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 22 October 2014

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Excursion to Klaipeda

On 20 October 2014 we traveled 213 kilometers from Kaunas in the interior of Lithuania to the coastal city of Klaipeda situated on the west coast of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. We go to Klaipeda twice a year, and it is always really ecstatic. We always have super enlivening kirtans and the devotees there are very enthusiastic to hear and to inquire about this amazing liberating science of Krishna consciousness. I can't imagine any life more glorious and blissful than a life of Krishna consciousness. I pray that the entire world can now be awakened in Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Transcendental Bliss in Klaipeda, Lithuania
Transcendental Bliss in Klaipeda, Lithuania--20 October 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does a Soul Do After Moksha (Liberation)?

Dear Master,

Here are my few questions. Please provide some light to understand.

What does a soul do after moksha (liberation)?

Does the soul fall from God's abode? If so, why does he fall?

Is the universe created for the fallen souls to find moksha through different jivas or to fulfill their karma? If so, will there not be any more material world is all the souls attain moksha?

What does the soul do when he does not have a body?

With Love,

Pandit N.
Bangalore

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Answer: He Serves Krishna Eternally in His Transcendental Abode

After moksha or liberation the soul engages in the loving service of Lord Krishna in His transcendental pastimes in the spiritual sky.

Fall down occurs when one becomes envious of the Lord's position as the Supreme.

The soul finds liberation when by the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna he comes in contact with a bona fide spiritual master who plants the seed of bhakti in his heart and inspires him to nurture that seed by hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord.

This material world is the merciful arrangement of the Lord to reform those who foolishly became envious of Him.

Karma is an endless trap, which goes on fulfilling itself ad infinitum. One has to get out of the karma trap by surrendering oneself to Lord Sri Krishna.

Just as the prisons are always full even though prisoners are being regularly released, even if all the souls in the universe attain deliverance from birth and death and go back to spiritual sky, a new set of fallen souls will take their place.

When the soul is liberated he manifests a spiritual form, which never gets sick, never gets old, and never dies.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 21 October 2014

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Importance of Marriage in Vedic Culture

Since we are not these bodies and this material world is not our real home, one who is on the pathway of spiritual progress is meant to completely renounce sex. However, since for most people it is not possible to come immediately to such a renounced position, facility is given for regulated sex within married life. Regulated sex means that sex is only indulged in for the purpose of procreation and other than that is completely avoided. Such regulated sex according to the directions of the scriptures and great spiritual authorities is most auspicious and attracts highly qualified transcendentalists to take birth in such Krishna conscious families.

Sometimes it is thought that those who have completely renounced sex--brahmacaris, vanaprasthas, and sannyasis--should have nothing to do with wedding ceremonies. But as shown by Srila Prabhupada's example of personally performing the wedding ceremony for his disciples, the members of the three celibate orders can attend wedding ceremonies for the purpose of encouraging the newly weds to have a happy Krishna conscious marriage in accordance with the Vedic principles.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


 


Transcendental Wedding
Transcendental Wedding
Kaunas, Lithuania--19 October 2014


Sriman Vyasadeva Das Marries Srimati Gaura Lila Devi Dasi
Sriman Vyasadeva Das Marries Srimati Gaura Lila Devi Dasi


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Lord Caitanya Accepted Sannyasa from a Mayavadi?

Please accept my humble obeisances.

Thank you for taking your time and answering my questions.

As I was reading about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He accepted sannyasa (the renounced order) from a guru who belonged to the Mayavada sampradaya. I have a question. Was there no Vaishnava sannyasi at that time near his village from whom he could have accepted sannyasa? Why did the Lord choose to do so? Was there some special reason?

Thank you very much.

Your aspiring servant,
Timir N.

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Answer: In Keeping With Social Conventions of His Time

Srila Prabhupada has nicely answered your question as follows in his purport to Caitanya Caritamrita, Adi 3.34:

"During the time of Lord Caitanya, the influence of Sankaracarya in society was very strong. People thought that one could accept sannyasa only in the disciplic succession of Sankaracarya. Lord Caitanya could have performed His missionary activities as a householder, but He found householder life an obstruction to His mission. Therefore He decided to accept the renounced order, sannyasa. Since His acceptance of sannyasa was also designed to attract public attention, Lord Caitanya, not wishing to disturb the social convention, took the renounced order of life from a sannyasi in the disciplic succession of Sankaracarya, although sannyasa was also sanctioned in the Vaisnava sampradaya."

