Thought for the Day

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

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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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Tuesday 31 March 2009

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

The Epitome of Sweetness

In this material world everyone is looking for sweetness, for happiness. They want some joy, some thrill, some adventure. But even though there are so many varieties of pleasures to be tasted here, no one is getting permanent satisfaction. People sometimes get temporary satisfaction, but then they have to endure suffering again waiting for the time when they can again enjoy. But life is not meant to be like that. It is meant to be sweet happiness at every minute. This permanent happiness can be only experienced when we reconnect ourselves with the epitome of sweetness, the ultimate source of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna, through loving service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Send Off from Tallinn Devotees
30 March 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Will the Kali Yuga End?

In this Kali yuga material comfort is given the prime importance. If one has to survive in today's world, one has to take up a job or do business, otherwise, nobody is going to feed us. After a hectic day when one returns home one has to attend to the household chores. There is hardly an hour to pray to the Almighty. In such a situation one can only aim to achieve Nirvana by praying in the morning and evening and abstaining from a sinful life. Is this not sufficient?

Another doubt is regarding rebirth. In Hinduism one has to do sraddha every year on the death anniversary of one's relatives. one has to perform this ritual, otherwise the soul will not get peace. Now my question is if that person is in another body already why should we perform this? Moreover in the next birth the soul does not recollect anything from the previous birth.

I am sorry if I have asked anything foolish, but these doubts do cross my mind. Also when will the Kali yuga end?

Thanking you,

Medha

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Answer: As Soon As You Take Up Krishna Consciousness Seriously

In terms of happiness and peace of mind, we were much better off as a world society in former times when every family had some land and a cow and easily got all their eatables by planting in the spring and harvesting in the fall. God supplied the land, the sunshine, the water, and the seeds. while the bull provided the labor.

Now we have gotten away from the land and crowded ourselves into congested, heavily polluted, expensive, crime-ridden cities, which are in constant danger of terrorist attacks. What have we gained by all of this industrialization and high technology? We can now risk our lives on the highway every day as we commute long hours to and from our place of employment. We have become the slaves of mega-corporations who work us like machines as long as it it is profitable and lay us off as soon the the corporate profits are endangered. While we formerly had peaceful, dignified, healthy lives raising our families in the fresh, open air and sunshine, we now spend our days as corporate slaves stuck in cubicles in constant fear of losing our jobs, our houses, and our cars. We have little contact with our children, who are stuck in impersonal day care centers or in schools which teach them that they evolved from the monkeys and how to wear condoms for enjoying monkey-like sex with their classmates.

So how we can we maintain our sanity in the midst of all this chaos? The answer is given by Krishna:

yat karoṣi yad aśnāsi
yaj juhoṣi dadāsi yat
yat tapasyasi kaunteya
tat kuruṣva mad-arpaṇam


"Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer or give away, and whatever austerities you perform--do that, O son of Kuntī, as an offering to Me."
--Bg 9.27

If we will follow this simple principle of offering every thing we eat to Krishna, offering our long hours at work to Krishna, offering our families and our very selves to Krishna, we will live in a wonderful higher-than-nirvana anxiety-free spiritual atmosphere at every minute, 24 hours a day.

Is this some make believe fairy tale? No, it is already being done every day at every moment by thousands and thousands of members of the worldwide Hare Krishna movement. Join with us today in full Krishna bhakti bliss and say good-bye to your anxieties once and for all. Kindly participate in the activities of your nearest Hare Krishna center. They will teach you how to always live in this sublime state of consciousness known as Krishna consciousness.

If you will regularly chant the Hare Krishna mantra there is no need to perform the sraddha ceremony for the deliverance of your departed ancestors from inauspicious circumstances. Simply by your becoming a pure devotee of Lord Krishna twenty one generations of your ancestors will become delivered from material existence back to their original home in the spiritual world.

Kali yuga, the age of quarrel and hypocrisy, will continue for the next 427,000 until Kalki Avatar brings in another Satya Yuga. But for you the Kali yuga will end immediately, if you will seriously take up the pathway of Krishna consciousness. You will be living in the Satya yuga right now!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 30 March 2009

from ISKCON Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Helping Others to Get Eternal Happiness

We are traveling all over the world simply for the purpose of helping others to become happy. By focusing our lives in this way, our own personal happiness is guaranteed. The entire world is suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness, and by the grace of the great saintly teachers of the past we have the formula by which anyone and everyone can become happy in any part of the world.

This material world is ultimately a place of misery no matter what position we may hold here. Actual happiness can only by realized by reviving our eternal identities as eternal spirit-soul servitors of the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. Therefore we are traveling to so many places where I am giving so many lectures and am I meeting so many people simply to encourage them to revive their original spiritual identities and thus taste the sweet happiness of Krishna consciousness at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Estonian National Television Interview

Tallinn, Estonia 28 March 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Krishna Likes Hardwork?

Is it true that Lord Krishna likes those persons who are hardworking?

Regards,

Sunil

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Answer: Not If It's For Sense Gratification

Krishna is very pleased if we work hard in His service. Such hard working is a symptom of our love for Krishna. But He is not pleased when we work hard simply for sense gratification. When we work hard for Krishna we become free from the material miseries. But if we work hard only for material sense gratification our material sufferings will increase.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 29 March 2009

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Transcendental Airplane to the Transcendental Plane


Kirtan is so nice that it immediately connects everyone with the Supreme Personality in super ecstatic transcendental bliss. There is no reason for anyone in any part of the world to be miserable. All they have to do is join fully in the sweet Hari kirtan and feel themselves being carried away on a transcendental airplane to the transcendental plane beyond the realm of birth, death, old age, and disease.

If you want to take off on this transcendental airplane, make sure to check your bodily conceptions of life at the door. You've got nothing to lose except your anxiety.
Why not give Hare Krishna kirtan a try today?


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Hare Krishna Kirtan Rocks the World


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna, the Supreme Renunciate?


In explaining the opulences of Krishna--how can it be understood that Krishna is supreme in the opulence of renunciation?

Your eternal servant,

Gayathri

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Answer: Yes, Confirmed by Bhismadeva

When in the Rajasuya Yajna assembly it was being decided who should be the president of the assembly and Krishna's name was mentioned, Sisupala objected on the grounds that Krishna was an enjoyer of women. But then Bhismadeva, who is celebrated as the greatest brahmacari, the greatest renunciate, stated that there is no greater renunciate than Krishna. He said that if he had been surrounded by the beautiful gopi girls as Krishna was in the forest of Vrindavan during the night of the rasa, that he would surely have become sexually agitated. He stated that since Krishna did not become agitated and did not engage in sex with any of the gopis that Krishna was a greater renunciate than he. We do not find any mention of pregnancy or abortion in Krishna's pastimes with the gopis. This is one example of Krishna's supremacy in renunciation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 28 March 2009

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Be Prepared for Anything

The easiest way to be prepared for whatever reality dishes out is to be prepared for anything. We should not put any limits on what we will find to be acceptable. If we demand that our life's experiences be confined to certain parameters, we are setting ourselves up for certain disappointment. The fact is that according to our previous pious and impious activities each of us is slated to undergo a variety of good and bad reactions. Since we are presently caught up in the cycle of birth and death, we can understand that in our previous lifetimes we must have been engaged in sinful activities. Therefore it should not be surprising to us that that we have to undergo periodic reverse situations. The key is to take them in a positive spirit seeing them as our being cleansed of our past sinful activities and thus purified and facilitated in our attempt to go back to our original home in the spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Krishna Want to Kill Me or Protect Me?


You said earlier that if Krishna wants to kill you, no one can help you. If on the other hand, Krishna wants to protect, no one can hurt you. Then what does Krishna want for me. To kill me or protect me?

Regarding the original source of all things, the scientists and religionists each have their opinion. Who is to say which is correct?

Regards,

Henry


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Answer: So Far He's Protecting You

Since you are still alive, obviously Krishna has been protecting you thus far. And when the time comes for your passing out from your body, your death will come by the arrangement of Krishna. So your living is under the sanction of Krishna, and your dying is also under the sanction of Krishna. A devotee fully trusts the plans of the Lord and accepts both his living and eventual dying as the loving arrangements of the Lord. Therefore he is never under any anxiety in any circumstances of living or dying.

