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

Thursday 31 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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When Does One Require a Guru?

Recently in Lithuania a sincere young lady asked me, "When does one require a guru?" I explained to her that one requires a guru when one comes to the human form of life, because the human form of life is meant for self-realization, not for sense gratification. A guru is required to teach you how to become self-realized. Therefore as soon as you understand what is the purpose of the human form of life you should immediately take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master to guide you how to attain life's ultimate goal. Then she asked me, "How does one recognize who is a bona fide spiritual master?" I explained to her that the bona fide spiritual master is that person who purely presents the teachings spoken by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita without any adulteration. By carefully reading the Bhagavad-gita to see what are its teachings, one can then clearly discern who is a bona fide spiritual master that one should take shelter of and who is a charlatan that one should avoid.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada initiates a new disciple - Los Angeles, USA
Srila Prabhupada Initiates a New Disciple--Los Angeles, USA


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Remove Fear of Terrorists in Nairobi?

How to remove fear of terrorists? After the recent shopping mall terrorist attack here in Nairobi, Kenya in which the terrorists killed at least 68 people, we are all afraid.

Dilip

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Answer: Depend on Krishna for Your Time of Death

Terrorism is the natural result of an animalistic society. Just as in a jungle some of the animals are ferocious, it is natural that in a society where everyone is an animal some of the animals will be ferocious. Therefore the only solution for terrorism is to elevate the human society beyond the animal platform by teaching them how to revive their dormant Krishna consciousness.

If one remembers that he is not his body and that the time of his death is in the hands of the Lord, he will not be afraid of being killed by any terrorist. The terrorist cannot alter that time which God ordains should be your time of death. In this connection it is said, "rākhe krishna māre ke and māre krishna rākhe ke. If Krishna wants to kill somebody, nobody can give protection. It is not possible. And if Krishna wants to protect somebody, nobody can kill him." So there is no reason to be afraid in any circumstance if you always depend fully on Krishna to decide when you should die.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 30 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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There Is No Greater Happiness Anywhere

There is no greater happiness than fully surrendering yourself at the lotus feet of Guru and Krishna for all of eternity because such surrender immediately liberates you from the countless eons that you have been suffering in the cycle of birth and death. Not only is there no greater happiness than this. There is indeed absolutely no genuine happiness except for this anywhere in any planet or in any universe. Therefore do not foolishly punish yourself a moment longer. Immediately take complete shelter of Guru and Krishna and make your life perfect.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada enlivens his disciples in Germany
Srila Prabhupada Enlivens His Disciples in Germany


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Makes a Person Foolish?

What makes a person foolish? Can you please explain?

Your servant,

Shivashankar

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Answer: If He Is Not Krishna Conscious

If a person is not Krishna conscious, he is fool number one.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 29 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Fly Hare Krishna Airlines Straight to Goloka Vrindavana

The ultimate destination is Goloka Vrindavana. There is no place like it anywhere in all of existence because everyone there is an eternal youth relishing an adventure of unlimited love and bliss in the direct personal association of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of God. So how do you get there? You fly the best airline in all the three worlds: Hare Krishna Airlines. There are regular daily flights every day from hundreds of airports all over the world. Where do you find those airports? They are the ISKCON centers. The fare is not exorbitant or unreasonable. For the mere price of faith you get your first class ticket to Goloka Vrindavana. The meals are the greatest: Krishna prasadam. And the in-flight movies put Hollywood and Bollywood to shame: the transcendental pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. So take your seat, buckle up, put your full faith in the holy names of God, and get ready for take off. Chant with love and soon you will come in for the most amazing landing in all of your eternal existence as you arrive back in your original home, Goloka Vrindavana.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotees flying high on Hare Krishna Airlines
Devotees Flying High on Hare Krishna Airlines

Kaunas, Lithuania--25 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does Guru-Tattva Mean?

Hare Krishna, Gurudeva,

Please accept our most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Panca-tattva. We both are initiated devotees ( husband and wife). We wholeheartedly accept you as our spiritual master and humbly beg you to guide us regarding spiritual life as we are deeply interested in going back to Godhead. We humbly want your ultimate guidance in our spiritual life. We beg you to kindly answer our questions which are as follows:

(1) What is meant by Guru-tattva?
(2) What is meant by Gauranga-tattva and Krishna-tattva?

Yours humble servants and most fallen souls,

Radharani Devi Dasi
Sri Krishna Gauranga Nitai Das

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Answer: The Truth Regarding the Spiritual Master

Guru-tattva means the truth regarding the spiritual master. That truth is that the spiritual master is the manifestation of God.

Krishna-tattva, the truth about Lord Krishna, is that He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence.

Gauranga-tattva, the truth about Lord Gauranga or Lord Caitanya, is that He is the most merciful incarnation of Lord Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 28 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Initiation Carries Devotees Into Immortality

On 26 October 2013 in Kaunas, Lithuania I gave first initiation to eight devotees and 2nd initiation to four devotees. The eight first initiates are: Lilasuka Das, Vyasadeva Das, Arjuna Das, Sudama Das, Amalatma Das, Aniruddha Das, Annapurna Devi Dasi, and Gaurangi Devi Dasi. There is nothing more satisfying that seeing sincere souls solemnly commit themselves to an eternal life of Krishna consciousness in submissive service to Guru and Krishna. This means that their suffering in this material world is now finished and they have now entered into immortality. The four second initiates are Mahabhagavat Das, Rabindra Das, Vraja Kishore Das, and Ekayani Devi Dasi. These devotee have accepted their first initiation vows very seriously and are now designated as brahmanas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Initiation ceremony - Kaunas, Lithuania - 26 Octobre 2013
Initiation Ceremony--Kaunas, Lithuania--26 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Sinless?

My dear Gurudeva,

The four regulative principles doesn't seems to be exhaustive. I mean to say that a devotee won't kill even an ant. But by experience this seems impossible. When we walk or run we kill hundreds of ants. Now, how can we be sinless if we are killing? Secondly, how to keep kitchen clean? There are many cockroaches in my home and I'm hesitating to bring anti-cockroach medicine to kill them. Please shower transcendental knowledge on this matter.

Vrutant Shah

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Answer: Avoid Killing As Much As Possible

It is not possible to completely avoid all types of killing in this world because even by our breathing we are killing so many living beings. But out of compassion on all varieties of living beings, devotees avoid killing as much as possible. When one is walking he can watch his step to make sure that he does not step on any insects. He can keep his kitchen spotlessly clean so that there will no food particles lying around to attract the cockroaches.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 27 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Real Happiness is Ever-Expanding

Real happiness is ever-expanding. Therefore if the happiness you are experiencing is not ever-expanding, it is only pseudo happiness. It is not real happiness. Real happiness begins from the liberated platform of realizing that you are not your body and engaging your senses in the service of the master of the senses, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The bliss just keeps on expanding
The Bliss Just Keeps On Expanding

ISKCON Center--Kaunas, Lithuania--25 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can You Have Disciples? Only Jesus is Guru.

Hare Krishna.

You mentioned that you have disciples. A lot of people seem to think that a person like Jesus Christ, is the only person on this planet whom is worthy of having spiritual disciples. Every other self proclaimed Godman is simply material and without any real observable power. Other Godmen have only knowledge handed done word for word and repetitive mantras that seem material in comparison to Jesus and his immortality.

Thank you for reading this .

