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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Sunday 31 January 2010

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

Why Worship the Guru?

Since Krishna is the God of the demigods, who are the departmental heads within this universe, we worship only Krishna and do not worship the demigods. This is just like our paying of taxes to the central government without our having to separately pay tax to each governmental department. This is Krishna's instruction to us in the Bhagavad-gita that we should exclusively worship Him only and not worship the demigods or anyone else. Therefore on His order all of our devotion goes only the Krishna.

In this connection sometimes people become confused when they see that we are worshipping the spiritual master. They find this to be a contradiction. But actually it is not a contradiction. Surrender to only Krishna means to follow the instructions of Krishna and not the instructions of anyone who instructs us differently than what Krishna instructs us. So when Krishna instructs us to become the devotees of the spiritual master by doing so we are doing nothing more than surrendering ourselves to Krishna. In fact if we do not worship the spiritual master, we are not surrendering to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna a Form of Vishnu or Vishnu a Form of Krishna?

I have a question about something you said the other day in your "Thought for the Day" Q&A section. You quoted the following verse:

"Those who are actually learned in the Absolute Truth look to the abode of and worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in any of His various forms such as Krishna, Rama, etc."--Rig Veda (1.22.20)

This verse states that Krishna is a form of Vishnu. I don't understand how this verse supports Krishna as the original Personality of Godhead. This verse seems to disagree with Krishna's own statements in the Bhagavad-gita. I am very perplexed by this. How can I know if Vishnu is a form of Krishna or Krishna is a form of Vishnu? Please help me understand. Thank you very much.

Humbly,

C.B.

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Answer: Since Krishna is the Original Vishnu, Both Are Correct.

Srila Prabhupada explains Rig Veda (1.22.20) in his Srimad Bhagavatam purport to SB 3.16.4 that the qualified brahmanas worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, which means Krishna, Rama and all Vishnu expansions.

What is confusing you is that the term Vishnu is used in two different ways. Sometimes Vishnu is used as the name of the category of the Supreme Lord in any one of His unlimited forms. And sometimes it used for a specific four-armed form of the Supreme Lord such as Maha-Vishnu. When we speak of the Vishnu category of beings we understand that the original Vishnu is Krishna and that all the other Vishnu category personalities are emanating from Him. This is why devotees of Krishna are known as Vaisnavas, which means "devotees of Vishnu."

So in summary, since Krishna is the original Vishnu from whom all other Vishnus expand, we can say both that Vishnu is a form of Krishna and that Krishna is a form of Vishnu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 30 January 2010

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

Don't Waste Time


Time is the most valuable of all commodities. While other things that are lost can be regained, whatever time is lost can never be recovered. Therefore one should spend one's time most judiciously and never waste a single moment. Even if I lose one million dollars, I can also gain one million dollars. But if one second of time is wasted, it is gone forever. The proper utilization of time is to engage it in the service of Krishna. Any time invested in this way will yield unlimited dividends. Therefore I should always remember Krishna at every moment and never forget Him. And I should offer Him all of my words and deeds in all times, places, and circumstances. This is the perfect utilization of time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Apply Isavasya, the God-Centered Conception?

I have been reading Sri Isopanisad, and would like to ask how would a person apply the theory of Isavasya, the God-centered conception, which is given in Mantra 1, in ISKCON and in the outside community. Please give some examples from day to day life and also from the scriptures.

Thank you. Hare Krishna.

Your servant,

S.D.

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Answer: Engage Everything in Krishna's Service.

You have referred to this verse from the Sri Isopanisad:

īśāvāsyam idam sarvam
yat ki˝ca jagatyāṁjagat
tena tyaktena bhu˝jīthā
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam


"Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled
and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary
for himself, which are set aside as his quota, and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong."
--Sri Isopanisad Mantra 1

This is a universal instruction that applies to everyone whether or not they belong to a spiritual organization. One is directed in this verse to see everything as the Lord's property and thus engage everything is the service of the Lord. Anyone who follows this instruction will become supremely happy. All they have to do to follow this instruction is to engage whatever they have in the service of the Lord and to only accept things which they can engage in the service of the Lord.

For example. if one has a talent as a singer, he can utilize this talent by singing in the Hare Krishna kirtan. The notable example from the scriptures of one who engaged his various senses in the service of the Lord is Ambarish Maharaja. He fixed his mind on the lotus feet of the Lord, he spoke only on the pastimes of the Lord, he smelled only the flowers and tulasi offered to the Lord, he walked only to the temple of the Lord, he engaged his hands in cleansing the temple, he engaged his tongue in tasting the foodstuff offered to the Lord, and he engaged his ears for hearing the great pastimes of the Lord. In this way all his senses were engaged.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 29 January 2010

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

The Absurdity of Absurdism

The French Algerian philosopher, Albert Camus, expounded the philosophy known as absurdism. According to absurdism, although life is meaningless human beings are faced with the dilemma of hankering for meaning in a meaningless world. Camus says that there are three ways of resolving this dilemma:

1) Commit suicide. (Camus rejects this as cowardly.)
2) Believe in a transcendental reality beyond the absurd. (Camus rejects this as philosophical suicide because it amounts to the destruction of reason, which is just as fatal as the suicide of the body.)
3)Accept the Absurd. (According to Camus, this is the only real solution. One should continue living while accepting and even embracing life's absurdity. Life, according to Camus, can "be lived all the better if it has no meaning." )

In other words, according to Camus, man exists in an irrational and meaningless universe, and his search for order brings him into conflict with his universe. His view is that the absurdist, by accepting the absurdity of existence, comes into a state of harmony with his universe and is liberated from being in conflict with it by no longer trying to find order in it.

So is Camus' analysis of reality correct? While superficially his absurdism may seem to make sense, if we closely examine it, we will find it to be patently absurd and thus not worthy of being accepted. How so? The first obvious point is that if all is absurd, absurdism being part of everything must therefore also be absurd. And since absurd means ridiculously unreasonable, absurdism (borrowing the terms from its own philosophy) amounts to the destruction of reason and is as suicidal as the destruction of one's body.

Another point is that absurdism assumes on blind faith that there is no order, meaning, or purpose to existence. Where is the proof that life has no such meaning or purpose? Why would man hanker for meaning if meaning did not exist? If meaning did not exist, he would have no need for it. We see that by nature's way we only hanker for things which exist. The human being is not wired with any hankerings for things which do not exist. So why in the case of life's meaning should there be any difference? This is not logical. Rather it is logical to understand that since every perceivable human hankering is matched by its counterpart, i.e. the object which satisfies that hankering, the hankering for meaning must therefore also be matched by that which satisfies that hankering, i.e. that existence has meaning.

So with all due respect to Camus for trying to take us beyond the platform of gross sense gratification to the platform of the intelligence, we beg to point out that he has failed in his attempt to enlighten us with higher knowledge. If we want factual higher knowledge, we will need to look elsewhere to see if we can find someone who has clearly perceived what is the purpose and meaning of existence and who can enlighten us in this regard.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Albert Camus--1913-1960

Propounder of Absurdism


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Bhakti Supported in the Original Four Vedas?

I and a few devotees are preaching to some of our Muslim friends. They have asked some questions. Can you please answer them?

1. According to them only the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda are the original Vedas and are thus authoritative, while other scriptures such as the Upanishads are manmade and are not divine and authoritative. Can you please tell how to explain that all the Upanishads including the primary Vedas come under same category?

2. We quoted some verses from the Bhagavad-gita and the Brahma samhita where it is stated that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (They think that Krishna is human). But as they believe only the primary four Vedas are authoritative, they are not believing what we are saying. Can you please give me evidence from the original four Vedas that support Krishna's supremacy?

