Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

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

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Monday 30 November 2009

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Laying the Foundation for a World Takeover

Someday the entire world civilization will be guided by the most sublime, profound Krishna consciousness teachings presented in the writings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Until that day comes it is the ecstatic duty of his followers to lay the foundation for that day by carefully studying and following those teachings as well as enlightening as many people as possible in the understanding and practical implementation of these teachings. There is truly no more glorious life than this, to be living on the cutting edge of world history. As I have many times stated, "Why study history, when you can make history? And why watch the news, when you can be the news?" There is truly no greater compassion than spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world for the deliverance of all the fallen, conditioned souls from the clutches of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Initiation Ceremony

at Radha-Parthasarathi Mandir
New Delhi, India--29 November 2009


Hare Krishna Das Receives Diksha (Initiation)


Guru Vandana Devi Dasi Receives Diksha


Madhuryalila Devi Dasi Receives Diksha


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Possible to be Sinless in a Material Body?

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga. Hare Krishna.

Thank you very much for saying, "Suffering is outdated and old-fashioned." I shall not only post it on the wall in my home but also shall write it in my heart and remember it forever.

My mind remains my worst enemy. I am chanting Hare Krishna 16 rounds daily and attend when I can the Sunday Feasts of ISKCON. I am following the 4 regulative principles yet sometimes I slip and fall down. Is it possible to be completely sinless with a material body? Living "in the world" is difficult what with war, terrorism, the threat of nuclear annihilation and mindless, lunatic sycophants killing each other in the name of God, what to speak of one's own personal demons of the crazy, Kali-yuga mind. You give hope to this drab and dreary world. How can I serve Srila Prabhupada sincerely without committing offenses? Thank you kindly.

B.G.

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Answer: By Getting a Higher Taste from Lord Krishna's Names

Yes, it is possible to become completely sinless even while situated in a material body. It is something like diving deep enough within the ocean to totally escape the agitation caused by a hurricane taking place on the surface of the ocean. The deep diving equipment is right there in your bead bag. Now every day when you chant try diving deeper and deeper into the sound vibration of Krishna's holy names. You will gradually taste so much nectar that even the thought of material sense gratification will be truly repugnant to you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 29 November 2009

on the road from Sri Vrindavana Dhama to Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Planetary Spiritual Revolution Paradigm

Sometimes people want to know why I joined this Krishna consciousness movement. After all shaving your head and putting on a robe is not exactly the normal lifestyle for a young man growing up in America. Of course, I had a very good reason for joining. I did not join out of any blind sentiment or fanaticism. I was searching for a paradigm that could bring about a complete, total spiritual revolution on this planet bestowing peace and prosperity upon all. Previously I considered that this could be accomplished by the love and peace movement spawned in the USA during the sixties. But by complete immersion in that love and peace movement in 1969 and 1970 I witnessed how much it was lacking in true love and peace. And then in 1971 in Austin, Texas through my association with that most amazing of sannyasis, His Holiness Vishnu Jana Maharaja, I experienced how the Krishna Consciousness Movement under the sublime orchestration of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was indeed the perfect paradigm for bringing about the planetary spiritual revolution that I so strongly desired. So of course, naturally I joined. I would have been an idiot not to. And now here I am trying to push forward this spiritual revolution all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




That Most Amazing of Sannyasis

His Holiness Vishnujana Swami
(Photo from 1970's--Unknown Location)


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Inspiration Needed

Thank you for the quotes. They are really appropriate. Yesterday I was desperately needing something and I tried various things but none worked. Just then I received "Thought for the Day" saying that when all else fails chanting Krishna's name will solve your troubles. I did that and within five minutes my problem was solved.

Today I had a disagreement with a friend and was feeling bad when your daily thought said, "Detach from the day-to-day dramas." Your messages are very appropriate to my life. Thank you so much for such a service.

I have a question: I am currently working, but I am not very happy with the commute I need to do in order to reach the company. I want to change my job to somewhere near my house where it is more convenient for me. I have applied for a job at a company near my house. But I have to do some studies and better my skills in order to get into that company. My problem is that by the time I reach home from work I am very tired and I can't study. I need some inspiration to wake up early in the morning and do my studies. Can you please send me some verse or quote from the Bhagavad-gita that'll inspire me?

Thank you
P.N.

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Answer: Unlimited Ocean of Inspiration from Krishna

I am very happy that you are finding my instructions to very appropriate to your life. They must be appropriate because they are coming from Krishna, Who is the very source of our existence. He is the source of all this wonderful knowledge and mercy. I am simply the humble messenger.

The best inspiration we can have in all of our activities is simply to offer everything that we do with love to our most beloved Lord Sri Krishna. Then because of the love, even if we have to go hell in Krishna's service, our hearts will be overflowing with transcendental bliss at every minute. This is why Krishna gives us the following instruction in the Bhagavad-gita:

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


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

--Bhagavad-gita 9.27

Plus a practical tip: Be an absolute fanatic about getting to bed as early as possible every night, even if it seems too early. If you get to bed by 8:30pm, you can rise by 2:30 am or 3:00am and have plenty to time to chant Hare Krishna, read the Bhagavad-gita or the Srimad Bhagavatam, and then study nicely with a peaceful mind for your new job. The key for effective studying is to do it with a peaceful mind. In this way you can absorb the knowledge ten times faster. If you will follow my humble instructions, you'll face every day with a big bright smile on your face that will light up the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 28 November 2009

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama after returning from Jaipur
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Today's Thought:

Overawed by Sri Sri Radha-Govinda

On Thursday 26 November we made a quick one day foray from Vrindavan to Jaipur and got the darshan of Sri Sri Radha Govinda. By taxi it is about five hours in each direction. We departed Vrindavan at 3:30am and got to Jaipur just in time for the an early morning darshan at 8:30am. We were in ecstasy to behold, bow down to, and pray for the mercy of these extraordinary deities.

These are the original deities of Srila Rupa Goswami and one of the three principle traditional deities of Sri Vrindavan Dham. They were installed centuries ago in Vrindavan in a beautiful seven storied temple, but had to be suddenly whisked away to Rajasthan for their protection on that tragic day when the Muslim tyrant Aurangzeb sent his soldiers to Vrindavan to smash them and destroy their temple.

We paid one hundred rupees per person so that our party consisting of me, my wife, and my disciples, Krishna Caitanya Das and Vraja Kishore Das, could have a special close up darshan. We were ushered by a pujari to a spot a few feet away from Their lotus feet where we could sit for several minutes and drink in the supreme nectar of Their darshan. It was truly the most beautiful, magnificent sight I have ever feasted my eyes upon. Sri Sri Radha Govinda were resplendent with radiant mystical energy and were showering an ocean of their mercy upon me. I began singing in great joy, "Jaya Radha Govinda, Radha Govinda, Radhe", and then the pujari indicated it was time for us to move on so the next persons could get their turn. That all too short but oh so sweet darshan now lives on in my heart forever as a tender, uplifting moment of transcendental bliss in the divine shower of Sri Sri Radha Govinda's mercy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Resplendently Beautiful Sri Sri Radha Govinda

Jaipur, India--November 26, 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Choose Krishna Consciousness if Everything is Predestined?


Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my dandavats.

We often hear from elders and seniors that everything in our lives is destined. If it is true, then is our liberation also destined? And if that is so, why do we have make the conscious choice to take up the practice of Krishna consciousness?

Your servant,

Ankit

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Answer: Krishna Consciousness is Transcendental to Destiny

Everything in material life is pre-destined. That is a fact, just as your elders have informed you. This is known as the law of karma. But because they are still caught up in the clutches of karma they probably did not inform you that at any time you can take control of your own destiny by consciously choosing to take up the practice of Krishna consciousness. No one comes to Krishna consciousness as an automatic matter of destiny because as long as you remain within destiny you will remain eternally in the material world. One only comes to Krishna consciousness when he opts to get out of destiny's clutches and take control of his destiny by surrendering to Krishna. Then instead of being the slave of destiny he becomes the master of destiny.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 27 November 2009

from the road to Jaipur
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Today's Thought:

Going Through Hell for Krishna

A devotee does not think of his own enjoyment. He only thinks of what will please Krishna. It is for this reason that he can be happy in all circumstances, even if he has to go to hell for serving Krishna. There is no obstacle so great that it will cause him to give up his devotion to Lord Sri Krishna. He is willing to face any and all obstacles to be engaged in the service. Because of his detached mood of desiring to please the Lord and having no desires other than that, he is always peaceful and happy no matter what situation he may find himself in. This is true, eternally lasting freedom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How I Can Know that Krishna is the Supreme God?

