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

Wednesday 23 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Take Over the World for Krishna

Krishna does not want to see the entire world population languishingly rotting in the cycle of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease. He wants everyone to be happy, overflowing with unlimited oceans of transcendental bliss. Therefore acting as Krishna's instruments we must fulfill His desire by making the entire world Krishna conscious. We are not speaking of any kind of military conquest. We are speaking about a cultural conquest in which the entire world population joyfully awakens to discover that unlimited peace, love, and happiness is their divine birthright. The whole world is waiting for us to lead them out of chaos. So now we must do our duty and save them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Guruvani devi dasi distributes Krishna conscious literature in Austin, Texas for global respiritualization
Guruvani Devi Dasi Distributes Krishna Conscious Literature
in Austin, Texas for Global Respiritualization


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do You Recommend Any Other Gita Editions?

Please tell me, in addition to Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Srila Prabhupada, which other editions of Gita are okay to read? In addition to Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Srila Prabhupada are there editions of Gita which are also "as it is" - without any addition or subtraction?

If some persons may be reading an edition of the Gita other than Bhagavad-gita As It Is by Srila Prabhupada, then it may helpful to know whether the edition is okay to read, as they may resist changing to different edition.

Humble respects from Sunil

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Answer: I Recommend Only Bhagavad-gita As It Is

Srila Prabhupada named his Gita edition as Bhagavad-gita As It Is because in practically every other edition of the Gita the translator/commentator has taken liberty with the Gita’s teaching to interject his own often distorted and imperfect ideas. I experienced this personally many years ago when I was explaining this point to a religion professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas USA. He was a little skeptical, so I am asked him to hand me another edition of the Bhagavad-gita off of his office book shelf. I immediately turned to Bhagavad-gita 9.34 to see how it was translated. In the actual Bhagavad-gita 9.34 Krishna says:

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

In the other edition the professor had in his office I found this translation:

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

What a huge difference! Krishna actually says that by absorbing ourselves in Him we will go back to Godhead and serve Him forever in the spiritual world. But the rascal translator has changed it that by absorbing ourselves in Krishna consciousness we will become Krishna Himself. This is demoniac. It is the desire to become Krishna that brought us into this material world in the first place. And now this rascal in the name of the Bhagavad-gita is telling us how we can become Krishna.

Even if the verses in other editions are all translated correctly, which is highly unlikely, the other editions lack the purports of Krishna's pure devotee to help one understand the true meaning of the verses. Therefore instead of spending your energy to find out suitable editions of the Bhagavad-gita that you can recommend, you should instead spend your energy to convince this person to read Bhagavad-gita As It Is. If you can convince him, he will be benefitted unlimitedly and you will be benefitted unlimitedly as well.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 22 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Sweetest Nectar on Govardhana Parikrama

On Monday 21 April 2014 we tasted the sweetest of all varieties of nectar because it was on this day that we did Govardhana Parikrama, the circumambulation of Govardhana Hill. To experience first hand so many pastime places of Lord Sri Krishna around Govardhana Hill one after another after another and then to be fully absorbed in hearing about, glorifying, and remembering Krishna non-stop was a powerful, uplifting experience indeed. If you would also like to taste this sublime nectar, we invite you to come and be with us in Vrindavana on our next visit in September-October. We are arriving in Vrindavana on 8 September after spending four days preaching in New Delhi. And we are departing from Vrindavana on 10 October for three days of preaching in Pune before we head out for Europe on 13 October.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Telling History of Govardhana's Appearance
Telling History of Govardhana's Appearance
Sitting at Foot of Govardhana Hill--21 April 2014

Telling a Krishna Pastime at Manasi Ganga
Telling a Krishna Pastime at Manasi Ganga--21 April 2014


Ecstatically Approaching Govinda Kunda
Ecstatically Approaching Govinda Kunda--21 April 2014

Telling an Ecstatic Govinda Kunda Pastime
Telling an Ecstatic Govinda Kunda Pastime--21 April 2014

Relishing Sublime Govardhana Parikrama Nectar
Relishing Sublime Govardhana Parikrama Nectar--21 April 2014

Relishing Sublime Govardhana Parikrama Nectar



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Krishna Want Us to Go to Hell?

My dear Gurudeva,

In his purport to Bhagavad-gita 5.15, Srila Prabhupada quotes the following verses:

"The Lord engages the living entity in pious activities so that he may be elevated. The Lord engages him in impious activities so that he may go to hell."

"The living entity is completely dependent in his distress and happiness. By the will of the Supreme he can go to heaven or hell, as a cloud is driven by the air."

From these verses cited by Srila Prabhupada the following question has arisen in my mind:

If Krishna is really the well-wisher of all the living entities why does He engage the living entities in impious activities so that the soul goes to the hell? Why Krishna doesn't purify that soul? Does Krishna like us to go to hell?.

Vrutant S.

