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

Friday 28 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

The Devotee Tries to Save the World

The devotee of the Lord knows fully well that Krishna is the origin and thus the proprietor of everything and the well-wishing friend of all living beings. He sees Krishna everywhere because while seeing the varieties of manifestation of the material energy, he sees that it is all the energy of Krishna. He knows that since no one can exist without Krishna, everyone is fully dependent on Krishna for their very being. Being merged in constant remembrance of Krishna, he is always swimming in an ocean of bliss. Because even while engaged in ordinary worldly activities he always offers the results of his work to Krishna, he is never tortured by a false, untenable sense of proprietorship. He feels great compassion in his heart for the world population, which is currently drowning in the misery of forgetfulness of Krishna, and thus he fully dedicates his life for the saving the poor suffering souls by trying to help them to awaken their dormant Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada relishes the deepest bhakti rasa
Srila Prabhupada Relishes the Deepest Bhakti Rasa



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Good and Bad?

Thank you for your lessons!

Could you please describe what is "good" and what is "bad"?

Sincerely,
Robertas

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Answer: Understood in Relationship With Krishna

Good and bad have to be understood in relationship with Krishna. Otherwise they are both bad. Good means that which is pleasing to Krishna. And bad means that which is not pleasing to Krishna. In other words, even though something may appear to be good, if it is not pleasing to Krishna, it is bad. And even if something appears to be bad, if it is pleasing to Krishna, it is good.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 27 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

Don't Try to Be the Controller

Since we are under the stringent grip of the laws of material nature, as long as we try to be the controllers of this material world it is sure and certain that we must be frustrated in our attempts to be happy. There is no reason that we have to try to be the controller when there is already an unlimitedly powerful and benevolent Supreme Controller who is orchestrating everything so perfectly and so wonderfully. The only reason we experience imperfection and anxiety is that we are artificially trying to imitate the Supreme Controller. So instead of making a futile attempt to compete with Him, we should be intelligent enough to co-operate with Him and enjoy an eternal existence, which is full of knowledge and full of bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Even as a baby Krishna remains the Supreme Controller
Even As a Baby Krishna Remains the Supreme Controller


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is One Drop of Guru's Mercy Sufficient for Perfection?

We sing the prayer "Gurudeva, kripa bindu diya koro ei dase", begging for a drop of mercy from our spiritual master. I have heard from devotees that underlying this prayer is the basic concept that even if I get a single drop of Gurudeva's mercy, I will get all the qualities required to peacefully chant the Holy Name, and my life will become perfect. Also it obviously carries a deep conviction that I haven't yet gotten even a single drop of Gurudeva's mercy. I am so unfortunate.

On the contrary, I do practically experience that I am getting so much of Gurudeva's mercy every day, every moment in so many forms. Otherwise how am I surviving? Gurudeva is my oxygen pipe. I practically experience this everyday.

How do I synchronize the understanding that just a single drop of my Gurudeva's mercy is sufficient to make my life perfect but I haven't got even one single drop yet, with my personal experience of getting blessed with Guru's mercy and surviving on it every moment?

Begging a drop of your mercy,
Visvanatha Das

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Answer: It depends on How Much You Take Advantage

You can get one drop of the guruís mercy and become perfect, or you can get an ocean of the guruís mercy and remain imperfect. In depends on how much you take advantage of the mercy of the spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 26 February 2014

from ISKCON Juhu--Mumbai, India
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Look for the Good in Others

Everyone of us here in this material world has some bad qualities. Therefore it is very easy for us to find fault with others. But although each of us is honeycombed with so many faults, due to false pride, it is very difficult for us to see the faults in ourselves. These bad qualities are not the actual nature of the self. They are simply covering the pure good qualities within, like clouds which are hiding the sun.

The transcendentalist, the self-realized person, is not very eager to see the faults in others. He prefers to instead see the faults in himself and the intrinsic good within the hearts of all. This is why we are inspired to be on our best behavior when we are in the presence of great saintly persons. Because they like to see the good side of us, we try to please them by only manifesting our good qualities in their presence. Gradually by the association of these great saintly persons, the fog of our bad qualifies will be burned away by the purifying sun of their divine association. However those who are demoniac become envious of such great saintly persons and sometimes harass, torture and even kill them as we see in the case of Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, they couldn't really kill him, but they tried to kill him.

The question might be raised then why does the spiritual master point out the faults in his disciples? Is this not a fault-finding materialistic propensity? The answer is that it is the duty of the spiritual master to point and rectify the faults in the hearts of his disciples. Therefore as a loving service to them he sees and corrects their faults. He sees his disciples as valuable diamonds which need to be polished and refined. In other words while seeing their good qualities he points out their bad qualities so that their good qualities, which he so much appreciates, can become even more prominent and gradually displace all of their bad qualities.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada encourages everyone to surrender to Krishna
Srila Prabhupada Encourages Everyone to Surrender to Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Serve Devotees?

Respected Gurudeva,

Kindly accept my humble obeisances at your feet. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and your world preaching.

I often hear about serving devotees, but think I have no clear concept of what exactly this service to devotees means. Kindly help me understand this concept.

