Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta
Swami Prabhupada

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His Grace Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 31 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

The Demonizing Effect of Bad Association

Even a simple, pure-minded person can be transformed into a non-devotee by the influence of bad association. An example of this is Lord Caitanya's personal servant, Kala Krishnadas. He was allured by nomads or gypsies, who enticed him with women. Maya is so strong that Kala Krishnadas left Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's company to join gypsy women. This is why Lord Caitanya, when he was requested to explain the duty of a Krishna conscious person, immediately said:

asat-sanga-tyāga-ei vaisnava-ācāra

"The first business of a Vaisnava is to give up the association of persons who are not devotees of Krishna and who are too attached to material things."--Cc. Madhya 22.87

Since we require association in order to be psychologically healthy, we must associate with pure devotees, those who are purely following the path of Krishna bhakti, as much as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Caitanya and His associates (Panca Tattva)
Lord Caitanya and His Associates (Panca Tattva)



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Falling Down After Liberation?


Your Holiness,

May Sri Krishna's blessings shower on all of us.

I would like to know if there are chances of one falling back after reaching the spiritual sky, or if by reaching the spiritual sky one has successfully escaped the cycle of birth and death and will make the spiritual sky his/her final home. It would be great if you could clear me of this doubt.

Also, I would like to know if God has mentioned that all the religions are all one and the same, and all religions are denoting Lord Krishna as the Supreme.

Thanking you,
Ram

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Answer: After Liberation He Does Not Fall Again

One who goes back to Godhead will never return to this material world. Even though he has full freedom to do so, he will not fall again into this material existence having learned his lesson well.

There is no such thing as many religions for God to say that they are all one. This idea of many religions is a man-made concoction. Krishna teaches one religion, that we should abandon all other duties and fully surrender ourselves unto Him. This is the one eternal religion. All religious traditions are bona fide to the extent that they mirror this principle of fully surrendering oneself unto the will of God.

The name Krishna is not mentioned in the Bible or the Quran due to a difference of language. But when the Bible mentions God or the Quran mentions Allah, they are referring to the same person whom we address as Krishna. Just as the one sun is called by different names in different languages, so also Krishna is known by different names in different languages.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 30 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

The Timeless Mantra That Keeps Me Sane

Chaos is all around me in a world completely disconnected from Krishna. How do I keep my sanity in a world which has gone completely insane?

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

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Janmastami Celebration at ISKCON Austin

28 August 2013

Janmastami Celebration at ISKCON Austing, 28 August 2013


Sri Sri Radha Krishna, ISKCON Austin, Texas



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Free From Sin?

Respected Srila Gurudeva,

Kindly accept my prostrated obeisances .

Repetitive sinning and atoning seem to be nothing but a waste of time just like an elephant which cleanses his body thoroughly in a lake or reservoir, but as soon as he comes onto the shores he takes dust and throws it all over his body and immediately becomes dirty again.

Although one may cleanse himself in the process of atonement, if he again commits the same sinful acts, what is the use? How can one ultimately become free from all contamination brought about by the material modes of nature? If one cannot achieve liberation, what is the use of atonement? The cycle of sinful activities and atonement is a vicious circle. How to be free from this suffering? What is the solution to stop this vicious circle ?

Kindly clarify.
Eternal Servant of the Lord
R.Sekar

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Answer: Surrender to Krishna

The process of atonement can free one from the reaction to a particular sin but it does not free one from the tendency to sin. If one surrenders to Krishna, he will develop a taste for serving the Lord and lose his taste for sinful activities. Therefore, instead of gaining some temporary relief through the process of atonement, one should gain permanent relief by surrendering to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 29 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

Srila Prabhupada's Appearance Day

It is not possible to measure the extent of my good fortune to have come into contact with Krishna's pure devotee, His Divine A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. After wandering aimlessly in the cycle of birth and death for countless eons of confusion and misery I was most fortunate to get the shelter of this great soul. He mercifully accepted me as his disciple on 12 August 1971. Since that most wonderful day I have been living a sublime life of devotional service to Krishna tasting great happiness by being reconnected with that beautiful Lord who is the very source of my existence and of all existence.

It is undoubtedly a struggle to try to spread the Krishna consciousness movement in a completely materialistic society. But this is the duty that Srila Prabhupada has given to his followers. Such a challenging life is not always easy. But because it gives great pleasure to Lord Sri Krishna, it is most rewarding.

On this most auspicious day I fall down at the feet of my eternal spiritual master and beg for his mercy that my every thought, word, and deed will always be most pleasing to him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


My most beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada
My Most Beloved Spiritual Master, Srila Prabhupada


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Wears a Peacock Feather?

I want to ask: Why does Lord Sri Krishna wear a peacock feather on his head?

Lord Krishna's eternal servant,
Ujjwal

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Answer: For the Sheer Pleasure of It

Krishna wears a peacock feather because He likes to. Since He is the supreme enjoyer He always does what pleases Him the most, including wearing a peacock feather in His hair.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 28 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

The Most Auspicious Krishna Janmastami

There are no words to sufficiently describe the unlimited auspiciousness of this day, Sri Krishna Janmastami, the day that Lord Sri Krishna appeared in this world some 5,000 years ago. Although He appeared within the prison of the demoniac King Kamsa, He was not bound by the influence of Kamsa. By Krishna's mystic power the prison guards fell asleep, and the doors became unlocked. Krishna's father, Vasudeva, then carried Him to Vrindavan where He grew up as the foster son of Nanda Maharaja and Mother Yasoda. Krishna is the source of all existence, but yet He played just like an ordinary village boy in Vrindavan. But His pastimes were not at all ordinary. Kamsa sent so many powerful demons with great mystic powers to Vrindavan to kill Krishna. But in each and every case it was the demon who was killed, not Krishna. Krishna gradually grew up, but yet He never aged past being a youth even when He eventually was a great grandfather. If you want to relish the unlimited amazingly nectarean pastimes of Krishna, you should read the Krishna Book, which is a summary study of the Tenth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. You can order a free copy of the Krishna book here:

http://www.e-vedas.com/books/k-book.htm


Baby Krishna enjoys butter
Baby Krishna Enjoys Butter



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Vishnu or Brahman is Greater?

Holy sir, my question is, and I am confused about it: Which is greater Vishnu or Brahman? Are Vishnu and Brahman the same, or is Vishnu the name of Absolute Truth? Is Vishnu advaita described in Gita? I will appreciate it if you can enlighten me.

Thank you

A. Mhar

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Answer: Krishna or Vishnu is Source of Brahman

Krishna or Vishnu is greater than the impersonal Brahman effulgence. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita wherein Krishna states that He is the source of the Brahman. There are three aspects of the Absolute Truth: Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. The Brahman aspect is perfect. The Paramatma aspect is more perfect. And the Bhagavan aspect is most perfect. One who realizes Bhagavan (Krishna or Vishnu) automatically realizes both Paramatma and Brahman. But one who realizes Brahman has not yet realized Paramatma and Bhagavan. Therefore Bhagavan realization is the highest.

