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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His Grace Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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

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Monday 31 May 2010

from Lenasia, South Africa
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Today's Thought:

Pure Devotional Service Seminar

On May 29 and 30 in Lenasia, South Africa on the invitation of the local devotees I conducted an 8 hour seminar on pure devotional service. It was divided into four 2 hour sessions, two on 29 May and two sessions of 30 May. One may wonder how much there is to say about devotional service that one could go on talking about for 8 hours without it becoming boring. But the fact of the matter is that when pure devotional service is discussed in an authorized way according the revealed scriptures and the great saintly teachers of the past, the speaker, the inquirers, and the hearers, and the place where the discussion is being held are all elevated into the transcendental dimension which exists beyond time and space. Once one enters into that realm eight hours is nothing. Sukadeva Goswami described pure devotional service for 168 hours straight with any break when he explained it to Pariksit Maharaja.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Pure Devotional Service Seminar

Lenasia, South Africa--29-30 May 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Why Does the One God Have Many Names?

All religions teach there is one and only one God. However, in Hindu religion people worship different gods and chant different names of God. Even Lord Krishna has thousands of names and different forms. And the ISKCON devotees teach us to chant Hare Krishna, which consists of more than one name of Lord Krishna. Why is it so?

Rohan

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Answer: Why God Can't Have Many Names?

It's a fact that there is only one Supreme Being. There must be only one, because if He is not one without a second, He cannot be the Supreme Being. The Hindus are known for worshipping many gods, but these gods are not the Supreme Being. They are subordinate servants of the Supreme Being who assist Him in His management of the universal affairs. Amongst the Hindus those who are well versed in the scriptures only worship the Supreme Lord. They do not worship the many different subordinate gods.

The Supreme Being is known by different names. That's a fact. If even an ordinary man of this world can be addressed by different names according to his different relationships, the Supreme Being certainly can also be addressed by different names according to His different qualities and different relationships. When we address Him as Krishna we are referring to Him as the All-Attractive One, and when we address Him as Rama, we are referring to Him as the Supreme Enjoyer.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 30 May 2010

from Lenasia, South Africa
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Today's Thought:

Perfect Shelter

In Sanskrit this material world is called durasraya. Dur meals false, and asraya means shelter. So durasraya means false shelter. Therefore our idea that we can get shelter here is hope against hope. It is simply a foolish dream. It is futile because it will never be fulfilled.

Sometimes in a state of illusion we think that we are actually being sheltered and protected by the material world. But then sooner or later something will come along to pop our bubble of illusion and we are left high and dry again feeling unsheltered and unprotected. In so many ways we take shelter of this material world and are again and again disappointed. Therefore the intelligent thing to do is to instead directly take shelter of Krishna instead of the material energy.

When we face difficulties in material life we should see how Krishna is blessing us with the wonderful reminder that this material world offers us no real shelter, that only He offers us real shelter. Indeed, Krishna's shelter is perfect because it, unlike the dursasraya, false shelter of the material world, is unfailing in all circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Is the Supreme Being Unknowable?

How to answer this question with proof?

Each person according to his condition gives the Supreme Being a name, but in reality to name the unknowable is vain.

Bhavesh

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Answer: Only to the Mental Speculators

The first point is that not everyone accepts the existence of the Supreme Being. The atheists would not dream of giving Him a name because they do not believe that He exists.

The second point is that the Supreme Being is not unknowable. While He remains always unknowable to the mental speculators, He fully reveals Himself to His devotees and thus becomes fully knowable to them with His thousands and millions of names.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 29 May 2010

from Lenasia, South Africa
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Today's Thought:

Unlimited Bliss in a Miserable World

After boarding our London-Johannesburg flight on 27 May 2010 I struck up a conversation with one of the flight attendants named Rod Culliford. I thanked him for not being on strike because this helped prevent our flight from being cancelled. (Many British Airways flight attendants are on strike now, causing many flights to be cancelled.) Although he is working in spite of the strike I could understand by his response that he was not that happy with his situation. And when I mentioned to him that the material world is a miserable place, I was surprised how he immediately agreed. I could understand that I was speaking with a deeply thoughtful person.

So I took the opportunity to explain to him how all or our miseries are caused by misidentification with our temporary material bodies. The reality is that no matter how well situated someone may be in this material world they must ultimately succumb to the misery of having everything that they are attached to ripped away from them at the time of death. I explained to him that the key to being always happy in spite of all varieties of miserable situations is to revive one's eternal all-blissful spiritual identity as an individual spiritual being by reconnecting with the Source of our existence, the Supreme Person. This process does not require us to switch from one religion to another. It simply requires that we meditate deeply with love and devotion every day on the holy names of God. We prefer to chant:

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

But anyone from any religion can chant according to the names of God from their own scriptures. Even the skeptics can try chanting as an experiment to experience the amazing transformational effects that it will have on their consciousness.

We certainly wish Rod the best for achieving the unlimited bliss of self-realization in this lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




27 May 2010 Conversation with

British Airways Flight Attendant Rod Culliford
En route from London to Johannesburg


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Divorce in the Vedic Culture?

Of late men and women of this century are regularly applying for divorces in the court of law. Does our Vedic culture permit this?

Anil Kumar

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Answer: They Wouldn't Even Dream of It

In Vedic culture there is no thing as divorce because in Vedic culture marriage is so pleasing and satisfying that there is no question of divorce. Vedic culture is based on the spiritual conception of existence in which one derives unlimited pleasure by doing everything for the pleasure of the Supreme Person. It is in this spirit that one conducts his married life. Thus there is no question of dissatisfaction.

Our modern day culture is just the opposite. It is based on the pleasure of the material senses, and because the senses, like fire, are never satisfied no matter how much you give them gratification, in the modern day culture as soon as our senses get a little tired of enjoying one thing we want to switch the object of enjoyment to something else or, as in the case of divorce, to someone else.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 28 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Flood the World with Krishna's Names

The holy name of Krishna is so powerful that it can immediately solve all the problems of the world. Therefore it should widely and regularly broadcast so that as many people as possible can hear it as often as possible in every town and village throughout the entire world. There is no easier way to give pleasure to the Lord than by enthusiastically singing His transcendental names in public along with other devotees. This is known as sankirtana yajna, the transcendental sacrifice of congregationally chanting the holy name of God. This yajna bestows the highest benefit upon the chanters and upon the entire earth planet. Take advantage of every possible opportunity to engage in this public chanting. You'll be glad you did. You will reap unlimited benefits.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Chanting in the Park

Sofia, Bulgaria 26 May 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Is Krishna Hindu?

Sometime back I had argument with my fellow mates in the office. They said Krishna was Hindu as only Hindus worship Krishna. They said that although He might be called Allah in Arabic, still Krishna is Hindu. They said that therefore Hare Krishna chanting and the Bhagavad-gita are also Hindu and do not belong any other religion.

I tried to explain to them that Krishna is neither Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc, that Krishna is simply Krishna Himself. He does not belong to any particular religion. It is we human beings who have concocted the idea of different religions. I told them that Krishna consciousness is not Hindu dharma or Hindu religion, that rather it is in the category of Sanatan Dharma, the natural original nature of the living being to serve the Supreme. Bhagavad-gita is the cream of Vedas and it does not belong only to Hindus. Rather it belongs to all, as it was spoken by Krishna himself for the benefit of all of humanity, not only for Hindus.

What my colleagues know is that Krishna is worshipped in Hindu religion and Bhagavad-gita belongs to Hindu religion only - so Krishna is also Hindu. I am unable to make them understand, and I have come under your shelter to give me more points so that I can enlighten these colleagues.

Bhavesh

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Answer: Is the Sun American?

The first thing to understand is the word "Hindu" is not found anywhere in the Vedic literatures. It was a term coined by the Muslims to describe those persons living east of the Sindhu river.

Krishna is called Jagannatha, the Lord of the universe. He is never addressed by the name, Hindunatha, the Lord of the Hindus. Therefore your friends' claim that Krishna is Hindu is an erroneous claim. The entire existence has emanated from His transcendental body so there is no question of His being confined or boxed in by any kind of sectarian designation.