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 20 October 2014

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Second Birth Is Required For Human Beings

The Sanskrit word dvija consists of two syllables. Dvi means twice, and ja means born. So dvija means twice-born: first birth by the father and mother, and second birth when one is initiated by the bona fide spiritual master. At second birth the spiritual master is the father and the Vedas are the mother. That is Vedic civilization. One must be born twice. The first birth by the father and mother is done by the cats of dogs also. So it is the second birth that distinguishes one as a human being. Being born once is not sufficient for realizing the purpose of the human form of life, to become self-realized and go back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Devotees Receive Initiation

Kaunas, Lithuania--18 October 2014

Bhakta Varady Gabor becomes Vamanadeva Das
Bhakta Varady Gabor Becomes Vamanadeva Das


Bhakta Arminas Becomes Atma-Medhah Das
Bhakta Arminas Becomes Atma-Medhah Das


Bhakta Indrek Becomes Isvara-Parama Das
Bhakta Indrek Becomes Isvara-Parama Das


Bhaktin Justina Becomes Jahnava Devi Dasi
Bhaktin Justina Becomes Jahnava Devi Dasi


Bhaktin Kristina Becomes Krishnamayi Devi Dasi
Bhaktin Kristina Becomes Krishnamayi Devi Dasi


Bhaktin Goda Becomes Gaura Lila Devi Dasi
Bhaktin Goda Becomes Gaura Lila Devi Dasi


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Form Do We Have In The Spiritual World?

Gurudeva, what kind of a form/body do we have in the spiritual world? Is there such a thing as male and female body in the spiritual world? My brother was asking me if we are consistently born in a male or female body life after life or does it change and what happens when we get liberated, if we are presently male then in the spiritual world do we assume a male body?

Sanjib

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Answer: Will Be Revealed When You Become a Pure Devotee

Your gender in the material world has nothing to do with your gender in the spiritual world. In this material world we are going back and forth between the genders in so many millions of species as we go through the wheel of birth and death.

In the spiritual world you will be in a form that is perfectly suitable for whatever your mood is for serving Krishna. You can be a cowherd boy, a cowherd girl, a cow, a calf, a flute, a peacock feather, or any one of multifarious varieties of forms. It is not possible for you to know at the present time what will be your natural mood and form when you rejoin Krishna in His transcendental pastimes in the spiritual sky. This will be revealed to you through the agency of your spiritual master only when you become a pure devotee, not before that. This is one of the reasons why it is necessary for one to a take shelter and initiation from the bona fide spiritual master and to accept his orders as your very life and soul.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 19 October 2014

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Control Your Tongue

Of all the senses the tongue is the most voracious and uncontrollable. It is very difficult to conquer over the tongue in this world. So, if you want to be solidly fixed on the transcendental platform of Krishna consciousness in order to become delivered from vicious cycle of birth and death, you must bring your tongue under control by only taking Krishna prasadam as your food and by only engaging your tongue in speaking the glories of Krishna. If the tongue is not properly engaged in this way, you will become polluted and dragged down into the animal kingdom in your next birth. This may sound very difficult to accomplish. But actually it is quite easy because there is nothing more stimulating and enlivening than talking about Krishna and tasting the remnants of those foods that have been offered to Him with love and devotion.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Control your tongue by honoring Krishna prasadam
Control Your Tongue By Honoring Krishna Prasadam


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What To Do With Feelings of Separation From Vrindavana?

My Dear Srila Gurudeva,

Dandavat Pranam. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

I am feeling very intense separation from Sri Vrindavana Dhama. Please tell me what to do.

Your servant,
Bhakta Shashank

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Answer: Keep Them Alive Within Your Heart

Please continue feeling separation from Vrindavana as much as and for as long as possible because this is very conducive for your Krishna consciousness. The more you feel the pangs of separation from Vrindavana, which is non-different from Krishna Himself, the more you are solidly connected with Krishna. This is the perfection of your existence.

If this feeling gradually fades away, you should then try to feel separation from the feeling of being separated from Vrindavana and in this way always keep the feelings of separation alive within your heart on one level or another. Such feelings will be your ticket back to home, back to Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 18 October 2014

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Always Serve the Devotees

If you want to be a devotee of Krishna, you must first become the devotee of the devotees of Krishna, otherwise He will not accept that you are devoted to Him. From Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.68 we can understand why it is like this:

sadhavo hrdayam mahyam
sadhunam hrdayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti
naham tebhyo manag api

"My devotees are always in My heart, and I am always in the heart of My devotees. My devotees do not know anything else but Me, and I do not know anyone else but them."

Just see how dear the devotees are to Krishna. Therefore if you neglect them and try to approach Krishna, He will neglect you. But when you please them by loving service, Krishna is exceedingly pleased with you and showers His unlimited blessings upon you.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Lecture at Anantara Center
Lecture at Anantara Center
Kaunas, Lithuania--16 October 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Material Pleasure False or Real?

Dear Guru Maharaja,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have heard in Bhagavad-gita classes that "this world is a reflection of the spiritual reality, just like the reflection of a tree on a river bank. Instead of enjoying the fruits on the real tree we are hankering after the fruits in the reflection and simply banging our head on the rocks because there is no fruit at all in the reflection." But, we do get some enjoyment in, say, eating some nice sweet. Everyone tastes its sweetness. Its not that someone finds it illusory and hence does not eat any sweet. So, my question is that is the enjoyment in this world completely false and illusory like a mirage in a desert, or is there some tangible amount of water present in the desert?

Please clear my confusion and teach me the right understanding.

