Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

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

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Friday 30 April 2010

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

The Other Side of Reality

The reality that we are experiencing here in this material existence is not the complete reality. This time and space dimension where life is temporary, full of ignorance and misery is only one side of reality. Beyond this realm on the other side of reality is an inconceivably wonderful realm, known as Vaikuntha, where life is eternal, full of bliss and knowledge. The topmost planet in Vaikuntha is Goloka Vrindavana. While it is not possible to cross to the other side of reality simply by one's own endeavor, one can easily cross if one is guided by someone who knows the way. That qualified person who can take us across is the bona fide spiritual master. If we are so fortunate to have come into contact with a bona fide spiritual master, we should take full advantage of his association by inquiring submissively and rendering service unto him. In this way we become qualified to be transported by him back to that most wondrous transcendental existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Most Astoundingly Sublime Other Side of Reality,

Sri Goloka Vrindavana


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Please Krishna the Most?

How Krishna can be pleased the most? I am chanting only.

Your aspiring servant,

Sandeep

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Answer: Fully Devote Everything to Him

If you want to please Krishna the most, you must fully devote all of your thoughts, words, and deeds to Him in all times, places, and circumstances. Chanting Hare Krishna is essential because it enables the chanter to transform his consciousness into the completely devotional mood described in the previous sentence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikar

Thursday 29 April 2010

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

Down But Not Out

Sometimes a devotee experiences what could be seen as an inauspicious reverse situation. But instead of losing faith in the Lord or becoming discouraged, the devotee sees how the Lord is giving him some special mercy to help him increase his feelings of dependence on the Lord. Thus he continues enthusiastically engaging Himself in devotional service without interruption. A notable example of the devotee's amazing transcendental consciousness can be seen in the example of Jesus Christ. Even though he was nailed to a cross for being put to death, he did not waver even slightly in his Krishna consciousness. He was so transcendentally situated that he prayed to God asking his beloved Lord to forgive those who were trying to kill him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Jesus Christ is Perfect in Krishna Consciousness


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Vegetarians Killers?

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have two questions:

1) If we eat vegetables then in that also aren't we killing plants and becoming sinful?

2) If we do not eat animals, won't they get over populated and create havoc in the society?

Many thanks.

Your humble servant,

Lalit Krishna Dasa

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Answer: Why We Must Offer Our Food to Krishna

It is a fact that when we eat vegetables we are also guilty of killing. This is why Krishna orders that we must offer our vegetables to Him before eating. In this way by offering them first we are freed from the sin of killing. Krishna does not allow us to do this for meat. He will not accept meat offerings.

The animals that are eaten are mass bred by human beings through factory farming. When we close down the slaughterhouses we will also close down the cruel factory farming operations that provide the animals for the slaughterhouses. Therefore there will no question of the animals overpopulating.

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

Your ever well-wisher,

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 28 April 2010

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

You Are What You Eat

If we eat foods that are the products of slaughterhouses, we are eating violence and we are in violation of the laws of God. One may argue that eating meat is natural. But it is only natural for the carnivores, who are allowed that quota by God. The human being is meant by God's arrangement to sustain himself on fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains, not on rotting flesh. And that vegetarian eating is also meant to be sacramental, i.e. before eating we should offer our vegetarian foods to God with love and devotion. This is actual human life. This sort of transcendental eating will help us develop enlightened consciousness for understanding the Absolute Truth and is thus recommended for all those who are serious to get out of this material world and regain their original positions in the kingdom of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Nothing More Relishable than Krishna Prasadam

(Foodstuffs Offered to Lord Krishna With Love)



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know When I Am Fully Surrendered?

Thanks to answer my previous question. I read the article today that you suggested to surrender completely to Krishna. I want to know: How will I know if I have fully surrendered to Krishna yet or not?

Thanks
Lal

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Answer: When You See Krishna Everywhere

When you are able to directly perceive Krishna within everything and everything within Krishna, then you will know that you are mature in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 27 April 2010

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

On the Road for Global Enlightenment

We have been on the road now for so many years traveling extensively all over the world for bringing about the enlightenment of the world society that even when we return to our home base in Austin, Texas I still feel like I am on the road. In fact on this 2 1/2 weeks stopover I am not even going to unpack my luggage. I will continue living out of it just as I do when I am on the road.

It is unlimitedly rewarding to live like this for the deliverance of all living beings. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada has written in his purport to the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.6.26 as follows:

"The life of a sincere devotee of the Lord is thus explained in a nutshell by Narada Muni by his personal example. Such a devotee, after his initiation by the Lord or His bona fide representative, takes very seriously chanting of the glories of the Lord and traveling all over the world so that others may also hear the glories of the Lord. Such devotees have no desire for material gain. They are conducted by one single desire: to go back to Godhead. This awaits them in due course on quitting the material body. Because they have the highest aim of life, going back to Godhead, they are never envious of anyone, nor are they proud of being eligible to go back to Godhead. Their only business is to chant and remember the holy name, fame and pastimes of the Lord and, according to personal capacity, to distribute the message for others' welfare without motive of material gain."

So I take it as a special blessing that Krishna has so kindly facilitated me by giving me this most sublime opportunity to constantly travel the world for the purpose of reviving the dormant Krishna consciousness within the hearts of all living beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Traveling for Global Enlightenment

May 2006--On a Road Trip Across Bulgaria


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Disappointed in Love

My question is: If someone very adorable in life leaves you without giving any reasons, then what to do?

If possible please reply to this mail, as it is of great importance in my life. Please reply.

With regards.
K.

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Answer: Give Your Love to Krishna

This is the problem with love in this material world. It is always temporary. Soon or later it will be finished, and then we are left in a state of unhappiness. This is why we are meant to give our love to Krishna. When you love Krishna He will remain with you forever, and you will never be disappointed. So instead of giving your love to an imperfect lover in this material world, the solution for your problem is to give your love to the perfect lover, Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In loving Krishna you will remain eternally satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 26 April 2010

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

Hare Krishna is Not a Religion

There is a big misconception going around that Hare Krishna is a religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. To be Krishna conscious is simply to be what you are. In fact, everyone is already a devotee of Lord Krishna because He is God, the original source of all existence. Since everything is part the total existence, everyone is naturally coming from Krishna or God and are therefore by their very nature His devotees. But most people are simply not aware yet of the reality.

Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) said, "Krishna consciousness is not an artificial imposition on the mind. This consciousness is the original natural energy of the living entity." And according to the great spiritual master Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, it is our material existence that is the artificial imposition. So one does not have to convert from one religion to another or join a religion to become Krishna conscious. One simply has to wake up and reconnect with his original identity as the eternal servant of the Supreme Person, the source of all existence, through the process of loving devotional service to the Supreme Person. This process known as bhakti or devotion has been taught by all the great spiritual masters throughout history. It is now being taught in the most advanced and expert way by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Love?

What is love ?

Shashilal Nair

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Answer: All Affection For One Person

According to great authorities like Bhisma love means reposing one's affection completely upon one person, withdrawing all affinities for any other person. Normally such love will mean neglecting others besides our beloved. However, when that love is given to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the root of all existence, our love will then be distributed to all living beings throughout all of existence. This then is the perfection of love, to love Krishna or God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 25 April 2010

from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Today's Thought:

Eternal Youthfulness

I was a little surprised the other day when I had to book a hotel for our forced stopover in Amsterdam on our way from Latvia to the USA. What surprised me was that we qualified to get a big discount on our hotel bill because of being senior citizens. This is amazing to me because I still feel like that 22 year old youth who joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1971 with a burning desire to save the world. How is it that I have been able to retain that youthful optimism and idealism all the way into my sixties? All I can say is that all credit goes to my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who clearly reveals the highest level of understanding of the Absolute Truth in his extensive writings. Even though the counter-cultural youth of my generation had a saying, "Don't trust anyone over thirty", thousands of us put our full faith and trust in Srila Prabhupada. We could see that even though he was in his seventies, he was more youthful than us. Srila Prabhupada revealed to us how to be eternally youthful by regaining our original positions as associates of the supreme ever-fresh youth, Lord Sri Krishna, in His eternal pastimes in that wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Regain Your Eternal Youth With Krishna

The Ever-Fresh Youth


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Share Krishna With Others?

