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 27 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Chant Your Anxieties Away

The formula for being totally anxiety-free is very simple. Every time you are in anxiety chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra. If you will sincerely follow this principle, you will always be blissful. A ton of anxieties will not be a problem for you. In fact, by following this simple method you will find that the more you have anxieties, the better off you will be. In other words, if every time you are hit with anxiety you will chant Hare Krishna, you will become more and more impervious or unaffected by all the unlimited miseries of this material existence. You will become very solidly fixed up in unassailable Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Devotees Chant Hare Krishna in Ecstasy


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Shivaloka in the Spiritual Sky?

Is it wrong to worship Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi?

Recently I have been to Mayapura and I was told that Shivaloka is also in the spiritual sky. Do the worshipers of Shiva after attaining the spiritual sky again fall down in the material world or do they enjoy their own pastimes with Lord Shiva?

Your servant,
R.C.

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Answer: In Between the Material and Spiritual Worlds

All pure devotees, including Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi, are worshippable by us. However we do not make the mistake of worshipping Lord Shiva as God, as the Shaivites, the followers of Lord Shiva, do. This is an offense against the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna.

Sometimes Shivaloka (also known as Mahesh-dhama) is described as the being in the spiritual world. But its actual position is marginal. It is situated in between Devi-dhama, the material world, and the spiritual world, Hari-dhama. This is elaborately described by Srila Prabhupada in his Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya 21.54 purport as follows:

"When a living entity is liberated from Devi-dhama but does not know of the opulence of Hari-dhama, he is placed in Mahesh-dhama, which is between the other two dhamas. The liberated soul does not get an opportunity to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead there; therefore although this Mahesh-dhama is Lord Siva's dhama and above Devi-dhama, it is not the spiritual world. The spiritual world begins with Hari-dhama, or Vaikunthaloka."

So the worshippers of Lord Shiva do not attain the spiritual sky. Shivaloka is a destination for the impersonalists and voidists from which they fall back down again into material existence after some time. Those who are truly devoted to Lord Shiva will become devotees of his master, Lord Krishna, and go back to home, back to Godhead to associate with and serve Lord Krishna eternally in His divine pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 26 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

The Greatest Day of My Life

The greatest day of my life was 12 August 1971 when Srila Prabhupada accepted me as his disciple giving me the new spiritual name "Sankarshan Das." I live forever in that pristine moment when he picked me up out of this material world and resituated me in my original identity as the eternal servant of Krishna.

At the time of initiation the spiritual master gives the disciple a new name such as Krishna dasa or Govinda dasa. This is the greatest blessing upon the disciple to help him always remember that he is not a member of a particular family here in the material world, that he is instead the eternal servant of his spiritual master, Krishna, and Vaisnavas, and indeed of all living beings. In his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.32 Srila Prabhupada describes the importance of the disciple's getting a new name at the time of initiation:

"The Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart, is so kind that if one has ever rendered service to Him, the Lord never forgets him. Thus the Lord, from within, gave Ajamila the opportunity to name his youngest son Narayana so that in affection he would constantly call 'Narayana! Narayana!' and thus be saved from the most fearful and dangerous condition at the time of his death. Such is the mercy of Krishna. Guru-krishna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija: [Cc. Madhya 19.151] by the mercy of the guru and Krishna, one receives the seed of bhakti. This association saves a devotee from the greatest fear. In our Krishna consciousness movement we therefore change a devotee's name to a form that reminds him of Vishnu. If at the time of death the devotee can remember his own name, such as Krishna dasa or Govinda dasa, he can be saved from the greatest danger. Therefore the change of names at the time of initiation is essential. The Krishna consciousness movement is so meticulous that it gives one a good opportunity to remember Krishna somehow or other."

All those persons who are serious about going back to home, back to Godhead can be initiated immediately as soon as they meet a bona fide spiritual master. In this connection Srila Prabhupada (Cc Madhya 24.331) quotes as follows from the book called Tattva-sagara:

durlabhe sad-gurunam ca sakrt-sanga upasthite
tad-anujña yada labdha sa diksavasaro mahan
grame va yadi varanye ksetre va divase nisi
agacchati gurur daivad yatha diksa tad-ajñaya
yadaiveccha tada diksa guror ajñanurapatah
na tirtham na vratam hemo na snanam na japa-kriya
diksayah karanam kintu sveccha-prapte tu sad-gurau

“If by chance one gets a sad-guru, it doesn’t matter whether one is in the temple or the forest. If the sad-guru, the bona fide spiritual master, agrees, one can be initiated immediately, without waiting for a suitable time or place.”

So when one receives the topmost good fortune of coming into contact with a sad-guru, a bona fide spiritual master, one can take full advantage of his mercy by taking shelter of him, being initiated by him, and by accepting his instructions as one's very life and soul. This will immediately liberate him from this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Initiates a New Disciple


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Read Krishna Book or Bhagavatam 10th Canto?

Right now I am reading the entire Srimad Bhagavatam. I am on the Seventh Canto and maybe in a few weeks I will be on the Tenth Canto where Krishna's pastimes are thoroughly described. My question is: Should I read both the Krishna Book and the Tenth Canto, or is one of them good enough?

D.P.

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Answer: Read Both to Get More Nectar

When you feast your eyes on something beautiful, do you look with one eye or two eyes? Therefore to more deeply relish the unlimited sweetness of Krishna’s most sublime Vrindavana pastimes you should read them both.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 25 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

It Is Unnatural Not to Serve God

Krishna is the absolute best friend of every living entity throughout all of existence because they are all His most beloved offspring. He is simultaneously all-powerful and all-merciful. And thus He gives every living being the full freedom to either serve Him or to try to imitate His position as the supreme enjoyer. He wants us all to be happy, and He lets us all seek happiness in the ways that we desire. If the living being wants to try enjoy separately from the Lord, He facilitates him. But since that is an unnatural position for the living being, like a hand cut off from the body, eventually the living being comes to his senses, realizes his foolishness, and reinstates himself in his original natural consciousness as the eternal servant of the Lord in His unlimitedly amazing divine pastimes in he most sublime spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Is Inviting Us All to Return to His Abode


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Doesn't Krishna Let Us Also Be Krishna?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All glories to Guru and Gauranga!

When Krishna is all merciful, then why He lets us suffer in this material world? He can simply allow us to become Krishna and enjoy everything like Him. Some devotees answer that Krishna, by sanctioning, one conditioned soul to become Krishna would be unjustifiable and biased for other souls. But, when Krishna is almighty then He can certainly make all the desiring conditioned souls to become exactly like Himself full with all six opulence at its maximum, because it is possible for Krishna.

Is it not a better solution rather than creating a material world and sending the eternal souls to suffer there by providing a material and subtle body?