Your servant,
Sushant

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Answer: Real But Totally Insignificant and Inconsequential

The pleasure of this material world is very puny and insignificant just like a drop of water in the desert. Just as that water drop cannot save the life of a man dying of thirst in the desert, in the same way all of the pleasures of this material world even up to the point of becoming Lord Brahma, the predominating demigod of this universe, cannot give genuine satisfaction to the living beings. So there is a such a thing as material pleasure. But it is so insignificant and inconsequential that it is not even worth giving it any serious consideration.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 17 October 2014

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Reverses Help Us Prepare For Death

In this material world we often face extremely stressful reverse situations. How we handle these disturbances can either make or break our advancement in Krishna consciousness. If we become bewildered and angry in such circumstances, we have come down to the material platform of hankering and lamentation in which we become completely forgetful of Krishna. However, if we take these awkward, unpleasant situations for what they really are, excellent training exercises to help us become prepared for the time of death, we will not be bewildered or confused. We will be able to keep a cool head and strengthen our attachment to Krishna by realizing more than ever before that there is no shelter in this material world, that our only real shelter is Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Bhagavad-gita Lecture
Bhagavad-gita Lecture--Vilnius, Lithuania--15 October 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Chanting on 108 Beads?

Whenever I just touch my japa chanting beads, I feel a blessing, a sort of a higher state of consciousness. Can you please, if you are not too busy with all of us, explain why the mala has 108 beads?

Thank you for your generous concern in our questions.

Edmond
from Switzerland

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Answer: Surpassing 108 Upanisads and Serving 108 Gopis

According to the explanation of the great Vaisnava acharya, our most beloved ISKCON Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta, chanting the Hare Krishna mantra on the 108 beads means that we are surpassing the study of the 108 Upanisads and engaging ourselves in the service of the 108 most prominent gopi girlfriend servitors of Lord Sri Krishna in Vrindavan.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 16 October 2014

from Kaunas, Lithuania

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Today's Thought:

Are You Above the Clouds or Within the Clouds?

If one is situated above the clouds of illusion, his life is beautiful and all blissful. But if situated within the clouds of illusion, one's life is ugly and miserable. It is your choice whether you want to be in illusion or beyond illusion. Just as on an airplane you can fly higher and higher until you penetrate beyond the clouds, the Hare Krishna mahamantra if chanted with love, will take you beyond all suffering and illusion into the pure spiritual realm of unlimited happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Flying Within the Clouds
Flying Within the Clouds


Flying Above the Clouds
Flying Above the Clouds


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What's It Like in Goloka Vrindavana?

I suppose we have been in this material world for an infinite number of years. After becoming cent per cent Krishna conscious and returning back home, what will be the feeling of meeting all our relatives in the spiritual world? Is it like hugging them, getting excited, astonishment, being overjoyous, and remembering our past relationships after missing them for so many long years? I'm just imagining these but I don't know what might be the reality. Is it that all spiritual beings look identical in spiritual world?

Thank you,
Hare Krishna,
Radha Ramana

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Answer: Go There And Find Out

There are no look-alikes in Goloka Vrindavana. Every devotee is absolutely unique. If you want to know what it is like when one returns there, my best advice is that you should go there and personally find out.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 15 October 2014

from Helsinki, Finland Airport

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Today's Thought:

Reconnecting With Vrindavana While Separated

After relishing the sweet mellows of Krishna's most powerful divine presence for some time in Sri Vrindavana Dhama, a devotee who then leaves Vrindavana for serving the Lord outside the holy precincts of Vrindavana naturally feels some aching in his heart. Being in Vrindavana is truly a mystical experience because, as Srila Prabhupada points out, the dust of Vrindavana is the dust of Krishna's lotus feet. Mercifully Vrindavana is a very dusty place. Krishna's foot dust is everywhere. Indeed, it is even in the air. Therefore simply by breathing in Vrindavana one is in direct touch with Lord Sri Krishna's lotus feet.

The pain of being separated from Vrindavana is mitigated or made less severe by the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna, who mercifully agrees to travel with His devotee wherever he may wander within the three worlds for spreading Krishna's glories. How does that amazing all-attractive person travel with His devotee? He is present within the heart of His devotee, and within the sweet, soothing sound of the thirty-two syllables of the Hare Krishna mahamantra:

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

When the devotee feelingly chants this mantra-raja, this king of all mantras, he is in direct contact with Krishna in His most relishable Sri Vrindavana Dhama. In this way the pain in his heart dissolves and he merges into a ocean of the sweetest, ever-increasing happiness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Krishna Attracts the Gopis With His Flute
Krishna Attracts the Gopis With His Flute


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why God is Giving Me So Much Suffering?

My humble obeisances to Srila Gurudeva.

Thank you very much for your valuable guidance and time.

I want to be more Krishna conscious.But sometimes when I am in very deep stress due to sufferings in my life, I start thinking why God is giving me so much suffering? How to avoid this feeling?

Geetha R.

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Answer: We Gave It To Ourselves. Don't Blame God.

God has not given us any suffering. It is we who have so foolishly embraced a life of suffering by running away from our safe, wonderful home in the spiritual world. Now all we have to do to get free from all suffering for all of eternity is go back to our original all-blissful home in the spiritual world. But our foolishness is that instead of taking the blame for our suffering we want to blame God. It is due to this foolishness only that we remain caught up perpetually in the vicious cycle of birth and death.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 14 October 2014

en route to London, UK

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Today's Thought:

Are You As Miserable As Hell?

