Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

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

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Friday 31 July 2009

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

Failure, the Pillar of Success

Failure is the pillar of success. So there is no reason to ever allow yourself to become discouraged on the path of bhakti. Take every failure as a valuable lesson for your ultimate success, and you will quickly make progress. Don't think that because you lose a battle that you won't win the war. You do not require any extraordinary qualifications. Simply maintain your desire. That's all. If you will always remain determined to become Krishna's pure devotee, you will definitely win the war against maya in due course of time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Stumbling on the Path of Bhakti

I have been practicing chanting Hare Krishna for a few months and have experienced the real happiness and eternal bliss for quite sometime. However, for some reason something dragged me into the wrong route and wrong doings for a week. I felt helpless and very uneasy. I don't want to get into this mess any more and want to get back to the same state of bliss I experienced before. Is this common in the spiritual path or is this extremely my fault? Please advise.

Your student

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Answer: Pick Yourself Up and Resume the Process

Just a like a child sometimes stumbles and falls while learning to walk, neophyte devotees sometimes stumble and fall when they first take up the process of Krishna consciousness. The key is to pick up yourself and dive enthusiastically back into the process. Make sure not to become discouraged and give up the process. If you resume your practice with determination, you will be successful in becoming solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 30 July 2009

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

Relish the Real Honey

In this material world everyone is looking for the honey. Most foolishly they take money as the sweetest honey. Due to their poor fund of knowledge they are looking in the wrong place for their desired satisfaction. They do not realize that there is a vast reservoir of unlimitedly sweet honey within. All they have to do to taste it is reconnect with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, through loving devotional service. Then they will eternally experience the sweetest happiness. If we have any compassion for them at all, we must try to do something to awaken them from their slumber of illusion so they too can relish this honey.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Dust of Pure Devotee's Lotus Feet

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and his wonderful disciples who are spreading his message.

What is the meaning of smearing the dust of the lotus feet of a pure devotee on one's body? Is it symbolic or literal? If it is literal, how can one collect the dust from the lotus feet of a pure devotee and smear it on his body to advance in Krishna bhakti?

Your servant,

Haripada Das

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Answer: Necessary to Realize the Absolute Truth

It is both literal and symbolic because the dust of the feet of the pure devotee is also manifested in the form of his instructions. By holding fast to those instructions you are placing that sacred dust on your body. And literally when you are in the presence of the pure devotee you can take the dust from his feet or the water from when his feet are bathed and place it on your body. This is an essential item for those who want to achieve spiritual perfection. In this connection it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

"Unless one has the opportunity to smear his entire body with the dust of the lotus feet of great devotees, one cannot realize the Absolute Truth."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 5.12.12

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Wednesday 29 July 2009

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

The More You Give Krishna

How will the world be saved? Can we just wave a magic wand and expect everyone to realize that they are the eternal servant of Krishna? No, of course not. But what we can do is expand this Krishna consciousness movement one person at a time starting with ourselves and branching out to those who are receptive to Krishna consciousness. Invest your time and energy first of all in keeping yourself nicely engaged in Krishna consciousness. And then enthusiastically engage yourself in giving Krishna consciousness to others focusing your energies especially on those persons who show a keen interest. Keep all of your channels open. You never know who may all of sudden become interested to explore the amazingly wonderful Krishna consciousness world. Distribute prasadam and the books of Srila Prabhupada as much as possible. The more you give Krishna, the more you will get Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Material Memories after Liberation?

I was wondering what happens to our memories of this existence once we have entered into eternal love with Krishna. Does our past become insignificant? Once we enter the spiritual sky do we still keep association with our biological family?

Andrew

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Answer: Spiritual Life Means No Forgetfulness

In answer to your first question Srila Prabhupada explains:

"...you asked if we will remember the earth, when in Vrindavan, and the answer is certainly. When Narada Muni was talking to Vyasadeva, as you may have read in first volume of our Srimad-Bhagavatam, he was in a spiritual body, but he remembered his previous life and explained it to Vyasadeva. In material life there is forgetfulness, but in spiritual life there is no forgetfulness."

Regarding remaining associated with our biological family, we have had millions and billions of biological families during our long sojourn in the material existence. Considering that we have rotated in karma chakra since time immemorial we have at one time or another been a family member with everyone. So keeping our association with our biological family means keeping association with everyone. In the spiritual world we will have unlimited facility to associate with everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Tuesday 28 July 2009

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

Saved by the Higher Taste

Why is it that in spite of knowing what is the ultimate reality that so many aspiring transcendentalists fall by the wayside overcome by material desires? This phenomenon is observed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. He says that among thousands of men, one will take to self-realization. And out of thousands who take to the self-realization process hardly even one person will become factually situated in self-realization.

It is sometimes stated that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. This gives us the clue as to why so few are actually successful on the self-realization path. The high failure rate is due to a lingering attachment to bodily identification and sense gratification. As long as we continue to identify with and pander to the material senses we will not be able to become perfect in Krishna consciousness. Therefore at the time of initiation our disciples vow to abstain from illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. By strictly giving up these sinful activities and regularly chanting at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads, they experience within a gradually reawakening of their original spiritual taste for hearing and chanting the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Once this higher taste is solidly achieved there will no falling back to the lower taste of material sense gratification because the devotee will become fixed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Guru-Disciple Relationship

What is the innermost significance of the spiritual master/disciple relationship?

Polash

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Answer: The Only Means of Attracting Krishna

The innermost significance is that unless you become the devotee of Krishna's devotee, He will not accept you as His devotee. So taking shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, Krishna's pure devotee, is then the only way to fully attract the mercy of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 27 July 2009

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

It's a Billion Times Better

The factual identity of every living being is that he is the eternal servant of God. Therefore if he is going to experience true and lasting happiness, he must revive his original loving-service relationship with the Supreme Person. No amount of material sense gratification has ever made anybody truly happy. So why should we invest any of our energy unnecessarily in the material energy? Such a course of action would not be very progressive. While accepting only as much material sense gratification as is necessary for keeping our bodies fit we should spend the balance of our energy for self-realization because it's a billion times better to know who you are and be who you are than it is to serve the temporary senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Contacting a Spiritual Being

In what way do you contact a spiritual being? Can you see or hear him in person, dreams, or by meditation? Who is this spiritual being? What is his name? What do you call a spiritual being? Is it an angel, a demigod, or a man who has transcended?

I thank you in advance for your answer,

Evelyn

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Answer: By Living According to His Instructions

Spiritual being does not mean that he must necessarily be disembodied. Anyone who has fully revived his dormant Krishna consciousness or God consciousness is understood to be a fully awakened spiritual being.

I have met such a completely enlightened spiritual being. This person is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, my spiritual master. I am always studying his teachings and living my life according to his instructions. In this way even though he has physically departed from this mortal world in 1977, I am always feeling how he is always present with me and ever so mercifully blessing me with transcendental realization and engagement in the service of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 26 July 2009

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

Dive Deeply into the Ocean of Nectar

There is no reason to suffer. Suffering is only for fools. Those who are learned and realized in the transcendental science escape all material miseries by diving deeply into the sweet nectarean ocean of Krishna bhakti. Once you have tasted this real nectar of Krishna bhakti you won't look back to the material world with any regret that you gave up something that was in any way desirable. Rather you will feel great pain in your heart to see the countless numbers of living beings who are caught up in the cycle of birth and death, and you will dedicate your entire life to trying to save them by bringing them to Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Real Happiness?

