Thought for the Day

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

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Swami Prabhupada

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An Appeal for Your Help

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

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Saturday 30 April 2011

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

At Home Everywhere

The majority of my time is spent in circling the globe through six different continents for spreading the ultimate liberating message of Krishna consciousness to awaken the sleeping souls of this planet to their original identities, which are eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. One of the most remarkable things I have noticed in my travels is that wherever I happen to be feels like my home. When I depart from that place to go to the next destination I feel like I am leaving my home behind. But when I arrive at the next destination I feel that I have returned to my home. This never ceases to amaze me, but actually it is not surprising because Krishna is my only shelter, my only home and He is everywhere.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




At Home Teaching Krishna Consciousness

Vilnius, Lithuania--28April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Fourteen Planetary Systems

Hare Krishna Gurudeva
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!!

Which are the fourteen divisions of planetary systems? In which one is the planet earth located?

Thank you for all your blessings,

R.C.

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Answer: Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, etc.

The seven upper planetary systems are called Bhur, Bhuvar, Svar, Mahar, Janas, Tapas and Satya. They are situated one above the other. There are also seven lower planetary systems one below the other, known as Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala and Patala. We are situated in the Bhur planetary system.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 29 April 2011

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Don't Be Disappointed By the Material Energy

If you depend on this material world for your happiness, you are sure to be disappointed today or tomorrow. Therefore those who are wise do not depend on this material world for their satisfaction. They simply depend on the wonderful, divine arrangements of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. If we always depend on Krishna, He will never let us down in any time, place, or situation. So the smartest thing to do is to always trust in the divine arrangements of the supremely merciful Personality of Godhead. This alone can bring true peace and happiness to the living beings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching Krishna
Bhakti

Kaunas, Lithuania--25 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof for God's Existence?

Respected Gurudeva,

My son asked, "Is there a proof for the existence of God?"

V.L.

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Answer: He's the Source of All Existence

Kindly inform your son that God must exist because God means the source of all existence. Since it is a scientific fact that we cannot get something from nothing, there must therefore be a source for all of existence. In this way we can understand the proof for the existence of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 28 April 2011

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Perfect Protection in a Dangerous Jungle

This material world is not a safe place. It's a wild, dangerous jungle where death can attack you at any moment. Our only safe position is to take complete shelter of that person whom even fear personified is afraid of, Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only if we are under His shelter are we fully protected from this dangerous material jungle.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Shall We Develop Love Intentionally?

Dear teacher:

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

In the beginning stage we do not have love for Krishna and Vaisnavas. Is it that by dutifully serving them we can develop our love for them, or we should intentionally try our best to love them also?

Your humble servant
Y.Z.


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Answer: Lovingly Do Your Duty

Do both. Work the process from both sides in order to make the quickest advancement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 27 April 2011

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Charge Your Batteries Every Day

If you want to have a productive day of mobile phone use, you must make sure to fully charge your mobile phone's battery before you start your day. And if you want to also have a productive spiritually enlightening and fulfilling day, you need to make sure to charge your spiritual battery also with a deep, intense meditation session. There are many different meditation techniques, but in this hectic materialistic age there is only one technique that is sufficiently powerful to elevate your consciousness beyond the material plane. That process is mantra meditation, chanting the holy names of God. You may choose any name of God according to your religion. And if you do not have any specific name, you can take the advice of the Kali Santarana Upanisad that the most powerful names of God to meditate upon for attaining self-realization are:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching Mantra Yoga Meditation

Kaunas, Lithuania--25 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does Lord Brahma Create?

Respected Gurudeva,

At the beginning of the universe all of the souls are impregnated into the universe by the glancing of Mahavishnu. So what does Lord Brahma create at the beginning of the universe? Is it only the bodies of the living entities, the water and the land?

S.C.

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Answer: Material Bodies and Material Planets

Being empowered by Krishna, Brahmaji from his own body and mind creates the 8,400,000 different types of bodies for the inhabitants of the material world. He also creates the fourteen divisions of planetary systems on which they reside.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 26 April 2011

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Super Sweet Weekend in Russia

25 April 2011--Our visits to Russia are always super sweet because the devotees in Russia so much open their hearts to us. Every program during our short weekend stay here has been unforgettably blissful as we dive deeper and deeper into the sweet nectarean ocean of Krishna consciousness. Even though the vast difference between Russian and English sometimes creates a barrier for communication, the ecstatic kirtans always bridge the gaps. Spring is just beginning now during our short weekend visit. Flower buds are coming out marking the end of the bleak, austere winter. In the same way the splendorous spring of Krishna consciousness is heralding a break from the bleak, desolate Kali yuga as it gradually transforms into the Caitanya Era, an amazing 10,000 year period during which this planet will again become like Satya Yuga.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Memories of Russia:



Public Hall Program--24 April 2011


Overflow Audience at Bhakti Club--22 April 2011


Affectionate Farewell from Russia--25 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Is It Right to Dread Love?

Respected Srila Gurudeva,

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

I fall at your feet to kindly clear some doubts which have arisen in my mind.

1. For quite sometime now, I have had a strong feeling that material love only serves the purpose of continuing the human race and nothing more than that. Consequently, I have concluded that it is not at all love but only some sort of illusion that we are put into. Ever since I got this feeling, I tend to dread this "love." Are my thoughts regarding this matter right?

2. I have heard of incidents that occurred in the past when brahmanas asked the sudras to stay away from their vicinity lest the latter's shadow fall on them. The reason being they might get contaminated because of the shadows. However, even if it was written in the scriptures exactly in the same way, I guess the meaning was, 'do not allow even a tinge of ignorance to contaminate your consciousness.' Is this interpretation right? If not, I humbly request you to tell me the correct meaning.

Your humble student,
N.V.

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Answer: Don't Deny Love. Perfect It.

Yes, the sexual attraction urge, which we call love, is nature's way of inducing us to produce children for the continuation of the species. Such love is not actually love. It is lust, the desire to experience intense sensual pleasure. Such pleasure is detrimental for our spiritual progress because it strongly pulls us back into the false bodily conception of the self and thus binds us to remain in the miserable cycle of birth and death. Real love is selfless service without any desire to receive anything in return. The perfection of real love is when we give our love to the Supreme Lord, the source of all existence, because by loving Him, who is the root of all existence, we factually give perfect love to all living beings.

Such brahmanas who ordered the sudras to stay away so that they would not be contaminated by the shadow of the sudras are not real brahmanas. Brahmana refers to a liberal, broad-minded person. Such so-called brahmanas who are cruel to others are designated as kripanas or misers.

I have never heard that such injunctions are taught in the scriptures. If they are, such scriptures are not for those who want to be liberated from this material existence. Such caste consciousness is the invention of materialistically minded men who desired to exploit others. The actual varnashram system of four social and four spiritual orders is meant for elevating every member of the human society, not for repressing them and keeping them in ignorance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 25 April 2011

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Dogs' Rights Activists are Neglecting Cows

In China animals' rights activists are vigorously campaigning to convince the Chinese people to stop eating dogs. While we appreciate their endeavors to save the dogs we wonder why they are not campaigning to save the cows also. Why should only dog eating be stopped and not cow eating? Just see how valuable the cow is. She eats grass, which we cannot digest, and transforms it into the most wonderful tasty miracle food, milk. We enjoy milk in so many varieties of ways, taking it straight or as yogurt or ice cream. How can we be so cruel to enjoy the milk of the cow and then slaughter and eat her flesh when her milk bag dries up? How barbaric we are! It's time we learn how to become civilized.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Cow at ISKCON Temple--Alachua, Florida


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can I Desire to Relish Krishna's Name?