At the present moment I am answering your questions typing the answers into a laptop computer. If I have a question about the operation of this computer, I will consult the company which manufactured it because the manufacturing company is the highest authority regarding the operation of this laptop computer. Similarly, if I have a question regarding the original source of everything, I will consult Lord Sri Krishna because He is the manufacturer of reality itself. All of existence is manifest because Krishna is emanating it from His transcendental form.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 27 March 2009

New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

World Wide Vedic Culture

25 March 2009--Now we are departing from the holy land of India and heading out to the western part of the world in Europe. Even though we do not presently see Vedic culture in the western countries, formerly it was there in full force. In fact, before 5,000 years ago this entire planet was under the leadership of the Vedic kings of India. There was even a Vedic sage named Trita who lived in the west. He was one of the three sons of Prajapati Gautama and is described in Srila Prabhupada's Srimad Bhagavatam purport as coming from the western countries, most probably from Europe. By the influence of the Kali Yuga Vedic culture completely disappeared from the western countries and is now almost completely dead in India as well. Our mission is to make the entire human civilization happy, peaceful, and prosperous by re-establishing its original Vedic culture everywhere. Kindly fully dedicate your life for helping us to be successful in this mission.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Conflict in Sri Lanka

Lord Krishna knows every thing that is going to happen tomorrow in this world. Why he doesn't He stop all the painful events and fights?

Lord Krishna knows it but he doesn't like to stop it. Because He is everywhere in everything in this world. Everyone is operated by Lord Krishna, both the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan army. Is it true?

Thank you very much again. I always need your blessings.

With Regards,
Gayathri

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Answer: Solution for All Conflicts

Although Krishna certainly has to the power to turn everyone into slaves of His will, He does not do so because then there would be no possibility for a loving relationship to exist between the Lord and the living beings. In a similar way, the parents give love to their children and then give the children the free choice to reciprocate that love with them or not. It is not that the parents keep the children as prisoners in their home chained to their bed. This would be a miserable situation both for the children and for the parents.

This material world is a place for those persons who have deviated from the will of the Lord. Therefore it is natural that so much conflict should be going on here regularly. Out of compassion Krishna comes here again and again and sends His representatives again and again to save the poor struggling souls from their miserable entanglement in the cycle of birth and death.

The conflicts we experience in this material world are due to our lack of Krishna consciousness. We can turn the pain we feel by seeing all of these unnecessary conflicts into a life dedicated to awakening the human society to the teachings of Lord Krishna. This will put a permanent stop to the conflicts and their resultant suffering. In fact this is the plan of the Lord for stopping the conflicts. Now you kindly surrender yourself unto the will of the Lord by making your life perfect and at every opportune moment telling others about the sublime teachings of Lord Sri Krishna as spoken in the Bhagavad-gita. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu stated that this is the duty of every Indian.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 26 March 2009

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Travels or Philosophy?

Sometimes a reader misunderstands when I describe the wonderful transcendental experiences that are relished in Sri Vrindavan Dhama or while traveling and preaching all over the world. One reader complained that he only wants to hear philosophy, that he does not want to hear about travels.

What is the proper understanding in this regard?

Krishna consciousness is beyond philosophy and it is beyond travels. Krishna consciousness means to come into direct contact with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in all times, places, and circumstances. It is my duty as a spiritual master to always be connected with Krishna and to always connect my readers with Krishna. Krishna is manifested in many ways. He is not limited by our conceptions. He is fully present in the sound of His name. He is fully present in the form of His teachings. He is fully present in the form of His holy dhama. And He is fully present in the form of His service. So whether we describe His name, His teachings, His holy dhama, or the service of traveling and preaching His glories all over the world, we are in all cases connecting our readers with Him, and we have fulfilled our duty.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Overcoming Egoism


Is what the Krishna consciousness group talks about the same thing as what many other spiritual paths talk about, which is the human ego being the cause of all evil and suffering in the world, and as soon as humanity as a whole corrects our egos and we turn from egoists into altruists humanities suffering and pain will end?

Thank you!

Shana

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Answer: Reviving the Real Ego

While many describe the ego as the root of all problems, few understand that there is a real ego and a false ego. While the false ego, i.e. the mistaken sense that one is the center of all existence, is the root of all problems, the real ego of understanding oneself to be the eternal servant of Krishna is the platform of liberation. If we simply tell people that they have to give up their ego, how will they function? Ego is their sense of identity. So the real solution for the ego problem is to educate everyone as to who they really are. Then the problematic false ego will automatically be subdued and this place will become heaven on earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 25 March 2009

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Last Day in Vrindavan

Recently while here in Vrindavan I emailed one of my students in the USA. He wrote me back expressing how happy he was to be hearing from me while I am here in Vrindavan. While I expressed my appreciation for his sentiment very much, since indeed there is no place like Vrindavan in all the three worlds, it was also my duty to point out to him that by serving the order of the spiritual master we are always in Vrindavan, no matter where we may be externally situated here in this material world. Anywhere that we are fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness that place becomes transformed into Vrindavan. Vrindavan is that deathless place where the eternal, unlimitedly sweet pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna are going on in an ever-expanding variety of mellows. Those who are fully surrendered to Lord Krishna are forever associating with Lord Sri Krishna in those wondrous adventures even while maintaining their existence here in this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Physical, Quantum, and the Spiritual Levels

At the physical level the world is solid, liquid or gas, as we perceive at a point of time.

At the quantum level I realize that all are energy waves which keep moving all the time.

And at the spiritual level I am trying to understand that all are one and the same that exist all the time everywhere. What does this mean?

Sunil

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Answer: You Missed the Fourth Level

There is a fourth level which you missed, the level of Bhagavan realization. On this highest level of consciousness we find simultaneous, inconceivable oneness and two-ness. Everything is two in the sense that the entire existence is composed of Krishna and His expanded energy. And everything is one in the sense that Krishna's expanded energy is also Krishna being nothing more than Krishna Himself in an expanded form. The difference between the expanded energy and the original form is the original Krishna maintains the living beings, who are His expanded energy, while they are being maintained by Him.

This is confirmed as follows in the Katha Upanishad:

nityo nityanam cetanas cetananam
eko bahunam yo vidadhati kaman

"There is one supreme eternal conscious being amongst the plural eternal conscious beings.
The difference is that He is maintaining them while they are being maintained by Him."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 24 March 2009

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Dive into this Ocean of Bliss

Why live an ordinary drab humdrum existence when you can be relishing the supreme adventure at every minute living on the cutting edge of world history? By our constitutional nature we are meant to taste unlimited bliss at every minute. Unfortunately due to a misuse of our free will we have been dragged down by our foolishness into the repetition of birth, death, old age, and disease. But now by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu we have the golden opportunity to transform our destiny, to regain our original eternal position, full of bliss, and full of knowledge and to be instrumental in bringing about the greatest paradigm shift in history, the inundation of the entire universe with the tidal wave of Krishna bhakti. Dive into this ocean bliss today and say goodbye once and for all to a life full of anxiety.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Radha Syamasundar Boat Festival
In Vrindavan at Kesi Ghat on the Yamuna River


Devotees Relish the Colorful Festival


Arati to the Sacred Yamuna River


Sri Sri Radha and Syamasundar
Mercifully Give Their Darshan
From Their Boat in the Yamuna River


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Number of Souls is Increasing?

Guru Maharaja, I would like to know that as we, the living beings, have been emanated from the Lord's spiritual body, at the time of this creation is the number of souls the same or is it increasing?

