Thought for the Day

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

Home | Thought for The Day | Audio | Videos | Photos | Itinerary | Meditations on Pure Bhakti | Offerings | Services  
| Transcribed Lectures | Contact Us | Guest Feedback| What's New |

Click here to receive "Thought for the Day" in your email
Click here to see other services rendered by His Grace Sankarshan Dasa Adhikari



His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

The Ultimate Self Realization Course (tm)

Presenting the World's Leading Self Realization Training  System Guiding Thousands Around the Globe to the Highest Enlightenment

Under the guidance and inspiration of ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Dedicated to bringing about  a spiritual revolution for the enlightenment of all living beings on the planet

Espa˝ol                      Русскйи            Franšais


His Grace Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Special New Release--Hear It Right Now!!
Sankarshan Das Adhikari Public Hall Lecture
Timisoara, Romania  Saturday 24 March 2007

Link to Hear Lecture Right Now!!

Special Announcements!

Extraordinary videos by Sankarshan Prabhu

Explaining Krishna Consciousness Philosophy in Istanbul, Turkey  (alternate link*)
Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters Chanting Hare Krishna in Ecstasy  (alternate link*)
Tallahassee Kirtan  (alternate link*)
Kirtan in Sydney, Australia
Enlightenment by the Sea   (Medium Resolution)

(* optimized for users behind firewalls, or without Microsoft Media installed, or Mac, or Linux users)


Brand New!  Now Available!

94 Photographs from SDA's Recent World Tour!

Link to photo gallery

See

 Sankarshan Prabhu's

 Itinerary

Get Krishna's Special Mercy by Rendering Devotional Service

If you'd like to contribute something to help cover the expenses of Sankarshan Prabhu's European Lecture Series you can

Click here to make a donation


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.

 Email Sankarshan Prabhu
 

Meet
Sankarshan Prabhu

If you would like to meet Sankarshan Prabhu or hear his lectures, you may contact us directly for an appointment or specific information on where and when his lectures will be held.

Send Email

Do You Have Questions or Need Guidance?

All inquiries are welcome.

Feel free to call or email us.

Contact Information: Phone: 1-512-835-2121
or
Email your questions
Saturday 31 October 2009

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

How to Never Be Defeated

In the material world everyone is trying to always be a winner, but this is not possible because for every winner there must a loser. However, in Krishna consciousness it is possible to always the winner. In fact when one is in full Krishna consciousness he IS always the winner. How is this so? The devotee of Krishna accomplishes this by utilizing every circumstance he finds himself in to increase his absorption in Krishna consciousness. In this way he is never defeated, and he is always the winner. No matter what happens to him he is always increasing his spiritual assets more and more every day.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Strong Bhakti Depend on Anxiety?

Please accept my humble obeisances

Sir, is the intensity of bhakti strongest in time of anxiety? If yes, does this mean that one cannot reach strong intensity of bhakti when there is no anxiety?

Regards,
Sunil

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Bhakti is a Fully Independent Gift.

Bhakti means to become devoted the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. Bhakti does not depend on anxiety. Bhakti is a gift that we receive from someone else who has bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 30 October 2009

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

Don't Be an Ingrate

Krishna consciousness is based on loving relations with devotees. Indeed, Krishna says that if we are not the devotees of His devotees, He will not accept our devotion. Therefore we have always be very careful that we deal with devotees in a devotional way, not in a materialistic way. The devotees have sacrificed their lives to help us gain relief from cycle of birth and death. Therefore we should never be ungrateful and see them as ordinary people of this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Complaint: Do Not be Judgmental

I enjoy your insights and intentions. However, today I have not enjoyed your use of the word "fools"! I doubt very much that Krishna would ever have chosen a sarcastic and derogatory description for anyone, even those He knew were not on the correct path. You are being judgmental in the extreme here, which all sacred texts advise against, as none of we humans are perfect nor do we know the "whole story", which only Krishna would and we will when we reach self-realization. I suggest that you meditate on this aspect of yourself and question whether your ego needs some adjustment, downwards.

With love and light,
Your reader

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: That is Being Judgmental

Thank you very much for your kind words of appreciation and also your honest words. It is very nice that you have so honestly and openly revealed your heart to me.

But, I humbly beg to point out to you that because I am a messenger on behalf of Krishna I am simply repeating His words. It is not that I am saying something different from what Krishna has spoken. Lord Krishna directly states in the 9th Chapter of the Bhagavad-gita that those who deride Him are fools. So kindly do not be judgmental with me. If you want to criticize someone for using the word "fools", you will have to criticize Lord Krishna directly. But kindly note in this connection that if we criticize others for criticizing, we are guilty of exactly the same thing that we are criticizing them for.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 29 October 2009

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

The Perfection of Selflessness

Krishna consciousness is the perfection of selflessness. As soon as we abandon making Krishna or God the center of our existence we tread into the dangerous selfish waters of considering ourselves to be the center of existence. Just as the hand in its healthy state serves the whole body, the living being in his healthy state naturally serves the Complete Whole Supreme Personality of Godhead. If the hand tries to enjoy the food separately from the body, it will find that it has no power to ingest the food and utilize its nutritional value. But when the hand agrees to serve the whole body by supplying the foodstuffs through the mouth to the belly, the belly becomes satisfied and the nutritional value of the eatables is then distributed throughout the body for the satisfaction of each and every part of the body including the hand.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Jesus is God. Why Present Krishna?

I am a fully committed Catholic and believe in Jesus our God, who is a creator and savior. Why does Lord Krishna appear in your messages?

Thanks,

Marques

Klang, Malaysia

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Jesus is the Son of Krishna

Lord Jesus never claims that he is the father or the creator. He always presents himself as the subordinate servant of his father, the Supreme Lord. Because he is one in purpose with his father he is called God the Son. But this does not mean that he is God the Father. Krishna declares in the Bhagavad-gita that He is God the Father. So based on the statements of the Bhagavad-gita and the Bible we can understand that Krishna is God the Father and Jesus is God the Son. Indeed the word "Christ" is an etymological derivative of the Sanskrit word "Krishna" and is therefore also accepted as a name of God. Just as we call John, the son of Mr. Smith, John Smith-- Jesus is called Jesus Christ because he is Jesus, the son of Krishna or Christ. In other words Jesus is his first name and Christ is his surname or last name.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 28 October 2009

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

Nectarean Ocean of Bhakti Bliss

If we engage in the activities of devotional service in a mechanical, routine way, we will not taste the desired results. We will not feel that we are swimming in a nectarean ocean of bhakti bliss. But if we try to do everything in a loving mood for the pleasure of our spiritual master and Lord Sri Krishna, magic will happen. We will feel how we entering into another dimension of consciousness which is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge, and our hearts will become full of compassion for the billions of people who are now suffering in the ignorance of not knowing who they really are and what is the purpose of their existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Not Say "Rama Consciousness"?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Sir, I am confused about a thing. Why is Krishna Consciousness not called "Rama Consciousness"? Does the word "Rama" have the same amount of potency as the word "Krishna"?