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Answer: Krishna Wants Us to Return Back to Godhead

Krishna does not want anyone to go to hell. Rather His desire is that everyone should be engaged in devotional service so that they can come home, back to Godhead as soon as possible. But for those fools and rascals who stubbornly refuse to serve Him, who insist on defying Him by trying to enjoy separately from Him here in this material world, He gives facility that they can defy His existence and engage in impious activities according to their demoniac desires. The essential point for you to understand here is that Krishna or God does not impose His will on anyone. Rather, He gives everyone the freedom to love Him or leave Him. It is only with this free choice that love of God can truly exist, because you cannot love someone who is forcing you at gun point to love them in return.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 21 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Transcendental Excursion to Rajasthan

Saturday 19 April 2014 was a real transcendental excursion for about 20 of us. We drove for many hours in a convoy of vans from Vrindavana to Jaipur, Rajasthan, the home of Lord Govinda, an ancient deity of Krishna originally installed by Krishna's great grandson Vajranaba 5,000 years ago. Lord Govinda was rediscovered 500 years ago in Vrindavana by Srila Rupa Gosvami and worshipped there with great opulence in a beautiful seven storied temple, on which construction began around 1570. Less than 100 years later when the Muslim tyrant Aurangzeb sent his soldiers to destroy the deities and temples of Vrindavana, the king of Amber, Maharaja Jai Singh, rescued Lord Govinda and Vrindavana's main deities before the soldiers arrived to desecrate Vrindavana. Lord Govinda was worshipped with great devotion in Amber. Later 11 kilometers away Maharaja Jai Singh built the city of Jaipur and established the worship of Sri Sri Radha Govinda on his palace grounds there. The worship has been going on there now continually for centuries. Every day thousands of devotees come to see their beloved Lord Govinda. It was very inspiring to see this most beloved 5,000 year old deity of Srila Rupa Goswami's being so nicely worshipped.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Maharaja Jai Singh's Fortress in Amber
Maharaja Jai Singh's Fortress in Amber

Amber Fortification Wall
Amber Fortication Wall

Sri Sri Radha Govinda Worshipped in the king's palace grounds
Sri Sri Radha Govinda Worshipped in the King's Palace Grounds

Every day thousands come for Radha Govinda's darshan
Every Day Thousands Come for Radha Govinda Darshan


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Bhakti and Pure Bhakti

What is the difference between devotional service and pure devotional service?

De P.

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Answer: Pure and Impure

In the beginning, our devotional service is not pure because it is mixed with various types of material motives. In this stage of devotional service mixed with material desires, our minds are not completely satisfied because of still being agitated by unfulfilled desires. But when we become completely free from all material desires we attain the perfectional stage of spiritual life known as pure devotional service, in which we have no unfulfilled desires and we are thus 100% blissful without even the slightest tinge of anxiety or animosity remaining.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 20 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Krishna Consciousness is the Only Real Happiness

In the material world people try to be happy by this means and that means. But all of their attempts are artificial due to their ignorance of who they are really. Because they misidentify themselves as being their material bodies, they center their lives around bodily pleasure and thus they never experience real happiness. It's a pitiful situation in which they are entangled as they futilely try to be happy. We should try to help them become liberated from illusion and attain the real platform of happiness by reconnecting them with the reservoir of real pleasure, Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Upendra Das tells an old lady about Krishna Consciousness
Upendra Das Tells an Old Lady About Krishna Consciousness


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Softheartedness Required for Spiritual Salvation?

In Chapter One of the Bhagavad-Gita, Srila Prabhupada states many times that Arjuna is a softhearted devotee of the Lord and because of that he is eligible to receive transcendental knowledge. Would you explain what is softheartedness? What if one is not softhearted but has a hard heart, does he have a chance to go back home, back to Godhead?

Thank You

Your servant,
Bhakta Kris

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Answer: Softheartedness is Necessary

Someone who is softhearted feels compassion for others. He cannot tolerate to see them in a suffering condition.

For going to back to Godhead, this is a very important and necessary quality that you should try to develop to the best of your ability. It will automatically develop in you if you will try as much as possible to tell others about Krishna. Therefore Lord Caitanya has ordered us all to tell everyone we meet about Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 19 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Don't Cheat Yourself Out of Unlimited Bliss

Don't cheat yourself out of unlimited bliss by going after the temporary pleasures of this world, which never satisfy you no matter how much you indulge in them. Material sense pleasure is literally only skin deep because while it may sometimes give a temporary sense of satisfaction to the material body or the subtle false ego, it can never give genuine satisfaction to the real self who dwells within the gross and subtle bodies. If you will take to the real pleasure of reconnecting yourself with the reservoir of unlimited pleasure, Lord Sri Krishna, you will live a profoundly abundant eternal existence overflowing with love, bliss, and cognizance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Exposing the stupid futility of material sense gratification
Exposing the Stupid Futility of Material Sense Gratification
Srimad Bhagavatam Class--Sri Vrindavana Dhama--18 April 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How the Only Enjoyer Can Be the Best Friend of All?

My dear Gurudeva,

In Bhagavad-gita 5.29 Krishna says that He is the only enjoyer. At the same time He also says that He is the well-wisher of all living entities. But how is this possible? Generally, when a person has an enjoying mentality, he does not and cannot think about welfare of others. Please clarify.

Vrutant S.

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Answer: Reality Is God-Centered, Not Self-Centered

Krishna is different from us because since He is the root of all existence, when He enjoys everyone enjoys. It just like when you feed your stomach all the parts of your body enjoy the nourishing benefits of the food. So it is not that Krishna is the only enjoyer. It is best understood that He is the primary enjoyer and that everyone else enjoys by satisfying Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 18 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Embracing Problems as the Pathway Back to Godhead

When I was boy, I remember that one day my father told me regarding his job as the plant engineer at Imperial Sugar in Sugarland, Texas, USA, "They pay me to solve problems." So for my father, problems were not really problems. They were instead his very means of livelihood. In other words, for my dad, problems were money in the bank. Solving problems in the sugar plant was what made his job an interesting and exciting challenge for him every day and what got him paid. This same principle can be applied to the process of awakening our dormant Krishna consciousness. Every problem we face is another opportunity to overcome the influence of the material energy and come one step closer to Krishna. So instead of becoming bewildered by problems, we should embrace them as an exciting challenges that, step by step, will bring us back to our original loving relationship with Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Relishing the sublime atmosphere at Vrinda Kunda
Relishing the Sublime Atmosphere at Vrinda Kunda--April 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Another Purpose to Life Besides Loving Krishna?

