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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Thursday 30 April 2009

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

Reciprocation of Pure Love

When I realized how unlimitedly merciful Srila Prabhupada is in bestowing the unlimited bliss of Krishna consciousness upon those who take shelter of him, I naturally wanted to reciprocate with his inconceivably sublime mercy by becoming his disciple. In this connection I have composed the following verse:

Srila Prabhupada, I pray for the mercy
That I can please you unlimitedly.
For I've got to try to repay the debt
For the unlimited bliss you're giving me.

In the material world every experience I had ever tasted of love was frustrating and incomplete. But when I experienced a reciprocation of love in relationship with Srila Prabhupada by offering myself to him as his eternal servant I experienced a love that was completely pure, devoid of the lust and greed which contaminates the so-called love of this world. There is truly nothing sweeter than this.

You can taste it too. You simply to do the same thing that I did. You have to surrender yourself at the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Bestows the Unlimited Bliss

of Krishna Consciousness Upon His Disciples


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Kali Yuga only Present in Some Places?

Why is the effect of Kali yuga present only in some parts of the world? For example, in Somalia people are suffering very much while in America most of the people are prosperous. Why such imbalance? Shouldn't Kali yuga's effects prevail all over the world?

Regards,
Vishnu

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Answer: Kali Yuga's Effects are Everywhere

The effect of the Kali Yuga is everywhere. That's why we see so much impiety even in such places as America where people are enjoying prosperous life as the results of previous pious activities. The rampant impiety in America and similar prosperous places means that very soon they will lose their material prosperity. If those who are prosperous want to keep their prosperity, they must engage it in the service of the Lord. Otherwise, very soon their prosperity will be finished, just as Ravana's prosperity was finished.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 29 April 2009

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

The Whole World is Waiting

The whole world is out there waiting to be inundated by the sublime mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's nama sankirtana movement. People are beginning to wake up more and more and realize that the old stereotypical answers to questions regarding reality, the universe, our purpose of existence, etc. are not sufficient any more because they do not satisfy the intelligence. More and more people are realizing that the old paradigms do not work and that new more enlightened paradigms are required. This is why the Krishna consciousness movement now needs to focus on training up as many men and women as possible who can act as highly qualified teachers for the education of the world population. With the specter of an ever-increasing myriad of crises hanging over the heads of the human population, people are willing now more than ever to abandon the old reality models and embrace new more practical and enlightened models of reality. There has truly never been a more opportune moment for spreading the Krishna consciousness than now.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Manifests Unlimited

Mercy Upon the Fallen, Conditioned Souls


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can Someone Want to Be Cheated?

Dear teacher:

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

1. How to balance approaching and being approached? Everyone should approach pure devotees to seek spiritual knowledge, but nobody does. Out of compassion, oftentimes it's the pure devotees who are approaching mundane people to enlighten them in spiritual knowledge. When you are preaching, is it that you approach them and tell them a lot, or that you only tell them a little, and if they are interested, they will naturally approach you?

2. Those who approach bogus gurus are not sincere. In this age, many people are misguided. You told me that those unfortunate individuals who are cheated are not sincere, it's because they want to be cheated. Well, I never understand about this. It seems that they also want eternity, knowledge and bliss. Could you kindly tell me what is the meaning of "want to be cheated"? What are their subtle desires? Can you give an example?

Your humble servant,

Yechen Zhang

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Answer: By Desiring to Be Told, "You Are God."

The preacher has to judge by the result. Whatever is most effective for the delivering the fallen, conditioned souls back to home, back to Godhead is the strategy which should be adopted. What is proper in one situation may not be proper in another situation. Therefore the preacher should always be attuned to time, place, and circumstance and adjust his teaching style accordingly.

We cannot say that those who approach bogus gurus are not sincere. They may be sincere and misguided. But a sincere, seeker of the Absolute Truth will not be satisfied after having met such cheaters and will continue looking for a bona fide spiritual master until he finds one. It's the ones who stick with the bogus gurus who are showing their lack of sincere desire to know things as they are.

For example, I have just recently been informed about a bogus guru who teaches his disciples that they are God. A sincere, honest person will realize that this is nonsense and will look elsewhere for a spiritual master. But someone who would like to consider himself to be God will stick with the bogus guru who tells him that he is God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 28 April 2009

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

Sinking Titanic Civilization

The Vedic civilization flourished on this planet for 3,888,000 years. This is the time span from the beginning of the Satya yuga up until the end of the Dvapara yuga when the Kali yuga began 5,000 years ago. Especially since the beginning of the Kali yuga the human society has been becoming more and more godless. The result of such godlessness is ever-increasing chaos. This is leading us closer and closer to the collapse of the world civilization. In the absence of Vedic civilization we have seen throughout the Kali yuga a series of empires, none of which has endured because they have all been based on the false conception that the body is the self and that happiness is derived from material sense gratification. No amount of legislation, military might, or diplomacy can insure sustainability for our modern civilization. Without God consciousness it is sure to gradually disintegrate into total chaos and slither like the sinking Titanic into the ocean of oblivion. If we want to save the modern day civilization from certain destruction we must inject it with the vaccine of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Sinking of the Titanic


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Save the World from Destruction?

I completely believe in God. I want to know from you at which stage of the Kali Yuga we are living right now? Some are saying the world is going to perish with in a few years. How can we protect our world from the destruction? When again is the Supreme Lord coming to this horrible world to save all of us from the sins? I am hoping for your reply soon.

You have been doing a great job by spreading God consciousness in this world, which is completely doomed by sin day by day and is ignoring the moral life presented by the Supreme God.

Hare Krishna Hare Rama

Thanks and regards,

Santosh

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Answer: Put Krishna Back in the Center

The Vedic scriptures have informed us that the world civilization will gradually deteriorate over the next 427,000 years so much so that there will be no solution except for Lord Kalki to come and annihilate the demons for bringing in another Satya Yuga.

We are currently witnessing a world civilization which is very much in peril in many ways. There is the global warming crisis, the oil crisis, the terrorism crisis, the economic crisis, the food crisis, the AIDS crisis, and so many other problems. All of these problems are manifestations of the godlessness which is becoming more and more predominant on this planet. Like Ravana, the leaders of the modern day civilization are trying to have the kingdom of God without God. But they cannot have it. All of their plans to solve the problems are doomed to certain failure unless they bring back isavasya, the God-centered principle, for the human civilization. If this can be done, the Vedic scriptures predict that we can have a Satya yuga-like atmosphere on this planet for the next 10,000 years even in the midst of the Kali yuga.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Monday 27 April 2009

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

Stick to Your Duty

When the spiritual master gives the disciple his prescribed duty the disciple must embrace that duty accepting it as his very life and soul. By doing so, within the execution of that duty he will gradually fully realize God. The constant danger for the disciple is that the voracious senses are always there screaming that the disciple should abandon his duty and indulge himself in sense gratification. Therefore the disciple must be on constant guard 24 hours daily to keep himself fixed in carrying out his prescribed duty. Without being attached to success or failure, the disciple simply remains attached to sticking to his duty. In this way his ultimate success is guaranteed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Instructs Disciples


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Abolish Sex Desire Forever?

Thanks a lot for sending such a nice and very useful article "Beyond Sexism" in your "Thought for Day" for 26 April 2009. Sometimes I wonder why God has made sex. (He says in Bhagavad-gita 10.28, "Of causes for procreation I am Kandarpa, the god of love.") Was it not possible to create generations without sex? Perhaps I think like this because although I am 65 years old, I am still disturbed by sex desire. God can do whatever He wants. So why does He not abolish sex desire from our minds? And how can we abolish sex desire forever? Kindly reply in detail.

Thank you very much again,

With regards,

Your Student

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Answer: Transform It Into Pure Love

I am happy that you are finding benefit from my humble attempt to share with you what I have learned from my spiritual master.

Since Krishna is the origin of everything, sex also originates in Krishna. Sex desire in its pure original form is the attraction felt between Krishna and Srimati Radharani. It is only when the living becomes envious of Krishna and desires to take His position of enjoyment that sex desire becomes manifested in its perverted form. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna explains:

kāma eṣa krodha eṣa
rajo-guṇa-samudbhavaḥ
mahāśano mahā-pāpmā
viddhy enam iha vairiṇam

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

When our original pure love for Krishna becomes contaminated by contact with the material nature it is transformed into lust.

Krishna is able to impregnate the material nature with countless numbers of living beings simply by His glance. He does not require sex to do so.

The heavenly pleasure of sexual intercourse is experienced by us because without that pleasure who would want to take the trouble of raising children.