Your unworthy servant,
Gopal
Switzerland

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Answer: Six Kinds of Loving Exchanges

How to serve devotees is described as follows by Srila Rupa Goswami:

dadāti pratigrhnāti
guhyam ākhyāti prcchati
bhunkte bhojayate caiva
sad-vidham prīti-laksanam


"Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one's mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another." - Nectar of Instruction, Verse 4

Take these instructions of Rupa Goswami very seriously and your life will be sublime.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 25 February 2014

from the Kolkatta, India Airport
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The Spiritual Master Is As Good As God

Back in 1971 when I was a youngster on the path of self-realization His Holiness Vishnujana Swami told me that I have to accept the spiritual master to be as good as God. My first reaction upon hearing this was one of complete shock and utter disbelief. How could a human being possibly be as good as God? But then when I thoughtfully considered the spiritual master in question, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, how he purely follows and repeats the teachings of Krishna without any deviation 24 hours a day, I could understand that because Srila Prabhupada purely represents God he is indeed as good as God.

This same principle holds true for any bona fide spiritual master. But this does not mean that the spiritual master is God. He is merely God's representative. If the spiritual master thinks himself to be God or allows his disciples to advertise that he is God, he is nothing but a dog. And there is nothing much more to be said in this connection.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada initiates a new disciple
Srila Prabhupada Initiates a New Disciple


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Did Krishna Appear Out of Space?

There was only space at the beginning, I guess. So how did Krishna appear at first? From the sun maybe? Thanks for explaining!

Hare Krishna

And thanks a lot for your daily messages.

Edmond
Switzerland

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Answer: Space Appeared Out of Krishna

It is not that Krishna comes out of space or from the sun. Rather it is the other way around. Space and the sun both come out of Krishna. So it is not a fact that there was only space in the beginning. Space is also an element. The sun, space, as well as everything else that exists are all emanations from Krishna, the absolute origin of everything.

Thank you very much for your appreciation of our daily messages. We hope that you can reap their full benefit by developing pure love of God within your heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 24 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

Always Stay Connected with Lord Caitanya's Mercy

Mayapura is situated in the heart Navadvipa Dhama, the site of Lord Caitanya's transcendental pastimes. Navadvipa Dhama is described as follows by Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya:


"The dhama is eternally perfect, fully spiritual, and unlimited. Those whose intelligence is tinged with dull matter cannot approach there. But, under the influence of the hladini-sakti, the energy governing bliss, the living entities give up material paths and by the strength of perfect knowledge attain their eternal spiritual activity of devotional service. The whole of Navadvipa is a spiritual manifestation, for at this holy place Sri Gauranga performed His transcendental activities."

Today after two wonderful weeks of being unlimitedly blessed by residence in this most sacred place of munificence from where a tidal wave of love of God is emanating forth inundating the entire universe, we are heading out today back to Austin, Texas USA where we will be soon celebrating Gaura Purnima, the transcendental appearance day of Lord Caitanya. Being in Mayapura means being in direct contact with the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And acting as an emissary of Lord Caitanya to give his mercy to others also brings us into directly contact with His mercy wherever we may be within the three worlds. Therefore both by spending time in Mayapura and by spreading Lord Caitanya's mercy, which is billowing forth from Mayapura, we can always stay connected with the mercy of Lord Caitanya relishing and distributing the sweetest transcendental bliss. The insider's secret in this connection is that the more you distribute the bliss, the more you taste the bliss, and the more you taste the bliss, the more you become empowered to distribute the bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Lord Caitanya and His associates perform congregational chanting of the Holy Names
Lord Caitanya and His Associates Perform
Congregational Chanting of the Holy Names of God



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Selfish?

My dear Gurudeva,

Krishna offers us life completely without miseries only if we serve Him. But as soon as we leave His service He puts us in most abominable condition. Doesn't this prove His selfishness?

Vrutant S.

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Answer: No. We Are Foolish.

The fish is in a happy position as long as he stays in the water. But as soon as he leaves the water to try to enjoy artificially on the land, this proves that he is fool number one. Therefore instead of thinking that Krishna is selfish we should understand how foolish we are to have left His service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 23 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Nothing More Important Than Knowing Who You Are

There is nothing more important than knowing who you are. If you don't know who you are, your life will be nothing more than a grandiose pretension. Human beings by their nature are eager for knowledge of who they are and what is their relationship with everything else. Therefore as long as they remain ignorant of who they are, they can never be truly satisfied and happy. They will always carry a sense of frustration within their hearts even while deluding themselves into thinking that they are happy by indulging in the temporary happiness of sense gratification.

Therefore the intelligent person seriously ponders the actual nature of his existence. He questions whether he is the temporary body or whether he is something which survives the temporary body.

By simple intellectual analysis we can easily get the answer to this question. Just as the thirst for water indicates the presence of water, in the same way the thirst for eternity indicates the presence of the eternal self beyond the temporary body. In other words, if you were nothing other than a temporary bag of chemicals, there would be nothing in you that would any hankering for eternal existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada Reveals the True Nature of the Self
Srila Prabhupada Reveals the True Nature of the Self
Radha Damodara Temple,Vrindavana, India - 1972


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Avoid Laziness While Chanting?

How to avoid laziness during chanting

Karthik

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Answer: Stand Up

If you have a problem with laziness or sleepiness while chanting, you can stand up to chant your rounds.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 22 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

Your Choice: Misery or Bliss

Do you want to be miserable or blissful? The choice is yours. It's simply a matter of adjusting your perspective. There is an underlying beauty to everything manifesting from the Supreme Beautiful Person who is the source of all existence. If you can adjust your vision to see everything from His perspective, you will experience joy and beauty in all times, places, and circumstances. It is not difficult to make such an adjustment of consciousness because that Supreme Person has so kindly revealed His perspective in the Bhagavad-gita. You simply have to study and apply the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita under the expert guidance of a person who is realized in the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. In this way misery will never touch you. You will be impervious to all the miseries of material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Devotees relish the bliss of Krishna's name in Miami
Devotees Relish the Bliss of Krishna's Name in Miami


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Detached from this Material World?