3. They also say that Vedas were written down because the sudras and vaisyas were not even allowed to look into it. Can I have your clarification, Gurudeva?

Regards,

Vishnu C.B.


Answer: Krishna Bhakti is Advocated There.

I am very happy to hear that your Muslim friends accept the authority of the original four Vedas. Therefore they should note this mantra from the Rig Veda:

oṁ tad viṣṇoḥ paramaṁ padaṁ sadā paśyanti sūrayah

"Those who are actually learned in the Absolute Truth look to the abode of
and worship only the Vishnu form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead
in any of His various forms such as Krishna, Rama, etc."

--Rig Veda (1.22.20)

Therefore if they really accept the authority of the original four Vedas they will now have to surrender themselves unto Lord Vishnu in any one of His various forms. Let's see if they are not hypocrites and will do that.

And if your Muslim friends say that only the original four Vedas are authoritative Vedic truth, then we have to ask them where is it stated in the four original Vedas that only the four original Vedas are authoritative truth. The four original Vedas: Sama, Yajur, Rig, Atharva were compiled by Vedavyasa, who then explained them in the 108 Puranas, summarized them in the Vedanta-sutra, and further explained the Vedanta-sutra in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. So if we accept the authority of the original four Vedas, we must also accept the authority of the supplementary literatures since they are compiled by the same person, Vedavyasa.

While it is fact that the Vedic wisdom can only be understood by those who have been elevated to the higher status of transcendental knowledge, in the Vedic system of education everyone is given an equal opportunity to become elevated in knowledge by submissively inquiring from and serving a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 28 January 2010

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

Lord Nityananda's Appearance Day

nitāi-pada-kamala, koṭi-candra-suśītala
je chāyāy jagata jurāy
heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi
dṛḍha kori' dharo nitāir pāy


"The lotus feet of Lord Nityananda are a shelter where one will get the soothing moonlight not only of one, but of millions of moons. If the world wants to have real peace, it should take shelter of Lord Nityananda. Unless one takes shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, it will be very difficult for him to approach Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. If one actually wants to enter into the dancing party of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, he must firmly catch hold of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda."

Today is the most auspicious appearance day of Lord Nityananda. Lord Krishna has descended to this world 500 years ago in Bengal, India as Lord Caitanya. And His first expansion, Lord Balarama who played the role of being His brother, was present also at that time as Lord Nityananda. At that time these two brothers displayed the most inconceivably amazing pastimes to attract all of the fallen, conditioned souls of this world back to their original home in the wondrous spiritual sky. There is no incarnation more merciful than Lord Nityananda because it was by His mercy that the two sinful brothers, Jagai and Madhai were saved. This wonderful pastime is described as follows by Srila Prabhupada:

Once Nityananda Prabhu and Srila Haridasa Thakura were walking down a main road, and on the way they saw a roaring crowd assembled. Upon inquiring from passers-by, they understood that two brothers, named Jagai and Madhai, were creating a public disturbance in a drunken state. They also heard that these two brothers were born in a respectable brahmana family, but because of low association they had turned into debauchees of the worst type. They were not only drunkards but also meat-eaters, woman-hunters, dacoits and sinners of all description. Srila Nityananda Prabhu heard all of these stories and decided that these two fallen souls must be the first to be delivered. If they were delivered from their sinful life, then the good name of Lord Caitanya would be even still more glorified. Thinking in this way, Nityananda Prabhu and Haridasa pushed their way through the crowd and asked the two brothers to chant the holy name of Lord Hari. The drunken brothers became enraged upon this request and attacked Nityananda Prabhu with filthy language. Both brothers chased them a considerable distance. In the evening the report of the preaching work was submitted to the Lord, and He was glad to learn that Nityananda and Haridasa had attempted to deliver such a stupid pair of fellows.

The next day Nityananda Prabhu went to see the brothers, and as soon as He approached them one of them threw a piece of earthen pot at Him. This struck Him on the forehead, and immediately blood began to flow. But Nityananda Prabhu was so kind that instead of protesting this heinous act, He said, "It does not matter that you have thrown this stone at Me. I still request you to chant the holy name of Lord Hari."

One of the brothers, Jagai, was astonished to see this behavior of Nityananda Prabhu, and he at once fell down at His feet and asked Him to pardon his sinful brother. When Madhai again attempted to hurt Nityananda Prabhu, Jagai stopped him and implored him to fall down at His feet. In the meantime the news of Nityananda's injury reached the Lord, who at once hurried to the spot in a fiery and angry mood. The Lord immediately invoked His Sudarsana cakra (the Lord's ultimate weapon, shaped like a wheel) to kill the sinners, but Nityananda Prabhu reminded Him of His mission. The mission of the Lord was to deliver the hopelessly fallen souls of Kali-yuga, and the brothers Jagai and Madhai were typical examples of these fallen souls. Ninety percent of the population of this age resembles these brothers, despite high birth and mundane respectability. According to the verdict of the revealed scriptures, the total population of the world in this age will be of the lowest sudra quality, or even lower. It should be noted that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never acknowledged the stereotyped caste system by birthright; rather, He strictly followed the verdict of the sastras in the matter of one's svarupa, or real identity.

When the Lord was invoking His Sudarsana cakra and Srila Nityananda Prabhu was imploring Him to forgive the two brothers, both the brothers fell down at the lotus feet of the Lord and begged His pardon for their gross behavior. The Lord was also asked by Nityananda Prabhu to accept these repenting souls, and the Lord agreed to accept them on one condition, that they henceforward completely give up all their sinful activities and habits of debauchery, both the brothers agreed and promised to give up all their sinful habits, and the kind Lord accepted them and did not again refer to their past misdeeds.

So let us take advantage of this auspicious day and beg Lord Nityananda for His special mercy that we can be forever free from sinful activities and thus become spotlessly pure devotees of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Best Serve You?

I find it very easy to have compassion and loving feelings towards other devotees and the animal kingdom, and I would like to feel this same way for the butcher who chops and kills animals and the drunkards etc, but I find this difficult.

Can I think of the butcher as a wild animal, so that I don't feel agitation by his actions? Or is this disrespectful to think of humans like animals.

And also, how can I best serve you as your aspiring servant.

B.B.

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Answer: Become Perfect and Spread these Teachings.

To consider the grossly sinful people to be like animals or even lower than animals is correct according to the vision of the revealed scriptures. However, if we consider that the only thing which separates us from being in the same category as them is the mercy we have received from Krishna's pure devotees, we can try to develop feelings of compassion for them. Distributing Srila Prabhupada's books of transcendental wisdom is a wonderful service because when distributing these literatures we can approach everyone and give them the opportunity to get the mercy of Krishna and his pure devotees. Recently a devotee entered a slaughterhouse and sold a stack of Krishna conscious books to the slaughterhouse manager. So there is no question of who is qualified to receive Krishna's mercy and who is not. Everyone is a potential recipient of the mercy of Krishna.

The spiritual master's mission is to save the entire human civilization from the cycle of birth and death. So the best service you can do for me is to become perfect in Krishna consciousness and spread the wonderful teachings of Krishna consciousness as much as possible to the people of your town.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 27 January 2010

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

Back to the Live Music Capital

We are back now for six weeks at our home base, Bhaktivedanta Ashram, in Austin, Texas. Austin's official city slogan is "Live Music Capital of the World". The members of the Krishna consciousness movement are certainly no strangers when it comes to the concept of live music. We begin our day every day with a live kirtan at 4:30am, ecstatically singing and dancing the glories of the Supreme Lord and His pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada. And this is just the beginning. Then we have more two or three more kirtans before breakfast. And then whenever possible, not wanting to keep all of this ecstasy to ourselves we take it out on the streets by singing and dancing in the public. Everyone enjoys ecstatic singing and dancing. So we like to share this nectar with as many people as possible as often as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Bliss on the Street- Hare Krishna Live Music



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Vedic Reference Regarding Intoxication

What is the Vedic reference regarding alcohol and other intoxicants?