Sincerely
Prema

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Answer: We Are Simply Obeying the Order of our Spiritual Master

Thank you for expressing your concern about someone becoming a self-proclaimed guru. Such self-proclaimed gurus who do not teach according to the scriptures are a great source of disturbance in the modern day society. The original guru is the Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna, Himself. He reappeared 500 years ago as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and ordered all of His followers to become gurus by teaching the science of Krishna to everyone. It is not that one can become a self-proclaimed guru. One can only become a guru and accept disciples when he is ordered by his guru to do so. Srila Prabhupada ordered his disciples to become gurus and accept disciples. So kindly understand that we are not acting independently as self-proclaimed so-called Godmen. We are simply acting as humble servants of our beloved spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The Hare Krishna mantra that has been handed down from master to disciple over many thousands of years is not material. Since Krishna or God is absolute, His name and He Himself are one the same. When the spiritual master initiates his disciple into the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, he is directly connecting his disciple with God Himself. Such bona fide spiritual masters are also immortal just as Jesus Christ is immortal. They live eternally for spreading the teachings of Krishna everywhere.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 26 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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The Wonderful Glories of Sickness and Death

To be sick is actually a great blessing because it is a poignant reminder that we are not meant to be the enjoyers of this material body. Our real happiness is to engage everything--body, mind, and words--in the service of Krishna. Sickness is wonderful because it is a training for death. And death is even more wonderful because, for the Lord's devotees, it is the gateway to Goloka Vrindavana. So the next time you get sick, don't lament. Take it as a golden opportunity to dive deeper and deeper into the sweet nectarean ocean of Krishna consciousness. If you train yourself in this way, when death comes it will be like popping a gulabjamun (a juicy incredibly delicious sweet) into your mouth at the end of the meal.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sharing the secrets of a blissful bhakti life
Sharing the Secrets of a Blissful Bhakti Life
ISKCON Center--Vilnius, Lithuania--24 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Krishna and Vishnu?

Why do we find so may forms and avatars of Lord Krishna?

Is there any difference between Lord Krishna, Vishnu, Maha-Vishnu, Hari and Narayana?

Regards,

Vinit Sharma

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Answer: Attracting All Living Entities With His Flute

Because of Krishna's desire to enjoy unlimitedly, He expands Himself into an unlimited number of forms in which He can enjoy an unlimited number of transcendental pastimes. All the incarnations of Krishna are Krishna Himself. But it is only in His original form of Krishna that all of Krishna's qualities are fully manifested. For example, only in His form of Krishna are these four qualities manifested:

1. He is the performer of wonderful varieties of pastimes (especially His childhood pastimes).
2. He is surrounded by devotees endowed with wonderful love of Godhead.
3. He can attract all living entities all over the universes by playing on His flute.
4. He has a wonderful excellence of beauty which cannot be rivaled anywhere in the creation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 25 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Don't Remain in the Misery of Material Sense Gratification

As long as we continue to serve our senses we must remain entangled in the cycle of birth and death perpetually suffering in one material body after another until we finally wake up and realize what fools we have been to accept the covering of the self to be the actual self. Therefore instead of foolishly torturing ourselves for a moment longer we should take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master who can liberate us from this material existence and take us back to our original position as pure spirit-soul servitors of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, in His most amazingly sweet transcendental abode, Goloka Vrindavana, the topmost planet in the unlimited spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Teaching the amazing science of Krishna bhakti
Teaching the Amazing Science of Krishna Bhakti

Samosa Preaching Center--Kaunas, Lithuania--23 October 2013


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Regain My Lost Faith in Chanting?

I don't feel anything when I chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra. I am simply mechanically repeating the mantra with no feelings. I have lost my faith in the benefit of chanting Hare Krishna. How can I get my faith back?

Please help.

Your student.

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Answer: Faith or No Faith Keep Chanting

When we are sick our doctor prescribes a medicine to be taken on a regular daily basis. Although we do not feel any immediate benefit from the medicine we take it any way on his order, knowing fully well that in due course of time the medicine will cure us. And that is what indeed does happen. Therefore immediate result or no immediate result, simply go on chanting, go on chanting, go on chanting and that day will come when you will become completely cleansed of all the impurities accumulated within your heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 24 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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The Power of Two: Conquering the World in 32 Steps

Our mission is to conquer the entire world, not by guns and bombs, but by cultural conquest, enlightening everyone in the science of Krishna. How is it possible to accomplish such a seemingly impossible task? Actually it is not at all difficult. By the power of two in 32 steps it can be accomplished. Simply one person has to be so well trained that he fully embraces the world deliverance mission as his life and soul. Such as person is then empowered to enlighten someone else in the same way, who is in turn empowered to enlighten someone else in the same way. If each such empowered person can bring only two people to Krishna consciousness and inspire them to also be so dedicated, the entire world can easily be inundated with Krishna bhakti.

Here's how it would work:

The one preacher makes two devotees. Now there are three devotees. The two new devotees each convince two others to take up the path of bhakti. Now the world is blessed with seven devotees. The four new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are fifteen devotees chanting and dancing in ecstasy. The eight new devotees then each make two new devotees. Now the movement has 31 devotees. The 16 new Vaisnavas each make two new Vaisnavas. Now there are 63 devotees. The 32 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there 127 devotees. The 64 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 255 devotees. The 128 new devotees make two new devotees. Now there are 511 devotees. the 256 new devotees each make two new devotes. Now there are 1023 devotees. The 512 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 2047 devotees. The 1024 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 4,095 devotees. The 2,048 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 8,191 devotees. The 4,096 devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 16,383 devotees. The 8,192 new devotee each make two new devotees. Now there are 32,767 devotees. The 16,384 new devotee each make two new devotees. Now there are 65,535 devotees. The 32,768 new devotees each two new devotees. Now there are 131,071 devotees. The 65,536 new devotees each two new devotees. Now there are 262,143 devotees. The 131,073 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 524,287 devotees. The 262,144 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 1,048,575 devotees. The 524,288 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 2,097,151 devotees. The 1,048,576 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 4,194,303 devotees total. The 2,097,152 new devotees each make 2 new devotees. Now there are 8,388,607 devotees. The 4,194,304 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are a total of 16,777,215 devotees. The 8,388,608 new devotees each make two new devotees. Now there are 33,554,431 devotees. The 16,777,216 new devotees make two devotees each. Now there are 67,108,863 devotees. The 33,554,432 new devotees each make two new devotees each. There are now 134,217,727 devotees. The 67,108,864 new devotees each make two devotees each. There are now 268,435,455 devotees. The 134,217,728 new devotees each make two new devotees. There are now 536,870,911 devotees. The 268,435,456 new devotees each make two devotees each. Now there are 1,073,741,823 devotees. The 536,870,912 new devotees each make two devotees each. Now there are 2,147,483,647 devotees. The 1,073,741,824 new devotees each make two devotees each. Now there are a total of 4,294,967,295 devotees. The 2,147,483,648 new devotees each make two devotees each. Now there are 4,294,967,296 new devotees and a total of 8,589,934,591 devotees, a number which exceeds by about 1.4 billion the current world population of 7.1 billion.

Here are the same numbers presented in a table for an easy overview:

Step # Old Devotees New Devotees Total Devotees
  0 1 1
1 1 2 3
2 3 4 7
3 7 8 15
4 15 16 31
5 31 32 63
6 63 64 127
7 127 128 255
8 255 256 511
9 511 512 1,023
10 1,023 1,024 2,047
11 2,047 2,048 4,095
12 4,095 4,096 8,191
13 8,191 8,192 16,383
14 16,383 16,384 32,767
15 32,767 32,768 65,535
16 65,535 65,536 131,071
17 131,071 131,072 262,143
18 262,143 262,144 524,287
19 524,287 524,288 1,048,575
20 1,048,575 1,048,576 2,097,151
21 2,097,151 2,097,152 4,194,303
22 4,194.303 4,194,304 8,388,607
23 8,388,607 8,388,608 16,777,215
24 16,777,215 16,777,216 33,554,431
25 33,554,431 33,554,432 67,108,863
26 67,108,863 67,108,864 134,217,727
27 134,217,727 134,217,728 268,435,455
28 268,435,455 268,435,456 526,870,911
29 536,870,911 536,870,912 1,073,741,823
30 1,073,741,823 1,073,741,824 2,147,483,647
31 2,147,483,647 2,147,483,648 4,294,967,295
32 4,294,967,295 4,294,967,296 8,589,934,591

The total number after only 32 steps far exceeds the present global population. Of course, this is a hypothetical example. The practical reality is that some devotees will make many devotees and some will make none. The point is that if each devotee will make at least two devotees, this movement will expand like anything and inundate the whole world. Therefore we are requesting you to embrace the world deliverance mission as your life and soul and start making devotees as many as possible (if you are not already doing so.) Get into this spirit and you will relish a life full of unlimited bliss and adventure!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Audience Chants Hare Krishna in Ecstasy
Audience Chants Hare Krishna in Ecstasy

Vilnius, Lithuania--22 October 2013

Presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is
Presenting Bhagavad-gita As It Is
Vilnius, Lithuania--22 October 2013

26 Copies of Prabhupada's Books Were Sold
26 Copies of Prabhupada's Books (Hard Bound) Were Sold

26 Copies of Prabhupada's Books Were Sold


Heart Warming Send Off Kirtan on a Cold Night
Heart Warming Send Off Kirtan on a Cold Night
Vilnius, Lithuania--22 October 2013


Heart Warming Send Off Kirtan on a Cold Night

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Srila Prabhupada the Only Bona Fide Guru?