Hare Krishna, dear Maharaja,

I have a few questions regarding Krishna Consciousness. I hope you will find time to answer them as I'm most eager to learn more!

The spiritual energy is always present, but it is covered by the material energy. Is this material energy maya, or are maya and material energy two different things?

How can we as fallen souls learn to discriminate between the soul and the Supersoul? When do we know that the soul or the Supersoul is taking action?

Our mind, intelligence and ego are inferior material energies. Since we, the living entity are superior energies, does this mean that we're not our mind, intelligence and ego? We're not this body, we are spirit soul. Does this also exclude the three mentioned items? Or are they something else? If we're not these inferior energies, why do they feel so real? Is it our job to control these in favor to our path to Krishna?

My life took a new birth when I came to Krishna consciousness. I was never really happy before I tried to live my life for Him, realizing that He's everything and the controller of everything. I came to Krishna consciousness about a year ago, I have not realized or fully applied the spiritual knowledge to my life due to lack in knowledge etc, but I would very much like to!

My question is, when you meet non-devotees in the material world who are acting as if they were the "supreme controllers" of your life, how should we as servants of Krishna react upon it? In my case, this is experienced in terms of material things such as education, money, invitations to mundane parties etc. This is especially related to friends and family. How can we act without making the "illusioned controllers" angry? Because it seems like they don't understand and don't want to understand Krishna consciousness and why it is so important for us. And I feel that I don't have the intelligence to handle such pressure-filled situations.

Please, dear, dear, Gurudeva, guide me on these matters.

Thank you very, very, very much in advance!

Hare Krishna

I.K.

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Answer: Give Them Your Love

Maya and the material energy are the same thing.

In conditioned consciousness the soul acts, but in disharmony with the Supersoul. In liberated consciousness or Krishna consciousness the soul acts in perfect harmony with the Supersoul. To achieve this state of harmony we require the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, that person who is a master of the art of how to live in perfect harmony with the Supersoul.

The real ego is spiritual energy. It is the false ego only that is material energy. False ego is the sense of being the lord of all that one surveys. Real ego is the sense of being the eternal servant of God. We are not the mind, intelligence, or the false ego. It is only due to the influence of the material energy that the mind, intelligence, and false ego feel so real. By seriously cultivating Krishna consciousness, we will gradually feel more and more how the spiritual reality of being the eternal-spirit-soul servant of Krishna is far more real than the so-called reality of this world.

A devotee is naturally more friendly than a non-devotee because the devotee is a representative of the Supreme Friend, Lord Sri Krishna. In this way by loving friendship he charms everyone with his graciousness and compassionate behavior. When people like him for his amazing friendly, saintly qualities, they won't mind the ideological differences. In fact they may become so intrigued by the devotee's overflowingly blissful nature that they may want to try practicing Krishna consciousness also so they can taste the supreme bliss too.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 24 April 2010

from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Today's Thought:

I'm Lovin' It

All this turmoil of being stuck in Europe due to the volcanic ash, having to rebook our flights, rebook our ferry boat, drive across two countries, turn around and drive back again across the same two countries, cancel our ferry boat, again rebook our airline tickets, etc., etc, etc. has been a poignant reminder of the uncertain nature of this material world where nothing is really certain except for death. The easiest way to deal with this unending river of turmoil is to be detached, depend on Krishna, and enjoy the ride. I'm lovin' it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Are You Burned Out With This Material World?

Fly Hare Krishna. It Will Get You There On Time.


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Help All Living Beings?

Ever since I joined The Ultimate Self Realization Course, I feel extremely nice. It has become a kind of a ritual to read your thought every day. The day I do not read I feel something missing. I make notes of the various thoughts, and try to incorporate them in my daily life. It feels wonderful.

To be aware of Krishna Consciousness all the time is a lovely feeling. I would love to be of help to all living beings. How can I accomplish this?

Sincerely yours,

Shalini


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Reconnect Them With Krishna

I am very happy to hear that you would like to help all living beings. Kindly note that there is no greater help that we can give to a person than to reconnect that person with Lord Krishna. We can try to solve a person's problems individually one at a time, but his problems will still continue. But if we can reconnect that person with Krishna, all of his problems will automatically be solved forever. Therefore there is no greater help we can render to someone than to reconnect that person with Krishna. The method for reconnecting everyone with Krishna is given by Lord Caitanya as follows:

yāre dekha, tāre kaha 'kṛṣṇa'-upadeśa
āmāra āj˝āya guru ha˝ā tāra' ei deśa

"Whomever you meet, instruct him in the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna.
In this way, on my order, become a guru and deliver the people of this country."


So if you will, as far as possible, tell everyone you meet about Krishna, you will be rendering the best possible help to all the people of this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 23 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

No Flight Plight

22 April 2010--We drove for many hours across Latvia and Estonia yesterday to catch a boat in Tallinn, Estonia that would take us across the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki. From Helsinki we were scheduled to fly this morning to Amsterdam from where we were to catch a flight to the USA.

After reaching Tallinn, before getting on the boat, I called Delta Airlines, the airline which had issued our tickets, to make sure that our flight would operate as scheduled. I wanted to make sure that we were not taking a two hour cruise across the Gulf of Finland in vain. I was told by the Delta representative that our flights would operate as scheduled. But to make doubly sure I decided to check with KLM, the operator of our first flight. The difficulty was that I could not, no matter which KLM office I called, talk to a live person. I tried their home office in Amsterdam five times. There was no answer and I was disconnected. I tried their office in the UK. Again, no answer and I was disconnected after a recorded message told me to look on the internet. I did not trust the internet information because one place on KLM's website indicated that my flight would operate as scheduled and another place indicated that it would not. I really needed to talk to a live person, something that is becoming more and more difficult in our highly technological age!

Finally when I tried the KLM office in Helsinki I was put on hold without being disconnected. This gave me hope that I might be able to speak to someone. Finally after an hour a polite gentleman from KLM came on the line. When I asked him about our flight he said that it had been cancelled. This was really uncanny because every other flight that day from Helsinki was operating as scheduled except for one flight. As fate would have it that one cancelled flight happened to be our flight.

"What to do now?"

I called Delta and was able to schedule a flight for next week. Where to stay? The best option was the Hare Krishna temple in Riga where I had just concluded a lecture series on how to achieve unlimited happiness through the amazing transcendental science of Krishna consciousness. We phoned Hrisikesh Prabhu, the temple president there, to see if I could extend the lecture series and got his approval. Now we had a long highway journey across Estonia and Latvia to get back to Riga. When we finally reached Latvia I checked my watch. We had spent twelve hours on the road and had gotten nowhere but back to point from where we had started at 6 o'clock in the morning.

The wonderful thing is that in spite of all this turmoil I can remain blissful always remembering that everything is happening according to the all-merciful plans of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Now the latest update is that the Helsinki airport has closed again due to volcanic ash. This puts into jeopardy our new flight scheduled next week. What are we going to do? We are looking for other options.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Stranded in Riga


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can My Parents Be Satisfied?

My parents are such nice souls and good human beings, however they have been always dissatisfied with each other. How can I help them?

S.S.
Pune, India

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Answer: Teach Them to Satisfy Krishna

Regarding your parents, they must be nice souls if they have a brought a devotee of Krishna into the world. If you can teach them the great value of trying to do everything for the satisfaction of Krishna, they will naturally be satisfied with each other and will be able to always live peacefully and happily together.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 22 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Depending on the Lord's Arrangement

We must always be ready for the Lord's arrangement whatever it may be. As I write these words we are preparing to drive 5 1/2 hours from Riga, Latvia to Tallinn, Estonia from where we will take a boat across the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki, Finland because this is where our ticket to the USA is routed from. This is not very promising because the Helsinki airport is closed, but we have no choice. I asked the airline to reroute us from another airport, but this is not an option for us. We simply have to go to Helsinki and see what is the Lord's arrangement for when we can get a flight to Amsterdam. Hopefully when that happens we will then be able to fly on to the USA. In any case of success or failure we must simply depend on the Lord's arrangement. When we become fully surrendered to the Lord's will we will always be perfectly successful in all circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why We Were Not Taught About Moksha?