Kuber

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Answer: It Must Be Given Up If We Want Perfection.

In the Manu Samhita it is stated:

na māṁsa-bhakṣaṇe doṣo
na madye na ca maithune
pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ
nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā


"It may be considered that meat-eating, intoxication and sex indulgence are natural propensities of the conditioned souls, and therefore such persons should not be condemned for these activities. But unless one gives up such sinful activities, there is no possibility of achieving the actual perfection of life."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 26 January 2010

from the Los Angeles Airport
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Today's Thought:

Guru's Duty: Deliver the World

Even if we are not fortunate enough to directly come into contact with the Supreme Lord, we can receive the same unlimited good fortune if we come into contact with the bona fide spiritual master. This is so because the bona fide spiritual master purely represents the Supreme Lord by not saying anything unless it is spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The bona fide guru is he who has accepted Krishna as guru through the system of disciplic succession. One cannot become a guru if he does not purely present the teachings of the Personality of Godhead Krishna. Srila Prabhupada states, "The mission of the guru is the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world." Therefore it is the duty of all bona fide spiritual masters to fully dedicate themselves to spreading this Krishna consciousness all over the world for the deliverance of all living beings back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Will Krishna Reveal What is My Relationship with Him?

Although I know I'm an eternal servant of Lord Krishna, but sometimes I wonder what is my relationship with Lord Krishna in the spiritual world. Will Krishna let me know this relationship some day?

J.D.

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Answer: Naturally When You are Liberated

In this connection Srila Prabhupada has explained:

"Every one of us has a different taste of associating with Krishna, and that will be realized when one is liberated...When you are liberated, you will understand in which way you are related with Krishna. That is called svarupa-siddhi. But that is attained when you are actually perfect in devotional service."

So when you fully surrender to Guru and Krishna and thus become completely free from all material desires Krishna will reveal to you what is your eternal relationship with Him in the spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 25 January 2010

from ISKCON New Dwarka, Los Angeles, California, USA
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Today's Thought:

Taste Some Serious Bliss

If you want to taste some serious bliss, you've come to the right place. This Krishna consciousness movement is giving people the real thing. It is reconnecting them with their original, all blissful, all knowing eternal natures. Why would somebody want to suffer when they can instead experience unlimited happiness within their hearts in all times, places, and circumstances? When the people of this planet begin to wake up to who they really are, they will be joining this movement in droves.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Sure a Devotee Went Back to Godhead?

Hare Krishna.
Please accept my humble obeisances.

When a devotee departs, we say that he went back to Godhead. How sure are we that he really went back to Godhead?

Is it true when a soul leaves his body he will be able to meet his close ones who have departed?

Today a devotee said that Madhvacarya met Vyasadeva although they were from different yugas. Is it possible to meet great souls from different yugas?

Thanking you in advance.

Vimala

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Answer: If He Was Completely Free From Material Desires

We do not automatically assume that when a devotee leaves his body that he went back to Godhead. Srila Prabhupada explains that so long as we have even a pinch of material desire we will have to take birth again. So for a devotee to go back to Godhead he must be completely free from all material desires. If he has reached this stage, his going back to home, back to Godhead is guaranteed. Otherwise he will get a very good situation in this material world to continue cultivating his Krishna consciousness.

When you mention meeting his close associates upon his departure, which close associates are you referring to? In our unlimited millions of lifetimes we have at one time or other been a close associate with every single living entity in the material world.

Srila Vyasadeva is still living in the Himalayas and was met there by Madhvacarya some centuries ago in the Kali yuga. So there is there is no question that they were living in different yugas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 24 January 2010

from the ISKCON New Dwarka, Los Angeles, California, USA
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Today's Thought:

Begging Two Boons from Srimati Tulasi Devi

23 January 2010--This morning at 4:20am in the temple room of our ISKCON New Dwarka temple in Los Angeles while chanting Hare Krishna on my japa beads I was circumambulating Srimati Tulasi devi, Krishna's pure devotee, who has so mercifully appeared before us in the form of a plant. Then after watering her and offering her my respectful obeisances I begged that she kindly bestow upon me the ultimate boon of pure devotional service. I must beg Krishna's pure devotees in this way because, being such a spiritual misfit, this is my only hope for attaining spiritual perfection. And then after begging for pure bhakti I begged Tulasi devi that I can be a pure channel for distributing her ultimate boon of pure devotional service to the suffering souls of this planet so that they can also be swimming in this ocean of nectarean mercy millions and millions of light years away from the miseries of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Beautiful, All-Merciful Pure Devotee, Srimati Tulasi devi


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Kumaras and Sukadeva Goswami Were Impersonalists?

My Dearest Srila Gurudeva,

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

In our Sunday class we had discussion about Mayavadis and impersonalists. I heard that the four Kumaras and Sukadeva Goswami were Impersonalists. I do not know whether I have understood correctly.

Srila Gurudeva, please enlighten me. Did the four Kumaras and Sukadeva Goswami teach impersonalism? Did they worship Supreme Personality of Godhead only after getting the association of the devotees? If so, why?

Your insignificant servant,

Guru Vandana dasi

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Answer: Yes, But They Were Not Mayavadis.

The four Kumaras and Sukadeva Goswami had advanced to the point of impersonal Brahman realization, but they were not antagonistic to the idea of God's being a person like the Mayavadis are. There is a distinction between Mayavadis and impersonalists. Mayavadi means one who says that the form of the Lord is maya. There are impersonalists who are not Mayavadis. Such impersonalists have advanced to the point of Brahman realization, but they are not inimical towards the personality of Godhead. They are sincere, open-minded seekers of truth. So the Kumaras and Sukadeva were in this category. They were sincere seekers of truth who had not yet been exposed to the Vaisnava conception of reality. As soon as they were exposed to Vaisnavism they immediately transcended impersonal Brahman realization and came to the platform of Bhagavan realization, full surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

I have never read anywhere that they taught impersonalism before becoming Vaisnavas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 23 January 2010

from ISKCON New Dwarka--Los Angeles, California USA
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Today's Thought:

Back to New Dwarka

It's really ecstatic to be back once again in New Dwarka, ISKCON Los Angeles, one of the most vibrant and enlivening centers of the worldwide Krishna consciousness movement. Here the worship of Rukmini and Dwarkadish is going on to the highest standard. Here also is the USA headquarters for the BBT, the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the publisher of the writings of ISKCON's founder-acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It was here at this temple that Srila Prabhupada spent a lot of his time while in the USA lecturing, writing, and training his disciples in the science of bhakti. His personal quarters have been transformed into a wonderful museum consisting of transcendental artifacts of furniture and other paraphernalia that were personally used by Srila Prabhupada. In this holy place one can very easily feel the presence of Srila Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




New Dwarka--ISKCON Los Angeles


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Escape Astrological Influences?

One astrologer told me that I am in a triangle of rahu, ketu and sani dosha and that I am therefore haunted by the bad spirits of my past birth. Wherever I go therefore I am harassed. How can I escape from this dilemma?