Gurudeva, I read in a world's religion book about Hinduism that there are many gods and that Krishna was Vishnu's expansion after Lion-Nrisimgadeva. But the Vaisnavas say that Krishna is the Absolute God, and everything has been born from Him. Also, the book says that in the Vedas there is no word about Krishna, that Krishna is only mentioned in the Bhagavat gita, which the books say is only a legend. So how can I know what's the truth? And how can I know that this is only way how I can come back to God? There is so many things I can't understand that all religions are for me like a game.

Please guide me.

Hare Krishna.

Caroline

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Answer: We Show You How to Meet Krishna

In practically every book which describes the world's religions and Hinduism there is tons of misinformation. The first point is that there is no such thing as many religions because religion is one. Religion simply means to relink with God through pure loving devotion. This one religion can be perfected by anyone who fully surrenders to the will of God. It does not matter if one is a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or a follower of the Vedas. All one has to do is become a pure lover of God. Then he will fully realize the Highest Truth.

The second point is that the word "Hindu" does not appear anywhere in the Vedic literatures. It was a name coined by the Muslims to described those persons east of the Sindhu river. So technically speaking the word "Hinduism" is meaningless in terms of accurately describing a certain religious system.

And besides that these academic text books are written by scholars, not by persons who have actually realized the Absolute Truth. Because they have no devotion and thus no personal realization they have failed to see what is clearly described in the Bhagavad-gita, that Krishna is the compiler of the Vedic wisdom and that it all ultimately points to Him. They foolishly state that the events described in the Bhagavad-gita are legendary and not historical. But the actual site where Krishna spoke the Bhagavad-gita is still existing in India. Anyone can go and see where this most famous conversation in world history took place.

It is preposterous for these foolish scholars to assert that Krishna is not mentioned in the Vedas when it clearly stated in the Atharva Veda (Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad 1.24):

yo brahmāṇaṁ vidadhāti pūrvaṁ yo vai vedāṁś ca gāpayati sma kṛṣṇaḥ

"It was Kṛishna who in the beginning instructed Brahmā in Vedic knowledge
and who disseminated Vedic knowledge in the past."

After  Brahma received the Vedic knowledge from Krishna Brahma then clearly describes in another Vedic text, the Sri Brahma-samhita, the following:

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥa
anādir ādir govindaḥ
sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam


"The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Kṛiṣhṇa,
who has a body of eternity, knowledge and bliss.
He has no beginning, for He is the beginning of everything.
He is the cause of all causes."


Those who have a halfway understanding of the Vedic wisdom sometimes say that Krishna is an expansion of Vishnu. But they do not know that there are unlimited Vishnus and that Krishna is the original Vishnu form from which all the other Vishnus come. So while it is true that Vishnu is the origin, this must be understood in the context of Krishna being the original form of Vishnu.

And besides all this scriptural evidence, we show you how to personally meet Krishna and see first hand that He is indeed the origin of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

I sincerely hope that this has cleared up your confusion completely now. If you are still having any doubts, kindly let me know and I will destroy them for you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 26 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Detached from the Day-to-Day Dramas

We often become disturbed by things that are going on in this material world. For example we may have a dispute with someone that we are not able to rectify, and we may become very frustrated and bewildered because of it. In such situations it is advisable to philosophically detach ourselves by remembering that the various dramas of day-to-day are not very important because our lives can end at any time. We can think, "What if I was on my deathbed or that other person was on his deathbed? Would I still consider this dispute to be very important?" With this sort of vision we can detach ourselves from the dramas and keep our consciousness focused on the transcendental platform where we can always remain the well-wisher of all even if they strongly disagree with us or are our so-called enemies.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Remember Krishna While Walking?

Dear Teacher,

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

One of your "Thought for the Day" messages reminded me of this question. In that message you mentioned that when you were on the way across the border to Russia, due to the red tape of the Russian border, you had to sit for many hours in a long queue of cars waiting to clear Russian immigration. So you answered all of your emails and wrote "Thought for the Day" for the next day. But what to do next? When you were wondering what can be done to be connected with Krishna, Guru Mataji reminded you of the harmonium in the car, so you could change the boring, excruciating ordeal into an enlivening, ecstatic festival.

So in our life, sometimes we do find ourselves in a situation which is very boring, and few things can be done in service of Krishna. Let's say, the traffic jam, with a lot of noise outside, during that period, we cannot read, cannot chant (cannot hear the japa chanting), what should we do in such situations? And I have a problem, that is, I cannot remember Krishna while walking, since my dormitory is a little far from the teaching building in college, I have to spend a lot of time walking. My mind goes wild while walking, and it's indeed boring.

It's indeed difficult, almost impossible for me to remember Krishna while walking, unless I keep chanting the holy name while walking, I don't know why. It seems that I should keep chanting while walking, and in other boring situations, and maybe this is the only way.

Your humble servant.

Yechen Zhang

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Answer: Chant or See through the Eyes of the Scriptures

Chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra is a great way to keep your mind focused while walking. You can also chant some verses or sing some devotional songs just like some people like to whistle while they are walking down the street. Or you can can observe what is going on around you through the eyes of the scriptures. Just like if our eyes are defective we put on corrective lenses so we can see everything correctly, in a similar way while walking down the street you can wear the corrective lenses of the scriptures and see everything around you in the light of sastric vision. In this way your every walk will be an interesting, fantastic learning experience which will bring you closer and closer to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 25 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama
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Today's Thought:

When All Else Fails Chant Hare Krishna.

Sometimes no matter what we do everything seems to come out wrong. It becomes therefore sometimes completely bewildering to know what should be done and what should not be done. However, when such emotional devastation hits there is no need to panic. Simply take complete shelter of Lord Sri Krishna's unlimitedly sweet transcendental names and before you know it everything will be okay. This the wonderful power of Lord Sri Krishna's wonderful holy names:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Srila Prabhupada Chants Hare Krishna Japa


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can God Be a Blue Man?

In general I am continually drawn to this movement and its philosophy. I chant daily and follow the 4 regulative principles. I do however find it really hard to relate to God/Krishna as a blue man. My own conception of Krishna is beyond my comprehension. I just focus on Krishna as my creator and that I can have relationship with him. How do I come to understand Him as a blue man? This concept really throws me.

Deanne

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Answer: Because He Likes It

Just as a gold mine must possess gold in order for gold to be extracted from it, the original source must possess personality for so many millions of personalities to be extracted from it. That original person is naturally all powerful because all power comes from that original person. Since that original person has all power, that person can manifest in any way He chooses. Why do you choose a certain color sweater when you go shopping? Because you are a person and you have certain color preferences. God is also a person and He naturally therefore has color preferences. His favorite color obviously is blue. He has a right to choose His favorite color just as you do.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Reply: Perfect Sense

Thank you for your reply. That has made perfect sense to me.

Deanne

Tuesday 24 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Total Complete Bliss

The bliss of material sense enjoyment is never total nor is it complete because it is always restricted. No matter how much material happiness one may enjoy it is temporary and it can be taken away at any time by the cruel laws of material nature. The bliss of Krishna consciousness, however, is of an entirely different nature because it does not depend upon any material circumstances. It is experienced purely on the basis of the loving relationship that the devotee establishes with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Coping with Personal and Global Financial Crisis

The entire world economy is going down. What should a devotee do if he faces a financial crisis and even loses his job, and the world society comes to the worst condition?