Krishna is giving us the means to completely abolish sex desire. All we have to do is purify our consciousness by reviving our original loving relationship with Him. Then as pure love was transformed into lust, lust will be transformed back into its original state of pure love. Such revival cannot be forced upon us because love is voluntary. Love cannot be forced.

I sincerely hope that this fully answers your questions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 26 April 2009

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

Beyond Sexism

The term sexism usually refers to prejudice or discrimination against women. But it can also refer to discrimination or prejudice against men. Sexism is based on the false conception that the self is the body. Some of the opponents of sexism want to establish equality between the sexes on the material platform. But this is not possible. If it were, a wife could make her husband pregnant, and he would have to bear the child in his womb.

Physically men are stronger than women and are therefore meant by nature's way to protect them from exploitation. Psychologically there are also distinct differences between men and women. Women generally have a more softhearted nature than men. This gives women an advantage on the bhakti yoga path. So it is artificial to say that men and women are physically and psychologically the same.

Each gender has certain advantages over the other. One gender is strong and weak in certain ways and the other gender is strong and weak in different ways. So if instead of clashing with each other they will learn how to harmonize with each, there will be mutual benefit for both genders. Each can utilize the strengths of the other gender to help overcome his or her gender weakness.

The harmonizing principle is known as Krishna consciousness. This enlightened state of consciousness begins from the platform of understanding that the self is not the body, that the body is a mere covering of the actual spiritual self within. Through the process of transmigration in one lifetime the living being will be a male and in a subsequent lifetime will be a female. Since we have been caught up in the cycle of birth and death from time immemorial we have all been males and females literally thousands and millions of times.

True harmony begins when the living being realizes that the body and the self are not the same, that the actual self is an eternal spiritual being in quality one with the Supreme Person, who is the source of all existence. True sameness exists on the spiritual platform, not on the material platform on which men and women will always be different. This Krishna conscious understanding is the enlightened way to defeat sexism, not the foolish idea that materially men and women are the same.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Spiritually Enlightened Woman

Presents the Science of Krishna:
Vishnupriya Devi dasi
in Kaunas, Lithuania--April 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are There Gurus Outside of ISKCON?

There is a young swami who gives discourses from the Bhagavad-gita etc. He is an enlightened spiritual master with many followers, even though he is young. And his bliss is notable!

Are there not swamis outside ISKCON that are spiritual masters who can lead to bliss just as well as you? He has awakened my spiritual world, even though I read your "Thought for the Day". And it seems that you both preaching similar truth. Please answer this question.

Yvonne

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Answer: Use this Test to Find Out:

Since I am not familiar with the teachings of the swami, I cannot comment on whether or not he is bona fide. But I can teach you the principle by which you can test whether or not he or anybody else is bona fide.

The Vedic wisdom does not state that a guru has to be a member of ISKCON to be bona fide. It simply states that the person must present the teachings of Krishna as stated in Bhagavad-gita without any interpretation, addition, or subtraction. This is the only requirement for being a bona fide spiritual master.

While on the surface it seems that all gurus who teach the Bhagavad-gita are bona fide, upon carefully comparing their Bhagavad-gita presentation with Lord Krishna's actual Bhagavad-gita teachings, it becomes clear that some gurus are presenting the Bhagavad-gita as it is and that some are in the name of the Bhagavad-gita giving their own philosophy.

Of course for the neophyte it is sometimes hard to make the distinction. Just like one time when a man was leaving India he wanted to turn his Indian rupees into US Dollars. He went to the money changer at the airport and gave him his rupees. When he got his dollars he was also handed back one of his rupee notes because it was counterfeit. He did not have the trained eyes to discern that it was counterfeit, but the money changer did.

In the same way a neophyte on the self realization path requires training in order to distinguish between someone who is accurately presenting the Bhagavad-gita and someone who is distorting it. It is unfortunate that most of the current Bhagavad-gita commentators twist the words of Krishna is such a way as to deny the personal existence of Krishna. They will say that it is not to the person Krishna that we must surrender. They teach us that instead we should merge into the impersonal oneness and become God. Such a philosophy is most destructive and dangerous because it blocks the ability of the aspiring transcendentalist to ever develop a loving relationship with the Supreme Person.

Sometimes such impersonalists will also promote bhakti or devotion to Lord Krishna and will even quote from the Bhagavad-gita. But they present devotion to Krishna as the beginning stage of self-realization, as a stepping stone to merging and becoming God. So we must carefully avoid such impersonalists who grossly twist Krishna's words in such a misleading way. Unfortunately in the Kali yuga people are generally more attracted by the cheaters who distort Krishna's teachings than they are by those who present Krishna's teachings as they are. We cannot judge who is properly presenting the Bhagavad-gita by popular votes when the mass of people are not educated to properly understand the Vedic conclusion. In this connection it should be noted that Adolf Hitler was made the leader of Germany by popular vote.

So instead of popularity we should based our understanding of guru's authenticity on whether or not he is faithfully presenting the teachings of Krishna without any addition or subtraction. Otherwise we may think we are being enlightened when in fact we are being misled. Anyone can make a show of bliss. But only a genuine spiritual master gives us the Absolute Truth.

So now that I've taught you the guru test, if you will carefully apply it, you will be able to know whether someone is a bona fide guru or not.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 25 April 2009

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

The Deeper You Dive, the More Ecstatic It Gets

Krishna consciousness is astounding in the way that it gets ever-increasingly ecstatic the deeper and deeper that you dive into in it. Of course to experience it like this requires that you remain steady in your practice. One who is not steady in his practice will also taste nectar, but it will be intermittent, not the same kind of ever-increasing nectar experienced by the steady devotee. So the key is that just as you eat every day to nourish your body, you should chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day to nourish your soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Diving into the Krishna Bhakti Ocean

Riga, Latvia Home Kirtan--April 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is it Right to Fall at Guru's Feet?

Is it right for a person to fall to feet other than Krishna? I never feel to. Even if he is a spiritual master, he is below God. Why should I fall at his feet? Are they equal to Krishna? They never can be. Then why should one do like this? I'm ignorant. Please give me knowledge.

Regards,

Vishnu

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Answer: You Must.

I appreciate very much the way that you honestly revealed your doubts and humbly requested to be enlightened with knowledge. This way of submissive inquiry is the proper way to approach the spiritual master.

The bona fide spiritual master never claims that he is God and never allows anyone else to present that he is God. He is the humble servant of God and always presents Himself as such teaching his disciples how they also can become the humble servants of God.

When we seriously take up the service of Lord Krishna according to the instructions which He has given in the revealed scriptures, we will discover that He orders to become the devotees of His devotees. Therefore because we want to be His devotees we dutifully bow down at the feet of His devotees offering them all respect as His representatives.

Even in ordinary life we see that a policeman is not the government. He is an ordinary citizen just like you and me. But when he is on duty as a policeman and issues us a citation for driving too fast we must offer him all respect as the government by obeying his instructions.

Similarly, if we are really surrendered to Krishna we will follow His instruction that we should become the devotees of His devotees. This instruction is found in the Adi Purana as follows:

ye me bhakta-janāḥ pārtha
na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ
mad-bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās
te me bhakta-tamā matāh

"The person who claims to be My devotee is not My devotee.
Rather it is the devotee of My devotee who is My actual devotee."


So if we refuse to bow down to Krishna's devotees on the plea that they are not Krishna, Krishna will never accept our devotion to Him. In other words, we cannot be truly devoted to Krishna unless we are devoted to His devotees. In conclusion, the secret of success in spiritual life is to become the devotee of Krishna's devotees because this is the only way that Krishna will accept our devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 24 April 2009

from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
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Today's Thought:

Praying for World Deliverance

23 April 2009. After an astonishingly enlivening five and half weeks of preaching in Europe and India we are now heading back to our home base in Austin, Texas for two and half weeks before resuming our around-the-world preaching tour with a lecture series in Bulgaria and Macedonia. There is truly nothing more invigorating and uplifting than living every day for the deliverance of all living entities in this material world from the cycle of birth and death. The whole world is suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness and in spite of my innumerable disqualifications by the unlimited mercy of Lord Sri Krishna and Srila Prabhupada I have been blessed with having just that thing which the entire world needs to solve all of its problems, the Hare Krishna mahamantra. I am just praying for Krishna's mercy that by His all-powerful blessings everyone in all corners of the world will become attracted to this Krishna consciousness process as soon as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Flying High on the Mahamantra
On Around-the-World Lecture Tour
23 April 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Isn't It Just Selfish?