Could you please explain what the real happiness is? So far I thought if a person has a good health, equanimity, and wealthy enough ( actually I know if people have a lot of money they want more and more) is happy, but now I am confused, because I found I never feel real happiness because I do not know if I become real happy how it will be. Please, enlighten me. Hare Krishna.

Your servant,
Ali

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Answer: Unlimited Knowledge and Unending Bliss

Real happiness is to enter into an eternal existence of unlimited knowledge and unending bliss.

No matter how much facility a fish may have on the land, he can never be really happy on the land because he is not a creature of the land. Because he is a creature of the water he can only truly be happy when he is in the water.

Similarly, we, the living beings, are actually inhabitants of the spiritual world. Therefore our nature is to be eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. This means that as long we remain identified with these material bodies--which are temporary, full of ignorance, and full of misery--we can never experience genuine happiness. Real happiness is tasted when we revive our original pure state of Krishna consciousness and thus regain our original identities as the eternal servants of Krishna, not by trying to gratify the temporary, ever-lustful material senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 25 July 2009

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

Remain Always Staunchly Determined

This material world is the ultimate obstacle course. If you would like to become fully Krishna conscious and go back to home, back to Godhead in this lifetime, you must be very determined to the stick with the process under all circumstances. Sometimes the going is easy, and sometimes the going is rough. You must not waver or cave in when the going gets rough. You've got to always remain staunchly determined to stick tightly to the path of bhakti no matter how many distractions the material energy may dangle in front of you to divert you from the golden road of unlimited devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When the ego dies...

It is said, "When the ego of person dies, God lives in Him." -So are the mind and ego the same? If not, then my next question is: To be in Krishna consciousness we need to control our mind, right? To take firm decision means identifying ourselves with identity, our ego, right? That means that to control to mind we are also need our ego? So it is said that when the ego dies God reveals Himself. But, Gurudeva, how does the ego die, or our thoughts die? I am totally confused.

Please guide me,

Your disciple

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Answer: The Ego Never Dies

It's no wonder that you are confused because you are trying to come to a coherent conclusion after basing your thinking on a false premise. The ego or identity of the individual being never dies. This is confirmed by Krishna in chapter two of the Bhagavad-gita. There is, however, a false ego or false sense of identity that dies when one becomes awakened in Krishna consciousness. That false ego is the erroneous identification of the self with the body.

The mind of is an instrument which is used by the self. It is like the reins which control the senses. It is not the actual self. Yes, Krishna consciousness means to control the mind by using it to keep all of our senses always engaged in Krishna's service. And yes, taking a firm decision requires a sense of identity. When our false ego is abandoned and when we fully revive our true ego that I am the eternal servant of Krishna or God, then it is fact the the Supreme Lord will appear before us.

So, in short, ego never dies. Only false ego dies if we become spiritually awakened. And thoughts never die. They simply become properly utilized by the real ego to engage all of one's senses in Krishna's service instead of being improperly engaged in the vain pursuit of material sense gratification.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 24 July 2009

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

Never Neglect Duty

The principle of duty is becoming more and more diminished in the modern day human society. It is being replaced by the principle of sense gratification. Instead of acting out of duty people act on the basis of sensual stimulation. But sense desire burns like fire and is never satisfied. Therefore no one becomes satisfied by serving their sensual desires.

For example, without a sense of duty a man can make a woman pregnant and feel absolutely no responsibility to help her deal with her pregnant condition. He simply abandons her to go off and find another woman to make pregnant.

The more that the human society becomes infected with this hedonistic, dutiless spirit, the more it becomes a hell. Krishna consciousness means to accept the principle of duty beginning with our prime duty to the source of our existence, Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Once our duty to Krishna is properly fulfilled we automatically will become perfectly situated in our duty to everyone, just as when we water the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Accepting the Duty of Being a Disciple

Krishna-ksetra Das--Sofia, Bulgaria--November 2007


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Your Disciples or Prabhupada's Disciples?

Hare Krishna.

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

I would like to find out if you are initiating disciples on behalf of Srila Prabhupada, or do they become your own disciples?

Your servant,

Luvasan

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Answer: Both

The answer is "both." The devotee never thinks that he can act independently on his own behalf. He knows that he is not qualified to do so. And at the same time he is duty bound to execute the orders given to him by his spiritual master. Because my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, ordered me to take disciples, it is my duty to do so. But I always know that they are not really mine, that because they were all sent to me by Srila Prabhupada they are all meant to be fully engaged in serving his Krishna consciousness movement, ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

But still since Srila Prabhupada gave me the duty of being a spiritual master for the benefit of the disciples, as his disciple, I must accept this responsibility for his pleasure. And it is the duty of the disciples to accept me as their spiritual master. This is the ancient Vedic system known as the system of disciplic succession. Srila Prabhupada says that the one who is now the disciple becomes the next spiritual master. So it is my duty to keep the disciplic succession going by becoming a spiritual master and by training my disciples how to become pure devotees who strictly follow Srila Prabhupada's teachings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 23 July 2009

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

The Perfection of Equanimity

Equanimity or steadiness of mind in all circumstances is a very desirable state of mind to be in. In fact it is the most desirable of all states of mind. One who has attained equanimity can handle all circumstances, even the most devastating ones, with a cool, intelligent head.

So then how does one attain this state of equanimity? While it is practically impossible to reach that state in today's most hectic world, attaining equanimity is not difficult for those who are Krishna conscious. How is that? A devotee of Krishna sees the loving hand of Krishna at every step. He never feels bereft of the Lord's mercy. When things are going wonderfully he thinks that he does not deserve this but yet the Lord is blessing him with wonderful, happy experiences. And when things are going terribly he thinks that he deserves much worse but that Krishna is being very kind by minimizing the sinful reactions. In this way the devotee always connects with the sweet loving kindness of Krishna and enters into an eternal, blissful state of divine love with the Supreme Person. He attains the perfection of equanimity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Am I Initiated by Srila Prabhupada?

I was never initiated by a spiritual master for some reason. Now that Srila Prabhupada is gone, is it correct to assume that he is my spiritual master and that I am already initiated? Please respond, and I won't bother you anymore, sir! Thank you!!

Ron

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Answer: You Can Become His Dear Spiritual Grandson

Your sincere questions are not a botheration. Please feel free to inquire from me at any time.

Srila Prabhupada stated on 18 October 1977 just days before he left this world that he would no longer accept disciples. He instructed us that in his absence that those of his disciples who are strictly following him should become spiritual masters and carry on the disciplic succession. So you are not considered initiated unless you become initiated by one of Srila Prabhupada's disciples. So you should seek out a disciple of Srila Prabhupada who is strictly following Srila Prabhupada and become the disciple of that disciple of Srila Prabhupada. In this way you can become a fully initiated follower of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. You will be considered a duly initiated grand disciple of Srila Prabhupada. Just like we have a father and a grandfather. Srila Prabhupada's disciple who initiates you will become your spiritual father and Srila Prabhupada will be your spiritual grandfather. Srila Prabhupada told us that the grandfather is more merciful than the father. So this means that as Srila Prabhupada's grandson you will get very special mercy from him to help you go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 22 July 2009

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

Beyond the So-called Super Stars

This material world has a constant slate of super stars that come and go like the changing of seasons. Today's super star is unknown and forgotten tomorrow. Modern day India's first prime minister Nehru was said by an astrologer to have a become a dog in Sweden in his next birth. There are so many super stars among the musicians, athletes, and politicians. But where do they end up after their brief fling of being worshipped by the millions? According to their karma they take their next birth, and they vanish into oblivion. In Paris there is a statute of Napoleon which states, "Napoleon is France, France is Napoleon." But France is still here. So where is Napoleon? No one knows. He could be a rat running around the streets of Paris scrounging for something to eat. So there is no sense endeavoring to become a big famous super star of this world. If one becomes a pure devotee of Krishna he naturally becomes most famous without any endeavor on his part. He achieves the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Rock Solid Faith?