Regards,
Sunil

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: The Name "Krishna" Has Extra Potency

If you want to call the perfectional stage of consciousness "Rama Consciousness", you can do so because Lord Rama is also the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But according to the revealed scriptures simply by chanting the name of Krishna once, one can attain the same results achieved by chanting the holy name of Rama three times. Therefore those who are highly learned in Vedic wisdom naturally prefer the term "Krishna consciousness".

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 27 October 2009

from the Atlanta, Georgia, USA Airport
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

It's Hard to Hit Moving Targets

Just like the battlefield principle that it is very difficult to shoot a moving target, if we keep ourselves always busy in devotional service 24 hours a day, the material energy will never be able to capture us. We have ample activities to keep ourselves constantly fully busy for the rest of our lives: hearing about Krishna, chanting His names, remembering Him, cooking for Him, and taking over the world for Him. What could be more exciting than to be fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness for all of eternity?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Fearless of Death?

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

Is it really true that a devotee doesn't fear death? I understand that death is the most painful process so how can a devotee be fearless of death? Do devotees also experience pain just like any other people while leaving the body? How does a devotee transcend the misery of pain at the the time of death?

Your servant,

Chandra Chaitanya Das

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Prepare for the Ultimate Dream Vacation

If you were saving up for many years to go on a dream vacation, and finally after many years of pinching every penny you had purchased your tickets, got your visa, got your vacation time from your job and now were all set to fly, how would you feel? Let's say it was your first time ever to fly and you were a little nervous about what it would be like to take off in an airplane. But what would you be feeling? Would you be excited in anticipation of what it would be like to be spending quality time in the ultimate vacation spot with no anxiety about job pressure, fighting it out in the commute on the way to your office, or paying your bills? Okay, perhaps the take off in the airplane would be a bit jarring. But wouldn't the small inconvenience be worth it for the incredible benefit you would be getting?

So just try to understand from the above example how someone who is fixed in Krishna consciousness feels about death and prepare yourself now for the ultimate exciting adventure of entering the wondrous spiritual sky and reviving your long lost personal loving relationship with the all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 26 October 2009

from ISKCON Atlanta, Georgia, USA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

I, Me, Mine

The theme song of material existence is "I, me, mine." In other words in spite of the polished covering of being Mr. Nice Guy everyone is caught up in thinking themselves the center of the universe and the owner of everything. Beneath the facade of benevolence runs the undercurrent of selfishness which often rears its ugly head when least expected. This mentality is described in the Bhagavad-gita, and George Harrison, being inspired by Srila Prabhupada, has written about it in his song, "I, Me, Mine" as follows:

All I can hear I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
Even those tears I me mine, I me mine, I me mine.
No-one's frightened of playing it
Ev'ryone's saying it,
Flowing more freely than wine,
All thru' the day I me mine.

So how do we escape this selfish "I, me, mine" syndrome? It's very simple. All we have to do is chant Hare Krishna as much as possible, the more the better. Then by the influence of the Mahamantra, the king of all mantras, the "I, me, mine" consciousness which is currently polluting our hearts will gradually be transformed into perfect selflessness, pure Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Desire Pure Bhakti or Back to Godhead?

Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that we have to pray only for the devotional service and not for any spiritual benedictions or material benefits. So which is better for us: to aim for going back to Godhead or for getting pure devotional service?

Your humble servant and fallen soul,

Jithender

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Pure Bhakti Qualifies You for Back to Godhead

You should focus on pure devotional service because this will automatically qualify you to go back to Godhead. If you simply desire to go back to Godhead without developing pure devotional service, you will remain in this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 25 October 2009

from Tuscaloosa, Alabama USA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Highest Form of Renunciation

On Friday 23 October 2009 we were flying from Austin to Atlanta. During a stopover at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport I finished writing and formatting "Thought for the Day", but I did not have time sufficient time to upload it before we had to board our flight. Once on board I saw a notice that the plane was equipped with wi-fi. Taking advantage of a free introductory promotion I was able to go online at 30,000 feet and upload "Thought for the Day". Previously it was considered that saintly persons must remain detached from the material world by not using any of its modern amenities. But Srila Rupa Goswami has taught the principle that the highest form of renunciation is to utilize everything in the service of Krishna. Since everything both material and spiritual is the energy of God it makes sense that everything should be used in His service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Doesn't ISKCON Plant Trees?

I offer my humble obeisances unto your lotus feet, Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Global warming is becoming a serious issue now. If the climate becomes hot, people coming to temple would reduce especially in Eastern countries. Whom will we preach if people don't come ? If people are suffering from epidemics and hot climate, it will be difficult for us preach them at that time. ISKCON is known for its management.

Why doesn't ISKCON make a department to stop global warming and plant trees. This earth is created by Lord Krishna and taking its care is also a kind of service to Him. There are thousands of devotees of ISKCON, and if you order them it can make a big difference. Please do something about it, Gurudeva.

An eternal servitor to Lord Krishna,
Dhaval

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Planting the Tree of Bhakti in All Hearts

In order to stop global warming we must know what is the actual cause of global warming. All the imbalances within nature are going on due to the consciousness imbalance within the hearts of the modern day population. Instead of seeing everything as the property of God and thus meant to be engaged in His service, the present human society sees the world as its property meant to be used for its enjoyment. Therefore by the stringent laws of nature they are being punished for this criminal mentality by so many disturbances such as global warming, terrorism, epidemics, tsunamis, earthquakes, war, and economic turmoil.

Although planting trees is a very good thing, it is not that merely by planting trees that we can bring nature back into balance. It we want a real solution to the ever more catastrophic situation on this planet, it is time to focus our energies on its underlying cause, our lack of Krishna consciousness, because it is only through Krishna consciousness that this planet can be saved from impending doom. The tree of Krishna bhakti must now be planted in the hearts of all. Therefore we are requesting that all thoughtful members of the human society should join the Krishna consciousness movement for bringing about the respiritualization of the entire human society. This and only this will restore the much desired balance within nature.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 24 October 2009

from ISKCON Temple, Atlanta, Georgia
------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

How to Save the World

The entire human society is sound asleep in the clutches of maya. How to save them? How was Rome built? One brick at a time. So if we want to save the world we must do it one person at a time beginning with ourselves. After all, if I don't save myself how I can expect to save others? It is not possible. So our first priority is to save ourselves and then to try to give Krishna consciousness to each person that we meet. In this way gradually the entire world can be saved.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

------------------------------------------------------------------
Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: No Taste from Bhakti. What to Do?

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

I read your emails daily and they are very inspiring. You are doing really wonderful service.

My question is this: When I was a new devotee, Lord Krishna gave me so much taste and thus I was inspired from within to surrender more and more and thus I got initiated. But recently, I don't feel much taste at all. I do all my service with an attitude of duty only. But that is not the worst part. The worst part is that I feel no taste in chanting. Please tell me what I can do.

Thank you so much.

Your servant, K.B.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Continue Faithfully.

