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

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Thursday 31 December 2009

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

How to Conquer Anxiety

Because we live in a world full of anxiety, it is natural that we will sometimes feel anxiety. The way to conquer over anxiety, to permanently eliminate it, is therefore to move our consciousness to a different world, the spiritual world which is completely free from anxiety. How to do this and at the same time function within our daily duties here in this material world? This requires the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, who teaches us how to begin our day every morning by deeply absorbing ourselves in chanting the holy names of God, how to spiritualize our eating by only taking Krishna prasadam, and how to then offer everything we do throughout the day as an offering of love unto the Supreme Lord. In this way by always connecting all of our thoughts, words, and deeds with the Supreme Personality of Godhead we can factually enter into the Vaikuntha world, the anxiety-less world by our full absorption twenty-four hours daily in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing the Secrets of an Anxiety-Free Eternal Existence

ISKCON Temple--Melbourne, Australia--29 December 2009



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Devotion Predestined?

My question is: It's true that everything is predestined in material life. But is everything predestined in spiritual life as well? I mean in bhakti, if a person is very much under the modes of material nature, this can affect his devotion, as in when he will fall down and then rise again to his service. Plus please give some determination tips that I should keep in mind to get back into serving Krishna and chanting Hare Krishna whenever I fall down. What inspired you in your earlier days?

Please enlighten me on this.
Your eternal devotee,

Bharat

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Answer: No. It's Your Choice.

Spiritual life means to break free from predestination and become the architect of our own destiny. We get the chance to escape the prison of karmic predestination when we are fortunate enough to be blessed with the combined mercy of guru and Krishna. If we take advantage of that mercy and take up the path of pure bhakti, we then become released from the chains of karma and gradually regain a life of full freedom in the spiritual sky.

If the neophyte devotees slips and falls down from the path of bhakti, he does not depend on destiny for when he can be reinstated on the bhakti path. All he has to do is to again take advantage of the mercy of guru and Krishna and resume his devotional activities.

To be determined you should always remember that if you remain steady in your desire to surrender to Krishna, He will make all arrangements to facilitate you in your service to Him.

My constant source of inspiration for all of my 39 years of practicing Krishna consciousness is the orders which I have received from my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This is the eternal shelter of the disciple. He accepts the orders received from his spiritual master as his very life and soul and constantly meditates upon and worships those divine instructions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 30 December 2009

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

The Path of the Intelligent and Fortunate

This material life is really hell, if we try to be the enjoyers, because no matter how hard we try to enjoy we are forced to undergo so many miserable conditions. Even if we are highly successful in this world, we still must face the ultimate condition of failure at the time of death. The timeless Vedic wisdom, which has been followed in India for thousands of years, teaches us that through loving devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead executed under the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master we escape the misery of this material existence and enter into an eternal existence, which is full of bliss and full of knowledge. Those who are fortunate and intelligent therefore adopt this path of devotion for attaining the supreme destination in the Lord's eternal spiritual kingdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. I am currently blessed with the auspicious opportunity to reside for several days here in Melbourne in the same house that Srila Prabhupada stayed in when he was in Melbourne, now known as the Prabhupada House.




The Prabhupada House--Melbourne, Australia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Such a Rigid Caste System in India?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja,

Kindly accept my humble obeisances.

I'm 25 yrs old and was brought up in atheistic background in south India. Under my mother's influence I was following demigod worship. I was attracted to the all attractive Krishna through Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I am trying to get more into Krishna consciousness for the past 4 months, and am reading your Ultimate Self Realization mails for the past few days. I have doubts regarding the caste system that has been followed in India. Here it is based on birth and not according to whether the person is a devotee of the all pervading Krishna.

Of all the worst part is that people other than brahmanas were not allowed to enter the temples for worshipping Krishna or the house of an upper caste family. And the reading/studying of the Vedas was limited only to people born in a family of brahmanas. Even untouchability was practiced. Are these things really there in Vedas? Although such rigid practice is not followed now to that severity, it is still followed to a little extent. Why such discrimination? This made my family to get out of Hinduism and atheism occupied us.

Now I can worship Krishna with full freedom at ISKCON, but not in our old temples. This discrimination makes me feel bad when I mingle with born brahmanas. Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that everybody is part and parcel of Him and that one who worships Him as the Supreme Personality, chants His names, and engages himself in His devotional service is a brahmana. So why people are practicing discrimination against devotees here in India? Is something like this mentioned in Vedas? If Krishna Himself is the Vedas, then why this rigid discriminatory caste system was followed in India? The only hindrance to my advancement in Krishna consciousness is my thoughts and doubts about this. Your answer to this mail will help to bring my atheistic father also into Krishna consciousness.

Kindly forgive me for any mistakes I've made with my thoughts and doubts.

Your lowly servant,

Divya

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Answer: The Original Caste System is Completely Fluid

The rigid caste system was introduced by the brahmanas when they lost their spiritual culture and become materialistic. The original caste system as given in the Vedic literatures is not based upon birth, but is instead based upon one's qualities and activities. This is confirmed as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ
guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ
tasya kartāram api māṁ
viddhy akartāram avyayam

SYNONYMS

cātuḥ-varṇyam--the four divisions of human society; mayā--by Me; sṛṣṭam--created; guṇa--of quality; karma--and work; vibhāgaśaḥ--in terms of division; tasya--of that; kartāram--the father; api--although; mām--Me; viddhi--you may know; akartāram--as the nondoer; avyayam--unchangeable.

TRANSLATION

"According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them,
the four divisions of human society are created by Me.
And although I am the creator of this system,
you should know that I am yet the nondoer, being unchangeable."

--Bhagavad-gita 4.13

Note in the above verse that Krishna recognizes one's position within the four social orders not according to janma or birth. He instead recognizes one's position based on guna and karma, one's qualities and activities. In other words, if one has the qualities of a brahmana as described in the Bhagavad-gita and acts as brahmana (priestly-intellectual class), he is accepted as a brahmana, even if he was born in a sudra (worker class) family. In the original Vedic culture there is complete mobility through the social strata. The caste system we see in India today is a corruption of the actual caste system. It is not the bona fide caste system.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 29 December 2009

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

It's Time for a Global Bhakti Revolution

It's time to really get serious now about revolutionizing this planet with a tidal wave of bhakti, devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Kali yuga is getting fiercer and uglier every day, so it is time to amp up our counter attack by first of all improving the quality of our chanting and secondly by becoming much more aggressive to enlighten the illusioned souls in the science of the Supreme Reality. Burying our heads in the sands of sense gratification will not help us or help anyone. Only a dedicated, concerted effort to counteract darkness with light will be effective in uplifting the global consciousness. As above indicated, that upliftment must begin with ourselves by a staunch determination to root all of the impurities out of hearts and become fully absorbed twenty hours daily in pure devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Is Qualified to Be a Spiritual Master?

What is meant by accepting spiritual master? Who is qualified to be a spiritual master?

In the first canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam it is explained that one should catch the truth and hold the lotus feet of Lord Vasudeva and beg from Him for devotional service. In this conditioned state of life, not knowing what is good for me and what is bad for me, I cannot see God. How can I engage myself in devotional and good/pious activities?

What is the difference between karma and karma yoga?

Thanks,

Parag

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Answer: Only One Who is Thus Ordered by His Spiritual Master

Accepting a spiritual master means to fully surrender oneself unto him accepting his instructions as one's very life and soul. The only person who is qualified to be a spiritual master is that person who is fully surrendered to his spiritual master and has been ordered by his spiritual master to become a spiritual master.

Even though in our conditioned state of consciousness we cannot see God, if we carefully follow the instructions of the spiritual master, the sages, and the scriptures we will be properly situated on the pathway of spiritual perfection.

Karma means to act for our personal sense gratification and to thus remain entangled birth after birth in the reactions to our pious and impious activities. Karma yoga means in a mood of devotion to offer the results of our work to the Supreme Lord and to thus become delivered from the cycle of birth and death back to our eternal position in the spiritual world in the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 28 December 2009

from North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Why Do I Do This?

Sometimes I wonder why I take so much trouble for regularly travelling all over the world for teaching the science of Krishna consciousness. It would be so much simpler, cheaper, and less of a strain on my health to remain comfortably situated in my ashram in Austin, Texas. But when I see how much people all over the world are encouraged and enlivened in their Krishna consciousness by my humble attempts at leading kirtan and giving Krishna conscious lectures I can understand that the best way for me to serve the mission of my most beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is to continue traveling and presenting the science of Krishna consciousness all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Our 2009 Govinda Valley Japa Meditation Retreat

Was a Powerful, Enlightening, Ecstatic Experience








Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Form Does a Dog's Soul Have?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja,

My most humble obeisances unto you and Guru Mataji,

Recently you wrote, "Our material form has these characteristics because it is modeled after our original spiritual form just as clothes take the shape of the form upon which they are worn." Does this mean that the form of a dog's soul is dog-like and a cow's soul is cow-like, that this is how their material body became like a dog or cow and not like a human?

Begging your mercy
Virendra

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Answer: All Souls Have Human Forms

All souls as essentially humans. So there is no such thing as a dog soul or a cow soul. In the spiritual world every soul is a human being, but according to their taste or rasa they assume different forms, some as humans and some as non-humans for the sake of serving the Lord in different capacities such as a cowherd boy, a cowherd girl, a cow, a calf, a flute, a tree, etc. So human consciousness is the original consciousness of all living beings throughout all of existence.