I would like to request you more elaboration on who is a bona fide diksha (initiating) guru in ISKCON. From what I have heard in Bangalore Srila Prabhupada is the only guru, the last guru in our disciplic succession, and anyone else who claims to be a guru is a bogus self-made guru. Please help on this matter. Thank you.

Komang

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Answer: Srila Prabhupada Ordered His Disciples to Become Gurus

This idea that Srila Prabhupada is the only guru, the last guru in our line of disciplic succession with no more gurus coming after him is a bogus idea. Srila Prabhupada said that his disciples would be the next gurus after him the line of disciplic succession. He directly ordered them to become gurus. Anyone who promotes the idea that Srila Prabhupada is the last guru and that he did not order his disciples to become gurus is presenting a false teaching which is against the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.

Srila Prabhupada's disciples who are following Srila Prabhupada's mandate to make disciples are not self-made gurus because they are acting as gurus in accordance with the order that they have received from Srila Prabhupada. To disrespect them by labeling them as bogus is an offense against a Vaisnava, a Vaisnava aparadha, and will destroy one's Krishna consciousness. Therefore we should not hear from and associate with people who make such offensive propaganda. By doing so we will become misguided, confused, and baffled in our attempt to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 23 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Transcendental Bliss on a Cold, Nasty Evening

The evening of Monday 21 October 2013 in Kaunas, Lithuania was cold and nasty, not the kind of weather in which you would feel like venturing out of home to go anywhere. But by the sweet power of Krishna's holy names and devotee association those who attended the lecture/kirtan program at the Vedic Culture Center experienced great transcendental bliss. For those of you who don't know what is transcendental bliss, all we can say is that you have to try it, you have to taste it, if you want to know what it is. Find out where is your nearest ISKCON center. Go there and join with them in kirtan. And then stick around for the lecture so that you can dive deeply into the understanding of the transcendental science of God (Krishna). You'll love it!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Evening of Bliss at the Vedic Culture Center
Kaunas, Lithuania--21 October 2013

Evening of Bliss at the Vedic Culture Center


Evening of Bliss at the Vedic Culture Center


Evening of Bliss at the Vedic Culture Center



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Plea For Help: I Am Losing All Hopes in My Life

I need your guidance. I am losing all hopes in my life.
Please help me.

Vivek

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Answer: Leverage Your Hopelessness Into Unlimited Bliss

Rest assured that your feeling hopelessness about life in this material world is a very positive step towards attaining the ultimate goal of unlimited knowledge, love, and bliss on the transcendental self-realization platform. Therefore there is no need to be discouraged. Leverage your hopelessness into unlimited bliss. Take your feeling of hopelessness about life in this world and use it as a spring board to catapult your consciousness into the transcendental sphere far beyond the miserable cycle of birth and death by taking shelter of the Hare Krishna mahamantra as the vehicle that will carry you beyond this world of hopelessness. As far as possible chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra 24 hours a day, and a new unlimitedly hopeful and happy self will emerge from the ashes of your present hopeless, unhappy self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 22 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Relishing a Life of Nectar in Klaipeda

After wrapping up the ecstatic Holy Name Retreat on Sunday afternoon we then were driven 217 kilometers to Klaipeda on Lithuania's west coast where we were greeted by the devotees with an absolutely ecstatic kirtan. The devotees in Klaipeda really get into kirtan with unbounded enthusiasm. They are also very eager to hear and inquire about the science of Krishna consciousness. I spoke on the science of Krishna for about an hour. Then my wife and I answered many questions posed by these sincere souls. We could have gone on much longer. But we had to get back to Kaunas to take rest for another ecstatic day of Krishna bhakti beginning for us the next morning at 2:30am. And the nectar just keeps on coming. What a life!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Explaining the Nectarean Teachings of Krishna
Explaining the Nectarean Teachings of Krishna

Klaipeda, Lithuania--20 October 2013


Questions and Answers--Klaipeda, Lithuania--20 October 2013
Questions and Answers--Klaipeda, Lithuania--20 October 2013


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know the Will of Krishna?

Respected Gurudeva,

I bow at your lotus feet. Please resolve my following doubt if you find it worthy of a reply:

Referring to your answer on the above subject, you have told us to follow the orders of Lord Krishna, either given directly or through the medium of the spiritual master. But it may not be possible always to reach the spiritual master for guidance. Also, the spiritual master may be flooded with enquiries for guidance from his disciples and may find it practically impossible to advise them. What to do in such situations? How to know the will of Krishna? This is a practical problem for disciples.

Hare Krishna,
Shriram Bejalwar

Mumbai

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Answer: Sincere Desire to Surrender is the Key

Srila Prabhupada told us, "So when you are above the nonsensical platform by sincere service, then Krishna will talk with you from within." In this way you can know for sure the will of Krishna. Until that time you should take guidance from your spiritual master, senior devotees, and what you have read in Srila Prabhupada's books. If you are sincere, Krishna will give you all help both from within and without how to attain His lotus feet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 21 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania
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Heading Out to Klaipeda For Even More Nectar

20 October 2013--1:19pm--After finishing six lectures and many ecstatic kirtans at the Holy Name Retreat, now it's time to head out to the west coast of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea to give an evening lecture at the Sunday Feast program of the Hare Krishna group in Klaipeda, Lithuania. I cannot imagine a life any more ecstatic than this of being fully absorbed 24 hours a day in hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord. I was a lost soul totally blinded by material sense gratification. But then Srila Prabhupada with the help of Vishnujana Swami saved me from this material existence. I am eternally indebted to both of them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Relishing and Sharing the Nectar of Krishna Bhakti
Relishing and Sharing the Nectar of Krishna Bhakti
Holy Name Retreat--Ezerelis, Lithuania --19 October 2013


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: I Was Advised Not to Chant Hare Krishna

We chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra regularly, but after our son's departure from this material world many people say that we should not chant it because it frees us from maya or illusion. Is this true?

Dipti and Rajesh

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Answer: An Intelligent Man Does Accept Guidance From Fools

I am sorry to hear of the untimely departure of your son. Rest assured that he is not dead. He has simply been transferred to a different department in which his activities will continue without interruption.

It is amazing how improperly you have been advised. Your advisors have rightly understand that the Hare Krishna mahamantra frees one from maya or illusion, but yet they are so foolish that they are advising you not to chant it. This means that they are advising to stay in illusion, which is the very cause of all of our suffering. Instead of encouraging you to become happy, they are encouraging you to remain in a suffering condition. An intelligent man will never take advice from less intelligent fools.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 20 October 2013

from Holy Name Retreat--Ezerelis, Lithuania
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Holy Name Retreat--An Elixir for the Soul

19 October 2013--We are now here at the Holy Name Retreat in a rural retreat center near Ezerelis, Lithuania. About 50 devotees have gathered here for an ecstatic bhakti-surcharged weekend of diving deeper and deeper into the ocean of Krishna's holy names. The more we chant Hare Krishna and enter into the unlimitedly sublime glories of Krishna, the more the atmosphere becomes surcharged with sweetness. It's an intense day for me giving four lectures. But it is an incredible elixir for the soul. With each lecture I am feeling more and more spiritual bliss and spiritual energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic Holy Name retreat - Ezerelis, Lithuania - 19 October 2013
Ecstatic Holy Name Retreat--Ezerelis, Lithuania --19 October 2013


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: By Eating Vegetarian Food Do We Incur Sin?

Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Please solve my doubt:

Recently I come across a question regarding vegetarian food that we eat after offering it to the Lord. Vegetables and plants are also living beings with souls, although their consciousness is at a lower level. Even though we do not eat meat, still we are killing and eating the vegetables. Our critics say that eating animal meat and eating vegetables both involve violence therefore we vegetarians also incur sins. Is this true?

Pravin,

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

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Answer: Yes, Unless We First Offer It to Krishna

It is a fact that if we kill an animal or we kill a vegetable to eat it, in both cases we are guilty of the sin of murder. But if we first offer our foods to Krishna before eating them, we are freed from the karma of killing. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita 3.13. However, this does not mean that we can offer meat to Krishna, because Krishna lists in Bhagavad-gita 9.26 what kind of foods can be offered to Him. He only lists vegetarian foods. He does not list meat, fish, and eggs. If Krishna had wanted us to offer Him meat, He would included it in His list of offerable items.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 19 October 2013

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Arriving in the Oasis After Crossing the Desert


18 October 2013--After a physically taxing two solid days of traveling from Pune to Mumbai, Mumbai to London, London to Helsinki, Helsinki to Vilnius, and Vilnius to Kaunas, we finally arrived last night in Kaunas. It is indeed wonderful to be back in the association of devotees. They are like an oasis within the vast desert of material existence. After distributing mahaprasadam sweets from ISKCON Pune, I gave a very short arrival lecture glorifying the sublime process of Krishna consciousness. This is the only solution for all the problems of the Lord. If we could just somehow get everyone to heed the message of Krishna, this entire planet will be transformed into a paradise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Arrival in Kaunas, Lituanian - 17 October 2013
Arrival in Kaunas, Lithuania--17 October 2013

Arrival Lecture - Kaunas, Lithuania - 17 October 20123
Arrival Lecture--Kaunas, Lithuania--17 October 2013

Distributing Prasadam--Kaunas, Lithuania--17 October 2013
Distributing Prasadam--Kaunas, Lithuania--17 October 2013


 

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can One Become Perfect Without Initiation?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances

Recently while discussing with a devotee I got this doubt. Please clarify it. He said that simply chanting Hare Krishna is sufficient, that simply by chanting one can come to the perfect level of suddha nama (pure chanting). He said our disciplic succession (parampara) is based on instructions (siksha) not on initiation (diksha). He said that therefore initiation is not required for attaining spiritual perfection. Is this true? And if so, please tell me what is the role of initiation in our disciplic succession.

Thank you,
Your servant
Manmath Kumar Panda

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Answer: Krishna Says That You Must Become Initiated

First of all you need to understand what the relationship is between instruction (siksha) and initiation (diksha). Initiation is a contract in which the disciple vows to eternally follow the instructions of his spiritual master. In other words initiation is dependent upon instructions. Without instructions initiation has no meaning; it is simply an empty ritual. Therefore it can be said that the real basis of our disciple succession is instructions. But initiation cannot be removed or minimized because initiation is the commitment to follow instructions. The conclusion is that just as initiation depends on instructions, so also does instructions depend on initiation. They are interdependently entwined with each other. In order for a line of disciplic succession to be bona fide there must be both initiation and instructions. Initiation without instructions is useless. And instructions without initiation is also useless.

To come the perfectional level of suddha nama, pure chanting of the holy names, one must fully surrender himself to Lord Krishna, who states that without becoming the devotee of His devotee (diksha or initiation) one is not accepted as being His devotee. Therefore one may go on chanting for millions of years, but if he does not take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master by initiation, his chanting will always remain impure. He will not reach the perfectional platform of pure chanting, suddha nama.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Friday 18 October 2013

from London, UK
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En Route to Lithuania for Ecstatic Holy Name Retreat

16 October 2013--After leaving early this morning from Pune, India we are now in London for an overnight halt. Early tomorrow morning we will catch a flight to Helsinki, Finland and from there a flight to Vilnius, Lithuania. I am looking forward to the upcoming Holy Name Retreat this weekend in Lithuania. It is a wonderful opportunity to dive deeper and deeper into the sweet nectarean mellows of Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental holy names. There is indeed nothing as sweet and relishable as Lord Sri Krishna's holy names. To chant them with love is the ultimate bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Diving deep into Krishna's Holy Names
Diving Deep into Krishna's Holy Names

New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--15 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Know the Will of Krishna?

How does one judge whether a negative situation requires active effort to mitigate the situation or whether it requires acceptance as the will of the Lord? I have read and heard equivocal solutions.

Thank you
Mahesh

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Answer: According to the Orders of Guru and Krishna

When Arjuna faced a negative situation on the Battlefield of Kurukshetra he wanted to accept it without trying to mitigate it. But then Lord Krishna ordered him to take active steps to remedy the negative situation. In our case, we should also do what the Lord instructs us to do either directly or through the transparent via medium of the bona fide spiritual master. Sometimes we have to tolerate what cannot be changed, and sometimes we have to act aggressively to change things. This distinction is made according to the orders of Guru and Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 17 October 2013

from the Mumbai, India International Airport
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Surprise Nectar at the Mumbai Airport

16 October 2013--We got a wonderful surprise a few minutes ago as we were clearing customs at the Mumbai airport. The customs official chanted Hare Rama, Hare Krishna when I approached him with my passport. Then he asked me if I knew a bhajan. So I immediately started loudly singing Jaya Radha Madhava with great enthusiasm. He and other customs officials at other desks were delighted to hear the glories of Lord Sri Krishna. They all smiled very nicely with great appreciation. Even though modern India is too much covered by sense gratification and so-called material advancement it is wonderful that there is still so much Krishna consciousness here.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srimad Bhagavatam Class
Srimad Bhagavatam Class
New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--15 October 2013



Srimad Bhagavatam Class



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do You Chant Hare Krishna Japa?

After five months of continuous japa chanting, I've had problems in my life now since I stopped. Do you chant? Maybe you don't have time.

Saulius

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Answer: Every Day for the Last Forty-Two Years

I have been chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa mala beads every day for the last 42 years, ever since the day I attended the Lord Caitanya Festival in Dallas, Texas, USA in the spring of 1971. Time or no time I always make the time to chant. It is more important than eating because eating only feeds the body while chanting feeds the soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 16 October 2013

from ISKCON Pune, India
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Departing from the Holy Land

It has truly been a most exciting and uplifting experience to be here in the holy land of India for an entire month. The kirtans have been phenomenal. My lectures were received with great enthusiasm and were always followed by stimulating question and answer sessions. Everyone here has Krishna consciousness in their blood. When we were greeted by a kirtan upon our arrival at the Pune airport I noticed that even some Muslims were appreciating the Hare Krishna kirtan. It is amazing to see a place were so many people even with just a little encouragement can seriously take up the practice of Krishna bhakti. And then there is Vrindavan where Krishna is still manifesting His pastimes for those who have the eye to see them. While there is a natural lamentation in leaving such a spiritual wonderland, there is the joy of knowing that soon we will be coming back. Until then we will continue to dive deeply into the sweet ocean of Krishna prema and to carry on with our program of trying to attract everyone in the world to join this most sublime and important movement in the history of the universe, the Krishna consciousness movement.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Diving deep into ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan
Diving Deep Into Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan
New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--14 October 2013

How to be free from anxiety and illusion
"How to Be Free From Anxiety and Illusion."
New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--14 October 2013

Meeting with individual student
Meeting with Individual Student
New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--14 October 2013


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why One God and So Many Different Religions?

