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

Tuesday 30 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Open Your Heart to Find the Supreme Loving Person

In this material world it is very easy to become depressed and bewildered by the overwhelming onslaught of reverse situations that we experience every day both individually and collectively. But one who allows himself to indulge in such feelings is taking a very limited, restricted view of reality. Songwriter Roger McGuinn sang, "I opened my heart to the whole universe and found it was loving." This is actually a fact. If we analyze things deeply, we will see that everything is a based on a loving, compassionate principle, which must necessarily be a person because impersons do not love. How can reality be ugly when a swan and lotus flower are so beautiful? There is indeed an all-beautiful, all-loving, all-powerful person behind everything that is going on here. His name is Krishna, which means the All-Attractive One.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Swans in a Lake of Lotus Flowers
Swans in a Lake of Lotus Flowers


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Defeat Atheist Claim That God Is Hallucination?

I have recently come across some arguments from an atheist, who claims that when one engages in prayer, meditation, or chanting a mantra, such as Hare Krishna, it simply causes a chemical reaction in the brain. It releases certain brain chemicals, such as Serotonin and L-Dopamine, therefore producing a natural feeling of euphoria, which one attributes to a supernatural power, or God, and that's all there is to it! How can a believer effectively defend his belief in a God, in response to this argument?

Thank-you!

George

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Answer: Tell Them That They Are A Hallucination

You may inform your atheist friend that he does not exist, that he is simply a hallucination brought about by a certain combination of chemicals within the brain. Therefore whatever arguments he brings are also a hallucination.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 29 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Divine Ecstasy on Govardhana Parikrama

On Sunday 28 September 2014 we went with a group of devotees from various nations on Govardhana Parikrama, a truly delightful experience. Our first stop was the lake known as Kusum Sarovara, one of the many places where Krishna had pastimes with the gopis 5,000 years ago. Lord Caitanya also took His bath here five centuries ago. Our next stop was a spot along the parikrama path where Govardhana is just starting to manifest from within the earth. There I related, as given in the Garga Samhita, the amazing story of Govardhana's appearance in Sri Vrindavana Dhama. Further along the trail we came to Manasi Ganga a wonderful lake where Krishna had many sublime pastimes including a hilariously funny boat pastime with the gopis. That pastime is as follows:

Srimati Radharani and the gopis came to the bank of the large lake named Manasi Ganga and wanted to take a boat across. They were carrying their yogurt pots and other milk preparations. Krishna who was disguised as a boatman told them He would take them across. They then bargained for a while over the price finally settling for the price of some of their sweets and butter. He rowed for a while and then just stopped. Srimati Radharani and the gopis asked Him why he had stopped. He told then that He was tired and hungry and He could not go any further, if they did not feed Him. They then offered Him their milk products. He ate everything. He then told them that He would take a nap and that they should massage His arms and legs. They told Him if He did not keep rowing they would throw Him overboard. He then started rowing again. He then stopped again and the gopis asked Him why He had stopped. He told them that the boat was old and that water was coming in, because the weight they were carrying was too heavy. The gopis then threw overboard their yoghurt pots and their jewelry. Then a storm came. The wind began to blow and the waves became upset. Krishna started rocking the boat. Radharani became frightened and put Her arms around the boatman. At this time She realized that the boatman was Krishna. The wind and waves then became calm. Radharani then pulled Krishna's flute from under His clothing, and the gopis could understand that the boatman was Krishna in disguise. This pastime is called Noka-vihar and is described in Gopala Campu by Jiva Goswami.

After Manasi Ganga we proceeded to many more wondrous holy places as we completed our parikrama around Govardhana Hill. The most holy Sri Vrindavana Dhama is overflowing with the unlimited pastimes and glories of Krishna. May I roll forever in the sacred dust of Sri Vrindavana Dhama.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ducks in Formation at Beautiful Kusum Sarovara
Ducks in Formation at Beautiful Kusum Sarovara
28 September 2014


Telling How Govardhana Hill Appeared in Vrindavana
Telling How Govardhana Hill Appeared in Vrindavana
28 September 2014


Sharing Krishna's Amazing Boat Pastime at Manasi Ganga
Sharing Krishna's Amazing Boat Pastime at Manasi Ganga
28 September 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Develop Desire to Hear About Krishna

I am very thankful to you for giving me so much by your daily articles full of truth. Kindly help me in getting the answer of following question:

How can I develop the desire of hearing Krishna katha?

Your Servant,
Nikhil

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Answer: Hear About Krishna From His Pure Devotees

The more you hear about Krishna from His pure devotees, the more you will develop a taste for hearing about Him. So go on hearing and reading about Him as much as possible. Reading is a silent form of hearing. So you should also read about Krishna as much as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 28 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

May the Entire World Become Krishna Conscious

The planet earth is now overburdened with a growing number of demoniac men whose only happiness in life is exploiting, abusing, and torturing others. Even the so-called nice people routinely engage in killing their own children through abortion and eating their own mother, the cow. So, it is indeed a most pitiable situation that we now face all over the planet earth. Therefore we are praying in the mood of Prahlada Maharaja that all the envious persons may become pacified and that everyone should become fully happy by engaging themselves in the devotional service of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic Kirtan on the Bank of the Yamuna
Ecstatic Kirtan on the Bank of the River Yamuna
Brahmanda Ghat--27 September 2014


Ecstatic Kirtan on the Bank of the Yamuna


Relishing Krishna's "Earth in the Mouth" Pastime
Relishing Krishna's "Earth in the Mouth" Pastime
Brahmanda Ghat--27 September 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Should Devotees Get Tattoos?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

Some Hare Krishna devotees have a tattoo (Krishna or any other paraphernalia) on their bodies. Did Srila Prabhupada allow this during his time?

Thanking you.

I beg to remain your humble servant.
Kesaven

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Answer: Avoid Those Things That Are Unnecessary

When Srila Prabhupada was here, nobody had tattoos. Since Srila Prabhupada never told us to get tattoos, why should we have tattoos? If they were necessary, Srila Prabhupada would have gotten tattooed and instructed us also to get tattooed. But since he did not do either of these things we can understand that tattoos are unnecessary and are thus a diversion from pure devotional service. Although tattoos may now have now a fashion in our spiritual society, it is better to avoid following such fads. Tattoos can be dangerous also. One devotee caught HIV because he got tattooed with an HIV contaminated needle. Now he must suffer for the rest of his life.

It has also been a fad in out society to wear a deity prasadam brahmana thread around the wrist. But Srila Prabhupada specifically ordered that this should not be done. More information can on this topic can be gotten on the following web page:

http://www.iskconstandards.com/Thread_On_Wrist/

Beards and mustaches have also become a fashion amongst initiated devotees in ISKCON even though Srila Prabhupada instructed that initiated disciples should not have beards and mustaches. For more information on this consult the following web page:

http://www.iskconstandards.com/beards/index.html

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 27 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

The Devotee Dedicates His Life for Saving the World

The devotee of the Lord cannot tolerate the suffering of the millions and billions of people who are living without Krishna consciousness and degrading themselves by overindulgence in sense gratification to take birth in the 8 milion varieties of lower species in their next life. Due to his compassionate nature he is pained greatly to see this. Therefore he fully dedicates his life for making the entire world Krishna conscious so that the people can be fully happy in this life and have their next life in the spiritual world with Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



With Srila Prabhupada in His Room at Radha Damodara Temple
With Srila Prabhupada in His Room at Radha Damodara Temple
Sri Vrindavana Dhama--26 September 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do Hindus Worship Idols?