Dear Gurudeva,

A person from Israel asked you what to do to get rain in Israel. You have replied that a massive sankirtan (congregational chanting of the holy names of God) will resolve the issue. Sure it will play a remarkable role in solving the long running issues of the region. When people would come together and sing the names of the Lord leaving behind all their divisions of religion and beliefs the environment there would be purified and so many issues would get resolved. But it does not guarantee rain like you have told the person. Everything is in the hands of the Lord. If he wishes Israel would get rain, if he doesn't there will be no rain. Whatever happens, would be for the good. Should we be trying to please the lord to get our wish fulfilled? Why should we hope? You say we should be trying to please the lord every single moment of our life. Some people please the lord but in return hope their wishes will be fulfilled. Isn't this selfish? Then even to surrender to the lord with the thought in our mind always that we want to be liberated from this painful existence is just selfish isn't it? Isn't a person who is completely driven to take up the path of devotion just because he/she does not want to be born as another species just being selfish?

Your shishya

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Answer: Krishna Reciprocates with Selfless Bhakti.

Of course, it is a fact, as you are saying, that if we pray for rain that we are being selfish. But if we pray for the pleasure of Krishna and accept whatever comes as His mercy, rain or no rain, by His grace according to His words in the Bhagavad-gita the rain will come. Who can deny it? So you are wrong when you state that massive sankirtan yajna will not bring the rain. Krishna directly states in the Bhagavad-gita that rain is produced by the performance of yajna.

And it is also a fact that if we pray for liberation from the cycle of birth and death, we are also being selfish. Therefore the pure devotee prays simply to be eternally engaged in the Lord's service in any condition either in the material world or in the spiritual world. And because of his completely pure surrendered attitude, at the time of death he is immediately delivered back to his original home in the spiritual world.

You have presented yourself as my shishya, my student. Therefore I beg to point out to you that according to the instructions of Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita one is never to tell his teacher that he is wrong as you have just told me. This is an offense known as sadhu ninda, which nullifies whatever devotional service one has done.

Of course this does not mean that we have to blindly accept what we hear from the spiritual master. If something does not make sense to us, instead of telling the spiritual master that he is wrong, we should submissively inquire from him to help us understand how it is true. In short, our mood before the spiritual master should not be a challenging mood. Rather it should be a mood of submissive inquiry.

I am hoping this meets you well,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 23 April 2009

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Like a Kid in a Candy Shop

For Krishna's devotee life in this material world is like being a kid in a candy shop because here he finds unlimited opportunities to be blessed with Krishna's special mercy by reuniting the lost souls with their beloved eternal Lord. Wherever he goes he endeavors to transform the non-devotees into devotees by introducing them to the unlimitedly sweet nectar of Krishna consciousness. This is not artificial because the original pure nature of every living being is to be Krishna's devotee. After turning them into devotees he reveals to them the confidential secrets of the science of bhakti. In this regard Lord Krishna reveals in the Bhagavad-gita:

ya idam paramam guhyam
mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktim mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ

"For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees,
pure devotional service is guaranteed,
and at the end he will come back to Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 18.69

And in the next verse He further reveals:

na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu
kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
bhavitā na ca me tasmād
anyaḥ priyataro bhuvi

"There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he,
nor will there ever be one more dear."

--Bhagavad-gita 18.69

By constantly engaging himself in that activity which is dearmost to the Lord the devotee tastes here in this material world a supremely delightful pleasure tantamount to the happiness constantly relished by the most fortunate inhabitants of the spiritual world, that wondrous place where everything is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching How to Chant Japa

in Riga, Latvia--April 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Class by Birth?

While reading the book title "Science of Self Realization" written by Srila Prabhupada, I have been pondering about these two questions. Can you please answer them and remove my ignorance?

1. It is said that a human being (due to his consciousness) takes his next body according to his thoughts at the time of dying. It is also said that animals do not have developed consciousness hence goats can still keep eating while other goats are killed before them. So, if animals do not have developed consciousness what decides the next body acquired by them?

2. Regarding the varnashram system, it was said that a person falls in a particular class of society as a brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya, or sudra due to his qualities and work and not due to his birth in a particular class. But in all the scriptures like Ramayana and Mahabharata we read stories that a person is considered to belong to particular class due to his birth. In Vedic times are children born in particular class forced to following their birth dharma or allowed to choose their own dharma? If so, can you please give some example where a person born in one class has chosen different dharma than their parents? Is it practical to follow varnashram dharma in today's world?

Thank you so much for your tireless and sincere service to the society.

Your humble student,
Ravi

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Answer: No. Class According to One's Qualities.

The animals naturally progress birth after birth through various animal births until they reach the human form at which time that soul has the opportunity to escape the cycle of birth and death by surrendering himself fully unto the Lord.

Although in the Vedic times a soul would generally take birth from parents of the same varna as his own nature, in many cases it was not so. Just like in the Jabala Upanisad there is the history of a boy named Satyakama-jabala who approached Gautama Muni for becoming his disciple. The muni asked the boy what was his caste because in the Vedic times nobody could be accepted as a disciple unless he was born in a high class family as a brahmana, ksatriya, or a vaisya--especially brahmana. When he was asked, "Which family you belong to?" he said, "I do not know what is my classification." Gautama Muni asked "Who is your father?", and the boy could only say, "I do not know." So the sage told him, " Go ask your mother." Then he went to his mother and inquired, "Who is my father?" She said, "My dear boy, I do not know." His mother was a prostitute who engaged in sex with so many men. So by whom she was pregnant she could not remember. Just as his mother told the truth, Satyakama went to Gautama Muni and also told the truth, "Sir, my mother does not know who is my father." "Oh, that's all right." Gautama Muni replied, "You are a brahmana because you are truthful. You do not hide that you are a prostitute's son. You are plainly speaking that your mother does not know who is your father." So because he exemplified the brahminical quality of honesty Gautama Muni said, "Yes, I'll accept you as my disciple."

So even though the varna of one's parents has an influence on one's own varna, it is definitely not the deciding factor. What nature and activities one manifests are the real deciding factors for determining one's varna, or position with the social strata.

In order to bring happiness to the human society it is essential that everyone be engaged in earning their livelihood in a manner which is compatible with their nature. In the present social system so many people are miserable because they are forced by circumstances to earn their livelihoods in ways that are not compatible with their natures. In other words, instead of loving their jobs, they hate their jobs. In a varnashram society everyone has a job which they love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 22 April 2009

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Nothing Sweeter Than This

While the neophyte devotee experiences ups and downs in his Krishna consciousness, the devotee who is advanced in following the orders of his spiritual master experiences life as a never-ending stream of events which just keep getting sweeter and sweeter and even more sweeter. He never experiences a leveling out or plateau effect at any stage. Therefore it behooves the neophytes to become advanced by mastering the art of Krishna consciousness.

How is this accomplished? This is done by associating with advanced devotees. When the neophyte devotees hear from and serve the advanced devotees, by the blessings of the advanced devotees they naturally progress in their Krishna consciousness and are gradually transformed into also being advanced devotees who experience never-ending ever-increasing sweetness on their pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Nectar of Krishna Consciousness

in Riga, Latvia--April 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Rain in Israel?

My country, Israel, is having a serious drought, and we are not receiving any rain. What should we do?

Your disciple from afar,

Indu pati das

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Answer: Organize Massive Sankirtana

Krishna states the Bhagavad-gita:

annād bhavanti bhūtāni
parjanyād anna-sambhavaḥ
yaj˝ād bhavati parjanyo
yaj˝aḥ karma-samudbhavaḥ

"All living bodies subsist on food grains, which are produced from rains.
Rains are produced by performance of yaj˝a [sacrifice],
and yaj˝a is born of prescribed duties."

--Bhagavad-gita
3.14

So the solution for drought is massive sankirtana yajna. The entire population of Israel should be mobilized for massive public chanting of the holy names of God. The Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze, and Hare Krishna communities may all chant according to their respective scriptures the holy names of God. The point is that everyone should be out in the streets singing the holy names of God and dancing in ecstasy. This will undoubtedly bring the desired rain to Israel. Plus if the Palestinians will also join in the sankirtana, it will also bring peace between Palestine and Israel.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 21 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Extraordinarily Blissful

Krishna consciousness is so extraordinarily blissful that any sort of happiness you can experience in this material world even all the way up to occupying the post of Lord Brahma, the demigod in charge of this universe, pales into insignificance in comparison to the bliss of being Krishna conscious. Therefore a devotee has nothing at all to desire in this world except for inundating it with a tidal wave of Krishna bhakti for the sake of saving the poor suffering souls of this world from their entanglement in the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Farewell Kirtan from Blissful Devotees

Kaunas, Lithuania--19 April 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Conquer Negative Thoughts?

My dear teacher,

How do I conquer fear, negative thoughts, and bad dreams? Help me.