Are you as miserable as hell from what you are going through in this material world? If so, do not lament. Instead you should count your blessings that you can use your present miserable state to realize that this material world is a hopeless, unbearable quagmire, in which you are forced to endure miseries repeatedly birth after birth after birth. Instead of crying, use your present suffering as a springboard to catapult yourself into the realm of unlimited spiritual bliss, where life is eternal and ever-increasingly ecstatic with full cognizance. In this way you can make the best use of a bad bargain and become one of the most successful people in the history of this universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Use Your Misery to Transfer Yourself Into Krishnaloka
Use Your Misery to Transfer Yourself Into Krishnaloka


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Bear Punishment for Two Abortions?

I wanted to confess you some sins I committed out of ignorance. Gurudeva, I have gotten two abortions done in the past. I feel very sorry and sad about it. I know I have committed big sins and will be punished for it. But it wasn't for want of a male child. In fact God has blessed me with daughters. I seek your blessings to be able to bear the punishment I am destined to face.

Anonymous

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Answer: How to Avoid Being Aborted Twice

Your punishment will be that you will have to take birth again twice and be aborted each time. However, if you will fully surrender to Krishna by taking shelter of Sri Guru, getting initiated by Sri Guru, and being fully obedient to his orders, you will be excused from the reaction to these heinous killings. Instead of taking birth twice and being aborted twice, you will return back to home, back to Godhead to join with Krishna's transcendental pastimes, never to take birth again in this miserable material. So, considering these points do what you need to do now to avoid being aborted twice.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Monday 13 October 2014

from ISKCON--Pune, India

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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Bliss at ISKCON Pune

12 October 2014--We are back now in Pune for a brief stopover before heading out to Lithuania. It is indeed very enlivening to see such an enthusiastic community of hundreds of brahmacaris and thousands of householders so ecstatically absorbed in Krishna consciousness. We pray for that day when the whole world becomes engaged in Krishna consciousness and all of its wars and other devastating problems will be over.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Teaching the Science of Krishna Bhakti
Teaching the Science of Krishna Bhakti
ISKCON New Vedic Culture Center--Pune, India 12 October 2014


Beautiful Temple Room
Beautiful Temple Room


The Devotees Are Very Sincere Students of Bhakti
The Devotees Are Very Sincere Students of Bhakti


They Have A Good Sense of Humor Also
They Have A Good Sense of Humor Also


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Concentrate One's Mind on Krishna?

Why do human beings tend to have unrealistic view of situations (illusion, make mistakes, cheating, imperfect senses) whereas as per A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada's philosophy, one should turn to Krishna for answers? How to concentrate one's mind on Krishna?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Parag R.

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Answer: Accept the Guidance of the Bona Fide Spiritual Master

Our views are out of touch with reality because we are currently conditioned by illusion. Therefore each of us needs the merciful guidance of the spiritual master how to get out of illusion and keep our minds always absorbed in Krishna. The spiritual master trains us how to stay fixed in Krishna consciousness by chanting Hare Krishna and studying the scriptures as much as possible 24 hours daily along with accepting Krishna prasadam as our food.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 12 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

In Krishna We Trust

Always trust Krishna because He will never let you down. He is your best friend, your ever well-wisher, and the supreme controller. He is absolutely reliable in all times, places, and circumstances. The only difficulty is that we don't trust Him. We think that we have a better way than He does for what is in our best interest. Because of this foolishness we suffer in so many ways birth after birth, but all of our troubles will end when we again put our full faith in Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Beautiful Krishna in Sri Vrindavana Dhama
Beautiful Krishna in Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Do the Demigods Grant Material Benefits?

As per the scriptures there are a number of demigods, and they represent Supreme God Krishna. My question is that when we pray to a demigod for some material benefits will it be granted by the demigod alone, or it will be granted under the control of Lord Krishna?

Geetha R.

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Answer: All Benedictions Come From Krishna

Since all benedictions come from Krishna we do not pray to the demigods. In fact, Krishna states in the Gita that those who pray to the demigods have lost their intelligence.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 11 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

The Mission of Our Movement is to Save the World

Lord Caitanya's sankirtana movement is the only movement in the world that has the potency to bring the entire human society into one peaceful, loving, happy spiritual family. This movement can indeed amazingly bring everyone together through the power of the congregational chanting of the holy names of God. Therefore it is the duty of the members of this movement to fully dedicate their lives for doing everything possible to win the participation of everyone on this planet in this most glorious movement as soon as possible.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Super Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan in Bulgaria
Super Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan in Bulgaria


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Difference Between Our Love Affairs and Krishna's

What is the main difference between the love affair of Sri Radha and Krishna and the love affairs of today's material world. The love affair of Radha and Krishna is respected all over the world whereas today's affairs are mostly uncertain. So what can be the reason behind it?

Amit G.
New Delhi, India

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Answer: His Love Affair Is Legitimate. Ours Are Not.

Since Krishna is the enjoyer and owner of everything as confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita, His love affair with Radharani is legitimate and glorious. On the other hand any love affairs that any of us have with women are illegitimate because we are like thieves trying to enjoy the property of someone else.