Sir, I have many Abrahamic friends who always ask me why you Hindus worship idols even it is condemned in your scriptures. They quote, "Na tasya pratima asti" from the Yajurveda saying that it means that God has no form. I know that there is some logical reason behind Deity worship of Lord. There is always a question in my mind. Why Lord Krishna condemned worshipping deity in Abrahamic scriptures? Why He advised to hate and kill idolaters or disbelievers in Holy Quran (9:5) and when the forbidden months have passed, kill the idolaters wherever you find them and take them prisoners, and beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush? Why He would punish non-Muslims on the Day of Judgment? Why Christians accuse us of worshipping Satan? Why the God of Abraham says that gods other than Him are false? There are many such questions which I cannot express. I wonder how my thoughts have become Abrahamic. I have started to fear God. Although born in a Hindu family, I feel myself as an infidel. I have a great love for all prophets Krishna sent. Let it be Jesus or Prophet Muhammad. But My research on Abrahamic faith has led me towards confusion. I have started doubting Vedic knowledge. Vedic rituals which I used to enjoy in past are idolatrous and ignorant in my view now. I have watched a video on YouTube where Christians say that Hindu deities are fallen angels and demons. This has led me to a great shock. O Ocean of Mercy please help me to purify my mind. Please help me to rebuild the faith for Krishna and Vedas. You can understand my psychological state by reading the mail. I am in a great fear that I may go to eternal hell for disbelieving God and worshipping idols. Muslims and Christians also say that we are being disloyal to God by worshipping idols.

A fallen soul,
R.S.

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Answer: We Worship the Original Form of God

The first point is we are not Hindus. Hindu is a term that was coined by the Muslims to describe those persons who lived east of the River Sindhu. If we have any identity, it is as the followers of the scientific system of self-realization elaborately described in the Vedic scriptures.

The Vedic aphorism na tasya pratima asti means "God does not have a material form." It does not mean that God does not have a form.

The Vedic scriptures that we follow are eternal. They do not have any beginning point in history. In the Kali-yuga, which began 5,000, years ago, other religious systems have arisen that contain partial truth and are at the same time tinged by ignorance. These other religious systems are true insofar at they concur with the Vedas and untrue insofar as they differ from the Vedas. You should reject the association of those who label the followers of the Vedas as infidels and associate only with those who seriously follow the Vedic path such as the followers of the Krishna consciousness movement. By proper association and hearing from enlightened spiritual masters, not greedy, lusty fools and rascals, your confusion and fear will go away.

Krishna is not an idol, a false god. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the source of all existence. He is partially revealed in other religions systems and fully revealed in the Vedas. He has thousands and millions of names. Christ, Jehovah, Allah, and Buddha are also accepted as names of God. But His name as Krishna is the most perfect, full, and complete name for God because it includes all of God's unlimited attractive qualities within its two syllables.

That day when the Christians and Muslims realize that Krishna is the same God that they follow in the Bible and Quran will be the day when God's kingdom becomes fully manifested on this earth. May that day come soon!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 26 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Relishing Extraordinary Delight at Sri Radha Kunda

On 24 September 2014 we were blessed with the opportunity to visit the topmost of all holy places in all of existence, Radha Kunda, the bathing pond of Srimati Radharani, which has been so wonderful glorified by Srila Rupa Goswami as follows:

"The holy place known as Mathura is spiritually superior to Vaikuntha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathura Puri is the transcendental forest of Vrindavana because of Krishna's rasa-lila pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vrindavana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Sri Krishna and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the superexcellent Sri Radha-kunda stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Sri Krishna. Where, then, is that intelligent Person who is unwilling to serve this divine Radha-kunda, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?"--Nectar of Instruction, Verse 9

Just being there in the mood of devotion, we were overflooded by the inconceivably sweet mercy of Radha and Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Praying for Mercy at the Holiest Place in All of Existence: Sri Radha Kunda
Praying for Mercy at the Holiest Place in All of Existence
Sri Radha Kunda--24 September 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between a Muni and a Rishi?

Gurudeva,

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

Would you please explain me the following?

1) What is the difference between a muni and a rishi?

2) Is Vedavyasa a muni or rishi ?

Please enlighten me.

Hare Krishna.

Ashis P.

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Answer: Munis Are Philosophers. Rishis are Saints.

A rishi is a great saintly person, and a muni is a thoughtful person, a philosopher. Saintly philosophers such as Srila Vyasadeva and Srila Prabhupada are both rishis and munis.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 25 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

The Pure Devotee Conquers the World

The pure devotee conquers the world within by fully engaging all of his senses including the mind in the service of Krishna. And he conquers the world without through his perfect example and his powerful words by attracting the entire world to take the process of Krishna consciousness. Therefore he is called a goswami, one who has fully conquered his senses, and jagad-guru, one who can deliver the entire universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada - spiritual master of the universe
Srila Prabhupada--Spiritual Master of the Universe


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Why I Unsubscribed: I Believe that God is Formless

I have dropped out of your course because I do not subscribe to the view that it is impossible for God to be formless. A formless God assumes form for the benefit of humanity. This is my personal belief.

T.P.K.

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Answer: Beliefs Are Imperfect. Vedic Knowledge is Perfect.

We are all certainly free to believe in whatever way we choose to believe in. But such believing does not make a thing true. I may be an owl philosopher who believes that there is no such thing as daytime because I never opened my eyes to the sunlight. But this does not mean that daytime does not exist. Similarly I may believe that God is formless because I never took the time and trouble to carefully study the Vedic scriptures and the teachings of the great acharyas who guided the Vedic civilization for thousands of years, which clearly state that God's original feature is with form. But this does not mean that God is formless.

Nowadays it is very commonly misunderstood that God is formless and that His form is simply an illusory manifestation to help those who are in illusion to connect with Him on an elementary level before they become advanced enough to realize His higher impersonal, formless nature. But this is simply not true. It is repeatedly confirmed throughout the Vedic literatures that His actual nature is with form. For example, it is stated in the Brahma-samhita:

isvarah paramah krsnah
sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah
sarva-karana-karanam

"Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes."

So it is not that Krishna comes out of formlessness. Rather it is just the opposite. There is a formless aspect of God known as the impersonal Brahman. Krishna declares in the Bhagavad-gita that this impersonal, formless Brahman is coming out from Him:

brahmano hi pratisthaham

"I am the basis of the impersonal formless Brahman."

If you think that you are bigger authority than Lord Krishna or Lord Brahma, you can continue to think that the form of God is manifested out of formlessness. But if you are humble enough to realize that you are not on the level of Krishna, Brahma, and the great Vedic authorities, then you may consider that your belief may be based on ignorance rather than on actual facts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 24 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Don't Ever Be Depressed. Always Be Impressed.

Don't ever be depressed. Instead, you should always be impressed with the unlimitedly amazing glories of Krishna, which He is personally manifesting within and without you at every minute. In other words if you are being constantly awed by the stupendous attributes of Krishna at every minute, you will always be so impressed that you will never have empty space in your heart for being even slightly depressed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Blessed with the chance to speak about Krishna in Vrindavana
Blessed with the Chance to Speak About Krishna in Vrindavana


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Krishna Make Himself Formless?

Srila Gurudeva,

All glories to you!

Is it possible for Lord Krishna to make Himself formless if He wanted to, since nothing is impossible for Him?

Thank you for guiding me.