Murali

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Answer: By Surrender to Guru and Krishna

Astrological influence or the influence of the planets means that we are under the influence of the predominating personalities of the planets. But these predominating personalities are under the influence of the three modes of material nature. This means that if we can rise beyond the influence of the three modes of material nature, we are automatically free from the astrological influences. And the way to become to free from the modes of nature is to fully surrender ourselves to Lord Sri Krishna by serving his pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master with faith and devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 22 January 2010

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Krishna Consciousness in Latin America

21 January 2010--After ten days of sharing the nectar of Krishna consciousness in Latin America we are flying out tonight to Los Angeles, which will be our last stop before returning next Monday to Bhaktivedanta Ashram, our home base in Austin, Texas. Krishna consciousness in Latin America has a very sweet flavor because the people here have a simple, easy-going, warm-hearted nature which makes them very open to receiving in a very loving way a traveling preacher of Krishna consciousness. My experience in lecturing all over the world is that my inspiration to speak comes to a great extent from enthusiasm of the listeners. When the hearers are full of gusto I naturally can speak with more inspiration. For this reason Latin America is one of my favorite preaching spots in the world. I will be returning here in January of 2011.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Bliss of Krishna Consciousness in Latin America

Santiago, Chile--January 17, 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Eating During an Eclipse?

It is said that during a lunar or solar eclipse, one should not eat or drink anything and should only chant God's names. Nothing else is permissible. Then how come our ISKCON devotees consumed food or prasadam during the new year lunar eclipse night?

Anil

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Answer: Krishna Prasadam Can Be Taken Any Time

Such rules are good for materialists to induce them to reduce their sense gratification and chant the names of God. But according to the authoritative statement of the Padma Purana such rules do not apply to those engaged in taking Krishna prasadam.

na deśa-niyamas tatra
na kāla-niyamas tathā
prāptam annaṁ drutaṁ śiṣṭair
bhoktavyaṁ harir abravīt

"The prasādam of Lord Kṛṣṇa is to be eaten by gentlemen as soon as it is received.
There should be no hesitation. There are no regulative principles concerning time and place. This is the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 21 January 2010

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Spreading the Krishna Consciousness Movement

The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna has assured us in the Bhagavad-gita that when religion declines and irreligion becomes predominant He will appear to re-establish religious principles. The present chaotic, ever-increasingly godless world situation certainly qualifies this planet now more than ever for an appearance of the Lord. Therefore the supremely merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna has presently manifested Himself in the form of the Krishna consciousness movement to save the suffering humanity from its precarious situation. Thus there is no greater good that one can do for the world population than to fully dedicate one's life for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world. Although I am devoid of any good qualifications, I am making a humble attempt to do just that and by the mercy of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, I am experiencing amazing results far beyond anything that I would have expected from my meager effort.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Devotee Training Seminar--Mira Flores, Peru

January 19, 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Krishna's Gopi Pastimes Mundane?

How can I understand the relationship of Krishna with the gopis, which is looking like a mundane relationship between a young boy and girls?

S.

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Answer: Inconceivable Pastimes Cannot Be Mundane

Where do we have experience that a common man of this world can maintain love affairs simultaneously with hundreds of thousands of beautiful girls? An ordinary man of this world will find it difficult to maintain a love affair with even two women at the same time, what to speak to of cavorting simultaneously with hundreds of thousands of beautiful maidens. Therefore these relationships cannot be mundane. They can only be a display of the inconceivable mystic potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 20 January 2010

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

Earthquake Heartbreak

On 12 January 2010 at 4:43PM local time a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the Caribbean country of Haiti killing an estimated over 200,000 people. When a devotee of the Lord sees such catastrophes he is greatly heartbroken by the sufferings experienced by so many millions of people. Even though a devotee is always relishing the great happiness of Krishna consciousness within his heart, his heart is so broad that it also encompasses the suffering of all the living entities who are so miserably entangled in the cycle of birth death. His is therefore greatly devastated to see the sufferings of the poor souls in this material world. This is why he is described as para-duḥkha-duḥkhī, one who is aggrieved to see the sufferings of others. And this is why he fully dedicates his life for flooding the planet earth with Krishna consciousness to bring the ultimate and permanent happiness to all living beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Heartbreaking Haiti Earthquake

January 12, 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Handle Depression?

Hare Krishna!

Thank you for you wonderful posts everyday. I have a question. Does a devotee ever suffer from depression? If yes then how should he/she go about handling it? In the practical world there are many factors that contribute to depression, work pressures, family, poor self-esteem etc. How does a devotee rise above such things?

There is another situation that I am currently facing. I am in a job that doesn't satisfy me at all. But it leaves me a lot of time to render service in the temple & concentrate on my Sadhana. But I feel depressed that I am not doing well in my career. What should my prayers & attitude be so that I can accept the situation that Lord Krishna has put me in & at the same time not be proud of the so called sacrifice that I think I am making?

I would really appreciate if you can keep my inquiry anonymous.

Your anonymous servant

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Answer: Celebrate Your Situation. Accomplish Miracles, Heroic Soul!

While a neophyte devotee may sometimes become depressed and bewildered due to his past material conditioning, the advanced devotee never becomes depressed or bewildered under any condition because he sees all the good and bad conditions within this world to be the merciful arrangements of the Supreme Lord to help all living entities return to the Lord's transcendental abode as soon as possible. This does not mean that he becomes cold and calloused to the suffering of others. The pure devotee feels great pain in his heart to see the suffering of others and dedicates his entire life to relieving the suffering of all others. Because he is fully enlightened with spiritual understanding he has perfect understanding of the cause of their suffering and is thus not bewildered. Therefore he is able to always act decisively in a positive, constructive manner for relieving the sufferings of all others.

That you are detached from your job is not a cause for depression. That you are more attracted to devotional service should be a cause of great celebration. And now I am instructing you that you should do your job with great enthusiasm as an offering to Lord Krishna just as He is ordering you to do in the Bhagavad-gita. In this way you should make doing your job as part of your devotional service just as Arjuna did on the battlefield of Kuruksetra.

Whatever results come from your endeavors you should always see as the mercy of Krishna. In this way you will not become proud of being great. You should always think that you are nothing and that Krishna is great. But this does not mean that you should accomplish nothing. Rather as Krishna's instrument you should heroically accomplish unlimited miracles in the service of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 19 January 2010

from Lima, Peru
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Today's Thought:

When Hell Becomes Heaven

We have now arrived back in Lima, Peru where we are in the association of wonderful devotees who are sincerely dedicated to serving the mission of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada. It is truly sublime to be here in their transcendental association. Even though the city of Lima is hell, a place full of pollution and crazy sense gratification, because we are in the company of sincere devotees of the Lord we are experiencing this hell to be heaven. This is the amazing transcendental nature of Krishna consciousness, that wherever you are in this material world you can be in a state of transcendental bliss simply by remembering Lord Krishna. This is due to the fact that Krishna and the remembrance of Krishna are non-different.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lima, Peru Hell...



Becomes Lima, Peru Heaven in the Association of Devotees


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Transform Lust into the Greatest Love?

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

So, I like a girl. I like-like her. I feel intense emotions about her. I also feel intense emotions about Krishna. How to reconcile this? How to transform this lust into the greatest love?

Your servant

J.T.