If the ultimate goal is to get moksha, liberation from the cycle birth, why did our parents and teachers not tell us this? Why were we asked only to work hard for earning our living, to be good doctors, engineers, or government employees, etc? I do not understand how I am to focus my life. Should I be hankering only for job promotions and earning more money, even though this brings more anxiety? In today's world the person with money and power is the person who is the most admired. So should we move according to the society or according to our heart?

Please advise me what is right what is wrong.

Vandana

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Answer: Nobody Properly Understands Moksha

We should definitely not allow ourselves to be carried away by the mass madness of the modern day society. In this connection it is said, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." So instead of being a fool who is carried away by material desires, which lead one to becoming an animal in their next birth, it is better to be an angel by pursuing the divine path of spiritual awakening for gaining liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Our teachers and parents did not know that the goal of human life is to become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore they did not teach this to us. In previous ages everyone knew about the science of spiritual emancipation, the science self-realization. But gradually due to the influence of the materialistic age of Kali, which began 5,000 years ago, this knowledge was lost. This is why it is so important to hear from a bona fide spiritual master. It is Sri Guru who must enlighten us because our parents and teachers did not do so.

There is no harm in working hard to earn our livelihoods as long as we realize that this is not the purpose of our existence. The birds are also working hard looking for worms to back to their nest. If all we do is work hard for our livelihoods, we are no better than birds.

Human life is meant for a higher calling. We are meant to revive our loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead as His eternal loving servants because this is how we will become liberated from all material miseries. Working hard to make a lot of money does not free us from all anxieties. Instead of being money-oriented, we should accept whatever means of livelihood allows to easily cover our material needs and at the same time gives us the free time necessary for awakening our Krishna consciousness, the dormant love of Godhead, which is buried deep within our hearts. This will give us the greatest peace and happiness, both in this life and in our eternal future existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 21 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Loving Exchanges with Devotees

There is nothing like the loving exchanges shared between devotees. Such loving exchanges are not of this material world. The more we give our love to the devotees and accept the love that they give us, the more we revive our dormant love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore the Lord's devotees are always most eager to get the association of other devotees. Krishna says that anyone who is His devotee is not His devotee, that only those who are the devotees of His devotees are His actual devotees. So if we want to revive our dormant Krishna consciousness, we should always be most eager to associate with the Lord's devotees in multi-varieties of loving exchanges.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic Farewell from Kaunas, Lithuania

19 April 2010








Devotees Give Last Farewell Running After the Van
As It Is Leaving Kaunas

Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Gradual Krishna Consciousness

Dear Gurudeva,
Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

How can I be sure that I'm not making the process of advancement in Krishna consciousness more gradual than it should be? And also how to make sure that I'm not making it less gradual than it must be? Is keeping this balance important?

Your servant,

Ikshvaku das

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Answer: Make Krishna Consciousness Immediate

If we have not fully surrendered to Krishna yet, we can be sure that we are making the process of our advancing in Krishna consciousness more gradual than it has to be. So there is no question of making it less gradual than it has to be. There is no reason why we should not fully surrender right now and become pure devotees of Krishna immediately. It is only due to our foolish material attachments that we drag out what can be done in one minute into an entire lifetime or even many lifetimes.

It is something like pulling off a band-aid. A band-aid can be pulled off immediately in one sweeping motion or it can be painfully pulled off one hair at a time. Because our mind thinks it would be too painful to pull it off immediately in one sweeping motion, we gradually and excruciatingly pull if off one hair at a time. But this is foolishness because there is practically no pain in pulling it off with one sweeping motion. It is simply our mind that tricks us into thinking that we have to pull it off gradually.

This small principle also applies to Krishna consciousness. We could easily immediately fully surrender to Krishna, but because of the tricks of the mind we think that this is impossible and we drag it out into a long, long process foolishly depriving ourselves of the unlimited oceans of spiritual bliss that we could be relishing at every moment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 20 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Stranded by Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

Although we have airline tickets to fly from Helsinki, Finland to Austin, Texas USA this coming Thursday 22 April, 2010, it is looking like we may be stranded here for sometime in Europe in the biggest closure of European airspace since World War II. The apparent cause? The volcanic ash cloud spewing out from Iceland's erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano. The ultimate cause? A transcendental plan of Lord Sri Krishna without whose sanction a volcano cannot erupt.

The beauty of Krishna consciousness philosophy is that it teaches us how to be equipoised in all circumstances, even in the most disturbing situations. An example of this is the great devotee Jada Bharata, who had been kidnapped by some dacoits who wanted to offer him as a human sacrifice to Goddess Kali. Even as they were about to decapitate him he still remained completely undisturbed taking complete shelter of the Lord for his protection. At the last minute before the sword separated his head from his body an angry Goddess Kali burst out of her deity form and killed all of the dacoits to save the life of Krishna's dear devotee, Jada Bharata.

So we simply have to always remember that everything is going on under the plan and direction of the Supreme Lord for a purpose that only He can fully understand, and that in all circumstances we must always remain fully surrendered unto Him. In this mood we will always swim in an ocean of transcendental bliss feeling the Lord's benevolent mercy and thus never be disturbed by what William Shakespeare describes as the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Erupting Eyjafjallajokull Volcano

18 April 2010--Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Religious Conversion a Necessity?

Dear Gurudeva,

When every religion has good scriptures why do we need to convert them to our religion?

Just because Christianity has converted some portion of Vaisnavas in India, do you think converting people to Krishna consciousness is really necessary? Many people all over the world hate these conversions.

Why don't we have laws to restrict conversions? Either proper understanding about these religious conversions should be there, or a law should be enforced to stop conversion. In this way at least the unnecessary hatred for conversions will not arise.

These religious conversions are not a necessity when all the religions have good scriptures. This applies to Christianity and ISKCON because both are converting people worldwide. Of course, proportionately Christianity is converting more in numbers than ISKCON can ever dream.

Your servant,

Prem Krishna

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Answer: There is No Such Thing As Religious Conversion

There is no such thing as religious conversion. Conversion from one religion to another is not possible because there is no such thing as different religions. The idea of different religions is a manmade concoction because God has given us only one religion, to become His pure devotees. This same one religion has been taught by all the great spiritual masters throughout history. But the foolish followers of these great teachers have repeatedly taken the pure teachings of these great masters and politicized them by creating various sects of religion, which fight with one another. This is not at all authorized. The only real conversion that can take place is to convert from irreligion to religion. If one thinks that he has converted from one religion to another, he is living in an illusion. Such a person has not yet attained the platform of religion. He requires to be converted from the platform of irreligion to the platform of genuine religion. This is the only conversion that makes any sense.

For example, previously before I met my spiritual master I was a Christian in name only who aspired to become a true Christian. Jesus Christ was a spiritual hero for me. I desired to become a perfect Christ-like person, but I did not know how to do this. So I prayed to God to help me, and He mercifully brought me into contact with my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who then taught me how to become a perfect Christian by being fully absorbed in love of God 24 hours daily. So I was not converted from one religion to another. Rather I was converted from being a pseudo Christian into being a genuine Christian.

So the Krishna consciousness movement is not a religious movement in the common sectarian sense of the word "religion." We are instead a scientific movement teaching everyone the technique of how to purify their consciousness so that they can meet God face to face, eye to eye. It has nothing to do with this sect or that sect. It is the universal science of spiritual perfection that can be used by anyone whether they are a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew, etc. to become perfect in their religious practice.

