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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Wednesday 31 October 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Nobody Enjoys Life As Much As the Devotees

Why punish yourself with an inferior grade of enjoyment, one that is mixed with many varieties of suffering? Why not take a superior enjoyment, the topmost enjoyment, which is pure unadulterated bliss? The fact is that those who have awakened the divine consciousness within their hearts have more fun than anyone else in this material world because they have perfectly dovetailed their consciousness with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, the reservoir of unlimited pleasure. Thus they relish a rare grade of happiness which is not tinged with even the slightest trace of material misery. This is why nobody enjoys life like the devotees of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Sharing the Unlimited Krishna Consciousness Bliss

Riga, Latvia--28 October 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Were All the Souls Created at Once?

Honorable Guru Maharaja,

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

Kindly answer the following questions:

1) Were all souls formed at same time, or does Lord keep creating new ones?
2) If new souls keep getting added, then is there a soul age for each of them?
3) If all souls were formed only once, then how does the population keep increasing?
4)If soul has an age depending upon when it took a human body, is there a soul hierarchy in the upper realm?
5) Are there other planes of existence apart from our physical world?

Your servant,
Manmohan

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Answer: Eternally an Infinite Number of Souls

The Lord is eternally manifesting an unlimited number of souls from Himself. There is no moment in time when the souls did not exist and the Lord brought them into being. They are eternally existing.

Since the souls are eternal their age is infinite. The population of the total existence is not increasing. The present increase of human population is due to more souls coming up from the animal kingdom to take birth as humans.

Besides this material world where life is temporary full of ignorance and misery, there is the spiritual world, where life is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. If you will seriously take to the path of Krishna bhakti, you can enter into that unlimitedly sweet transcendental abode.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 30 October 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

You Will Never Feel Lonely Again

All you have to do is connect with Krishna, and you will never feel lonely again. Krishna, the most amazing, all-loving, all-powerful, fully renounced, unlimitedly beautiful and wealthy, all-knowing, all-famous person is fully available to be your constant companion and most intimate friend. He is seated in your heart and fully ready to personally reciprocate with you in innumerable unlimitedly sublime varieties of ways for all of eternity. All you have to do is to connect with Him in love by uttering His name with faith and devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Teaching the Science of Mahamantra Chanting
Home Program--Riga, Latvia--28 October 2012










Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Material Lives Remembered in Goloka?

I would like to ask if one goes to the spiritual world, does he/she remember his/her material lives.

Your eternal servant,

Shashank

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Answer: No Forgetfulness in Spiritual Life

Srila Prabhupada has nicely answered your question as follows in a letter he wrote to Vrindavanesvari devi dasi dated 6 June 1969 when he was in New Vrindavan, West Virginia, USA:

"In your second question you asked if we will remember the earth, when in Vrindavan, and the answer is certainly. When Narada Muni was talking to Vyasadeva, as you may have read in first volume of our Srimad-Bhagavatam, he was in a spiritual body, but he remembered his previous life and explained it to Vyasadeva. In material life there is forgetfulness, but in spiritual life there is no forgetfulness."

This means that the wonderful Krishna conscious experiences we are having how will never be forgotten.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 29 October 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Love Yourself. Don't Kill Yourself.

The Vedic literatures mention the term atma-ha, killer of the soul. One who does not utilize his human form of life for awakening his dormant loving relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead is killing his own spiritual life. He is his own worst enemy. So instead of killing ourselves by a life of sense gratification we should love ourselves, our actual spiritual selves, by engaging ourselves in the devotional service of the Lord. This will bring us out of the perpetual deathlike state in karma chakra, the wheel of karma, and bring us into an eternal existence which is full of love, bliss, and knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Revealing How to Love the True Self Within
Riga, Latvia--27 October 2012






Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Opinion: Nameless, Formless Tao is the Highest Path

Hello Teacher,

Everything you say and teach carries much wisdom and grace, and makes perfect sense. Your student John says that he wants a higher path, and you say that Krishna Consciousness is the highest path, according to Krishna's own teaching. Krishna surely is very, very high, likely the highest of all named divine personalities. Yet Jesus says that no one can come to God except through him. And Muhammad says that he is the last of the prophets, whose teaching supersedes all that came before. Buddha for his part says that there is only one true eight-fold path that leads to authentic realization.

I would suggest that all named gods and prophets and paths are limited and finite. They are confined by their names. This is regardless of what they may say about themselves. Only the nameless and formless Tao is beyond all of these, beyond both gods and duality, the source of both Heaven and Earth. This may be what John is seeking.

Best regards,
Steve M.

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Answer: If You Hold Something to be True, Follow It

Thank you very much for opening your heart to me.

Regarding knowledge, kindly note that the original knowledge in this universe is the Vedic knowledge, which was revealed by Lord Krishna to Lord Brahma within his heart at the beginning of this universe 155 trillion years ago. That same knowledge of the Absolute Truth was revealed by Lord Krishna to the sun god Vivasvan millions of years ago and recently again by Lord Krishna to Arjuna 5,000 years ago on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra. A portion of that same knowledge was also revealed by Lord Buddha, Lao Tzu, Lord Jesus Christ, and the Prophet Muhammad.

The Absolute Truth is one, and that same Absolute Truth is revealed in varying degrees throughout history according to the degree of realization of the speaker and the understanding capacity of the particular audience. For example, Lord Jesus stated that he had more to reveal to his followers but that they were not ready to hear it yet. There is a similar statement in the Islamic literatures. The Tao Te Ching also describes its own limitations. In contrast to this Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita that He is now revealing the highest knowledge beyond which there is nothing more to be known.

It is interesting that you suggest that all the incarnations and prophets are limited, finite, and confined while you position yourself as someone who knows better than all of them, that the nameless, formless Tao is the highest truth. You find fault with the prophets and incarnations that they are confined by names, and then you turn around and also give a name to the highest truth. This is a philosophical inconsistency which nullifies the strength of your arguments.

You say that the highest path is nameless, but yet you give it a name. You say that the origin of all is formless, but you offer no evidence. We see everywhere that forms come from forms. Just like your present form came from the form of your mother. We see also that forms transform into formlessness. At the time of death your body will decay and go into a formless state. But where is the example of a form arising from formlessness? There is no such example. Therefore your proposition that the origin of everything is formless is not scientific, logical or philosophical. It is dogmatic and therefore rejected by those in learned circles.

And besides the above points, according to the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 56, he who speaks does not know, he who knows does not speak. Therefore if you are a true follow of Taoism, you will remain silent. The fact that you have spoken so many words indicates that you are not a true follower of Taoism. Our philosophy is different. Our philosophy is that one who knows the highest truth should loudly broadcast it all over the world to save the suffering, ignorant world population from its current perilous condition. We walk our talk by broadcasting Krishna's teachings all over the world, and we humbly suggest that if you are a true Taoist you will walk your talk as well by not talking. If you hold something to be true you should follow it, not that you say one thing and do something else.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 28 October 2012

from Riga, Latvia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Are Hard Work and Money Everything?

One of our subscribers recently canceled his subscription citing the following reasons:

"Everything is hard work. Nothing is achieved without it. All are after money."

He's wrong that all are after money, that nothing can be achieved without it, and that hard work is everything. Those who become Krishna conscious achieve something far, far beyond even the wealthiest and most powerful people of this world. They don't have to work like asses to achieve it either. All they have to do is lovingly absorb themselves in remembering the Lord and offering Him the fruits of their activities. If one wants to know the real meaning of everything, he should see that everything is the energy of Krishna and should therefore be engaged in Krishna's service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Ecstatic Departure
Kirtan
in the Snow
Tallinn, Estonia--26 October 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Should We Read the Entire Bhagavatam?