Krishna or Vishnu is both dvaita (dual) and advaita (non-dual) because He is the source of everything. This means that duality and non-duality (oneness) are both fully present within Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 27 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

Entering into the Dimension of Timelessness

Beyond the realm of time with its dreadful cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease is the splendorously beautiful, unlimitedly sublime dimension of timelessness, the realm of the Supreme Person Lord Sri Krishna, from whom both time and timelessness emanate. That supreme abode is fully accessible for anyone who wishes to enter it, through the power of mantra yoga. One simply has to carefully and devotedly chant these sweet names every day:

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


And then gradually he will find himself situated in that timeless realm in the association of that most amazing Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, the sound of whose flute enchants everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Krishna awaits our return to His timeless realm
Krishna Awaits Our Return to His Timeless Realm



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Complaint: Course Has Too Much Myth

I am cancelling my subscription to your course because it contains too much myth.

Shane

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Answer: Myth Which Deludes the Entire World

We respect your freedom of choice. If you choose to no longer participate in our course, that is okay. And we wish you the very best in your pursuit of meaning and happiness in your life.

However, kindly note that there is nothing at all mythical about what we are teaching. Everything we teach is backed by solid historical and scientific knowledge. The actual myth which deludes the entire world is the misconception that the self and the body are the same. This is the myth that must be rejected if we want true peace and harmony in our lives and throughout the human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 26 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

There's No Victory Like Defeat

A devotee of the Lord is never defeated in any circumstance, even the most reverse, because he utilizes everything that happens to him as an opportunity to become more dependent upon and more surrendered to his most beloved Lord Sri Krishna. This is the highest perfectional stage of self-realization. This is why for him even defeat is the greatest victory.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Devotees ecstatically chanting in New York City
Devotees Ecstatically Chanting in New York City



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Aim of My Life?

I humbly request you to let me know in short what should I remember always as the aim of my life:

To go back to Krishna, to realize my identity as Krishna's eternal servant, or is it something else ?

Please help this confused and fallen soul if it pleases you.

Hare Krishna

Shriram B.
Mumbai

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Answer: Remember that You're Krishna's Servant

You should always remember that you are the eternal servant of Krishna. In this way at the time of death you will naturally return to His abode to serve Him eternally there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 25 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

Another Magnificent Krishna Conscious Day

In the early morning long before dawn when the devotee arises from a refreshing night's slumber, he marvels at how Krishna has blessed him with another magnificent day of Krishna consciousness. No matter what is happening in the material world every moment for the devotee is super sweet as he lovingly engages in serving the orders of his bona fide spiritual master, the pure representative of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Even if his mind temporarily becomes disturbed by the dual nature of the material energy, he situates himself beyond his mind by chanting Hare Krishna or remembering the Lord, just as a pilot takes his airplane to a higher altitude when he encounters a storm. Thus the devotee continues to dive deeper and deeper into the nectarean mellows of pure devotional service throughout another magnificent Krishna conscious day. In this way he triumphs continually day after day, week after week, year after year and for all of timeless eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


A wonderful day of Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON Boston, USA -- 1970
A Wonderful Day of Krishna Consciousness
ISKCON Boston, USA--1970


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Serve a Pure Devotee?

My question is: If with Krishna's mercy we ever get a chance to meet or to serve His pure devotee, what should be the proper etiquette or the mood of service to him?

Hare Krishna!

Your servant in India,

Karan

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Answer: Dedicate Your Life to Him

One should accept the order of the pure devotee as his very life and soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 24 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

Bliss Out or Stress Out

Bliss out or stress out. There is really no middle ground. Either taste the unlimited bliss of Krishna consciousness by diving into the ocean of Krishna prema (pure love of God) or remain stressed out birth after birth in the wheel of samsara. The choice now is yours. You are the master of your own destiny. Your choice does not depend on your material circumstances. It is simply a matter of the heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Blissful Hare Krishna devotees in Argentina
Blissful Hare Krishna Devotees in Argentina



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Spiritual Benefit of Eating?

Gurudeva, I have a further query. Does it matter how spiritually advanced the devotee is who is doing the cooking? Does it have any effect on the spiritual benefit that one gets by eating what he has cooked?

Neelam Sharma

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Answer: Krishna Consciousness Transferred

The more the devotee who cooks is spiritually advanced, the more spiritual benefit one gets by partaking of what he has cooked. The Krishna consciousness of the cook is transferred to the eaters.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 23 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

Don't Deceive and Cheat Yourself

By your very constitution you are meant to enjoy unlimited happiness at every minute. Therefore don't deceive and cheat yourself by foolishly misidentifying yourself with a rotting material body. In such a delusional state you can never be happy in spite of whatever nice arrangements you have made for yourself here in this temporary material world. Therefore you should reawaken your eternal spiritual nature and relish eternally the bliss of loving service to the Supreme Lord in any one of His many forms.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


The bliss of the spiritual world awaits you
The Bliss of the Spiritual World Awaits You



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is LSD?

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

Gurudeva, I have two queries. First: What is LSD? Second: When I chant one round of japa on the beads I feel very tired and don't feel like continuing my japa. Please help me.

Your eternal servant,
S.S.

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Answer: A Powerful Hallucinogenic Drug

LSD is a powerful hallucinogenic drug which induces a dream like state in the mind even while one is awake. Like all other forms of intoxication it is detrimental for Krishna consciousness and should be strictly avoided.

Even if you feel tired after chanting one round, you should continue chanting your rounds. Even if you are not chanting in ecstasy but are merely chanting out of the duty, the chanting should not be given up under any circumstances. In this connection Srila Rupa Goswami has nicely advised as follows:

syāt krsna-nāma-caritādi-sitāpy avidyā-
pittopatapta-rasanasya na rocikā nu
kintv ādarād anudinam khalu saiva jusṭā
svādvī kramād bhavati tad-gada-mūla-hantrī

“The holy name, character, pastimes and activities of Krishṇa are all transcendentally sweet like sugar candy. Although the tongue of one afflicted by the jaundice of avidyā [ignorance] cannot taste anything sweet, it is wonderful that simply by carefully chanting these sweet names every day, a natural relish awakens within his tongue, and his disease is gradually destroyed at the root.”-- Upadesamrita 7

Therefore keep chanting, even if you are tired, and gradually the day will come when you can chant 24 hours a day without feeling tired.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 22 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

The Tantalizing Glories of Krishna Prasadam

Srila Rupa Goswami, one of the greatest spiritual masters in history, has written many centuries ago that the process of self-realization begins with the tongue. The two functions of the tongue are vibrating sounds and tasting. If one will engage his tongue regularly in vibrating the holy names of God and tasting the remnants of foodstuffs offered to the Lord with love and devotion, simply through this enjoyable process he will gradually purify his consciousness more and more until he attains the supreme perfection of pure love of God. When we lovingly offer vegetarian foodstuffs to the Lord, He accepts them and transforms them from matter into spirit. Just as it is said, "You are what you eat," by eating such sanctified foods one's consciousness is gradually completely spiritualized or transcendentalized. These purified foodstuffs are called the mercy of the Lord. The Sanskrit word for mercy is prasadam. Therefore such wonderful food is called Krishna prasadam. It is the sole diet of the Lord's devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Prasadam: the Lord's mercy
Prasadam: the Lord's mercy

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Feeding Prasadam to a Nondevotee

My dear Gurudeva,

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

Gurudeva, my question is: If we are feeding prasadam to someone regularly and he/she is still not chanting the holy names and takes prasadam only as ordinary food they eat daily, is feeding them prasadam going to benefit them? And if so, up to what extent can they be benefited spiritually?