Unlimited Taste Will Come. You are being tested now to see if you are really doing devotional service out of duty or if you are still holding on to the desire to be the enjoyer. Taste or no taste, you must faithfully continue serving and chanting. If you will persevere through this period of spiritual drought, you will gradually enter into a wondrous spiritual paradise of unlimited eternal bliss and knowledge and become a spotlessly pure devotee of the Lord. Chanting and serving now, even when there is no taste, will bring you the greatest spiritual rewards. So whatever you do, don't give up. Try even harder now. This it what you must do.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 23 October 2009

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

Only Fools Like to Be Cheated

The material energy or maya is always trying to pull us away from Krishna offering quick, cheap thrills which lead to nothing but misery. Therefore the expert transcendentalists have trained themselves not to be swayed by these allurements keeping themselves always fixed in applying the understanding of what is in their highest self interest, namely to be fully absorbed 24/7 in the transcendental name, fame, form, pastimes, entourage, paraphernalia, etc. of the all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

So, forget the quick, cheap thrills. Only fools like to be cheated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Mind and Intelligence

I offer you my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Gurudeva, I am reading the Bhagavad-gita and a lot of places I am coming through phrases like "Fix your mind and intelligence on Lord Krishna." Mind and intelligence sound quite synonymous. What is the difference between mind and intelligence?

An insignificant servitor to Lord Krishna,
Dhaval


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Like the Reins and the Driver

The mind is the pivot point of the active sense organs and the intelligence is that which analyzes. The senses are compared to horses, the mind is like the reins, the intelligence is like the driver, and the passenger is like the self.

Srila Prabhupada explains the difference in this way, "Mind is the instrument for feeling different material experiences, but intelligence is deliberative and can change everything for the better."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 22 October 2009

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

Speaking With Perfect Knowledge

It is often thought by those who are not self-realized that since we cannot see the form of God He must not have a form and that because we have a form we have imagined that He also has a form. This is like our friend Dr. Frog who had never experienced a body of water bigger than his well and therefore concluded that his well was the biggest body of water in the entire world. When our knowledge is limited we should take help from those who have greater knowledge. The great acaryas such as Lord Brahma have personally seen God and have very nicely shared with us what they have experienced. If we take advantage of their knowledge, we will easily become knowledgeable. A little boy may not understand mathematics. But when his father tells him that two plus two equals four and he repeats it, he is speaking perfect knowledge. Similarly, if we hear from the great acaryas what the form of God looks like and we repeat that description, we are speaking with perfect knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Imaginary Forms of God

If it is wrong to portray God as an old man, why would it be justifiable to picture Him as a boy? Surely these are only anthropomorphic images which only serve to appease our need for 'seeing is believing' and further our worship of youth. Was youth not once described as being 'wasted on the young'?

Your comments will be most appreciated.

Andrew

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: God's Form is Not Imaginary

Thank you very much for revealing your mind to me regarding the "God as an old man"-"God as an eternal youth" controversy.

Actually in this connection, there is no controversy. The form of God is not an anthropomorphic concoction. In other words, it is not that we concoct a form of God according to our imagination. The actual reality is just the opposite. It is theomorphic. In other words we humans have gotten a form fashioned after the original form, the form of God. Since God has two arms, two legs, etc, we also have forms with two arms, two legs, etc. Krishna is not depicted as a youth because we are worshipping youth. He is presented in this way because this is His actual form. He is factually an eternal youth who never ages past sixteen to twenty years. It is confirmed both in the Bible and in the Vedic wisdom that we have gotten forms after the form of God. It is not that we have imagined Him to have a form like ours.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 21 October 2009

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

Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day

This is the day in 1977 when His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada departed from this world. It is a day of mourning our separation from his physical presence and also of celebrating how he remains always within our hearts in the form of his transcendental instructions. If he were physically present, he could certainly wonderfully resolve the conflicts which sometimes spring up amongst us, his followers, since his departure. But somehow or other it was Krishna's plan that he should be taken away from us at that time so that we would be forced to grow up spiritually and master the art of ourselves resolving the conflicts. After all, if the parent always carries the child, how will the child learn to walk? So now the best way for us, his followers, to observe his disappearance from this world is to carefully serve his desire that we cooperate together very nicely as a world wide family of his disciples and grand-disciples. In this way by humble obedience to him he will always be fully manifested in our hearts and we will never be separated from him, not even for a moment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Happens After Initiation?

Dear Gurudeva,

Kindly help...

What happens after initiation? Will I get to learn all the four Vedas or only references to them along with the other scriptures? I would like to purify my life too, but need a little time to fix my surroundings. Please guide me.

Your student,

Dinesh

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Eternal Blissful Existence

After initiation one enters into his eternal blissful existence as a servant of Krishna. We engage our disciples in studying the books given to us by our founder-acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, especially Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam. If these two books are understood properly, one becomes automatically perfect in understanding all of the Vedic wisdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 20 October 2009

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

Stay Focused on the Goal

The easiest way to always stay enlivened in Krishna consciousness is to remain focused on the ultimate goal of all our activities, namely to attain the supreme spiritual perfection of pure love of Godhead and thus qualify for going back home, back to Godhead. In this way if we always remember why we are engaged in the daily activities of Krishna consciousness, these activities will always make sense to us, and we will be enlivened to render our daily service with love in a first class way.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Bhaktivedanta Ashram-Austin, Texas-18 October 2009
Initiation of Rasikananda Das and Rantideva Das


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Fall in Love with Krishna Before Meeting Him?

I offer my humble obeisances to you.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

If you describe to me about a girl verbally or in writing about her beauty, her talks, her behavior I won't fall in love in her until I see her. Similarly I won't fall in love with Lord Krishna if you tell me about Him or just make me read about Him. So why doesn't Lord Krishna appear and show his beauty, intelligence, etc?

Asking us to fall in love with Krishna first and then get his darshan sounds absurd. Getting his darshan first and then chanting, doing bhajans sounds more logical. So how do I fall in love with Him if I have not seen Him and I have just been hearing, reading about Him and just seeing his deity form?

Hare Krishna.

An insignificant beggar to Lord Krishna,
D.H.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Meet Him Immediately by Guru's Mercy

Krishna is not an ordinary person like you and me that you that you have to see Him face-to-face in order to meet Him. Because He is absolute He is fully present in everything that is directly connected with Him such as His name, deity form, teachings, pastimes, dhama, prasadam, and His external manifestation--the spiritual master. We can easily meet and develop a loving relationship with the spiritual master. And the loving relationship with the spiritual master automatically translates into a loving relationship with Krishna. So there is no difficulty if we follow Krishna's order to approach the spiritual master:

tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te j˝ānaṁ
j˝āninas tattva-darśinaḥ


"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master.
Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him.
The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you
because they have seen the truth."

