Thought for the Day

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

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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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Monday 30 April 2012

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Eternal Spring

Our Saturday 28 April 2012 was very well spent. We took a two hour drive from Kaunas to a remote small town on named Telsiai nicely situated on the bank of a big lake. It was a beautiful drive through forests and small villages just as spring with it's newly blossomed flowers was just starting to appear. Along the way there were storks sitting high in their huge nests. There were many lakes both big and small. One small village had a creek of crystal clear water profusely flowing through the center of town. In one remote forest pond I spotted a swan majestically gliding through the water. So the countryside journey was quite pleasant. But what was even more pleasant was arriving in Telsiai to find a meeting room packed full of people interested to learn about Krishna consciousness. We started off with a magic carpet Hare Krishna kirtan ride and then came in for landing with a mantra yoga lecture followed by questions and answers. As usual many people purchased our hard bound books at the end of the lecture to go deeper into Krishna consciousness through their own reading. In Krishna consciousness it's always a fresh, beautiful spring day with the beautiful flower of Krishna consciousness blooming within our hearts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Telsiai, Lithuania


Revealing the Eternal Spring in Telsiai--28 April 2012





Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Overcome Fear of God?

When I was a child and used to pray, I prayed to the Lord without any particular reason - just like that out of love. But as I grew up and especially since the last few years when things have been going wrong in my life, I have started to look up to God as some kind of rule enforcing authority. I am afraid of Him and have developed this fear of some sorts. I pray now not out of love, but because I am afraid that if I don t do so, I will be punished, and my life will get worse. I see God as a punishing authority rather than loving Him like I used to as a child. Can you help me see Him as someone who cares for me and protects me instead of seeing Him as someone to be just afraid of? I know that He loves me and cares, but there have been times when I have been victimized and heartfully called to Him for help but was still battered. Logic has no place in worship I know but sometimes the resentment does come in that He did not help and saw me getting bashed even when I called Him with desperation.

I love Him and do not want to go astray and hence am writing this to you. I hope to hear something that reaffirms my faith that He does care and that He is not simply waiting there to punish me at a drop of a hat.

Your student

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Answer: God Only Bestows Mercy

There is no question of God being cruel or vindictive because He is simply our loving father. Sometimes when the parent gives the child medicine to cure him of an illness the foolish child thinks that he is being cruelly punished. But actually that medicine is a manifestation of the parent's love for the child. When the child becomes more mature he realizes that the medicine, although bitter, is a manifestation of his parent's love for him. In the same way the devotee realizes that whatever difficulties he undergoes are the Lord's special mercy upon him to purify his consciousness and bring him closer to God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 29 April 2012

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Bowing Down to the Spiritual Master

As we were preparing on 26 April 2012 for my evening lecture on Mantra Yoga at the Vilnius Pedagogical University, my disciple Sankirtan Das informed me that the devotees here have a policy of not bowing down to the spiritual master in public because people will find it strange and not want to hear anything from us or take our books. I found this policy to be questionable because when Srila Prabhupada was here with us we always bowed down to him either in the temple or in public places without the slightest bit of hesitation. After all, it is a sastric injunction that as soon as you see your spiritual master you should immediately bow down on the ground offering him your humble obeisances. At the same time I did not want to rock the boat by challenging the local ISKCON policy. So I proposed that we make an experiment. All the devotees should bow down to the spiritual master when he enters the lecture hall, and then we will judge by results of the program whether it was good thing or not. I also instructed my disciple that when he makes his introductory remarks that he explain why the devotees bow down to the spiritual master. Because the spiritual master is a representative of God he is meant to be shown the same respect that we give to God. In fact Krishna teaches us in the Bhagavad-gita that we should bow down to the spiritual master.

I did not know what the result would be of my radical proposal. But I knew that because I was simply trying to see what would be the best thing for attracting the people to Krishna consciousness, Krishna would be pleased my endeavor. So what was the result? The people were keenly interested and asked many sincere and intelligent questions. Especially indicative of their keen interest was that practically all of them purchased one of our hardbound books at the end of the program. So now there is new policy in Lithuania, at least when I come.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revealing the Secrets of Mantra Yoga--26 April 2012

Vilnius Pedagogical University--Vilnius, Lithuania


The Audience Was Keenly Interested


Practically Everyone Bought Our Hard Bound Books



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Happens to the Soul When Sleeping?

Dear Gurudeva,

What happens during sleep, from a spiritual point of view, to the soul and mind?

Your humble servant,

Krishna Kumar,
Mumbai, India

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Answer: He Travels in His Astral Body

The soul leaves the gross body and travels in the subtle astral body composed of mind, intelligence and false ego to other places. When he awakens he returns to the gross body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 28 April 2012

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Ever-Expanding Ocean of Bliss

On 25 April I gave a lecture on the science of mantra yoga at the Vedic Culture Center in Kaunas, Lithuania. No matter how much bliss we experience in Krishna consciousness, there is always even more bliss out there that we can experience. This program at the Vedic Culture Center was no exception to this principle. This ever-expanding ocean of bliss that we are experiencing every day will one day inundate the entire universe with unlimitedly sweet transcendental happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Mantra Yoga Lecture--Vedic Culture Center
Kaunas, Lithuania--25 April 2012



Deep Sea Diving in the Mantra Ocean with
Kirtan


Serious Presentation of Philosophy


Sharing the Bliss of Krishna Consciousness


Distributing Delicious Prasadam Cookies


This Little Boy Wanted to Shake Hands


Farewell Kirtan


Joyful Throng Gives a Loving Sendoff




Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Capital Punishment Proper?

Dear Srila Gurudeva ,

Please accept my obeisances.

In case of suicide, the person destroyed his gross body and in his next life time he will not get a gross body. Instead he become a ghost.

Kindly let me know in case of death punishment sentenced by the court of law, will the murderer get a gross body instead of becoming a ghost? In this case the gross body was destroyed by the court of law, which is against the natural law. Can human being give death punishment to a criminal?

Your humble servant,
Anil Sharma

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Answer: It's a Kindness Upon the Murderer

According to Vedic injunctions it is great karmic benefit for a murderer to be put to death. Because he murdered someone, he must also be murdered. If he is given life imprisonment and dies naturally, he will have to be murdered in a future lifetime. This means that he must remain in miserable state being tortured by the fear of being murdered for a prolonged period of time. But if he is put to death, he gets his karma finished quickly and becomes free from being haunted by the prospect of being murdered. So it is kindness upon the murderer for the state to put him to death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 27 April 2012

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

The Ecstasy of Worshipping Tulasi Devi

A very special devotee of Lord Krishna named Tulasi Devi has appeared in the form of a plant so that we can get the special mercy of personally serving and worshipping her for attaining pure love of God. Therefore tulasi worship is a standard part of our daily morning devotional program. After rising early no later than 4am, attending mangala arati, and singing prayers to Lord Nrsimhadeva the devotees then worship this most sacred of all plants. Tulasi is so special that Krishna will not accept any offering of foodstuffs unless it is accompanied by a tulasi leaf.

The tulasi plant is of the topmost importance in the ultimate self realization process of devotional service and is thus described in the Skanda Purana as follows: "Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the tulasi tree, which can immediately vanquish volumes of sinful activities. Simply by seeing or touching this tree one can become relieved from all distresses and diseases. Simply by offering obeisances to and pouring water on the tulasi tree, one can become freed from the fear of being sent to the court of Yamaraja [the King of death, who punishes the sinful]. If someone sows a tulasi tree somewhere, certainly he becomes devoted to Lord Krishna. And when the tulasi leaves are offered in devotion at the lotus feet of Krishna, there is the full development of love of Godhead."