Sather

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Answer: Depend on Krishna

Krishna will never let his devotees starve. One should peacefully engage in Krishna consciousness and strive for his livelihood by any honest means. Krishna will take care of his devotees. There is no reason for anxiety. Krishna can solve all of the world's problems within a minute. We simply have to take complete shelter of Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 23 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Reconnect with the Underlying Harmony

Sometimes people object to participation in this Krishna consciousness movement because they perceive it as another one of those blind faith fanatical religious sects. But this is their gross misunderstanding. We are not presenting here another sect of religion. We are instead presenting what is the original pure essence of all religious teachings before they became sectarianized. In other words, there is an underlying harmony within this universal reality in which we are all participating. The Krishna consciousness movement is spreading the knowledge to the suffering humanity of how everyone can reconnect with this underlying harmony and thus become peaceful and happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Bliss Proportionate to Degree of Surrender?

Respected Gurudeva,

Namaskar, my respectful obeisances unto you. You mention in each message that one who totally surrenders to Lord Krishna enjoys endless bliss. But one who is not initiated is not in a position for total surrender due to various reasons, but is still partially surrendered like being vegetarian, abstaining from alcohol, gambling, respecting every life as divine, etc. Can those who are partially surrendered enjoy proportionate bliss? Or is the endless nectar like your kind self enjoys an all or none phenomenon? I apologize for the immature question but I beg you for your guidance.

Sudhir

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Answer: Yes, the More the Surrender, the More the Bliss

Apology is not necessary because you have asked a very nice question which will benefit many of our students and readers. Yes, one enjoys transcendental bliss proportionate to his degree of surrender. The more the surrender, the more the bliss. Those who understand and realize this therefore surrender as much as possible for the maximization of their happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 22 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Collect for Krishna--Spend for Krishna.

The simple solution for all of the world's economic problems is "Collect for Krishna--Spend for Krishna." This easy solution works because according to the Bhagavad-gita all of the wealth of this world and of all the worlds belongs to Krishna. This means that if we utilize wealth for any other purpose, we are following in the footsteps of Ravana, the powerful demon who defied the authority of the Lord and in the end was completely defeated and lost everything. And it also means that when we utilize wealth in the service of Krishna that He will give us more and more wealth to employ in His service. Krishna possesses unlimited wealth and can easily give us unlimited wealth to engage in His service if we show Him that we are sincere in using the wealth for His pleasure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ravana Defeated by Lord Rama


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Deal with the Murderers?

While many of us are devoted to the worship of the Divine, we still have to deal with issues in the material world, much like climbing a mountain full of obstacles to reach the Supreme, even though our bhakti is strong. I speak of the recent tragic events like those at Fort Hood and the current wrangling in the American Congress over abortion and healthcare. Through the lens of Krishna Consciousness, how should the murderers of the world be dealt with, and how should abortion be dealt with? Common sense tells me that I have not created life, per se, so I should not seek to destroy it. I ask for your answers on these very difficult issues.

May peace be yours on your many journeys,

Ray

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Answer: Conquer Over Evil With Krishna Consciousness

I very much appreciate your question. A devotee is not apathetic. His heart bleeds to see the suffering and injustice going on all around him here in this material world. He therefore fully dedicates his life for conquering over the evil in the world. How does he accomplish this? The formula for transforming the planet earth with a spiritual revolution is that first the devotee fully revolutionizes his own consciousness by taking complete shelter of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna. And then in this liberated state of consciousness he fully absorbs himself in spreading the message of Krishna as far and as wide as possible for saving the suffering souls of this world from their ignorance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 21 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama
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Today's Thought:

A Devotee is an Ocean of Mercy

The first symptom of someone who is fixed in Krishna consciousness is that he is all-merciful. His mercy is universal because he extends it to all living beings. It is not that he is kind to those within his circle and unkind to those who are outside of his circle. It is not that he shows his love for the animals by eating their flesh. He truly cares for all living beings seeing them all as the dear children of the Supreme Father, Lord Sri Krishna. And he therefore fully dedicates his life to serving them all by doing everything possible to facilitate their escaping their imprisonment within the cycle of birth and death and regaining their original full-of-knowledge, full-of-bliss, eternal consciousness in the transcendental kingdom of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




All Merciful Srila Prabhupada on Television


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Upgrade to Pure Bhakti

How do I upgrade myself to pure bhakti?

Bijal

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Answer: Faith, Devotee Association, and Surrender to Guru

How does one complete a thousand mile journey? By taking one step and then taking another step, etc. etc. until the goal is reached. We begin the bhakti path as neophytes, persons who are not expert in the science of bhakti. In the beginning we may be 1% Krishna conscious and 99% materially conscious. And from there we can go to 2% Krishna consciousness and from there to 3% until finally we have fully upgraded our consciousness to 100% pure Krishna bhakti.

This upgrading of our consciousness comes by putting our faith in the process of Krishna consciousness, by associating with devotees, and by surrendering at the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master who then along with the help of the Vaisnavas guides us all the way to the topmost upgrade of pure Krishna prema.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 20 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Falling in Love with Vrindavana

Being here in Sri Vrindavana Dhama grows on you. To be every day associating with the sacred dust, the sacred sights, and the sacred sounds of Krishna's transcendental abode has a profound impact on one's consciousness. Although in the beginning there may some culture shock due to external conditioning, once one settles into the mood of being in Sri Vrindavana Dhama one begins to taste the sweetest nectar of love of Godhead. Therefore Krishna devotees from all over the world regularly come here to surcharge their spiritual batteries by taking shelter of the sweet, loving mellows of Sri Vrindavana Dhama. Regarding the transcendental potency of being here in Vrindavana Srila Prabhupada has written in his purport to the Srimad Bhagavatam 3rd Canto, Chapter 1, Text 24 as follows:

"The tract of land comprising about one hundred square miles from modern Delhi to the Mathura district in Uttar Pradesh, including a portion of the Gurgaon district in Punjab (East India), is considered to be the topmost place of pilgrimage in all of India. This land is sacred because Lord Krishna traveled through it many times. From the very beginning of His appearance, He was at Mathura in the house of His maternal uncle Kamsa, and He was reared by His foster father Maharaja Nanda at Vrindavana. There are still many devotees of the Lord lingering there in ecstasy in search of Krishna and His childhood associates, the gopis. It is not that such devotees meet Krishna face to face in that tract of land, but a devotee's eagerly searching after Krishna is as good as his seeing Him personally. How this is so cannot be explained, but it is factually realized by those who are pure devotees of the Lord."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Diving Deeply into Kirtan In Vrindavana


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Give Me Strength to Follow Your Order

Please accept my humble obeisances.

You have ordered me to stop agitating my mind by looking at anything that incites lust. Please give me the strength so I can please you by following this strictly. You have given me your amazing mercy. I am forever indebted to you. Thank you so so much.

Your servant

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Answer: Guru's Order Gives Strength

The order of the spiritual master carries within it the potency to successfully execute that order. So nothing else is required. Simply fully embrace the order received from the spiritual master as your very life and soul. Then by Sri Guru's grace and Sri Krishna's grace, your spiritual success is 100% guaranteed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 19 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Srila Prabhupada's Amazing Selflessness

This morning at 4am I was at ISKCON's Krishna Balarama Mandir waiting for the arati in Srila Prabhupada's samadhi to begin. I was standing in front of a diorama of Srila Prabhupada boarding the ship Jaladuta embarking on his preaching mission to the western world. His hand was firmly gripped on the rope handle, and his face showed staunch determination to carry out the order of his spiritual master to carry the message of Krishna consciousness to the English speaking world in spite of his aging body. As I gazed upon his face I was stunned by the depth of his compassion how selfless he was to risk everything for carrying out of the order of his spiritual master. Such great souls as His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada are extremely rare in this world. I then transferred my eyes down to his lotus shoes knowing that this is my position, to be the humble servant at his lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada
Boarding the Jaladuta
Calcutta, 1965


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Beyond Mechanical Chanting


I have just recently taken up the practice of Krishna Consciousness. Since then I have been chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra whenever possible. But there are times I feel that I do it mechanically. Is this common? Is there some way to get more deeply involved in the chanting beyond the mechanical platform?