Thank you.

Your unworthy servant,

Neelam Sharma

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Answer: He Will Become A Devotee

Someone who is eating prasadam regularly, even if they are not chanting, will in due course of time take up chanting and become a devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 21 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

Don't You Ever Be in Anxiety

There is no reason to be in anxiety because it is an artificial state of mind based on ignorance. Those who see things as they are never experience anxiety in any situation. They see the loving hand of Lord Sri Krishna in all situations: the so-called good, bad, beautiful, and ugly, and thus they are never disturbed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna's devotee is free from anxiety
Krishna's Devotee is Free from Anxiety


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: A Devotee Is No One's Enemy?

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

How to understand the following line from Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.16:

"A devotee of the Lord is no one's enemy, although there may be many enemies of a devotee."

Humble respects,
Sunil

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Answer: The Devotee Loves Everyone

While a person may be inimical towards a devotee, the devotee has no enmity towards him. In other words, the devotee, seeing everyone as part and parcel of the Lord, repays hate with love and is thus most dear to the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 20 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

You Are the Architect of Your Own Destiny

Instead of being tossed eternally in the waves of karma you can take control of your destiny and liberate yourself from the wheel of birth and death. Why remain a puppet in the hands of Mayadevi when you can instead be a liberated soul? The choice is yours: sink or swim. If you will take shelter of the Supreme Lord, this will be your last birth in this problematic material world. You will enter into the sublime realm known as Goloka Vrindavan where at this very minute Lord Sri Krishna is eagerly awaiting your return.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Krishna wants you back in the spiritual world
Krishna Wants You Back in the Spiritual World



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Convince Materialistic People?

My Dear Gurudeva,

When ever I try to preach Krishna consciousness to mundane people they say although the things are temporary still they will have happy memories about the past. They say that although the family relationships, friendship etc. are temporary they will have happy memories spent with family and friends in the future and hence they will remain happy till the time of death by remembering those memories spent with family and friends. What can I tell them?

Vrutant S.

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Answer: You Be Convinced.

The first point in convincing others of Krishna consciousness is that you must be fully convinced that it is the only way that someone can be truly happy. If you do not have this solid conviction, it will not be possible for you to convince others. And if you do have this conviction, you will be able to convince the entire world.

Temporary pleasures have anxiety built into them because the enjoyer knows deep within his heart that they are temporary. Therefore they are not pure enjoyment. They are enjoyment mixed with suffering. Our philosophy is: Why should we take enjoyment mixed with suffering when we can instead get pure enjoyment without even the slightest tinge of misery?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 19 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

May All Envious Persons Become Pacified

Lord Sri Krishna states:

icchā-dvesa-samutthena
dvandva-mohena bhārata
sarva-bhūtāni sammoham
sarge yānti parantapa

"O scion of Bharata, O conqueror of the foe, all living entities are born into delusion, bewildered by dualities arisen from desire and hate."
--Bhagavad-gita 7.27

This is why, just as a prison is naturally filled up with criminals, this material world is naturally filled up with envious, hateful persons. The very reason this material world exists is to give those who are envious by nature a place where they can feel at home and at the same time become rectified of their envious mentality.

Prahlada Maharaja, a great pure devotee of the Lord was not happy to see so many people completely entrapped in envy and misery. Therefore he prayed:

svasty astu viśvasya khalah prasīdatām
dhyāyantu bhūtāni śivam mitho dhiyā
manaś ca bhadram bhajatād adhoksaje
āveśyatām no matir apy ahaitukī

"May there be good fortune throughout the universe, and may all envious persons be pacified. May all living entities become calm by practicing bhakti-yoga, for by accepting devotional service they will think of each other's welfare. Therefore let us all engage in the service of the supreme transcendence, Lord Sri Krishna, and always remain absorbed in thought of Him."--Srimad Bhagavatam 5.18.9

Those who follow in the footsteps of Prahlada Maharaja also pray in this mood because they cannot tolerate the sufferings of others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Prahlada Maharaja instructs his classmates
Prahlada Maharaja Instructs His Classmates



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Adam and Eve Story from the Bible

Gurudeva, I had a question related to the story of Adam and Eve. It tells us how everything began and why things are the way they are today all because we are still living under the curse Adam and Eve had brought upon this earth as a result of their own transgression against the Lord by eating the forbidden apple. My question is: Is this story true? We don't find anything related to this in our Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita which tell us this that we are suffering here in this material world because of their transgression against the Lord.

What we found is that because we are envious of the Lord we wanted to enjoy separately from the Lord. That's why we are in the material world. So up to what point is this Adam and Eve story true?

Thank you.

Your unworthy servant,

Neelam S.

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Answer: Forbidden Apple Eaten = Paradise Lost

Even if we take the story allegorically, it speaks a great truth. The forbidden apple is the desire to enjoy separately from God. Srila Prabhupada refers to this forbidden apple in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 5.14.12 as follows:

"The wealth and riches acquired through previous pious activities should not be misused for sense gratification. Enjoying them for sense gratification is like enjoying the fruits of a poisonous tree. Such activities will not help the conditioned soul in any way, neither in this life nor the next. However, if one engages his possessions in the service of the Lord under the guidance of a proper spiritual master. he will attain happiness both in this life and the next. Unless he does so, he eats a forbidden apple and thereby loses his paradise. Lord Sri Krishna therefore advises that one's possessions should be given unto Him."

So instead of trying to enjoy that apple separately, which is forbidden, we should offer it to Krishna first before we eat it. In other words everything should be done for the Lord's pleasure instead of our own. In this way we will enjoy pleasure on an equal level with God and regain the paradise of His kingdom never to fall down again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 18 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

New Temporary Location for ISKCON Austin

By Krishna's grace we now have a temporary location for ISKCON Austin until our regular location is repaired from the extensive fire and water damage. It will be probably January before we can move back in. Everyone in this part of the world is invited to attend our regular programs. From now up until 20 August we are celebrating Jhulan Yatra, the swing ceremony of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna, every evening starting at 6:00pm. Our regular Sunday Love Feast program happens every Sunday starting at 4:30pm. On August 20 we will celebrate Balarama Jayanti starting at 6:00pm. On August 28 we will celebrate Janmastami followed by Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja on 29 August. Plus every morning we have Mangala Arati, Tulasi worship, and Srimad Bhagavatam class. The address is 1704 Lynnville Trail in north Austin near the intersection of Howard Land and Metric. Our phone number is 512-835-2121.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Temporary home of ISKCON Austin
Temporary Home of ISKCON Austin


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How To Make Desires Beneficial?