But if a living being misuses his independence by trying to become God or the center of enjoyment, he is given a place where he can think that he is the center of enjoyment. That place is this material world. And if he becomes too much sinful in this material world, he is punished by the laws of nature by being cast into the lower forms of animals, plants, etc in which his consciousness is very much covered by the three modes of material nature. After undergoing sufficient atonement in the lower species for his impious deeds of his previous human birth he is again allowed to take a human form and get human consciousness. And if he properly utilizes his human life to reawaken his dormant Krishna consciousness, he will re-enter the spiritual sky and regain his original position as eternal associate of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 27 December 2009

from Govinda Valley, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Sleepers, Wake Up!

We have been sleeping in the lap of maya or illusion for countless millions of lifetimes. Now in this human form of life we have the rarest opportunity to awaken our dormant enlightened consciousness, our Krishna consciousness, and return to our original home in the spiritual world. There is no reason for us to suffer any longer here in the repetition of birth, death, old age, and disease. All we have to do is take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and sincerely follow his instructions. The bona fide spiritual master is very merciful towards his disciples. He blesses them with pertinent instructions which empower them to make steady progress step-by-step back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore there is nothing more important for us than seeking out and surrendering to a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Blissful Japa Meditation Retreat Participants

Govinda Valley, Australia 26 December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do We Remember Bad Things Better?

Guru Maharaja,

I remember the kissing scenes in movies and the porn images I saw years back but I don't remember what garments were worn by the Lord Jagannatha deity day before yesterday. So, why is it that bad things create a deeper impression on our mind then the good ones? And how can we reverse this tendency?

Please show me Your mercy in answering these two questions.

An eternal servitor of Lord Krishna,

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Answer: Because We Are More Inclined Towards the Bad

Bad things will have a deeper impression on our minds only as long as we are more inclined towards bad things. If, however, we become more inclined towards Krishna, we will always see the underlying good of all things and this will create the strongest impression within our hearts. In other words as long as we remain inclined to enjoy material sense gratification, the bad things will continue to have the biggest impact on our consciousness. But as soon as we become serious about surrender to Krishna, we will be able to always see everything in relationship with the Supreme Good Reality, Lord Sri Krishna and this will make the deepest, longest-lasting impression upon our hearts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 26 December 2009

from Govinda Valley, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Japa Meditation Retreat

We are now gathered in sublime Govinda Valley, Australia for the most auspicious purpose of increasing our absorption in Krishna's holy names. Sometimes people inquire, "What does it mean to be absorbed in the holy names?" It is not difficult to understand. Just like someone may be so deeply absorbed in watching a movie that the imitation reality portrayed on the screen takes on a reality which seems more real than the actual reality which is going on outside of the movie theatre. Similarly the consciousness of the expert chanter of Krishna's holy names becomes so deeply absorbed in Krishna's names that the transcendental sound vibration takes on more significance than the entire material existence, which the chanter experiences as a mere manifestation of the Holy Names. The advanced chanter directly experiences the Holy Names as the Supreme Reality, the original source of everything in existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing the Glories of the Holy Names

Govinda Valley, Australia 25 December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Understand the Humility of the Pure Devotee?

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

How to understand the statement of one pure devote who said that he is most fallen and that he is more fallen than a worm in stool?

How can I understand this statement? The pure devote has many good qualities. How he can say that he is most fallen? I, for example, can't say that I'm the most fallen. I'm aware of my good and bad qualities, and I can't honestly say that I'm the worst person in the world.

Why does the pure devote think that all living beings are better than himself and that everyone is serving Sri Krishna except for him? This kind of humility is very difficult for me to understand. Is it possible to understand it at least theoretically?

Your servant,

Bhakta-pranadhana dasa

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Answer: Only By Becoming a Pure Devotee

It is not possible to understand the inconceivable unlimited humility of the Mahabhagavat, the pure devotee. In his extreme humility he sees all living entities as pure devotees of Krishna except for himself, whom he sees as the wickedest demon. It is not objective reality, but yet he is fully absorbed in this mood. Such things can never be understood intellectually. The only way that we can really understand this mood is to taste it ourselves by becoming pure devotees. So my best advice to you, if you want to comprehend this advanced level of Krishna consciousness, is that you should strive diligently to attain pure Krishna bhakti. In this way, in due course of time, you will be able to fully comprehend this Vaisnava mood of perfect humility.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 25 December 2009

from the North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Guru is Required

Sometimes people wonder why a guru is required when they can directly approach the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But when we directly study the words of Krishna what does He say? He says that we should become the devotee of His devotee. He says that we should submissively inquire from and serve the bona fide spiritual master. Therefore if we want to be devotees of Krishna, we must obey His order to become the devotee of His devotee by surrendering ourselves at the lotus feet of His representative, the bona fide spiritual master. If we do not agree to become the devotee of Krishna's devotee, Krishna does not accept that we are His devotees. Therefore if we sincerely desire to become Krishna's devotees we must seek out and take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, one who is coming in disciplic succession from Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada with His Disciples

Brooklyn, New York in the Early 70's


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Pure Love for Krishna Like Falling in Love?

How does it feel when a devotee attains pure love for Lord Krishna. Is it similar to the feeling when a boy and girl are in love with each other?

Another question is: What is meant by 'being conditioned' as I have read this quite a few number of times.

Regards,
Sunil

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Answer: Yes, But Millions and Billions Times Greater

Yes, pure love of Krishna can be compared to the happiness tasted by a young boy and girl who fall in love. But it is millions and billions of times more enlivening and exciting and it never grows old or wears out.

Being conditioned means to be in a state of illusion in which one considers his material body to be his very self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 24 December 2009

from the North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Why Doesn't God Stop the Evil?

Sometimes we are asked, "Why doesn't God stop the evil in the world? If He really loves us, surely He would do something to put a stop to all of this evil and suffering that is going on everywhere all around us." The answer is that as our loving father He has already done something to stop the evil and the suffering in this world. He has manifested Himself in the form of the Krishna consciousness to save the suffering humanity from its distress. Now that He has done His share, it's our turn to do our share for stopping the evil and suffering by our dedicated, enthusiastic participation in the missionary activities of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Chanting and Dancing Hare Krishna in the Streets

Counteracts the Evil Influences of this Age of Kali


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Form of the Soul

I attended your class in ISKCON's Pune, India temple recently along with my three non-devotee friends. Thank you very much for your wonderful class. My friends got answers to many of their questions. And now they have become little serious about Krishna consciousness.

I have a very technical question about the form of the soul. In one of Srila Prabhupada's writings I read that the soul has a form. He gives the analogy of clothes. Clothes themselves have no form but when a person wears them they get a form. Does this mean that the form of a soul is exactly same as our material form with five senses, mind, intelligence and ego?

Your Servant,

Kanchan

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Answer: Soul Has a Human-like Form

Yes, in its original pure form each soul has a form possessing human-like features: two arms, two legs, one mouth, two ears, two eyes, etc. It is not that because we have such a form in the material existence, we conveniently imagine our spiritual form much be the same. No. We have learned from authoritative sources that our material form has these characteristics because it is modeled after our original spiritual form just as clothes take the shape of the form upon which they are worn.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 23 December 2009

from the North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Dedicating our Lives to the Most Noble Cause

If we are going to dedicate our lives to a cause, why not dedicate them to the most noble cause of rescuing the entire human population from the clutches of death? This Krishna consciousness movement was personally inaugurated by the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself in His most merciful manifestation of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu specifically for the purpose of saving the suffering humanity from its entanglement in the cycle of birth and death. May all those persons who are serious about doing the highest good for all beings join with this Krishna consciousness movement. This will bring the greatest blessings upon them and upon the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Happens to the Atma in Heart Transplant?

Srila Gurudeva, in a response to a recently posted answer you stated that that atma resides within each person's physical heart. Respectfully, how can this be? Modern medicine can now replace one's heart with the heart of another (i.e., heart transplants) just as other vital organs can be replaced. If the atma resides in one's physical heart and his or her heart, due to disease or injury must be and is replaced, whose soul then resides in the physical heart? Did the one who had a heart transplant lose his or her soul? Do they now have the soul of the one whose heart now beats within his or her chest?

Please, explain this.

William

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Answer: The Atma Changes Seats

The heart is the sitting place for the atma. If the heart transplant is successful, the atma simply changes seats and takes up the new heart as his new sitting place. If the persons dies, this means that the atma did not switch seats.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 22 December 2009

from the North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Recuperating from Pneumonia--Emails Are Behind

Recently in Pune, India I became very ill with what seemed to be a heavy chest cold. After getting a chest x-ray it turned out that I have a mild case of pneumonia. I have a good facility for recuperating here in Australia with a long stop both in Sydney and in Melbourne. The weather here is also very pleasant, as the summer is just beginning. Due to so much traveling and preaching recently combined with the down time from this sickness my emails are now quite a bit behind. So if you have written me in the last couple of weeks and have not gotten an answer, kindly be patient. I can only answer one email at a time, and there is quite a long queue waiting for reply.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can a Porous Heart Hold the Atomic Soul?