Anup

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Answer: Stick to Guru's Order

For a neophyte often the chanting seems mechanical. This is normal. This is due to the covering effect of the three modes of material nature. The key to rapid success on the path of Krishna consciousness is to always continue chanting one's daily vow of prescribed japa mala given by the spiritual master no matter whether it seems mechanical or natural. In this way by sticking to the order of one's guru the devotee will quickly advance on the path of bhakti and attain the platform where the chanting is fully realized as natural, just as birds are always naturally singing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 18 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Suffering is Outdated and Old-Fashioned

Krishna consciousness is an ocean of unlimited nectar. There is no reason for anyone to suffer in material existence any more. All one has to do is to dive deeply into this ocean and eternally relish the sweetest happiness in the association of Lord Sri Krishna and His most beloved devotees. Suffering is outdated and old-fashioned. Those who are awakened relish the sweetest happiness of Krishna consciousness at every minute and fully dedicate themselves for saving those who are so totally lost in confusion, illusion, and delusion. This dedication they have to saving others makes them very, very dear to the Lord who therefore bestows unlimited blessings upon them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Secret of Your Energy?

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

Gurudeva, please forgive me to ask you this personal question.
Gurudeva, you are thrice my age and you are working three times as hard as I do.

Although you are working selflessly and you are working for Lord Krishna directly but you are still working with a human body which has its own limitations. Gurudeva, please tell me what is it that you do but I don't? Please show me Your mercy in telling me what is the secret of Your energy? How can I work for 18 hours?

An eternal servant of Lord Krishna,
Dhaval

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Answer: Surrender to Krishna

Krishna is the source of my energy. If you want to work like me, you should devote yourself fully to Krishna as I have. Then you will be similarly energized. When one becomes absorbed fully in working hard for Krishna it is no longer work. It becomes instead the most enlivening recreation like a little kid in a candy shop.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 17 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Sense Control Begins With the Tongue

Of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable, therefore if we can conquer over our tongues, we can easily conquer all of our other senses. The first step in conquering the tongue is to never put anything in our mouths except for Krishna prasadam. And the second step is take only what is necessary for good health. Gluttony has never made anyone happy. Indeed we have always seen that gluttonous people are miserable. So in this way we should intelligently analyze things as they are and do the needful for attaining the supreme happiness by engaging the tongue in chanting Hare Krishna and honoring Krishna prasadam to our full satisfaction.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Did Krishna Disappear?

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

How are you Maharaja? I just want to know how did Lord Krishna disappear from this planet earth? Did he die like a ordinary human being? Kindly make it clear to me.

Mary Joy

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Answer: By His Own Sweet Will

Krishna departed from this world just as He appeared in it, by His own sweet will. He was not forced to appear or disappear by the laws of the material nature. He is the Supreme Independent Personality of Godhead. He can come and go as He pleases for His own pleasure and to give pleasure to His devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 16 November 2009

from the most holy Sri Vrindavan Dham
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Today's Thought:

Don't Take Guru as a Pet

Srila Prabhupada used to always say that we should not take the guru like we keep a pet dog trying to manipulate him to satisfy our desires. Rather it is the position of the disciple to satisfy the bona fide spiritual master in every respect. The spiritual master is the external manifestation of the Supreme Lord who is situated within our hearts. If we fully surrender unto him as menial servants, we are immediately connected with the Supreme Lord within our hearts. But if instead we try to manipulate the spiritual master to fulfill our desires we are prolonging our entanglement in this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Always Be Tolerant?

Please accept my humble obeisances,

May your mercy always be on me,

Srila Gurudeva, is it true that one should be tolerant to both happiness and distress? If yes, how can one increase the threshold of tolerance so that it becomes easy to tolerate and also at the same time increase bhakti?

Regards,
Sunil

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Answer: Become Like a Tree

An advanced transcendentalist is someone who has mastered the art of being equally happy both in happiness and distress. In fact, the highest level transcendentalists such as Queen Kunti prefer distress because they find it more conducive for their Krishna consciousness.

A first class technique for increasing one's tolerance is to always remember Lord Caitanya's order that one should be more tolerant than a tree. Just consider how tolerant is a tree. The trees provide us with cooling shade in the summertime and firewood to keep us warm in the winter. And no matter what we may do to the tree it simply tolerates it and continues rendering service. If we cut off its branches, it does not complain. And even if we come to kill the tree by chopping it down, it simply silently tolerates. The tolerance of the tree is the example chosen by Lord Caitanya to teach us how to be tolerant. So if we always remember this sublime example, our tolerance level will increase more and more.

If we are very tolerant, our minds will always be peaceful even in the midst of the most disturbing circumstances. This will make it much easier for us to remember Krishna and thus reawaken the bhakti which is lying dormant within our hearts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 15 November 2009

from the ISKCON Temple in Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Staying Cool When Turmoil Hits

Things in this material world do not always go along nicely on an even keel. It's certainly not that everything goes along the way that we would like it too. There is often turmoil, sometimes mild and sometimes devastatingly fierce. So how do we keep our cool through all of these varieties of waves? The key is that we have to always maintain a clear vision within our hearts that there is a loving person behind this whole thing and that it is not happening by chance. There is indeed rhyme and reason behind everything. All events are going on under the loving orchestration of the Supreme All-Attractive Personality of Godhead for the ultimate purpose of rescuing each and every one of us from the clutches of death and re-engaging us in our original loving relationship with Him. Of course, God's orchestration does not mean that we are without free will. Each of us can properly use our free will or we can abuse it. This part of the orchestration is up to us. But whether we choose to act in harmony or disharmony with the Supreme, in either case the Supreme Person will reciprocate with us in such a way to either encourage us to give up our disharmony and revive our loving relationship with Him or to increase the seriousness and the intensity of our loving relationship with Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting Radha Radha while Chanting Hare Krishna

I am chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra daily, but when I am chanting it my heart is continuously saying to me to chant "Radha Radha." When I am chanting the mahamantra automatically "Radha Radha" will come on my lips. This happens so many times. I am feeling that I am chanting mahamantra, but actually I am chanting "Radha Radha." What should I do? Please guide me.

Hare Krishna.

Sachin
Mathura, India

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Answer: Carefully Utter the Mahamantra Without Modification

First I beg to point out to you that according to principles of Sanskrit grammar it is improper to address Radharani by calling out "Radha." When addressing her one is meant to use the vocative form of her name, which is "Radhe."

You do not have to worry that you are neglecting the chanting of Srimati Radharani's name when you are chanting the Hare Krishna mantra because within the Hare Krishna mantra "Hare" is calling out to Srimati Radharani. We first call out to Srimati Radharani uttering "Hare" because it is only by the mercy of our divine mother Radharani that we can approach Krishna.

In order to become spiritually perfect we must follow in the pathway of the scriptures and the previous acharyas. Since both the scriptures and the great saintly teachers have prescribed specifically that we should chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra, you need to do this if you are keen to achieve spiritual perfection and get out of the cycle of birth and death as soon as possible. Therefore you should carefully regulate your tongue to properly chant these sixteen names without any modifications:

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 14 November 2009

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought:

Thought for the Minute

One time when I was talking to a friend I mentioned how I write and broadcast a new "Thought for the Day" every day. He was amazed how it could be possible. But it is not at all difficult. Of course, it is not due to my writing ability, of which I have none. It is due instead to the amazing dynamic, ever-expanding nature of Krishna consciousness. Because Krishna's glories are expanding exponentially at every nanosecond, all we have to do is to be an honest reporter. Nothing more is required. In this way even an incompetent literary misfit can write volumes and volumes of highly attractive books. So if we had sufficient time during the day, we could have "Thought for the Minute" or even "Thought for the Second" instead of "Thought for the Day." But because time is limited we are producing a new broadcast only on a once-a-day basis.`

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What to Do About My Lack of Sincerity?

