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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Monday 31 August 2009

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Take Full Shelter of Sri Guru

Krishna states in the Adi Purana that unless we are the devotee of His devotee He will not accept us as His devotee. So who is this devotee that we should become a devotee of? This devotee is the spiritual master. We should seek out the association of a bona fide spiritual master and fully take shelter of him as Krishna's pure representative. This is how our devotional service becomes fully accepted by Krishna and how we will able to gain admittance to the spiritual world at the time our passing out of our present body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Moment of Enlightenment is Fixed?

Please accept my sincere pranam.

I have a little curiosity in continuation to the Question/Answer of 18 August 2009. The question was: "All scriptures state that God is omniscient and that He knows everything - past, present and future. Scriptures also state that humans have a certain element of free will. If God knows everything about our future, how exactly are we free?"

Your answer, "Knowing what someone will do and forcing them to do it are not the same thing," is convincing. But when God knows the future for a particular jiva that means the moment of going back to home from the cycle of birth and death is also fixed. Then is it possible to enlighten ourselves earlier and go back to home in the lotus feet of Lord Krishna?

Or in other words, is the moment of enlightenment in the cycle of birth and death of jiva already fixed?

Ketan

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Answer: No. It Is Up to You.

It is not fixed. It is up to you. You have control over when it will happen. But still Krishna knows.

Conditioned life is within time. But liberated life is in timelessness. This is why it is hard for you to grasp.

You will never be able to fully understand it as long as you are still entrapped within the time/space dimension. So do not be so much concerned about this. Simply try to become liberated as soon as possible by taking complete shelter of guru and Krishna. Then you will have perfect understanding of everything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 30 August 2009

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Stick to the Path of Bhakti

Some say that you can take any road and attain the supreme destination. While taking any road is a valid principle for those who do not care where they end up, it is not a viable means of attaining the supreme perfection. If I want to fly to New York, will any flight take me there? No. I must catch a flight which is going to New York in order to be able to reach New York. If I catch a flight to Miami, it will take me to Miami. It will not carry me to New York. So if you want to attain the supreme abode, you've got to take the path of bhakti. No other means will get you there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Taking Credit Reduce Bhakti?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

May your blessings always be on me.

Sir, is there a danger of a devotee's bhakti getting reduced if he takes credit for the fame of being a nice devotee.

Warm regards,

Sunil

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Answer: Credit Takers Have Zero Bhakti

It is not that there is a danger of bhakti being reduced if a devotee takes credit for his reputation of being a nice devotee. His bhakti is already reduced. Why reduced? His bhakti is gone. He has no bhakti because he desires his own worship instead of Krishna's worship. His show of bhakti will soon be finished because pure bhakti is the only thing which fully satisfies the self.

Those who are actually Krishna conscious give all credit to their spiritual master for whatever progress they have made on the path of bhakti. The more that one gives credit to guru, Krishna, and Vaisnavas, the more he becomes recognized and naturally famous.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 29 August 2009

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna Rocks the Universe

The kirtan last Thursday night at ISKCON Sofia's Radhastami celebration was so super enlivening that it carried away everyone in an ocean of ecstasy. This reminded me of the great power of Krishna's holy names to uplift the entire cosmic manifestation. An entire temple room full of devotees sang and danced in intense bliss on and on and on in a kirtan that seemed like it could go on forever. Hare Krishna kirtan is not like some ordinary music which can be heard in one room or a little further. Indeed Hare Krishna kirtan is so powerful that it rocks the entire universe.

Even the greatest rock musicians have derived great pleasure and satisfaction by chanting Hare Krishna. In this connection George Harrison described his experience with Hare Krishna chanting:

"Before meeting Prabhupada and all of you, I had bought that album Prabhupada did in New York, and John and I listened to it. I remember we sang it for days, John and I, with ukulele banjos, sailing through the Greek Islands chanting Hare Krishna. Like six hours we sang, because we couldn't stop once we got going. As soon as we stopped, it was like the lights went out. It went on to the point where our jaws were aching, singing the mantra over and over and over and over and over. We felt exalted; it was a very happy time for us."

And the great power of Hare Krishna kirtan is confirmed as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

"The sankirtana movement went on from one part of the town to another, as the Lord wandered everywhere performing kirtan. In this way He inundated the whole world by distributing love of Godhead."
--Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 13.32

It is further explained in Srila Prabhupada's purport to the same verse:

"One may raise the question how all three worlds became inundated with love of Krishna, since Caitanya Mahaprabhu performed kirtan only in the Navadvipa area. The answer is that Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna Himself. The entire cosmic manifestation results from the Lord's first setting it in motion. Similarly, since the sankirtana movement was first set in motion five hundred years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's desire that it spread all over the universe, the Krishna consciousness movement, in continuity of that same motion, is now spreading all over the world, and in this way it will gradually spread all over the universe. With the spread of the Krishna consciousness movement, everyone will merge in an ocean of love of Krishna."

So since the Hare Krishna kirtan is coming from the very same source which sets the entire universe into motion, we can just try to imagine how powerful it must be for inundating the entire universe with Krishna bhakti. Some day everyone with realize that Hare Krishna rocks the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Counteract Impersonalism?

Dear Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances!

This is in continuation with your question and answer from date 28.08.2009. My request to you is can you please be more elaborate and explain with some examples how to counteract the argument of "Is God impersonal?"

I sincerely, thank you for your answer, and although it may be clear for me, it is not that clear if I would want to explain this to someone else. Whenever, I have to counter argue this question, I give the example of a powerhouse and electricity. I tell the person that considering impersonal is like comparing it to the electricity which we don't see. But any intelligent person can understand that the source of electricity - "energy" is the Powerhouse - "God". But I think that this argument is not sufficient to destroy the audiences doubt. So kindly suggest what verses from the Vedic knowledge can be given.

I would also sincerely like to thank Vishnu Prabhu for asking a wonderful question so that everyone can become enlightened on this important topic.

Awaiting for your wonderful reply,

Your humble reader and servant,

Sonu

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Answer: The Powerhouse is Turned On by a Person

A powerhouse cannot turn itself on. There must be a person, an engineer, who turns on the powerhouse.