Srila Gurudeva, one of my friends told me that because Krishna is beyond this material world unless you are detached from this material world you cannot realize Krishna. So I would just like to ask you: How can I become detached from this material world?

Thank you,

Your servant,

Mayapur Chandra Das

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Answer: Cultivate Attachment, Not Detachment

In Krishna consciousness we are not interested in detachment. Our program is attachment. We simply want to become more and more attached to Krishna by engaging this entire world in His service. In this way we are automatically detached from everything, seeing it all as His property. In other words, the more you become attached to Krishna, the more you become simultaneously detached from everything. You become a liberated soul fully qualified to enter the spiritual kingdom.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 21 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

Connecting with Lord Caitanya in His Holy Dhama

To be here in Sridhama Mayapura is truly the most auspicious opportunity that one could get in millions and billions of lifetimes. Lord Caitanya and His intimate associates are still present in this most holy of all holy places blessing with pure love of God all the devotees who come here as well the devotes all over the world who are trying to awaken the world to Krishna consciousness. This is the place from where the inundation of love of God is billowing out like a volcanic eruption to drown everyone throughout the universe in an ocean of love of God. Srila Prabhupada has written regarding Mayapura in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 5.19.24:

"The Krishna consciousness movement has established its center in Mayapura, the birthsite of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, to give men the great opportunity to go there and perform a constant festival of sankirtana-yajna, as recommended herein (yajnesa-makha mahotsavah) and to distribute prasada to millions of hungry people hankering for spiritual emancipation. This is the mission of the Krishna consciousness movement."

So do yourself a favor. Come to Mayapura as soon as possible and receive the special mercy of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada instructs disciples at Mayapura
Srila Prabhupada Instructs Disciples at Mayapura


Super ecstatic sankirtana party at Mayapura
Super Ecstatic Sankirtana Party at Mayapura


Srila Prabhupada's Puspa Samadhi at Mayapura
Srila Prabhupada's Puspa Samadhi at Mayapura


Beautiful sunset over the sacred Ganges River at Mayapura
Beautiful Sunset Over the Sacred Ganges River at Mayapura



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Self-Esteem Matter?

Am I to have self-esteem? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Kamalnathan

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Answer: Self-Esteem is Required

Self-esteem is confidence in your own worth. It's good. You and everybody else should have it. The difficulty is that in this material world we are taught to have a false sense of self-esteem based on the temporary material body. Since the material body is not the actual self, being only a covering of the self like a garment, to have self-esteem based on thinking oneself to be the material body cannot bring actual satisfaction to the self.

Therefore in Vedic culture, self-esteem or confidence in one's own worth is based on the actual identity of the self as an eternal spiritual being. This is real self-esteem, to understand that I am the eternal servant of God. Such a sense of genuine self-esteem brings eternal peace and happiness to the self, while the false self-esteem based on the material body brings in the end complete psychological devastation.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 20 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

Krishna Consciousness is Non-Sectarian

The Krishna consciousness movement is not another religious sect. It is teaching the original pure loving essence of the relationship between the individual living being and the Supreme Person, the source of all existence. We don't say that you can only approach God through the name "Krishna." We say that God has thousands and millions of names and thus one can chant any name of God given in any of the various scriptures of the world according to his own taste and become spiritually perfect. Those who are not spiritually perfect cling to the baggage of sectarianism due to a false sense of "holier than thou" greatness, whereas those who are spiritually perfect genuinely appreciate the loving propensity within the hearts of all whether they are on the perfectional stage of pure love of God or not yet fully or even partially awakened such as an insect or a tree.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


The Temple of Understanding is Gradually Emerging in Mayapura
The Temple of Understanding is Gradually Emerging in Mayapura
17 February 2014 - as seen from across the Jalangi River


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Back to Godhead Without Chanting?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

I have a question:

Can we go back to Godhead by cultivating remembrance of Krishna only by studying the scriptures and not by chanting? Kindly enlighten me.

Your insignificant servant,
S.K.
India.

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Answer: Chanting Required For Going Back to Godhead

Theoretical knowledge without chanting is useless. The scriptures instruct us to chant. If we do not chant, we are disobeying the scriptures and we are not surrendered to Krishna. Therefore without chanting it is not possible to go back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 19 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

Dedicate Your Life to This World Deliverance Mission

The entire world civilization is spiraling downward in an ever-increasingly disintegrative whirlpool which will culminate in total anarchy, the complete break down of the modern civilization. The Krishna consciousness movement has been started by His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for the purpose of delivering the world from this quagmire. We are requesting that all compassionate and intelligent people throughout the world should join with us in this movement to bring a new era of global peace and prosperity to this planet before it is too late. We are asking everyone to mold their lives in such a way that they can best serve this divine mission of Srila Prabhupada.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada Circled the Globe Fourteen Times to Push Forward His World Deliverance Mission
Srila Prabhupada Circled the Globe Fourteen Times
to Push Forward His World Deliverance Mission


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can You Please Give Me an Order?

As you are a spiritual master, can you please give me an order that I must follow?

S.K.

