Thought for the Day

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

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His Divine Grace
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Swami Prabhupada

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His Grace Sriman
Sankarshan Das Adhikari

Thursday 26 March 2015

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

Today's Thought:

Celebrating the Miseries of Material Existence

Even though we bemoan them, we are all indeed fortunate that there are so many miseries here in this material world, because they all serve as poignant reminders that this material world is not our actual home. If it were not for these potent miseries we would be content to remain perpetually in this world so far apart from Krishna, thus doing the greatest disservice to ourselves. Therefore instead of lamenting that we must suffer here in so many ways, we should be very happily celebrating that Lord Sri Krishna, through the agency of His material energy, is giving us so much mercy. It is very easy to say this, but very difficult to practice it. However, by diving deep into the sweet transcendental ocean of Krishna consciousness this will eventually be fully realized. One can pray fervently to Krishna that this day may come soon.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


 



Krishna Constantly Bestows Unlimited Blessings Upon Us


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Krishna Fall Under Maya?

We are parts and parcels of Krishna. It is said that we don't have any qualities and characteristics that Krishna does not have, or else we would have something more than Him, which is impossible. He is the source of everything. So if we have the tendency to fall under the influence of the external potency, it must be there in Krishna too? If not, how is it possible that we have something which is not sourced in Krishna? If so, how does He manifest it, as we know that He never falls under the influence of maya? Please shed light on this.

Your eternal servant,

Pundarika Vidyanidhi das

Answer: Krishna Enters Maya's Kingdom As Her Master

Just as the ordinary citizen may enter the prison, the king may also enter the prison. The difference is that the citizen is confined to the prison for breaking the law while the king sometimes enters the prison to pardon a prisoner. Similarly, Krishna can enter into Maya's kingdom, but He does so as the master of Maya, not the slave of Maya like us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 25 March 2015

En route to Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

Today's Thought:

Don't Be an Idiot

The material society wants you to be a complete idiot who spends his entire life serving his senses under its misguidance only to be rewarded with nothing but death. So what are you going to do? Are you going to succumb to their brainwash propaganda and serve your senses, or are you are going to serve your real self-interest by engaging your senses in the service of the Supreme Person and thus escape the prison of material existence? The choice is yours.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Awaits Your Return to His Abode


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Depend on Astrology or Krishna?

I am chanting sixteen rounds of Hare Krishna mantra japa mala every day for the past six years and attending bhakti vriksha classes, taking bhakti shastri training, and attending temple programs. I have a doubt whether devotees should follow astrology or they should just totally depend on Krishna. Two astrologers told me that my future is not good. I will not get married soon. (Already it is too late.) If by chance I get married, my married life will not be good. They told me to do some puja and fasting. They told me to worship the nine planets and do puja and fasting for them. What should I do in this situation?

As I am attending so many classes and programs, my mind is not accepting to do all those rituals. My mind is telling that just depend on Krishna. He will take care of you. But my mother and brother are forcing me to do all those rituals.

I think I have bad karma from my previous births. That's why I am suffering like this. Should I totally depend on Krishna? Or should I follow the instructions of these two astrologers? Please enlighten me in this matter.

Thanks.

Hare Krishna!

G. C.

Answer: Just Depend on Krishna

Just depend on Krishna. Regarding astrology, Srila Prabhupada wrote to his disciple Devamaya as follows:

"Regarding astrology, you should not listen to any of these so-called astrologers -- strictly avoid. Don't even see them. What is the use of seeing them? Astrology is meant for the materialist, but a spiritualist does not care for the future. Everything is dependent upon Krishna. So where is the necessity of astrology? The devotees' principle is, let there happen anything as Krishna desires. Let me remain sincere devotee, that's all. Pure devotee is never interested in this astrology.”

Whatever bad karma you have will taken away when you accept initiation from the bona fide spiritual master. Therefore forget this astrology business and simply take complete shelter of Guru and Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 24 March 2015

from Copenhagen, Denmark

Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories of Copenhagen

Our stopover in Copenhagen, Denmark from 19 through 23 March 2015 was short but super sweet. I gave seven lectures; plus I was interviewed by a Christian magazine. The Sunday Feast lecture was especially relishable. There was a nice, super-interested crowd who responded well to every point I made. A Muslim lady also attended the program along with her son. So I emphasized in my lecture that one can chant either the name of Allah or the name of Krishna. After the lecture my wife, Vishnupriya devi dasi, sat and preached to the Muslim lady who turned out to be very receptive asking many sincere questions. We look forward to our return visit to Copenhagen next year around the same time.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




ISKCON Copenhagen Sunday Feast Lecture--23 March 2015


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Benefit from Chanting Japa on a Clicker?

Hare Krishna.

Please accept my humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I want to know that, as we saw the devotees are chanting with clicker machine, what profit they will get by chanting with clicker?

Your servant,
S. Caitanya das




Clickers Are For Chanting Japa?
Clickers Are Not for Chanting Japa


Answer: Prabhupada Did Not Ask Us To Chant 1,728 Clicks

Thank you very much for your sincere inquiry to get a clear understanding of how we are supposed to properly practice Krishna consciousness.

Because Krishna's name is absolute any chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra is good. Whether one counts his mantras on japa beads or a clicker or does not count them at all, it is all beneficial. However, since Srila Prabhupada has ordered us to chant Hare Krishna round the beads, to fulfill our daily vow of chanting at least sixteen rounds, this has to be done on japa beads, not on a clicker. Any mantras chanted on a clicker do not count towards fulfilling our vow to chant at least sixteen rounds daily. Sixteen rounds is sixteen times 108 repetitions of the Hare Krishna mantra, which comes to 1,728 repetitions of the Hare Krishna mantra. Therefore some misinformed devotees have speculated a conclusion that as an alternative to chanting on beads they can instead do 1,728 clicks on a clicker to fulfill their daily sixteen rounds vow. But this is not true. Round means around the beads. You can't go around a clicker, but you can go around a string of japa beads. Not only did Srila Prabhupada instruct us to chant round the beads. He also handed us japa beads at the time of initiation. There is no instance of his handing a clicker to someone at the time of initiation. We vowed to Srila Prabhupada to chant at least sixteen rounds daily, not 1,728 clicks. So in accordance with our vows to the spiritual master we must chant our daily sixteen rounds on japa beads, not on a clicker.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Taught Us to Chant on Japa Beads

 

Monday 23 March 2015

from Copenhagen, Denmark

Today's Thought:

Onwards to Sri Vrindavana Dhama

After a most wonderful and delightful few days of teaching the science of Krishna in Copenhagen, today we are heading for the holiest of all places in the universe, Sri Vrindavana Dhama. We are going to be staying for several weeks in the place where 5,000 years ago Lord Sri Krishna displayed His intimate loving pastimes with the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Where is there a fortune greater than this, to be living in the very place of Lord Sri Krishna's transcendental pastimes? Every particle of dust in Vrindavana is more valuable than the vast wealth in the treasury of Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods in the heavenly planets.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sri Vrindavana Dhama--The Holiest Place in the Universe
Map of Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Raganuga and Prema Bhakti?