Arjuna clearly describes that God is person and that this is confirmed by the great Vedic authorities:

arjuna uvāca
param brahma param dhāma
pavitram paramam bhavān
puruṣaṁ śāśvatam divyam
ādi-devam ajam vibhum
āhus tvām ṛṣayaḥ sarve
devarṣir nāradas tathā
asito devalo vyāsaḥ
svayam caiva bravīṣi me

"Arjuna said: You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate abode, the purest, the Absolute Truth. You are the eternal, transcendental, original person, the unborn, the greatest. All the great sages such as Nārada, Asita, Devala and Vyāsa confirm this truth about You, and now You Yourself are declaring it to me."
--Bhagavad-gita 10.12-13

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Friday 28 August 2009

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Reentering the Realm of Timelessness

While at the present moment we are ensnared in the dimension of time and space undergoing countless millions of births and deaths and separated from the Lord and His abode by countless millions of light years, Lord Sri Krishna, as described in the Narada Pancaratna, is situated beyond time and space. Because of our being conditioned by time and space our conception of returning to His transcendental abode to regain His association is that we must travel through time and space to go there. But actually all we have to do is free ourselves from the lording-it-over mentality and become purely fixed in the mood of loving service to the Lord. Then we will awaken in that sweet timeless abode tasting unlimited bliss in the association of the Lord and His pure devotees. We will realize that we were always serving the Lord there and that our painful, frightening sojourn in this material existence was just a temporary, momentary dip into the ocean of ignorance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: God is Impersonal?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

How to counteract the arguments of people who say that God is impersonal?

Regards,

Vishnu

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Answer: Impersons Cannot Manifest Personality

Ask them if they have ever experienced something impersonal which has manifested personality, and if they have ever experienced a person who manifested impersonality. We all have experience of persons who sometimes manifest impersonal qualities. But we have never experienced impersons, such as rocks etc, manifesting personal qualities. Therefore since the original cause of existence has manifested so many thousands and millions of persons, we can rightfully conclude that it is not possible that the original source could be impersonal. Only persons can manifest personality. Therefore God must a be a person; He cannot be impersonal.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 27 August 2009

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Rising Beyond the Dualities

In material life we must face so many dualities. Sometimes things are going really great. Sometimes they are not so great. And sometimes they are absolutely horrible. The idea is to keep your consciousness on an even keel through all varieties of the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. How to do that? You've got to keep your consciousness always focused on Krishna, the source of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you do this, you will see how His loving mercy is always acting in all situations to bestow the highest benefit upon the living beings. And then your mind will naturally be equipoised, peaceful, and happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Preach to the Envious?

My humble obeisances.

Lord Krishna says that one should not preach the message of Bhagavad-gita to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Him. But practically when senior devotees go for preaching or book distribution, they invariably happen to preach to such people. Does it amount to some sort of offense ? Please clarify.

Thanks

Suresh

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Answer: Make Everyone Non-Envious

As you have pointed out, Lord Sri Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita:

"This confidential knowledge may never be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service,nor to one who is envious of Me."
-- Bhagavad-gita 18.67

Therefore we preach in a very introductory, non-confidential way to those who are not sufficiently qualified for the higher level confidential knowledge of Krishna, which is understood by the devotees. By the merciful association of the devotees even the envious can become purified and qualified to receive transcendental knowledge. Therefore those who have realized what is the real meaning of Krishna consciousness fully dedicate their lives for giving Krishna consciousness to everyone. There is no offense in such preaching. In fact because it is the order of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that all devotees, even the neophytes, tell everyone they meet about Krishna, if we don't tell everybody about Krishna, we are committing the offense of disobeying Lord Caitanya. The principle is to give everyone what they can handle according to their level. For those who not unqualified we preach in an introductory way and for those who are non-envious we can describe the confidential aspects of the science of Krishna consciousness. It would a big mistake to use the above verse of the Bhagavad-gita to not engage oneself in preaching activities. We MUST preach to everyone we meet. Simply we have to tailor fit our message according to their level of consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 26 August 2009

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

On the Road Again for Krishna

I am happy to be on the road again for preaching the science of Krishna consciousness all over the world. The entire world is suffering due to a lack of Krishna consciousness and by the grace of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, we have the medicine which will deliver the entire world from its precarious condition. Life is not meant for sense enjoyment. It is meant for engaging ourselves in the service of the Lord. And there is no greater service to the Lord than bringing His lost children back to Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know One's Occupational Duty?

When I was reading chapter three of the Bhagavad-gita I understood the importance of occupational duty and how lust is our enemy. But I failed to understand what is occupational duty and how one can identify his or her duty. In those days people followed the varnashrama system, but how is it applicable in today's life?

Swathi

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Answer: By Surrender to Sri Guru

For perfect understanding of occupational duty one should fully surrender himself at the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master. The spiritual master will then engage him in doing his duty in such a way that it is pleasing to Krishna. And in this way by pleasing Krishna he will become free from lust. This is the real meaning of varnashrama.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 25 August 2009

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

Become Purely Selfless

The root cause of all of our suffering is selfishness. Each of us considers himself or herself to be the center of the universe. Krishna consciousness means to become purely selfless by serving the root cause of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Humanity has invented so many "isms" for becoming so-called selfless. But anything which falls short of serving the supreme source of all existence is still within the realm of selfishness, either concentrated or extended.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Everything Predestined?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

My question is: Is everything predestined?

Hare Krishna

Rahul

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Answer: Only Within the Material Energy

As long as we remain within the material energy everything is predestined by the law of karma. But each of us has the power to opt out of karma chakra, the wheel of karma, at any time by taking shelter of the supreme person, the source of all existence, Lord Sri Krishna. When we take shelter of Krishna and His spiritual energy we are no longer manipulated by the stringent laws of material nature being dragged helplessly through endless births and deaths in this painful material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 24 August 2009

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

Ten Thousand Years Golden Era

The Krishna consciousness movement is bringing an auspicious 10,000 year golden era of spiritual enlightenment to this troubled planet. Everyone who joins the Krishna consciousness movement will feel immediate relief from the devastating effects of this ever-increasing problematic Kali Yuga (the age of quarrel and hypocrisy). Although the members of the Krishna consciousness movement presently constitute only a very small percentage of the world population, in due course of time this movement will expand its influence exponentially to such an extent that the science of Krishna consciousness will be a mandatory subject matter taught in all schools and colleges worldwide and the government leaders all over the world will rule their countries in accordance with the principles of Krishna consciousness as presented in the Bhagavad-gita.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What's Wrong with Meat Eating?