Your eternal servant,

Sanjay

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Answer: Eternal Unlimited Souls

Since all of the unlimited souls are eternally existing, there is no question of increasing the number of souls. The number of unlimited of souls always remains exactly the same. At no time are any new souls created. Nor at any time are any souls annihilated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 23 March 2009

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

There's No Place Like Braj

22 March 2009--To be here in that place where 5,000 years ago Lord Sri Krishna displayed His most intimate and amazing pastimes is a truly remarkable experience. There is no place like Braj, Sri Vrindavan Dhama in this entire universe. It is non-different from the spiritual world. Today in the early morning I headed out with my wife, Vishnupriya devi dasi, and group of my disciples on Vrindavan Parikrama, a circumambulation of the town of Vrindavan. It's a three hour sacred trek generally taken with bare feet out of respect for this holiest of all places. There are 3,000 temples of Krishna in this town and so many places of Lord Sri Krishna's pastimes. So by doing the parikrama one automatically offers his respects to and receives the blessings of all these thousands of holy places. It was an amazing, sublime experience to be treading on the same sacred land that Krishna blessed with His lotus feet so many thousands of years ago. Our first stop was the sacred Kadamba tree that Krishna jumped from to subdue the Kaliya serpent. Then we experienced the awesome transcendental beauty of Vrindavan's original temple, the Madan Mohan temple at sunrise where I bowed down in the sacred dirt to beg Madan Mohan's blessings for being a pure devotee and inundating the entire world with pure bhakti. I was happy to see the River Yamuna, the site of many of Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental pastimes. I felt like I was being carried to an ancient time 5,000 years ago when Krishna was personally present on this planet. We proceeded onwards step by step until we completed our three hour parikrama, with each step purifying our hearts from the sins accumulated over many millions of lifetimes. There is truly no place like Braj. May my heart always remain in this holiest of all places.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sacred Ancient Kadamba Tree:
Krishna Jumped Off of this Tree
to Subdue the Kaliya Serpent.


Madan Mohan Temple
Vrindavan's First


Peacock by the Parikrama Path


Yamuna River in the Early Morning


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Shouldn't We Tolerate Other Religions

Regarding your "Thought for the Day" entitled "Tolerance", I would like to ask you a question.

Is not accepting and appreciating other faiths and religions tolerance? We need not necessarily follow it, but should we not appreciate the good things in others and their faiths and beliefs?

Many a times in ISKCON, any other faith and belief even amongst those following the Sanatana Dharma is summarily rejected by those people who don't even have a clue of what other sects or faiths are teaching. Even if one is well versed in various paths of sanatana dharma, what right do we have to reject and ridicule the other beliefs? Is it necessary? I hear some Maharajas and senior devotees regularly at the drop of a hat start criticizing the Mayavadis and followers of Advaita philosophy. Lord Sri Krishna has told us in Bhagavad-gita that both personalists and impersonalists at last achieve me. And He has authorized both the paths. Of course He has laid much emphasis on the personal form of worship. Some even go on to say that those who worship demigods will go to hell. Isn't it wrong?

Finally, I am convinced that Lord Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But I believe that even those who are traversing the other paths, such as impersonal worship, astanga yoga and karma yoga also will ultimately reach the highest perfection. I find it very difficult to reject and ridicule the other paths and faiths.

Is the way I am thinking correct? Is it an offence to think like this?

Please pardon me if I have committed any offence.

Your servant

Raganuga Bhaktiman Dasa

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Answer: The One True Universal Religion

While it is true that every system of spiritual elevation will eventually bring one to the supreme perfection, it is not that that by each system one will progress at the same pace. For example, Krishna describes that those who take the path of jnana will only reach Him after many, many births and deaths.

If we have an appointment on the 100th floor of a building, is it better to take the stairs or to take the elevator? If we take the stairs, by the time we reach the office of our appointment the office will be closed for the day and we will miss our appointment. So it is more intelligent if we take the stairs. Why should I take a 1,000 mile journey across the desert by foot risking my life when I can reach the destination in two hours by airplane?

In this Kali yuga our life span is very short. We can die at any time. Therefore the intelligent thing to do is to accept that pathway which will immediately elevate us to the transcendental platform so that we can go back to home, back to Godhead in this lifetime. As devotees of Krishna we offer all respects to everyone seeing them all as part of parcel of our beloved Lord Sri Krishna. And we can also appreciate the good in their each and every system of spiritual progress. But this does not mean that all paths are the same. If I take the highway to New York, I will end up in New York. It is not that I will end up in London.

Therefore out of compassion we encourage everyone to expand on the good things that they are already doing in their present systems and make their present systems perfect by coming to the platform of Krishna consciousness. On this transcendental platform one becomes the perfect yogi, the perfect philosopher, the perfect Christian, the perfect Jew, the perfect Muslim, the perfect Buddhist, the perfect Hindu, etc. Why should we flatter people that whatever they are doing is alright when the planet earth has been transformed into a veritable hell? Something is terribly wrong on this planet. People have forgotten how to purely, selflessly surrender to that Supreme Person, Who is the source of all existence, by whatever name they may address Him. This is the one true universal religion for all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 22 March 2009

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Tolerance is Required

The most important quality to develop for becoming successful on the path of Krishna bhakti is the quality of tolerance. In this material world there are unlimited disturbances one after another after another. If we allow ourselves to become disturbed by these disturbances, we will not be able to absorb our minds peacefully in chanting the Lord's holy names. Therefore we must actively cultivate the quality of tolerance based on the understanding that not a blade of grass can move without the sanction of the Lord. This means that every experience that we find ourselves in is ultimately custom designed by the Lord for helping us to get free from our entanglement in the cycle of birth and death and return home, back to Godhead. So why should be disturbed by anything when we can learn how to be grateful for everything and thus become fully joyful at every moment?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Serve You?

I offer my respectful obeisances to your lotus feet. I read your emails regarding depression. Even though I was suffering from anxiety and depression after taking Krishna consciousness I feel more peaceful and serene. You are doing a great social work by spreading Krishna consciousness. You have bestowed unlimited mercy upon me by making me Krishna consciousness. How can I serve you?

Your servant,

Raghav

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Answer: Become a Pure Devotee and Help Save the World

You may serve me by becoming a pure devotee of Krishna and dedicating your entire life for helping to make the entire world Krishna conscious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 21 March 2009

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

The Perfection of Existence

20 March 2009--This morning at 4:10 a.m. on my first morning in Vrindavan I was blessed with the most sublime opportunity to lead over 100 devotees in the the chanting of the Gurvastakam prayers for Srila Prabhupada during the mangala arati kirtan in his samadhi mandir (pictured below). It was really a heart warming sublime experience. Such activities are the perfection of existence for a disciple--to be fully absorbed in glorifying his spiritual master and carrying out his orders. The reason such activities are so wonderful is that by the mercy of Lord Krishna the spiritual master is present wherever his disciples are glorifying him and serving his instructions. When the disciple feels the presence of his spiritual master he naturally becomes free from all anxiety because the spiritual master's presence elevates the consciousness of the disciple beyond this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi Mandir


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Develop Love for Devotees?

Guru, sadhu, and sastra all say that we should surrender to devotees and serve them with our heart and soul. But if love is not there, surrender and service is artificially forced by the devotee on himself. It's really very important to develop love for devotees. How to develop that love?

Your most humble servant,

Yechen Zhang

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Answer: Dutiful Service Extracts Love

Just as in the desert if you drill deep enough into the earth you will eventually find water, in the same way buried deep within your heart is pure love for Lord Krishna and His devotees. The drilling process to bring that love out from your heart is to dutifully serve the devotees to the best of your ability. In this way by faithfully serving the devotees according to the instructions you have received from the spiritual master you will gradually experience a reawakening of the natural loving feeling for Krishna, Vaisnavas, and all living entities. Our love for the living entities in general is manifest as the desire to deliver them back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 20 March 2009

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Riding the Crest Wave of History

19 March 2009--Early this morning when I awoke on our flight from London to Delhi and as we were preparing to land, a very nice gentleman named Mr. Agarwal, who was sitting across the aisle from me, wanted to a hear a Krishna conscious realization for the day. I explained to him how the entire world is suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness and how it is our duty to save them by enlightening them in this amazing all merciful process. I pointed out, "Why study history when you can make history?" and told him how the most exciting life that one can live is to be on the cutting edge of world history by spreading Krishna consciousness. I quoted a verse by Krishna Das Kaviraja in which he predicts that this entire world will be inundated by a tidal wave of Krishna prema. Those persons who fully dedicate themselves to pushing forward this Krishna consciousness movement are constantly surfing, riding the crest of, that wave of Krishna prema, which is inundating the entire universe. I mentioned that one can be a full-on spiritual revolutionary no matter what one's occupational duty may be. One may be a businessman, a politician, a housewife, a student, or whatever. That does not matter. In any walk of life one can be fully dedicated to spreading the rays of the benediction moon by promoting Krishna consciousness at every opportune moment. Mr. Agarwal was very inspired by my humble attempt to serve my spiritual master's mission and gave me a contribution to help support our preaching activities. I wished him well as I prepared to head out for Vrindavan and he for a business meeting in Jaipur. I expressed my desire that we could meet again soon.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Many Bona Fide Gurus?