Your student

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Answer: Inundate Your Consciousness with Krishna

Simply you must inundate your consciousness with Krishna consciousness as much as possible by hearing about Krishna, chanting the names of Krishna, reading about Krishna, bowing down to Krishna, serving Krishna, associating with Krishna's devotees, serving Krishna's devotees, etc. In this way by filling your heart always with Krishna, the garbage of fear and all other negative thoughts will naturally go away, and you will also have Krishna conscious dreams when you sleep. Of course just as it takes time to clean your house, it will also take some time to clean the house of your consciousness. So you must be patient and continue with your chanting with the full faith that by this process you will attain all perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 20 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Second Birth, a Rare Opportunity

Yesterday here in Kaunas, Lithuania we held an initiation ceremony. This was conducted in humble submission to the instructions of my spiritual master, our Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He told us, his disciples, that after his physical departure from this material plane that those persons coming forward to join this Krishna consciousness movement should become the disciples of his disciples. So on Srila Prabhupada's order in yesterday's ceremony I accepted six new disciples as well as giving Brahman initiation to three of my already initiated disciples.

What is the the significance of initiation? Our first birth is the acceptance of the material body, which is provided for us by our mother and father. There is nothing extraordinary about first birth because all varieties of living beings in this world get their first birth automatically by the laws of nature. What distinguishes human life from animal life is that human life affords us the opportunity to get a second birth. This second birth comes from a different set of parents, the spiritual master as the father and the Vedas as the mother. Initiation or second birth revives the original, eternal, full-of-bliss, and full-of-knowledge identity of the living being. At the time of initiation the serious disciple who strictly follows the spiritual master becomes deathless. He enters into immortality. Even though he remains within the shell of his first birth day, he lives henceforward within his newly revived spiritual identity as Krishna's eternal servant tasting the sweetest happiness at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Initiation Ceremony
Kaunas, Lithuania--19 April 2009



New Initiates Throw Grains into the Sacrificial Fire




Bhaktin Nijole Becomes Nandarani Devi Dasi



With the Eight New Initiates and Others


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Humble?

Dear teacher, forgive me if I commit an offense by asking irrelevant questions.

1. How to become humble? Humility is not taught in today's modern education system. Being humble doesn't comes naturally from within.

2. What are the etiquettes one must have to be a Vaisnava?

3. I experience bliss while doing kirtan, but there is no such bliss while performing japa. Why?

From your servant

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Answer: Give Respect Without Expecting Respect

The formula for becoming humble is that you should offer all respect to others without expecting any respect for yourself.

The formula for how to be a Vaisnava is given by Lord Krishna as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

satataṁ kīrtayanto māṁ
yatantaś ca dṛḍha-vratāḥ
namasyantaś ca māṁ bhaktyā
nitya-yuktā upāsate

"Always chanting My glories,
endeavoring with great determination,
bowing down before Me, these great souls
perpetually worship Me with devotion."

--Bhagavad-gita
9.14

If you are not tasting bliss when you chant japa, it is because you are trying to taste bliss. If instead of trying to taste bliss you will try to give bliss to Krishna by chanting His names with love, you find yourself swimming in an ocean of unlimited bliss at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 19 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Incomparable Bliss

Would you like to be absolutely ecstatic tasting incomparable bliss at every moment? Incomparable bliss means a bliss which is purely spiritual, which does not depend on any material circumstances, and which goes on increasing unlimitedly forever. This divine state of happiness is so sublime that it cannot be compared with any type of happiness found in this material world. Therefore we describe it as incomparable bliss. This amazing absolute bliss can be yours today. All you have to do is henceforward renounce all self-centeredness and be purely God-centered in all of your thoughts, words, and deeds in all times, places, and circumstances. This transcendental art of devotion is best learned under the guidance a qualified teacher, a bona fide spiritual master. By thus realigning your consciousness back to its original, natural, healthy state you will no longer suffer. You will live constantly in a state of pure incomparable transcendental bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Incomparable Bliss of Krishna Consciousness

Distributing Prasadam in Riga, Latvia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna's Bodily Parts Like Ours?

When I think Krishna as a person sometimes I feel bad because this means that Krishna also has the same body parts as others have. By seeing the people who are spitting, having sex, doing all the non sense activities, answering the call of nature, etc when I think of Krishna as person I feel something bad.

Does God also have the same reproductory organs like we have?

Am I thinking like this because my soul is contaminated?

Give me proper knowledge and remove the feeling from my mind. I desperately need it.

Regards,

Your student

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Answer: Not Hardly. They Are Full of the Most Dazzling Splendor.

This is a valid philosophical question. It is not arising from mental contamination. It is coming from your sincere desire to perfectly know God.

Krishna has all the same bodily organs that we do. This is how we have them. We are made after the form of God. However, the difference between us and Krishna is that Krishna can perform each and every one of the bodily functions with any one of His organs, while we are limited to one bodily function with each organ.

For example while a man can impregnate a woman through the utilization of his genitals, Krishna can impregnate the entire universe simply by His glance. You cannot make a woman pregnant simply by looking at her. But Krishna is so unlimitedly powerful in all of His bodily functions that He can make the entire universe pregnant simply by His glance.

This is confirmed as follows in the Sri Brahma Samhita:

aṅgāni yasya sakalendriya-vṛtti-manti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciram jaganti
ānanda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam aham bhajāmi

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself, the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane." --Brahma Samhita 5.32

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 18 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

A Devotee Has No Enemies

A devotee is not inimical towards anyone, even those who are inimical towards him because he sees that everything is acting, working under the arrangement and sanction of the Lord. Therefore his mind is always peaceful, even under the most trying of circumstances. He sees that everything has been directly arranged by His all-merciful Lord for his deliverance back to the transcendental kingdom of God as soon as possible. In this connection there is a wonderful verse in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

titikshavah karunikah
suhridah sarva-dehinam
ajata-satravah santah
sadhavah sadhu-bhushanah

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

--Srimad Bhagavatam
3.25.21

The beauty of this process of Krishna consciousness is that even if one is the most degraded ruffian, if he will sincerely follow the path of bhakti, he will in due course of time become a great personality possessing all saintly qualities as described in this verse.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sharing the Secrets of Bhakti

in Riga, Latvia--5 April 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Abandoning Non-Devotee Association?

In verse #3 of the Nectar of Instruction, Srila Rupa Goswami lists the six favorable principles for the successful execution of pure devotional service. The fifth principle is abandoning the association of non-devotees. In order to become successful in devotional service one has to give up the association of unwanted persons. This includes karmis, jnanis and other non-devotees. Sri Caitanya defines a Vaisnava as someone who gives up the association with worldly people. What does this mean? How does it apply?

In what of the nine stages of bhakti would I fall under, if any, and if I didn't, would that mean you will have to no longer associate with me?

Your eternal servant,
Buddy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Transform Them Into Devotees

Don't worry. I will never want to give up the association of such a sincere soul as you. Giving up the association of non-devotees means not to take shelter of their association. It does not mean to stop being a merciful, loving person. Lord Caitanya has ordered His devotees to liberally associate with everyone for the sake of giving them the ultimate shelter of Krishna consciousness. To do this is genuine loving kindness.

The point is that instead of associating with non-devotees and engaging with them in non-devotional activities, the devotees associate with the non-devotees for the purpose of engaging them in devotional activities and thereby gradually and naturally transforming them into devotees. Therefore there is no one more loving and kind than the devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 17 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Forgiveness Brings Bliss

Don't hold grudges. It will fill your heart with smudges. The transcendental nature of a Vaisnava is that he is always a very forgiving person. He holds no malice towards anyone. The Vaisnava always gives mercy to others whether they reciprocate with him or not. Therefore he has fully qualified himself to be the recipient of the unlimited mercy of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In this regard it is sometimes said, "Whatever goes around, comes around." and "You reap what you sow." The more we give mercy, the more we receive mercy. Therefore the devotee intelligently gives mercy to everyone in all times, places, and circumstances. The result is that he swims perpetually in the unlimitedly merciful ocean of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Bliss of Krishna Consciousness

in Riga, Latvia--5 April 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Forgive the Follies of Others?

Is it true that a person interested in Krishna Consciousness should forgive the small follies of others?

Sunil

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Would You Like to Be Forgiven?

If you give mercy, mercy shall be given unto you. Just as we would like to be forgiven for our mistakes, we should similarly be kind and generous to others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 16 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

The Topmost Mystics

Due to their strict adherence to the principles of the astanga yoga system, the yogis are able to develop eight types of mystic powers including the power known as anima siddhi, the ability to make oneself smaller than an atom. In that subatomic state the yogis can enter anywhere. They can enter a stone or pass through any obstacle. But in spite of their possessing this amazing mystic power, the yogis are not able to enter into the planets of the spiritual world.