Is there such a thing as the Indian sun or the American sun? No, the sun is one, although it is known by different names in different languages. Similarly although the Supreme Lord may be addressed by different names in different parts of the world, this does mean that there are different Supreme Lords. No, the Supreme Lord is one, although He is addressed by different names in different languages.

In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna does not teach Hindu religion. He teaches rather the universal science of how the individual living being can reconnect himself with the Supreme Person, the source of all existence.

To say that only Hindus worship Krishna is not true. There are thousands of Christians and Jews who also worship Krishna as the Supreme Lord. He is the same God that is mentioned in the Bible. The difference between the Bhagavad-gita and the Bible is that the Bible gives some vague idea of God while the Bhagavad-gita gives precise scientific data about God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 27 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Wonderfully Simple and Simply Wonderful

The life of a traveling lecturer is not always trouble free. On this tour we've endured cancelled flights from a British Airways strike and Iceland's Eyjafjallaj÷kull volcano. Now my camera is broken, I have pneumonia, and I am extremely backlogged on emails. There is so much to do to get my health back, to find a new camera, to catch up on my emails, and to keep up with my around-the-world lecture schedule. (We leave Europe tomorrow for South Africa.) I have to always make sure that my disciples all over the world are all nicely situated on the pathway of progressive Krishna consciousness. And on top of all these duties our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, has ordered us that we have to deliver the world. Sometimes it seems too much. It seems to be completely overwhelming. But I remember that my mother one time advised me to just take life one day at a time. If you do that, it becomes doable. Let me simply fully offer this day in Krishna's service and do the same tomorrow. This is something I can handle. And you know, when you take it one day, one minute at a time, it is amazingly ecstatic to fully connect with Krishna, the ultimate source of all energies, at every second. It's wonderfully simple and simply wonderful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Program At ISKCON Sofia's Curie Street Center

24 May 2010


Ecstatic Kirtan



Ecstatic Philosophy



Ecstatic Gathering


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Fate of an Unsuccessful Devotee?

Kindly tell me the reaction of activity of a person who tries to practice devotional service for two years and then due to ulterior motives, which he had in mind while practicing Krishna conscious activities, does not get fulfilled and stops practicing Krishna consciousness. After that person finishes his life, due to frustration and so many problems in life what will be his destination? Where he will go in case he could not remember Krishna while leaving his body ?

Nilesh

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Answer: He Will Continue in His Next Life

Such a person will get an opportunity to advance further in Krishna consciousness in his next life. For example, if he become 10% Krishna conscious in this life, he will begin from the point of 11% in his next life. The point is that whatever devotional service one renders is his eternal asset, even if he does not complete the process of spiritual perfection in one lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 26 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Nrsimha Caturdasi

Today is Nrsimha Caturdasi, the appearance anniversary of Lord Nrsimhadeva, the half-man, half-lion incarnation of the Supreme Lord. On this day fasting is observed until dusk, and then followed by feasting. This is a most auspicious day to remember the great mercy the Lord has upon His pure devotees to protect them from all varieties of dangerous situations.

Here are some beautiful prayers for worshipping Lord Nrsimhadeva:

namas te narasiṁhāya
prahlādāhlāda-dāyine
hiraṇyakaśipor vakṣaḥ-
śilā-ṭaṅka-nakhālaye


I offer my obeisances to Lord Narasiṁha
who gives joy to Prahlāda Mahārāja
and whose nails are like chisels
on the stonelike chest of the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu.

ito nṛsiṁhaḥ parato nṛsiṁho
yato yato yāmi tato nṛsiṁhaḥ
bahir nṛsiṁho hṛdaye nṛsiṁho
nṛsiṁham ādiṁ śaraṇaṁ prapadye


Lord Nṛsiṁha is here and also there.
Wherever I go Lord Nṛsiṁha is there.
He is in the heart and is outside as well.
I surrender to Lord Nṛsiṁha, the origin of all things and the supreme refuge.

Take full advantage of this auspicious appearance day for advancing nicely on the path of spiritual perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Nrsimhadeva

the Half-Man Half Lion Incarnation
of the Supreme Personality of Godhead


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Do I Have to Chant Krishna's Name?

During chanting, if I use a name of God that is more familiar and comfortable to me, such as Jehovah or Yahweh, will I still attain God Consciousness? I know people are conditioned and I have been conditioned for a long, long time to know God's name as Jehovah. When I say the name Krishna, I feel that I'm addressing someone other than the person I know as God. If God has many names, wouldn't this be okay?

Julianne

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Answer: Any Name of God Can Be Chanted with Love for the Supreme Result

You may address the Supreme Person by any of His authorized names as found in the scriptures. This is confirmed by Lord Caitanya who states:

"O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings,
and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda.
In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies.
There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names.
O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names."


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 25 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Misery is for Fools Only

Although short, it was a wonderful visit to Arad and Timisoara, Romania where I lectured on the transcendental science of how to be situated at every minute in unlimited bliss by fully dovetailing one's consciousness in pure love with the supreme conscious being. There's really no reason to ever be miserable. Misery is for fools only. Once you fully awaken your eternal transcendental nature in loving relationship with the Supreme Self, you will taste nothing but ever-increasing transcendental bliss for all of eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lecture: How to Attain Unlimited Bliss

Arad, Romania--24 May 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Questions: Did the Scientists Create Life?

I am always skeptical, as one day humans may end up creating life forms by themselves, thereby denying the existence of 'God-almighty' altogether.

The following article said something about creating a primitive life form called Syndi, a self replicating micro cell, using a synthesized genome created with the help of a computer machine on May 21st 2010..

http://www.pddnet.com/news-God-Loses-Monopoly-Synthetic-Genomics-Creates-First-Synthetic-Bacterial-Cell-052110/

Praveen

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Answer: A Car is Dead Unless it Has a Driver

The team of scientists claim that they have created a synthetic bacterial cell. But even if they have a created a form that can display the symptoms of life, it is no big deal. In the Vedic age a yogi named Visvamrita was able to beget a man from a palm tree, not simply a meager synthetic bacterial cell.

This of course does not mean that he created the living being who inhabited the palm-tree-derived body. An automobile manufacturer can make an automobile but cannot make the driver for that automobile. So even though a scientist or a yogi may be able to manufacture a bodily machine, they cannot manufacture the driver for that machine, the living spirit soul. For a body to function requires the sanction of the Supreme Lord to allow a living being to enter that body as the driver.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 24 May 2010

from Timisoara, Romania
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Today's Thought:

Ultimate Strawberry Fields Forever

While staying in Arad, Romania from 21 to 23 May 2010 with my disciples, Mineketana Ramadasa and his wife, Anasini devi dasi and their two lovely daughters, Draupadi and Aruni, we got to experience the joy of being out in the fresh air, open spaces, and soothing morning sunshine picking strawberries in their bounteous garden for offering to our deities, Sri Sri Radha and Damodar. This is natural living, to produce one's own food with no anxiety about how much it costs in the grocery store. In the Vedic culture people produced their own food on their own family farms and didn't have to worry about getting a job to work in an unhealthy atmosphere to pay someone else to run an environmentally unsound agribusiness for producing huge quantities of artificially fertilized foods that are deficient in vitamin and mineral values.

The Beatles' 1967 hit song "Strawberry Fields Forever" presented strawberry fields as a wonderful place where you would like to go. And we have found the ultimate "strawberry fields" in the sublime process of offering everything in Krishna's service, even that empty space in your back yard, where you can grow succulent, healthy fruits and vegetables to be offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna, the source of everything.

It was pretty ecstatic. The strawberries were in full season so we decided to take full advantage of this propitious opportunity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Picking Strawberries for Krishna



Wonderful Strawberries!


Truly Amazing Strawberries!!


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Confirmation from a Scientist: The Scientists are Cheating

I again agree with your opinion about today's scientists. I myself am one of the unfortunate scientists. When the scientists write a theory or article, what is the driving force in presenting their theory? It is never or most of the times not in knowing or presenting the truth. The driving force is respect, money, and prestige. Even if they know in their heart that what they are presenting is not a correct theory, they will still present it because they think that they can fool the world and as a result they will get recognition. Scientists are not very much better than politicians. They present what the public will accept. On the contrary, the saints like Srila Vyasadeva are married to truth and are all the time wishing to help the public. These saints always speak the truth and have the pure desire of always pleasing Lord Krishna. Sometimes we are not able understand their words, but they are still true. Even though their words sometime seem very odd and difficult to understand, in due course of time the truth of all of their teachings will be seen.