Dear Gurudeva,
Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have some questions.

You said in a lecture: "This is an easy way to get taste. Don't try to get taste. No, try to chant so that Krishna can hear your chanting. Try to chant so Krishna will relish your chanting." But, at the same time, there are these great devotees like Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who are longing for the taste for the holy name. And why are they writing in that way because according to the songs it seems they have the taste already?

More questions: From where comes desire to do devotional service and chant the holy name? What is needed to get that desire and to keep that desire: devotees' or spiritual master's blessings or personal effort or something else?

There are many different things described in the Srimad Bhagavatam. For example the structure of the universe, how the human-population was created, etc. Why do we need to know these things about the material world?

Your servant,
K.D.

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Answer: Learn the Art of How to Relish It.

We must long for nama-ruci, taste for chanting Sri Krishna's beautiful name. But at the same time, we should know the secret of how to get nama-ruci. The secret is that we must chant in such a loving way that Krishna is very satisfied by our chanting. This is the method of how we become satisfied. We cannot be satisfied independently because Krishna is the prime enjoyer and we are the secondary enjoyers. We become pleased only when He is pleased. So we should always chant in such a way that He is pleased. In this way we will relish unlimitedly the chanting of His name.

The pure devotees write as if they have no taste for chanting Krishna's name in order to teach us what our mood should be so we can develop a taste for Krishna's name.

Just as we naturally desire to eat, deep within every jiva soul is the desire to have a loving relationship with God. And just as the clouds cover the sunshine, sometimes the cloud of material desires cover our natural tendency to love God. But if we are fortunate to come into contact with someone who is fully absorbed in love of God, by that contact we are stimulated to revive our original divine nature. And if we can maintain that contact by accepting diksha or spiritual initiation from that pure lover of God and then always obeying his instructions, we can gradually become completely liberated from the clouds of maya and be fully and permanently re-established in our constitutional glory as pure lovers of God.

The scientists are working hard to try accurately trace out the origin of the human race and the structure of the universe because people are very eager to know about these things. Sukadeva Goswami has very mercifully included these topics in the Srimad Bhagavatam to attract the people in general to read the Bhagavatam. In this way at the same time that they get their desire for this knowledge satisfied they will also learn how to get out of this material world by surrendering at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 24 April 2011

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Connecting with Krishna in Russia

Krishna is everywhere. There is nowhere where Krishna is not present. Therefore we can connect equally with Krishna in Sri Vrindavan Dhama, in London, in Austin, in Riga, in Russia, or anywhere where we hear, chant, and remember the transcendental name, form, qualities, and pastimes of the Supreme all-beautiful, all-powerful, all-renounced, all-knowing, all-wealthy, and all-famous Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. The insider's secret is that the more we share this connection with others, the more our connection becomes enhanced. Therefore those who are greedy for the strongest possible connection with Krishna dedicate their entire lives for reconnecting the entire universe with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Home Program Lecture

Kaliningrad, Russia--22 April 2011


Ecstatic Farwell Kirtan
Kaliningrad, Russia--22 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How Am I Different from Krishna?

If everyone is within Krishna, how can we be separate from Krishna? If Krishna is like the ocean, I am like a drop. So am I different from the ocean?

S.N.

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Answer: Just as Water Molecules are Distinct

Since Krishna is the complete whole and we are only tiny parts of the complete whole, Krishna can be compared to the ocean and we can be compared to the drops of water. The tiniest drop of water is a water molecule. The water molecule maintains its individually or it differentness even if it enters into a large body of water such as the ocean. It is still a tiny molecule composed of two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen. Similarly, the living being, even if he is fully Krishna conscious, maintains his individuality or differentness so he can eternally render loving devotional service to his beloved Lord. He does not want to annihilate his individuality because this would mean that he would no longer be able to serve his dearmost sweet Lord Sri Krishna. So try to understand that just as we can float a battleship on the ocean, but not on a drop of ocean water, there is always a distinction between a living entity and Krishna, even in the liberated stage.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 23 April 2011

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Reconnect With the Self and the Supreme Self

At the present moment the human society is grossly discombobulated because they are completely disconnected from themselves and the source of their existence. Therefore, it is no small wonder that the entire world has been plunged into an ever-increasingly chaotic condition. If we ask people who they are, they will not be able to tell us. But there is hope. Through the inconceivable healing power of mantras, transcendental sound vibrations, one can be completely restored to his original divine state of enlightened consciousness. The Vedas contain thousands and millions of bona fide mantras, but that same Vedic wisdom advises us that in the present materialistic age of Kali there is no mantra more powerful and more effective for self realization than the Hare Krishna mahamantra. Therefore anyone who is tired of suffering in ignorance and illusion can come back to their original, natural, harmonious consciousness quickly and easily by chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra on regular daily basis.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Reconnecting with the Self and the Supreme Self

Klaipeda, Lithuania--21 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Present is Karmic Reaction of My Past?

My dear Gurudeva
Please accept my pranam.

I have some questions about karma. I was listening a few days ago about karma from a devotee. He said that all happiness and distress in your life is dependent on your past karma. Is this true? Do my present actions give me a karmic result in my next birth? If I go to an interview for a job and I am not selected is this my past karma or is it that I have less talent for the job?

Your servant,

P.V

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Answer: Freedom from the Prison of Karma

It is a fact that in this material world all of our happiness and distress is simply due to karma. Happiness is due to past pious activities, and distress is due to past impious activities. What we are doing in this lifetime determines what will happen to us in our next lifetime. This is called karma cakra, the wheel of karma.

Regarding your example of the job interview: Not being selected for the job is due to past karma. Lack of talent is also due to past karma. But even if you have more talent, if it is not your karma to get the job, you will not get the job.

The good news is that one can escape the prison of karma by surrendering to Krishna. He promises us in the Bhagavad-gita that if we surrender ourselves to Him that He will relieve us from all of our karma.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 22 April 2011

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Bringing Light and Life to Jonava, Lithuania

On 20 April 2011, by the nice arrangement of my disciple, Sankirtan Das, we had a wonderful opportunity to spread the light and life of Krishna consciousness to a hall full of sincere souls in Jonava, Lithuania. After an ecstatic kirtan and a lecture on mantra meditation I was amazed by the endless stream of wonderful questions asked by the various local people who were attending. One lady asked, "Since the people of Lithuania are Christians, why should we practice Krishna Consciousness?" I polled the audience to see how many Lithuanian people present were devotees of Lord Krishna and how many were Christians. There were more Lithuanian Krishna devotees than there were Christians. The audience laughed enthusiastically to see how I handled her argument. But then she countered that outside of this meeting the overwhelming majority Lithuanian people are Christians. To this I responded that actually everyone in Lithuania is already a devotee of Krishna, simply they have not realized it yet. She could not say anything in response. In this way I answered many questions one after another until finally I ended the lecture and many people purchased our books so they could continue learning more about Krishna consciousness after going home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing Secrets of Mantra Meditation

Jonava, Lithuania


Many People Were Inspired to Buy Our Books


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Humility Breed Low Self Esteem?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have a question about humility and low self-esteem. Both mean that one feels insignificant. What is the difference? Humility is considered good, but low self-esteem is considered to be very destructive. I have a friend also, who used to be a devotee, but now says that all religions only destroy your self-esteem and want you to feel guilty and indebted.

Your servant,

K.D.

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Answer: Humility Brings the Highest Esteem

"Used to be a devotee" means that your friend never understood the full import of the sublime teachings of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. If he had done so, he would have never given up Krishna consciousness. He would also not be under the foolish misconception that there are different religions. Religion is one, to revive your lost eternal intimate loving relationship with the Supreme Person, the source of all existence.