How many bona fide spiritual masters are there in the world today?

Alan

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Answer: How Many Real Goswamis?

To understand how many bona fide spiritual masters there on this planet we simply have to see how many real Goswamis there are on this planet. Goswami does not necessarily mean one has adopted the sannyasa order. Goswami can be from any order. He can be a sannyasi, a vanaprastha, a grihastha, or a brahmacari. Goswami means one who has brought his six pushing agents: tongue, belly, genitals, mind, words, and anger completely under control and who then fully absorbs himself for delivering the fallen, conditioned souls of this world back to home, back to Godhead. If we can find even one such Goswami-bona fide spiritual master and fully surrender our lives unto him, our human form of life will be a grand success. We must be very careful to avoid the sense gratifiers who pose as Goswamis or spiritual masters for the sake of enjoying wealth, women, and followers. Such cheaters go to the darkest region of the universe and their followers go with them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

19 March 2009

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Onwards to Vrindavan

18 March 2009--After a super ecstatic stopover in London which afforded us the opportunity to associate with the wonderful devotees at our Radha-Londonisvara temple, we are once again in transit, this time to the most holy place in the entire universe, Sri Vrindavan Dhama. After an overnight flight from London and a taxi ride from Delhi we will be blessed with the sacred dust of Sri Vrindavan Dhama, of which one pinch is more valuable than all the wealth of the entire universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Vrindavan Dhama
The Sacred Land of Lord Sri Krishna


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Temples Are Empty?

I was travelling with the Festival of India for four years distributing Srila Prabhupada's books all over North America. Now I'm in Peru. I'm very frustrated to see how the temples in Peru are almost empty. What's the reason?

I hope for your blessings to continue in devotional service.

Your servant,
Gunesvara Das

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Answer: Neglect of Srila Prabhupada's Instructions

Where temples are empty it means that Srila Prabhupada's orders are being neglected. As it is sometimes said: When the cat's away the mice will play. This problem is widespread. It is not only happening in Peru. The solution is that we have to bring back Srila Prabhupada's spiritual presence very strongly by strictly following his instructions to become pure devotees and preach vigorously like he always did for the deliverance of the fallen, conditioned souls all over the world from the clutches of maya. We must preach not only by our words, but even more importantly by our examples. And it is also most important that we develop qualitative loving non-exploitative relationships with all devotees and with the non-devotee class as well. If even one of us can do this perfectly, the entire world can be saved.

So now let us all now strive our utmost to become such ideal Vaisnavas who can be fully empowered by Srila Prabhupada to revolutionize this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 18 March 2009

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Tasting the Nectar in London

17 March 2009 was a one day nectarean stopover in the UK on our way to Vrindavan with a wonderful opportunity to give an evening lecture at ISKCON's central London temple and to get the darshan of Sri Sri Radha Londonisvara, the presiding deity of London. The installation of Radha-Londonisvara was personally done by Srila Prabhupada in the early days of our movement in London. This particular Krishna deity was very, very dear to him. In 1977 during his final days on this planet Srila Prabhupada fondly remembered Radha-Londonisvara. He said, "Radha-Londonisvara-so much smiling face; an innocent boy."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Sri Radha-Londonisvara
The Presiding Deity of London


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Transcend the Intellect

What does it mean to transcend the intellect? I recently ran across this term but could not find an explanation.

Bhakta Ron

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Answer: Attain the Plane of Unlimited Bliss

It was George Harrison of the Beatles who when discussing Krishna consciousness said that we have to transcend the intellect. The idea is that intellectual understanding can only take you so high. To get to that higher plane of unlimited love and bliss consciousness beyond the intellect you have to take shelter of Lord Sri Krishna's sweet holy names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 17 March 2009

en route to London, England
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Today's Thought:

From Depression to Unlimited Bliss

One of our readers was so disturbed when we presented Krishna consciousness as the cure for depression that she dropped out from our course. This reader felt that we were being irresponsible and that our advice would hurt our readers. She feared that our advice would make those who are already depressed even more depressed.

One argument that supports this school of thought is that it is much more comfortable for a depressed person to think that his depression is due to a chemical imbalance in his brain rather than his having a wrong outlook on life. He may become more depressed if he thinks that his depression is his fault. And with increased depression he could even come to point of suicide.

Of course, in one sense we are all victims of the materialistic society which has so much misguided us. Due to our ignorance of the actual all-blissful, eternal nature of the self we can easily become confused, frustrated, and depressed. So instead of blaming the individual for his depression we can guide him how to see the blissful, harmonious existence of which he is an integral part.

If we don't make the truth available of how to completely conquer over depression by reharmonizing one's self with the Supreme Person, we will be cheating the suffering humanity out of the supreme benediction of Krishna consciousness. So we must dutifully carry on with our work of teaching the topmost suffering-conquering technique even though we are sometimes misunderstood.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




From Deeply Depressed to the Most Blissful
By Becoming Krishna Conscious:
His Grace Jayananda Thakur


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

In Support: No Medicine Greater Than Hare Krishna

i read the letter of the person blaming you for being irresponsible in answering ,

Well, I would like to share a true incident in this regard. We have a devotee in our group, who is the type of person described by you. And the truth is he has been asked to chant everyday and associate with devotees everyday in bhajans and kirtans. Today, he is married happily and enjoying his life with Krishna.

There is no medicine is greater than the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Even today the couple came for the Gita discourse with nice prasadam and offered to all the other devotees.

What Shankarshan dasji has said is 100% true. The underlying thing is BELIEF AND TRUST IN KRISHNA.
Do this for you friend and I am sure you will be excited to see the result.

Hare Krishna!
Priyakrishna devi dasi

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Answer: Permanent Solution

Thank you very much for having so nicely understood and realized the deep seated cause of our suffering and the permanent solution.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 16 March 2009

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

Tour Begins Today

Today is D-day. The world tour begins at 10:30am. We are launching another assault against the deeply entrenched material civilization. After many weeks of careful preparation we are finally heading out. In regards to traveling and preaching all over the world, Srila Prabhupada explains:

"The life of a sincere devotee of the Lord is thus explained in a nutshell by Narada Muni by his personal example. Such a devotee, after his initiation by the Lord or His bona fide representative, takes very seriously chanting of the glories of the Lord and traveling all over the world so that others may also hear the glories of the Lord. Such devotees have no desire for material gain. They are conducted by one single desire: to go back to Godhead. This awaits them in due course on quitting the material body. Because they have the highest aim of life, going back to Godhead, they are never envious of anyone, nor are they proud of being eligible to go back to Godhead. Their only business is to chant and remember the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord and, according to personal capacity, to distribute the message for others' welfare without motive of material gain."

Although I am nothing compared to the great preachers who have spread the teachings of Lord Krishna far and wide, I am trying to do whatever little bit I can do to help make the world Krishna conscious and am begging for the mercy of Krishna in this connection that He will allow me to accomplish as much as possible for the deliverance of the suffering humanity from the jaws of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




My Glorious Spiritual Master


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Complaint: Disappointed with Your Response

You wrote the following advice to a depressed individual:

"Depression is the result of self-centeredness. You are not meant to consider yourself to be the center of existence. If you embrace this untruth that you are the center, is it sure and certain that you will be depressed. The easy way to both conquer and prevent depression is to always remember that since Krishna is the source of all existence, He is naturally also the center of all existence. Therefore all of your thoughts, words, and deeds should be centered around Him, not around yourself. As soon as you become Krishna-centered your self-centeredness will naturally go away, your depression will be gone, and you will be enjoying life like anything at every moment."

My response to your advice is:

Many people have chemical imbalances in the brain that cause depression, bipolar, and other much more serious conditions. All of these conditions can lead ultimately to suicide. If a person has a chemical imbalance, no amount of Krishna consciousness will cure that. It's irresponsible to tell someone who you might not even know, who might very well be extremely ill, that he/she is self-centered and just needs to become more Krishna conscious. While Krishna consciousness is certainly a great thing, sometimes it's not the only answer. If someone wrote to you and told you he was having chest pains and shortness of breath, would you tell him to become more Krishna conscious, or would you tell him to see a qualified doctor? True mental illness is just as serious and as potentially deadly as physical illness. Preach Krishna consciousness, but for goodness sake, be responsible!! I hope this person is not in serious trouble, because you probably just encouraged him to blame himself for his problems and to not seek a mental health professional. I am very disappointed in your flip response to this issue.