This of course does not mean that we cannot be married according to the regulative principles of Vedic culture. It means that we cannot take women as objects of material sense gratification. We are meant to engage ourselves and all others in the service of the Lord.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 10 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Krishna Never Steps a Foot Outside of Vrindavana

Even though Krishna leaves Vrindavana to go to Mathura to kill Kamsa and then eventually settles in Dvaraka, the revealed scriptures tell us that Krishna actually never leaves Vrindavana.

krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto
yah purnah so 'sty atah parah
vrndavanam parityajya
sa kvacin naiva gacchati

"The Krishna known as Yadukumara is Vasudeva Krishna. He is different from the Krishna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadukumara Krishna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krishna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrindavana." - Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 1.67

So it is actually only the expansion of Krishna, Vasudeva Krishna, who leaves Vrindavana. Krishna in his original form of Nanda Kumara remains eternally captured in the hearts of the Vrajavasis who keep Krishna forever in Vrindavana.

Today we are leaving Vrindavana, the best place in the universe. But how can we leave? We actually cannot leave, because our hearts are always drawn to live with Krishna eternally in Vrindavana. So even though externally out of our duty for spreading the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world we are leaving Vrindavana, within our hearts we will eternally remain in this most sacred of all abodes.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan on River Yamuna
One of Many Sweet Memories:
Ecstatic Hare Krishna Kirtan on River Yamuna--10 September 2014


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Is Loud or Silent Chanting the Best?

Hare Krishna. Which chanting is best: loud chanting or silent chanting?

Rabindra K.

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

Answer: Soft and Loud Chanting Are Both Best, Not Silent Chanting

There is no such thing as silent Hare Krishna chanting. Chanting Hare Krishna means to make an audible sound vibration with your tongue. There is soft chanting for one's own hearing (japa) and loud chanting for everyone's hearing (kirtan), but no silent chanting.

Both soft and loud chanting are good. Soft chanting is good for executing one's daily quota of chanting at least 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna mahamantra everyday on japa mala beads and thus diving deeper and deeper into the ocean of bhakti. Loud chanting, i.e. singing Hare Krishna loudly in kirtan, is good for the chanter and it also benefits everyone else who hears the chanting, even the plants and animals. It's like a volcanic eruption spewing out the lava of pure love of God throughout the entire universe.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 9 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Relishing the Full Moon Autumn Night in Vrindavana

Tonight here in Vrindavana on 8 October 2014 we are blessed with a full moon on the first day of autumn and the first day of the most auspicious month of Kartika. This is the night that Krishna called the gopis damsels to dance the rasa dance with Him in the Vrindavana forest. Glancing up at the Vrindavana sky through the trees, I am enlivened to see the full moon brilliantly resplendent in the wondrous sky of this holiest of all abodes. I am reminded of this wonderful passage from Srila Prabhupada's book, The Nectar of Devotion:

"Krishna was very expert in dealing with people according to circumstances, country, time and paraphernalia. How He could take advantage of a particular time, circumstance and person is expressed by Him while talking to Uddhava about His rasa dance with the gopis. He says, 'The most opportune time is the full-moon night in autumn, like tonight. The best place within the universe is Vrindavana, and the most beautiful girls are the gopis. So, My dear friend Uddhava, I think I should now take advantage of all these circumstances and engage Myself in the rasa dance.'"

Who can calculate the value of being in Vrindavana especially on this night? Anything else that one can achieve anywhere within the three worlds pales into insignificance compared to being here in Vrindavana, the abode of Lord Sri Krishna, the place of His most nectarean, sublime pastimes with His most intimate devotees.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Nothing More Sublime than the Full Moon Night in Vrindavana
Nothing More Sublime than the Full Moon Night in Vrindavana


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Things In and Not In Krishna at the Same Time?

Thanks for your help. Through these questions and answers you clear our doubts, and further we clear the doubts of others.

My question is that in Bhagavad-gita 9.4 Krishna says, "mat sthani sarva bhutani - All beings are in Me." And then in the next verse (9.5) He says, "na ca mat sthani bhutani - And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me." Please elaborate as I couldn't understand.

Your servant,

Noopur

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Answer: Like Factory Owner Present and Not Present Simultaneously

Everything that exists is within Krishna because everything that exists is nothing but His expanded energy. But at the same time it is not that He has to be personally present everywhere to make sure that everything is going on properly. It is something like a factory owner. His presence is felt everywhere within the factory because everything has to be done according to his orders. But it is not that he has to be personally present in every department of his factory. He is able to operate the factory very nicely through his deputed agents. So the factory simultaneously rests on him and does not rest on him.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 8 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

The Unsurpassable Ecstasy of Krishna Consciousness

There is no bliss that even comes close to being remotely similar to the bliss of Krishna consciousness. Krishna consciousness means to relish the sweet mellows of loving devotional service to Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If understood correctly, there is actually no bliss anywhere in all of existence except for the bliss of Krishna consciousness. All other types of bliss are but mere shadows of this bliss. They are not the real thing.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Super Blissful Hare Krishna Devotee Dance and Chant in Ecstasy
Super Blissful Hare Krishna Devotees Dance and Chant in Ecstasy


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why Can't We See Krishna?