Dear Srila Gurudeva

Please accept my humble obeisance. All Glories to you and to Srila Prabhupada.

What is the difference between Raganuga Sadhana Bhakti and Prema Bhakti? My understanding was that the advancing stages can be listed like this:

Vaidhi Sadhana Bhakti
Raganuga Sadhana Bhakti
Bhava Bhakti
Prema Bhakti

Srila Prabhupada writes in his books many times that the Vraja Vasis were raganuga bhaktas. He also writes that they were prema bhaktas. So what is the difference between Raganuga Sadhana Bhakti and Prema Bhakti? If there is no difference, then please point out the defect in my understanding of the advancing stages listed above.

Thank you.

Your servant
Madhavananda Das

Answer: Perfection and Following a Perfect Brijabasi

Your question is clearly answered in the Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya Lila, Chapter 22, Text 154 as follows:

virajantim abhivyaktam
vraja-vasi-janadisu
ragatmikam anusrta
ya sa ragnugocyate

“Devotional service in spontaneous love is vividly expressed and manifested by the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Devotional service that accords with their devotional service is called raganuga bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of spontaneous loving service."

The devotional service manifested by the inhabitants of Vrindavana is called prema bhakti or ragatmika bhakti. And the devotional service that follows in the wake of prema bhakti is called raganuga bhakti. This is also described in the Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya Lila, Chapter 22, Text 149 as follows:

ragatmika-bhakti—‘mukhya’ vraja-vasi-jane
tara anugata bhaktira ‘raganuga’-name

“The original inhabitants of Vrindavana are attached to Krishna spontaneously in devotional service. Nothing can compare to such spontaneous devotional service, which is called ragatmika bhakti. When a devotee follows in the footsteps of the devotees of Vrindavana, his devotional service is called raganuga bhakti."

The stages of bhakti are described as follows in the Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 23.14–15:

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-
sango ‘tha bhajana-kriya
tato ‘nartha-nivrttih syat
tato nistha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas
tatah premabhyudañcati
sadhakanam ayam premnah
pradurbhave bhavet kramah

"In the beginning there must be faith. Then one becomes interested in associating with pure devotees. Thereafter one is initiated by the spiritual master and executes the regulative principles under his orders. Thus one is freed from all unwanted habits and becomes firmly fixed in devotional service. Thereafter, one develops taste and attachment. This is the way of sadhana-bhakti, the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles. Gradually emotions intensify, and finally there is an awakening of love. This is the gradual development of love of Godhead for the devotee interested in Krishna consciousness."

Raganuga sadhana bhakti is not for the neophytes. One has to be a pure devotee to practice raganuga sadhana bhakti. It is not that a devotee who is still contaminated by lust, greed, anger, and envy can engage in this type of bhakti. Such neophytes should engage in vaidhi-bhakti by following the orders of the spiritual master so that they can be gradually elevated to the asakti platform, the bhava platform, and ultimately the prema platform.

At the stage of asakti (attachment) one is still within the realm of sadhana. But at this stage he has realized what is his eternal relationship with Krishna. This is confirmed by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to Narada Bhakti Sutra 2 as follows:

"Every living entity is eternally related to the Supreme Lord, and this relationship may be in any one of many transcendental humors. At the stage called asakti, attachment, a person can understand his relationship with the Supreme Lord. When he understands his position, he begins reciprocating with the Lord. By constant reciprocation with the Lord, the devotee is elevated to the highest stage of love of Godhead, prema.”

At this asakti stage the devotee practices raganuga sadhana bhakti which then elevates him to bhava bhakti and from there to prema bhakti, the perfectional stage. Regarding bhava bhakti and prema bhakti, Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to CC Madhya 23.13 as follows:

"Bhava-bhakti is the first seed of love of Godhead. This emotional stage is there before one attains pure love. When that emotional stage intensifies, it is called prema-bhakti, or transcendental love of Godhead.”

It is not that after he reaches the asakti stages and engages in raganuga sadhana bhakti following in the footsteps of an inhabitant of Vrindavana that he abandons serving his spiritual master. He forever remains the completely sold out servant of his initiating spiritual master. This is confirmed as follows by Srila Prabhupada in his description of the guru/disciple relationship:

"He lives forever by his divine instructions and the follower lives with him.”
—from the Srimad Bhagavatam Dedication

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 22 March 2015

from Copenhagen, Denmark

Today's Thought:

Put God Back in the Center

The present day world civilization is gradually disintegrating into total chaos due to its not having God in the center. People either deny God's existence or use Him as a tool to facilitate their own concentrated or extended self-centered lifestyle. This deficiency of non-God-centeredness simply does not work. With no center to hold things together we are every day moving step by step closer and closer to total anarchy. The Krishna consciousness movement is giving the real solution for this collapsing world civilization quagmire. Those who are intelligent will accept this solution and adopt it wholeheartedly, while those who are fools and rascals will reject it and continue to contribute every day to the demise of human civilization.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Teaches How to Put God Back in the Center


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can There Be Envy in the Spiritual World?

Respected Gurudeva,

So far as I understand envy is a product of Maya or illusion. Since Maya doesn't exist in Vaikuntha, the spiritual world, then how can jiva, the living being, become envious of God?

Thanks for your guidance.

Saurabh

Answer: There Is No Envy in the Spiritual World

It is a fact that envy does not exist in the spiritual world, the Vaikuntha world. If envy arises in the heart of living being, which happens due his misuse of his independence, he is already in the material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 21 March 2015


from Copenhagen, Denmark

Today's Thought:

Sign Installed at Austin Hare Krishna Land

Thanks to my disciple Atmamedha Das, an expert artist from ISKCON Kaunas, Lithuania who skillfully designed the sign, there is now a beautiful, informative sign at our newly acquired Hare Krishna Land in Austin, Texas USA. Now anyone who drives by our land on Ida Ridge Drive will be invited to our weekly program here at this auspicious site. We hope that thousands of people will be attracted to come and chant, dance, and feast with us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sign Being Installed at Austin Hare Krishna Land



The Sacred Hare Krishna Land Awaits a Temple



Close Up of Austin Hare Krishna Land Sign

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can I Serve You?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

How can I serve You?

Your servant,
Kamile

Answer: Become Pure Devotee and Deliver the Fallen Souls

I want you to become a completely pure devotee of Krishna and to fully absorb your life in delivering the fallen, conditioned souls of this material world back to home, back to Godhead. If you can do these two things, I will be absolutely delighted with you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 20 March 2015

From Copenhagen, Denmark

Today's Thought:

Do You Want to Taste the Bliss?