When sons of a rich businessman fight with their father, the father shares the property and business with the sons without duplicity and thus the sons also start a new business and gradually become good businessmen one day with the help of their father's guidance. And we have many examples of it like Ambani Brothers (Mukesh and Anil Ambani) inherited their business from Dhirubhai Ambani and expanded the business and doing well. So, why Krishna does not share His opulence and gradually make every soul as Krishna eternally like Himself so that nobody falls down from the material world and suffers? Why we all have to go back to Krishna when He can make us Krishna?

Your humble servant,
H.D.

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Answer: Because We Are Not Krishna

Loving parents chastise their misbehaving child to rectify him of this tendency to do wrong. This is the loving affection of the parents. If they neglect to do this, this is their lack of compassion for their child.

The sun globe emanates the sunshine. It's not that the sunshine can become the sun globe because it is of a different nature. Similarly, Krishna is the source of all existence. Everything emanates from Him. Therefore it is not possible for someone other than Krishna to be the source of all existence. Others exist simply due to the fact that Krishna is manifesting them like the sun globe manifesting the sunshine.

You cannot blame Krishna for creating this material world. This is an incorrect understanding. We wanted a world like this where we could imagine ourselves to be the center of all existence and Krishna facilitated us. Therefore if there is any one to blame for this material existence, the guilty party would be us.

The desire to be God is the immature desire of the impersonalists. Why foolishly desire to be God, like the impersonalists, when you can aspire to be greater than God, like Arjuna and Mother Yasoda? The impersonalists want to become God, but our philosophy is to become greater than God, just like Arjuna who engaged Krishna as his chariot driver, and Mother Yasoda who chastised Krishna for stealing butter by tying Him up with rope.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 24 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

Great Reformers Speak or Do Not Speak As Required

The urge to speak is one the six material urges (vegams): words, mind, anger, tongue, belly, and genitals. When the great spiritual authority, Srila Rupa Goswami, listed these six urges he placed the urge to speak first. This reminds us of the importance of not abusing, but properly using the urge to speak. When these six urges, begining with speaking, are uncontrolled one remains a slave of the material energy entrapped within the endless cycle of repeated birth and death. And when one properly utilizes these urges in the service of Lord Sri Krishna he becomes known as a goswami, a great conquering hero over the otherwise unsurmountable material energy.

Regarding the utilization of the power of speech His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhpada writes as follows in his book The Light of the Bhagavata, Verse 33:

"There are waterfalls flowing from the hills of the forest, but sometimes water does not flow from them. So the waterfalls are not like ordinary rainfall. They are compared to great reformers, who speak or do not speak, as the time requires."

Those who are actually powerful changers of history are the best listeners. Because of their mature listenative nature they deeply imbibe even the most subtle aspects of Vaisnava philosophy by submissively hearing from their spiritual master. Thus when the time comes for them to speak, they can speak in such dynamic and immensely profound ways that the entire world will become inspired to follow them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Launches the Hare Krishna Movement
Tompkins Square Park--New York City--1966

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does God Punish Us?

God is merciful. So why does He punish us? Since God is omnipotent and can do anything, why doesn't He God just destroy evil?

S.G.

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Answer: God Does Not Punish Us. We Punish Ourselves.

God does not punish us. It is we who punish ourselves by rejecting His loving kindness considering it to be not very important. It is our foolishness that we have inflicted this punishment upon ourselves of taking birth here in the miserable material world. But even if you take it is as God's punishment, it is still God's loving kindness to bring us back to our senses that this material world is not our real home, that we need to get back to our original position as His lovimg servants in that most wondrous spiritual sky.

Does a parent kill his child or chain him to his bed when he misbehaves? No. He lovingly instructs his child how to properly behave and gives the child the freedom to learn how to behave properly. Similarly Krishna or God does not destroy us when we stupidely act in evil ways. Because He loves us more than we can even begin to imagine, He is always trying to rectify us through His wonderful teachings and through the teachings of His pure devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 23 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

It's Our Duty to Save the World

The entire human society is lost deep in the dense, dark dungeon of delusion. Because of this the human beings do not know that the purpose of the human form of life is to realize God. Thus they are fully absorbing themselves in material sense gratification and are going down to the animal kingdom in their next births. It is for this reason that the Krishna consciousness movement has been started, to save these poor fools and rascals from the most pitiable condition of existence.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains:

"Our Krishna consciousness movement is genuine, historically authorized, natural and transcendental due to its being based on Bhagavad-gita As It Is. It is gradually becoming the most popular movement in the entire world,"

So let us now work together co-operatively as a world-wide family of devotees for bringing the only true happiness of Krishna consciousness to the suffering people of this world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




The Hare Krishnas Are Out to Save the World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How is God the Origin of Himself?

How can one explain to someone why we believe in the Vedas, if they ask "how do you know it is coming from God and not man-made?"

Also during book distribution one man argued that if everyone has a source than who is God's source. We said that it is God Himself, but then he marked that our claim is invalid. What to say in that instance?

Thank You so much.

your unworthy servant,
C.L.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Answer: God Means the Source of Everything

We know the Vedas are not man-made, that they are coming from God because Krishna says that they come from Him.

That man's "invalidity" claim is invalid. God means the source of everything. Since "everything" includes both God and His creation, it is impossible for there to be any other source for anything, including Him, other than Himself.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 22 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

May Krishna Bless You

You have been entrapped in the cycle of birth and death for uncountable lifetimes. It is a most miserable, abominable situation to be in. So may Lord Krishna bless you that you can fully revive your lost loving relationship with Him in this lifetime for attaining the supreme perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Lord Krishna Awaits Your Return to His Transcendental Kingdom


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Sannyasa Guru Equal to One's Diksha Guru?

Gurudeva, if one takes sannyasa from other Guru that is not from his diksha Guru because of his disappearance from the world then what is the relation with Guru other from whom one takes the sannyasa . Is it that now he becomes his authority and now he is his initiating spiritual master. What we call the other Guru from one takes sannyasa . Is he is also respectful on the equal level to the Guru from one takes his first initiation.

Thank you

Your unworthy servant
N.D.D.

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Answer: He Who First Initiates You Is Your Only Real Guru

When one takes sannyasa he does not become the disciple of the sannyasi who gives him sannyasa. In a Bhagavad-gita lecture given by Srila Prabhupada in Los Angeles on 27 November 1968 he compares the sannyasa guru to a priest who performs one's wedding ceremony. The sannyasa guru performs the ritual of awarding sannyasa but does not become the spiritual master of the new sannyasi. If you look at the list of the disciplic succession given in the Bhagavad-gita, you will see that Lord Caitanya is listed as a disciple of Isvara Puri, not Kesava Bharati, the sannyasi who gave Him sannyasa.