One who misidentifies himself with his body, which is nothing but a bag of blood, flesh, stool, urine, mucus, and vomit, must necessarily suffer from low esteem. To be rescued from such a miserable life of low esteem and come to genuine high esteem one needs to understand and realize that he is not the material body, that he is instead an eternal spiritual being qualitatively one with God.

Those who are truly humble possess the highest possible esteem as confirmed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. Although they personally do not seek honor and distinction, because their lives are fully dedicated to broadcasting the glories of the Lord all over the universe, they are personally given the highest recognition by the Lord Himself and are thus revered as the most esteemed persons in world history.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 21 April 2011

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Take Shelter of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna

There is no reason to continue suffering in this material existence. All you have to do to be completely blissful all the time is to plug back into your actual eternal identity as a servant of Krishna or God. This is done by taking complete shelter of the divine instructions of Lord Sri Krishna and His pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Arrival in Kaunas, Lithuania

19 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Foreigners in ISKCON

I am very upset because my family members don't like ISKCON (the International Society for Krishna Consciousness). They say that there are a lot of foreigners in ISKCON and that foreigners don't have the right to know about Indian religion. They say that you have to be an Indian to know Indian religion. I have also noticed that many Indian people also have the same idea. They look at the whole thing from the materialistic point of view. It pains me a lot. Please, Gurudeva, advise me what to do.

Your servant,
G.N.


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Answer: Real Indians Share Their Culture

How poignantly ironic it is that they say that only Indians can know Indian religion when they don't even know the first thing about Indian religion. Not only is this ironic; it is downright shameful. As descendents from the greatest culture in the universe they should be doing their duty of spreading the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna all over the world to relieve the suffering world population from the ever-tightening knot of illusion and confusion. But when others come and do the duty that they are neglecting they criticize them instead of appreciating and assisting them. This is shockingly disgusting misbehavior on their part.

Factually, it is the height of material consciousness to say that only Indians have a right to know about Indian religion. Any Indian who thinks like this is completely ignorant about his own scriptures. The very first point of the Vedic wisdom is that we are not these bodies, that we are eternal spiritual beings existing beyond these various bodily designations such as American and Indian. Indian religion sees everyone equally as confirmed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita wherein He states that the learned man sees everyone equally.

The famous deity of the Supreme Lord in Jagannatha Puri is known as Jagannatha, the lord of the entire universe. He is not known as Hindunatha or Indiannatha. Since He is Jagannatha, the Lord of the universe, He is worshipable by all living beings throughout the entire universe. He is not only meant for the Indians as is thought by foolish people who are on the material bodily platform who do not even understand the most basic aspects of Indian religion.

You should tell your relatives that ISKCON is the best ambassador of Indian's wonderful spiritual culture and that if they are real Indians they will give up their ridiculous non-Indian mentality and join ISKCON to dive deeply into India's original culture and share this greatest of all treasures with the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 20 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

The Science of the Meaning of Life

Just as the thirst for water indicates the existence of water, similarly our thirst to know the meaning of life indicates that life does in fact have meaning. And when we are serious to discover that meaning and fully dovetail our thoughts, words, and deeds with it, the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead, who is seated within our hearts will manifest before us externally in the form of the spiritual master to enlighten us fully with scientific understanding of that meaning and how to always live in perfect harmony with it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing the Meaning of Life

18 April 2011, Riga, Latvia


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

My dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and to Your Grace.

I have a question after listening yesterday to a devotee preaching. He was saying that although we have lots of different groups in the "Hindu" "religion", we have the same books. It raised a question to my mind: Do these groups interpret the books differently or do they choose what they find the most important and stress on that? He gave the example of Mayavadis and explained that in the books, both are explained that Krishna has no form, and that Krishna has form. We read that Sri Krishna has a form but not like us on earth, whereas Mayavadis choose to read that He does not, although it is written clearly that He has a form.

Your Grace's eternal servant,

J.D.

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Answer: Twisting and Taking Out of Context

It is very common for spiritual organizations to identify themselves with a certain sect such as Hinduism, Christianity, etc. But this belies their lack of deep spiritual realization. God does not give us sects. It is man's materialistic conception to conjure up so many different sects. Real religion is one, to become a pure lover of God.

As long we take the words of the scriptures exactly as they are stated, there can be no difference of opinion because the scriptures are as clear as the bright sun in the sky. What creates confusion is when different commentators instead of taking the clear, direct meaning of the scriptures proudly make their own interpretations. This is compared to the clouds that sometimes fill the sky not allowing us to see the sun.

The Mayavadis give more stress to certain verses which they interpret to support their impersonal agenda and completely ignore other verses which defeat their agenda. For example the impersonalists argue that God is impersonal and formless on the strength of the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (3.10):

tato yad uttarataraṁ tad arūpam anāmayam
ya etad vidur amṛtās te bhavanti athetare duḥkham evāpiyanti

"In the material world Brahma, the primeval living entity within the universe, is understood to be the supreme amongst the demigods, human beings and lower animals. But beyond Brahma there is the Transcendence, who has no material form and is free from all material contaminations. Anyone who can know Him also becomes transcendental, but those who do not know Him suffer the miseries of the material world."

The impersonalists takes the word arūpam out of context arguing that it means no form instead of no material form. Their argument completely falls apart if we analyze the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad verses which immediately precede the above verse. Here are the preceding verses (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.8-9):

vedāham etaṁ puruṣaṁ mahāntam
āditya-varṇaṁ tamasaḥ parastāt
tam eva viditvāti mṛtyum eti
nānyaḥ panthā vidyate 'yanāya
yasmāt paraṁ nāparam asti ki˝cid
yasmān nāṇīyo no jyāyo 'sti ki˝cit
vṛkṣa iva stabdho divi tiṣṭhaty ekas
tenedaṁ pūrṇaṁ puruṣeṇa sarvam

"I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the bonds of birth and death. There is no way for liberation other than this knowledge of that Supreme Person. There is no truth superior to that Supreme Person, because He is the supermost. He is smaller than the smallest, and He is greater than the greatest. He is situated as a silent tree, and He illumines the transcendental sky, and as a tree spreads its roots, He spreads His extensive energies."

The cheating method of the impersonalists is to emphasize verses which can be twisted through grammatical word jugglery to support their impersonal agenda and completely ignore those verses which solidly defeat their agenda.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 19 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Cure for a Crazy Madhouse World

This world has become a completely crazy madhouse. The mass population is totally misguided, unfortunate and always disturbed because they have not been enlightened in the transcendental science of the relationship between the self and the Supreme Self. Therefore there is no greater need for the human society than the wide scale introduction of the science of Krishna consciousness in all spheres of the human society. We are therefore requesting that all the government leaders and all the other leaders throughout the world should now give full facility for the Krishna consciousness movement to educate all the people in the higher values of human life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Home Program Arrival Kirtan

17 April 2011, Riga, Latvia


Revealing the Cure for the Global Madness
Home Program--17 April 2011, Riga, Latvia



Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does God Exist?

Dear Gurudeva,

I would like to put my question humbly. I am not a Krishna devotee, but I was introduced to the Gita by a friend. When I started reading with interest, I started asking myself a lot of questions, the first one being: Does God exist?

And then more:

Has anyone been to heaven or hell before?
How do we know heaven and hell exist?
Why do we do puja and recite mantras? How does this help?

Isn't life about thinking positive, doing the good things, and respecting others, etc?

How do we know there is a world out there where we will be going if we think of Krishna all the time?