--Bhagavad-gita 4.34

The spiritual master travels all over the world to causelessly bless everyone with a connection to Krishna. Those who are fortunate will take advantage of Sri Guru's most merciful association and experience the awakening of love of God within their hearts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 19 October 2009

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

Don't Despair

Don't despair if you run up against an obstacle which seems hopelessly insurmountable. Krishna's infinite kindness is always there for His devotee. Therefore all you have to do is humbly take complete shelter of the Lord. Then you will be amazed at how wonderfully the obstacle melts away and you are escorted by the Lord into a new dimension of higher level Krishna consciousness. In other words, if you will simply fix your mind in Krishna consciousness, all apparent stumbling blocks will be experienced as stepping stones taking you to higher and higher planes of enlightened consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can the Soul Lose Its Individuality?

Please accept this most fallen soul's respectful obeisances unto you, Gurudeva.

Can the soul, if he wishes, become void, not even entering into brahman effulgence, completely null with total loss of individuality?

I know its a foolish thing to think about it. But I just want to know whether God provides us our free choice. I mean if he doesn't offer that option, how can we call it a complete independence?

Please forgive me if you think I am offending God, Gurudeva. It's just that have this doubt that I wanted to clarify.

Oh, twice born please enlighten me.

Deepu


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Only in His Imagination

It is not possible for the soul to merge into nothingness because there is no such thing as nothingness. Nothingness is only a concept, and since even concepts are something, the concept "nothingness" is indeed also something. In other words even nothingness is not true nothingness.

If the soul is too much frustrated with existence and executes the required penances, he is allowed to attain a type of liberation known as sayujya mukti in which he no longer has the sense of individual existence. But because this is only an imagined, unnatural position he eventually falls down from sayujya mukti and again becomes entangled in the cycle of birth and death.

Would we accuse a parent a being a tyrant for not allowing his child to kill himself? Of course not. So how can we accuse God of being a tyrant for not allowing us the option of non-existence? Thus it is a ludicrous idea to think that independence requires the freedom to annihilate one's existence. Real independence means the choice to love God or leave Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 18 October 2009

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

God Can Lift a Mountain

In today's world we find many so called gurus who claim that everyone is God or that they are God. But in this connection we should understand what are some of the benchmarks by which we can determine who is actually God. For example, when Krishna was personally present on this planet 5,000 years ago He lifted the huge mountain named Govardhan Hill and held it aloft effortlessly for seven days on the little finger of His left hand. Anybody who is God will have to power to also lift a mountain and hold it effortlessly for seven days. So if anybody comes to us claiming that they are God or that their guru is God, we will ask that they or their guru will have to prove it to us by holding a mountain aloft for seven days.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. Today is called Govardhan Puja. This is the day over 5,000 years ago when Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill in Vrindavan, India. We encourage you to attend the joyous festivities at your nearest Hare Krishna center.




Lord Krishna Lifting Govardhan Hill


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Reciprocate with Sincere Chanting?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Sir, is it true that Lord Buddha is an incarnation of Lord Krishna? And is it true that when a person chants sincerely and with discipline Lord Krishna creates situations to enhance his or her chanting and overall bhakti?

Regards,

Sunil

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: He Reciprocates According to Our Surrender

Yes, Lord Buddha is listed as an incarnation of Krishna in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that in as much as one surrenders unto Him that He will reward that person accordingly. Therefore when a devotee chants sincerely with love the Lord definitely reciprocates with him by helping him to improve his chanting and his bhakti more and more.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 17 October 2009

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

Rising Beyond the Mind

If we want true peace of mind, we must rise beyond the mind. As long as we remain on the platform of the mind we must remain entangled in the dualities of happiness and distress, heat and cold, honor and dishonor, etc. It is only when we become solidly situated on the transcendental platform beyond the flickering mind that we can find lasting peace and satisfaction. The easiest way to attain the transcendental platform is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




George Harrison Chanting Hare Krishna Japa


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Differing Opinion: Formless God Can Be Depicted As An Old Man

You wrote:

"God must be all-powerful. Otherwise there is no meaning to the concept of God. And since God is all-powerful does it make sense that He would allow time, which is one of His energies, to deteriorate Him in any way? Since God controls everything, there is no question that time could have any kind of deteriorating effect on the Supreme Person. So why should we foolishly depict God as an old man with beard, as he is painted in the Sistine Chapel in Rome? This does make any sense. It is merely the speculation of a person who does not realize who and what is God."

I really enjoy reading your newsletter everyday. However, this time, I think you are missing the point. Jesus and the Christians love to call God their "father". The depiction of God as an old man expresses his superior position as a "father", his superior wisdom, his mildness and goodness and fatherly loving heart. (Although to many people he is rather the strict and punishing father.)

Kindly note that even in Bhagavad-gita 9.17 Krishna calls himself the "father", the "mother" and the "grandfather" of the world. (cf. Bhagavad-gita 14.4)

The fact that Krishna is never depicted as an old man can be explained because he never acts as an old man in the sacred scriptures. If bodily depictions of God were taken literally, the form of Narasimha would appear even more foolish than the form of an old man. Also it seems to me, that your argument is a bit similar to the one that Christians and Muslims use against your own religion. They call it a worship of idols. Of course, God is greater than all idols, but why should we not use idols as a means to bring to our minds the wonderful qualities of God?

Kind regards,

D.K.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: God Should Be Depicted As His Form Actually Is

I appreciate very much that you have taken the time and trouble to share your thoughts/feelings with me. This revealing of the heart is one of the most important aspects of advancing along the spiritual path.

You have expressed your understanding that the scriptural bodily depictions are not to be taken literally because God is ultimately formless. While this understanding is certainly the accepted understanding in many circles, it is not the accepted understanding of the great acaryas (saintly spiritual teachers) who guided the Indian civilization for thousands of years. According to Vedic understanding Krishna has form and is literally an eternal youth and Lord Narasimha also has form and is literally a half lion and half man. Krishna or God does not require an old man's body to be the father of all living beings and to be the oldest of all persons. This is the inconceivable nature of God that He can simultaneously be the youngest and the oldest.

Some philosophers hold to the principle that God has no form but that we imagine Him as possessing different types of forms to help our minds become fixed in meditation. But the great Vedic authorities all affirm that God indeed has form. And also from the standpoint of logic God must have form. Otherwise how so many forms have been able to come into existence? We have no experience of forms arising from formlessness, but yet we have millions of experiences of forms coming from other forms. Therefore the original of all existence must possess factual form, not simply imaginary form.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 16 October 2009

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

Final Instructions

Before departing from Europe on 14 October I gave some final instructions to a number of my disciples who were seeing us off at the Riga, Latvia airport. I explained to them the two essential principles for devotees of Krishna. The first principle is to dive deeply 24 hours a day into the unlimited ocean of nectar that is found in the pure chanting of Lord Krishna's name. And the second principle is to fully absorb one's consciousness 24 hours a day in pushing forward the Krishna consciousness movement for the deliverance of all the conditioned souls from the repetition of birth and death. One may wonder how both things could be done simultaneously. The answer is that the more purely one chants Krishna's holy names, the more he will naturally have a consciousness-uplifting impact on the entire universe, and that the more that one absorbs himself in pushing forward this Krishna consciousness movement, naturally the more purely he will absorb himself in Krishna's holy names. In other words, there is no contradiction. These complimentary principles are mutually enhancing. Each strengthens the other.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Final Instructions Before Departing Europe

13 October 2009--Riga, Latvia





Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Does Not Act Against Injustice?