This true understanding of religion is grossly lacking in today's society with the result being that the world is disintegrating more and more every day into a hopelessly chaotic quagmire. The Krishna consciousness movement therefore wants to save the world society from its imminent collapse by educating everyone in the science of genuine religion, to become a pure lover of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 19 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Real Spiritual Advancement

Sometimes neophyte devotees think that the way to make spiritual advancement is to move up within the ranks of a spiritual organization. Nothing could be further from truth, because the desire for position and power even in a spiritual organization is still a material desire. The actual measure of one's spiritual advancement is how much one has developed a taste for hearing, chanting, and remembering the glories of the unlimited names, forms, pastimes, entourage, and paraphernalia of that unlimitedly astonishing Supreme Personality of Godhead who is referred to and addressed as Krishna by the topmost yogis.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Expounding the Highest Truth Through Speaking

Visaginas, Lithuania--17 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do People See Devotee as Aliens?

My family is into the Krishna Consciousness movement for the past three years now. However, initially friends and relatives liked us being a part of this movement. Of late I notice that most of them treat us like aliens. They feel that we are too much engaged in this service and that it is not really required. I am not saying that these people are atheists; however, they do not feel that in depth involvement is required.

As far as I am concerned, I am convinced that I am on the right track, but need guidance as to how to convince others.

Your Servant,

V.I.

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Answer: Because Devotees Are Spiritual

It is natural that people who are not Krishna conscious will feel that Hare Krishna people are like aliens from another planet or that Krishna consciousness is strange or unnecessary. This is not at all surprising because we are spiritual and they are material. Even though many people believe in God, they do not live their lives in a fully spiritual way like we do, giving up all varieties of sinful activities and absorbing themselves as much as possible in chanting the names of the Lord on a regular daily basis.

The only practical way I have seen to get people seriously attracted to Krishna consciousness is to give them sweet loving friendship beyond what they can experience anywhere else in the material world, even from their closest friends. Then they will realize that there is nothing more wonderful in the entire world than Krishna consciousness, and they will naturally join our movement. This is how Srila Prabhupada captured us. And this is how we will capture the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 18 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Flooding the Universe with a Tidal Wave of Krishna Bhakti

It's time to open up the flood gates and let the mercy flow. Yes, it's time to flood the entire universe with a tidal wave of Krishna bhakti. We are not speaking here about some kind of sectarian religion. If we were, I would have nothing to do with this. We are talking about reconnecting every single living being throughout the entire universe and indeed the entire material existence with their original, natural, all-blissful, all-knowing, all-loving identity, which exists far, far beyond the prison house of this time-and-space-bound material existence. Of course, one has to be pretty daring to enter into this enlightened state of consciousness. One has to be willing to jettison his most cherished concepts seeing them only as so much useless garbage. But this small austerity is definitely worth it considering the amazingly wonderful profound vision of reality that one gains along with the unlimited benefits which automatically accompany such awakened consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Expounding the Highest Truth Through Writing

While Traveling Across Lithuania--April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Conquer Low Self Esteem?

Dear Gurudeva

Currently I am suffering from a low self esteem condition. How can I develop my self confidence? Kindly advise me.

Thanks,

Deepak M.

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Answer: Remember Who You Are

I can understand that you are currently in a very depressed state of low self-esteem because you are misidentifying yourself with a lump of flesh, blood, stool, mucus, bones and urine. Who wouldn't be depressed in such a state of ignorance?

Now all you have to do to gain unlimited bliss and self-confidence is to remember that you are not your body and that you are Krishna's eternal servant. Then what was previously a hellish life of drudgery will be wonderfully transformed into the most amazing eternal celebration of transcendental bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 17 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Explosion of Bliss in Klaipeda

On Thursday 15 April 2010 we headed west from Kaunas for 200 kilometers to Klaipeda, Lithuania, a port city situated on the Baltic Sea. There we were enthusiastically received by a joyous hall full of people, most of whom were getting their first introduction to Krishna consciousness. I knew immediately that they were mostly first-timers when practically no one joined the kirtan I usually do before I begin my lecture. So I stopped the kirtan and taught everyone how to say the mantra. The mantra lesson was captured on video and can be seen here:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Videos/Klaipeda_2010.wmv

Then after resuming the kirtan they joined in with great delight. Once I began the lecture I asked for a show of hands of who would like to enjoy unlimited bliss and everyone raised their hands. So I proceeded to explain in detail how through the science of Krishna bhakti one can indeed achieve unlimited bliss. After my talk I asked if there were any questions and many people asked nice, sincere questions. When someone asked, "Can we have more kirtan?" I explained that the greatest kirtan is experienced by reading Srila Prabhupada's books. At this point I ended the lecture and asked everyone to come forward to see our books. Many came forward and purchased our wonderful books by Srila Prabhupada.

Then it was time for us to head back to Kaunas. When we went out and got in our van everyone poured out of the hall and surrounded us showering our van in a deluge of flower petals. Such a loving, sweet gesture! Mataji handed me plate of prasadam cookies. So I invited everyone to come and take one, which they did with very joyously.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Introducing Krishna
Bhakti

Klaipeda, Lithuania--15 April 2010


Distributing Cookie Prasadam

Klaipeda, Lithuania--15 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Feel the Paramatma Within Our Heart?

Dear Gurudeva,

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

Does proper and pure chanting reveal the Supersoul within one's heart? Is the individual soul or the Supersoul revealed first? How to differentiate between these two in terms of one's experiences?

Is this treasure within the heart called transcendental? How long does it take to fully manifest it, and is there a limit to this devotional ecstasy?

Sincerely,

Your servant

A. Sivakumar

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Answer: When You Awaken Your Love for God

Yes, proper chanting does reveal the Supreme Lord, who is known as the Supersoul within one's heart. One realizes one's true nature as the individual soul and the Lord's nature as the Supersoul simultaneously proportionate to one's degree of purification of consciousness.

You, the individual soul, are the servant of God. And the Supersoul is Krishna or God. The only way to fully realize both the individual soul and the Supersoul is for you, the individual soul, to become fully absorbed in loving service to the Supersoul.

By practical observation you can perceive that you, the individual soul, have limited consciousness. You are only aware of the pains and pleasures of your body. The Supersoul however has unlimited consciousness and is thus fully aware of all the pains and pleasures experienced by all living beings throughout the entire universe.

The ultimate treasure is called Krishna prema, or pure love of God. There is no limit to the ecstasy which can be tasted by a pure lover of God. Just as it takes time, energy, and dedication under the guidance of expert professors to earn a PHD degree, it also takes time, energy, and dedication under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master to achieve the perfectional state of pure love of Godhead. We do sincerely hope that you will now take up achieving perfection on this bhakti pathway as your life's prime goal.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 16 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Dare to Be Different

It is folly to be wise in that place where ignorance is bliss. Therefore if one wants to become spiritually successful in a world where only material success is valued, he has no choice but to dare to be different. When someone becomes serious about becoming spiritually awakened it often happens that his friends and family members think he has gone crazy and try to do everything possible to save him from what they consider to be his madness. In such circumstances a devotee must be very strong and determined to seriously adopt Krishna consciousness in spite of so much resistance. The austerity of daring to be different is greatly rewarded by Krishna in the form of transcendental bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Transcendental Bliss of the Devotees

Tallinn, Estonia--30 March 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Live In Harmony with Nature?

Can you please explain how one truly lives in harmony with nature?

Thank you for your time.

Richard P.