I started thinking very much that God is an energy which has formed this science based world. I have never seen the existence of God.

I do a lot of charity, at the same time I like to be honest that I work very hard to earn a good living for my family and myself. I have begun to realize that you can't buy anything in this world without money. I have big ambitions in life. I wish everyday to achieve all my dreams and at the same time I contribute to charitable organizations instead of the temple. I don't know if what I am doing is wrong. I don't pray like I used to in the temple, because I believe God is an energy and He is everywhere.

I don't want you to think I am arrogant or I will learn someday the hard truth. I am just clueless and I want to know.

S.R.

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Answer: Every Machine Needs an Operator

If we want to know of God, we must approach this subject matter scientifically, not sentimentally. We can scientifically observe that every machine requires an operator. And we can also scientifically observe that the universe is a gigantic machine. Therefore we can scientifically conclude that there must a operator for this gigantic universal machine. That operator is known by many names. God is one of those names.

Just as we find heavenly and hellish atmospheres on this planet, there are also heavenly and hellish planets within this universe, which can thus be designated as heaven and hell. And just as this earth is populated, those heavenly and hellish planets are also populated.

Most people do puja and chant mantras for material purposes. This is a useless waste of time. This human form of life is meant for getting out of the cycle of birth and death, not for prolonging our sojourn here. If pujas and mantra chanting are done properly under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, they immediately liberate the practitioner from the vicious cycle of birth and death.

You are 100% correct that life is meant for positive thinking, doing good, and respecting others. Therefore we have to stop identifying with our rotting material bodies and identify instead as the eternal spiritual beings that we are. Any identification with the material body is the most negative type of thinking that we can have. Doing good means to do that which liberates us and others from the cycle of birth and death. Anything which does not further the purpose of liberation from birth and death is actually bad, although it may appear to be good. Respecting others means to see them as the eternal spiritual beings that they are. To see anyone as their material body is the greatest disrespect. When we see and treat everyone as spiritual beings that is the greatest respect.

When you are connected with the root cause of the total reality, Lord Sri Krishna, you are perfectly connected with everyone and everything. Therefore only the devotee of Krishna is fully attuned to the world in which he lives.

If you want to be sure about the existence of the transcendental kingdom of God, we invite you to come there so that you can fully substantiate its existence. If you agree to follow our teachings, we will personally take you to that most amazing of all places.

When you anoint your eyes with the salve of love, you will see that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, is everywhere and that He is not just the energy. He is indeed the very source of all the energy.

There is no harm in earning money. It is the energy of Krishna and is therefore meant to be employed in His service. But you should know that we are not maintained by money. When was the last time you sat down and ate a salad made out of Indian rupees? Those things on which we are actually dependent--such as air, water, food, and the raw materials that make our homes and clothes--are all given to us by God. They are not the product of money.

If you want to do charity work, you should help that charity which is actually doing permanent good for the suffering population by delivering them out of this miserable material existence, back to the spiritual world. That charitable organization is the Krishna consciousness movement.

I do not find you to be arrogant. Rather I appreciate that you are following the proper system of approaching a spiritual master to get proper answers for the most perplexing and important questions of life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 18 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Defeating Maya

To become Krishna conscious means that one has to completely conquer over the influence of the mighty material energy within one's heart. It is not possible to accomplish this by one's own strength because the material energy is simply too powerful. However, if one will take shelter of guru and Krishna, by their grace it becomes quite easy to win the war and defeat the maya or illusion that is so solidly entrenched within one's heart. For such a conquering hero the doorway back to home, back to Godhead is fully opened. He will easily attain an eternal life, full of knowledge, and full of bliss as an eternal associate of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching How to Defeat Maya

Riga, Latvia 16 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Healing Request

I would like to be cleansed from negative energies that are sent to me.

D.B.

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Answer: Chant Hare Krishna

The most powerful and effective means for cleansing ourselves of all negative energy is to constantly or as much as possible chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 17 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Don't Try to Enjoy, Render Service Instead

The key to forever being happy in transcendental all-blissful Krishna consciousness is to always be the servant in all circumstances. Never try to be the enjoyer. If one always engages himself as the servant of Krishna, guru, and Vaisnavas, there will be no end of his Krishna consciousness bliss, and he will be doing the highest good for all other beings by always revealing through his words and deeds the path of devotional service, the original, natural, pure state of existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Teaching the Perfection of Service

Riga, Latvia 15 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Bhagavatam Lists All Avatars?

Are all the avatars of Lord Krishna depicted in the Srimad Bhagavatam?

A.S.

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Answer: Only a Sample

The Srimad Bhagavatam only depicts a few of the avatars of Krishna because they are as innumerable as the waves of the ocean. But it has kindly listed all the incarnations that will appear in this age of Kali to protect us from being misguided by the multitude of cheaters who are falsely claiming to be incarnations of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 16 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

For a Devotee More Sadness Means More Bliss

Although it seems quite illogical and contradictory, the more a devotee feels sadness within his heart to see the suffering condition of the world population, which is completely lost in illusion, the more he realizes deep transcendental bliss within his heart.

How can this be? The way it works is this: Unhappiness is due to selfishness. The more we think only of ourselves, the more we become miserable. And the more we become selfless, concerned for the well-being of others, the more we become happy. Therefore that person who is trying to do the highest good for all living beings, who finds it intolerable that the entire world is lacking Krishna consciousness, and who thus is devastated to see its deplorable condition, realizes the highest happiness within himself. This is why a Vaisnava is said to be an ocean of mercy and is described in the Sanskrit language as para-duḥkha-duḥkhī, one who suffers to see the suffering of others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Compassionate Srila Prabhupada Chanting

On San Francisco's Hippy Hill in 1967


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Do Perfect Japa?

What is the proper method, technique, or way of doing perfect japa? How one can avoid different kinds of thoughts while doing japa?

Renu

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Answer: Precisely Follow These Instructions

The perfection of japa is to hear and chant each syllable and to call out to the Lord and His energy like a small child crying for its mother begging to be engaged in their pure devotional service. If you will totally absorb yourself in such a way, you will experience such a sweet taste from Krishna's name that you will not want to turn your attention anywhere else.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 15 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Perfect Chanting Means Perfect Relationship with Krishna

The quality of our relationship with Krishna is manifest in proportion to the quality of our japa. Sloppy, deficient japa means a sloppy, deficient relationship with Krishna. Perfect japa means a perfect relationship with Krishna. If we do not have perfect japa, we do not have a perfect relationship with Krishna. Imperfection in our relationship with Krishna means that we are still flirting with Maya, the material energy. Such a love affair with the material energy is suicidal for the eternal living being in that it relegates him to rotate perpetually in the cycle of birth and death. Therefore to be saved from the clutches of the material energy we have no alternative. We must perfect our japa by diving deep into transcendental meditation each time we chant our rounds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Chanting Perfect Japa


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Request: Change the Radha Krishna Picture

Please keep our request. Change the icon image of Sri Radha Krishna which appears daily in "Thought for the Day." There are so many dynamic and brilliant images. Forgive me for my mistakes.

S.B.

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Answer: You Are Seeing It With Material Eyes

I am surprised by your request to change the picture of Radha and Krishna. This means that when you look at the image you are not seeing Radha and Krishna. You are seeing instead the external material features of the painting without connecting with the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is fully present and manifesting His unlimited power, beauty, renunciation, knowledge, wealth, and fame through this extraordinary painting by a great devotee. That you are not perceiving the dynamic brilliance of this painting means that you are not seeing it with the eyes of love. You are seeing it instead with material eyes. This means that you should go deeper into your heart by awakening the love of God within. Then you will see how Sri Sri Radha and Krishna are both so splendorously present in this magnificent painting.