Narendra B.

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Answer: Thank You for Your Honesty

I very much appreciate your honest confession as an insider in the scientific community. I have heard similar other reports from other insiders in the scientific community. The Vedic sages are the most advanced scientists. By the perfection of their consciousness they are able to directly perceive the Supreme Truth. Sometimes in our blindness we foolishly imagine these Vedic sages to be deluded, but it is actually we who are deluded instead. The day will come when the material scientists will recognize and greatly appreciate the perfect scientific knowledge of the Vedic sages. Until then the world will continue suffering from what songwriter Roger McGuinn described in his song 5D (Fifth Dimension):

"And I saw the great blunder my teachers had made,
scientific delirium madness."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 23 May 2010

from Arad, Romania
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Today's Thought:

Is Science Scientific?

If science means to know things as they are, how can science purely be said to be scientific? Modern day science is based on theories which are conjectures or educated guesses based on data gathered through imperfect senses and analyzed by imperfect minds. Therefore it is not surprising when a scientist admits that his theory is not conclusive.

In this connection, many years ago in the early 1970's I attended a large gathering of science students at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. A visiting scientist had come to give a lecture describing in detail his theory about black holes in outer space. After he finished his lecture there was an open question and answer session. So I asked if the existence of black holes in outer space was a theory or it was a fact. He answered, "I think it's a fact." Then I asked him, "Throughout the history of modern science we have seen that one theory has come into popularity for some time until it is eventually replaced by another theory. So how do we know that your theory will not be replaced by another theory?" His immediate reply was, "I hope it is because then we will be making progress."

So what is popularly known as science today is not really science because it is not conclusive, final knowledge. Today's popularly accepted scientific facts will eventually be displaced by a new set of scientific facts. Modern science tells us to reject blind faith, but yet it imposes upon us a new type of blind faith. The scientists tell us not to accept the sages but to accept them instead. But they have yet to prove that they know more than the enlightened sages who have given us the Vedic wisdom and have for thousands of years effectively guided spiritual seekers how to escape the repetition of birth and death.

Therefore we do not waste our time waiting for the scientists to approve the authenticity of our self-realization system. We take the opportunity to get out of karma cakra now in this lifetime while the scientists continue with their fruitless speculations and are dragged down by the laws of nature to become monkeys or other similar lower life forms in their next birth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Thousands of years ago the compiler of the Vedic wisdom, Srila Vyasadeva,
taught that living beings evolve from lower species to higher species
in the repetition of birth and death through 8,400,000 life forms
that are already present from the beginning of the universe.




Charles Darwin speculated that the life forms themselves are evolving
through a process known as natural selection.
But if the humans evolved from the apes,
why are the apes still existing?


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Chanting "Chocolate Cookies" and "Krishna"

If I chant "chocolate cookies, chocolate cookies", will I get chocolate cookies? Similarly if I chant "Hare Krishna", how will I get Krishna? If I want chocolate cookies I will have to work, make some money, and buy chocolate cookies. Similarly what should I do to attain Lord Krishna?

Dhaval

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Answer: You'll Get Krishna. You Won't Miss the Cookies

Because the name "chocolate cookies" and chocolate cookies are different, you do not get chocolate cookies when you chant "chocolate cookies". You only get the name "chocolate cookies." So you are right. Even though you may go on chanting, "chocolate cookies, chocolate cookies, cookies cookies, chocolate chocolate" for millions of years, by such chanting you will not get even one chocolate cookie.

But when you chant Krishna's name the experience is different because Krishna and His name are one and the same. This means that when you chant the name "Krishna" you are directly experiencing Krishna. This is realized proportionately according to the degree of how much you have developed your love for Krishna. So if you will sincerely chant Krishna's name with love, gradually you will attain perfect Krishna consciousness and meet Krishna face to face.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 22 May 2010

from Arad, Romania
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Today's Thought:

Why Do I Keep Circling the Globe?

Sometimes I wonder why I take so much time and trouble for repeatedly circling the globe for spreading Krishna consciousness. There are so many difficulties that I must regularly face in the course of traveling like this for Krishna. Sometimes I become sick, which is more difficult to deal with when traveling. Sometimes my travel plans are disrupted when flights get cancelled due to airline strikes or spewing volcanoes. Often time the rigors of traveling make it hard for me to get sufficient time for writing. And then there is always the concern of having sufficient funds to cover the travel expenses. I could just remain at our ashram in Austin, Texas USA and completely avoid the difficulties of spending so much time out of every year out on the road.

But after reflecting why I do this, I remember how enlivened the people are all over the world to join me in kirtan, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, and how blissful they become when they hear and inquire from me and implement my instructions regarding the supreme science of Krishna consciousness. Then it all makes sense. I realize then that no matter how much difficulty I may undergo in traveling the globe for spreading this topmost self-realization science, it is well worth it a thousand and millions time over.

This was further reconfirmed when I arrived at the airport in Timisoara, Romania. The temple president, Sriman Murari Krishna Prabhu, was there to greet me. Right in the middle of the airport he bowed down on the floor offering me his humble obeisances, and I offered my obeisances to him. When we got to the car he told me that Timisoara is my home and that I am welcome to come and stay in Timisoara any time. With this sort of appreciation of my humble efforts to serve the mission of my spiritual master of delivering the world from clutches of illusion I am further strengthened in my resolve to continue.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Writing "Thought for the Day" in the Airport

Bucharest, Romania--21 May 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Terrorist Suicide Bombers Liberated?

According to Vedic scriptures if someone remembers God during death he is liberated from the cycle of birth and death and reaches the planet of God. So when a suicide bomber terrorist takes the name of God i.e. "Allah" and dies by triggering the bomb attached to his body, does he reach the topmost spiritual planet i.e. Goloka Vrindavan? Please clarify my doubt.

Gautam

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Answer: Sinning on the Strength of Chanting is Punishable

In this connection Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur has written:

"It is a terrible offense to commit sins on the strength of chanting; this offender is forever banished from the path of devotional service."

Therefore committing sinful activities in the name of God does not deliver one back to spiritual world. Rather one will be punished by the stringent laws of nature for his sinful deeds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 21 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Weekend in Romania

This weekend we are going to spread the amazing transcendental science of Krishna consciousness in Romania in the cities of Timisoara and Arad. You can find them on the map below on the western edge of Romania. Our first flight today will take us from Sofia to Romania's capital, Bucharest. From there we will fly across the Carpathian Mountains to Timisoara where Minaketana Ramadasa will drive us to Arad for a lecture program on Saturday. Then he will drive us to Timisoara, where I will be giving a lecture on Sunday. It's a wonderful, incomparably blissful feeling to be traveling all over the world for spreading this most mirific knowledge, which will solve all of the world's problems and make everyone happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Romania: Our Destination this Weekend

For Sharing the Supreme Bliss


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is There An Evolutionary Sequence?

Is there any sequence of one's birth during the raising of oneself from the deepest hell as a worm in stool, to an ant, to a human being, and then a child of immortal bliss?

Regards
Aashish

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Answer: Natural Evolutionary Sequence.

Yes, there is a natural evolutionary sequence. We gradually progress from lower forms to higher forms. This is the original concept of evolution as taught in the Vedas. Charles Darwin simply borrowed this concept and modified it.

Finally through the gradual evolutionary process we come to human form where we can become fully Krishna conscious and go back to home, back to the immortal kingdom of God. But if we misuse the human life for sense gratification, we go back down into the lower species where there is better facility for material sense gratification. In other words, as man proposes, God disposes. You get what you want. If you want sense gratification, you will get a more suitable body for it. And if you want spiritual perfection, Krishna will send you a spiritual master who will teach you how to become liberated from the cycle of birth and death by reviving your original identity as the eternal servant of the Supreme Person.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 20 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Magazine Interview

On 19 May 2010 I was interviewed by Krasi Prodanvo, the publisher of Sofia's Usuri Magazine, a spiritual alternatives publication. It was a pleasant interview. Mr. Pradanvo is a subscriber to our e-course and was very interested in Vedic culture and how it can have a positive uplifting effect on the modern day civilization. He appreciated the many faceted nature of Vedic culture, and when he inquired about how one can enter into Vedic culture I explained to him that the method is to accept a spiritual master. In the Vedic civilization all of the upper class members of the society accepted a spiritual master for guiding them on the pathway of spiritual perfection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Interviewed by Sofia's Usuri Magazine

Sofia, Bulgaria--19 May 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Follow Krishna or Be Compassionate?