Rev Divine,

You state in your course that the original person is emanating us for the purpose of enjoying a loving relationship with us and that this indeed is the very purpose of our existence. I am looking for any other way to make me understand the purpose of my existence.

Regards,
Motwani

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Answer: Reality Is God-Centered, Not Self-Centered

The very reason that we are presently caught up in the cycle of repeated birth and death is that we do not like to accept that the very purpose of our existence is to have a loving relationship with Krishna. Instead of putting Krishna in the center, we want to put ourselves in the center. This is the difficulty. We are inclined towards a self-centered reality instead of a God-centered reality.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 17 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

The Merciful Pierces of Durga Devi's Trident

In this material world we are all being pierced by Durga Devi's trident. The three prongs of her trident are the threefold miseries of material existence: miseries caused by the mind and body, miseries caused by other living beings, and miseries caused by natural disturbances. The devotee, however, takes this threefold-miseries trident differently. He sees that Durga Devi is a pure devotee of Krishna, who is always acting in accordance with the Lord's will to help the fallen living beings realize that this material world is not their real home so that they become serious to seek out their real home in the eternal spiritual sky. In this way the devotee sees these miseries as the Lord's benedictions delivered by His pure devotee, Durga Devi, and he patiently tolerates them without being disturbed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Durga Devi pierces a demon with her trident
Durga Devi Pierces a Demon With Her Trident


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What is Simultaneous Difference and Non-Difference?

Please help me understanding the principle of simultaneous difference and non-difference.

Best Regards
Kamesh K.

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Answer: 1.27 Billions Indians Are One But Different

Simultaneous oneness and difference is easy to understand. For example, since you are an Indian, you are the same as the other Indians. There are 1.27 billion of you on this planet all situated in the same category of Indian. But yet within these 1.27 billion Indians we see that each of you is different. Each of you is a unique individual with your own distinctive tastes, qualities, activities, and characteristics. So in this sense you are simultaneously one with and different from the other 1.27 billion Indians.

In a similar way we are all different from and not different from Krishna or God. Because we are part of Him we possess the same qualities that He has, just as a drop of ocean water is qualitatively one with the ocean possessing the same chemical characteristics as the entire ocean. But quantitatively there is a gulf of difference between us and Krishna, just as there is a huge difference between a drop of ocean water and the entire ocean. You can float a battleship on the ocean, but you cannot float a battleship on a drop of water. Krishna contains everything within Himself, while we are contained within Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 16 April 2014

From Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Full Moon Inspiration in Sri Vrindavana Dhama

15 April 2014--This morning after relishing Mangala Arati at Srila Prabhupada's samadhi, when I returned to our quarters for the ecstasy of offering Mangala Arati to Sri Sri Radha Damodara, I beheld through the trees the most beautiful shining full moon radiating in the sky reminding me of that unforgettable night 5,000 years ago when Krishna and the gopis danced the rasa dance for an entire nighttime of Lord Brahma in the beautiful moonlit night of Vrindavana. There is truly nothing sweeter than remembering Krishna and His pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Stunning full moon seen through Vrindavana Trees
Stunning Full Moon Seen Through Vrindavan Trees--15 April 2014

Krishna and the gopis, rasa dance, Sri Vrindavana Dhama
Krishna and The Gopis--Rasa Dance--Sri Vrindavan Dhama

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Will the Material World Eventually Be Deserted?

Please accept my humble obeisance's, All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Thanks for sharing the daily broadcast of the Ultimate Self Realization Course. We daily read and share the information received from you.

One of our devotees has a question as follows for which I request an answer:

"Since everyone here in this material world will eventually be rectified and go back to home, back to Godhead, will there come a time when all living entities will finish the cycle of birth and death and the material world is completely deserted?"

Thanks and Regards
Pawan S.

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Answer: There Will Always Be Souls Who are Falling Down

Just as within a state there will be always be criminals who require being kept in the prison, in a similar way, the material world will never be deserted because there will always be living beings rebelling against the authority of the Lord and thus falling down from the spiritual world into this material existence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 15 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

The Bhagavad-gita Can Solve Everyone's Problems

The simple formula for achieving perfect love, peace, and happiness is to carefully study the Bhagavad-gita and sincerely follow its teachings to the best of one's ability. Anyone who does this in any part of the world can quickly and easily attain the supreme happiness. This is why our mission is to enlighten the entire world with the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Bhagavad-gita lecture in Vrindavana
Bhagavad-gita
Lecture in Vrindavana


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Krishna Fulfills Material or Spiritual Desires?

A number of desires may arise in one's mind while chanting. Does Krishna satisfy such people by fulfilling those desires? But if one knows that every living entity actually needs pure bhakti to be happy but is not able to control his unnecessary desires, which desire does Krishna fulfill?

Thank you for teaching us how to remain dedicated to one's spiritual master by your own example.