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

While discussing Krishna and your lessons and mails with an associate he had the following questions which I could not answer sensibly. I would like the correct answer from you so he also could see and correct his thoughts.

What is wrong with eating non vegetarian food (meat)? The Lord Himself has stated that the soul never dies. So what is wrong with the so-called killing of an animal? It will not die, and its soul may be helped by getting a better birth. So in what way is animal killing a sin?

Vijayakumar

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Answer: Torturously Painful for the Animal

Even though the soul does not die when the animal's body is killed, it is a tortuously painful experience for that animal to be forced prematurely out of his body. The karma for inflicting such misery upon an innocent animal is that his killer or anyone who partakes of his flesh must take an animal birth in that species and undergo a similar fate themselves.

Killing an animal prematurely will not help it get a better birth. According to the law of karma he has a certain amount of time allotted to him to live in that particular species. By his being killed he is forced to take birth again in that same species instead of living out his natural lifespan and moving on to the next higher birth in the evolutionary process.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 23 August 2009

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

Intolerable Nonsense

The modern day world situation has gotten so far out of hand that it is intolerable. Innocent cows and children are being murdered every day all over the world. In this connection Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur said, "This material world is not a fit place for a gentleman's living." A Krishna conscious devotee cannot stand to see all of the daily atrocities committed against animals and human beings. Therefore he fully dedicates his life for making a spiritual revolution on this planet to save the poor souls of this age from their ignorance and their misery.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If a Devotee is Hit

Please accept my humble respects.

Sir, in the Bhagavad-gita I read Sri Krishna saying that lust is the root cause of anger. But I don't understand the relationship between anger and lust. Suppose, if a person gets hit by another, he might get angry. But how does lust become a cause for anger in this situation? If a person does not have feelings of lust at all, how does he handle situations where he can get angry? How should have the person mentioned above reacted, if he had no feelings of lust?

Your true student,
Naresh

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Answer: Self Preservation is His Duty

Because a devotee is free of any desire other than serving the Lord his mind is always devoid of anger and peaceful. But because his body is the property of Krishna, if he is attacked by an aggressor, he has a duty to protect his body from being harmed. In such cases for self preservation he can adopt any means necessary to protect his body from injury or death, even if it is necessary to injure or kill his attacker. Even though under such circumstances it may appear that the devotee is acting out of anger, it is not so because his real motivation is his sense of duty to Lord Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 22 August 2009

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

The Non-Existence of Non-Existence

We have nothing to fear from non-existence because the living being has a factual existence which is completely transcendental to time and space. Although the philosophy of ultimate non-existence is popular with the atheists, non-existence is in fact non-existent. It only exists as a concept in the minds of the less intelligent. It appeals to those who are irresponsible because it offers them a future in which they do not have to face the consequences for their misdeeds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is It Okay to Catch a Good Concert?

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

In the 18 August 2009 "Thought for the Day" you have written that knowing and forcing are different. I agree, but when Krishna knows what will happen to us in the future it is 100% sure to happen. It is just like everything is predestined, and we cannot act in different way. This is one of my questions that I got stuck in. Please enlighten me.

In "Thought for the Day" on 19 August you have written, "In Krishna consciousness you don't have to watch movies, travel to exotic places, or meet famous people to try to find adventure." I was completely surprised. I am a violin teacher and have worked for 14 years in a symphony orchestra. If we believe that people like Beethoven, Mozart, etc. are showing a talent which is a gift from Krishna, what is the problem with going to a good concert or watching some good movies?

I apologize if I was rude, please forgive me.

Hare Krishna
Your servant

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Answer: Catch the Eternal Concert Within

Krishna's knowing what we will do does not mean that He is forcing us to act in a particular way. We are free to act as we choose. Krishna's knowing what we will choose does not stop us from making a free choice. Krishna is not controlling our choice of whether to serve Him or not. That choice is always up to us. We can remain suffering in the cycle of birth and death, or we can enjoy an eternal existence full of knowledge and bliss in the transcendental kingdom of God. Which do you want?

If a person is not tasting the inconceivably sweet bliss of Krishna bhakti, he will try to fill in the missing space in his heart with cinemas, concerts, novels, etc. But that person will never find lasting satisfaction in this way. He will still feel an emptiness in his heart. That aching in the heart will only be permanently relieved when he becomes fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness, the eternal concert within.

I have never found you to be rude. I very much appreciate you sincere attempt to free your mind from doubts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 21 August 2009

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

More Powerful than Krishna

Krishna is all-powerful because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence. No one is as powerful or more powerful then He. But pure devotional service is so amazingly powerful that even though Krishna is the supreme power, He becomes completely conquered by pure devotional service. Therefore in a transcendental way Krishna's pure devotee becomes even more powerful than Krishna Himself because the pure devotee is able to control Krishna by his love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: In a Panic Over the Age of the Universe

You were saying that the universe is 155 trillion years old. I am in a total panic hearing this. Ideally there should be no beginning and end for the universe with it only perhaps going through changes.

What do you think?

Jayan

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Answer: Manifestation and Non-Manifestation Phases

It is not a matter of my opinion. I am simply presenting what is coming down from the previous acharyas. The total spiritual sky is eternal. It has a covered portion known as the material sky in which millions and billions of universes are floating. The entire material sky goes through phases of manifestation and non-manifestation in accordance with the exhalation and inhalation of Mahavishnu. During its manifest stage when Mahavishnu exhales, the material universes come out, and during its unmanifest stage when Mahavishnu inhales, the material universes are merged into the total material energy and are withdrawn into the transcendental body of Mahavishnu. Our particular universe was manifested approximately 155 trillion years ago and will be destroyed in approximately 155 trillion years from now. While within the material sky the universes are being manifested and non-manifested for all eternity, within the spiritual sky millions and billions of spiritual planets remain eternally manifested.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 20 August 2009

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

Age of the Universe

The modern day scientists calculate the age of the universe to be 14 billion years. Because to establish this claim they use techniques such as the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, which does not make any sense to the average person, most people do not question their claim and accept it as gospel. But we have seen throughout the history of modern science that one theory comes into popularity for some time until it is eventually displaced by another theory. We have never seen that they have a reached a permanent conclusion. So why should we blindly accept their current theory? Do we need to add even more dogma to our already overly dogmatized world? It is better to take the knowledge that is coming directly from the creator of the universe, who provides us the with scientific fact that the universe is 155 trillion years old. This is the real fact as confirmed in the Vedic wisdom, and it will never change.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting and Cats

I have two cats who enjoy sitting next to me and listening when I chant! Is hearing the chanting of Krishna's holy names beneficial for their soul as well as for me?