Regarding who is one's guru Srila Prabhupada has written as follows:

"Actually, you have only one spiritual master, who initiates you, just as you have only one father. But every Vaisnava should be treated as prabhu, master, higher than me, and in this sense, if I learn from him, he may be regarded as guru. It is not that I disobey my real spiritual master and call someone else as spiritual master. That is wrong. It is only that I can call spiritual master someone who is teaching me purely what my initiating spiritual master has taught."

So the conclusion is that the spiritual master who first initiates the devotee, chanting on his japa beads and giving him his spiritual name is his one real guru, not others. Others can only be accepted as guru if they teach the disciple purely what his initiating spiritual master has taught him. Is this clear?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 21 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

Today's Thought:

"Bhagavad-gita Is For Everyone" Seminar

On Saturday 10 January I was invited to give a seminar on the Bhagavad-gita at the ISKCON center in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada. It was a great way to forget about the cold weather (3° Fahrenheit/-16° Celsius) and bask in the sublime celestial atmosphere of Krishna consciousness. You can watch it here:

http://youtu.be/al09qNHmNog

It is certainly a fact that Bhagavad-gita is for everyone. It will indeed solve all of the problems of the world on that day when the leaders agree to hear it and follow it. May that day come soon. May that day come real soon!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Giving a Seminar at ISKCON Scarborough


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Love and Devotion?

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

It is said that we should serve with love and devotion. But what is love and what is devotion? Because for me it seems the same.

Thank you very much.

Bhakta E.

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Answer: Devotion Is Love In It's Original Pure Form

Devotion is love in it's original pure form, completely devoid of any the mundane inebrieties found in the so-called love of this material world, which is nothing but lust in disguise.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 20 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

Be Loyal to Your Spiritual Master

Lord Krishna is the original guru. He teaches us by His personal example how much one should be loyal and dedicated to his spiritual master. On the order of His Gurumata (the wife of His spiritual master, Sandipani Muni) Krishna went to the forest along with His Godbrother, Sudama, to gather firewood for His spiritual master.

Years later when Sudama visited Krishna in Dvaraka, Krishna recalled that incident as follows:

"My dear friend, I think you remember our activities during the days when we were living as students. You may remember that once we went to collect fuel from the forest on the order of the guru's wife. While collecting the dried wood, we entered the dense forest and by chance became lost. There was an unexpected dust storm and then clouds and lightning in the sky and the explosive sound of thunder. Then sunset came, and we were lost in the dark jungle. After this, there was severe rainfall; the whole ground was overflooded with water, and we could not trace out the way to return to our guru's asrama. You may remember that heavy rainfall -- it was not actually rainfall but a sort of devastation. On account of the dust storm and the heavy rain, we began to feel greatly pained, and in whichever direction we turned we were bewildered. In that distressed condition, we took each other's hand and tried to find our way out. We passed the whole night in that way, and early in the morning, when our absence became known to our gurudeva, he sent his other disciples to search us out. He also came with them, and when they reached us in the jungle they found us very much distressed.

"With great compassion our gurudeva said, '"My dear boys, it is very wonderful that you have suffered so much trouble for me. Everyone likes to take care of his body as the first consideration, but you are so good and faithful to your guru that without caring for bodily comforts you have taken so much trouble for me. I am glad to see that bona fide students like you will undergo any kind of trouble for the satisfaction of the spiritual master. That is the way for a bona fide disciple to become free from his debt to the spiritual master. It is the duty of the disciple to dedicate his life to the service of the spiritual master. My dear best of the twice-born, I am greatly pleased by your acts, and I bless you: May all your desires and ambitions be fulfilled. May the understanding of the Vedas which you have learned from me always continue to remain within your memory, so that at every moment you can remember the teachings of the Vedas and quote their instructions without difficulty. Thus you will never be disappointed in this life or the next.'"

From these wonderful words of Sandipani Muni we can learn that our relationship with our spiritual master should be one of total dedication to following his instructions in all times, places, and circumstances. We should be willing to undergo any type of trouble for the satisfaction of our spiritual master. This is the secret of how to become solidly fixed in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Krishna and Sudama Lost in a Storm in the Forest


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Which Religion Do You Follow?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

If someone asks, "What religion do you follow?", do you say bhakti yoga?

R.T.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Answer: To Become a Pure Lover of God

If someone asks you which religion you follow, you should tell them that there is no question of "which religion" because there is only one religion, to become a pure lover of God. You can then ask them whether or not they agree with you. That should lead to a very interesting conversation, which will give you ample opportunity to enlighten them in the science of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 19 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

We've Got to Revolutionize the World Right Now

Things have gone so far astray. There's practically no sanity left in the world today. For example, more than 30,000 innocent babies are murdered daily world wide. In the USA alone over 1,000 babies are legally murdered daily with the full approval and sanction of the US government. This is a poignant telling sign of the caliber of leadership which is torturing the world's population today. It's very clear that our present slate of leaders are practically all cheaters simply serving their own selfish interests for material sense gratification, both gross and subtle. So the time has come now for positive change. We've got to revolution, we've got to revolution, we've got to revolutionize this corrupted world right now. We need pure, saintly leaders who will guide their citizens how to go back to home, back to Godhead, not these rascals who make so many false promises to get into office and never make good on their promises.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Revolutionary Hare Krishna Kirtan in Moscow, Russia


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Purpose of the Kali Yuga?

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

What is the purpose of this grossly materialistic age of Kali? Why do souls choose to be born in this miserable age of Kali?

Your humble servant,
S.B.

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Answer: To Facilitate Both the Degraded and the Elevated

The purpose of the Kali is twofold. On the one hand, it is to facilitate those are very much degraded in the qualities of lust, anger, greed, madness, illusion, and envy. And on the other hand, it is to facilitate those who would like to escape the cycle of birth and death in the easiest way possible by regularly chanting the holy names of God. Therefore the age is attractive both to those who are degraded as well as to those who want to easily escape the cycle of birth and death and go back home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 18 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

Anxiety is Your Best Friend

The greatest resource we have in this material world is anxiety, because when properly utilized it, it becomes the springboard for attaining unlimited, ever-increasing transcendental bliss. Therefore the most wonderful thing about this material world is that it is a virtual gold mine of unlimited anxieties. Those who properly understand the science of self-realization take full advantage of these anxieties, accepting them as their greatest asset for entering the realm of unlimited happiness.