While chanting or serving the Lord I sometimes or many times feel lack of sincerity in myself. What do I do for that?

Is it right to offer medicines to the Lord before taking them?

Can I take milk during Ekadasi fasting?

Please guide me, dear Sir.

Your servant,

Ankur

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Answer: That Feeling is Your Sincerity

The more that a devotee feels that he is lacking in good qualities, the more he becomes recognized. So I can see by your humility that you are a very sincere, nice devotee. Please continue in this spirit and surely Krishna will bless you more and more.

Medicines should be taken without being offered because Krishna is not a sick man who requires to take medicine.

And, yes, milk can be taken during Ekadasi fasting unless you have opted for full fasting. In other words Ekadasi can be observed by full or partial fasting. Partial fasting means no taking of grains or beans. Everything else is acceptable. Full fasting is of two types. The first type is to absolutely avoid taking any kind of food. And the second type is avoid all food and not take any water also. On either type of full Ekadasi fasting, milk is not allowed. But milk is allowed when one observes Ekadasi by partial fasting. The main principle of Ekadasi is to increase one's remembrance of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 13 November 2009

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

Don't Be Cheated by Imposters

In this world we are besieged by many imposters, enemies who claim to be our friends. As soon as we put our trust in them we become cheated and exploited. Therefore for the sake of our own well-being we should only trust the Supreme Lord and those who purely represent Him. As soon as we put our faith in those others who are not qualified to lead us we fall into the syndrome known as "blind leading the blind."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Win the Lotto?

I read your daily e-course and can understand your power. I play daily lotto over here but I don't win. I need your directives now, how do I win the lotto, because I want to win the lotto.

Thanks,
Chimereze

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Answer: It is Better That You Go After the Ultimate Win.

You can only win the lottery or lotto if it is your karma to win. To achieve material opulence you require to perform many, many pious activities such as opening hospitals, taking care of the poor, and digging wells in villages. For the most part these things would need to have been done in previous lifetimes to make you materially opulent now. So if you do not have this past pious karma, you will probably not be able to win lotto or the lottery.

But why waste your time with this small time stuff? Even if you win ten billion dollars it is nothing more than a dirty penny that someone leaves lying on the street compared to the inconceivable opulence of Krishna consciousness. It is better that you inquire from the spiritual master how to awaken your dormant Krishna consciousness, not how to win in gambling.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 12 November 2009

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

The Real Ticket to Vrindavan

Today we are heading out to India via a transit stop in Finland. I'll be giving a couple of lectures at our center in Helsinki and then we will continue our eastward journey to the holy land of Vrindavan. It is always special mercy to be able to visit Krishna's holy dhama (abode). Sri Vrindavan Dhama, although apparently situated within this material world, is non-different from the Goloka Vrindavan which exists in the topmost portion of the spiritual sky far, far beyond the coverings of this dark material world. No matter which way one contacts with that divine abode, one becomes purified. Whether one touches its dust, breathes its air, or simply remembers it--the all auspicious Sri Vrindavan Dhama bestows all spiritual blessings upon those who take its shelter. The spiritual master is the revealer of the dhama. So before heading out to that most sacred abode I am begging my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, that by his mercy I actually enter into the most merciful Sri Vrindavan Dhama. This is required because we cannot enter the Holy Dhama simply by purchasing an airline ticket. We can only enter the Holy Dhama by the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master. This mercy of Sri Guru is the real ticket to Vrindavan.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Vrindavana Dhama

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is It Good to Chant Hare Krishna Without Beads?

Dear Gurudeva,

If I chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra, just like Caitanya Mahaprabhu did without japa beads, is that good?

Gopal

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Answer: Yes, But For Perfection Good is Not Good Enough.

Of course, any chanting is good, with beads or without beads. But if one wants to attain the full benefit of chanting, good is not good enough. You must become perfect in chanting. Therefore chanting with beads is required.

You have somehow misunderstood that Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not chant Hare Krishna on beads. This is not a fact. Lord Caitanya did chant the Hare Krishna mantra on beads. Also, the great acharyas chanted Hare Krishna on beads. And Srila Prabhupada ordered his followers to chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mahamantra on beads.

So why would you want to chant without beads when God Himself as well the great acharyas chanted on beads? The sastras declare that we are meant to follow in the footsteps of the great saintly teachers. Therefore if you want the achieve the perfection of chanting Hare Krishna, you should also chant on japa beads at least 16 rounds daily. Chanting on the japa beads is especially recommended because it makes the chanting more powerful and more effective. And in this age of Kali we need all the help we can get for becoming successful spiritually.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 11 November 2009

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

Pure Love Obliterates Loneliness

A devotee is never lonely because he always associates with Krishna, Guru, and Vaisnavas. Even if he is not in physical contact them, he does not feel lonely because he can directly experience them within his heart 24 hours daily. How is he able to connect with them so solidly that he does feel not alone? This is accomplished through loving service. In other words, pure loving service totally obliterates loneliness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the World Ending in 2012?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Pranams. Spiritual and scientific studies today say that the world is going to perish in 2012. Is it true? With all my trust in you, I would like to know the actual answer from you, the spiritual master.

with kind regards....

Nirmala K.


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Answer: The Planet Earth Is In Peril, But It Will Survive.

Do not worry. This material universe in which we are currently residing will not be destroyed for another 155 trillion years, so there is no need to take the 2012 theories of total destruction seriously. However we should take seriously the ever-increasingly calamitous atmosphere enveloping this planet. A tremendous upsurge of sinful karma is truly putting the planet earth into great danger. Therefore we are being tortured by so many anomalies such as economic disaster, terrorism, ecological disruption, a proliferation of crime, wide scale hunger, epidemic diseases, etc. What can be taken seriously and must be taken seriously is the great opportunity that this human life offers you to become Krishna conscious and attain permanent release from the cycle of repeated birth and death while at same time having the most positive, uplifting impact on the global consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 10 November 2009

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

Cool or Fool?


If I don't see things as they are and simply blindly accept the vision of reality which has been dished out to me by the blind fools who are leading the world into ever increasing chaos, what does that make me? Simply, another fool. As it is said, when the blind lead the blind they both end up in the ditch. Therefore great enlightened teachers have advised us to step outside of our conditioning and view reality thoughtfully with a cool brain. If we are willing to take the time and trouble to do this, we will be cool instead of fool.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: I Am Not Convinced of Immortality


Immortality? That's what they promise. Anyway I am not convinced. It is so-called true by faith only.

Heather

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Answer: Would You Like to Taste It?

Are you kidding? Nothing is known by faith only, except for foolishness. Blind following of this self-realization process is condemned. Immortality can only be known by those who are experiencing it first hand, just as it sometimes said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you would like to try tasting it, we are willing to give you a spoon.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 9 November 2009

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

It's Time to Upgrade Your TV Set

Why waste time sitting at the feet of the "one-eyed guru" TV set, when you can instead upgrade to the mystic television within your heart and see a 24 hours daily live broadcast of the pastimes of the Supreme Lord that are happening right now in the spiritual world? This is a simple matter of common sense. Who would want to waste their time with programming which shackles its viewers to the cycle of birth and death, when instead one can watch programming which bestows eternal unlimited knowledge and bliss? Besides that on the mystic TV there are no commercials. What channel is it on? It's on the channel of pure bhakti. Srila Prabhupada describes this mystic television as follows in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, 1st Canto, Chapter 6, Text 33 as follows:

"The Absolute Personality of Godhead is not different from His transcendental name, form, pastimes and the sound vibrations thereof. As soon as a pure devotee engages himself in the pure devotional service of hearing, chanting and remembering the name, fame and activities of the Lord, at once He becomes visible to the transcendental eyes of the pure devotee by reflecting Himself on the mirror of the heart by spiritual television."

So, what are you waiting for? Get rid of your nonsense TV. It's time for an upgrade to the most awesome TV in all of existence!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can You See Who I Really Am?