Amanda

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Answer: Cats Benefit by Hearing Hare Krishna

Your cats were originally pure devotees of Krishna in the spiritual sky just like you were. While you are currently covered with a human body, they are covered by cat's bodies. By blessing them with the sound of Krishna's names you are helping them to more quickly evolve to the human form of life so that they surrender to Krishna and go back home, back to Godhead.

When Lord Caitanya was traveling through the Jarikhanda forest He was so spiritually powerful that He attracted all the animals to engage in chanting Hare Krishna and dancing in ecstasy. Although we are not so powerful to attract the animals to chant and dance, at least we can bless the animals by letting them hear the beautiful sound of Krishna's names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Caitanya in the Jarikhanda Forest



Wednesday 19 August 2009

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

The Most Adventurous Adventure

In Krishna consciousness you don't have to watch movies, travel to exotic places, or meet famous people to try to find adventure. Simply by connecting with Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all adventure, your life is immediately transformed into the most most amazing adventurous experience. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna reveals that He is the source of all adventure and that he is adventure itself. Therefore when one is fully dovetailed with Krishna through loving devotional service he experiences life as the most invigorating and exciting adventure at every moment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Variation of Dates

Hare Krishna!

Forgive my lack of knowledge or understanding. You wrote on the 14th of August 2009, that day is Srila Prabhupada's day of appearance into this world. But in 2008 you wrote the same thing, on the 24th of August. I am confused. Does this day refers to his birthday into this material world or some other event in his life? I mean, how can we say one year that Srila Prabhupada was born in this world on one day and while in the next year it is on a different day?

Please enlighten me!

Hare Krishna!

Val

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Answer: No Variation on the Vaisnava Calendar

The Vaisnava calendar is based primarily on the phases of the moon, not primarily on the rotations of the sun as the solar calendar is based. We Vaisnavas celebrate the appearance days of the Lord and the great spiritual masters according to the Vaisnava calendar. While on the solar calendar the holy days will usually vary from year to year, on the Vaisnava calendar the holy days occur on the same day every year.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 18 August 2009

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

Tasting the Nectar

If you want to become solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness, you've got to taste its nectar. You've got to somehow experience that sweet flavor of Krishna consciousness, which exceeds by millions and millions time any pleasure that can be squeezed out from the material energy. Once you've gotten this higher taste, no amount of allurement by the material energy will be able to sway your mind even one iota away from complete dedication to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So how to get that taste? By serving those devotees whose hearts are completely free from all vice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If God Is Omniscient...

All scriptures state that God is omniscient and that He knows everything - past, present and future. Scriptures also state that humans have a certain element of free will. If God knows everything about our future, how exactly are we free?

Please clarify.

Your humble servant,

Naveen

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Answer: Knowing and Forcing Are Different.

Knowing what someone will do and forcing them to do it are not the same thing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 17 August 2009

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

Never Underestimate Maya's Power

The pathway back to home, back to Godhead is fraught with many dangers. Even a slight slip in one's practice can lead to complete, total fall down. So how carefully and conscientiously we must tread the path of bhakti? In this regard Lord Sri Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita:

indriyāṇāṁ hi caratāṁ
yan mano 'nuvidhīyate
tad asya harati praj˝āṁ
vāyur nāvam ivāmbhasi

"As a strong wind sweeps away a boat on the water, even one of the roaming senses
on which the mind focuses can carry away a man's intelligence."

--BG 2.67


Just as a slight bit of inattention while driving a car can lead to a fatal automobile accident, in a similar way a slight bit of inattention on the path of bhakti can also be fatal. Therefore we must always pay close attention to what we are doing and make sure that it is pleasing to guru and Krishna, because it is only by pleasing them that we can be successful in attaining the supreme destination of going back home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is the Guru Indispensible?

So the path of transcendental life can only be reached through study with a master? If the perfection is there within oneself, in one's own consciousness, why is the master indispensable? Isn't it another illusion to maintain the subjugation of the masses by a few in the elite of human power? Where is individual liberty? Is it that those in other religions are not saved? Whether they be Christians, Mohammedans, or whatever they may call themselves? What do you think of these statements?

Jose

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Answer: The Sincere Seeker of Truth Welcomes Someone Who Can Reveal It to Him.

We may not like to accept any master or authority other than our own minds. But the reality is that there is a higher power and authority. We are the not the supreme. Each of us is a tiny part of a Complete Whole which is much, much greater than any of us. Like it or not we are indeed subordinate to that from which we have come. We have not created this reality. Rather we were born into it. At the present moment we are in a state of disharmony with our Source. When the individual consciousness is out of sync with the Supreme Consciousness, he must necessarily suffer. This is a highly unnatural condition for him to be in because in his original pure state, he is perfectly dovetailed with the Supreme Consciousness experiencing an eternal existence full of knowledge and full of bliss.

The individual's liberty is to choose whether he would like to live in harmony with the Supreme Consciousness, or whether he would like to strike out on his own and try to create his own new reality in which he is the center of existence. Modern humanity has chosen the latter and has become helplessly entangled in the fourfold miseries of birth, death, old age, and disease. The intelligent and thoughtful person opts out of the "I am the center" mass psychosis seeking an enlightened state of consciousness in which he is liberated from all types of suffering. He has an intuitive sense that there is a higher enlightened consciousness within him. And he seeks out someone who is already self-realized who can guide him how to also become self-realized. He does not think, "I refuse to take help from anyone." Only a person who is infected by false pride would refuse to take help from someone who can give him the key to unlock the door to the eternal treasure house of unlimited love, knowledge, and bliss sitting within.

Krishna consciousness is not a religion. It is the essence of all religions. It can be practiced by anyone in any religion. It means to come to the point of perfectly dovetailing one's individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness, i.e. attaining a state of absolutely pure, selfless devotion to that one Supreme Person, who is the source of all existence. While Krishna consciousness is not a religion, it is religion in its original pure form. It is the pure essence of being itself.

And, by the way, I found your statements to be thought provoking, and I wish you to best in your search for truth. My search for truth was fruitful. I found it by discovering a spiritual master who revealed to me. And I hope that you can find it too!