The formula is very simple. Every time you are in anxiety chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra. The more anxiety, the more chanting. And the more chanting, the more transcendental bliss. Therefore anxieties are most welcome. But you have to actually chant, otherwise the formula does not work. If you simply take this as a mental conception, you will not experience the sublime result. You have to chant, chant, chant as much as possible. You will experience how anxiety is your best friend because it is nothing but transcendental bliss going in disguise. As soon as you start chanting you pull off the mask.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Hare Krishna Bliss in Paris


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Krishna's Will and His Sanction

My dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

Gurudeva, what does it means by supreme sanction within and without and how to understand this. And how do we understand that the activities done by the SANCTION of Krishna and the activities done by the WILL of Krishna . How do we understand these both terms Krishna's WILL and Krishna's SANCTION. Please enlighten this fallen soul.

Thank you,

Your unworthy servant
N.D.D.

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Answer: What He Prefers and What He Allows

The difference between Krishna's will and His sanction is the difference between what He prefers and what He allows. Krishna's will or preference is that we should fully surrender to Him right now. But as our loving father, out of His affection for us, He will sanction or allow us to be facilitated with all of our necessities of life even if we do not agree to surrender ourselves to Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 17 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

Is Sexual Intimacy Real Intimacy?

In this material world sexual intimacy is considered to be the closest type of intimacy. But what people do not realize is that sexual intimacy is not real intimacy because it is based on a false understanding of the self, in which the body is taken to be the actual self. The way to really connect with another person is not by connecting your bodily covering with his bodily covering. Real connection takes place when one connects one's actual self with the other person's actual self, i.e. one spirit-soul connecting with another spirit-soul. This exhilarating, uplifting connection takes place when the two persons connect with each other by both connecting with Krishna or God.

This real intimacy is described by the great Vaisnava acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as follows:

"A living being's sustenance of existence is to coordinate his activities with his eternal relation with the Supreme Lord Krishna. Krishna is the central pivot of living beings, and He is the all-attractive living entity or eternal form amongst all other living beings or eternal forms. Each and every living being has his eternal form in the spiritual existence, and Krishna is the eternal attraction for all of them. Krishna is the complete whole, and everything else is His part and parcel. The relation is one of the servant and the served. It is transcendental and is completely distinct from our experience in material existence. This relation of servant and the served is the most congenial form of intimacy. One can realize it as devotional service progresses. Everyone should engage himself in that transcendental loving service of the Lord, even in the present conditional state of material existence. That will gradually give one the clue to actual life and please him to complete satisfaction."

So anyone who wants to taste the real joy of intimacy should connect with Krishna and, through intimacy with Krishna, achieve the real intimacy of pure loving soul-to-soul exchanges with others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Loving Exchange Between George Harrison & Jayapataka Swami


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Ring a Bell in the Temple?

Why do we ring the bell in the temple?

Your servant,
Bhakta Shashank

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Answer: To Offer Submission the Lord

In his purport to Caitanya-caritamrita, Madhya Lila, 24.334 Srila Prabhupada describes as the first item of deity worship as follows:

"There must be a big bell hanging in front of the temple room so that whoever comes into the room can ring the bell. This item is called prabodhana, or offering oneself submissively to the Lord.”

The second item is:

"The visitor must chant 'Jaya Sri Radha-Govinda!' or 'Jaya Sri Radha-Madhava!' when he rings the bell. In either case, the word 'jaya' must be uttered.”

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 16 January 2015

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

When You Are Bombarded by Heavy Negativity

In this world of dualities sometimes we are bombarded by heavy negativity. Maya or the illusory energy sometimes completely overwhelms us with her attack. What should we do in such situations? When a nation is attacked by an enemy, it fully mobilizes its army, navy, and air force as well as calling up its reserves to active duty. In the same way when we are attacked by negativity we should not take it sitting down. We have to fully activate all the weapons that we have available to counter Maya's attack. We have many very powerful weapons more potent than the famous Brahmastra weapon, which can destroy an entire universe. We have Srila Prabhupada's books, devotional service, our spiritual master's divine instructions, the Hare Krishna mahamantra (both in kirtan and in japa), prayer, devotee association, deity darshan, telling people about Krishna, and honoring Krishna prasadam. And the list goes on and on. The point is that when Maya gets aggressive, we have to become even more aggressive. Then, with the help of Krishna, we will be able to easily surmount the influence of the illusory energy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Devotee Child Preaches to the Police


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Conditions For Being Guided by the Spiritual Master?

Could you please tell me is there any conditions for accepting spiritual guidance from the spiritual master? Namely is it possible to accept spiritual guidance or a spiritual master, if one can't yet completely follow the four regulative principles or chant 16 rounds? And if no, so what to do in such case, if I can't handle it myself?

Thank you!
Best regards,
Olja

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Answer: Simply Be Sincere to Advance in Krishna Consciousness

That depends on the individual spiritual master. In my case, I am happy to guide anyone who is sincerely trying to come to Krishna consciousness, even if they are not yet able to chant at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra on japa beads every day and follow the four regulative principles: no illicit sex, no intoxication, no meat eating, and no gambling. Simply you must be sincere in your desire to advance yourself on the pathway of Krishna consciousness and I will be happy to guide you how to become Krishna's pure devotee and go back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 15 January 2015

from ISKCON Los Angeles--New Dvaraka

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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Bliss in New Dvaraka

The atmosphere here in New Dvaraka (ISKCON Los Angeles) is phenomenal. This place is so surcharged with bhakti that as soon as you enter here you feel that you are already in the spiritual world. This is not surprising because it was here that Srila Prabhupada first established his world headquarters and where he spent a lot of his time. It is also here that I had my first personal interaction with my most beloved spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, when he wanted to make sure that he had given me a flower. That makes this place even sweeter for me.

"Srila Prabhupada, you have given me the flower of your loving mercy, which is greatest of all boons."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada on Venice Beach--Los Angeles 1975


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Free from Lusty Desires?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

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

I am finding it very difficult to practice a life of celibacy. I stopped eating meat, onion, garlic, drinking alcohol, tea and coffee, stopped smoking from between last three to five years. But I am not able to overcome my lusty desires and desires to enjoy materially. My determination is very weak. It lasts for only few hours to few days. I am frustrated with it. My mood keeps changing. How can I overcome from this problem? I want to progress in Krishna consciousness. Please help me, Srila Gurudeva.

Your unworthy servant,
S.K.