Luis

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Answer: Yes, As the Impersonal Brahman

Due to the inconceivable potency of the Lord it is possible for Him to do the impossible. In other words, He can be with form and without form both at the same time. And this is what He in fact does. His original position as Krishna is with form, and from that original form He manifests the impersonal formless Brahman, which is described as follows by Lord Brahma in the Brahma-samhita 5.40:

yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti
kotisv asesa-vasudhadi vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman mentioned in the Upanisads, being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless, truth."

So Krishna manifests form and formlessness simultaneously. His original state is with form and from that original form He expands out His formless nature. This is compared to the sun globe which has a form but expands out formless sunrays throughout the universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 23 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna Chanting Will Save the World

The entire global society is spiraling down more and more into complete, total chaos and confusion. Due to an ever-increasing profusion of sinful activities nature is now becoming more and more out of balance. Thus, often there is excessive rain and deadly flooding, and often there is lack of rain, and the people and animals are tortured by severe drought. When the human society does not adhere to the laws of God it is natural they will be punished by nature's laws. However, there is good news. The good news is that by the wide scale congregational chanting of the holy names of God all of these problems can be solved. There is no reason for the human society to continue suffering like this. It is completely unnecessary. All they have to do is chant Hare Krishna or any bona fide name of God, and all of their many problems will be solved. This chanting will purify their hearts and enable them to easily come back to living in accordance with the laws of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 



Ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan in Surat, Gujarat, India
Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan in Surat, Gujarat, India


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Worship at Home or at the Temple?

We should worship daily. Suppose we have an altar at home. Is it still necessary to worship Krishna at the temple?

your most insignificant servant
Gangadhar Das

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Answer: At Home But Even More Importantly at the Temple

Whatever we offer on our altar at home remains in our home for us to enjoy. But whatever we offer at the temple remains with the temple not be directly enjoyed by us. Therefore to get free from the enjoying spirit, which has polluted our hearts for millions of births, we must not only worship Krishna at home, which is essential for householders. We must even more importantly also worship Him at the temple.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 22 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Get on the Boat--Stay on the Boat

Lord Sri Krishna's lotus feet are the boat that will carry you back to the transcendental Vaikuntha realm, that place where there is absolutely no anxiety. By taking shelter of Krishna's lotus feet you will be delivered from this material world where there is danger at every step. In this age Krishna's lotus feet are most powerfully manifested in the form of the Hare Krishna mahamantra. So if you will chant this most amazing of all mantras every day with love and devotion, your entering into the spiritual world at the time of death is guaranteed. Indeed by full absorption in Krishna's unlimitedly sweet names you will already be there with Him in His transcendental kingdom. So get on the boat by chanting, and stay on this boat by chanting.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Super ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan
Super Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Serve Krishna Theoretically or With Realization?

Thanks for your enlightening messages.

Today's Though-for-the-Day was meant for me. It especially states my situation, where I am suffering from high anxiety.

I have a question, Guru Maharaja, my eternal position as servant of Krishna is something realized with time, or I ‎have to accept it theoretically and start acting it on it.

Please guide me.

Your servant,

V.

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Answer: Experimentally Test and Realize the Theory

Just as one may theoretically accept by hearing from authorities that two parts of hydrogen combined with one part of oxygen make water and then substantiate or prove this theory by combining them in the laboratory and producing water, in a similar way one can substantiate or prove the theory that the living entity is the eternal servant of Krishna. How is this done? By theoretically accepting that you are His eternal servant and by then fully engaging yourself practically in His service to test the theory, you will awaken, just like the water manifested in the laboratory test tube, to the full realization that you are His eternal servant. In fact, you will even remember, in due course of time, how you were engaged in serving Him in the spiritual world before you fell into this dark material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 21 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Are You Prepared for Death?

Whether your like it or not, death is inevitable. It can come today, tomorrow, next week, or at any time without any warning. And since your state of mind at the time of death determines your next birth, whether in this material world or the spiritual world, this behooves you to prepare yourself properly for this most deciding moment of your life by always cultivating at every moment the mood of complete, total surrender at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna through the transparent via medium of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The Spiritual Master Saves His Disciples from Birth and Death
The Spiritual Master Saves His Disciples from Birth and Death


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Find a Guru?

I've been following few spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, nonviolence, puja etc. I have faith in Sai Baba of Shridi, but my faith is shaken sometimes when I'm into tough times.

My mind is always filled with questions like "Who am I?", "What is the purpose of life?", "Why am I born so miserable?", "Why I've to go through pain and turmoil?", etc.

I've read so many books to find an answer to my questions, but I somehow don't trust the answers that have been provided. I don't know what to do. How to go about looking for an answer? I somehow don't believe or trust the words of scriptures.

I've been looking for an enlightened person or true guru who can guide me step by step into my spiritual path.

Any help would be deeply appreciated.

Many Thanks

K.S.

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Answer: When You Are Ready Krishna Will Send Guru to You

My Dear K.S.,

Please accept my blessings. All glories to Lord Sri Krishna.

The first point is that if one is sincerely desiring to know the Absolute Truth, he does not have to seek out a bona fide spiritual master. For such a sincere soul, Lord Krishna, who is situated within his heart as caitya-guru, the guru within, will manifest externally as the spiritual master and reveal the Absolute Truth to that sincere seeker.

Until one comes to the platform of spiritual awakening it is natural that they will sometimes be devastated and bewildered by the fluctuating nature of this material existence. Your sincere inquires regarding the purpose of your life mean that you are now qualified to receive transcendental knowledge from the bona fide spiritual master.

It's a fact that simply reading books is not sufficient. The science of self-realization is the most advanced of all sciences. Just as reading medical books is not sufficient to qualify someone to be a doctor, reading spiritual books is not sufficient to make one self-realized. To become a medical doctor one must be trained up under the guidance of a medical professor. Similarly to become self-realized one must be trained up under the guidance of a self-realized spiritual master.

Now we will authoritatively answer your questions in accordance with the teachings coming down from the great spiritual masters of the past, which are all confirmed in the revealed scriptures. The scriptures are essential, but they cannot be understood on one's own. Their mysteries are only revealed to those who have taken shelter of the bona fide spiritual master.

Regarding, "Who am I?", the first thing you must understand is that you are not your body. The only reason you are suffering is that you are foolishly misidentifying yourself as being your temporary material body. You are instead an eternal living being qualitatively one with Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Being His part and parcel you are by your very nature His servant. Therefore the purpose of your life is to serve Him obediently with love and devotion. By fully reconnecting yourself with Krishna in this way your pain and suffering will go away. You don't have to ever be miserable ever again. If you will every day chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra, you will experience a wonderful feeling of upliftment. You will be elevated to the spiritual platform beyond all the sufferings of birth, death, old age, and disease.

By hearing submissively from the bona fide spiritual master you will get all of your life's questions perfectly answered. And by following his clear instructions you will become liberated from all of the miseries of material existence. You will achieve a happiness far more wonderful than you ever imagined happiness could be.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 20 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Connect With Krishna and Taste the Bliss

In this world everybody is more or less miserable. Some are more miserable, and some are less miserable. But everyone is experiencing varying degrees of anxiety. What people don't realize is that this misery is not inevitable. It is completely avoidable provided that one knows the art of how to avoid it. That art is called Krishna consciousness or atma-tattva, the science of the self. One simply has to realize who he is, the eternal servant of Krishna, and then go about being who he actually is by engaging in devotional service instead of foolishly trying to be something different, namely this material body and all of the false designations that accrue to it. The self is not the body. It is instead the eternal all-blissful, all-cognizant servant of Krishna who is at the present moment dwelling within the temporary material body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Relishing Krishna Lila at Kesighat on the Yamuna Bank
Relishing Krishna Lila at Kesighat on the Yamuna Bank


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Krishna Created the Demoniac Nature?