The devotees of the Lord, however, are able to easily enter into the spiritual world by dint of devotional service. Being thus more adept in mystic perfection than the yogis, the devotees are the topmost mystics. The devotees simply take shelter of the Hare Krishna mahamantra and fly on that mantra airplane directly into the wondrous spiritual sky, in less than a second passing through the trillions of miles of coverings of this material universe, crossing the Viraja and taking shelter of the lotus feet of the Lord in His transcendental pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Send-Off Party in Kaunas

After Srimad Bhagavatam Class


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Beginning of Hinduism?

Did the Hare Krishna movement originate in India? Is the movement of Indian origin?

Is Hinduism the oldest religion? Did it begin in India?

Geeta

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: There is No Such Thing

Although historically rooted in India, the Hare Krishna movement did not originate in India. It originates in the spiritual world and was first manifested in this universe 155 trillion years ago when Lord Krishna enlightened Lord Brahma with Krishna consciousness just after the creation of this universe.

The word "Hindu" is not found in Vedic scriptures, the foundation of Indian culture. It was coined by the Muslims to describe those persons living east of the River Sindhu, which is now known as the Indus River. Therefore, strictly speaking the term "Hinduism" is a misnomer. Vedic scholars know that the actual term for India's ancient religious culture is "sanatana dharma", the eternal religion of the soul.

Sanatana dharma is indeed the world's oldest religion because it has no beginning point in history. It means to fully absorb yourself in loving service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna or Vishnu. There is no such thing as the beginning of sanatana dharma or "Hinduism" because, like the Hare Krishna movement, it has no beginning point in history having originated in the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 15 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Wake Up from the Mayic Sleep

After millions and millions of lifetimes of sleeping in the lap of maya it is time now to wake up and be restored to your original pure identity as the eternal servant of Krishna. There is no need to suffer or struggle any longer in this material existence. Eternity, knowledge, and bliss can now be yours. Take this switch of the mahamantra and turn on your original identity as the eternal servant of the Supreme Person. You have got nothing to lose except for birth, death, old age, and disease, and an unlimited ocean of bliss to gain.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Eager Hearers in Kaunas, Lithuania

Learning the Science of Bhakti

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Requested by Srila Prabhupada to Be Guru?

Did Srila Prabhupada request you personally or were you appointed by your society to be a spiritual master?

Bobby

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Yes, On His Order.

I was personally encouraged by Srila Prabhupada that I could become a spiritual master. He clearly instructed us that after one's guru departs, if the disciple is mature in his Krishna consciousness, he should take up the service of being an initiating guru. It is not that somebody can be made a guru by appointment. No. It is the order and blessings of one's spiritual master that empowers the disciple to become a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 14 April 2009

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories of Russia

Now I am back here in Lithuania for another ecstatic week of preaching, and I am carrying in my heart the sweetest memories of the weekend I just spent with the wonderful Russian devotees. We go twice a year to Russia, and it is always a very sweet and unforgettable treat. There is truly nothing more wonderful, more enlivening than reconnecting with Krishna, the source of our existence, and reconnecting everyone else with Him. I am begging that Lord Krishna will kindly bless us with the mercy of being able to reconnect the entire world with Him. I pray to see the entire planet transcendentalized.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching at Kaliningrad's Bhakti Yoga Club


Ecstatic Russian Devotees (in front)


Farewell Kirtan in Kaliningrad


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are You a Bona Fide Spiritual Master?

Are you a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession of the Gaudiya Brahma Sampradaya?

Bobby

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: By the Mercy of My Spiritual Master

Even though I personally have no qualification to be a spiritual master, if I have any qualification at all, it is that I have been ordered by my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to become a guru and deliver the fallen souls of this world. Therefore on his order, with his blessings, and begging for his mercy I have accepted the service of being a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic line known as the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. And by his grace my preaching is meeting with success all over the world. This is all due to Srila Prabhupada's divine potency.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 13 April 2009

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

It Was Well Worth It

Enduring the five hour ordeal at the Russian border to come here to Kaliningrad was well worth it. Now we are here with the Russian devotees relishing the sweetest of all nectar, the pure Hare Krishna kirtan inaugurated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and spread all over the world by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This amazing pure Hare Krishna kirtan is so potent and powerful that it can conquer the entire material world by love. Anyone who even once relishes the sweet nectar of the Hare Krishna mantra will never again experience the material world in the same way that the population in general experiences it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Relishing Kirtan Nectar in Kaliningrad, Russia


http://www.backtohome.com/images/2009-Spring/Kaliningrad-kirtan.jpg

For Video/Audio of Above Kirtan Use This Link:
http://www.backtohome.com/video/Kaliningrad_Kirtan.wmv


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: I Need Your Mercy

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

I've been chanting my 16 rounds daily for a few weeks now. I have now set myself the goal of being a disciple of a spiritual master, but I find that my 'pride' is getting in the way of it. I really enjoy the association of devotees and love hearing about Krishna from them. When the devotees speak of their spiritual master, they say how much they love him and that they have a personal relationship with him, and how merciful he is. They talk about touching his feet and bowing down offering obeisances. The thought of actually bowing down to somebody and glorifying his feet, for me, is hard to fathom. I want to be humble, so how do I get past this? How will I start up a relationship with a spiritual master and come to love him?

Your humble servant.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: You've Got It!

Since I am a spiritual master, you already have a relationship with a spiritual master. Love for the spiritual master is not artificial. It naturally develops by engaging in the six loving exchanges with the spiritual master which are as follows:

1. Giving gifts to the spiritual master
2. Receiving gifts from the master
3. Giving prasadam to the spiritual master
4. Receiving prasadam from the spiritual master
5. Opening your heart to the spiritual master (as you have just done)
6. Keep your heart open when he reveals his heart to you (as you are hopefully doing now).

So simply engage in the above six items with spiritual masters and everything will automatically follow from that. Do not worry that you have to do anything artificially. In our Krishna consciousness movement Srila Prabhupada says that blind following is condemned.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 12 April 2009

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Five Hours at the Russian Border

Even though we had proper passports and visas, on Friday 10 April it took us five hours of waiting at the Russian border at Sovetsk to go through the process of being allowed into Russia. The entire planet is the property of our father, the Supreme Lord. So why have the modern day governments all over the world made these artificial boundaries restricting the sons and daughters from utilizing their father's property? Governments have a duty and a right to make sure that the Lord's resources are not used for sense gratification but are used instead for His service. But they are doing just the opposite. They engage the Lord's resources for sense gratification and restrict those who are trying to use the Lord's resources in His service. So what can be done? While tolerating the inconveniences and obstacles placed upon us by these modern day world governments, we must carry on with our work of trying to engage all of the Lord's resources all over the world in His service. This and only this will bring about the much desired peace and prosperity of the human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Russian Border at Sovetsk, Russia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do I Need to be Initiated?

Dear Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Thank you for your previous answer. I would like to ask you one more question.

I am not yet initiated though I have been chanting for 14 years and have always taken Srila Prabhupada to be my spiritual master. His books are always guiding me and he is with me always. As I already have a spiritual master, do I need to be initiated ?

Hare Krishna

Your student

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Answer: Yes, Initiation is Required

I am very happy to learn of your wonderful dedication to the process of Krishna consciousness as taught by Srila Prabhupada. Thank you very much.

Accepting Srila Prabhupada as one's spiritual master means that you have to follow his instructions. Since he gave the instruction that after his disappearance the new devotees who join this movement should become the disciples of his disciples, this is what you will need to do if you are actually going to be counted as a fully surrendered follower of Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada makes it very clear in the Nectar of Devotion that initiation is required:

"The connection with the spiritual master is called initiation. From the date of initiation by the spiritual master, the connection between Krishna and a person cultivating Krishna consciousness is established. Without initiation by a bona fide spiritual master, the actual connection with Krishna consciousness is never performed. --From Nectar of Devotion Introduction

You have Srila Prabhupada as your eternal guru or instructing spiritual master. Of this there is no doubt. But diksha or initiation must be accepted from a spiritual master who is physically manifested on this planet and who thus gives you a spiritual name and chants on your beads. Departed spiritual master's do not do these things. So kindly try to understand that to perfect your relationship with Srila Prabhupada you now need to take your initiation from one of his disciples, and do the needful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 11 April 2009

from ISKCON--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

The Perfection of Philosophy

Through the purificatory bhakti yoga system we can completely purify our consciousness of all selfish motivations. This is most essential for anyone who wants a fully happy life because as long as we remain materially motivated we cannot understand the highest truth, which is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries of material existence: miseries of the mind and body, miseries caused by other living beings, and miseries caused by natural disasters. As soon as one attentively and submissively absorbs his consciousness in this culture of knowledge he will re-establish his connection with the Supreme Lord who is situated within the heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Hare Krishna Kirtan Rocks the Universe


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: We're All One?