One can visit their nearest ISKCON to attend tulasi worship (usually at 5am.) Or one can sow a tulasi plant at home and worship her at home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Singing Kirtan to Tulasi Devi
Kaunas, Lithuania--25 April 2012






Circumambulating Tulasi Devi
Kaunas, Lithuania--25 April 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Every Devotee the Leader of Humanity?

Dear Guru Maharaja:

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

Shall every devotee take the leadership mentality and responsibility to deliver the suffering souls in this world? Can you quote some of Srila Prabhupada's words on this matter? Shall each one of us become spiritual leaders for humanity and people around us? and how to?

Thank you.

Your humble servant
Jeffrey

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Be Instrumental to the Previous Acaryas

Srila Prabhupada has perfectly described the proper attitude for a devotee in the Nectar of Devotion as follows:

"The author of Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, Srila Rupa Goswami, very humbly submits that he is just trying to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, although he humbly thinks himself unfit for this work. That should be the attitude of all preachers of the Krishna consciousness movement, following in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Goswami. We should never think of ourselves as great preachers, but should always consider that we are simply instrumental to the previous acaryas, and simply by following in their footsteps we may be able to do something for the benefit of suffering humanity."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 26 April 2012

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Reviving Our Relationships with Krishna

Every living being has an eternal rasa or relationship with Lord Sri Krishna in any one of five primary rasas: neutrality, servitorship, friendship, parenthood, or conjugal. In the conditioned state the living entities of this material world have forgotten what is their rasa. Through the purificatory process of Krishna consciousness they will gradually become free from all the dirt of material contamination accumulated over many thousands and millions of lifetimes and awaken to their eternal relationship with Krishna. One should carefully note in this regard that as long as one possesses even the slightest tinge of material desire within his heart he is not qualified to know what is his rasa with Krishna. So instead of prematurely trying to figure out what is his rasa, an impossible feat which is detrimental for the attainment of pure bhakti, the neophyte devotee should concentrate on being fully absorbed in devotional service to Lord Sri Krishna 24 hours a day. This will gradually bring him to the perfectional, liberated stage in which he fully realizes and relishes his eternal rasa with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Kirtan in Vilnius, Lithuania--24 April 2012








Departure from Vilnius, Lithuania--24 April 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Suicide the Way to Go Back to God?

If this world is just an illusion, why are we all here? If this is not our real home, why shouldn't one go for suicide as an answer? Is suicide the way to go back to God?

Hema P.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Surrender to God is the Way to Go to Him.

This world is not an illusion. It is the prison house of God's kingdom, therefore it is factual, tangible, and not unreal.

Is the prisoner's road to freedom to commit suicide? No. His ticket to freedom is to rectify his criminal mentality of flaunting the laws of the state so that he can be released from prison and again become a free citizen. If one commits suicide, according to the law of karma, because he has destroyed his gross body, in his next lifetime he will not get a gross body. He will instead become a ghost and live in a very hellish, frightful existence. But if instead of committing suicide he will take advantage of Lord Sri Krishna's instructions in the Bhagavad-gita and surrender Himself fully unto the Lord, he will qualify himself to enter the Lord's eternal abode and live there forever in unlimited bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 25 April 2012

from Kaunas, Lithuania
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Is the World Running Out of Resources?

The rapidly expanding and developing world civilization is in a predicament. Acute shortages of all varieties are being predicted: food shortage, water shortage, petroleum shortage, and the list goes on and on. If one studies the statistics of supply and demand, it become obvious that the world civilization is heading for a disaster of unprecedented magnitude. However, what the foolish people don't realize is that the earth is withholding her resources because they have become too sinful. If they can simply learn how to live in harmony with the governing principles of the universe and the supreme governor of all existence, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there will be sufficient resources to comfortably maintain even ten times the current world population.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Arrival in Kaunas, Lithuania--24 April 2012





Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is a Devotee's Recreation?

According to Bhagavad-gita "He who is regulated in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system." Please tell me what is meant by recreation as I thought that for a neophyte devotee recreation is prohibited.

Gautam

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Answer: Chanting and Dancing

Devotees are not interested in material recreational activities such as cinema, sports, television, restaurants, etc. because they are deriving unlimited bliss from their superior spiritual recreation, namely chanting and dancing. Such renunciation of material recreation is not dry or artificial because when one gets a higher taste he automatically loses his taste for low class things.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 24 April 2012

from Kaunas, Lithuania
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories of Russia

The red tape hassles that we had to endure for going in and out of Russia were more than worth it because chanting Hare Krishna and discussing the teachings of Krishna with the Russian devotees was oh so sweet. We had three mangala aratis at the home of our host, Gopinath Prabhu. There were four lectures at the home of my Russian disciple, Bhaktilata devi dasi. And the icing on the cake was a hall program which was arranged by Lila Avatar Prabhu and his wife, Alexandra. Such sweet memories we will always carry within our hearts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Memories of our Russian Transcendental Excursion:



Audarya, Daughter of Gopinath Prabhu and Nadia


Kirtan at Home Program
Kaliningrad, Russia--21 April 2012


Speaking from Scripture at Home Program
Kaliningrad, Russia--21 April 2012


Public Hall Lecture
Kaliningrad, Russia--22 April 2012


Devotees Asked Me to Lead Kirtan with a Guitar
Kaliningrad, Russia--22 April 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Too Late for Krishna Consciousness?

If I were to start practicing Krishna Consciousness at my age (55), would I still have ample time to achieve liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth? What would happen if I wasn't able to reach that goal within this lifetime?

George

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: It's Never Too Late

It is never too late to take up the wonderful liberating process of Krishna consciousness. It truly does not matter at what age one starts. If one is sincere and takes complete shelter of Sri Guru and Sri Krishna, he can attain spiritual perfection in this lifetime and go back to home, back to Godhead when he leaves his present body.

If one sincerely begins the process of Krishna consciousness in this lifetime but does not reach the goal of pure devotion, he will take birth again in this material world in a situation favorable for him to advance further along the pathway towards pure devotion. So any attempt to advance in Krishna consciousness is for your eternal benefit, even if you are not able to perfect it in this lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 23 April 2012

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

Relishing Krishna Bhakti in Russia

Krishna consciousness or Krishna bhakti is transcendental and thus universally practicable. It does not matter, where one may be situated in this material world. Wherever you are, you can practice Krishna consciousness because if you are tuned into Krishna, you are transcendentally situated beyond this material existence in the timeless realm of eternity, knowledge, and bliss. In other words, if you tune into Krishna, you will always feel the bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




With Our Saintly Host, Sriman Gopinatha Das

Kaliningrad, Russia--21 April 2012



Relishing the Sweet Holy Names of Krishna
Kaliningrad, Russia--21 April 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: If Everything is Brahman, Why Do Bhakti?

Thank you for sending the newsletter of the Ultimate Self Realization Course. I hope this message finds you in good health.

In his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 1.5.33 Srila Prabhupada says. "When everything is used in the service of the Lord, we can experience that there is nothing except the Supreme Brahman. The Vedic Mantra that 'everything is brahman' is thus realized by us."

My question is, "If everything is Brahman, then what is the need to use it in Krishna's service to see that? And for that matter, why do we have to engage it in His service, because ultimately Krishna is already enjoying anyway?"

Your servant,
Srutisagara Das

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Answer: In Order to See that Everything is Brahman.