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Answer: Engage it in Krishna's Service

If one is in love with a girl he should understand that it is natural for a boy to be attracted to a girl because that original boy-girl attraction is there between Radha and Krishna. He should also understand that everything he finds attractive about that girl is nothing more than an insignificant portion of the all-attractive qualities of Krishna. In other words, he should not be carried away by thinking the girl is all-attractive since she only possesses an infinitesimal portion of a portion of Krishna's unlimited attractive potencies. In this way he should always appreciate her beauty as a small portion of the unlimited beauty of Krishna. Since it is natural for boys and girls to be attracted to each we recommend that they both become fixed nicely in Krishna consciousness and become happily combined as husband and wife as a solid lifetime commitment. The lustful tendency can be nicely engaged in Krishna's service by producing Krishna conscious children who will become the guiding lights of the human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 18 January 2010

from Santiago, Chile
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Today's Thought:

Connecting with the Perfect Channel

Just as the Ford Motor Company does not have to re-invent the wheel every time it produces a new car, the bona fide spiritual master does not have engage in the tedious task of inventing a new teaching. He simply has to faithfully repeat the message exactly as he has received it from his spiritual master and thus be a perfectly transparent channel for his spiritual master's message and mercy. In this way the bona fide spiritual master is able to channel his spiritual master and through him all the previous acharyas up to the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Himself. To come into contact with and surrender to such a bona fide spiritual master brings one the perfection of his existence in a perfect, loving, fully cognizant, supremely blissful relationship with the Almighty God. There is no attainment greater than this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Speaking on Behalf of Srila Prabhupada

Santiago, Chile--17 January 2010








Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does This Course Relate to Jesus Christ?

Does any of this relate to Jesus Christ? Part of the reason I enrolled was for spiritual guidance and to become closer to Jesus. I'm a little confused, about this.

Patricia

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Answer: It Has Everything to Do with Jesus!

Thank you very much for your sincere inquiry. This course has everything to do with Jesus Christ, although it is taught from the perspective of the Bhagavad-gita, the main scripture which is followed in India. Christ went to India between the ages of 12 and 30 and brought back to Israel the science of devotion that he had learned in India. He presented it in terms that were comprehensible to his Jewish audience. But it is same science of devotion whether you study it from the Biblical perspective or the Bhagavad-gita perspective.

It is Jesus who inspired me to teach love of God from the perspective of the Bhagavad-gita. So I sincerely hope that you will stick with our course long enough to give it a good test drive, because I am sure that it will make you a better Christian.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 17 January 2010

from Santiago, Chile
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Today's Thought:

Super Bliss in Santiago

Here in Santiago we are tasting the sweetest nectar in the association of a most wonderful community of ISKCON devotees. There is so much volume of love, sincerity, and bliss in the atmosphere here that it could fill up the entire Pacific Ocean. The devotees here have made us feel so much at home by lovingly seeing to all of our needs. And when I give classes they have unlimited questions about how to progress in the science of bhakti. The questions keep coming more and more in such an endless stream that we finally have to arbitrarily end the class and request the devotees to bring their unanswered questions to the next class or to ask me on the internet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Welcome at ISKCON Temple

Santiago, Chile--15 January 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Find a Spiritual Master?

How do I find a bona fide spiritual master?

Chandrashekhar

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Answer: See Who Best Connects You With Srila Prabhupada

The first step is to read Srila Prabhupada's books and carefully follow his teachings. Then once you have a clear understanding of his teachings you should find that spiritual master who best connects you with Srila Prabhupada's teachings. From him you should take initiation and become his disciple. In this way you will quickly and easily become perfect.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 16 January 2010

from Mendoza, Argentina Airport
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Today's Thought:

Tasting Nectar on the Road for Krishna

Even though these around-the-world lecture tours can sometimes be an austerity in terms of getting proper rest and in keeping the best health, there is undoubtedly unlimited nectar that we taste on the road for Krishna. By helping people all over the globe to re-connect with their eternal Lord Sri Krishna we are feeling unlimitedly rewarded. In other words, the more we spread happiness, the more we experience happiness. And the more we feel pain in our hearts to see the sufferings of others, the more we are blessed by Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Diving into the Nectarean
Kirtan
Ocean
Mendoza, Argentina 13 January 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Not Go to a Strip Club?

Hare Krishna

All Glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my humble obeisance's.

A work colleague is soon leaving the company and my fellow work colleagues suggested taking him to a strip club to celebrate. I explained to them that I would not attend as I'm practicing Krishna Consciousness and we don't attend such things. My fellow work mates then made the argument that I should attend and show my appreciation for God's fine work with the female form. I could not adequately give an answer as to why I still wouldn't attend despite this point.

Can you please enlighten me as to what is the best answer in this kind of situation.

Aspiring devotee
Richard P.

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Answer: Respectable Son Does Not Want to See His Mother Naked.

Simply tell them we respect all women as our mothers and no respectable son would want to see his mother dancing naked.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 15 January 2010

from Mendoza, Argentina
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Today's Thought:

Obtain Unlimited Happiness by Knowing Who You Are

On 14 January 2010 I gave a lecture in the Mendoza Town Hall "Obtain Unlimited Happiness by Knowing Who You Are." It is only due to ignorance that anyone is suffering in this material world. Once we become enlightened with the knowledge of who we actually are, all forms of suffering vanish into oblivion. The lecture was preceded by ecstatic kirtan and was well attended. At the end of the lecture there were many sincere questions, and then many people came to the book table to receive delicious Krishna prasadam free of charge and to purchase our transcendental literatures. Even after the program many persons remained in the lobby to continue relishing the ecstasy experienced in the program and were delighted to be part of the group photo which you can find below:

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Some of the Blissful Attendees of Mendoza Town Hall Program

Mendoza, Argentina 14 January 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can One Leave the Body Permanently By Meditation?

Dear Gurudeva,

I have read that it is possible to transfer the life force to the crown of the head and leave the body permanently during meditation. Is this the same as committing suicide? If not, how is this done?

Yours in Krishna,

Michael

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Answer: Only After Great Austerities for Many Lifetimes.

It is not considered suicide. To do this there is a particular sitting posture for liberation known as muktāsana. Through this posture one can attain success in kuṇḍalinī-cakra and gradually raise the life from the mūlādhāra-cakra to the svādhiṣṭhāna-cakra, then to the maṇipūra-cakra, the anāhata-cakra, the viśuddha-cakra, and finally to the āj˝ā-cakra. When the yogī reaches the āj˝ā-cakra, between the two eyebrows, he is able to penetrate the brahma-randhra, or the hole in his skull, and go to any planet he desires, up to the spiritual kingdom of Vaikuṇṭha, or Kṛishnaloka.

While this certainly sounds very attractive, you should understand that you must first be trained by a yogi who is a master of muktāsana. Even if there is such a muktāsana master on this planet at the present time, you will not find him at a yoga studio. He will be in a secluded place such as a cave in the Himalayas. And then after executing all the required austerities over many lifetimes, you will finally be able to master the muktāsana and attain the planet of your desire. Such yoga practice must be executed completely devoid of any material amenities such as money, a cell phone, an internet connection, a family, a house, regular meals, a job, a bed or any material possessions. Your only material possession will be a simple loincloth. You will have to tolerate the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter without air conditioning and without heater.

If you are prepared to undergo the above austerities for many lifetimes, you can then become perfect in muktāsana. But even then until you can get the finishing touch of the mercy of a pure devotee you will not be able to enter the spiritual sky. Therefore those who are intelligent take advantage of the sublime process of chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra and achieve the spiritual world in only one lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 14 January 2010

from Mendoza, Argentina
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Today's Thought:

Spreading Krishna's Glories All Over the World

Although the naysayers sometimes criticize us for becoming gurus in our humble attempt to spread the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world, what can we do? This is the duty given to us by our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. On the morning of 17 December 1973 during a Srimad Bhagavatam class given in Los Angeles, California, USA Srila Prabhupada ordered us, "Just become perfect in the understanding of this science and become guru and deliver the whole world." So even though we do not consider ourselves to be highly qualified it is our duty to try our level best to carry out the order given to us by our beloved spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada taught us that this is the secret of success in spiritual life, that one must embrace the order given to him by his spiritual master as his very life and soul and dedicate one's life fully to trying to successfully execute that order.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Initiation of Devadeva Das

Mendoza, Argentina 13 January 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why is Initiation Required?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Kindly elaborate on the following :

1) Why do we need to take initiation from a spiritual master?
2) How should we relate with the spiritual master?
3) What services can we do for the spiritual master?
4) What is the position of the spiritual master?
5) Why do we need to surrender to the guru?
6) How to satisfy the guru?