I've recently come across a website where someone brought up the impersonalist point of view that we're all one and that God is a collection of all souls. How exactly should I respond?

The following is his text:

"I'm a firm believer of this (we're all one). This ties into my spiritual religious beliefs, but I think that everyone is infinitely more interconnected than is currently believed. I pretty much see the whole world of beings as all part of the same, and everyone that surrounds me is nothing more than a part of me. This ties into the limitless, endless possibilities of the mind. If we were able to all function as one we would essentially be 'God.' That is actually what I believe God to be, the sum of all of our souls. Although, I do consider myself either an atheist or spiritual with regard to religious beliefs. (See 'Karma' for related discussion). Agree? Disagree?"

Thank you very much for all of your guidance and support throughout the years,

Hare Krishna

Daniel

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Answer: Simultaneously One and Different

You can tell Mr. Firm Believer that while we can accept that everything is one and different, we cannot accept that everything is one and the same.

We do not base our philosophical understanding on our beliefs as Mr. Firm Believer has done. Basing our vision of reality of beliefs is the same trap that sectarian religionists fall into. They accept religion without any philosophy and thus end up becoming sentimentalists and sometimes fanatics and extremists. We would caution Mr. Firm Believer not to get stuck in this same trap and thus miss fulfilling the purpose of human existence, which is to fully realize the Absolute Truth.

Of course, we can readily agree that everything is one because everything that exists is a manifestation of God's expanded energy. In other words, everything is one in the sense that God and His energy are non-different, just as there is no difference between the sun and the sunshine. The sunshine is nothing but the expanded energy of the sun. So when the sunshine appears on the eastern horizon we can rightfully say that the sun has appeared.

So the oneness of everything is an undeniable fact. But absolute two-ness exists at the same time. Even though the sun and the sunshine are one, there is also a difference. Even though the sun shine appears on the eastern horizon it is not that the sun planet is sitting on the eastern horizon. If it were, the earth planet would be burnt to a crisp by the fiery sun planet.

So there is God in His original from which He has expanded everything, and there is His expanded energy. Both are God. But one is the expander God, the other is the expanded God.

So in conclusion, while on the one hand since God and His energy is non-different there is nothing but Krishna, at the same time nothing is Krishna except for His original, primeval personality from which everything has emanated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 10 April 2009

from ISKCON--Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Supreme Hare Krishna Bliss

There is nothing more blissful than being a devotee of Krishna. Even Krishna Himself, who is the supreme enjoyer, realizes upon seeing the ecstatic bhakti mood of Srimati Radharani that she is tasting more nectar by being His devotee than He is by being the supreme enjoyer. Therefore not to be outdone, Krishna becomes His own devotee. Krishna becomes Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to experience the supreme bliss of being a Hare Krishna devotee.

So if you really want to enjoy, if you want to taste the topmost bliss at every minute all you have to do is become a devotee of Krishna so you can relish the supreme Hare Krishna bliss at every minute. This is the pleasure that even God Himself hankers after. So who could be better situated than a devotee of the supreme person?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Lithuanian Hare Krishna Devotees


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Doesn't Krishna Pursue Krishna Consciousness?

The highest pursuit is Krishna consciousness. If that is the highest pursuit, how come Krishna does not pursue it?

Is Krishna Consciousness similar to the celestial kingdom?

Henry

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Answer: He Doesn't Need To, But Then He Does.

Krishna consciousness is devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna. So why would Krishna have to pursue devotion to Himself? He is more interested in being devoted to His devotees. But when He sees that His devotee Srimati Radharani is tasting more pleasure by being His devotee than He is by being the object of her devotion, He decides to also pursue Krishna consciousness by becoming His own devotee in the form of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Even though the higher celestial planets in this universe have all kinds of amazing tantalizing pleasures, that pleasure has an ending point. The inhabitants of those celestial planets still have to eventually die. So the happiness on those planets is very pale when compared that tasted by those persons who become purely absorbed in Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness is the platform of immortality where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 9 April 2009

from the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Connected With the Powerhouse

If we have a first class lamp but it is not plugged in, it will give no light. It must be connected with the powerhouse by being plugged into an electrical outlet. Then it will give very nice illumination. Similarly, if we want to be spiritually illuminated, we must be connected with the primal powerhouse, the ultimate source of all energies, Lord Sri Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When we plug in our lamp we do not plug it directly into the powerhouse. We instead plug it into an electrical outlet that is connected with the powerhouse. Similarly, when we connect with Krishna we do so through the current link, the live spiritual potency outlet, the bona fide spiritual master. This principle is enshrined in the Bhagavad-gita in which Lord Krishna states that the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita is understood through the principle of disciplic succession:

evaṁ paramparā-prāptam
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa

"This supreme science was thus received through the chain of disciplic succession, and the saintly kings understood it in that way. But in course of time the succession was broken, and therefore the science as it is appears to be lost."--Bhagavad-gita 4.2

If we will accept this principle and connect with Lord Sri Krishna through the current link, the bona fide spiritual master, we will attain the supreme perfection of going back home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Trains a Disciple


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Lack of Taste in Chanting

Hare Krishna Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Though born in a cultured spiritual and devotional family, i didn't take to devotional life until 6 months ago. By the mercy of the devotees I understood Krishna consciousness and feel fortunate to have had the association of such great devotees. I have been chanting mahamantra 16 rounds daily for the last 4 months now. I follow all the regulative principles and read the books and listen to lectures, which would be the main activity in 24 hrs. I enjoy the lectures by various Maharajas and thoroughly enjoy the Srimad Bhagavatam. I am trying my best to be sincere in devotional service. However, probably because of my previous sinful activities, sometimes I am not able to enjoy the chanting. Sometimes I do enjoy, mostly I do not. I sit in front of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's picture and try to concentrate while chanting. I feel like stopping chanting and instead listening to a lecture or reading the Srimad Bhagavatam. I feel sad when I am like this. I do not know how to overcome this, and I feel distressed. Please by your mercy guide me in right path and help me in my spiritual path.

Your student

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Answer: Keep Chanting. Taste Will Come.

In the neophyte stage chanting is sometimes bitter. Just like a person suffering from jaundice tastes sugar candy to be very bitter. But the cure for jaundice is to take sugar candy. So even though it is bitter the patient takes it on the order of his doctor. In this way he gradually becomes cured and the sugar candy regains its natural sweetness. Therefore even when bitter you must continue chanting. In this way you will become cured from all material disease and your chanting will be sweeter than honey at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 8 April 2009

from the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

How to Be Fearless

This material world is a dangerous place. Calamities can occur at any moment. So how is it possible to be happy and peaceful in such a fearful situation? The answer is that we have take complete shelter of our loving father, Lord Sri Krishna, understanding that not a blade of grass can move without His sanction. In other words whatever happens to us is all going on within His divine plan to attract us to come back to His wondrous transcendental abode. So we have nothing to fear, except for forgetfulness of Him. And that forgetfulness can easily be overcome by chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra at least 16 rounds as a regular daily practice and by associating with Lord Krishna's blissful devotees as much as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Blissful Devotees in Riga, Latvia

April 4, 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: 16 Rounds of Japa in One Session?

Can you do a few rounds at a time to complete 16 rounds, or do you have to complete 16 rounds at one time without breaking in between?

Geeta

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Answer: One or More Sessions is Allowed

Although it is best to finish at least 16 rounds every day before sunrise, if this is not practical you can chant whenever you find time during the day, either 16 rounds in one session or in a series of japa sessions. The requirement is that before you end the day you must have completed at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna chanting on your japa beads.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 7 April 2009

from the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Nothing More Stupendous

There is nothing more stupendous and more exhilarating than rising early in the morning before sunrise, taking bath, and then diving deeply into the Hare Krishna mantra by chanting it on japa beads. It is the perfection of the tongue, the ears, the mind, and the hand to be totally merged in producing, hearing, and meditating on the marvelous transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krishna mahamantra while meticulously counting on the beads with one's fingers.

By total absorption of his consciousness in this way, the japa chanter journeys from the material ocean of birth, death, old age, and disease to the wondrous spiritual sky where life is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. If he pays close attention to his chanting, his consciousness becomes so deeply steeped in Krishna consciousness that by the time he completes sixteen rounds of japa chanting he is fully prepared for total absorption in Krishna consciousness for the entire day no matter what his activities may be.