The only way to come to the enlightened position of experiencing everything as Brahman, is to engage everything in the service of the Supreme Brahman, Lord Sri Krishna. If one does not engage everything in Krishna's service, it is not possible to experience everything as Brahman or spirit. Although Krishna is the Supreme Enjoyer, He is not happy to see that some of His beloved children are caught up in the cycle of birth and death. Therefore out of compassion He comes to this world to rescue the lost souls of this world by bringing them back to His eternal kingdom in the spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 22 April 2012

from Kaliningrad, Russia
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Today's Thought:

My Heart Weeps to See the World Situation

My heart weeps to see what a mess the modern day leaders have made out of the world. These misguided fools have done nothing except to worsen the situation more and more. I wonder when they are going to  come down off their false ego trips and wake up to the reality that they don't know what they are doing and that they are turning this world into more and more of a hell every day. Unless they become a little humble, they will never be able to take any good advice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Teaching the Science of Mantra Yoga
Klaipeda, Lithuania--19 April 2012












Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Make Children Krishna Conscious?

If we want to train our children to be in Krishna consciousness from the very childhood, what is the process?

Amritha

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Answer: Be Ideal Models of Krishna Consciousness

The first thing is that you must get rid of your TV, if you have one. You must always engage in devotional service and always engage your children in doing devotional service along with you. The children love to do things with their parents. So if you will be always engaged in doing kirtan, reading scriptures, offering arati, going to the temple, hearing lectures, etc. and if you will engage your children in doing these things with you, they will come out as first class devotees. The key is that the parents have to be ideal models of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 21 April 2012

from Klaipeda, Lithuania
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Today's Thought:

Bliss and Super Bliss

Meeting Krishna or His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, is the ultimate bliss. But it is super bliss, in other words even more blissful, to be away from Krishna and Guru and serving them in separation. Just as the intensity of love experienced by a boy for his girlfriend is many times increased when he is separated from her, in the same way a devotee's ecstasy of devotional love of God is greatly increased by separation from Sri Guru and Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Farewell from Riga, Latvia--19 April 2012








Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is a Siksha Guru Required?

Do we need to look for a siksha guru as well in addition to our diksha guru? What is his role?

Your eternal Servant,

Girish

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Yes and You Already Have a Siksha Guru

Because one needs to be trained in the science of bhakti, a siksha guru or the guru who trains you, is required. If one has a bona fide diksha guru (initiating spiritual master), that spiritual master will also be his siksha guru because he will train his disciple in the science of bhakti just as I am now training you. In other words, you already have a siksha guru because I am instructing you in the science of Krishna consciousness. And when you take initiation from me, I will also be your diksha guru.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 20 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Ever Increasing Nectar

18 April 2012--After a wonderful week of sharing the sublime science of Krishna consciousness we are now heading out to Lithuania and Russia for more of the same. The beauty of Krishna consciousness is that it never gets old or hackneyed. It just keeps getting better and better over time with no limit to how sweet or ecstatic it can be.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Distributing Prasadam to Damodar Das

Riga, Latvia--13 April 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Pure Devotees Subject to Destiny?

Please tell me what destiny is. Is it the same as fate? Prabhupada once said that one cannot change one's destiny in a discussion with Hayagriva Das.

What role does fate, destiny or such subtle vibrations and all play in the life of a devotee? In this regard, Dasarath Maharaja is a pure devotee, surrendered to Lord Rama, but he was affected by the curse of the blind father of the boy who was killed by Dasarath Maharaja.

Are even pure devotees subject to all these factors?

Please clear my doubts Maharaja, for I wish to retort back to my father when he keeps saying,"Everything is predestined". I want to dedicate my life for Krishna and Guru. And convince my dad that this is a right path. Please bless me to advance in Krishna Consciousness.

Your servant,
S. from Chennai

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Answer: Pure Devotion Alters One's Destiny

Destiny and fate are the same thing.

From the material point of view, one's fate or destiny is unalterable because it is simply the result of one's pious and impious activities. But if one surrenders to Krishna his fate is completely transformed in the most amazing and wonderful way.

In other words, as long as one remains within the material energy by living a life based on sense gratification his fate is unalterable being strictly governed by the stringent law of karma.

But if one surrenders to Krishna, he is no longer under the influence of the material energy. Now his fate is specially arranged for Him by the mercy of Krishna in loving reciprocation with that devotee's love for Krishna.

As a pure devotee, Maharaja Dasarath was not subject to the law of karma. But for the sake of facilitating the special transcendental pastimes of Lord Ramacandra, Maharaja Dasarath was only apparently under the influence of destiny by taking a karmic reaction for accidently killing that boy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 19 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Counterfeit Money, Counterfeit Gurus

Just as counterfeit money indicates the presence of real money, in a similar way counterfeit gurus indicate the presence of real gurus. In other words, you can't have a fake version of something unless there is real version of that thing. One avoids counterfeit money and only uses real money. In the same way, one avoids counterfeit gurus and takes advantage of those who can honestly teach him something.

We cannot deny the necessity of having a teacher or a guru. How did we learn to speak and do so many things? We learned from our parents who were our first gurus. Similarly, anyone who teaches us what we do not know is our guru. If one categorically states that there is no such thing as a guru, he is contradicting himself because he is taking the position of guru to state that there is no such thing as a guru. Therefore the bona fide guru must exist, and the ultimate guru is the one who one teaches us life's ultimate lesson of how to escape the cycle of birth and death and go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Teaches Life's Ultimate Lesson



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Category of Non-Devotee Vedic Followers?

I have some confusion while reading Bhagavad-gita 7.15 and 7.16 about duskrtinah (the miscreants) and sukrtinah (the pious). The first verse highlights the miscreants and second describes the pious, the devotees. My confusion is this: In what category are the followers of the Vedas and the demigod worshippers who are not Krishna conscious?

Your humble follower,

Santosh Suvarna

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Answer: Krishna Categorizes Them as Miscreants

Krishna clearly states in Bhagavad-gita 7.15-16 that those who surrender to him are pious and that those who do not surrender unto Him are miscreants. He also states in Bhagavad-gita 15.15 that the Vedas are meant to bring one to the point of surrendering to Him. Those do not understand the ultimate goal of the Vedas and misuse the Vedic wisdom for their own selfish purposes and thus do not surrender to Krishna are counted by Krishna amongst the miscreants.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 18 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

All You Need is Krishna to Be Happy

The material conception of happiness is based on so many requirements. If all of the requirements are not met, one is unhappy. But happiness in Krishna consciousness is much simpler and uncomplicated. The only requirement is that you have to remember Krishna. Nothing else is required. If one can simply remember Krishna, he will taste unlimited happiness. This happiness is perfect and complete, while material happiness is imperfect and incomplete.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Bringing the Message of Supreme Happiness

Riga, Latvia--15 April 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can a Pure Devotee Neglect Sadhana?

My humble obeisances to Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Dear Gurudeva,

In the 16 April 2012 "Thought for the Day" second paragraph of the answer, Your Grace has mentioned the following :

“When one has developed such attachment, he can spontaneously serve the lotus feet of Krishna even without following the regulative principles. This stage is called raga-bhakti, or devotional service in spontaneous love.”

Does it mean that in raga-bhakti, regulative principles are not all that important to be seriously adhered to? Kindly clear this doubt of mine.