And one more point I hope that you can understand: The sincere seeker of truth welcomes someone who can reveal it to him. Would a person drowning in the middle of the ocean hundreds of miles from the nearest shore refuse to take help from a rescue boat saying, "I do not want your help. I will swim for the shore on my own."?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 16 August 2009

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

Heading for Global Catastrophe

Our modern day global civilization is obsessed with an ever-increasing desire for material sense gratification on an earth planet with a rapidly depleting capacity to provide it. Unless we can put a brake on our lust for ever-increasing sense gratification we will reach the point of implosion where the entire modern civilization collapses under the weight of its own excesses and mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. The only solution for this impending global catastrophe is to educate the world population on how to become satisfied by connecting with the ocean of unlimited pleasure which is there within. If Krishna consciousness can be thus awakened in the hearts of men, people will be fully satisfied with plain living and high thinking and will no longer be bent like rapists on squeezing more and more sense gratification out of Mother Earth. So let's do it. Let's save the world by inundating it in a tidal wave of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Intelligence or Love for Krishna?

Please accept my respectful obeisances.

May your blessings always be on me.

Sir, which of the following two is of greater importance in the practice of Krishna consciousness: intelligence or love for Krishna?

Warm Regards
Sunil

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Answer: Love for Krishna is the Supreme Intelligence

Love for Krishna is more important and is all important. Without love of Krishna, there is no real intelligence. And when one has love for Krishna he automatically has all intelligence. Therefore there is no need to try to cultivate intelligence independently. If you will simply focus on being perfectly situated in pure love of Krishna, you will automatically become the most intelligent person. Intelligence means to see Krishna within everything and everything within Krishna. One who has such vision can deal with everything perfectly because love for Krishna is the supreme intelligence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 15 August 2009

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

The Spiritual Master's Presence

The spiritual master is present both in his physical form, which is known as vapuh, and in the form of his instructions, which is known as vani. Of these two presences the vani is more important because while vapuh can be present or not present, vani is eternally present for the obedient disciple. In other words, if one wants to always swim in the sweet, transcendental association of the spiritual master, all he has to do is became learned in the teachings of the spiritual master and always follow them as carefully as possible. Then he will not be living in this material world. He will always be living in the transcendental spiritual sky even while remaining externally situated in material body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Significance of Chanting on Japa Beads?

I have noticed that you mention chanting 16 rounds on japa beads. Nowadays we find some devotees using alternative counting methods. Is there any significance to chanting at least 16 rounds on japa beads?

Thank you very much.

Your servant,

Bhakta Krishna

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Answer: Japa Beads Empower Our Chanting

I have seen a tendency in our movement of inventing something new. This is not a good tendency. We should stick to the orders coming down from Srila Prabhupada and the previous authorities. Srila Prabhupada told us to chant "round the beads." Why we should try to invent something new that was not given to us by Srila Prabhupada? Did Srila Prabhupada ever give someone a clicker at the time of initiation? No, he did not. He always gave his disciples japa mala beads because this was what the disciple is to use to count his daily vow of Hare Krishna japa.

There are many examples in our tradition of chanting on beads. Lord Krishna has a japa of 108 beads that He uses to count the cows. Lord Caitanya chanted on beads. Haridas Thakur and the six Goswamis all chanted a prescribed number of rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra on beads. Chanting with beads is prescribed by Santana Goswami in the Hari Bhakti Vilasa. Where is the authorization in the scriptures to introduce some new type of counting system such as the so-called clicker? Clickers (as picture below) cannot be substituted for japa beads.




It is not on the basis of blind faith that we accept japa beads for chanting instead of clickers. There is a practical value in chanting on the beads. Because at the time of initiation we receive the beads that were chanted on by our spiritual master, our beads are sacred. The more we chant on our beads, the more they become surcharged with spiritual energy. And the more they become surcharged with spiritual energy, the more they can assist us by empowering us to dive deeper and deeper into the holy names. By chanting on japa beads we are connecting with Srila Prabhupada's order to chant on beads and thus we gain his transcendental association and his powerful blessings to assist us in taking complete shelter of the holy names. And by taking complete shelter of the Lord's holy names we will quickly achieve spiritual perfection. Clicker chanting does not have the same potency.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Chanting on Japa Beads


Srila Prabhupada Hands Japa Beads to New Initiate

Friday 14 August 2009

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

Srila Prabhupada Vyas Puja


Today is the most auspicious appearance day of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Because the spiritual master is a pure representative of Srila Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of God, we celebrate the day that he appeared in this world as Vyasa Puja. In other words, because the spiritual master is a representative of Srila Vyasadeva, when we worship the spiritual master, through him by the system of disciplic succession, we are worshipping Srila Vyasadeva.

It was Srila Prabhupada who so mercifully saved me from this hellish material existence by accepting me as his disciple on 12 August 1971. And it is he who resides within my heart at every minute mercifully guiding me and blessing me with his divine instructions to keep me eternally engaged in the loving service of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Were it not for Srila Prabhupada's divine mercy I would still be caught up in the clutches of the material energy rotating endlessly in the cycle of birth and death suffering like anything. Therefore it is not possible that I could ever thank him enough for so mercifully saving me. All I can do is give myself to him for all eternity as his totally sold out servant. There is truly nothing more beautiful and wonderful than being completely dedicated to guru and Krishna. It brings unlimited peace and satisfaction to the soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. To read more Vyas Puja homages kindly follow this link:

http://www.krishna.com/en/node/1968

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do We Have any Choice?

Whatever is happening is God's will. It is said that everything is predestined. So, do we have any choice for our karma? Please enlighten me on this subject.

Your servant,

Mahesh

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Answer: Willing and Sanctioning are Different

Although nothing happens without the Lord's sanction, it is not a fact that everything is happening according to His will. It is not His will that the living entities disobey His orders. Although He does sanction them to have the free choice to obey or disobey Him, it certainly not His will that they disobey Him.

So don't get confused into thinking that sanctioning something and willing something are the same. They are quite different. Just like the government wants the citizens to stop smoking but sanctions the stubborn smokers to keep smoking under restriction.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 13 August 2009

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

Krishna Janmastami

Today in Austin we are celebrating Sri Krishna Janmastami, the transcendental appearance day of Lord Krishna. This day is the most wonderful opportunity to dive deeply into the transcendental ocean of Krishna consciousness by increasing our hearing, chanting, and serving along with decreasing our eating by fasting all day long up until after the midnight arati, which celebrates the moment of the Lord's appearance 5,000 years ago in Mathura, India. Krishna's appearing on this earth was the greatest blessing for the suffering humanity. He came to annihilate the demons and even more so for the protection of His devotees.