Mistakes are forgiven, but by submissive hearing from the spiritual master we have to learn how to avoid making foolish mistakes. It is not that we should continue making mistakes without learning how to avoid them, thinking that we can continue counteracting them by repeatedly begging for forgiveness. The proper mood is to hear carefully and remold our consciousness according to the directions received from the spiritual master and other Vedic authorities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 14 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Don't Be a Fool

Don't be a fool spending your entire life simply serving your temporary material body and the temporary material bodies of your near and dear ones. Instead you should as far as possible invest your energy in the eternal spiritual reality which underlies this material existence. This is real intelligence. So be intelligent. Do not misuse your most valuable human form of life, which is meant for realizing the highest truth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Serving Krishna and Neglecting Work

If a devotee serves Krishna and Krishna's devotees, but he does not serve the society and does not do his work well, is it considered to be bad or is it a part of his spiritual service?

I.D.

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Answer: Serving Krishna is the Best Work

If one waters the root of a tree, he is rendering the best service to the entire tree. Similarly, if one is properly serving Krishna under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master, he is doing the best service for the human society, even if his service is not recognized by the material society. This does not mean that a devotee should neglect his ordinary work. Whatever a devotee does is executed in a first class way because everything that he does is offered in love to Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 13 April 2011

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

As the Ganges Flows to the Sea

Just as a river is flowing constantly to the sea, the devotee's heart is always flowing closer and closer to Krishna. In this connection Queen Kunti has prayed as follows:

tvayi me 'nanya-viṣayā
matir madhu-pate 'sakṛt
ratim udvahatād addhā
gaṅgevaugham udanvati

"O Lord of Madhu, as the Ganges forever flows to the sea without hindrance, let my attraction be constantly drawn unto You without being diverted to anyone else."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.42

In this way Krishna consciousness is never stagnant. It is ever-increasing, dynamic, and ecstatic.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sunset over the River Ganges

Mayapur, West Bengal, India


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Desire for Profit, Adoration, and Fame

My dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

Our past acaryas have mentioned that there are 3 weeds that grow well along with bhakti (due to nama aparadha) and choke the devotional creeper:

1. Desire for profit
2. Desire for adoration and worship
3. Desire for name fame, fame, distinction, prestige..

Like lust, anger and greed, can the above bad qualities also be used in Krishna's service in order to become purified? Or should a devotee try to cut them out completely from the root?

Your servant,
Bhaktivinode das

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Answer: Only for Krishna, Not For Ourselves

For Krishna's sake we can desire unlimited profit. If we can acquire millions and billions of dollars, we can use this to push forward the Krishna consciousness movement. But we should not collect a penny for our own sense gratification. For ourselves we should accept only what is necessary to keep body and soul together and nothing beyond that.

We want to see that everyone adores and worships Krishna, but we should not desire any adoration or worship for ourselves. In this way all name, fame, distinction, and prestige should be offered to Krishna. It is natural that someone who preaches the glories of Krishna all over the world will become famous. Such fame should only be utilized for awakening the fallen, conditioned souls to Krishna consciousness. It should never be utilized for one's sense gratification. If it is thus misused, the preacher will lose his Krishna consciousness and fall back down again into material existence.

Srila Prabhupada taught us by his ideal example how not to be carried away by fame. Whenever he was glorified for his amazing accomplishment of spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world, he would never accept the credit for this. He would always say that it was by the mercy of his Guru Maharaja and that if he had any credit at all, it was only that he always obeyed his spiritual master's instructions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 12 April 2011

En route to Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

This Material World is a Royal Rip-Off

Although we perpetually try to get a good deal from this material world, we will never be able to do so because in the final analysis it is nothing but a royal rip off. Try as we may and try as we might we will always be defeated by the stringent laws of the material nature. We try to always be healthy, but yet we are forced to get sick. We try to remain young, but yet we are forced to get old. We try to live forever, but yet we are forced to die. So it's time we learn our lesson and realize that this is not a fit place for our residence and get out of here as soon as possible. But due to our conditioning we think, "Home sweet home" and we continue to have hope against hope that someday we will be able to make all the suitable arrangements for being happy here.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Are We Guilty of Killing Vegetables?

My son tells me that I am killing vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, etc whenever I eat them. How literally do we take the law, "Thou shalt not kill?"

Joe

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Answer: Yes, If They're Not Offered to Krishna

It's a fact that just as meat eaters are guilty of killing, vegetarians are also guilty of killing because many vegetables are killed when we eat them. This is why Krishna instructs that before eating our vegetarian foods we must first offer them to Him so that we become free from the karmic reaction of killing. While Krishna offers this facility for the eating of vegetables, He does not offer this concession for the eating of meat.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 11 April 2011

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Heading West to Spread Krishna Consciousness

After a very inspiring two weeks stopover in Krishna's holy land giving many lectures on the science of Krishna bhakti and visiting some holy places, today, 11 April 2011, we are heading westward to Europe to share the sublime nectar of Krishna consciousness with so many sincere souls who are eager to receive it. India is an ideal place for spiritual rejuvenation because it is the sacred land of Krishna's transcendental pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing the Secrets of Krishna Bhakti

Noida, India--9 April 2011


Eager Hearers-Noida, India--9 April 2011


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get a Prestigious Post?

I want to take birth again in the human life in a prestigious post. What should I do?

Ravi

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Answer: Go Only For the Ultimate Prestigious Post

You should give up this foolish desire to take birth again in this material world for getting a prestigious post. The most prestigious post in this material world is the position of Lord Brahma, the lord of the universe. But even that post is miserable, as confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, because Lord Brahma, like everyone else in this material world, is forced to die by the stringent laws of this material nature. If you want a prestigious position, you should seriously chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra on a regular daily basis, because to become a devotee of God is the ultimate prestigious position, accepted by Lord Krishna as being even better than God's position. This is why Krishna or God Himself chose to become a devotee by appearing as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 10 April 2011

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

Explosion of Bliss in Noida

On 8 April 2011 I was asked to speak on the topic of "Know Who Are--Be Who You Are" at our ISKCON center in Noida, India. It was a wonderful opportunity to share the nectar of Krishna consciousness with a super-surcharged audience. After sporting in the oceanic waves of Krishna kirtan for fifteen or twenty minutes, we then dove into the invigorating reservoir of hearing and chanting the unlimited glories of Lord Sri Krishna and how to attain Him. So many wonderful questions came in that we did not have time to answer them all.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Kirtan Bliss in Noida, India



Describing How to Realize Who You Are


There's Nothing Sweeter than Krishna Bhakti


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Service to Man is Not Service to God?

Thank you for the great session on 8 April in Noida. But I did not like one opinion of yours. You said that it is all rubbish to think that by serving mankind we are serving God. Are you 100% sure? If you are, than what is your opinion about Mother Teresa? Her whole life was devoted to the service of mankind and she has been declared a saint. I would be very happy if you are able to satisfy me with a proper explanation.

Thanks and regards,
Nikhil A.

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Answer: Remove the Boil. Don't Just Blow On It.

It is not a matter of my personal opinion. It is a fact that just as we water the tree by watering it's roots, not by watering it's leaves and branches, in a similar way if we want to serve mankind, we must serve the people through loving service to God. The service that God has requested is that we deliver His suffering children back to their original home in the spiritual sky. If we simply serve the outer covering of the self, without serving the self within, we are not doing real service. Such service is only superficial, like blowing on a boil for temporary relief without removing it for permanent relief.