Your humble servant,
Krishna Kumar
Mumbai, India

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Answer: Pure Devotee Has Strict Sadhana

Even though the devotee who reaches the perfectional no longer requires to strictly follow the regulative principles of sadhana bhakti, he still does so for the sake of setting the proper example for the neophyte devotees. In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains as follows in the Nectar of Devotion:

"A devotee who is actually advanced in Krishna consciousness, who is constantly engaged in devotional service, should not manifest himself, even though he has attained perfection. The idea is that he should always continue to act as a neophyte devotee as long as his material body is there. Activities in devotional service under regulative principles must be followed even by the pure devotee. But when he realizes his actual position in relationship with the Lord, he can, along with the discharging of regulative service, think within himself of the Lord, under the guidance of a particular associate of the Lord, and develop his transcendental sentiments in following that associate."

From this we can understand that the pure devotee does not advertise himself as a pure devotee. He continues to present himself externally as a neophyte devotee and strictly follows the regulative principles just as the neophyte devotees are required to in order to awaken their dormant love for God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 17 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Home Program in Riga, Latvia

On 15 April 2012 we had a wonderful program in Riga, Latvia at the home of Ineta and Oskars. It was a wonderful opportunity to share the ecstasy of Hare Krishna kirtan and Bhagavad-gita philosophy with a house full of receptive people. The kirtan transported us like a magic carpet ride. And the philosophy was an exciting exploration of the amazing nature of the Absolute Truth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Blissful Home Program in Riga, Latvia--15 April 2012






Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Did We Go to the Moon or Not?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

I read so much about moon in our scriptures and so many instances where Prabhupada says that modern civilization will not be able to reach the moon. But we've seen many countries sending their astronauts, including India, which sent their first pilot-less vehicle sometime back and brought back soil samples.

One of the devotees in the temple said all the flights to moon are bogus, that if we study the many conspiracy theories about the moon landings then we'll see that the moon landings are false.

But these conspiracy theories have all been defeated by what appears to be valid counter-arguments. It seems that they are not true and that we did in fact go to the moon.

Can you please clear my doubt about our going the moon? Whenever I read about the moon I remember the different arguments and I feel confused.

Your eternal servant,

G.S.

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Answer: Even if We Did, We Didn't.

If someone flies by airplane to country without a proper visa, they will land in the country but they will not be allowed to clear customs for legally entering the country. They will have to return to where they came from without entering that country. In this way their experience of the country will be limited to a small, restricted area within the airport. In other words, they will not get a real experience of having entered that country.

In a similar way, even if the USA has succeeded in sending astronauts to the moon, because the astronauts did not have authorization from the moon god to enter the moon, they have not have been able to actually enter into and experience the heavenly moon civilization and meet the moon beings.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada writes as follows in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 8.25:

"In the Third Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam Kapila Muni mentions that those who are expert in fruitive activities and sacrificial methods on earth attain to the moon at death. These elevated souls live on the moon for about 10,000 years (by demigod calculations) and enjoy life by drinking soma-rasa. They eventually return to earth. This means that on the moon there are higher classes of living beings, though they may not be perceived by the gross senses."

The conclusion is that if someone wants to actually enter into and experience the moon civilization and meet the moon beings, they can do so by following specific Vedic principles recommended for that purpose, such as the process technically known as darsa-paurnamasi. These are vividly described in the fruitive activities portion of the Vedas, which recommends a specific worship of demigods situated on different heavenly planets.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 16 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

The Epitome of Sweetness

It you want to experience the ultimate in sweetness, that which is the most relishable, beyond which there is nothing more relishable, you have come to the right place. This sweetest of all sweet things, the epitome of sweetness, is described very beautifully and poetically by Bilvamangala Thakur in text 92 of his Krishna-Karnamrita (as quoted in the Caitanya Caritamrita):

madhuram madhuram vapur asya vibhor
madhuram madhuram vadanam madhuram
madhu-gandhi mrdu-smitam etad aho
madhuram madhuram madhuram madhuram

"The transcendental body of Krishna is very sweet,
and His face is even sweeter than His body.

But His soft smile, which has the fragrance of honey, is sweeter still."


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna's Smile is the Sweetest

of All Sweet Things


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Should I Follow a Particular Vrajavasi?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

I read today morning the below paragraph from the Teachings of Lord Caitanya:

"Since all the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi, Vrindavana, are very dear to Krishna, a devotee selects one of the inhabitants and follows in his footsteps in order to be successful in his own devotional service. A pure devotee who is attached to the Lord always follows in the footsteps of a personality of Vrajabhumi. It is advised in Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu (1.2.294) that a pure devotee attached to devotional service should always remember the activities of a particular inhabitant of Vraja, even though he is not able to live in Vrajabhumi or Vrindavana. In this way he can always think of Vrajabhumi and Vrindavana."

Please let me know if I should pick one of the Lord's eternal associates in Vrindavan for following in his footsteps. Many weeks back I had a intuition to follow Sudama and be his friend. (I was reading the Nectar Devotion then.) But you told me that it is only my mind saying things to me and my stage has not come yet.

When I was reading the above paragraph today early morning, it again touched something inside me. Please have mercy on me and let me know should I ignore these lines and continue reading or can I apply them in practice?

Please don't be misled with my flowery language as I am a very fallen soul and still get attracted to sense gratification now and then.

Your eternal servant,

(Name withheld for confidentiality.)

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Answer: Follow the Spiritual Master

The stage of picking one of Krishna's eternal associates for becoming his or her follower is a very advanced stage of devotional service, not to be artificially imitated by the neophyte devotee who still attracted to sense gratification. The qualification for coming to this stage is clearly described as follows by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati as follows:

"Caitanya-Caritamrita advises those who are neophytes to give up all kinds of motivated desires and simply engage in the regulative devotional service of the Lord according to the directions of scripture. In this way a neophyte can gradually develop attachment for Krishna's name, fame, form, qualities and so forth. When one has developed such attachment, he can spontaneously serve the lotus feet of Krishna even without following the regulative principles. This stage is called raga-bhakti, or devotional service in spontaneous love. At that stage the devotee can follow in the footsteps of one of the eternal associates of Krishna in Vrindavan. This is called raganuga-bhakti."

(The above quote is found in Srila Prabhupada's purport to Nectar of Instruction text 8.)

The steps for reaching this stage of attachment are listed follows by Srila Rupa Goswami in his Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 1.4.15-16 (as quoted in Caitanya-caritamrita Madhya 23.14-15):

ādau śraddhā tatah sādhu-
sango 'tha bhajana-kriyā
tato 'nartha-nivrttih syāt
tato nisthā rucis tatah

athāsaktis tato bhāvas
tatah premābhyudañcati
sādhakānām ayam premnah
prādurbhāve bhavet kramah

"In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness."

Srila Prabhupada elaborately describes these steps for reaching attachment (asakti) in detail in his purport to the Narada Bhakti Sutra:

"The first requirement is that one should have sufficient faith that the only process for attaining love of Godhead is bhakti, devotional service to the Lord. Throughout the Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna teaches that one should give up all other processes of self-realization and fully surrender unto Him. That is faith. One who has full faith in Krishna (sraddha) and surrenders unto Him is eligible for being raised to the level of prema, which Lord Caitanya taught as the highest perfectional stage of human life.

"Some persons are addicted to materially motivated religion, while others are addicted to economic development, sense gratification, or the idea of salvation from material existence. But prema, love of God, is above all these. This highest stage of love is above mundane religiosity, above economic development, above sense gratification, and above even liberation, or salvation. Thus love of God begins with the firm faith that one who engages in full devotional service has attained perfection in all these processes.