Kindly advise me how to obtain Lord Krishna's mercy. Why can't we see Him and talk to Him? Why do we have to suffer?

Your humble servant,

Geeta V.

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Answer: Our Enjoying Mood Obstructs Our Vision

Even though Krishna is fully present, due to our desire to enjoy separately from Him we cannot see Him, and we are suffering like anything in the cycle of repeated birth and death.

The solution is to give up our enjoying mood and fully absorb our every thought, word, and deed in His service. In this way we will gradually free ourselves from the enjoying mood and attain the perfectional stage in which we can see Krishna at every minute, talk with Him, and hear Him talking to us.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Tuesday 7 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Are You a Swan or a Crow?

In this material world everyone is interested to check out the latest news in the newspaper or on the Internet. This is the pleasure pastime of the crows. Just as crows are attracted to heaps of garbage, the crow class of men is drawn to the flickering mundane topics of this world of birth and death. But the devotees of the Lord are birds of a different feather. They are swans. While the crows are attracted to garbage topics of material sense gratification, the swans are attracted to beautiful pristine lotus lake topics of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His eternal associates, which bestow immortality upon those who speak them and hear them.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Crows Are Attracted to Garbage
Crows Are Attracted to Garbage


Swans Are Attracted to Beautiful Lakes With Lotus Flowers
Swans Are Attracted to Beautiful Lakes With Lotus Flowers


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Should I Go to the Senior Prom?

Hare Krishna!

Since I'm in high school, there will be events coming up such as the senior prom. So should I not go to the prom or go to the prom? I'm not sure what to do, and I need your help to decide.

Kartik P.


High School Seniors Enjoying Their Senior Prom
High School Seniors Enjoying Their Senior Prom

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Answer: Go to Parties That Are More Fun.

I advise that you should go instead to parties that are more fun. As living beings we have a natural tendency to want to party. So why party in such a way that you will become a dog in your next life when you can instead party in such a way that you become liberated from the cycle of birth of death? This is simply a matter of intelligence.

When I was in high school I did not go the senior prom, the special formal dance party for those soon to graduate, even though I was heavily pressured to do so by my classmates. These dancing dog affairs are nothing but a glorification of mundane sex life and are thus the pleasure pastime of the crow class of men, who are only attracted to garbage. Devotees are birds of a different feather. They are swans. They are attracted only to the beautiful lotus lake topics of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His eternal associates. Their parties consist of chanting the holy names of God and dancing in ecstasy. Their swan parties liberate them from the cycle of birth and death, while the crow parties based on material sense gratification bind the participants to take birth after birth after birth in this miserable material world.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari


Harinam Sankirtana Party. Who's Having More Fun?
Harinam Sankirtana Party. Who's Having More Fun?

 

Monday 6 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Where Walking is Dancing and Speaking is Singing

Sri Goloka Vrindavana, the highest planet in the spiritual world, is very nicely stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.56):

sriyah kantah kantah parama-purusah kalpa-taravo
druma bhumis cintamani-gana-mayi toyam amrtam
katha ganam natyam gamanam api vamsi priya-sakhi
cid-anandam jyotih param api tad asvadyam api ca

"The damsels of Vrindavana, the gopis, are super goddesses of fortune. The enjoyer in Vrindavana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna. The trees there are all wish-fulfilling trees, and the land is made of transcendental touchstone. The water is all nectar, the talking is singing, the walking is dancing, and the constant companion of Krishna is His flute. The effulgence of transcendental bliss is experienced everywhere. Therefore Vrindavana-dhama is the only relishable abode."

This Hare Krishna mantra is astoundingly wonderful. It is a transcendental airplane that will take you back to your original home in that wondrous abode, Sri Goloka Vrindavana. If you will simply chant it with love while strictly follow the rules and regulations of the bhakti yoga system, your spiritual perfection of returning to Goloka Vrindavan will be guaranteed.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in Goloka Vrindavana
Sri Sri Radha and Krishna in Goloka Vrindavana


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How Long Did Krishna Stay on the Earth?

How many years did Krishna spend on the earth before returning to Krishnaloka? Did Krishna give any special message before His departure to Krishnaloka.

L. Patel

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Answer: 125 Years

Krishna spent 125 years on the planet earth, but He never aged past a 16 year old youth.

Just prior to His departure Krishna gave this instruction to His charioteer, Daruka:

"You, Daruka, should be firmly situated in devotion to Me, remaining fixed in spiritual knowledge and unattached to material considerations."
- Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.30.49

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Sunday 5 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Vrindavana Dust is Krishna's Lotus Feet Dust

On 17 September 1975 when Srila Prabhupada was giving a Srimad Bhagavatam class in Vrindavana he revealed this amazing fact, "When you take little dust of Vrindavana-dhama, that means you are taking the dust of Krishna's lotus feet. Vrindavana-dhama, so important."

Therefore how can one even try to begin his unlimited good fortune by being in that place where the dust of Krishna's lotus feet is everywhere?