If your friend's son has run away from home, he desperately wants his son to return. If you see that boy on the street and you give him some money so he can get something to eat, but you do not return him to his father, have you served his father by feeding that boy? No. You have given the boy the facility to remain a little longer away from home. So if you really want to serve God, you must bring his lost children back to Him. Then your service to man will be real service to God. Otherwise, your service to man, although apparently good, will actually be a disservice.

Vedic society is a fully rounded society in which all aspects of life are covered. A Vedic government makes sure that everyone is well fed, well clothed, and well housed and that everyone is happily employed according to their psycho-physical nature. This system of management is known as the varnashram system. And, most importantly in a Vedic society everyone is given full education and practical training how to utilize the human form of life for going back to home, back to Godhead. In such a situation, serving mankind by liberating them from the cycle of birth and death is the best service to God. By this one stroke all sufferings arising from birth, death, old age, and disease are immediately mitigated.

So I hope that you will understand that the science of how to give permanent relief to all the souls entangled in the cycle of birth and death is not rubbish.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 9 April 2011

on the road to New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought:

We're Out to Save the World

We have been ordered by our spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to save the entire human civilization from its pitiable suffering condition. At the present moment due to gross ignorance, practically the entire human race is living in such a way that they will become animals or even lower in their next life. Although we understand ourselves to be totally incompetent for even thinking of undertaking such an awesome task, we must accept this duty because it is an order which has been given to us by our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, for the benefit of all the suffering souls in this world. Therefore taking the dust of his feet upon our heads, we humbly beg that we may be able to somehow or other serve his most merciful mission of delivering all of the fallen, conditioned souls back to home, back to Godhead by the combined sublime mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Caitanya's Mission: Save the Whole World


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: What Makes a Religion Legitimate?

I have read and heard in Srila Prabhupada's lectures and books that even though Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the names Allah, Jehovah, God etc. are also equally applicable to Him. Does this mean that Vedic scriptures have references to Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammed etc. or the Christian and Islamic religion and hence Allah and Jehovah are bona fide names of God? Are the scriptures how we can tell if a religion is bona fide or not? The reason I ask this question is because I often hear people say that all religions are equal and can lead back to God. While I can believe that Krishna Consciousness and Christianity might be equal; I can not believe that Scientology and Krishna Consciousness are equal.

So how does one know what is bona fide and what is not?

Thank you,

A.J.

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Answer: Accordance With the Vedic Conclusion

Although Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed are both predicted in the Bhavisya Purana, the actual means of discerning the legitimacy of any religious teaching is to see if it is in accordance with the Vedic siddhanta, the Vedic conclusion. The pure original form of dharma or religion is elaborately described in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. It has been in existence even before the creation of this universe 155 trillion years ago. The other religious systems, which have all been introduced only recently, have legitimacy only insofar as they are in accordance with Vedic religion. To whatever extent they are not aligned with Vedic dharma they are illegitimate.

For example, the basic principle of Christianity is valid because it is in harmony with Vedic dharma in that the Bhagavad-gita teaches total surrender to the will of God as also does the Bible. But the devil is in the details. When the Christians try to justify meat eating by the invalid principle that the animals do not have souls, they are polluting the pure teachings of Christ with adharma or irreligion. The Bible teaches "Thou shalt not kill" while the Christians are murdering millions of innocent animals every day in their slaughterhouses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 8 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Last Day In Vrindavana

It is always a very special experience to be here in Sri Vrindavana Dhama, the transcendental abode of Lord Sri Krishna. Lord Krishna displayed His most intimate pastimes in this place, the most sacred of all holy places. If one comes to this sacred land in the mood of devotion, he can quickly advance along the pathway of pure devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Every particle of dust here is more valuable than all of the wealth of this entire material existence. Therefore residence in Vrindavan is the supreme residence. Those who are advanced in Krishna consciousness never leave Vrindavana because they always carry this most auspicious of all holy places with them within their hearts wherever they may go for spreading the glories of Vrindavana all over the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Sri Radha Govinda in the Forest of Vrindavana


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Do I Have to Leave My Family?

I would now like to bring your attention to a question which creates confusion in my mind. If a person has some love for Krishna and always remembers Him, while apologizing for every sin and expressing gratitude for all that Krishna has given him, but alongside he is also trying to fulfill his responsibilities towards his parents and spouse--is it really necessary and justified that he leave everything except for Krishna? After all it was Krishna who arranged and settled everything for him in this world. To abruptly reject the people in this world who love him would leave them in a catastrophic situation.

C.K.

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Answer: Don't Leave Them. Lead Them.

If one is truly apologetic for one's sins, he will naturally desist from any further sin. It is not that one can willingly, knowingly continue sinning and apologizing and expect to be continually forgiven because of such apologies. Apologies for willful sins are not genuine and will not be accepted by the Lord.

We never say that one has to leave one's family members in order to become Krishna conscious. Rather we advise that one should remain with his family members and render them the highest service of bringing them to Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 7 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Qualify Yourself to See God

It is not difficult to see God provided you have the qualification. What is that qualification? To be a pure lover of God. In other words when you have nothing to take from God and you only want to give to God, that is when He will reveal Himself to you. This means that there is nothing more important, more valuable, or more essential than developing your pure love for God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Serve More Than One Master?

Can we serve more than one master and not be hurting our spiritual growth? I belong to SGI, a Buddhist group, a Christian church and am now chanting Hare Krishna/Rama and Om namah Shivaya. I am also chanting Christian and Buddhist chants twice daily. Master, am I only canceling one another, or can I believe in more than one master and serve them all/one?

Joe

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Answer: Water the Root of the Tree

If you will simply water the root of the tree, all the leaves and branches will be nourished.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 6 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Perfection by Hearing from the Proper Source

If you would like to attain spiritual perfection, you need to start off by learning how to hear transcendental knowledge submissively. In other words if you don't understand the Vedic wisdom, do not assume that it is wrong. Understand that your understanding is imperfect and incomplete and that you need to be enlightened by one who is already enlightened.

From whom are we to hear? We must hear from the bona fide spiritual master. Others are not qualified to properly present the Vedic wisdom. Just because someone is a famous sannyasi or guru does not necessarily mean that he is a bona fide spiritual authority. In fact, most of the famous big name gurus nowadays are not actually bona fide. Before submitting ourselves for training we must see if the spiritual master is presenting the authorized message, which has been carefully handed down from the great mahajanas, the authorities of Vedic wisdom.

For example, recently a well-known sannyasi-guru who has written what he calls "The Encyclopedia of Authentic Hinduism" was found guilty of 20 counts of indecency with a child. After being sentenced to 14 years in prison, instead of proclaiming his innocence and appealing the verdict, he went into hiding to avoid serving his sentence. It is not surprising that he has failed to get a higher taste from the process of bhakti, of which he professes to be an authority. A cursory examination of his writing reveals that he is presenting so many points which are not in accord with the Vedic conclusion. Even the very name of his encyclopedia reveals its inauthenticity. The term "Hindu" was coined by the Muslims. It does not exist anywhere in the Vedas. Therefore "Hinduism" is not an authentic term for describing the teachings of the Vedic scriptures.

So we have to be very careful to hear from someone who is following and presenting the Vedic conclusion exactly as the great Vedic authorities have done. Then by such hearing we will become spiritually enlightened and attain the supreme perfection of pure Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Vishnupriya Mataji Tells

How Syamakunda Appeared



Hearing the Glories of Syamakunda



Syamakunda, Krishna's Personal Bathing Ghat


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: All You Need is Love

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

I have heard this advice that instead of loving another person on earth, like husband, mother, friend, etc, we should address our loving feelings to Krishna. But how? How to love someone that we cannot see? And why should the love we feel towards other person be taken as a false feeling?