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Answer: Always Remember Krishna

Yes, my order is that you should always remember Krishna and never forget Him. This will be the perfection of your existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 18 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Today's Thought (sent to over 16,000 subscribers worldwide)

The Love Between Krishna and His Devotee

In this world everyone is hankering for love, but there is no love that compares to the love between Krishna and His devotee. This loving relationship is described by Krishna as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam:

sādhavo hrdayam mahyam
sādhūnām hrdayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jānanti
nāham tebhyo manāg api

"The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of the pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them." - SB 9.4.68

In this loving relationship there is 100% dedication going both ways. The devotee is undeviatingly dedicated to the Lord. And the Lord is undeviatingly dedicated to His devotee. Such a pure loving relationship has no equal in this material world where everyone is more or less selfishly motivated. By associating with the Lord's pure devotees even the most fallen gross materialist can enter into the sublime sphere of a perfect loving relationship with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Krishna Plays With His Cowherd Boyfriends in Vrindavana
Krishna Plays With His Cowherd Boyfriends in Vrindavana


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Improve the Quality of My Chanting?

I have increased the number of rounds of Hare Krishna japa I chant from 16 to 20. And some days 32 (on holidays), but my concentration is poorest among all. My mind is filled with negative thoughts, mundane thoughts, some little worries. How can I improve the quality of my chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra?

Your servant
N.M.

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Answer: Directly Connect with Krishna

Directly connect with Krishna by remembering that He is personally present in the sound of His name, and then give Him your full attention.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 17 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Transcendental Bliss at Srivasa Angan

On Saturday 15 February I went with a number of my disciples to the temple at Srivasa Angan, here in Mayapura, West Bengal, India. This is the place where the nama sankirtana movement, the movement of the congregational chanting of the holy names of God, began 500 years ago. It was here in the home of Srivasa Pandita, which formerly stood at this spot, where Lord Caitanya and His associates would gather every night to engage in nama sankirtana. This place is also known as Khol Banga Danga (Broken Mridanga Ridge) because this is where the Muslim district governor, Chand Kazi, angrily stopped the kirtana and broke the devotees' mridanga drum with the threat that if the devotees did not stop performing sankirtana, he would force them all to become Mohammedans. Lord Caitanya defied his order and organized 100,000 chanting devotees to march to the house of the Kazi and then induced the Kazi to join the sankirtana movement.

We had a blissful kirtana which started while we were sitting. As the ecstasy of the kirtana increased we sprung to our feet singing and dancing in ecstasy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Deities of Lord Caitanya and His Associates at Srivasa Angan
Deities of Lord Caitanya and His Associates at Srivasa Angan


Super Ecstatic Kirtan at Srivasa Angan--15 February 2014
Super Ecstatic
Kirtana at Srivasa Angan--15 February 2014

Super Ecstatic Kirtan at Srivasa Angan--15 February 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Eyes Get Filled with Tears

If eyes get filled with tears when we are in front of Krishna, is it that our soul remembers our relationship with Supreme Lord and longs to go back to Him?

Your humble servant,

Meenaskhi

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Answer: Crying of the Soul

In a letter to his disciple Arundhati devi dasi, Srila Prabhupada describes crying during kirtana:

"Regarding crying, when someone cries during kirtana, this crying is crying of the soul. But if anyone tries to imitate such crying to get some adoration, that is a bodily function."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 16 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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The Bliss of Glorifying Krishna

There is truly nothing more blissful than glorifying Krishna because when you glorify Krishna He becomes satisfied, and when you satisfy Krishna the entire universe becomes satisfied. It is just like watering the root of a tree. When you water the tree's root all of the leaves and branches of that tree become watered. Therefore those who are intelligent fully absorb themselves eternally in always glorifying Krishna with their every thought, word, and deed in all times, places, and circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Glorifying Krishna in Sridham Mayapur--14 February 2014
Glorifying Krishna in Sridhama Mayapura--14 February 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Chanting or Reading Gita More Glorious?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

My question is:

What is more glorious: chanting 16 rounds of the Holy Name, or reading the Bhagavad-gita As It Is for 1 to 2 hours? Please enlighten me.

Your humble servant,
Sushant Kulkarni,
India

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Answer: Obeying Your Guru is Most Glorious

They are equally glorious. But what is most glorious is faithfully obeying the order that you have received from your spiritual master. His order is that you must every day first chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on your japa mala beads. After completing your rounds, then you should read Bhagavad-gita as much as possible and strictly follow its teachings. Since the Bhagavad-gita teaches that one should chant the holy names of the Lord, chanting your 16 rounds is the perfect manifestation of Bhagavad-gita. To read the Bhagavad-gita without following its teachings will not give the desired result of the awakening of love of God within your heart.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 15 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Human Civilization is On the Verge of Collapse

When a fan is plugged into a source of electrical power it spins nicely producing a breeze to cool the room on a hot day. But when you unplug it, it gradually winds down to a complete stop. Similarly when a civilization disconnects itself from God it gradually winds down to a complete stop. This is the status of our present day material civilization. It is on the verge of complete collapse. The only thing that is holding it together now is the residual momentum left over from its previous God consciousness. The conclusion is that if we want to save the human civilization from a breakdown into total anarchy, we must establish the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita as the guiding principle for the human civilization.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


London Devotees Saving the World By Chanting Hare Krishna
London Devotees Saving the World By Chanting Hare Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is ISKCON a Cult?

I have been a regular reader of your Thought For The Day. I have got some questions and need clarification for them. Please accept my apologies if I am making any offense in asking these questions. Please help me to get answers for these questions.

1. You always preach that Krishna is the Supreme God and there is no other demigod / avatar equal to Krishna. Then why in ISKCON they worship Gaur Nitai?

