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 30 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

Another Day, Another Most Exciting Adventure

For a devotee of Krishna every day is an amazingly exciting opportunity for him to go even deeper into his loving relationship with Krishna as His eternal servant. Since Krishna is the supreme orchestrator of everything that happens both within the spiritual and the material energies, the devotee can feel His loving hand at every step. In this way the devotee is never in any anxiety because he is fully confident of the Lord's complete protection in all times, places, and circumstances, and every day is the most exciting adventure.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Krishna invites you back to His abode
Lord Krishna Invites You Back to His Abode


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do I Feel More and More Ignorant?

Kindly accept my heartfelt gratitude for enlightening us about our inbuilt ignorance. As I attend more spiritual gatherings, read religious books, and listen to lectures I feel more and more ignorant, feeling that I know nothing about Krishna consciousness and wanting to know more and more. Why it is like this?

Further I shall be very thankful if you can elaborate more on Srimad Bhagavad-gita verses 62 and 66 of Chapter 18.

With kind regards,

Ashok S.

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Answer: Because You Are Becoming Krishna Conscious

I am very happy to hear that you are feeling yourself to be more and more ignorant regarding the science of Krishna consciousness. The reason I say this is that the more you feel yourself to be ignorant, the more you are becoming realized in Krishna consciousness. In other words, the more you become proud thinking you know everything, the more you become a fool. And the more you feel yourself a fool who doesn't know anything, the more you become realized in Krishna consciousness. Even though Lord Caitanya is the perfect knowner of the Vedic wisdom, He was chastised by His spiritual master for being a fool who cannot understand Vedanta philosophy. Therefore what is our position? We should always feel that we are fools who do not perfectly understand the Vedic wisdom and humbly submit ourselves before our spiritual master to enlighten us and save us.

The verses of the Bhagavad-gita have already been perfectly elaborated by His Divine A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in his Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Kindly pick up a copy of this most amazing book at your nearest ISKCON center and carefully study Srila Prabhupada's purports to these verses.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 29 July 2014

from London, England

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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Stopover in Helsinki

After an unbelievably awesome Krishna consciousness festival in Harmony Park, Lithuania we had a brief overnight stopover in Helsinki, Finland on 27 July, 2014. There I was invited to give the Sunday feast lecture at the ISKCON Helsinki temple. It is always wonderful indeed to have the opportunity to speak about Krishna consciousness to eager hearers. It is enlivening both for the speaker and the hearers, and it also purifies the place where the speaking takes place. This is all due to the unlimited mercy of Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



ISKCON's temple in Helsinki
ISKCON's Temple In Helsinki


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Liberated from Birth and Death?

Hare Krishna!

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

If the pure eternal soul, who is originally with Krishna in the spiritual world, repeatedly keeps entering the dreamlike state and undergoes repeated cycle of birth and death and then consecutive liberations by associating with pure devotees, when and how will this vicious cycle of rebirth ever end?

Your humble servant,
Shahvir B.

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Answer: Take Shelter of Krishna's Pure Devotee

The way to become free from the cycle of birth and death is to take shelter of Krishna's pure devotee.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 28 July 2014

from Harmony Park, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Frustrated as Hell in this Material World

This material world is a miserable place. It is as frustrating as hell to be stuck in this situation where birth, death, old age, and disease are crammed down your throat even though you want to live an eternal, healthy, youthful life. So what to do to get out this misery? You have to revive your original divine consciousness, your innate primordial identity as a servant of the Supreme. By reconnecting with that Original Person who has unlimited names, you will transcend all the boundaries of material existence and happily find yourself situated in the realm of Krishna consciousness, unlimited transcendental bliss, forever.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Sri Krishna relieves you from all frustration
Lord Sri Krishna Relieves You from All Frustration


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can We Be Considered Supreme?

Let me offer my obeisances unto you.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I'm confused about a verse I came across in Srimad Bhagavatam that seem to equate the living entity with the supreme brahman. The verse is 12.5.11:

aham brahma param dhama
 brahmaham paramam padam
evam samiksya catmanam
 atmany adhaya niskale

"You should consider, 'I am nondifferent from the Absolute Truth, the supreme abode,
and that Absolute Truth, the supreme destination, is nondifferent from me.'"

Doesn't this say that we should see ourselves to be the supreme abode, param dhama and the supreme destination, paramam padam. If the word samiksya means that we should only consider this, what is the reason for doing that? If Krishna is supreme, which must be accepted, then why should we see ourselves to be supreme? Isn't that what mayavadis/impersonalists do, see themselves as the supreme?

Excuse me for my misunderstandings, faults and limited understanding.

Jimi W.

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Answer: Qualitatively But Not Quantitatively

Although quantitatively we are different from the Supreme, qualitatively we are one with Him. The drop of ocean water is qualitatively one with the ocean because it has the exact same chemical composition as the entire ocean. But quantitatively there is a huge gulf of difference between the drop of ocean water and the entire ocean. You can float a battleship in the entire ocean, but you cannot float that battleship in the drop of water in the palm of your hand.

This verse is referring to qualitatively oneness, not quantitative oneness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 27 July 2014

from Harmony Park, Lithuani

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Today's Thought:

Our Mission: Turn the World Right Side Up

The world society needs to be flipped right side up because at the present moment it is upside down. Those who are not qualified to lead have been given the position of leaders. And those who are qualified to lead are ignored and not followed. Those who are not qualified to teach have been given the position of teachers. And those who are qualified to teach and are ignored and not learned from. In short it is a completely topsy-turvy, troubled world that needs to be flipped back to its original right side up position where qualified Krishna conscious persons teach and lead the human society.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Seminar: Overcoming Obstacles in Household Life
Seminar: Overcoming Obstacles in Household Life
Harmony Park, Lithuania--26 July 2014


Group Photo from Disciples Meeting
Group Photo from Disciples Meeting
Harmony Park, Lithuania--26 July 2014

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Become Free From Sex Attraction?

Gurudeva, I was reading the Srimad Bhagavatam this morning and in the purport it says, "Sex life in the mundane world is the root cause of being conditioned by the shackles of illusion."" My question is how can someone be free from such sex attraction? How did you do it when you were younger, and how do you continue to stop yourself from being attracted to sex life? And what advise would you give to a beginner to be free from sex attraction?

Also another part in the same purport was, "A conditioned soul should never give up the practice of sacrifice, charity, and austerity in any circumstance." I don't understand what is meant by practicing sacrifice. Can you please elaborate on this? To a certain point I understand the charity and austerity, but if you can still elaborate on it further it would be greatly appreciated.

Sanjib P.

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Answer: Become More and More Attracted to Krishna

From the very beginning of my Krishna conscious life I could understand that sex attraction is the root cause of so many unnecessary miseries and was therefore better to given up and replaced by Krishna attraction. This understanding has steadily protected me over the last 43 years of my devotional life and it will protect you also. To be liberated you simply have to absorb yourself more and more in Krishna consciousness at every moment. In this way you will gradually become more and more attracted to Krishna and less and less attracted by sex until finally you are completely free from sex attraction and you become solidly situated in pure devotional service..