All glories to Lord Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and you, dear Gurudeva.

I am confused that one website gives Srila Prabhupada's Srimad Bhagavatam online only up to the Tenth Canto, Chapter 13 and another website (www.Vedabase.com) gives the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. Should we read the Srimad Bhagavatam only up to the Tenth Canto, Chapter 13? Or should we read the entire Srimad Bhagavatam?

Please clear my confusion.

Your servant Kowsthub

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Answer: Prabhupada Wants Us to Read It Entirely.

Srila Prabhupada did not complete the Srimad Bhagavatam before he departed from this world. Because he could only complete up to the 10th Canto, Chapter 13 he instructed his disciples that they should complete it so that everyone could read all 12 Cantos of the Srimad Bhagavatam. While there certainly is a difference between reading Prabhupada's purports and the purports of his disciples, this does not mean that we should not read the rest of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Because Prabhupada wants us to read the entire Srimad Bhagavatam, even the portion translated and purported by his disciples, we should relish the entire Srimad Bhagavatam from start to finish.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 27 October 2012

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Happiness in a World Filled with Hate

I see an ocean of hate in this material world in which practically everyone is drowning. Any religion or philosophy which promotes hate is not fit for human beings. The fact is that all living beings come from a common source. Whether you call that God, Allah, Christ, Buddha, Jehovah, or the Origin of the Universe, we all come from the same place. The only way we can have peace and happiness on this planet is to live in a loving harmonious relationship with our common origin. This will automatically bring us into a perfect state of peace and harmony with each other. We have to get back to our original pure state of consciousness before we descended into all of this egotism and exploitation. The Krishna consciousness movement is trying to resolve these most important global issues so that everyone can have a life of genuine happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Presenting the Topmost Technology of the Soul

Tallinn University of Technology--25 October 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Do You Know So Much?

Hare Krishna, Gurudeva,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Nowadays I am reading your previous newsletters. How do you know so much about the Vedic civilization?

Your servant,
Shashank

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Answer: I am Simply a Messenger

Whatever Vedic knowledge I have is all due to the mercy of my beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I am nothing more than a messenger who has been instructed by him to make his most sublime presentation of the Vedic teachings known to the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 26 October 2012

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Don't Try to Enjoy that Which is Temporary

If you try to enjoy that which is temporary, you are doing nothing but setting yourself up for a big disappointment. The price we pay for material enjoyment is misery. In other words, when you try to enjoy in a way which is against the laws of nature, your karma will bounce back in your face. Therefore the intelligent person only enjoys those things that are eternally enjoyable. In this way by absorbing himself twenty-four hours daily in the service of the Supreme Lord he is never touched by any of the unlimited miseries of this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srimad Bhagavatam Class
Tallinn, Estonia--24 October 2012






Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Comment: The Reason I Dropped Out of Your Course

This path may not be for me. I am searching for a higher path.

John

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Reply: You've Already Found the Highest Path

We wish you the very best on your search for the higher path.

In this connection, kindly note that Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Authority, clearly states in the Bhagavad-gita that this path is the highest of all paths. Therefore, not according to our words but according to the words of Lord Krishna, you will not find a higher path than this. You have already found the highest path.

So considering this, if you like, we can reactivate your subscription. Let us know.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 25 October 2012

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Love Seminar at the University of Tallinn

On 23 October 2012 I gave a lecture on love and compassion in an auditorium at the University of Tallinn. In this material world everyone is looking for love, but no one knows how to find the pure love that will fully satisfy them and never ever disappoint them. That pure love becomes realized when we connect ourselves in love with the ultimate source of all love, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the original fountainhead of love and compassion. Connecting with Him is not difficult. All we have to do is chant His names with love and we will feel the ecstasy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Ecstatic
Kirtan
at Love Seminar
Tallinn, Estonia--23 October 2012



Revealing the Origin and Perfection of Love
Tallinn, Estonia--23 October 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Develop Compassion?

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

All glories to your travel and internet preaching.

Can you please explain, how to develop compassion?

Hare Krishna!

Your servant
Rukmini Ranga Krishna das

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Answer: Dedicate Your Life to Serving Others

Compassion is already there within your heart. If you will dedicate your life fully to helping others awaken their dormant Krishna consciousness, the dormant compassion within your heart will gradually become fully manifested.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 24 October 2012

from Tallinn, Estonia
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Warmed by Kirtan on a Chilly Estonian Evening

Our Monday 22nd October 2012 was wonderfully surcharged with Krishna consciousness. After attending mangala arati from 4:30am to 5:00am at the ISKCON temple in Copenhagen we departed for the airport where we caught a flight to Helsinki, Finland. There we were greeted by the Finnish devotees and were driven to ISKCON's Helsinki temple for lunch. After lunch we travelled by ship across the Gulf of Finland from Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia. In this city, which is the capital of Estonia, we were greeted by an ecstatic band of singing and dancing devotees. The chill of the evening was offset by the warm enlivened chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. There is only thing more splendorous than a day surcharged with Krishna consciousness, and that is all of eternity overflowing with ever-increasing unlimitedly nectarean Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Mellifluous Arrival
Kirtan

Tallinn, Estonia--22 October 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: I am Tired of this World

I am tired of this world. I want to be with Krishna.

Rahul B.

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Answer: Chant Hare Krishna with Love and Faith

I am very happy to hear that you are tired of this world and that you just want to be with Krishna. If you will simply call out His name with love and full faith, you will immediately enter into the personal presence of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 23 October 2012

from Helsinki, Finland
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

How to Avoid Artificial Renunciation

One who sees everything as the energy of Krishna and engages everything in Krishna's service is properly situated in renunciation. And on the other hand, one who rejects everything not seeing everything's relationship with Krishna is imperfect and incomplete in his renunciation. So, whatever position you now find yourself in within this material world, see it as the arrangement of Krishna and use it in His service to please Him. You don't need to quit your job or give up your family to awaken your dormant Krishna consciousness, the unlimited bliss within you. All you have to do is regularly chant the holy names of God and give up sinful activities such as meat eating, illicit sex, intoxication, and gambling. By these simple, blissful disciplines you will gradually experience how the Supreme Lord is within everything and how everything is within Him, and you will become fully qualified to enter His transcendental kingdom at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



ISKCON Copenhagen Sunday Feast Lecture
Copenhagen, Denmark--21 October 2012






Post Lecture Questions and Answers Session






Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Process for Getting a Saintly Child?

I wanted to know whether one is destined to leave his body at a particular time and whether the cause of his death is also predestined.

Also, I am married and my wife and I are planning to have a child. Do we have to notify any senior devotees or spiritual masters? What is the process of this samskara?

Please bless us in having a pure devotee of the Lord take birth and who will serve Srila Prabhupada's mission. We would love to have a son.

Thank you

A.S.

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Answer: Follow Prabhupada's Instructions

The time and cause of death is predestined for everyone, except for those who have fully surrendered themselves unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who then takes personal charge of the time and means of passing out of the body for His pure devotee.

The proper formula for having a saintly child who can dedicate his life to serving the Lord's mission is that the husband and wife should both be initiated disciples of the bona fide spiritual master and first receive the spiritual master's blessings and permission before trying to have a child.

