because the more we give love, the more we are the recipients of love. Of course sometimes when we are giving love we actually do more harm than good. This is called giving love in the mode of ignorance. To give love properly we must understand what is actually beneficial for the living being and give him that.

That which is actually beneficial for the living being is to reawaken his eternal loving relationship with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So if we want to purely and properly love someone, we must give them Krishna consciousness. The more we give Krishna consciousness to others, the more we will feel how we are being showered by the loving mercy of Lord Sri Krishna at every minute. This is why those who properly understood the science of Krishna consciousness absorb themselves as much as possible 24 hours a day in giving Krishna consciousness to others. In this way they are constantly doing the greatest good for others and the greatest good for themselves as well.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Distributing Prasadam in Lima, Peru


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free from Reaction to Meat Eating?

Thank you very much for your answers. I don't know English very well. If any mistake, I feel sorry.

Sir, now I live in Japan. In Japan no temple, nowhere to worship. Sir, in Japan I eat meat, maybe beef. I feel guilty. My soul says I done a great sin. In Japan I have lived in last 4 years. I eat meat every day, but now I want to become free from the reactions of this sin. How to do this?

Your student
Kumar

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Answer: Fully Surrender to Krishna

We do have ISKCON centers in Japan where you can go for pure vegetarian Krishna prasadam. Kindly let me know what city you live in, and I will direct you to our nearest ISKCON center.

By the eating the flesh of the cow, you have no doubt committed a great sin. You are an accomplice in the killing of the cow and must take the reactions for cow killing. In this connection it is stated in the Caitanya Caritamrita:
go-aṅge yata loma, tata sahasra vatsara
go-vadhī raurava-madhye pace nirantara

"Cow-killers are condemned to rot in hellish life for as many thousands of years
as there are hairs on the body of the cow."
--Sri Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 17.166

But if you will fully surrender yourself now to Lord Krishna becoming His completely dedicated devotee, He will very mercifully free you from the huge volume of sinful reactions that you have accrued.

He confirms this as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

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

So kindly now learn how to become a pure devotee of Lord Krishna by taking prasadam, studying Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and attending classes and kirtans at your nearest ISKCON center.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 4 January 2009

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Lesson from a Victrola

Today on a rare day when the sun was partially breaking through the clouds in Lima, Peru I took the opportunity to get some good exercise by going for a lengthy walk in the neighborhood surrounding the ashram where I am staying. As I was returning to my ashram I happened to notice an antique Victrola for sale. You may be wondering what this has to do with Krishna consciousness, and I will explain.

The songs of the Narottam das Thakur are recognized by the great Vaisnava acharya Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur to be as good as Vedic mantras. In one of his songs Narottam das Thakur has written:

guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya,

"My only desire is to have my consciousness purified by the words
emanating from the lotus mouth of my spiritual master."


The famous logo for the Victrola, an early day wind up non-electric record playing machine, is of a dog named Nippy listening with keen interest to his master's voice being played through the Victrola. We have a very good lesson to learn from Nippy and his Victrola. Just as Nippy's ears are glued to the words of his master, our ears should also be glued the words emanating from the lotus mouth of our spiritual master. Our attachment to the merciful words emanating from our guru's mouth will save us from the repetition of birth and death and carry us back into that wondrous spiritual sky where life is eternal, full of nectar, and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Antique Victrola in Lima Teaches Lesson



Nippy's Ears Are Glued to His Master's Voice



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why the Process Does Not Work for Some?

Dear teacher:

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

In many of your lectures you told us the sentence: "If you work the process, the process will work". It is indeed the truth. But what puzzles me a little is that, many people who began Krishna consciousness but later on gave up due to lack of taste said: "This process doesn't work". I have to admit that there are many obstacles on the path of Krishna consciousness, and many dead corners as well. It is a fact that these people might be chanting 16 rounds, might be reading Srila Prabhupada's books, but at last they say it doesn't work. Is it because they didn't take the process as seriously and conscientiously as the time they had began the process? I have to admit that somehow or other we tend to become a little callous when we have practiced Krishna consciousness for some time. So we should we maintain our enthusiasm as best as we can in Krishna consciousness. Is it that their becoming callous caused their tastelessness, thus they left? Even though they are chanting and doing things, they are sitting back, that they are seated comfortably at their current status, forgetting to dive deeper, so the taste became lessened. Is this the reason?

Actually this is very common and easy to happen. How to avoid such a situation?

Your most humble servant
Yechen Zhang


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Answer: Because They Do Not Properly Work the Process

If we follow a cake recipe properly, we will be able to bake a nice cake. If we do not properly follow all of the instructions given in the recipe, our cake will turn out to be a flop. It will end up being simply some useless goo in the bottom of the cake pan.