A devotee is a person who follows and tries to implement the orders of Lord Krishna. At times, it may look like as if he is being compassionate, but actually he is just following the orders of Lord Krishna. For example, Arjuna was not compassionate in war. So what is more important: being compassionate or following orders of Lord Krishna?

N. Bansal

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Answer: Following Krishna is Supreme Compassion

If one constantly associates with the Supreme Compassionate Personality of Godhead by always following His instructions, by the power of His divine association all compassionate qualities will naturally become fully manifested within one's heart. Thus acting as an agent of the Supreme Compassionate Lord makes one supremely compassionate.

While from the material point of view Arjuna did not appear to be compassionate by killing the enemy soldiers on the battlefield, from the spiritual viewpoint his killing was the greatest compassion because anyone who was killed in the presence of Krishna got instant spiritual liberation. Of course, this does not justify killing someone in the name of God. Arjuna was in the presence of Krishna and was directly ordered by Him to engage in his occupational duty as a warrior.

So the answer to your question is that there is no difference between being compassionate and following the orders of Lord Krishna. There is no one more compassionate than the one who follows the orders of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 19 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Don't Be Miserable

You owe it to yourself to be happy. After all happiness is your original, natural consciousness. So why should you cheat yourself? This would not make any sense. Why suffer birth after birth when you can instead enjoy unlimited, ever-increasing bliss at every minute. This is called Krishna consciousness. This is real intelligence. Our spiritual master has mercifully given us this formula for unlimited bliss, and now we would like to share it with you. Kindly take it. You will never regret it. You got nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Consciousness Means Unlimited Bliss

Blissful Devotees in Kaunas, Lithuania 19 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: God is Formless?

I am thankful to you for answering my queries whenever I post them in spite of lot of your busy schedule.

Please answer my following doubt in full explanation.

I read from your explanation in Brahma Samhita 5.38 wherein Lord Brahma sees inconceivable innumerable attributes of Lord Krishna that this means Krishna does not have a form. Could you please elaborate on this?

Your servant,

Subhash

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Answer: Not Hardly. He Has the Most Beautiful of All Forms.

I have never stated that Krishna does not have a form. You have completely misunderstood our philosophy regarding the transcendental form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kindly note in Brahma-samhita 5.38 as quoted below that the transcendental form of Krishna becomes visible within the heart of His pure devotees.

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


"I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda,
who is always seen by the devotee
whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love.
He is seen in His eternal form of Syamasundara,
situated within the heart of the devotee."


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 18 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Nothing Sweeter than Gita

There is truly nothing sweeter than the Bhagavad-gita. The transcendental sound vibrations of this ultimate of all conversations elevate anyone who hears them to the transcendental plane beyond the mundane world of birth and death. Just as Arjuna was liberated by hearing the Bhagavad-gita, we can also become liberated by hearing the Bhagavad-gita. The only condition is that we have to hear it in the same mood of humble submission as Arjuna. In the first chapter of the Bhagavad-gita Arjuna holds onto his material consciousness and remains in a state of misery. But in the second chapter he realizes his foolishness and humbly submits himself to Krishna as His disciple. In this way he becomes fully qualified to be liberated by the message of the Gita. And this way we will also. We simply must agree to become the surrendered disciples of Krishna, or in His absence to His representative, the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Bhagavad-gita Lecture

16 May 2010--Sofia, Bulgaria






Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Too Old for Initiation?

Dear Guruji,

Referring to your answer on the subject matter of a recent "Thought for the Day", I have not taken initiation, as I consider myself too old (70 years) for the same. However, I am strictly following all the regulative principals, ever since I became a Life Patron of ISKCON in 2006, including taking only Krishna Prasadam (no food outside the home) and doing 20 rounds of Hare Krishna Mahamantra every day, observing full Ekadasi fast (when I do four extra rounds), reading Srimad Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita every day along with Prabhupada's other books.

Do you still advise still Initiation for me, as the important thing is discipline and devotion?

Thanks, V.R.
Chennai, India

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Answer: Initiation More Essential for the Elderly

The older we get the greater the need for initiation because the older we get the closer we are to death. At the time of death it is essential that we have the full blessings and protection of the bona fide spiritual master to help us cross over the ocean of birth and death and enter into the eternal spiritual world of Lord Sri Krishna. Therefore initiation is essential and is even more essential for those who are older.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 17 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Hall Transformed into the Spiritual World

On 15 May 2010 a mundane conference hall in Sofia was turned into the spiritual world by the power of Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental holy names. Wherever the Lord's names are chanted with love, that place becomes magically transformed: whether a concert hall, a city street, or a park. This becomes especially obvious when a large group is chanting with great enthusiasm as was the case with this program. The experience is quite amazing, unlike anything one can experience anywhere else with this universe even on the higher planets of the demigods.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Kirtan
Bliss Transforms Public Hall
15 May 2010--Sofia, Bulgaria


Explaining the Magic of Kirtan


The Hall Was Jam Packed.
It Was Ecstatic to Share the Names with So Many.


The Mirific Kirtan Airplane Takes Off


And the Audience Dives Deep into Kirtan Bliss.


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: "Now" Consciousness and Devotional Service

In my search for Absolute Truth, I came across "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. It was actually his book which first introduced me to the Bhagavad-gita, as it was referenced several times as something which must be read.

Before I began reading the Gita, I was attempting to practice a constant awareness of the present moment as described in the E. Tolle book.

My question is this: How similar is this type of awareness, of the present moment, similar to what is taught in the Gita? Although it is only a very small fragment of what I've been reading in the Gita, it seems I have at least been on a right track. Is there any similarity?

Thanks,

Julianne

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Answer: Devotional Service is Beyond the Now.

Focusing on the present is a good starting point, but it is not the final destination because the "now" is still within the confines of time and space. It is only when we completely transcend time and space as described in the Bhagavad-gita that we truly attain the liberated platform, the transcendental platform.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 16 May 2010

from Sofia, Bulgaria
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Today's Thought:

Bulgaria Airport Kirtan Bliss

When we landed in Sofia, Bulgaria on 14 May 2010 on a flight from London, UK we were greeted by a merry band of about 25 devotees singing and dancing in ecstasy in the airport's arrival area led in kirtan (group chanting) by Rupa Manohar Prabhu. He was sweetly singing and playing his accordion in his usual festive mood. It was the sweetest nectar to experience a mundane airport transformed into the spiritual world by the power of Krishna's holy names. Our jubilant kirtan attracted the attention of everyone in the airport terminal. No one could resist relishing the sweet nectar of Hare Krishna kirtan as the waves of ecstatic love of Godhead drowned the Sofia airport in an ocean transcendental bliss.

We are inviting everyone to come and fly with us on Hare Krishna airlines back to our original home in that wondrous, mirific spiritual sky. Why suffer in this material world any longer when you can always taste the sweetest nectar at every minute?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Kirtan Bliss Transforms Sofia Airport

14 May 2010--Sofia, Bulgaria


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does God's Personality Mean?

I am reading the Gita and have a question regarding the difference between the "ego", as in the "false ego" in humans, versus "Personality", as in the Personality of Supreme Godhead.

In my understanding, what I would call my personality would be considered the false ego and only a material manifestation. That personality, or ego, is not my true self.

How is my personality, or ego, as a human being different from the personality that it is said God has? I thought God was unformed and unmanifested materially. But the Bhagavad-gita says He has a personality. What does that mean?

Thanks,

Julianne

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Answer: It Means He Wears a Peacock Feather in His Hair.

Ego means identity. False ego means a false sense of identity as when one considers the body to be the self. Personality also means identity. Just like you are a person and you therefore have a sense of identity, a perception of your existence as an individual. If you consider your body to be your self, this is false ego. But if you understand yourself as an eternal spirit-soul, this is real ego. The difference between your personality and God's personality is that you are conscious of the pains and pleasures within your body, while God is conscious of the pains and pleasures experienced in the bodies of all living beings throughout the totality of existence.