The samskara (purificatory) process as given by Srila Prabhupada is that once a month just after the wife's menstrual cycle the husband and wife should both chant 50 rounds of Hare Krishna mahamantra japa mala. Then they may have sexual intercourse for trying to have a child. This can be repeated once a month until the wife becomes pregnant. Other than trying once a month for a child they should remain strictly celibate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 22 October 2012

from Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

The Perfection of the Theological Science

There is no one like Krishna. He is one without a second. He has no beginning and at the same time is the beginning of everything. His form is endless. He is not subject to decay. He is an undifferentiated entity as there is no distinction between His potency and the possessor thereof. This means that in His creation of millions of worlds His potency is completely inseparable. All the universes exist in Him, and He is present in His fullness in every one the atoms that are spread throughout the entire creation at one and the same time. There is truly nobody else in all of existence who possesses such potency. Therefore He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This understanding is the perfection of the theological science and is only comprehended by those who are Krishna's devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





All the Universes Exist In Krishna



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Defeat Christians Without Hurting Them?

I would like ask you how to defeat these so called Christians without hurting them. Please tell some points so that they will not be able to speak anything. They say that since God has created everything we can enjoy eating anything we like. Please give me some strong points so that I can defeat them very easily and they will not be able to answer.

Vine

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Answer: We Have a Beef with your Beef.

I have personal experience of strongly preaching to Christians without hurting them. One time I was to invited to speak to an adult study group at a Christian church. Since Lord Jesus is a pure devotee and a saktyavesa avatar I glorified him like anything for a long time explaining to the Christians that we accept Jesus as our spiritual master. They were in complete bliss with big smiles on their faces. And then after sending them into ecstasy for a good while, I said, "But with you all we have a beef." (The word beef has a dual meaning. It means the flesh of a cow or bull. And it also means complaint.) I said, "With you all we have a beef. And that is the beef. You are eating meat even though the Bible orders us not to kill." Instead of being angry at me, their reaction was amazing. They were so mellowed out by hearing my long sincere glorification of Lord Jesus that they didn't mind when I poetically pointed out their fault at the tail end of my talk. In this way the lecture ended on a sweet note, and they were all happy in spite of being told that they were disobeying the Bible.

Kindly note that in this presentation I first won their admiration by my unabashed and enthusiastic glorification of Lord Jesus. Unless somebody likes you they will not agree to be corrected by you. But if they like you, you can tell them so many things, and they won't mind. They will take it. So in preaching, one secret is to first win the admiration of your audience.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 21 October 2012

from Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Go Deep into the Sound of Krishna's Holy Name

If you want to associate with God, you don't have to go very far because He is fully present in the form of His unlimitedly sweet transcendental name "Krishna." If you want to find Him in his name, all you have to do is chant the Hare Krishna mantra with love and immediately you will be connected with Krishna, who then will personally elevate you to the transcendental plane. Does it sound too good to be true? If you remain skeptical, it will be too good to be true. But if you will put your faith in the holy name, you will feel how you are being transported to the spiritual plane. How this happens cannot be explained, but it is factually experienced by those who chant the names of God with faith and love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





His Holiness Vishnujana Swami Dives Deeply
into the Nectarean Ocean of Lord Sri Krishna's Name



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Find My Spiritual Master?

How shall one search for his spiritual master, and how to know whom that he is the one?

Thank you,

Mohish

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Answer: He Will Find You

You don’t have to search for your spiritual master because he will find you. You simply have to be alert to recognize the bona fide spiritual master that Lord Sri Krishna has so kindly sent you. When you confirm that he is coming in an unbroken chain of disciplic succession from Lord Sri Krishna and that he is purely presenting teachings of Krishna without addition or subtraction and you feel how he is so wonderfully connecting you with Krishna, you will know that you have finally find your guru. At this point you must fully surrender to him and beg him to accept you as his disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 20 October 2012

from Copenhagen, Denmark
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Transcending Sickness to Taste the Bliss of Bhakti

After being healthy on the road for two months sickness has finally caught up with me. Sickness, although not very welcome, is a wonderful opportunity to focus one's consciousness on the transcendental plane beyond the miseries of birth, death, old age, and disease. It is also a great opportunity to burn off more of the reactions of one's past sinful deeds so that one becomes more qualified for the wonderful process of Krishna consciousness. Sickness and health are like the changes of the seasons. Krishna advises us that we have to tolerate these changes and always remain absorbed in thoughts of Him. As soon as we do that we can immediately experience he bliss of transcendental consciousness far, far beyond all the suffering conditions of this material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Copenhagen, Denmark Street Scene



ISKCON-Copenhagen, an Oasis in the Desert


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Prabhupada Initiate Me?

Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Prabhupada.

Can one still consider Srila Prabhupada as their diksha guru even though physically he is not present.

Your humble servant,

Aloke

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Answer: Become the Disciple of His Disciple

One should take Srila Prabhupada as their siksha (instructing) guru by always reading his books and strictly abiding by his instructions.

Diksha or initiation is when the guru personally agrees to accept you as his initiated disciple. Just prior to his 14 November 1977 departure from this world, on 18 October 1977 Srila Prabhupada stated that he would no longer be accepting any disciples. Therefore it is not possible for you to now become his initiated disciple. In May of 1977 he instructed that after his physical departure from this world that the new ISKCON devotees should become the disciples of his disciples. Therefore if you truly accept Srila Prabhupada as your guru, which I strongly recommend that you do, you should select one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples who are strictly following his instructions and become the initiated disciple of that Prabhupada disciple. This is how you can be a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, by becoming the disciple of his disciple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 19 October 2012

from London Heathrow Airport
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

We Have Landed in Europe

After an amazing life-transforming preaching tour in India, Malaysia, and Bali we have now landed in Europe at London Heathrow Airport to spread the rays of Lord Caitanya's benediction moon in this continent where it is most desperately needed. In spite of all material progress we can see that the people here in Europe are very unhappy. Therefore we have come here to make them happy. If they can just join in Lord Caitanya's transcendental revolution of singing and dancing the holy names of God, all of their problems will be solved.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





London Heathrow Airport




Lord Caitanya's Singing and Dancing
Will Deliver the Entire Universe



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Japa with a Clicker instead of Beads?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja,

If I may inquire, you mentioned that chanting 16 rounds on beads is one of the prerequisites for initiation, I have beads but I am unable to walk with them and instead bought a counter for when I am walking to work. But I always use the beads when in the temple. Is there a difference in the potency of chanting using beads and using the clicker?

Your servant
Stephen W. Mbuthi

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Answer: 16 Rounds on Beads is Required

If it is hard for you to chant with beads while walking, you should rise early in the morning and finish all 16 rounds before you need to leave for work.

Srila Prabhupada instructs in his Bhagavad-gita purport that chanting is to be done "round the beads." When Srila Prabhupada was on the planet we saw that everyone chanted on beads only. We never saw or heard of anyone adopting any other means such as chanting on a clicker. When Srila Prabhupada initiated someone as his disciple he would hand them japa beads on which to fulfill their requirement of chanting at least 16 rounds daily. He never handed anyone a clicker at the time of initiation. Therefore you should daily chant at least 16 rounds on japa mala beads. If you want to chant extra mantras, you can do so with a clicker or you can simply chant on your lips without the help of a counting device.

Chanting your 16 rounds with beads is following the order of Srila Prabhupada. Chanting your 16 rounds with some other means of counting is not following the order of Srila Prabhupada and is therefore not as potent.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 18 October 2012

from Hyderabad, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

From the Holy Land of India to Europe

After a wonderful transcendental adventure in the holy land of India, feeling enriched with so many sweet, divine memories from Vrindavana, New Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad, we are now heading to Europe to taste the nectar of more varieties of transcendental adventures while we engage in serving Srila Prabhupada's mission of spreading the rays of Lord Caitanya's mercy moon all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Singing Kirtan in a Boat on the Yamuna River

Kesi Ghat, Vrindavana, India--8 September 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Lord Caitanya in Srimad Bhagavatam?

In which verse or verses of Srimad Bhagavatam is the advent of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu predicted?