Why has Krishna created the three modes of material nature? If He would have created only the mode of goodness, there would be no demoniac nature in anyone.

N.P.

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Answer: The Demoniac Nature is Created by Us

It looks like Krishna has not taken your advice regarding the material manifestation. I do not think that it is possible for you to have a better idea than Krishna on how to manifest the material creation. What you do not realize is that the demoniac nature is not His creation. It is manifested by us when we choose not to serve Him.

How does this work? Just as nobody would like to be married to a robot, a machine, who will never disagree with you, Krishna has that same nature. Actually that nature is originally there in Krishna. That's why we have such a nature. Krishna wants the association of livings beings who are serving Him, not because they are programmed to do so, but because they love Him. You see, love cannot exist unless it is voluntary. Therefore side by side the demoniac nature must exist, manifested by us when we choose not to serve Krishna. In the creation that you have proposed where nobody would have free will, love could not exist, and nobody therefore could ever be happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 19 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

How to Bring Peace to Our Troubled World?

How can we bring peace to a world that is currently experiencing more and more senseless violence from terrorism? Srila Prabhupada said that just as in a jungle there will be ferocious animals, in a society where everyone is an animal there will naturally be terrorists. Therefore the real solution for terrorism is to elevate the world population through proper education to the human platform. In this way terrorism will naturally diminish and gradually disappear. In other words, we have to teach everyone that they are not their bodies and that the human life is meant for self-realization. As long as people remain on the platform of eating, sleeping, mating, and defending the world will continue to be plagued by terrorism. Therefore we must educate everyone now in the perfect science of Krishna consciousness. In this way everyone will become perfect in love of God. They can keep their current designations as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. There is no harm. But they must come to a perfect understanding of what is the science of God. In this way we can all live together peacefully and happily on this planet.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada can bring peace to the entire world
Srila Prabhupada Can Bring Peace to the Entire World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Are We to Stop Doing Anything Except for Chanting?

When Krishna says "satatam kirtayanto mam", does He mean to say that we give up all activities and simply chant His names 24 hours a day, just like Srila Haridas Thakura? Is it that since our mind is not so much controlled and it will contemplate on sense objects (maybe due to lack of taste in chanting) even if we try to sit in a secluded place and chant all day long, we will become mere pretenders (as Krishna says in BG 3.6)? Is this the reason why Srila Prabhupada has instructed us to chant a minimum of 16 rounds and engage ourselves (and our mind) in other services for the remaining time?

Your servant,
Sushant K.

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Answer: Chant at Least 16 Rounds Daily and Engage in Service

Since we are not capable, due to our flickering minds, of full absorption in chanting Hare Krishna 24 hours a day, Srila Prabhupada has engaged us in many varieties of devotional activities in accordance with our natures in order to help us become fully absorbed in Krishna consciousness and thus qualified to enter into the spiritual world at the time of death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 18 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

How to Possess Krishna

The sweetest, most relishable form of Krishna is His original form, which is manifested exclusively in Vrindavana. It is here in Vrindavana that Krishna eternally has His most intimate pastimes with the topmost of His devotees. Any devotee who aspires to serve and associate with Krishna in this topmost of all abodes is welcome to do so provided he has the same mood of total surrender to Krishna as exhibited by the Vrajavasis, the inhabitants of Vrindavana. The Vrajavasis will do anything to please Krishna without any concern for their own personal happiness or unhappiness. They simply want to see that Krishna is totally pleased in all circumstances. Because of their mood of total devotion to Krishna, Krishna becomes their personal property.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Sri Krishna in Sri Vrindavana Dhama
Lord Sri Krishna in Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Stay Motivated?

I have started my journey in Krishna Consciousness more than a year ago. I understand the basics about who we are and what we need to do to connect with Krishna. However, the trouble is I can still see myself being caught in either of three modes most of the time (well mainly two: passion and ignorance). I feel like I am unable to do anything about it.

Note that I do regularly chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra daily on japa beads, visit temple once a week, and before eating offer my food to Krishna at least once a day.

Please enlighten me how to stay motivated in Krishna consciousness..

Raj S.

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Answer: Take Shelter and Initiation and Obey Orders of Sri Guru

In the Nectar of Devotion, Chapter Six, Srila Prabhupada, quoting Srila Rupa Goswami, says that the three most important things one should do for elevating himself to the platform of sadhana-bhakti, or devotional service in practice are:

1. Accept the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master

2. Become initiated by the spiritual master and learn how to discharge devotional service from him

3. Obey the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion

If you will now adopt these principles seriously in your spiritual life, you will always feel motivated and enthused in Krishna consciousness. You will become solidly situated in Krishna bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 17 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

When Anxiety Attacks You

When anxiety attacks you, when you are bewildered by unfortunate circumstances in this material world, take solace of the fact that nothing can happen without the sanction of Krishna and that He is always the well-wishing friend of all living beings including you. By keeping this thought in mind in times of trouble, you will be able to pass through the difficult times without losing your Krishna consciousness. Indeed you will be able to use difficult times to increase your Krishna consciousness. In this way you can capitalize or take advantage of bewildering situations to become stronger and happier in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada at Krishna Balarama Temple in Vrindavana
Srila Prabhupada at Krishna Balarama Temple in Vrindavana


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Should We Follow Krishna?

How to understand Krishna? Why should we follow Krishna? Because He is the Supreme? What do we need to do to follow Krishna? And where and when can we find Him?

Sunil P.

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Answer: Because He's the Supreme Personality of Godhead

We follow Krishna because He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the origin of everything and thus the owner of everything. Since everything is His property, everything is meant to be engaged in His service. Krishna describes very clearly in the Bhagavad-gita what we have to do to follow Him:

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."
Bhagavad-gita 9.34

He is found in the hearts of His devotees and in the sound of His holy names. If you will chant His holy names with love, you will personally experience Him within your heart and everywhere wherever you go.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 16 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

A Plea for Global Peace

The time has come for all human beings on planet earth and indeed throughout the entire universe to unite under the banner of Lord Caitanya's movement, the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. May all Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, atheists, and agnostics, etc. now become joined together in one huge loving global spiritual family based on this principle. This is what all the world leaders should now be pushing. Otherwise they should step down and let others who are pushing this agenda take the leading roles in their respective countries. This is the only hope for today's rapidly disintegrating human society. I pray that everyone will hear this plea and that they will accept it by the thousands, millions, and billions. If they do so, we will very soon have heaven on earth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Training the next generation how to lead the world
Training the Next Generation How to Lead the World
September 15, 2014--Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is It True That There Is Life After Death?

Is it true that there exists a life after death? How can we believe in that?

And the other question is: In the present day i.e., Kali yuga, it is said that the purpose of every life is to surrender to Krishna. If it is so, then why do we have these many stages in life like childhood (where there is complete innocence), then teenage (lots and lots of passion), then young age (engaged in money and settlement), marriage (a separate family life), old age (lots of love as well as pain), and finally death?

Monica K.

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Answer: Naturally the Eternal Self Survives Death of the Body

Since the real self, the soul, is eternal and the material body, which is a mere covering of the real self, is temporary, naturally the real self does not die when the body dies. One who revives his dormant Krishna consciousness will practically experience when he leaves his body that he will enter into the spiritual world and in his eternal spiritual body personally join Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His eternal, unlimitedly blissful transcendental pastimes.