Do you want to taste the real, unlimitedly sweet bliss of your existence? Are you tired of the up and down rocky road of material existence on which you experience happiness and distress, thrill and boredom, honor and dishonor, poverty and wealth, sickness and health, with emphasis on the negative side of things most of the time? It you want to taste the real bliss, the solution is very simple. All you have to do is absorb yourself as much as possible in chanting the holy names of God. Try it; you'll love it. Don't punish yourself by neglected the unlimitedly auspicious boon of the holy names of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Diving Deep into the Nectar of Hare Krishna in London


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Krishna Forcing Us to Love Him?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I have one doubt in the context of Lesson 196 in your e-course: You are saying that the jiva has the independence to love or not to love Krishna. The Lord does not want to force love on us. But at the same time it is also stated that if a jiva chooses not to love, he is not allowed to stay in Vaikuntha and is sent to the material world that is full of misery. How then can we say that the Lord is not forcing us to love him? The real freedom would mean that we are allowed to stay in Vaikuntha whether or not we love God, or else God is like any other king, who is always right and his citizens have to follow his rules or else they are expelled or executed. Please forgive me if I have asked an offending question, but I really have this doubt.

Nitin Mehendale

Answer: Love Cannot Be Forced

There is no such thing as forcing someone to love you. Krishna gives us His love with the hope that we will reciprocate love with Him. When the jiva becomes envious of Krishna, it is the jiva's desire to not be in a place where Krishna is the Supreme, to be instead in a place where the jiva can consider himself to be God. So Krishna fulfills the jiva's desire by giving him a place where he can consider himself to be the Supreme. Since the jiva is unhappy in the Vaikuntha world, the spiritual world, Krishna kindly gives him a place that will satisfy his desire.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 19 March 2015

from London, UK

Today's Thought:

The Only Solution for the World's Problems

We hear many people giving their opinions as to what will solve the world's problems, and we certainly applaud them for thinking in terms of what will benefit the entire human society. But the fact of the matter is that unless we penetrate to the root cause of the world's problems, any solution that we may implement will have benefits that are at best only temporary. Just as an electric lamp produces no light if it is not plugged into electricity, in a similar way because the present global society is unplugged from its source, it is totally enveloped in darkness. That source is the Supreme Person, who is described in all revealed scriptures and who is personally experienced at every minute by those who have awakened their inner consciousness, their Krishna consciousness. Only when the world society harmonizes itself with that Supreme Person by hearing, understanding, and following His teachings as He so clearly reveals them in the Bhagavad-gita, will there emerge a world society in which all people can be peaceful and happy.

Until then everyone must suffer like anything. Isn't it a pity? So now do something about it. Please help us save the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada and Disciples Offering a Global Solution


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: We Are God. Correct Me If I Am Wrong.

I have read your post that we are not God, and I have a doubt about this.

That we are all God is the essence of advaita (non-dual) philosophy. Advaita (non-duality) is on the spiritual level, not on the physical level. For example even though all humans are different having unique personalities, they are one because they are all humans. Another example is that of the supreme court and the normal court. Although physically there is difference, internally they are the same because the basic quality of all courts is to give justice.

Similarly while we and God are different on the physical level, how we are different on the spiritual level? So I feel that we are all one of the spiritual level and different on the physical level.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Thank you,
Uday

Answer: Qualitatively God--Quantitatively Not God.

God is different from us both physically and spiritually. Regarding the physical level, when Krishna was here on this earth 5,000 years ago, once He reached His teenage years He maintained the body of a 16-year-old youth throughout His entire timespan on this planet of 125 years. We are not able to that. We are forced to age by the laws of material nature. Krishna, not being under the laws of material nature, is completely free to do whatever He pleases without any restraints.

And spiritually there is also a gulf of difference. In essence we are all spiritual. We are not material. These material bodies are just coverings of our actual unique spiritual identities. Krishna is the Complete Whole. All of existence is present within Him. And we are the tiny parts and parcels of that Complete Whole. Krishna is like the fire, and we are like the sparks. The qualities of heat and light are present in both, but the quantity is vastly different. You can cook a meal on a fire, but you cannot do so on a spark.

Lord Caitanya taught the sublime philosophy which is combination of dualism (dvaita) and non-dualism (advaita). His philosophy is called acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, that the Absolute Truth is simultaneously one and different. This can be understood in the following way:

God is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. We are also eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge. Therefore qualitatively we are God.

But God is also the supplier of all the necessities of all the living beings. God is the maintainer, and we are the maintained. You cannot say that you are feeding all living beings throughout all of existence. Only God can do this. Therefore, quantitatively we are not God.

It is just like a drop of water and the ocean. The drop of ocean water is also ocean. But is not THE ocean. It is qualitatively one with the ocean because the chemical composition of the drop and the chemical composition of the entire ocean is the same. But quantitatively there is a gulf of difference. You can float a battleship on the ocean, but you cannot float it on a drop of water.

You will realize your relationship with God not by thinking that you are God. You will only realize your qualtiative oneness with God when you realize that quantitatively you are very tiny and He is very, very great. You are His eternal servant. When you fully absorb yourself in His service, then you are liberated.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 18 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Srila Prabhupada Revived Me

Previously I was a dead man lost in the land of delusion consumed by confusion in profusion. I wanted to find life's answers, but being misguided by so many false teachers I had no idea why I existed and what was my life's duty. I wanted to do the highest good for the pitiably suffering world society, but I had not a clue of what that highest good would actually be. In the midst of all this chaos came a great saintly teacher, His Holiness Vishnujana Swami, who helped me to understand what is the Absolute Truth and how to fully realize it through the ultimate science known as Krishna consciousness and who introduced me to his spiritual master, the greatest of all saintly teachers, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Awestruck by the magical potency of Vishnujana Swami to elevate people to the transcendental platform by his heart-melting singing, awesome spiritual strength, cool wit, incredibly delicious cooking, super attractive story telling, deep humility, amazing simplicity, spiritual beauty, powerful and highly intellectual philosophy, stellar austerity, and poignantly compassionate loving dealings and also understanding from where he got this potency, I became attracted to and decided to also become a disciple of his spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. This was undoubtedly the smartest decision that I have ever made in my unlimited millions and billions of lifetimes of sojourn here in this ungodly material existence. Now I am swimming in an ocean of unlimited spiritual happiness known as the Krishna consciousness movement, and we are inviting the whole world to join us. Come on in, the water's oh so fine. What are you waiting for? The time is now to be who you really are. You are Krishna's eternal servant. Now you just have realize it by being it once again.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada--Spiritual Master of the Universe


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Motivates You to Serve This Mission?

I am very much thankful to you for your quick responses to my queries. I know you are a traveling preacher, and despite being so busy you take questions from people like us from any corner of the world. What motivates you so much to do it all?