Gurudeva,
Please accept my respectful obeisances.

How do desires arise? Can they be channeled in such a way that they are beneficial rather than a disturbance? Kindly remove my ignorance and enlighten me.

Your humble servant,

Anil Sarma

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Answer: Offer All Desires to Krishna

Desire originates in Krishna as does everything else. Because Krishna desires therefore we also naturally desire. So desire in and of itself is not bad. It is only when our desires become perverted that they become a source of misery for us. In other words, since desire comes from Krishna it is meant to be offered back to Krishna. This is the original form of recycling. What happens when we don’t recycle? The atmosphere becomes polluted. So when we do not recycle our desires back to Krishna we become polluted by the materialistic atmosphere and suffer in the cycle of repeated birth and death. And when we offer our desires in the service of Krishna they become our best friends. They carry us across the Viraja river, the border between the material and spiritual worlds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 17 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 15,000 subscribers worldwide)

Depending on Krishna in All Circumstances

The material energy is extremely powerful. Therefore, there is no way that we can defeat it by our own puny endeavors. But if we take complete shelter of Krishna, who is the very source of the material energy, we can easily be free from the influence of the material energy. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita as follows:

daivī hy esā guna-mayī
mama māyā duratyayā
mām eva ye prapadyante
māyām etām taranti te

"This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it."
-Bhagavad-gita 7.14
So why should we suffer for one minute longer under the stringent grip of the material energy? We should have enough sense to surrender to Krishna immediately.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Krishna liberates un from maya's infulence
Krishna Liberates Us From Maya's Influence



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Intelligence Carried to Our Next Body?

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

You wrote me that material intelligence is carried to the next gross body. But is it not said that everything material (wealth, wife, property) is finished after the material body is finished? I am thus not able to understand how material intelligence is carried to the next gross body. I mean, in that case, should we all try getting the best of material education?

If one is materially well educated in this life (without any spiritual knowledge), does it mean that he will again be as intelligent in the next life?

I am confused over this point. Please enlighten me.

Thanking you.

Yours humbly,
Kesaven

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Answer: Whatever You've Learned is Forgotten

Even though the material element of intelligence is carried over, still whatever you have learned is forgotten, and you must start all over again in your next life learning how to do everything again. However, whatever Krishna consciousness you have developed is carried over to the next lifetime. Therefore the truly intelligent person focuses on expanding his Krishna consciousness as the central point of his life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 16 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Krishna Consciousness Frees the Slaves

In this material world we are all the slaves of our senses. We have no freedom. We are tightly under the grip of our sensual desires. But these desires lead nowhere except to old age, disease, and death and then to another birth again to repeat the same cycle. But if we will serve Krishna instead of serving our rascal desires, we will become liberated souls released from the cycle of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada frees us from maya (illusion)
Srila Prabhupada Frees Us From Maya (Illusion)



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Kill Animals for Their Own Good?

In reading your answer for why meat eating should not be done a thought came to my mind: Why not sacrifice the animals so that they can be promoted to human life, so at least they have some chance of getting out of cycle of birth and death? In other words, sacrifice for the purpose of promoting them to human life rather than for eating their flesh. Is that provision there?

Regards,
Vishal P.

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Answer: Instead Feed Them Prasadam

If you sacrificially kill a goat before Goddess Kali according to the scriptural injunctions so that he can become a human and then as a human he kills and eats you, both he and you will remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death. But if you feed him Krishna prasadam, the remnants of foodstuffs offered to Lord Krishna, he can become a human being in his next life without the karma of killing and eating you. So which option makes more sense, killing and eating him or feeding him prasadam?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 15 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Our Only True Happiness

Srila Prabhupada describes in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 3.21.12:

"Real devotees of bhakti-yoga accept only the material necessities of life absolutely needed to maintain the body and soul together; they refrain completely from all exaggerated material sense gratification."

This is a very important point. If we overindulge in sense gratification, it is not possible to give up the bodily conception of existence, which keeps us bound up in the cycle of repeated birth and death. Therefore, we should never think that our happiness comes from sense gratification. We must instead always remember that our only true happiness is having a loving relationship with Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Lord Krishna is our only true happiness
Loving Krishna is Our Only True Happiness


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Some Scriptures Allow Meat Eating?

Why some scriptures allow meat eating and others do not?

Thank you
Vikram

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Answer: To Discourage Meat Eating

Just as the government gives license for smoking and at the same time restricts it and warns against it, in a similar way for people who are addicted to meat eating there are scriptural injunctions which strongly warn against meat eating while simultaneously allowing it under stringent restriction. In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains as follows:

"It is very difficult for one to give up his attachments all at once. If one is addicted to meat-eating and is suddenly told that he must not eat meat, he cannot do so. If one is attached to drinking liquor and is suddenly told that liquor is no good, he cannot accept this advice. Therefore, in the Puranas we find certain instructions that say in essence, 'All right, if you want to eat meat, just worship the goddess Kali and sacrifice a goat for her. Only then can you eat meat. You cannot eat meat just by purchasing it from the butcher shop. No, there must be sacrifice or restriction.' In order to sacrifice a goat to the goddess Kali, one must make arrangements for a certain date and utilize certain paraphernalia. That type of puja, or worship, is allowed on the night of the dark moon, which means once a month. There are also certain mantras to be chanted when the goat is sacrificed. The goat is told, 'Your life is being sacrificed before the goddess Kali; you will therefore be immediately promoted to the human form.' Generally, in order to attain the human form, a living entity has to pass through many species of life on the evolutionary scale, but if a goat is sacrificed to the goddess Kali, he is immediately promoted to the human form. The mantra also says, 'You have the right to kill this man who is sacrificing you.' The word mamsa indicates that in his next birth, the goat will eat the flesh of the man who is presently sacrificing him. This in itself should bring the goat-eater to his senses. He should consider, 'Why am I eating this flesh? Why am I doing this? I'll have to repay with my own flesh in another life.' The whole idea is to discourage one from eating meat."