If God, who is known as Krishna and many other names, is one, and if religion is one, to serve that one God with pure love and devotion, why then do we have so many religions and so many scriptures? Please enlighten me.

Shilpi Baruah
Assam, India

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Answer: They Are Invented by Imperfect Men.

God gave us religion, and man gave us religions. Just as there is only one God, there is only one religion, to fully surrender to Him, but when imperfect men mix material desires with that original pure form of religion they break off from the universal religion and manufacture so many varieties of materially motivated so-called religions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 15 October 2013

from ISKCON Pune, India
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Judgmentalism or Judiciousness?

When we present the absolute standard of right and wrong as given by the supreme authority, Lord Sri Krishna, some people tell us that because there is no such thing as an absolute standard of right and wrong, it is wrong to make such distinctions. If we see one person as good because he has surrendered to Krishna and another one as bad because he has not surrendered to Krishna, they tell us that we are guilty of being judgmental. But what they fail to recognize is that they are being judgmental when they accuse us of being judgmental. If their philosophy is that one should not judge good and bad, we request them that they should follow their own philosophy and not be hypocrites by judging us as bad. Our philosophy is that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong given by God and that He has ordered us to analyze everything in this world according to that standard. We have a philosophy and we stick to it undeviatingly. Our request is that if others are not prepared to surrender to Krishna, at least they should stick to their philosophy and not be hypocritical.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Teaching the absolute standard of right and wrong
Teaching the Absolute Standard of Right and Wrong

New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--12 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Parents Equal to God?

My dear Gurudeva,

It is said, "Parents are visible God, and God is an invisible parent." So, are parents worshipped according to Vedic civilization? Are parents considered to be equal to God?

Was there any concept of untouchability in the Vedic times? Did brahmanas ever used to touch sudras and consider sudras as their brothers?

Vrutant Shah

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Answer: If They Teach Their Children the Science of Pure Bhakti

In Vedic culture parents are considered worshipable because they teach their children the science of God. Therefore one is meant to bow down and offer respectful obeisances to one's parents. Anyone who purely teaches the science of God is considered equal to God in the sense that they purely represent Him. To such persons we offer the same respect that we offer to God. Nowadays parents are ignorant of the science of God and hence cannot properly teach it to their children. Therefore, although they should still be respected, unless they are pure devotees they are not to be respected as good as God.

The conception of untouchability is an invention of the caste conscious so-called Brahmanas in the materialistic age of Kali. The real Vedic principle is that one's position in the social strata is determined according to one's qualities and activities, not according to his birth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 14 October 2013

from ISKCON Pune, India
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Attracting the Whole World to Krishna

At the present moment the entire world is in an extremely chaotic condition due to one thing and one thing only, a chronic lack of Krishna consciousness. Therefore because we want everyone to be happy our mission is to attract the entire world to Krishna. We cannot tolerate seeing them in such a miserable situation. Therefore we have fully dedicated our lives for bringing about a complete re-spiritualization of the entire human society and are therefore diligently seeking the ways and means of attracting the whole world to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Training the youth in the science of Krishna
Training the Youth in the Science of Krishna
New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--12 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Was Gita Given Mentally to Arjuna, Not Orally?

I have a doubt. Bhagavad-gita was spoken by Lord Sri Krishna to Arjuna on a battlefield after all the warriors blew their respective conch shells, signaling the start of war. Wouldn't Duryodhana, being so cruel minded, have attacked Arjuna while he was talking to Krishna? When I asked some people about this, they told me that Krishna didn't speak the Bhagavad-gita orally, but He mentally transferred the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna and Srila Vyasadeva wrote it down for us. Is this true? I'm confused about this and am unable to understand what exactly happened.

Please enlighten me,
Madu

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Answer: Gita Says Uvaca, Which Means Spoken.

If you listen to mental speculators, you will naturally be confused. And if you hear only from self-realized souls you will have a clear, solid understanding of the Bhagavad-gita. This idea that Krishna did not speak the Bhagavad-gita out loud is patently absurd. The Sanskrit word used in the Bhagavad-gita "uvaca" means that Krishna spoke or uttered out loud the Bhagavad-gita. If the Bhagavad-gita had been transmitted only by mental telepathy, the Bhagavad-gita would have said so. To assume something which is different from what it is clearly directly stated is the business of less intelligent fools.

Another point is that the people you asked obviously do not understand the codes of chivalry that were practiced by the ksatriyas during the Vedic times. During the day, the Pandavas and Kurus would fight with the utmost strength, and when the day was over they would go to each other's camps as friends and be received as such. During such friendly meetings, one enemy would offer anything the other enemy wanted. That was the system. In such an atmosphere there was no difficulty for Krishna to speak the Bhagavad-gita before the actual fighting began.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 13 October 2013

from ISKCON Pune, India
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Chasing the Demons Out of the Closet

Here in our present conditioned state within this material existence we have so many demons of material contaminations lurking within the closets of our hearts. There we find lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion, and envy. What to do? How can we drive these demons out of our hearts? The easy solution is to replace them with Krishna consciousness. In other words, replace lust with love. Replace anger with forgiveness. Replace greed with an intense desire to please the Lord. In the place of madness cultivate sanity based on a deep understanding of the Vedic wisdom. Drive away the darkness of illusion and confusion with the torchlight of transcendental knowledge. And replace envy with a deep appreciation of the unlimited kindness of Krishna and the amazing transcendental qualities of His devotees. By filling the closet completely in this way the demons will be forced to go somewhere else to find a home.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sri Sri Radha-Kunjabihari - Pune, India
Sri Sri Radha Kunjabihari--Pune, India



Hare Krishna kirtan, The ultimate soul cleaner
Hare Krishna Kirtan, the Ultimate Soul Cleaner
New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India--12 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Is Material Success Harmful?

Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Please solve my doubt:

Often when we achieve material success and gains, we develop a sense of attachment to them and develop a sense of pride as if we have become something great. Maya sweeps us into its hold continuously. We become more and more attached to worldly achievements and success that we begin to feel that no one is above ourselves now and we are independent enjoyers and doer of our actions.

My question is that how is this state of mind harmful for any person?

Thanks and regards,

Amit Gupta,
Delhi, India

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Answer: It Depends on How You Utilize It

Material success is neither helpful or harmful for one's spiritual success. It simply depends on how one utilizes it. If one sees it as God's gift and utilizes it in the Lord's service, such material success is a great asset on the path of spiritual awakening. However, if one abuses such a blessing by becoming proud and using the results for sense gratification, he is a thief and subject to being punished by the cruel laws of material nature.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 12 October 2013

on the road from Vrindavana to Delhi
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How to Succeed in a World Where Everyone Fails

In this material everyone is ultimately a failure. No matter how apparently well situated someone may be, in the end they will meet exactly the same defeat that is meted out to everyone else: death. Therefore the only real formula for success is to become deathless, no more death. To attain this position you must revive your original, eternal identity beyond your material mind and body. You must revive your identity as the eternal servant of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada teaches deathlessness in Vrindavana, India
Srila Prabhupada Teaches Deathlessness in Vrindavana, India



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Increase Self-Esteem?

Modern psychotherapy aims to address many of the human beings' more negative mind states: Self esteem, anxiety disorders, lack of confidence, depression etc.

1.Does psychotherapy have a place in aiding one to become more Krishna conscious?
2.Simply what is self-esteem?
3.What is the way to increase self-esteem?
4.Why do humans suffer with low self-esteem?

Thank you for your time.

Hare Krishna.

Nick

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Answer: Chant Hare Krishna As Much As Possible

Thank you for your nice questions regarding psychotherapy and the solution for low self-esteem. The first point to be understood is that Krishna consciousness is the original pure form of psychotherapy. Any form of psychotherapy which does not connect the patient with his actual identity as an eternal spiritual being is flawed and cannot bring one to actual happiness.