Your unworthy servant,
Lipsa

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Answer: Krishna Fulfills Desires According to What is Deserved

The Lord fulfills our desires according to what we deserve, not according to what we desire.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 14 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Amazing Pastimes of Krishna in Kamyavana

On Friday 12 April 2014 we went with a large group of devotees to Kamyavan on the far distant edge of Vraja. Kamyavan is so far away that it is situated in the state of Rajasthan. The Adi Varaha Purana describes that this is a place where all the desires of the demigods and devotees are fulfilled. Therefore I advised the devotees to be especially careful while in Kamyavana to only have spiritual desires in their hearts.

We first experienced the nectar of seeing the 5,000 year deity of Vrinda Devi, the presiding deity of Vrindavan forest, offering her our obeisances, and hearing the eight beautiful prayers glorifying her. We then went to Vimala-Kunda, which is thus described:

"It is said that Krishna had pastimes here with the daughters of Raja Vimala, the king of Sindh (which is now in Pakistan). They had their strong desire to be with Krishna fulfilled at this place and that is why this kunda is called Vimala-Kunda. This pastime is described in the Bhavisya Purana. King Vimala had 10 million beautiful daughters."

From there we went to Charan Pahari, a mountain on which Krishna's footprint is embedded in stone on its top. Coming down we saw Balarama's footprint embedded in a rock. And then nearby we beheld the rock slide on the side of the mountain that was formerly enjoyed by Krishna and the cowherd boys. Each of us took a turn and had an ecstatic slide. Then we relished our lunch of Krishna prasadam at the picnic spot of Krishna and the cowherd boys called Bhojan Sthali, a place where Krishna' eating bowl impression is embedded in a rock. After lunch we took the long drive back to Vrindavan town all feeling very uplifted and purified by our parikrama adventure to Kamyavana, the forest that fulfills one's desires.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The beautiful Vimala Kunda in Kamyavana
The Beautiful Vimala Kunda in Kamyavana

Telling Amazing Pastimes that happened at Vimala Kunda

Telling Amazing Pastimes That Happened at Vimala Kunda

Climbing Charan Pahari, the Lotus Feet Mountain
Climbing Charan Pahari, the Lotus Feet Mountain


Taking shelter of Balarama's footprints and begging for mercy
Taking Shelter of Balarama's Footprints and Begging for Mercy

Devotee's Enjoy the Cowherd Boy Slide
Devotee's Enjoy the Cowherd Boy Slide


Describing the Amazing Glories of Krishna at Bhojan Sthali

Describing the Amazing Glories of Krishna at Bhojan Sthali

Ecstatic Transcendental Picnic at Bhojan Sthali
Ecstatic Transcendental Picnic at Bhojan Sthali


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Did We Fall From Vaikuntha or Krishnaloka?

Dear Sankarshan Prabhu,

I'm confused about some statements in your newsletters. You have clearly stated that conditioned souls were once upon a time in Krishnaloka; however, this is Srila Prabhupada's translation of Bhagavad-gita 8.15: "After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection."

There appears to be a contradiction between this statement in the Gita and other statements regarding falling from Vaikuntha or Krishnaloka. Do you know where these statements are in Srila Prabhupada's books?

Your servant,
Damodara dasa

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Answer: By Desiring to Enjoy Separately from the Lord

Why are you confused when there is nothing to be confused about?

Kindly carefully note that Krishna does not say that they never COME to this material world. He says they never RETURN to this material world. There is a humongous difference of meaning between these two words "come" and "return." That the jivas never return to the material world after attaining Krishna means that although the jiva may fall once, he will not fall twice having sufficiently learned his lesson.

Srila Prabhupada clearly describes in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.54 that the jivas were originally with Krishna before falling down into material existence:

"The original home of the living entity and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the spiritual world. In the spiritual world both the Lord and the living entities live together very peacefully. Since the living entity remains engaged in the service of the Lord, they both share a blissful life in the spiritual world. However, when the living entity wants to enjoy himself, he falls down into the material world."

If you will put your full faith in Prabhupada's words, your mind and intelligence will be satisfied, and you will be liberated from confusion. So kindly do not doubt our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada. Simply try to understand his teachings with a cool brain.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 13 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

On the Verge of Death

In this material world death can come at any time even when we least expect it. Therefore it can be rightly said that we are all situated on the verge of death. Bhaktivinoda Thakura advises that we should all become enchanted with the name of God, that we should dive deeply into the unlimitedly sweet nectarean mellow of the holy name of Krishna because this will save us from having to take birth again in this miserable material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, great acharya in our sampradaya
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura--Great Acharya in Our Sampradaya


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Should Be Guru?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

What is Srila Prabhupada's instruction on who should be guru, and why do gurus fall down?

Michael

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Answer: Those Prabhupada Disciples Who Are Strictly Following

Srila Prabhupada said that those of his disciples who are strictly following him should become gurus. Fall-downs occur when one is not strictly following Srila Prabhupada and tries to do the service of being a spiritual master. Persons who are not able to maintain an entire life of strictly following Srila Prabhupada should never have taken the position of guru in the first place.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 12 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Cultivate Tolerance or Krishna Consciousness?

Srila Prabhupada wonderfully explains tolerance in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 2.45 as follows:

"As long as the material body exists, there are actions and reactions in the material modes. One has to learn tolerance in the face of dualities such as happiness and distress, or cold and warmth, and by tolerating such dualities become free from anxieties regarding gain and loss. This transcendental position is achieved in full Krishna consciousness when one is fully dependent on the good will of Krishna."