Kara

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Answer: Try to Deepen Your Understanding

In regards to your being disappointed with my answer regarding depression, I humbly request you to try to deepen your understand by seriously considering the following points.

I just spoke with my psychiatrist friend who is expert in these matters. He has informed me that 60% of those persons who find relief from anti-depressant medicines after going off of them again become depressed and have to go back on them to again treat their depression. And then out of this group 80% will again before depressed after going off the medicine and will go on it again. And then of this group 100% will again be depressed after going off of the medicine and then become chemically dependent on this very expensive anti-depressant medicine for their entire lives. So this chemical approach to dealing with depression is itself a rather depressing scenario. He also pointed out that it doesn't really cure their depression. They simply become more emotionally stable depressed persons.

Although these anti-depressant medicines may be necessary for those who are so emotionally unstable that they cannot function as normal individuals or that they may harm themselves or harm others, they are certainly not a cure for depression. It is not that that these people become happy by taking these drugs.

The reason that the anti-depressant medicine approach is so unpromising is that it is based on a false conception of the self and a primitive understanding of the cause of depression. While chemical imbalance may be a symptom of depression, it is not the cause of depression. The cause of depression is our being cut off from our original, all-blissful, enlightened state of pure selfless consciousness.

Any practitioner who is trying to rescue clients from depression must focus on reconnecting the individual with his actual all-blissful self within that is in a natural state of perfect harmony with the Supreme Person and all of existence. This process is best facilitated by chanting the holy names of God on a regular daily basis. While in extreme cases a duly authorized practitioner may find it expedient to include prescription medicine in the treatment program, such medicinal treatment must always be understood to be of less importance that an expertly executed process of re-harmonizing the depressed individual with his original, all-blissful enlightened state of consciousness. Otherwise we are simply unnecessarily turning people into anti-depressant junkies and not really solving their problem.

So my answer was not at all a flip answer. My answer is coming from the great enlightened teachers of the past who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years. Theirs was an enlightened civilization in which depression was conspicuous by its absence. The modern day scientists would do well to learn from these great teachers of the past instead of considering the existence of these great sages to be mere mythology.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 15 March 2009

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

Getting Ready for the Road

Tomorrow we embark on our spring 2009 around-the-world lecture tour. Again Krishna is blessing us with the opportunity to broadcast His glories around the world. There is nothing sweeter or more relishable than this because now more than ever this planet is desperately in need of Krishna consciousness. While others travel the world for making money and trying to enjoy their senses we are making our humble attempt on the order of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami to deliver the souls of this age from their ignorance of the self and its relationship with the Supreme Self. We are praying that if Lord Krishna is pleased with our endeavor that He kindly bless us with success in our mission.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Preach?

When Krishna is present in everyone's heart, omnipresent, what is the need to preach? Cannot we just realize Krishna by chanting?

What should be the disposition and mood of a preacher? What is the purpose/importance of preaching?

Awaiting your reply.

Regards,
Parag

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Answer: Mercy

Krishna is everyone's heart but they have forgotten it. Therefore we must remind them. This is the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that we must deliver those who have forgotten Krishna by helping them to revive their dormant Krishna consciousness.

Krishna is realized by chanting. But they are not chanting. Therefore we must teach them how to chant and inspire them to chant so that they can realize Krishna.

The preacher's mood is kindness. He cannot tolerate to see others suffering. Therefore he fully dedicates his life to save the people from their suffering by giving them Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 14 March 2009

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

Krishna's Sublime Arrangements

Krishna is always arranging everything perfectly for us to become 100% absorbed in serving Him and to go back to home, back to Godhead as soon as possible. The difficulty is that we are holding on to our own illusory ideas of how we can be happy in this material world and expecting Krishna to facilitate this for us. When He does not facilitate us we become disturbed and wonder why He is not being kind to us. This is our illusion. We do not realize how He is bestowing unlimited loving mercy upon us at every minute. This is why we need to hear from the revealed scriptures and a bona fide spiritual master so that we can see things as they are.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Priority of Service

My mother-in-law told me like this:

First priority is given to Mother - Mata.
Second priority is given to Father - Pita.
Third priority is given to Guru, who taught the lesson at school.
Fourth priority is given to Supreme Lord - God.

I am unable to respond to this. I tried saying that our Supreme Father is the Supreme Lord. He is cause of all causes, so unless and until we surrender unto him we will not happy in this material world. Devotional service to Supreme Lord always take us to His abode in the spiritual world and we get out of the miseries like birth, death, disease, and old age. But she is not convinced.

What can I tell her to convince her?

Your servant of the servant,

Sukumar

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Answer: Serve All by Serving Krishna First

Simply explain to her that since Krishna or God is the root of the entire creation, when you serve Him you automatically serve everyone. Everyone else is simply part of the tree of creation, while Krishna is the root. If we try to water the leaves and branches separately from watering the root our watering will not be effective. When we water the root, we give the best service to every part of the tree. Therefore when we direct all of our service to Krishna, everyone receives the best service, much better than if we try to serve them separately from serving Krishna. If we try to serve others separately from serving Krishna, our service to them will be imperfect. They will not be satisfied, nor will we be satisfied. But if serve Krishna or God as the root of all existence we will be fully satisfied and we will be giving the best service to all others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 13 March 2009

from Houston, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Don't Give Me Illusory Happiness. Give Me the Real Thing.

When I was a youth growing up here in Houston, Texas back in the 1960's I was offered by my parents, teachers, and friends a life of happiness based on satisfying the urges of my material body. While it seemed promising, no matter how much material happiness I got I was still not satisfied. The idea was that you had to get more and more of it until you were finally satisfied. But the problem was that because it was illusory happiness based on a false conception of the self as being the material body, no matter how much I got of it I was still not satisfied. So what to do? I had to look somewhere else for the deeper purpose and meaning of my existence. My parents, teachers, and friends were not talking about this. So I had to branch out on my own into uncharted waters. Of course, this was not such a psychologically safe and secure to do, but still I had to do it because the alternative--bland, miserable mediocrity--was completely unacceptable. Luckily I had the help of my constant companion, the Supersoul--the Supreme Lord within my heart, who according to my level of sincerity invariably brought me into contact with just the right person or just the right book who would then guide to the next step on the pathway of self-discovery. It was not until I took complete shelter of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, that I fully emerged out of the dark tunnel into the bright sunshine of enlightened consciousness, Krishna consciousness. And now on his order it is my duty to spread it to the entire world!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Enlightens His Disciples


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Find a True Guru?

How can we find a bona fide and true spiritual master who can lead us to perfection? Nowadays there are many self proclaimed masters and the people seeking recourse outnumber them. So I feel it is cumbersome to seek the blessings of a true guru. How can we verify that a person is a true guru?

Raina

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Answer: Be Sincere

If you are sincere to find the highest truth you do not have to go looking a spiritual master. The spiritual master will find you.

Discerning who is a bona fide spiritual master is not difficult. All you have to do is carefully study the Bhagavad-gita as it is directly spoken by Lord Sri Krishna. The bona fide spiritual master simply undistortedly presents whatever Lord Krishna says without any addition or subtraction. So if you will compare the words of Krishna with the words of the spiritual master you can easily understand whether he is a bona fide spiritual master or not.

While it is impossible to be truly blessed by the bogus so-called gurus, it is not cumbersome to get the blessings of a bona fide spiritual master. In fact, by Krishna's grace you are getting such blessings right now. Please utilize them well.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 12 March 2009

from Bhaktivedanta Ashram, Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

The Greatest Mystic Power


Without a bona fide spiritual master we are nowhere. While we may be impressed by a spiritual master who has many followers or who can display mystic powers, it does not matter how powerful or famous he is. If the spiritual master is not presenting the Absolute Truth as it is, as confirmed by the authoritative Vedic wisdom, he is nowhere. If we become disciples of such a nowhere guru, we also become nowhere. Therefore we should take the time and trouble to seek out a spiritual master who accurately presents and is a living embodiment of the truths enshrined within the authoritative Vedic wisdom. This spiritual master is known as the bona fide spiritual master. And he is the only one who can save us from the repetition of birth and death. He possesses the greatest of all mystic powers: the ability to deliver his disciples back to the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




My Bona Fide Spiritual Master:
Srila Prabhupada Starts the Hare Krishna Movement
in Tompkins Square Park, New York 1966


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do I Suffer from Depression?