2. As per the scriptures the Kali yuga avatar has not yet been born. Then how can we say that Gaur Nitai is avatar of Krishna in the Kali yuga?

3. Why in ISKCON they do sing Nrsimhadeva prayers when there is no benefit in praying to any god or demigod other than Krishna?

4. Why in ISKCON they have Gaur arati, not Krishna arati directly?

5. Is ISKCON a cult like so many other cults in India and elsewhere in the world having their own philosophy and own beliefs?

Looking to hear from you.

Vivek Nigam

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Answer: ISKCON is the World's Leading Educational Institution

Thank you very much for you nice questions. I appreciate very much your sincere inquisitive mood. Here are the answers numbered according to your questions:

1. We worship Gaura Nitai, because Gaura or Lord Caitanya is Krishna Himself appearing in the age of Kali along with Lord Balarama, who appears as Nitai, for delivering all the fallen souls of this age.

2. According to the scriptures the yuga avatar is Lord Caitanya who appeared five centuries ago in Mayapura, which is now in West Bengal, India.

3. According to the scriptures, Lord Nrsimhadeva, the half-man half-lion incarnation of the Lord, is Krishna Himself who appeared to protect His devotee Prahlada from being murdered by his demoniac father Hiranyakasipu. Lord Nrsimhadeva is not a demigod. He is Krishna Himself.

4. We offer the arati worship ceremony both to Lord Krishna and to Gaura Nitai.

5. ISKCON is not a sect or a cult with it's own concocted philosophy and beliefs. It is the world's leading educational institution because it is purely presenting the teachings of Lord Krishna without adulteration for the deliverance of the entire world from illusion and suffering. We are not trying to convert anyone from one religion to another. We simply want to teach everyone how to become pure lovers of God, no matter what is their present religion or position.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 14 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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Defeat Atheism

Atheism must be defeated because it is creating a hell on this planet. The more the world becomes atheistic, the more the people become miserable. Atheism means denying the very source of our existence and sustenance. It means biting the hand that feeds you. Nobody can be happy maintaining an attitude of ingratitude towards that person who is supplying all of his necessities. Such an ingrate must remain in an unhappy state. Therefore out of kindness upon the people of this world we must solidly defeat atheism.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada, the destroyer of atheism
Srila Prabhupada, the Destroyer of Atheism


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can a Pure Devotee Desire to Separate from God?

Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble pranams.

I have read that we came to the material world because we had a strong desire to enjoy separately from God. I have also read that we were pure devotees of God before coming to the material world. How can a pure devotee have a desire to separate from God? Being in the platform of pure devotee how is it possible to get desire to separate from God and come to material world where there is only suffering?

Deepak

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Answer: Inconceivable Misuse of Free Will

It is not possible for a conditioned soul to understand how he fell from his original position of pure devotion by misusing his free will and developing the impure desire to enjoy separately from the Lord. Therefore instead of wasting time to trying to figure out how he fell into this material world, he should focus instead on how to get back to home, back to Godhead. Once he regains his original liberated position it will be easy for him to understand how he got deviated from pure devotional service. Until then his trying to figure this out will be a diversion of his energy, which instead should be fully channeled into qualifying himself to go back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 13 February 2014

from Sridhama Mayapura--West Bengal, India
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If You Want to Experience Love

If you want to experience love as much as possible, give love as much as possible. And if you want to experience love unlimitedly, give your love to the Supreme, Lord Sri Krishna. Then you will taste the sweetest, most inconceivable nectar at every minute ever-increasingly for all eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada introduces love of Krishna, Tompkins Square Park, 1966
Srila Prabhupada Introduces Love of Krishna
New York City--Tompkins Square Park--1966



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Present Modern Age Predicted in Scripture?

Is the present modern age predicted in the sastras?

Regards,
Sasi

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Answer: In the Srimad Bhagavatam

Yes, our present materialistic age is predicted in the Srimad Bhagavatam as follows:


prāyenālpāyusah sabhya
kalāv asmin yuge janāh
mandāh sumanda-matayo
manda-bhāgyā hy upadrutāh

"O learned one, in this iron age of Kali men have but short lives. They are quarrelsome, lazy, misguided, unlucky and, above all, always disturbed."
- SB 1.1.10


Therefore we have to protect ourselves from the demoniac influence of this age by always chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra as much as possible. This powerful vaccine will immunize us from the contaminating influence of this age.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 12 February 2014

from London Heathrow Airport
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Chaos Is All Around Me, But I've Got a Mantra That Keeps Me Sane

If we analyze our present situation here in this material world intelligently with a cool brain, we will see that this place is a chaotic nightmare. We want to live forever in perfect health and youthfulness, but yet we are forced by the laws of material nature to get sick, get old and die. This is a completely incompatible situation. It does not jive with our nature. However there is a higher level of consciousness, which is in perfect harmony with our nature. That is the spiritual nature. And we have a powerful mantra that will take us there:

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

Chant it with love, and you will feel the bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Sri Panca Tattva at Mangala Arati
Sri Panca Tattva at Mangala Arati
Sridham Mayapur--11 February 2014

Sri Sri Radha Madhava and the eight gopis at Mangala Arati
Sri Sri Radha Madhava and the Eight Gopis at Mangala Arati
Sridham Mayapur--11 February 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Everything Happens Only by the God's Will?

Is it true that everything happens only by the will of God? If it is true, then everything, good or bad, is by His will?