Srila Prabhupada says that one has to learn tolerance of the dualities of this material nature. And he also explains that through Krishna consciousness, i.e. being fully dependent on the good will of Krishna, one achieves the transcendental position beyond the dualities. So should we cultivate Krishna consciousness, or should we cultivate tolerance? The answer is that we should cultivate both because the more one is tolerant of the dualities, the easier it is to remember Krishna, and the more one is Krishna conscious, he is naturally more and more tolerant.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada tolerated great difficulties to start this movement
Srila Prabhupada tolerated great difficulities to start his movement


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How To Visualize Krishna?

Thank you again for your wonderful daily messages.

I am still questioning myself, during the chanting, how I should visualize Sri Krishna? Should it be like we see him depicted in Swamiji's books in blue with the gopis or the cowherd boys?

Also I wish to ask you why Sri Krishna created man imperfect and material as a prisoner of materialism instead of creating man perfect directly at the beginning so that he does not need to come back to his original home in the spiritual world after falling down into material existence?

Sorry if these questions have already been asked to you a thousand times, since you are so much devoted to us night and day!

Also I wonder how Swami Prabhupada could have had one single second to sleep with all that he did (disciples over the world, so many many books, etc. etc.)

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

Edmond in Switzerland

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Answer: Dive Deep Into the Sound of His Name

The Vedic injunction is that in this age of Kali we should fix our mind on the sound of Krishna's name. If you go deep, deep into the sound of Krishna names, you will find everything there: His unlimited names, His boundless forms, His infinite qualities, His endless pastimes, etc.

Krishna is manifesting us as perfect beings who can reciprocate love with Him perfectly. But since love is voluntary, not forced, part of our perfection is the free will to either love God or leave God. If we choose to leave him, we suffer in this material existence. But then the Lord comes personally or in the form his representative, the bona fide spiritual master, to rescue us and bring us back to our original perfect, liberated position in the spiritual world.

Srila Prabhupada slept very little. He would take two hours of sleep at night and a one-and-a-half hour nap after lunch. This detachment from his own personal sense gratification was a symptom of his intense dedication to the order of his spiritual master to make the Krishna consciousness movement successful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 11 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

Today's Thought:

Surrender to Krishna Frees You From All Anxieties

Fully surrendering to Krishna is so wonderful that it immediately frees you from all anxieties. As long as you maintain your own agenda, your own set plan on how you want things to happen, you must necessarily be in anxiety because you will have to always defend your agenda from all opposing agendas. Sometimes you will be successful, and sometimes you will not. But when you fully surrender to the amazing Supreme Lord Krishna by totally embracing His agenda as your own, there is nothing that can ever interrupt the happiness and satisfaction that you derive from your ongoing loving reciprocation with Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada teaches full surrender
Srila Prabhupada Teaches Full Surrender
in Melbourne, Australia




Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Is Ritvik Philosophy?

I have started practicing Krishna consciousness from 6 months ago. And recently I have heard about ritvik philosophy. What is it? This is disturbing the entire devotee world.

Shreenivasa

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Answer: A Sour Grapes Concoction of the Envious

Ritvik philosophy is not disturbing the entire devotee world. It only creates confusion in the minds of those who are not fully trained up in Krishna consciousness. The ritvik philosophy is a concocted philosophy, which is not in accord with the Vedic teachings and the orders of our movement's Founder-Acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

According to ritvik philosophy Srila Prabhupada is the final guru in the line of disciplic succession, which has been going on for thousands of years. The Vedic system is that the line of disciplic succession continues. It does not stop. One who is now the disciple becomes the next spiritual master. Srila Prabhupada confirmed this in his instructions to his disciples that in the future after his disappearance they would become spiritual masters and accept their own disciples.

The ritvik philosophy is propagated by envious neophyte devotees who are not qualified to be spiritual masters. Their logic is, "If I cannot be a spiritual master, nobody can be a spiritual master." Their philosophy is 'sour grapes' philosophy. There was once a fox who saw some delicious looking grapes situated on a branch beyond his reach. He starting jumping higher and higher to try to reach the grapes, but he could not do so. Therefore, because he could not reach the grapes, he concluded that they were sour and went away. In the same way some envious neophyte devotees who are not qualified to become spiritual masters say that no one can become a spiritual master.

Envy is what brought us into this material world in the first place. So if a devotee holds on to his envy, especially envy against other devotees, he will not be qualified to go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 10 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

How We Fell into Material Existence

Just as a servant sometimes becomes envious of his master and thinks, "Why can't I enjoy like my master enjoys?", in a similar way when the living becomes envious of Krishna's being the master and desires to himself become the master, the living is captured by maya and falls down into material existence.

krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga vañcha kare
pasate maya tare japatiya dhare

"When the living entity desires to enjoy separately from Krishna, the illusory potency of the Lord, maya, immediately grabs the soul in her clutches."

But when such a captured soul comes in contact with a saintly teacher, his original pure consciousness can be revived by engaging himself under the spiritual master's direction in the purificatory process of bhakti yoga, devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada is so mercifully saving us
Srila Prabhupada is So Mercifully Saving Us
At Radha-Damodar Temple--Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Who Can Bring Me Krishna?

I feel lonely because I need Lord Krishna. I only have eyes for Him. So who can bring Lord Krishna to me so that I will not feel lonely?