When I get your answer, the desire to ask more question develops again and in that sequence, I have following question to ask you :

What is the relevance of bells at worship places: temple, churches, etc.?

Your servant,

Abhishek K.

Answer: A Burning Desire to Make the World Happy

I am motivated in this service of trying to educate the entire human society in the science of Krishna because this is the only thing that can bring genuine peace, happiness, and prosperity to the suffering world population. I can’t tolerate seeing the disintegration of the world culture. This planet is becoming more and more of a hell every day. Life is not supposed to be this way. The world society is sick and Srila Prabhupada has given the medicine how to cure it. Therefore my entire life, until my last dying breath, is dedicated to convincing the whole world to follow the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. And if Krishna wants me to take birth after birth in this world to serve the mission, I am ready. It's not that I am separated from Krishna. He is fully present in the form of His holy name and in Srila Prabhupada's order to make the whole world Krishna conscious.

Bells rung in the glorification of the Lord are very auspicious.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 17 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Kirtan and Feast at Austin Hare Krishna Land

On Sunday evening 15 March 2015 we had our first program at ISKCON Austin's newly acquired most wonderful property, Austin Hare Krishna Land. It was such a thrilling, magical, mystical experience to be a part of the inaugural program at Hare Krishna Land. I was visualizing how one day on this now sacred ground there will there a beautiful temple. There was such a wonderful feeling in our hearts as we all chanted Hare Krishna for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. We progressed from a sitting kirtan to a chanting and dancing kirtan. Even though as the moments went by it became darker and darker with the sun majestically setting in the western sky, as we all went deeper and deeper into Krishna consciousness we become more and more illuminated within our hearts. The finishing touch for an unforgettable evening of transcendental bliss was a prasadam feast that cannot be beat. Finally at the very end when it came time to pack up, we had to use flashlights to see what we were doing. Our hearts were still dancing in ecstasy as we all headed back our respective homes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan at Austin Hare Krishna Land



More Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan at Austin Hare Krishna Land



Ecstatic Prasadam Feast at Austin Hare Krishna Land


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Proof that God is His Own Source?

I am thankful that you send your transcendental messages through your regular posts and questions & answers. It keeps me going and re-affirms my faith that Krishna is supreme and He will take care of me, protect me always.

During a recent conversation with my friend I was unable to give convincing answers to following question. Please guide me.

How to scientifically prove that God himself is his own source ?

Abhishek K.

Answer: He Must Be His Own Source

God must be His own source, otherwise He cannot be God. The source of all existence is naturally the source of Himself. Since everything comes from Him and He is also part of everything, He naturally has to come from Himself. If He came from somewhere else, He would not be the source of all existence. Something or someone else would be the source of all existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 16 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Krishna Consciousness is Based on Relationships

The impersonalists want to kill all relationships by asserting that everything is one. Because they were wounded in love, now they want to completely deny love. This is like cutting off your head to cure a headache. It is a madman's proposal. The sane thing to do is learn the art of perfecting your relationships, not denying them. Therefore the more we perfect our loving relationship with Krishna's representatives, the spiritual master and His devotees, the more we will experience the transcendental awakening of love of God within our hearts. This is Krishna's order. He instructs that unless we are the devotees of His devotees, we are not His devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Loving Devotees Brings Unlimited Happiness
and Loving Devotees Bring Unlimited Happiness.


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Does Loving Krishna Make Me Happy?

Guru Maharaja,

Pranam.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is: How am I to understand that I shall be happy when I love Krishna?

Your humble servant,

Makarand

Answer: Just Like a Fish in the Water

Just as a fish is naturally happy when he is in the water and naturally completely miserable when he is not in the water, you, the eternal spiritual being who are qualitatively one with God, can only be happy when you are swimming in the ocean of pure love of God. If you foolishly choose to ignore or deny God, you are condemning yourself to a hellish, miserable existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 15 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Why 16 Rounds of Japa are Required?

If you want to awaken the pure ecstatic love of God within your heart as soon as possible, it is essential that you chant the holy names of God as much as possible every day. This is why Lord Krishna orders us in the Bhagavad-gita to constantly chant His holy names. Because we are so much distracted by so many so-called duties on the material plane for keeping body and soul together, we find it very difficult, if not completely impossible, to constantly chant the holy names of God. Srila Prabhupada, therefore, has very kindly given us a concession that we can awaken the pure love of God within us simply by chanting a mere 16 rounds a day of the Hare Krishna mantra on japa beads. But we are so fallen down in material consciousness that we even sometimes find this minimal concessionary amount of chanting to be difficult. Therefore to help us maintain this minimum standard, when we get initiated by the bona fide spiritual master we make a solemn vow that every day for the rest of our lives we will chant at least 16 rounds of Hare Krishna japa.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Chants Japa in Pure Transcendental Bliss


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do Great Devotees Suffer?

Those devotees who come from the spiritual world to preach here to the earthlings have no negative karma to compensate for. Still, how come they suffer like anything?

For example: Saint Tukaram (abject poverty), Prahlada Maharaja (insurmountable torture), Srila Prabhupada (constant struggle), and similarly with other great devotees. Where is, "chant and be happy" in their cases?

A common man will observe this and think, "If these great devotees are not themselves happy, how they can make others happy?"

Kindly clarify.

With regards,

Golok Das

Answer: Their Suffering Is Only Superficial

That is your material vision to think that these great transcendentalists were miserable. Actually they were in a state of the highest bliss at every moment. Their suffering was an external manifestation only, a demonstration of how dedicated they were to unflinchingly serve Krishna in all conditions of happiness and distress. It is not that they were suffering within their hearts. Because they were fully absorbed in love of God in all external conditions of happiness and distress, they were constantly deep sea diving in the ocean of pure spiritual bliss. Because the common men are not able to understand this, they are enjoined to take shelter of the lotus feet of the bona fide spiritual master and learn from him the intricacies of bhakti, the ultimate level of the self-realization science.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 14 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Become 100% Convinced that Krishna is God

If you want to qualify yourself to escape this material existence, you must become 100% convinced first that God exists and second that Krishna is God. Just as the inhabitants of the spiritual world are 100% dedicated to Krishna, you must also become 100% dedicated to Krishna. Until you reach the point of 100% conviction you are not qualified to return to your original home in the spiritual world. Therefore you must take developing this complete, total conviction as the number one priority of your life. This is real intelligence. By hearing from and serving the bona fide spiritual master you gain the necessary conviction for qualifying yourself to enter the spiritual world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Is Indeed God Himself


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can Only a Sannyasi Initiate Disciples?

Yesterday I had an argument with my co-devotee in our local ISKCON temple. He said that a disciple must take initiation only from spiritual master who is a sannyasi, a non-married spiritual master who is in the renounced order. I had a disagreement with this point with him because as per our scriptures a disciple can take initiation from any guru who has been initiated by Srila Prabhupada irrespective of his being married or not. Our discussion led to controversy. Please kindly enlighten me regarding this point.