I regularly read your articles and occasionally visit the ISKCON temple. I don't know why but my faith changes continuously. Sometimes I start thinking rationally and become an atheist. Sometimes I believe in Jesus, sometimes in Buddha, but after some time lose faith in them. I really want to know the truth, but my way of thinking rationally and scientifically stops me from having 100% faith in God. How can I make my faith rock solid and how can I know what it is really the truth so that I can become delivered from this material world.

Aman

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Answer: Understand the Cosmic Operator

You must understand God rationally and scientifically. We can see scientifically that every machine requires an operator. And then we can deduce rationally that since every machine has an operator the gigantic cosmic machine must also require an operator.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 21 July 2009

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

Ever Fresh Krishna Topics

I've been writing "Thought for the Day" for over six-and-a-half years now. This means that I written over 2,300 daily editions. How is it possible to write a Krishna conscious "Thought for the Day" day after day, week after week, year after year and always write something that is new and different? Actually it is not at all difficult because Krishna is nava-yauvana, an ever-fresh youth, and everything in relationship with Krishna is of the same nature as Krishna. This means the topics of Krishna never become stale, hackneyed, or old. They are unlimitedly exciting, invigorating, and ever-expanding. So no matter how much we talk or write about Krishna, the subject matter never wears out. These daily Krishna conscious thoughts become sweeter and more relishable ad infinitum for all of eternity. We've got to now turn on the whole world to this inconceivably sweet nectar. All the problems of the modern day society will easily be solved by this one stroke of adding Krishna consciousness to their lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Writing "Thought for the Day" at the Los Angeles Airport


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Moon a Heavenly Planet?

Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 8, verse 25 mentions that some souls go to the moon planet after death. It is said to  be like heaven. But what we can see from the photos supposedly taken there is only a rocky and barren land. Kindly clear the doubt.

Sudheer




Supposed Moon Landing


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Answer: Only for Those Who Have a Visa

We know from the higher authority of the Vedic literatures that there is a heavenly civilization on the moon planet. And we also know from the historical records that the astronauts were not able to find this heavenly civilization. If the astronauts did indeed land on the moon, they were not able to "clear customs" and find the moon civilization. Just as someone can land in the USA at the airport, but if they do not have a proper visa they cannot clear customs and enter the USA proper. They can only remain in the airport for some time and then catch a flight back to their country. They will not be allowed to reside in the USA. Similarly there is a visa requirement for entering into the moon civilization. One has to become a devotee of Candra, the moon god. By this worship one can be granted a body that is suitable for residing on the moon planet. Then one will be able to enter the heavenly civilization on the moon planet. Without being a devotee of Candradeva one is not qualified to enter into that heavenly moon civilization.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari
Monday 20 July 2009

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

Dare to Make the Hare Krishna Experiment

Some people refuse to have faith in Lord Krishna's teachings. Because they do not want to trust anyone they would rather remain as faithless skeptics. They feel that this position has more philosophical integrity. But total faithlessness is impossible because by our very natures we must put our faith in something. If we have nowhere else to repose our faith, we will repose it in skepticism. But if we take skepticism all the way to its logical conclusion we must ultimately become skeptical of skepticism itself. So in the final analysis we can understand that faith cannot be avoided because it is a natural part of our being. It is intrinsic to our very constitution. So the key then is not to give up faith (an impossible task). Rather we should intelligently analyze where is the best place to put our faith. And "best place" means where we get the best results. So how do we determine the best place for our faith? This can easily be done be experimentation. Therefore we encourage everyone to be daring enough to make the Hare Krishna experiment. We guarantee that anyone who does so with an open mind will be glad they did because they will find the results to be strikingly wonderful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: When Did God Start?

Dear Gurudeva,

My question is: When did God start existing?

Your reader and student,

Arvind

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Answer: He Lives in Timelessness

God lives in a state of timelessness. Time exists because He manifests it from Himself. Therefore He is not under the influence of time. Time, instead, is under His influence. So for Him there is no question of past, present, or future. Therefore since He is existing now, He must have always existed. And He confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that He has always existed and that we also have always existed:

na tv evāhaṁ jātu nāsaṁ
na tvaṁ neme janādhipāḥ
na caiva na bhaviṣyāmaḥ
sarve vayam ataḥ param

"Never was there a time when I did not exist,
nor you, nor all these kings;
nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."
--Bhagavad-gita 2.12

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 19 July 2009

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

Beware of Illusory Pleasure

Maya keeps us very tightly in her grip by enticing and entangling us with the illusory pleasures of this material existence. They are called illusory because like a mirage in the desert they offer no real pleasure. Instead of giving us real pleasure, they only give us the illusion of pleasure. In other words, even though we are hankering to be refreshed and revived by cooling waters, all we end up with is hot, dry sand.

This being the case it should be easy for us to give up illusory happiness and go for the real happiness. But the difficulty is that our senses have become so addicted to these illusory pleasures that it becomes practically unthinkable for us to give them up. Therefore we must take help from the higher authorities, such as the Vedic wisdom and the spiritual master, and with fixed intelligence cut through the hard knot of sensory attraction to engage our senses directly in the service of Krishna, who is known as Hrishikesha, the master of the senses. This will liberate us from the clutches of illusory pleasure and enable us to fully taste the sweetest happiness of our eternal relationship with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Don't Be Fooled by the Mirage in the Desert


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Significance of Peacock Feather?

What is the significance of the peacock feather that Krishna always wears?

Your Servant,

Hiten

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Answer: Krishna's Enjoyment

Krishna wears a peacock feather because He's very fond of the peacock feather. It is not that Krishna wears a peacock feather to signify something. No, He simply wears it for His enjoyment. After all since He is God He free to enjoy in any way that He sees fit. So who can check Him? In fact, it is because Krishna likes the peacock feather so much that He always wears a peacock feather.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 18 July 2009

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

How to Be Anxiety-Free

The key to being anxiety-free is this: The more we channel our energy into helping others become free of anxiety, the more we automatically become free of anxiety. In other words if we simply focus on freeing ourselves from anxiety, it will not be as effective as living our lives in such a way as to free others from anxiety. The reason it works like this is that the more we are selfish, the more we are in anxiety, and the more that we are selfless, the more more we are anxiety-free.

The ultimate relief from all anxiety is to live one's life in such a way that at every minute in all situations one is always fully absorbed in liberating all the living entities in this material world from their countless anxieties. How can we do this? By always cultivating and spreading Krishna consciousness to the fullest possible extent. The more we share Krishna consciousness, the more we will taste it, and the happier and happier we will be.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why the Mahamantra Order Was Changed?

Hare Krishna Gurudeva,

My kind and warm obeisances to you.