Chanting Hare Krishna instead of having sex is a type of austerity and sacrifice. Charity means to give Krishna consciousness to others.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 26 July 2014

from Harmony Park, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Do You Want Stool or Homemade Mango Ice Cream?

Enjoying material sense gratification is like eating stool, while enjoying Krishna consciousness is like relishing homemade organic mango ice cream. So why would anybody want to go on eating the stool of material sense gratification when they could be constantly relishing the unlimited mango ice cream nectar of devotion to Lord Krishna?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


 


Answering the question of a disciple
Answering the Question of a Disciple
Harmony Park, Lithuania--25 July 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Can I Reach God Without a Spiritual Master?

Can I reach to God without a guru, a spiritual master? Can I instead choose the Bhagavad-gita as my guru?

Rabindra K.

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Answer: God Orders You to Accept a Guru

The first point is: If the Bhagavad-gita is the only guru you need, why are you inquiring from me?

Yes, one can certainly directly approach Krishna or God through the instructions He gives in the Bhagavad-gita. But when doing so what does Krishna tell you? He tells you that you need a spiritual master. So one can indeed accept Bhagavad-gita as one’s guru, but when one does so he must dutifully carry out all the instructions given in the Bhagavad-gita. He must obey this instruction:

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah

"Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.”Bhagavad-gita 4.34

The Bhagavad-gita instructs you to approach, inquire from, and render service to the spiritual master. So if you truly accept Gita as your guru, which is the most wonderful thing to do, you must also seek out a bona fide spiritual master and surrender at his lotus feet. Otherwise you are not a true follower of the Bhagavad-gita.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 25 July 2014

from Harmony Park, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

The Ultimate Lifestyle on History's Cutting Edge

Would you rather be a cog in a machine, or would you rather do something with your life of lasting importance to have a permanent beneficial impact on world history? The choice is yours: mediocrity or undying significance. If you would prefer the later, I would like to humbly remind you that this Krishna consciousness movement for awakening the spiritual consciousness of the human society will go down in history for having saved the world in its darkest hour of despair. So now you can either be part of the world solution or part of its problem. The choice is completely up to you. May Krishna bless you that you make the right choice!

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Giving Srimad Bhagavatam Class
Giving Srimad Bhagavatam Class
Harmony Park, Lithuania--24 July 2014


Srimad Bhagavatam Class
Srimad Bhagavatam Class


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Could We Fall From The Spiritual World?

Were we originally with Krishna in Goloka, the spiritual world, or in the brahmajyoti, His divine effulgence? If we were with Krishna in Goloka, how is it possible that we could have gotten the desire to enjoy separately from Him? The soul is always pure (either in material world or spiritual world). So how could the material desire to enjoy separately come to the soul in the spiritual world? Is this desire coming from soul or from the mind?

Kindly enlighten me with the answers. I'm highly indebted to you.

Yours in service,
Vishnu

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Answer: Have You Ever Fallen Asleep?

Have you ever fallen asleep?

We were originally with Krishna in His divine pastimes in the spiritual world. Just as one may fall asleep and dream he is something other than what he is really is, sometimes the living being enters into a dreamlike state and thinks that he can enjoy independently from the Lord. It is not his actual position, it is a dreamlike state in which he thinks that he is the center of the universe. But when he comes in contact with the pure devotee of Krishna he is awakened from his slumber and brought back to his original position as the eternal servant of the Lord in His divine pastimes. The soul always remain pure, but just as a cloud may sometimes block our vision of the sun, in the same way the polluted mind may sometimes block one's vision of one's eternal actual spiritual identity.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 24 July 2014

from Harmony Park, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Do the Needful in Krishna's Service

Srila Prabhupada always instructed us to do the needful. In other words whatever is required to be done for the service of Krishna must be unhesitatingly done. We had a practical experience of this on our travel from London to Vilnius, Lithuania on 22 July 2014.

I knew that we had a very tight connection between flights in Helsinki. The flight from London was scheduled to arrive at 3:15pm and our ongoing flight to Vilnius was departing at 4:20pm. Under normal circumstance there would be no problem making the connection. However in Helsinki we would have to clear immigration, which is normally a five minute experience but can drag on for longer. And as we approached Helsinki on our Finnair flight from London I noticed that we were about ten minutes late. I was thinking it was still okay because we would have a half hour before boarding the next flight. But then when we landed we did not get a jet bridge, the tube that connects the airplane directly with the terminal. Instead we got a bus. This meant another delay. We had to wait for everyone to empty off from the airplane before we could go to the terminal. When the bus finally arrived at the terminal, another delay. There was a narrow door through which everyone had to pass. It took time for a whole plane full of people to pass through that narrow door to get into the terminal. Now it was getting dangerously close to boarding time but at least we were now approaching immigration. However when we finally arrived at immigration we were hit by a shock. There was as huge queue of people waiting to clear immigration. This would take us at least a half hour to clear. It was like something out of a dream, a nightmare come true. Our flight on the other side of the airport was due to start boarding in several minutes, and there was no way that we would make it.

So what to do in such a situation in Krishna's service? If we join the queue, we will miss out flight, the last flight of the day to Vilnius. And you can't bypass the queue and go straight to the front. So what to do? With my heart pounding, depending on Krishna we cut straight to the front of the queue much to the consternation of the long line of people who had been patiently waiting their turn. One lady stepped forward and strongly objected to what we had just done. But what to do? We had no choice. Luckily no airport official manifested to send us to the back of the line, and we cleared immigration within five minutes only to find ourselves in an overcrowded cram-packed airport with our gate way down at the other end of the terminal. We walked briskly and determinedly weaving our way through the dense crowd to find ourselves by Lord Sri Krishna's grace at the gate just in the nick of time for boarding our flight to Vilnius.

So we made it on time and arrived in Vilnius safe and sound except for one thing. No luggage. Now that's another story altogether.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Describing spiritual and material worlds at the Baltic Festival
Describing Spiritual and Material Worlds at Baltic Festival
Harmony Park, Lithuania--23 July 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Give God Any Names?

Why give God any names? His name is Universe. So why do you confuse yourself with any other name?

Martina B.

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Answer: We Cannot Put Any Restriction on God

Since God is unlimitedly powerful there is no question of our putting any restrictions on Him. If He wants to be called by a particular name, that is His prerogative. So then one may wonder, "What is that name that would be preferred by God?" What is the answer to this question?