Thank you,
Hare Krishna,
Radha Ramana

Answer: Anyone Who Knows the Krishna Science Can Be Guru

Thank you very much for standing up for the truth. It is problematic that devotees in our movement are not being properly trained in our philosophy. This is certainly a defect of our society which needs to be corrected. Regarding his argument, we can say this:

If this devotee is right that a married man cannot be a guru, it looks like Lord Krishna made a big mistake when He accepted a married man, Sandipani Muni, as His spiritual master.

And if this devotee is right it looks like there are mistakes in the authoritative scriptures as well, because according to the Vedic scriptures the spiritual master can have a wife (guru-patni). The following verse often quoted by Srila Prabhupada lists the seven mothers:

adau mata guru-patni
brahmani raja-patnika
dhenur dhatri tatha prthvi
sapteti matari smrta

(1) the real mother
(2) the wife of the spiritual master
(3) the wife of a brahmana
(4) the wife of the king
(5) the cow
(6) the nurse
(7) the earth

And if this devotee is right it looks like Srila Prabhupada is also wrong, because Srila Prabhupada describes in his purport to Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya Lila, Chapter 4, Text 111 that according to the pancaratra injunction, in the past only a householder brahmana could initiate disciples and others could not. Prabhupada explains that the supreme authority, Lord Caitanya, understood the weakness in society of maintaining that only householders brahmanas could take disciples. Prabhupada concludes that therefore Lord Caitanya taught the principle that it does not matter whether the spiritual master is a grihastha (householder), a sannyasi or even a sudra. A spiritual master simply must be conversant in the essence of the scriptures; he must understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

So if this devotee is right, Krishna is wrong, the Vedic scriptures are wrong, Lord Caitanya is wrong, and Srila Prabhupada is wrong. In conclusion, if this devotee is right, we should all abandon all of these authorities and instead become followers of this devotee who has concluded with his fertile imagination that only sannyasis can accept disciples.

For your information, both a sannyasi spiritual master and a married man spiritual master can be addressed as "Srila Gurudeva" and/or "Guru Maharaja” by his disciples and followers.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 13 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Don't Be a Slave of Your Tongue

Don't be a slave of your tongue. Be a master of your tongue, and you will open up the gateway within your heart to the transcendental realm of eternity, bliss, and knowledge. In other words, engage your tongue only in Krishna consciousness. Instead of garbage in, garbage out, i.e. eating unoffered foods and talking mundane topics, your tongue should be engaged in the pastime of nectar in, nectar out, i.e. eating only Krishna prasadam and talking only about Krishna and things related to His service such as Krishna's teachings and pastimes and how to inundate this planet with Krishna bhakti. This proper discipline of your tongue will bring you quickly to the liberated platform of eternity, perfect knowledge, and unlimited bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Prabhupada Tells Baron von Durkheim About Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get the Special Mercy of Guru and Krishna?

Please accept my dandavat pranam,

In the purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 8.20.3 Srila Prabhupada writes:

"There are two kinds of highly elevated devotees, called sadhana-siddha and kripa-siddha. Sadhana-siddha refers to one who has become a devotee by regular execution of the regulative principles mentioned in the sastras, as ordered and directed by the spiritual master. If one regularly executes such devotional service, he will certainly attain perfection in due course of time. But there are other devotees, who may not have undergone all the required details of devotional service but who, by the special mercy of guru and Krishna -- the spiritual master and the Supreme Personality of Godhead -- have immediately attained the perfection of pure devotional service."

Srila Prabhupada gives the example of Bali Maharaja. Bali Maharaja became a kripa-siddha devotee by the mercy of guru (Prahlada Maharaja) and Lord Krishna. So how to become kripa-siddha devotee? How to attain special mercy of guru? Is initiation kripa? What is the exactly meant by kripa?

Vikas D.

Answer: Shelter, Initiation, and Obedience

Kripa means mercy. To be initiated by the bona fide spiritual is a poignant example of mercy. The spiritual master is so merciful that he absorbs your sinful reactions and engages you in devotional service to Krishna to liberate you from this material existence.

Kripa-siddha is spiritual perfection attained by special mercy only, without one's having executed the prescribed rules and regulations of devotional service. To not engage in devotional service and to simply wait in expectation of getting kripa-siddha is not the means of becoming Krishna conscious. Anyone who wants to become Krishna conscious should perform the prescribed reformatory duties described in the Bhagavad-gita for awakening his Krishna consciousness. Only in very extraordinary circumstances, which are not under one's control, is one granted perfection without having to follow the prescribed rules and regulations.

It is something like this: Sometimes a person is extraordinarily awarded an honorary degree from a university without his ever having attended a university. So does this mean that if one wants a degree that he should do nothing and simply wait for his honorary degree? No. If he wants a degree, he should work for it diligently by enrolling in the university and taking the prescribed course work. Then his earning the degree will be certain.

Therefore, if you want to attain the perfection of existence by awakening your dormant Krishna consciousness, you should work for it diligently by taking shelter and initiation from the bona fide spiritual master and living your life in obedience to his orders. This is how you will qualify for the kripa or mercy of guru and Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 12 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Taste Unlimited Bliss By Relieving Others From Suffering

In this material world all living beings are suffering like anything in the clutches of birth, death, old age, and disease. They try to get free from their suffering through so many artificial means but always remain still caught up in the same old miserable rut. The devotees of the Supreme Lord, however, taste great transcendental bliss by embracing within their hearts the mission of relieving the entire suffering humanity from their miserable condition by helping them to revive their original state of pure loving devotion to the Supreme Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Narahari Das Teaches the Science of Krishna Consciousness


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Are People So Afraid of Death?

Gurudeva, why are people so afraid of death, as it is a fact that one who is born has to die one day, no one can avoid this? Why they are not able to accept this truth?

Thank you!

Your unworthy servant,
Nandapriya Devi Dasi

Answer: It Is Simply Due to Ignorance

We do not want to accept the inevitability of death because as eternal spiritual beings we actually do not ever die. We live eternally. The foolish materialists try to avoid death by material means, and 100% of them fail in this attempt. The devotees of the Lord, however, conquer over by reviving their original eternal identities as servants of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 11 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Go Deep Within the Innermost Essence of Your Being

Go deep, deep within the innermost region of the essence of your being, and there you will exhilaratingly discover a totally peaceful, happy, and knowledgeable eternal youth who is none other than your very self, who is an unalloyed servant of the Supreme Person, and who is the fully magnanimous well-wisher of all living beings. The way to achieve this exalted state of perfect consciousness is to give up all sinful activities and to regularly chant every day the holy names of God under the expert guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




You Are an Eternal Resident of the Spiritual World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Deal With Failures?

My dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances

All glories to you.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Please tell me what to do when we do something wrong directly or indirectly.

How to diminish our lusty mind? Why are we so lusty towards sex, money, fame, etc.? How to finish these materialistic qualities.

Deepak P.

Answer: Use Them As Stepping Stones

There is no reason to become discouraged when you do something wrong because especially in spiritual life failure is the pillar of success. Simply when you make a mistake take advantage of it by carefully noting what you did wrong and why you did it wrong so that you can avoid that mistake in the future. In this way instead of experiencing failures as stumbling blocks impeding your progress, you can use them as stepping stones to enhance your progress on the path of self-realization.

Lust arises due our foolish misidentification with the material body. To get rid of lust all you to do is remember that you are not your body and absorb yourself more deeply in Krishna consciousness by hearing, chanting, reading, serving, and preaching as much as possible. In this way your heart will be overflowing with Krishna bhakti and when Mr. Lust comes to spend the night in the hotel of your heart he will be confronted by a flashing neon sign which says, “No Vacancy,” and he will have to go somewhere else to find a place to stay.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 10 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Your Duty is to Deliver the Whole World

Just as our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, was given the duty by his spiritual master to spread Krishna consciousness throughout the English speaking world, we, the followers of Srila Prabhupada, have been given by him the duty to deliver the entire world.

How are we to go about trying to accomplish this herculean task?

We have to begin with ourselves. We must first situate ourselves properly in Krishna consciousness by fully surrendering to Sri Guru and Krishna. Then we must tell everyone we meet about Krishna, taxing our brains how to present Krishna in such a way that the entire human civilization will become attracted to awaken their Krishna consciousness, the pure love of God which is lying dormant within them. This will bring a new unparalelled age of peace and prosperity to this planet. So let's try for it with our full determination, patience, and enthusiasm.

This is a win-win proposition. If we fail in our present lifetimes to inundate this planet with pure Krishna bhakti, at least by our sincere endeavor to deliver the world our perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead will be assured. So even if we lose, we win.

And if we can successfully pull off a global spiritual revolution, it will be the greatest win in human history. The history books will be rewritten to center around that most amazing era in the chronicles of time when the entire world was most astonishingly transformed by the sankirtan movement of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

By fully absorbing ourselves as much as possible in executing our duty of delivering the entire world through public chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra, transcendental book distribution, prasadam distribution, educational programs, cultural events, and individual cultivation we will be able to relish watching the magic of Lord Sri Krishna's mercy gradually manifesting more and more within us and all around us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Hare Krishna Kirtan Will Conquer the World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does Tolerating Happiness Mean?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

I have a question:

The general human tendency is to enjoy pleasant situations or things and to tolerate the unpleasant and distressful ones. Contrastingly, Lord Krishna advises in the Bhagavad-gita 2.14 to "tolerate" both pleasant and painful things. I really did not understand that why, according to Lord Krishna, pleasant things are to be "tolerated" and not enjoyed? What does it mean to tolerate pleasant situations?

I humbly request you to please clear away my confusion and enlighten me with knowledge.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Your servant,
Sushant Kulkarni,
Pune, India.

Answer: Don't Be Carried Away By It

Your question is very nice. Thank you. Tolerating pleasant situations means not being carried away by them thinking that you can actually enjoy this material world. Just as we do not allow suffering situations to divert our minds from Krishna, we also do not allow pleasant situations to divert our minds away from Krishna. This is because Krishna is our only real shelter and real pleasure. All material situations both pleasant and unpleasant are different varieties of suffering. Therefore we tolerate the pains and pleasures of the material world keeping ourselves always fixed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 9 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

How Do We Know that Krishna is God?

Last Saturday my wife and I met with an old friend who had helped the Krishna consciousness movement get started in Austin back in 1971. She, being a Christian, told me that did not accept that Krishna is God. So this raises the question, "How do we know that Krishna is God?" The answer is that He reveals Himself to be God in the Bhagavad-gita and, through the purificatory process of bhakti yoga revealed by Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna, we can also personally meet Krishna and directly experience with our own purified senses that He is indeed God, the source of all existence, just as Arjuna was able to personally experience that Krishna is God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Reveals to Arjuna that He is God


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Exactly Did Srila Prabhupada Say?

I read something horrendous and sacrilegious about Srila Prabhupada on Facebook yesterday. A statement that women enjoy rape was attributed to Srila Prabhupada. In fact, the person who has posted such an obnoxious thing on his wall is a journalist living in Delhi, and he was even my colleague. I have such a low opinion of him that I have kept away from him, and I happened to find the blasphemous statement on a common friend's wall. If you would issue your rejoinder, I would do my bit in posting that as a comment, of course, giving you the credit. Kindly let me know what exactly was Sri Prabhupada's statement, if he ever made any statement on the subject.

Radha Krishna

Answer: Straighten Out this Misinformed Journalist

Sometimes due to misinformation the teachings of bona fide spiritual masters like Srila Prabhupada are misunderstood and unduly criticized without any attempt to understand the context of what is being stated. Here is exactly what Srila Prabhupada states in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.25.41:

"A man is always famous for his aggression toward a beautiful woman, and such aggression is sometimes considered rape. Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape.”

So what is the proper understanding of this? Srila Prabhupada is not referring to what is ordinarily defined nowadays as rape. He is talking about a man who is expert at the art of seducing women. According the laws of Vedic culture, in additional to forcible rape, seduction is also considered to be rape. Vedic culture prescribes that sex can only be indulged in for procreation, not for recreation. Even now in material society, if a man seduces a girl who is not an adult, this is considered rape, statutory rape. The Vedic culture broadens the conception of rape to also include seducing an adult woman.

Research confirms that women do enjoy being seduced. So what Srila Prabhupada is stating is certainly a fact. However, when one awakens his dormant Krishna consciousness he is no longer interested in such low class material enjoyment, which karmically obliges one to become an animal such as a pig in this next life. This is because when one becomes Krishna conscious he relishes a much greater pleasure than sex in the constant association of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the reservoir of unlimited pleasure.

So kindly straighten out this misinformed journalist who has so grossly misrepresented India's greatest ambassador of Vedic culture to help him do his job properly.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 8 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Don't Be a Slave of Your Tongue

Don't be a slave of your tongue. The uncontrolled tongue both in speech and eating is your greatest enemy because it drags you into a hellish, nightmarish existence and keeps you there as long as you remain the slave of your tongue.