Why do I suffer from depression? It is very, very painful and desperate. Am I suffering from previous sinful reactions? And I am not able to meet devotees right now, I feel very, very lonely. Even though I chant Hare Krishna and read spiritual articles or books every day, I still feel very depressed and lonely. What should I do?

Your most humble servant

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Answer: Self-Centeredness

Depression is the result of self-centeredness. You are not meant to consider yourself to be the center of existence. If you embrace this untruth that you are the center, it is sure and certain that you will be depressed. The easy way to both conquer and prevent depression is to always remember that since Krishna is the source of all existence, He is naturally also the center of all existence. Therefore all of your thoughts, words, and deeds should be centered around Him, not around yourself. As soon as you become Krishna-centered your self-centeredness will naturally go away, your depression will be gone, and you will be enjoying life like anything at every moment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 11 March 2009

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

Carried on the Kirtan Wave


There is a vast tidal wave of transcendental kirtan bliss which is currently sweeping the planet earth. The parched wasteland of this material existence is now being inundated by this amazing wave of bliss liberating fortunate souls from the distresses of mortal existence such as birth, death, old age, and disease. For those who are riding this ecstatic wave now is a time of great joy and great awakening.

So, if you have not already caught the wave, why not jump on right now by joining with us in kirtan and bring an end to all of your suffering? You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. All you have to do is sing with us and feel the ecstasy. You can even dance too. You will be carried on the amazing kirtan wave back to your eternal, original existence in the transcendental dimension far, far beyond the realm of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari






Riding the Wave of Kirtan Bliss


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Which Form During Japa?


Kindly enlighten me on which form of Lord Sri Krishna I should picture in my mind while chanting Hare Krishna so that I can concentrate on my chanting.

Sridharan

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Answer: Krishna's Nama Form

You should focus your mind on Krishna's nama form, i.e. the sound of His name. Every one of His unlimited millions and billions of forms is contained within the sound of His name. So, there is no need to divert your mind from the sound of Krishna's name to meditate on a particular form. The sound vibration of Krishna's name is more powerful for delivering you from material existence than meditating on a mental image of a form of Krishna.

If you are not able to concentrate on the Hare Krishna mantra, beg Krishna to help you. He will be glad to help you fix your mind on the sound of His name.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 10 March 2009

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

Gaura Purnima

Today is Gaura Purnima, the most auspicious appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself appearing in the form of His own devotee to freely bestow without any conditions what no other incarnation has ever freely bestowed before, pure devotional service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Krishna was present on this planet 5,000 years before, He made a condition for those who wanted to get His mercy. He required that one first of all had to surrender to Him. But Lord Caitanya made not such condition. He simply bestowed the mercy of pure devotional service upon those who came into contact with him. That same mercy of Lord Caitanya is now available to everyone throughout the entire world in the form of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. By associating with and serving this sublime movement one is causelessly blessed with the unlimited mercy of pure devotional service.

Observe Gaura Purnima by fasting all day until moonrise, at which time an opulent vegetarian feast composed of fruits, vegetable, dairy products, and grains (no onions and garlic please) should be offered to Lord Caitanya. Hold kirtan, offer arati, and beautifully decorate the later with fresh fragrant flowers. Then the prasadam should be honored with great devotion by all the assembled devotees. If possible, attend this function at your local Hare Krishna temple or gathering. If this is not possible, you should celebrate it at home. Observing Gaura Purnima with great devotion will immediately attract the powerful blessings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and fill your heart with the transcendental bliss of love of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Caitanya
The Most Magnanimous Avatar


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Made Sin?

When every thing is made by God, and God only governs our every action and thought, and we are here to pay for our sins and good things that we have done in our previous births, then at the very beginning He made us do sins, and wrong things, and then He made this process of hell and heaven. If He wanted He could have made every thing good in this world with no hate revenge lust etc. It was He who created pain.

Vishal

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Answer: We Did.

You are foolishly thinking that God has created our painful situation in this material existence. This is a completely wrong understanding. I am again and again seeing how many people are trying to blame God for their suffering condition in this material existence. Instead of owning up to the responsibility for having made the wrong choice, they try to blame God for their predicament. This is not the way to become free from the sufferings of material existence. Such an attitude of blaming God simply prolongs one's suffering situation in this material world.

Everything is made by God. That's fact. But He is not a despotic dictator. He is our loving father. He is not orchestrating the thoughts and actions of His beloved children. Rather He gives them the free will to engage their thoughts and actions in His service or to rebel against Him and engage their thoughts and actions independently for a life of sense gratification.

Those who choose to lovingly offer their thoughts and actions completely in the Lord's service experience an eternity full of love, knowledge, and bliss. And those who choose to rebel against the Lord suffer an eternity of hate, ignorance, and misery. The good news is that there is no such thing as being eternally damned. All those who rebelled have the free choice to be reinstated in their original position full of bliss, knowledge, and love in the unlimitedly sweet spiritual world. All they have to do is agree to surrender themselves fully unto Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 9 March 2009

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

Sporting in the Waves of Bhakti Bliss

A person can be tested how much they are advanced in Krishna consciousness by how much they are detached from material sense gratification. Just like someone who has eaten will not feel hungry, a person who is advanced in Krishna consciousness will not be attracted by material sense gratification. Even if you offer him some nice sumptuous food, he will not be interested in eating because he is already full. Similarly a person who is full in Krishna consciousness will not feel any appetite for material sense gratification because he is already fully satisfied.

If someone is still attached to material sense enjoyment and at the same time poses himself as a great devotee, he is cheating. "Great devotee" means that one is no longer disturbed by material desires. We may put a dog on a throne and crown him as king. But when someone throws a bone he will jump off the throne and immediately run for the bone. Many a charlatan guru was exposed when they were found to be having illicit sex with one of their disciples.

Lord Caitanya taught us the standard for pure devotional service. He said that He had no desire for wealth, women, followers, or even for liberation from the cycle of birth and death, that the only thing He desired was devotional service birth after birth. This is the standard of pure bhakti. When we are truly advanced we will no longer be allured by anything in this material world because of our constant sporting in the waves of the unlimited ocean of bhakti bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Blissful Devotees in Russia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If Jesus Allows Meat Eating...

I have been having conversations with my colleagues at work about vegetarianism and certain verses from the Bible that promotes this. However, one of my colleagues says that Jesus gave his disciples fish to eat so that's why they do not condemn meat-eating. If Jesus could do it then why would it be wrong for them to eat meat? I could not reply to this and told them that I would find out about this.

Can you please assist me in answering their query?

Hare Krishna

Amesh

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Answer: Jesus Does Not Allow It

Jesus may have under circumstance, when he and his followers were in the desert with no other food available, allowed his followers to eat fish. This does not mean that he has given us license to eat our finned, winged, and four-legged little brothers when there is an ample supply of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains available in the market place.

The Biblical injunction upheld by Jesus is "Thou shalt not kill." Therefore if they want to eat meat, they should let the animals die naturally and then devour their flesh. In this way they will not be guilty of the sin of killing an innocent creature. Such killing of an innocent creature obliges the killer and those who pay the killer by purchasing the meat, to take birth in the species of the animal that was murdered to themselves be murdered and have their flesh devoured by the very same animal that they killed and/or devoured in a previous lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 8 March 2009

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

Krishna's Lotus Feet Boat

This material world is a vast insurmountable ocean of material miseries. No matter how hard we may endeavor using our own strength to cross over it to reach the spiritual world on the other side, we will not be successful. It is far too vast. But if we will take shelter of the boat of Lord Sri Krishna's lotus feet, that vast insurmountable ocean will become reduced down to the amount of water contained in the hoof print of a calf and we will effortlessly cross over it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Superbly Resplendent Lord Sri Krishna


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Is Loving Krishna Imitation?

My dear Guru,

Hare Krishna! You are so merciful and wise. I would love to serve you with all my heart. Now I am in frustrated and have some questions to ask. I really need your shelter. Only by your mercy can I find the way out.

1. A few days ago, there was enough time for me to chant 26 rounds everyday. Right now as my curriculum is becoming more and more, I can't spend so much time chanting. So I had to reduce it to 16 rounds just as before. But I found my mind was a little scattered and I couldn't taste the sweet pleasure I experienced before by the mercy of Lord. I feel confused, what should I choose to do in this condition?