Real self-esteem is to know and celebrate who you really are: the pure, spirit-soul, eternal servant of Krishna. Therefore the only method for genuinely improving self-esteem is to chant the Hare Krishna mantra as much as possible. People suffer from low self-esteem because they mistakenly consider themselves to be a bag of flesh and bones that is fated to die. What a low way to think about oneself!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 11 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Sweet Melancholy Upon Leaving Vrindavana

Today we are leaving Vrindavana. There is always a sense of melancholy in my heart upon departing from this place where the Lord's transcendental pastimes are going on even to this very day. But there is a sweetness to this melancholy because the feeling of being separated from the Lord and His abode brings us even closer to the Lord. Therefore in great joy I am heading out for spreading the glories of Lord Sri Krishna in various places around the world. Srila Prabhupada says that Vrindavana is in our heart. So there is no reason to ever be outside of this holiest of all abodes. We can remain eternally in Vrindavana by always diving deeper and deeper into the sweet nectarean mellows of Krishna consciousness and fully dedicating our lives to spreading the glories of Lord Sri Krishna all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Radha and Krishna's pastimes are the epitome of sweetness
Radha and Krishna's Pastimes Are the Epitome of Sweetness


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Material Success Or Noble Deeds Is More Important?

Which is more important: material success or noble deeds? Which of the two will give us ultimate success for the purpose for which we were given human birth?

Amit Gupta
Delhi, India

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Answer: Neither of the Above

Neither of them are important because neither of them will give us liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Srimad Bhagavatam emphatically declares that any activity which does not bring one to the point of pure love of God is a useless waste of time. While material success and noble deeds may give a temporary sense of happiness, they will not give one the only real benefit, which is deliverance from the miserable ocean of birth and death. Therefore the only recourse for one who wants to realize the purpose of this human birth is to surrender himself fully to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 10 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Don't Try to Lord It Over

Don't try to lord it over anything in this material world except for your senses, because as soon as you try to lord it over, you are competing with Krishna, trying to take His position as the Supreme. This puts you immediately into anxiety because, like a fish who is out of the water, it is not your natural position. The lording-it-over mentality is criminal. Just as criminals cannot have any peace of mind because they are always in anxiety about being apprehended by the government authorities, similarly one who defies the authority of the Supreme must necessarily always be in a state of anxiety. So why suffer in this nonsense lording-it-over mood for even a minute longer. Give up this vain attempt to try to compete with Krishna and fully surrender yourself at His lotus feet. This will satisfy fully all of your desires. You'll have an amazingly sublime and wonderful eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Enjoy an amazingly sublime and wonderful eternity with Krishna
Enjoy an Amazingly Sublime and Wonderful Eternity with Krishna



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Does the Soul Have Mind and Senses?

What is the difference between the soul and consciousness? Does the soul have mind and senses as the material body has? Kindly bring me out of ignorance.

Humbly
Ramesh R.

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Answer: Liberated Soul Has Perfect Body, Mind, and Senses

Just as sunlight is a symptom of the sun, consciousness is a symptom of the soul.

Yes, the spirit soul has a mind and senses. At the present moment your spiritual mind and senses are covered by your material mind and senses. But when you fully surrender yourself to Lord Krishna through the process of sadhana bhakti you will gradually regain your original spiritual position in which your spiritual body, mind, and senses are fully manifested.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 9 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Tied to the World of Miseries by an Uncontrolled Tongue

An uncontrolled tongue is the worst enemy of anyone who wants to achieve genuine happiness. Overeating causes one to become lazy and sleepy. It causes one to get sick. It makes one fat and unhealthy and shortens one's duration of life. Therefore instead of living to eat, we should eat to live. If we take as our food only Krishna prasadam, the remnants of vegetarian foodstuffs which have been offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion, we will be totally satisfied with just that quantity of food which is necessary to keep us healthy and fit. We will become free from the desire to overindulge the tongue, and by engaging our tongues nicely in Krishna's service in this way the dormant love of God sleeping within our hearts will become awakened. This is why Srila Prabhupada has introduced us to the wonderful glories of Krishna prasadam. He has taught us a wonderful song which we sing every morning called Gurvastakam (Eight Prayers Glorifying the Spiritual Master). The fourth verse is as follows:

catur-vidha-śrī-bhagavat-prasāda-
svādv-anna-triptān hari-bhakta-sanghān
krtvaiva triptim bhajatah sadaiva
vande guroh śrī-caranāravindam

"The spiritual master is always offering Krishna four kinds of delicious food [analyzed as that which is licked, chewed, drunk, and sucked]. When the spiritual master sees that the devotees are satisfied by eating bhagavat-prasada, he is satisfied. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of such a spiritual master."


This process is so sublime and easy. By engaging in the pleasing activity of eating Krishna prasadam (also known as bhagavat-prasada) we please our spiritual master. When our spiritual master is pleased Krishna becomes pleased. And when Krishna becomes pleased with us we experience perfect happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada blesses us with Krishna prasadam
Srila Prabhupada Blesses Us With Krishna
Prasadam



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Requirements for Becoming a Disciple?

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

I have been enjoying listening to your lectures and reading your emails for a while now. I am particularly grateful for the course you have developed, and I signed up for it a few weeks ago. It is perfect as I was missing my Bhakti Sastri studies (I studied two modules while I was on summer holidays last year).

I wanted to read and hear more and eventually be able to meet your grace. Can you please tell me what requirements you have for aspiring disciples? For your information I have been chanting a minimum 16 rounds for nearly three years. I have been following the four regulative principles for longer than that.

Thank you so much for inspiring me so much. I am so elated to get to know a disciple of Srila Prabhupada with such a wonderful preaching spirit. Lately whenever I read or hear a lecture there is often a message to seek out a spiritual master. I am very serious about dedicating this one life to Krishna consciousness. I look forward to your guidance in this matter.

Your aspiring servant,

Priya

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Answer: Be Serious to Follow Srila Prabhupada's Teachings

I am very happy to learn that you are serious about following the wonderful teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the most powerful spiritual master for delivering the fallen souls of this age. His teachings, if followed strictly, will enable the follower to become spiritually perfect in their present life and return back to home, back to Godhead at the time of death.

Those who want to become my disciples must be fully dedicated to chanting at least 16 rounds daily of the Hare Krishna mahamantra and strictly avoiding illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. They also should be well read in Srila Prabhupada's books and take every opportunity to share this liberating knowledge with others.

Regarding your inquiry about seeking a spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada often quotes the following verse:

tasmād gurum prapadyeta
jij˝āsuh śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca nisnātam
brahmany upaśamāśrayam

"Any person who is seriously desirous of achieving real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken complete shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters."
--Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.3.21

I would like to meet you at the earliest possible time to give you further personal guidance. Will it possible for you to attend my Vyas Puja celebration on October 26 in Kaunas, Lithuania?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 8 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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The Sweetest, Most Ecstatic and Memorable Experience

There is nothing sweeter than residing in the wonderful realm of Sri Vrindavana-dhama. Indeed, it is the ultimate experience. In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains as follows in his introduction to the Srimad-Bhagavatam:

"Vrindavana-dhama is nondifferent from the Lord because the name, fame, form and place where the Lord manifests Himself are all identical with the Lord as absolute knowledge. Therefore Vrindavana-dhama is as worshipable as the Lord."

So how can one tolerate giving up residence in Vrindavan when he has to leave and go somewhere else for preaching or for earning his livelihood? Actually it is not tolerable. Therefore the devotee always dwells in Sri Vrindavana-dhama within his heart by constantly remembering and serving the transcendental name, fame, forms, pastimes, entourage, teachings, dhama, and paraphernalia (such as Krishna's flute) of that most sublime of all personalities, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Krishna and Balarama in Sri Vrindavana Dhama
Krishna and Balarama in Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Disassociate from Business Contacts?