My respected Gurudeva,

My mind is very soft and sensitive. While reading the newspaper I happened to see some news that has disturbed my mind to such a level that I do not have words to express it to you, my respected Gurudeva. While seeing such discrimination against human beings, attacks against children, women and innocents, sometimes a doubt arises in my mind that why the almighty and all knowing Krishna is not taking any action against such people who are against humanity and human nature? At least what ISKCON can do to end this type of happenings?

With respects,
Your humble servant and disciple,

Sajeev


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Krishna is Acting, But We Are Not.

Krishna is taking all steps to stop the injustice, but the difficulty is that we foolishly refuse to co-operate with Him and thus continue with our madness of turning this planet more and more into a hell. Krishna is doing His part. Now it is our turn to do our part by fully surrendering ourselves at His lotus feet and fully dedicating our lives to His ISKCON mission for bringing about a global Krishna conscious revival.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 15 October 2009

from Riga, Latvia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Who is God?

God must be all-powerful. Otherwise there is no meaning to the concept of God. And since God is all-powerful does it make sense that He would allow time, which is one of His energies, to deteriorate Him in any way? Since God controls everything, there is no question that time could have any kind of deteriorating effect on the Supreme Person. So why should we foolishly depict God as an old man with beard, as he is painted in the Sistine Chapel in Rome? This does make any sense. It is merely the speculation of a person who does not realize who and what is God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




An Old Man with a Beard--Is this God?



Or is this Beautiful, Eternal Youth God?
What is Your Opinion?


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Does Krishna Reciprocate with Us?

If I love a girl and I give her flowers, chocolates and she accepts or rejects, reciprocating positively or negatively. So, if I love Lord Krishna and express my love and devotion to Him, how does He reciprocate?

Dhaval

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: How Does He Not Reciprocate With Us?

How does Krishna not reciprocate with us? Krishna is already lovingly giving us everything: the air we breathe, the food we eat, our friends, our family, our home, our income, our clothing, etc. Indeed He is giving us our very existence itself. So there is no limit to the reciprocation coming from His side. Now it is up to us to reciprocate with Him by fully giving Him our love and our very selves. When we do so He will reciprocate by personally giving Himself to us, just as He reciprocated with Arjuna by becoming His chariot driver.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 14 October 2009

from Riga, Latvia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Transcendental to All Adversities

In this material world things do not always go well. Therefore if we want to always be happy we must master the art of how to always be transcendental to all adversities. There is no greater opulence, no greater achievement than becoming thus solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness. Unfortunately the present world civilization, because of going on under the guidance of misguided self-interested fools, is not facilitating the people to come to the proper consciousness in harmony with the Supreme Reality. Therefore we are trying to spread this Krishna consciousness movement all over the world to save the suffering humanity from the quagmire of illusion in which they are so deeply sunk.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing the Supreme Reality

at a Riga, Latvia Home Program


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Houses in Vaikunthaloka Talk?

I have read that in Vaikunthaloka even the houses and trees are conscious unlike in the material world. I wanted to know that when it is said that the houses and even trees are conscious does it mean that they too can converse and take part in the activities going on in the spiritual world? For example, if there is playing and dancing going on can the houses and trees also play and dance?

Yours devotedly,

Avinash.G

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: If They Want To

It is fact that everything in the spiritual world is an animate living being with the full power to act and converse as a human being. But some of the devotees are inclined to take on different apparently inanimate forms to serve the Lord in different ways such as being his flute, a peacock feather in his hair, or a house. This is a matter of rasa or taste for each individual devotee how he feels most inclined to serve Krishna. Because there is full freedom in the spiritual world, if Krishna's house or flute wants to talk to Krishna, he can do so. Those who are inclined to dance will take instead a human form to get full facility for dancing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 13 October 2009

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

The Meaning of Vyasa Puja

Vyasa Puja means that on the appearance day (birthday) of the spiritual master we worship him as the representative of Vedavyasa, the literary incarnation of God. Sometimes people become confused or even bewildered to see a human being worshipped as good as God. Vyasa Puja does not mean that we consider the spiritual master to be God. It simply means that since he is God's pure representative we give him the all honor and respect that we would give to God if the Lord were personally visibly present. Although the spiritual master does not consider that he is worthy of such honor and worship as a matter of duty on the order of his spiritual master he humbly accepts the honor and worship being offered to him and within his heart offers it to his spiritual master and through him to all the previous acaryas and to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Vyasa Puja Celebration in Kaunas, Lithuania


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can a Muslim Become a Brahmana?

One of my friends, who is a Muslim, always says he wants to become a brahmana? What should be my answer to him?

Trying to become devotee,

Kapil

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: If He Surrenders Fully to Krishna

Anybody from any background can be elevated to the post of a qualified brahmana if he is willing to undergo the purificatory process of surrendering himself unto Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master.

ṣaṭ-karma-nipuṇo vipro
mantra-tantra-viśāradaḥ
avaiṣṇavo gurur na syād
vaiṣṇavaḥ śva-paco guruḥ


"A scholarly brahmana, expert in all subjects of Vedic knowledge,
is unfit to become a spiritual master without being a Vaisnava,
or expert in the science of Krishna consciousness.
But a person born in a family of a lower caste can become a spiritual master
if he is a Vaisnava, or Krishna conscious."

(Padma Purana)


So if your friend is willing to become a devotee of Krishna, he will be automatically become a qualified brahmana.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 12 October 2009

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

Empowered to Take Over the World?

A very kind devotee stated that he considers me to be empowered to take over the world. Of course, I know that I can do nothing. What can I accomplish? I am simply praying to be a fully surrendered instrument in the hands of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, whose movement is in fact empowered to take over the entire world in fulfillment of the prediction given in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita by Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja as follows:

saj-jana, durjana, paṅgu, jaḍa, andha-gaṇa
prema-vanyāya ḍubāila jagatera jana


"The Krishna consciousness movement will inundate the entire world
and drown everyone, whether one be a gentleman,
a rogue or even lame, invalid or blind."

--Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 7.26


So my desire is to see that the Krishna consciousness movement shall indeed culturally conquer the entire world before I leave my body. (This is of course not by bombs and bullets, but by attracting everyone to the wonderful lifestyle of Krishna consciousness.) And whatever service I can do to help bring that most glorious day to this planet will be my greatest pleasure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Kirtan in Kaunas, Lithuania



Distributing Prasadam in Kaunas, Lithuania


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Tired of Krishna Consciousness

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances!

I have read in all the books of Srila Prabhupada that 24 hours engagement in Krishna consciousness activities is the best. The problem with me is that I get tired after spending sometime in Krishna consciousness and then material desires crop up in my mind. What is the solution to this problem?