We can see in the above quote from Srila Prabhupada that even if one eats meat under scriptural injunctions, he still has to take birth as an animal and be killed and eaten by the very same animal whose flesh he has eaten. There is no religious system that allows one to eat meat without having to suffer the consequences. Even the Bible says, "He that kills an ox is as if he killed a man." Although the government allows smoking, an intelligent man will not smoke. Similarly, even though there are scriptural injunctions that allow meat eating, an intelligent person will not do so. He will avoid obliging himself to become an animal to be slaughtered and eaten in his next life by the very same animal that he ate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 14 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Search for Krishna in Vrindavana Within Your Heart

Srila Prabhupada has very wonderfully described how we can find Krishna in the Vrindavana within our heart:

"We have to follow in the footprints of the Goswamis and search out Radha and Krishna in this way. Vrindavana is in our hearts, and we must search for Him there. This is the process recommended by Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the process of worship in separation. Feeling separation from Krishna, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would throw Himself into the sea. Sometimes He would leave His room in the dead of night and disappear. No one would know where He had gone, but all the while He was searching after Krishna. Thus it is not that we are to enjoy the loving exchanges between Krishna and Radha like spectators at some sports show. We must feel separation from Them. The more we feel separation, the more we should understand that we are advancing. With our material senses, we cannot see Krishna, nor can we even hear His name. We can begin to perceive Him when we advance in devotional service. That devotional service begins with the tongue, not the legs, eyes or ears. The tongue must be utilized to chant Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and take Krishna prasadam. Thus the tongue has a dual function, and by utilizing it in this way, we will realize Krishna. We cannot see Krishna with our material eyes, nor hear about Him with material ears, nor touch Him with our hands; but if we engage our tongue in His service, He will reveal Himself, saying, 'Here I am.'"

So just as the Goswamis were always searching for Krishna, we should also be searching for Krishna. In this way in due of course if we remain steady in eating only Krishna prasadam and always vibrating the Hare Krishna mantra as much as possible on our lips, Lord Sri Krishna will very mercifully reveal Himself to us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


When we are pure Krishna will reveal Himself
When We Are Pure Krishna Will Reveal Himself


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Could the Pure Jiva Fall Down?

In your lecture "2013.08.04. Sunday program BG.38" there was a question and your dear wife answered it. Your wife said that our world is like a rehabilitation center, that governments create prisons for people that commit crimes. Of course we commit crimes, we live in a world full of sins, cruelty, and uncertainty, especially now. In Kali yuga it is very difficult to reach the transcendental state of mind. But in Lord Krishna's kingdom all the souls have the transcendental knowledge, they are serving Lord Krishna's lotus feet. So how is it even possible for a soul to commit a sin while serving God in transcendental state of mind and be dragged to the Earth for rehabilitation/prison?

Your wife also said that we are here now so we can "go back home". She said "go back", it means we came from God's home, where everything is so pure and perfect. But if everything is so transcendental over there how can such thing as sin/crime exist at all? I've been looking for answer for almost a year now. I would really appreciate if You could answer my question.

Sincerely,
Victoria K.

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Answer: Love Must Necessarily Be Voluntary

We see that in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya how the even the Lord's personal servant, Kala Krishna Das, who was directly associating with Him at every minute became overwhelmed by the material energy and fell down into bad association. The material energy is so bewildering that even the slightest tendency of a desire to enjoy separately from the Lord can cause one to fall down completely from the realm of pure devotional service into this hellish material existence.

Love cannot exist unless it is voluntary. It cannot be forced. And since it is voluntary there must exist the possibility of its being misused. If there is the possibility of misuse, there has to be some mathematical probability of it being misused. Considering the incalculably ecstatic nature of the spiritual world we can understand that the probability of a jiva falling down would therefore necessarily have to be the absolutely smallest of all possible percentages, which is 1/∞ (one divided by infinity). In other words the chance of a jiva soul's falling down has to exist, but the mathematical odds would be absolutely infinitesimal. What happens if we multiply this smallest of all numbers, 1/∞, times the the infinite number of living beings in the spiritual world? 1/∞ x ∞ = ∞. We get an infinite number of living beings who fall down. Now do you understand why some of the jivas are here in this material world?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 13 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Sriman Vaisesika Prabhu Blesses Austin

This past weekend the devotees here in Austin were greatly blessed by the transcendental association of His Grace Sriman Vaisesika Das Adhikari, one of ISKCON's wonderful preachers, along with his good wife, Her Grace Srimati Nirakula Devi Dasi. He gave seminars on book distribution to the many devotees who had gathered in Austin to take advantage this opportunity and also took the devotees out for book distribution and public chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra. It was a sublime and relishable opportunity for the two of us to share with each other our realizations about the most ecstatic process of Krishna bhakti. Especially sweet was the joint Sunday feast lecture. I led the kirtan and then we each spoke for about half an hour on the glories of talking about Krishna. Next was a question and answer session in which we took turns answering the many wonderful questions that were asked by the devotees. How nice it is to have the association of such exalted Godbrothers as Vaisesika Prabhu. It very much strengthens and empowers me in my practice and propagation of the most sublime Krishna consciousness process.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan
Ecstatic Hare Krishna
Kirtan


Sankarshan Das speaking
Sankarshan Das Speaking

Vaisesika Das speaking
Vaisesika Das Speaking


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Distanced from Materialists?

Hare Krishna, Gurudeva,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

How can one be psychologically distanced from the material society in which one lives?

Raul C

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Answer: Always Remember Krishna

Srila Prabhupada has very nicely answered your question as follows:

"Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu therefore advised, asat-sanga-tyāga--ei vaisnava-ācāra: a Vaisnava should behave in such a way as to never associate with nondevotees or materialists (Cc. Madhya 22.87). One can avoid such association simply by always remembering Krishna within his heart."

So even though, in the course of our regular day, we are almost constantly associating with materialists, if we always keep the remembrance of the profoundly beautiful Lord Sri Krishna alive within our hearts, we will not be adversely affected by the mundane association.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 12 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Wonderful Books that Will Deliver the World

The sublime books written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are the most profound and powerful books written in the history of the world for the enlightenment, upliftment, and deliverance of the entire human society from the clutches of debilitating darkness, illusion, and confusion. If all the leading thinkers of the world will simply read Srila Prabhupada's books the entire world atmosphere will immediately become greatly changed for the better. Peace and prosperity will become manifest in every corner of the world. Prabhupada's chief work of translation is the Srimad Bhagavatam, in which it is very aptly stated in verse 1.3.43:

krsne sva-dhāmopagate
dharma-jñānādibhih saha
kalau nasta-drśām esa
purānārko 'dhunoditah

"This Bhāgavata Purāna is as brilliant as the sun, and it has arisen just after the departure of Lord Krishna to His own abode, accompanied by religion, knowledge, etc. Persons who have lost their vision due to the dense darkness of ignorance in the age of Kali shall get light from this Purāna."

May everyone now in every country of the world take advantage of the unlimited mercy available in Srila Prabhupada's books. This will bring a wonderful new era to this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Devotee distributing Prabhupada's books
Devotee Distributing Prabhupada's Books


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Help Needed to Give Up Bad Habits

Gurudeva,

There are some bad habits which I do no want to repeat. Every day from the morning I decide to give them up. But when that particular time comes I do it again and feel guilty. Please tell me how to control my feelings that take me on the wrong path. Actually I am not able to tell you my problems properly, but I need your help.

V.D.