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Answer: Awaken the Dormant Enlightened Consciousness

Since nature is acting perfectly under the laws of God, living in harmony with nature means that we should act in accordance with the laws of God. Every species is acting perfectly within the divine mandates for its species with the exception of the human species, which is presently turning this world into more and more of a hell everyday. So it is time now that we human beings wake up and follow the example of the other species by executing the duty for our species. Our specific duty is to awaken the dormant enlightened consciousness which is presently sleeping within us. If we human beings will simply execute this duty, the entire world will transformed into a paradise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 15 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Backlogged on Emails

Due to my intense travelling/lecturing schedule I have fallen very far behind on answering my emails. To give you some idea how far behind I am, as I am writing this I still have unanswered emails from March sitting in my inbox. And we are now half way through April. This means that I am now half a month behind. My desire is to respond to every email within 24 hours. But I have so much work to do answering all of these emails I do not know when I will be able to get back to my desired standard of 24 hours turnaround. Meanwhile my lecturing and traveling continues and I still have to find some time to sleep. Of course, it is not that I hate my work. I love my work because there is nothing sweeter than connecting people with Krishna. But if you are feeling inconvenienced or neglected because of not receiving a prompt response to your email, kindly understand that I am trying to give first class service to everyone who inquires and that this does indeed take time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Trying to Catch Up on Emails

Kaunas, Lithuania--14 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Chant Only 16 Rounds of Japa?

I am getting your mails on a daily basis and am learning a lot from them. Thank you very much.

I just had the doubt why the Hare Krishna mantra chanting is done for only 16 rounds a day on the chanting beads and not more or less than that. What is the importance of the number sixteen?

With Regards,

D.G. Vittal

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Answer: 16 Rounds is the Minimum

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur explains that the prema-ruruksu devotees (those who earnestly strive for ascending up to the region of prema) chant 192 (3 x 64) rounds daily. If one were to chant each round in 7.5 minutes, these 192 rounds would completely fill up with his 24 hours leaving him no time to eat, sleep, earn a livelihood, or even go to the toilet. If one were to speed up his chanting and complete each round within 5 minutes, his chanting would still take 16 hours leaving him only 8 hours daily for sleeping, earning a livelihood, commuting, etc. The point is that for most people this much chanting is not possible. But still it is described by Srinivasacarya "saṅkhyā-pūrvaka-nāma-gāna" that one must maintain numerical strength while chanting the holy names. Therefore Srila Prabhupada has mercifully fixed up a number of at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna chanting daily for us. This is a number which can be practically accomplished on a daily basis along with our other numerous material duties. He encouraged us to also to increase our chanting beyond 16 rounds as far as our daily schedule allows.

To become perfect in chanting we must obey the spiritual master's orders. Therefore at least 16 rounds daily of japa mala must be completed, if we are at all serious about attaining spiritual perfection. The disciples are always encouraged to chant more if possible, but not less.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 14 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Entering the Real Here and Now

There is a popular self-realization philosophy expressed by the phrase, "Be here now." According to this philosophy, self realization can be achieved by entering fully into the here and now. One is advised that instead of fixing his consciousness in a different time or a different place, he should just focus fully on what is happening to him right here, right now. It is said that in this way one will become spiritually awakened. The major deficiency in this technique is that unless one understands what or who is the actual self, the "I" who is experiencing the here and now, he will not be getting a genuine here and now experience. He will instead only be tasting a shadow of it. As long as one identifies with the body, the mind, the intelligence, or any sense of the self which is not the actual self, it will not possible to taste anything more than an illusory version of the here and now. So the first step for genuinely entering into the here and now is to connect one's consciousness with the actual self.

The here and now devotees will agree not to identify the self with the body, mind, or the intelligence. In their system of philosophy the actual self is egoless impersonal oneness in which there are no varieties or individuals because everything is one. But this conception of the self leads us into many philosophical absurdities. For example, if everything is one, I would already be fully awakened into the here and now because there could then be no distinction between being here and now and not being here and now. Another example is that if everything is one, I no longer exist as an individual person who has to worry about entering into the here and now. And there are many other examples.

So embracing the absurd philosophy of impersonal oneness cannot factually bring one into the here and now. Rather it separates one from the real here and now. The real here and now is to seek out and harmonize oneself with the source of universal existence. This source must necessarily possess personality in order to manifest the so many persons that we experience in this world. And how does one connect with a person? There is only one way to do it, and that is through love. Therefore the real technique for entering fully into the here and now is by developing a loving personal relationship with that Supreme Person, who is the source of all existence. Once you fully connect with Him, your here and now will be fully connected with everything in all times, places, and circumstances. Indeed your here and now will transcend all the limitations of time and space.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Entering into the Real Here and Now

Beyond Time and Space
Ecstatic Kirtan in Kaunas, Lithuania--April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Soul or the Body Suffers?

I am in confusion that we suffer so many miseries and pains in our life time. But who is suffering these pains? Is it the body or the soul? Please clear my confusion. Thank you for your daily emails and helping me to elevate my devotional life.

Narasingh

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Answer: The Soul Who Misidentifies with His Body

The body is naturally subject to so many varieties of pains and miseries such as birth, death, old age, and disease. But the actual self, the spirit-soul, being completely beyond birth, death, old age, and disease does not experience any of these miseries. It is only when the eternal spiritual being foolishly misidentifies himself with the material body that he then experiences the miseries of material existence. So now if we can completely cast off all traces of bodily identification by the full revival of our Krishna consciousness, we will live in a state of unlimited bliss in spite of the various miseries which the body is destined to experience.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 13 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Song to Prabhupada


Srila Prabhupada, you saved me
From hopelessness and disgrace.
Blessed me with divine vision
Of what lies beyond this place.
So adeptly you uprooted my confusion
By distinguishing reality from illusion.
So now there's nothing for this feeble soul to do
But to give my eternal existence to you.

Srila Prabhupada you blessed me
With ecstasy unsurpassed.
Released me from the hell of birth and death
And quagmire karma I amassed.
You astound me amazingly to this very day
By your words of unprecedented sway.
So now there's nothing else for this ragged soul to do
But to offer my eternal existence unto you.

Srila Prabhupada, I beg for the mercy
That I can please you unlimitedly.
For I've got to try to repay the debt
For the unlimited bliss you're giving me.
In spite of my hopeless disqualifications
I beg to serve in your movement's global inundation.
Yes, the history books will solidly declare
That you saved the world from devastating despair.

So now there's nothing else for this wayward soul to do
But to devote my eternal existence to you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Memories from Preaching Excursion to Russia



Answering Emails on Ferry Boat--9 April 2010


Describing Pure Selfless Love in Kaliningrad
11 April 2010


Answering Questions with Help of Russian Translator,
Subhadra Das--11 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Stage of Kali Yuga Are We In?

Gurudeva,

We are at what stage of Kali yuga: beginning, middle or end?

Yours faithfully,

Biswas Das

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Answer: The Start--Get Out While the Getting is Good

Since the Kali yuga lasts for 432,00 years of which only 5,000 have passed, it is less than 2% completed with more than 98% left to go. We have seen very little of the horrors of Kali yuga thus far because it is just getting started. Therefore we should take advantage of the recent appearance of Lord Caitanya only 500 years ago and get out of this troubled age while there is still a good opportunity to do so before further degradation comes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 12 April 2010

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Kaliningrad Kirtan Rocks the Universe

There is nothing like the ecstasy of a joyful kirtan. When you dive into deeply into the Hare Krishna kirtan you can feel how you are being elevated to the spiritual stratum beyond the sufferings of this material existence. The kirtans here in Kaliningrad have been exceptionally sweet because of the great enthusiasm of the devotees here. We invite the entire world to the taste the nectar on this video clip:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/Videos/Kaliningrad_Farewell__Kirtan.wmv

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Flying High in the Spiritual Sky

Kaliningrad, Russia--April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Defeating "I am God" Philosophy

If someone says "I am God", how does a devotee disprove this statement. This is my presentation topic. Can you please assist me by pointing me towards shastra, mainly from Bhagavad-gita?