Your servant,

Mohan


Answer: Krishna Says, "Become the Devotee of My Devotee."

Here are your questions with answers:

1) Why do we need to take initiation from a spiritual master?

Krishna says that we cannot become His devotee unless we become the devotee of his devotee.

2) How should we relate with the spiritual master?

As a menial servant.

3) What services can we do for the spiritual master?

Inquire submissively and dedicate your life fully for assisting him in his mission of making the world Krishna conscious.

4) What is the position of the spiritual master?

He is God's representative and is therefore given the same respect that we would give to God if He were personally present.

5) Why do we need to surrender to the guru?

Because it is through the process of surrendering to Sri Guru and that we are successful in surrendering to Sri Krishna.

6) How to satisfy the guru?

Develop pure love for Krishna and tell everyone you meet about Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 13 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Our Endeavor to Krishnize this Planet

12 January 2010--After being blessed with many weeks of sweet, enlivening Krishna consciousness in India, Australia, and New Zealand, we are heading out today for South America, where I will be lecturing in Argentina, Chile, and Peru and then wrapping up this tour by lecturing for a couple of days in Los Angeles and then returning to our home base at Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas, USA.

We have been so wonderfully blessed by Srila Prabhupada with the mission of making the entire world Krishna consciousness. By fully embracing this mission as our life and soul, our lives become transformed into the most amazing exciting adventure. Instead of watching the news, we get to be the news. While on the one hand (the material hand) it is deemed utterly impossible that the entire human civilization could embrace the process of Krishna consciousness, on the other hand (the spiritual hand) by the blessings of the Supreme Personality of Godhead anything is possible. Therefore we continue undaunted in our endeavor to Krishnize this planet for the deliverance of everyone back to home, back to Godhead leaving it fully up to Krishna what will be the result of our humble endeavor.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




ISKCON Devotees in Hamilton, New Zealand


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Early Morning Chanting is Required?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

May your mercy and blessings always be on me.

Please tell me, is it true that one cannot dive as deep into the transcendental sound vibrations of the Hare Krishna mahamantra during noon, evening or night as much as between 4 am and 6 am in the morning?

Regards,

Sunil

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Answer: Most Beneficial for Those Who are Still Conditioned

While it is true that a pure transcendentalist, who is situated completely beyond the modes of material nature, can chant the holy names at any time of the day with equal focus and benefit, others who are not yet fully purified will find it much easier and beneficial to take advantage of the sattvic time of the day before sunrise for doing their chanting. Of course, this requires the austerity of rising early in the morning. But such austerity is well worth it when we consider the unlimited benefits that are gained.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 12 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna Rocks the Universe

Krishna and His holy name are one and the same. Therefore when we connect with Krishna's holy name at any time and especially while engaging in sankirtana (congregational chanting) we are factually connecting with that person who is the source of everything and whose divine potency is the energy that makes everything function throughout the entire universe. Therefore it is literally a fact that Hare Krishna rocks the universe. So what is the natural result when we dive into that ocean of unlimited holy name nectar? We will be amazed to see how we are dancing like madmen in the ecstasy of love of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada and Disciples Ecstatically Dancing in
Kirtan

Bhaktivedanta Manor--London, England


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Essence of the Gita?

Gurudeva,

I am an admirer of the Teachings of Lord Krishna. Could you please help me understand better the essence of the teachings of Gita in few lines?

I truly appreciate.

Truly yours.
Reny

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Answer: Know Who You Are, and Be Who You Are.

In essence the Bhagavad-gita is saying, "Know who you are, and be who you are."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 11 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Unlock Your Consciousness

Just as a mobile phone, which is locked into a particular mobile phone service, can be unlocked to allow the user to use a different mobile phone service, our consciousness at the present moment is locked into the material energy but can be unlocked for activating our spiritual mind, intelligence, and senses. The person who is empowered to unlock our consciousness is the bona fide spiritual master. With our present material eyes we cannot see God. But when our consciousness is unlocked we will be able see God face to face, eye and eye and become fully qualified to directly associate with him in an intimate loving relationship in any one five different types of rasas or relationship: neutrality, servitude, friendship, parenthood, or conjugal love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Where Can We Find the Urgency to Chant Intensely?

Dear teacher:

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

From my experience I have known that chanting with intensity does make a difference. This place has danger at every step, so we intensely call out to Krishna to save us and place us at His lotus feet. However, sometimes our lives become "too comfortable" so that we may not find this place is not our home, that we may forget the misery of repeated birth and death. We are still chanting with the proper mood, begging Krishna to save us, but the intensity is left out. That's why Krishna sometimes make us suffering a little from previous sinful karma, he is doing so to remind us of the misery of this material world. Why am I so foolish that I need Krishna to remind me this way?

I want to always remember Krishna and call out to him with great intensity, great ecstatic dancing spirit in my heart. In this connection Kuntidevi prays:

"Oh Lord let us not falsely claim this world is our home, let us not ever forget that this place is full of danger and let the calamities come again and again that we may remember You and meet with You again and again, for by remembering You we no longer meet with repeated birth and death."

I like this prayer very much. My question is: where to find the intensity when we live comfortably?

Your humble servant,
Yechen Zhang


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Answer: Embrace Everyone's Difficulties

You can pray for difficulties just as Queen Kunti did. And also you can accept the difficulties of the human race as your personal difficulties by fully dedicating yourself to saving them from the jaws of birth and death. By taking humanity's difficulties on your shoulders you will have sufficient difficulties to keep chanting intensely for the rest of your life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 10 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Can You Taste the Transcendental Mellow?

Srila Prabhupada has taught us that Krishna kirtana (the chanting of the Lord's holy names) is an ocean of transcendental sweetness or mellow. Can you taste it? If we are not tasting it, we need the guidance of someone who is tasting it. In other words we need the mercy of a bona fide spiritual master in order to submerge ourselves in that ambrosial ocean. In this connection Srila Prabhupada has very nicely stated, "We should always remember the danger of maya's influence and endeavor to save ourselves from her great power. We must therefore always merge in the transcendental mellow of kirtana-rasa, for kirtana-rasa is the safest situation within this material world." Kirtana-rasa is the sweet flavor of being merged in a transcendental loving relationship with Krishna's holy names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How is Our Philosophy the Best?

Gurudeva, how is our philosophy the best?

Dhaval

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Answer: There is No Question of Best Because Philosophy is One.

There is no question of which philosophy is the best because philosophy means to know things as they are, and there is only one reality. If you know things as they are, you are true philosopher, and if you don't know things as they are, you are in ignorance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 9 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Become Beautiful by Serving the Beautiful

Just as the Supreme Soul Lord Sri Krishna is splendorously beautiful, the individual spirit-soul being part and parcel of Him also possesses the qualify of amazing beauty. However, if the spirit-soul falls into material existence, his naturally beautiful divine effulgence becomes covered by the three modes of material nature. But when that spirit-soul chooses to revive his primordial Krishna conscious nature, he will be reinstated in his original beatific nature qualitatively one with Krishna Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all beauty. This transition requires the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, the saintly devotees of the Lord, and the authorized Vedic scriptures such as the Bhagavad-gita and the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Worship God When We Should Be Serving Man?