Sometimes it is said that God has no name. This is a fact because God has no one particular name. Because God is unlimited, therefore He must have unlimited names. To call Him the universe is too restrictive because our universe is only one out of unlimited millions and billions of universes. Out of all of His unlimited names there is one name which best describes Him. Every one of God's unlimited names describes another one of His features: His unlimited qualities, relationships, or activities. There is one name which includes all of these unlimited attractive features, and that name is Krishna, which literally means, "the All-Attractive One." Therefore when one addresses God by the name Krishna, he is automatically including all of the unlimited names of God within that one two-syllabled utterance. This means that the name Krishna is the most perfect and complete of all the unlimited names of God. Therefore we call God Krishna, and we can also call Him by any one of His unlimited millions of names, such as Govinda, Rama, Syamasundar, Gopal, etc.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 23 July 2014

from London Heathrow Airport

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Today's Thought:

Strengthened by Adversity

In this material world things don't always go right. In fact, sometimes they go terribly wrong. For a materialist such times are psychologically devastating. But for the transcendentalist such times are experienced as the greatest boon. Such a man of transcendental knowledge is strengthened by adversity. He is resilient. Nothing fazes him. Because he always sees the loving, all-merciful hand of the Supreme Being in all circumstances he is never bewildered or confused. Such a self-realized soul is the true leader of the human society. When that golden day arrives when he is recognized as such by the leaders of the world society there will be a dawn of peace and prosperity all over the world unlike what has been known in the history of humankind going back for thousands of years.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


 


Srila Prabhupada is the true world leader
Srila Prabhupada is the True World Leader


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Maintain an Eternal Connection with Guru?

Dear Master,

How can I make my connection with you eternal and unbroken?

Aleksandra

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Answer: Take His Order as Your Life and Soul

The secret of how the disciple can eternally remain connected with the spiritual master is explained as follows by Srila Prabhupada in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 3.22.7 as follows:

"This combination, the instruction of the spiritual master and the faithful execution of the instruction by the disciple, makes the entire process perfect. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura describes in his explanation of the verse in Bhagavad-gita, vyavasayatmika buddhih, that one who wants to be certain to achieve spiritual success must take the instruction from the spiritual master as to what his particular function is. He should faithfully try to execute that particular instruction and should consider that his life and soul. The faithful execution of the instruction which he receives from the spiritual master is the only duty of a disciple, and that will bring him perfection. One should be very careful to receive the message from the spiritual master through the ears and execute it faithfully. That will make one's life successful."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 22 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas--USA

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Today's Thought:

We Are Out to Conquer the World for Krishna

The entire human civilization is suffering greatly because the people are becoming more and more disconnected from Krishna or God with every passing today. The only solution for the world's problems is to bring Krishna back to the center in all spheres of human activity: government, education, entertainment, etc. For this purpose the Krishna consciousness movement was introduced 500 years ago by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then His especially empowered devotee, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, distributed this movement to all of the world. And now it is up to us to push forward this movement for the ultimate deliverance of the entire human society from this ever-increasingly chaotic quagmire, which is going on under the misnomer of "human civilization."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lord Caitanya's movement will save the world
Lord Caitanya's Movement Will Save the World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Many Mantras Required to Satisfy the Lord?

Does only chanting Hare Krishna not satisfy the Lord? Is is true that we have to chant many mantras to satisfy the Lord? I am wondering this because many of my co-staffs chant many different Krishna mantras. And I thus feel that we should chant all the mantras.

And whenever we get up from bed in the morning and at night before going to bed, can you please suggest the mantras to be chanted on a regular basis?

Regards
Amritha

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Answer: One Mantra, Hare Krishna Mahamantra, is Sufficient

It is not a fact that you have to chant many mantras to satisfy the Lord. If you will simply chant the Hare Krishna feelingly as much as possible, Lord Sri Krishna will be unlimitedly pleased with you and bestow upon you His causeless mercy. This is why the Hare Krishna mantra is the called the mahamantra, the Great Chanting for Deliverance.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 21 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas--USA

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Today's Thought:

Blessed With Stress--The Secret of Unlimited Bliss

The more you accept stress and distress in the service of Lord Caitanya to assist Him in delivering the fallen souls of this world back to home, back to Godhead, the more you become blessed. And the more you become blessed, the more you become blissed. Therefore those who are Krishna conscious joyfully accept the stressful burden of attempting to deliver all of the fallen, conditioned souls of this material world back to home, back to Godhead. Even if they are not successful in doing so, their perfection is guaranteed. And those who follow them will also become perfect.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada Compassionately Circled the Globe 14 Times
for the Deliverance of the Suffering Souls of this World
Srila Prabhupada Compassionately Circled the Globe 14 Times
for the Deliverance of the Suffering Souls of this World


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How the Illiterate Can Become Dear to Krishna?

Hare Krishna Guru Maharaja,

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

My question is:

Lord Krishna says in the last section of the Gita that whoever preaches this sublime message of Gita to the devotees will become very dear to Him, and no one else could become more dear than he. But, what about the people who can't study scriptures effectively, such as the visually, or hearing impaired people, or the illiterate people, for instance. How can these poor people become dearmost to Lord Krishna?

Kindly clarify my doubt. Eagerly awaiting your answer.

Your servant,
Sushant

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Answer: By Telling Others Who Krishna Is

Anyone literate or illiterate who has faith that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and informs others of this is most dear to Krishna. Blind people and deaf people are still able to communicate. And if they will use their communicative power to broadcast that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they will also be the dearmost devotees of Lord Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 20 July 2014

From ISKCON Austin, Texas, EE.UU.

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Today's Thought:

How Wonderful to Be a Sadhu

If we want actual happiness we have to learn how to become sadhus, saintly persons. Their qualities are described as follows in the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.21-23:

"The symptoms of a sadhu are that he is tolerant, merciful and friendly to all living entities. He has no enemies, he is peaceful, he abides by the scriptures, and all his characteristics are sublime. Such a sadhu engages in staunch devotional service to the Lord without deviation. For the sake of the Lord he renounces all other connections, such as family relationships and friendly acquaintances within the world. Engaged constantly in chanting and hearing about Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the sadhus do not suffer from material miseries because they are always filled with thoughts of My pastimes and activities."

Just see how wonderful it is to be a sadhu. You become free from all material miseries. Who in their right mind would not want to become a sadhu?

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada is the perfect sadhu
Srila Prabhupada is the Perfect Sadhu


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Do Good People Suffer and Bad People Enjoy?

I like your posts and am thankful to you for shaping many lives through Lord Krishna's teaching. I have a question: "Why do good people suffer a lot while bad people enjoy a lot?" I have seen many persons who think they are smart because they have cheated and troubled others' lives. I have heard it said that nothing bad happens to bad persons in this materialistic age of Kali. So I want to ask you what to do. Should I be good and do good and suffer, or should I be bad person and enjoy?

Sakhi

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Answer: The Demoniac Suffer While the Devotees Enjoy

You should be good and enjoy unlimitedy by engaging yourself fully in Krishna consciousness. Why?

A sinful person may think that he is enjoying and look like he is enjoying, but his enjoyment is an illusion because death is going to capture him very soon, and he will be severely punished for all of his sinful activities. On the other hand a devotee of the Lord may appear to be suffering and may sometimes even think that he is suffering, but very soon he will be liberated from all suffering conditions when he is transported by Krishna to His supreme abode, Krishnaloka, in the wondrous spiritual sky.