A question was recently posed to us at our recent namahatta meeting. We were asked to find the answer. I am sure you can help.

The question is:

Originally the mahamantra was recited as follows:

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

Thereafter it was changed to start as follows:

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

So when, why and who made this change?

Bunsie

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Answer: What Makes You Think It Was Changed?

The person who has asked this question has been misinformed and has thus come to the misunderstanding that the mahamantra originally began with Hare Rama and that someone has changed it to begin with Hare Krishna. This is not a fact. He must have heard from those persons who are propagating this false idea that the mahā-mantra was originally in the following sequence:

hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare

Those in this school of thought sometimes refer to the edition of the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad published by Venkatesh Press, Mumbai, which states that this mahā-mantra begins with the words:

hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare followed by hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare.

But earlier publications of the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad clearly state that the mahā-mantra begins with hare kṛṣṇa and not with hare rāma. These earlier publications are still preserved in libraries in Calcutta and Jaipura.

There are also many other authoritative Vedic texts which present the mahamantra beginning with hare kṛṣṇa. For the sake of brevity we will mention only a few of them here:

Ananta-Saṁhitā:

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
ṣoḍa-śaitāni nāmāni dvātrinśad varṇa kāni hi
kalau yuge mahā-mantraḥ sammato jīva tāraṇe

"Hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare.
This hari-nāma mahā-mantra consists of sixteen names and thirty-two syllables.
In Kali-yuga this mantra can deliver all jīvas."


In the Brahma Yāmala, Lord Śiva states:

hariṁ binā nāsti ki˝cat pāpani-stārakaṁ kalau
tasmāl-lokod-dhārāṇa-ārthaṁ hari-nāma prakāśayet
sarvatra mucyate loko mahā-pāpāt kalau yuge
hare-kṛṣṇa-pada-dvandvaṁ kṛṣṇeti ca pada-dvayam
tathā hare-pada-dvandvaṁ hare-rāma iti dvayam
tad-ante ca mahā-devī rāma rāma dvayaṁ vadet
hare hare tato brūyād harināma samud dharet
mahā-mantraṁ ca kṛṣṇasya sarvapāpa praṇāṣakamiti

"He Mahādevī! Look! In Kali-yuga there is no easier way to eradicate sins than by śrī hari-nāma. It is therefore essential to propagate śrī hari-nāma among the general populous. The people in Kaliyuga can be easily liberated from the greatest hell by performing saṅkīrtana of this mahā-mantra. To chant the mahā-mantra, first chant hare kṛṣṇa twice, then chant kṛṣṇa twice, then hare twice. After that, chant hare rāma twice, then rāma twice and again hare twice. One should chant, articulate and perform sankīrtana etc., of Śrī Kṛṣṇa's mahā-mantra, which destroys all sins."


In the Rādhā Hṛdya Khaṇḍa of the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa, Romaharṣaṇa Sūta prays to Śrī Veda Vyāsa as follows:

yattvayā kīrtitaṁ nātha hari-nāmeti sanjitam
mantraṁ brahma-padaṁ siddhi karaṁ-tad-vad-no-vibho

"He Vibho! He Prabhu! Please instruct me in the brahma svarūpa nāma mantra
of Śrī Hari which is the bestower of all perfections."


In reply, Śrī Veda Vyāsa gives the following instruction:

gṛhaṇād yasya mantrasya dehī brahma-mayo bhavet
sadhyaḥ pūtaḥ surāpo 'pi sarva-siddhi-yuto bhavet
tad-ahaṁ te bhidhā-syāmi mahā-bhāgavato hamsi
hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
iti ṣoḍaśakaṁ nāmnāṁ tri-kāla kalmaṣāp-aham
nātaḥ parataropāyaḥ sarva vedeṣu vidhyate

"O my son, I will certainly instruct you in that mahā-mantra, the acceptance of which a person in the bodily conception of life can be liberated and even a drunkard can quickly become purified and attain all perfection. I will instruct you because you are a mahābhāgavata and a suitable candidate. Just see! The sixteen word mahā-mantra, hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare, can destroy the sins of the three worlds. The four Vedas do not mention a method for achieving liberation from material bondage superior to the chanting of this mahā-mantra."

Ananta Saṁhitā also states:

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
soḍasautāni nāmāni dvātriṁ-śad varṇa-kāṇi hi
kalāu yuge mahā-mantraḥ sammato jīva-tāraṇe
utsṛa-jyaitan-mahā-mantraṁ ye tvanyat kalpitaṁ padam
mahā-nāmeti gāyanti te śāstra-guru-laṅi-ghanah

"All śāstras agree that the hare kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, which is composed of sixteen names and thirty-two syllables, is the illustrious mantra to deliver the jīvas in Kali-yuga. Those who neglect this mahā-mantra and accept any other process, due to their own imagination or the imagination of others, are actually disobeying guru and śāstra.

If someone asks, 'Why is this sixteen word hare kṛṣṇa mantra the mahā-mantra?' then the following answer is given.

'Among all of Kṛṣṇa's names' no name other than Hari can easily take away sins, great misfortune and ignorance. No name other than Kṛṣṇa can deliver prema. And no name other than Rāma can bestow liberation.' This is why the mahā-mantra is composed of these three primary names. Secondly, these sixteen names are an invocation. Oṁ, namaḥ, klīṁ, svāhā, etc., are not required to make the mantra more potent. For this reason it is called the mahā-mantra."

So in conclusion, the question we should ask instead is: Why are some people still thinking that the mahamantra begins with Hare Rama? Of course, if they prefer to chant it that way, we have no objection because once you start swimming in the nectarean ocean of the mahamantra no matter which way you started you are still chanting the same thing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 17 July 2009

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

Beyond Time's Inexorable Onslaught

No matter how healthy, wealthy, powerful, knowledgeable, or famous one may be he cannot put a brake to the inexorable onslaught of time. Therefore instead of wasting time trying to put a stop to time, the best program is to learn the art of how to rise beyond the influence of time into the timeless transcendental dimension. On this plane of consciousness one is no longer pinched by the ravages of birth, death, old age, and disease. One becomes fully situated within the internal energy and then experiences birth, death, old age, and disease as simply something out there in the external energy. In such a state one feels boundless energy and enthusiasm and becomes fully absorbed in serving the Supreme Person, the source of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Meaning of Illicit Sex?

I am curious what no illicit sex means. Does it mean no sex other than for procreation? I don't mean to seem silly, but does that mean masturbation as well? In all of this is there are health risks, or with less temptation as time and practice progresses is the body unbothered health wise as well as mentally?

Nick

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Answer: Non-Procreational Sex

Those who are seriously practicing Krishna consciousness strictly avoid all non-procreational sex including masturbation. By doing so they become physically and psychologically stronger. This increases their power of determination as well as their span of life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 16 July 2009

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

Pure Devotional Service is Required

If we want to qualify ourselves to enter into the kingdom of God at the time of death, we need to at every moment be cultivating pure devotional service because if even there is the slightest tinge of material desire within our hearts, Krishna will fulfill our desire by giving us birth again in this material world. In other words we need to be fixed in the mood of pure devotional service at the time of passing from this body, and this can only be achieved by training ourselves on a regular daily basis to be in mood of pure devotional service. So what is that mood of pure devotional service? This means that I have no desire except to serve the instructions of Krishna as given in the revealed scriptures and by the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Engage the Past in Krishna's Service?