Thank you very much.

Charif

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Answer: Hare Krishna Chanting Incarnation of God

Lord Caitanya is predicted in the following verse from the Srimad Bhagavatam:

krsna-varnam tvisākrsnam
sāngopāngāstra-pārsadam
yajñaih sankīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi su-medhasah

“In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krishna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krishna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.”
--Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.32

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 17 October 2012

from Hyderabad, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Don't Give Up Anything. Use All for Krishna.

On 18 August 1976 Srila Prabhupada gave a wonderful, powerful address for the opening of the ISKCON temple here in Hyderabad. He explained that surrendering to Krishna does not mean that one has to give up everything. He revealed that it means instead to engage everything in Krishna's service. Prabhupada gave the example of Arjuna, who was a military man. When Arjuna surrendered to Krishna he did not stop being a military man. Rather he engaged his fighting talent in the service of the Lord. So the same principle applies to us. Whatever talents or abilities we have can be engaged in the Lord's service. Just like in my own case, previously I was a musician, and now I am happily singing in kirtan for Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Srila Prabhupada in Hyderabad, India



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: One Whole Spirit or Separate Beings?

Hare Krishna Gurudeva,

I have a question that one of my friends stumped me on. Are we individual souls? We are all part of God, so does that make us one whole spirit or separate beings?

R.G.

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Answer: Both at the Same Time

Krishna confirms in the Bhagavad-gita that we are all individual souls for all of eternity. At the same time we are all part of God, just like all citizens of the USA are one because they are all Americans but at the same are different because they are all individual persons. This is the sublime philosophy known as “simultaneously, inconceivably one and different” taught by Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So the proper understanding is that there is one whole spirit and simultaneously an unlimited number of separate individual beings, out of which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the chief and everything else is subordinate to Him. The chief is called the Supersoul and the others are called the individual souls.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 16 October 2012

from Pune, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Is God a Myth?

Many people claim nowadays that God is a myth made up to induce those who are less intelligent to accept moral principles. They reason that if one can be moral without God, there is no need for God.

But before we blindly follow the atheistic herd we should carefully consider some important points:

Since God means the original source of everything, atheism means to believe that everything came out of nothing. But where is the scientific evidence to establish that anything can come out of nothing? There is unlimited evidence to prove that one thing comes from another thing and zero evidence to establish that something can come out of nothing. So if we want to be scientific and not dogmatic or fanatical, we must accept the existence of God, the original something.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Smashing Atheism with Transcendental Logic
Pune, India--15 October 2012





Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Prerequisites for Initiation

My humble obeisances to Srila Prabhupada and to you, Guruji.

I wish to know the prerequisites for initiation. From what I understand one needs to do 16 rounds of japa daily and follow all 4 abstinences for at least 6 months. Further, one has to be recommended by 2 ISKCON temple authorities to a particular spiritual master who then interviews you before giving initiation. Is this true?

Thanks,
S.T.

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Answer: The Stepping Stones to Immortality

Your understanding is mostly correct. One must be chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day on japa beads while simultaneously strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling.

Once you have proved your steadiness in these your local ISKCON authority (only one is required) will recommend to the ISKCON guru of your choice for initiation. Then it is up to the guru to decide whether he will initiate or not. An interview is generally not required. In most cases the guru will initiate anyone who is recommended by their local ISKCON authority. One who is initiated and is strictly following his initiation vows has already attained immortality. He has become deathless.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 15 October 2012

from Pune, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Spiritual Revolution for Planet Earth

In spite of the repeated flowery promises of the world's politicians, there is no material solution for the multi-faceted perilous situation of the planet earth society. Because Krishna or God is the actual center of all existence, to live in a natural state of harmony with our surroundings requires that we awaken our original, natural, pure state of God consciousness or Krishna consciousness. Therefore a global spiritual awakening, a spiritual revolution, is absolutely necessary if the earth planet society is going to ever be peaceful, happy and prosperous.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Teaching the Art of Fearlessness

Pune, India--13 October 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Contradictory Verse in Bible?

Is the following verse in the Bible contradictory to the notion that soul can never be destroyed?

"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)

Best Regards

Amar


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Answer: Vedic Understanding of Bible Verse

Although the soul cannot be killed, he is considered dead or worse than dead when he is cut off from his loving relationship with God. There is a confirmed in the Sri Isopanisad, Mantra 3 as follows:

asuryā nāma te lokā
andhena tamasāvrtāh
tāms te pretyābhigacchanti
ye ke cātma-hano janāh


"The killer of the soul, whoever he may be, must enter into the planets known
as the worlds of the faithless, full of darkness and ignorance."


In his purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada clarifies who is the killer of the soul:

"The material world is sometimes compared to an ocean, and the human body is compared to a solid boat designed especially to cross this ocean. The Vedic scriptures and the acharyas, or saintly teachers, are compared to expert boatmen, and the facilities of the human body are compared to favorable breezes that help the boat ply smoothly to its desired destination. If, with all these facilities, a human being does not fully utilize his life for self-realization, he must be considered ātma-hā, a killer of the soul. Sri Isopanisad warns in clear terms that the killer of the soul is destined to enter into the darkest region of ignorance to suffer perpetually."

So in the light of the Vedic wisdom we can understand that the Bible confirms that if a person does not utilize his human life to reconnect with God, he is more dangerous to himself than someone who comes to murder him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 14 October 2012

from Pune, India
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Why Wear Vaisnava Dress?

Without Srila Prabhupada requesting them to, his early male disciples spontaneously adopted the Vaisnava dress of wearing dhotis. Then he instructed them to maintain this standard. He even personally taught Hayagriva das how to put on a dhoti. He said that his female disciples should wear saris and personally arranged that saris for his female disciples could be shipped to the USA from India.

Why did Srila Prabhupada instruct his disciples to wear dhotis and saris when in the Western countries such dress is considered strange and when one can be Krishna conscious in any kind of dress? On a personal level the answer is that one should accept whatever is favorable for Krishna consciousness. Since wearing tilaka, neck beads, and a dhoti or sari reminds us that we are spirit-souls, eternal servants of the Supreme Lord, such wearing of traditional Vaisnava clothing is favorable for our Krishna consciousness and thus should be accepted. And insofar as our preaching mission is concerned, Srila Prabhupada saw our traditional Vaisnava dress as a great advantage. When he was questioned by a reporter why he had asked his followers to dress in such a strange fashion he replied:

"Just like the policeman, he is differently dressed. One can understand that he is policeman. Similarly, we are also differently dressed so that people may understand we are Hare Krishna people."

Although Srila Prabhupada instructed us to maintain our traditional dress of dhotis and saris, he also allowed us if needed to change into regular Western dress to meet the public or introduce our Krishna conscious books. He made it clear that dhotis and saris are our normal dress but that we can change out of our normal dress, if necessary, for meeting the public and distributing books.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Counseling the
Brahmacaris
(Celibate Monks)
Pune, India--12 October 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do Indians Require a Guru?

Dear Gurudeva,

Namaste.

I would like to sincerely ask the following question:

It may be necessary for English speaking world to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master for achieving success in spiritual life especially to awaken their original Krishna consciousness. Considering the upbringing of Indians (They are continuously and constantly subjected to sankirtana, bhajans, idol worship, discourses and celebrations of religious festivals.) it is for them not a must to have a guru for spiritual progress?

Yours in Yoga

Janardan Mali

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Answer: Everyone Requires a Guru

Thank you very much for your sincere question. In many ways your question shows the need you have to take complete shelter and be trained by a bona fide spiritual master. So I will try my best to help you awaken your power of transcendental understanding.