Lildhar

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Answer: His Sanction is There, But Not His Will

It is a fact that nothing happens without the sanction of the Lord, but it is not that He desires us to be suffering in this material world. When we had a burning desire to leave Him for trying to enjoy separately from Him, this was not His will. But due to our strong desire to defy His will, He facilitated us so we could learn our lesson and voluntarily come back to Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 11 February 2014

from London Heathrow Airport
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The Journey Is As Good As the Destination

One of the most amazingly wonderful things about the journey of going back to home, back to Godhead is that this journey is in many ways as good as being back to Godhead. In the spiritual world the devotee is wonderfully connected with Krishna, and on the pathway back to that transcendental abode the devotee is also wonderfully connected with Krishna. The difference is that when one begins the path, his Krishna consciousness is immature, while on the perfectional stage his Krishna consciousness is mature. In either stage he relishes the sweet flavor of Krishna consciousness. Whether a mango is green and unripened or is fully ripened, in either case one has a mango. A green mango can be used to make tasty mango pickles, and a ripened mango is enjoyed for it unparalelled sweetness. So whether one is a beginner on the path or whether he has become fully self-realized, in either case he possesses the sweetest, most relishable treasure of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada reveals highest truth to his disciples in Germany
Srila Prabhupada Reveals Highest Truth to His Disciples in Germany


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does This Verse Mean?

Could you please help me in understanding this text from Srimad Bhagavatam?

SB 11.29.17: "Until one has fully developed the ability to see Me within all living beings, one must continue to worship Me by this process with the activities of his speech, mind and body."

Thank you,
Hare Krishna.
Shilpi

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Answer: Two Stages of Bhakti

In the fully realized state of Krishna consciousness you can see Krishna everywhere and personally associate with Him in many varieties of loving exchanges at every minute. Until one has reached that stage he should engage his mind, body, and words in the process of sadhana bhakti under the guidance of the expert spiritual master so that someday he can, by gradual purification of his senses and by the mercy of guru and Krishna, ultimately reach the perfectional stage.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 10 February 2014

from JFK Airport--New York City
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Solving the World's Problems

If we want to solve the world's problems, the good news is that it can be done. To understand the solution we must first understand the cause of the problems. The cause is that no one is serving the Lord. Everyone is very busy simply serving themselves. Even those who approach God are doing so to have their own desires fulfilled. They do not approach the Lord as they should, for the purpose of fulfilling His desires. Therefore instead of a God-centered society, we have a self-centered society. No one is rendering devotional service. No one is reciprocating with the Lord for everything that He is giving us at every moment. Thus we have a situation like someone who is not paying their electric bill. Their electricity will be cut off. In a similar way the modern day godless society is gradually losing all of its material facilities moving towards a complete breakdown of the global infrastructure. Those who chant Hare Krishna and put God in the center of their lives are doing the real service for solving all of the world's problems. They are helping to neutralize the huge karmic debt which is currently choking this planet. May everyone as soon as possible realize the absolute necessity of the Krishna consciousness movement for the peace and happiness of the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada teaches the solution for all problems
Srila Prabhupada Teaches the Solution for All Problems


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Get Krishna?

How can I get Krishna?

Bhakta Shashank

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Answer: Give Yourself to Krishna

Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita that He gives Himself to us in proportion to how much we give ourselves to Him. Therefore the only way to get Krishna is to give yourself fully to Krishna. He does not reveal Himself to those who are holding back anything from Him. After all, why should He give Himself to you if you do not fully give yourself to Him? He does not want to be cheated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 9 February 2014

In route from Austin to New York City
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You Must Have a Guru

If you don't have a guru, you are like a boat without a rudder. The Mundaka Upanisad confirms that having a guru is absolutely mandatory. You will not be able to cross the ocean of birth and death to attain the kingdom of immortality without a guru. Therefore don't cheat yourself out of the most valuable opportunity offered to you in this human form of life. Seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation. In this way you can fully awaken your God consciousness or Krishna consciousness and thus regain your original, eternal identity in the pastimes of the Lord in His sublime, divine planet known as Krishnaloka.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Srila Prabhupada initiates a new disciple
Srila Prabhupada Initiates a New Disciple


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Real Renunciation and False Renunciation?

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

What is real renunciation (yukta vairagya) and false renunciation (phalgu vairagya)?

Most fallen soul
Saswata
Chennai, India

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Answer: All is Krishna's Property. It is Not False.

Real renunciation is to see everything as Krishna's property and to engage everything in His service. False renunciation is thinking this world is false, not seeing its actual position as the property of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 8 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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On the Road to Sri Mayapura Dhama

Today in great joy we are heading out to Sri Mayapura Dhama, apparently situated according to mundane vision in West Bengal, India. We will spend two weeks there at ISKCON's world headquarters situated on the bank of the sacred Ganges river attending leaders' meetings. Because the USA is in such a remote corner of the world so far from Mayapura, the center of the universe, it will take us two-and-a-half days to get there. The austerity of getting there is certainly well worth it. Entering into Sri Mayapura Dhama is non-different from entering into the spiritual world because it is a manifestation of the spiritual world here within this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


World's largerst Vedic temple under construction in Mayapura
World's Largest Vedic Temple Under Construction in Mayapura


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do the Pictures of Krishna Accurately Depict Him?

My Dear Guruji,

Are the pictures that we see of Krishna showing us the actual form of Krishna? Does Krishna really look like how we see Him in these pictures? Does the ultimate God Krishna have any shape, or is He formless and shapeless? I would be grateful if you could enlighten me on this.