So if you can think you can enjoy more by being a sinful person rather than a devotee of the Lord, you can try it. But I can guarantee you this: Your so-called enjoyment will be short-lived, and then you will suffer like anything in the abode of Yamaraja and in the lower species of life such as the plants and animals, birth after birth.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 19 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas--USA

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Today's Thought

Embrace the World Deliverance Mission

Srila Prabhupada has instructed us, his followers, to make the entire world Krishna conscious, a herculean task indeed. How are we to be successful in making Vedic culture the predominant culture on this planet? There is only one way to do so: one person at time. Therefore it is up to all the followers of the Krishna consciousness movement to focus now fully on doing everything they can to enlighten everyone they meet in the sublime science of Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotee distributes 'Back To Godhead' magazine
Devotee Distributes Back to Godhead Magazine


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: I Need Help. Is There Any Hope For Me?

I am completely out of control. I feel like there is no hope. I have struggled with depression, drug and alcohol addiction since I was 9. I manage to get a year or two of sobriety, and then something comes up to knock me off my feet. Every time I try to change, my life just becomes worse. I get in a routine of chanting and something comes up to knock me off the track. I have always had suicidal thoughts, but I know that suicide is not the answer. I am so angry at God right now!

I read that I need to take shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, but I cannot even do the things that I need to do to prepare for initiation.

Is there any hope for me?

Sincerely,
N.G.

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Answer: Simply Dedicate Your Life to Krishna

Being angry at God is not the solution. In fact, it is just the opposite. Being angry at God is the problem. It's like a criminal being angry at the government for putting him in prison. Such anger will do nothing but increase his term of imprisonment. When he understands and accepts that he is justly in prison due to his own disobedience of the laws of the state and agrees to abide by the laws of the state, he is then soon released from the prison to become once again a free citizen.

People take drugs and alcohol because they are looking for relief from misery. This is their foolishness because drugs and alcohol do nothing but increase their misery. The intelligent way to get relief from misery is to take shelter of Krishna's holy names. It's legal. It doesn't cost any money. And it gives unlimited bliss and satisfaction. It brings you back to your original, natural, pure state of consciousness in which you relish the sweetest happiness at every minute.

So do that. Dedicate your life fully to Krishna by chanting His holy names as much as possible every day, and you will feel the bliss of your own original nature.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 18 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas--USA

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Today's Thought:

Nothing More Wonderful than the Devotee's Kindness

The unlimited mercy of Krishna is most powerfully manifested through the sweet loving kindness of Krishna's devotees. Krishna in the form of the Supersoul, the lord in everyone's heart, plays a neutral role of fulfilling the desires of the living beings, no matter whether those desires are material or spiritual. But Krishna's devotee is considered to be more merciful than Krishna because he has only one purpose and that is to pull the conditioned souls out of the sufferings of material existence by convincing them to fully surrender themselves at the lotus feed of Lord Sri Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Harinama party in Austin challenges McDonald's
Harinam Party in Austin Challenges McDonald's


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Did God Create a World of Misery?

Hare Krishna, Guru Maharaja,
Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

My question is:

Why did God create this world as a place of misery (dukhhalayam asasvatam)? Since God is omnipotent He could have created this place perfect in and of itself for us to live.

Please remove my ignorance.

Your servant,
Sushant K.
Pune, India

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Answer: We Created the Misery

Krishna did not create the misery. It is we who created the misery. The ocean is bliss for a fish and misery for a land being. A devotee is blissful everywhere because of His love for Krishna. Those who don't love Krishna will be miserable wherever they are. They are creating their own misery. It is not that Krishna is creating their misery. They are creating their own misery because they don't love Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 17 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas--USA

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Today's Thought:

Help Us Make the Austin Center a Grand Success

It was truly an amazing time when Vishnujana Swami arrived here in Austin in the spring of 1971 all alone with no money, no vehicle, and no helpers and in a very short time was able to open a temple full of devotees near the University of Texas campus at 2906 Dancy Street. I was very attracted by the lifestyle, ecstasy, philosophy and compassion of this amazing sannyasi who convinced me to give my life to Srila Prabhupada. Then in August on 1971 the greatest event in my entire life happened. I received a letter from Srila Prabhupada in which he accepted me as his disciple and gave me the order: "Make our Austin center a grand success." I sincerely and enthusiastically preached on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and he personally recognized me for this.

Then after some time in Austin under the direction of my ISKCON authorities I served Srila Prabhupada's mission in many capacities in Dallas, Miami, Gainesville, Atlanta, Houston, and San Diego. But I was always remembering the order Srila Prabhupada gave me in my initiation letter to preach in Austin, wondering when I would get the opportunity to return. Finally in 1992 a devotee who had been authorized to reopen ISKCON Austin after its having been closed for many years invited me to come back here to assist him. So I came here along with my wife, Vishnupriya devi dasi. After a short while that devotee left Austin, and my wife and I continued preaching here from our residence. Immediately we attracted a nice congregation who regularly attended our weekly programs. Our preaching was very much appreciated by the GBC for Texas, His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, who announced at his Vyasa Puja celebration that what we are doing here in Austin is exemplary. Over more that two decades with the help of many wonderful devotees we have brought people to Krishna consciousness, distributed Srila Prabhupada's books, organized harinama sankirtana parties, celebrated major Vaisnava festivals, nicely worshipped Sri Sri Radha Damodar deities, spoken on Krishna consciousness in various venus such as on the radio, and maintained regular Sunday programs.

Now the most wonderful opportunity to expand our outreach has occurred. There is a building which can be used as a church available for sale on a major four lane street near the interstate highway in a good neighborhood. (Our present building cannot be advertised as a church or a temple due to deed restrictions.) There is a constant flow of traffic up and down the street. By putting a sign on this street we can attract people to come to our programs. We have put the building under contract with an option to purchase it. The price is $280,000. We already have $200,000 available and still need $80,000 in donations to make up the difference. Because the building needs a lot of renovation we do not want to finance the $80,000 and be stuck with debt. By paying off the building in full we can use our funds for renovation instead of paying off a mortgage.

So we are asking you now as a member of our mission to dig deep into your heart to see how much you can contribute to help us raise the needed $80,000.

If you decide that you would like to donate or give an interest free loan to help us meet out goal you can do so at:

http://www.ultimateselfrealization.com/donate/

Or you can mail a check to:

ISKCON Austin
10700 Jonwood Way
Austin, Texas 78753
(Check payable to ISKCON.)

Or if you prefer you can send a wire transfer:

Bank name: Austin Telco Federal Credit Union
Address: 8929 Shoal Creek Blvd., Austin, Texas USA 78757
Telephone Number: +1 512-302-5555
Bank AB (or routing number): 314-977-175
Beneficiary Account Name: Sri Sri Radha Damodar Temple, Inc.
Beneficiary Account number: 1800133608

If you participate in our transcendental fund drive, please send us an email indicating whether it is a donation or an interest free loan.

We will keep you posted regularly how to fund drive is progressing.

Please contribute whatever you can big or small because every little bit helps.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

P.S. ISKCON Austin is incorporated as Sri Sri Radha Damodar Temple, Inc. and is recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 non profit Corporation. Our federal ID number is 36-4520292. Any contributions to ISKCON Austin that are not given in exchange for goods and services are fully tax deductible.