While it is true that God is materially unmanifested and without material form, this does not mean that God is unmanifested and without form. This means that God eternally manifests a form that is purely spiritual.

We sometimes think that because our present material form is not our actual self that therefore God must be without form. But this means that we do not understand what is our actual identity as eternal spiritual personalities with spiritual forms, nor do we understand what is God's actual identity as the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead with an eternal spiritual form.

God's having a personality means that He also experiences a sense of identity or individuality. Just as we, as individuals, have individual preferences and dislikes, God has individual preferences and dislikes. For example, just as each individual person has his own particular taste in how he dresses, God also has His own particular taste in this regard. This why we always see that Krishna or God is always wearing a peacock feather in His hair. God expresses His personality by wearing a peacock feather in His hair.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 15 May 2010

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Break Free Right Now

You've been shackled long enough in the chains of illusion. It's time to break free from your material conditioning, which has kept you entangled in the cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease since time immemorial. Now is the moment you've been awaiting for millions of lifetimes. So break free, break free, break free right now. Assert your true identity as Krishna's eternal servant and enter forever into the realm of eternity, knowledge, and bliss where nothing is amiss. You've got nothing to lose except your anxiety, nothing to lose except for your mortality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Sri Radha and Krishna Await

Your Return to the Spiritual Sky


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Who is God, the Source of all Avatars?

Swamiji, the Vedas declare "aham brahmasi." So then, who is God, who appears as avatars such as Rama and Krishna?

Dinesh

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Answer: Krishna

Aham Brahmasi means "I am spirit." It does not mean "I am God." This terms indicates our qualitative oneness with God because He is spirit and we are spirit. But this does not mean that we are God. The difference between Him and us is that He is the source of all emanations while we are His emanations.

According to the revealed scriptures, Krishna is Avatari, the source of all the avatars.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 14 May 2010

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

A Devotee is Compassionate

Since the devotee of Lord derives his happiness only from serving the Lord and does not depend on any form of pseudo happiness derived by lording it over others in this material world, he is able to purely love all beings through the process of purely loving the source of all existence, Lord Sri Krishna. Some may object, "Why are you promoting Krishna as the Supreme and not someone else?". The reason we do this is that this is the conclusion of the Vedic scriptures and of the great sages who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years. Our duty is to repeat honestly and accurately what we have heard from the great authorities. The result of our giving the highest, most complete knowledge of God is that those who hear it and understand it will be given the best possible opportunity for achieving spiritual perfection in this lifetime. So why shouldn't we give them the best help by supplying them with the most complete information? Any other course of action would be less compassionate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna and His Cowherd Boy Friends


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Historical Proof for Krishna?

Hare Krishna, dear Maharaja. Thank you for your wonderful effort to increase our knowledge of Krishna.

I am struggling with something at the moment that is causing me quite a lot of spiritual distress. I had a discussion with someone the other day about Krishna and the Bhagavad-gita and tried (in my best way) to explain Krishna to him. He listened very intensely and when we were finished, said that although all the things I said to him seem very interesting and good, he has no reason to believe me.

Quite shocked, I asked him what he meant. He asked me if I have any historical proof outside the Vedic scriptures that Krishna ever existed. He said that although the towns and villages still exist in India it does not mean Krishna actually existed. He also used this argument about the Christian faith and said there is no historical proof that Jesus even existed. He said that it is very common especially in India for people to exalt war heroes or other personalities to deity status and worship them. He also mentioned that people always exaggerate especially when it comes to religion.

This has left me a bit dumbstruck. Do we have any historical proof that Lord Krishna existed? I did not know how to answer him and said I will try and find some answers and get back to him. This has made me think a bit and left me confused.

Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

Eugene

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Answer: Become an Eyewitness

The Vedic scriptures are historical documents. Ask him, "Besides historical documents is there any proof that George Washington ever existed?" If historical documents are not admissible as evidence, practically we will have to discard all of the history books and say that we have no idea of any past history of the human race.

What makes an eye witness account of a materialistic person better history than an eye witness account of a spiritual person? This person is not open minded. He has an anti-spiritual bias which is clouding his judgment and perception. An eye witness account is an eye witness account.

People are often prone to misrepresent material history as well. So we have to carefully analyze the source of all historical documents to ascertain their credibility. A self-realized sage who is the perfect knower of past, present, and future is a more reliable eye witness of history than a person who is illusioned by bodily consciousness and thus subject to defective perception. Therefore we will accept the version of a pure saint as more credible history than a selfish materialist.

In other words, it is sometimes said that the history books are written by those who win the wars. This means that history is always presented in a biased way by those who are in power. This is why we need to get our lessons in history from those who are beyond material ambitions, the pure devotees of the Lord.

Anybody who wants to know the truth of Krishna can qualify himself to meet Krishna face to face and know from firsthand experience that Krishna is a real person, that His pastimes are real, and that He is indeed the source of everything. If your friend is too skeptical to qualify himself to meet Krishna in His original form through bhakti, Krishna will manifest Himself before him in the form of death. In this way he will realize the reality of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 13 May 2010

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Freeing the World from Illusion

We have been given the duty by our spiritual master to deliver the entire world from illusion. What could be a more gargantuan task? The entire human civilization is deeply enwrapped in the illusion of bodily consciousness, and we have been given the seemingly impossible duty of freeing them. How could this even remotely be possible? The only way is by the wide scale dissemination of the philosophy of the Srimad Bhagavatam. In the Srimad Bhagavatam it is stated:

dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsarāṇāṁ satāṁ
vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadaṁ tāpa-trayonmūlanam
śrīmad-bhāgavate mahā-muni-kṛte kiṁ vā parair īśvaraḥ
sadyo hṛdy
avarudhyate 'tra kṛtibhiḥ śuśrūṣubhis tat-kṣaṇāt

"Completely rejecting all religious activities which are materially motivated, this Bhāgavata Purāṇa propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhāgavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyāsadeva [in his maturity], is sufficient in itself for God realization. What is the need of any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhāgavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."
--Srimad Bhāgavatam 1.1.2

Kindly assist us in disseminating this topmost knowledge for the highest welfare of all beings because this will indeed free the entire world from illusion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




An Illusioned World Society Creates Hell on Earth


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are New Souls Being Created?

My question is: I understand the process whereby the soul is everlasting, never dies and is never re-born. However what confuses me to which I humbly request your clarification is that all the souls in all the material and spiritual planets have been created by Krishna at one given time. Does Krishna create more new souls from time to time, taking into consideration that the population is now at its highest?

Shanitha

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Answer: All Souls Are Ever-Existing

What Krishna says is that the souls are never born. This means that the souls are not created at a certain moment in time. Rather they are the eternal emanations of the Supreme Emanator, Lord Sri Krishna, and they are unlimited in number. There is no question of new souls ever coming into existence. If we see an increase of human population, this simply means that more souls (either coming from the lower species on this planet or from other planets and universes) are getting the auspicious opportunity of human birth on this planet, which is the best platform for awakening their dormant Krishna consciousness and going back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 12 May 2010

from the Detroit, Michigan USA Metro Airport
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Today's Thought:

Flying High in the Spiritual Sky

Tuesday 11 May 2010--As I write these words we are flying high above the clouds traveling from Austin to Detroit on the first leg of our journey to London to resume our around-the-world lecture tour. Instead of being covered by the clouds as are the people below us, we are situated far above those white fluffy balls enjoying the sunshine, which is not presently visible to those below. And in an even higher sense, by the unbounded mercy of our spiritual master, we are flying high in the spiritual sky situated far, far beyond the clouds of the material modes of nature, which are covering all the living beings within this material world. To be Krishna conscious does indeed give one a unique vantage point, which is known only to those who share it. It is so thrilling and wonderful to be Krishna conscious. This is why we are out traveling the globe trying to turn the entire world on to this most sublime state of enlightenment known as Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Departing from Austin to Resume World Tour

11 May 2010






Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Which Author Keeps the Vedas Intact?