You mention that Indians are continuously subjected to sankirtan. This is completely untrue. The fact that is that Indians are not engaged in continuously in sankirtan, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, even though that is everyone's duty as stated by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita. I am in India right now, and I see all around me that Indians are engaged almost 24 hours a daily in the struggle to earn a living. And when they do have a little free time they are captured by television, cinema, sports, shopping malls, smoking, drinking, meat eating, pan chewing, etc. Hardly anywhere do we see Indians laying aside all material concerns and singing bhajans (devotional songs) and attending religious discourses. While we do see that many Indians are keen to participate in religious festivals a few times a year, we also see that they are not eager to take training from bona fide spiritual masters at such festivals, even the though the Vedas prescribe that one only becomes a human being when he accepts a spiritual master.

I also note that you have used the term "idol worship" to describe the deity worship in the temples. You appear to be unaware that "idol worship" is a derogatory label introduced by the British during their rule of India to demean the deity worship of Hindus as being the worship of false gods. This is another indication of your need for being trained by a bona spiritual master.

The bottom line is that Vedic wisdom prescribes that everyone must accept a guru to become liberated from the cycle of birth of death. Indians are just as much caught up this karmic cycle as everyone else. The fact that you, an Indian, do not correctly understand the meaning of your own scriptures is another proof that Indians, like everyone else, require to accept a guru. That you are distinguishing between Indians and non-Indians is clear evidence that you have not yet correctly understood even the ABC principles of the Vedic wisdom. The starting point of Vedic wisdom is that we are not these bodies.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 13 October 2012

from Pune, India
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Accept Guru's Order as Your Very Life and Soul

The secret of success in spiritual life is to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master and surrender unto him fully taking his order as one's life mission. Srila Prabhupada was ordered by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati to spread Krishna consciousness to the English speaking world, and he accepted this order as his life's mission. And then in turn Srila Prabhupada gave his disciples the order to become guru and deliver the entire world. So now his disciples can accept his order to deliver the entire world as their life's mission and fully become absorbed in bringing about a spiritual revolution on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Teaching Unflinching Dedication to One's Guru

Vedic Oasis for Inspiration, Culture, & Education
Pune, India--12 October 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Mind Wanders to Gita Verses

While chanting if my mind gets sometimes fixed on some verse in the Gita or some purport, does that count as being inattentive chanting? Sometimes my mind wanders like that.

D.P.

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Answer: Bring it Back to Sound of Krishna's Name

While chanting japa we are meant to keep ourselves connected with Krishna in the form of His holy name. There are times in the day when you can study and meditate on verses and purports from the Bhagavad-gita. Your japa time is not the time for this. Even though such wandering of the mind to the verses and purports of the Gita is not material, it should not be the focus of your mind while chanting japa. Krishna’s name is unlimitedly sweet. All the verses and purports of the Gita are contained within Krishna’s name. Simply by deeply and meditatively chanting your japa you will fully realize all the verses and purports of the Bhagavad-gita. So now go deeper into your japa and automatically deepen your Bhagavad-gita realizations.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 12 October 2012

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 14,000 subscribers worldwide)

Fearless in All Circumstances

In this world, which is full of danger at every step, it is quite natural to always be fearful. But a devotee of the Lord is fearless in all circumstances because he is fully confident that Lord Sri Krishna will always give him complete protection. Therefore being a devotee of the Lord is the only lifestyle that makes any sense. To be anything other than a devotee is pure, unadulterated foolishness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotee Relationships Seminar
Noida, India--10 October 2012






Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Hare Krishna Tattoo on My Chest?

Gurudeva, is it a sin to get a Krishna conscious tattoo? I would like to have a tattoo of "Hare Krishna" on my chest.

Please enlighten me.

Thank you very much.

Your servant,

Shar

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Answer: A Tattoo Won't Take You Back to Godhead

It is not a sin, but it also not recommended by Srila Prabhupada. Krishna consciousness is not so cheap that you can become Krishna conscious by getting a tattoo. If you truly want to become Krishna conscious, you must follow the prescribed method given by Srila Prabhupada in the Nectar of Devotion as follows:

How to Discharge Devotional Service:

(1) Accept the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.
(2) Become initiated by the spiritual master and learn how to discharge devotional service from him.
(3) Obey the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.
(4) Follow in the footsteps of great acharyas (teachers) under the direction of the spiritual master.
(5) Inquire from the spiritual master how to advance in Krishna consciousness.
(6) Be prepared to give up anything material for the satisfaction of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. (This means that when we are engaged in the devotional service
of Krishna, we must be prepared to give up something which we may not like to give up, and also we have to accept something which we may not like to accept.)
(7) Reside in a sacred place of pilgrimage like Dvaraka or Vrindavana.
(8) Accept only what is necessary, or dealing with the material world only as far as necessary.
(9) Observe the fasting day on Ekadasi.
(10) Worship sacred trees like the banyan tree.

These ten items are preliminary necessities for beginning the discharge of devotional service in regulative principles. In the beginning, if a neophyte devotee observes the above-mentioned ten principles, surely he will quickly make good advancement in Krishna consciousness.


---end of quote--

So if you want to become Krishna consciousness, kindly follow the above ten items. There is a devotee in New Zealand who become infected with HIV by getting a tattoo. I don't recommend tattoos to anyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 11 October 2012

from New Delhi, India
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You Have Attained the Greatest Good Fortune

You have attained this extremely rare human form of life after going through many millions of births in the lower species, such as plants, fish, birds, beasts, etc. This human form of life offers the unique opportunity of going back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore to have this human form is the greatest good fortune. If one does not utilize this human form of life for spiritual awakening, this is the greatest tragedy, the greatest disaster. Take advantage of your good fortune. Don't spoil it.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Counseling Young Men

Greater Noida, India--9 October 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Lord Caitanya is an Avatar?

I am trying to know the righteous path to life from what I am learning in ISKCON. I have many queries regarding what I am perceiving by going to the temple. Here's my sincere query:

In the list of ten avatars given by Jayadeva Goswami there is Buddha, who appeared 2600 years ago, with the next avatar being Kalki, who will appear 427,000 years from now. So how can Lord Caitanya, who appeared 500 years ago, be considered an avatar when He is not mentioned in the list?

Akshay Hudlikar

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Answer: Lord Caitanya is an Incognito Incarnation

Lord Caitanya is a covered, incognito incarnation. Although Lord Caitanya, according to the Vedic literature, is also a sastrically confirmed incarnation of God, because He comes disguised as a devotee, He is not mentioned in the list of ten avatars given by Jayadeva Goswami.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 10 October 2012

from New Delhi, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 13,000 subscribers worldwide)

Driving Away Darkness With Light

Light is more powerful than darkness. Even a small amount of light can drive way a huge amount of darkness. Therefore, even though the present day human society is deeply entangled in darkness, even a small amount of the light of transcendental knowledge can have a powerful, lasting effect. In this connection we have been ordered by Srila Prabhupada to enlighten everyone all over the world with transcendental knowledge, and we are sincerely trying to do that on his order with his blessings.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Ecstatic
Kirtan
in Faridabad, India
8 October 2012


Describing the Glories of Srila Prabhupada
Faridabad, India--8 October 2012


Describing How to Practice Krishna Consciousness
Faridabad, India--8 October 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof that Rama & Krishna Are Not Equal

You have written on the basis of Srila Prabhupada's teachings that the Lord’s Visnu-tattva expansions (this includes Lord Rama) possess 94% of the qualities of Krishna. We will be thankful to you if you can provide detailed difference between them as we thought that Lord Krishna and Rama are same as they are both are avatars of Brahman (the Supreme).