For those who want to remain in illusion there are various types of illusion to keep them in ignorance at their different stages of life. But by the mercy of Krishna if one is fortunate enough to come into contact with a bona fide spiritual master, he can utilize any stage of life to liberate himself from the clutches of the material energy and thus become delivered from the vicious, miserable cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 15 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Teaching in Sri Vrindavana Dhama

On Sunday 14 September 2014 in Vrindavana I spoke to group of visitors from New Delhi, who had been invited to hear me by my disciple, Padmamalini devi dasi. I started my talk by explaining about the 8,400,000 species of life and how special is the human form because it is only in the human form that one can escape the cycle of birth and death. Pointing out how the modern human society has become lower than animals by not taking the pathway of self-realization, I strongly exhorted them to take the path of Krishna consciousness. What I said to them must have been blessed by Lord Krishna because it really clicked with them. They very enthusiastically joined with me in Hare Krishna kirtan and many of them purchased hard bound Bhagavad-gitas at the end of the program. May Hare Krishna kirtan and the books of Srila Prabhupada flood the entire universe continually like this.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


A Morning of Bliss--14 September 2014--Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Diving deep into Hare Krishna kirtan
Diving Deep Into Hare Krishna Kirtan


Promoting the Bhagavad-gita
Promoting the Bhagavad-gita


Many eager customers (eleven Bhagavad-gitas sold)
Many Eager Customers (Eleven Bhagavad-gitas Sold)


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Demigod Worshippers Devotees of Krishna?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

Thank you, Guru Maharaja, for giving profound answers to all my previous questions.

My next question is:

I heard in a Bhagavatam class that devotees of the devotees of Krishna are actually the devotees of Krishna. So in this sense, aren't demigod worshippers also the devotees of Krishna since the demigods are pure devotees of Krishna. Then why does Krishna declare the demigod worshippers to be less intelligent?

Please remove my ignorance and guide me with the right understanding.
Thanking you in anticipation.

Your servant,
Sushant K.

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Answer: They Are Less Intelligent Fools

Demigod worshippers are not devotees of Krishna because they do not worship the demigods as great devotees of Krishna. They instead worship them as independent gods for the fulfillment of their material desires. They are less intelligent because it is Krishna only who is the bestower of all benedictions, both material and spiritual. The demigods are only His assistants.

Although the demigods are great devotees they are not pure devotees. They are tinged with the desire to enjoy this material world. That's why they are here instead of in the spiritual world.

Devotees have no interest in worshipping the demigods. Their only interest is to fully surrender to Krishna. Therefore instead of them worshipping the demigods, the demigods worship them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 14 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Broadcasting the Beautiful Bhagavatam

There is nothing more ecstatic than the beautiful Srimad Bhagavatam. When it is spoken this purifies the heart of the speaker and the hearers. Indeed it is so powerful that the entire universe becomes purified. Therefore our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, instructed us that we must have a Srimad Bhagavatam class every morning. Those who cannot attend the class at their nearest ISKCON center due to time or location constraints can read the Srimad Bhagavatam on their own or with their family members. Or they can hear recordings of Srimad Bhagavatam classes or hear live classes via the Internet. In this way, by regularly hearing the Srimad Bhagavatam all that is troublesome to the heart becomes destroyed almost to nil, and pure devotional service to Lord Sri Krishna becomes established within one's heart as an irrevocable fact.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Giving Srimad Bhagavatam Class
Giving Srimad Bhagavatam Class---13 September 2014
Krishna Balarama Temple--Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

http://www.backtohome.com/images/2014/Fall/Vrindavan3.JPG


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Consciousness and Matter?

Gurudeva,

How can we keep harmonious relation between consciousness and matter?
Please enlighten me.

Your humble servant,

Anil S.

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Answer: Matter Connected Means Consciousness Awakened

By engaging all matter in the service of Krishna you will attain the topmost perfectional stage of consciousness known as Krishna consciousness. In other words, when matter is engaged in the service of Krishna there is perfect harmony between consciousness and matter, and one attains the platform of ultimate self realization. Conversely, when matter is not engaged in the service of Krishna one's real consciousness is covered by the cloud of maya and one is thus practically dead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 13 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Only a Pure Devotee Can Save Himself and Others

It is stated in Srimad Bhagavatam 5.5.18:

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syan na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum

"One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod."

And in the purport to this verse Srila Prabhupada explains, "Unless one is a pure devotee of Krishna, he cannot save himself from the path of repeated birth and death." Unless one can deliver himself from birth and death, how can he deliver others? Therefore unless one is a pure devotee one should not become a guru, a father, a mother, a husband, or any kind of leader. Where are the pure devotees today occupying these positions in society? They are nonexistent. Therefore the entire world is in chaos progressing quickly towards complete ruination.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The Topmost Pure Devotee, Who Can Deliver the Entire World
The Topmost Pure Devotee, Who Can Deliver the Entire World
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof That You Are a True Spiritual Master?

Hello Sir,

How can you prove that you are true spiritual master? I was following you for about year, but now I am very disappointed with ISKCON. I feel like I am being cheated. More and more proof has come that ISKCON is nonsense. Maybe you have something like mystical powers. You look energetic and have clear thinking. You talk nice things. But this does not convince me that you are a sincere spiritual master.

Have a good day,
Algirdas

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Answer: I'm Simply the Surrendered Servant of My Spiritual Master

My Dear Algirdas,

Thank you very much for so honestly revealing your heart to me regarding the doubts you have about me and about ISKCON. I can understand your doubtfulness because at one time I was also doubtful. You have raised two issues. One issue being me, and the issue being ISKCON.

First I will address the issue of ISKCON. ISKCON is a society based on Lord Sri Krishna's perfectly pure and powerful teachings found in the Bhagavad-gita, as well as the perfect instructions and example of our Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a spotlessly pure devotee of Lord Krishna who was sent by Krishna from the spiritual world to deliver the suffering souls of this world. ISKCON is like a hospital for curing the sick, materially contaminated people of this age. Because it is a hospital for the spiritually sick those of its members who have still not fully recovered from the contamination of the material world may sometimes act in ways that are not perfect. But just as the presence of sick people in a hospital does not meant that the hospital is bad, imperfect persons within ISKCON does not mean that ISKCON is bad. Therefore we kindly request you to tolerate whatever difficulties you may have experienced with some of the members of ISKCON and continue to take advantage of this greatest institution for delivering the fallen souls of this age back to home, back to Godhead.

Regarding my lowly self. I am nothing but the tiny, insignificant servant of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, a bona fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession coming from Lord Krishna as follows:

1. Krishna
2. Brahma
3. Narada
4. Vyasa
5. Madhva
6. Padmanabha
7. Nrhari
8. Madhava
9. Aksobhya
10. Jaya Tirtha
11. Jñanasindhu
12. Dayanidhi
13. Vidyanidhi
14. Rajendra
15. Jayadharma
16. Purusottama
17. Brahmanya Tirtha
18. Vyasa Tirtha
19. Laksmipati
20. Madhavendra Puri
21. Isvara Puri, (Nityananda, Advaita)
22. Lord Caitanya
23. Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana)
24. Raghunatha, Jiva
25. Krsnadasa
26. Narottama
27. Visvanatha
28. (Baladeva) Jagannatha
29. Bhaktivinoda
30. Gaurakisora
31. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
32. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Since he ordered me to become a spiritual master, it is my duty to do so regardless of whether I consider myself qualified or not. This is the duty of the disciple to humbly carry out to the best of his ability whatever instructions he has received from his spiritual master.