"The next stage in the process of elevation to love of God is sadhu-sanga [Cc. Madhya 22.83], association with persons already in the highest stage of love of God. One who avoids such association and simply engages in mental speculation or so-called meditation cannot be raised to the perfectional platform. But one who associates with pure devotees or an elevated devotional society goes to the next stage—bhajana-kriya, or acceptance of the regulative principles of worshiping the Supreme Lord. One who associates with a pure devotee of the Lord naturally accepts that person as his spiritual master, and when the neophyte devotee accepts a pure devotee as his spiritual master, the duty of the spiritual master is to train the neophyte in the principles of regulated devotional service, or vaidhi-bhakti. At this stage the devotee's service is based on his capacity to serve the Lord. The expert spiritual master engages his followers in work that will gradually develop their consciousness of service to the Lord. Therefore the preliminary stage of understanding prema, love of God, is to approach a proper pure devotee, accept him as one's spiritual master, and execute regulated devotional service under his guidance.

"The next stage is called anartha-nivritti, in which all the misgivings of material life are vanquished. A person gradually reaches this stage by regularly performing the primary principles of devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master. There are many bad habits we acquire in the association of material contamination, chief of which are illicit sexual relationships, eating animal food, indulging in intoxication, and gambling. The first thing the expert spiritual master does when he engages his disciple in regulated devotional service is to instruct him to abstain from these four principles of sinful life.

"Since God is supremely pure, one cannot rise to the highest perfectional stage of love of God without being purified. In the Bhagavad-gita (10.12), when Arjuna accepted Krishna as the Supreme Lord, he said, pavitram paramam bhavān: 'You are the purest of the pure.' The Lord is the purest, and thus anyone who wants to serve the Supreme Lord must also be pure. Unless a person is pure, he can neither understand what the Personality of Godhead is nor engage in His service in love, for devotional service, as stated before, begins from the point of self-realization, when all misgivings of materialistic life are vanquished. After following the regulative principles and purifying the material senses, one attains the stage of nishta, firm faith in the Lord. When a person has attained this stage, no one can deviate him from the conception of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one can persuade him that God is impersonal, without a form, or that any form created by imagination can be accepted as God. Those who espouse these more or less nonsensical conceptions of the Supreme Lord cannot dissuade him from firm faith in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna.

"In the Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna stresses in many verses that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But despite Lord Krishna's stressing this point, many so-called scholars and commentators still deny the personal conception of the Lord. One famous scholar wrote in his commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita that one does not have to surrender to Lord Krishna or even accept Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but that one should rather surrender to 'the Supreme within Krishna.' Such fools do not know what is within and what is without. They comment on the Bhagavad-Gita according to their own whims. Such persons cannot be elevated to the highest stage of love of Godhead. They may be scholarly, and they may be elevated in other departments of knowledge, but they are not even neophytes in the process of attaining the highest stage of perfection, love of Godhead. Nistha implies that one should accept the words of Bhagavad-Gita, the words of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as they are, without any deviation or nonsensical commentary.

"If a person is fortunate enough to vanquish all misgivings caused by material existence and rise up to the stage of nistha, he can then rise to the stages of ruci (taste) and asakti (attachment for the Lord). Asakti is the beginning of love of Godhead. By progressing, one then advances to the stage of relishing a reciprocal exchange with the Lord in ecstasy (bhava). Every living entity is eternally related to the Supreme Lord, and this relationship may be in any one of many transcendental humors. At the stage called asakti, attachment, a person can understand his relationship with the Supreme Lord. When he understands his position, he begins reciprocating with the Lord. By constant reciprocation with the Lord, the devotee is elevated to the highest stage of love of Godhead, prema."

We can clearly understand from the above quote that attachment or the asakti stage is the beginning of pure love of God. At this stage one's heart is 100% free from all material desires and his mind is constantly favorably absorbed in Krishna consciousness 24 hours daily without any interruption. This asakti stage comes four stages after initiation. So there is no question of an uninitiated devotee being qualified for picking one of the Lord's eternal associates for following in his footsteps. You should focus yourself now on becoming qualified for taking initiation from the bona fide spiritual master. This is the associate of the Lord in whose footsteps you should presently be aspiring to follow. By following the spiritual master faithfully without any deviation 24 hours daily you will gradually attain the stage in which your heart is completely free from the desire for sense gratification and you will realize your eternal rasa or relationship with Krishna and you can pick a particular Vrajavasi who is in the same rasa. But don't try to jump prematurely ahead this stage. Doing so will wreak havoc on your spiritual pathway something like trying to drive a car before you are properly trained and then having a fatal accident.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 15 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

The Absolute Necessity of Devotee Association

There is no question of awakening our dormant enlightened consciousness unless we cultivate loving relationships with awakened souls, the devotees of the Lord. Since by nature we require the association of others, it is essential that we satisfy this need by getting the association of transcendentalists. This will very much facilitate our coming to the transcendental platform and remaining on the transcendental platform. Here in Riga from 11 through 13 April 2012 we had a three part well-attended and appreciated seminar on the importance and techniques of how to properly associate with devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sadhu Sanga (Devotee Association) Seminar
13 April 2012--Riga, Latvia








Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: If One is Not Destined to Go Back to God?

I seek your blessings to advance materially and spiritually in life. Please let me know that what can someone do if one is constantly not able to chant properly due to disturbances, be they of any kind. If all his attempts at chanting are going in vain, and he is not making any progress, what can he do? Maybe he's not destined to return back to God or he is just not capable to be a devotee. It happens with me. How can there be any source of inspiration or motivation when God is not helping us out when we chant His name. Rather, it becomes all the more difficult to do so. What apart from chanting can help at such a stage?

Thanks
Bharat

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Answer: Everyone is Destined to Go Back to God

One should approach the spiritual master only for spiritual blessings, not for material blessings. One's material happiness and distress is already determined by his previous pious and sinful activities. Therefore whatever one's material situation may be, he should be tolerant and focus his energies on spiritual awakening.

Just as in all material situations, both peaceful and disturbing, you will take your meals without fail for the maintenance of your body, in a similar way you must always chant your prescribed number of rounds for the well being of your actual spiritual self, no matter what the situation may be. The easiest way to accomplish this is to every morning first chant before you take your breakfast.

Everyone is destined to go back to God. So it's up to each person to decide whether he wants to cash in on his destiny in this lifetime by surrendering to Krishna or wait until a future lifetime to cash in on his destiny.

If you feel that God is not helping you when you chant His name, you are not properly chanting. If you will simply humbly beg the Lord to engage you eternally in His pure devotional service, you will feel immediate uplifting results from the chanting. Along with chanting you must strictly follow these moral principles: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, and no meat eating. Plus you should take shelter of a bona fide master by whose blessings you can advance steadily and quickly on the path of bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 14 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Connecting with Krishna, the Supreme Energetic

The perfection of our existence is to connect with Krishna, the Supreme Energetic, because when we are connected with Krishna we are connected with everything and fully energized. There is no reason to suffer for even a minute longer in material existence. All we have to do is connect with Krishna by chanting His holy names with love. There is no cost. Simply we have the pay the price of faith, and we will then reap the supreme reward. Try it. You'll like it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Connecting with Krishna and Srila Prabhupada

12 April 2012--Riga, Latvia


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Make Sex Divine?

You said,

"While sex with one's wife according to the guidelines of the scriptures is divine, non-procreational sex with one's wife is illicit sex. In fact, it is so undesirable that Srila Prabhupada describes it as prostitution his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, Third Canto, Chapter 14, Text 33, 'In other words, sex life with one's wife is equal to prostitution if the regulations are not properly followed.'"

So please tell me the guidelines of the scriptures which makes the act of sex a divine activity?