Akrura had full understanding of this as described by Srila Prabhupada in the Krishna Book:

"Akrura, the son of Svaphalka, meditated on Sri Krishna on his journey from Mathura. He reached Vrindavana by the end of the day. Akrura passed the whole journey without knowing how long it took. When he reached Vrindavana, the sun was setting. As soon as he entered the boundary of Vrindavana, he saw the hoofprints of the cows and Lord Krishna's footprints, impressed with the signs of His soles -- the flag, trident, thunderbolt and lotus flower. These symbols on the soles of the Lord's transcendental lotus feet are worshiped by all the demigods and other great personalities throughout the three worlds. Upon seeing the footprints of Krishna, Akrura immediately jumped down from the chariot out of respect. He became overwhelmed with all the symptoms of ecstasy; he wept, and his body trembled. Out of extreme jubilation upon seeing the dust touched by the lotus feet of Krishna, Akrura fell flat on his face and began to roll on the ground.

"Akrura's journey to Vrindavana is exemplary. One who intends to visit Vrindavana should follow the ideal footsteps of Akrura and always think of the pastimes and activities of the Lord. As soon as one reaches the boundary of Vrindavana, he should immediately smear the dust of Vrindavana over his body without thinking of his material position and prestige. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has sung in a celebrated song, visaya chadiya kabe suddha habe mana: 'When my mind will be purified after leaving the contamination of material sense enjoyment, I shall be able to visit Vrindavana.' Actually, one cannot go to Vrindavana by purchasing a ticket. The process of going to Vrindavana is shown by Akrura."

Therefore there is truly nothing more ecstatic than rolling in the sacred dust of Vrindavana.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Sacred Dust on Forest Path in Sri Vrindavana Dhama
Sacred Dust on Forest Path in Sri Vrindavana Dhama


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How is Everything Krishna and Not Krishna?

How is everything simultaneously Krishna and not Krishna? I do not understand.

Gita C.

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Answer: Krishna and His Expanded Energy

It is something like the sun and the sunshine. The sunshine is also sun, but it is not the sun globe. In this connection Srila Prabhupada has very profoundly stated:

"There is nothing but Sri Krishna, and yet nothing is Sri Krishna save and except His primeval personality.

Since everything that exists is nothing but Krishna's expanded energy, therefore nothing exists except for Krishna. And at the same time, since there is a clear distinction between Krishna and His expanded energy, nothing is Krishna except for Krishna Himself. This understanding is the highest level of the theological science, but it remains unknown and incomprehensible to the majority of the world's theologians.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Saturday 4 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

ISKCON: Spiritual Juggernaut That Will Save the World

In New York City at 26 2nd Avenue in July of 1966, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada launched ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, with a small handful of disciples. Over the past five decades his society has now mushroomed into a huge global spiritual juggernaut which is giving to all who are willing to hear the perfect formula for individual and global peace and happiness and which will eventually go down in history for having saved the global society from its darkest hour of despair. Let everyone who is now serious about bringing genuine happiness to the people of this planet now join with ISKCON to assist Srila Prabhupada in this ultimate divine mission.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada in New York City
Srila Prabhupada in New York City


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Give Love in a Loveless World?

Thank you so much, dearest Gurudeva, for your guidance and selfless service.

Please kindly clear my ignorance. If there is no real love in this world, then how do we deal with family members and spouse?

Your insignificant servant

C.L.

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Answer: Give Love By Telling Everyone About Krishna

Bring real love to this world by telling everyone about Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Friday 3 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Serve Your Senses or Your Guru's Mission?

In this material world we are all inclined due to heavy conditioning since time immemorial to serve our material senses. In Sanskrit language this is called indriya-seva. Indriya means senses, and seva means service. Although superficially this indriya-seva seems very pleasurable, the end result is most inauspicious because it intensely reinforces our false identification with our material bodies and thus paves our pathway to hell. Hell means an animal body in our next birth.

If instead of serving our senses, we serve the mission of our spiritual master to make this world Krishna conscious, our lives will be most glorious now in our present bodies and forevermore in our eternal spiritual bodies. Therefore the sincere disciple always prays that he can be fully absorbed body, mind, and words in serving his spiritual master's mission 24 hours daily. Such a disciple will taste the highest bliss at every moment and will be constantly in the direct association of Krishna.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Srila Prabhupada Walks With His Disciples
Srila Prabhupada Walks With His Disciples


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: Why in Vedas Demigods are Described as Supreme?

In Devi-Bhagavatam it is said that Durga devi is the origin of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Even in the Shiva Purana Vishnu is made lower than Lord Shiva. There are stories describing this. Why Lord Vishnu is made subservient in the scriptures which are in the tamasic or rajasic mode? How to properly explain this when speaking with devotees of Lord Shiva or Durga Devi?

Yours in service
Vishnu C.

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Answer: Different Level Lessons for Different Level Students

An arithmetic teacher may tell her beginning students when first teaching them subtraction that one cannot subtract a number from a number smaller than itself. In other words, you can subtract four from five, but you cannot subtract six from five. She instructs them like this because on the beginning level the students will not be able to understand what is a negative number. But later on when the students are more advanced, the teacher will tell that them you can subtract six from five with the result being a negative one.