Mystical powers are not the qualification for becoming a bona fide spiritual master. The spiritual master's two qualifications are that he is a strict follower of the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita and that he purely presents the teachings of Lord Sri Krishna as given in the Bhagavad-gita without any adulteration. On the basis of these criteria you can decide whether or not I am a sincere, bona fide spiritual master. To make this judgment properly you must carefully study the Bhagavad-gita as it is. In this way you will have the proper intelligence to judge whether or not I am a bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 12 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Connecting With Krishna in Vrindavana Dhama

On Wednesday 11 September in Sri Vrindavana Dhama we took advantage of the cooler weather early in the morning to go with a group of my disciples on a transcendental boat ride on the Yamuna River. We had a super ecstatic kirtan, and then I explained how Krishna never leaves Vrindavana and how we can connect with Him through loving devotion and thus relish at every minute the unlimited nectar of His divine association.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Tasting the Bliss of Krishna Bhakti on the Yamuna River
Sri Vrindavana Dhama--10 September 2014


Ecstatic Mellifluous Hare Krishna kirtan
Ecstatic Mellifluous Hare Krishna Kirtan


Talking about that most amazing person named Krishna
Talking About That Most Amazing Person Named Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Relatives and Friends True Well-Wishers?

It is generally seen in this material world that when a person is passing through very terrible phase in life, all his relatives, friends, etc. leave him and even try to exploit him and give him more troubles. On the other hand, when the same person undergoes through pleasing situations and happy phase in life, all his known beings join his company.

So my question is that whom should we consider as our well-wishers and whom not?

Amit G.
New Delhi, India

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Answer: The Lord's Devotees Are Our Genuine Well-Wishers

Our true well-wishers are those who stick with us tightly through thick and thin always desiring to help us achieve life's ultimate goal of going back to home, back to Godhead, not those who are only interested in us when we are having material success and abandon us when we are facing material difficulties. The sad reality is that practically everyone in this material world is tinged with varying degrees of selfishness and exploitativeness. Therefore we should seek out and take complete shelter of our true well-wishers, the pure devotees of the Lord, whose only desire is to help us achieve life's ultimate goal.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 11 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

How to Meet and See Krishna Right Now

Srila Prabhupada explains as follows in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.51:

"When one becomes serious to follow the mission of the spiritual master, his resolution is tantamount to seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As explained before, this means meeting the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the instruction of the spiritual master. This is technically called vani-seva. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura states in his Bhagavad-gita commentary on the verse vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana (Bg. 2.41) that one should serve the words of the spiritual master. The disciple must stick to whatever the spiritual master orders. Simply by following on that line, one sees the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

From these poignant words of our most beloved ISKCON Founder-Acharya we can understand that full dedication to carrying out the instructions of Srila Prabhupada is personally meeting and seeing Krishna. Although this may not be understandable intellectually, it is practically realized by those who have fully absorbed themselves in following Srila Prabhupada's order that we must make the world Krishna conscious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada Blesses With An Instruction
Srila Prabhupada Blesses With An Instruction


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Use Vegetarianism for Delivering the World?

How should we use vegetarianism to lead people to Krishna Consciousness?

Please inspire me with your thoughts. I am very grateful to you for sharing your videos with everyone. It is surely a path to liberation.

Hare Krishna

L.P.

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Answer: Make Them Devotees by Prasadam Distribution

Vegetarianism in itself is useless. The monkeys are also vegetarian and they engage in so much monkey business. Here in Vrindavana they will even steal your glasses right off of your face. One has to be very careful with one's possessions when monkeys are around. However when vegetarian foods are offered to Krishna and become transformed into prasadam the situation is quite different. Srila Prabhupada confirms that by feeding people prasadam they will gradually become devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 10 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Pleasing Srila Prabhupada

One of the most powerful spiritual masters in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, established in the matter of eleven years -from 1966 through 1977 - an amazing movement that will go down in history for having brought about the greatest paradigm shift in the present age known as the Kali Yuga. This movement, known as the Krishna Consciousness Movement, was formally incorporated in New York in 1966 as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. It rapidly grew from one tiny storefront at 26 2nd Avenue in New York City, to a global spiritual juggernaut with more than 550 centers, including 60 farm communities, 50 schools and 90 restaurants. This entire movement is based on the simple principle of pleasing Srila Prabhupada. Just as when we water the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are nourished, in a similar way when we give our loving service to Krishna, we give our love to all living beings. The channel through which we give our love to Krishna is through the transparent via medium of the spiritual master. Therefore pleasing Srila Prabhupada is the perfection of our existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



26 2nd Ave, New York City--the Original ISKCON Center
26 2nd Ave, New York City--the Original ISKCON Center


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Ashram Life Required for Krishna Consciousness?

Thank you. The answers you give always clear away all the doubts. Thanks for your kind mercy on this fallen soul. I have some questions:

Is it possible for one to be always celibate living at home? Do the scriptures allow this? Is it necessary to live in an ashrama if one wants to be alone?

Or if one marries, can he remain celibate?

Your servant,

JND

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Answer: At Home or in the Temple

Anyone who aspires for spiritual perfection must become celibate either immediately or eventually. If you can completely give up sex life now, this will be most beneficial for your Krishna consciousness. Although living as a celibate monk in a Krishna conscious ashrama will be the most favorable atmosphere in which you can revive your Krishna consciousness, you can have a celibate Krishna conscious life at home either as a single man or a married man. By taking complete shelter of Krishna your heart will become free from lust, and thus you will be able to peacefully maintain celibacy. However, if you are married and your wife is desiring children, you should facilitate her desire by raising Krishna conscious children. This is as good as celibacy. But such sex must strictly be only for procreation, not for recreation, then it is spiritual. Otherwise it is mundane and will bind one to the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 9 September 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Who is this Krishna?

If someone challenges you, "Who is this Krishna?", what can you tell him? You can tell him that since we see that every machine requires an operator and since we see how the universe functions as a gigantic machine, we can understand scientifically that there must exist a supreme operator to run the universal machine. To find out who is that supreme operator is the goal of the human form of life. Since that supreme operator fully reveals Himself as Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, there is no need for to search endlessly for Him. You can know Him simply by studying the Bhagavad-gita and chanting the Hare Krishna mahamantra.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Radha and Krishna with the gopis
Radha and Krishna With the Gopis


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Autodidactic For Obtaining Material Knowledge?

Are guru, sadhu, and sastra (spiritual master, saintly persons, and scriptures) required to obtain material knowledge, or is being autodidactic or self-taught the best way of obtaining material knowledge at least in kali-yuga (the materialistic age of quarrel and hypocrisy)?

Please guide me.

Your servant,
Sushant K.

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Answer: Hear From Authority to Acquire Knowledge

The best way of acquiring knowledge both material and spiritual is by hearing from an authority, hearing from one who is expert in that particular department of knowledge.

Being autodidactic or teaching oneself is not the effective means of acquiring knowledge because if you don't know a particular subject, you cannot accurately teach yourself that subject.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 8 September 2014

from ISKCON New Delhi, India

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Today's Thought:

Hare Krishna Chanting is the Ultimate Love Feast

Everyone loves a feast. And the ultimate feast is chanting the holy names of God. How is this possible? When we partake of a feast there are so many varieties of tastes and sensations in the different preparations. And they give us much satisfaction and enjoyment. Since all of these tastes and sensations originate in Krishna they are all fully present in Krishna. And since Krishna is fully present in the sound vibration of His name, all tastes, pleasures, and sensations are also fully present in the two syllables Krish-na. Therefore those who carefully chant the Hare Krishna mantra every day with love are rewarded with a sweet taste for Krishna's name which makes chanting this amazing mantra the ultimate love feast.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Bhaktivinoda appearance day lecture
Bhaktivinoda Appearance Day Lecture
ISKCON New Delhi, India
7 September 2014


Initiation ceremony
Initiation Ceremony
ISKCON New Delhi, India
7 September 2014

Initiation ceremony


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Should I Bow Down to the Demigods?