I was reading in Vedic literature: "Bhakti-The Art of Eternal Love" on page 29 about avidya - ignorance, "The root cause of suffering is avidya, ignorance of our real identity as eternal servants of Lord Krishna." So, the question from me is, "What is my identity?" I am asking because I am afraid of the sufferings caused by this ignorance and the sinning I am doing.

Can you see who I really am?

RenÚ

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Answer: Yes, I Can, and It is Absolutely Ecstatic!

Yes, I can see who you really are, and it is absolutely ecstatic! Your actual identity is that you are not your body or your mind. You are instead the indwelling spirit-soul who is qualitatively one with the Supreme Person, the Source of all existence. Thus your actual nature is that you are the eternal, full-of-bliss and full-of-knowledge, servitor of the unlimitedly sweet Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. Now that you know who you are, you simply have to be who you are, and you will transcend the miserable modes of material nature and enter into that incredibly wondrous spiritual sky to revive your original relationship with the all-powerful, all-beautiful, all-renounced, all-knowing, all-famous source and owner of everything, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 8 November 2009

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

Don't Be A Dummy!

Don't be a dummy. Utilize the advanced intelligence which is yours in this human form to get free from clutches of birth, death, old age, and disease. Of course modern science is trying to accomplish this by scientific research. But the difficulty is that they are trying to solve these problems by going against the laws of nature instead of acting in harmony with them. In other words behind the stringent laws of material nature there is a higher nature under which the material nature acts. By synchronizing ourselves with that higher nature we can easily conquer over material nature and attain immortality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna's Unjust Nature?

Namaste.

I have been writing to you for the past few years occasionally and was blessed enough to receive a soothing reply.

I think I have a bias against the Lord Krishna as my mind has many times analyzed that the sequence of events in the Mahabharata show Him in a poor light in some cases. From the movies and tele-serials that I have seen, He acts or is seen to make others act deceitfully.

I request you to please let me know:
a) Why is the Lord not taking a form when the level of injustice has grown manifold both in terms of quality and quantity?
b) Is there a bar on chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra in the night?
c) I understand that you have been writing in these columns that there should be a source for the creation of this world and nothing comes without a source. I do not understand this properly, as such a proposition will imply that there is source for the Lord and another source for that source and so on. There has to be a point where something came into existence by itself. Since God is not seen or perceived by most of us (I am not including you or other noble people), what would be the answer for the argument that the material world has come into existence by itself and that there is no God or any other power?
d) Finally, I have committed certain sins thus far in my life and the thought of taking a re-birth (to atone these sins) really saddens me without limit. And the probability of committing more sins is much higher in the following births than it is now as some of the sins have become so common that we cease to consider them as sins at all.

Respectful Regards,
Your reader

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Answer: Krishna is Supreme Justice Personified.

I am happy to hear that you are soothed by our answers. It should be like that because we are simply repeating the Absolute Truth as revealed by Lord Krishna without any adulteration.

We are not meant to understand Krishna from TV and cinema because Krishna can only be properly understand when we hear about him from the lips of His pure devotees. Regarding what you perceive as Krishna's immorality, would you lie to save the life of a friend who was kidnapped by terrorists? You have to understand that everything Krishna does is in loving service to His devotees. Since He is the original person, He is not obliged to follow our principles of morality. He always acts according to the highest standard of moral principles on the absolute platform.

Here are your questions with answers:

a) Why is the Lord not taking a form when the level of injustice has grown manifold both in terms of quality and quantity?

Answer: Krishna has now taken a form to put a stop to the evil in the world. He is now manifested on this planet in the form of the Krishna consciousness movement. We therefore are requesting you to dedicate your life as far as possible in assisting this movement in bringing about a spiritual revolution on this planet.

b) Is there a bar on chanting the Hare Krishna mantra in the night?

Answer: Lord Caitanya said that there are no hard and fast rules in regards to chanting Hare Krishna. Therefore you are welcome to chant the Hare Krishna mantra 24 hours daily in any and all situations.

c) I understand that you have been writing in these columns that there should be a source for the creation of this world and nothing comes without a source. I do not understand this properly as such a proposition will imply that there is source for the Lord and another source for that source and so on. There has to be a point where something came into existence by itself. Since God is not seen or perceived by most of us (I am not including you or other noble people) what would be the answer for the argument that the material world has come into existence by itself and that there is no God or any other power?

Answer: God, by definition, is the source of all existence. And since everything has a cause, in God's case He must be the very cause of His own existence. In other words, He is self-manifested. It is confirmed in the Brahma Samhita that Krishna or God has no origin and that He is the origin of everything. If this material world were self-manifested, it would be God. But this material world is impersonal energy. Just as gold cannot be produced from a goldless goldmine, persons cannot be produced from an impersonal source of existence. Since persons exists, the original cause of all existence must possess personality and thus be a person. And since that person must necessarily be the fountainhead of all opulences, He is naturally the Supreme Person. In other words, the existence of the Supreme Person is logical, and His non-existence would be illogical. And it is confirmed in the authoritative Vedic literatures.

d) Finally, I have committed certain sins thus far in my life and the thought of taking a re-birth (to atone these sins) really saddens me without limit. And the probability of committing more sins is much higher in the following births than it is now as some of the sins have become so common that we cease to consider them as sins at all.

Answer: All you have to do is to fully surrender yourself to Krishna. In this way you will not have to take birth again this material world. There is no other atonement that is effective. Nor is there any other atonement which is necessary. This full surrender to Krishna will automatically free you from all of your past sins from even millions and billions of births and allow to dwell eternally in the realm of unlimited happiness, the Vaikuntha world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 7 November 2009

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

Putting an End to Hate

The modern day society is becoming more and more plagued by hate crimes. People are cultivating hatred within their hearts, which then sometimes explodes into ghastly horrific mass killings. What is the basis of this hatred? It is all based on the false sense that we all have of being the center of existence, the lords of all that we survey. In other words, if I think that I am the center, and you think that you are the center, there is bound to sooner or later be a clash between us. But if everyone can acknowledge that there is instead a Supreme Person who is the true center of existence, we can then have a planetary society which is fully peaceful and happy. This is the mission of Hare Krishna movement, to create such a wonderful, truly sublime atmosphere on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where is Hare Krishna in the Vedic Literatures?

This Hare Krishna mahamantra is not directly given either the Bhagavad-gita or in the Srimad Bhagavatam. So besides the Kali Santarana Upanisad where is it given?

Kuber

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Answer: The Hare Krishna Mantra is Everywhere in the Vedas

God Himself in His most munificent incarnation as Lord Caitanya chanted the Hare Krishna Mantra. The great Vaisnava acharyas such as Rupa Goswami chanted Hare Krishna. And the Hare Krishna mantra is declared in the Kali Santarana Upanisad to be the best of all mantras for delivering us from this material world. I do not understand why you need more evidence than this? Actually since the Hare Krishna mahamantra is an incarnation of Krishna in the form of transcendental sound vibration and since Krishna states in the Bhagavd-gita that by all the Vedic wisdom He is to be known, the Hare Krishna mantra is fully present implicitly throughout the Vedic literatures. But, in any case, since you have requested here are a few of the many explicit references to the Hare Krishna mantra found in the Vedic literatures:

Ananta Samhita:

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
sodasaitani namani dvatrimsad varna kani hi
kalau yuge mahamantrah sammato jiva tarane

"Hare Krishna hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
This hari-nama mahamantra consists of sixteen names and thirty-two syllables.
In Kali-yuga this mantra can deliver all jivas."

In the Brahma Yamala, Lord Shiva states:

harim bina nasti kincat papani-starakam kalau
tasmal-lokod-dharana-artham hari-nama prakasayet
sarvatra mucyate loko mahapapat kalau yuge
hare-krsna pada dvandvam krsneti ca pada-dvayam
tatha hare-pada-dvandvam hare-rama iti dvayam
tad-ante ca mahadevi- rama rama dvayam vadet
hare hare tato bru-yad harinama samud dharet
mahamantram ca krsnasya sarva papa pranasakam

"He Mahadevi! Look! In Kali-yuga there is no easier way to eradicate sins than by sri-hari-nama. It is therefore essential to propagate sri hari-nama among the general populace. The people in Kaliyuga can be easily liberated from the greatest hell by performing sankirtana of this mahamantra. To chant the mahamantra, first chant Hare Krishna twice, then chant Krishna twice, then Hare twice. After that, chant Hare Rama twice, then Rama twice and again Hare twice. One should chant, articulate and perform sankirtana etc., of Sri Krishna's mahamantra, which destroys all sins."