Srila Gurudeva, one of my relatives questioned me, "If the atma, the atomic soul, is so small, smaller than the tiniest point on the tip of a hair, how is it able stay in the heart when the heart is seen under the microscope to have so many holes joined by molecules? Just as a sieve cannot hold water, the atma, being so small, cannot be held by the porous heart." This is his question. How can I answer him?

Neel

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Answer: The Atma, the Atomic Soul, Floats in Five Kinds of Air

Just as by the power of God so many planets are floating in outer space, in a similar way the atomic soul is floating within the heart on five different kinds of airs. This is described as follows in the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad (3.1.9):

eṣo 'ṇur ātmā cetasā veditavyo
yasmin prāṇaḥ pa˝cadhā saṁviveśai
prāṇaiś cittaṁ sarvam otaṁ prajānāṁ
yasmin viśuddhe vibhavaty eṣa ātmā

"The soul is atomic in size and can be perceived by perfect intelligence. This atomic soul is floating in the five kinds of air (prāṇa, apāna, vyāna, samāna and udāna), is situated within the heart, and spreads its influence all over the body of the embodied living entities. When the soul is purified from the contamination of the five kinds of material air, its spiritual influence is exhibited."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 21 December 2009

from the North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Sightseeing in Sydney

11:00am--20 December 2009--We are traveling now via automobile to a home preaching program somewhere in the Sydney metropolitan area. Along the way we just passed through downtown Sydney where we saw a sightseeing bus with an observation deck on top full of gaping gawking tourists. The sign on the side of the bus advertised 30 stops for only $35. As I looked out the car window at downtown Sydney I was thinking, "What is there here that is so much worth seeing?" Someone may accuse me of being overly negative. But I seriously wonder if there is anything here in this material world which is worth traveling a great distance to go see. Is there anything here that can free us from the clutches of birth, death, old age, and disease? If there were, such a thing would truly be worth seeing. But we do not such a thing here even all the way up to the topmost planet in the universe, Brahmaloka.

But then my mind jumps to the beautiful transcendental forms of Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha here at our North Sydney ISKCON temple. They are something that is truly worth seeing, even if one has to travel half way around the world to see them. Why is that? If we gaze upon the transcendental form of the deities of Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha with eyes of love, we do in fact become blessed with immortality. I wonder why the sightseeing bus does not stop by the temple?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha--the Perfection of Sightseeing

ISKCON Temple, North Sydney, Australia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where in the Human Body is the Atma Situated?

Srila Gurudeva, please help me understand how the atma is situated in the human body.

Neel

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Answer: In the Physical Heart

Just as the driver sits in the driver's seat for driving the car, the atma, the eternal individual self, sits within the physical heart of the body from where he engages the body in the field of activities. And just as when a car becomes old and useless the driver trades it in according to his budget for a new one, when the material body becomes old and useless, according to his karmic budget the atma is awarded another material body in which to continue his sojourn within this material existence. In this way the body changes again and again, but the atma remains eternally the same.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 20 December 2009

from the North Sydney, Australia
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Today's Thought:

From the Airplane to the Initiation Ceremony

After four flights and two days and nights of travelling, we finally completed our journey from Pune, India to North Sydney, Australia. There was not much time to spare because as soon as we arrived it was time to initiate some new disciples. Even though there was hardly enough time to take a meal, a nap, and a shower and then change clothes, I did not mind the inconvenience a bit because there is nothing more auspicious than a conditioned soul becoming transformed into a liberated soul by initiation, i.e. solidly committing himself to an eternal life of bhakti under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master.

I initiated Bhakta Steve as Satrughna Das (servant of Satrughna) and Madhav Rao as Madhvacharya Das (servant of Madhvacharya). Satrughna is one of the brothers of Lord Rama, and Madhvacharya is one of the greatest Vaisnava acharyas in history. Also participating as a new initiate in the ceremony was Hari Caitanya das, a new disciple of Gopal Krishna Maharaja.

I gave the initiation lecture and presented my new disciples with their new names and chanting beads after accepting their vows of lifetime commitment to chanting at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala daily while strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling.

My heartfelt thanks to Vijay Gopikesh Prabhu for blessing the initiation with a Vedic fire sacrifice ceremony along with the chanting of auspicious mantras. And my genuine appreciation also to Varanayak Prabhu, the temple president, for preparing these sincere souls for initiation and for his ongoing guidance of them in their daily spiritual lives.

It's wonderful to be a part of the ISKCON family. This is the one place in the world where we can truly make a difference to save the human society from utter chaos.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Initiation Ceremony--19 December 2009

ISKCON Temple, North Sydney, Australia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is My Devotional Bliss Unsteady?

Our dear Guru Maharaja,

Please accept our humble obeisances.
All glories to Prabhupada.
All glories to our Guru and Guru Mataji.

Please, kindly help me with this doubt. Why do I remain ecstatic sometimes and not always. Like for instance there are times when I do relish whatever I do for Krishna, like cooking prasadam, bathing the deities and trying to dress them nicely, chanting to the best of my ability and so forth. But sometimes things go exactly reverse, like I seem to ask, "Do I need to cook? Do I really need to bathe the deities?" etc. These feelings somehow make me sad. Why do I get like this and what should I do? Like a river never stops flowing, how can love towards Krishna be always flowing and not overcome by laziness? Please, Maharaja, show me the way.

Humbly yours,

Akhila

Minneapolis

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Answer: You're Being Self-Centered Instead of Krishna-Centered

Even as we try to serve Lord Krishna, as long as we are looking for our own personal ecstasy, we will sometimes get it and sometimes not. The reason for this unsteadiness is that we are looking for our own ecstasy instead of thinking how to give ecstasy to Krishna.

But if we can reverse our thinking by always trying to give ecstasy to Krishna instead of getting it for ourselves, we will be completely ecstatic in all times, places, and circumstances. Even in miserable situations, if we think of pleasing Krishna, our misery will go away.

In short, we must always act for Krishna's pleasure instead of our own. This is how we experience the real pleasure of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 19 December 2009

from the Hong Kong International Airport
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Today's Thought:

Hopelessly Surrounded by a Blazing Forest Fire

Just imagine if a person was surrounded on all sides by a blazing forest fire that was closing in on him from all sides. And no matter which way he turned he could see that there was no escape and that his situation was absolutely hopeless. It was certain that within minutes he would meet a fiery, excruciatingly painful death.

I realize that this is not a very pleasant example. What makes it even less pleasing is that describes the situation each of us here in this material world face at every minute. We are trapped in a place where death is relentlessly closing in on us step by step, minute by minute and we have no escape.

Now back to the forest fire example. What if just minutes before the flames consumed our poor friend who was trapped in the fire, by the arrangement of Providence a tremendous rain cloud appeared on the scene and proceeded to drown those scorching flames in tons of cooling water. This of course would be the cause of the most greatest, must exuberant gratitude, jubilation, celebration in the heart of that person.

So what is the raincloud which will save us from certain death? This is described as follows by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur:

saṁsāra-dāvānala-līḍha-loka-
trāṇāya kāruṇya-ghanāghanatvam
prāptasya kalyana-guṇārnavasya
vande guroḥ śrī caraṇāravindam


"The spiritual master is receiving benediction from the ocean of mercy.
Just as the cloud pours water on the forest fire to extinguish it,
so the spiritual master extinguishes the blazing fire of material existence.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master."
(Sri Gurvastakam, Verse 1)
By surrendering ourselves fully unto the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master through the authorized process of known as initiation we immediately become deathless and are thus rescued from the all-devouring flames of this material existence.

We are not saying that your body will not die. We are teaching how to revive your fire-proof, bullet-proof, deathless self in which you will live forever even after leaving behind the garment of your present body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




This Material Existence is Like a Blazing Forest Fire


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Regulative Principle: No Illicit Sex

I am practicing Krishna Consciousness since last three years. Recently I got married. In ISKCON we have four regulative principles i.e. no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication and no illicit sex. We say that sex outside marriage is illicit.

I want to know if one has a desire to have sex within marriage and he/she is not able to control it, what should be done? What is the tolerance level acceptable? As a young man it's becoming difficult for me to control it every time. We have sex at least three times in a month.

I am worried because my name may be forwarded for initiation and I fear to tell this to my mentor or any senior devotee.

Please answer....

Your Aspiring Servant

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Answer: Don't Take Initiation Until You Can Strictly Follow

Thank you very much for your honest and genuine sincerity. The question you have asked is most important not only for you but for many others.

You have mentioned that sex outside of marriage is illicit, but kindly note that according to the sublime bhakti yoga system so carefully handed down to us by the great acharyas who have guided the Vedic civilization for millions of years, sex inside of marriage is also illicit if it is not for the purpose of procreation and is more than once a month.

Therefore as an honest, responsible gentleman you should refuse to accept diksha until you are able to get over this animal propensity. I understand that this is too embarrassing to tell your seniors. Therefore you may simply refuse initiation on the grounds that you are not yet qualified. Otherwise your illicit sex will force your future spiritual master to suffer sinful reactions.

In our Hare Krishna movement no one should take diksha unless they have been strictly following all the regulative principles for at least one year and they are solidly promising to do so for the rest of their lives. Otherwise initiation within our society will become degraded into a cheap, show bottle phenomenon with no potency to deliver the disciples from birth and death. And gurus who allow such initiations will be dragged down to material life by the sinful reactions they receive from their disciples. If such things become the official or unofficial established standard in ISKCON, our movement will be completely ruined following the pathway of so many other great spiritual traditions which gradually become corrupted by material sense gratification. So we cannot and will not allow this to happen to Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON.