Everyone is invited to visit their nearest ISKCON temple to participate in the wonderful festivities and to take advantage of this most auspicious day for becoming fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting in the Mind?

Although I am a beginner in chanting, I wanted to ask if is okay to sometimes chant in the mind as well, I have tried it sometimes and it gives a very fast soothing effect, yet I wanted to ask about it.

Also because my schedule is also very tiring so finding out time is sometimes difficult, how many rounds is it recommended for a beginner like me? What time of the day is recommended for chanting in all seasons of the year?

Thank You.

Bharat

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Answer: Our Chanting Must be Audible

In this Kali Yuga we are not so advanced that we can fully absorb ourselves in Krishna smaranam (remembrance) simply by thinking of His name. This is why the Brihad Naradiya Purana prescribes that in this age of Kali we must chant the holy names of God if we want to become self realized. So, if we want to be successful in spiritual life, we must every day audibly chant the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads for at least 16 rounds. The best thing all year round is to chant early in the morning. If you cannot chant 16 rounds now, chant as many as possible and gradually work your way up to 16 rounds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 12 August 2009

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

Kingdom of God on Earth

There is no sense continuing on with this madness of the modern civilization. All we have to do is put God back in the center in all spheres of life and we can have the kingdom of God right here on the earth. What could be more wonderful? Everybody can be happy. Everyone can live in peace and prosperity. We simply have to stop putting ourselves forward as the center of universe. How can we claim to be the center? Did we create the cosmos, or are we products of something much greater than ourselves?


Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Select a Guru?

I wonder whom to make my spiritual master, as I have no perfect knowledge myself to test the person whether he is following the shastras (the scriptures) and his own spiritual master perfectly. I feel sometimes I should select my master fast. Please advise what is good for me whether to have patience and read thoroughly Prabhupada's books first and then select a master or something else? Basically I am not able to develop a faith in any of the Prabhupada's disciples who are living today and always feel that nobody is as good as Srila Prabhupada. Please forgive me if I appear arrogant.

Hare Krishna.

Your servant,
Vishal

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Answer: See Who is Purely Representing Krishna and Srila Prabhupada

The original spiritual master is Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, because He is the source of all knowledge and is the supreme authority.

Right now you are feeling that you are lacking in perfect knowledge and cannot therefore discern who is a bona fide spiritual master. Therefore you should deeply absorb yourself in studying and following the teachings given by Srila Prabhupada in his books. In this way you will become nicely connected with the Supersoul, Lord Sri Krishna within your heart, who will then reveal to you who is your spiritual master.

Srila Prabhupada will always remain in a completely unique position as the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON and the pre-eminent acharya for the modern age. No one can ever take his position. So you simply must find a spiritual master who purely represents him and who can therefore perfectly connect you with him. Even though such a spiritual master is simply a tiny servant of Srila Prabhupada, by purely representing Srila Prabhupada that spiritual master can act as powerfully as Srila Prabhupada for delivering his disciples by the divine potency which Srila Prabhupada has invested in him.

I hope that you see how I am purely presenting and following the teachings of Srila Prabhupada so that you can put your faith in my instructions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 11 August 2009

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

No Thoughts

Some who claim to be transcendentalists claim that the perfection of consciousness is to make your mind completely, totally free from any thoughts. They try to merge themselves into a state of perfect oneness or for some a state of perfect void. But such "no thoughts" states are not attainable. Why? Because the mind by its very nature is always active. So our perfection is not to make the mind blank. Our real perfection is to always engage the mind in thinking about Krishna or God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Acceptance without Understanding?

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

When we do not understand something we have to refer to the guru, the devotees, and the scriptures. But even if after consulting them we are still not convinced, do we have to accept or not?

Would you please explain what is the difference between blind adherence and real realization?

Thank you very much,

Your servant,

Ali

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Answer: You Must Inquire Further

When you are not convinced, you should not blindly accept. If you are not convinced, you should inquire further from the spiritual master and the devotees as much as is necessary until you have perfect comprehension of the science of the Absolute Truth.

When one has personally experienced the truth of Krishna one's realization is real and his adherence to the practices of Krishna consciousness are based on that personal experience, not blind adherence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 10 August 2009

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

Love of God Sleeping Within

Just as a fish is naturally inclined towards water, everyone, even the atheists, has love of God within them. With the exception of those who are spiritually awakened that love of God is presently asleep within them. It is currently in a dormant state like an inactive volcano lying deep within their hearts. So the fact is that everyone is a devotee, a lover of God. It's just that most people don't know it yet. Therefore the greatest welfare work is to awaken the dormant Krishna consciousness or love of God that everyone has but has currently simply forgotten.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Free the Mind from Material Thoughts?

I try to chant the name of God in my mind with each of my breath, but sometimes I find that although I am chanting the name of God within myself my mind is also trying to think of worldly love, lust, pride and other attributes side by side. Is this a sin? Please show me the path.

Your student

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Answer: Regular Daily Japa

Although you may be trying, it is not possible at your present stage that you are factually chanting God's names in your mind with your every breath. This is why your mind is still disturbed by so many rubbish thoughts. This is why you need to adopt a regular daily routine of audibly uttering the names of God while fingering japa mala beads. The regular daily practice of japa chanting will factually establish your mind in Krishna consciousness. The result will be that you mind will no longer be tormented by material thoughts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 9 August 2009

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

Sublime Transcendental Existence

Anyone who seriously takes up the wondrous pathway of Krishna consciousness will immediately enter into an auspicious life free from anxieties and will be blessed with a sublime transcendental existence which minimizes the value of liberation from the cycle of birth and death. In other words, by awakening one's dormant Krishna consciousness one is already liberated even though still situated within a material body here in this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where to Find a Perfect Master?

Where do we find the perfect devotee or a perfect master? I understand that such people are rare and it is very difficult to approach them? Is it possible that one gets the knowledge on his own and advance on spiritual path? Are there any such sources of knowledge and how can we get access to them?

Please forgive my ignorance.