 


His Holiness Vishnujana Swami in Pease Park, Austin, 1971
His Holiness Vishnujana Swami in Pease Park--Austin 1971


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Does Free Will Transform into False Ego?

Does the free will of the spirit soul (living entity) and the independence which he enjoys with the Supreme Lord in the spiritual world transform itself into false ego when the spirit-soul is in the fallen conditioned state in the material world? This false ego then makes him forget the Supreme Lord and due to bodily identification stops his path of self-realization. Am I correct?

Veerendra E.

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Answer: Free Will Always Exists Whether Used or Abused

Free will and independence are the same thing. Free will does not transform into false ego when the spirit-soul falls into the material world. Free will always remains as free will. If free will is properly used one is situated in his real ego that I am the eternal servant of Krishna. If free will is abused one is situated in false ego thinking himself to be the center of all existence. It is a fact that when one is covered over by false ego that he forgets God and does not adopt the path of self-realization. So you are partially correct.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 16 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas--USA

Today's Thought:

Are We All the Supreme Being?

After I returned to Austin on Monday 14 July 2014 from the Vail, Colorado Bhakti Yoga Retreat I received a phone call from a man who argued very vehemently that Brahman is the Supreme, that it is not an individual person, that it is the sum total of all of us, and that we are all Brahman. According to his philosophy we are all the Supreme. But when I asked him how many supreme courts there are in the USA, he had to admit that there is only one. But in spite of this, he fanatically clung to the dogmatic and illogical idea that we are all the Supreme. Just see the absurdity of this philosophy. He is the under the stringent grip of the material nature at every minute while he idiotically embraces the dream that he is the Supreme Being. It is this delusion that got him into this material world in the first place. And it is this madness that will keep him here birth after birth after birth. Our mission is to save such people from their delusion that they are God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Here is the real Supreme Being
Here is the Real Supreme Being


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: If I Don't Have Faith In This, Why Should I Follow It?

Hare Krishna, Gurudeva.

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

I am very disturbed in the last few days because I couldn't answer myself when I inquired if I actually have faith in the process of Krishna consciousness, or everything related to this process. If I don't have faith, then why am I trying to follow it, why am I inquiring from you and the devotees? I am not able to get a proper answer and whatever logical answer I try to give, my mind is not accepting it. My mind is also not accepting that I am actually suffering. I am feeling so sick and uneasy. Kindly help.

Begging for mercy.
Your unworthy servant,

L.T.

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

Answer: Follow It and the Faith Will Come

It you are feeling sick and uneasy, you are obviously suffering. Your mind is playing tricks with you to make you think that you are not suffering to convince you that you do not need Krishna consciousness. Therefore you have to stop listening to your mind and start using your intelligence. Your mind is like a naughty child who needs to be trained by its mother, your intelligence.

With your intelligence you should analyze, "Why is suffering being forced upon me when my natural tendency is to always be happy?" This will give you the understanding that you are presently in an artificial, unnatural state of being and that you therefore need the guidance of someone who can bring you back to your original, natural all-blissful state of consciousness. That person who can psychologically restore you is the bona fide spiritual master. Since you are now connected with the teachings of the greatest spiritual master in the history of the universe, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, you should take full advantage of his teachings and the guidance of those who are strictly following him to drive away all the illusion and confusion that is presently bewildering you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 15 July 2014

From Dallas, Texas, USA

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Today's Thought:

Sweet Memories in Denver

Our trip this last weekend to Denver in order to attend the Vail, Colorado bhakti yoga retreat way up in the Rocky Mountains was a grand opportunity for me to remember that most special time in my life, the fall of 1968, when my dear friend, Patrick Dolan, introduced me to the Hare Krishna mahamantra:

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

Once I was introduced to this mantra, my life took an amazing series of turns which eventually brought to the lotus feet of my eternal spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. While in Denver, I took advantage of visiting that place at 1271 Lafayette Street where I was blessed by Krishna with His association in order to remember how fortunate I was indeed to receive the Hare Krishna mantra.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Group photo from Vail Bhakti Yoga Retreat
Group Photo from Vail Bhakti Yoga Retreat
Vail, Colorado--13 July 2014


1271 Lafayette Street, Denver, Colorado
1271 Lafayette Street--Denver, Colorado


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Be Consistently Krishna Conscious?

Srila Gurudeva, how can I keep my mind on Krishna consistently? There are days when nothing will bother me from thinking of Krishna, and other days it becomes very tough for me to focus, and I easily get distracted.

Sanjib P.

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

Answer: Try to Love Krishna

Try to develop your feelings of love for Krishna. In this way your mind will be fixed constantly on Him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 14 July 2014

from Denver, Colorado--USA

Today's Thought:

Unforgettable Nectarean Bhakti Yoga Retreat

The bhakti yoga retreat we just experienced from 11-13 July, 2014 up in Vail, Colorado was a truly unforgettable nectarean experience. Vail is situated at a very high elevation, over a mile-and-a-half above sea level. But we went even higher by diving deeply into ecstatic Hare Krishna chanting (kirtan), by relishing delicious and sumptuous prasadam (spiritual food offered to Krishna) and by discussing Krishna conscious topics. Thousands of lifetimes of anxieties and delusions were washed away from our hearts as we dove deeper and deeper into the nectarean ocean of Krishna bhakti (devotion to Krishna).

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Transcendental Rocky Mountain Picnic--12 July 2014


Appreciating the splendorous beauty of Krishna's creation
Appreciating the Splendorous Beauty of Krishna's Creation


Explaining Krishna bhakti to a devotee's mother
Explaining Krishna Bhakti to a Devotee's Mother


Ecstatic Hare Krishna kirtan by the campfire
Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan by the Campfire


Singing "The Existential Blues" by the river
Singing "The Existential Blues" by the River


Relishing a twilight prasadam by the campfire
Relishing a Twilight Prasadam Feast by the Campfire

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Does the Sun Orbit the Earth?

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

I was listening to a young doctor who was saying that according to the Vedas the sun is orbiting around the earth and not the other way round. This young doctor is an ISKCON devotee and was speaking at a university in India. Is his claim true? And if so where is this stated, something that most in the audience refused to believe in?

Your humble servant,
Prav

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

Answer: The Sun Has an Orbit

It is clearly stated in the Brahma-samhita that the sun has an orbit. So is the earth revolving around the sun? Or is the sun revolving around the earth? The answer is that both viewpoints can be taken as correct. It is simply a matter of perspective. The relationship that the earth and sun have with each other as they move through space can be scientifically explained from either perspective.