How does one disassociate from those who are not of good behavior in a world in which we are so connected? Even if I would like to distance myself, it is hard because we have to keep in mind the business connection we have and how that plays into our career. I don't know when I may need that person. If I have a bad relationship with the person, I could have trouble in the future because of the stature of the person over me.

Regards,
Sameer

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Answer: A Devotee Has Good Relationships With Everyone

A devotee has good relationships with everyone: both with devotees and with non-devotees. But within his heart his attitude is different. He sees the devotees as his only shelter in the vast desert of material existence. And he sees the non-devotees as suffering souls that he engages in Krishna's service trying to deliver them from the cycle of repeated birth and death. No one has actual stature over the devotee in this material world because the devotee is in the highest position of being the representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 7 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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The World Urgently Needs Krishna Consciousness

The way the world is heading is such a disgrace.
There's nothing left to do now but to revolutionize this place.

That revolution is the wide scale distribution of the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna. His teachings will be effective in revolutionizing the entire universe because every living entity in this material world is actually a servant of Krishna. Simply they have forgotten it. That's all. And when they remember it they will be restored to their original state of harmony with God, the very source of their existence, and with all other living beings. And then as more and more people realize who they actually are, the eternal servants of Krishna, this material world will be completely transcendentalized. It will become as good as the kingdom of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Offering the solution for all the world's problems
Offering the Solution for All of the World's Problems

22 September 2013--New Delhi, India



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Vedas Are Projected Only As Karma-Kanda?

Why are the Vedas projected by ISKCON only as being karma-kanda (promoting material progress)? The Vedas have an ocean of knowledge including bhakti, devotional service the Supreme Lord. There is a conception that ISKCON presents the Vedas only as karma-kanda.

Ravishankar

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Answer: This is Your Misconception

Your conception that we only describe the Vedas as promoting material advancement (karma kanda) is your misconception. If you will carefully study our teachings, you will see that while we do warn people to avoid those portions of the Vedas which encourage one in material sense gratification, we also encourage people to follow the essence of the Vedic wisdom, which is to come back to the association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His most sublime transcendental abode.

If one approaches the Vedas for material advancement, he will certainly be sidetracked from the self-realization path. On the other hand, if he approaches the Vedas for the knowledge of how to be delivered from the cycle of birth and death, he will be successful in being liberated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 6 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Ecstatic Darshan Excursion to Rajasthan

On Saturday 5 October 2013 twenty of us headed out on an ecstatic excursion to Rajasthan to see the three principle deities of Vrindavan: Madana Mohan, Govinda, and Gopinatha. Madana Mohan establishes us as Krishna's servants. Govinda engages us in practical service. And Gopinatha delivers us to highest perfectional stage of pure love of God.

In the 18th century when the Muslim tyrant Aurangzeb resolved to destroy Vrindavana'a temples and deities, most of the deities of Vrindavana were secretly transferred to Rajasthan for being protected by the pious king, Maharaja Jai Singh. Desiring to get darshan of these wonderful deities we headed out in a convoy of taxis at 5am on the 160 kilometers journey to Kauroli for our first darshan, Radha Madana Mohan.

From there it was 157 kilometers to Jaipur to see Radha-Govinda and Radha-Gopinatha. On the way we stopped for a joyous roadside picnic feasting on the delicious prasadam prepared by my wife, Vishnupriya Devi Dasi, affectionately known to my students as "Gurumata". Especially Radha-Govinda's worship is very inspiring. He was installed on the king's palace ground and worshipped with great devotion by Maharaja Jai Singh. Thousands of people come daily to worship Radha-Govinda. Radha-Govinda's darshan was truly awe inspiring. He was originally carved 5,000 years ago on the order of Vajranabha, the great grandson of Krishna. After being lost for many centuries He was found and His worship resumed by Srila Rupa Goswami 500 years ago. I prayed to this beloved deity to bless me with pure devotional service.

We then proceeded to the Radha-Gopinatha temple for the darshan of Radha-Gopinatha and finished our visit with a darshan of Srila Jiva Goswami's Damodara deity. It was then after dark and the evening traffic became quite congested. We didn't mind the traffic jams because we were relishing the sweetest nectar of having gotten the darshan of these wondrous original deities of Vrindavan. Our convoy then headed out of Jaipur on a 230 kilometer journey back to Vrindavan. We arrived at 1am, tired but very happy to have gotten such a wonderful boost in our Krishna conscious lives.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Describing the history of Madana Mohan, Govinda and Gopinatha
Describing the History of Madana Mohan, Govinda, and Gopinatha
Madana Mohan Temple--Kauroli, Rajasthan, India--5 October 2013


Beautiful colored powder floor decoration
Beautiful Colored Powder Floor Decoration
Madana Mohan Temple--Kauroli, Rajasthan, India--5 October 2013


Joyous picnic on the road to Jaipur
Joyous Picnic on the Road to Jaipur


Sri Sri Radha-Govinda
Sri Sri Radha-Govinda


Large crowd at Radha-Govinda temple
Large Crowd at Radha-Govinda Temple


Radha-Gopinatha
Radha-Gopinatha


Jaipur evening traffic
Jaipur Evening Traffic


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Symptoms of Awakening Krishna Consciousness?

Dearest Gurudeva,

Kindly accept my humble obeisances.

My questions are:

1. How can we know that if we continuously and sincerely chant Hare Krishna, we will be blessed with Krishna consciousness awakening and at the same time we will also automatically attain kundalini awakening?

2. What are the signs or symptoms of Krishna consciousness attainment?

3. There are many spiritual masters offering some kind of meditation techniques which can give the practitioners kundalini awakening instantly. Does it mean by saying that, they will also attain Krishna consciousness instantly? I wonder if this is really true and genuine. Please kindly clarify my doubt.

Thank you so much for your guidance.
I bow down with deep respect,

Nyoman

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Answer: One Becomes Free From All Material Desires

Just as it is said that the proof of the pie is in the tasting, in the same way one can know the authenticity of Hare Krishna chanting by his own personal experience. One who becomes fully Krishna conscious is completely free from miseries. He is no longer lusty, greedy, angry, illusioned, crazy, lazy or envious.

Those who are learned in Vedic wisdom have no interest in kundalini awakening. Their only desire is to be purely absorbed in the Lord's service. This is the highest perfection of spiritual enlightenment. When one has the rarest gem, who cares for some broken pieces of glass? Those who offer instant enlightenment are cheaters. They are not genuine teachers. They take advantage of and exploit the innocent public in order to get money and cheap fame.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 5 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Connecting with Krishna in Vrindavana

Being here in the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna is an unparalleled blessing. It is confirmed in the scriptures that Lord Sri Krishna never steps even one foot outside of Vrindavana. Therefore while we are here, we must try to feel the presence of Krishna by sincerely going deep, deep into the mood of pure devotional service. Even if, due to our impurities, we are not able to feel His presence, at least we will strengthen our eternal connection with Him. This connection with Krishna is the only thing that gives real meaning to our existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



No one is more beautiful than Krishna
No One is More Beautiful Than Krishna



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Did Lord Rama Act Immorally by Killing Vali?

Gurudeva, I would feel blessed if you answered my question, which someone asked with me:

When Lord Ramacandra met Sugriva and his monkey soldiers, at first Lord Ram solved the problem of Sugriva, which was related with his brother Vali. The Lord suggested to Sugriva to fight with Vali and if his situation becomes weaker than Vali, the Lord assured Him that He would kill Vali with his arrows, and Lord Rama did it. Because there was the condition made that Lord will be neutral, is it not injustice or cheating (adharma) to interfere in fighting between brothers against the commitment made before by the Lord?

Your servant,
Komal Raj Sharma

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Answer: Morality is Determined by God, Not By Us

To judge the Lord as acting immorally is ludicrous because it is God who dictates what is moral and immoral, not us. His pastimes are therefore always the highest standard of morality. If we foolishly try to judge Him for being immoral, that is our immorality. Since the Supreme Lord is the father of morality there is no question of His ever acting immorally. It is He who dictates what is moral and what is not moral.