So even if you have to wait twenty or thirty years for your initiation, you must not take initiation until you are able to strictly follow our regulative principles. It is better to be an honest non-initiated member of ISKCON than to be a charlatan initiated disciple who is heaping sinful reactions upon his Guru Maharaja.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 18 December 2009

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Dazzled by the Source of All Dazzling Beauty

In this material world we are dazzled by so many dazzlingly beautiful things: an attractive young woman, a melodic song, a picturesque scene of natural beauty, etc. We take it as a facility for our enjoyment to relish these beautiful things. But just image if we could be dazzled instead by the ultimate source from which all dazzling beauty emanates, how much more nectar we could then relish. Through the sublime process of Krishna consciousness we can indeed do that. We can be dazzled twenty-four hours a day by Krishna the Supreme Source of all dazzling beauty and can thus relish unlimited oceans of the sweetest nectar experiencing Him in all times, places, and circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Now Relish the Dazzling Beauty of Krishna



Now relish it even more in a larger image through this link:
http://www.backtohome.com/images/Krishna_gopis.jpg

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Control Lust?

I am really not able to control my lust, Maharaja! Please guide me properly for controlling lust (illicit sex). I have heard that thinking about sex is also illicit sex.

Your student

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Answer: Decide What You Want to Be

You simply have to decide whether you want to be human being or an animal and then act accordingly

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 17 December 2009

from ISKCON Temple, Pune, India
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Today's Thought:

Sharing Srila Prabhupada's Love

These few days here at the ISKCON temple in Pune, India have been simply wonderful. The devotees here have manifested so many wonderful saintly qualities in their dealings with us. Their mood of service is of the highest standard. Even though Mataji and I have both been very sick, the devotees have treated us with so much love and have so much appreciated my humble attempt to share the love that I am receiving from Srila Prabhupada that it is easy to transcend our suffering bodies and relish nicely the ever-increasingly sweet taste of Krishna consciousness in their association.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sunday Feast Lecture in Pune--13 December 2009



"How to Develop Determination" Lecture
Pune, India--15 December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Our Responsibility of Karma

I have a confusion for a very long time, and would request you to please enlighten me on this...

As it is said that all that goes around in the world is His lila and nothing moves without His will. We all are here to play our role as per His wish. In that case how we become responsible for our karma? Is it not a role assigned to us, which may be of a hero or a villain? If everything is controlled by Him, why we need to take consequences of our karma from one birth to next? After all we were doing what He assigned us to do.....good or bad.

With regards

S.R.

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Answer: Your Choice: Within Karma or Released from Karma

Krishna manifests His will through two different energies: the material energy and the spiritual energy. He gives us the free choice which energy we would like to be within.

If we choose to try to be an independent enjoyer by entering the material energy, we must accept the karmic reactions for all of our sinful and pious activities. And if we choose to be His eternal servant, we are liberated from all karma and enjoy an eternal life which is full of knowledge and full of bliss with Him in the spiritual world.

Krishna orchestrates the two different energies and at the same time gives us our choice which energy we would like to be within.

So now you should decide which energy you would like to serve and do the needful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 16 December 2009

from ISKCON Temple, Pune, India
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Today's Thought:

Most Miserable Person in the Whole World

Even the most miserable person in the entire world can become the most blissful person in the entire world if he takes to the pathway of Krishna consciousness. This pathway has such amazing immense power. In this connection it is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:

ato vai kavayo nityaṁ
bhaktiṁ paramayā mudā
vāsudeve bhagavati
kurvanty ātma-prasādanīm

"Certainly, therefore, since time immemorial, all transcendentalists
have been rendering devotional service to Lord Krishna, the Personality of Godhead,
with great delight, because such devotional service is enlivening to the self."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.22


So all you have to do to experience great delight is serve Lord Krishna. And that is not difficult. Even if you are poor man, you can serve Him by offering Him some water or a tulasi leaf.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna the Cause of Evil?

In reply to the question "Problem of Evil" you mentioned that evil is created by us.
Please clarify my question:

In Brahma samhita is the verse:

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


"Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead.
He has an eternal blissful spiritual body.
He is the origin of all. He has no other origin
and He is the prime cause of all causes".


The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, is the prime cause of all causes. Can we infer from your answer and also from this Brahma Samhita verse that the prime cause for us causing evil is the Supreme Person Krishna?

Note: I am not a logician. I am not against Vaishnavism. I am just a sincere follower of the Hare Krishna movement. Please help me to understand the answer to my question.

Subhash

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Answer: Krishna Gave Us What We Wanted.

Of course, the government is the cause of the prison because it built the prison. But in another sense the criminals are the cause of the prison because the government would much rather spend its limited funds on universities instead of prisons. The government is required to construct prisons as places of residence for those who choose to flagrantly violate the laws of the state.

So because we wanted a world of evil in which we could consider ourselves to be the center of existence God kindly obliged us by facilitating us with such a world. In conclusion, both principles are true. God is the cause of evil. And we are also the cause because we wanted it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 15 December 2009

from ISKCON Temple, Pune, India
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Today's Thought:

Beyond the Nightmare

This material existence is a nightmare because everyone is being dragged to the slaughterhouse of death by the stringent wheel of time. In spite of all of our technological advancement the death rate is still 100%. The way out of the nightmare is to wake up and realize that you are not that body, that you are an eternal spirit-soul qualitatively one with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. In this way by realizing that you are God's eternal servant and fully absorbing yourself in His service under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, you will completely throw off the nightmarish shackles of death by reawakening your eternal deathless nature.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did Krishna Choose Vishnu?

I may kindly take a moment of your time, I humbly submit the following questions.

1) Why did Krishna choose Vishnu out of the Hindu trinity for His incarnations as opposed to Shiva or Brahma?

2) I don't understand Radha. What does she represent? Was she real as Krishna?

Thank-you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Clayton

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Answer: He is Vishnu.

Why does the owner of the company do some of the work of the company himself? Vishnu is Krishna Himself. It is not a matter of choosing Vishnu because He is Vishnu. The Supreme Lord in His intimate pastimes at home is called Krishna. And when He does the official office work of maintaining the material existence He is known as Vishnu.

Srimati Radharani is the pleasure potency of Krishna. When Krishna wants to enjoy He manifests Radharani from Himself for the purpose of enjoying a loving relationship with her. She is definitely as real as Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 14 December 2009

on the road to Pune, India
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Today's Thought:

Blessed with Stress

In today's modern day stressed out society stress is taken as an enemy that somehow must be conquered. But Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita that this material energy, which is the cause of our stress, is insurmountable. This means that no matter what kind of material adjustment we may make to become stress free the distress will continue to hound us. Therefore a different approach must be adopted in order to attain stresslessness. The insider's secret for conquering stress is to see it as your friend instead of your enemy. By understanding the simple principle of karma you can immediately see that whatever stress is coming to you is the karmic reaction for your past sinful activities both in this lifetime and in previous lifetimes. So when stress comes it is for my purification of consciousness. It is for burning off the reactions to my previous sinful activities. By seeing stress in this light, it all of a sudden becomes a blessing instead of a curse. And as soon as you perceive how you have been blessed by stress, it immediately goes way being transformed into pure stresslessness, supreme happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikarif


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Problem of Evil

Hare Krishna.

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

Guru Maharaja, I've often heard about the "problem of evil" put forward by many philosophers, which still baffles all (especially in cases of natural disasters causing mass scale destruction of life and property).

The argument consists of the incompatibility of the three points they put forward:

1.) God is perfectly good (all loving)
2.) God is all powerful (omnipotent)
3.) Evil exists

Their point of contention is that why doesn't God stop all evil when He's all-powerful and perfectly good. This means that evil exists with the permission of God. Why does God allow so many people to suffer? Why does evil exist in a world created by God?

I humbly request you to kindly enlighten me in this regard. I've read some explanations by various great people but am still unconvinced about it. I'm eager to know your answer and solution. Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Madhav

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Answer: God Did Not Create Evil. We Did.

The simple answer is that evil is created by us when we refuse to serve the all-powerful, all-merciful Lord. Therefore Krishna personally repeatedly comes and He also repeatedly sends His pure devotees to this world to save us from the evil we have created by convincing us to give up our evil misuse of independence and once again engage in His service as we did originally before we fell into Maya or illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 13 December 2009

from ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai India
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Today's Thought:

Open the Honey Jar and Dive In.

Why suffer for another minute in this material existence when we can instead deeply dive into that sweet ocean of unlimited nectar which is there in the holy names of Krishna? It does not make any sense to go on foolishly punishing ourselves denying ourselves the supreme happiness, which is our constitutional birthright. The process of meditating on Lord Sri Krishna's holy names is so sublime that we can fully absorb ourselves in perfect Krishna consciousness in all times, places, and circumstances. In other words we can relish the peace of non-stop samadhi, ecstatic trance which goes on increasing unlimitedly forever. We must always remember that to do so we require to enter fully into the mood of devotion to Krishna. If we want to remain non-devoted and simply analyze the ecstatic trance of the pure devotees, we will be futilely trying to taste the honey while licking the outside of the bottle. Therefore we must sure to open the honey jar and dive into pure devotional service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari

ISKCON Juhu, Mumbai India


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Spiritual Advancement Brings Material Advancement?