Hiten

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Answer: Ask "God" to Reveal His Universal Form

If someone is God, they can reveal to you their universal form just as Krishna did to Arjuna. And if they say, "My universal form is there, but you are lacking the eyes to see it", you can tell them, "If you are God, you can give me the eyes to see your universal form just as Krishna gave Arjuna the eyes to see His universal form." If they cannot reveal their universal form making it fully visible to your eyes, you have proven that they are not God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 11 April 2010

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

The Perfection of Vision

At the present moment we are seeing through our material eyes a world in which everyone is entrapped in birth, death, old age, and disease. It's not a pretty sight. Everyone is being dragged helplessly by the time factor to inevitable death. But beyond our limited vision is an amazingly beautiful transcendental reality being orchestrated by the all-beautiful, all-merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead. We simply need now to purify our vision so we can see things as they are and no longer be blinded by the Lord's inferior energy. And then by acting in full accordance with such enlightened vision we will easily cross over the ocean of birth and death and enter that transcendental dimension where time is conspicuous by its absence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Perfect Questions, Perfect Answers

Kaliningrad, Russia--9 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Challenge: Belief in God is Not Scientific

Dear Gurudeva,

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

I had a conversation with my friend and a point came were I could not give him a proper answer. Can you please tell what reply can I give to the following conversation?

Myself: Hare Krishna. I pray to God
Friend: I pray to science
Myself: You pray science for what?
Friend: I don't believe in God. I think that religion is an archaic form of science.
Myself: So what is science? Can you explain to me?
Friend: Science is the acquiring of knowledge by means of observation, experimentation, or ingenuity. Religion was an old way of how people tried to explain how things came to be. As the times go on, science slowly proves what religion cannot. Nowadays religion is only good for conflicts and wars. Every war has had some sort of religious strain, so it does more harm than good now.

your humble servant

Sravan

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Answer: Not Believing in God is Also Not Scientific.

If someone tells you that they don't believe in God, ask them what is their idea of God that they are rejecting. This question will reveal that they do not have a scientific understanding of God. Just as the non-scientific acceptance of God is philosophically weak, the non-scientific rejection of God is also philosophically weak. The proper position is to see things as they are by tracing out the origin of the universe and ultimately of existence itself. To say there is no God is the same as saying that something can come out of nothing. We challenge the scientists to demonstrate in their laboratory that something can be derived from nothing. They cannot do this because there must be an original substance from which everything is derived. By carefully and thoroughly studying this original substance we will gradually mature in scientific understanding to the point where we will able to conclude that there must a supreme substantial person who is the ultimate source of all energies.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 10 April 2010

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

We're Out to Save the World

We're out to save the world. This is the mission that we have inherited from our spiritual master, ISKCON Founder-Acarya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and that great line of fully enlightened spiritual masters who preceded him known as the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya sampradaya. Of course, we fully understand that we are totally unqualified to execute such an exalted mission. But what can we do? Our spiritual master has ordered us, "Become guru and deliver the whole world." Therefore as a matter of duty we must sincerely endeavor to the best of our ability to spread the unlimited mercy rays of Lord Caitanya's benediction moon all over the world to every town and village so that someday as soon as possible the entire world population will be swimming constantly in the nectarean ocean of transcendental bliss of Lord Sri Krishna's mercy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lecture in Vilnius, Lithuania--8 April 2010



Ecstatic Farewell from Vilnius, Lithuania
--8 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If Gambling Is Krishna, Why Avoid It?

Srila Gurudeva,

I am getting your mails on a daily basis and am learning a lot from them. Thank you very much.

I was going through the Srimad Bhagavad-gita. In Chapter 10 Text 36, while explaining His different manifestations Krishna says, "I am also the gambling of cheats." In the purport, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada mentions that, "Of all cheating processes, gambling stands supreme and therefore represents Krishna."

The regulative principles followed by devotees are: no meat eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, and no gambling. If gambling represents Krishna, then why should it be avoided?

Please excuse me if my words look like challenging because they are really not. I want to just clear my doubts. Thanks for providing guidance.

With regards,

M. Raviraja

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Answer: Why Do We Avoid Sharks?

The point of Krishna's statement is that in every sphere He is the supreme. Since in the realm of cheating, gambling is the topmost form of cheating, gambling is therefore a representation of Krishna. We can practically observe how gambling is the greatest form of cheating. A gambling casino makes millions of dollars by taking the money of thousands and thousands of people while giving them nothing in return.

While one may try to cheat the laws of God by basing his life on exploiting others, he will find that in end he becomes out cheated by God, who takes away all of his ill gotten gains and sends him down to the animal kingdom in his next life. Of course this is not Krishna's cheating. This is His kindness to reform a grossly sinful living being. But from the perspective of the cheater it appears that he was out cheated by a bigger cheater.

If one thinks that since gambling is a representation of Krishna it would be a nice thing to gamble, we will remind him that since the shark is also a representation of Krishna it will also be nice thing for him to keep a shark in his bath tub.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 9 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Arrival in Kaunas

It's great to be back here in Kaunas where the devotees are so eager to hear about and serve Lord Krishna. Wherever Krishna is the center that place is not in this material world. Such a place is the Vaikuntha realm, that dimension which is completely free from the sufferings of material existence. In such an atmosphere one feels that he is swimming in an ocean of nectar at every minute. It is absolutely foolish for the world population to continue suffering as they are doing now. All they have to do to become completely free from all suffering is stop trying to be something that they are not, the material body. If they will simply start being their natural selves, the pure eternal spirit-soul devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence, they will experience inconceivable joy at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Arrival in Kaunas, Lithuania--7 April 2010








Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: He Only Believes in Money

I have a friend who is a good person and humble. One day he came to me and asked about my sikha. I explained to him about God consciousness, but he does not believe in God. He never does any spiritual activity. He only believes in money. How can I explain Krishna consciousness to him?

Your humble servant.
Gunanidhi Caitanya Dasa

Editor's note: The sikha is the small tuft of hair kept on the back of the head by male Vaisnavas.

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Answer: Where Money Remains Permanently

You can tell him that money is the goddess of fortune, Laksmi. Because Laksmi's only devotion is to her beloved Lord Narayana she does not remain for long with those who are not devotees of her beloved Lord Narayana. But she remains permanently with those who are fully devoted to her beloved Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 8 April 2010

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Super Sweet Memories of Riga

Our just completed visit to Riga, Latvia was the sweetest we have ever had. And we have been visiting there regularly for many years. The extraordinary flavor of this visit was due the quality of loving reciprocation that we experienced with the devotees there. It is indeed loving reciprocation which is the foundation of genuine happiness. When we establish a genuine loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence, we are then empowered to cultivate deep, loving relationships with all of His parts and parcels, the living beings. This is especially facilitated in the association of pure devotees of the Lord. Therefore we should always seek out such transcendental association as much as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Departure from Riga

4 April 2010 to Siauliai, Lithuania
from left to right: Vita, Guru Das, and Ineta


Departure from Riga
7 April 2010 to Kaunas, Lithuania


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Under the Modes What Makes Choices?

Dear Gurudeva,

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

When a person under the influence of the material modes makes a choice to act in one way or other, is the choice of action coming from the mind, intelligence or the soul?

your menial servant,

Baskar

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Answer: The Imperfect Mind

In this connection Srila Prabhupada has written in his purport to SB 3.26.31:

"The desire to accept something and reject something is a very important factor of the mind."

Therefore the choice to accept or reject something is made by the mind. This means that the person who is under the influence of the three modes of material nature is going to be making bad decisions that are detrimental for his well being.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 7 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

On the Blissful Road Again

Today we are heading out from Riga for a couple of days of spreading the rays of Lord Caitanya's benediction moon in Kaunas and Vilnius, Lithuania before heading on to Kaliningrad, Russia. No matter how sweet Krishna consciousness gets, it just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter and sweeter. This is the amazing nature of Krishna consciousness. It's an ever-increasing ocean of transcendental bliss, which can easily fill up the entire universe drowning everyone in unlimited happiness. There is no reason for even one person in the entire world to suffer even for another minute. Everyone can taste the highest happiness by embracing the process of Krishna consciousness today.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Flower Petal Tossing Farewell

Siauliai, Lithuania--4 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: If You Can't Find a Guru...