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Answer: Relish the Pleasure of Krishna's Name

Although there is no greater pleasure than sex pleasure in this world, it is not all difficult to give it up, if you will go instead for that pleasure that is out of this world. That is the pleasure of directly connecting yourself with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Sri Krishna. Such connecting with Him is not at all difficult. All you have to do is call out to Him with love:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

When you do so you will experience a pleasure zillions of times greater than sex and will thus be easily able to give up the insignificant tenth class pleasure of sex.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 14 January 2015

from ISKCON Los Angeles--New Dvaraka

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Today's Thought:

Initiation: The Greatest Good Fortune

After millions and billions of lifetimes of suffering within the cycle of birth and death, one's greatest good fortune is to receive the seed of pure Krishna bhakti planted within his heart through the process known as initiation. At the time of initiation the disciple vows to accept his spiritual master's instructions as his very life and soul and thus faithfully serve his guru's orders for all of eternity. This total dedication to his spiritual master qualifies him to regain his original deathless identity in the transcendental pastimes of the Lord in the spiritual sky. Srila Prabhupada explains that his deathlessness begins from the very day that he accepts initiation from the bona fide spiritual master, provided that he strictly follows the orders that he has received from his spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Initiations on 11 January 2015
in Brampton, Ontario, Canada



Aloke Becomes Amogha Lila Das



Prachi Becomes Patita Pavana Devi Dasi



Aruna Becomes Arundhati Devi Dasi


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Is Krishna Outside of Everything?

Queen Kunti is telling Lord Krishna that He is existing both within and without everything (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.18). I understand that Krishna is within everything as a Paramatma. Can you kindly explain how is Lord Krishna outside everything?

Most fallen soul
S.A.

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Answer: By His Unlimited Pastimes in the Spiritual Sky

Even though Krishna is within everything here in this material world, He is also simultaneously situated completely outside this material world in His transcendental abode where He is engaged eternally in unlimited, nectarean pastimes with His pure devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 13 January 2015

en route New York to Los Angeles

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Today's Thought:

There's No Reason For You to Ever Suffer Again

There's absolutely no reason for you to ever suffer again. Suffering is an unnatural state for you, the eternal living being. It only happens when you misidentify yourself with your temporary material body. All you have to do to become forever free from the multi-varieties of miseries which are constantly attacking you is to stop trying to be something that are you are not, namely your material body, and start being what you actually are, the eternal spirit-soul servant of God. Try it. You'll absolutely love it!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Sharing the Bliss of Krishna Bhakti in Toronto, 11 January 2015


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How To Not Materially See the Pure Devotee?

Dear Gurudeva,

Please accept my humble obeisances.

In The Nectar of Instruction it says, "One is forbidden to observe the activities of a pure Vaisnava from a material point of view." What does this mean? What would be an example of this offense?

R.T.

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Answer: See Him As an Associate of Krishna

This means that we should not see the pure devotee as an ordinary person. For example, one might think, "This devotee eats and sleeps just like I do. Therefore there is no difference between him and me." Externally the pure devotee may appear to be just like us. But within his heart he is directly associating with Krishna at every minute. Therefore he is living in a different state of consciousness from the one in which in we are living.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 12 January 2015

from Toronto, Canada

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Today's Thought:

Relish Saintly Qualities of Lord's Devotees

Even though the Lord's devotees have taken to the process of Krishna consciousness to become free from all faults, as long as they are in this material world it is natural that they will still have some faults. In spite of this, we should not be very eager to see their faults. We should be looking instead to see their saintly qualities. Will we criticize a man for being filthy while he is bathing himself in the shower? No, of course not. So instead of being like flies looking for the sore-like faults in the devotees, we should be like honeybees who only desire to relish the honey of their wonderful saintly qualities. In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains, "The devotees of Krishna are the most exalted persons on this planet, better than kings, all of them, so we should always remember that and, like the bumblebee, always look for the nectar or the best qualities of a person."

In conclusion, the more we meditate on the saintly qualities of the devotees, the more our own innate saintly qualities will come out, and the more we meditate on the faults of the devotees, the more our faults will be predominant.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Early Days ISKCON Devotees at New York's 26 Avenue Temple


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Handle Blasphemers?

What should a Krishna consciousness person do if someone blasphemes against Lord Krishna or His devotees? Please guide me on ways to handle this especially when the person is unavoidable, like at home or in the office.

There's another religion where even the slightest blasphemy would mean ghastly acts of terror by its followers and all this killing is justified. Isn't it wrong to resort to such violent acts if someone blasphemes God?

Regards,
Kaushik

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Answer: Defeat Them, Leave the Place, or Tune Them Out

If someone blasphemes Krishna or His devotee the best thing to do is defeat them philosophically. Convince them they are completely wrong to say such nonsense so that they will feel remorse and apologize. If this is not possible, one should immediately leave that place, because by hearing blasphemy one's devotion to Krishna will be destroyed. If you are stuck with them like at home or in the office and you cannot convince them that they are wrong, you should block your hears rather than be polluted by hearing blasphemy. For example you can get a headset for hearing Krishna conscious lectures and Hare Krishna kirtan. In this way by tuning into Krishna katha you can tune them out. If you cannot tune them out with a headset, you should tune them out simply by putting your mind somewhere else.

Committing blasphemy is certainly a greatly sinful act. Even though our scriptures say that blasphemers should be killed, this should NOT be taken literally in this age. This is so because, on the plea of Lord Nityananda, Lord Caitanya forgave the blasphemers Jagai and Madhai rather than kill them. In this age of Kali because everyone is a blasphemer, if we were to kill the blasphemers, we would have to kill everyone. So the conclusion is that instead of killing the blasphemers, we should kill their blasphemous mentality by the wide scale distribution introduction of Hari nama sankirtan (the congregational chanting of they holy names of God) and the wide scale distribution of transcendental literatures such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. This will bring about the much desired peace and happiness for the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 11 January 2015

from Toronto, Canada

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Today's Thought:

Serving the Wife of the Spiritual Master

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 7.12.8 that the relationship between the disciple and the wife of the spiritual master, the guru-patni, is like that between a son and his mother. Therefore just as we obey and lovingly serve our mother, if our spiritual master has a wife, we should always lovingly serve her and obey her. Krishna teaches us this principle by His example. When he was a brahmacari student in the ashrama of his spiritual master, Sandipani Muni, he followed the order of his guru's wife to gather firewood in the forest. Just as a mother lovingly disciplines and corrects her children, the guru-patni also corrects and disciplines the disciples to teach them how to become first-class devotees of Krishna and first-class disciples of her husband. The disciples should thus always honor and respect their Guru Mataji, always welcoming and appreciating the guidance, blessings, and inspiration they receive from her. If they do not do so and disrespect her instead, it is a great offense known as Vaisnava aparadha, which can wreak great havoc in their spiritual life. By carefully obeying the principle of respecting the Guru Mother and by following the other Vedic principles we can awaken the pure love of God within our hearts.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Vishnupriya Mataji--The Wife of Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is the Mind Destined to Be a Rascal?

Is the mind destined to be a rascal? The Bhagavad-gita says it can be your best friend and worst enemy. But even when it becomes your best friend, it's momentary until it turns into a rascal again. It's just like a monkey, especially in dreams, very hard to control.