Regards,

Dinesh

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Answer: Rama Does Not Play the Flute Like Krishna

It is not correct to understand that Krishna and Rama are both avatars of Brahman. The actual fact is that Krishna is the origin of everything, including both Brahman and Rama. Rama does not possess all of the qualities of Krishna. For example He does not play the flute like Krishna plays the flute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 9 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Chant Away All Disturbance of the Mind

No matter how much your mind may be disturbed by the happiness and distress of this world, if you will simply take complete shelter of Lord Sri Krishna's inconceivably powerful, sweet, and beautiful holy names, all of your difficulties will melt away into pure love of Godhead. The entire world is suffering due to lacking knowledge of this. Therefore as an act of compassion the Vaisnava accepts it as his sacred duty to awaken them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Orienting Youth to Sri Vrindavana Dhama

6 October 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Qualities of Rama, Brahma, Shiva, & Indra

You mentioned about the 64 qualities of the almighty Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of all Godhead, in your Saturday, 6th October Thought for the Day. What number of qualities does Lord Rama, Brahma, Shiva and Indra have? (They must be lower in number than Lord Krishna's. Hare Krishna.)

Thanks and kind regards,

Rajesh Sharma

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Answer: 94 Percent, 84 Percent, and 78 Percent

You are indeed correct. Because they are not the Supreme or the original form the Supreme they possess less of His qualities. Srila Prabhupada explains that the Lord’s visnu-tattva expansions (this includes Lord Rama) possess 94% of the qualities of Krishna, that Shiva possessed 84%, and that Lord Brahma and the other jivas possess up to 78% of the qualities of Krishna. This last category includes Indra.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 8 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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The Bitter Sweet Taste of Leaving Vrindavan

Now after relishing the sweet nectar of Sri Vrindavana Dhama for many glorious days we are heading out to spread Krishna consciousness in many places around the globe. Coming to Vrindavan is sweetness. And heading out to distribute Krishna's mercy all over the world is bitter sweetness because there is no place like Vrindavan. But preaching Krishna consciousness all over the world is as good as living in Vrindavan because one who is fully absorbed in distributing Krishna consciousness to the suffering people of this planet is always living in Vrindavan. Indeed, he carries Sri Vrindavana dhama with him within his heart wherever he goes and transforms every place he goes into Vrindavan. We saw this quality in our beloved Srila Prabhupada and pray for his mercy that we can follow in his footsteps by being fully dedicated to spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Srila Prabhupada on a Preaching Tour



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Radharani Not Mentioned in Bhagavatam?

Why is there is no mention of Srimati Radharani in the Srimad Bhagavatam?

Your Servant
Pradnya

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Answer: She is Indeed Mentioned

Srimati Radharani’s name is mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam in the following verse:

anayārādhito nūnam
bhagavān harir īśvarah
yan no vihāya govindah
prīto yām anayad rahah


“[When the gopis began to talk among themselves, they said:] ‘Dear friends, the gopi who has been taken away by Krishna to a secluded place must have worshiped the Lord more than anyone else.’”
--Srimad Bhagavatam 10.30.28

Srila Prabhupada explains this verse as follows in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya 8.101

“The name Radha is derived from this verse (SB 10.30.28), from the words anayārādhitah, meaning ‘by Her the Lord is worshiped.’ Sometimes the critics of Srimad-Bhagavatam find it difficult to find Radharani’s holy name in that book, but the secret is disclosed here in the word ārādhita, from which the name Radha has come. Of course, the name of Radharani is directly mentioned in other Puranas. This gopi's worship of Krishna is topmost, and therefore Her name is Radha, or ‘the topmost worshiper.’”

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 7 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Relishing Sweet Flavor of Being in Vrindavana

Being here in the transcendental abode of Lord Sri Krishna is incomparably sweet. Being in Vrindavan in the proper mood of bhakti means to be associating with Lord Sri Krishna at every minute. What could be more relishable than this? Even if we are not on that level yet to be able to fully understand and appreciate the Lord's presence, still if we maintain a humble mood, we are being blessed with the transcendental presence of the Lord at every minute. Even the heavenly abodes of the demigods in the upper planetary systems are like ghettos or disaster areas compared to this most amazing of all places where Krishna's transcendental pastimes are still going on today for those who have the eyes to see them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Sunset on the River Yamuna in Vrindavana



Devotee Bathing in the River Yamuna in Vrindavana


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Not to Be a Fanatical Devotee?

Could I ask you about how not to become a fanatic on the path of Krishna consciousness and how to understand if my mood and behavior are fanatical or not?

Thank you for your online course!

With my best wishes and regards,

Vadim

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Answer: Know What You are Doing and Why

The way to avoid fanaticism in Krishna consciousness is to cultivate a deep understanding of the teachings of Krishna. If you think, act, and speak blindly for Krishna without knowing why, you are a fanatic. But if you know why you think, speak, and act for Krishna in a certain way, you are a learned philosopher and a fixed-up devotee. But even if you don't know what you are doing and why you are doing it, if you serve Krishna even fanatically you are unlimitedly benefitted. This is the transcendental nature of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 6 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Chanting is Enchanting

Chanting Hare Krishna with love and devotion is the key that opens the door to the transcendental realm where life is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. Therefore the wise person chants Hare Krishna as much as possible every day. Chanting is enchanting. The more we chant, the more we become enchanted by Krishna and become free from all material desires and anxieties.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Srila Prabhupada Chanting Hare Krishna

San Francisco--Golden Gate Park--1967



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Lord Krishna' Qualities

What are Lord Krishna's qualities?

De Pa

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Answer: Unlimited Ocean Summarized as Follows

Lord Sri Krishna’s transcendental qualities are an unlimited ocean but they have been summarized as follows by Srila Rupa Goswami:

(1) Beautiful features of the entire body
(2) Marked with all auspicious characteristics
(3) Extremely pleasing
(4) Effulgent
(5) Strong
(6) Ever youthful
(7) Wonderful linguist
(8) Truthful
(9) Talks pleasingly
(10) Fluent
(11) Highly learned
(12) Highly intelligent
(13) A genius
(14) Artistic
(15) Extremely clever
(16) Expert
(17) Grateful
(18) Firmly determined
(19) An expert judge of time and circumstances
(20) Sees and speaks on the authority of Vedas, or scriptures
(21) Pure
(22) Self-controlled
(23) Steadfast
(24) Forbearing
(25) Forgiving
(26) Grave
(27) Self-satisfied
(28) Possessing equilibrium
(29) Magnanimous
(30) Religious
(31) Heroic
(32) Compassionate
(33) Respectful
(34) Gentle
(35) Liberal
(36) Shy
(37) The protector of surrendered souls
(38) Happy
(39) The well-wisher of devotees
(40) Controlled by love
(41) All-auspicious
(42) Most powerful
(43) All-famous
(44) Popular
(45) Partial to devotees
(46) Very attractive to all women
(47) All-worshipable
(48) All-opulent
(49) All-honorable
(50) The supreme controller
(51) Changeless
(52) All-cognizant
(53) Ever fresh
(54) Sac-cid-ananda (possessing an eternal blissful body)
(55) Possessing all mystic perfections
(56) He has inconceivable potency
(57) Uncountable universes generate from His body
(58) He is the original source of all incarnations
(59) He is the giver of salvation to the enemies whom He kills
(60) He is the attractor of liberated souls
(61) He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes)
(62) He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead
(63) He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute
(64) He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 5 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Relishing the Bliss at Krishna Balarama Mandir

Every morning at 7:15am here in Vrindavana at the Krishna Balarama temple we are treated to the most sublime darshan of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Krishna and Balarama, and Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundar freshly dressed in intricately decorated outfits and adorned with fresh, fragrant flowers for the day by their loving pujaris (priests). It is always a very thrilling dramatic moment when the conch shells blow and the altar doors open with hundreds of devotees bowing down and then standing up to behold the dazzlingly beautiful forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord's amazingly gorgeous form is described as follows in the Brahma Samhita (5:32):

angāni yasya sakalendriya-vrtti-manti
paśyanti pānti kalayanti ciram jaganti
ānanda-cinmaya-sad-ujjvala-vigrahasya
govindam ādi-purusam tam aham bhajāmi


"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose transcendental form is full of bliss, truth, substantiality and is thus full of the most dazzling splendor. Each of the limbs of that transcendental figure possesses in Himself the full-fledged functions of all the organs, and eternally sees, maintains and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic Vrindavana Dharshan--4 October 2012



Sri Sri Gaura Nitai



Krishna and Balarama


Sri Sri Radha Shyamasundara



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know that Krishna Loves Me?