Please accept my humble obeisances
May your blessings and mercy always be on me.

Srila Gurudeva, is it true that when a person sincerely advances in his Krishna consciousness that his or her worldly dealings/career also improve proportionately too?

Regards,
Sunil

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Answer: That Depends.

That depends. If we are too materially attached, sometimes Krishna out of His special mercy will ruin us materially to help us realize that we have no shelter except for him. But if we are fixed in engaging everything purely in Krishna's service, He will give us unlimited material facility to utilize for His pleasure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 12 December 2009

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

Bitter-Sweet Separation from Vrindavana

11 December 2009-I am writing this on our last day in Vrindavana. We depart in one hour for Mumbai and Pune. Here in Vrindavana I have been tasting the sweetest nectar regularly meditating every day on Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, their holy dhama, their associates, and the places of their transcendental pastimes. There will be a bitterness to departing from this sweet wonderland. But the feelings of separation from Sri Vrindavana will give us increased remembrance of Krishna and in this way bestow upon us ever-increasing happiness.

Here during our stay in Vrindavana I have taken advantage of a wonderful devotional song introduced to us by Srila Prabhupada by singing it every morning trying to go as deeply as possible into the meditation on the persons and places described in the song. To give you a little bit of the flavor of it yesterday afternoon I made a recording of it singing along with a harmonium. It's rough and not studio perfect. But I hope that you will find it inspiring for your Krishna consciousness. The lyrics and translation for the song are here:

http://www.backtohome.com/Song_Lyrics/nectarean_glories_of_vrajadhama.htm

And you can listen to or download the recording from here:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Songs/Glories_of_Vrindavana.MP3

So now praying for the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha Govinda we resume traveling and preaching all over the world in our humble, feeble attempt to introduce the entire planet to the sublime glories of Krishna consciousness and Sri Vrindavana Dhama. May they all now awaken to the Supreme Reality of Lord Sri Krishna and become fully engaged in His service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




On Vrindavan Parikrama--December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What are the Steps to Perfection?

Srila Gurudeva,

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

How to be solidly situated on the pathway back to Godhead? What are the step by step processes?

Vishal


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Answer: Faith, Devotee Association, Initiation, etc.

The steps on the bhakti path are as follows:

First comes faith in the process. Then comes devotee association. Then one adopts the principles of sadhana bhakti and accepts initiation from a bona fide spiritual master. From there by the grace of the spiritual master the dirt of lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion and envy is removed from the heart and one becomes solidly situated in bhakti. At this point taste for Krishna's holy name develops and then matures into addiction for the name. Finally volcanic eruptions of spiritual emotion within the heart manifest and one then attains pure love of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 11 December 2009

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

Connecting with Srila Prabhupada

As we are now winding up our super enlivening sojourn in this most sacred place in the entire universe, we took advantage of being here to visit the most spiritually surcharged place from where Srila Prabhupada launched his preaching mission, his rooms at the Radha Damodar temple. He once stated, "Here from these rooms it all began." He first took up residency in these rooms in July of 1962 and remained here until coming to America in 1965. He wrote the translations and purports to the first canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam here, as well as other writings. He also said that he resides eternally in these rooms. There are two rooms across the veranda from each other. On one side is his living quarters where he slept, chanted, and wrote. And on other said is his kitchen where he cooked and honored prasadam. His presence is very strongly manifested in these rooms. It is the rarest treat to be allowed to enter these rooms and become drowned in the sublime waves of his all-merciful divine presence. So we took advantage to humbly offer our obeisances at his lotus feet, worship him by singing the Gurvastakam prayers, and beg for his mercy that he bless us with pure bhakti and the empowerment to carry on successfully with his mission of flooding the entire planet with Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Connecting with Srila Prabhupada

In His Rooms at Sri Sri Radha Damodar Temple
9 December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Krishna Need a Guru?

Since Krishna is the compiler of all the Vedas He is the guru all of all gurus. So why does He need a guru?

Tushar

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Answer: He Does Not Need a Guru, But You Do.

Krishna is of course, as you have mentioned, the guru of all and does not require a guru. But yet to teach us by His example that we require a guru He accepted Sandipani Muni as His guru. So I sincerely hope that, if you have not already done so, you will properly understand Krishna's desire for you and accept a bona fide guru by taking complete shelter at his lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 10 December 2009

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

The Highest Technological Knowledge

On the evening of 7 December we traveled to B.M.A.S. Engineering College in Agra to present the highest technological knowledge to a gathering of its students. There is quite a large group of them there that study Krishna consciousness along with their engineering courses. This is very encouraging to see. This should be required for all engineering students throughout the entire world. After all, Lord Brahma, the original engineer of this universe, became perfect in his engineering work only after he became perfect in Krishna consciousness. The perfection of all activities is to dovetail them with the pleasure of the Lord. This will bring happiness to the devotee who is offering his activities to the Lord, and such an offering of love will bestow auspiciousness upon the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Presenting the Supreme Technology

at B.M.A.S. Engineering School--Agra, U.P., India
7 December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can't Religion and Evolution Work Together?

Hare Krishna.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

My questions are: Why is it not possible for evolution and religion to work together? Is it not possible that Krishna created the original materials that were the building blocks of life and that these materials formed together to define the variety of species we see today? It has been proven that our DNA and that of other beings is very similar. In fact it's 96% the same as apes and 75% the same as dogs and still 33% the same as fish. And it has also been proven that our DNA has a built in program that allows it to slightly change altering the outcome of the body. It is difficult with my limited mentality to accept that different goddesses gave birth to all the different species. Why do we not see any demigods now? And finally, how do you overcome limited faith when you have to choose between what seems sensible and what seems unrealistic? Krishna has been a part of my life for over 20 years and my love continues to develop, but I need to smash these illusions and truly deepen my faith.

Your servant,

Vrajadhama Das
Hamilton, Canada

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Answer: True Religion True Evolution

Science means to know things as they are, and religion means to reconnect with the source of our existence. Therefore a true scientist will naturally fully dedicate himself to reconnecting with the source of his existence, and he who is thus reconnected will naturally be perfect in scientific understanding of all aspects of reality.

The so-called scientists do not have a clear vision of reality. This is why every few years the so-called science textbooks have to be revised. The scientific knowledge presented in the Vedic literatures never has to be revised because it was compiled by great Vedic scientists who were fully reconnected with the source of their existence and were thus full in perfect scientific knowledge.

The concept of evolution was not invented by Darwin or any other mental speculator. It was originally presented in the Vedic wisdom. There is a natural evolution of the living being from the lower species to the higher species through the process of birth and death. This evolutionary process is the transmigration of the soul through the 8,400,000 species. But Darwin twisted it by saying that the forms themselves are being transformed. In spite of all the ballyhoo about Darwin's theory, it has never been empirically verified. In other words, the missing link is still missing.

The premise on which the modern so-called science is based is that unless something is empirically verifiable it has no objective reality. But since this premise itself is not empirically verifiable why should we blindly accept it? Is this being scientific? Therefore the modern day so-called science is built upon the quicksand of blind faith and mental speculation and is rejected by those intelligent persons who are deeply thoughtful.

Of course we do not decry the technical advantages that modern day science has given. These are very nice and can be engaged in Krishna service. The point is that philosophical matters such as the origin of our existence are not within the purview of the modern day scientists. They should leave these matters up to the self-realized sages who have fully reconnected themselves with the origin of their existence. Krishna says in the Gita that we should stick to our duty and not try to do someone else's duty. The duty of the modern day scientists is technological advancement. They should leave the explanation of reality's origin up to great self-realized Vedic scientists without sticking their noses into someone else's business.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 9 December 2009

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

Ecstatic Yamuna Kirtan Boat Ride

What can be more sublime than a Hare Krishna kirtan in Vrindavan while cruising in a boat on the Yamuna river? It's hard to imagine anything which could surpass this. Therefore having this wonderful opportunity fully available to us I thought that why not take advantage of it. So that's what we did after lunch on 7 December here in this most sacred abode, and it was indeed unlimitedly sublime!

Here's how Srila Prabhodananda Sarasvati glorifies Sri Vrindaban dhama and the Yamuna River:

"How can a person who has never seen Vrindavana's Yamuna river, which is filled with eternally blooming indivara, kamala, kahlara, kumuda, and other lotus flowers, all filled with the sweet humming sounds of bumblebees, and which displays the places where Sri Sri Radha-Muralidhara and Their friends enjoyed transcendental pastimes, remain alive?"

"I bow before Vrindavana's Yamuna river, which is eternally splendid with a lotus of many jewels, which flows from an ocean of bliss, which is delightful with many other colorful splendid flowers, which cannot be approached by the crowns of the three Vedas and which is filled with the sounds of maddened bees and birds."


"Meditate on Vrindavana's Yamuna river, which is dear to Lord Hari, which flows with a great flood of transcendental bliss, which has shores studded with jewels, waves chanting the Sama Veda, and swans, cranes, karandavas, datyuhas and other birds chanting the Rig veda."