Thanking you very much,
RamKumar
Chennai, India

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Answer: They Most Certainly Do

Pictures that are based on the description of Krishna given in the scriptures and confirmed by fully realized devotees, who can personally see Krishna at every minute, are authentic depictions of what Krishna actually looks like. It is confirmed in the Vedic scriptures and by self-realized souls that Krishna has a form. For example it is stated as follows in the Brahma Samhita, Chapter 5, Text 32:

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

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

So as you can see from the above verse, Krishna does have a form. Sometimes when it is described that God is formless this means that He does not have a limited material form. His form is purely spiritual and is thus not limited by any mundane constrictions.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Friday 7 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Krishna is Right There With You Right Now

Krishna is right there with you right now. You simply have to connect with Him by fully opening your heart to Him. Since time immemorial during your innumerable lifetimes in this material existence, He has been accompanying you as the Supersoul within your heart, waiting for that moment when you will turn your attention back to Him. So don't cheat yourself by remaining in illusion for one moment longer. Become fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness right now and reap the unlimited benefit of the constant association of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


There Is No One More Beautiful Than Krishna
There Is No One More Beautiful Than Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Should I Give Water to Krishna or to a Dying Animal?

My dear Gurudeva,

A devotee has taken fresh water in a glass to offer it to Lord Krishna, but on the way he sees that an animal is dying of thirst, and the animal is not able to find water anywhere to quench his thirst. What do you advise in this situation? Should the water be offered to Lord Krishna, or the water should be given to dying animal who is terribly in need of water?

Vrutant

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Answer: Give It Both to Krishna and to the Dying Animal

Offer the water to Krishna. In this way the water becomes spiritualized, and you become spiritualized by rendering devotional service to Krishna. Then give that spiritualized water to the animal. He will become spiritualized, and you will become even more spiritualized by giving the mercy of Krishna to others. Because the animal got water that was offered to Krishna he will become a human being in his next birth and will have the opportunity to become a devotee, all because of your kindness of giving him water that had been offered to Lord Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 6 February 2014

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

Wonderfully, Ecstatically In Touch With Krishna

One of the high points of my day is writing "Thought for the Day." It is always interesting to see what Krishna inspires me to write each day. Today as I sit here I am wondering what I should write. Since Krishna's glories are unlimited, the process of connecting with Him is unlimitedly variegated. With unlimited things to say in glorification of Him I am baffled to discern what particular thing should be best said today. I simply have to go with whatever inspiration Lord Sri Krishna gives me. The whole point of our existence is to be fully connected with Lord Sri Krishna at every minute. Therefore we can meditate deeply on any aspect of His greatness and thus become wonderfully and ecstatically in touch with Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


The Vrindavan Animals Are All Attracted to KrishnaT
The Vrindavana Animals Are All Attracted to Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Destiny Predetermined?

I have a question on destiny. Some people say we make our destiny, while other say that our destiny is defined. I would like to humbly inquire: Is our path of bhakti also defined, or it starts with mercy of a devotee only?

I often have dreams where I see glimpse of future and see them actually happening after a week, month or years. Which make me believe that destiny is already defined.
How is destiny related to bhakti, that is my question.

Please guide in clearing my question.

Your Servant
Rathin

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Answer: Only for Materialists

In the material world destiny is predetermined according to one's karma. But if one gets the mercy of Krishna's pure devotee and takes to the path of bhakti, he is able transcend the influence of karma and become the architect of his own destiny.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Wednesday 5 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Have a Wonderful Eternity

In some parts of the world, "Have a good day" has become a common way of ending a conversation or interaction with someone else. Wishing that someone may have a good day is certainly laudable. But why only one day? Why not wish them a great eternity? In other words, what good is happiness for one day if tomorrow I must become miserable again? Wishing them a happy eternity is better because it acknowledges and reinforces the eternal existence of the soul. And if you teach them how to chant Hare Krishna, they will indeed have a fantastic, sublimely wonderful eternity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Devotee Presents Bhagavad-gita, the Key to a Wonderful Eternity
Devotee Presents Bhagavad-gita, the Key to a Wonderful Eternity


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Live in the Present?

Which Vedic literature is the below taken from ?

gater shoko na kartavyah / bhavishyam na cintayet
varthamaaneshu kaaryeshu / pravartanthe vichakshanaa

"Those who are wise don't lament about the past - nor be anxious about the future. They live in the present and live it best."

Please provide your understanding of "live in the present and live it best". Is this possible for a beginner like me? How can that be practically implemented (practiced)?

Dr. Ravishankar

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Answer: Fully Absorb Yourself in Krishna Consciousness

This is a quote from Canakya Pandita, the famous moralist often quoted by Srila Prabhupada.

To live in the present means to fully absorb yourself in Krishna consciousness. Otherwise you are dead. If you will sincerely follow the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, you will be properly situated. The following article gives good advice on how to do this:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/kc_at_home.htm

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Tuesday 4 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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This Will Become World's Most Popular Movement

Because the Krishna consciousness movement is based on the Bhagavad-gita as it is, it will become in due course of time the world's most popular movement. By doing so, it will bring great relief to the suffering human population, a relief which no other movement is able to provide. What is it that makes the Bhagavad-gita so special? It is the direct words of the Supreme Godhead Himself for the deliverance of all living beings from the quagmire of repeated birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Introducing Bhagavad-gita As It Is - Austin, Texas - 1 February 2014
Introducing Bhagavad-gita As It Is
Austin, Texas - 1 February 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Could We Fall from the Spiritual World?