Gautam

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Answer: Follow These Guidelines

The Vedic principle is that sex is only for procreation, not recreation. If a couple desires a child, they should first consult their spiritual master to ensure their spiritual readiness. And then with the spiritual master's blessings, they may engage in sex once in a month just after the woman's menstrual cycle after the husband and wife have both chanted at least 50 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads. Such sex life is a holy sacrament and will attract a highly qualified spiritual being to take birth in the womb. If sex is engaged in simply out of lust, children of a demoniac quality will be born.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 13 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Entering into the Realm of Eternal Bliss

Relief from the anxiety-ridden horror movie of material existence is easily within the reach of everyone. One just has to know and apply the simple technique for opening the door to that amazingly wondrous other side of reality. That's all. There is an astonishingly good looking, supremely powerful, totally renounced, knowledgeable, wealthy super star out there who is the source of all existence. He is inviting you into His transcendental realm of eternal bliss. And He has given the secret passwords that unlock the door so that you can enter into that most amazing realm:

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


Sankarshan Das Adhikari




With Guru Das at Riga, Latvia Airport

Arrival 9 April 2012


Thursday 12 April 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought:

Arrival in Riga, Latvia

After a three hour drive from Pune to Mumbai, an eight hour flight from Mumbai to London, an overnight stop in London, a three hour flight from London to Helsinki, and a one hour flight from Helsinki to Riga, plus many long hours of waiting time in three different airports--we finally arrived on Riga, Latvia on 9 April 2012. Even though difficult, it is a great joy to travel on behalf of Srila Prabhupada for serving his worldwide mission of awakening everyone to Krishna consciousness. The entire world is suffering due a lack of Krishna consciousness. It is most sublime and wonderful that Srila Prabhupada has given us the solution.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Hrishikesh Prabhu--Riga Temple President

Welcomes Us to Riga, Latvia--9 April 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Stop Sexual Urges?

Hare Krishna, Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances,

Please forgive me should if I mention anything inappropriate, but I am really trying hard to stop my sexual urges and am unable to. I am not yet married, but I don't sleep with any woman. However, due to the urges, I am unable to stop masturbating.

Would that be considered as illicit sex? How do I put an end to that?

Does illicit sex include having sex with one's wife with the intention to enjoy and not conceive a child? If one of the partners wishes to have sex for sense gratification but the other wishes to control, what can the person do in that situation?

Once again, I am really sorry for mentioning anything that I shouldn't have. Please bless me so that I can continue up the ladder of Krishna Consciousness.

Your Servant,
A.N.

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Answer: Tolerate the Urge and It Will Go Away

Yes, masturbation is illicit sex. Sex desire is like an itch. The more you scratch it, the more it itches. So if you want to become completely free from sex desire, you must not scratch the itch. If you will tolerate it, it will eventually go away. Simply you must train yourself to tolerate the sex itch without being disturbed. If your nose was itching and you felt an urgent need to scratch it but someone offered you a million dollars if you did not scratch it, could you tolerate the urge to scratch it? Sure you could. For a million dollars it would be well worth it. So kindly understand that the value of tolerating the sex urge is greater than one million dollars and tolerate it. Always remember that you are not your body and detach yourself from your body's urge for sex pleasure.

While sex with one's wife according to the guidelines of the scriptures is divine, non-procreational sex with one's wife is illicit sex. In fact, it is so undesirable that Srila Prabhupada describes it as prostitution his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, Third Canto, Chapter 14, Text 33:

"In other words, sex life with one's wife is equal to prostitution if the regulations are not properly followed."

Human life means to do what Krishna wants. Animal life means to do what your senses want. Therefore if one partner wants to avoid illicit sex and the other partner wants to have illicit sex, the person who is being overwhelmed by lust should learn from the self-controlled person how to bring their lust under control.

In the Srimad Bhagavatam, there is a history of Kasyapa Muni and his wife Diti. Diti became afflicted with a lusty desire for sex at an inappropriate time. Because Diti was so desperately craving sex Kasyapa foolishly gave in to his wife's lusty desire. As a result of this inauspicious act of sex, two demons were born who terrorized the entire universe. We should learn from this that instead of giving in to the lusty desires of one partner, one should remain self-controlled and teach the other partner how to also be self-controlled. This will create a very favorable situation for both the husband and wife to advance in Krishna consciousness. And then if they want to have children and if they follow the prescribed guidelines, they will attract an advanced transcendentalist to take birth in their family.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 11 April 2012

from London, England
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Today's Thought:

Firmly Fixed in Krishna Consciousness

Material life is not always pleasant. Sometimes we are attacked by various kinds of material miseries. Actually, if we examine our position here minutely, we will see that we are always under attack from one type of material misery or another. So how to be happy in the midst of so many difficulties? We simply have to always remain firmly fixed in Krishna consciousness. By doing so we will not be shaken even by the greatest difficulties. This is confirmed as follows in the Bhagavad-gita:

yasmin sthito na duhkhena
gurunāpi vicālyate

"If one is situated firmly in Krishna consciousness
he is never shaken even in the midst of the heaviest difficulty."
--Bhagavad-gītā 6.22

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ideal Grihastha Life Seminar

Pune, India--8 April 2012


Final Instructions to Devotees Before Departing
Pune, India--9 April 2012--5:30am


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What are Next Lives for Married Couple?

Honorable Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances. I'd like to know about what happens to two married body/souls in their next lives. Whether the same two souls would again be married in next lives or different souls? What says our scripture?

Hare Krishna!

Milan Das

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Answer: Tossed Like Sticks in the Waves of Time

Your question is nicely answered in the following verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.5.25:

naikatra priya-samvāsah
suhridām citra-karmanām
oghena vyuhyamānānām
plavānām srotaso yathā

"Many planks and sticks, unable to stay together, are carried away by the force of a river's waves. Similarly, although we are intimately related with friends and family members, we are unable to stay together because of our varied past deeds and the waves of time."
--Srimad Bhagavatam 10.5.25

This is why we should not base our happiness on temporary bodily relationships. Instead we should base our happiness on our eternal relationship with Sri Krishna and Sri Guru.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 10 April 2012

en route to the Mumbai, India Airport
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Today's Thought:

Stick to the Point of Human Life

If one wants to be successful in this human form of life, he must stick to the point of what this human life is all about. Human life is not a facility for sense gratification. If one wants sense gratification, animal life is the most suitable facility for that. The point of human life is to become self-realized, to realize one's eternal spiritual identity beyond the temporary all-devouring clutches of the material energy. Therefore those who are actually learned do not allow themselves to be deviated any amount of sense gratificatory propaganda. They stick to the point of this human form of life and go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sunday Feast Lecture--8 April 2012

Sticking to the Point at ISKCON Pune, India


Sunday Feast Lecture--8 April 2012
Speaking on Behalf of Srila Prabhupada


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: A Tendency Non-Existent in God?

Srila Prabhupada states in the Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila, 5.89:

"The tendency to lord it over material nature, or maya cannot be a feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

But we have also learned from the verses: "janmadyasya yatah" and "aham sarvasya prabhavah" that any tendency possessed by the living entities must have originated from the Supreme Lord, otherwise it cannot exist in us. How to reconcile this?

Suresh Anand

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Answer: The Lord Does Not Lord it Over this World

The conditioned soul tries to become the lord of the material nature by accumulating wealth and power. This is his foolish attempt to imitate the position of the Lord, the possessor of unlimited wealth and power. Krishna is not greedy to obtain wealth and power because He already has both of them unlimitedly. Therefore, Krishna does not come under the influence of the material nature.