Always remember that of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable. It is very difficult to conquer over the tongue in this world. An uncontrolled tongue is very detrimental for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Therefore the most important discipline that you need to learn is how to control your tongue. The simple, easy, and natural way to do that is to chant Hare Krishna as much as possible every day and only eat prasadam, foodstuffs that have been offered to Lord Sri Krishna with love and devotion. And when eating prasadam you should avoid gluttony by only taking what is necessary to keep body and soul together. Krishna prasadam is so satisfying, nutritious, and spiritually powerful that by taking it you immediately become jolly. Therefore this amazingly sublime type of eating by its very nature helps you to curb down the tendency for over-eating and transforms you into a totally happy, self-realized, fully respiritualized being.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




There Is Nothing More Wonderful than Krishna Prasadam


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Long to Do Karma-Misra-Bhakti?

Hare Krishna, Gurudeva,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Thank you very much for being merciful upon me by answering my foolish questions.

I want to know the perfect meaning of karma-misra-bhakti and how long one should do karma-misra-bhakti.

Your servant,
Sanket

Answer: Give It Up Immediately

Karma-misra-bhakti means devotional service mixed with the desire for material sense gratification. One engages in the service of the Lord, but he wants to get material sense enjoyment in exchange for his service. Such an impure mixed consciousness should be given up immediately because one can never be satisfied by karma-misra-bhakti. It is only unalloyed devotional service, pure devotional service, which brings complete satisfaction to the self.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 7 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Never Criticize a Sadhu

Bhaktivinoda Thakura very nicely describes the importance of not criticizing the saintly devotees of the Lord in the following excerpt from his classic edifying book Harinam Cintamani:

"It is concluded that one who is solely devoted to Krishna and sings His name is known as a sadhu. Other than the devotees of Krishna, no one else is considered to be a sadhu. One who considers himself a sadhu is filled with material pride. But one who thinks himself to be the lowest rascal, humbly takes shelter of Krishna and sings Krishna's name, is the real sadhu. Knowing himself to be less than a blade of grass, considering himself like a tree of tolerance, not expecting honor for himself and giving honor to all other living entities, he chants the name and attains attraction for Krishna.

"If a person of the above qualities chants the holy name even once, he is considered a Vaisnava, and should be respected. The Vaisnava is the friend and spiritual leader of the universe; he is an ocean of mercy to all living entities. Whoever criticizes such a Vaisnava goes to hell birth after birth; for there is no path for real liberation other than bhakti, and bhakti is obtained only by the mercy of the Vaisnavas."

From the above teachings of Bhaktivinoda Thakura we learn a very valuable lesson. Sometimes foolish, envious neophyte devotees will criticize the devotee who truly possesses the quality of a sadhu. This is called sadhu-ninda, criticizing the Vaisnava. It is described by Srila Prabhupada as being the greatest offense. If one commits this offense, he wreaks damaging havoc on his path of spiritual awakening. Therefore one should always be very careful to avoid this offense. If one commits it, to rectify himself he must genuinely humble himself, not superficially, to the full satisfaction of the devotee he has offended. Otherwise he will face insurmountable obstacles on his pathway back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Kalakanta Das and His Wife Jitamitra Devi Dasi
Highly Respectable Devotees of Lord Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: If Death Is Pre-Determined How Can It Be Untimely?

It is a well-known that life and death are pre-decided by the Supreme Lord. I would like to know that when life and death are already decided by the Lord, how do people get killed by accidents, murders etc., which are untimely death?

Avinash G.

Answer: When It Is Premature It Is Called Untimely

Calamities outside of the usual course of affairs, such as dying at a young age, are not happening by accident. Although they are called untimely, they are still happening predeterminedly in perfect accordance with the law of karma, which predetermines everything. There is only thing that happens outside of the predeterministic grip of karma, and that is the act of surrendering yourself unto Lord Sri Krishna. As soon as one surrenders to Krishna he is no longer in the clutches of karma.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 6 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Don't Base Your Happiness on this Material World

You should never base your happiness on your situation in this material world. If you do so, you are the biggest fool because whatever happiness you may think that you are enjoying is illusory and only temporary at best. The intelligent person bases his happiness instead on his relationship with his spiritual master and Lord Sri Krishna because when you become perfect in this you become perfect in eternal happiness. In other words your happiness can never be impinged upon by anything that happens to you here in this material world. Otherwise you are simply throwing yourself into the whirlpool of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease in the 8,400,000 species of life.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Disciple Submissively Hears from Srila Prabhupada


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Spirit-Soul Has Human Form Before Falling?

Does the spirit soul exist as a person ( meaning human shaped ) before falling into material illusion and obtaining one of 8.4 million physical shapes? It is really an amazing 1/10,000th the tip of a human hair in size?

Pankaj Patel

Answer: Yes, And Then He Shrinks

Yes, the spirit-soul is originally a person with a unique identity and a full-sized human form in the spiritual world before he falls down into material existence. When he falls into material existence his spiritual form goes into a dormant seed-like state manifested microscopically as the size of 1/10,000th the tip of hair. When he goes back to Godhead he will again manifest his original spiritual form.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 5 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Gaura Purnima--The Appearance Day of Lord Caitanya

Today is the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna, appearing in the form of His own devotee to bestow what no other incarnation has bestowed before, pure love of Godhead. It was on this most glorious day in 1486 A.D. that the greatest of all mercy was bestowed upon the suffering people of this age. The auspiciousness of Lord Caitanya's appearance is described as follows in the Sri Caitanya-caritamrita:

vande sri-krsna-caitanya-
nityanandau sahoditau
gaudodaye puspavantau
citrau san-dau tamo-nudau

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krishna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all."
Sri Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi Lila 1.2

Let us all take advantage of this day to beg for the causeless mercy of Lord Caitanya to rescue us from our entanglement in this material existence. On this day the devotees fast all day until moon rise in the evening, at which time they break their fast by honoring a feast which has been offered to Lord Caitanya.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Caitanya and His Associates
Dance in the Ecstasy of Pure Love of God


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Unaware of Our Impure Hearts?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

I asked a few non-devotee friends if they have a clean heart free from impurities like envy, jealousy, pride, hypocrisy, anger, etc. and they all said that their hearts are clean. How is that they feel their hearts are clean?

Thanking you.

I beg to remain your humble servant.
Kesaven

Answer: In this Age of Everyone's Hearts Are Polluted

In this age everyone’s minds are polluted. Being deluded is another one of the faults, which is certainly manifest in your friends. Everyone is disturbed by varying degrees of lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion and envy. They reveal this by their behavior. When one is covered by these faults he cannot perceive that he has them. It is only when one starts to clean his heart that he begins to see how dirty he really is.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 4 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Think Globally and Act Locally for Krishna

Srila Prabhupada has given us the mission of delivering the whole world from suffering and ignorance by awakening the dormant Krishna consciousness within the hearts of all. Therefore we must fully embrace this world deliverance mission as our very life and soul. While maintaining this broad global vision, at the same time we must focus on our daily devotional activities as well as giving Krishna consciousness to everyone we meet. In this way by acting locally and thinking globally we will gradually attain our goal of delivering the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Harinam Sankirtan in New York City


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Was Vedic Culture Restored in India?