Respected Sir,

As I know and as the world accepts that service to man is service to God I am getting doubt and thoughts will come in my mind frequently that why we are doing the abhishekam (bathing of the temple deities) with the milk, rice, honey, yogurt, water, etc.? If the same items can be given to the poor who are waiting for food, this would be very good, according to my understanding. But in this world it is not happening, even in the temples. No temple priests will do that? Why?

Thanks & regards,

Mallesh


Answer: We Cannot Serve Man Unless We Serve God.

Just as we water a tree by watering its roots, the way to serve man is to serve God because He is the root of the entire creation. If we simply try to serve man without serving God, it is like trying to water a tree by watering only its leaves. It will not be successful. The tree will die. This why in spite of so many welfare programs all over the world to serve man, nobody is happy. We are neglecting service to God. Therefore in spite of all welfare people are miserable.

If we want to actually benefit the starving people of this world, we should distribute to them massive quantities of healthy, tasty, Krishna prasadam so that their material hunger will be relieved while they simultaneously experience the reawakening of love of God within their hearts. This is real welfare work for the poor people on this planet. Kindly understand that poverty means to not be absorbed in pure love of God. Therefore the entire world civilization is currently in a state of poverty, and oftentimes the richest people are the poorest of all because their wealth makes them blind to the existence of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 8 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

How to Attain Pure Bhakti

The human form of life offers us the rare opportunity of escaping the cycle of birth and death and regaining our original position as associates of the Supreme Lord in His eternal transcendental kingdom millions of light years beyond this material world, which is called Martyaloka, the abode of death. The key to attaining this ultimate perfection is to be blessed by the mercy of Krishna's pure devotee. And the way to get that mercy is to please Krishna's pure devotee by submissively inquiring from him and by rendering loving unto him. Although there are many systems of consciousness elevation mentioned in the Vedic literatures, none of them can bring one to the perfectional stage of returning to the Lord's abode unless and until one is blessed by the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna's pure devotee. Therefore we should aspire for those blessings as the most important attainment of our lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching the Pure Bhakti Science

New Delhi, India--29 November 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Being Gay a Sin?

I am a gay, so is it a sin? If it is, then how to get rid of it. Please tell me now as your reply is very important to me.

Dilip

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Answer: All Types of Bodily Consciousness Lead to Sin

The first mistake that everybody in this material world makes is to misidentify themselves with their body, considering the body to be the actual self. This is utter madness because our real identity is that we are eternal spiritual beings, servants of the Supreme Being. And then because we foolishly consider ourselves to be the body, we make the second mistake of imagining that we will find happiness by gratifying the bodily senses. The strongest of all the sense gratificatory urges is the sexual urge, the desire to gratify the genitals. When we think that we can find happiness by gratifying the genitals, we are grossly mistaken. Whether we make this attempt through heterosex, homosex, or monosex (masturbation)) does not matter. Any attempt to find happiness in this way will prove to be futile. Therefore those who are advanced in spiritual understanding give up the foolish attempt to enjoy through heterosex, homosex, or monosex and instead focus their energies on awakening the unlimited reservoir of pleasure within their hearts through the process known as bhakti yoga or Krishna consciousness.

So my best advice to you is that should revive your dormant Krishna consciousness by regularly chanting the holy names of the Lord and regularly studying the Vedic literatures. In this way you realize that you are not that body and you will no longer be interested in wasting your time by running after the so-called pleasure of the genitals. There will be no question of artificially restricting yourself because you will be tasting a pleasure which is billions and trillions of times greater than any amount of so-called sex pleasure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 7 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Swimming in an Ocean of Transcendental Bliss

Why be miserable when you can swim at every minute in an ocean of transcendental bliss no matter where you are or what you are doing? You simply have to kick out from your consciousness the false ego of bodily identification with the understanding that you are an eternal spirit-soul servitor of the Supreme Person, and that your sojourn in the material existence is for one purpose and for one purpose only: to reconnect yourself with that all-beautiful, all-powerful, all-merciful, all-knowing Supreme Personality of Godhead. And then you must go beyond the platform of understanding to the platform of transcendental realization. This is accomplished through the regular daily practice of real transcendental meditation by chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare", under the expert guidance of a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Deep Sea Diving in the Ocean of Bliss

Home Program in Pune, India--15 December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get a Spiritual Master?

I have been reading the Bhagavad-gita As It Is. I want to serve the Supreme Lord. I understand that for this I need a guide or spiritual master. How do I get one?

Paola

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Answer: You Already Have One.

By reading Bhagavad-gita As It Is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and desiring to follow his teachings you have already taken the first step of accepting Srila Prabhupada as your instructing spiritual master. Now you should become fixed up in chanting at least 16 rounds a day of the Hare Krishna mahamantra and following the four regulative principles as follows:

1. No illicit sex
2. No intoxication
3. No meat eating
4. No gambling

To become steady in these practices you require the association of devotees. Therefore you should participate regularly in the activities of your nearest ISKCON center. Once you are fixed in these practices your local ISKCON leader will recommend you to take shelter of the spiritual master of your choice. And then when your commitment is firm he will recommend you to become initiated by that spiritual master as a disciple.

We have many gurus in ISKCON who are qualified to teach you how to perfectly follow the teachings of Srila Prabhupada for going back to home, back to Godhead in this lifetime. Many of my students inquire from me how to choose which one of the gurus to take initiation from. My answer to them is that they should see which guru is the one who is saving them from this material world. It is from that guru that they should take their initiation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 6 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

The Quintessence of Existence

Every one of us exists. That's why we are here. This is common to all of us. But the quality of our existence varies according to the quality of our consciousness. The good news is that each one of us has complete control over the quality of our consciousness. We can exert our energies towards elevating our consciousness, or we can allow our consciousness to become more and more degraded. Those who choose to continually purify or elevate their consciousness until they attain the quintessence of existence, pure devotional service to the Supreme Person, are in for an exciting eternal existence of ever-increasing bliss and knowledge. Of course, no one can be forced to reject the regressive path and adopt the progressive path because choice of path is strictly a personal matter. But those who are advanced on the progressive path actively engage themselves in educating the general population so that at least everyone can understand that they have a choice of what sort of existence they would like to experience.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Experience the Quintessence of Existence in Goloka Vrindavana


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Control Sex Desire?

Hare Krishna, Gurudeva.

I like beautiful girls very much, and I don't want to attracted by them, but I am not able to control my sex desire towards them. Please explain me how to control this lust.

Santosh

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Answer: Become Dazzled by the Source of All Dazzling Beauty

When you are dazzled by a beautiful girl you should consider how dazzlingly beautiful must be that person who is the source of all the dazzling beauties. Most of us look for satisfaction in loving a beautiful member of the opposite sex. But try to understand that the only way that anybody can find complete satisfaction is to enter into a pure loving relationship with that unlimitedly attractive person who is the source of all dazzling beauty.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 5 January 2010

from Auckland, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Wheel of Samsara or Goloka Vrindavan?

Krishna or God is equal to everyone. He declares this openly in the Bhagavad-gita where He also declares that He is the best friend of all living beings. Therefore we can understand that He is equally giving everyone the opportunity for happiness. After all, since He is our loving father, it is only natural that He wants each and every one of us is happy.

So if God is equal to everyone, why are some people nicely, happily situated while others are in destitute, hellish conditions? This is due to our choice. We can choose to be obedient, law-abiding citizens of God's kingdom, or we can strike out on our own staking a claim to our own independent kingdom here in this material world. Just as the government will facilitate the advancement of both the students in the state university and the criminals in the state penitentiary, the Lord equally facilitates the progress of every living being in all of His creation.