Similarly, in the process of Krishna consciousness we must precisely follow the instructions given by the bona fide spiritual master. He understands perfectly well how to properly apply the scriptures and the teachings of the previous acharyas. If we carefully follow the instructions of the bona fide spiritual master, our success on the path of Krishna bhakti is assured. However, if we pick and choose from his instructions which ones we will follow and which ones we will not follow, we will not derive the same result. We will be a failure. Therefore we must put our unflinching faith in the teachings of Lord Krishna as revealed to us by the bona fide spiritual master because it is only in that way that we will become perfect in transcendental realization.

His Holiness Vishnujana Swami said, "Casual means casualty." So if we become callous or overly familiar with the process of Krishna consciousness thinking that now we are very advanced in Krishna bhakti, we will lose that taste we had in the beginning. The way to always keep that initial taste and to continually increase it is to be always be more tolerant than a tree, considering ourselves to be more lowly than the straw in the street. We should always offer all respect to others without demanding any respect for ourselves. In this way we will be able to chant the holy names constantly with ever-increasing taste.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 3 January 2009

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Blasting Off With the Holy Names

No matter how we look at it this material world is a losing proposition unless we utilize it as a launching pad to the spiritual sky. If we take it in this way, it becomes the most auspicious situation. All we have to do is fully situate ourselves on the rocket of the Lord's unlimitedly sweet holy names and go for the ultimate ride back to the transcendental timeless dimension of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. The countdown is going on right now as we prepare for blast off. If you'd like to achieve the supreme destination hop on board right now without any hesitation and you will be in for the greatest experience of your entire eternal existence. Chant these names now in great ecstasy with all the feeling and intensity that you can muster:

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

If you will now continue chanting them as much as possible for the remainder of your life on this material plane, you will definitely experience the difference at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Govinda Restaurant--Lima, Peru



Kirtan in Temple Room on 2nd Floor of Restaurant
1 January 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is it Free Will or Determinism?

Foolishly I abandoned the spiritual life recently, only to take it up again later when I realized that materialism has little to offer. Why is it that sometimes we give up Krishna Consciousness only to take it up again?

Also, what drives us to pray and chant? Is it God himself dwelling within as Supersoul or is it the alignment of planetary bodies?

I am not sure I entirely believe 100% in free will, or 100% in determinism. Which principle is operating?

Thank you for your time!

Yours in Krishna,

Michael

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Answer: Both at the Same Time

Just as a small child learning how to walk sometimes stumbles and falls, the neophyte devotee sometimes stumbles and falls in his attempts to become steady in Krishna consciousness. The key is that if there is fall down, he must pick himself up and continue with determination, patience, and enthusiasm. If he does this, Krishna will empower him to succeed.

It is the Supersoul within that is inspiring us to chant. Chanting is a transcendental activity beyond the planetary or astrological influences.

Free will and determinism are both functioning simultaneously. Here's how. There are two separate energies of the Lord, the spiritual energy and the material energy. We have the free will at every second to choose which of these two energies we would like to have determining our future. If we choose the material energy, it is determined that we will continue rotating endlessly through birth, death, old age, and disease in the 8,400,000 species. If we choose the spiritual energy is it determined that we will enjoy an eternal life full of knowledge and full of bliss in the transcendental kingdom of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 2 January 2009

from Santiago, Chile
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Today's Thought:

Time Went Backwards

Today on 31 December 2008 I arrived in Santiago, Chile at 12:55pm flying in from Auckland, New Zealand. The most amazing thing about this journey was that I left Auckland at 5:25pm on 31 December 2008, which is 5 1/2 hours after I arrived in Santiago. I arrived in Santiago before I left Auckland. In other words time went backwards. If I told this to someone who is not familiar with what happens when one crosses the international date line, he would think that I had lost my marbles, that I was crazy. Crossing the international dateline always does uncanny things to one's calendar no matter which way he crosses it.

There is another crossing point known as the Viraja River, which is the crossing point between the spiritual and material worlds. It acts in ways that are even more amazing and inconceivable than the international date line. On one side of the Viraja, the material side, is the realm of past, present, and future. And on the other side of the Viraja, the spiritual side, there exists the realm of timelessness, described as follows by Srila Prabhupada:

"In the transcendental realm there is no creation and no destruction, and thus the duration of life is eternal unlimitedly. In other words, everything in the transcendental world is everlasting, full of knowledge and bliss without deterioration. Since there is no deterioration, there is no past, present and future in the estimation of time. It is clearly stated in this verse that the influence of time is conspicuous by its absence."