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Answer: Replace Them With Something Better

Bad habits cannot simply be stopped. They cannot be given up unless you replace them with something better. That something better is Krishna consciousness. Therefore every morning you should dive deeply into the nectarean ocean of Krishna consciousness by carefully chanting the sweet names of the Hare Krishna mantra at least 16 times around japa mala beads. In this way you will experience a taste so sweet that you will forget all your nonsense bad habits rejecting them as simply a foolish waste of time. Your bad habits will evaporate as your new habit of always remembering and pleasing Krishna at every minute emerges. You will be like that ugly caterpillar who transformed himself into a beautiful butterfly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 11 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Don't Be Carried Away by Maya

It's all too easy to be carried away by maya or illusion because we live in the midst of a global society that is completely bewildered by maya. Therefore if we want to attain genuine peace and happiness we must psychologically and philosophically distance ourselves from the material society in which live while at the same time we act within it for earning our livelihoods and for even more importantly compassionately delivering these poor suffering fellows who don't even realize how lost they are.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotee relishing the bliss of the holy names
Devotee Relishing the Bliss of the Holy Names



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Raise Kids With Godly Values?

Dear Gurudeva,

I read your mails everyday and I thank you so much for this life saving effort!

My question is: In this material and internet world where the values are going drastically down how can we raise our kids with great moral and godly values with love and affection?

Regards,
Venkatesh

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Answer: Follow These Guidelines

To raise your kids with godly values you have to turn your home into an ashram, a place of spiritual cultivation. You should be having regular morning and evening worship attended by all family members. There should be no television and radio or mundane videos in your home. You and your wife should both become fixed up initiated devotees of Krishna chanting 16 rounds minimum every day of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads and strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. The entire family should go regularly at a minimum of once a week to participate in the activities of your nearest ISKCON temple. No food should be eaten in your home unless it has been first offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion. The family should sing Hare Krishna kirtan together as much as possible as well as regularly read and discuss together from transcendental literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. When you have time off from work the entire family should go together on pilgrimage to Mayapur or Vrindavan. Plus you should cultivate the sacred tulasi tree in your home and offer her arati every day. Every family member should water her and offer obeisances to her on a regular daily basis. If you can follow all or most of these items, a spiritual atmosphere will be created in your home which will inspire your kids to live godly and moral lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 10 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Devotee Association: First Class Stress Relief

This material world is a very stressful place with misery and danger at every step. To be here is like being a man wandering in the desert desperately searching for water so that he will not die of thirst. But if by good fortune one can somehow or other get the association of a devotee of the Lord, his troubles are over because the association of such a great soul is first class stress relief just like an oasis in the desert.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The bliss of devotee association
The Bliss of Devotee Association


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Report: A Quick Thank You

Dear Guru,

Just a quick e-mail to you to say thanks for the past few daily messages. For what ever reason they really hit home, which is good, and they did start me thinking again more clearly. I have started chanting again, not the full sixteen rounds, but it's just nice to hear the mantra which does make me happy.

Anyway once again thanks!

Hope all is going well over there with you all.

Hare Krishna
John

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Answer: Your Report Gives Me Great Joy

It gives me great joy to learn that you are being inspired by our humble attempt to glorify Krishna and serve our spiritual master’s order to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world.

It is indeed great news that you have revived your chanting. There is nothing sweeter than Krishna’s names in all the three worlds. This is a fact. Keep chanting whatever number of rounds you can accomplish every day and gradually you will come to point of being able to complete at least 16 rounds daily, the number of rounds required for being initiated. In this way you will become fully qualified for going back to home, back to Godhead in this lifetime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 9 August 2013

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Protected by Krishna in Aghasura's Mouth

Five thousand years ago a gigantic snake demon named Aghasura appeared in Vrindavana and swallowed up Krishna's cowherd boy friends to kill them. But they were not at all afraid or in any kind of danger because Krishna was personally there to deliver them. Krishna entered into the gigantic snake and simply by expanding Himself inside within Aghasura's body, the rascal suffocated and died.

At the present moment here in ISKCON Austin we are going through a very intense ordeal of carrying on with our routine devotional activities in the wake of the fire that badly damaged our temple building. We are facing so many difficulties that we sometimes feel like we are in the mouth of Aghasura. It is very, very stressful and intense. But we know that everything will be okay because Krishna is with us. We accept our present difficulties as Krishna's special mercy upon us to help us realize more and more that we have no shelter except for Him. In this way we experience peace and happiness even when we are struggling within the mouth of Aghasura.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Aghasura swallows the cowherd boys
Aghasura Swallows the Cowherd Boys


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Chant in Love or Desperation?

What should I do when something very negative thought enters my mind which I don't want to entertain?

One should chant the Holy names with love or in desperation to save oneself?

How to remember Krishna while doing some task like if I am studying or at any work?

In order to perform a duty sincerely, peace of mind is necessary. How to maintain that while studying?

How to maintain our determination?

Thank You.
Your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

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Answer: Either Mood is Beneficial

When a negative thought enters your mind replace it with the Hare Krishna mantra. Because Krishna is more attractive than the material energy your mind will be cleansed of the negative thought.

Whether you chant in love or in desperation to save yourself, either way is very beneficial for your spiritual progress.

To remember Krishna when you are engaged in an activity offer the result of that activity to Krishna.

To study in a peaceful state of mind, you should chant your daily japa before you begin your studies.

To maintain your determination to be Krishna conscious you should always remember that this material world is not your real home and that the only way to get back to your original home in the spiritual world is to reawaken your dormant Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 8 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Great Stress

This material world, in spite of so many promises of seeming happiness, is ultimately quite a nasty place. Therefore it is inevitable that everyone will sooner or later experience times of intense adversity. In such times of great stress one can either be defeated or he can victoriously survive and thrive. This depends not on the external situation. Rather it depends on his consciousness. If one remains fixed on the ultimate goal of going back to home, back to Godhead, he will utilize the stressful situation to survive and thrive by increasing his resolve to become completely transcendental to this material existence and achieve the ultimate perfection of pure Krishna prema. But if he is still caught up on the plane of false material enjoyment, he will be psychologically devastated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Chant Hare Krishna and be happy in Moscow
Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy In Moscow



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can the Finite Realize the Infinite?

If Krishna is unlimited and infinite and we are limited and finite in every respect, then how is it possible for us to ever conceive of Krishna?

We as jivas will always fall short of realizing Him and since Krishna is ever expanding with His unlimited energies there will never be a time when we can know Him fully. What I mean to ask is that there will always be something about Krishna that we don't know and is this lack of knowledge termed "spiritual ignorance"?

Why is it said that the jiva in his pure state is full of knowledge and bliss when it is finite in existence?

In the spiritual world in association of Krishna is it possible for the jiva to become infinite if Krishna empowers the jivas ?

Thanking you.
regards,
Brijesh Dani

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Answer: By the Mercy of the Infinite

Just as Krishna gave Arjuna the divine eyes by which he could see Krishna's universal form, in a similar way since Krishna is unlimited and infinite, He can empower the limited and finite jiva soul to realize Him.