How do I begin to understand that Krishna loves me? As you suggested, I have started to imagine that Krishna is with me and chanting as I fall asleep.

How do I begin to see the calamities of life as Krishna's mercy?

How do I with intelligence begin to understand that I'm not this body? I can grasp on one level that I'm not. Yet as usual I react with passion to comments, looks etc.

As a spiritual master how can I be assured that you can take me back home to Godhead? And please define clearly what I must start doing from my side?

Your student

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Answer: Love Him and You Will Feel His Love

The way to understand that Krishna exists and that He loves you is to give your love to Him. The more you give your love to Krishna, the more you will feel His presence and His love for you.

Calamities are nothing but karmic reactions for our past sinful activities. Every time we experience a calamity we are burning off some of the reactions from our past sinful activities. In other words, calamities are karmic therapy sessions washing away the dirt of past sins and making us karmicly lighter. The Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8 wonderfully tells us how to deal with calamities.

tat te 'nukampām su-samīksamāno
bhuñjāna evātma-krtam vipākam
hrd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
jīveta yo mukti-pade sa dāya-bhāk

In the Nectar of Devotion Srila Prabhupada wonderfully translates and explains the meaning of this profound verse:

"My dear Lord, any person who is constantly awaiting Your causeless mercy to be bestowed upon him, and who goes on suffering the resultant actions of his past misdeeds, offering You respectful obeisances from the core of his heart, is surely eligible to become liberated, for it has become his rightful claim."

"This statement of Srimad-Bhagavatam should be the guide of all devotees. A devotee should not expect immediate relief from the reactions of his past misdeeds. No conditioned soul is free from such reactionary experiences, because material existence means continued suffering or enjoying of past activities. If one has finished his material activities then there is no more birth. This is possible only when one begins Krishna conscious activities, because such activities do not produce reaction. Therefore, as soon as one becomes perfect in Krishna conscious activities, he is not going to take birth again in this material world. A devotee who is not perfectly freed from the resultant actions should therefore continue to act in Krishna consciousness seriously, even though there may be so many impediments. When such impediments arise he should simply think of Krishna and expect His mercy. That is the only solace. If the devotee passes his days in that spirit, it is certain that he is going to be promoted to the abode of the Lord. By such activities, he earns his claim to enter into the kingdom of God. The exact word used in this verse is dāya-bhāk. Dāya-bhāk refers to a son's becoming the lawful inheritor of the property of the father. In a similar way, a pure devotee who is prepared to undergo all kinds of tribulations in executing Krishna conscious duties becomes lawfully qualified to enter into the transcendental abode."

Regarding how to understand that you are not your body, you can intelligently analyze yourself how you have remembrances of things you experienced when you were a child. And then you can also analyze how you have a different body now than the one you had then because the cells in your body have changed. In this way you can conclude that the self and the body are different.

You can judge a spiritual master's potency to deliver you back to Godhead by seeing if he purely follows and teaches the message of Krishna without any deviation or any distortion. If there is no deviation of practice and no distortion of Krishna’s teachings, this means that he is fully empowered by Krishna and the previous acharyas to deliver you back to home, back to Godhead. Of course it is Krishna who is the actual deliverer. Krishna's acts through the transparent via medium of the spiritual master to deliver you from the ocean of birth and death. Because the spiritual master serves the Lord so intimately in this way on the order of the Lord we worship the spiritual master as Krishna's representative.

The way to prepare yourself for initiation is to rise early every day and meditatively chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra every day on japa mala beads along with the strict avoidance of illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. After your 16 rounds are finished, chant Hare Krishna with or without your beads as much possible throughout the day in everything that you do. Make sure to restrict yourself to a Krishna prasadam diet. Also, you should scrutinizingly study all of Srila Prabhupada's books and associate regularly with ISKCON devotees in your area. Stay in touch with me regularly to ask questions and to keep me informed of your progress and any difficulties you may be experiencing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 4 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 13,000 subscribers worldwide)

Conquer Disturbed Mind by Connecting with Krishna

Sometimes in this up-and-down material world things don't go well and our minds become very disturbed. This is a golden opportunity to take shelter of Krishna, remembering His transcendental teachings, name, form, qualities, entourage, and paraphernalia. By doing so, the disturbance of the mind will fade away, and we will be situated once again in transcendental bliss. In other words, when our minds are disturbed this is not our natural consciousness. All we have to do to come back to our original, natural, blissful state of mind is reconnect with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Attach Yourself to Sweet, Beautiful, Kind Krishna



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Are Positive & Negative Attachments?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to you! All glories to your liberating association!

In Bhagavad-gita 2.47 purport Srila Prabhupada writes "Any attachment, positive or negative, is cause for bondage." I am really not able to understand this. What is positive? And what is negative? Won't it depend on our point of view? Somebody may say that a devotee's attachment to chanting 16 rounds daily to go back to Krishna is a positive attachment and thus it should also be a cause for bondage. But we know it is cause for liberation. So isn't it contradictory?

I beg you to kindly help me understand this verse. Due to my poor intelligence I am not able to assimilate what it wants to convey even after reading the purport.

Begging your mercy

Virendra T.

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Answer: Attachment to Doing or Not Doing

There is no contradiction. Simply one has to properly understand what is positive attachment and negative attachment.

In this context, being attached to doing something that should not be done such as drinking liquor is a positive attachment. And being attached to not doing something that should be done such as chanting the holy names is a negative attachment.

What should be done and what should not be done is according to the instructions of Krishna, not according to mental whim or personal opinion.

In one case one is attached to doing something. This is positive attachment. In the other case he is attached to not doing something. This is negative attachment. As long as one is attached in this way on the material platform he must remain in bondage. But when one transfers his attachment to Krishna he becomes liberated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 3 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 13,000 subscribers worldwide):

Desiring to See Krishna's Pastimes in Vrindavana

2 October 2012--This morning Lord Sri Krishna gave me a lot of special mercy. On the request of the temple management I lead the singing at Srila Prabhupada's mangala arati in Prabhupada's samadhi. This was from 4:10 am until 4:25 am. Then feeling very purified and uplifted I headed back to my quarters in the Vrindavana Bhaktivedanta Ashram to wake up Sri Sri Radha Damodar, offer them some milk sweets, and then offer them mangala arati. Along the way while walking under some of the trees of Vrindavana I gazed up at the brilliant moon illuminating the night sky. This immediately reminded me of Lord Sri Krishna's most sublime Vrindavana pastimes. And then feeling surcharged from this remembrance and hankering to see the Lord and His lila with my own eyes I recited this prayer composed by Srinivasa Acarya describing the moods of the Six Goswamis of Vrindavana:

he rādhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-sūno kutah
śrī-govardhana-kalpa-pādapa-tale kālindī-vane kutah

"Queen of Vrindavana, Radharani! O Lalita! O son of Nanda Maharaja! Where are you all now? Are you just on the hill of Govardhan, or are you under the trees on the bank of the Yamuna? Where are you?"