According to the heliocentric viewpoint the earth revolves around the sun. And according to the geocentric viewpoint the sun revolves around the earth. The various positions of the planets as they move throughout space in what we call our solar system can be accurately described by both a heliocentric and a geocentric model. In this connection the great Vedic scientist, His Grace Sadaputa Das, has written as follows, "If we intuitively prefer to think of large masses as stationary and small masses as moving, rather than the other way around, then we will prefer the heliocentric viewpoint."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 13 July 2014

from Vail, Colorado--USA

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Today's Thought:

Super Ecstatic Bhakti Yoga Retreat

Sri Goloka Das and many wonderful devotees have very intelligently and lovingly arranged a wonderful bhakti yoga retreat here in beautiful Vail Colorado. Practitioners of bhakti yoga have come here to attend this retreat from many states. Our program begins at 4:30am with an ecstatic spiritual ceremony called mangala arati. And then we have ecstatic seminars, classes, kirtans, and prasadam throughout the day. It is two days of unlimited nectar. This is what Krishna consciousness is all about.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



View from our room, Vail, Colorado, USA
View from Our Room--July 2014--Vail, Colorado USA


Tasting nectar at Vail Bhakti Yoga Retreat
Tasting Nectar at Vail Bhakti Yoga Retreat--12 July 2014

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Does Suffering Exist?

Most of your answers are accurate, exciting and thought provoking. But I have some serious doubts. Because Krishna is almighty, merciful and can do any thing He likes, why can't He liberate all the ignorant and suffering living beings permanently from the clutches of Maya? Everyone in this world is His creation. Why are some people so cruel and selfish? Most of the major conflicts in the world are in the name of religions, which in their essence are meant for ultimate goodness and were introduced on earth by the Lord Himself. As a father, one will try his best for the better future of his son. For a good cause he will some times encroach the freedom also. Then why the Lord refrains from assisting the suffering souls in the name of personal freedom?

Kindly enlighten me.

Yours humbly,

R.M.

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

Answer: Because We Foolishly Turned Away From God

It is not that most of my answers are accurate. Because I am speaking from the authority of Vedic wisdom, all of my answers are accurate. Krishna does not want robots as His associates in the spiritual world. He wants free-thinking individuals who have voluntarily chosen to serve Him. Therefore He does not forcibly drag us back as prisoners to His transcendental abode. Instead He attracts us to return to Him by His inconceivably sweet pastimes and His unfathomable loving kindness.

The Lord has not introduced religions in this world. Instead He has introduced the one religion of loving service to Him. It is our nonsense that we have divided the one pure religion into so many nonsense pseudo religions.

Just as a father may sometimes chastise his son for his behavior, Krishna chastises us through the form of His material energy. And just as a loving father ultimately lets his son follow the path of his decision, the Lord does the same.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 12 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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

Today's Thought:

Taste Sweetest Bliss or Life Worse Than Hell?

Do you want to taste the sweetest bliss or do you want to live in a nightmare that is worse than hell? It's your choice. Here's how you can control your state of being. When you remember Krishna it is the sweetest bliss, and when you forget Krishna it is worse than hell. Therefore you should arrange your life in such a way that you can always remember Krishna at every minute and never forget Him. The way to do this is to hear about Krishna, read about Krishna, and glorify Krishna as much possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Original ISKCON devotees relish Krishna bliss
Original ISKCON Devotees Relish Krishna Bliss
26 2nd Ave--New York City--1966


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: I Can't Follow Krishna. Please Help Me.

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

Please help. I am a total failure. Please forgive me, it is impossible for me to strictly follow the process of Krishna consciousness. It is too difficult. What to do now? You are my only hope.

K.G.

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

Answer: Do Whatever You Can and You Will Advance

If you are still within the clutches of maya or illusion and thus cannot yet get free from slavery to your senses, simply follow whatever you can of this liberating process of Krishna consciousness and gradually you will get the strength to embrace all the regulative principles of freedom.

In this connection Srila Prabhupada explains in his purport to Bhagavad-gita 3.31:

"In the beginning of Krishna consciousness, one may not fully discharge the injunctions of the Lord, but because one is not resentful of this principle and works sincerely without consideration of defeat and hopelessness, he will surely be promoted to the stage of pure Krishna consciousness."

So even if you cannot now strictly follow all the regulative principles of Krishna consciousness, if you will simply maintain your respect for them and enthusiastically practice whatever you are able to, that day will come when you will become a pure devotee and relish the sweetest happiness on unadulterated bhakti.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 11 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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

Today's Thought:

Can You Taste the Nectar?

The nectar of devotion to Lord Sri Krishna is an ocean of bliss. Can you taste the nectar? Put your faith in Krishna's name and chant Hare Krishna with feeling. By personally experiencing the transformation of your consciousness you will scientifically verify the authenticity of the process of Krishna consciousness. Why be a part of the nightmarish global quagmire when you can instead, by a simple adjustment of your consciousness, help to spark off a global revolution of all-blissful, divine consciousness? The choice is yours. You can live a drab, humdrum mundane existence: simply eating, sleeping, mating, and defending practically no better than an animal--or you can live on the vanguard, the cutting edge, of the most dynamic, all-encompassing paradigm shift that has ever transpired in universal history.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Transcendental bliss revolution
Transcendental Bliss Revolution


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Does the Law of Karma Work?

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

Can you please explain? An action I am performing at any point in time is it the result of a past karma or is it my new karma? If someone hurts me now is he punishing me for my past karma or is this his new karma for which he will be punished at a later date? And should I fight my tormentor at any time or simply accept his punishment as a fruit of my past karma? I know that Lord Krishna told Arjuna to fight Duryodhana and not simply tolerate his action. Please enlighten me on this dilemma.

Your humble servant,

Prav

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

Answer: It is Different for Devotees

One who has not surrendered to Krishna is simply a puppet being manipulated by the strings of his past karma. If such a person is being hurt, it is due to his past karma. And the person who hurts him will also get a karmic reaction that he must be hurt in the future.

However, when one surrenders to Krishna, he becomes released from the chains of his karma. He no longer claims his body to be he himself or even to belong to himself. He simply sees it and utilizes it as the property of Krishna. If someone comes to attack his body, he defends it on behalf of Krishna, that Krishna's property may not be harmed or destroyed. Such devotional mood liberates him from the chain of karma.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 10 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

The Different Modes of Consciousness

To be depressed and/or bewildered is to be in the mode of ignorance. To be elated in a state of temporary material happiness is to be in the mode of passion. To be peaceful, philosophically steady in all situations of happiness and distress is to be in the mode of goodness. And to dovetail or harmonize one's consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness through loving devotion is to be in the mode of pure goodness, the platform of unending, ever-increasing, eternal transcendental bliss. Instead of bouncing back and forth between ignorance and passion we should come to the mode of goodness and from that launching pad enter into the mode of pure goodness, our original constitutional position.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Kirtan catapults chanters into transcendental bliss
Kirtan Catapults Chanters into Transcendental Bliss

http://www.backtohome.com/images/2011-Fall/Burgas_Kirtan.jpg


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Am I Really Grateful to the Devotees?

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

Often it happens that many devotees help me in spiritual life and I say, "Thank you, Prabhu, I am very grateful to you." How do I know if I am really grateful to the devotees?

Your servant,

Ankit

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

Answer: Are You Serving Them With Love?

Your real gratitude will be seen by how much you joyfully and lovingly serve the Vaisnavas.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 9 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

When the Going Gets Tough

It is sometimes said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This is especially true in spiritual life, because anyone who tries to become spiritual in a material atmosphere will sometimes face tough obstacles in their path. The key to conquering over them is to always maintain one's determination, enthusiasm, and patience for in all circumstances for awakening one's dormant Krishna consciousness. In this way one will easily or eventually conquer over all the opposing elements and fully relish the sweet nectar of loving devotion to Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada walks with his disciples
Srila Prabhupada Walks With His Disciples


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Handle Religious Fanaticism?