Since Krishna's glories are ever expanding, even Krishna is always expanding His own Krishna consciousness, His consciousness of Himself. In a similar way, there will always be something more for us to realize about Krishna. This eternally expanding Krishna consciousness does not mean that we are in spiritual ignorance. Rather it means that we are in a state of ever expanding spiritual bliss.

When one realizes Krishna he realizes everything because everything is contained within Krishna. Therefore one who realizes Krishna is full of knowledge.

Why become infinite when you can become more than infinite? In the spiritual world the finite jiva conquers the Lord by love and thus becomes even more powerful than the infinitely powerful Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore instead of becoming infinite he becomes greater than infinite.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 7 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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The Devotee Tries to Awaken Everyone

The devotee engages himself and the world around him as fully as possible in the service of Krishna. And whatever is beyond his power to engage in Krishna's service he tolerates. In this way he is peaceful and happy throughout his entire life and in the end he goes back to home, back to Godhead. Due to ignorance only the entire human population is now missing out on this sublime process and is thus suffering like anything. The devotee, therefore, fully dedicates his life to awakening everyone to the sublime process of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Chant Hare Krishna and be happy in Portland
Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy In Portland


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Meaning to Derive from Material Loss?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

I read about the unfortunate event of fire on your Austin ashram and was very sorry for the material loss and inconvenience following it. It indeed is Krishna's grace that you and Mataji were not present in the ashram at the time so one was hurt. I was glad to read that the wonderful devotees rushed to help immediately. I hope that you and Mataji are doing ok and this is not causing too much hindrance in your preaching activity.

There was an unfortunate event in my house as well a few weeks ago. Our house was burglarized and several material things including my passport were stolen. Fortunately I came home just a few hours after the thieves left. Had I come home while they were inside my life probably would have been in danger. Another good thing to find out after the fact was that the thieves did not touch anything around the altar and the deities were safe.

I had several questions in mind after both the fire and the burglary event happened. Even though I was thankful for a lot of things, I questioned why this happened in the first place. I was not performing any offences knowingly but was there something I was doing I was not supposed to do? I thought to myself that I knew I am insignificant and full of faults so maybe this is fit what happened to me but why would Krishna allow something like this to an ashram of a pure devotee? How do I reconcile with the unfortunate events like these? I did not have a problem getting over the loss, but I kept thinking do I take everything as Krishna's mercy given the fact that I am not purely situated on the bhakti path? Or are some events to be taken as a stop and check to see if my activities are indeed on the right path? Gurudeva please give me instructions if you wish to do so.

Your fallen servant,
Suparna
Roswell, New Mexico

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Answer: Krishna's Special Liberating Mercy

When reverses happen the devotee accepts them as a minimization of what he actually deserves for his previous sinful activities. The devotee’s mood in such situations is nicely described in Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.8:

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

"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."

If we accept reverse situations in this mood, they no longer remain reverses. They become perceived by the devotee as Krishna’s special mercy to help him become liberated from this material existence. In this way the judicious devotee is never overcome by bewilderment and anxiety and is always feeling the all-merciful protection of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 6 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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Connected or Disconnected: Your Choice

Just as a light bulb which is not connected with the power source gives out no illumination, in the same way a person who is not connected with the ultimate source of all energies experiences a dull, superficial, ignorant, miserable existence. However, a person who is connected with that original source, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, lives at every minute in a brilliant, ecstatic, super conscious adventure. So now you make your choice whether you want to be connected or disconnected.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Chant Hare Krishna and be happy in Toronto
Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy In Toronto


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Extent of Fire Damage?

Dear Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumata,

I am sorry to hear of the fire at ISKCON Austin, but am overjoyed at the same time that this took place while you were away. It is clear Krishna is protecting you.

Did the fire damage any of the Lord's paraphernalia? Were there any deities there? Is there anything I can help contribute to?

I hope Krishna has now made some nice arrangement for your stay while in Texas.

Your eternal servant

Rupa Manjari devi dasi

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Answer: Lord and His Paraphernalia Undamaged

ISKCON Austin's building was badly damaged by fire and water. The construction company told us that it will probably be January before we can move back in.

By Krishna's grace the Deities, Their paraphernalia, and Srila Prabhupada's books were completely untouched by fire damage and water damage.

Anyone who wants to contribute to help cover our expenses can do so at: www.ultimateselfrealization.com/donate

So far we are temporarily staying in the home of one of my disciples. We hope to secure a rental facility as soon as possible suitable for our residence and for carrying on with our deity worship and regular public programs.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 5 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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All You Have to Do to Be Happy is Be Natural

True happiness need not remain an elusive butterfly. All you have to do to capture true happiness is be your natural self. Don't try to be something that you are not. Simply be yourself. Of course, to do this you must first of all know who you are. Our modern day educational system is a joke because it does not even teach the first thing about who you are. It is no wonder that people are so miserable and frustrated. You can learn who you are by approaching the bona fide spiritual master. He will teach you that you are not your body, that instead you are the eternal spirit-soul servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and he will then teach how to become fully absorbed in your original, natural identity as the servant of God. This will bring you unlimited happiness in an immortal, eternally youthful all-loving existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Chant Hare Krishna and be happy in Rome
Chant Hare Krishna and Be Happy In Rome



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Find True Love?

I am feeling really down today. Whenever I think about how I can't find any true love I feel down. Why can't I find any true love relationship? I don't have any love relationship at present, and any that I have had were really rotten. What then am I supposed to do? Please reply to this as soon as possible. And is there any way that I can have a live chat with you?

A.M.

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Answer: Fully Give Your Love to Krishna

You are frustrated in love because you are looking in the wrong place for that love. If you will simply give your love wholeheartedly to Lord Sri Krishna, your desire for love will become fully satisfied.

I will happy to meet with you personally. You can check my schedule at: www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule to see where and when you can meet me.

Due to intense schedule restraints I am not available for online chatting.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 4 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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When All Hell Breaks Loose

Due to the dualistic nature of this material world sometimes things are very pleasant and heavenly and sometimes all hell breaks loose. How do you remain calm, peaceful, and happy in the midst of trying, hellish situations? This can be accomplished if you will practice detachment when things are going nicely. In other words, when things are heavenly don't you try to be the enjoyer. In such circumstances you should remain in the mood of a servant and do everything for the pleasure of Krishna. If you are practiced in this way, you will not be disturbed when things become nightmarish. You will simply continue peacefully and happily doing everything for the pleasure of Krishna without any anxiety about whether you are in a heavenly situation or a hellish situation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotees ecstatically chanting Hare Krishna
Devotees Ecstatically Chanting Hare Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Specific Prayers for Specific Problems of Specific Individuals

My dear Gurudeva,

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

I trust this mail will find you in good health.

Here in our country there is a common practice to recite the Hare Krishna mahamantra 3 or 4 times in congregation for a person who is close relative/closely known to a devotee and is suffering materially i.e. unwell/lost job/met with accident/died etc. The suffering person is sometimes also a devotee.