Srinivasa Acarya writes that the six Goswamis were chanting in this mood very loudly everywhere in Vrindavana. Krishna so kindly blessed me with a tiny sample taste of this desire to behold His beautiful form and His pastimes. I know from the writings of Narottama Das Thakur that now I must become free from all of my material desires so that someday I will become actually qualified to behold the Lord, His dhama, and His pastimes in their full splendor.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Krishna's Effulgent Moon in Sri Vrindavana Dhama



Training Up the Next Generation of Spiritual Leaders
Vrindavana Gurukula--1 October 2012


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is this Course Really Free?

I happened to stumble upon your website, and read that you were offering a free online course about self-realization. It said that the course was being offered COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE. And I just wanted to ask you, is that really true?

As sweet as this offer sounds, I cannot help but wonder if there is some hidden charge at some point. But if it truly is real, I would be both humbled, and blessed to learn what I can from you. Thank you for reading this, and I hope to hear from you soon.

-David

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Answer: It's Free and It Will Free You

It is indeed a fact that we do not charge anything for this course. It's free, and it will free you from the wheel of birth and death. How could we dare to charge money for something that our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, gave us free of charge? That would be crass materialism, just the opposite of what we teach. Since Prabhupada freely gave us this ultimate liberating knowledge we are passing it on freely to you as an act of love. Because we care, we share. Also at no point in the future will we charge a fee for this course. There is only price that we ask to you pay if you want to derive the full benefit from our course, and that is the price of faith.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 2 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 13,000 subscribers worldwide):

How to Genuinely Enter into Vrindavana

One cannot enter into Sri Vrindavana Dhama by flying to New Delhi and catching a taxicab to Vrindavana. The only way to genuinely enter into and experience Vrindavana is to free one's mind completely from all forms of material contamination by taking complete shelter of the bona fide spiritual master and Lord Sri Krishna. In this connection Srila Narottama Dasa Thakur has sung as follows:

visaya chāriyā kabe śuddha ha 'be mana
kabe hāma herabo śrī-brndābana

"When my mind is completely purified, being freed from material anxieties and desires, then I shall be able to factually understand Vrindavana and the conjugal love of Radha and Krishna, and then my spiritual life will be successful."

Coming to the holy abode of Sri Vrindavana Dhama is an opportunity to cleanse one's mind and factually experience Vrindavana. To whatever extent we humbly take shelter of the Lord by absorbing ourselves in His service, to that extent and to that extent only will we be able to relish the unlimitedly sweet nectar of being in Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental Vrindavana abode.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Krishna Subdued the Kesi Demon Here at Kesighat



Kesi Charges at Krishna in an Attempt to Kill Him


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Plea for Help: I Feel Like Ending this Life

Dear Gurudeva,

At every interface with reality in this life for the past 3-4 years, I've lost all hope to live. I've contemplated killing myself very often. Your words just seem like words then. I cannot feel peace. I cannot build complete faith in anything anymore. Neither you nor the Vedic teachings.

Regards,
S.A.

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Answer: Stop Putting Faith in Your Mind

It is not possible to end your life because you are an eternal spiritual being. If you kill your body, the karmic reaction is that you will be a ghost in your next life with no gross body, only a subtle body. You will have gross desires, but no gross body with which to satisfy them. Imagine having an itch with no way to scratch it. Therefore the best thing is that you should tolerate whatever difficulties you are going through now seeing them as just rewards for your previous sinful activities. Simultaneously you should chant the Hare Krishna mantra as much as possible to purify your consciousness and free yourself from your previous karma.

Faith cannot never be destroyed. It is simply a matter of where we place it. At the present moment instead of placing your faith in guru and Krishna you are placing your faith in your imperfect mind, which has caused you nothing but suffering since time immemorial. If you would like to continue suffering, you are welcome to keep putting your faith in your mind. Or if you would like to become free from suffering, I suggest that you make an experiment of putting your faith in guru and Krishna and see what is the result. Then you can decide whether you want to go back to putting faith in your mind or whether you want to now put your faith in guru and Krishna instead. You should open-mindedly try both kinds of faith and see which type of faith you prefer. Then you can decide whether you would rather be dragged through hell by your rascal mind or whether you would like to be delivered by the spiritual master back to your original home in the land of unlimited bliss, the spiritual world. So now this your choice. Do what you like.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 1 October 2012

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 13,000 subscribers worldwide):

Chant Hare Krishna on the Bus & While Bathing

Here is another sublime jewel from the treasure chest of Srila Prabhupada's teachings. This quote is from a letter to Minoru and Kenji in Tokyo that Srila Prabhupada wrote when he was in Los Angeles on 22 April 1970:

"I am very glad to learn also that you are feeling joy while chanting the mantra Hare Krishna. Yes, it is exactly like this. If anyone chants this mantra in good faith and in simple understanding, then surely this transcendental vibration will act immediately in spiritual bliss. Please therefore continue to chant this mantra as many times as possible throughout the day and night. I do not think there is any inconvenience or loss on your part if you do so all the time. Even when you are walking, you can softly chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, or even when you are on the bus going to somewhere you can also chant. When you are working with your hands you can also chant and when you are resting or going to take rest you can also chant. Even in your toilet room while taking bath you can also chant. In this way there is no limitation or restriction for chanting this Holy Name of God, Krishna, and His Energy, Hara. In doing this business there is no loss, but there is very great gain which is transcendental realization."

These guidelines from Srila Prabhupada are most sublime and wonderful. We can all apply them in our lives for unlimited benefit!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari





Devotee Relationships Seminar

Sri Vrindavana Dhama--30 September 2012



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Recognize the Bona Fide Guru?

Would you please let me that how we can recognize the perfect bona fide guru. For many days I'm reading your lectures. They are a very good pleasure for me. At present I'm doing PhD in ChaingMai University, Thailand. Your lectures inspire me to go under a guru. But in this time many gurus are here and there. So it is very much difficult to identify the bona fide guru. As I'm innocent in religious matters so to test a guru will be sin for me. But as I am hungry is to get company from real guru, I will be very much grateful to you if you would be kind enough to lead me on the path how can I succeed to meet up my spiritual hunger.

Best Regards
Your student

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Answer: He Must Be a Devotee of Krishna

I am very happy that you have written to me with this most important question of how to recognize a perfect bona fide guru. Since having a bona fide guru is required if one wants to become liberated from this material existence, finding a bona fide guru is the most important thing to be accomplished in one's entire life.

The bona fide spiritual master is coming in an unbroken chain of spiritual masters going back to Krishna Himself. He is ideal in his own practice of Krishna consciousness and teaches you how to also become an ideal devotee of Krishna. He never claims to be God or that he can teach you how to become God. Instead he always humbly presents himself as the eternal servant of Krishna and teaches that you are also the eternal servant of Krishna.

The bona fide guru advises you exactly in accordance with the principles spoken by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita because he has accepted Krishna as the original guru. The bona fide spiritual master knows what Krishna wants and he engages you in doing exactly what Krishna wants. The mission of the bona fide spiritual guru is the same as the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world.

I was fortunate to get the shelter of such a bona fide spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He taught me exactly in accordance with the principles of Lord Krishna and instructed me and my Godbrothers that we should also act as spiritual masters for delivering the suffering souls of this age. Therefore if you would like to accept me or one of my Godbrothers as your spiritual master, we can surely guide you on the right path and save you from this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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