K.D.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Stop Trying to Be the Enjoyer

If you truly love someone you will always engage in serving that person. There will be no question of being tired of serving. So instead of trying to enjoy Krishna consciousness you should try to lovingly give pleasure to Krishna. In this way you will derive unlimited pleasure from Krishna consciousness and never want to give it up even for a moment. In other words, if we try to make ourselves the center, we will naturally get tired after a while because this is not our constitutional position. If we instead always make Krishna the center and ourselves as His subordinate servants, there will never be any question of tiredness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 11 October 2009

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

Everyone is a Pure Devotee

Every living entity throughout all of existence is a pure devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. Those who never forget this live eternally in the spiritual sky and are known as nitya-siddhas, eternally liberated souls. Those who forget this fall down from the spiritual world into the material where they futilely try to enjoy a life apart from devotion to Krishna. When they become frustrated with their suffering condition and take advantage of the mercy of guru and Krishna, they resume their former life of devotion and return to their original position in the spiritual sky. That everyone is constitutionally a devotee of Krishna is confirmed as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita:

nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema 'sādhya' kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

"Pure love for Krishna is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities.
It is not something to be gained from another source.
When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting,
this love naturally awakens."

--CC Madhya 22.107


So now may all the conditioned souls throughout all the material universes become re-established in their original pure Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Wisdom in Lithuania


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Sadhana Siddha?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja,

Dandavat pranam.

In the Caitanya Caritamrita Adi Lila Chapter 8, I was reading about the three types of perfections: nitya siddha, kripa siddha, and sadhana siddha. I'll be highly thankful if you would please help me understand these three. I am expressing here, what I had understood after reading them:

Nitya siddha is like when vaishnavas or gurus appear such as Srila Prabhupada and the other acaryas in our sampradaya. They are nitya siddhas.

Kripa siddha is what we are taught to strive for. Please your spiritual master by serving him, attract his mercy and then become perfect.

Sadhana siddha,........... I thought was attaining perfection by your own efforts. I don't know what can be it's example. But in your "Thought for the Day" entitled "Take Shelter of the Pure Devotee" you mentioned that we cannot become self-realized on our own strength. I got perplexed after reading this. Please throw some light on this. Also tell me if I've understood the other two namely, kripa siddha and nitya siddha correctly.

Begging your mercy,

VKT

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Sadhana Perfected by Mercy of Guru

You have understood nitya-siddha correctly. Now please try to understand properly sadhana-siddha and kripa-siddha.

A sadhana-siddha is a devotee who becomes liberated by executing the process of devotional service. According to the revealed scriptures and all the great Vedic authorities one requires the mercy of the pure devotee spiritual master in order to advance on the pathway of sadhana bhakti. It is not that one can perfect in sadhana bhakti without the grace of the bona fide spiritual master. So sadhana-siddha does not mean the kripa or mercy is absent. It means that there is combination of sadhana and kripa. For example, you are executing sadhana bhakti and in your email you are begging for mercy. This is proper way to attain sadhana siddha. We beg the beg the mercy of the spiritual master for becoming perfect in the execution of sadhana.

A kripa-siddha is someone who becomes liberated exclusively by mercy without being engaged in the process of devotional service. He does not follow any rules and regulations, but simply by pure mercy becomes liberated. This is like someone who gets an honorary degree without having to attend the university. An example in this connection is given in the Nrsimha Purana. A Muslim was being killed by a wild boar being jabbed by his tusk. While he was being killed he uttered, "harama, harama." Harama is an Urdu word which means condemned. The Muslims do not eat pig flesh because they consider it to be condemned. But in spite of his being a sinful man he got the result of chanting "ha rama"--"O my Lord Ramacandra" and become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. This is kripa-siddha.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 10 October 2009

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

The Impossible Becomes Possible


I am often asked for help by aspiring devotees who are having difficulty bringing their minds under control. One of the key points to remember when it comes to subduing the wild mind is that by our own strength it is not possible to conquer it. This is confirmed as follows by Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gita:

ca˝calaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa
pramāthi balavad dṛḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye
vāyor iva su-duṣkaram

"For the mind is restless, turbulent, obstinate and very strong, O Krishna,
and to subdue it, I think, is more difficult than controlling the wind."
--Bhagavad-gita 6.34

If we cannot control the wind, how can we expect the control the mind, which is even more difficult to control than the wind? The reality is that we cannot by own strength conquer over the mind and senses. But if we will take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, by his grace we become empowered to conquer over the otherwise unconquerable mind and senses. This is confirmed in the Vedic wisdom as follows:

mūkaṁ karoti vācālaṁ
paṅguṁ laṅghayate girim
yat-kṛpā tam ahaṁ vande
śrī guruṁ dina-tāraṇam

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto my spiritual master,
the deliverer of all fallen souls, whose mercy
turns the dumb into eloquent speakers,
and enables the lame to cross mountains."


In other words by the grace of the bona fide spiritual master even that which is impossible becomes possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Bliss in Lithuania


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How the Soul Gets a Spiritual Body?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble & respectful obeisances,
All Glories To Srila Prabhupada.

Upon death how does the spirit soul enter into a spiritual body or how does he get a spiritual body? After attaining the spiritual world will the spirit soul able to remember all his past lifetime's activities while he was in the material world?

Your humble servant,
Sanat Kumar das


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: He Already is the Spiritual Body

The soul does not have to get a spiritual body because he already is the spiritual body. In conditioned life that spiritual body is not manifested because it is covered by the gross and subtle material bodies. When the conditioned soul becomes liberated and goes back to Godhead, he simply abandons the gross and subtle coverings and fully remanifests himself in his eternally youthful, deathless spiritual body. There is nothing more glorious than this.

Regarding the soul who goes back to Godhead remembering his activities that were conducted while he was in the material world, Srila Prabhupada has written in a letter to one of his disciples:

"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."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 9 October 2009

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

Subduing the Tricky Mind

It's the nature of the mind to play diversionary tricks when one is trying to realize Krishna. Just when the aspiring devotee thinks that he is becoming free from all material desires he becomes shocked to discover that his mind is feverish with material desire. Such experiences are very humbling, but if taken in the proper mood they pave the way to rapid advancement on the road to pure devotional service. In this situation one must honestly admit to himself the unpleasant reality that he is still materially attached and pray to his spiritual master and Lord Sri Krishna to save him from this hellish mental fever. The devotee must detach himself from all forms of material sense gratification and absorb himself 100% in the mood of pure devotional service. If he seriously endeavors in this way depending fully on the mercy of guru and Krishna, he will soon pass out the mental storm and enter the clear sky of pure devotional service. Then and only then will he be fully satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: I Am Not Getting Rewarded

I have been blessed by Sri Krishna to read your daily messages. I seek your blessings.

I am working very hard and honestly, but still I do not get the reward I should. How can I overcome this problem? Please advise me.

Yours obediently,

Suresh

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Don't Try to Get for Yourself. Give Instead.