Your eternal servant,
N.U.

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Answer: The Spiritual Master

The spiritual master is the person who brings Krishna to the disciple. By our unflinching devotion to our spiritual master we realize Krishna.

The more you feel in your heart the pangs of not having Krishna there with you, the more that Krishna will come to you and free you from all your feelings of loneliness. So kindly intensify your feelings of loneliness by calling out to Him with love when you chant your japa. This will make you supremely happy.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 9 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Battling It Out With Uncontrolled Senses

There are two types of devotees: the sadhakas and the siddhas. The sadhakas are the neophytes who are still learning how to bring their uncontrolled senses under control, and the siddhas are the realized devotees who have fully mastered their senses according to the instructions of Srila Rupa Goswami as given in the first mantra of the Upadeshamrita as follows:

vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo visaheta dhirah
sarvam apimam prthivim sa sisyat

"A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind's demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world."

Therefore to master the art of controlling one's senses is most essential for one who wants to advance solidly on the path of self-realization and fully realize Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus taking complete shelter of guru and Krishna, the sadhakas should enthusiastically embrace the battle with their uncontrolled senses because winning this battle means becoming qualified to associate personally with Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Beautiful Krishna and Balarama in Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India
Beautiful Krishna and Balarama in Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Jiva Fell From Spiritual World or Is He Tatastha Shakti?

Hare Krishna Gurudeva,

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

I have learnt from sources outside ISKCON (the Gaudiya Math) that the jiva, the spirit-soul, is described as tatastha shakti by Caitanya Mahaprabhu and that he was never in the spiritual world since time immemorial. Once the jiva attains the prema-bhakti of Lord Krishna, he goes back to home, back to Godhead from where he never returns to the material world. You mentioned in the 7 April 2014 "Thought for the Day" that there will always be more jiva souls falling down from the spiritual world. This appears to be a contradiction.

Thank you.
Your insignificant servant,
Yogesh

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Answer: Both

There is no contradiction. Simply there is confusion in your mind because you have taken instructions from those who do not have a complete understanding of the original position of the jiva soul. Some devotees who are not blessed with the good fortune of having carefully studied the purports of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami have the misconception that the jivas who have fallen into this material world were not originally with the Supreme Lord in His transcendental pastimes in the spiritual world.

Srila Prabhupada taught us from the very beginning that the jiva souls are tatastha shakti, marginal energy. So this is nothing new that we have to learn from outside of Srila Prabhupada's teachings. "Tata" means border. And "stha" means situated. So "tatastha" means situated on the border. Since one cannot literally live on the border, he can live on one side or the other, tatastha shakti means that the living being has a tatastha consciousness or free will which allows him to choose which side of the border he wants to live on, the spiritual side or the material side.

We agree that since time immemorial we have never been in the spiritual world. It was before that, before we entered into the dimension of time, that we were with the Supreme Lord in His divine pastimes in the spiritual world.

It's a fact that no one who goes back to Godhead falls again into this material world. "Once burned, twice shy." The jiva who foolishly tries to enjoy separately from the Lord and then experiences what a hellish nightmare this is, will never make the same mistake twice by returning to this material world to suffer unbearable miseries once again in the cycle of birth and death. So the answer to your question is both. We are tatastha shakti, and we fell down from the spiritual world. This is confirmed as follows in the Prema-vivarta:

krsna-bahirmukha jiva bhoga-vancha kare
nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare

"Turning his face away from Krishna, the jiva develops the desire to enjoy.
Standing nearby, Maya slaps him and seizes hold of him."

I hope that the most uniquely profound and illuminating teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta have now clarified this matter for you so that you are no longer confused regarding this matter.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 8 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Bathing in the Yamuna, the Ultimate Cleanse

One of the sweetest types of bliss is to relish an ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan while boating on the Yamuna River in Sri Vrindavan Dhama, and then after cleaning the heart very nicely with the Hare Krishna mantra, to take the ultimate cleanse of bathing in the river Yamuna. Every time I immerse myself in her most sacred waters I come out feeling super exhilarated and surcharged in my practice of Krishna consciousness. We come to Vrindavan twice a year and we hope that you, our dear reader, can be with us on our next visit to Vrindavan so we can bathe together in this wondrous number-one favorite river of Lord Krishna in which and by which He performed so many amazing transcendental pastimes.

To co-ordinate your pilgrimage to Vrindavan with ours consult the following schedule: http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/schedule

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan on the River Yamuna
Sri Vrindavan Dhama--6 April 2014



Ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan on the River Yamuna

Ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan on the River Yamuna



The ultimate cleanse: bathing in the River Yamuna
The Ultimate Cleanse--Bathing in the Yamuna River


Feeling really good after bathin in Yamuna
Feeling Really Good After Bathing in Yamuna


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do Followers of Demigods Worship Lord Krishna?

Please accept my humble obeisances
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I understand that all the demigods are devotees of Lord Krishna. Since the demigods are devotees of Lord Krishna, in the planets of the demigods are the residents inclined to worship Lord Krishna in order to please the demigods?

I understand that the Shiva sampradaya (disciplic succession from Lord Shiva) is one of the sampradayas for spiritual perfection. Do the followers of the Shiva sampradaya go to the planet of Lord Shiva?

Humble respects from Sunil D.

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Answer: No, They Worship the Demigods

The residents of the planets of the demigods are devotees of the demigods. They are not the devotees of Krishna. They are not interested in pleasing Krishna. They go to the demigods because of their interest in satisfying their own material desires.