The point is that Krishna always remains that supreme controller of the material energy. He never comes under its influence. When we try to imitate Krishna's position of being the supreme controller of the material energy we become conquered by it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 9 April 2012

from Pune, India
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Today's Thought:

Sunday Bliss at ISKCON Pune

Sunday is always a super blissful day at ISKCON Pune, India. There are extra classes, many ecstatic kirtans and large feast of Krishna prasadam for the over 1,000 guests. From the very beginning of the day the festive mood fills the air as the devotees make all the arrangements for the Sunday love feast.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




ISKCON Pune, India--Sunday 8 April, 2012

Devotees Cut Potatoes for the Sunday Feast


Blissful Devotee Making Halavah (Sooji)


Enthusiastic Devotees Inquire About Krishna Bhakti


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Measure Spiritual Advancement?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances.

How to understand our level of advancement, where we stand spiritually, and how much more pure we have to become?

Regards,

Vikram Mutha

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Answer: Detachment from Sense Gratification

One can measure his advancement in Krishna consciousness by how much he has become detached from material sense gratification.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 8 April 2012

from Pune, India
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Today's Thought:

The Kirtan that Outgrew the Apartment

On 6 April 2012 we did a home kirtan program in Pune. The apartment was so crowded that we could not all fit in the living room to join the kirtan. Some were in the kitchen. The ladies went back into the bed room Some were on the balcony. Others could not even enter the apartment. There were so many people trying to join the kirtan that it become completely unmanageable. Finally the decision was made to move the program out into the courtyard in the middle of the apartment complex, where we got enough space. May the sankirtan movement always go on expanding more and more like this all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




6 April 2012--Pune, India--Home Kirtan Program



Due to Overflow We Moved to the Courtyard


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Become a Leader When Making Money?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

How can we become leaders if most of our time we have to spend today for making money?

Regards,
Vikram Mutha

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Answer: Make Money for Krishna

Anyone who utilizes his money-making propensity by making money for Krishna is already a great leader by the mere dint of his perfect example.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 7 April 2012

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Living in the Middle of a Horror Movie

Living in this material world is like living in the middle of a horror movie. So many horrible things are going on everywhere that the magnitude of the horror simply staggers the imagination. How can anyone agree to live like this or think they are happy living in such a condition? It just goes to show you how powerful is the Lord's material energy, to completely bewilder millions and billions of people like this. What can be said? They wanted to be in the illusion that they are the center of the universe and Krishna fulfilled their desire. This all-pervading horror reminds me of the famous statement of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur that this material world is not a fit place for a gentleman's residence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Teaching the Enlightening Science of Krishna

6 April 2012--Giri Govardhan Dham--Pune, India






Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Life After Death for a Childless Couple?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please clear my doubts.

What will happen to a couple after death, who does not have children? Is childlessness a result of one's previous life's sins? And why in Hindu dharma it is mentioned that the son is a must for deliverance of his parents?

AS Prasad

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Answer: Surrendered Souls Go to Krishnaloka

If you will fully surrender to Krishna, you will attain the supreme destination of Krishnaloka at the time of death. For one who has surrendered fully to Krishna it does not matter whether or not he has any children.

Everything that happens to us in this life is a result of our previous pious and impious activities. If we surrender to Krishna, all of our karmic reactions will be transformed into the most auspicious blessings.

The Vedic injunctions for having children is for sinful people who can be saved from hellish conditions after their death when their children perform sacrificial ceremonies on their behalf. This injunction does not apply to devotees because by Krishna's mercy they are already saved from hell.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 6 April 2012

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories of Vrindavan

There is no sweeter, more wonderful place in all universe than Sri Vrindavan Dham because it is here that the Lord displayed 5,000 years ago His most intimate pastimes and it is here that those pastimes are still going on even today for those who have the eyes to see them. Even the neophyte devotee who is just beginning to awaken his transcendental vision will find great inspiration in this holiest of all places where one particle of dust is unlimitedly more valuable than the vast treasure house of Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna and the Gopis in Vrindavan



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Keep Enthusiasm When Sick?

Hare Krishna respected, Prabhuji,

Please accept my humble obeisances.,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.,

First of all thanks so much for your sharing of bliss of Krishna Consciousness with others through these daily mails.

I have seen in last few years that I struggle to uplift my personal practice of Krishna consciousness for months and I will reach a stage where I am doing all the basics right, but then I will fall sick and everything takes a toss and afterwards sometimes I have to start from zero again.,

How should one deal with this? I know that sickness can be a very positive catalyst in our Krishna consciousness. We can see how miserable this body is. But somehow when the body does not cooperate, I feel it difficult to keep the enthusiasm high or even to maintain it at all.

Thanks so much.

Your servant,
B.N.

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Answer: Feed Your Body. Feed Your Soul.

Just as we continue eating for the purpose of maintaining our temporary material bodies even when we are sick, in a similar and even more important way we must continue chanting, reading, and hearing about Krishna for the purpose of reviving our eternal spiritual identities when when we are sick. If one can serve the covering of the self, which is not his actual self, when he is sick, even more importantly he must also serve the actual self in all conditions of sickness and health. In short, just as we don't stop feeding our bodies when we are sick, we also must not stop feeding our souls.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 5 April 2012

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

When You Know Krishna, You Know Everything

The scientists are busy trying to discover how everything works in this material world. But they are going about their pursuit of knowledge in the wrong way by trying to figure everything out with their imperfect senses. What they don't know is that the easy way to understand everything is simply to understand the root cause of everything. As soon as you understand the root cause of everything, you can immediately understand everything. In other words, when you know Krishna, you know everything. This is confirmed as follows in the Mundaka Upanishad 1.3 as follows:

Yasmin vijñāte sarvam evam vijñātam bhavati

"If you can understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead
or the Absolute Truth, then you understand everything. "



Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Revealing the Original Cause to Future Leaders
Vrindavan Gurukula--3 April 2012











Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What to Do When Chanting is Boring?

Sometimes I am feeling bored while chanting. Please let me know what we I have to do in such cases?

Your Servant,
Chandra

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Answer: Serve Pure Devotees

According to the Srimad Bhagavatam, if one is not getting a taste from the holy names, he is not serving the pure devotees of the Lord. Therefore if one finds the holy names to be boring, he must find out those devotees who are completely free from vice and sincerely serve them to the best of his ability. By so doing, his chanting will be transformed into to the most enlivening ambrosial experience at every moment.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 4 April 2012

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Hope for the Most Fallen

Five hundreds years ago when Lord Nityananda and Haridas Thakur went out for preaching Krishna consciousness in Nabadwip, they approached two most degraded sinful fellows named Jagai and Madhai and asked them to chant the holy names of the Lord. The response was that Madhai smashed Lord Nityananda on the head with an earthen pot drawing blood from His forehead. When Lord Caitanya heard of this great offense He came rushing to the spot and invoked His ultimate weapon, the sudarshan chakra, to immediately kill these rascals. However, Lord Nityananda stopped Him from doing so imploring Him, "My dear Lord, in this age Your mission is to deliver all of the fallen souls. But in this age everyone will degrade to the caliber of the these two fellows. So if You find it necessary to kill them, You are going to have to end up killing everyone. So instead of killing them, my dear Lord, kindly deliver them instead." Lord Caitanya accepted this proposal on the condition that these two rascals should give up their sinful life and chant the holy names of the Lord. Jagai and Madhai immediately agreed and fell down in full surrender at the lotus feet of Lord Caitanya. Thus they became such great devotees that their names are celebrated all over the world even to this very day. By the extreme mercy of Lord Nityananda, even the most fallen souls can be saved.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Nityananda's Mercy Upon Jagai and Madhai


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Mayavadi Example of a Water Pot

Hare Krishna, Srila Gurudeva,

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

I was reading the Teachings of Lord Caitanya book written by Srila Prabhupada in which he mentions regarding the Mayavadis:

"The Mayavadis are also fond of using the example of the water pot, maintaining that when a pot is not filled with water it makes a sound, but that when it is filled it makes no sound."