Do you have to be a member of ISKCON to follow Krishna? If you can't find a guru, can you still chant the 16 rounds, follow the four regulative principles, worship the deities, and have A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as your guru?

Jack

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Answer: Krishna Will Reveal Who is Your Guru.

We invite everyone to accept Srila Prabhupada as their guru because Srila Prabhupada is indeed, jagad-guru, the spiritual master of the entire universe. A fortunate soul who is blessed with surrendering himself to Srila Prabhupada will naturally follow his instructions because surrendering to a guru means to follow his instructions. Without following his instructions there is no factual acceptance of the spiritual master. Everyone is encouraged to accept Srila Prabhupada as their siksha guru, their instructing spiritual master.

So what are the instructions of Srila Prabhupada for those persons who want to accept his teachings as the guiding principles in their life? He instructs that the disciple should chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mahamantra on japa beads and that the disciple should strictly avoid illicit sex, intoxication, meat eating, and gambling. He instructs that the sincere student should seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him through the process known as initiation. When Srila Prabhupada was physically present he accepted those who came to his movement formally initiating them as his disciples. He told us that after his disappearance that those who come to this movement would be the disciples of his disciples. This means that the people now coming to this movement who are serious to fully surrender themselves unto Srila Prabhupada should accept one of Srila Prabhupada's disciples as their diksha guru, their initiating guru.

So as an act of surrender to Srila Prabhupada you should seek out a disciple of Srila Prabhupada who is willing to accept you as his disciple and surrender unto him through the process known as initiation.

You don't have to worry about finding a guru. Simply become now fully serious about completely surrendering to Krishna and the Lord within your heart will clearly reveal to you who is your guru.

We don't say that you have to become a member of ISKCON to become a pure devotee. But membership in ISKCON gives one the best facility for becoming a pure devotee as soon as possible because it gives you the best association and the best training. So why not take advantage of the great facility that ISKCON offers? Srila Prabhupada started ISKCON for the purpose of helping sincere souls such as yourself to become fully absorbed in pure bhakti. So why not take advantage of his special mercy? In this fallen age we need all the mercy we can get.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 6 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

A Devotee Who Can Deliver the World

If there is even one first class devotee of the Lord on this planet, he can deliver the entire world turning everyone to Krishna consciousness. This is confirmed as follows in the Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya Lila 22.65:

śāstra-yuktye sunipuṇa, dṛḍha-śraddhā yāṅra
'uttama-adhikārī' sei tāraye saṁsāra

"One who is expert in logic, argument and the revealed scriptures
and who has firm faith in Krishna is an uttama-adhikārī, a first-class Vaiṣṇava.
He can deliver the whole world turning everyone to Krishna consciousness."


We saw one such pure devotee in the form of our beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He set into motion a movement which is predicted to go down in history for inundating this entire globe with Krishna consciousness. How will it be successful in doing this? This will only be possible if we, his followers, will also become first-class devotees. Therefore let us now do our duty by being pure in all of our thoughts, words, and deeds in all times, places, and circumstances. Let us all have firm faith in Lord Krishna and become expert in presenting the science of Krishna consciousness both on the basis of sound philosophical reasoning and scriptural evidence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing the Secrets of Unlimited Happiness

Riga, Latvia--4 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Defeat Advaitavada Philosophy?

Dear Gurudeva,

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

I had a discussion with a friend who is following Advaitavada, which teaches that everything is one and that each of us is therefore God. I know that it is a sin to discuss Krishna with these people. But still he raised some questions which I was unable to answer. He said that the four Vedas are the ultimate truth and Krishna is not mentioned in any of the four Vedas. He also said that their are four Mahavakyas from the Vedas which say "I am Brahman", i.e. there is no difference between the Supreme Spirit, Brahman, and us if we understand that we are soul. He concluded that if you are believing something less then Vedic conclusion "I am Brahman" then it is not the complete knowledge. He said that to believe in Krishna as something different than our real self is not the truth.

Though I am fully convinced that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that we are His eternal servants, still his arguments have made me wonder about Vedic truth. I am in your shelter to kindly explain me these things in more detail so that I'll get rid of the slight doubt that has come to my mind.

Your humble servant,

Deepti

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Answer: With Logic and Vedic Evidence

It is not sinful to preach the message of Krishna to those who are in illusion. It is very good that you wanted to tell him about Krishna. Lord Caitanya has ordered us to enlighten everyone we meet with the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. Simply we must be careful to present them in such a way that the people will appreciate our words.

We do not disagree that the four Vedas are presenting the ultimate truth. But your friend is clearly mistaken when he says that Krishna is not mentioned in the four Vedas. Krishna is directly mentioned in the Atharva Veda as the dispenser of Vedic wisdom to Lord Brahma at the beginning of this universe:

yo brahmāṇaṁ vidadhāti pūrvaṁ yo vai vedāṁś ca gāpayati sma kṛṣṇah

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

Therefore according to the authority of the Atharva Veda, Krishna's teachings are accepted as Vedic truth and thus naturally Bhagavad-gita being the words of Krishna is also accepted as Vedic truth. Your friend has drawn an imperfect conclusion based on mental speculation, which is not in accordance with the great Vedic authorities. Srila Vyasadeva is the compiler of the Vedic wisdom, and he accepts Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living beings as Krishna's eternal servants. Does your friend think that he is a greater Vedic authority than the compiler of the Vedic wisdom, Srila Vyasadeva?

We accept the oneness of Brahman with the individual living entities, but at the same time there is a distinct difference between the Complete Whole Brahman, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence, and the tiny fragments of Brahman, the living entities. Have we ever seen that a drop of ocean of water is the same as the ocean? Of course, qualitatively it is one because the chemical composition of the drop and the entire ocean is the same. But quantitatively there is an ocean of difference between a drop of ocean water and the entire ocean. We can float an aircraft carrier on the ocean, but we cannot float it on a drop of ocean water.

If your friend wants to convince us that his real self is Krishna, then let him prove to us by lifting Govardhana Hill on his little finger and holding it there for seven days.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 5 April 2010

from Siauliai, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Ticket to the Realm Beyond Time and Space

Those who are learned and expert in the transcendental science have mastered the art of living constantly in that all-effulgent, all-blissful, full-of-knowledge, full-of-love dimension beyond time and space. There is no place in this material existence which can even slightly compare with that magical, wondrous abode, the home of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His eternal associates. The secret of how to gain residence in that most amazing of all places is given as follows in the Nārada-pa˝carātra:

dik-kālādy-anavacchinne
kṛṣṇe ceto vidhāya ca
tan-mayo bhavati kṣipraṁ
jīvo brahmaṇi yojayet


"By concentrating one's attention on the transcendental form of Krishna, who is all-pervading and beyond time and space, one becomes absorbed in thinking of Krishna and then attains the happy state of transcendental association with Him."

So it is not difficult to constantly reside in that transcendental territory. Simply one has to always remember Krishna in all times, places, and circumstances. This is the ticket to that realm beyond time and space.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Greeting Party

Siauliai, Lithuania--4 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Connect Activities with Krishna?

I want to share my feelings after attending your lectures at the Riga, Latvia Hare Krishna temple. I had never felt Krishna Himself so real and close. Even now writing this I cry from joy when I remember that. Thank you for showing His greatness so close and simple.

After your lecture I felt really inspired but at the same time worried, because I couldn't understand what to do now. I can't immediately abandon all my daily actions, my studies, friends and duties. Is there any way how to combine them with worshiping and loving Krishna?

I believe that blind fanaticism in any action is not good and will be unpleasant for other people. That's why I want to learn how to become a person who also can truly inspire other people to follow Krishna. I' m very young in this movement. Please guide me how to follow the path back to Godhead step by step.

Lauma

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Answer: Offer Activities to Krishna

I am very happy to hear that you are so much inspired by hearing my lectures. This is the transcendental potency of the topics of Krishna. Simply by hearing these topics from the devotees of the Lord we become immediately delivered from the anxieties of material existence.