There is a Vaisnava sampradaya of those who worship Lord Shiva, not as a demigod, but as a Vaisnava acharya. This sampradaya coming from Lord Shiva is called the Rudra sampradaya. Vaisnavism or devotion to Lord Vishnu takes one to the spiritual world, not to the abode of Lord Shiva, Mahesh Dhama, which is situated between the spiritual world and the material world. Mahesh Dhama is for the impersonalists who want to merge into the existence of the Transcendence. It is not for those who are devoted to Lord Vishnu, even if they are doing so under the direction of Lord Shiva.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 7 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Sublime Nectar of Sri Vrindavan Dhama

There is nothing in this world more sublime than being in the transcendental abode of Lord Sri Krishna, Sri Vrindavana Dhama. In this amazing transcendental place Krishna is eternally engaged in His transcendental pastimes, which means that they are going on here right now at this very minute for those who have the eyes to see them. For those of us who are not so fortunate to be able to directly perceive the Lord here engaged in His amazing adventures, we are blessed with the good fortune that hankering to witness these pastimes is as good seeing them. Therefore when one comes to Vrindavana he should intensely desire to connect with Krishna in every possible way: through His name, through remembering His pastimes, through remembering and following His teaching, through obeying the orders received from one's spiritual master, and through serving the Vaishnavas (the devotees of the Lord.)

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Giving Srimad Bhagavatam clas at the Krishna Balarama Temple
Giving Srimad Bhagavatam Class in Krishna Balarama Temple
Sri Vrindavan Dhama--6 April 2014

 

Giving Srimad Bhagavatam class at the Krishna Balarama temple

With my friend, the cow, in Bhaktivedanta Ashram
With My Friend, the Cow, in Bhaktivedanta Ashram
Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India--6 April 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Will the Material World Ever Be Permanently Destroyed?

My dear Gurudeva,

Will there be any time when all material universes and planets will be permanently destroyed and each and every living entity will go back to home?

Vrutant S.

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Answer: There Will Always Be a Need for the Material World

Although the material world goes through repeated phases of manifestation and non-manifestation, it is never permanently destroyed. Just as the government must always maintain a prison for those who are criminally minded, the material world must be always available for those who want to try enjoying independently from the Lord. Although everyone here in this material world will eventually be rectified and go back to home, back to Godhead, since there will always be more jiva souls falling down from the spiritual world, the material world will never become deserted.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 6 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Engineering a World Takeover

We, the devotees of the Krishna consciousness movement have been charged with the assignment by our founder-acharya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, to save the world from chaos and confusion by making it Krishna conscious. In this way we have been mandated to culturally take over the world by convincing everyone that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and that we all must surrender unto Him. So we must now intelligently and carefully engineer a world takeover by devising the ways and means to educate everyone throughout the world in the ultimate science of Krishna consciousness. This is no doubt a daunting, seemingly impossible task. But by the Lord's grace even that which is impossible can become possible, and by the Lord's special grace that which is remotely possible can become highly probable.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic kirtan at Brahmanda Ghat
Ecstatic Kirtan at Brahmanda Ghat
Sri Vrindavan Dhama--5 April 2014


Relishing the serene atmosphere on the Yamuna Bank
Relishing the Serene Atmosphere on the Yamuna Bank
Brahmanda Ghat, Sri Vrindavan Dhama--5 April 2014

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Clarification of Opposites

We are supposed to be the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna in order to become a true devotee. It is also said that Krishna is sold out to His pure devotee forever. Both are opposite extremes. Kindly clarify.

Thank you,

Mukesh Doshi

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Answer: They Are Not Opposites

Why do you think they are opposite? This is your misunderstanding. The more one becomes the servant of the servant of the servant of Krishna, the more Krishna becomes sold out to that devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 5 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

Today's Thought:

The Spiritual Master is the Revealer of the Dhama

It is not possible to enter the Lord's holy dhama, Sri Vrindavan Dhama, simply by flying into Delhi and catching a cab to Vrindavan. Materially one can enter into a shadow of the dhama only. If one wants to actually enter into Sri Vrindavan Dhama he must take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master because it is only by the mercy of the bona fide spiritual master, who is the revealer of the dhama, that one can factually enter into the dhama, the holy abode of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada reveals Vrindavana to his disciples, Syamasundar Das and Malati Dasi with baby Sarasvati
Srila Prabhupada Reveals Vrindavan to His Disciples,
Syamasundar Das and Malati Dasi with Baby Sarasvati


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can Krishna's Form Be Infinite?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

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

My question is:

If Krishna has an eternal form how can He be infinite? Please eradicate my confusion.

Your humble servant,
Sushant

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Answer: Because He Contains Everything

Since Krishna's form contains the entire infinitude of existence within Him, therefore He must necessarily be infinite.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 4 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

Today's Thought:

Necessity of Devotee Relationships

Since Krishna says that we cannot become His devotee unless we become the devotee of His devotee. It is absolutely imperative that we develop sweet, loving relationships with Krishna's devotees. This will protect us from falling down from Krishna consciousness. It is said that man is a social animal, and that is a fact. We depend on association in order to become happy. If we do not learn how to develop nice relationships with devotees, we will seek out the association of nondevotees and lose our Krishna consciousness by their bad association. But if we build solid loving relationships with devotees, we will be very strengthened and empowered in our Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Join a spiritual family and become spiritually strong
Join a Spiritual Family and Become Spiritually Strong
Disciples with Srila Prabhupada--San Francisco, USA 1967



Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Get Perfect Krishna Conscious Understanding?