I would be my pleasure if you would let me know how your past can be engaged in the service of the Lord when we say that the past cannot be changed.

Dhristy

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Answer: By Remembering Its Lessons

By learning lessons from your past you can engage it in Krishna's service. Analyze what you did right and what you did wrong in the past, and then adjust your present activities accordingly for advancing yourself in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 15 July 2009

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

Why Endeavor to Enjoy this World?

This material world is not a fully blissful place because here we have to always alternate between suffering and happiness. We cannot just enjoy happiness. We must suffer misery also. And even the happiness we experience here is not pure happiness because it is always mixed consciously or unconsciously with the anxiety of knowing that it will end at any time, that it will not last.

So why should we endeavor so much to enjoy this world? This is not very sensible. It is better that we apply our energies for realizing and reviving our original all-blissful, all-knowing eternal natures. This will qualify us for eternal residence in the unlimitedly sublime anxiety-free spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are We Independent or Controlled?

As a human being is man independent to live his own life as his own wish or is he under the total control of almighty God?

Sharad

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Answer: Both

The human being is simultaneously independent and under God's control because God gives him the choice whether he wants to be under the control of the material nature or of the spiritual nature. This is compared to the two ways that a citizen is under the control of the state. He has the independent choice of either being a law-abiding free citizen or a law-breaking inmate of the prison who is forced to obey the laws of the state within the prison. Those who voluntarily abide by the laws of God live a life of full freedom in the spiritual world. And those who try to defy the laws remain perpetually as prisoners in the miserable cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 14 July 2009

from Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport
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Today's Thought:

May All Awaken Now

May all living beings throughout the entire material existence now become fully awakened to their original all-knowing, all blissful natures as the eternal servants of Krishna. There is absolutely no reason for any living being anywhere throughout the vast existence to be suffering. The only reason anyone suffers is ignorance. Therefore the saintly devotees of the Lord fully dedicate themselves to enlightening the entire world with the most amazing liberating teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. Indeed, there is no servant of the Lord more dear than he who dedicates his entire life to delivering the fallen, forgetful souls to their original all-blissful, all-knowing natures. Therefore everyone is invited by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to tell everyone they meet about the most sublime science of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Caitanya Calls Everyone to Awaken Now


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Past, Present, and Future?

Dear Gurudeva,

Should we remember our past? Our future no one knows. Only the present is true. Do past and future become irrelevant?

My pranams,

Ananth


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Answer: Engage Them in Krishna's Service

In Krishna consciousness everything is relevant because everything past, present, and future can be engaged in the service of Lord Sri Krishna.

It is good to remember your past in terms of what you did correctly to expand your Krishna consciousness and what you did incorrectly to kill your Krishna consciousness. In this way you will have the proper understanding of what to do and what not to do. You will then be able to successfully manage your present for creating the most wonderful, exciting, and enlivening future of going back to home, back to Godhead for regaining your original, eternal spiritual identity in the wondrous pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 13 July 2009

from Vancouver, Canada
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Today's Thought:

Spring Tour Realizations

After being on the road for four months, today officially ends our spring 2009 around-the-world preaching tour. After two flights (Vancouver to Dallas and Dallas to Austin) we will back at our home base in Austin, Texas. This is an opportune moment to ponder what this tour has meant for my Krishna consciousness. The wonderful thing to see is that no matter how much difficulty we have had to endure traveling and preaching all over the world, the overall experience has been greatly exhilarating and enlightening. This is because Krishna consciousness is completely transcendental to this material world. If we solidly connect with Krishna, we can be absolutely ecstatic in all times, places, and circumstances. Anyone in any situation in any part of the world can take advantage of this sublime process of Krishna consciousness and live the most happy and fulfilling life possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Radio Show Interview in Vancouver



"Yoga of Love" Lecture at a Vancouver Yoga Studio


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Evil Exist?

Dear Gurudeva,

My question is: if everything emanates from Lord Krishna, why does evil exist when God is all good?

Your reader and student,

Yash

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Answer: It Is Our Doing.

Since everything emanates from Krishna, everything is meant to be engaged in Krishna service. Evil becomes manifested when we instead try to engage the energy of Krishna in our service instead of Krishna's service. In other words, evil is the result our misuse of our free will. We cannot blame Krishna for evil. We must instead blame ourselves.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 12 July 2009

from Vancouver, Canada
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Today's Thought:

Realization on Mount Seymour

There is no one and nothing more attractive than Krishna and those persons who are in a pure state of harmony with Krishna. This is why the most highly intelligent class of persons, the paramahamsas, absorb themselves fully in Krishna meditation and in the association of other Krishna conscious persons. By doing so they become elevated to the most exalted state of consciousness in which they will never again be allured by any of the so-called attractive features of this material existence. Even the topmost attractive features of this material existence pale into insignificance when compared to the the attractiveness of Krishna and everyone and everything which is in relationship with Krishna. Those who are fortunate enough to become fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness experience the topmost happiness in a most sublime state of mind completely transcendental to all of the miseries of material existence. And at the same time their hearts melt in compassion to see the unbearable sufferings of those who are not awakened to their original, eternal spiritual identities. Therefore they fully dedicate their lives for awakening the dormant Krishna consciousness which is sleeping deep within the hearts of all the livings beings. When one reaches this perfectional stage of spiritual evolution he experiences his life as the most fulfilling, satisfying, and exciting adventure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Writing "Thought for the Day"

on Mount Seymour in British Columbia, Canada


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Evil Exist?

Dear Gurudeva,

My question is: if everything emanates from Lord Krishna, why does evil exist when God is all good?

Your reader and student,

Yash

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Answer: It Was Our Doing.

Since everything emanates from Krishna, everything is meant to be engaged in Krishna service. Evil become manifested when we instead try to engage the energy of Krishna in our service instead of Krishna's service. In other words, evil is the result our misuse of our free will. We cannot blame Krishna for evil. We must instead blame ourselves.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 11 July 2009

from the Vancouver, Canada
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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Superstar

There is no superstar more famous than Krishna. While others may enjoy superstar status temporarily before their name and fame vanishes into oblivion, Krishna enjoys the topmost superstar status for all of eternity. This is one of the qualifications for His being God. God cannot be God unless He is unlimitedly famous. He must be the most famous person throughout all of existence for all of eternity.

And since there is no one dearer to that dearmost of all personalities than His devotees, Krishna lovingly bestows superstar status upon His devotees. Therefore by the divine potency of that supremely munificent person, the pure devotees of the Lord become the most famous influential persons in world history. Indeed, if we study world history we will see that those persons who have had the greatest impact and who are the most remembered and loved are those persons who sacrificed their entire lives in God's service for spreading His glories all over the world. In this connection there is a famous conversation between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Raya. Lord Caitanya asked him, "Who is the most famous person?" Ramananda immediately replied, "Anyone who is known as a great devotee of the Lord is the most famous person in the world."

Of course, the devotees have no desire for worldly fame. Their only desire is to please Krishna. But when Krishna becomes pleased to see that someone has become His pure devotee He bestows all opulences upon that person including power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna, the Supreme Superstar


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Krishna Do Like This?

I just wanted to know why a devotee who is doing everything as I said above would lose his job. Why didn't Krishna protect him? Why didn't Krishna show any courtesy to his family who is having two small kids. Why didn't Krishna save his job when he is a very sincere devotee and follows everything properly? Why Krishna do like this?