I have a question and need your suggestion. I want to learn the Vedas or at least read them. Although one should read the actual Sanskrit text, I was fortunate to study a little bit of Sanskrit script (only one year) during schooling but never paid much attention as I never thought that I would be needing it. Anyway, my question is: Which author (translator on earth) would you recommend for the Vedas? Although I can find many authors online I am not sure which one has kept the original the Vedas intact without adulterating them with their personal thoughts . I know the Vedas are eternal and are not of human origin.

Thank you very much for your help.

Sanjeev

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Answer: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

I appreciate very much your sincerity for studying the Vedic scriptures. To master Sanskrit grammar is no easy task. It is said that it takes at least twelve years to learn the grammatical rules and regulations of Sanskrit very nicely. Still even after mastering Sanskrit, to properly understand the inner meaning of the verses the Vedic scriptures requires further that one be transcendentally realized.

Therefore it is recommended that should one study the Vedic scriptures under a perfectly realized spiritual master. In the Bhagavad-gita Lord Krishna states that this knowledge can only be understood by someone who is His devotee. Therefore we should hear the Vedic wisdom from a master who is perfect in devotion. The greatest spiritual master for understanding the deepest inner meanings of the scriptures and for explaining them in the most comprehensible manner is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He has translated into English the Bhagavad-gita, the Srimad Bhagavatam, and other essential Vedic scriptures. Especially I recommend that you should carefully study his Bhagavad-gita As It Is. By carefully reading his translations and purports you will receive the essential guidance for becoming a highly enlightened, self-realized soul, a pure devotee of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 11 May 2010

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

Don't Try to Be the Enjoyer

If we tell someone that they should not try to be the enjoyer, they may object to this because the natural tendency of all living beings is to enjoy. So how can advise that one should not try to be the enjoyer? The answer is simple. The way to actually enjoy is to serve the enjoyment of the Supreme Enjoyer rather than trying to enjoy separately. If we try to enjoy separately we are like the hand trying to get nutritional value from the food without feeding it to the stomach. So when we advise people that they should not try to be enjoyer what we are really telling them is how to expand their enjoyment unlimitedly by always serving the Supreme Enjoyer rather than trying to be the separate enjoyer. The hand that feeds the stomach gets the full nutritional value of the food it gives the stomach. The living being who thinks, speaks, acts for the pleasure of the Supreme Enjoyer Personality of Godhead in all times, places, and circumstances enjoys on an equal level with God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Avatars and Fragmental Souls

With respect to discussion on 8th May 2010, I have the following query. (I have faced such questions from many of my friends during discussions and also during book distribution activities, etc. especially from modern learned people.):

While reading the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam purports we come across mention of Supreme Soul's eternal fragments (jivatma) and Supreme Soul's expansions (Avatars). I have also read somewhere that Lord Krishna, the Supreme Soul, wished to become many (anek) from one (ek) for self enjoyment. We have also seen that during one of the transcendental pastimes in Gokula Vrindavana Lord Krishna expanded Himself into many calves and cowherd boys when Brahmaji kidnapped the boys and calves who were associating with Krishna in the forest.

Now I want to understand is:

(1) How and when do the jivatma (fragmental souls) come into existence?

(2) If they are eternal along with the Supreme Soul, is the number of such fragmental souls constant, considering both the material world and spiritual worlds?

(3) It is seen that the expansions of the Supreme Soul act as a separate persons during the Krishna's transcendental pastimes. After each pastime does that expansion remain as a separate expansion?

(4) If yes, then what is the difference between such expansions and the fragmental souls?

(5) Can an expansion of Krishna fall down due to any reason and have to pass through the cycle of birth and death in the same way that the fragmental souls oftentimes do?

Please enlighten me.

Hare Krishna.

Ketan

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Answer: Plenary and Separated Portions of Krishna

As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita 2:12 the jivatmas, the part and parcel living beings, did not come into existence at a certain point in time. Rather they are the eternal emanations of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Since they are eternal, their number must be constant and unchanging. They are infinite in number. When it is stated that the one became many, this does not refer to an event which takes place within time. It refers rather to the relationship between the Supreme Emanator and the living beings which He is emanating. In other words, that Supreme One is eternally manifesting the many from Himself for the purpose of His enjoyment.

The Supreme Lord expands from Himself the jivatmas or jiva- tattvas, who are His separated parts and parcels and are thus separate persons from Him. These are known as His separated expansions or His fragmental expansions. We are in this category.

He also expands from Himself the vishnu-tattvas, who are He Himself and are known as integrated expansions. The different avatars or incarnations of God are in this category. These expansions are not fragmental. Each of them is the Complete Whole Supreme Personality of Godhead and is thus one and the same with Him. The pastimes of each of them is eternal so there is no question of their losing their identities and merging into Krishna. These vishnu-tattva expansions can never and will never fall down because they are Krishna Himself.

In the Brahma vimohana lila in Vrindavana (the pastime of Lord Brahma's bewilderment) Lord Krishna expanded Himself into millions of forms that were are all in the category of vishnu-tattva. In other words they were all directly and fully He Himself. They were all integrated expansions, not separated or fragmental expansions.

Both the avatars and jivatmas are portions of Krishna. The avatars are called plenary portions, which means that they are fully Krishna. The jivatmas are called separated portions because they are fragmental. They are not the Complete Whole.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 10 May 2010

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

Ecstatic Retreat Reflections

Sunday 9 May 2010--We have just returned from an ecstatic retreat in the Lost Pines Forest of Central Texas. Now we have one day to get ready to head out again in resumption of our around-the-world lecture tour. It was really wonderful how all the participants in the retreat were able to connect with each other and with Krishna through kirtan, aratis, lectures, prasadam, and service. There needs to be more and more such retreats all over the world. By expanding the Krishna consciousness movement more and more all over the world, all of the modern day society's problems will be solved.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Vishnupriya Mataji Teaching Krishna Bhakti

Lost Pine Forest Retreat-- 8 May 2010


Devotees Relishing Topics of Krishna in the Forest
8 May 2010




Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Different Supreme Lords in Different Puranas

According to the philosophy of ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness) besides Krishna all other gods and goddesses are considered as demigods. But according to the Shiva Purana, Shiva is the Supreme. And the Vishnu Purana says Vishnu is the Supreme Lord. And the Brahma Purana says that Brahma is the Supreme Lord. Please help me understand this. Can you clarify this?

Asha

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Answer: The Purana Beyond the Modes of Nature

It is not ISKCON philosophy that Krishna is the Supreme. It is rather the philosophy taught by all the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala, and Vyas, who have guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years. ISKCON teaches this philosophy because this is what has been confirmed by all of the great Vedic authorities.

The statements in the various Puranas putting forward other great personalities as being the Supreme Lord are to encourage people who are situated in the various modes of nature how to progress gradually within the modes in their understanding of who is the Supreme Lord until they can gradually fully transcend the influence of the material modes of nature and realize that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus there are Puranas for those in the mode of ignorance, Puranas for those in the mode of passion, as well Puranas for those in the mode of goodness. The Bhagavata Purana, also known as the Srimad Bhagavatam, is described as the spotless Purana because it is completely free from any tinges of the modes of material modes of nature. It is specifically for those persons who want to become completely free from influence of the material modes of nature in this lifetime in order to be able to go back to home, back to Godhead at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 9 May 2010

from the Lost Pines Forest--near Bastrop, Texas USA
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Today's Thought:

Redeeming Our Lost Selves and the Lost Pines

Just as we are lost here in this material existence so far from our original home in the spiritual world, in Central Texas there is a pine forest separated by more than 125 miles from the expansive Piney Woods that permeate East Texas. Because this pine forest is so much cut off from the Piney Woods of East Texas it has been designated as the Lost Pines forest. In a higher sense these pine trees are lost because they are souls who were originally devotees of the Lord in the spiritual world. Due to somehow or other developing a mode of independence they have been separated just like we have from their original home in the spiritual sky and have taken birth here in the Lost Pines forest as pine trees. By our coming here and doing a weekend Krishna conscious retreat we are helping both the lost pines and our lost selves to get back to our original home in the spiritual sky. Even if a tree is exposed to Hare Krishna kirtan, its spiritual progress back to home, back to Godhead is greatly accelerated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lost Pines Forest Retreat

Near Bastrop, Texas USA--8 May 2009










Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can the Immobile Cause Mobility?