In the Radhahrdya Khanda of the Brahmanda Purana, Romaharsana Suta prays to Sri Veda Vyasa as follows:

yat tvaya kirtitam natha hari-nameti sanjitam
mantram brahmapadam siddhi karam

"He Vibho! He Prabhu! Please instruct me in the brahma svarupa nama mantra
of Sri- Hari which is the bestower of all perfections."

In reply, Sri Veda Vyasa gives the following instruction:

grhanad yasya mantrasya dehi brahmamayo bhavet
sadhyah putah surapo 'pi sarvasiddhi-yuto bhavet
tad-aham te bhidhasyami mahabhagavato hamsi
hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
iti sodasakam namnam tri-kala kalmasapaham
natah parataropayah sarva vedesu vidhyate

"O my son, I will certainly instruct you in that maha-mantra, the acceptance of which a person in the bodily conception of life can be liberated and even a drunkard can quickly become purified and attain all perfection. I will instruct you because you are a maha-bhagavata and a suitable candidate. Just see! The sixteen word mahamantra:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare


can destroy the sins of the three worlds. The four Vedas do not mention a method for achieving liberation from material bondage superior to the chanting of this mahamantra."


The Ananta Samhita also states:

hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare
sodasautani namani dvatrimsad varnakani hi
kalau yuge mahamantrah sammato jiva tarane
utsrajyaitan-mahamantram ye tvanyat kalpitam padam
maha-nameti gayanti te sastra-guru-lani-ghanah

"All sastras agree that the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, which is composed of sixteen names and thirty-two syllables, is the illustrious mantra to deliver the jivas in Kali-yuga. Those who neglect this mahamantra and accept any other process, due to their own imagination or the imagination of others, are actually disobeying guru and sastra. If someone asks, 'Why is this sixteen word hare Krishna mantra the mahamantra' then the following answer is given:

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

So I hope that after hearing all of this evidence that you are now chanting the Hare Krishna mantra regularly at least 16 rounds daily on japa mala beads. Otherwise if we simply inquire but do not chant, we are not advancing on the spiritual path.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 6 November 2009

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

According to Voidism, Voidism is an Illusion

The voidists say that nothing is real, that nothing really exists at all. Their philosophy has in many ways infiltrated our modern day culture. In fact, there is even a popular song which openly states, "Nothing is real." If we accept it as a fact that nothing is real, this means that there is no existence, that there is no source for our existence, and that we indeed do not actually exist. The questions could be raised then, "If nothing exists and nobody exists, then who is it that is pondering existence? Is my existence then just a figment of imagination? And if it is, who is doing the imagining?"

So now let's say that for the sake of argument we agree to accept this philosophy that nothing is real and hence everything is a illusion. Where does that leave us? This would mean that the voidism philosophy that nothing is real is also an illusion. But since truth is reality distinguished from illusion, we will then be forced to reject the philosophy which declares itself to be an illusion and look for truth elsewhere.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Avoid the Void. Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy!

30 October 2009--Toronto, Ontario Canada


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is the Rama in Hare Rama?

Should we think of Sri Balarama or Sri Ramachandra when we chant the second line, "Hare Rama Hare Rama; Rama Rama Hare Hare"?

Thank you.

Praveen

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Answer: Balarama, Ramachandra, Parasurama, or Krishna

One can take the Rama in Hare Rama to be either Lord Balarama, Lord Ramachandra, Lord Parasurama, or even Lord Krishna Himself, since He is the Supreme Enjoyer and can thus also be correctly addressed as Rama.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 5 November 2009

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

Take the Names to the Streets!

There's so much nectar in Krishna's holy names. So how can we keep them to ourselves? To do so would be sheer greediness. Therefore we should be kind upon our poor brothers and sisters who are caught up in the cycle of birth and regularly take the holy names of the Lord out onto the streets and into the parks for everyone to hear. This is true loving kindness, to liberally share the all-merciful, all-attractive names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna with all of the suffering souls of this Kali yuga.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Hare Krishna Street Chanting

31 October 2009--Toronto, Ontario Canada


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can the Mahamantra Be Changed for Good?

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

Gurudeva, a few days back you wrote in "Thought for the Day" that chanting Krishna's name once equals three names of Rama.

So my question is shall I rather chant:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare,
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

instead of:

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

The benefit derived would be more then. Please show me your mercy in answering this query.

An eternal servitor of Lord Krishna,
Dhaval

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Answer: Don't Concoct. Follow the Previous Acharyas.

The most beneficial way to practice Krishna consciousness is to strictly follow the Vedic injunctions, the spiritual master, and the previous acharyas. Because they have given us:

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

this is millions of times more powerful than:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

In other words, we should not try to concoct anything new according to our own fertile imaginations. Lord Caitanya is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and He chanted:

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

So should we think that we know something better than Lord Caitanya? This is not possible. It would be ludicrous for us to think so. Therefore we should simply follow the pathway chalked out by the great acharyas by chanting:

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

Only this will deliver us from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 4 November 2009

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

Amazing Grace

There is truly nothing more amazing than the grace of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Everything is going on under the superintendence of His multi-energies. For those who take complete shelter of Him, just when He is needed the most He manifests His amazing mercy. Those who fully dedicates themselves for spreading Krishna's glories all over the world will experience His wonderful loving protection again and again throughout their lives and will especially experience it at the moment of death when they pass out of their bodies and enter into the spiritual world. This can be experienced by anyone in any walk of life: a student, a businessman, a corporate worker, a housewife, or anyone who takes every available opportunity to tell people about Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Answering Emails En Route to Toronto, Canada

30 October 2009--Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Eternally Conditioned and Eternally Liberated?

Maharaj, regarding your article of 11 October on nitya-siddha jivas [eternally liberated souls] and nitya-baddha jivas [eternally conditioned souls] could you possibly clear up a doubt that I have? Have the category of souls known as nitya-baddha always been in the material hemisphere, hence the term "eternally conditioned"?

According to the philosophy of some Gaudiya Vaisnava groups this is the case. They say that the nitya-baddhas have never ever been in the spiritual world, thus the term "eternally conditioned" and that the nitya-siddhas have never left Krishna's association. They say that the nitya-baddhas have been in a place known as the tatashta-shakti from where they descended into the material world of their own free choice. However, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada states that we were once face to face with Sri Krishna in the spiritual planets, that we fell down to become little imitation lords here, and that we are then known as nitya-baddha, eternally conditioned. What is the exact situation of the living being? Please clear up this doubt. Please elucidate on this issue for me.

Question No.2 : The jivatmas in the spiritual world decided by their own free will to depart. They were sac-cid-ananda vigraha: eternally in full knowledge and bliss. How and why could they they have decided by their own free will to leave Krishna's association, since everything in the spiritual world is fully spiritual and the material influence of maya or illusion is conspicuous by her absence? Though he has a free choice to depart as he desires [Free-will always been the prerogative of the living being as well as his dharma- pure loving servants of the Supreme Person Krishna,], how could he have possibly been influenced to do so? For example, a split second decision to leave due to temptation of being an enjoying over lord in the heavenly planets. Is this not some kind of material maya? Would he not have known the consequences due to his higher spiritual aware state of knowledge? Why would he have wanted to leave Krishna's blissful association?

Please answer these questions, Your Grace. Clear up my doubts.

Yours sincerely,
Bhakta Luke

P.S. I read your articles every day and I find them spiritually illuminating. Thank you very much.