Always there is an argument between me and my friends about Krishna. I often tell them about our ISKCON programs, but they always tell me that if you have any problem Krishna will not come to solve that you have to suffer. But I tell them if you have faith in Krishna, you won't get any problems because Krishna will solve them.

So today when I heard this news of this devotee I was shocked and really felt very bad, totally confused in fact feeling that have lost bit faith in Krishna.

Please enlighten me about the same why Krishna do like this who have believed him and do worship him?

Your Servant
Veena

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Answer: Out of His Inconceivable Mercy

Sometimes out of kindness Krishna takes away a devotee's material facilities to help him increase his feelings of dependency upon the Lord. This is not Krishna's cruelty or discourtesy. This is Krishna's mercy to bring the devotee even closer to Him. There is no need to worry because we do not depend on a job for our maintenance. In all times, places, and circumstances it is always Lord Sri Krishna who is maintaining us, not our employment in some company.

It is fact that Krishna solves all of our problems, but He does not always solve them the way that we in our ignorance think that they should be solved. It may be inconceivable to us why Krishna would allow His beloved devotees, the Pandavas, to be sent into exile. But we see in the final analysis that Krishna never abandoned them and they ultimately achieved the greatest success.

So we should not lose our faith in Krishna because He does not do things the way that we want Him to. After all it is we who are supposed to serve His desires. It is not that we should expect Him to serve our desires. So instead of losing faith when we face difficulties we should always trust His judgment and patiently await His loving mercy, which is sure to come in ways that are inconceivably wonderful and sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 10 July 2009

from the Hong Kong Airport
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Today's Thought:

Let's Conquer the World

The present day world leaders are managing the world society like chickens with their heads cut off. In other words, in spite of all their best intentions, they do not have any idea of what they are doing. There is no reason for all of this madness because the Supreme Personality of Godhead has given the knowledge by which the entire world can be peaceful and happy. This knowledge is presented in the Bhagavad-gita. Anyone who purely practices and teaches the science of the Bhagavad-gita will naturally become a powerful world leader. Therefore we request all persons who are unhappy with the present state of global affairs to join with us in this Krishna consciousness movement for bringing about a global cultural revolution. In this connection Srila Prabhupada has given assurance:

If we simply repeat this philosophy exactly as it is, without any misrepresentation or adulteration, then this movement will never be checked, and we will conquer the world.--

So now kindly make active participation in the Krishna consciousness movement your number one priority. You'll be glad you did. And you will go down in history for being one of those daring spiritual pioneers who participated in saving the world from disintegrating into utter chaos.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Knowledge that Can Conquer the World


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Importance of Diksha Guru


Dear Gurudeva,

Thank you for kindly answering all my questions so expertly.

I have a problem. I have no diksha guru and my spiritual progress is slow and sometimes fast, sometimes very slow due to unsteadiness of practice. Remembrance of the mahamantra is no problem as I frequently silently repeat the mantra in my head. I also read Prabhupada's books.

I know the diksha guru is of utmost importance. Prabhupada says that only in rare instances will Krishna reveal himself to us without one; he compares it to receiving an honorary degree at a university. While it may happen, one should not sit back and wait, but rather enroll in the university and follow the prescribed procedures.

How far can I go spiritually in terms of progress without a diksha guru? How long must I wait before taking initiation?

Yours in Krishna,

Michael

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Answer: We Will Be Happy to Initiate You

There are nine steps on the path to spiritual perfection:

1. sraddha--faith
2. sadhu sanga--association of devotees
3. bhajana kriya--initiation
4. anartha nivritti--cleansing of the dirt from the heart
5. nistha--being solidly fixed
6. ruci--taste
7. asakti--attachment
8. bhava--ecstatic emotion
9. prema--pure love of God

The furthest that one can advance without diksha (initiation) is to stage two, sadhu sanga, because diksha occurs in stage three. There is no reason for you be in anxiety about this because we will be happy to give you diksha.

Simply you must qualify yourself for diksha by chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna daily on japa beads while simultaneously avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. Once you are fixed in the above for at least six months as certified by a local ISKCON leader you can then take formal shelter to prepare for initiation, and then after an additional six months of chanting and following our principles I or one of my guru godbrothers will be happy to accept you as a disciple by giving you diksha (initiation).

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 9 July 2009

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Departing from Down Under

After more than a month of being "down under" in Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand we are now heading back today to the northern hemisphere, this time to Canada, for the conclusion of 2009's first preaching tour. (The second tour will begin at the end of next month.) This four months tour of sixteen countries has as usual been a most nectarean, unforgettable experience. There is truly nothing sweeter than participating in this supremely glorious Krishna consciousness movement. Throughout the three worlds what could be more exciting or enlivening than this? I am eternally dedicated to my all-merciful spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, for giving me the most sublime, happy, and revolutionary eternal existence as a servant of Lord Caitanya. Today in gratitude I offer Srila Prabhupada this song:

I feel so happy today.
And I'll tell you the reason why.
I've been blessed with a boon by the most gracious of sages,
That indeed I'll never die.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




ISKCON Temple in Auckland, New Zealand



Sri Sri Radha Giridhari
the Deities of Auckland, New Zealand


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where Will We Find Shelter in Your Absence?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

Thank you for blessing me with access to this Krishna consciousness movement. Your every thought, word and deed serves to give Krishna to others just as you have received His mercy. After I read your "Thought for the Day" entitled "Kaliya Krishna" I was feeling that you may be winding up your pastimes. I know a Vaisnava never dies, but still it hurts because I have such a weak connection to your eternal vani presence in the form of your instructions. What will become of your students? Where will we find shelter as we struggle to serve you? I hope these questions are proper and favorable for devotional service.

Your aspiring servant,
-Jagannatha dasa

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Answer: I Will Never Leave

Do not worry that I am winding up my pastimes. My pastimes are eternal. I will live forever, and my disciples will live eternally with me. If my disciples will stick tightly to carrying out the instructions I have given them, they will never experience any difficulties in their spiritual lives. They will very easily and happily cross over the ocean of birth and death and regain their original identities as servants of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna in His eternal pastimes in the spiritual world.

You are feeling a little anxiety now that someday you will be physically separated from me, your spiritual master. Such feelings of fearing imminent separation are transcendental and are very beneficial for your progress on the path of bhakti. It is through such feelings that one is able to transcend the influence of the three modes of material nature and become solidly situated on the spiritual stratum. You should always remember that if you remain forever fully dedicated to carrying out the orders you have received from your spiritual master, you will be given a place of permanent residence in his heart and he will permanently reside in your heart. In this way you are guaranteed to never be separated from your spiritual master for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 8 July 2009

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Don't Ask God to Serve You

Instead of asking what Krishna can do for us, we should be asking what we can do for Krishna. This is the secret of success in spiritual life. Even though millions of people believe in God, it is indeed very rare to find a person who has realized God. This is because everybody is approaching God to serve their own purposes. Practically no one is approaching God to serve God's purposes. In the Bhagavad-gita God Himself, Lord Sri Krishna, states that He rewards us according to our degree of surrender. Approaching God to fulfill our desires is not surrender. It is business. I flatter the Lord that He is great because I want to get something out of Him. This is not love of God. This is love of my own desires. But when we approach Him to serve His desires, we are blessed with the ultimate privilege of becoming one of His eternal associates. He personally gives Himself to us. There is nothing sweeter or more rewarding that this. A person who has fully surrendered to and has thus fully realized God cannot be lacking in anything spiritual or material because that Supreme Person who owns and controls everything has become his personal property.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Exists Far Beyond the Constrictions

of Material Time and Space:


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Character of the Spiritual World

Dear Gurudeva,

The material world is a world of duality. There is light and darkness, hot and cold, and many such pairs of opposites. There is also the duality of self and other. For instance, you and I are separate jivas (living beings), correct?