Why, if we all are spirit souls, and can love each others' spiritual forms, why gay-love is so forbidden in most of the religions? Maybe the same souls were a married couple in previous life. I ask this question, because someone might ask it from me.

Most of the people are not that spiritual, that they could just love God, and never miss being close to another person. I understand, dear and most respected Gurudeva, that you particularly are on a high level of spirituality, but I think that most of the people cannot be fully satisfied from the love of God. Please clarify my understanding.

Your eternal servant,

S.S.

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Answer: The Perfection of Love

Even in this world someone may love someone they don't see. For example, a young girl may fall in love with a movie star that she has never physically seen. She has only seen him in movies. She may collect pictures of him to adorn her room, read articles about him in movie star magazines, and write him love letters as fan mail. Even though she has never actually seen him, she is madly in love with him. So if such a thing is possible in material life, how much more possible it is in spiritual life? Rukmini devi, the first wife of Krishna had never seen Krishna. But just by hearing about Him she fell madly in love with Him and sent a Him letter offering herself as His bride. Krishna reciprocated with her love and rescued her from being married to the rascal Sisupala.

So one can hear about Krishna, see pictures of Krishna, take the prasadam of Krishna, meet the devotees of Krishna, hear the kirtan offered to Krishna, visit the places of Krishna's pastimes--and in this way become completely in love with Krishna 24 hours daily. This is called Krishna consciousness.

The love in this material world is real. But because it is covered love, sometimes we say that it is false. It is covered because instead of loving the eternal spiritual being who resides within the body, we become attracted to the external covering. It is something like loving someone for the clothes they wear instead of for the person that they are. If a boy is simply attracted to a girl's body, he will utilize her for his personal sense gratification. But if he is instead attracted to her spiritual identity, he will serve her by helping her to awaken her dormant Krishna consciousness. This principle is the basis of Krishna conscious married life.

We devotees are certainly meant to have loving feelings for each other. This is why Srila Rupa Goswami has described the six types of love exchanged between devotees in his classic text, the Nectar of Instruction. For example, the spiritual master loves his disciples just like a father loves his sons and daughters. And the disciples love their spiritual master as their spiritual father. Similarly, between fellow devotees also, godbrothers and godsisters, there are the six types of loving exchanges.

Since the human life is meant for achieving spiritual emancipation, we are meant to transcend carnal attraction (lust) and come the platform of pure spiritual love. This is why we have prohibitions against illicit heterosex, homosex, and monosex (masturbation). In other words, because these three types of sex bring us off the spiritual platform down to the bodily plane, they are meant to be avoided. We instead encourage everyone to dive deeply into the sweet nectarean ocean of loving relationships with devotees because this will bring us quickly to the platform of transcendental happiness. Krishna confirms the importance of this in the Adi Purana wherein he states that unless we love His devotees we don't really love Him.

Because in the beginning it is difficult for us to love a God whom we cannot yet see, the Lord kindly manifests Himself in the form of the spiritual master and the devotees so we can learn how to love Him through loving the spiritual master and the devotees. He is also present for us visibly in the form the deity and audibly in the form of the kirtan so we feel our connection with Him immediately.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 5 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Govardhana Parikrama

Today (4 April 2011) we took a party of devotees on Govardhana Parikrama, a circumambulation of Govardhana Hill. Govardhana is the famous hill that was lifted by Krishna 5,000 years ago to protect the inhabitants of Vrindavana from the devastating storm sent by Indra, the king of heaven. At the beginning of our parikrama we sat at the foot of Govardhana, and I told the amazing story of how Govardhana appeared in this universe in a place known as Salmalidvipa, one of the seven islands on Bhumandala, was later transferred to Vraja Dhama. It was a truly sublime experience to spend so many hours fixing our minds on the wonderful Govardhana Hill, which is an incarnation of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Lifts Govardhana 5,000 Years Ago




Govardhana As It Appears Today



Describing How Govardhana Appeared



A Most Auspicious Atmosphere



Praying for Radharani's Mercy at Radha Kunda


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do We Need a Guru?

I have a questions about guru. In your article you mentioned that if it's important to have a living guru instead of just accepting Krishna as guru. I would like you to explain the reason why we need a physical (living) guru.

Who is a guru?
Where can we find a true guru?
What is the qualification of a guru?
Who can become a guru?
And why do we need a guru for spiritualism?

If we go to school we need a teacher to guide us. In all walks of life we need someone physical to teach us. Yes, Lord Krishna is the guru of the entire universe. But do you or anyone have a personal relationship with Krishna? You can only use words to talk about Krishna. But do have experience of closeness with Krishna?

I would like for you to explain the parampara (disciplic succession) of the guru as well.

Lord Krishna is not confined in one form or name. So too the guru must have qualification in all dimension in life? Can you explain?

Thank you,

S.S.M.

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Answer: Krishna Orders Us to Accept a Guru

Thank you very much for your sincere inquiry.

There is only one guru, Lord Sri Krishna. All we need to do to attain spiritual perfection is to fully surrender ourselves unto Lord Sri Krishna. Surrender means that whatever instruction Krishna gives us we are obliged to follow.

Krishna directly orders us in the Bhagavad-gita that we are to approach a spiritual master, inquire submissively and render service to him. So if we are truly devoted to Krishna we cannot ignore his order to accept a guru. Who will we accept as our guru? This question is answered in the Mundaka Upanisad. We must accept as our spiritual master that person who is purely following and presenting the teachings of Krishna without any adulteration.

The spiritual master has a very special relationship with the Lord because he understands the innermost desire of the Lord to deliver all of the fallen, conditioned souls of this material world back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore he personally experiences closeness with the Lord at every moment, and his words are surcharged with deep spiritual meaning.

The spiritual master is not an upstart. He is the humble servant of his spiritual master who is coming in an unbroken line of disciplic succession which begins with Krishna Himself. Our specific preceptorial line is the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya listed as follows:

1. Kṛṣṇa
2. Brahmā
3. Nārada
4. Vyāsa
5. Madhva
6. Padmanābha
7. Nṛhari
8. Mādhava
9. Akṣobhya
10. Jaya Tīrtha
11. J˝ānasindhu
12. Dayānidhi
13. Vidyānidhi
14. Rājendra
15. Jayadharma
16. Puruṣottama
17. Brahmaṇya Tīrtha
18. Vyāsa Tīrtha
19. Lakṣmīpati
20. Mādhavendra Purī
21. Īśvara Purī, (Nityānanda, Advaita)
22. Lord Caitanya
23. Rūpa, (Svarūpa, Sanātana)
24. Raghunātha, Jīva
25. Kṛṣṇadāsa
26. Narottama
27. Viśvanātha
28. (Baladeva) Jagannātha
29. Bhaktivinoda
30. Gaurakiśora
31. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī
32. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
33. Disciples of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

The spiritual master's only duty is to deliver his disciples back to the spiritual world. It is not that he has to fulfill other roles such as curing diseases, supplying money, or reading horoscopes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 4 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Liberated Soul or Slave of Maya: Your Choice

A devotee of the Lord can serve the Lord in any condition of material existence. Simply he has to remain always in strict obedience to the orders he has received from his spiritual master. In this way he will always remain in a liberated position beyond the influence of the material energy. This is confirmed as follows in the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.187:

īhā yasya harer dāsye
karmaṇā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu
jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

"One who engages in the transcendental service of the Lord
in body, mind and word is to be considered
liberated in all conditions of material existence."


However, if one deviates from the orders he has received from his spiritual master, he falls down from his liberated position and once again becomes a slave of the material energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Fully Surrender to Krishna?