In this particular instance Rama explained to Vali the rules of morality. He told him that the younger brother should be regarded as one's own son, and his wife as one's daughter-in-law. Vali had therefore been guilty of a great sin in punishing the sinless Sugriva and co-habiting with Ruma, Sugriva's wife. The scriptures prescribed death as the punishment for one who has illicit sexual relations with his own daughter or a wife of his younger brother. So, there was no doubt that Rama's punishing him was just. Upon hearing Rama's explanation, Sugriva replied, "O Rama, You are the best knower of all religious principles. I am justly punished. Please forgive my harsh words spoken earlier out of sorrow and confusion. I have certainly strayed from the path of virtue."

I have not read in the revealed scriptures that Rama made a neutrality pact to not interfere in the fighting between Vali and Sugriva.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 4 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Yamuna Boat Ride Kirtan Bliss

On 2 October 2013 my wife and I, along with eleven of my disciples, had the most ecstatic experience, by the mercy the Yamuna river. Upon arriving at the Yamuna we could not immediately execute our plan for a Yamuna kirtan boat ride because it started to rain. After spending some time under a small tent-like structure taking shelter from the rain with some cows and local Brijabasis, the rain finally stopped and we hired a boat to take us across the Yamuna. It was a truly joyous kirtan in direct contact with the most beloved river of Lord Sri Krishna's pastimes. On the opposite shore most of us bathed in the sacred Yamuna washing away the remnants of many lifetimes of sinful activities. Then it was back again to other side with another joyous Hare Krishna kirtan.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan on the River Yamuna
Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan on the River Yamuna
Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India--2 October 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is This Bona Fide?

Is it bona fide if a senior devotee gives you a Vaisnava name?

Your servant
Bhakta David

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Answer: Only the Initiating Guru Can Give You a New Name

A new Vaisnava name is given at the time of initiation by your initiating guru. Others are not authorized to give you a new name.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 3 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Enchanted by the Enchanter of Cupid

In this material world we are all enchanted by the lust-inciting arrows of Cupid. Thus we are forced to take unlimited births and deaths in this world of misery. But those fortunate souls who become enchanted by Krishna, the enchanter of Cupid, become liberated from the clutches of Cupid and enter in the sublime spiritual world to become an integral participant in Krishna's unlimitedly blissful, divine pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


The all-enchanting Krishna plays His all-enchanting flute
The All-Enchanting Krishna Plays His All-Enchanting Flute


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Guru Have to Come in Disciple Succession?

Q1. Where in the Bhagavad-gita is the requirement mentioned that a spiritual master must be part of disciplic succession / parampara system?

Aspect 1a - While it's true that in BG4.1 and BG4.2 Lord Krishna does mention an initial succession on how He exposed this knowledge to the world at large. But therein its not stated as a requirement to be a bona fide guru.

Aspect 1b - Further, yes it does sound logical that if the gurus were part of a disciplic succession, there is much higher chance that they speak unadulterated what the topmost in the succession i.e. Lord Krishna himself spoke. But to my knowledge that logic is an interpretation of latter day gurus in the succession - not explicitly stated by Lord Krishna.

Q2. Even ISKCON guru parampara has gaps - what is the defense for that?

Regards
Vivek

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Answer: Krishna Says that Guru Must Be in Disciplic Succession

Krishna clearly states in Bhagavad-gita 4.2 that the method for understanding this knowledge is through the system of disciplic succession, and the great acharyas who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years have confirmed that this is the correct understanding of Krishna's teachings. Because you are not following Krishna's instruction to accept the authority of these great acharyas (spiritual masters) who have come in disciplic succession, you are concocting an interpretation which is not at all correct.

If someone has not understood this science through the system of disciplic succession, his understanding will be imperfect and he thus cannot be a bona fide spiritual master. This principle is reconfirmed in the Padma Purana wherein it is stated:

sampradāya-vihīnā ye
mantrās te nisphalā matāh

"Unless you are initiated by a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, the mantra that you might have received is without any effect."


If someone's mantra is not effective, he will not be awakened in Krishna consciousness and thus will not be qualified to be a bona fide spiritual master.

Our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, comes in an unbroken line of disciplic succession going all the way back to Lord Sri Krishna Himself. The only gap here is the gap in your understanding, which is coming from mental speculation, not from the perfect parampara system.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 2 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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Are You Ready to Go Deep Sea Diving?

There is a wonderful nectarean ocean waiting for you to come and dive completely into its most sublime and mellow depths. The ocean of which I speak is the ocean of transcendental bliss, which has been revealed to us by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. All we have to do to enter into that ocean is put our complete faith in Krishna's holy names and then chant them as much as possible on a regular daily basis. These unlimitedly sweet holy names will then carry us to the most sublime region of existence, to that place where there is no birth, no death, no old age, and no disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada connects with Krishna by deep absorption in the Holy Names

Srila Prabhupada Connects With Krishna
By Deep Absorption In Holy Names



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can One Chant Without Being Purified by Vedic Rituals?

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

While reading Srila Prabhupada's purport to Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 6, Verse 44, I found the following:

"Although Thakura Haridasa happened to take his birth in a Muslim family, he was elevated to the post of namacarya by Lord Caitanya due to his rigidly attended principle of chanting three hundred thousand holy names of the Lord daily: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And because he chanted the holy name of the Lord constantly, it is understood that in his previous life he must have passed through all the ritualistic methods of the Vedas, known as sabda-brahma. Unless, therefore, one is purified, one cannot take to the principles of Krishna consciousness or become engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord, Hare Krishna."

So, does this mean that one cannot be engaged in chanting the holy name of the Lord without being purified by the ritualistic methods of Vedas? What are the ritualistic methods of Vedas known as sabda-brahma?

Regards,
Sunil

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Answer: One Can Chant When Purified by the Spiritual Master

Even with no previous pious qualifications one can become purified by coming into contact with a bona fide spiritual master. Then by his mercy one can seriously take up the chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra and become perfect. There are many rituals in the sadba-brahma, the Vedic literatures. But all the purposes of these rituals are automatically served and surpassed when one chants Hare Krishna under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 1 October 2013

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
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How to Establish Krishna Within Your Heart

To fully establish the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna within your heart is not at all difficult. All you have to do is submissively and attentively hear the message of the Srimad Bhagavatam. This is confirmed in Srimad Bhagavatam, First Canto, Chapter 1, Text 2 as follows:

"As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge the Supreme Lord is established within his heart."

Only a person who is in ignorance would not take advantage of this sublime and easy way to be fully reconnected with Krishna, the ultimate source of everything and everyone's best friend.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Speaking on the most glorious Srimad Bhagavatam
Speaking on the Most Glorious
Srimad Bhagavatam

Krishna Balarama Mandir--29 September 2013



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Rama's Name More Powerful Than Krishna's Name?

I've been doing japa of the Hare Krishna mantra for a while now. The other day someone told me to do just Ram Nama japa, to only chant the name of Lord Rama, claiming that the name of Rama has more power than the name of Krishna.

I was considering that doesn't the Hare Krishna mantra have the name Rama within it repeated four times in each repetition of the mantra. Now I am really confused and having an internal conflict which is coming in the way of my japa. I need your guidance.

Also I remember you told me about the process of diksha. Can one reap the benefits of the Hare Krishna mantra without diksha?

Thank you.

Jaynesh

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Answer: Follow the Pathway of the Great Vedic Authorities

We do not follow what someone told us. There are so many nonsense someones who will tell us so many nonsense things. We instead follow the path of the acharyas, the great Vedic authorities. We do not follow the path of the nonsense, because if we follow that path, we also become nonsense.

The Hare Krishna mantra has been given to us by God Himself as the most powerful means of self-realization. We should not be so foolish as to doubt it.

To become perfect in chanting diksha, initiation by the bona fide spiritual master, is required. But to qualify for diksha you first of all must become solidly fixed in chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra every day along with the strict avoidance of illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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