Instead of trying to get a reward for yourself, you should be in the mood of trying to give to Krishna. When you enter into this pure giving mood without any thought of return, you will relish the supreme reward of pure love of Godhead and reap the unlimitedly nectarean reward of Krishna's sweet association. Upon achieving this consciousness you will fully realize the inconsequential nature of all the worldly rewards.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 8 October 2009

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

Take Shelter of the Pure Devotee

Srila Prabhupada explains, "Even if one wanders for many millions of years, from the time of creation until the time of annihilation, one cannot get free from the path of material existence unless one receives shelter at the lotus feet of a pure devotee." So we cannot become self-realized on our own strength. It is not possible. To become liberated from birth and death we are fully dependent on the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna's pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master. If we are fortunate enough to come into contact with such a pure devotee, we should take full advantage of his association by taking complete shelter of his lotus feet and thus make our lives perfect.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Follow Dharma in this Age?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
Kindly clarify the following questions:

1) What is dharma?
2) How to follow dharma as per shastras (scriptures)?
3) Is it possible to follow dharma in the present Kali yuga? If so, kindly give me an example.

Your most humble servant
Sukumar

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Surrender to Guru and Krishna

Our dharma or duty is the fully surrender ourselves to Lord Sri Krishna. This is accomplished by taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master through the process known as initiation. The spiritual master then expertly engages us 24 hours a day in Lord Sri Krishna's service. The example of those who are following dharma in this materialistic age of Kali is found in ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Tens of thousands of ISKCON members all over the world have become solidly situated in dharma by engaging themselves completely in Krishna's service under the guidance of their bona fide spiritual masters.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 7 October 2009

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

How to Save the World

Difficult tasks are accomplished by breaking them down into a series of small steps. If one then proceeds carefully step by step, he eventually reaches the goal of accomplishing the task. So how will we save the world population from its present entanglement within the wheel of birth and death? By the same step by step method of educating one person at a time in the amazing science of Krishna consciousness beginning with ourselves. In the case of this task the odds of success are stacked 100% in our favor because the whole world has already been delivered by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Only time is separating us from the full blown manifestation of this most astounding miracle.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Sublime Science of Krishna in Russia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Remembering Krishna in Work and Study

I offer you my humble obeisances.

Krishna consciousness is about remembering Krishna all the time and not forgetting Him even for a moment. If I am working in my office or I am studying for my exams and my mind is engrossed in it, then how do I remember Krishna at that time?

A devotee of Lord Krishna,
Dhaval

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Fully Dovetail Ourselves in Service

If my office work or school work is fully dovetailed with Krishna's service, then I will naturally remember Him while studying or working. But if my office work or school is tinged by a motive of sense gratification, it will naturally difficult for me to remember Krishna while I am engaged in these activities. Therefore the secret of success is to give up all desires for material sense gratification and offer all our activities 100% in Krishna's service. In this way we will naturally and easily remember Krishna all the time just as Arjuna was fully Krishna conscious even in the midst of an intense battle.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 6 October 2009

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

International Non-Violence Festival

We were invited to appear at Kaliningrad's International Non-Violence Festival on Sunday 4 October. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to offer the non-violence formula of Krishna consciousness. Krishna describes in the Bhagavad-gita that one of the symptoms of a devotee is that he is friendly to every living being. Therefore Krishna consciousness is the epitome of non-violence. While Krishna consciousness allows the use of violence to defend oneself against the violent attack of aggressors, it does not allow one to commit violence against the innocent, including unborn babies, cows, and other creatures even down to ant. Even plants should not be unnecessarily killed. Because the devotee of the Lord sees all living beings as his brothers and sisters, he is naturally non-violent.

We were only allowed twenty minutes for our presentation so we first did a short kirtan and then I gave a short explanation of non-violence according the Bhagavad-gita. It was a wonderful and very enlivening experience for us all to share Krishna consciousness with the Russian people. I told that although I am from the USA I feel as much at home in Russia as I do in the USA because the entire world is God's country. Men have made artificial boundaries over which they fight and kill each other. But the Lord's devotees have a far more enlightened vision of reality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Supreme Happiness at the Non-Violence Festival







Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Measuring Our Level of Devotion?

Kindly please accept my humble obeisances. Al glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Please tell me how can we know for sure that we are on some particular level of devotion as mentioned in the shastras? If we don't try to find out, then how can we advance? And if we do try to find out, does it contradict the rule of humility? I have always heard that we are just servants of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, and I have also heard that we should always endeavor to make spiritual advancement. So please kindly explain to me.

Thank you,

Your servant,

Rukminipriya devi dasi

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: It Is Naturally Perceivable

Just as one becomes aware of how his belly is getting filled by eating without any measuring device, one who advances in Krishna consciousness naturally become aware how he is advancing without any measuring device. Such advancement does not make him proud because the more he advances in Krishna consciousness, the more he naturally feels meek and humble. So if somebody is proud of what their perceive to be their spiritual advancement, they are not advancing in Krishna consciousness. They are instead advancing in self-delusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 5 October 2009

from Kaliningrad, Russia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Difficult to Leave

The greatest austerity of visiting the devotees in Kaliningrad, Russia is leaving their association. Why is it so difficult to leave? Because we taste so much sweetness in the ever expanding ocean of their loving association. Whatever austerities we have to sometimes undergo for crossing the Russian border are compensated many times over by the enlivening, merciful association of these simply wonderful devotees. We find so much happiness in their association that as soon as we leave we are immediately planning for our next visit.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Who Wants to Leave Association Like This?


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Career Enhancement is Wrong?

Hare Krishna, Srila Gurudeva,

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

Lord Krishna has shown mercy on me by giving me a chance to associate with ISKCON one year back. Initially I was not experiencing much taste but after joining this e-course and reading the archives I started realizing and getting the taste of sweet nectar. I was having sufficient time to devote for Krishna consciousness, but recently I have started preparation for some exam for career enhancement and this is affecting my spiritual activities. I'm now confused wondering if it is wrong to devote time for career enhancement by curtailing time from spiritual activities, when I already have a job for my livelihood.

Hare Krishna,
Your servant, and student

V.S.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Not if Your Career is Offered to Krishna

If you can serve Krishna better by career enhancement, there is no harm in diverting some of your energy to career enhancement activities as long as you are able to maintain the basic sadhana of chanting at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads and strictly following the four regulative principles. So, you may do a marathon for some time to enhance your career, but then you should revert back to spending more time engaged in Krishna conscious activities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 4 October 2009

from Kaliningrad, Russia
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Stuck on the Bridge at Sovetsk

2 October 2009--6:00PM--Sovetsk, Russia. Our journey from Kaunas, Lithuania to Kaliningrad, Russia has hit a real snag. My evening lecture in Kaliningrad had to be cancelled. We are now at the Russian border at Sovesk. There is a long queue of vehicles waiting to enter Russia. Each vehicle can take up to 1/2 hour. We arrived in the early afternoon and dutifully took our place at the end of the queue. Then it became late afternoon, which turned into evening and now has transformed into pitch black night. After answering all my emails and getting a head start on the next installment of "Thought for the Day" I was wondering what to do next that would keep me absorbed in Krishna consciousness. Then Mataji reminded me that my harmonium was in the van. So within a moment what looked like it would be long excruciating ordeal was transformed into a festival of transcendental bliss by the sweet mercy of Lord Krishna's holy names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. We finally cleared immigration by 9:30PM and made it to Kaliningrad by 11:30PM. We could have flown from Europe to the USA in less time than it took us to travel from Kaunas to Kaliningrad. The driving time was not the issue. The real issue was the Russian border red tape.