This means that even though we fell from the spiritual world into the material world (due to our envy of the Lord) because there is no time in the spiritual world there is no time that we fell into this material world. And when we become purified by the process of Krishna consciousness and reawaken our original love for the Supreme Lord there will be no time when we returned. We will always have been there.

Just as time goes backwards when one crosses the international date line from Auckland to Santiago, time also goes backwards when the jiva crosses the Viraja on his return trip back to home, back to Godhead. Time will go back to that moment when he fell from the spiritual sky. In other words, he will never have fallen. This is why it is sometimes said that no one falls from the spiritual world even though countless numbers of jivas have fallen into this material existence due to misuse of their minute independence by desiring to take the position of being the center of existence.

Some may argue that time cannot go backwards. But if the Lord has true supremacy over everything within existence, He must have the power to fast forward, rewind, or freeze time. And he can do it differently for each individual person. It's not that everybody has to be on the same program. This is why some souls exist in the timeless spiritual realm as nitya-siddhas, eternally liberated souls, and some souls exist in the material realm of past, present, and future as nitya-baddhas, eternally conditioned souls.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Ecstatic Krishna Consciousness in Santiago, Chile


ISKCON Santiago, Oasis in the Desert



Lecturing Underneath Lord Caitanya Painting



Revealing the Innermost Secrets of Bhakti



Prasadam Distribution to Eager Santiago Devotees


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Is A Sinner For Keeping So Many Girlfriends

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!

Earlier I was chatting with one of my Christian friends about God. He seems to believe that there are different types of souls, good ones and bad ones. From what I have read and heard from other devotees and preachers, the soul is pure, and all souls are alike. So there is no such thing as a good soul or a bad soul. Could you please shed some light that I could pass on to my mate?

Also when I was telling him about Krishna he asked me the following:

1. I have heard so many bad things about Krishna that He had so many girl friends. So how then can you say that He is God?
2. if Krishna is God then why He is not sin-free like Jesus?

Please advice how I can respond.

Thanks,

Devi

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Answer: You Are A Sinner For Claiming That This Woman Is Your Wife

Every soul is inherently good, but due to his being part and parcel of the supremely independent Personality of Godhead each soul possesses a minute degree of independence. If he misuses this independence to try to rebel against the authority of the Lord, he is immediately transferred to this material world both to satisfy his desire to enjoy separately from the Lord and to free him from this desire.

Some foolish people criticize Krishna for having so many girlfriends, but they do not know the meaning of the Supreme Person. Supreme Person means that because He is the creator of everything He is also the owner of everything. This means that all the women belong to Krishna and that if any man thinks that a women is his wife or his girlfriend that man is a thief because he is falsely claiming the property of God as his own property. So Krishna is not sinning when He enjoys loving relationships with so many women. It is we who are sinning by claiming that here is my girlfriend or here is my wife.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Thursday 1 January 2009

from Sydney, Australia Airport
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Today's Thought:

Never-Ending Adventure and Excitement

Lord Caitanya's mission is to deliver all of the suffering souls of this world back to home, back to Godhead. He is feeling great anxiety to see that His beloved children have foolishly become entangled in the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease. Therefore He descended to this world 500 years ago to inaugurate the Hare Krishna consciousness movement, the most sublime and benevolent movement for rescuing all living beings. To be a part of this movement is the greatest, rarest privilege. By the mercy of my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and his wonderful followers I have been blessed with this gem of an opportunity to live on the vanguard of world history by being a humble servant of Lord Caitanya's mission.

Are you looking for a life of never-ending adventure and excitement? You are welcome to join too. We'd love to have you with us!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu--

Krishna Himself in His Most Merciful Manifestation




Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Kali Yuga at Its Peak?

In view of the crime rate in 2008 throughout the world, don't you agree that the crime rate has reached the maximum possible level and that the Kali Yuga is at its peak now? So isn't this the sign of the arrival of Kalki Avatar on earth now very soon? Please give your views.

Amit Gupta

Delhi, India

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Answer: You Haven't Seen Anything Yet

The bona fide spiritual master does not give his own views. He simply repeats what is given in the sastras and what has been handed down from the previous acharyas. This is the spiritual master's qualification, not giving his own opinion.

Regarding the crime level, you haven't seen anything yet. What you are seeing now is a Sunday school picnic compared to what we will be seeing in the future. The chaos of this planet will reach such a degraded level that all human beings will become cannibals who will live by eating each other. There will no more milk, vegetables, fruits, grains, or flowers. Whatever devotees are still present at that time will be hiding in caves for fear of their lives. This is what it will be like 427,000 years from now when Kalki Avatar appears to annihilate the demons and bring in another Satya yuga, the most pure spiritual age.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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