Being in your position, can you say you've conquered the mind, or do you see it being a flickering monkey set against you as well?

K.S.
New Delhi, India

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Answer: When You Treat It Like a Rascal It Becomes Your Friend

It is a fact that our mind is our worst enemy, because it has literally dragged us through the cycle of birth and death for millions and billions of lifetimes. It is only when you treat your mind like the rascal that it truly is that it becomes your best friend. In this connection we can study the example of the great Vaisnava acharya, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, who has completely conquered over his mind and prays to it as follows:

dusta mana! tumi kiser vaisnava?
pratisthar tare, nirjaner ghare,
tava 'hari nama' kevala 'kaitava'

"O wicked mind! What kind of Vaisnava do you think you are? Your pretentious show of chanting Lord Hari's holy name in a solitary place is only for the sake of attaining the false prestige of a worldly reputation-it is nothing but pure hypocrisy."

From this we can learn that the method for bringing the mind under control is to always treat it like a rascal and keep it engaged 24 hours a day in Krishna consciousness. When we can thus keep it under control by always immersing it in the nectarean ocean of Krishna consciousness, it becomes our friend.

Regarding my mind, I follow in the footsteps of Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati and treat it like a rascal. In this way I am free from slavery to my mind and can thus engage it in the service of Krishna by always thinking how to please my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Lord's dearmost devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 10 January 2015

from Toronto, Canada

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Today's Thought:

Why Does Anything Exist?

Why does anything, even existence itself, exist? Everything exists because Krishna is manifesting it from Himself simply for His own pleasure. It is not that Krishna has any duty to fulfill. His position is to simply enjoy. This is why He is called Rama, the Supreme Enjoyer. Krishna is the ultimate entity because not only is He the origin of all existence; He is also the origin of Himself as well as the support of all existence. In other words, without Him nothing would exist. Even existence itself would not be present even as a concept. Krishna does not depend on anything or anyone else for His existence. He is self-manifested. And over and beyond this He plays the flute so sweetly that everyone, even the animals, are totally captivated by the unlimitedly enchanting sound of His flute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Radharani Is Attracted by the Sound of Krishna's Flute


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Dying Before Our Destined Time

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Could you tell me whether it is possible for a living entity to leave his material body before his destined time of death?

As I hear that if people do not take care of their health i.e. smoking, mental stress, etc., this could create illness and even death. Now could any living entity die in such situation, even if their date of death has not arrived?

Your devotee

J.G.

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Answer: In This Age Everyone is Dying Early

In this age of Kali we are all meant to live to the age of one hundred. But due to so many debilitating factors, such as poor diet, polluted water, unregulated sex life, polluted air, and a lying and cheating atmosphere, hardly anyone lives to their allotted 100 years nowadays. Centenarians, therefore are very rare. Only 4 out of every 100,000 people live to be one hundred. By sinful activities one calls his death date to come sooner.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 9 January 2015

en route from Mendoza, Argentina to Toronto, Canada

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Today's Thought:

Turn This World into the Spiritual World

The whole world can be turned into the spiritual world. All we have to do is put Krishna back in the center of all spheres of activities, where He belongs. This will be the greatest, most joyous paradigm shift that has ever unfolded in the entire history of our universe. This is the mission of the Krishna consciousness movement. If you have not already done so, kindly make your life unlimitedly glorious by fully dedicating it to this mission. You will experience unlimited happiness, and your entrance into the kingdom of God will be assured at the time known to the ignorant as death, when you leave your present material body behind and revive your eternal spiritual body.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Devotees Chant Hare Krishna in New York to Save the World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Where's the Time to Read Transcendental Literature?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

I am not trying to find an excuse to not read all of Prabhupada's books. In fact I love Prabhupada's books tremendously, and they are the ultimate guiding principle of my life. I just wanted to ask whether its practically possible to read all of Prabhupada's books in today's fast-paced times. Srila Prabhupada has written many multi-volumes of literature, and if we were to count it goes to nearly 80. I was wondering whether its feasibly possible to not only read all of his books but also remember them and apply them in our life.

Corrections and clarifications from your side are most welcome. Please enlighten me further. Thanking you.

Your servant,
Sushant

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Answer: The Time is There; Simply You Must Utilize It.

The time is there; simply you must utilize it. While we easily find so much time to check out the latest depressing news of the mundane world, yet we find it difficult to find the time to check out the most wonderful news of the spiritual world. There is much time to read Srila Prabhupada's books. It is simply a matter of properly setting our priorities. This can easily done on the principle of "drops of water wear away the stone." Whenever you have a spare moment immediately pick up one of Prabhupada's books and read a paragraph or a page. Keep a marker in the book so that you can see where you left off. If you are dedicated to this, you can easily read all of Srila Prabhupada's books in due course of time, and Lord Sri Krishna will bless you with so many transcendental realizations, which will become practically manifested in your thoughts, words, and deeds for your deliverance from the cycle of repeated birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 8 January 2015

from Mendoza, Argentina

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Today's Thought:

From South American Heat to Subfreezing Canada

7 January 2015--After an intense but ecstatic lecture series in both Chile and Argentina, today we are heading out from the hot summer in South America to the sub freezing cold of Canada down to -17° C or 1° F. This a good opportunity to practice the principle taught by Lord Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita, to be tolerant of the dualities of this material existence. Such tolerance in obedience to Krishna's order strengthens our relationship with Him and thus increases the transcendental pleasure of being engaged in His service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



A blizzard covers Toronto in snow
Toronto Winter


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Qualification of a Disciple?

Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupad!

What is qualification of a disciple? Or what qualities should a disciple have?

Thank you very much.
Bhakta Edgar.

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Answer: First Qualification is Determination

The first qualification for becoming a disciple is that one must be very determined to attain the goal of pure devotional service. This is confirmed by Rupa Goswami (Upadesamrta 3): utsahan niscayad dhairyat. One must first have firm determination, firm faith. When one engages in devotional service, he must maintain this firm determination. Then Krishna will be pleased with his service, and the spiritual master can show the path of devotional service. If the disciple follows the principles rigidly and undeviatingly, he will certainly receive the mercy of Krishna. This is confirmed by the sastras.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 7 January 2015

from Mendoza, Argentina

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Today's Thought:

Becoming Dear to Krishna

If in spite of the dualities of material nature such as hot and cold, sickness and health, poverty and wealth, you will continue steadily engaged in Krishna's service in spite of all difficulties, you will become very, very dear to the Lord. When one gains such a position there is nothing greater that can be attained anywhere within this universe or beyond this universe. Therefore you should always remain faithful to the instructions that you have received from Lord Krishna and from His representative, the bona fide spiritual master, in all circumstances, no matter whether they are ordinary or outrageous.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




There Is Nothing More Wonderful Than Becoming Dear to Krishna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Did Krishna Open Arjuna's Third Eye?