Hare Krishna, dear Maharaja,

Please accept my humbles obeisances. Thank you once again for your enlightening guidance. How do we fully surrender unto the Lord? Many times, I become scared of situations around me and worry how I will be able to make it through. Deep down within I know that the Lord is here to take care, yet I get carried away at times by fear.

Humbly yours,
Vidya

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Answer: Fully Surrender to Sri Guru.

As quoted in the Adi Purana, Krishna describes to Arjuna the method for being a fully surrendered devotee of Krishna. One has to fully surrender himself to the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna's pure representative, the bona fide spiritual master. This means to take complete shelter of the spiritual master by initiation and by accepting his instructions as your very life and soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 3 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

When You Have Krishna You Have Everything

When you have Krishna, you have everything. Anything else you may have in this world is slipping through your fingers. Today you may have it, but tomorrow you lose it. Even if you are the most powerful, influential, and wealthy person in the entire universe, your position is only temporary. When all is said and done there is only one thing that you can really possess, and that is your Krishna consciousness. Therefore there is nothing more important than awakening the Krishna consciousness that is now sleeping in your heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Work & Be Krishna Conscious?

I have a doubt...Earning money is essential to be able to live a decent life. But earning means going into a company and working with the materialistic people involved in politics, cheating, jealously and other negative emotions. When we spend 10-12 hrs in such a environment it certainly contaminates our mind and is very very disturbing.

I am in a dilemma...I have to earn money but at the same time I do not want to work within such a contaminated work culture. What do I do? Where do I work? Please help.

About me...I have been working in a multi-national corporation as an assistant manager for the past 5.5 years, and the way we are treated is very disrespectful. I find it difficult to accept being treated like this or see anyone being treated with disrespect. I have therefore been on leave without pay for the last 5-6 months. But then I have to earn. But I can't even go back to such a culture where people are only concerned with money, promotions and are not even decent human beings.

Please advise.

A.D.

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Answer: Work at Your Present Job for Krishna

Arjuna also wanted to quit his job. A battlefield would not seem to be the best place for transcendental meditation on the Supreme Lord. But yet Krishna ordered him that he must execute his professional duty and offer the results of his work to Krishna.

You are like Arjuna in the beginning of the Bhagavad-gita. You have dropped your bow and arrows and you are refusing to fight for the sake of so-called Krishna consciousness. You are forgetting that real Krishna consciousness is to execute the service given to you by Krishna or His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, and offer the results of your work to Krishna.

Therefore my best advice to you is that you must resume your job and chant nicely at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa mala every day before going to your office. You must also strictly avoid illicit sex, intoxication, meat eating, and gambling. If you will seriously chant and follow these principles, you will be fully protected from the material energy even though you have to spend many hours at work every day. In this way by good sadhana and by performing the austerity of your job for Krishna, you will make steady advancement in Krishna consciousness.

If we work only for ourselves, no job will be satisfying. But when we work for Krishna, any job will be satisfying.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 2 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Don't Take Guru as a Buddy or a Pet

Don't take a guru as a buddy or as a pet. Guru means that person to whom you fully surrender yourself without argument. Such a person must be a pure representative of the original spiritual master, Lord Sri Krishna. If we put our lives in the hands of such a bona fide spiritual and always carefully try to follow his instructions, we will quickly and easily attain spiritual perfection. But if we take him as a buddy or a pet without agreeing to follow his instructions, we are simply wasting his time and wasting our time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Can A Married Man Be Initiating Guru?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my respectful obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Recently when I told a devotee from South India that I am a disciple of Sankarshan Das Adhikari he expressed his surprise and told me that a householder cannot be an initiating guru, that he can only be a instructing guru. I did not know what to say. What should I have told him?

Your servant,

Dvijamani Gaura das

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Answer: Anyone Who Knows Krishna Science Can Be a Guru

It is very problematic when persons pose themselves as authorities making statements that are not in accord with the scriptures. Such immature unauthorized behavior causes a great disturbance in the society of devotees. This is confirmed in the scriptures as follows:

śruti-smṛti-purāṇādi-
pa˝caratra-vidhiṁ vinā
aikāntikī harer bhaktir
utpātāyaiva kalpate

"Devotional service performed without reference to the Vedas, Puranas, Pa˝caratras, etc., must be considered sentimentalism, and it causes nothing but disturbance to society."
Bhakti-rasamrịta-sindhu 1.2.101

Therefore such foolish persons should be informed about what is the actual statement of the scriptures. In connection with what you have been told, Srila Prabhupada clearly states in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya Lila Chapter 7, verse 108 that a devotee in any order of life, if he knows the science of Krishna, can be an initiating guru. It is also interesting to note in this connection that according to Srila Prabhupada's purport to Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya Lila, Chapter 4, verse 111, previously the only devotees who could give initiation were grihastha brahmanas until Lord Caitanya introduced the system that anyone who knows the science of Krishna can be an initiating spiritual master. This point is further corroborated by Srila Prabhupada in a letter he wrote in November of 1969 to his disciple Krishna devi, in which he states:

"So far as initiating disciples is concerned, anyone who is qualified can do this. For example, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura was householder and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was staunch brahmacari, yet they both were qualified for initiating disciples."

In conclusion, do not hesitate to correct persons who are propagating misinformation. This is for their benefit and the benefit of the entire human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 1 April 2011

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama
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Today's Thought:

Can Scientists Produce Something from Nothing?

Some would have us believe that the scientists can produce something from nothing. But when we ask for proof they only give us a post dated check that in the future the scientists will be able to do it. If someone offered you a billion dollars for your house, you would probably take it. But what if the check was post dated? What if they tell you that they only have $50 in their account today but by tomorrow afternoon they will have a billion dollars in their bank account. Will you sign over your house to them? So why should we accept a post dated check that in the future the scientists will be able to produce something out of nothing? Only a completely gullible fool would be mesmerized by such world jugglery.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Answers According to the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Sincere Work Purify the Heart?

Please accept my respectful obeisances,

I read Bhagavad-gita As It Is 3.8: "Perform your prescribed duty, for doing so is better than not working. One cannot even maintain one's physical body without work." The following question came to my mind: Is it true that by doing one's job sincerely one gets purified of material impurities?

Sunil

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Answer: Work Minus Bhakti is Contamination

When reading scripture one must always read the verses in context in order to get the proper meaning. If you had carefully considered verse 9, you would have had a clear understanding of verse 8. In verse 9 it is stated:

"Work done as a sacrifice for Vishnu has to be performed;
otherwise work causes bondage in this material world.
Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction,
and in that way you will always remain free from bondage."


Offering the fruit of your work to Vishnu or Krishna is the only way to become pure. If you do not do this as devotional service to the Lord, there is no way you will become free from impurities simply by sincerely working a job.

If doing one's job sincerely rids one of all material impurities, practically the entire world would be Krishna conscious. There would be no crime, no terrorism, no wars, no cow killing, and no baby killing, and the entire planet earth would be transformed into heaven on earth. Because the world situation is quite the opposite, we can easily understand that one does not become free from all impurities simply by doing one's job sincerely.

Only if one engages in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead can he become completely free from the dirt in the heart for properly understanding Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita 18.55 as follows:

bhaktyā mām abhijānāti
yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ
tato māṁ tattvato j˝ātvā
viśate tad-anantaram

"One can understand Me as I am,
as the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
only by devotional service.
And when one is in full consciousness of Me by such devotion,
he can enter into the kingdom of God."


In conclusion, working sincerely for material sense gratification does not purify the heart. Rather it further contaminates the heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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