So which way would you prefer to be facilitated? In samsara, the wheel of birth and death, or in the ultimate nirvana, Goloka Vrindavana, the Lord's unlimitedly wonderful transcendental abode? It's your choice. So make up your mind and do the needful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Do You Want Samsara, the Wheel of Birth and Death?




Or Would You Prefer the Ultimate Nirvana, Goloka Vrindavana?


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Recreational Sex Once in a Month is Illicit?

Hare Krishna. Gurudeva, in one of your answers in "Thought for the Day" regarding illicit sex you have mentioned that sex inside of marriage is also illicit, if it is not for the purpose of procreation and is more than once a month. If sex inside marriage is not done for the purpose of procreation but is done only once a month, would it be considered as illicit sex or not?

An aspiring Devotee,

S. P.

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Answer: Fly High in the Eternal Hare Krishna Mantra Sky.

Non-procreational sex is illicit, even if it is only once a month. Therefore instead of wasting time entangling oneself even deeper within the modes of material nature and the resulting repetition of birth and death, you should cultivate the supreme taste of Krishna consciousness, which is millions and billions more juicy than even the juiciest sex, by deeply absorbing one's consciousness every day in the transcendental sound vibration of:

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


हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे
हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे

In this way you'll be flying so high in the eternal Hare Krishna mantra sky that you wouldn't dream of coming in for a landing in the realm of death by an act of illicit sex.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 4 January 2010

from Wellington, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

I Am Calling for a World Revolution

We cannot stand to see the people destroying their chances for genuine happiness by absorbing themselves so deeply in sense gratification activities. Even if someone wants to break out of serving their senses and wants to instead serve God, it is very difficult to do so because all around them is a human society that is deeply absorbed in sense gratification and is actively encouraging all of its members that sense gratification both subtle and gross is the pathway to happiness. Therefore we are calling for a world wide revolution of consciousness in all spheres of the human society, a revolution based on the concept of serving the Supreme Person who is the source of all existence instead of serving our voracious senses. Such divine service will bring peace and prosperity to the entire world and therefore should immediately be adopted by everyone, especially the leading members of the world society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Recreational Sex Once in a Month is Illicit?

Hare Krishna. Gurudeva, in one of your answers in "Thought for the Day" regarding illicit sex you have mentioned that sex inside of marriage is also illicit if it is not for the purpose of procreation and is more than once a month. If sex inside marriage is not done for the purpose of procreation but is done only once a month, would it be considered as illicit sex or not?

An aspiring Devotee

S P

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Answer: Fly High in the Hare Krishna Mantra Sky.

Non-procreational sex is illicit, even if it is only once a month. Therefore instead of wasting time entangling oneself even deeper within the modes of material nature and the resulting repetition of birth and death, one should cultivate the supreme taste of Krishna consciousness, which is millions and billions more juicy than even the juiciest sex, by deeply absorbing one's consciousness every day in the transcendental sound vibration of:

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

हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे
हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे

In this way you'll be flying so high in the Hare Krishna mantra sky that you wouldn't dream of coming in for a landing by an act of illicit sex.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 3 January 2010

from Wellington, New Zealand
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Today's Thought:

Break Out of the Samsara Syndrome

If we continue serving our senses as we have always done for millions of lifetimes, we will continue to get what we've always gotten, namely the repetition of birth, death, old age, and disease. So if we want actual happiness, if we want to become truly alive and truly free, we must break out of the samsara syndrome by taking advantage of the mercy of the great mahajanas who have blazed the trail which leads us out of this dark wilderness of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Endless Wheel of Samsara


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: God is Controlling Everything. So How Am I Responsible?

Respected Gurudeva,

My sincere obeisances to you and Lord Krishna.

I am confused a bit about my position vis-Ó-vis the Supreme Personality of Godhead, our own dear Lord Krishna. Since He is the Supreme Controller, how could anything be done by me? Why should not I consider that whatever is being done by me is because of His desire and direction? Under the circumstances where is the question of right or wrong being committed by me? How can a robot do anything on his own other than what has been ordered for him to do or programmed for him to do. I consider myself an instrument of Lord Sri Hari and He has many ways to keep me in or out of any deed good or bad. He has full control over me. This means what ever I am doing must be for a good purpose. Why then should I have to worry about karma or sinful reactions when everything is His doing? Please guide me.

Sincere regards,
Rajan

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Answer: But You Have A Choice How to Be Controlled

We are controlled by Krishna at every step, just like a citizen who is controlled by the laws of the state. That's a fact. But just as a citizen can choose to voluntarily abide by the laws of the state for the free citizens or to be forced to abide by the laws of the state for the inmates in the state penitentiary, we have a choice of whether we would like to serve the Lord voluntarily in the spiritual sky or be forced to obey the laws of the Lord's material nature here in the cycle of birth and death.

So, we are not robots. We are free thinking individuals who can choose which way we would like to obey the laws of the Supreme Person. And whichever way we choose, we will reap the result.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 2 January 2010

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

Another Wonderful Year of Spreading the Mercy

Another wonderful year now lies ahead of spreading the mercy of Krishna as much as possible all over the world for the benefit of those who are suffering in material existence due to a lack of Krishna consciousness. I don't receive a salary for doing this. This is done as a voluntary act of love. The pay, however, is awesome, because the more that one shares Krishna with others, the more he gets Krishna for himself. In material life it is not like this. The more you give something away, the less you have of it. But in spiritual life it is just the opposite. The more you give Krishna, the more you get Krishna. And the more you get Krishna, the more you become happy and satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Mercy of Krishna

Melbourne, Australia--29 December 2009


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can a Small Atomic Particle Have a Form?

It is stated in the Vedas that the size of soul is 1/10,000 the tip of a hair. And we also understand that the soul has an eternal relation with Krishna, which we've now forgotten. Since the soul is much more subtle than an atom, how does it have a body or a form? How can a spiritual spark, which is 1/10,000th the tip of the hair, have a form suitable to participate in Krishna's pastimes.

Kuber

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Answer: Just as a Small Seed Can Produce a Large Tree

The seed of the spiritual form is there within the atomic spiritual particle. And when that atomic particle spirit-soul becomes perfect and returns back to Godhead, he manifests his full blown spiritual form just as a small seed can produce a large tree. And that form becomes fully manifested when the spirit-soul returns back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 1 January 2010

from Melbourne, Australia
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Today's Thought:

New Year at Every Moment

In many parts of the world people are celebrating the new year, 2010. Once a year they get to celebrate the new year with parties, fireworks, loud music, liquor, etc. But a Krishna consciousness person being in constant touch with the Supreme Reality experiences a new year at every moment. Because Lord Krishna is ever-fresh, never hackneyed or old, every moment in His association is an exciting never-been-experienced-before adventure.

But still the new year presents the devotee with a great opportunity to take the holy names of the Lord to the streets with jubilant celebration of the Lord's sweet, inconceivable tidal wave of mercy, which has come to sweep away the symptoms of the age of Kali and bring true, lasting happiness to every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




ISKCON Devotees Street Celebration of the Lord's Holy Names

New Year's Eve--Kowloon, Hong Kong


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Serving Krishna with Animals in My Home?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

The devotees here in Baku say that I can not serve Krishna at home if I have a cat or a dog at home. Why is it so? Any animal is also a creature made by Krishna. So what is bad if I take care of helpless animals?

H.T.

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Answer: Restrict Them from the Kitchen and Temple Room.

Although in Vedic culture as a matter of cleanliness the dogs and cats are kept outside the house, because you are accustomed to keeping them in the house there is no prohibition against your taking up the practice of Krishna consciousness. Simply you should make arrangements that they cannot enter the kitchen and the temple room.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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