With Regards,

Santosh

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Answer: A Perfect Follower/Teacher of the Bhagavad-Gita

Finding a perfect devotee spiritual master is not at all difficult. All you have to do is find someone who is purely following and presenting the Bhagavad-gita as it is. Such a person is naturally friendly to all and is thus very easy to approach.

Can one become a doctor or a lawyer on their own simply by studying the medical books or the law books? No. That is not possible. One must study under the qualified medical professor or law professor. Then one can become qualified to become a doctor or a lawyer. Similarly, one who is serious about spiritual realization must seek out a qualified professor of the spiritual science, that person who practices and teaches Bhagavad-gita as it is. Then by studying and practicing under such a bona fide spiritual master, the spiritual aspirant can become a fully realized successful transcendentalist.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 8 August 2009

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

We Need Enlightened Leaders

The current slate of world leaders is incompetent. They are unqualified to give guidance to the people how to be happy. Someone who is illusioned cannot guide others how to become free from illusion. Therefore we are currently stuck with a fool's paradise in which the blind are leading the blind and everybody is stuck in the ditch of repeated birth and death. The only way out of this quagmire is if there now emerges a class of enlightened spiritual leaders who can show by example and teach by giving detailed instructions to the people in general how to become situated on the transcendental platform of self-realization beyond sense gratification. To become an enlightened leader requires that one becomes a follower of the great enlightened leaders of the past. One cannot become an enlightened leader simply by advertising oneself as such, as many such cheaters are doing nowadays.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Improve Japa?

Srila Gurudeva,

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

In the last few weeks I have noted that the quality of my japa has gone down. I am chanting almost in a mechanical way and many times fast. Please tell me how can I improve the quality of japa?

Vishal

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Answer: Deeply Beg for Full Surrender

Instead of just uttering Krishna's names mechanically, meditate on them in the mood of begging Krishna for full surrender to Him with such intensity as to fully assimilate this mood of complete surrender into the innermost regions of your consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 7 August 2009

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

Committing Global Suicide

One of the symptoms of this godless age of Kali is scarcity of rain. At the present moment this shortage of rain is becoming more and more manifested on this planet. For example, a recent article in the Times of India reports that the monsoon winds that bring rain every year to north India's food bowl have this year been dry and desert-like.

As this lack of water drags on over the years the amount of desert land on this planet will drastically increase while the land fit for crop production becomes more and more scarce. It will become increasingly problematic how to feed an ever more distressed human civilization.

Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita that rain comes as the result of sacrifice. The Brihad-Naradiya Purana states that the recommended sacrifice for this age is the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. And the Kali-Santarana Upanisad tells us that the Hare Krishna mantra is the most powerful, recommended mantra for this age of Kali:

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


So if we, the human society, were regularly engaged in the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, there would be ample rain for everyone all over the world. But in a world that is becoming ever-increasingly more atheistic and hedonistic who wants to chant the names of God anymore? This lack of chanting means that practically we are committing global suicide.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Severe Devastating Drought in India--2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Serving Krishna Serves Everyone?

My dear Srila Gurudeva

In Srila Prabhupada's purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, Fifth Canto, Chapter 15, Text 13 I came across the following sentences:

"Simply by satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one satisfies the demigods and all other living entities without differentiation. If one pours water on the root of a tree, all the branches, twigs, flowers and leaves are nourished."

If this is true, then why some parents are not supportive when their children practice bhakti? Is it because the devotee is not fully satisfying Lord Krishna?

Why is it that we always find some people who don't like devotees?

Your servant,

Bhaktivinode das

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Answer: Yes, But They May Not Realize It.

It is a fact that by watering the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished. And similarly by serving Krishna, who is the root of all existence, we are rendering the best service to all living beings everywhere. That some of them do not recognize how they are being served and benefitted does not negate the fact that they are being rendered the best service. This simply means that they are deeply in ignorance. Krishna is always satisfied when we fully surrender ourselves to Him. The displeasure of materialistic men does not indicate that Krishna is displeased. It simply indicates how much they are in ignorance, covered by the three modes of material nature. So now let us fully dedicate ourselves to awakening them from their deep slumber so that they can appreciate how much they are being benefitted by our service to Krishna and how much more they will be benefitted when they adopt a life of devotional service to Lord Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 6 August 2009

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

The Most Secret of all Secrets

We want to introduce the entire human society to the most secret of all secrets. Since it is the highest knowledge, the perfection of wisdom, it's really uncanny that it should be so unknown. But when we consider that the nature of the material world is forgetfulness, we can understand why Krishna consciousness, even though the highest knowledge, is so unknown. In this connection there is a saying:

'Tis folly to be wise in that place where ignorance is bliss.

We can see how true this is. Sometimes those who try to spread the secret wisdom of God are punished severely as in the case of Lord Jesus Christ and Haridas Thakur.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Turning the World On to Krishna

in Russia--6 October 2007


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Purity Enhances Chanting or Chanting Enhances Purity?

Does avoiding non-vegetarian food, intoxicants, gambling and illicit sex enhance chanting? Or is it that chanting enhances the avoidance of non-vegetarian food, intoxicants, gambling and illicit sex?

Sunil

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Answer: Both. So Now Become Perfect and See God

The answer is "both." So whichever way you approach the science of Krishna consciousness, if you will do it with sincerity, you will be successful. You will first attain the mode of goodness in which passion and ignorance are practically absent. And from there, if you continue steadily, you will make further progress to the stage where passion and ignorance are absolutely absent, the stage of unmixed sattva or suddha-sattva. And upon reaching this suddha-sattva stage you will always be able to see Krishna eye to eye by dint of pure affection for the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 5 August 2009

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

Anxiety is Unnatural

Anxiety is unnatural. It's the psychological disease that one naturally suffers from if he unnaturally misidentifies himself with the rotting material body. How could the eternal, all-knowing, all-blissful living being ever be satisfied by identifying himself with a bag of material elements which is temporary, full of ignorance, and full of misery? It is just not possible. So why should we continue endeavoring for satisfaction in this unnatural way? Such endeavor is the epitome of foolishness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Turning the World On to Krishna

in Kaunas, Lithuania--15 May 2008


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Everything Predestined?

Regarding "Thought for the day" for 4th August 2009, I was wondering that if everything is predestined and in control of God how does our having an independent choice make a difference? Isn't it that I'll make those choices that bring results that are predestined? I am at utter confusion at this topic. Do I really have a choice? I have seen that regardless of what I think, I am doing something else altogether. More like addiction. If so, how to get rid of it?