What should I do if I'm passing by a temple of a demigod like Lord Shiva or Lord Ganesh or other deities? Should I respectfully honor them and stop by the temple to bow down or ignore the temples since demigod worship is forbidden?

Kartik P.

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Answer: Respect the Demigods and Surrender to Krishna

In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains as follows in the Nectar of Devotion:

"One should not neglect to offer due respect to the demigods. One may not be a devotee of demigods, but that does not mean that he should be disrespectful to them. For example, a Vaisnava is not a devotee of Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma, but he is duty-bound to offer all respects to such highly positioned demigods. According to Vaisnava philosophy, one should offer respect even to an ant, so then what is there to speak of such exalted persons as Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma?"

From Srila Prabhupada's statement we can understand that since the demigods are great devotees of Lord Krishna we can offer our respectful obeisances unto them. Although it is not necessary that we have to enter every demigod temple that we pass by, sometimes we can enter and offer our obeisances. However, the temple of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Sri Krishna should be visited at least twice daily in the morning and evening. If this is not practical, then at least once a day we should enter the temple of Lord Krishna and worship Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 7 September 2014

from ISKCON, New Delhi, India

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Today's Thought:

Stress Free Success

On Friday 5 September 2014 I gave a seminar called "Stress Free Success" at the Noida branch of Steria Corporation, a France-based international information technology company with over 20,000 employees. In the packed boardroom I explained to the employees that inner success is more important than outer success because inner success is permanent while outer success is only temporary. I taught the eager listeners that if they cultivate inner success, their outer success will follow like a shadow. And I cautioned them that if they only cultivate outer success, their life will ultimately meet with failure. There were so many wonderful questions at the end of my lecture that I was forced to go twenty minutes overtime to answer them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Stress Free Success Seminar at Steria Corporation
Noida, India--5 September 2014


Stress Free Success Seminar at Steria Corporation


Stress Free Success Seminar at Steria Corporation


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Spiritual Growth Depends on Piety?

Is a person's spiritual growth in any way dependent on pious and impious activities?

Your Servant,

Abhay Charan das

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Answer: Eagerness for Krishna is More Important

Piety is helpful to make one open to Krishna consciousness. But a most sinful person can take to Krishna consciousness before a pious person if he is eager to become Krishna conscious. Remember the thief who went to Vrindavan to steal Krishna’s jewels? He was so eager to see Krishna to steal His jewels. But when he finally saw Krishna he became a pure devotee.

The following verse makes this point very clear:

krsna-bhakti-rasa-bhavita matih
kriyatam yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukrtair na labhyate

"Pure devotional service in Krishna consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price-that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.”

Once one accepts the path of bhakti, he must be pious, following the regulative principles and not engaged in the impiety of breaking the regulative principles. But it is not that simply by piety one can awaken pure love of God within in the heart. It is by intensely calling out to the Lord with love that attracts His mercy for the awakening of prema bhakti within the heart. In short, piety is required, but one must go beyond piety. Piety will establish one in the mode of goodness. But the mode of goodness will not liberate one from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 6 September 2014

from ISKCON--New Delhi, India

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Today's Thought:

When Material Life Becomes Intolerable

Sometimes when the miseries of material life become more than you can handle instead of allowing yourself to become depressed or even suicidal you should thank Krishna for giving you such a stark reminder that this material world is not your real home. In this way instead of becoming bewildered you can immediately come bouncing back to the eternal realm of ever-increasing bliss which can be found there within your heart in your eternal loving relationship with Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotees chant Hare Krishna in Ecstasy
Devotees Chant Hare Krishna in Ecstasy


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Humility and Low Self-Esteem?

Is there any essential difference between humility and low self-esteem? It seems that the dividing line between the two is very thin. How do we understand both and apply in our practical life?

Your servant,
Sushant K.
India.

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Answer: The Truly Humble Have the Highest Self-Esteem

There is a gulf of difference between humility and low self-esteem. Those who possess the highest self-esteem are those truly humble persons who realize that they are not their bodies that they are instead the eternal spirit-soul servitors of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who possess the lowest self-esteem are those proud rascals who foolishly consider the self to be a rotting bag of blood, flesh, stool, urine, and vomit. Therefore if you want to enjoy the highest, most perfect self-esteem you should fully surrender yourself unto Lord Sri Krishna through the transparent via medium of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 5 September 2014

from ISKCON New Delhi, India

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Today's Thought:

Back in the Holy Land!

It is our greatest good fortune to be back here in the holy land of India, the favorite place of Lord Krishna in this universe and the home of countless great sages over many thousands and thousands of years. Coming in for a landing in at the New Delhi airport was a wonderful feeling of returning to my spiritual motherland. I am delighted that I will be absorbed here in Krishna consciousness for the next 5 five weeks.

We are starting off our pilgrimage here in the capital, New Delhi, where I will be giving a series of lectures as follows:

5th September: Steria (India) Limited, Sector - 135, Noida.
3 to 4 PM. Lecture to Steria Employees on "Stress-free Success".

6th September: ISKCON Temple, Noida.
8 AM. Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture

6th September: ISKCON Temple, Sant Nagar, East of Kailash, Delhi
3 to 4 PM. Lecture in Brahmacari Ashrama: "Vaisnava Aparadha."

7th September: ISKCON Temple, Sant Nagar, East of Kailash, Delhi.
8 AM. Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture followed by Initiation ceremony.

7th September: ISKCON Girls Forum, Noida.
4 to 6 PM. Lecture: "Search for Happiness."

And then on Monday 8 September we will head out to Sri Vrindavana, the ultimate abode. We will be staying there for an entire month.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



ISKCON New Delhi East of Kailash Temple
ISKCON New Delhi East of Kailash Temple


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Are We Broad-Minded or Narrow-Minded? 

Hare Krishna Srila Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances at your lotus feet.
All glories to unto you and Srila Prabhupada.

The outside world constantly talks about being broad-minded. Spiritual seekers are often stamped as being very narrow-minded. I would like to know from you the true scriptural meaning of being broad-minded. Does it mean accepting everything and not criticizing anyone's actions? In the material world, people often say they are open and that they accept everything. But actually they are closed to just yet another opinion.

Kindly requesting your clarity on this as I'm confused between simultaneously being broad-minded and strict with principles.

Your aspiring servant,
Divyapriya

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Answer: Only the Knower of Krishna is Truly Broadminded

Broad-minded means to have perfect understanding of everything. This state of consciousness is achieved by who one knows Krishna. Therefore the broad-minded person is the one who knows Krishna and the narrow-minded person is the one who does not know Krishna. This is confirmed in the Mundaka Upanisad 1.3 as follows:

yasmin vijñate sarvam evam vijñatam bhavati

"One knows Krishna knows everything."

If someone claims to be broad-minded but they reject Krishna, their claim to broad-mindedness is false. It is not that by accepting Krishna one becomes narrow-minded. Rather it is just the opposite. One does not become truly broad-minded until he accepts Krishna.