I understand that after Lord Buddha denied the Vedas in 600 B.C., teaching that everything is void, there was a series of acharyas who gradually restored the complete understanding of the Vedic teachings. Who were those acharyas and what did they teach?

Thank you,
Y.S.

Answer: By a Series of Vaisnava Acharyas

Even though Lord Buddha was Krishna Himself, when He appeared in 600 B.C. in order to stop cow killing, he denied the Vedas and instead taught the principles of karma and non-violence. He did this because the people at that time were so degraded that they were misinterpreting the Vedas to justify cow killing. When the emperor Ashok adopted Buddhism, all of India became Buddhist, and Vedic culture become completely non-existent.

Many centuries later in 788 A.D. Sankaracarya appeared. He was none other than Lord Siva himself who was ordered by Lord Krishna to take birth as a brahmana, defeat Buddhism, and re-establish Vedic culture in India. To do this he taught a philosophy which is very similar to Buddhism. While Buddha denied the Vedas and taught that everything is zero, Sankaracarya reintroduced the Vedas in a twisted way through word jugglery establishing that everything is one. In this way he was able to attract the Buddhists back to an acceptance of the Vedas. In other words, Buddha taught that there is no God and Sankara attracted the atheists by teaching them that they are God. Sankara's philosophy is known as advaita-vedanta (nondualistic Vedanta).

Then many centuries later in 1017 A.D. came the great acharya Ramanuja. He taught the philosophy known as visistadvaita (qualified non-dualism), that there is a difference between the Parabrahman (Supreme Brahman) and the jivas (eternally fragmental souls).

After Ramanuja in 1230 A.D. came Madhvacarya. He taught a type of Vedanta philosophy called suddha-dvaita (pure dualism) which even more emphatically than Ramanuja argued against the monistic philosophy of Sankara.

The philosophical conclusion was taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is Krishna Himself, appearing in 1486 A.D. in the guise of His own devotee. Lord Caitanya's philosophy completed the progression from Buddhistic atheism to devotional theism. Ramanuja had agreed with Sankara that the Absolute is one, but had disagreed by affirming individual variety within that oneness. Madhva emphasized the eternal duality of the Supreme and the jiva even after liberation. Lord Caitanya, in conclusion, specified that the Supreme and the jivas are inconceivably, simultaneously one and different (acintya-bheda-abheda). In this way He thoroughly and most profoundly defeated Sankara's philosophy.

Sankaracarya gave the thesis of oneness. Madhvacarya gave the antithesis of duality. And Lord Caitanya gave the synthesis of simultaneous oneness and difference.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 3 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Getting a Higher Taste Will Save You

At the present moment we are all very much addicted to material sense gratification, both subtle and gross. Because of this addiction we are hopelessly entangled, suffering like anything in the cycle of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease. The only tangible hope for us bewildered souls to get out of this vicious cycle is to somehow or other get a taste for engaging our senses in the service of the master of the senses Hrishikesha, who is also known as Krishna. Once we get this higher taste we will easily be able to abandon our addiction to the lower taste of material sense gratification. Therefore we must be very, very greedy to somehow or other experience the higher taste of relishing the transcendental association of Lord Sri Krishna, especially in the form of His most holy name, the amazingly beautiful name "Krishna."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




London Devotees Relish Higher Taste of Krishna Consciousness


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Krishna Facilitate Bogus So-Called Gurus?

Regarding all these so-called self-made gurus in this world who are not Krishna conscious and are misleading our society by manufacturing their own bogus methods of practices for self realization, why does Krishna give them so much intelligence that they can succeed in their endeavor?

Thank you,
Hare Krishna,
Radha Ramana

Answer: Because the People Want to Be Cheated

When people want to be cheated with bogus so-called spiritual knowledge instead of genuine spiritual knowledge, Krishna fulfills their desire by sending them so many bogus, cheating so-called gurus who are very expert in the art of sophisticatedly deceiving them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 2 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Be a Bona Fide Disciple:

The sastras (scriptures) enjoin that we must seek out a bona fide spiritual master, take shelter of him, and be initiated by him. Having accomplished this does not mean that our spiritual life is now complete. To make our spiritual life perfect and complete we must then become the bona fide disciples of the spiritual master by becoming fully obedient to his instructions, accepting them as our very life and soul. If we do not do this, we are only so-called disciples and we will not become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. We will oblige our spiritual master to take birth again to deliver us from this quagmire of material existence. So we should not encumber our spiritual master in this way, obliging him to take birth again in this material world. We should be his fully surrendered sold-out servants so we can be of the best service to him in his mission of delivering the fallen, conditioned souls of this age.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Mercifully Gives Instructions


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is ISKCON a Religion?

I would like you to clarify some issues. First, is the ISKCON movement a religion? Secondly, are there any rituals performed before one becomes a member. And thirdly, what is the procedure of joining? I will appreciate your timely answer.

Emmanuel

Answer: It's Not a Religion, But Teaches Pure Religion

ISKCON is not a religion per se because there is only one religion, to be a pure lover of God. ISKCON teaches that one pure religion.

All you have to do to be a member is read our books and follow the guidelines given in them by our Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Do you have any of our books? Do you live near an ISKCON center?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 1 March 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Everybody Needs Someone to Love

Everybody needs someone to love. This is the most basic psychological need of everyone. Nobody can be happy or satisfied without having someone to reciprocate love with. This is why if someone has no one else they will be keep a dog or a cat. We all crave love, and we all want perfect love with a person who will not cheat, neglect, or abuse us in any way. Because in this material world, we are all more or less self-centered, none of us are able to perfectly reciprocate love with others. Therefore to become satisfied in love we must offer our love to the Supreme Person who is the source of all existence. Many people call Him God, which denotes His position as the Supreme Controller. We are most fortunate to know His most intimate personal name. We know that He is Krishna. And that person who teaches how to overcome our selfish nature and love Him purely is the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna--The Person Who Perfectly Loves Everyone


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Are Spirituality and Religion Different?

First of all, I would like to thank you for enlightening us with your daily thoughts to keep our minds on the track of devotional service with faith. Whenever there is a question mark in my mind about my existence, efforts to chant my rounds, and other problems in my life your mail answers it directly as if you know I need it. Thank you very much for your guidance.

I don't understand much of the philosophy of devotional service because of my limitation in thought process. However, I would request you to please help me to understand the difference between spirituality and religion. Are they same or different and how ?

Abhishek K.

Answer: Genuine Religion and Spirituality Are the Same

Genuine religion and spirituality are one the same. But the pseudo-religion that masquerades nowadays as religion is in fact a covered form of materialism. The pseudo-religionists worship God, but they do it for a material purpose to advance their material sense gratification. Therefore they are not true religionists or spiritualists. They are instead pseudo-religious materialists.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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