So if you have not already begun a daily routine of early morning japa chanting, the time is now to begin. You've got to nothing to lose except for your anxieties and absolutely everything to gain!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Early Morning Japa Chanting


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Lightheaded and Tired While Chanting

First off I would like to let you know that this is a wonderful thing that you are doing. My question is: Why do I get light headed/ tired when I chant? I've recently acquired some beads and a bead bag. I've been chanting for only a week, so I am new at this. Sometimes I don't get tired, sometimes I do. Is this a normal beginner thing?

Hope I haven't made any offenses and thank you so much for helping me learn about Krishna.

-A student

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Answer: Tolerate Them and Keep Chanting

I am very happy to hear that you have begun chanting. Thank you very much! I wish you all success for becoming fully fixed in Krishna consciousness.

Physical sensations such as feeling lightheaded while chanting are not very important. They will come and they will go. Just try to tolerate them without letting them distract you from focusing on the chanting. If you are feeling sleepy you may stand up to chant your japa, or you may even pace back and forth in your room, if this will help you to be more alert. The important thing is to dive deeply with love and devotion into the transcendental sound vibration of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. This will carry you far beyond the miseries of material existence and your temporary body into the transcendental dimension of Lord Sri Krishna where life is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. It takes time, and it takes a lot of practice. But if you will seriously dedicate yourself to chanting japa every day, your spiritual perfection will gradually become more and more manifested like a beautiful sunrise on a glorious spring morning.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 6 April 2009

from the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna Global Bailout


The world society is presently tottering on the edge of total economic collapse for one reason and one reason only. They are not engaging wealth in the service of the Lord. The goddess of fortune, Laksmidevi, who also appears in the form of money, desires to always be engaged in the service of her most beloved Lord Narayana. When she is not being engaged in the Lord's service she is known as cancala, which means restless. In other words when she is being engaged for sense gratification she will not remain for long in one place. This is why we see that none of the mighty empires of this world--such as the Greek empire, Roman empire, the Spanish empire, and the British empire--could permanently remain. If we want to bail out the global economy all we have to do is engage wealth in the service of the Lord, and then there will be sufficiently wealth for everyone to live peacefully and comfortably all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Krishna Consciousness Home Program

in Riga, Latvia--4 April 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Origin and Purpose of Hare Krishna

I'm a junior in high school and am writing a research paper in my English class on the topic "Counter-Culture/Hippies/Hare Krishna." I was wondering if you would mind answering the following questions. Any information you have to share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Taylor

1. What are the origins of Hare Krishna?
2. What is the purpose of Hare Krishna?
3. Can you think of anyone specifically who played a vital role in bringing Hare Krishna to the United States, if so how did they do that?
4. What impact do you think Hare Krishna has had on the United States?
5. What successes and failures have you noticed in the U.S.'s interpretation of Hare Krishna?
6. Are there any certain locations of great importance to Hare Krishna, any in the U.S.?
7. Has there ever been any controversy surrounding Hare Krishna?
8. How would you compare Hare Krishna to western religion, such as Protestant Christianity?
9. Besides spiritual matters, how is Hare Krishna involved in its local community?
10. Any other interesting facts about Hare Krishna you would like to share?

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Answer: Krishna Consciousness is Eternal

I am very happy to hear of your interest in the Hare Krishna movement and will be glad to answer your questions.

You have asked, "What are the origins of Hare Krishna?" The Supreme Lord Himself is the origin of the Hare Krishna process. The Hare Krishna process of connecting with the Supreme Person through pure, loving devotion is known as Krishna consciousness and has no beginning point in history. It has existed as long as God has existed. It is taught in the Vedas, the world's original and oldest scriptures and is also presented in an elementary form in the Bible and the Koran. All the modern day religions are simply derivatives of the original Krishna consciousness system of unalloyed devotion to the Supreme Person.

Next you ask, "What is the purpose of Hare Krishna?" The purpose of the Hare Krishna movement is to enable those who practice it to become perfect in love of God. Plus the movement wants to awaken the entire world to this most amazing original system of spiritual purification, so that the everyone can be saved from all varieties of suffering conditions.

Then you ask, "Can you think of anyone specifically who played a vital role in bringing Hare Krishna to the United States, if so how did they do that?" That person is my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He came to America in 1965 from India on the order of his spiritual master, and by 1966 he had attracted a small band of disciples in Manhattan's lower east side. He then dispatched them to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world and quickly the Hare Krishna Movement became world famous.

You inquired, "What impact do you think Hare Krishna has had on the United States?" The answer is that it has had a tremendous impact. Millions of people have heard the Hare Krishna mantra and heard of the Hare Krishna movement. Future historians will note that the introduction of the Hare Krishna in the United States was one of the major turning points in world history.

You next question was, "What successes and failures have you noticed in the U.S.'s interpretation of Hare Krishna?" The Hare Krishna people in the USA and throughout the world do not interpret the Hare Krishna process. We are following it in its original pure form that was taught by Lord Krishna in the 5,000 years old scripture known as the Bhagavad-gita. Those who strictly follow it become all successful in their lives. The only failures we have seen are in cases of those who tried to invent their own so-called version of Krishna consciousness without strictly following the instructions given in the Bhagavad-gita.

You wondered, "Are there any certain locations of great importance to Hare Krishna, any in the U.S.?" We have hundreds of locations all over the world that are of great i important including many throughout the USA.

You inquired, "Has there ever been any controversy surrounding Hare Krishna?" The answer is that we have been a constant controversy because in a greedy, selfish world pure God-consciousness will always be controversial. This is why they crucified Jesus.

Then you asked, "How would you compare Hare Krishna to western religion, such as Protestant Christianity?" Hare Krishna is not another religious sect. The Krishna consciousness process is the essence of religion, religion in its original, pure form before it was divided into sects. A purely Krishna conscious person is the best Christian, the best Jew, the best Muslim, and the best Hindu.

In answer to your question, "Besides spiritual matters, how is Hare Krishna involved in its local community?" The practice of Krishna consciousness has a more powerful benefit on our local communities than anything else. When we water the root a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished. When we feed our belly the entire body becomes fed. Similarly when we channel our loving devotion to Lord Sri Krishna we give best loving service to our communities and the entire world. When we become properly situated spiritually everything material becomes automatically properly adjusted.

Your final question is, "Any other interesting facts about Hare Krishna you would like to share?" The answer is that there is nothing more amazing and interesting than Krishna consciousness. It brings one into direct communion with God Himself, the source of all existence, twenty-four hours a day.

I wish you the best of luck with your paper. I hope you get an A+.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 5 April 2009

from the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Revolution Now!

The time has come for a spiritual revolution, a complete respiritualization of the human society at every level for bringing back the world society into a state of harmony with the laws of God as given in the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. No longer should the innocent animals and children be mercilessly slaughtered. No longer should the Personality of Godhead be decried by the envious. May the non-sectarian science of God now be taught at every level of the educational systems. May the teachings of Srila Prabhupada now be recognized as the guiding principles for the entire human society by all the. May everyone now understand the necessity of taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master for the purpose of going back to home, back to Godhead in this very lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Share Krishna with my Family?

I have very recently started to follow Krishna Consciousness and already I feel its affects in my life. It has been a source of joy for me and so naturally I want to share it with my family. But I am uncertain on how to do this. Firstly I am more then a little scared of being alienated from them if I seem over-zealous. Secondly the people in my family are either atheist or very staunch Christians so ideas like reincarnation and karma could sound foolish or heretical to them. Lastly I am a little worried that if I don't represent my faith well that it might leave a bad impression of Krishna Consciousness.

Any and all advice is very welcome. Also please forgive me if I have said anything foolish.