Hare Krishna.

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

I have been following Krishna consciousness for 4 years now, and I'm struggling to get my head around some things. I come from a Christian background where fanaticism was a big drive among the followers and no empathy given to any other religious/non-religious person. I sometimes find myself among other devotees that have the same drive and it bothers me very much. Srila Prabhupada had a lot of empathy for others without being fanatical. How does one handle a situation like that, because it usually drives people away when one is too fanatical about one's religion and almost forcing someone to become a part of an organization? I'm sometimes struggling to find a balance between fanaticism and empathy myself.

I thank you in advance for your answer.

Your servant in Krishna,

P.H.

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

Answer: Non-Fanatically Educate the Fanatics

I very much appreciate your mood. Fanaticism is the result of religion minus philosophy. If we have religion with philosophy, we get the science of God. If we have religion without philosophy, we get fanaticism along with its brother, sectarianism. Anyone who understands God scientifically knows that the symptom of a truly religious person is how much he has developed his feelings of love of God, not which religion he belongs to. Actually the idea of different religions is a manmade concoction. It is not given by God. God has given one religion and one religion only, the religion of purely loving Him. A person who understands God scientifically appreciates the religious sentiments, even of those who have not yet matured beyond the level of fanaticism. He encourages them in their neophyte faith and educates them how to reach a scientific understanding of God.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 8 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

Three Essentials for Spiritual Advancement

The three most important things that one must do to properly elevate oneself to the platform of Krishna consciousness are to take shelter of the bona fide spiritual master, take initiation from him, and serve him with respect and reverence. If one neglects these principles, it is not possible for him to advance on the pathway of Krishna consciousness and to qualify oneself for going back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada instructs his disciples
Srila Prabhupada Instructs His Disciples


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Am I Not Tasting Happiness from Serving Krishna?

Dear Gurudeva,

What I do not understand is why I am not tasting any happiness from serving Krishna. When will the darkness of ignorance leave from my heart?

Your servant,

MSDD

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

Answer: It Takes Time for the Impurities to Go Away

It takes time for the impurities to go away from our hearts. Whatever unhappiness a devotee experiences in his neophyte stage is due to his impurities, not the external situation in which he finds himself. So now you should focus on removing the impurities from your heart by carefully chanting the holy names of the Lord every day without fail. This will gradually bring about the complete transformation of your consciousness from your present state of anxiety into the realm of pure unadulterated bliss.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 7 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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

Today's Thought:

Conquering Over Stress

This material world is an abode of stress. You cannot avoid it. We want to live forever in youth and good health, but yet we are dragged by the stringent laws of the material nature through sickness, old age, and death again and again, birth after birth with no end to this suffering. This is naturally a very stressful situation. The only way out of this stress is to cling very tightly to the instructions of Guru and Krishna because this liberates us from this material existence. These instructions will pull us out of this stress. If we neglect to take shelter of the instructions of Guru and Krishna, our stress will continue perpetually until we finally wisen up and humble ourselves before Guru and Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada teaches stresslessness
Srila Prabhupada Teaches Stresslessness


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Can Karma Be Changed?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Could you please tell me which types of karma that one goes through in one's present lifetime are predetermined and cannot be changed? And, if karma can be changed, what is the method?

Your devotee.

Jaanvi G.

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

Answer: Only By Surrender To Krishna

All karma, both good and bad, is determined by our previous pious and impious activities. It cannot be changed at all. We are stuck with it unless we give up all of our nonsense and surrender unto Krishna. Then and only then will Krishna release us from our karma. This surrender is accomplished by strictly following the instructions given in the Bhagavad-gita under the guidance of the bona fide spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 6 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

Material Suffering is the Pastime of Fools

Those who are actually knowledgeable understand that there is no reason at all to suffer in this material world. They know that such suffering is simply the pastime of fools. Those who identify themselves with their material body are destined to suffer perpetually in the cycle of repeated birth, death, old age, and disease. But those who realize that they are eternal spiritual beings qualitatively one with God and who thus engage themselves in the service of the Supreme Transcendental Personality become exempted from all forms of material suffering and regain their eternal position in the spiritual sky.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The devotee is always blissful in Krishna consciousness
The Devotee is Always Blissful in Krishna Consciousness


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Maintain Enthusiasm?

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

Thank you so much for your daily inspirational "Thought for the Day".

I have a question for you. How do you personally maintain enthusiasm in your daily sadhana (devotional practices). What's your mantra? The feedback will be published in our monthly newsletter for July. This will help our readers in their devotional service.

Hare Krishna.
Your servant,
Dwarka Vasini devi dasi
ISKCON Nairobi Communications.

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

Answer: Hold Tightly to Your Guru's Orders

When I was new devotee I received the following instruction from Srila Prabhupada in a letter dated 7 September 1971 just before he departed from London for Nairobi:

"I can see also that you are a very sincere and enthusiastic boy and are anxious for spreading this movement. Those are first class qualifications for making advancement in Krishna Consciousness. So continue enthusiastically as you are doing and Krishna will surely bless you."

This personal instruction from Srila Prabhupada has been the basis of my unbroken enthusiasm for the last 43 years in spite of so many ups and downs that one naturally experiences in one's daily devotional life. In other words, the key to unbroken enthusiasm is that you must always hold on tightly to the instructions you have received from your spiritual master and never let go. This is the secret.

Another thing that has given me a lifetime of enthusiasm in this letter was that after signing it with a pen, with the same pen Srila Prabhupada added a PS: "On Friday night we are going to Nairobi." This told me that along with his accepting me officially as his disciple he was also accepting me intimately as his son.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 5 July 2014

from ISKCON--Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

The Bona Fide Guru Tries to Save the World

Srila Prabhupada has wonderfully defined "bona fide guru" in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 8.24.48 as follows:

"The bona fide guru is he who advises his disciples exactly in accordance with the principles spoken by Krishna. The bona fide guru is he who has accepted Krishna as guru. This is the guru-parampara system. The original guru is Vyasadeva because he is the speaker of Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam, wherein everything spoken relates to Krishna. Therefore guru-puja is known as Vyasa-puja. In the final analysis, the original guru is Krishna, His disciple is Narada, whose disciple is Vyasa, and in this way we gradually come in touch with the guru-parampara. One cannot become a guru if he does not know what the Personality of Godhead Krishna or His incarnation wants. The mission of the guru is the mission of the Supreme Personality of Godhead: to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world."

If we take shelter and initiation and faithfully serve such a guru, our life becomes successful.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotees in Germany Offer Guru Puja to Srila Prabhupada
Devotees in Germany Offer Guru Puja to Srila Prabhupada

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Advance in Spiritual Life?

How to advance in spiritual life?