2. Should we give all our heart and soul to Krishna? I tried to love Krishna in this way, and I did taste the nicest and sweetest transcendental pleasure just like a bird freely flying in the sky. But I really don't know whether this love of Krishna is right or it is merely imitation?

3. How should we love Krishna perfectly? Is it right that we should only love Krishna and have mercy on others? If we have the trend to love someone else, should we have to drive the heart to Krishna and begin to chant at once? What is the difference between love and mercy?
Thanks a lot for all your mercy and wisdom! Best wishes!

Your most sincere and humble servant,
Junhui Du


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Answer: Loving Krishna Frees Us from the Imitation Material Existence

I am happy to accept your sincere service.

1. Since you have had to reduce your chanting to 16 rounds because of increased schoolwork, you should ask Krishna to help you always remember Him and dedicate everything to Him even while you doing your studies.

2. Yes. You should absolutely give your entire heart and soul to Krishna. This is the perfection of our existence. Such an endeavor to fully surrender to Krishna is not never imitation. Loving Krishna is what frees us from the imitation existence of bodily consciousness. Even though the birds fly in the sky in apparent freedom, they are still caught in the chains of birth, death, old age, and disease. When you give your heart fully to Krishna you will be completely free to eternally fly in the spiritual sky of unlimited love, bliss, and knowledge.

3. Real love and mercy are the same. Love of Krishna means that you should fully surrender yourself to follow His instructions as He has given in the Bhagavad-gita. This means that you must chant His names, bow down to Him, offer Him the suitable foods that He will accept, and take shelter of His representative--the bona fide spiritual master. You should give all of your love to Krishna. And because He is the root of all existence, through perfectly loving Him you will be able to perfectly love all living beings because they are His parts and parcels. Whenever you feel love for someone else you can make that love perfect by trying to engage that person in Krishna's service so that they will also become delivered from the cycle of birth and death. Just as I am engaging you in the service of Krishna, you should also engage others in the service of Krishna. This is the perfection of love of our fellow man.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 7 March 2009

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

When Crisis Strikes

When crisis strikes don't lose control. Keep your cool. Everything here in this world is going on under the sublime orchestration of Lord Sri Krishna. If you keep your connection with Him, you will always be able to maintain psychological equilibrium even during the most traumatic of events. We simply have to always remember that everything going on here in this oftentimes crazy world is for the purpose of attracting all the living entities of this place back to Krishna's eternal kingdom. Indeed, not a blade of grass can move without His sanction. We only have difficulty handling things to the extent that we consider ourselves to be all-knowing and all-powerful. If we humbly recognize our limitations and are always in the mood of begging the Lord's merciful help manifested directly by Him and also through the medium of His devotees, there will be no obstacle too formidable for us to overcome.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: How to Get that Feeling Back?

From China

Dear teacher,

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

Well, once when I was chanting the holy name (the day before yesterday), I suddenly had the impetus of wanting to dance, because I had the sense of dancing in the heart, feeling Lord Caitanya is so near, and I was very excited in the heart, even the whole day. But after that day, everything's gone, I could not get that sensation back again, nor can I get the love and devotional mood. I chant nearly 20 rounds per day (not once, but at morning and afternoon added together), still I can not find that. I feel a little bit frustrated. You are surely tasting that thrill at every minute, do you know how to get the feeling back in my life?

Your most humble servant

Yechen

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Answer: Intensify your Krishna Consciousness

Sometimes Krishna gives us for a short while a special taste of spiritual bliss for the purpose of increasing our desire for Krishna consciousness more and more. When this happens we should not be discouraged. Rather we should take it as a great encouragement and a sign to intensify our endeavor more and more to become fully absorbed in higher and higher levels of Krishna consciousness. In this way by giving us a brief special taste Krishna kindly helps us to advance more quickly on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 6 March 2009

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

Sweet Mercy of Lord Caitanya

We've been in maya or illusion, helplessly caught up in the cycle of birth and death, for countless eons. But now by the inconceivably sweet mercy of Lord Caitanya we can get out of this quagmire once for all and be completely liberated forever from all the difficulties of this material existence. Lord Caitanya is Krishna Himself. He appeared 500 years ago in what is now West Bengal, India for the deliverance of all the suffering, fallen souls of this age. Those who are fortunate will take advantage of the mercy of Lord Caitanya and live ecstatic lives filled with transcendental bliss simply by following His example of chanting "Hare Krishna" with love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Caitanya Floods the Universe
with His Inconceivably Sweet Mercy


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Regarding Vaisnavas

I have few questions for which I need clarifications from you. Kindly answer and save me from ignorance.

1) Why do devotees have reservations when they relate with other fellow devotees?

2) What should we do when we hear one devotee blaspheming another devotee, if he/she is a senior devotee?

3) It is told that we should not judge a Vaisnava by his external appearance. But in reality, a Vaisnava is known as such to the world by his activities and appearance. So how should we understand this?

4) What should we do, if the activities of a Vaisnava are such that by his activities our movement's good reputation is spoiled among the public?

5) Is it that if one becomes Krishna conscious he is above the three modes of material nature (even the neophytes)?

Thanking you,

Yours servants' servant
Kiruththika
Chennai, India

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Answer: True Vaisnava is Always Saintly

1) If we have reservations about associating with devotees who are in good standing, we must consider whether we are actually devotees or not because a bona fide devotee is always eager to associate with and serve the bona fide devotees of the Lord.

2) One who is actually a devotee will not blaspheme other devotees. We should always avoid hearing such things. If possible we should defeat the blasphemer. If not possible we should immediately leave the place.

3) One should not judge a devotee, a Vaisnava, by his birth, i.e. what kind of body he has. That's a fact. But the caliber of a Vaisnava can easily be understood by seeing how nicely he is absorbed in lovingly serving Lord Krishna and the Vaisnavas.

4) A Vaisnava's activities will not spoil the reputation of our movement because by nature a Vaisnava always behaves in an exemplary, saintly manner. Someone who purposefully commits sinful acts cannot be counted as one of the Vaisnavas.

5) "Neophyte devotee" means that he is starting to come out of the influence of the three modes of material nature. "Pure devotee" means that he is situated fully on the transcendental platform completely beyond the influence of the three modes of material nature.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 5 March 2009

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

Key to the Spiritual Sky

There is no reason to suffer any longer in this world in which we are always being bombarded by various material miseries. There is a transcendental existence, a spiritual sky, which lies far far beyond the coverings of this material sky. Even though it is very far away we can attain it very quickly because it is fully present in the transcendental sound vibrations of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Chant these names with love and you will feel the ecstasy:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Personal Relationship with Krishna?

In our lives we have so many relationships with people. Can we imagine having any personal relationship with Krishna?

Inavolu

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Answer: Our Original Relationship

Absolutely! The only reason we have relationships with anyone is because of our original relationship with Krishna. We foolishly abandoned that relationship with Krishna to pursue other relationships, but we have never found any relationship which can fully satisfy us. Therefore to regain our original state of unlimited happiness we need to get back to our original relationship with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 4 March 2009

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

Offsetting the Global Carbon Footprint

A couple of people have recently criticized our upcoming around the world lecture tour because of it's expense and its carbon footprint. While billions of dollars are being spent every day on nonsense material sense gratification, which is degrading the human society more and more and bringing it to the brink of the complete collapse, if we try to travel as humble servants of the suffering humanity to help them to become truly happy, we are demonized. What can be done? This is the Kali yuga. People no longer understand what is good and what is bad. In this connection there is a Hindi verse by one devotee in which he states that this Kali-yuga is so abominable that if you speak truth, then people will come with some rod to beat you. But if you cheat them, bluff them they will like it.

There is so much concern now about global warming and about everybody reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint. But the fact is that the Krishna consciousness movement can completely neutralize the carbon footprint of the entire global society and bring perfect peace and prosperity for every man, woman, and child on the face of this planet. Therefore it must be continually propagated all over the world with great vigor by as many traveling preachers as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Origin of the Soul

What is the origin of the soul? Does it fall down from the brahmajyoti or the spiritual world?

Raghav

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Answer: Krishna is the Origin of the Soul

Since Krishna declares Himself in the Bhagavad-gita to be the origin of everything, we can therefore understand that Krishna is the origin of the individual souls also. And since Krishna eternally exists in the spiritual world and the souls are emanating from His body, we can also understand that the souls are also originally existing in the spiritual world.