Stuck on the Sovesk, Russia Bridge



Tolerating the Austerity


Turning It into a Festival


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Which Mantra to Recite?

I am confused as there are lot of mantras which I have come across. I do recite the Hare Krishna mantra, but then I come across Narayana Kavacham , Hanuman Chalisa, Devi stotram , Ganesha prayers, etc.

What is the main mantra to attain God ? I am currently going through lot of problems in my personal life and have lost all my interests in this worldly life and want to be with God. How can I attain this ?

Regards,
P.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Sastra Enjoins the Hare Krishna Mantra

According to the authoritative statement of the Kali Santarana Upanisad, the Hare Krishna mantra is the recommended mantra for achieving spiritual perfection in this age of Kali:

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
iti ṣoḍaśakaṁ nāmnām kali-kalmaṣa-nāśanaṁ
nātaḥ parataropāyaḥ sarva-vedeṣu dṛśyate


"Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
-- these sixteen names composed of thirty-two syllables
are the only means to counteract the evil effects of Kali-yuga.
In all the Vedas it is seen that to cross the ocean of nescience
there is no alternative to the chanting of the holy name."


Kindly chant these names as much as possible every day and your life will become sublime. You will attain the peace you desire.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 3 October 2009

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

Increasing the Ocean of Nectar

In material life the more we distribute something, the less we have of it. But in Krishna consciousness it is just the opposite. The more we give something away, the more we get it. In other words, the more we share the nectar of Krishna consciousness, the more we taste it. Therefore those who are greedy to taste unlimited nectar fully absorb their lives in distributing this supreme nectar to others. Our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has blessed us with an ocean of the sweetest nectar. Now if we will fully absorb ourselves in sharing this nectar with the nectar-parched victims of the age of Kali that ocean of nectar will continue expanding more and more ad infinitum inundating the entire universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Nectar in Vilnius, Lithuania


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Research in Spirituality


I want to do research in spirituality. What steps should I follow?

Dr. Tiwary

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: The Ultimate Scientific Experiment

Carefully read the Bhagavad-gita As It Is and scientifically experiment with it by carefully following its teachings making your own consciousness the object of the experiment. Then after thorough experiment and observation you may draw your scientific conclusions regarding what is the amazing process of Krishna consciousness.

The essential items for your scientific experiment are that you should chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day without fail while keeping the test tube of your consciousness pure by strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. You should also restrict your diet to only taking Krishna prasadam (vegetarian foodstuffs offered to Lord Krishna with love and devotion). I can assure you that if you will strictly perform this experiment for at least six months, you will have many profound scientific realizations. So I wish you the very best and encourage you to take this experiment up wholeheartedly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 2 October 2009

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

Realizing Our Mission

Being on the road somehow or other always seems to open up my consciousness. It never fails. This is one of reasons that I love traveling and preaching so much. Right now it is 6pm on 30 September 2009. We are on the road from Kaunas, Lithuania to Vilnius, Lithuania where I will be giving a lecture tonight on the most amazing transcendental science of Krishna consciousness. One of the nicest perks of being a traveling lecturer is that the more one gives Krishna consciousness to others, the more he gets Krishna consciousness. In fact, sharing the science of Krishna is so powerful that it guarantees one entrance into the spiritual world. Krishna confirms this as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ
mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā
mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ


"For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees,
pure devotional service is guaranteed,
and at the end he will come back to Me."
--Bhagavad-gita 18.68

One might wonder if this applies also to sharing this science with non-devotees. The answer is that it does because actually every living being throughout the entire universe is already a devotee. It is just that some realize it and some do not. Now it is our duty to make sure that everyone realizes it. This is our mission.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Writing "Thought for the Day"

On the Road to Vilnius, Lithuania
30 September 2009

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Use Slang When Preaching?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Sir, when the chanter introduces Krishna consciousness to friends is it okay for the chanter to use modern-day slang words such as "cool", "what's up", etc. to which the friend is habituated to make Krishna consciousness more easily understood?

Regards,
Sunil

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Connect With and Elevate the Listener

It is always cool to present Krishna consciousness using language that will make it most comprehensible and attractive to the audience. And at the time if we present it directly in the words given in the Vedic literature, that will make it most powerful and attractive. For example when glorifying the holy name we can quote the following verse written by Srila Rupa Goswami:

tuṇḍe tāṇḍavinī ratiṁ vitanute tuṇḍāvalī-labdhaye
karṇa-kroḍa-kaḍambinī ghaṭayate karṇārbudebhyaḥ spṛhām
cetaḥ-prāṅgaṇa-saṅginī vijayate sarvendriyāṇāṁ kṛtiṁ
no jāne janitā kiyadbhir amṛtaiḥ kṛṣṇeti varṇa-dvayī


"I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krish-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert."

So we should do both. We should connect with the people by using the language they are familiar with, and then we can introduce them to the sublime Vedic language. This is the process known as education. Connect with the listener on his level, and then elevate him to a higher level.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 1 October 2009

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

Conquer Your Senses, Conquer the World

Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that if we become ideal Vaisnavas who engage their senses 100% in the service of the Lord that we can induce the entire world to accept the guidance of the Krishna consciousness movement. So what could be a better, more fulfilling life style than to seriously cultivate pure devotional service both for our own personal benefit and for the benefit of the entire world population? The easiest way to do that is to dive deeply into Hare Krishna kirtan. Such kirtan purifies our own hearts and purifies the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do I Suffer Karmic Reactions?

Dear Gurudeva,

My pranams at your lotus feet.

Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita 13:32:

anāditvān nirguṇatvāt
paramātmāyam avyayaḥ
śarīra-stho 'pi kaunteya
na karoti na lipyate

"Those with the vision of eternity can see that the imperishable soul is transcendental, eternal, and beyond the modes of nature. Despite contact with the material body, O Arjuna, the soul neither does anything nor is entangled."

So, if my soul is not responsible for the activities my body doing, why do I (my soul) have to suffer from the actions of it?

Hare Krishna!

Sanjay Krishna Panda


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: You Chose to Ride the Karma Chakra

While it is a fact that the conditioned souls are simply being carried along on a machine made of material energy, because they have voluntarily placed themselves on that machine they have to bear the responsibility for whatever they do while they are under the influence of the machine of the material nature. I have previously given the example in this connection of someone who joins a terrorist organization. Although the acts of terrorism he commits are all executed under the coercion of his terrorist leaders, he is still held responsible for them because it was his decision to join the terrorist organization in the first place.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Previous Month

Hit Counter