"May the Yamuna, where waters sweet as grape-sugar milk nectar are filled with golden lotus buds and other flowers, where the shores are made of many jewels, where the water is wonderful with the splashing of playful, splendid jewel fish, where there is a wonder of glistening jewel staircases, where the shores are very beautiful with groves of many kinds of wonderful flower filled trees and vines and fragrant with camphor and splendid bakula trees, where along the shores are frightened does with wide open eyes, where the sweet fragrances of many splendid forests of kadamba and campaka trees are everywhere, where there is an abundance of pollen, flying birds, pleasant breezes, and a sweet splendor everywhere, where forests groves are reflected in the deep waters, and where Sri Sri Radha-Krishna's bliss increases, also increase the happiness of you all."


What can I say? When are you coming to the Vrindavana to behold the sacred Yamuna river?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Kirtan on the Yamuna River


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Not Accept Only Srila Prabhupada as My Guru?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

Please help me understand why there are some persons who claim to be followers of Srila Prabhupada but yet don't want to follow the authorized guru/disciple system of practicing Krishna consciousness given to us by Srila Prabhupada and the previous acharyas. They don't believe that it is necessary to accept a guru to guide them in their spiritual advancement since everything has already been given by Srila Prabhupada in his books. When I discussed with one such person he said, "Why should we follow a guru who may not know all that is right after we have seen that some gurus fell down? I can clearly understand and follow Srila Prabhupada's teachings on my own through his books."

I am confused because I have always understood from Srila Prabhupada's books that it is only through being initiated by a physically present guru, serving him, and getting the mercy of his guidance that we can get the mercy of the Lord. Please clear up my confusion.

Thanking Your Grace in advance,
The servant of the servant of your servant,

Madhavi devi dasi

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Answer: He Ordered You to Become the Disciple of His Disciple

Anybody who would like to follow the teachings of Srila Prabhupada is most welcome and most appreciated by us because by following these teachings one will become spiritually perfect and return back to home, back to Godhead after leaving his present material body. Our desire is that everyone throughout the entire world will follow Srila Prabhupada's teachings and thus become liberated.

Some persons question, "If everything I need is in Srila Prabhupada's teachings why can't I just accept Srila Prabhupada as my guru and bypass taking initiation from one of his disciples?" Of course, we agree with them 100% that everything we need to go back to Godhead is in Srila Prabhupada's teachings. However, it should be carefully noted in this regard that if I am accepting Srila Prabhupada's teachings as my guiding principle, I have to accept them in full. It is not that I can pick and choose the teachings I like and ignore those which I don't like. Such picking and choosing is not following Srila Prabhupada. Rather it is following one's own whimsical mind. What will indeed only be fully satisfying to the self is to embrace Srila Prabhupada's teachings in full. This requires taking initiation from a spiritual master who is physically present on this planet.

In this connection with this tendency to pick and choose there is a nice illustrative story of a farmer who had a hen that laid very nice eggs. He was especially pleased with his hen because her eggs commanded a very good price in the marketplace. But one thing he did not like about the hen was that it ate a lot of chicken feed. So to solve this problem one day the foolish farmer cut off the chicken's head thinking he only wanted the half that laid the eggs, not the half that ate. Of course the result was that the hen was now dead and would no longer lay any eggs. So these half-hen logicians who want to take the part of Srila Prabhupada's teachings they like and reject the part they do not like are doing nothing more than killing their chance to go back to Godhead.

Srila Prabhupada instructed us that after his physical departure from this mortal world the new devotees coming to ISKCON should take initiation from one of his disciples. So how can someone say that they accept Srila Prabhupada's teachings as their guiding principle and neglect his order to take initiation from one of this disciples? This is a not proper understanding of Srila Prabhupada's teachings.

They may argue, "Some of Srila Prabhupada's disciples fell down. So how I can trust a disciple of Srila Prabhupada to be my guru?" This is like saying, "One time I was given some counterfeit money, so from now on I refuse to have anything to do with money." This is utter foolishness. One simply has to know what is the difference between a genuine note and counterfeit note and be careful not to accept a counterfeit note. Similarly, in regards to accepting a guru, one simply has to carefully study Srila Prabhupada's books to gain a clear understanding of who is a bona fide spiritual master and accept as his guru someone who is the full embodiment of the Bhagavad-gita's teachings. When one becomes serious like this, Lord Krishna will send him his guru so that he can be initiated and become solidly situated on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 8 December 2009

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

If You're Not Absolutely Ecstatic, You're Doing Something Wrong.

If you are not absolutely ecstatic at every second, you are doing something wrong because the nature of the soul is to be constantly swimming in an ocean of unlimited transcendental bliss. In other words, to be unhappy or not fully joyful is an unnatural state of consciousness experienced only by those persons who are not fully connected with their original, pure spiritual natures as servants of Krishna or God.

The neophyte devotee although greatly awakened and enlivened still sometimes experiences the residue of his previous unhappy material existence. But as he faithfully follows the pathway of sadhana bhakti under the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, the clouds of illusion gradually clear away and the pure unadulterated sun of Krishna consciousness becomes fully and splendorously manifested within his heart.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sublime Vrindavana Forest

Site of Krishna's Eternal Pastimes


Teaching the Secrets of Bhakti in Vrindavana


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Created Meat Eating Animals?

Gurudeva, I am doing my management studies and there are many of my class mates who have shown interest in Krishna consciousness as they have many times seen me chanting and talking about Krishna's pastimes. They have asked me many questions of which I know the answers, but I am not that qualified to make them understand. I know you are in that position to answer them perfectly. The questions are:

1. If eating meat is not advisable by Krishna, then why He created all animals who eat others?
2. Why have we been given these senses, if they are not good for us?
3. Why is it that only Krishna's devotees are dear to Him and the non-devotees are not dear to Him?
4.How by doing an MBA can we elevate ourselves spiritually?
5. Is it that every person on this earth does what Krishna wants him to do? If this is true, why is there so much evil in the world with people not following the Bhagavad-gita?
6. We all know about the power of God, and we love Him. Then how was it that we became jealous of Him and had to be sent here? If love of God is the only real pleasure, why did we decide to try to enjoy material pleasures?
7. Are all Muslims making fools of themselves?
8. Gurudeva, how does a person make a fool of himself by pretending or assuming that he is a devotee of the Lord?

Your humble servant,

Rashmi

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Answer: To Give the Meat Eaters Full Facility

Here are your questions with answers:

1. If eating meat is not advisable by Krishna, then why He created all animals who eat others?

Answer: Taking birth in their next life as an animal is a concession for those persons who are attached to eating meat. In this way they have full facility for meat eating.

2. Why have we been given these senses, if they are not good for us?

Answers: A surgeon's scalpel is neither good nor bad in itself but can be used for the good purpose of removing someone's cancer or the bad purpose of murdering someone by cutting their throat. Similarly, there is nothing wrong with our material senses if we engage them in Krishna's service, and they are our ticket to hell if we engage them in material sense gratification.

3. Why is it that only Krishna's devotees are dear to Him and the non-devotees are not dear to Him?

Answer: Everyone is dear to Krishna, both the devotees and the non-devotees, just as a father loves all of his children even those who disobey him. This is why Krishna comes again and again to this material world for the purpose of rescuing His lost children who have gone astray.

4. How by doing an MBA can we elevate ourselves spiritually?

Answer: By offering it in Krishna's service.

5. Is it that every person on this earth does what Krishna wants him to do? If this is true, why is there so much evil in the world with people not following the Bhagavad-gita?

Answer: This material world is a place designated by God for those people who are not doing what Krishna wants. That's why they are here. Therefore it is natural that there should so much evil happening everywhere all around us.

6. We all know about the power of God, and we love Him. Then how was it that we became jealous of Him and had to be sent here? If love of God is the only real pleasure, why did we decide to try to enjoy material pleasures?

Answer: Like a curious child who sticks his hand in the fire, we stuck our hands in the fire of independence from the Lord. We foolishly thought to try becoming Him to see if it was better than serving Him. Hopefully we have now learned our lesson.

7. Are all Muslims making fools of themselves?

Answer: Why only Muslims? All modern day religionists are making fools out of themselves by approaching God to fulfill their material desires. Does a child have to ask his parents to feed him? No, of course not. So why do we keep pestering God with our lists of material desires? This is utter foolishness. God will automatically take care of our material needs. We should be approaching Him instead to beg Him to engage us in His service. This is the real meaning of being a Muslim, Hindu, Jew, or Christian.

8. Gurudeva, how does a person make a fool of himself by pretending or assuming that he is a devotee of the Lord?

Answer: To be a devotee of God is not cheap. To truly be a devotee one must become totally surrendered to carrying out the orders of the Lord like Hanuman or Arjuna, not that I approach God to fulfill my material desires and advertise myself as His devotee. Approaching God to fulfill my material desires means that I am devotee of my material desires, not a devotee of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 7 December 2009

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

Don't Be Mixed Up, Be Fixed Up.

This material world is ultimately a confusing mess for those who are stubbornly holding on to the futile attempt to be the lords of all that they survey, because no matter how successful one may become in this material world he will in the end be a failure defeated by the insurmountable wheel of time. Therefore instead of foolishly wasting time in a utopian struggle to be the controller of that which one cannot control, one should be pragmatically situated on the pathway of emancipation from the cruel jaws of death by reviving his dormant enlightened consciousness, his Krishna consciousness. In short, don't be mixed up, be fixed up.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Mangala Arati at 4:10 a.m.

at Srila Prabhupada's Samadhi in Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Meeting Krishna Higher Than Separation from Krishna?