How do you explain the one Supreme Self with which the Bhagavad-gita began, a Self which is immutable, immobile, eternally free from all change or involution, unborn, unmanifested, the Brahman, but yet that from which everything is extended? If it is immobile how can it be the cause of mobility?

Rajan

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Answer: The Supreme Self is Not Immobile

Whoever told you that the Supreme Self is immobile has grossly misguided you. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna is revealed as the Supreme Self. Just see how mobile He is: going all over Vrindavan, going to Mathura, going to Dwarka, going so many places. So Krishna is not immobile. He is the Supreme Mobile. Why are you trying to turn Krishna into a cripple? This is foolishness. And Krishna is not an "it". He is a person. How would you like it if I called you "it", if I were to say "Whoever told it that that Supreme Self is immobile has grossly misguided it"? Would it like to be addressed and referred to as an it? Nobody would like to be called an "it". So kindly stop referring to Krishna as an "it" and give Him the proper respect He deserves as the Supreme Person, the source of all existence. As soon as you do this your path of spiritual enlightenment will begin. You will realize the Highest Truth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 8 May 2010

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

Relishing the Supreme Knowledge

Knowledge of the self and its relationship with the Supreme Self is so fantastically enlivening that simply by always keeping this knowledge in mind one can perpetually relish the sweetest happiness within himself no matter what is happening in the external world. One who constantly sees reality through the eyes of this supreme knowledge lives always in the wonderful world of Krishna consciousness, relishing constant unlimited happiness in that most amazing of all abodes. He becomes completely liberated from the constant pinching of the external world, this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can Fragments Come from the Uncuttable?

In the Bhagavad-gita it is said categorically that no weapon can cut the soul, no one can burn it, and no one can dry it. But according to Srila Prabhupada, we all are fragmental part and parcels of the Supreme Being. These things are contradictory. If the soul can not be cut how can the innumerable souls be fragmental parts of the Supreme Soul? Even if they are eternally present as fragmental parts of the Supreme Being, still this fact contradicts that the soul cannot be cut into pieces. Please answer my query. If Srila Prabhupada is right, then again at some time of history separate souls can come into existence.

Rajan

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Answer: By Krishna's Inconceivable Potency

There is no contradiction. This is your misunderstanding. And also kindly note that it is not Srila Prabhupada's statement that the individual souls are fragmental portions of the Supreme Soul. It is Krishna's statement as directly spoken by Him in Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 15, verse 7.

It's not that at some time in the past the fragmental living beings were one and the same with the Supreme Soul and that the Supreme Soul was cut into pieces to produce His fragmental parts and parcels. This is not possible because the part and parcel living beings are eternally fragmental. It should also be clearly understood that their eternal fragmental nature does not contradict the principle that souls cannot be into pieces because the Supreme Soul is never cut into pieces nor are the individual souls ever cut into pieces.

How is this so?

Just as the sun is not cut into fragments when its manifests itself as its reflections in thousands and millions of bodies of water all over the world, Krishna, the Supreme Soul, is not diminished or cut in any way by manifesting the infinite living beings throughout the entirety of existence.

Kindly do not remain locked into seeing things in terms of material time. Krishna is not obliged to act under the laws of material time because time is one of His energies. He confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that there was never a time in the past that the fragmental separate souls came into existence. They are the eternally fragmental energetic emanations of the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

So there is no question of the Supreme Soul being cut into pieces to produce the fragmental part and parcel living beings. The Supreme remains uncuttable while at the same time manifesting His fragmental parts. If the sun can do it, God can certainly also do it but with even greater potency. Indeed, He does it with inconceivable potency.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 7 May 2010

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

Have No Fear. Krishna is Here.

We have nothing to fear in any situation because Krishna is always present to protect us and guide us through this realm of death back to our original home, His eternal, all-blissful abode. The only time we become fearful is when we forget Krishna. Therefore it behooves us to always remember Krishna in all times, places, and circumstances.

This is not difficult because there are so many ways that we can connect with Krishna For example Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that He is the taste of water. Therefore all we have to do is every time we drink water remember that Krishna is the taste of water. He also says that He is the sunlight. So every time we see the sunlight we can remember Him. In these and in so many other ways, as described in the Bhagavad-gita, we can always be fully and fearlessly absorbed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Take Initiation?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Guruji,

Could you please tell me why do people take initiation? If one does not take initiation, what happens to that devotee on the judgment day?

Dhaval

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Answer: To Become Qualified for Going Back to Godhead

Initiation means that one promises to always follow the teachings of Krishna in all times, places, and circumstances. If one is not willing to commit himself to following Krishna's teachings, why would Krishna want to bring such a person back to His eternal abode? Therefore, such a commitment is necessary if one wants to go back to Godhead at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 6 May 2010

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

Resuming Our World Lecture Tour

After a refreshing two weeks sharing Krishna consciousness here at our home base at Bhaktivedanta Ashram in Austin, Texas we are heading out next Tuesday to resume our around-the-world lecture tour. Our first stop will be in London where I will giving a lecture at our Soho street temple on the evening of Thursday 13 May. Then it will be on to Bulgaria, Romania, South Africa, Mauritius, Malaysia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia before returning to the USA in July. The entire world civilization is gradually disintegrating due to a lack of Krishna consciousness. Therefore for the benefit of the suffering humanity it is our duty to try to awaken the people to their factual identities as the eternal servants of Krishna or God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Finding a Bona Fide Spiritual Master

Dear Sir,

My humble respect to you.

In your "Thought for the Day" for 5 May 2010 you advised to find a bona fide master who will lead us to the path of salvation. My question is: In this selfish more materialistic artificial world how do I find such a master? What is the qualifying criteria for such master by which we can be sure that he is the right master? Please clear my confusion. I am seeing in India so many shops of so-called gurus.

Thanks,

Jai Krishna!

Kirti

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Answer: See Who Krishna Has Sent You

It's quite confusing nowadays to find a spiritual master when so many people are advertising themselves as gurus. What makes it even more confusing is the lack of qualifications of these self-proclaimed gurus. But if one is equipped with the proper understanding based on the Vedic scriptures, it is not difficult to find one's spiritual master.

Actually it is not even necessary to find the bona fide spiritual master because as soon as you are sincere to realize the highest truth Lord Sri Krishna, who is situated within your heart as the Supersoul, will manifest Himself externally for you in the form of the bona fide spiritual master. So all you really have to do is become very serious about becoming self-realized and then be observant to see who Krishna has brought into your life.

How to recognize the bona fide spiritual master is described as follows in the Mundaka Upanisad:

tad-vij˝ānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham


"In order to learn the transcendental science,
one must approach the bona fide spiritual master,
who is coming in the line of disciplic succession
and is solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness."
--Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12

So you simply must now become completely serious about the science of self-realization and see who is that bona fide spiritual master who has now appeared in your life by the arrangement of the Lord. Inquire from the spiritual master submissively and render service unto him. Such a perfectly realized soul can impart transcendental knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 5 May 2010

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

Transforming Selfishness into Selflessness

The default consciousness of this material world is selfishness. In fact it is selfishness which is the very cause of our being here in the first place. Just as selfishness was our ticket for originally coming to this material world, selflessness will be our ticket out of here. Selflessness does not mean denial of the self's existence, which is the philosophical position of the Mayavadi impersonalists. Selflessness means to engage oneself fully in loving service to the Supreme Self, the Supreme Person who is the source of all existence. As soon as one does this, his loving service is immediately transmitted to all living beings throughout the entire existence. All we have to do is take our current tendency towards selfishness and direct it to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This will make us perfect in selflessness and liberate us from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Should I Go to Meet Satya Sai Baba?

I have heard that Satya Sai Baba is the incarnation of God Krishna. I have also heard that you know all. Could you please throw some light on it. I am planning to go to meet him because I don't want to miss an opportunity to meet God in this lifetime and be blessed.

Thanks & Regards
P.C.

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Answer: Here's a Better Option

Nowadays it has become very fashionable to become the latest incarnation of God. But since the actual incarnations of God are predicted in the scriptures there is no need to speculate about who is God's incarnation. According to the authority of the Srimad Bhagavatam, the next incarnation of the Lord will be the Kalki Avatar. Kalki is scheduled to appear in another 427,000 years. Therefore anyone who at the present time claims to be God or allows his followers to proclaim that he is God is responsible for the dissemination of misinformation.