Is it true that Lord Krishna opened Arjuna's third eye, which is referred to as the divine eye that enabled Arjuna to see Krishna's divine universal form?

K.P.

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Answer: Krishna Opened Arjuna's Two Eyes

Krishna transformed Arjuna two eyes into divine eyes. It is not that he gave him a third eye. It was with Arjuna's two Krishnized eyes that he was able to perceive the universal form.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 6 January 2015

from Santiago, Chile

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Today's Thought:

Onwards to Mendoza, Argentina

5 January 2015--After an ecstatic series of lectures here in Santiago, Chile today we are taking a one hour flight up over the Andes mountains landing in Mendoza, Argentina on the plain on the other side of this longest-in-the-world mountain range. It's wonderful to see how the Krishna consciousness movement has expanded all over the world. If we can stick devotedly to the instructions given in Srila Prabhupada's books, very soon this movement will engulf the planet bringing peace, prosperity, and happiness to everyone.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




From Santiago, Chile to Mendoza, Argentina


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can a King Be Above the Laws?

Dear Gurudeva,

In the purport to Bhagavad-gita 7.12 I have read, "...under the state laws one may be punished, but the king, the lawmaker, is not subject to that law."

How can the king be above the laws of the land? Is he not supposed to lead by example? How will the people follow laws that the king himself does not?

Please guide me,
Sanjay

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Answer: Since He Makes Them, He is Naturally Above Them

Unlike the so-called constitutional monarchies we see nowadays, in a real monarchy the king is the one who makes all the laws, not a parliament. Therefore he answers to no one other than himself and is naturally above the laws. If he is Krishna conscious, as the kings were in the Vedic times, he executes his absolute power in strict accordance with the Vedic teachings under the guidance of his spiritual master. In this way the citizens are well-protected by a compassionate king who cares for his citizens just as a loving parent cares for his children. They are happy, peaceful, and prosperous in this life under the king's good government, and because of the wonderful spiritual training they receive being facilitated by their king, they go back to home, back to Godhead in the next life. Thus in great appreciation for their king, they serve him with love. This is in stark contrast to our modern day governments, which are only served by the citizens out of fear of their being punished.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 5 January 2015

from Santiago, Chile

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Today's Thought:

Enlightening Karma-Reincarnation Conference

On Saturday 3 June 2015 I was the guest speaker at a Karma-Reincarnation Conference held in downtown Santiago, Chile. It was a well-attended event because people are not satisfied with the status quo of the modern day materialistic society. I explained to the attentive audience the ancient teachings of the Bhagavad-gita, how it is the most relevant knowledge for finding actual peace and happiness in the present highly stressful world civilization. By Krishna's mercy many people purchased our books: Bhagavad-gita As It Is and the Science of Self-Realization. Especially notable was that in attendance at the program were staff members from the US Embassy. When that day comes when the government officials throughout the world take to an understanding of the sublime teachings of the Bhagavad-gita there will be a new era of unparalleled peace and prosperity throughout the entire world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Karma Reincarnation Conference
Santiago, Chile--3 January 2015


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Lord Caitanya More Beautiful than Krishna?

Since Lord Caitanya is Radha and Krishna combined and is fair-skinned is He more beautiful than Lord Krishna?

D.P.

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Answer: Lord Caitanya and Lord Krishna Are Equally Beautiful

Since Krishna is the source of all beauty no one can surpass Him in beauty. Since Lord Caitanya is Krishna Himself, He is equally beautiful with Krishna. Krishna's dark complexion and Lord Caitanya's light complexion are both the source of all beauty and are thus equally beautiful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 4 January 2015

from Santiago, Chile

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Today's Thought:

Super Ecstatic Prabhupada Night in Santiago

One of the super sweet highlights of my traveling and preaching the science of Krishna consciousness all over the world is that once a year I get to participate in Prabhupada Night at the ISKCON temple in Santiago, Chile. It is a most delightful program held here every Friday night when devotees come in large numbers to hear about and glorify ISKCON Founder-Acharya: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Since I was the only Prabhupada disciple present I was asked to give my memories and appreciation of my most beloved Guru Maharaja.

I told the enthralled devotee audience the story of how I was rescued from material consciousness by Srila Prabhupada and his wonderful disciples. I was a Mayavadi singer/songwriter who foolishly thought that he could save the world by his music until I realized, "How can I save the world when I haven't even saved myself?" I understood that it was Srila Prabhupada and his Hare Krishna movement who were actually saving the world. I was blessed with the realization that my desire to bring a new era of spiritual bliss to this planet could only be satisfied by my joining the Hare Krishna Movement as an initiated disciple of Srila Prabhupada. So on 12 August 1971 I was accepted by Srila Prabhupada as his disciple and was given the spiritual name, "Sankarshan Das." Getting initiated by Srila Prabhupada was truly the greatest good fortune that I had ever received in my millions upon millions of lifetimes of sojourn in the cycle of repeated birth and death. Now forty-four years later after my initiation I am celebrating that wisest of all decisions very, very grateful that I am now able to offer the suffering humanity Srila Prabhupada's perfect solution for the ocean of problems which are now plaguing them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Srila Prabhupada Night in Santiago, Chile--2 January 2015



Srila Prabhupada Night Attracts Many Eager Hearers


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What To Do? My Life Is Useless Without a Guru.

Hare Krishna, dear teacher,

I have a question, which confuses my mind very often. I've read about the importance of having a spiritual teacher in a person's life, and I understand its importance very much. I have been thinking a lot about serving a teacher and have been feeling a little disappointed in my life because when I go to the temple and see how devotees are serving every day, I want to be like them. I always try to do something for them, but I am always thinking that I am only doing the minimum.

I have seen just a few spiritual teachers in my life, and I know that they all are very glorious. I am very lost in this choice of knowing which one I should accept. I just don't know what to do. Also it's hard for me to see the spiritual master as God's representative on the earth.

I'm chanting 16 rounds of japa for about a year now. I'm vegetarian for about 2 years, I've never had a sexual relationship, and I don't play gambling games. Coffee and alcohol have never been in my life. I take a part in Bhakti Vriksha programs, listen to seminars sometimes, and read books. But I feel that I really don't do everything in the best way. And I'm afraid of getting lost from this way. I like this practice, and I want it to lead my life every day.

What should I do? I feel my life is really useless without service to spiritual master.

Very respectfully and with love,
E.D.