First of all I want to thank you for your transcendental guidance. On the 17th of January in "Thought for the Day" you quoted the following statement of Srila Prabhupada: "Our request is that these Europeans and Americans who have taken to Krishna consciousness, just become perfect in the understanding of this science and become guru and deliver the whole world." I like the proposal of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada very much, and I want to know how to become perfect in my understanding on the sublime science of Krishna consciousness and how to contribute to the deliverance of the whole world?

Do you think that by reading Srila Prabhupada's books, participating in courses like bhakti sastri, bhakti vaibhava, the Ultimate Self Realization Course, etc. and by asking submissive questions to the self-realized souls, one will be able to achieve that goal of attaining perfect understanding?

Is it enough if one has theoretical knowledge only, or one has to apply it in one's life? How did you become perfect in your understanding?

Please be merciful to me and guide me!

Thank You!

Your eternal servant,
Bhakta Kris

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Answer: Follow These Five Guidelines

Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 9.9.44 that if one takes to the path of devotional service as prescribed in The Nectar of Devotion, he will attain perfect understanding of the science of Krishna consciousness. The first five steps on that pathway are listed in the Nectar of Devotion as follows:

1. Take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master;
2. Accept initiation from the bona fide spiritual master;
3. Obey the orders of the spiritual maste;r
4. Follow in the footsteps of the previous acharyas under the spiritual master's guidance;
5. Inquire from the spiritual master how to advance in Krishna consciousness.

If you will follow these above five items to the best of your ability and preach enthusiastically the science of Krishna consciousness to everyone you meet, you will get perfect scientific understanding of the Krishna consciousness science and will be able to contribute greatly to the deliverance of the entire world.

Whatever meager level of perfection I have achieved in understanding this sublime science of Krishna consciousness is due to the causeless mercy of my spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and to my strictly following these above five items.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 3 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

Today's Thought:

Why Be Krishna Conscious?

Why should you become Krishna conscious? This material world is a hellish, miserable place. By becoming Krishna conscious you will be blissful in all times, places, and circumstances even at the pivotal time of death. Everyone is trying to become free from the miseries of material existence. But the only persons who are truly successful in doing so are those who fully embrace the pathway of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Blissful Hare Krishna devotees chanting in Sydney, Australia
Blissful Hare Krishna Devotees Chanting in Sydney, Australia


 

Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Surrender a Sacrifice or the Greatest Pleasure?

Is surrendering to Krishna a sacrifice or greatest pleasure?

Your servant,
Bhakta Shashank

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Answer: It Is Undoubtedly Both

Since surrendering to Krishna means sacrificing or giving up all of your misery and swimming eternally in an ocean of ever-increasing bliss, it is undoubtedly both a sacrifice and the greatest pleasure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 2 April 2014

from Sri Vrindavan Dhama, India

Today's Thought:

Back to Home, Back to Vrindavan

We have now arrived back in Vrindavan, the transcendental home of Lord Sri Krishna here in this material world. Because it is His home and because we are His children this is also our home. We are going to be here until 25 April. This is a wonderful opportunity to dive deeper and deeper into the transcendental mellows of Krishna consciousness here in this place where Lord Sri Krishna is eternally engaged in His most intimate transcendental pastimes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Krishna Balarama Temple, Vrindavana, India
Krishna Balarama Temple--Vrindavan, India


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Control the Flickering Mind?

I have enrolled myself for the Ultimate Self Realization Course and really appreciate that you have all the time given soothing answers to all the questions raised to you by various people. I feel contented while reading, but my mind is so flickering it plays with me and diverts my attention. I am not able to control it, although I try regularly. It bothers me a lot during my chanting time in the morning. Please let me know how do I get rid of it and surrender myself completely to Lord's lotus feet.

A fallen soul
Asha P.

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Answer: Feel the Presence of Krishna

Just try to feel the presence of Krishna in the scriptures and in His holy name. Because Krishna is millions of times more interesting than your flickering mind, if you can learn to feel His presence in this way, you will no longer be carried away by your flickering mind.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 1 April 2014

from Copenhagen, Denmark

Today's Thought:

Another Soul Attains Deathlessness

Srila Prabhupada explains that one attains deathlessness from the very day of his initiation. So it was most auspicious that on 30 March 2014 here in Copenhagen, Denmark another soul was initiated and entered into deathlessness. I accepted Gaura Nitai Das as my initiated disciple in a ceremony that was attended by a packed temple room full of guests. It was a very joyous occasion with ecstatic kirtan, profuse delicious prasadam, and sweet loving exchanges amongst the many devotees and guests. Getting initiated is the most important step that one takes in the human form of life because if one sincerely follows his initiation vows he will not take birth again in this material world. He will instead enter into the spiritual world to be reinstated in his original loving relationship with the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Initiation Ceremony of Gaura Nitai Das
30 March 2014--Copenhagen, Denmark


Initiation ceremony of Gaura Nitai Das

Initiation ceremony of Gaura Nitai Das

Initiation ceremony of Gaura Nitai Das


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Overcome Faithlessness?

How to overcome faithlessness in chanting or in devotional service?

Sasi S.

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Answer: Hear and Serve Those With Unflinching Faith

By hearing from and serving those who have unflinching faith in the words of guru and Krishna one overcomes faithlessness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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