Now, in the spiritual world, are there opposites? Is it dualistic? Is there oneself and another person, the perceiver and the perceived? I ask because you said that if you take away all the negative sentiment of this world and keep only the positive, one will have an idea of what the spiritual world is like. It sounds like there is only one side of the coin and therefore no dualism. But if there are separate jivas, fully Krishna conscious, then must there be the duality of self and other?

Also, how can the spiritual world be labeled eternal, that is, beyond space and time, if there are activities taking place there? The act of dancing at every step or touching a touchstone house suggests movement through the dimensions of space. Also, all activities take time to perform.

Please enlighten me as to the character of the spiritual world, for I am very eager to hear what knowledge you have to impart.

Yours in Krishna,

Michael


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Answer: Timeless Boundaryless Bliss

Yes, we are separate living entities. In the spiritual world also there are separate living entities. The spiritual world is not varietyless. If it were varietyless, it would be very dull and uninteresting. Therefore it is instead full of unlimited varieties of delightful activities and relationships all in blissful connection with Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Time and space do not exist in the spiritual world as they exist here. This is why it is stated that Krishna exists beyond time and space. This, however, does not mean that the spiritual world is a void. What it means is that it is an abode of transcendental time and space.

In regards to time, one in the spiritual world can go on eternally enjoying any activity without it ever coming to an end. In this material world time is always a limiting factor. But in the spiritual world there is no restrictive influence of time. This is why everyone there is an eternal youth. They never get old.

In regards to space, it exists there, but that space is unlimited and places no restrictions upon anyone. From the Srimad Bhagavatam we learn that Krishna has pastimes with an unlimited number of calves. From this we can understand that there must also exist an unlimited amount of space to accommodate that unlimited number of cows. In the material world there is space but it is limited. In the spiritual world there is also space but it expands unlimitedly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 7 July 2009

from Wellington, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Paramahamsa-Thakur

A person does not become the spiritual master of the entire world by appointment or election. Nor can one become such a spiritual master by mental speculation or self-promotion. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur explains that unless one is directly empowered by the causeless mercy of Krishna, one cannot become the spiritual master of the entire world (jagad-guru). The true spiritual master spreads the science of Krishna bhakti throughout the world so that the conditioned souls can be liberated from the blazing fire of material existence. In this way the Krishna consciousness movement becomes more and more prominent on this planet. Srila Prabhupada explains that the true acharya, the spiritual master of the entire world, who is spreading Krishna's name and fame all over the world, must be considered an incarnation of Krishna's mercy and that since he is understood to be the most advanced devotee, he is to be called paramahamsa-thakur. (Thakur is a title of honor offered to the paramahamsa, the highest level devotee.)

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Topmost Paramahamsa Thakur

His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Does Not Know Everything?

I don't get it, God (Krishna) is supposed to be the Almighty. How come He does not know everything? For example, when I ask what are the top ten medical schools, I do not get an answer.

Henry

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Answer: You've Got It Backwards

Why do you think that God is obligated to serve you by supplying you the answers to your questions? You've got it backwards. It's you who should be serving God, rather than expecting God to be your servant.

Don't you see how He is supplying you with all the necessities of life? He's giving you everything to sustain your existence: air, sunshine, clothing, food, water, etc. Instead of appreciating what He is giving you and trying to serve Him, you are finding fault with Him because He doesn't tell you what are the top ten medical schools.

Kindly try to understand that God means that He must be omniscient or all-knowing and that without omniscience there is no meaning to the word "God." And who is God? That is revealed by God Himself in the Bhagavad-gita. He reveals that He is Krishna. And He also reveals that He knows everything. But knowing everything does not mean that He is obligated to supply you with answers to your questions upon your demand. Kindly do not think that He is your order-supplier, that you can simply place your orders for whatever you want and Krishna will then be obliged to fill your orders. Do not try to make God your servant. If you want to realize the highest truth, give up the mentality of trying yourself to be the Lord by engaging Him in your service. Rather you should engage yourself in His service. If you will simply place yourself as the humble servant of God without making any demands or requests, fully giving yourself to the Lord as His personal property, you will then have perfect realization of God and everything will be revealed to you. Are you willing to do this? Or do you want to continue asking God to serve you? This is your choice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 6 July 2009

from Wellington, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Who is Jagad Guru?

Krishna is jagad-guru, the spiritual master of the universe. And anyone who presents the teachings of Krishna as they are clearly revealed in the Bhagavad-gita is as good as the jagad-guru. If someone claims themselves to be jagad-guru but does not  present the teachings of Krishna exactly as Krishna has presented them in the Bhagavad-gita, he is simply a cheater and a cause of great disturbance in the human society. Although he may be very expert in manufacturing his own theories and have a big title or be a famous author, he has no power to deliver anyone from the clutches of birth and death because he is himself not delivered from this material existence. Since Krishna is jagad-guru, one who teaches the instruction of Krishna as it is, on His behalf, may be also accepted as jagad-guru.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Initiation Ceremony
4 July 2009--Hamilton, New Zealand


Adi Purusha Das Being Initiated


New Initiates Offering Grains to the Sacrificial Fire


From Left to Right in front of Srila Prabhupada Deity:
Adi Purusha Das, Sankarshan Das Adhikari,
Sudevi devi dasi, and Rupa Manjari devi dasi

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did You Choose this Path?

Why did you choose this path when there are so many paths and so many things to do?

Henry

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Answer: Who Prefers Suffering?

Even though it is commonly thought that there are many paths, this is not a fact. There are only two paths: the path of light and the path of darkness. I was born into a society which trained me to follow the path of darkness. But I was not satisfied with this path because I could see that it simply led to old age, disease, and death. I could not accept that life could be so miserable that there was nothing more to look forward to than old age, disease, death. So when I sought an alternative path the Supreme Lord out of His infinite kindness revealed to me the path of light, which leads to an eternal life, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. When Krishna showed me this path, switching to it was a very easy decision to make. After all what person in their right mind would not prefer eternity, knowledge, and bliss over temporality, illusion, and misery?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 5 July 2009

from Hamilton, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Full Access to Krishna

The most important step to be taken by the aspiring transcendentalist is to become initiated by a bona fide spiritual master. This is so because Krishna mandates that unless we become the devotees of His devotee He will not accept that we are His devotees. In other words until we are initiated by the bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession from Krishna we do not have full access to Krishna. So we have our choice. Do we want partial access to Krishna, or do we want full access to Krishna? Krishna grants us access to His association according to the degree of our surrender. Therefore if we hold back from full surrender by not following His order to become the devotee of His devotee, we will not have full access to His association. We will remain spiritual outsiders. And if we fully surrender ourselves to Krishna's authorized representative, the bona fide spiritual master, we will be spiritual insiders with unfettered access to Krishna's association. We will taste the sweetest happiness with full knowledge for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Initiation Ceremony

(coming tomorrow: photos from July 4, 2009 initiation ceremony in Hamilton, New Zealand)


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why God Has Made Us Dependent?