I am truly amazed by seeing your redemptory service for encouraging Krishna consciousness among all of us. But I don't know why I get doubtful in certain philosophies which I try to figure out logically. One of such is the unknown reason why we got trapped in this material (inferior) world when once we were a part of that all blissful, full of knowledge, full of truth, the most attractive Goloka Vrindavan. Every time when I try to see a satisfying answer all I read is that somehow we got trapped. Or some say that it was our free will as granted by Krishna. But even if it was a free will, such a clever soul like ours should have never ever tried to fall in the cycle of 8,400,000 species living in all possible hostility.

Yours truly,
most fallen soul,
Akshay G.

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Answer: Just Focus on Getting Back There

If one comes down with a disease, his first business is to get cured from the disease, not to figure out from where he caught it. Therefore you should now focus all of your energy on awakening your dormant Krishna consciousness. Don't become distracted by trying to figure why you fell down in the first place. Just be fixed on one thing and one thing only: how to go back to Godhead as soon as possible. Once you get back to your original pure state of consciousness, you will easily be able to comprehend why you fell down. In your present state of conditioned consciousness you will never be able to fully grasp how it was that you could fall down from the all perfect spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Monday 3 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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How to Always Be Enthusiastic

If we always remember Krishna's promise--"My devotee will never be vanquished."--we will always be enthusiastic to become His devotee. In other words, there is no greater opportunity existing anywhere within the three worlds than to become a devotee of Krishna. Therefore for one who is advanced in spiritual knowledge there is nothing to aspire for except pure devotional service. This purity of aspiration brings one to the level of unlimited enthusiasm, an enthusiasm for devotional service that can never be broken under any circumstances.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Super Enthusiastic Kirtan in Mayapur, India--1976
Super Enthusiastic Kirtan in Mayapur, India--1976


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Master the Art of Dying?

If one were to die, how should one die in all time, place, and circumstances according to Krishna's will and philosophy?

What is progress in Krishna consciousness? What does it depend on?

Why should one stop questioning Krishna's words (which are infallible) when one is serious about understanding the constitutional position of the self in devotional service?

Regards,
Parag R. Rane

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Answer: Train Yourself to Constantly Remember Krishna

Regarding death there is no question of IF. It is simply a matter of WHEN. The perfection of dying is to be fully absorbed in thoughts of Krishna at the time of death. This is why we must practice now chanting and remembering Krishna as much as possible every day so that out of habit we will automatically chant Hare Krishna while leaving our material bodies.

Progress in Krishna consciousness means to have an awakening of love of Krishna and total dedication to Krishna within one's heart.

One is not meant to stop questioning about the teachings of Krishna. In fact, Krishna instructs us to do just the opposite. He orders us to inquire from the spiritual master not in a challenging way, but in a submissive way. One should continue inquiring until his intelligence is fully satisfied.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Sunday 2 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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Enter into the Realm of Perfect Love

No matter where we give our love in this world, it is sure and certain that ultimately we will be disappointed because we live in a world where everyone is tinged with varying degrees of selfishness. No one here is pure. Therefore there is no one here who can perfectly reciprocate with our love, and thus no one in this world is fully satisfied. Everyone here is more or less frustrated. The solution is that we have to give our love to Krishna because He is the only person who can perfectly reciprocate with our love. When you fully give your love to Krishna everything becomes magical and wonderful. You enter into the realm of perfect love.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


The gopis love Krishna with absolute perfection
The Gopis Love Krishna With Absolute Perfection



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Avoid Moroseness While Serving Krishna?

My dear Gurudeva,

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

How to avoid our becoming too morose or discouraged in our devotional service to Krishna?

Your insignificant servant,
Nandapriya Devi Dasi

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Answer: Always Be Grateful for Your Good Fortune

If you will always gratefully remember how fortunate you are to be blessed with this wonderful Krishna conscious process of being delivered from the cycle of birth and death, you will always be happy in spite of the many daily ups and downs that we naturally experience in this material world even while engaged in devotional service to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Saturday 1 February 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA
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The True Secret of Happiness

In this material world people are struggling and competing to gain wealth, fame, and power. But even if they achieve these things, they still remain unsatisfied. They do not know the true secret of happiness, which is found in Krishna consciousness. No matter how much or how little wealth, fame, and power you have--if you are Krishna conscious, you will be fully satisfied. All you need is Krishna because since everything exists within Krishna, when you have Krishna you have everything. In other words when you have Krishna you cannot be lacking in any way.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


All you need is Krishna
All You Need is Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Simultaneously Affectionate and Detached?

Hare Krishna Gurudeva,
Please accept my most respectful obeisances,
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

I was reading Srimad Bhagavatam and I was hoping you could offer some clarity on the purport to SB 5.1.6 purport:

"In the same way, although a devotee may enter family life and act very affectionately toward his wife and children, he is never attached to these activities."

How can one learn how to be detached from family life while at the same time acting very affectionately? What is the true meaning of affection in this situation?

your servant,
Rasikananda Das

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Answer: Be Affectionate on the Basis of Duty to Deliver Them

Affection in Krishna consciousness means to always act for the spiritual benefit of others by facilitating their going back to home, back to Godhead. This is real love and affection. This means that instead of being affectionate on the basis of sexual attraction, the householder should be affectionate as a matter of spiritual duty. Dutiful affection according to Vedic orders remains permanently because it is on the spiritual platform. On the other hand, affection based on sexual attraction is flickering because on the material platform what attracts you today disgusts you tomorrow. This is why there are so many divorces nowadays. People are getting married on the basis of sexual attraction instead of on the basis of duty, and their affectionate feelings thus gradually fade away.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

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