Please do not be worried. You may continue to engage in your normal activities, your duties and studies, as well as continue to associate with your friends. Of course, from the transcendental perspective all these are considered to be so many zeros possessing no value. But when we add the number one to a row of zeros that row of zeros becomes a huge number. For example, if we add the number one to a row of nine zeros, the value that was zero becomes transformed immediately into one billion. So in this way if you will add Krishna to every aspect of your life, you will be amazed to see how your life which was previously empty has now become transformed into the most amazing, exciting transcendental adventure.

You are right about fanaticism. Therefore we instruct our students not to be blind fanatics. We instead train them how to understand their identity and relationship with the supreme source of existence in a rational, philosophical, scientific way that fully satisfies the intellect.

I will be most happy to take you under my wing and guide you step by step how to become solidly situated on the pathway back to home, back to Godhead. Since I am now in Riga and you are in Riga, I would like to meet with you personally to give you more guidance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 4 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

We've Got to Revolutionize this Planet

As I've said many times before...we've got to revolutionize this planet by connecting everyone with the source of their existence, Lord Sri Krishna. Just as a light bulb disconnected from the powerhouse is devoid of functional value, the modern day disconnected-from-its-source civilization is also devoid of its functional value. Therefore it's no wonder that people at all levels in the society are completely bewildered when it comes to the matter conquering birth, death, old age, and disease. They do not have a clue about how to put a permanent stop to these miseries.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Home Program Kirtan

Riga, Latvia--3 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Religion Better than Other Religions?

How is the Krishna religion than others such as the Muslim religion? They say that their Allah is the Supreme, and in our society we say that Krishna is the Supreme. Is there any relation between Allah, Jesus and Krishna.

Anuj

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Answer: There Is No Such Thing as Different Religions

There is no such thing as the Krishna religion as opposed to other religions. Religion is one because there is one Supreme Person, who is the foundation of everything. An ordinary person can be addressed differently by different people according to their different relationships. One person calls him "Mr. Smith." Someone else calls him "Daddy." Another person calls him "John." And another person calls him "Honey." So if even an ordinary person can have so many different names according to different relationships, how many different names can God have according to His different relationships? Since God is unlimited He has unlimited names. So some call Him "Allah". Some call Him "Krishna", and some call Him "Jehovah." It is not that these are different religions, because religion is one, to be a pure devotee of God. Allah and Krishna are both names for the Supreme Person, and Jesus reveals Himself as the pure devotee son of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 3 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Ocean of Unlimited Bliss

Krishna consciousness is an ocean of unlimited bliss. And all we have to do is dive in and relish the eternal ever-expanding nectar. So why are we so hesitant to do so? We are hesitant because we have been greatly disoriented by a society which is based on the false bodily concept of the self. In fact we have been so totally brainwashed that we consider the gross bag containing pus, urine, mucus, bile, bones, stool, urine, and blood to be our very selves. Talk about gross ignorance! No wonder we are so miserable. Throw away all miseries. Dive deeply into the ocean of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




More Kirtan Nectar

Riga, Latvia--1 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Any Existence Not Founded on Krishna?

Can you please clarify this?

In the purport of verse 10.39, Srila Prabhupada mentions:

'Whatever existence is not founded on the energy of Krishna is called maya, "that which is not".'

By this statement one could conclude that there is some existence not founded on Krishna's energy. This would disprove Krishna's statement that He is the seed of all existence and therefore could not be true. I thought and counteracted this point by Krishna's statement that Maya is His illusory energy. So there can be no substance that can exist without Krishna, be it real or illusory.

Please clarify if my understanding is correct.

Your insignificant servant
Adi Purusha Das

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Answer: All Existence is Founded on Krishna

You have understood correctly. Both the spiritual world and its shadow, this material world, are the energy of the Lord. There is no existence beyond what Krishna is manifesting.

When Srila Prabhupada says that whatever existence is not founded on the energy of Krishna is "that which is not", he is saying that there is no such thing as something existing outside of the energy of Krishna. The spiritual world and the material world are both the manifestations of Krishna's potency. Both of them are real. The difference is that the material world is temporary, in that it goes through phases of manifestation and non-manifestation, while the spiritual world is eternally manifested.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 2 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

How Did We Get in this Mess?

What a horrible mess we are in now on this planet! Things weren't always such a quagmire. There was a time when practically everyone lived in peace and prosperity in a state of harmony with the laws of nature and the laws of God. But gradually as men became more and more godless the atmosphere deteriorated more and more until reaching its now most critical stage in which human civilization is tottering on the edge of collapse. Since the deterioration is manifested in direct proportion to the godlessness, the only sensible and practical solution for the multitude of problems plaguing our planet is to vigorously re-introduce isavasya, the God centered principle, in all spheres of human activity. This and only this will bring about the desired peace and prosperity in this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Diving Deep into the Ocean of Name Nectar

Riga, Latvia--1 April 2010


Explaining the Nectar of the Names
Riga, Latvia--1 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Policeman Needs Help

Dear Maharaja,

Hare Krishna.

Please accept my humble obeisances unto your lotus feet. I am a police officer and I have been called to write an article on human values. I want you to help me to write this article. If I will touch the Commissioner, I am sure that he will give me the chance to spread God consciousness within the department and by their help I will touch the community at large.

Please, I beg for your mercy in order to achieve success. Thank you very much.

Your servant,

Satidanand

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Answer: The Highest Platform of Human Values

I am very happy to hear that the Krishna consciousness movement has now gained a foothold within the realm of the police. When all the policemen become Krishna conscious it will be the dawning of a new era on this planet.

You may expound on the following principles in your article:

1. The highest platform of human values is to see that all living beings are brothers and sisters because they are all coming from the same source, the Supreme Person, who is the origin of all existence. This Supreme Person is known variously by different names according to different religious traditions. But in spite of His many different names He is the same person, and therefore since all living beings are His children we are all members of the same family. To the impersonalists He is known as the Supreme Brahman and to the scientists He is approached as the origin of the universe. But in spite of the different ways in which He is understood, He is still the same original person.

2. When all living beings are respected as divine since they are all sparks of that original Supreme Person, there will naturally manifest sweet loving relationships between all persons, and crime, terrorism, and war will become practically non-existent.

3. Therefore the greatest necessity of the modern day civilization is to educate the members of the world society in the science of the Supreme Person, which will thereby automatically elevate everyone to highest platform of human values.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 1 April 2010

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Taste the Highest Bliss

You are not meant to suffer. So there's no need to suffer a moment longer in this material existence. All you have to do is fix yourself solidly in Krishna consciousness seeing everything as His arrangement and offering everything to Him in all times, places, and circumstances. Why be miserable when you can taste unlimited bliss at every minute? This is real intelligence. Taste the highest bliss and share the highest bliss at every minute with everyone you meet. What could be more divine, more sublime, more refined?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Relishing the Nectar of the Holy Names

Tartu, Estonia--30 March 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: The Purpose of Creation

The only question that bothers me is the purpose for creation. If the individual soul is always a part of the Supreme Soul, the Paramatma, then why was it detached from the Paramatma to experience an isolated existence?

Kulendra

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Answer: To Expand the Ocean of Love

The Supreme Soul, the Paramatma, is emanating so many individual atmas or souls from Himself for the process of enjoying a unique loving relationship with each and every one of them. Since the Supreme Soul is atmarama or self-enjoyer He is not required to do this. But since He is fully powerful and independent He is completely free to do anything and everything according to His own desires. Out of His own free will He chooses to have our association rather than spending his existence in solitude. The Paramatma's desire is to keep us with Him in the sweet happiness of eternal loving relationship. But out of our foolish misuse of our minute independence we have cast ourselves into the ocean isolation known as the material world. Therefore Lord Sri Krishna, the original form of the Paramatma, repeatedly comes to this material world to implore us to come back to our original, all blissful existence in the spiritual world in a loving relationship with Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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