Dear Srila Gurudeva

Please except my respects at your lotus feet.

There is a certain group of devotees who teach that meeting with Krishna is higher than the mood of separation from Krishna, and that separation only serves as an impetus for meeting with Him. So is it true that meeting with Krishna is higher than separation from Krishna?

Your Servant

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Answer: Loving Emotions Are Higher in Separation

Those who teach that the loving emotions experienced in meeting Krishna are a higher ecstasy than the ecstatic emotions tasted by the pure devotees in separation from Krishna are not teaching according to the principles of our Gaudiya sampradaya, the line of succession coming from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

This is confirmed by an explanation given by Srila Prabhupada in London on 29 August 1971 on the occasion of Radhastami, Srimati Radharani's appearance day:

"As Radharani is always in feelings of separation of Krishna, similarly, in the position of Radharani, Lord Caitanya was feeling separation of Krishna. That is the teaching of Lord Caitanya, feelings of separation, not meeting. The process of devotional service taught by Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His disciplic succession is how to feel separation from Krishna. That is Radharani's position, always feeling the separation."

Srila Prabhupada explains why separation from Krishna is more ecstatic than meeting with Krishna as follows in his purport to Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila, Chapter 4, Text 31:

"The spontaneous attraction of Sri Krishna for His dearest parts and parcels generates an enthusiasm that obliges Sri Krishna and the gopis to meet together. To celebrate this transcendental enthusiasm, there is need of a sentiment of separation between the lover and beloved. In the condition of material tribulation, no one wants the pangs of separation. But in the transcendental form, the very same separation, being absolute in its nature, strengthens the ties of love and enhances the desire of the lover and beloved to meet. The period of separation, evaluated transcendentally, is more relishable than the actual meeting, which lacks the feelings of increasing anticipation because the lover and beloved are both present."

While in the material world, meeting one's beloved is considered to be enjoyment and separation from one's beloved is taken to be suffering, in the ecstasy of love of God the emotion of being separated from Krishna and hankering to meet Him is more intense that the loving emotions tasted when meeting Him. And since in spiritual life the ecstasy comes from the love of Krishna not from sense gratification, in spiritual life separation from Krishna is a higher ecstasy than meeting Krishna.

Even in the material world we can see that the loving emotions expressed by two lovers when they are separated and writing each other love letters are more intense than the loving emotions expressed when they are in each other's presence. This is why in Krishna's pastimes the paramour love between Radha and Krishna is considered higher than the domesticated husband-and-wife love between Krishna and Rukmini. Paramour love means that they are mostly separated, while married love means that they remain together. In other words, the fact that the love between Radha and Krishna is considered higher than the love between Rukmini and Krishna supports the principle of love in separation being higher than love in meeting.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada also states in his purport to Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi Lila, Chapter 4, Text 108 as follows:

"Those under the shelter of the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu can understand that His mode of worship of the Supreme Lord Krishna in separation is the real worship of the Lord. When the feelings of separation become very intense, one attains the stage of meeting Sri Krishna. So-called devotees like the sahajiyas cheaply imagine they are meeting Krishna in Vrindavana. Such thinking may be useful, but actually meeting Krishna is possible through the attitude of separation taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu."

So instead of cheaply imagining that we have met with Krishna, we should try to increase our feelings of separation more and more. In this way we shall become qualified to some day personally meet Krishna face to face. If we follow the pathway of sahajiyas cheaply imagining that we have had Krishna's darshan, we will never become qualified to actually meet Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 6 December 2009

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

Bless Me That I Can Give You All of My Love

5 December 2009--This morning at 5:00 a.m. after offering mangala arati to the most beautiful Sri Sri Radha Damodar here in this most auspicious transcendental abode of Sri Vrindavan Dham I feelingly prayed to my Lord Krishna to bless me that henceforward I can give all of my love to Him and no longer be the slave of my wicked senses. Since the benefit of any devotional service rendered in Sri Vrindavan Dham is magnified 1,000 times I am herewith humbly requesting my most beloved Lord that He will kindly accept my crude attempt to surrender to Him to be in the category of genuine devotional service so that I can cash in on the benediction of having rendered devotional service to Him in Sri Vrindavana Dhama and thus factually attain pure devotional service unto Him. Besides this there is no goal in all the three worlds worth striving for. To attain pure devotional service is the perfection of existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Most Beautiful Sri Sri Radha Damodar in Vrindavana Dhama



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Control Oneself without Supervision?

Hare Krishna.

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

Guru Maharaja,

It is natural for one to act sincerely when he is under some supervision. For instance, if my boss is sitting right next to me, I will work at the best of my sincerity. But the moment I learn he is not in the office I act freely. Gurudeva, the point I am trying to put across is when the ISKCON revolution began there was no one to supervise Srila Prabhupada yet He was working for 20-22 hrs a day. There is also no one to supervise you, but yet you are still working very sincerely without any boss. It is a human tendency that the best in you comes out when you know there is a sword hanging on your neck. So how to get the best out of yourself when things aren't that difficult and challenging?

Please reply to this idiotic question.

An eternal servant of Lord Krishna,

Dhaval

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Answer: Always Feel the Presence of Your Spiritual Master

The first point is that your question is not idiotic. It is a very nice question. The fixed up devotee always feels the presence of his spiritual master. Therefore he always has the inspiration to work with full enthusiasm under all circumstances of heat and cold, happiness and distress, and honor and dishonor. The way to connect with the presence of one's spiritual master is through the medium of his instructions. Whatever orders the spiritual master gives to his disciple, the disciple meditates day and night on those instructions worshipping them as his very life and soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 5 December 2009

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

Searching for Krishna at Govardhana

4 December 2009--Today we did the parikrama of Govardhana Hill. There is nothing more sublime to be treading on the very same sacred soil upon which Lord Krishna walked 5,000 years ago when He displayed His most intimate pastimes. Those same exact pastimes are still going on here at this very minute for those who have the eyes to see them. Five hundred years ago the six Goswamis of Vrindavana also tread this sacred earth in the constant mood of searching for Krishna. This beautiful verse of Sanskrit poetry by His Divine Grace Srinivasa Acharya accurately describes the mood of these six Goswamis as they wandered about in a state of awe searching for their beloved Lord:

he rādhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutaḥ
śrī-govardhana-kalpa-pādapa-tale kālindī-vane kutaḥ
ghoṣantāv iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair mahā-vihvalau
vande rūpa-sanātanau raghu-yugau śrī-jīva-gopālakau

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the six Gosvāmīs, namely Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, and Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, who were chanting very loudly everywhere in Vṛndāvana, shouting, "Queen of Vṛndāvana, Rādhārāṇī! O Lalita! O son of Nanda Mahārāja! Where are you all now? Are you just on the hill of Govardhana, or are you under the trees on the bank of the Yamunā? Where are you?" These were their moods in executing Kṛishṇa consciousness."

So when we are on parikrama in Vrindavana we can adopt this same of hankering to see Krishna, intensely desiring to be blessed with His darshan. Srila Prabhupada encourages to follow in their footsteps by being in the mood of separation from our beloved Lord Krishna intensely hankering for that day when we can see Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




At the Foot of Glorious Govardhana Hill



Explaining the Glories of Govardhana


Relishing Krishna's Manasi Ganga Pastimes While at Manasi Ganga


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof of the Spiritual World

How can you prove that life after death or the transcendental world exists?

Simonas

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Answer: I Will Take You There

How can I absolutely prove to myself that China really exists? By going there. So if you want to absolutely prove to yourself that the deathless transcendental world absolutely exists, there is only way to do that. You have to go there. I am prepared to take you there, if you are prepared to follow my instructions. Are you ready?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 4 December 2009

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

Ignorance is Bliss Until It Crashes on Your Head

Sometimes it is said that ignorance is bliss. But ignorance is bliss only until it comes crashing down on your head. Just like the people who were enjoying the evening entertainment on the Titanic dancing in great jubilation in the ballroom. They were unaware of the impending catastrophic iceberg collision which was just a few minutes away. Had they known in advance they could have prepared themselves properly and would have thus been saved from an icy, miserable death. In a similar way if we can understand the temporary nature of this spot life, that death is nearby waiting to claim us, we can then focus our consciousness on the Supreme Reality and attain the perfectional stage of deathlessness, pure Krishna bhakti. In this way we will regain our original spiritual forms and never have to suffer birth, death, old age, and disease ever again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




It Was an Enjoyable Evening on the Titanic Until Disaster Struck


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can I Raise Calves That Will Be Slaughtered?

Hare Krishna,

All my obeisances, esteemed Guru.

My wife was born into a family of ranchers, and I am thinking to dedicate myself to raising cows with the dairy business in mind and selling the calves to other ranchers. Since in reality these plans are material, I am thinking of purifying them by establishing a temple in the region where I'm thinking of living and spreading Krishna consciousness to the villagers. The problem is that by selling the calves to the other ranchers, they will fatten them and then sell them for slaughter. Can I dedicate myself to this activity if I also want to spread Krishna consciousness?