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Answer: Accept Spiritual Master as God's Representative

I am very happy to hear how nicely you are following the regulative principles of freedom. You have rightly understood that you must now accept a spiritual master. The first thing that you need to do to clear up your confusion is to see how the spiritual master is an empowered representative of God. If you see him only as an ordinary man, you will never be able to surrender unto Him. Krishna states in the Srimad Bhagavatam that you have to see the spiritual master as good as God:

acaryam mam vijaniyan
navamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyasuyeta
sarva-deva-mayo guruh

"One should know the acarya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods."
SB 11.17.27

When you understand the spiritual master properly it will be easy for you to connect with Krishna within your heart to understand who your spiritual master should be. There is no reason for you to be in anxiety. You have with all sincerity turned to me for guidance. Rest assured. I can give you all good instructions regarding how you can become solid in your practice of the ultimate self-realization system known as Krishna consciousness for achieving in this very lifetime the ultimate perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead.

To become solidly fixed now in your practice of Krishna there are three things you must do: (1) You must take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master. (2) You must get initiated by him learning from him how to become expert in your practice of Krishna consciousness. And (3) you must always be fully obedient to him accepting his instructions as your very life and soul.

The entire process of Krishna consciousness is based on these three principles. So now if you will seriously apply yourself to these three principles, I can assure you that all of your confusion will be gone, that you will become solidly situated in Krishna consciousness, and that you will attain the highest perfectional stage of pure love of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 3 January 2015

from Santiago, Chile

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Today's Thought:

The Transcendental Bhakti Tripod

The tripod is a solid stand. With its three legs it remains solidly in place. A two-legged stand and a one-legged stand are not solid. They will fall over immediately. In Krishna consciousness we have a tripod, the three basic legs of bhakti that will solidly situate you on the spiritual platform. They are described as follow by Srila Prabhupada in Chapter Six of the Nectar of Devotion:

(1) Accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of a bona fide spiritual master.
(2) Becoming initiated by the spiritual master and learning how to discharge devotional service from him.
(3) Obeying the orders of the spiritual master with faith and devotion.

All the other items of bhakti are automatically included in these three principles. So if you will simply take shelter of the spiritual master, get initiated by him and always obey him, you will quickly and easily be elevated to the transcendental platform of pure devotional service. In other words, Lord Sri Krishna will become your personal property.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada sitting on the floor of a room smiling and gesturing at the gathering of Indian guests
Srila Prabhupada Teaches Pure Krishna Bhakti


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is the Meaning of Renunciation?

Gurudeva, what is the meaning or significance of renunciation in the life of a sadhaka (a practitioner of the science of bhakti) like me? I am practicing Krishna consciousness as an initiated devotee. So how important is renunciation in my life? How may I understand its right meaning? And how can I practice it?

Please enlighten me.
Thank you.

Your unworthy servant,
N.D.

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Answer: Engage Everything in the Service of Krishna

Renunciation is of the utmost importance for anyone who wants to achieve the ultimate perfection of going back to home, back to Godhead. Unfortunately most people, even the seekers of self-realization, do not understand it properly. It is usually thought that renunciation means giving up everything and going to live in the forest. But this is a gross misunderstanding. What does one actually possess to begin with that he has to renounce? Nothing. The reality is that none of us possess anything because everything is the property of Krishna. Therefore real renunciation simply means to acknowledge that it is only Krishna who is the owner and to then engage everything in His service.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 2 January 2015

from Auckland, New Zealand Airport

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Today's Thought:

Save the Entire World As Soon As Possible

Even though every living being is by nature spiritual and thus eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss, due to the entire world being locked into the material concept of life, at the present moment no one in any country is truly happy. I am traveling all over the world, but nowhere do I see anyone who is experiencing genuine bliss except for those persons who have regained their original spiritual nature by surrendering themselves at the lotus feet of Lord Sri Krishna. So this is our mission. We want to save the people of this planet from their misery and bless them with the ultimate and only genuine happiness of being reinstated in their original constitutional identity as a servant of Krishna. In this way, we hope that by the grace of Lord Krishna we will be able to save the entire world as soon as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Yound devotees chanting and dancing in bliss with big smiles on their faces
The Hare Krishnas Are Out to Save the World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Guru Continues to Accept Sinful Reactions?

Does the spiritual master continue to take on the sinful reactions the disciples makes even after initiation, or just before?

C.L.

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Answer: Disciples Must Not Deviate

The spiritual master continues to take sinful reactions if his disciples violate their initiation vows. Therefore the disciples must strictly keep their vows to avoid putting their spiritual master into difficulty.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 1 January 2015

from ISKCON Sydney, Australia

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Today's Thought:

Amazing Crossing of the Viraja River

Today on our flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Santiago, Chile we will be crossing the international date line, which is situated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. An amazing thing about this flight is that because we are crossing the date line travelling east, we will arrive in Santiago before we leave from New Zealand. This reminds me of the even more amazing crossing of the Viraja River. Srila Prabhupada describes the Viraja River as follows in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam, Second Canto, Chapter Nine, Text Ten:

"In the Padma Purana, Uttara-khanda, it is stated that beyond the one-fourth part of God's creation is the three-fourths manifestation. The marginal line between the material manifestation and the spiritual manifestation is the Viraja River, and beyond the Viraja, which is a transcendental current flowing from the perspiration of the body of the Lord, there is the three-fourths manifestation of God's creation."

It is astoundingly amazing when one crosses the Viraja River leaving behind the material dimension of time and enters into the spiritual dimension of timelessness. The souls on the material side of the Viraja are eternally conditioned, and the souls on the spiritual side are eternally liberated. When the newly liberated soul crosses the Viraja on his return to the spiritual abode he is instantly transformed from an eternally conditioned soul into an eternally liberated soul. This is amazing indeed. How can this happen? Time does not exist at the Viraja River crossing. Therefore when one first crosses the Viraja on his fall down into the material world, there is no time when it took place. This means that upon arriving in the material dimension he is always in it; he is an eternally conditioned soul. And when that same soul again crosses the Viraja on his return to Godhead there is no time when he passes over that sacred river. Therefore upon his arrival in the spiritual world he is immediately and automatically an eternal resident of that transcendental dimension who never really left it. It is very difficult for us to conceive of this with our tiny brains and mundane logic because in this material world we are totally conditioned to always think in terms of time. But once we are liberated and regain our original position in timelessness, all of these things will be easily understood. In other words falling down into the material world is something like a bad dream when one's eternal wakeful condition is in that wondrous spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari




Krishna Lovingly Awaits Our Return to His Eternal Abode


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Is Bhakti Identical With Krishna?

Can you kindly explain why is it said that devotional service to Lord Krishna and Lord Krishna are identical?

Regards,
Saswata

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Answer: Connecting With Bhakti Is Connecting With Krishna

They are identical because as soon as you engage in devotional service to Krishna you are immediately connected with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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