Your Servant

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Answer: Melt Them with Sweet Words

Thank you very much for taking up the process of Krishna consciousness. This is the most wonderful news that you have joined us in practicing Krishna consciousness. The basic principle in convincing others about Krishna consciousness is humble persuasion by always speaking sweetly and politely. This is elaborately described by Srila Prabhupada in his Caitanya Caritamrita purport as follows:

"Impersonalist Mayavadis always try to defy Vaisnavas because Vaisnavas accept the Supreme Personality as the supreme cause and want to serve Him, talk with Him and see Him, just as the Lord is also eager to see His devotees and talk, eat and dance with them. These personal exchanges of love do not appeal to the Mayavadi sannyasis. Therefore the original purpose of the Mayavadi sannyasis of Benares in meeting Caitanya Mahaprabhu was to defeat His personal conception of God. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, as a preacher, turned the minds of the Mayavadi sannyasis. They were melted by the sweet words of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and thus became friendly and spoke to Him also in sweet words. Similarly, all preachers will have to meet opponents, but they should not make them more inimical. They are already enemies, and if we talk with them harshly or impolitely their enmity will merely increase. We should therefore follow in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu as far as possible and try to convince the opposition by quoting from the sastras and presenting the conclusion of the acaryas. It is in this way that we should try to defeat all the enemies of the Lord."
--from purport Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 7.99

Although atheists and Christians generally take issue with the philosophy of the Bhagavad-gita, if we diligently follow example of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we will be able to gradually bring them to Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 4 April 2009

from the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

First Things First

Our first priority should always be to do that which is pleasing to Krishna. If we do this, we will always be happy in all circumstances. At the present moment our tendency is to first do that which is pleasing to our senses. But this service to our senses has never made us happy and will never make us happy. Therefore we have to remold ourselves, retrain ourselves to always think of pleasing Krishna before we indulge our senses. By habituating ourselves in this way we will, in due course of time, achieve the highest perfection of human existence, pure Krishna bhakti. There is truly nothing more worthwhile than this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free from Material Desires?

Whenever I think of Lord Krishna I feel alone as if Krishna is not with me. Why is this so?

It becomes quite hard for me when I think about leaving everything, giving up all material desires. I feel that material desires are a part of my life. Even I feel that we are born to live under guided by these. How can I get free from all these materialistic desires and feel that Lord Krishna is always with me?

Can you satisfy my thirst for knowledge?

Nirakar

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Answer: Spiritualize Them

Actually you are never alone. Lord Krishna is with you at every minute. But now you are feeling alone because you have become covered by maya or illusion. If you will seriously take up on a regular daily basis the chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra, all of your feelings of loneliness will go away, and you will feel how you are swimming in the unlimited ocean of Lord Krishna' most sublime association at every minute.

Desire cannot be stopped. It is a natural function of the living entity. If you will simply engage your material desires in the service of Krishna, they will gradually be transformed into spiritual desires, and you will naturally become completely free from all material desires.

We have an unlimited ocean of transcendental knowledge to satisfy your thirst for knowledge beyond your wildest dreams.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 3 April 2009

from the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Oasis in the Desert

Here at the Hare Krishna Center in Riga, Latvia we are experiencing an oasis in the desert in the association of the Riga devotees. Whoever practices Krishna consciousness is not living in the material world. They are a part of the spiritual world where eternity, bliss, and knowledge predominate. And if we associate with such persons, either in person or through the medium of transcendental sound vibration, we are immediately transported by their association in the spiritual world. Therefore there is no need to suffer any longer in this miserable material existence. All we have to do is take shelter of the Lord's saintly devotees, who will then engage us in devotional service and thus liberate us from all of our anxieties of material life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Riga, Latvia Hare Krishna Center
Spiritual Oasis in the Desert of Material Existence

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Pleasure of Chanting Real?

After reading lesson C47 I remembered that once you mentioned that this life is just like taking a train, just for transportation to another life, a better one, which is our destination. In lesson C47 you said there is no point in trying to squeeze the pleasure out of this life, that we should focus on the more important task, which is the destination towards which this life can take us.

Therefore, I have to ask: Just as on a trip with the train we try to make ourselves comfortable, we try to enjoy the trip itself, as long as it takes, of course knowing that when we reach the destination we have to get off the train, why then we should despise this life we are living and not enjoy it? I do not mean by this that we should involve in perverted activities (like greediness or lust). You give us advice to chant and glorify God all the time, even in this life. Isn't that also a form of enjoying this life? Is it wrong for someone to think that the pleasure he/she gets from chanting is not real pleasure, but an illusion?

Please forgive me if I made any offenses.

Your student

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Answer: Chanting Pleasure is Really, Really Real!

Krishna consciousness means to enjoy life unlimitedly right now right here today by reconnecting ourselves in love with that Supreme Person, Who is the source of everything including existence itself.

The pleasure of chanting of Hare Krishna is real pleasure. It is not any sort of illusory, temporary pleasure like that which is experienced alternatively in this material world with so many varieties of material miseries. It is pure pleasure that stands fully on its own, unlike material pleasure which requires being contrasted with material miseries to be appreciated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 2 April 2009

from the road to Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

En Route to Riga

After being in the scorching heat of India, it's quite a contrast to be here in snow laden Estonia. This is a graphic reminder of Lord Sri Krishna's words in the Bhagavad-gita that this material world is a place of dualities and that we must therefore learn to be tolerant. Sometimes it is cold. Sometimes it is hot. Sometimes we are honored. Sometimes we are dishonored. Sometimes we are healthy. Sometimes we are sick. Sometimes we are wealthy. Sometimes we are poor. Through all situations, we must learn to endure these dualities finding lasting peace and happiness by always taking shelter of our constant companion, Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The insider's secret of how to easily get the Lord's shelter is to be always as much as possible distributing the mercy of His shelter to others. This enables us to easily enter into and remain in the sublime spiritual atmosphere known as Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Experiencing the Dualities in Estonia



Distributing Krishna's Mercy
in Tartu, Estonia--31 March 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Reach 16 Rounds Every Day?

I am trying to do sixteen rounds of Hare Krishna chanting each day. Sometimes I reach the goal. Sometimes I do not. How can I achieve this goal of chanting 16 rounds every day without fail?

Ramesh

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Answer: Don't Neglect to Feed the Soul

Your desire to be steady every day in chanting at least sixteen rounds is a first class desire.

As we make sure to eat sufficient meals each day for keeping our body satisfied and healthy, we must similarly make sure that we chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads every day to make sure that the spirit-soul, which is situated in the body, is in an enlivened spiritually-surcharged state.

Just as we do starve the body by not eating, a devotee does not neglect the spiritual upkeep of the soul within. After all, the real self is the soul within, not the temporary body, which is a covering only. Therefore each day our first priority should be to complete at least 16 rounds of japa before we even think about eating. So rise early before dawn, take your bath, apply tilaka to your body, dress nicely in devotional clothing, and fully absorb yourself in chanting until you have completed at least 16 rounds of japa. Then you may take your breakfast and begin your daily duties.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Wednesday 1 April 2009

from Tartu, Estonia
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Today's Thought:

Unconditional Surrender


We have to learn the art of becoming a humble servant who is willing to do anything and everything that is requested of him by his master. As long as we put conditions on our service, that I am willing to do this for Krishna and not willing to that for Krishna, we are not qualified to enter into the spiritual world. The spiritual world means unconditional surrender, undivided devotional service as confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:

bhaktyā tv ananyayā śakya
aham evam-vidho 'rjuna
j˝ātuṁ draṣṭuṁ ca tattvena
praveṣṭuṁ ca parantapa

"My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am,
standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way
can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding."

---Bhagavad-gita 11.54

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Are My Good Qualities Gone?

I will never forget the first time we came into contact by email. It was 2006 when I was seeking spiritual knowledge with genuine faith, genuine humility, and deep understanding that there must be a Supreme. I came into one website on which I read one of your articles, "Tasting the Greatest Pleasure." That article attracted me immediately, and I followed the link and subscribed to your e-course. Then we got in touch.

But as I made advancement in Krishna consciousness, and become familiar with the process, my good qualities went away. Though I can taste much happiness in chanting, (I like to be with Krishna during chanting, and I may like to chant for hours, feeling very happy and inspired.) yet some of my good qualities have gone away. I want to be recognized by other devotees. I am always proud, even though I can feel some upsurge of humility during chanting. But previously I was very sincere. At that time I did not want any recognition. Why do such subtle desires come out? Today I can see the devotees' good qualities in the recordings of their chanting, in the photos of their association, but I myself do not have their good qualities. I feel myself to be rascal number one, not worthy of their blessings. So I want to ask, why are my good qualities gone? What happened? How to get them back?

Your most humble servant

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Answer: Your Good Qualities Have Increased

In the beginning you could not see your faults because you no had idea of what is false pride and how to conquer it. But now, because you have seriously taken up the pathway of Krishna bhakti under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, you are experiencing a powerful awakening of natural humility and saintly qualities within your heart. This is truly wonderful. I am very happy to see how genuine bhakti is dawning within your heart.

To make steady progress on the path of bhakti it is necessary to become more and more aware of our faults. This is why it is the duty of the spiritual master to chastise his disciples. This is his mercy upon his disciples to help them become free from the six kinds of faults: lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion, and envy. That you are realizing your faults even without being so much corrected is your great credit. I am very proud to have a sincere student as you. Kindly continue as you are doing: chanting and following the bhakti principles. Your rewards will be unlimited. You will see Krishna face to face and become His personal associate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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