In a similar way the Vedic scriptures sometimes teach those who are still materially attached that a certain demigod is the Supreme God. This is for the purpose of making them strong in their faith to that particular demigod so that they will strictly follow regulative principles at that level for gradually coming to the transcendental platform on which they desire to become free material desires and liberated from this material existence. At this stage the actual truth is revealed that Vishnu or Krishna is truly the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Thursday 2 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Ecstatic Excursion to Rajasthan

On Tuesday 30 October I traveled with a group of twenty devotees from various nations on a pilgrimage organized by my wife to visit the three principle deities of Vrindavana: Madana Mohana, Govinda, and Gopinatha. All three of these deities were originally installed by Lord Krishna's great grandson, Vajranabha, 5,000 years ago. Over the course of time their worship was stopped and they were lost. However, during the time of Lord Caitanya these three deities were found and their worship was resumed with great devotion. In 1748 the envious Muslim tyrant Aurangzeb sent his soldiers to destroy the temples and deities of Vrindavana. Fortunately the devotees in Vrindavana received advance word of this evil plot and many of the deities, including these three were sent for safety to the care of Maharaja Jai Singh in Rajasthan.

Srila Prabhupada explains in his Caitanya Caritamrita purport (Adi 7.3):

"According to the Vedic principles, there are three stages of spiritual advancement, namely, sambandha-jñana, abhidheya and prayojana. Sambandha-jñana refers to establishing one's original relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, abhidheya refers to acting according to that constitutional relationship, and prayojana is the ultimate goal of life, which is to develop love of Godhead."

Madana Mohana is predominating deity of sambandha. Govinda is the predominating deity of abhidheya. And Gopinatha is the predominating deity of prayojana. Therefore the worship of these particular deities is very helpful for the attainment of pure devotional service. This is why it is a very powerful spiritual experience to see these three deities, bow down at their feet, and humbly beg them respectively for sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana. Our pilgrimage was a wonderful opportunity to do just that.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



Madana Mohana in Karauli, India
Madana Mohana in Karauli, India


Radha Govinda in Jaipur, India
Radha Govinda in Jaipur, India


Radha Gopinatha in Jaipur, India
Radha Gopinatha in Jaipur, India

 


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: What Does Sankarshan Mean?

I know that Sankarshan is one of the names of Krishna, but could you please tell me what the name you have gotten Sankarshan Das Adhikari means?

L. Patel

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Answer: One Who Attracts All Living Entities

Srila Prabhupada explains that Sankarshan is a name for Krishna, which means one who attracts all living entities. Das means servant. And adhikari means one who is empowered to preach Krishna consciousness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

Wednesday 1 October 2014

from Sri Vrindavana Dhama, India

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Today's Thought:

Nothing Sweeter Than Krishna's Holy Names

There is truly nothing sweeter than Krishna's holy names because Krishna's holy names are Krishna Himself. In this wicked age of Kali, Krishna is mercifully more easily attainable than in any other age simply by the constant, or as much as possible, chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra:

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

Fill your lips and your heart with these transcendental sound vibrations, and you will feel how Krishna has personally become manifested to you with His most gracious unlimited sweetness.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari



The Potency of Chanting Krishna's Holy Names
The Potency of Chanting Krishna's Holy Names


Answers by Citing the Vedic Version:

Question: How to Receive Initiation?

Your Grace,

My humble obeisances.

I want to personally thank you for reviving my faith in ISKCON as was given by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I have recently enrolled in your course and have been listening to several of your lectures. I have realized that Krishna is using you to share and spread the message of Srila Prabhupada. The early glories of the Krishna Consciousness Movement are resplendent in your voice and message. If I may be so bold, how is one like me to receive initiation? I know this is what I am destined to do. I had lost hope in ever finding a true servant of Srila Prabhupada to initiate me. I know that you are this servant. Do you remember when you missed the chance in San Francisco to personally meet His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada? Well, similarly, I don't want to miss this once in a lifetime chance. Please advise me on what I should do to receive initiation. I pray for you and your service to Bhagavan Krishna and His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

Your Servant,
Greg S.

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Answer: Chant 16 Rounds and Follow Four Regulative Principles

Although I two times passed up the opportunity to get the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, fortunately the third time I got the opportunity I took advantage of it.

It gives me great joy that in spite of my innumerable disqualifications that Srila Prabhupada has used me as his instrument to help you feel connected with the original mood and spirit of ISKCON that was felt so strongly by all its original members back in the 60's and 70's. It is actually not at all difficult to taste that sweetest nectar when one realizes that Srila Prabhupada is fully present with us right now just as he was in the beginning days of his most amazing movement, in spite of his physical disappearance in 1977.

Just as Prabhupada was very merciful to give initiation to everyone who sincerely desired to awaken their dormant Krishna consciousness, in that same mood we are also extending his mercy to all sincere souls that they can be initiated, in accordance within his instructions, into his disciplic line as his grand disciples, i.e. disciples of his disciples.

So if you want to be initiated, simply you must demonstrate your steadiness in chanting at least 16 rounds every day of the Hare Krishna mahamantra on japa mala beads along with the strict avoidance of illicit sex, meat eating, intoxication, and gambling. Just as in Srila Prabhupada's time, each candidate requires to be recommended for initiation by their local ISKCON temple president.

Sankarshan Das Adhikari

 

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