Hare Krishna,

My question is:

Why do people take to bhakti when they are in some difficulty? Why has God made us like this?

Regards,

Nidhi


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Answer: To Enjoy a Loving Relationship with Us

Just as a child naturally calls out for his mother when there is difficulty, it is natural for us to call out to God when there is difficulty.

God has made us dependent on Him because just as the mother wants to have a loving relationship with her child, God wants to have a loving relationship with us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Saturday 4 July 2009

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Join the Krishna Consciousness Movement

We are openly inviting all compassionate souls to join this Krishna consciousness movement. There is nothing happening on this planet more important than this. The entire human society is suffering in the clutches of birth, death, old age, and disease. The Krishna consciousness movement is fully dedicated to saving the people from their precarious condition. So kindly do not remain a bystander. Those who are not a part of the solution are part of the problem. Please join us today and fully dedicate your life for helping to bring about the respiritualization of the entire human society. You will become very dear to the Supreme Lord, and your spiritual perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead will be guaranteed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Blissful Hare Krishna Devotees Out to Save the World


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can You Request Krishna to Appear?

I would like to ask whether you have seen and met Sri Krishna in person after having spent almost 40 years chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Have you personally talked to Him? Have you seen Him? If yes, can you describe the encounter to us and what allowed the meeting to occur? Was it the pure utterance of the Hare Krishna mantra? If you have a personal connection with Krishna that allows you to get the answers to the questions we ask you, can you also request Him to appear before the general public?

Why is interaction with the higher spiritual beings impossible?

With thanks,

Nithin

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Answer: Krishna is Already Present

Just as the sun is visible for all to see, Krishna is already present and available for everyone to see. The difficulty is that people are just like owls. Even though God is revealing Himself in so many ways, they are keeping their eyes tightly closed shut and refusing to see God.

Therefore we pray to the spiritual master,

om aj˝āna-timirāndhasya
j˝ānā˝jana-śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitam yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master,
who with the torchlight of knowledge has opened my eyes,
which were tightly closed shut in the darkness of ignorance."
--from the Gautamiya Tantra


The spiritual master gives the disciple jnana-caksusa, the eyes of knowledge by which he can see God. Personally I have no qualification to see God, but by the mercy of my spiritual master I can see God everywhere and associate with Him at every minute. If you want to understand how I am seeing God, you should do exactly what I have done. You should fully surrender yourself to the bona fide spiritual master. Then you will also be able to see God everywhere. Without surrender, by mere intellectual gymnastics it will never be possible for you to see God.

Interaction with higher spiritual beings is not impossible. Simply you must qualify yourself by becoming pure. If even meeting a big leader in this world requires so much qualification, just try to understand how much qualification is required to interact with higher spiritual beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 3 July 2009

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Perplexed but not Discouraged

A devotee of the Lord sometimes faces very perplexing situations. But because he has complete faith in Lord Krishna he is never discouraged even in the most devastating of circumstances. Once upon a time in the early days of the universe while Lord Brahma was engaged in the process of creation, the earth was inundated by a deluge and fell down into the depths of the Garbhodaka ocean in the bottom of the universe. Even though Lord Brahma was perplexed wondering what could he do to deal with this situation, instead of becoming discouraged he reasoned that the best thing to do under the circumstances was to let Krishna direct him what to do. And when he was thinking like this Varahadeva, the boar incarnation of God, appeared and rescued the earth from it precarious condition. So whenever we are bewildered by reverse conditions we should take it as a grand opportunity to take shelter of the Lord. By doing so we will soon be free from anxiety and will be able cross successfully over the ocean of difficulty.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Varahadeva Saves the Earth


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Leader of ISKCON?

Are you now the spiritual leader of ISKCON ?

Ray


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Answer: One of ISKCON's Leaders

While I am not THE spiritual leader of ISKCON, I am ONE of the spiritual leaders of ISKCON. Srila Prabhupada instructed all of his followers to become spiritual masters for leading the world out of its present chaotic godless condition into a new era of enlightened God consciousness for the perfect peace and harmony of the entire human society. Even though I have disciples all over the world who are very inspired by my presentation of the science of Krishna consciousness, I take no credit for this. Rather I give all credit to my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who has so mercifully saved me from the clutches of illusion and misery to engage me in the topmost activity of living for the deliverance of all the suffering souls of this world back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 2 July 2009

from Nadi, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Prayer to Krishna Kaliya

We took our final darshan of Krishna Kaliya at our ISKCON temple in Lautoka, Fiji on 30 June. It was a very heart touching moment for me. After putting some money into the donation box I humbly bowed down at Krishna Kaliya's feet thanking Him for the so many wonderful Krishna conscious experiences I have had preaching in Fiji over the years since 1985. In this material world we can never be certain of anything except for death and of course, even more importantly, Lord Krishna's mercy. So I simply offered myself to Krishna Kaliya as His eternal servant praying to Him that He can do with me whatever He likes because He is my eternal lord and master. If He wants to bring me back to Fiji again for more preaching, I am willing. And if He has other plans for me, I am fully surrendered to that also. After I placed my mind into this mood of complete surrender to Krishna's will we then departed for the Nadi airport where we would be catching our flight to New Zealand.

So now I carry this beautiful form of Krishna dancing on the head of the Kaliya serpent within my heart begging for His mercy that I can always be a soul fully surrendered unto Him and that in spite of my innumerable disqualifications that He may use me as His instrument for helping to bring about a spiritual revolution all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Kaliya Deity in Lautoka, Fiji


Painting of Krishna Kaliya
at Krishna Kaliya Temple in Lautoka


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Source of the Energy?

When I asked you if you can prove that God exists you replied, "Just as the electricity which powers the lights in your house proves the existence of the powerhouse, the energy which powers this material universe proves the existence of the universal powerhouse."

So now my question is, "From where does this energy come?"

Aashish

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Answer: Krishna--the Supreme Energetic

Krishna reveals in the Bhagavad-gita that all of the energy comes from Him. So it is Lord Sri Krishna who is the ultimate powerhouse for everything within existence. He is the Energetic, and everything within existence is energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 1 July 2009

from Nadi, Fiji
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Today's Thought:

Finding the Paradise Within

Seeking paradise thousands and thousands of tourists regularly stream into Fiji from all over the world to enjoy its natural beauty. Ironically at the same time many of those who live here find it to be hell and are looking for ways to emigrate. Even though this material world is sometimes very beautiful, that beauty is never perfect. It is always marred with suffering and sorrow. Therefore those who are factually intelligent do not look to this material world for happiness. Instead of trying to enjoy a paradise in this material world, they find the real paradise within by awakening their dormant Krishna consciousness. This is the real paradise because it is never tainted by suffering and sorrow. It is the realm of pure unadulterated bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Tourists Arriving in Fiji



Fiji's Natural Beauty


Paradise Marred by Coup


Revealing the Real Paradise Within to Devotees in Fiji


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof of God's Existence?

Can you prove that God exists?

Aashish

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Answer: The Universal Powerhouse

Just as the electricity which powers the lights in your house proves the existence of the powerhouse, the energy which powers this material universe proves the existence of the universal powerhouse.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


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