Respectfully,

David

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Answer: The Cows and Bulls Must Receive Lifetime Protection

Your idea to establish a temple is very nice. But it is not that by establishing a temple you can counteract the sinful reactions from raising calves which will be slaughtered. You must avoid such an occupation. It will not be favorable for your Krishna consciousness.

If you want to raise cows, you can only do so on the basis of giving them full protection for the entire duration of their natural lives so that they will never have to face the ghastly horror of being herded into a slaughterhouse and heinously butchered. There is no kind, humane way to kill a cow or bull. Therefore the only alternative for the peace and prosperity of the human society is that henceforward we give full love and protection to all of the cows, bulls, and calves. In this connection kindly behold the magnificent Gita pictured below:


If you can instead establish a farm based purely on the principle of cow protection it will be a great example for the human society and Lord Sri Krishna will shower His blessings down upon you like anything.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 3 December 2009

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

Don't Be Carried Away by Liquid Beauty

In this material world we are attracted to each other as males and females. But what is that attraction? It is only skin deep. Beneath that thin layer of skin is a conglomeration of grotesque bodily ingredients: mucus, bile, stool, urine, blood, vomit, etc. The only reason we are attracted to this disgusting bag of elements is that Mayadevi has done a super excellent job of packaging them in such a way that we are completely enamored by the body of the opposite sex. The great sages such as His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada have mercifully liberated us from this spell of maya or illusion by teaching us about the eternal spiritual identity of the self, which is millions and billions of times more attractive than this temporary material body. In this connection for our benefit Srila Prabhupada has told us the story of liquid beauty as follows:

"Once a man who was very powerful and strongly built but whose character was very doubtful fell in love with a beautiful girl. The girl was not only beautiful in appearance but also saintly in character, and as such she did not like the man's advances. The man, however, was insistent because of his lustful desires, and therefore the girl requested him to wait only seven days, and she set a time after that when he could meet her. The man agreed, and with high expectations he began waiting for the appointed time.

The saintly girl, however, in order to manifest the real beauty of absolute truth, adopted a method very instructive. She took very strong doses of laxatives and purgatives, and for seven days she continually passed loose stool and vomited all that she ate. Moreover, she stored all the loose stool and vomit in suitable pots. As a result of the purgatives, the so-called beautiful girl became lean and thin like a skeleton, her complexion turned blackish, and her beautiful eyes sank into the sockets of her skull. Thus at the appointed hour she waited anxiously to receive the eager man.

The man appeared on the scene well dressed and well behaved and asked the ugly girl he found waiting there about the beautiful girl he was to meet. The man could not recognize the girl he saw as the same beautiful girl for whom he was asking; indeed, although she repeatedly asserted her identity, because of her pitiable condition he was unable to recognize her.

At last the girl told the powerful man that she had separated the ingredients of her beauty and stored them in pots. She also told him that he could enjoy those juices of beauty. When the mundane poetic man asked to see these juices of beauty, he was directed to the store of loose stool and liquid vomit, which were emanating an unbearably bad smell. Thus the whole story of the beauty-liquid was disclosed to him. Finally, by the grace of the saintly girl, this man of low character was able to distinguish between the shadow and the substance, and thus he came to his senses."

So let us all take lesson from this highly instructive story and no longer be carried away by the liquid beauty of this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Beautiful Maiden Separated Her Beauty

Keeping It In Clay Pots to Be "Enjoyed" by Her Suitor


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can Krishna Come From Himself?

My Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet.
All glories to you and Guru Mataji.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Srila Gurudeva, I have a question. I know Krishna came from Himself but I don't understand how can that be.

Your servant,

Kirtan

(a six year old boy)

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Answer: He Must Because There's Nowhere Else to Come From.

Krishna must come from Himself because there's nowhere else to come from. Since Krishna is the origin of everything and since He is also included with everything He must therefore originate in Himself. Since He is the origin of all, there can be no other cause for His existence other than Himself. In other words, He is self-manifested. He exists merely by dint of His desire to exist with no other cause.

Since Krishna is the origin of everything, if it were not for Him there would be no existence at all. There would be simply void. There is no example of anything else which originates from itself that we can give you as an example to help you understand Krishna's ability to manifest Himself. The understanding of Krishna goes completely beyond any sort of mundane logic. His mysteries are revealed to the sincere disciples through the transparent via medium of the bona fide spiritual master to those devotees whose eyes are tinged with salve of love of Godhead.

This is described as follows in the Sri Brahma Samhita:

premā˝jana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaṁ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpaṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi


"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Krịsḥṇa Himself, with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love."


So if you want to understand Krishna, kindly chant His sweet holy names every day with love and devotion:

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

In this way, by chanting with love, you will someday personally meet Krishna and be able to directly see by your own bhakti-empowered perception how Krishna is the origin of everything including Himself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 2 December 2009

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

There is No Greater Kindness

Would you like to do the greatest good for yourself and for the suffering humanity? If so, kindly dedicate your life for understanding and realizing the highest truth, and then bestowing this enlightenment upon everyone that you meet. This enlightened state of consciousness is known as Krishna consciousness, and it far exceeds by millions of times any type of happiness that can be realized in the material world. The easiest way to disseminate this knowledge is to distribute the books of self-realized souls to the people of this planet. Especially the writings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are most suitable for this purpose. One our students, Sriman Milton Joshi, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada recently took advantage of some free time in his busy schedule to go out on the street in Toronto along with his wife and a friend for distributing this knowledge. He was completely exhilarated by the experience. If you want to get enlivened by his experience, follow this link:

http://www.backtohome.com/book_distribution.htm

And if you would like to learn how you can also experience this nectar, check out this link:

http://www.distributebooks.com

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sriman Vaisesika Prabhu Bestowing the Greatest Mercy
Distributing Books of Transcendental Knowledge


Weekend Warrior Book Distributors


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Lord Sri Krishna's Body

Why when Lord Krishna left this material world did He leave His body here?

N.B.

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Answer: Naturally It Remains Here

Krishna returned to the spiritual world in His original spiritual form. But since this entire material world is His virat-rupa, His so-called material body, naturally that form of His is left behind when He returns to the spiritual world.

In this connection my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, explains as follow in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, 1st Canto, Chapter 14, Text 8:

"It should be understood that when Lord Krishna was apparently killed by the bow and arrow of the hunter, the Lord left His so-called material body in the material world. The Lord is kaivalya, and for Him there is no difference between matter and spirit because everything is created from Him. Therefore His quitting one sort of body or accepting body does not mean that He is like the ordinary living being. All such activities are simultaneously one and different by His inconceivable potency."

I hope that this clears up your understanding.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 1 December 2009

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Making New Delhi Pollution Free

New Delhi, India is one of the world's most heavily polluted cities and is home to what Time magazine describes as the "Delhi cough". But in in spite of the health risks associated with living here, there are many dedicated preachers of Krishna consciousness who are residing in New Delhi for the purpose of spreading Krishna consciousness in this hellish place. Therefore in this city Krishna consciousness is thriving like anything. During my brief New Delhi weekend visit I lectured at four different well-attended ISKCON temples located in different parts of the New Delhi metropolitan area. These temples are true oases in the parched New Delhi desert.

When I arrived last Friday (27 November 2009) I ventured out in the evening into a hell of polluted air and heavy traffic jams to pick up a harmonium. Sitting forever at an endless stream of traffic lights we were routinely approached at our car windows by all varieties of hawkers and beggars trying to convince us to part with some of our rupees. Even though we sometimes give to the beggars, one naturally cultivates a bit of aloofness from the constant solicitation. But our aloofness bubble was immediately popped when we saw the most enlivening sight. It was a saffron clad ISKCON brahmacari coming along the queue of jammed up cars sticking a copy of the Bhagavad-gita As It Is into each car asking everyone to purchase a copy. We would have definitely been customers had it not been that we already own several copies. This is the secret of success for the deliverance of the suffering humanity from the ever-increasing pollution and illusion. The more this Bhagavad-gita As It Is is distributed, the more the world will become transformed from hell into heaven. Some day because of this most wonderful Krishna consciousness movement, this most important city of New Delhi will be filled with clean air and with a population possessing clean consciousness, Krishna consciousness. May that day come soon!


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




New Delhi--One of the World's Most Polluted Cities



New Delhi Skyline


ISKCON New Delhi
One of the World's Most Wonderful Temples


Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi--the Deities of New Delhi


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Obstacle from Non-Devotee Family Members

I am new to Krishna consciousness, and I am really happy to be aware of Krishna and enjoying service to Him. Thank you for your "Thought For the Day". It really helps me. My question is that my parents are not supportive at all and are creating problems and obstacles in my devotional service. Though I want to do more, I am not able to because of mental tension that my parents are giving me by discouraging the very purpose of spirituality. Please help. What can I do to come out of this obstacle that is having such a negative effect on my Krishna consciousness?

N.M.

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Answer: Overcoming the Even Bigger Obstacle

The biggest obstacle we all face in our progress of Krishna consciousness is our own material attachments. This is a much greater obstacle for each of us than any external obstacle such as non-devotee family members who are opposed to our practice of Krishna consciousness. If you will focus your heart on becoming completely 100% attached to Krishna in all times, places, and circumstances, your material attachments will naturally melt away and your non-devotee family members will not be able to impede the tidal wave of Krishna consciousness which will be inundating your heart in an ocean of transcendental realization and bliss. And then in due course of time by the power of your association your family members will also take to Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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