But this time during my recent visit to India (March-April 2013), I heard from you in a seminar in Sri Vrindavan Dham that in such situations we should instead recite verse 5.18.9 of Srimad Bhagavatam. And if we really want that person to be benefited by the Holy Name then we should either try to chant near the person (e.g. if he/she is a patient and admitted in an intensive care unit and is not in a position to chant) so that he/she could hear the Holy Name or if he/she is in a position to chant then request him/her to chant.

The same thing I tried to convey the local devotees and they humbly wanted to confirm from you.

I request you to please correct me if there is any gap in my understanding.

So in present context, the question is "Is it right to recite verse Srimad Bhagavatam collectively by devotees in local congregations instead of chanting 3 or 4 times the Hare Krishna mahamantra specifically for known persons who are materially suffering?'

Your humble servant,
Rahul
(Oman)

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Answer: Instead Make Them Krishna Conscious

Vaisnavas feel great pain to see the suffering of the living beings who are currently trapped in this material world. Thus they fully dedicate their lives for relieving all living beings from all suffering by telling everyone they meet about the science of Krishna consciousness.

They do not make specific prayers for the specific suffering of specific individuals because such a system is not effective for bringing genuine relief to others. Such a system is compared to blowing on a boil. Even though it may give sense of relief, it does not actually solve the problem as by removing the boil. Such a system is also compared to trying to water a tree by watering its leaves and branches. If we try to water a tree in this way, we will not be successful. The proper way to water a tree is to water its root because by this method of watering the root, the entire tree becomes automatically nourished with water. Therefore the real solution for freeing the suffering of the people is to teach them how to awaken their dormant Krishna consciousness. Only this will be effective for bringing true relief from suffering.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 3 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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Unlock Door To Krishnaloka With This Key

This material world is chaotic. But behind the screen of the jumbled material energy there is the beautiful, serene, peaceful orderly dimension of Lord Krishna. If we are to experience real peace and happiness, we will not find it in this crazy, maddened material existence. We will only find it in the wondrous Krishnaloka. How do we unlock the door to enter into that sublime realm? We must chant the holy names of God with love and devotion on a regular daily basis. This devotional chanting is the key which unlocks the door to eternity, knowledge, and bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Srila Prabhupada chanting japa
Srila Prabhupada Chanting Japa


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Animals Liberated from Material World

Gurudeva,

Please accept my respectful obeisances.

The animals do not create any new karma for themselves. I may please be enlightened to my following ignorance: In this case, do animals have the possibility to get liberated after death?

Your humble servant,
Anil Sarma

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Answer: They Must Become Humans First

The animals must progress through the evolutionary cycle to the human form before they can consciously make the choice to surrender themselves to Krishna and thus become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. There are sometimes exceptions to this principle, but generally speaking an animal must come to the human platform before he can be liberated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 2 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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Spiritual Perfection Guarantee

Our success in life depends on one thing and one thing only. We must always remain unflinchingly dedicated to our spiritual master no matter what may happen. Dedication to guru means that we must always keep our initiation vows to chant at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mahamantra along with avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. We must accept our spiritual master's instructions as our very life and soul and always faithfully abide by them. This guarantees that we will attain spiritual perfection as soon as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Dedication to Sri Guru is the essence of spiritual life
Dedication to Sri Guru is Essence of Spiritual Life
Srila Prabhupada with Disciples--Venice Beach, Los Angeles--1975


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do Animals Create Karma?

That a person enjoys or suffers as a result of his past pious or impious karma is what we learn from all Vedic literature. Human birth is the top of the cycle out of 8,400,000 species. My doubt is:

1. Does one commit sinful activities in whatever form of life one is in, whether animal, aquatic or any other form of life, or is it only in human form that one misuses his minute independence?

2. If one does not commit sinful activities in other forms, then why should one suffer in human form at all?

3. If one commits sinful activities in other forms, then the jiva should not be held responsible as one neither has independence nor intelligence to distinguish between pious and impious activities. One is just following nature's laws for that particular form with no control over his actions.

Please advise.

Your humble servant
Shyamsundar das

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Answer: Animals Burn Off Karma

Animals cannot sin because they are simply being conducted by three modes of material nature with no choice of acting this way or that way. Human beings, on the contrary, can sin because they have the choice of whether to act piously in the service of God or impiously in defiance of God. Whatever sinful reactions a human being suffers are from sins committed in his present human life or in past human lives. The suffering of animal life burns off sins from previous human births. The animals do not create any new karma for themselves.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 1 August 2013

from Austin, Texas USA
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Devotional Service in All Circumstances

Another lesson to be derived from the fire calamity of ISKCON Austin is that under all circumstances devotional service can go on. We are not dependent on material circumstances to engage in devotional service. For example, many years ago here in the early days of ISKCON Austin we were evicted from our temple building and there was anxiety how our programs would continue if we did not have a building. Srila Prabhupada mercifully reassured us in a wonderful letter that he wrote to us from Delhi, India on 20 November 1971:

"It is not so important that you have no temple building just now. The main thing is that somehow or other preaching work goes on and literature is distributed. We are prepared to sleep under a tree, so what is there need for a fancy house?"

We are temporarily situated in the home of my disciple, Abhay Charan Das, until we can find a proper rental facility. It could possibly not be until January that our building will be fully repaired and suitable for once again conducting our preaching mission activities. But by Krishna's grace we are carrying on with our standard activities of deity worship and preaching Krishna consciousness without any interruption.

We are very grateful that most of our personal and temple paraphernalia escaped the fire and water damage. Our beautiful temple room, altar, festival deities, and all deity paraphernalia were completely untouched by the fire and water. Some things were destroyed beyond repair but mostly it is the building itself which took the bulk of the damage.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

The six goswamis lived under the trees of Vrindavana
Six Goswamis Lived Under the Trees of Vrindavan


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Overcome Laziness?

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

I want to know how can I overcome my laziness. I have been engaged in Krishna consciousness for the past 5 years. I am chanting 16 rounds daily without fail. I read Srila Prabhupada's books. But I have found it difficult to get up early in the morning, I have tried but I failed, I have lost my hope. Please help me to overcome my laziness.

G. C.

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Answer: Realize the Rareness of Human Birth

Laziness is a symptom of the mode of ignorance. To overcome this tendency one has to understand the urgency of the human form of life, that it is the rarest opportunity to escape from the cycle of birth and death. To spend time unnecessarily sleeping like a dog or a pig means to take the risk of taking birth again in this material world. Therefore you must rise early every morning before the sunrise, take your bath, and chant the holy names during the period known as the Brahma muhurta, which begins 1.5 hours before sunrise.

If you can’t wake up, get two or three loud alarm clocks and place them in different parts of your bedroom so that you are forced to get up out of bed to turn them off. Or you can have a devotee give you a wake up call on the telephone every morning to make sure that you are up.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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