In the Krishna Book, Chapter 87 Srila Prabhupada confirms that the living entities fall into the material world from the spiritual world:

"The innumerable living entities are prone to fall down to the material world from the spiritual world when influenced by the illusory energy, and it is also possible for the living entity to be liberated again when by cultivation of real knowledge he becomes completely freed from the contamination of the material world."

Srila Prabhupada explains that there is no question of falling down from the brahmajyoti because being in the brahmajyoti is a fallen position. Those who situated in the brahmajyoti are already fallen. So there is no question of falling down from a position that is already fallen down.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 3 March 2009

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

When the Going Gets Tough

Sometimes in Krishna consciousness the going gets tough. That's when those who are tough really get going. It's a fact that perseverance furthers. When everything seems hopeless this is when we have to strengthen our faith in Krishna and push onward through the fog. The times when things are difficult are the times that we can make the quickest advancement along the bhakti path. Therefore instead of lamenting and becoming bewildered when things become chaotic and seemingly impossible, we should be glad that now we can accelerate and strengthen our Krishna consciousness. Now we can fully apply all the wonderful instructions we have imbibed and deepen our realization of this wondrous science.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Sports and Krishna Consciousness

I have a really important question to ask.

This is a comparison between sports and Krishna Consciousness. It seems that they have their own world. In Krishna Consciousness, you want to attain self-realization to become free from suffering. In sports, you want to become the best athlete.

In overview of both these things: How does sports carry less weight than Krishna Consciousness. Both have their own ambitions. In a way, can someone say I would rather be an athlete, the best I can be, then become a self-realized person the best I can be?

Regards,

Henry Justin Chau

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Answer: Krishna Consciousness--The Ultimate Sport

A athlete can become excellent in this world for a few years until his body becomes too old to play sports and he dies to take birth again. Lifetime after lifetime he suffers the pangs of birth, death, old age, and disease--sometimes as a human being, sometimes as a plant, or sometimes as an animal according to his karma. So even though he got some temporary short run pleasure from sporting, his future is not very bright.

On the other hand, the devotee of Lord Krishna, the one who is perfect in self-realization, becomes excellent in serving Lord Krishna. He tastes the highest happiness in this lifetime and he enters the spiritual world to enjoy an eternal existence, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

So you can take you pick. You can decide whether you would like some temporary sporting happiness throwing a ball around and then having to face so much suffering lifetime after lifetime, or whether you would prefer to seriously adopt the ultimate sport of Krishna bhakti for achieving an eternal life, full of bliss, and full of knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 2 March 2009

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

Reharmonizing with Father and Mother

Our entire global society is in a perilous state because we have based our economic system on cheap petroleum and ever-increasing sense gratification. With the tremendous current crisis of economic recession, water and air pollution, global warming, and gargantuan masses of garbage accumulating all over the planet both in the ocean and on the land--we are ever more tightly entangled in an unsustainable economic nightmare based on an ever-increasing exploitation of the earth's resources.

In other words instead of living in a loving relationship with Mother Earth, we are living off of her as rapists. Therefore Mother Earth is restricting her supply more and more of resources that were formerly readily available such as water, cultivatable land, and a pleasant climate. Every year more and more land is transformed into desert land. For example, it has been predicted that in Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent will be able to feed only 25% of its population by 2025. We are sitting on the brink of an unimaginable global disaster.

But it is not too late. If we want to see peace and prosperity for our children and our children's children we have to get back to a loving relationship with Mother Earth. We need to get back to a more agrarian God conscious, family farm-based economy utilizing the cow and the bull. The governments should be providing an incentive for this. If a family has land, a cow, and a bull all of their economic problems are solved. They never have to worry about the family breadwinners getting laid off. We need to show Mother Earth how we are abandoning our eco-abusive ways and become solidly eco-friendly. This is the way of the Vedic God-centered society. It's time to seriously start revolutionizing this planet right now. Not in ten minutes or tomorrow. From this very instant and henceforward we must be fully committed to reharmonizing ourselves and this entire planet with the Supreme Father and with Mother Earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Recession Proof Economy


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Overcome Obstacles?

From China

Dear teacher:

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

Today when I listen to the recording of Prabhupada's chanting Hare Krishna mantra, I realize that Srila Prabhupada's devotion to Lord Krishna is unfathomable, that how mechanical my own japa is. I should have chanted with more intense feeling, I should have called Krishna's names with more humility and devotion.

I find that I have so many defects in performing devotional service. Thinking of the difficulties of life and my spiritual practice, I suddenly refreshed the feeling that material life of sense enjoyment is so meaningless, that spiritual life is the real thing. I beg for your mercy and the mercy of Srila Prabhupada that I could negotiate the hardships and obstacles in spiritual life and reach the final destination.

Well, how do you overcome obstacles (many, especially in the mind) in spiritual life?

Your most humble servant

Yechen

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Answer: Step On Them

Your realizations are very nice. Regarding the conquering of obstacles kindly consider this:

Just like when an airplane encounters a storm the pilot will take the airplane to a higher elevation above the storm, you can overcome all obstacles by absorbing your consciousness more intensely in the sound of the mahamantra. In this way your consciousness will be elevated to that plane of consciousness where all obstacles are conspicuous by their absence. What was previously experienced as an obstacle will then be experienced as a stepping stone.

In this connection, when Dhruva Maharaja came to the end of his life the greatest obstacle, i.e. death, came to him. But instead of being bewildered by death he stepped on the head of death and entered a Vaikuntha Airplane, which then took him back to the spiritual world.

So in this way instead of becoming bewildered by obstacles we should step on them using them as stepping stones to the eternal existence beyond birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 1 March 2009

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

Have Mercy on the Animals

Several weeks ago I noticed a man at a check out line in a grocery store holding a meat package in his hand waiting for his turn with the cashier. It was heartbreaking to see that blood was dripping out from the package making a small puddle on the floor. This was the blood of a living, breathing cow who a short while ago was experiencing feelings and emotions just like we do. The poor creature had been shipped off by her cruel master to be butchered and now her blood was making a mess on the floor. What was even more disconcerting was that nobody was disturbed by this ghastly scene. Everybody was desensitized. Nobody cared. It was considered normal, par for the course.

In such a society where cruelty to living creatures is considered routine, acceptable, normal behavior what can we expect? Murder, war, and terrorism become normal everyday threads of the social fabric. When we become this cruel to animals and we are so callous that we feel no guilt or shame for such horrendous crimes against them what is the next step? I have seen photographs of a man in Japan cooking a human baby and then eating it with great delight just as one would eat a leg of chicken. Such things are already happening and considered stylish in certain circles.

It's time that we as a human society reassess our values before we become even more degraded. We need to value and respect the lives of other living creatures and learn how to have mercy on the animals. It is not possible to develop the saintly qualities necessary for entering the kingdom of God as long as we inflict such unnecessary cruelty on our four-legged, winged, and finned little brothers and sisters. Therefore in the Krishna consciousness movement we strictly avoiding eating meat. Have mercy on the animals and convince everybody else to do the same.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Gita, the Magnificent Bull



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Consciousness with Non-Devotee Family

I am a 44 years old family man; I have a wife and three teenager kids. I'm trying to live my life according to the principle of the Krishna Consciousness movement, but my wife and kids don't want to know anything about this path.

My question is: How can I live my spiritual life among of a non-devotee family?

Salvador

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Answer: Be Strong, Patient, and Tolerant

Our best is advice is that you should be very tolerant of your non-devotee family members and at the same time very strict with yourself to undeviatingly follow the regulated principles of freedom as listed here:

1. No illicit sex (sex other than for procreation).
2. No meat eating (including fish and eggs). You should eat only vegetarian foods which have first been offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion.
3. No intoxication (including coffee, tea, and cigarettes).
4. No gambling.
5. Chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna mantra every day on chanting beads.

Even though it is not always easy to practice Krishna consciousness in the association of non-devotees, we encourage you to remain in your family life for their benefit. If you are strong in your principles and at the same time are tolerant and patient with them, eventually they will also become attracted to Krishna and will want to become devotees too.

May Lord Krishna bless you in your attempt to be solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness and at the same time make your family Krishna conscious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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