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Answer: You Have to Transcend the Influence of Time

The reason that many devotees get confused over the terms nitya siddha (eternally liberated) and nitya baddha (eternally conditioned) is that they consider them from within the context of time. In other words in material consciousness we are conditioned by kala or time into thinking that there are such things as past, present, and future. If we remember that in the liberated state there is no influence of time, that there is simply the eternal present with no past or future, then we can begin to understand how one can be eternally conditioned or eternally liberated and can switch from one status to the other.

To say that the conditioned souls have never been in the spiritual world with Krishna is anti-sastric and absurd when we consider that Lord Caitanya states that the constitutional nature of every living being is that he is the eternal servant of Krishna.

The eternally liberated souls in the spiritual existence have the independence to either love Krishna or leave Krishna. There has to be a choice. Otherwise love cannot exist, because love is voluntary. As long as the independence of free choice is there, there has to be a possibility of misusing that free choice. And possibility means that there must be certain degree of probability as well. Of course in this case the probability would be smallest possible percentage of 1 divided by infinity (1/∞). But if we apply this infinitesimal percentage against the infinite number of living beings who inhabit the spiritual world, guess what we get. We get an infinite number of living beings who misuse their free will and give up the Lord's association. (1/∞ x ∞ = ∞)

At the boundary between the spiritual and material worlds time does not exist. Therefore the crossing of the living being over this boundary cannot be measured in time. This means that there is no moment in time when he entered the material world. In other words, if he is in the material world there is no moment in time when he entered it and he has therefore been there eternally. Hence, the term "eternally conditioned". And when he chooses to surrender to Krishna and go back to Godhead he enters into that realm where there is no past or future. Therefore when he goes back to Godhead, he was always there. Hence the term "eternally liberated".

Of course, as long as our thought patterns are conditioned by time we cannot fully comprehend these things. But if you will chant Hare Krishna regularly with love and devotion your consciousness will be liberated from the constraints of time, and you will be able to gradually realize these things in full.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 3 November 2009

from Brampton, Ontario Canada
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Today's Thought:

The Kingdom of God Without God

The foolishness of the modern day civilization is that they want the kingdom of God without God. This is the mentality of Ravana who wanted to steal Sita from Rama. One may delude himself for some time thinking that he can enjoy in this way, but in due course of time it will become painfully obvious to him that he has simply spoiled his human form of life throwing it away in the useless pursuit of material sense gratification. The fact is that we cannot have the kingdom of God without God. The only way we can enjoy residence in that unlimitedly sublime abode is to humbly submit ourselves at the lotus feet of the Supreme Person as His eternal servants. Then we will enjoy on equal level with God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Consciousness Outside of ISKCON?

Is it possible for someone to be Krishna Conscious outside of ISKCON?

Hari Bol!

Deane

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Answer: Devotee Association is Essential

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to SB 4.9.11 as follows:

"Transcendental devotional service cannot be complete and cannot be relishable without the association of devotees. We have therefore established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Anyone who is trying to be aloof from this Krishna Consciousness Society and yet engage in Krishna consciousness is living in a great hallucination, for this is not possible."

So the point is that if we are sincere about become Krishna conscious, we should take advantage of the wonderful mercy of Krishna as manifested in the form of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. We have seen countless examples of persons who tried to become Krishna conscious away from the association of the devotees and who failed in their practice of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 2 November 2009

from Brampton, Ontario Canada
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Today's Thought:

Never Give Up No Matter What.

While striving to become pure devotees we may sometimes face tests of our sincerity. The key to being successful is to never give up our faith in the process of Krishna consciousness no matter what may happen, come hell or high water. In other words we must always keep our faith that Krishna will never allow us to be in a situation which is beyond what we can handle. Such determination will enable us to successfully cross beyond all obstacles which may be encountered along the pathway back to home, back to Godhead. In this connection it is stated in Chinese wisdom, "Perseverance furthers." In conclusion we can thus understand that perseverance or stick-to-itiveness is most essential for success on the pathway of spiritual emancipation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Complaint: You are an Exploiter

Dear Sir

There is one question that has always left me wondering. You always say that we must do our duty so we can look after our homes and our families. Doing our duty means working for and alongside other sinners. And the government whom you often refer to as fools pay us our salaries. Out of these salaries you expect a donation to do your humble work. You have guessed my question already, haven't you? Don't tell me the answer...I give you my money, and because I give you my hard-earned cash out of the goodness of my heart, then that money somehow becomes clean money so you can travel the world, eat and board free of charge and don't have to undergo the daily stress that I alongside many have to endure before we earn that cash. Not only that, you expect a percentage to be given to your good cause each month. Isn't that exploitation? Isn't that what the government calls tax, you call offerings?

What a sad world we live in when we can trust no one, not even those who pretend to be God's messengers. May you have good health and good sleep after a long hard day's work.

An angry but confused and aspiring devotee.

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Answer: If This is Exploitation, What is Loving Service?

My Dear Angry, Confused, Aspiring Devotee,

Please accept my blessings.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I have received your email and have noted the contents with care.

Ordinary citizens work 40, 50, or 60 hours a week on the condition that they are paid some money for their work. If they are not paid, they will not work. My typical work week is 126 hours of work for which I am not paid a single penny. Devotees all over the world are very eager that I come to their country to enlighten them in the science of bhakti. Because of this eagerness they cover the cost of my airfare. They give me a place to sleep, sometimes a mattress on the floor. They also provide me with my meals.

I can also add that even though I am offered nice hot vegetarian meals on the airplanes I never accept them because they are not prepared by devotees. I bring my own simple vegetarian prasadam such as chapatis and subji with me on the plane even though I have to eat such meals cold.

In spite of the tremendous sacrifice I am making of my entire life in the service of God and humanity and the toll that all of this traveling is taking on my 62 year old body, you accuse me of being a pretender and an exploiter. This goes to show that being a messenger of God is often a thankless task. Jesus was crucified for being a messenger of God. It appears that you would like to see me crucified also.

Today I have been working since 3:00am. Now it is after 10pm and I have not still not taken my evening meal because I have been so busy in preaching the entire day. It will be after 11pm before I take some rest after having put in a 20 hour work day for which I received zero remuneration. And you call this exploitation. If this is exploitation, what is loving service? Sometimes we see that drunkards, drug addicts, and women hunters are shown more appreciation than those who are trying to save the suffering humanity from the cycle of birth and death. What can be done? We must repay such hatred with love.

If you would like to be a devotee, kindly note that Krishna only accepts as His devotees those who are the devotees of His devotees. If we cannot appreciate the devotion of someone who has dedicated his entire life to spread the glories of Krishna all over the world, Krishna will never accept our devotion.

You have failed to note that all wealth, no matter how gained, is Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and is therefore meant to be engaged in the service of the Lord. And thus you object to the seeing the goddess of fortune being engaged in the Lord's service.

Kindly try to open your heart and appreciate the compassion of those who are truly your well-wishers.

I hope this meets you in the best of health
and in an ecstatic mood.

Always your well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 1 November 2009

from Brampton, Ontario Canada
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Today's Thought:

Money Will Not Save You at the Time of Death.

Often people think that Krishna consciousness is impractical, that the only really practical thing in life is to focus on making money. Even though money is certainly required, it is not ultimately required. In other words, money will not save you at the time of death. Therefore while we engage in our normal daily affairs of making and spending money we should never forget our ultimate duty, which is to be completely sold out to or surrendered to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This mood of total, complete surrender to Lord Sri Krishna will give us unlimited peace and happiness at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Make My Parents Proud of Me?

I want to make my parents feel proud for me. How may I? Is devotion a helpful practice for being a winner?

Thanks
Dhananjay Singh

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Answer: Surrender to Krishna Unlimitedly Pleases Everyone.

If you want to give the ultimate pleasure to your parents so that they can become unlimitedly proud of you, you need to fully surrender yourself unto Lord Krishna. Because He is the root of the entire existence, when you please Him you give the highest pleasure to all living entities everywhere. Of course, in the beginning they may not recognize this and they may even object to your Krishna consciousness. But when all is said and done they will be thanking Krishna forever for sending them a son who is a true putra, a son who can deliver his parents back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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