I don't understand this analogy about the Mayavadis. Could you please explain the analogy behind this example ?

Krishna's eternal servant,

Sathya

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Answer: The Realized Devotee Sounds Loudly

The empty water pot which can make a sound and the full water pot which can make no sound are compared by the Mayavadis to a person who has realized the Absolute Truth and the person who has not. The realized person is like the full pot which makes no sound. And the unrealized person is the empty pot which makes sound. Therefore the Mayavadis conclude that those who know the Absolute Truth do not speak, while those who speak do not know the Absolute Truth.

But this concept was spoken by someone, who according to their philosophy, did not have perfect knowledge of the Absolute Truth. Therefore this concept cancels itself out and has no validity because of its self-contradictory nature.

On the other hand, our philosophy is not self-contradictory. It does not cancel itself out. Our philosophy is that he who realizes the Absolute Truth becomes very active to spread knowledge of the Absolute Truth all over the world to save as many people as possible from their suffering in the cycle of birth and death. Our philosophy is confirmed by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita wherein the Lord states that He has no greater servant than the one who broadcasts the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 3 April 2012

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Worldwide Water Shortage

The United Nations has predicted that by the year 2025 two thirds of the world's population will suffer water shortages. That's only thirteen years from now. Nobody has been able to figure out a solution. The future of planet earth is not very bright. But if the foolish world leaders will just listen to us, we can guide them how to put an end to all shortages by rectifying the greatest shortage of all, the lack of Krishna consciousness. If this greatest of all shortages is rectified, every other shortage will automatically be taken care of. Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that if there is regular wide-scale nama-sankirtana, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, there will be ample supply of rain all over the world to take care of the needs of everyone. So when will the leaders wake up and start listening to the message of Krishna?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Water Shortage in California, USA




Revealing the Solution for all the World's Problems
ISKCON Sanskrit Academy--Vrindavan Dhama, India
2 April 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do You Proudly Call Others Rascals?

Kindly pardon me for saying this. In some of the posts by you and other senior devotees words like “rascals” “nonsense people” “demons” are used to refer non-Vaishnavas, and you talk lowly of them. While I appreciate the spirit in the context, I feel that a true Vaishnava should treat all with respect. Why feel proud /superior of ourselves and see others as inferior? Every entity is Lord’s creation.

Highest Regards,
Jai

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Answer: Krishna Calls Them Rascals, Not Us.

It is not that we declare anyone to be a rascal. Rather, we feel that it is we who are the rascals because even though we have been taught the philosophy of Krishna consciousness so nicely by Srila Prabhupada, we still have not fully surrendered ourselves at Krishna's lotus feet. But as souls who are sincerely trying to fully surrender ourselves to Krishna it is our duty to follow His instructions. Since the Lord declares in the Bhagavad-gita that those who do not surrender unto Him are rascals, and since He has ordered us to broadcast His teachings all over the world, it is our duty to humbly do so. Therefore we sometimes must point out the foolish, rascal nature of the materialists as I have done in today's Thought the Day by describing the world's leaders as fools.

Another point is that if you feel that it is wrong for us to correct others, it is an act of hypocrisy for you to correct us. If correcting is bad, why are you correcting us? If you have a right to correct, why we should not have the right to correct? This is not a philosophically sound position from which you are making your point.

We have the highest respect for everyone, seeing every individual soul as part and parcel of Krishna. It is only out of love in an attempt to save them from the cycle of birth and death that we sometimes describe non-devotees as rascals. It is not at all done out of pride. Rather it is an act of compassion like a concerned loving parent scolding a naughty child.

Even though everyone is part of God's creation, it's not all one. There is a distinct difference between those who are following God's instructions and those who are neglecting His instructions. Unless a preacher makes such distinctions there is no way that he can train anyone how to attain the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead. Just as a doctor must distinguish between a sick man and healthy man, the preacher, in order to do his job properly, must make distinction between those who are obeying the Lord and those who are disobedient to the Lord.

The best thing is that of each of us should realize what rascals we are for having rebelled against the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should now give up our rascaldom and fully surrender ourselves at the Lord's lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 2 April 2012

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

Become Free from Envy

Due to envy of the Supreme Lord's position as the supreme enjoyer we have entered into this material world in our futile attempt to take over His position and become the supreme enjoyers ourselves. But such an attempt is the epitome of foolishness. Why is that? Even though Krishna is the supreme enjoyer He sees that His devotee Srimati Radharani is enjoying more than Him. Therefore to experience the even greater enjoyment of being a devotee, Lord Krishna descends to this material world in the form of His own devotee, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So if even the Lord Himself wants to increase His enjoyment by becoming His devotee, we can understand that there is no greater happiness than being a devotee of the Lord and give up our foolish envy of His position.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Lecture: "How to Become Free from Envy"
Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India--31 March 2012








Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Self-Realized?

What do I have to do to become self-realized?

Lokesh

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Answer: Carefully Follow Prabhupada's Instructions

The way to become self-realized is to fully surrender yourself unto the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master. The system of how to do this is very nicely explained by my spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, as follows in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 4.34:

"The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhāgavatam (6.3.19) says, dharmam tu sāksād bhagavat-pranītam: the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help lead one to the right path. Nor by independent study of books of knowledge can one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. Not only should one hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect."

My best advice to you is that you should carefully study the above words of Srila Prabhupada and make them the guiding principle of your life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 1 April 2012

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India
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Today's Thought:

The Appearance Day of Lord Ramacandra

Today is the appearance day of Lord Ramacandra. It is a wonderful day for us to reflect on the amazing factual pastimes of the Lord. The rascal commentators say that the pastimes of Lord Rama mentioned so nicely in the Ramayana of Valmiki are nothing but mythology. They say that Lord Rama did not build a stone bridge across the Indian ocean from India to Sri Lanka. But yet we see the factual remnants of that bridge in the satellite photo below. Those who are envious of the Supreme Lord will never accept the existence of His inconceivable pastimes even if solid scientific evidence is staring them right in the face, because their intelligence is covered by their envy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Ramacandra'a Bridge from India to Lanka



Lord Ramacandra's Bridge Seen in Satellite Photo


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Cannot Understand His Potency?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

My humble obeisances to you.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Kindly explain the difference between a spiritualist and a transcendentalist.

Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 3, Chapter 6, Text 39 mentions that His potential power is unknown even to the self sufficient Lord. Gurudeva, please enlighten me, because this statement is inconceivable for me.

Your humble servant,

Krishna Kumar
Mumbai, India

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Answer: Krishna's Forever Expanding Consciousness

There is no difference between a spiritualist and a transcendentalist. They are the same. Unless someone is a transcendentalist, one who understands the transcendental nature of the self, he is not a true spiritualist.

Krishna has an unlimited ability to understand His unlimited potencies. But since His potencies are ever expanding, He is always trying to catch up with them in His understanding. In short, even Krishna Himself is eternally amazed with Himself as He goes on expanding his unlimited Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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