Thank you.

Gaurav

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Answer: Not If You Surrender to Krishna

Within this material existence it is a fact that by the stringent law of karma everything is predestined. But predestiny is overcome as soon as we surrender to Krishna. As soon as we surrender to Lord, we are no longer tossed by the waves of predestiny. The devotee becomes the architect of his own destiny when he surrenders to Krishna, and he thus enjoys an eternal existence of full freedom beyond the clutches of predestiny.

If you want to get rid of your addiction to material addiction, you must replace it with an addiction to Krishna's name. Therefore we advise you that you cultivate a serious addiction by chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day on japa mala beads.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 4 August 2009

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

Let's Turn on the Whole World to Krishna

Let's do something really revolutionary! Let's turn the whole world onto Krishna! What could be more wonderful and exciting than this? And if even if we are not successful, we will give the greatest pleasure to Krishna by making this endeavor. He says that there is no servant in this world more dear to Him than the one who broadcasts His glories and that there will never be anyone more dear. So what do we have to lose for making this effort? Only millions of lifetimes of anxieties. I think I can spare that. And if we can save even one person from the ocean of birth and death, our endeavor will be more than worth it millions of times over.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Independence Under Krishna's Control?

Hare Krishna Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

In continuation to August 3 2009's question in "Thought for the Day", you said since the jiva has some amount of independence, its misuse puts him under the clutches of maya. But it is also said that not even a blade of grass moves without Krishna's will. So, isn't that independence is also governed by Him?

And my second question is , when the jiva takes birth for the first time in this material world where does his karma account come from? Since all the while in the past He was serving the Supreme, how does the karma theory work?

Always at your service,

Haribol!

Regards,

Anu

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Answer: That Would Not Be Independence.

If independence were under Krishna's control, it would not be true independence. Independence means the freedom to choose as one likes without anyone else controlling one's choice. Krishna has given us this independence because love cannot be forced. Love must come from a free choice. Since Krishna wants our love, He gives us a free choice to love Him or leave Him. Either way we are still under the control of His energy. But we have a choice which energy we choose to serve, His spiritual energy or His material energy.

The jiva, the living entity, begins his karmic account from the very moment when He tries to take the position of being the center of existence, and he becomes more and more entangled in maya's grip, the more he tries to enjoy independently from the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 3 August 2009

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

The Topmost Lifestyle

In this material world everyone is trying to enjoy as much as possible. But in spite of all their endeavors because they are trying to please the material body rather than the true self within they are still not very satisfied. We suggest that they should instead adopt the topmost lifestyle of Krishna consciousness, which focuses primarily on satisfying the self within and gives only secondary importance to the temporary material body. If they seriously do so, they will gradually learn the art of enjoying life like anything at every moment. Once they get a real taste of Krishna consciousness they will not want to revert to material sense gratification for any reason because they will be solidly situated on the transcendental platform.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching the Topmost Lifestyle

Riga, Latvia--October 2007


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Mahamaya in the Spiritual World?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my obeisance, and all glories to Srila Prabhupada and to you.

I have a question regarding the fall of the living being, the jiva. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, 1st Canto, Chapter 1, Verse 1 it is stated:

"I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Sri Krishna, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world".

I understand yogamaya, the spiritual energy, is conducting the spiritual world and she expands in the form of mahamaya, the material energy, to conduct the material world. In the case of the jiva falling from the spiritual world, would it not be the influence of mahamaya, and how is she existing in the eternal abode of Sri Krishna?

Your servant,

Jayananda das

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Answer: No. She is Only in the Material World.

It is a fact that mahamaya, the material energy, does not act in the spiritual world. So this may cause one to wonder that since mahamaya is not present in the spiritual world, what could influence the jiva, the living entity, to leave the spiritual world and come to the material world?

What happens is that since the living entity is part of Krishna, who is supremely independent, he also possesses a minute degree of independence. Since he possesses independence he must necessarily possess the power to misuse it. If he chooses to misuse it, he instantaneously finds himself in the clutches of mahamaya, the material energy. He does not require the power of the material energy to misuse his independence because his independence alone is sufficient empowerment. But as soon as he does so, he is immediately bound hands and foot by the material energy until that time when he is fortunate to be released by the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna's pure devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 2 August 2009

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

Don't Be a Fool

Whatever you do, do not waste your human life in the foolish pursuit of material sense gratification. Instead you should focus your energies for achieving the supreme perfection of existence by regaining your original, eternally blissful, fearless identity as a loving servant of the dazzlingly splendorous Supreme Personality of Godhead in His amazingly wondrous transcendental abode in the spiritual sky. That supramundane realm is complete devoid of anxiety and is full of unlimited varieties of pleasing, loving relationships.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Were All Souls Originally With Krishna?

Were all we souls originally with Krishna in His highest abode? Say a devotee makes it back to Godhead, does he have a chance of falling down again? Or, were we never originally with Krishna in His highest abode and that's our final destination without the risk of falling down? Thank you for your time.

R. Kings

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Answer: Yes

All of us here in this material world were originally with Krishna in the spiritual world serving Him as His devotees. By misuse of our minute independence we fell down into the cycle of birth and death. Just as it is sometimes said, "Once burned, twice shy," if we realize our mistake and go back to Godhead, we will not make the same mistake twice. Of course, since we have free will eternally we could fall a second time. But who would stick their hand in the fire a second time after already being burned once?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 1 August 2009

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

Know Who You Are

You've got to know who you are, otherwise your entire life will be wasted. If you don't know who are, your energy will not be properly utilized. Instead of serving the needs of the self within, you will end up serving the temporary material body, which although here today will be gone tomorrow. This is the pathetic current condition of the human population. Therefore the entire society must now be educated in the science of self-realization so that everyone can know who they are and thus have the greatest opportunity to utilize their life's energy perfectly for attaining the supreme happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is God a Human Being?

When I was 19 years old, I had a question. I was captivated by that question: Is God a human being?

Can you give an answer on that question?

RenÚ

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Answer: The Supreme Super Human

Although God is the Supreme Person and manifests a human-like form with two hands, two legs, etc. we should not think that He is a human being like you and me, who is subject to the laws of birth, death, old age, and disease. He is Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since everything which exists is His emanated energy He is the original of all existence. There is nothing that exists besides what He is manifesting from His transcendental form.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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