Strict principles are for the neophyte devotees to help them get free from the disease of material sense gratification and achieve the perfectional broad-minded stage of Krishna consciousness. This is like being on a strict diet while one is recovering from a disease. These strict principles of sadhana bhakti are required to one help achieve the broad-minded platform of Krishna consciousness. The liberated souls are on the platform of spontaneous love. Although they follow strict principles to set the proper example for the neophytes, they do not require to be under strict principles for they are fully cured from the material disease.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 4 September 2014

from London, England

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Today's Thought:

Spiritual Master's Words are Disciple's Life and Soul

Srila Prabhupada explains as follows in his purport to Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi Lila, Chapter 7, Text 72:

"Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja comments in this connection, 'One can become perfectly successful in the mission of his life if he acts exactly according to the words he hears from the mouth of his spiritual master.' This acceptance of the words of the spiritual master is called srauta-vakya, which indicates that the disciple must carry out the spiritual master's instructions without deviation. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks in this connection that a disciple must accept the words of his spiritual master as his life and soul. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu here confirms this by saying that since His spiritual master ordered Him only to chant the holy name of Krishna, He always chanted the Hare Krishna mahamantra according to this direction."

Therefore if we will follow the perfect example of Lord Caitanya by being fully obedient to the orders of our spiritual master, our spiritual perfection is guaranteed. Indeed, it is already there.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada instructs his disciples
Srila Prabhupada Instructs His Disciples


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How is There a Disciplic Succession from Arjuna?

Respected HG Sankarshan Das Adhikari Prabhuji,

Hare Krishna,

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

I am a thirteen year old girl in Sacramento and I have recently (four weeks) subscribed to your e-course.

As I was reading the introduction of Bhagavad-gita As It Is, it was stated on page 4 : "Here the Lord clearly tells Arjuna that He is making him the first receiver of a new parampara (disciplic succession) because the old succession was broken. It was the Lord's wish therefore to establish another parampara in the same line of thought coming down from the sun god to others, and it was His wish that His teachings be distributed anew by Arjuna."

Please help me understand the following: I think that according to this passage, all the acharyas who have appeared after Arjuna are in Arjuna's disciplic succession, since at that time , Krishna did not give instructions to anyone else. However, when we look into the list of gurus and disciples on page 34 of the Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, we see that the name of Arjuna is not mentioned anywhere. This is contradicting the passage in the introduction.

I am confused, and I would appreciate it if you could clarify this point.

Hari bol,

Your servant,
Arati Dasi

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Answer: All of Krishna's Devotees are Followers of Arjuna

I am most happy to hear that you have joined our e-course. I hope that you find it helpful for the development of your Krishna consciousness.

Even though Arjuna's name is not mentioned in the list of our disciplic succession coming from Lord Brahma, we and all of our acharyas are in the disciplic succession of Arjuna because we are all following in his footsteps by surrendering ourselves to Krishna. Anyone who surrenders to Krishna is in the disciplic succession of Arjuna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 3 September 2014

from Timisoara, Romania

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Today's Thought:

Bringing the Rascal Tongue Under Control

Of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable. And when one's tongue is uncontrolled, all of his senses become uncontrolled. Uncontrolled tongue means speaking all kinds of nonsense and eating all kinds of nonsense. And even for a devotee who restricts himself to eating only Krishna prasadam, uncontrolled tongue means eating more than is required to keep himself healthy and fit.

So how does one bring his rascal tongue under control? The first thing is that he has to be serious about awakening his dormant Krishna consciousness. Then he must sincerely beg Krishna to help him bring his senses under control while simultaneously endeavoring to the best of his ability to keep his senses - especially his mind - always nicely absorbed in Krishna consciousness. In this way by meekly begging for the Lord's mercy and sincerely endeavoring to the best of his ability, he will gradually become a master of the senses, a goswami, and will be liberated from the hellish position of being a godasa, a slave of his senses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The six goswamis of Vrindavan
The Six Goswamis of Vrindavana Perfectly Controlled Their Senses by Always Staying Absorbed in Hearing and Chanting About Krishna.


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: If a Girl Wants to Take Sannyasa?

In India if any girl wants to be a brahmacari (celibate monk) or want to take sannyasa, can she do this?

Your servant,
Sachchidanand

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Answer: Women Require Protection

Since unprotected women are always exploited by unscrupulous men, it is always better for a woman to be protected by a Krishna conscious man. Of course, if there is a proper arrangement in a temple for there to be a protected ladies ashrama for single women, it can be possible for a woman to remain as a brahmacarini, a lifelong single women. But even then such women sometimes become objects of exploitation. This is why the Vedic culture recommends that every woman should be married.

While a woman can remain a brahmacarini if there a proper arrangement for her protection, the sannyasa order, which means no material protection, is not given to women for the very reason that they must always be protected.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 2 September 2014

from Timisoara, Romania

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Today's Thought:

Radhastami--Appearance Day of Srimati Radharani

Today is the appearance day of our most beloved spiritual mother, Srimati Radharani. There is no one who is more attracted to Krishna than Radharani. Therefore she is the topmost of all of Krishna's devotees. Anyone who is serious about attaining pure love of Krishna humbly begs the mercy of Radharani to be successful in awakening the dormant love of Krishna, which is currently lying dormant with their heart. How wonderful is Srimati Radharani! How merciful is Srimati Radharani! There is no one more merciful than her. Mother Radharani, please help awaken our pure love for your most beloved Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Radha and Krishna's mirror pastime
Radha and Krishna's Mirror Pastime


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Overcome Self-Centeredness?

How to overcome the feeling of self-centeredness?

Lipsa T.

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Answer: Always Try to Please Krishna and Your Spiritual Master

By always trying to please Krishna and your spiritual master by your thoughts, words, and deeds at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 1 September 2014

from Timisoara, Romania

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Today's Thought:

Teaching the Science of Bhakti in Romania

We have now arrived in Timisoara, Romania where I will be teaching the science of bhakti for several days before we move on to Delhi, India where I will be doing the same. We have to take over the world for Krishna as soon as possible because the demoniac forces are now becoming morepowerful than ever on this planet. Only the Krishna consciousness movement has the potency to save the human civilization from a total collapse into anarchy. Everyone is starving for Krishna consciousness. We simply have the snap them out of the spell of Maya in which they have been entrapped for millions of lifetimes. Sweet kirtan, potent philosophy, delicious prasadam, and tons of loving kindness will do the job of saving them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Introducing Romanians to Krishna Consciousness
Introducing Romanians to Krishna Consciousness
Timisoara, Romania--31 August 2014


Eager Hearers in Timisoara, Romania
Eager Hearers in Timisoara, Romania


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Happens When a Person is in a Coma?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

What does it mean when a person gets into a coma and is about to die? I don't know where I read it or heard it, but it seems that such a person is about to enter the animal kingdom and his coma state is his unwillingness to enter into an animal body.

Kindly clarify and please explain on the coma stage.

Thanking you.

I beg to remain your humble servant.
Kesaven

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Answer: He's Scared to Death of His Next Birth

What you have heard or read is correct. Srila Prabhupada explains as follows in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.29.76-77:

"One who acts like a dog or hog in the present body will certainly be forced to accept the body of a dog or hog in the next life. A person may be enjoying the body of a prime minister or a president, but when he understands that he will be forced to accept the body of a dog or hog, he chooses not to leave the present body. Therefore he lies in a coma many days before death. This has been experienced by many politicians at the time of death."

Therefore we should not act like dogs and hogs, living only for sense gratification. We should focus of our lives on attaining pure love for God. In this way we will not linger in a coma in our present material body due to fear of our next birth. Rather we will joyfully leave behind our present lump of blood and flesh eagerly for regaining Krishna's eternal association in His transcendental, full luminous spiritual abode.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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