Subhakrit Das

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Answer: Satisfy the Spiritual Master

Satisfaction of the spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his sincere disciple. We cannot manufacture our own process, therefore mental speculation does not at all help us in spiritual life. One simply has to surrender himself to his guru and everything will be revealed to him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 4 July 2014

from ISKCON Austin, Texas USA

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Today's Thought:

Celebrating Independence Day at Every Minute

In the USA the 4th of July or Independence Day is one of the biggest public holidays of the year. It celebrates that day in 1776 when the thirteen American colonies, which were then under British rule, formally adopted their Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. But ultimately how significant is this holiday? The American people must still get sick, get old, and die. Although they attained their desired independence from Great Britain, they have not gotten independence from these cruel pinches of the material nature. They got their independence from Great Britain, but they have not gained independence from the sufferings of material existence.

Conversely, the devotee of the Lord, who has taken complete shelter of the Lord, does not have to wait for a full year to celebrate independence day because he celebrates his complete independence from all the sufferings of material existence at every minute.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotees celebrate independence from this material world
Devotees Celebrate Independence from this Material World
His Holiness Vishnujana Swami Leads Hare Krishna Kirtan
San Francisco--Golden Gate Park--7 July 1974


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Find a True Guru?

How to find a true guru?

Dilip J.

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Answer: Be Serious to Become Krishna Conscious

If you are serious about studying any subject matter, you will find out some college, some institution where you can study it. Similarly, if you want to find a guru, you simply have to be serious about becoming Krishna conscious. If you are actually serious about this wonderful process of awakening your dormant Krishna consciousness, Krishna will send you one of His representatives to become your spiritual master, and he will take charge of you. That is the process. If you do not find a guru, this means that you are not yet sufficiently serious to accept the instructions of the spiritual master.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 3 July 2014

from ISKCON New Dvaraka--Los Angeles, USA

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Today's Thought:

Relishing Devotee Association Bliss in New Dvaraka

Just as one can delightfully relish a gulabjamun, which is the ultimate delectable sweet, at the end of one's meal, we are now finishing off an around-the-world lecture tour by a brief stopover in New Dvaraka, the Hare Krishna movement's temple and community in Los Angeles. It is always such a special treat to be here where there are so many senior devotees. Practically at every step one gets to meet great spiritual luminaries, disciples of Srila Prabhupada who have contributed greatly to the expansion of the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



ISKCON New Dvaraka, Los Angeles, USA
lSKCON New Dvaraka---Los Angeles, USA
(This photo from the 70's nicely expresses the mood of this community.)


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Feel the Bliss of Chanting?

When I chant I feel peace of mind, but I am not feeling the bliss yet. Based on your personal experience what do I need to do to get over this hurdle?

De P.

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Answer: Carefully Chant These Sweet Names Every Day

The pure bhakti bliss comes gradually like a splendorous sunrise on a glorious spring morning. You just have to keep carefully chanting these super sweet names every day. Another tip is that the more you can learn to relish the association of the Lord's devotees, the more you will naturally relish His holy name.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 2 July 2014

from ISKCON New Dvaraka--Los Angeles, USA

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Today's Thought:

Theology Discussion With a Qantas Flight Attendant

On our flight from Melbourne, Australia to Los Angeles, USA on 30 June 2014 I had a very interesting conversation with a Qantas Airlines flight attendant named Sven Lauresen. He is originally from Germany and came to Australia to study theology, which he did for eight years. However instead of opting for a career as a minister or priest he ended up as flight attendant, and a very friendly, helpful one at that. Being on duty he could not get into a lengthy theological discussion with me. But in the few minutes I discussed theology with him I gave him the entire philosophy of Krishna consciousness in a nut shell and then gave him my card so that he can email me if he has any questions, desires dialogue, or would like to sign up for our Ultimate Self-Realization Course. I explained to him how God is one and that religion is also one, to become a lover of God, no matter by what name you may call Him. I concluded by informing him that I could make him a better Christian. Throughout the flight he went out of his way to take very good care of whatever we needed. Just before landing I gave him a copy of our book, Beyond Birth and Death, which he was very happy to receive. It's really beautiful and wonderful when we can make relationships with people based on Krishna consciousness. Those relationships are the sweetest. They give our life profound meaning.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Enlivening theological discussion with flight attendant
Enlivening Theological Discussion with Flight Attendant
En route from Melbourne to Los Angeles--30 June 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Veganism and Krishna Consciousness

I was wondering about veganism. I know traditionally in the Hare Krishna movement dairy is served. But it seems in today's world, with farming practices the way that they are, that it would be better to abstain from dairy.

I was wondering what you thought about that.

Bill B.

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Answer: Using a Thorn to Remove a Thorn

In a lot of ways veganism makes a lot of sense. One thing, however, that vegans are not aware of is that the consumption of cow's milk and cow's milk products is necessary for the development of finer brain tissues in order to gain higher level philosophical understanding. This puts the devotee of Krishna in an awkward position. He needs milk to understand the subtleties of Vedic wisdom, but yet he is vehemently opposed to the abuse of cows. The solution for this dilemma is to only take milk from protected cows, cows that are not being abused, like those on Krishna conscious farms. This is called ahimsa milk (non-violent milk).

But what should the devotee do if there is no ahimsa milk available? Should he take non-protected cow's milk or should he abstain completely from milk? His duty is to do everything possible and necessary to awaken his dormant Krishna consciousness and talking milk just happens to be one of those necessary items. Therefore he can take milk from cows that are not protected. This will help him to develop mature Krishna conscious understanding and will also help him to devise the ways and means to put a stop to the abuse of cows. This is called, "Using a thorn to remove a thorn." Just like if someone is hiking in the forest and he gets stuck with a thorn and he does not have a pair of tweezers to remove the thorn, he can use a second thorn to remove the first thorn. In other words the devotee uses the thorn of non-protected cow's milk to get the brain power for stopping the abuse of cows.

Another benefit is that the cow whose milk is offered to Krishna will get the blessing of being engaged in the devotional service of Lord Sri Krishna. This will accelerate that soul's evolution in the cycle of birth and death and help the cow to gain liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 1 July 2014

from ISKCON--Melbourne, Australia

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Today's Thought:

All Problems Solved

If you will simply solidly connect with Lord Sri Krishna in the form of His name, all of your problems of life will be automatically solved. So who is that person who would not fully absorb themselves in the name of Krishna? Only that person who is not enlightened with transcendental knowledge.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Secrets of Devotional Service Revealed Seminar
Secrets of Devotional Service Revealed Seminar
Melbourne, Australia--29 June 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Whether to Fight or to Tolerate?

Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Could you please tell me what is the right thing to do, when faced with an unrighteous material situation whether to fight for the right no matter whatever outcome would be, or to just keep silent and safe from further unknown problems.

Your devotee,
Jaanvi

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Answer: Pick Your Battles Wisely

Pick your battles wisely. Wherever you can effectively rectify an unrighteous situation, you must act boldly and decisively to do so. And wherever you are not able to be effective at rectifying the situation, you should be tolerant. By always maintaining a sincere desire to humbly serve the mission of the Lord, Krishna will give you the intelligence to know when you should fight and when you should tolerate.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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