Another point is that Krishna never ages past a 16 to 20 years old youth. Anyone who sees the yogi you have mentioned can clearly see that he has an aging man's body. This proves conclusively that he cannot be an incarnation of Krishna.

Just because someone is a powerful yogi does not mean that he is God. Anyone who undergoes the proper training can become a powerful yogi and can display various types of magic such as levitation and procuring objects from a distant place. If you were to undergo the proper training, you could also display the same magical powers. But this would not make you God.

As you are requesting me for guidance, my best advice to you is that you should understand everything properly in the light of sastric vision and not allow yourself to be carried away by the foolishness of those who are in ignorance of the authoritative Vedic scriptures. In this connection it is sometimes said that fools rush in where angels fear to tread. So it is best not to go running after people who are falsely being advertised as God.

Of course, this does not mean that we are disrespectful to such so-called incarnations. Our philosophy is to be fully respectful to all, even the little ant, because we see that the Supreme Lord is present as the Supersoul in the hearts of all living beings. Therefore we also respect them for the spark of divinity which is found within them and everyone else. But this does not mean that we should accept that an ant is God or that a yogi is God.

You have respectfully asked for advice and I have answered you according to the authoritative version of the Vedic literature and the great sages such as Narada, Asita, Devala, and Vyasa, who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years. It is better that you should go instead to meet a bona fide spiritual master because he can liberate you from the cycle of birth and death. One who is not himself liberated cannot liberate us. Therefore we should always seek out the blessings and guidance of a liberated soul, the bona fide spiritual master, not those who are responsible for the dissemination of misinformation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 4 May 2010

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

Connecting with Unlimited Mercy

The spiritual master is a channel through which the unlimited mercy of Krishna flows. If we want to connect with that unlimited mercy, we must know the art. Krishna reveals to us in the Bhagavad-gita exactly what to do in order to get the proper connection:

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


"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master.
Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him.
The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you
because they have seen the truth."
--Bhagavad-gita 4.34

If we approach the spiritual master in an argumentative mood or a challenging mood, we will not get the same benefit. Of course, this does not meant that we should blindly accept what he tells us. We should use our intelligence to try to understand the logical, authoritative truths from the Vedic wisdom that he presents. If something is not clear, we should ask for clarification to clear up our understanding.

By following the above mentioned system of properly approaching a spiritual master, our pathway to spiritual perfection becomes clear and easy. So why not do yourself a favor and connect with the unlimited ocean of Krishna's mercy today?


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Disciples Connecting with Unlimited Mercy


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Life Snatched Away Ruthlessly

Dear Maharaja,

I really don't understand what you said in your April 3, 2010 "Thought for the Day" that a devotee never suffers. What convincing answer do you have for the case of a sincere devotee whose life is snatched away ruthlessly?

Because of this my faith is weakened, and I even start doubting the very existence of God.

Krishna says in the Gita that He gives what one deserves and protects what one has?

Regards

Anu

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Answer: Even Death is Beneficial

In this world everyone is sooner or later ruthlessly snatched away by death. In spite of all the advancement of modern science the death rate is still 100%. So when by the Lord's arrangement it is time for a devotee to leave his body, he does not become disturbed or perturbed. He simply thinks that the Lord is now calling him to serve in a different place, and he happily surrenders to executing his new duty.

It's a fact that for the devotee who is 100% surrendered to the Lord, the Lord personally takes care of all of his needs. But this does not mean that the devotee's material body becomes eternal. What it does mean is that when the time is right for the devotee to leave his body and accept a new one, the Lord personally arranges the change of body for the devotee's greatest benefit.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 3 May 2010

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

A Devotee Never Suffers

When a devotee experiences suffering he sees it as Krishna's mercy and does not feel bad about it. He sees that Krishna has blessed him by putting him into suffering. Therefore for a devotee there is no such thing as suffering. A devotee never suffers.

This is just like when a son who trusts his father is rebuked by his father for having done something wrong. The son does not take it as a bad thing. Rather he understands that he did something wrong and that his father is kindly rectifying him. The son thinks, "This is good for me to help me conquer over my faults."

In this way the devotee remains always unperturbed, peaceful, and happy amidst all varieties of experiences within this material existence. This most fortunate soul already has his ticket in his hand for entering into that wondrous spiritual sky.


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Blissful Hare Krishna Devotees



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Please Show Me the Way

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
All glories to your wonderful service.

I am very unhappy. Although I have been chanting the holy names of Krishna under the guidance of a spiritual master for some time, I have not yet developed a taste for chanting. In my heart there is still the demon of selfishness, and it is difficult for me to execute my prescribed duties. I have discussed this point with older Vaisnavas, and they have opened my eyes, which have been infatuated with ignorance. I have to become humble. But I do not know how to do this. Please, would you be so kind to show me the way?

Thank you a million times.

Your servant
TG

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Answer: Make Krishna Happy--You'll Be Happy.

The solution to your problem is very simply. Instead of being concerned for your personal happiness, simply concern yourself with making Krishna happy. In this way your anxiety will immediately go away and you will be happiest man in the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sunday 2 May 2010

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

Be Sensitive to Your Audience

In explaining the topmost science of Krishna consciousness to others we must always be aware of our audience. In other words there is no one set way of explaining it. Just as a tailor custom fits each suit he makes for the particular customer, those who are expert in presenting the science of bhakti are fully tuned in to their audience and present Krishna consciousness in precisely the most suitable way for that particular person. The key to effectively sharing the topmost knowledge with others is to be as compassionate as possible hearing their questions carefully and answering them accurately from the version of the authoritative Vedic literatures in that manner which is most suitable for their particular mentality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Questions and Answers in Kaliningrad, Russia

10 April 2010


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Judge Progress in Bhakti

I am regularly visiting the ISKCON Temple, East of Kailash in New Delhi, India. I am associating with devotees and following the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no meat eating, no intoxication, and no gambling. I am doing daily chanting of at least 16 rounds on the Hare Krishna mahamantra on japa beads, as well as offering food to Lord and taking the same as prasadam (the Lord's mercy remnants). I am also engaged in doing service at the temple. But how to judge if I am progressing in bhakti, the science of devotion?

Your insignificant servant,

Subir Das

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Answer: Detachment from Sense Gratification

By doing all the things you have mentioned you are surely progressing in bhakti. You can measure your progress by how much you are becoming disinterested in material sense gratification.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 1 May 2010

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

How to Solve the World's Problems

There is pandemonium everywhere. The whole world is going helter-skelter. Do we have to sit back passively, helplessly watching the entire world society gradually deteriorate more and more? No. There's something we can do about it. We can revolutionize our consciousness and revolutionize the world. How? To whatever extent we awaken our dormant enlightened consciousness, our Krishna consciousness, to that extent each of us will have a natural uplifting impact on the global consciousness. So let's do it now. Let's focus on becoming fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness and delivering the entire world from chaos. Expanding the Krishna consciousness within and without will easily solve all of the world's problems in one stroke. Our motto should be, "Become Krishna conscious and tell everyone about Krishna."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




World Desperately Needs Krishna Consciousness

World Trade Center Attack--9/11/2001


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Technical Reason Vegetarian Food is Okay

Can you please give a technical reason why it is alright to take food other than dead animals and other non-vegetarian foods? I've read in one of the posts that by eating vegetarian food also we often tend to commit sin, so we should offer it to Krishna and accept the prasadam. But this explanation doesn't satisfy some people who question that plants also have life so to eat them is also sin. I need a strong technical and biological reason to support your answer. Please help by elaborating and make me understand, it would be of immense help.

Thank you,
Sivarama

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Answer: Krishna Does Not Need a Technical Reason

Krishna or God, the maker of the universal laws, does not require any biological or technical reason for establishing them. They are established simply according to His desires. These are the higher scientific principles which govern the universe. Krishna has stated them in the Bhagavad-gita. These principles are insurmountable. If violated, one suffers adverse reactions. One is allowed by Krishna to accept fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains if they have first been offered to Him with love and devotion. Any other type of eating, vegetarian or non-vegetarian, is in violation of the universal laws. These laws are established directly by God, and He does not need any technological or biological justification for establishing them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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